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March 30, 2006


In chess this is when neither side can win. Each side can move around, back and forth, but neither can Kill the opponent. There can be no clear victory for either side. Part of the problem with life sometimes is we think we are in a stalemate with an opponent. Too often our own arrogance and pride backs us into a corner, unable to get away, unable to solve the problem, unable to find solutions. There should never be a stalemate in real life, because we have minds and hearts and can reason and compromise. We can love each other instead of fight each other. If we are not fighting each other, then we can work out a solution do our differences. Pride and arrogance are often too tough to get by. But not impossible.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:01 PM

March 29, 2006

The Bicycle Sale is on

On Friday Macalaster College's "Mac Bikes" student organization is selling 25 used, recycled bicycles to benefit our non-profit community bike shop. It took a lot of hands to get it all ready, but tonight we delivered. This sale is a good thing in a lot of ways: It's getting old bikes out of the waste stream, putting them back into use, providing low-cost bikes to those that need low-cost bikes and providing funding to keep our programs going. So if you are looking for a good deal on a bicycle, check out Macalaster College on Friday.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:36 PM

March 28, 2006

The Year of Art

Here is my latest work of art...

Posted by carl1236 at 10:05 PM

March 27, 2006

Abusivesness is not a good theology

Being abusive toward our more vulnerable members of society is not a good theology to have. No matter how right we think we are, there is no justification in mistreating other human beings.
Due to an incident on Saturday, Today we lost two vulnerable volunteers who we were working with and two customers who overheard what was going on. They turned around and left. Thankfully the person who lost their temper was not our staff or a board member. That still won't bring our two volunteers back. Tonight they told me they no longer feel safe in our environment.
I tell you, regardless of how smart you think you are, no matter what your IQ or vast amount of knowledge, it's pretty ignorant to treat people by swearing and yelling at them. There are better ways of doing things. Now I have to clean up the mess and try to repair the damage done. Don't have a theology of hatred and anger. It's not a good theology. It sucks to be at the receiving end of that theology. Theology is our beliefs in action; how we live our beliefs.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:24 PM

March 26, 2006

Blast Belly Fat While you watch TV

A magazine article proclaimed, "Yes - it really works!" Well, what really works is doing the exercise consistently, not the watching TV part. This is the hard part for most people when it comes to doing things; motivation. Sometimes it is so hard to 'want' to do the things that will achieve the results we say we want. This is why many fitness plans fail and there's a huge market for second-hand fitness equipment. If we don't change our inner habits then we don't have the motivation or the stamina to continue an exercise program to change our outer, physical habits.
An inner habit of wanting to exercise and liking it is a good place to begin the exercise program. Then it doesn't matter if you are in front of the TV or running through the woods, although fresh air exercise is contageous and feels so good. Just do it regularly and do it because it feels good. This attitude is habit forming. Then the focus is not on doing something miserable to reach a goal, but enjoying the exercise and feeling good as part of life, and the end result is achieved without a battle.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:20 PM

March 25, 2006

I don't know what I don't know

I can't say what I don't know. But many people like to tell you what they know about what they don't know. What they are really trying to do is justify their beliefs. We all do it. But this is one reason why Jesus taught us that it's important, no, really important that we are humble and not arrogant. Because, at any moment we could be a hyporcrite. Just when we think we are "right" we experience we are wrong. Sometimes we look back on things and realize how foolish we have been. That is wisdom. Oh the joys of wisdom! If only we could be wise before we open our big mouths! Why do we do this? I think it's a matter of wanting to feel in 'control.' We all want personal power and control, especially when we feel like the world is out of control. We want knowledge and power and control over our lives and our destiny.
But just when we think we know, and swear we are 'right' we see an alternative view. Life is fluid, not static. For instance, there is this popular Thai video that shows a traditional Buddist deity doing the moon dance. But in the traditional sense, the character performs a slow, specific dance to tell a story. But there is a new modern story being told here.
I like this story. It's fresh. renewed. Life is not static. That is why I am constantly humbled. I don't know what I don't know. I realize this and it's a good thing.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:40 PM

March 24, 2006

A beautiful day today

A beautiful day to take off from work early and get some things done at home. I cleaned, watched my Korean Drama and even took a nap! That was awesome! Good for my mental health.

