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Monday, April 28, 2014

Back from the wilds

This is actually just an update.

I made it back from the wilds of Penns Woods without much wear and tear.  Before I left, I was informed that upon my return I would be trained as a First Responder.  Considering what I do, I figured this would be more geared to working with Police and 911.

Boy!  Was I ever wrong.

This is a Medical First Responder training.  This is for accidents, serious injuries and worst case scenario type stuff.  Which, again considering what I do for a living, may not be a bad idea.  It's not your basic first aid training (which I had years ago during one day and promptly forgot).  This is advanced stuff, and requires a lot of study on my part (It's actually a 48 hour course being done in 1 work week).

Not me, but yes I ended up on the backboard eventually
It's something that I think I can do.  I have a solid background in Biology and Science.  I also have a kind heart...and am not sure if I am strong enough to keep calm and cool and focused when all hell is breaking loose about me.  Hopefully, I will never have to use any of this.

If something does happen, if something does go badly wrong it will be good to know that I have that training.  That knowledge.  Now I'm thinking more than ever that I need to find out where and when the next Road Guardian class will be held.

So give me a week.  I need to concentrate on that and work on getting my life in some sort of order.  I'll be back and tell you all about my trip to Pittsburgh and everything else.  Just give me some time...there is some good stuff happening in May.  Some good news on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For better or worse...the driveway is full again.

Since I'm under strict orders not to ride it has become very obvious to me that we needed a second car.   It's just became part of living in the modern world.

The lovely Sue has been more than understanding, we have worked around schedules and our secondary income as glorified paper boys to try and make it with one car.   We discussed how it would work with our delivery job.  We have reached a point where the Sonic is just getting to full at any given time.

We would need more space.  We may need to be able to tow something in the near future.  We may need this...or that.  Having just the car and the bike worked for a very long time...but with summer coming (which means more heat and rain) and with my still not knowing when I would be released to ride... and sadly there is a complication I'm not allowed to was time to buy a new (to us) car.

We actually bought it last week.  I still have my doubts, but for better or worse...we are a two car family again.  Now where the hell will I park the bike?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going home...a love letter to Pittsburgh

Plan for the immediate, understand what is coming down the road and prepare for the future.  This will most likely be my last blog entry for the month of April.  Starting on the 17th I'll be traveling back to Pittsburgh, my home town, and I will not be back till the end of the month.

Photo by Renee Duncan-Tabak
I'm looking forward to going home.  It's the city of my birth, where I spent my misplaced youth.  The waters of the three rivers run through my veins deep and thick.  "Yinzers," as Pittsburgh's natives are likely to call them themselves, have a saying..."You can leave the burgh, but the burgh never leaves you."  It has something to do of course with our storied sports teams.  But it's more than that.  The neighborhoods of Pittsburgh are a little microcosm of the American experience.

Bloomfield is "Little Italy."  Polish Hill lives up to it's name.  People party and dance the night away in the South Side, but the natives will tell you that the "slopes" are where you want to live.   Within walking distance of the nightlife, yet offering views of the city like no other.  All the little funky shops and restaurants crammed into to "Strip".  Little cites in a larger city brought about by geology and topography.

Yea, I'm a little homesick.

Lately I've been thinking about family.  About friends.  About those I've loved and lost.  About how the "Capital of Appalachia", a city of over 306 thousand people can maintain a small town feel.  How we invented the Zombie.

Somewhere there is a photo of my family, I'm in my hockey uniform.  It was taken at the Monroeville mall which is also where they shot Dawn of the Dead.  I don't know how many times my dad got up at 4 AM in the morning so I could dream of following my hero's at the time.  He must of known his kid stunk.

I remember catching fireflies out on the lawn on warm endless summer nights, the stars were different then.  More numerous.  More Luminous.  I remember riding my bike, my bicycle, up and down the street for thousands of miles.

I remember soccer games in the backyard.  Hitting golf balls at the neighbors house, and no, I never broke a window.  Drinking my dad's beer in the basement.  

