"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wagons East

My alarm is set for 4:30 a.m., can't say if that means I'll be waking up at exactly that time or not (could be earlier in the antici...pation, or could be later, but hopefully around that time) to finish loading up the truck, including the talented Miss Ripley, and head to UT for a couple days to visit my people. As I have not yet updated all of 'my people' as to this plan, some of you may read this and wonder if I'm trying to sneak in and out of the state without so much as a let's-have-lunch or other appropriate refreshments. My plans were a little wobbly until nearly the last minute but I hope we can meet up sometime during my 48-hour or so visit. And have appropriate refreshments. That aren't too hard to chew...the left side of my mouth is still full of stitches and plumber's putty. Feel free to call and entertain me while I'm driving tomorrow, if I don't call you first.

I probably really should be at work this week. But the highway and my hours and hours of Dickens' Bleak House on mp3 are calling. And my people.

First step, shut eye.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New parts

Smiling for the camera after my surgery yesterday. The installation of the secret data transmitter was successful and I should now be able to start podcasting and making calls by clicking my teeth together three times.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A list, at least

of everything I can remember having thought about for posting topics in the last two weeks:

  • My parents' 38th [corrected from original post] wedding anniversary was May 28th. No small feat.
  • My weekend with the Buddhist monks up at Shasta Abbey and remarkably being able to fall asleep before 9 p.m. Without pharmaceutical help. Oh the impermanence.
  • My first practice criterium. Bicycle race! Bicycle race!
  • Tried to take a video of Ripley playing with her vegetables before eating them up but waited until too late in the day, she was worn out and just laid down on the rug and ate the broccoli without throwing it in the air and snorting and barking at it first. I'll try again.
  • My first big Costco shopping experience for the company picnic. The photo of my cart full of five dozen hotdog buns for five dozen hotdogs, similar quantity of hamburgers / veggie burgers and buns, a flat of tomatoes, a 15# bag of onions, two bags of charcoal, a case of diet Coke and Shasta soda (incidentally not available at Shasta Abbey, in case you wondered) etc etc turned out blurry but I might try to post it later anyway. I realized why the original plan had been for TWO people to do the shopping. It was probably a job for two shopping carts.
  • Getting to work by 8:30 or earlier EVERY day last week and this week so far, and cleaning my house, and digging out my office. My boss wonders what happened at the Abbey.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Catching up

Most of the month of May seems to have escaped discussion so far, which is too bad because really quite a lot happened. Those highly detailed and photo-filled posts about the Unknown Coast took up a lot of blogging energy. Unfortunately I didn't have my phone set up to send posts by text (or audio) during the NorCal AIDS Challenge mid-month - of course I would only have sent text messages while I was not operating a motor vehicle, which actually wouldn't have left much time to send them - but at least there would have been some updates.

It was an awesome, inspiring event, made no less inspiring (maybe more so, actually) by the fact that I was on the support crew instead of on a bike this year. The reference to Kansas in my last post was made with certain stretches of the NCAC route in mind. There is a beauty to wide open farmland that is enhanced by air conditioning.

[Here's Jen, one of the strong and lovely NCAC riders pointing out a sign atop Table Mountain.]

I really enjoyed my task on the crew and took it maybe a little more seriously than was necessary - which made it kind of funny when on the morning of Day #4, when I was all exercised by the need to leave extra early ahead of the first group of riders, and I'd checked with my route-marking co-pilot the night before to make sure she'd be ready to go on time (which she was), I lost my keys and spent an extra 15 - 20 minutes looking for them while co-pilot good-naturedly helped me retrace my steps from the night before. Pride goeth before lost keys. They were right where I'd left them so I wouldn't lose them, I just forgot I'd put them there. Keys notwithstanding, though, no riders got lost, so I reckon we did a good job.

When the day's work was done and people started settling in to their tents for the evening I got to put on my troubadour hat (metaphorically...though I guess the hat in this picture could be a troubadour hat...why not?). I'm glad people enjoyed it because to a large extent I think it serves a similar function for me as purring does for cats.

Special thanks to the people who took these photos, which I stole from their Facebook pages because I failed to take any of my own.