April 2006


April 30th, 2006

I have been flying all day and I am tired.

P.S. Enjoy the latest Visions.





April 29th, 2006

Rain on My Parade

Rule #1: If you live in NW Oregon, you're planning to go on a motorcycle trip with a gaggle of other enthusiasts, and the weather report says slight chance of intermittent rain, then the reality is you live in NW Oregon, you're going on a motorcycle trip with a gaggle of enthusiasts, and the weather will be a slight chance of intermittent lack of rain followed by long stretches of constant rain, foggy face shields, frozen knuckles, and water logged water proof clothing.

Rule #2: If you find yourself twenty miles away from your destination while this happens you don't turn back but instead make haste to the first available restaurant with comfortable seating and hot cups of coffee.

Rule #3: Though it will stop raining as soon as you sit down with your mates it will begin as soon as you get outside again. Enjoy your coffee.

Rule #4: There's nothing worse than needing to take a leak while riding a motorcycle. So don't enjoy too much coffee.

So I got up at 7:15, took a shower, then Vipassana and I headed to my work where we met up with three other bikers, one a coworker, the next his friend, and the last someone who works in the same building but not for our company.

The lineup:

Vipasanna - 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 Limited (Red & Silver)
The Russian - Triumph Thunderbird (Green)
The Hawaiian - Triumph Legend (Black)
The Tech Guy - Aprilia RSV 1000 (Black)
Pygmie1 -2005 Honda 919 (Black)

The weather and much of the ride was miserable, but that's not what I'm going to tell you about. What I will share with you is the experience of tasting the absolute best vegetarian sandwich I've ever eaten: a broiled portabella mushroom covered in melted cheese on slightly toasted bread. I'd like to tell you about these wonderful people who I got to know better (though I know The Russian pretty well given his cube and mine share a wall). I'd like to tell you about that one stretch of dry tarmac and sunny sky just 15 miles west of Beaverton on the way back home and how I thought I wouldn't have gotten out of bed in the morning if that's all the dry I'd get out of it...Then I thought about life. If I could have chosen every twist and turn my life has taken I would have asked for clear skies, dry traffic free roads, and a temperature somewhere between 70 and 90 degrees. I didn't get to pick the weather, though. The weather just happens and either you learn to prepare or you don't, you learn to take responsibility for your body, for your gear, and for your bike, or you don't, and you learn to appreciate the moments of sunshine that present themselves or you don't.

It's not any more complicated than that,

April 28th, 2006

Aslynn's Angry Muzak Trakz

So it's late and I should probably get in bed so I'm well rested for tomorrow's twisty ride to Astoria but I "had" to sit down and get some new music on the MP3 player for the trip. As promised I put together a playlist. Some of the songs are dark, some are angry, some are aggressive, some are bluntly honest, all promise to lead me safely through the tightest corners and I will know sweet joy.

In no particular order...

Angel - Sarah McLachlan
Berserker - Love Among Freaks
Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix) - New Order
Crazy (Acoustic) - Seal
Cruel - Tori Amos
Die Another Day - Madonna
Hard Wax - Manchild
Heart of Gold - Tori Amos
I Got Money Now - Pink
Let It Will Be - Madonna
Nobody Knows - Pink
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Sorry - Madonna
Spybreak (Short One) - From the Matrix Soundtrack
Sweet the Sting - Tori Amos
Toxic - Britney Spears
Waiting for You (Acoustic) - Seal
Who Knew - Pink
Wish (Komm Zu Mir) - Franka Potente & Thomas D.
Humble Neightborhoods - Pink
Oh My God - Pink
Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
I Stay Away - Alice in Chains
No Excuses - Alice in Chains
I Wish I Was Taller - Skee Lo
Vitro Feat - Cast of South Park
Living Dead Girl (Subliminal Seduction Mix) - Rob Zombie
The Distance - Cake


April 27th, 2006


I have been in a foul mood lately. When I use the word "Foul" in this context I mean Fucking Oversensitive to Unimportant Life (Events). By Fucking Oversensitive to Unimportant Life (Events) I mean:


Long story short, I've come to see that I've repressed a lot of anger over the past year and a half. Anger at people who have taken advantage of me, anger at myself for allowing others to take advantage of me, anger, anger, built up anger that I've put aside as I learn the value of breathing and listening and dying to the moment, to the ego, and learning to listen to the universe.

I haven't been at all sure what to do with this anger. I don't find myself repressing it but I must admit the last week at work can be described with the ever so wise words of Homer Simpson who once expressed his frustration, "Desire to kill increasing...desire to kill decreasing..." I haven't been able to jog as much as I'd like due to my knee and the sun, oh my Goddess the sun this week has been beautiful and I just want to be out there in the country cruising along on my 919, breathing in the air, and being immersed in the smells of spring.

I have so much on my mind these last few weeks...and I would like to share everything with you if my computer would stop crashing.


And so in the interest of expressing my anger in a creative and productive way I'm going to put together a playlist of Aslynn's angry music. And if you're curious to see into my prism I'll post that playlist for you here in a few days.

