Re: ‘Loner’ student shoots and kills 10 at Texas school

Two school officers engaged the shooter, including school district police officer John Barnes, who was in critical condition after a gunshot wound to his elbow that almost caused him to bleed out, hospital officials said.

If two, armed school officers can’t deter or stop people from doing this, then why do we think that arming the math teacher is going to do any better?

I’m trying to challenge the conservative dogma that guns make us safer. I need to fact check this but I bet Texas probably has one of the highest per capita of gun ownership and concealed carry in the country. Does Texas have a low crime rate, especially violent crime rate compared to the rest of the country? I bet not. My conservative friends are going to argue but schools are ‘gun free zones’. /sigh

I agree that passing more gun laws will have almost zero short term affect (effect?) on gun crime and it would take certain types of laws to make a difference anyway, long term. It seems like the ‘more laws don’t matter’ types are arguing against the idea of laws themselves. If laws against guns don’t matter, do laws against murder and rape and theft matter?

Source: ‘Loner’ student shoots and kills 10 at Texas school | Reuters

Re: An Aggrieved Trump Wants Better Press, and He Blames Leaks for Not Getting It

And in the Oval Office, there is President Trump, who is prone to erupt about his communications team as ineffective and leak-ridden, complaining he has the biggest team and yet he gets “the worst press.”


I think this says a lot about Blabber Mouth Don. All he has to do to get good press is hire the best and biggest team… as opposed to not being a horrible human being.

But in recent months, Mr. Trump, who has never been convinced that his aides have his best interests at heart, has felt increasingly aggrieved. He blames his staff for not delivering better headlines on key initiatives, like tax cuts or a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea. And he sees leaks as a cause of the distractions that have helped deprive him of those headlines, according to interviews with several current and former White House officials, all who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe internal discussions.


Source: An Aggrieved Trump Wants Better Press, and He Blames Leaks for Not Getting It – The New York Times

Re: Why Nashville Voters Rejected Public Transit

Antitransit types’ favorite refrain goes a little something like this: “Trains and buses never pay for themselves.” Like a Hank Williams tune, it never gets old because it’s sort of true. In 2015, the Hamilton Project looked at the profitability (or lack thereof) of transit agencies across the country. New York City loses about a dollar for every ride it serves, making it among the most efficient. Seattle, which has about the same population as Nashville but greater density, loses about $4 per ride.

Source: Why Nashville Voters Rejected Public Transit | WIRED

I really think this is an argument that liberals should try harder to win. So what if public transit doesn’t pay for itself? It’s not supposed to because we’re providing a service; this isn’t a business with shareholders.

Trump’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices Diverges From Campaign Promise

Ronny Gal, a securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said the president’s speech was “very, very positive to pharma,” and he added, “We have not seen anything about that speech which should concern investors” in the pharmaceutical industry.

I believe there’s something to be said here about where the President’s loyalty lies. Is he a friend of big business, who will make sure not to interfere with big business or is he looking out for consumers?

Pretty obvious to me, he’ll be an ally of big business and while trying to sell us on the idea that he’s looking out for the consumer.

Source: Trump’s Plan to Lower Drug Prices Diverges From Campaign Promise – The New York Times

I’m a veteran and I support the NFL players right to knee during the anthem

Hard for me to understand people like this…

I’m a Titans fan and proud American (though a bit less so since we have people who actually elected the idiot in chief in our country) and veteran. I respect the principles the flag and anthem represent so I support the players right to knee during the anthem.

As far as protests go, kneeling is a pretty tame one. They’re not burning flags or wiping their ass with the flag or pissing on it or anything else. They’re quietly and peacefully kneeling.

Cycling Astoria OR to SF CA: Day 2 – Barview campground to Lincoln City

Today’s Distance: 63 miles
Total Distance: 122 miles

Day two! Honestly, I woke up feeling somewhat disappointed that I didn’t really hit my mileage goal for day one. As you can see from my Strava track, a lot of the route today was inland a bit so I was riding through farmland and I swear I kept seeing trucks of hops going by. Also, the aroma of manure was thick in the air. I actually saw a pump truck, pumping liquified cow manure on a field at one point so that explained that.

Around mid-morning I finally made it to Tillimook and was able to ship some stuff ahead to myself. Turns out Astoria is closed on the weekends! So I was toting like 8-10 lbs of extra weight on my bike. Additionally, I tossed my u-lock because I brought the wrong key; worthless. I’ll need to pickup a new u-lock soon though I’ve not found much opportunity to lock up my bike. Total weight off the bike: ~15 lbs.

Lunch today was veggie pizza in Pacific City. The pizza was delicious but I ended up eating too much and was sick a few miles down the road. Ugh.

The rest of the day passed pretty uneventful. The big climb of the day was saved for the very last and boy was it a doozy. Probably the hardest, longest climb I’ve ever done; can’t remember a harder or longer one. I arrived at camp after dark, quickly setup and zonked out.

I don’t have an exact spot picked out for a target today. Just going to pedal until I’m too tired.

Astoria to SF day 2

Astoria to SF day 2

Astoria to SF day 2

Astoria to SF day 2

Cycling Astoria OR to SF CA: Day 1 – Astoria to Barview campground

Todays Distance – 59 miles
Total Distance – 59 miles

Well, today was an interesting first day. I had a flat, I underestimated the climbing challenges today and I didn’t get to my planned destination.

I’m super exhausted so I’ll come back and clean this post up a bit but here are the highlights.

The Pacific coast is GORGEOUS. Wow, for reals.

I caught a flat tire within the first 20 miles of day 1. I even just put new, expedition grade tires on too. Bleh.

