Saturday, September 20, 2014

Almost Fall Velo News

The big velo news is that I turned 9000 miles on my bike computer during last week's ride, ending at a nice, symmetrical 9009 before going in for hip replacement surgery two days ago.  Nine thousand was a nice milestone before what I hope won't be much beyond four weeks.  Even with the break, I don't expect to have much difficulty reaching my annual goal of 1040 miles per year.  Since I've not been able to hike due to the painful hip, I managed to get in plenty of mileage before the surgery.  Seems as long as I didn't have to carry my weight, I could ride with with a tolerable level of pain.  That, plus the incredibly dry, sunny weather we've had in Olympia this summer made for plenty of of opportunities to get out.

Summer is the only time of the year I get to ride in the early morning these days.  Early morning rides have always been a favorite.  When I rode in Phoenix they (often before sunup) were almost a requirement during much of the year.  I came to very much like having the streets to myself.  Here in Olympia, early morning rides mean near freezing temperatures and often wet so I don't get the chance very often.  So this summer's been a real treat.  Mornings on even the hottest days (high 80's to mid-90's) here are delightfully cool.  At their coolest, summer morning temps are still warmer than afternoons during other seasons.  Today and tomorrow look like the last of the warm summer days for 2014.  By the time I am riding again we should be heading for the Big Dark and the rain that comes with it.

The surgery went well and I have been feeling pretty good, all things considered.  I was in the hospital one nigh after the surgery and came home yesterday.  The three day pain block the surgeon used on the incision has worked well so far but I am definitely sore and moving slowly.  The pain block wears off tomorrow so the next few days may be a challenge but my surgeon prescribed both strong and less strong painkillers and I also learned some pain reduction and relaxation techniques from a hypnotherapist.  I think I'm good to go.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 15, 2014

What Veterans For Peace Said

A draft of my thoughts on Obama's war against ISIL was rendered moot when I read the statement issued by Veterans For Peace.  So I will simply quote my brother veterans who say it well.
Veterans For Peace is disappointed but not surprised by the so called strategy President Obama presented last night. We are disappointed because it is more of the same. The U.S. will continue to be “the greatest purveyor of violence” on the earth. It will continue to follow a failed policy of war-making in the Middle East.  It will continue to waste precious financial resources which should be directed toward human needs and to support the U.S. economy.  It will continue to put U.S. service members into harm’s way when other solutions are possible and it will continue to take the lives of innocent people, most of whom will undoubtedly be women and children who are always disproportionately impacted by war.
We are not surprised because it has been made clear to us that our leaders are not interested in finding solutions other than war to solve international conflicts.  After thirteen years of war what has been accomplished? Iraq and Afghanistan are in shambles, the Taliban has not been defeated, al Qaeda has further decentralized to at least thirty countries, ISIL has emerged as a power of sorts in Iraq and Syria and a State Department report outlines that terrorism increased by 43% in 2013. By any objective measure, U.S. foreign policy in the Iraq and Afghanistan from Bush to Obama has been a failure. Yet more war is put forth as the answer, even though President Obama himself in the recent past said there is not a military solution to the violence in Iraq and last night explained that ISIL does not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. Why then do we continue down this path?
President Obama outlined a strategy no different from what the U.S. has done for the past thirteen years. It is not a plan for success, it is a gamble that war will work this time when it has spectacularly failed thus far. We at Veterans For Peace challenge the American people to ask whose interests does endless war serve? Who is paying for these wars, whose children are dying in these wars and who is getting paid to finance and provide weapons for these wars? We the people are being driven by manipulated fear to support polices that are not in our interest. Peace is harder than war, but it is cheaper in blood and treasure. After thirteen years it is time to take another path, the path of peace.
If only...

Labels: , ,