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TexLaProgressive's Journal
TexLaProgressive's Journal
November 11, 2020

I want to wish all of the DU veterans good will on this day.

On this day I remember the Veterans of my family, both grandfathers and father, who have since died, my sons who served and grandson who is active and my paltry service. While none of us died in combat thankfully - my father and one son were/are affected throughout life.

So my heart goes out to all, those who died in combat, those who bear physical scars and those whose scaring is more mental and emotional.

I just heard a piece this morning about a VA hospital, New Orleans I think, that has an extremely low rate of diagnosing TBIs. The story centered around one soldier not treated who couldn't take the pain any longer and hung himself. May he rest now in peace. This doctor did not believe in TBIs. Where do these people come from.

Anyway I never say Happy Veteran's Day, I remember - Never forget.

Here's a picture of my Dad shortly after the Battle of the Bulge. He said, the cold was the worst. For the rest of his life when he was anxious or angry he would once again feel that terrible cold. I think that time stamp is when the picture was printed in the Houston Chronicle and not the date it was taken.

I miss you Dad, every day but I remember your terrible sacrifice to save the world from Fascism. You fought that fight your whole life. I am sorry you are gone but glad you didn't have to experience what has happened to your country and it's people. What did you call the enemy of America? Oh yes, "Smiling fascism."

March 13, 2016

Shakedown ride on rebuilt bike.

Don't ask me why someone would take a less then year old bike down to the frame and fork and change out the bottom bracket, crank, derailleurs, brakes and wheels. But that what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. I tell myself it is anti-Alzheimer therapy. A good part of that was learning how to do the work, the actual build did not take very long even when you take into consideration that if there is a choice between an easy way and a hard way I take the hard way.

The bike came equipped with Shimano Claris 8 which has a large chain ring of 50. For some strange reason I wanted 52. That's what I always had in the past. I bought a Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset and wheels. This is a 10 speed conversion. The wheel upgrade is necessary to accommodate the wider cassette.

I was having trouble getting the rear derailleur to shift correctly yesterday- I started over this afternoon and got it shifting really well. I will have to add back some chain as it can't make it up to the large cog when on the large chain ring. I know that's cross chaining and not a good practice but it should be able to work.

Anyway I took the bike out for a short spin. It was amazing. It's true that it is a bit lighter but I couldn't believe how responsive it was. I was able to push the 52T x 11T on the flat. It felt really good. The brakes are phenomenal, smooth and will pull you down in a hurry if needed.

December 9, 2015

The reason for alerts on nearly every jury I have been on have been puzzling.

JustAnotherGen suggested I repost this here. I don't have much hope that anything will be done to improve the jury system, but some of us who serve on juries are aware of the arbitrary and sometimes mean spirit intent of alerters. There should be some accountability.

If the alerter is not being vindictive the only reason I can see for the alert is a misunderstanding. I confess that I alerted on a post and that was the case. I realized it as soon as I submitted and wished I could take it back. Fortunately the jury was intelligent in their deliberations and did not vote to hide. If I was on a jury to keep or lose the jury system I would vote to vote to lose it. The problem is what would replace it.

Suggestions I think would improve the system:
1. When a post is alerted the poster is sent a message which allows them to edit or self delete the post.
2. A reasonable time limit on alerting a post, say 2 hours max, after that the alert is null.
3. A verdict to hide can be appealed.
4. Member's profiles should show an alert history for all to see.
5. Alerts should not be anonymous.
6. A daily, weekly and monthly limit on alerts. Say, once per day, two per week and 3 per month.
July 30, 2015

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."
July 27, 2015

"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.
July 7, 2015

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.

July 6, 2015

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.

July 5, 2015

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
July 1, 2015

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.

June 29, 2015

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.

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