Sunday, January 29, 2017

Silent for five years….

While the past five years have been exciting, and full of events that have tested the country and world a sense of hope still prevailed. I’ve had a front row seat for the tragedy at Emanuel AME, and the shooting of Walter Scott. The fear and anger felt by those in the community did not give way to violence, and the victim’s families forgave those who perpetrated these acts of violence. The community came together as one to continue forward and work together to confront the past and make a better future.

However, this past election season was different. Trump’s ascension to President of the United States could be considered a sign of the end times. Reason, Science, and Compassion have left the building. Fear mongering, Xenophobia, and Fascism, wrapped in a flag carrying a cross, has become the mantra of the highest office the country.

While the above paragraph may be dismissed as to general, or simplistic assessment of the current situation, Trump’s first week has been a doozy. We joked in the past that his handlers should turn off his Twitter account, but perhaps it would’ve been more prudent to hide all his pens.

The thing I fear most now is for an event that will escalate Trump’s agenda into the stratosphere. We are one “9-11” away from an unraveling this country has never seen. The concessions and mistakes made during the Bush administration after 9-11 will be pale by comparison.

For now, I watch and wait.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Southern Migration

So, I have settled into my new life south of the border. Charleston, South Carolina has become my newest home. While I have moved about the southeast of Pennsylvania for the past 11 years this is the farthest I have ever moved. My wife wanted to come home to South Carolina, and applied to transfer into the South Carolina conference of the United Methodist Church. Lo and behold, to my good fortune, we landed in the lowcountry.

Charleston is a mixture of refugees and locals. One person described Charleston as a “conservative city with a drinking problem.” While many have said that the lowcountry should be called the “slooooowcountry.” I believe it is a little of both. The refugees are mostly from Minnesota and Ohio. The Navy and Air Force have a huge presence here, and the area has been undergoing an industrial rebirth with the arrival of Boeing.

Being one of the oldest cities on the east coast, Charleston has a rich history and culture, and that mixture has seduced this northerner to stay in the south. Yes, there are some crazy things going on in the news regarding South Carolina from the new discriminatory voter ID law and politicians not exercising the option to think before speaking, but that kind of thing happens everywhere.

Charleston is a motorcycle town. Motorcycles are everywhere since the weather is conducive to year-round riding. Good beer and barbeque are also the norm. So, I’m content. What more can I ask for? Well, a job would be nice, but don’t worry it will come. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Currently I'm....

Disillusioned: Disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed.

Thanks Merriam-Webster. Currently if there was a mood icon over my head it would read “disillusioned.”   Why? Well, if you have to ask you either live in a cave with the rest of the troglodytes actually thinking the world is a groovy place to live, or you haven't been sucked into the maelstrom yet.

What I thought would stop with the Obama administration (corporate greed, senseless wars, putting everyone into poverty) has actually gained momentum. Republicans are gutting every social program possible while demanding the wealthy and corporations pay no taxes. Democrats are not that far behind since they are complacent and in fact probably benefit from those Republican ideals anyway. "Sorry, we're broke, but we have money for bullets, bombs, and statues" Statues? C'mon Mayor Nutter, really? Oh, and Governor Corbett, cutting education is the easy way out, but we understand. It's hard to make tough choices. Those Natural Gas drillers are tough customers. See folks, our political landscape consists of two teams, that both reek of entitlement, duking it out for the championship. No matter who wins we still lose.

My only saving grace is motorcycling. Cranking out the throttle on the highway is the only way for me to disconnect anymore, because if think about the current state of affairs too long I really start fearing for my family. They make me vulnerable. I used to laugh when I heard someone say "bringing children into this crazy world was irresponsible." Now, that idea seems plausible. Hell, even Charlie Sheen is starting to make sense.

Yes, he did say this in one of those crazy interviews. I love the internet cause where else can you find gems like that picture. But alas, once the telecoms have their way and kill net neutrality that love will end too, and we will only have access to the infotainment they want us to see.

Everyone needs an escape for these times. For some it's drugs, and for others it's a belief in the afterlife. Me, I'll take barreling down the highway at undocumented speeds any day. Hey, if were lucky Jesus will show up on May 21st and pull the plug on this mess. I should have taken the blue pill. Oh well, time to check facebook.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Erik Buell Swag Contest

Okay, Erik, where's my swag??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Looking to next Summer...

