Thursday, November 30, 2006

It Was a Good Day...No AK Necessary

The day began quite similarly to the way it ended yesterday. With a howdy to a very cozy KT. This time he was in a warm vehicle with his lovely wife HBT, post fresh steamy latte fetching. She raised her brew and surmised aloud that I looked cold. I guess she didn’t notice the pit zips were open and venting.

30 minutes later and not any degrees warmer I was passed. On your lefted. Ridden by. Dropped. Elastic snapped. It’s wasn’t so much getting passed that was remarkable…it was getting passed in single digit temperatures. I suspect someone had the mysterious person imported for the purpose of passing me. First off it was a skinny little thing with lots of hair on a red Schwinn, gender undetermined. Secondly, it rode vehicularly, even signaling the right turn with an outstretched right hand. How odd. Good on ya mate!

Remember – red Schwinn. Must be crazy because they’re out riding in this weather! Look out.

I had enjoyed conversation with a coworker/MinusCar board member where I admitted I'm looking forward to warmer temperatures. Ironic isn’t it, living in fear of a warm planet and wishing for higher temps. This is life in MinusCarlandia.

The PDA beeped at me this afternoon. 15 minutes till my dentist appointment, something I had completely, utterly, and fully forgotten about. Ugh, I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared for a mid-afternoon venture on the bike. But wait…the bus. If I hurry I just might catch it. I stepped out the front door and there it was coming up the street. I ran and waved and hoped. Sure enough the driver saw me and waited. In my head I entertained visions of an approving nod from the TransitLibrarian for the hustle.

A snow blower was delivered to my driveway this afternoon. I’m loath to actually use it but the price for purchase and delivery were so good I couldn’t say no. Who knows, maybe it will actually snow. Maybe I’ll use it. I wonder how many mpg’s it gets.

Finally, The Family went to the Brule’ concert this evening. Brule’ is contemporary Native American music, with a holiday twist for this holiday show. I thought it was an incredible concert. I had plenty of time to wonder if Native American culture knows something about life that I don’t. I’m guessing it does.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Lunch: Fajita Ranchera, Chips & Queso, Lemonade = 1590 calories...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The USDA recommends adults consume 2,000 calories per day...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Day Off

The great theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel said, "the sabbath gives the world the energy it needs to go for another six days."

Get it out of church by calling it anything else, or leave it in church and call it a sabbath. How desperate is the Earth for the world to take a day off?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


A while ago I heard the preacher man speak about Being Beautiful (mp3) (Greg Boyd, Woodland Hills Church). Since then I've been bugged.

Tuesday I listened to a different preacher man speak about the Sabbath (mp3) (Rob Bell, Mars Hill Church). In addition to points about sabbath-ing, there are hints to the sorts of things I believe could nudge humanity in directions that would mitigate global warming.

Today I decided to take a sabbatical. I'll return when I think my sense of humor has.


Update: I've openly pointed to two personalities that I obviously let influence me and those two people come with baggage. However, these are two pastoral type people I trust. I trust them largely because I've never heard them say the person next to me should change their behavior. I trust them because they keep me busy thinking about my behavior.

The best criticisms of Rob Bell can be found through Wikipedia. I assume Google can uncover them for Greg Boyd.


Update: My download service might not work well for everyone. The official download pages might work better.

Boyd is here. The page is date ordered, 8/20 is the one.

Start here for Bell. It's not named Sabbath but November 12 is the one. They ask for e-mail addresses to download. As far as I know, they've never used mine for anything.


The Globe That Is Warm

There’s plenty of fresh bad news out there about global warming. Perhaps the power shift in Washington has caused various groups to issue a flurry of press releases. Perhaps new hot steamy data has come to light. Perhaps the rearranged congress will be listening. Perhaps not. Whatever.

The 13th global warming tipping point is, “a shift in human perception that would push humanity to avoid mayhem by addressing global warming with the urgency it deserves.” – a Mother Jones e-mail about The Thirteenth Tipping Point: 12 Global Disasters and 1 Powerful Antidote, an article I haven't read. It looks interesting…and long.

The Ride

I went for a recreational ride today. I started in the fading light and finished in the darkness. I’ve recently re-discovered the recreational ride; it sure is nice to go without a set of clothes in a messenger bag. It makes me want to ride what little urban singletrack is available. I did.

I also rode without an mp3 player which caused me to realize I haven’t been doing that enough. I remembered the clarity of thought that comes from a quiet bike ride. I like that.

