just a thought

The other day someone responded to a comment I made and started it with “IMHO”. I looked up the acronym and it means In My Humble Opinion. It made me think that maybe he was proud he was humble. Can that be? Or the opinion was humble. I suppose if the evidence was weak, or in your heart you didn’t truly believe in the argument it could be humble.

I ended up replying, “Humble is good.”

That’s just a thought, IMHO.


Happy New Year ( 2014 )

Sometimes New Years is a bit fuzzy. I feel like a bad camera, no resolution.

May your focus for 2014 be crystal clear, and each step move you toward your dreams.


snail mail

On Black Friday – that ultimate day of impatience, I am reminded of snail mail ( sending a letter by carrier ) and when long distance calling was far too expensive and letters, hand crafted, were the best way to hear from people far away.

Before email, we waited impatiently checking the mailbox each day for a letter. Then there was a special way to read each letter. The initial urge was to rip it open and devour it like a child with sweets, but then we wondered could it be bad news, maybe I should wait and would set it down — walk two steps away then rush back and tear it open.

Every letter got several readings, and parts read out loud ( content permitting ) to the rest of the family. The first reading was a mad rush through and then the second more closely, and then we might set it down for a day or three, then return and read it thinking of what was implied and not said, or why was one word chosen instead of another.

To me, this was always the best reading – and the one that the reply came from.

I don’t write letters by hand anymore, I’d have to include a Rosetta Stone to decipher the hieroglyphs, but if you’ve sent me a long email and haven’t received a prompt response take comfort in the realization that I am likely savoring each word before crafting a response.


circadian rhythm

I’m not a big fan of daylight savings. If they wanted light for the school kids, just shift the school day start instead of everything else. It’s hard to know when to sleep. Once I knew more readily.

nap time at the grand-parents house.

nap time at the grand-parents house.

To paraphrase Tolkien describing Sam Gamgee at the house of Tom Bombadil – May you sleep the sleep of the content, if logs can be content.


hard winds

Years of cycling and living in Chicagoland have shown me

The wind’s never as cold when it’s at your back.

May the wind always propel you higher.


suffering at the tour

My wife Jan and I are big Tour de France fans. From the onset, the tour has been beset with scandal and scoundrels, but I count the two thousand mile race across France as the most arduous sporting accomplishment possible. To complete this race that climbs mountains on will power and descends at sixty miles an hour on two wheels requires embracing suffering.

An online friend recommended “Hell on Wheels” a movie about the tour, and features two riders from the Telecom team who are past their prime. One a great sprinter trying to remain relevant, and another a climber as they face the hardship of this twenty-one day test.

Near the end, one gentlemen, probably a coach presents a soliloquy on the commitment to succeed from a small chapel in France that has been converted to a cycling shrine:

For me, suffering has two meanings.
Suffering can be negative.
If you try to suffer for its own sake,
that’s bad. That’s unhealthy.
There’s something wrong in your head.

But when you talk about suffering that
you must get through and you can
survive through enormous effort,
that is something else. That is positive,
good and beautiful. Beautiful because you
think of courage, of stamina, loyalty,
the willingness to make sacrifices, modesty and love.

From this perspective, the suffering during training,
during sporting competitions, while doing one’s job,
which all require great effort, is the same as religious
suffering. It is love. It is beautiful, I like that.

Delivered in French of course – so it is full of passion.

May you sacrifice and suffer with passion for a higher goal.


jetlag – yars

There’s nothing like going on tour of another country to play sport. We were forty or so rugby players, girlfriends and wives off to Brighton, Sussex, Hove and London for matches in fall 1982. It was five matches in ten days which meant sightseeing, hard matches and harder parties.

We had a great flight, if drinking and singing for seven hours is your cup of tea. I suppose now they would have ejected us into the Atlantic, but we were just excitable boys, and flights in those days had no movies. No one having slept we landed took the train down to Sussex and split up into the various houses we would be staying in. Marrieds and couples got the nicest place, I landed in a group with eight fine fellows in a little flat above a glass shop, where the milk man stopped by each morning with two bottles of fresh whole milk, and then there was the wild house for the rest.

Under strict orders to stay up till night, so we could get on schedule for rest, we stumbled across the countryside like zombies until that night’s practice and reception. Our first opponent had agreed to let us use their practice field for a run through and then offered drinks and a chance to meet before our first match against them.

That evening, I was so tired that running one hundred yards left me wheezing. Nobody could catch the ball, and one person tried to catch a booming kick and it hit him right on the top of the head. We looked to be a sad assortment, and our hosts who would be playing against us the next night were more than rude in their comments.

chugged for our honor with nary a drop spilled picture from wikipedia

chugged for our honor with nary a drop spilled
picture from wikipedia

Our honor was restored by Jerry D. our big second row chugging an entire yard of beer and expertly turning it so the last swallow didn’t come roaring down like a tsunami and drench him.
I believe the chant that accompanied him went:

He ought to be publicly pissed on
He ought to be publicly shot
bang, bang
and left in a public urinal
to lie there and fester and rot …

of course followed by cheers of disbelief upon his quaffing of the entire 2.5 pints.

Next, the first match and “first blood”

YARS – yet another rugby story