Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for June, 2012

The More Vitriol You Spew, the More I Like the People Against You

Yes, and who cares about a few lives when there is money involved?

I realize, I am taking this personally, and it isn’t personal, however, this sort of thing is exactly why I have an anonymous blog.

I was driving home yesterday from St. Louis when the Supreme Court handed down their judgement on Obamacare. NPR’s coverage of it seemed to be fair and balanced, but, because I was driving I kept losing stations. I ended up on some talk radio station where commenters were calling in, saying things like “I am just trying not to cry *sniff sniff* but what is happening to our country?” *cue quiet sobbing. And the host was saying things like

“This is a terrible day for America.”

“We are slowly becoming a Communist Country”

“Everything the Nazis did was legal too”

“These people cheering for this are parasites, they are leeches. We’d be better off if they all left the country, or didn’t get health care and died. They are parasites who will continue to suck the life out of hardworking, good, people and won’t be happy until they have all we have without working a day for it.”

That last group of sentence was the one that really made me mad. Especially because the whole show he kept talking about how Christian he was, how we were a God-fearing country, etc. In the segment before the health care one, they were discussing adoption. Apparently, if you adopt a child, there is a $13,000 tax credit. Which, according to the garbage he was saying, shouldn’t be allowed. I mean, if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to make a baby on your own, or afford it on your own, you should be SOL, right? (This is NOT my opinion, I’m just sayin’!” But, no, that is acceptable. Again, with the Christian stuff, and the agency continued to stress how they wanted these kids to go to Christian homes, and that they had over 2500 kids in need of adoption, many family groups or older kids. And, I just quietly fumed that at  this point in my life, if I wanted to help a child, they wouldn’t let me because I’m not “Christian” enough. I’m a good person, a good mom, and NOT on government assistance, but, I live with my boyfriend, so, we can make all the babies we want (hypothetically) but, we can’t help a child in need. If we get married tomorrow, by tomorrow evening we are Christian enough, but, not today. Just…wow.

So, anyway, my mom calls me and says she doesn’t understand what just happened. I haven’t had the opportunity at that point to know anything except what was on the radio, but I try to tell her what I know and explain it. She starts in on how this is a slippery slope, how could this happen. It is terrible, why should they have to pay for people who won’t work. Do I even know how many people abuse the system, blah blah blah. I tried to point out some good things, like the fact kids can be on their parent’s insurance until age 26, women can’t be charged significantly more for health care than men anymore, and insurance companies can’t turn you down for preexisting conditions. To which she replies that the government is overstepping it boundaries, that we need less government in our lives (and our uterus’s, right mom? but no, THAT is ok), couldn’t they see what a bad idea this was, that it isn’t the governments job to take care of everyone, it is families and the church’s job. At this point, I realized I would be fighting a losing battle. So, you get the argument I would have liked to make.

1. The Supreme Court’s job is not to  decide if something is a good idea or not, it is to decide if things are constitutional or not, that is all.

2. My parents generally end up with like $12,000 a year in a tax return, they aren’t paying crap to take care of anyone, including themselves.

3. The churches are doing a lousy job at helping people in need. I remember going to their church when I really needed help after my ex left, and there was no money to help me. I needed my furnace fixed, and they couldn’t help, at all. Since then (5 yrs) they’ve added 3 new wings and a gym to their church.

4. And, if you want to go the Christian route with your argument, a quick google search shows the Bible mentions helping the poor between 300-400 times.

It mentions pulling yourself up by your boot straps and/or “God helps those who help themselves” exactly zero times each.

5. Continuing with the Christian argument, how many times does the Bible say to forgive someone? In Matthew 18:21-22 says seventy times seven times. So, 490 times. So, yes, there may be people taking advantage of the welfare system, they may be dishonest and lying, but, forgive them, and move on. I am thinking the admonishment not to covet also may apply here.