One of my fondest memories was seeing my Dad, drunk on the euphoria of the Penguins first Stanley Cup win.  He had been a fan from the very beginning, and this was a sweet victory for him.  This was Pittsburgh, fans in the street yet no fires and only a few arrests.  My friends, musicians all, blowing trumpets at the airport to triumph the conquering heroes.  

This was home.  

I am going home for several reasons.  It's been over a year since I touch Pennsylvania soil.  I have a new niece that is celebrating her first birthday, and is my parents first grandchild.  Like my father, who fell in love with the Pens from the very beginning...I fell in love with the Riverhounds.  They have a new stadium that was a long time coming and I feel the need to see a game there, considering that I wrote their match reports for a bit at the turn of the century.  It seems a lifetime ago.  

I've celebrated a birthday, my father celebrated his eighty-second birthday a month before.  My mother is ten years younger and celebrated hers a few days later.  Time is running out.  So why not go home and celebrate my being an uncle?  Why not get a family photo?  Why not create memories?  

Home is where the heart is they say...but it's also where the memories are.  My heart, my soul is in Pittsburgh.  I am going home to connect with old friends.  To re-establish ties and to make sure that the people I love are cared for.  

I am going home.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

The writer in me....

I have to be honest.  I've been down in the proverbial dumps lately.  Life has got in the way again and again and I've not been able to do what I love.  Even eating has been a chore as of late.

Having suffered from depression for years, I was not ready to give into that darkness.  Then, because life is a strange and wonderful thing, two things happened in rapid succession.  The first is that I got a wonderful IM on the Scootdawg forum which really made my day.  The other was a long phone call with a good and old friend about the nature of creativity.  He's a fellow writer (you can buy his wonderful first novel here) and a fellow biker.

First:  I hate you!!! Yes, I hate you! You turned me on to reading your scooting blog, and then I went to the links for more scooting blogs. Having those blogs were not enough, so I went to the links of those blogs, and so forth, until not only do I do scooting reads, I went to any motorized 2 wheeler blogger throughout the world...
I now have a list of 27 bloggers that are currently posting that I read religiously every day. Everything to Princess Scooterpie to Ruckus Scooter Love to Real Men Ride Vespas, and I am constantly looking for more blogs to read...
It has gotten me out of bed many a day, because it's hard to read so many blogs with a small iPhone4S in bed..

A writer's job, at least in my opinion, is to get people to think.  They don't have to agree with you, but at least now they are thinking about the subject in hand differently.  The greatest thing that ever happened to me as a writer was being recognized in a bar during a soccer game - "Hey, I read your articles all the time on!  You guys really know what your talking about!"  Sadly that site is now defunct.

Although an article posted on that site got a very long forum discussion going on Big Soccer site.  The title of the thread?  "Rob Wilson is an idiot."  Getting people to think, to question...that is what I want to do.

I like non-fiction writing.  While it's fun to create your own worlds, no matter how fantastic, I prefer the "teaching" aspect of non-fiction.  Many of you may never visit Florida, or Pittsburgh, or wherever I happen to point my bike's wheels.  What I hope to do is provide a little glimpse of my world.

The problem is that I've not had the desire to write that much.

Enter my good friend Brook and a long conversation about the nature of creativity.  Basically at the end of a two hour phone conversation what we had managed to do was to drink a six pack of Shiner Bocks - although he may have had a few more than me judging from that familiar and distinctive tapping sound that a bottle makes hitting a table - and realize that "Writers write and bikers ride."

It would be to easy to write about the other things I care about.  While I may be a "voice of reason" when it comes to politics; the current environment does not call from reason.  Besides...who wants to read something that actually might make sense?

Riding has exposed me to a larger world.  To ideas, people who I might never meet and interesting places I might never have seen.  I still have fond memories of butterfly's on tombstones during one such adventure.  I ride to experience

These last few months have had me questioning why I want to ride.  Why I blog even.  Thanks to feedback and friendship I know why.   Now it's just a matter of time till the next adventure.  The next story.