I'm hosting a lunch tomorrow and it'll be a fun day also. Then I have the job of designing and building my display cases for my eggs to put them on display in a coffee shop in Downtown St. Paul this next month. So much to do. So today was good day to get a jump on the weekend!

I hope everyone had a great week!

Posted by carl1236 at 10:50 PM

March 22, 2006

Elephant Dung Paper: When poop is beautiful

I just bought a notebook made entirely of Elephant dung and paddy paper pulped to perfection in Sri Lanka by Maximus. Of course it has to be distributed in the US by someone named Mr. Ellie Pooh. Their card says:
Eat -> Dung -> Boil -> Pulp -> Paper

None of the paper smells or looks anything like it's origins though, haha, and it's very nice, thick paper hand bound into a book. I don't know what I'm going to do with this book of recycled dung paper, but it's cool. Given an elephant's diet though, I can see why this paper is fibrous.

Even poop can be beautiful. Make something new.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:21 PM

Elephant Dung Paper: When poop is beautiful

I just bought a notebook made entirely of Elephant dung and paddy paper pulped to perfection in Sri Lanka by Maximus. Of course it has to be distributed in the US by someone named Mr. Ellie Pooh. Their card says:
Eat -> Dung -> Boil -> Pulp -> Paper

None of the paper smells or looks anything like it's origins though, haha, and it's very nice, thick paper hand bound into a book. I don't know what I'm going to do with this book of recycled dung paper, but it's cool. Given an elephant's diet though, I can see why this paper is fibrous.

Even poop can be beautiful.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:21 PM

March 21, 2006

Priorities and Blessings

Over the years I've become more aware of one of the 'purposes' of our lives. That is to better manage our gifts, talents and resources, setting priorities. Think of it this way... Let's say we all keep getting more intelligent, wiser, and more 'God-Like' as we get older and grow. Hopefully we gain wisdom and learn from our mistakes. With knowledge comes responsibility. We have the power to destroy millions of people with an atomic bomb, but is it such a good idea? We have to use restraint and also don't want proliferation of these weapons and don't want to have to use them. It's a scary thought. We'd like to continue to live. On a more basic level, knowledge requires that we act and think more responsibly. We also have a duty to do things that we know are right. For instance, if you have never been trained in surgery, you can hardly be expected to start cutting to try to solve an artery blockage. But if you are a trained surgeon, and you know you can save a life, isn't it your duty to do what you can do? It creates quite a burdon to do the right thing regardless of how much it interferes with our own lives or enjoyment. The more power we have to do something, the more important it becomes for us to make better and better choices about how to use our time, talents and resouces. I can't do everything at once so what is most important to do?
This leads me to priorities...Tonight I decided it was more important to help a friend with writing an important letter. We worked on clarifying what he meant, grammar, and other things. I knew that whatever I did would be a big help to him because he has a slight language barrier, at least more than I do. At the same time, I have a presentation to give tomorrow, which I'm not ready for. I decided it was more important to help my friend first, right after work. That took two hours. Then I worked for another 2-1/2 hours on my presentation and rode home. I was going to do some artwork tonight, but that never happened. I only have so much time in each day, and too many things I want to be doing, so I have to make priorities.
One advantage though to this process tonight was that I was all alone at work tonight and I was very productive! No interuptions and no distractions. I'm nearly ready for my presentation. Tomorrow morning I'll wrap things up and go do it. Now I'm off to bed. I have lived part of my purpose in life, to learn to make good priority choices. To me another human being's need is greater than my artwork. I'm learning. :-)

Posted by carl1236 at 10:25 PM

March 20, 2006

Announcing an Eggstravaganza Demonstration!