6. Alright, time to explain why this is personal. About two and a half years ago, I went to the dr for a small problem. She found precancerous cells on my cervix, I had to make an appointment to have them removed, and I needed a follow up appointment to make sure they got them all and it hadn’t spread. I got the first part taken care of, but, I never made the follow up, because, I couldn’t afford it. I was barely affording food, let alone dr appointment, so, I have held my breath and hoped for the best. Now, I’m getting married, I’m supposed to get health insurance when we get married, but I was very very afraid that I wouldn’t be allowed to have it, because this would count as a preexisting condition, and now, it doesn’t matter. So, now, 3 yrs after they first found the cells, I will be able to go back for my follow up. Now, as far as family helping, I have a huge family, and, it wasn’t that I couldn’t get enough help…I couldn’t get ANY help.

So, my super conservative religious family is against this because it is the church’s job, and the families job to help people. Neither the church or them helped me, so, what exactly am I supposed to do? Apparently it’s cool to just let me possibly die because they can’t afford to help? Really?

It is extremely hurtful that for a couple years there, I was considered a parasite and society was better off without me. It hurts quite a bit to realize, you and people like you are seen as dollar signs to the “loving and compassionate” religious right.

I don’t consider myself a republican or a democrat, I really don’t. I think both sides have their pros and cons. If I have to pick one, I will pick more liberal. I won’t take a stance on Obamacare, because I haven’t done enough research, and listening to talking heads on the radio is not research, no matter what people think. But, if you are going to make illogical arguments, I will pick them apart.

And, I’ve seen both sides do this…they shout the stupidest things, while calling names, and saying things like “nobody with half a brain could be on the other side.” Why is it so difficult to actually make an argument? Why is it so hard when somebody has a good point to say “I hadn’t thought about that, I will need to look into it some more?” Why is it so much easier to call names and point fingers than it is to go on your way, being kind?

I think something drastic needs to be done to fix our economy, but, I don’t think calling people who need help names and saying they’d be better off dead is the correct way to go about it.

And, is your goal to be right, or to change things? I promise, I listened to both the radio show and my mother and not once did they say anything that made me think this new law was a bad idea, they didn’t explain the problem with the law, just the problem with the people who like it. I would love to hear opinions from people, but, am I stupid to think they can be done without name calling and hiding behind religion?

A Garden Project, continued

I was on a slight hiatus from blogging. First, I was busy outside, then I was bored, so, I drove here…

What? Where do you go when you are bored?

It isn’t too bad, less than a 10 hr drive. I was there for 2 days, and drove home in time to get my kids back this weekend. I fully intended to blog a bit there, because there have been several things recently that leave me with a lot of material to write about, but I only took the iPad, and I forgot my keyboard at home, and I don’t like writing anything substantial with the touch screen.

Anyway, I spent last weekend working on my gardens.

Here is the “before” picture of a small garden between the sidewalk and the house.

I have no idea what those green bushes are, but they are all the negatives of a vine and a bush, and none of the positives.

Those things were climbing up BEHIND the siding. And they are ugly and spread, and look worse when you trim them, and if your neighbor is inconsiderate and lets garbage blow all over the place, they are really handy garbage catchers. Not one of the main things I look for in a plant. So, we had to dig them out, and by we, I mean I watched Aussie while telling him what to do. I have several hunky pictures of Aussie working on this little project, however, he doesn’t want to be identified. So, you will have to settle for this picture.

The love of my life

Anyway, we woke up Sunday morning and decided we needed this project. We went to the garden center, and piled 1,700 pounds of material into the truck. (And by we, I do mean we.) Then, we paid for it, and pushed it all out to the truck, where we picked up and loaded the same 1,700 pounds of material. You should have seen my truck, it looked ridiculous. We drove home, where we then unloaded 1,700 pounds of material from the truck. And then we moved them for the last time, as they were put into place.

Would you believe there is actually a sidewalk under all that dirt?

Aussie did an AMAZING job. He happens to be a bit of a perfectionist, which means it takes him forever to do anything, but when he does, the results are incredible. All those blocks are level. I would have just stacked them and hoped for the best. All the old dirt and mulch and ugly plants were loaded back into the truck to be hauled to my parents. Then my poor truck needed washed.

The car wash floor, that was clean when I got there. My truck is still muddy and filthy, by the way.

Now, for the finished project!

In my infinite wisdom, I started this project during on eof the hottest weeks in our history. My poor plants.

