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Member since: Wed Aug 6, 2003, 10:29 AM
Number of posts: 7,732

Journal Archives

Who is winning the war of opinion vs. truth

There have always been expressions of strong opinion on Democratic Underground since its beginning, but there were always champions who upheld the truth no matter how uncomfortable the facts are. This made DU much like the newspapers of my youth. The reporters attempted to be unbiased as possible when writing a story with the age old 5 "Ws" instisted upon by crusty editors:

• Who did that?
• What happened?
• Where did it take place?
• When did it take place?
• Why did that happen?

There was a place for editorializing on the eponymously named editorial page and opposite that page would be the OpEd page where outside voice could express their opinion in columns and letters to the editor. Now it seems that opinion rules the day and facts are left in the dust bin.

Sadly that seems to be the situation at DU with long time members who put real thought in their posts to give the rest of us real value leaving, leaving DU less real, less good, less factual, more unsubstantiated opinions and vileness.

I just read Will Pitt and Kentuck have left DU and I am sorry. At the same time I read this from a novel I am reading. It takes place in Dublin, Ireland pub shortly after the failed 1916 Easter Rising. Britain is coming down hard on the press to follow the government's line. One drunk journalist gives his wisdom out of the bottle:
"Journalism today is about the subordination of truth to myth. People don't want to read the truth. They're afraid it won't agree with their opinions. They want to read myths that conform with their prejudices." 1921 - Morgan Llwelyn 2000 pg 63

I'm approaching 12 years as a member of DU, actually longer, but I lost my original id and password when a hard drive failed.( always backup!!!!). I have seen a lot of changes in that time some good some not so good, but certain members keep it sane. There are fewer and fewer of those intrepid souls left. When DU has devolved into a weak imitation of the U.S. Congress I will sadly leave. Not yet, for I still hope that the "truth will out."
Posted by TexasProgresive | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 07:18 AM (6 replies)

"TRINITY" by Leon Uris

Trinity by Leon Uris 1st printed in March, 1976

This novel begins in northern Ireland, Ulster, in May of 1885. It is not what I have come to expect in historical novels. Most historical novels I've read have real characters and events which are usually told through the eyes and ears of minor fictional characters that the author weaved into the lives and events of history.

Trinity on the other hand is about 99% fictional, both events and characters. This style did not hamper Mr. Uris from laying out the truth of the situation in Ireland and especially in Ulster. His prose is exquisite and at times playful. These description of Caroline Weed made me smile.

"Caroline was twenty at the time, continentally educated, deliciously pampered, and had already collected a small pyramid of the bleached bones of jilted suitors."

Students of political science would do well to read this book which lays out the strategy of "playing the Orange card", that pitted the Protestants against the Irish Catholics. The Ascendency and nouveau riche, like industrialist Sir. Frederick Week are intent on keeping Ulster profitable to them on the backs of the people. It is to there benefit to have the Protestant workforce focus on the evil papists instead of their paltry wages and miserable lives.

While few of the events portrayed in Trinity actually happened it is a good read. I recommend it heartily. Don't get caught up in the religious aspect, it is being used as a tool much like what is happening currently in the U.S.A.
Posted by TexasProgresive | Mon Jul 27, 2015, 04:30 PM (12 replies)

How do you deal with unfriendly dogs?

In my usual route there are 2 Great Pyrenees dogs behind a barb wire fence. In the past the honored the fence, just chasing and barking on their side. Yesterday the big mail shot through the fence and the race was on. If he had seen me before I saw him the outcome would have been bad.

So what do you do?

edit: short of installing olddots burrito fart drive and going fart factor 10.
Posted by TexasProgresive | Tue Jul 7, 2015, 09:22 AM (19 replies)

An update on aerobics, low stress and control.

My check up showed a decrease of A1C to 6.2 and blood sugar at 72. I have continued bicycling daily 40 to 60+ minutes. I did not ride yesterday, Sunday, but Saturday I road 10 miles, cleared some fence line and mowed the lawn. I have dropped the Lantus dose from 80 to 75 units. Last night I took 70 units. I woke up around 1:30 AM with sugar at 48.I ate a banana and peanut butter and felt better. When I woke at 6:00 AM was up to 64. I ate my usual breakfast, did a little fence work, pumped up tires and went spinning for 40 minutes.