The Fascination: Why the Narrow Agenda of the Religious Right Doesn't Really Do Much For Me

Start with the religious right’s (as personified by James Dobson, arguably the most powerful voice of the religious right) fascination with a narrow agenda and strategic use of politics to create legislation.

The Conversion – Richard Cizik

Last spring I learned that Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelical’s Vice President for Governmental Affairs had a conversion experience.

“…in 2002, I had a conversion to the science of climate change…global warming, if you will — is the third rail, 'you touch it, you die.' Well, I've touched it.” – Richard Cizik, Krista Tippet’s Speaking of Faith

His response to his conversion, in part, was to openly support the Evangelical Environmental Network (, the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) (, and no doubt encourage his own organization to adopt a global warming position.

With Cizik’s help the ECI published a letter, "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action" signed by 86 evangelical leaders, including the purpose driven Rick Warren, urging global warming action. According to Jim Wallis "the very day the article came out the White House called the NAE to ask what policies they were most concerned about."

The Third Rail - James Dobson Jumps to Action

On his radio show he said:
"...we believe that Richard Cizik and his colleagues are dividing evangelicals and setting them at odds with each other, as though we have to choose between that issue and the others that we feel so strongly about." – Focus on the Family Radio Show May 19 Warning: I'm referencing myself here.
He signed an opposing letter:
“…addressed to the National Association of Evangelicals…which last year had started to move in the direction of taking a stand on global warming… [the letter] asked the National Association of Evangelicals not to issue any statement on global warming or to allow its officers or staff members to take a position.” – New York Times, Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative, February 8, 2006
And perhaps he tried to get Cizik fired. I’ve seen it written by a source I trust, on the internets (“so it must be true.”). I’m not going to point to the source but I have mentioned the post before. If you want it you’ll have to earn it. Besides, how can an outsider prove something like that anyway:
“Higher powers at the NAE, he said, insisted he remove his name [from the ECI letter]… (translation: Cizik, its oft-quoted spokesman, should zip it). "It looked like Tony Soprano had whacked one of his own," says Cizik. "People asked me, 'Rich, do you still have a job?' “ – Moving Heaven and Earth, KRON 4 TV
Who were the higher powers at the NAE? Meet former National Association of Evangelicals President Ted Haggard:
“[Dobson] went on to say, ‘Ted has been my close friend and colleague for many years...He will continue to be my friend even if the worst allegations prove accurate.’” – Haggard Admits Buying Meth, Denver Post
A Local Manifestation of the Narrow Agenda
Abortion - “Thank you for your email regarding the reporting of campaign finance activity for a group called Bound4LIFE…I do not know if their activity would require the filing of a report but if the group raised, collected or disbursed money to influence a ballot question, it is likely that a report should have been filed.” – South Dakota Secretary of State
The Other One - "You can see it coming. Why do you think that they’re trying to extend all of the privileges of marriage to the homosexual community? This is an orchestrated effort. I’m guaranteeing you, they’re going to want to sweep in and take the babies. They’re going to be the ones who want to care for the babies…We have to steal theses babies from the hand of this dragon." – Bound4LIFE representative

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Post That Almost Never Was

It was going to be the perfect post. It was going use current campaign finance law to demonstrate how two groups operated in South Dakota, efforting to have the abortion ban pass, without meeting South Dakota law's requirements to file a finance report. I even published it...and then found a problem. It wasn't bulletproof. It needed to be bulletproof. I deleted the post. If you were lucky enough to check this afternoon around 4pm you might have seen it. Here's what I could salvage of it...


God is going to use this state very strategically to tear down national strongholds… from this place [Pierre, SD] the nation will begin to be legislated. – Bound4LIFE September Newsletter

I spent a lot of my holiday weekend being curious about campaign finance law and how it relates to the South Dakota abortion ban. Specifically I’m as curious as any South Dakotan about the potentially illegal $750,000 donation SD Legislator Roger Hunt’s Promising Future Corporation gave to the VoteYesForLife committee.

Turns out blogger SD Progressive (with Coat Hangers at Dawn’s echoing) got it wrong when they said “Not one disclosed dollar on the Vote Yes committee filing is from Steve Kirby.” Page 22 of the report (PDF) contains Steve Kirby’s name and $1000 donation. I’m not saying that means it’s not his $750,000. I’m just agreeing it’s hard to do research.

Yes, that’s right, I read with interest the Pre-election Campaign Finance Reports this weekend. I suppose if a South Dakotan has the right to know who’s trying to influence them in an election; this South Dakotan might as well exercise that right.

My favorite part of the VoteYesForLife report (PDF) is the un-required pie chart showing 65% of donations were from South Dakota contributors. But wait! Take away the mysterious, anonymous, potentially illegal $750,000 donation and you get 42% of donations from South Dakota contributors. Nice!

