I decided to ride to my parents' place today. Both of my motorized vehicles are in need of a fill-up and the gas stations are still gouging for the Labor Day weekend. Plus, aside from being a little warm, it was a great day for a ride.
The shortest route I've found to my parents' house is a bit more than 17 miles each way. Today, I took that route, straight down Quivira (and it was a little dicey) then across on 159th St over to Metcalf to get out to Stilwell, KS. The problem? 159th is under construction.
I'll readily admit that I have a problem. Some people have called me out for it, too. The problem I have is that sometimes, I feel certain rules do not apply to me or may be written off in the name of convenience. This can make me come off as bigoted, cavalier, or in its worst form: like I'm a complete jerk. And sometimes, it gets me in trouble with more than just my readers.
I'm pretty sure it comes from my "accept no limitations as long as it doesn't hurt anyone" mindset -- which serves me very well in the Information Security biz. In general, if some superfluous rule exists that's really not doing anyone any good, there's a chance I might use that as rationalization for breaking that rule this time. This is especially true if it's there ONLY for 'my own protection' and while 'protecting me from myself' it inconveniences me a great deal. Fair? Not always. Sorry, folks. I bend or break rules on occasion.
It was with great glee that after having watched a Ford Escape barrel around the road block and through the dirt, I followed suit. The alternative was three extra miles of riding, one of which is on a crowded road that's under construction with no shoulders. It was fun getting some cyclocross-style action in. I'm not terribly well-studied in traffic law, but I don't think there's anything actually illegal being done here. I could be wrong, but it won't stop me from doing it again if I feel it's warranted.
Dad's working on recording some new tunes. He played some for me. Shown below is a preamp, effects processor, compander and equalizer. Barely visible in the top right corner is a power conditioner. This stuff all plays along with an analog mixer board and multi-track recording software running on his laptop. Professional-grade? Not nearly. More than ample for his needs? Certainly.
We chowed down on some fabulous ribs that had been cooking since yesterday.
Taken on my way home: Corn fields. A common rural Kansas roadway scene. Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure I was the model for the "Captain Dashboard" character in the Yehuda Moon comics.
This brings me to another thing that I read just a bit ago on Kevin Rose's "Blogg" - It's a parable in The Miracle of Mindfulness by a writer named Thich Nhat Hanh:
The cup in your hands -That, my compadres, is WISDOM. Ride to ride. Consider me humbled... For a while.
In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest. When I first met him eight years ago, he was working with the Catholic Peace Fellowship. Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we've finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else. One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, "Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them." Jim replied, "Come on, you think I don't know how to wash the dishes?" I answered, "There are two ways to was the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes to wash the dishes." Jim was delighted and said, "I choose the second way--to wash the dishes to wash the dishes." From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the "responsibility" to him for an entire week.
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes." What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.