Now that the weather here in Southeastern, PA is frigid I am looking forward to next summer. One of my summer rituals has been making a pilgrimage to the Smoky Mountains. Last summer I witnessed an unusual group of motorcycle enthusiast in the wild. The Quad Cam Bastards are Sportster aficionados, and their approach to their rides is minimalist in nature. Their disdain for the corporate culture of present day Harley Davidson is evident in the postings on their blog. I do agree with them that the motor-company has lost its way, but it is what it is, a public traded company.

At first glance most people would take these bastards to be elitists hipster bikers, but there is more to it than that. These guys actually wrench and fabricate their own rides.

Unlike hipsters (and most bikers) who buy their their image at Goodwill or the Harley boutique, the Quad Cam Bastards are a grass roots collective of Harley riders who are dedicated to Sportsters because of the model's simplicity, power, and longevity. Sportsters have been in the Harley lineup since the early 1950s. One could say, and I often do, that Sportsters are the only true Harley.

Their last bash was at the Tail of the Dragon (US 129) in Deals Gap, NC. I rode to the Tail of the Dragon to take advantage of the 11 miles of 318 curves and the Cherohala Skyway, but I also wanted to see what the QCB were like. However, after riding 50 miles in driving rain I arrived soaked and in a sour mood. My introverted tendencies were heightened by being waterlogged, so I observed the bastards from afar. Hey, medication can only do so much for this curmudgeon. But I did get some good pics and some vid. 

This summer, the QCB gang will once again migrate to Deals Gap and the Tail of the Dragon. I will be there as well to enjoy the tremendous riding the Smoky Mountain area has to offer. Hopefully this time the rain will stay away.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Delmarva Bike Week 2010

So, once again I ventured down to Ocean City, MD, for the annual Delmarva Bike Week. To be honest it's more like a weekend with trailer queens. However, this year the scene was mobbed due to the excellent weather. Me and my friend, Jim Donnelly, agreed that one day is all that was needed. Here are some pics and videos.

Of course the best part was the Wall of Death. I think it's the main reason I go to this thing. This year they had a 1928 Indian Scout riding the wall! Most excellent my friends!

Run on the 1928 Indian Scout

Here are some bikes I found interesting...

 Not really practical but the color was awesome
 Using the frame for an oil tank from Redneck Engineering
 My favorite
Adam would have really torn up the neighborhood on one of these (XR750)

All in all it was a good time, but really, how many doo-rag vendors can you endure?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This I believe...

I spend a lot of time and mental effort grappling with my spiritual life. The ongoing war in my head consumes me. I am torn. Raised a Jew and now a Christian, I have not been able to shake or cement my faith. Perhaps it is not meant to be, and I will always question everything pertaining to a belief in “G-D.” So, am I losing my faith altogether, or am I shedding the supernatural aspects? If the supernatural is removed what’s left to believe in.

Where does this stance of un-supernatural faith fall in regards to my belief in Christ? Belief in something does not necessarily mean an association with the supernatural. Can one follow Christ’s example alone and be a Christian? Love, charity, and service to others should be enough, right? Must I be a “literal” believer of the bible? I don’t think so. I am not delusional. Skeptical, yes as should anyone who hears the fantastic stories of the bible. But are there logical explanations to all those fantastic stories? Does it really matter? Can I be faithful without the trappings of religion?

What matters is how we treat each other. Our connection to each other will lead us to understanding why we are here and our place in the universe. One thing that continues to elude us is the ability to coexist. If race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status didn’t already push us apart, “religion” drives the wedge between us even further. Even those who don’t hold any spiritual beliefs are guilty of the same derision. So, is there any possibility of unity with such diversity in this world? Historically it hasn’t happened with any long term success which leads me to believe it is impossible.

My dilemma is when religious fanatics rear their ugly heads and do ugly things in the name of G-D. News-feeds from around the globe never fail to show some medieval display of religion going on somewhere. This Saturday a church in Florida will burn copies of the Koran in the name of Christ. Yup, I’m embarrassed. Not for them, but for me. I am embarrassed because of the beliefs that I do have. I don’t want to be associated with the zealots and charlatans proclaiming their twisted views of G-D, but we all get lumped together and it’s not fair. But still I participate in some way because my faith keeps me hooked into a community that feels foreign.

I feel like I’m in a no win situation. Is this how it’s supposed to be?