I am SO happy with how it all turned out.

A Wireless Connection

How True!

I am marrying a tech geek. He went to school for this. His job revolves around wires and computers. He loves this stuff.

I recently saw an app for your phone that will use the camera to put an image of what is in front of you on the background of the texting screen, so you don’t run into things while you walk. http://www.cracked.com/article_19820_5-ways-your-nerd-gadgets-are-killing-you.html. Seriously? Somebody had to invent an app because people couldn’t be bothered to watch where they were going? When we began to date, Aussie had his phone constantly on him. W would go out for milkshakes at 3am, and he’d bring his phone, just in case somebody needed to talk to him. At 3 am. “What if there is an emergency?!” he’d say. At 3am. When his family was asleep. When his friends were out drinking. And, even if there was an emergency, I didn’t think he was the 1st call on anyone’s list, except maybe mine. And, to be honest, he isn’t even the first on my list, because he is never home! He does me no good in an emergency. He’s second, my mom is under strict orders to call him, but, really, if I’m hurt at 3am, he won’t know about it for quite awhile.

I believe, one day, we were talking over dinner, and he had his phone out, checking the news, replying to work emails. And, I commented, “I wish I would have brought something, so I wouldn’t have to be bored while you talk.” It would be rude for me to pick up a book and start reading in the middle of someone’s sentence, but almost no one thinks twice about picking up their phone to check that text while you talk to them. And, honestly, it is rude. Almost nobody is SO important that this text MUST be answered, RIGHT NOW. If it is something and an emergency, most people will call. He’d say “well, what about work?!”  I said, that first of all, he does have weekends off, he’s allowed. Second, he has to fly out for work, if they need him, an extra 30 minutes really isn’t going to make a huge difference in that 8 hour commute to work.

So, finally, the big day. The day we drove to the grocery store and he left his cell phone on the night stand for those 30 minutes, on purpose. I don’t think calling him a nervous wreck was unfair. He had phantom vibrations. We got home and the first thing he did was rush to his phone to check it. But, I didn’t complain because he left it home, and that was the goal. Over time, he gradually left the phone home a little more at a time. And, eventually the ipad was left home more and more often as well.

The funniest thing happened. He relaxed. He quit stressing over work. He quit letting his phone be his keeper. He didn’t pull his phone out of his pocket in the middle of a date just to see what time it was. It stopped mattering as much. The change in his attitude has been almost unbelievable, and even he has noticed that he really was never getting any downtime, because work was always able to get a hold of him, no matter the time or day. In an effort to save money,

I told Aussie, I would like a prepaid cell phone. We have a house phone, and I very rarely used my cell phone as it was, I didn’t NEED to check facebook all day, and I certainly didn’t need to spend $100/month to do so. Not only that, but, everyone claims they need their cell phones “for an emergency”. However, I don’t think I was ever called in an emergency, except once when my grandpa was doing poorly. But, I wasn’t allowed to use my phone at work, so they had to call work anyway. A cell phone, for me, again was a source of stress. If somebody wanted to call, to say something, they would call and leave a message “why do you even have a cell phone if you never answer it. Call me back.” If we were out having a nice day, I would get a call “we decided to have a cookout, it starts in 10 minutes. come over.” when we didn’t, the next day, I’d have people mad because I didn’t show up and they called my cell phone. I’d be out with the kids and get a call “well, since you are out, will you do this errand for me?” people were ALWAYS running late, because, well, I can just call her and let her know. But, one call and 15 minutes would turn into 5 calls and an hour. I was paying $100/month, for everyone else’s convenience.  So, I had my phone shut off, and i got a prepaid one on the same network as Aussie so we can talk while he’s out of town. I don’t give anyone the number except the babysitter and the kid’s dad. And, I am SO much less stressed. I am not having to run 30 errands for other people while I’m in town. People can’t call just to try to get me to do something for them. People actually visit now, because I never have a phone. In Feb. we prepaid $100 for that phone, and I am still on that original payment. I don’t reach for my phone at every quiet moment. I actually talk to people. It’s been really nice.