There were 3 serious climbs today. I’ve now calibrated what the little lines on the map elevation profile actually MEANS.

During the 2nd climb, there was a super sketchy bridge situation. For those who saw my Facebook live, you know what’s up. For everybody else, go check out my Facebook live video.

With all the climbing, I failed to reach my mileage goals for today so I camped at a different camp ground th an I planned. They had hot showers (coin operated and no lights!!) so that was good enough for me. I can hear the surf in the distance and it’s a very brisk night. I expect to sleep really great tonight.

I’m aiming for LIncoln City tomorrow high is about 65 miles or there about a with two big climbs. Wish me luck.

Day one photos are here.


Cycling Astoria OR to SF CA: Day 0 – Astoria

As I type this, I’m sitting in my AirBnb in Astoria, OR. I’ve collected my bicycle, sorted and packed my gear and I’m pretty much ready to start pedaling first thing in the morning.

Astoria is a pretty cool little town. The view from the Astoria Column is breathtaking. But first, let me detail my journey to get here because there was a #PlotTwist.

Getting Here

Astoria to SF Day 0

Panic attack?!?!

I caught my flight as expected Saturday afternoon. I had a two hour layover in Chicago then caught my flight to Portland. I opted for a window seat because I thought I could more easily sleep on the 4 hour flight from Chicago to Portland by using my camp pillow and leaning against the wall/window.

That was working perfectly but about an hour and half into the flight I woke up suddenly feeling claustrophobic. I don’t know if I was having a bad dream or something but I really felt panicked and I was struggling to breath. I asked the other two in my row to please excuse me and they let me out. I walked slowly to the bathroom to just be out of that little bitty seat for minute. After some calm, deep breathing I felt good enough to get back into my seat. I kind of struggled the rest fo the flight it stay calm. I had to distract myself with the magazines and talking to my seat neighbors. Anyhoo, I think I understand a little bit now what a panic attack is. It sucked pretty hard core!


After the longest flight in the history of the world, my plane finally arrived in Portland and it felt so good to be off the plane. I hussled down to the rental car area to pick up my car and for reasons that I won’t get into here, my reservation wasn’t available. 😑

Ok fine… *deep breaths* I’ll just go to plan B… there’s bus/shuttle service that runs between Portland and Astoria. From my research on the internet, I know that departure point for the bus was Union station. To make a long story short, I ended up sleeping on a bench in front of Union station in Portland – the station closes at 10pm. I had my camping gear so I setup my sleeping pad and sleeping bag and camp pillow so I was pretty comfortable if somewhat nervous as there were other people waiting for the station to open. In addition, there was a homeless camp across the street and there was so much activity. Every little sound had me waking up to check my bag.

Astoria to SF Day 0

The Rest

Once I was on the bus at 6:30am, everything else was pretty routine. It took about 3 hours to get to Astoria – the driver even let me off right at the bike shop (Bikes and Beyond) as they were opening. I transferred my gear from my duffle into my bike panniers at the shop. Unfortunately, the only pack and mail place in Astoria is closed on the weekends so I’ll have to pack my duffle and clothes that I was going to send ahead to SF, until I can find a pack and ship place.

Astoria to SF Day 0

My AirBnb is pretty nice… especially compared to a bench in front of a train station in downtown Portland. 😉

I did the tourist thing a bit and went up to the Astoria Column. I walked the entire way there and back, found some dinner and am now relaxing in my room.

Tomorrow 79 miles to Cape Lookout State Park. #ShutUpLegs

Astoria to SF Day 0

Astoria to SF 2017 day 0

Astoria to SF 2017 day 0

Astoria to SF 2017 day 0

Astoria to SF Day 0

Astoria to SF Day 0

Astoria to SF Day 0

Astoria to SF Day 0

Cycling Astoria OR to SF CA: Planning

This year, I’m planning what will be my most epic bicycle trip to date. I plan to ride from Astoria OR, along the Pacific coast down to SF CA. It’s roughly 800 miles and I’m giving myself 2 weeks to complete the trip. I’ll be following the same basic plan I used for Cycling the C&O and GAP Trails Reloaded.

  • I’ll use to have my bike shipped ahead to a local bike shop, Bikes & Beyond in Astoria, OR in this case the week before I leave for my trip.
  • Book AirBnBs in Portland, Astoria and SF.
  • I’ll use my North Face Base Camp duffle to carry my gear with me on the flight.
  • I’ll fly to Portland OR and stay at the AirBnB on Day -1.
  • On Day 0, I’ll catch the North West Point bus to Astoria OR. Google maps says it’s an almost 3 hour trip from Portland to Astoria and it leaves at 9:30am.
  • Arrive in Astoria and pick up my bicycle and check into my AirBnB
  • Day 1, start pedaling.

If everything goes to plan, I should arrive in SF on a Friday afternoon/evening. I plan to spend the weekend in SF and leave out on Sunday.

The difference between George Washington and Robert E Lee

Trump is awful. To listen to him draw a moral equivalence between Nazis and counter protesters protesting against Nazis and to realize this man is the President of our country and was freely elected there on purpose by people who think like him just feels like a huge punch in the gut. He wants to hyper analyze and focus on the specifics actions in the park instead of looking at the overall broader context of what’s happening.


Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? He was a slave owner too, right?

The hosts on this podcast I listen to in the mornings were making this point but I think it’s important enough to repeat here. The difference between George Washington/Thomas Jefferson and Robert E Lee is that the former made it their purpose to build and lay the foundation of our country. Robert E Lee wasn’t just a slave owner. He made it his career and purpose to try to tear our country asunder who’s outcome would have been to institutionalize slavery for longer.