Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Cold Ride, The Edge of The Fiscal Cliff and a Right Wing Prius

Okay, so I put in all the liners in my jacket and pants this morning. I had been putting this off and with the recent relatively warm weather (Hell, it is almost December), I had been able to survive on the bike without all that extra gear. But this week has been colder, in fact the overnight lows had been in the 20's (wind chills in the teens) and I admit to having wimped out a couple of days on riding to work.

Now I have often thought of myself as a "Rounder" (a year round rider) and unless it is really cold (by my definition, single digits and below), the cold weather doesn't usually stop me from riding.  This morning the temperature was below freezing, but just barely and  it was sunny with almost no wind. Very nice! But I did take more precautions against the cold. I got out the fleece glove liners and even the nylon balaclava. Both liners in my pants and the fleece liner in my jacket. Max started right up like it was any other day. I think he actually likes the cold weather.
The winter gloves with the liners next to my Ride To Work bandana.

And I took out onto the street fighting a bit of fog in my visor, not bad, just a bit annoying. But I had this nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. With all the extra stuff I did this morning to get ready for the ride I knew it was likely that I would forget something, but at that moment I couldn't figure out what it was, and maybe it was nothing anyway.

At one of the first stop light intersections I pulled up behind this little Dodge something or other with a frosty back window. I thought to myself, Fantastic, Not only do I have to watch out for and fight people trying to talk and text on their cell phones, but now I have to watch out for people who are too damn lazy to even scrape off their windows. Oh well, I try a zen moment to calm myself, after all this is is supposed to be fun, and it really is.

And just next to the Dodge was a Prius. And the only reason I noticed it was because of the bumper stickers on it, one of which I couldn't read very well (small print), but the other was a "Fair Tax" sticker. Now it is never safe to generalize about anything and people will always surprise me but I was struck by what appeared to me to be a sort of incongruity between the concept of a Prius and the concept of the "Fair Tax". What I was thinking was that it might be more common for a Prius to be driven by a quote "liberal" person, you know, someone that believes in global warming, wants to save the planet by not using too much in the way of fossil fuels, etc. And then to see a "Fair Tax" sticker which I would associate to someone with more of a right wing sort of conservative bend to their political beliefs. Well it just seemed a bit odd. Probably just me.

Then, as it were, the Prius and I seemed to kind of parallel each other down the street on the way downtown. At some stop lights I would arrive first, at others the Prius would get there first. It was a woman driving the car, but I could never seem to get her to look over at me, she always faced away. (Bitch!?) Then I was thinking, "Okay, who is really trying to save the environment here today?" You in that Prius, at times traveling silently, but probably getting maybe 45 mpg as you move along toward your destination. Or me! Having a blast on my Taiwanese scooter, in cold weather to boot, but probably doing about 75 mpg.

Huh?!   Who's the Environmentalist Now?!

Then I take another deep breath. (Ommmm)

I remembered listening to NPR as I shaved this morning and they were interviewing various people talking about the upcoming "Fiscal Cliff". Now I remind you that I am a tax accountant. I am very aware of the changes that will or will not happen at the end of the year this year. I even spoke at about 15 little mini-seminars about this very subject. And you know what? In my humble opinion, all the politicians are crazy and don't have a clue. Most of them have no business calling themselves statesmen and I really would not be surprised that we just end up careening off the end of the cliff because the silly bastards won't have the guts to do anything about it. And you know what else?!

The world will not end!
Generalissimo Francisco Franco will still be dead!
The Kansas City Chiefs will still Suck!
And I will still try and ride to work on a mostly year round basis.

So There!


Oh, the things I think about as I ride to work some days.

And as I arrived at the parking garage this morning and was taking off my helmet and gloves, one of the people who work for the parking lot company saw me and yelled at me about it being "Pretty cold to ride a scooter on a day like today".

I said, "Naah! It's a great day to Ride!"

And it was! And it will be this afternoon when the temperatures are expected to be in the 50's. I might even get hot with all those liners being used.

And then I remembered that nagging thought that I had forgotten this morning. And I realized it was my office keys that I had forgotten. Oh well.....
Ride On and Carpe Diem, my friends.


  1. Thank goodness you didn't forget anything important!

    1. Keith, other, more competent people arrived at the office before I did this morning and I was not locked out. My lovely wife even brought my keys with her to the office.

      Life is So Good!

  2. I have occasionally found myself without my office keys but that usually happens right after returning from a trip. Unfortunately, there are plenty of others that have keys...

    I found your comments on the Prius entertaining as I have had the same thoughts in the past. Now they are pretty "mainstream" selling around 150,000 in the US alone and most buyers are just looking for a way to maybe save a few dollars.

    1. Richard,
      Unfortunately, when I have looked at the numbers, the premium you pay for the Prius usually doesn't justify the $ saved on gasoline. It usually doesn't save enough overall, which in a way makes Prius owners even more admirable because they own the vehicle in spite of that and possibly are really interested in saving the environment. Then again, that assumes they even think that far into the process.

  3. Jimbo:

    At least it wasn't anything important, I mean . . . of all the people that work there, you are the only one who doesn't need to show up

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Bob,
      Yes, you are correct. I am not important. Almost two years ago, when I checked myself out for about a month proved that.

  4. And today it was a lady in a Kia Soul that I paralleled with downtown. She (the bitch) changed lanes frequently trying to get an advantage while I just sort of moseyed along in the right lane. We arrived downtown at roughly the same time.
    HooRay for Me!

  5. I often see strange things on my bike commute to work and wonder about those who are in their cages. The best thing about scooting or motorcycling is the time you get in the helmet to think about stuff and where your mind wanders too. I finally added all the liners to my gear and I too am a 'rounder'. I am however thinking of switching my motorcycle out for my scooter for the winter, just easier for storage and carrying things.