Until then, goodnight and enjoy the sun,

April 24th, 2006

Ignorance is a Four Letter Word

This weekend was absolutely beautiful.  Saturday I woke up and went to my daughter's room to look out the window and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  That day we rode from Portland to Seaside and no clouds, not one!  First cloudless day of 2006!  Beautiful, absofreakinlootly beautiful!!!!!!!

This morning while I was in the shower listening to 1190 KEX (oh Rush, thou art an idiot and a liar) I heard a news report that a motorcyclist had died this weekend.  I didn't hear the entire story so this morning I went to their web site as well as the Oregonian's to find out what had happened, hopefully learn something from it.  Apparently an "experienced motorcyclist" had "crossed the center line" and was "struck" by an oncoming truck.  The three other riders with him also "wiped out".  The cause of the accident, so said the news media, was a "momentary lapse of attention."

The most common response I hear from non-motorcyclists to something like this is, "Motorcycles are dangerous."  To that I have to say look at this photograph to the right, it wasn't just the motorcyclist (who was going an insane 160mph+) who was crushed like a tin can but the two occupants of the car.  Which proves several things, most of which people forget to mention when they're lecturing me:

  1. Motorcycles are dangerous.
  2. Cars are dangerous.
  3. Being hit by a motorcycle or a car hurts (a lot).
  4. Anyone can be hit by a motorcycle or a car.
  5. Life is dangerous.

And so I read these articles and here's what I discovered:

Educational tip #1:  Don't lay down your bike!

First and foremost, the first writer's intent was not to educate but to give a news blurb and make it sound exciting by saying the other riders had "wiped out".  What the fuck does that mean?  The Oregonian actually did a slightly better job by mentioning that they had laid down their bikes to avoid the collision.  That's better. 

So should they have laid their bikes down? 

I would have liked to see some statistics from years that have shown that purposefully laying a bike down is not terribly effective and that applying the front and rear breaks correctly slows the bike down much better than laying the bike down.  Put another way:  using the breaks to slow your speed from 50mph to 10mph and running into a tree is a hell of a lot better than going from 50mph, sliding on your ass, then hitting the tree at 30mph.  It's can mean the difference between a few bruises or road rash + broken bones.

The news shouldn't just be facts but facts + education (and hopefully by the educated!).

Educational tip #2:  Don't exceed your stopping distance!

I have a problem with the whole "experienced motorcyclist" description.  I've only been riding for a year but I know it's not a smart idea to exceed my stopping distance whether I'm riding a bike or in my car.  Another way of saying that is, "Don't go faster than you have the ability to safely stop in."  So if you're going at 55mph you should have about a 2 second buffer between yourself and the biker in front of you so if they, say, veer into oncoming traffic, you can hit the breaks and stop without running into them and if your buddy riding behind is doing the same thing he or she should similarly be able to stop without doing much more than locking up the back tire. 

Play it safe, don't go faster than you can safely stop in to avoid hazards!

Educational tip #3:  Experience is a function of knowledge, not time!

In my view "experience" isn't defined by the number of years one has been riding but the amount of preparation and attention one puts towards the ride.  So what you've been riding since you were fourteen, does it matter if you think you'd rather be cool and wear a half helmet, no protective clothing, space out, and ride into oncoming traffic?  Those aren't the hallmarks of an experienced rider.  Experience, in my view, isn't a function of time but the accumulations of knowledge and the implementation of that knowledge in an effective manner that, at least in this case, keeps you in one piece.

Although I am being somewhat insensitive I am sorry for the family's loss and send them my prayers.  At the same time I think everyone should understand that most traffic accidents, as with most accidents in day to day life, can be avoided.  Here are three simple rules for driving, riding, for friendships, for relationships, three simple rules for life.  Follow them and we'll all be a lot safer:

  1. Don't exceed your stopping distance.
  2. Don't exceed your sight distance.
  3. Don't be a dumb ass.

Yours sincerely etc. and stuff.

P.S.  Someone nearby has sent Vipassana and I a great deal of negative energy this weekend and just for the record neither of us appreciate it.

April 23rd, 2006

On the Walls

Vipassana made the mistake of telling me she doesn't read the quotes on the doors to The Temple so I'm here to suggest, in a friendly manner of course: READ THEM (damnit)!

Today I was riding up NW Skyline on my hooligan with Pink's new album going in my helmet and I heard these lyrics, "I'm not here for your entertainment"--and I really needed to hear that today so like Martin Luther I took out a hammer and nailed them too the doors.

You see, yesterday I rode my bike to the beach with daughter on the back and I was shooting up the hills and zooming around those long double lane corners on the way to Seaside thinking about the last five or six years of my social life and that's the way I feel most people have treated me, like I'm some sort of object. Sometimes I'm a pair of shoes to be tried on then taken off and thrown in the closet with two dozen other pairs--and then brought out again when I'm back in style. Sometimes I'm just a toy. And sometimes I'm a prize. And at least once I was used for someone to live out some kind of twisted revenge. But rarely am I understood or accepted for who I truly am. Guess I was asking too much, eh?

Taste, touch, close my eyes and breath you in. That's how I know when you walk in the room you feel satisfaction and fullfillment but you're unsure and even doubtful and you question but you don't say anything. But you're throwing pebbles in the water and I can see the ripples. I take the time to read the writing on the walls.