My blood pressure is good and my resting pulse is 58 - 63 and I feel really good except for those uncomfortable low sugar wake ups. I take the Lantus in one dose before bed time and was wondering if that was partially responsible for the night lows. I asked my doc if I ought to split the dose to AM and PM. He didn't think that would help. I know that Lantus is a long slow acting insulin but it seems to me that taking it at bed time and no eating for several hours maybe the problem.
Posted by TexasProgresive | Mon Jul 6, 2015, 09:14 AM (0 replies)

Tour de France: Greipel wins storm-swept stage to Neeltje Jans

What a stage, what a finish. Flat, cold, wet and windy The final sprints to the finish was so exciting.

I don't know if anyone else is watching, but I was wondering what this thing that is sticking out behind every saddle. They are for GPS,
For the first time in Tour de France history, all riders racing in this year's event have GPS transponders on their bikes, with the live data streaming to Tour organisers thanks to technology group Dimension Data.

Each rider has a transponder mounted to his saddle rails. This will be used by every rider for every stage of the Tour.

The data collected from this will include:

the stage winner’s top speed, average speed and time per kilometre
the fastest riders up key climbs
the speed of the winner at the finish line
the top speed achieved by a rider on the day
average speed across all riders
Posted by TexasProgresive | Sun Jul 5, 2015, 02:51 PM (5 replies)

Tested the safety of SPD pedals and cleats this morning

Long ago I rode with these Italian shoes with plastic cleats and pedals with toe straps. These were very dangerous for with the the toe straps tightened your feet would stay attached even in a fall. Clipless pedals came about with the development in snow ski bindings. It was the same thing, a fall when bound to skis was highly probably to lead to serious injury.

I changed to clipless pedals years ago but never took a fall and I wondered how save they were. This morning I inadvertently tested it out. I have the same mount on both bikes for my cycling computer and I swap them back in forth changing the wheel circumference matching the bike. The mount on the MTB is fine but the one on the road bike sometimes doesn't latch securely. The ON button is at the rear and so if you push it on the computer flies forward skidding down the road. That's what happened today.

I was pissed and just stopped pedaling still clicked in. I came to a stop and just fell over on my left side with BOTH FEET FREE! Fortunately there was no traffic as I was on my back in the middle of the road. I stood up, righted the bike and retrieved the computer which was running. The bike looked OK and it wasn't until I was a mile or so down the road that I realized the left brake/shift lever was moved inward. Everything worked OK so I continued the ride.

When I got home I tapped the brake lever with a rubber mallet and did a thorough check of the bike. The only thing I could see was some scraping on the rear wheel quick connect lever. That's only cosmetic. So I got lucky. I may feel some soreness later but all I have now is a chain mark on my right leg.

One thing did buy the farm. I had my reading glasses in my pocket and did not notice they were gone until I got home. I walked out into the street without hope, and sure enough there they were, twisted and bent with no lenses. Better them then me or the bike.
Posted by TexasProgresive | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 09:46 AM (15 replies)

06/29/2015 Longest ride yet.

At the end of May beginning of June it was all I could do to bike the 1/2 mile to the highway and back home. It is amazing how fast my legs have come back. I am avoiding 2 lane, no paved shoulder state rodes because the carry too much traffic. I scouted out a nice county road that runs close to 7 miles. At its biginning is the county run dumpster site where I bring our garbage. So I loaded up the bike and our household refuse. The attendant showed me a good place to park and I was off.

The route runs southerly and the wind generally comes from that direction. Headed south is more uphill than down. So it was pretty tough going that direction. At the turn around place I got off the bike and ate a protein bar with some of my water. After a short break I was headed north and down hill. According to my bike computer I hit a max speed of 25.8 MPH. This was a stretch where the pavement was 1st class, really smooth. Overall this was a really good ride on a really good day.