For all the “connecting” technology allows people to do, I’ve done a lot more, on a deeper level since I’ve become harder to get a hold of. And, Aussie cutting the wires has helped our relationship. We only get a little time together on the weekends anyway, why let everyone else have it? Why let him put in 50 hours of work for 40 hours of pay? Maybe this wouldn’t work for everyone, but, if you are somebody who everyone NEEDS to get  in touch with, all day, every day, try leaving the phone home once in awhile and seeing how much others can really do without your awesomeness. You might be surprised.

Update to There is Nothing Wrong with that Child

Is that all ya got?

You are getting to hear lots from me this week, the kids are away.

Anyway, I have become the meanest mom on Earth. But, good news. It has been working SO well.

The chores doubled, at least. My youngest one realized I was making the new chores and quickly volunteered for the “fun” ones, while his brother ignored me, so he got harder ones. Plus, he’s older, so this seems fair to me. He did however, volunteer to mow the front lawn. Well, he asked for the whole lawn, but, I believe the push mower out weights him, and the back yard has a decent size hill I don’t think he can manage. Not that we get any rain to make the grass grow anymore, but, he mows it weekly anyway.

He still has all the cat chores. I’ve gotten stricter about what counts as “clean” for their room. You should have seen the look on his face when he realized vacuuming is an everyday chore now.

Like I said before, cable got canceled. Video games are severely limited, right now, about the only thing they can play is Minecraft, and that is only for a little while.

I’ve banned the words “I’m bored”, otherwise, I’m sure I can find more chores…the kids caught on quick.

If the chores are done, at this point, they tend to be either riding their bikes, on the trampoline, or in the pool. I must say, we’ve only had the pool a couple weeks, but it was WELL worth the money. I think the boys maybe growing gills. There is definitely a benefit to having a small yard and a small house, the pool is pretty close to the house, and I can see it from all the rooms except my bedroom, which I don’t spent much time in during the day anyway. So, they can go out and swim, and I can still take care of things inside and see and hear them, as long as I have the windows open.

They have to be in their room at 8pm. I never said they had to go to sleep, but they have to be in there, winding down. They fought me on it, because it was still light, but, a majority of the time, they are both asleep before 8:30p. Well, I should say, the oldest one fought me on it, the little one didn’t, because he is my 6 yr old narcoleptic. I swear, if he stops moving for more than a minute, he falls asleep. He is asleep moments after buckling into a vehicle. If he is cranky, he will come to me and tell me he must need a nap. But, anyway, I think the more sleep is helping too.

Soccer started as well.  I have exhausted them into submission.

And, I’m exhausted! It is so much more work, and more boring, to make sure they are doing all they are supposed to, checking it, dealing with the once in awhile meltdown when I say they need to do it again because it wasn’t done right. I don’t like standing there watching my kid mow the lawn, especially when it takes him 3 times as long. But I can see how, when there are two working parents, this isn’t possible.

I felt bad originally, I mean, this has been such a change, maybe it is too much…then I thought about it. I remember mowing at his age, I remember having to help dad cut wood, in the wet mud and freezing cold, tossing it into the truck bed that was as tall as I am, then getting home, unloading the truck, throwing it all in the basement, THEN going to the basement and stacking it. Plus, cleaning up after my siblings. I have almost a dozen siblings, and we didn’t get a dishwasher until I was in my teens. Aussie used to have to take care of farm animals and was driving a tractor by the time he was 8. So, when I thought about it from that angle, I realized, this isn’t going to kill them, it isn’t bad for them.

Not only did I want this to help with behavior, but, they really are kinda spoiled, I don’t want them to grow up feeling entitled. But, like I said, they have bikes, a trampoline and a pool, we have several video game systems, they’ve been on 5 trips so far this year, I believe, with 2 or 3 more planned. I think if we just hand them everything, then I will really be creating little monsters.

I am a gold digger and a 5 letter word that rhymes with stitch.

Wait, you mean this isn’t how it works?

I just thought you should know…according to a guy I haven’t spoken to in years, and before that, I only spoke with online long enough to know I don’t want to go out sometime.

It’s apparently a two post day.