I also reviewed the list of South Dakota Ballot Committees to see which groups worked for an outcome on the abortion ban. I see that Bound4LIFE is not on the list. Bound4LIFE didn't submit a campaign finance report.

Here's where I got stuck. I had the laws all lined up. I had the evidence...and then the word election jumped out at me. Election (person) versus ballot question (not a person). So now all I have is some lines from the local daily:

"Disclosure law requires campaigns for statewide candidates and ballot issues to file finance reports that cover activity up to 10 days before a general election..." - Argus Leader (Or so they've been told.)

"The issues involved in the complaints are covered by current laws. If that association did collect and receive money to influence a ballot question, it, too, is covered (by existing law)." - Secretary of State Chris Nelson

If these two statements are true, why couldn't I connect the dots to the law? Because "Campaign finance laws get 'F' in S.D."

"Ballot question committees present more difficulties than don't always even know they exist until they're brought to your attention." - Attorney General Larry Long


Did Bound4LIFE raise money?

Did Bound4LIFE spend money?

"My team and I are packing boxes this week and will be leaving on Monday. It has been an extreme pleasure to live in South Dakota for the last three and half months." - Matt Lockett

Did Bound4LIFE try to influence the outcome of a ballot question?

Maybe by the time the abortion ban bill comes around again Pierre, SD will be ready to legislate something as simple as campaign finance.


The Christian Gallery News Service was also not on the list. Since they don’t even pretend to be responsible, it doesn’t surprise me that they didn’t file.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

School's Out Carbon Lite

There was no school today. The Boy 4 went to daycare. The Wife went to work. That left The Boy 8 and I to figure it out by ourselves.

We walked out the door at 10:15 and caught a bus a little later. My favorite part of the walk was when he described how to make a wish and blow the seeds off a dandelion. I asked him what he wishes for. He wouldn't tell me. Sigh. My boy's old enough to keep things from me.

The Bus Women were all in a tizzy today. One of them got into yesterday's local daily because she offered a same sex marriage opinion. That led to a variety of political commentary. Political commentary very different from what I am accustomed to. A couple other Bus Women were quite upset because someone had spilled the beans about a surprise birthday party. The best part of all the is when we switched buses all the same stories were re-told to the new interested passengers and driver.

I've come to realize that there is a group of women maybe 10 to 15 large, that all know each other. It seems that the bus is their biggest point of connection. Events are planned and replanned, gossip is told and retold, all during rides on the bus. Some of the drivers also take an interest.

After we arrived downtown we selected a lunch venue. We chose well because I was able to greet The Progressive on the Prairie there. We agreed life seems a lot different on this side of a very contentious election. Part of politics is poison. We finished our hot dogs and enjoyed an hour or two of playing at the science center.

The Wife called around 2pm and we took the long way to her office for the ride home. On that walk we came upon the sculpture "A Book For Everyone." During the summer The Boy 8 became a reader. He liked this sculpture.

One of the books is "The Complete Works of Shakespeare." Another is labeled Tolstoy. Then he climbed up to see what the boy was reading. I stood there while he read the whole page. I love it that he reads. His learning to read has given me a greater appreciation of reading.

Now he wants to read the book but the title wasn't part of the sculpture. I e-mailed the sculptor.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beautiful Day. U2?

After the flood all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ride Your Bike to the Polls Today

I’m going to vote today.

I might even vote my values. Funny thing that. What does it mean to NOT vote ones values? I suppose the coin flip fits in there. Maybe voting for the beautiful people is another. I can’t understand how any thoughtfully (or prayerfully) placed vote would be a vote against ones values, no matter which way it was cast.

If “vote my values” does mean what Dr Dobson or my pastor thinks it means, I’m going to struggle hard today with how I don’t LIVE my values. I’ve never knowingly ridden a bike with an addicted gambler. I’ve never walked a scared teen and her nervous boyfriend to a clinic for counseling. It doesn’t take me very many fingers to count how many times I’ve dined with a gay man. For the non-South Dakotan, these are related to ballot issues.

I did interact with an “activist” federal judge once. I saw him drop a credit card in the coffee shop parking lot. I picked it up, cut in front of him in line, paid for my coffee with it, and handed it to him as he waited behind me. That was ok though, I served twice as a juror for him so he (kn)ow(e)s me. (Parts of this story are not true.)

In fact, with the exception of the pregnant teen and the boyfriend (I do have a Boy 8 and Boy 4 don’t you know), I’ve sort of arranged my life so that I can avoid these situations. I didn’t arrange things this way intentionally. I just sort of followed the path of least resistance. You know, stayed comfortable.