Posted by TexasProgresive | Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:24 PM (0 replies)

Busy day 6/25 so no ride- short one this morning

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment at 7:40AM. Everything is good HA1C dropped .2 from 6.3 to 6.1, Cholesterol unchanged at 143 with HDL still a little low, Triglycerides dropped 47 pins to 91(they have been as high as 550!!!). The only thing that is worrisome to me the doc didn't go over, Hematocrit .3 below normal and Hemoglobin .6 below normal. Since my wife became severely anemic and required emergency transfusion.

While in town I bought feed, groceries etc.. When I got home I was tired out.

Wednesday I did some bike maintenance on all 3 bikes. I'm getting the Raleigh ready to put on Craigslist. I hope to recover the new tires and tubes. It had Ritchey SPD type pedals on it. I changed them out for platform pedals and put the Ritcheys on the mountain bike. By the time I got through I was boiling so I didn't get to test ride til this morning. All was OK but I had to readjust the left cleat again. I need to be slightly toe out or I get knee pain pretty quick.

Posted by TexasProgresive | Fri Jun 26, 2015, 10:32 AM (0 replies)

Scorpion nights and low blood sugar

I think that I was in danger of over work, not injury at least, but I was awfully tired before, during and after my last ride Monday. The grass was in need of mowing again so the bikes stayed under cover. For supper I ate an omelet with one plain pancake for a few carbs. My sugar was at 105, I took me reduced dose of insulin and was in bed by 9PM.

11 I woke up knowing I needed to get some sugar. It was 55. I sat at the table watching Craig Ferguson's quiz show and ate a banana and a half with peanut butter. Just as I was going back to bed I felt a sting on my thigh. It was a small scorpion. I brushed it off and ground it into the rug with my slipper. My wife made up her sting cure all, a paste of baking soda. I think most venoms must be acid and the alkaline of baking soda, ammonia and even bleach (don't use!) help to neutralize the venom. In any case it works. This wasn't a severe sting as I brushed it off quickly.

Some info about Texas stangin' lizzardds, their reputation is more dangerous than their sting. Few ever have allergic reactions other than localized swelling and pain when stung by the stripped bark scorpion.

So with the miracle cure on my leg I went back to bed. Took awhile to fall back to sleep as I keep feeling them crawling on me. Morning sugar was at 105. I ate, did morning chores and was on the bike at 8AM. I made a commitment to pay attention to cadence and not speed. The ride was good and I stayed on the big chain wheel except during warm up and cool down. I even did a short uphill sprint that felt really good.

Maybe lawn work lowers blood sugar more than bike riding. Last week I rode in the morning and then cut grass in the afternoon and had the low blood sugar blues in the night. Since then I reduced my dose by five minutes. I thought I was safe by limiting the day to just lawn mowing.

Thanks for any who are reading this tripe.

Posted by TexasProgresive | Wed Jun 24, 2015, 09:40 AM (4 replies)

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day. But I took a little Sunday ride on the mountain bike. There is a dead end gravel road that breaks off of my road that I never tried. So I turned left. It is fairly smooth and went on for about 1/2 mile where it ends in 3 gates. My total ride was 30 minutes and ran about 4.5 miles. A couple of hours later we drove into town for the mandatory Father's day dinner. I chose Tex-Mex.

I had every intention of riding about 16 miles this morning. My morning sugar was OK after eating such a carb (and fat) rich diet at 105. I ate a light breakfast adjusted the cleat on my left shoe and rolled out the gate.

It was like lugging a great weight in my belly I managed 8.4 miles, averaging 12.3 MPH with a max speed of 24 MPH. That 24 was on a long down hill with a little wind on my left rear quarter. I did try for 25 but didn't have it in me, or was that it I had it in me, I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

After I put up my gear I usually do a blood pressure check. This morning was no different. WARNING for those with sensitive sensibilities stop here
Avoid passing gas when doing blood pressure
This really scared me
Systolic 145
Diastolic 128
Pulse 124

I waited a few minutes and did it again
Systolic 126
Diastolic 76
Pulse 90

So my advice is never fart while checking blood pressure. And don't eat a heavy dinner the night before a ride.

Posted by TexasProgresive | Mon Jun 22, 2015, 09:07 AM (3 replies)
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