I logged on to check my e-mail this morning, and an IM popped up. It was someone I had met on a dating site years ago, and, I hadn’t blocked him, though I also hadn’t started the conversation. I never do. He asked how I was, and I said I was great, planning my wedding. My usual response to the guys I met that way. It’s a not so subtle way to let them know I’m not open to being hit on or anything. It usually works well. If they can be polite, I chat. If they want to be jerks or disrespect my relationship, they get blocked.

So, the guy says “cool, have your prenup all ready?”

I said “lol, no, I have nothing, and if we divorce and he wants the blender, he can have it.”

The guy then says “then he’s an idiot for not having one. Marriage is a trap for men, you’ll leave for some imagined slight and take him for everything he’s got, and still demand child support.”

I said “well, you know, he has my history to go with. In my last divorce, I wanted my kids, my clothes and my car.”

He replied back with “oh, YOUR kids. I bet he has to pay you child support too. That should be done away with, it isn’t for the kids, it is for the mom.”

I said “yes, well, I was living large on that $10/week I got. While I paid $60 for soccer, which he comes to, but doesn’t help pay for.”

He said “So, now I suppose you’ll just have him arrested while still demanding child support and alimony”

I said “I wish I could have him arrested, but $10 for two kids ‘shows he is trying’ and this state doesn’t do alimony.”

So, this guy continued on and on and on…laws favor women, any man who  get married is a fool, I’m completely wrong about divorce laws (you know, the person studying law, and just got a divorce probably knows less than the mechanic who’s never been married, right?) That he hopes for this guys sake I don’t go after him for CS when we get divorced, and we will because obviously I am a gold digging, unreasonable, bitch.

I told him, he can relax about Aussie, because we won’t be having kids together, if he wants to go, he is free to never have anything to do with me again.

So…here we go…

Most states are going to 50/50 custody, no matter what.

Most states have or are doing away with alimony.

People don’t get arrested for not paying child support, they get a slap on the wrist and told to do better.

Mothers are held to a higher standard then fathers. I had CPS called on me, BY MY EX, because my kids shared a room. Meanwhile, ELEVEN people were living in his one bedroom apartment, and as long as the kids weren’t in danger, it was no big deal.

This man tried to run me over, while I held my sons hand, and he still gets visitation. He strangled me until I blacked out, and because he took anger management classes, he still gets to see the kids.

He comes to the soccer games, that I paid for the kids to play. He lost their cleats during visitation, which I had to replace, then HE sold the “lost” ones in a garage sale. He doesn’t feed them before I pick them up, no matter what time that is, but, demands I feed them before he picks them up, because otherwise, there is  no time and they will be hungry. But, he tried to take custody from me, on the basis of I don’t feed them enough hamburger.

We agreed I’d be a stay at home mom, and when he left, I was shit out of luck.

He let a woman, who had just gotten out of jail for battery of a child under 14, babysit, and I couldn’t say a damn thing about it. It was his time with them.

He wrecked his motorcycle 3 times last summer and still took our son on rides, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

I’m glad the law favors me though.

This is the guy who gave me sole custody, so he could pay less in child support. That is how important the kids are to him. But, I’m the gold digger who wants them more, which will cost more money, but took less money for the privilege.

And then, this dumbass tells me, I am the idiot who wanted kids with the loser, I have no one to blame but myself and I deserve it for all my bad choices. (He got blocked, then started in from other e-mail addresses). You know…funny thing…I know. I know I made bad choices. I know I didn’t listen to myself when I should have. I wanted to call off the wedding, I told him that…two weeks later I found out I was pregnant, and our parents began putting tons of pressure on to get married. I told him to leave us, and he wouldn’t. I was an 18 yr old, who always had to do what my parents said, who had absolutely no life experience, who was scared and really did think it would be best for the baby, though I wasn’t too happy about it. But, I’m not a romantic person, I don’t believe in “the one” and I think it’s possible to have several soul mates (though I knew he wasn’t mine) so, I naively thought, as long as we both tried, we could make it work, and I married him anyway. The thing was, he used to be a really nice guy. I didn’t marry an asshole, I didn’t marry a wife beater, I didn’t marry a cheater. I married a guy who hadn’t grown up yet, and I take responsibility for that. I will take responsibility for having kids as well, but, that is it. It isn’t my fault who he turned in to, it isn’t my fault how he chose to handle it, it isn’t my fault he hasn’t chosen to grow up yet. It isn’t my fault he cheated, and it isn’t my fault he got abusive, and it isn’t my fault he won’t take care of the kids or be reasonable…right?