This is just one way I provide constant weather reports. There is no "quote database" here in The Temple, no ASP.NET or JavaScript spitting out random quotations for your cerebral enjoyment. Yeah, baby, I type the quotes in manually as a synchronistic universe presents them to me to share, to gleam, to learn from, and to sing.

Taste, touch, close your eyes and breath me in.

April 22nd, 2006

I'll make this as simple and straight forward as I'm capable. This is the spot, there in the picture to your right. I prefer flowers. Roses, tulips, lilies, iris, but I prefer roses. Or if that's not your thing a card would do but I'd rather a hand written letter or personalized poem. Oh, anything unique and beautiful and honest and loving would be fine, just set it down softly and with conscious intent.

No games.

I get frustrated when someone has a hidden expectation then judges me when I don't magically and spontaneously materialize satisfaction. Say for instance the girl who said nothing was bothering her but months later complained that I was doing X instead of Y (I had actually asked them at the time if X was bothering them to which they'd said, "Not at all"). Or the woman who lashed out at me for not picking up her bag (after I'd taken time off from work to drop her off then pick her up). Maybe if those expectations had been clearly articulated I would have had a chance to either adapt to the them or walk away entirely.

Choice is a beautiful thing, choice based on a clear roadmap is even better!

So as not to be a hypocrit I'm writing tonight to admit something to you, sharing a hidden expectation, a fantasy of sorts, you might say, that I've had for years. I want flowers, I want roses, I want poetry, I want recognition, I want an apology, and I want friendship. I want to find it in some way, shape, or form on my doorstep. I want it to be late at night and I remember I left something in the car so I go out and woah, there's a gift wrapped up with a bow on top that says I'm sorry or I care or I'm here for you or you're special or all of the above. I want roses, I want love, and I want to be more than a good lay while someone's son's outa town, I want loyalty to extend farther than empty promises and unreturned phone calls, I want to be accepted for who I am not what I "should" be.

Okay, so it's not really a huge deal but it's no longer a hidden expectation, I silent hope I have from time to time when I leave the house in the morning or step out to check the mail at night. There, I've said it, it's out there in the open and you can do whatever you choose with that knowledge. This is the spot, there in the picture above and to your right.

April 20, 2006

Reports from a Fifth Grader

Why I'm Against Animal Testing, by Aslynn S. Meyers

I am against animal testing because it is cruel, unnecessary, and hypocritical.  Animal testing is mean.  Animals are poked and prodded and chemicals are shot in their eyes just so cross dressers can wear mascara.  Animal testing is unnecessary.  People a long time ago had makeup that didn't make their eyes all red and had medicine that they could grow in their back yards.  Animal testing is unfair.  We eat at McDonalds and we drink soda pop and spray food with chemicals and drive cars and treat our planet like crud and then we act surprised when we get cancer.  Love an animal, grow herbs, go jogging.

What a Friend Is by Aslynn S. Meyers

A friend is a person who you know really well and who knows you really well and who likes you really well too.  Friends aren't perfect.  Sometimes they don't share their toys.  But friends will eventually share their toys if you ask.  A good friend is someone who will tell you secrets and not tease you or talk behind your back.  A good friend will invite you to their birthday party and will bring really good presents to your birthday party.  A friend will share their desert at lunch.  A friend will write you a letter while they're on vacation in Europe with their artsy fartsy parents.  A friend likes to go do stuff with you.

Always Do Your Best by Aslynn S. Meyers

You should always do your best because your best is the best you can do.  If you do your best then you can be proud of yourself and other people will see and say you did a good job.  If you do your best you have less to worry about.  If you learn to do your best all the time, your parents don't make you sit down at the table for a talk.  When I do my best I feel good about myself.  In conclusion if you do your best then you will be really amazed by yourself later.

Weird Food by Aslynn S. Meyers

Sometimes my parents make me eat weird food.  Like there was this one time where they took me to this restaurant where the food moved around and it was all Sushi and you could pick whatever you wanted.  Some of it smelled really funny but I tried it with soy sauce and that green stuff all mixed up in a little dish.  I don't like sea food but I like rice and I like the green stuff and it makes crab and stuff okay, I guess.  Then there was one time where we went to a place where you could put all this Chinese food on your plate and they'd cook it for you right in front of you and they had sushi too.

I Want To Go To Outer Space by Aslynn S. Meyers

I want to go to outer space.  Outer space is really huge and goes in every direction.  When I was younger I thought I was from outer space just like Superman and my parents found me in my spaceship crashed on the front lawn.  If I were to go into outer space I could fly and find my real parents.  They would live on another planet where animals weren't tested on, friends were everywhere, everyone did their best, and every bite of food was cherished.  What I don't like about outer space is there are no bathrooms.

Thank you,

April 19th, 2006

...stepping back...

That afternoon we ate a rather hectic lunch.  Vipasanna made mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and deviled eggs.  I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the lunch, including mayonnaise for the eggs.  My dad wandered around the house obviously ready to hit the road and go home and my mom stared at