I will demonstrate at least two of my values today. I will vote and I will ride my bike to do it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nite Ride!

I joined Thee Double Secret Probation Moonlight Ride Saturday night. What a beautiful night! 40 degrees, barely any wind. Full moon. I rode to the ride and managed 28 miles for the evening. Mr. Bite let me lead. I paced the 13 participants at 13-ish mph and I could tell from the conversation and laughter behind me that I wasn't working everybody hard enough.

The ride departed from Granite City and upon our return there was 110% participation in post-ride appetizers, beverages, and conversation. A beautiful night all around!

Plus! At least two, maybe three other participants actually rode to the ride!


The Boys know. They wear their helmets when they ride their bikes. They rarely need reminding. They just do it. Maybe they're following the lead of their dad or maybe they're just smart. The Boys have another interesting habit, they often forget to take their helmets off after riding. Scenes like this are quite common around here. (I assume observant readers can identify The Boy 8 in this picture.)

It's kinda nice that this happens. I get to be an over protective parent without any effort whatsoever.

Saturday, The Boy 4 came running into the house crying after playing for a while with the crew in the photo above. Turns out The Boy 4 was in the trailer of a pedal tractor being pulled by a boy 8. This is highly inadvisable behavior, had I been monitoring I would have registered my disapproval. This boy 8 turned sharp and The Boy 4 was pitched over the side where his head met the pavement.

We know his head hit the pavement because his helmet is now slightly damaged.

I'm not saying it saved his life, I'm not saying it saved us a trip to the doctor. I'm just saying we have a damaged helmet and I'm rather pleased about that.

This photo is the helmet but long before the damage.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Back On The Bus

I gave my bike trail jogger friend a break today. It was my turn for the The End Of Friday The Boy Pickup Duty so I parked and rode. I can’t remember the last time I was on a bus. Perhaps my summer trip to Minneapolis…sheesh, maybe that four hour bus ride poisoned me toward busses more than I realize. Turns out I still remember how to catch ‘em.

With just a few more days before the big vote the street corner political sign holders were out in force. It seemed a little more personal as I sat on the bus and observed from behind the big glass windows. It felt surprisingly different from being in a car, but I can’t put my finger on the exact reason.

Do the various campaigns reserve street corner time slots or is it first come first served?

On the way home the driver, while stopped at a red light, responded enthusiastically to a “honk if you’re for…” sign. Repeated honking and offering multiple thumbs up. I thought that was interesting. I didn’t see a sign on the bus stating the driver's opinion does not necessarily represent the City of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Transit, or the current bus passengers. I didn’t think about asking if I could have my own horn for which to cast my own street corner vote until now. Oh well, maybe next time.

The most mind bending sign I say today was “repeal the ban.” I think this might have been an overreach for a street corner. I was grateful to be on a bus without distraction to fully contextualize and interpret the sign.

I’m just saying.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Surprise! II

The guy from yesterday whom I surprised. Remember? I saw him today too. I was a bit later than yesterday so he had already reached his turn around. He was coming toward me. He had plenty of time to see me. I waved. I didn't see any amount of acknowledgment from him. It was dark. He may not have seen any amount of acknowledgment from me either.

Could this be the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


How to grow a blog – post a lot. How to shrink a blog – post a little.

The main story today: I think I gave a bike trail jogger a very big fright tonight.

It was dark. It was windy. I saw a light ahead from quite a distance. After I got closer I could see a jogger with a flashlight. He also had a reflective strip on his jacket and reflective spots on his shoes. It’s surprising the number of people who venture onto the trail in the dark without any lighting whatsoever.

As I got closer he began to see his own shadow created by my Cateye Five Barrels of LED Fun. Perhaps he thought he was going to be run over by a motorcycle. He whipped around and pointed his flashlight directly into my face. If it had been a light saber maybe he would have cut me in half.

Hi! I said and rolled past.

Today was my first day riding after the time change. Monday I performed water duty for my team. Yesterday my work mates divided two South Dakota cows. The uncertainty of how much meat I would have to haul put me in the car. I tried to pretend it was worth it because the meat didn’t have to be flown from Japan. That only made be feel a little better.

My favorite part of this time of year? NIGHT RIDES at 5:30.

The Boy 4 is really messed up. He’s calling for jammies, even before supper.

The #1 reason I’m not posting much right now: 8 hours of sleep a night!

The #2 reason I’m not posting much right now: I’m reading three books. At once. This, from a guy who sometimes reads 3 books a year.