And you know what, that does scare me…I already married one nice guy and look where that got me. What if Brad changes? Is it my fault then too? I’m older now…I know more…I don’t think I’d put up with as much, but, that hasn’t been tested yet.We’re responsible grown ups…but…what if he changes his mind? Joe never gave me a reason…so, how can I stop it from happening again? I know…like I said, we’re older now, we’ve moved slowly, at two and a half yrs in with Joe we were married and expecting our second baby. Aussie and I aren’t even technically engaged yet, so, I hope that by taking more time to make sure he was right for me that will help, but I know it is no guarantee.

You know what…I think marriage is serious, if there is no abuse or infidelity, to damn bad, you made a promise, you signed a contract…fix whatever need fixed.

I think, if you cheat, you should lose rights. You are showing out right, you are not concerned about what is best for your kids. I think custody hearings should consider whose fault it is the marriage is over.

I think no fault divorce is a pile of shit.  If you can PROVE your spouse cheated, if you can prove he took vacation time to screw somebody else rather than spend time with his family, if you can prove she used the grocery money on a hotel room for her and her boss, then that should play into divorce, into custody, into spousal support. Why should anyone take marriage seriously anymore, there is no consequence for being a lying asshole? The “winner” is not the moral one, is not the one who tried to keep their family together, it is the person with a better lawyer.

Families are just as broken as our legal system, but nobody wants to fix it. It’s too hard, it’s no fun, what if it backfires? It’s too complicated…maybe the medical community should come up with a pill for it.

A Garden Project

This was the front of our house yesterday.

I was looking through a home improvement magazine once, and I found a “how to” for a fountain. I thought it was cool, but, not much else.

I believe the last Christmas that my grandma was alive, and bought Christmas presents, she gave my sons a small bench. It was really cute, and it’s come with us through three moves now. But, my kids really are too big for it. It’s been repaired a couple times, and for quite sometime it just sat in the weeds in front of the house, decaying. This weekend, Aussie and I pulled all the weeds and trimmed back the trees. I decided, since I don’t have my kids this week, I was going to do a project, and I was going to make a fountain.

First, the bench needed taken care of. My dad had sprayed it with red stain years ago to try to protect it, but, he wasn’t careful and sprayed the metal as well. But, even that stain had faded, and the wood had aged. I didn’t get an original before pic, but, I’ll post where I started.

If you know me at all, you will know, I almost NEVER tape things off to paint, I’ll just be careful.(And it never works that way) But this was special.

Yesterday, it rained all morning, and threatened rain all evening. But, I painted anyway. Thinking I could move the bench if needed. Eventually I did move it to in front of the front door, where it would be covered. I removed the tape..

I am so glad I kept that old table cloth! See how aged the wood looks?

Then I decided to start staining the wood. I was really pleased with the color combo.

Now it just has to dry.

This morning, I was looking forward to sleeping in. Instead I woke up an hour before I normally do, and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I got up, and I went out to dig a hole. It was then I realized, I wasn’t digging a hole, I was chiseling out a circle in the ground with whatever sharp objects I could find. An hour later, there was a hole.

Now, comes time for the kitchen things…the thing holding the water is a $1 mixing bowl from Target. The thing holding the rocks above the water is a baker’s cooling rack. I bought the pump at Lowe’s. It said use either 3/8″ or 1/2″ tubing. I picked 3/8″ and it floated right out. So, I wrapped duct tape around it and made it fit.

I hauled the bench back out to the front of the house, and brought out the watering can. I set it all up. And now, the finished product…

Ok, not quite the finished project. I need to hide the tubing and the cord better. And, I’m thinking maybe a smaller watering can, what do you think? And I am contemplating a small stepping stone leading to it. An “in memory of” kinda thing, for both my grandma and the baby I lost several years ago. I always wished I could have done something for him…maybe this…using the bench my grandma gave us. What do you think?

