Monday, December 15, 2008

Some Times Green ain't Easy

Last spring when I took an inside job I was looking forward to doing some of my commuting via bicycle or mass transit.

I live in the busy North West suburbs and work in one of the South West suburbs. The second busiest freeway route is the one that connects the two parts of the metro. So you think that would make it easy to find bike or bus routes, right?

Guess again. I found out you could not get there from here, unless you drove you doubled your distance and at least tripled your time.

The Metropolitan Transit District seems to think everything needs to run through down town, even if you do not want to. All the bus routes, the new light rail and even the bike trails are oriented to running through down town. I really do not want to ride busy streets in the Ghetto to get to work which is what MTD is trying get me to do....or make me take a 2.5 hour bus ride with 3 changes to replace a 25 minute commute....uh uh...NO WAY

Thank goodness there is hope on the horizon. Last October a non profit site, Cyclopath, went on line and its goal is to find decent bike routes around the metro. I now have a 23 mile route to work that keeps me on fairly safe streets and out of bad neighborhoods.

Sadly, it came to late to be of help this year. Today the high was -3F. We have some tough local bike commuters but I am not THAT tough, so I am thinking spring thoughts.

Ride On!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gloom and Doom?

I just don't know. No question the situation is ugly.

I have been on the new job for 8 months now. I really enjoy what I am doing and I know I am making a significant contribution. In a $2 MM company I am the only person that does what I do. We just finished a very solid quarter. So you think everything would be great?

Wrong. I work within another group that has a "downstream" function from what I do. There are 6 of them and last Friday 2 of them were laid off. The company has taken the attitude they need to restructure before the numbers go bad.

Great proactive thinking, right?

I just don't know. No question the situation is ugly.

By the time any one notices we are in a recession, we are half way through it. Can it get THAT bad?

I just don't know. No question the situation is ugly.

*a small footnote of history, this iconic picture was taken about 10 miles from where I grew up

Friday, August 29, 2008

All Jammed Up

Having your daughter getting married creates all sorts of unforseen tasks. On the surface it would all seem fairly simple. Pick a church, host a reception and buy something appropriate to wear.

Not hardly.

Knowing our eldest daughter, I knew that many things would be "assigned" elsewhere and that would entail covering many details. Even knowing that, in hindsight I was CLUELESS.

#2 daughter, the OH and I have spent the last 3 weekends making jars of jams as favors for the guests. Certainly not our idea but some how we did it. This is just one of the many things being handed off to us.

Do I sound a bit stressed? Between the new job and the impending nuptials we are non stop. We have little time for riding, reading, travel or even quiet contemplation. Constantly getting new things that HAVE to be done is not helping.

I love it

Friday, July 25, 2008

Distorted Reflections

Two weeks ago a family was visiting a local amusement when their 12 year old daughter was sexually groped by an adult male in the parking lot as they were leaving the park. The father took exception to the behavior and began defending his daughter from the man. The groper got away and called several friends who were in the park and a total of 6 of them ranging from their late teens to early 20's proceeded to beat the man. This continued until the police and park security arrived. The father was down, unconscious and still being kicked when the police and park security finally arrived.

Adding to this mess, the family was white and the perpetrators were black.

Last week the Star Tribune published a piece claiming the root of the incident could be found in the social values common to Rap music. The author opined that the sexually denigrating and violent ego centrism that permeates Rap music has found its way to mainstream America and is being reflected in violent behavior like the beating. Is society reflecting the music? Is the music reflecting society?

Which is the reflection and which is the image? Are they distorting each other?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Out of the Dark

Where have I been? Why did I quit writing? What happened?

I am still not sure.

I do know that last fall work became incredibly frustrating. I could see what needed doing and how to do it but was not allowed to make it happen. Why that was I can only speculate. I think it had nothing to with my gender but was more tied to the apathy of the company owners. Frustration led to depression, depression led to weight gain, a new job search led to more frustration, more depression and more weight gain. It was a self sustaining cycle.

The OH finally kicked me out of the cycle. There is never an acceptable time for that kind of behaviour and with our eldest's nuptials coming up, this was an especially unacceptable time for it. The kick was brutal but effective. I quit my job. I landed new work in an engineering function. The new job is a minor pay cut but for the first time in 6 years I look forward to going work every day. I am finally doing what I went to school 30 years ago to do, engineering.

As you can see from the picture, I have put on weight since the last profile picture was taken. The good news is it is -15 lbs from my peak last winter. I have another 15 to go before the wedding. I think I can make it *S*

Anyway, I am back. I really appreciate the notes I recieved from those concerned with my welfare. Thank You