Hypocrisy on two wheels

Aussie calls it my old lady bike, I’m ok with this.

I got a new bike this spring. Not the kind with a motor, I have no desire for one of those, but a pretty purple and yellow one with a basket on the front. I LOVE it. We only live two miles or so from the grocery store, and several places to eat, so, quite often the kids and I go get groceries on our bikes, and even more often Aussie and I ride to get milkshakes or a cup of coffee.  I enjoy it. I think it is relaxing, it’s good exercise, it saves gas (even if it is just a bit).

We can avoid most the “big” roads by taking a round about way through the housing additions, three of them. Not much traffic, people who say hello and wave at us. The little traffic there is tends to give us plenty of room, and it is much appreciated. Unfortunately, there is about a quarter mile stretch that is on a fairly large road, with no shoulder. When the kids and I ride, we walk that section, down in the yards on the other side of the ditch. When Aussie and I ride (and I just found this out) he rides behind me, but off the the left a bit. I ride on what little shoulder there is, and he rides on the road. By doing this, it forces cars to slow down and wait for space to pass in the lane coming towards us, rather us both on the shoulder, and cars flying by, while almost hitting us with the mirror, if we’re lucky.

I grew up hearing my dad complain non-stop about people not riding single file, how stupid it was, etc. All of a sudden, I understood why they did it. So, I decided to try to explain this to my dad, you would think I would have learned by now. But no, apparently I am a glutton for punishment. (Off topic, I goggled “glutton for punishment, and one of the top 5 pics was a cartoon pic, of a guy with green hair sucking a girl’s toes. I am confused as to how this applies. I almost wanted to click and see if I was missing something, but, I really don’t want my boyfriend to come home and in the history find anime porn.) Anyway, back on topic, I explain this, and he says “if there isn’t room for a car to pass you, then you shouldn’t be riding. If there is no sidewalk for you, then it’s your own fault.” I explain, that technically bikes are not supposed to be on the sidewalk, they are considered vehicles. He says that is stupid and he doesn’t care, bikes need to stay off the road. I try to explain again, he shouts “Fine, but if I hit you because you’re an idiot, it’s your own damn fault. Maybe you’ll learn your lesson.” My father is a very empathetic individual, as you can see. He goes on to tell me that there is no reason to ride my bike when I have a perfectly good truck in the driveway. I’m annoyed at this point, and I tell him, first of all, being fat is dangerous as well, so, if I’m dying of something anyway, it may as well be trying to get healthy. Second, if he hits a bicyclist, and it is his negligence, he will be doing jail time. And, if the person on the bike is riding, on the road, in a straight line, in the correct lane, it will be the cars fault. (you know, that whole with great power comes great responsibility thing. You’re bigger, be careful, not a bully.) Third, Aussie and I pay taxes, for the roads, we get to use the roads, legally. And finally, unless your name is God or Officer Dad, it’s not your job to be teaching lessons.

My favorite part of this is that my dad rides a motorcycle. How would he like it if a car decided he needed to be on the shoulder, and tried to pass him in the same lane? how would he like a car to “teach him a lesson”? Google “Hate motorcycles” or, I’ll do it for you…https://www.google.com/search?aq=1&oq=hate+motor&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=hate+motorcyclists. It’s scary how people feel about them, I’m glad teaching people on motorcycles a lesson is illegal. Though it doesn’t stop them. Like this article:http://jalopnik.com/lane-splitting/ that talks about how people actively try to take out their anger on bikers. I bet my dad has a problem with THAT though.

Anyway, please share the road. Please, even if my dad can’t do it for real, pretend that that person you just passed is your kid, or someone you love. And please, don’t be so closed minded that no amount of logic can get into your imaginary “right way”.  You don’t have to agree with everybody, but when you call your own kid an idiot and imply you’d stand at their funeral and say “she deserved it”…well, then, you’re a jerk.

Finally, this article is on topic, and I thought it was interesting. It’s basically talking about why all the hatred for people on bikes and how to change that (Spoiler…get more people on bikes!)http://grist.org/article/2011-02-24-why-do-people-in-cars-hate-people-on-bikes-so-much/

If only!

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