I'm doing a demonstration of the traditional Ukrainian artform of Pysanky on Saturday, April 8th. Here is the postcard I made up to mail to my friends. If anyone would like the actual postcard mailed to them, send me an email with address. I'd love so see some of you there. I'll even let you do some of it yourself and help remove some wax (the best part in my opinion)

Posted by carl1236 at 10:10 PM

March 19, 2006

God as Place

Today I created this piece of 'word-art' that displays God as a sense of Place. God is everywhere. God is my life. God is my hometown, where I come from and where I currently live...

Posted by carl1236 at 9:42 PM

March 18, 2006

Computer problems

I think I'm getting tired of working with computers. Today I went to help fix a problem on my friend's computer and it took me 7 hours to get it all back up and running the way he had it before it crashed, with data restored. I also had to call my brother for tech support, which I was very thankful for. The best part of this whole experience for me, was that he can now get his work done, where before he was out of business. The other equally good thing that happened was that I got to meet his mother, who is such a sweetheart! She made food for me all day long, with a couple of great surprise treats. I'm a little full now. Therefore it was a great day, but it had nothing to do with my enjoyment of computer work. I wasn't really enjoying that part of it. So maybe I'll find something low-tech to do with the rest of my life.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:52 PM

March 17, 2006

And down he goes…

Well, I thought I’d have nothing more to say about WINTER BIKING. But as it turns out, I’ve had a few new experiences in the last couple of days that I’d like to record and add to this category. I think in the middle of the summer I’ll read all of these posts just to remind myself of the strange environment we live in, being in the Upper Midwest, Northern Hemisphere with Snow and Ice for a few months out of the year and blistering heat in the summer. It’s a land of two extremes and we can scarcely remember the other season while we are in the middle of trying to survive the current one.
Wednesday night it began to snow when I was leaving the bike shop and Thursday morning was really snowy again and I decided to ride my bike into work. But I used my mountain bike with the studded tires and it was fine. In my immediate neighborhood they did not plow, so that was the roughest part of the ride for sure. The snow was thick and it felt like I was riding on a layer of soft mud; physically challenging to slog through and at the same time sliding all over, barely keeping the bike upright. I look at it like training to improve my off-road-bike-handling skills. One guy even leaned out the window of his car and gave me a thumbs up. Haha. Even with studded mountain bike tires I was sliding all over mainly because I was floating over the surface and not reaching anything compact. Then once I got past my neighborhood, the roads were fine and the studs hit pavement, or at least compact Ice and I did not feel any slippage. After work yesterday the roads were totally clear and it actually wore down my studs a little, which are just wood screws and not intended for road use. I made these tires for the ice-bike races last year and this year and had never used them on the road before. I haven’t needed them on the road this year because it’s been so mild. But in the conditions we had I’m actually glad I had the studded tires. They did help with traction and who knows how bad the ride would have been without them.
When I got to the bike shop last night, my rear tire went flat. I made it all the way into work, and then to the bike shop and as I was pulling my bike inside someone noticed that my rear tire was flat. It went just like that. This tube I had in there was old though and patched in several places and worn out in spots where the nipples had protruded before. I had not replace the tube then, I just lined the tire with more duct tape and patched the tube in several places and used it that way for the bike races. After our meeting I had to fix my tire before riding home. This is what I did…
I cut the bead off both sides of a worn 26? road slick, lined my studded tire with that, put a new tube inside of the inner-tire, pumped it up and away I went. I made my own thick-skinned lining. I had read this trick online but thought duct-tape was enough, but this should prove to be really tough protection for my tube against the studs and other protrusions. We’ll see. Innovation is a series of experiments and corrections. And an added benefit to this is that I’m putting an old, worn-out tire back into use in another form. I rode all the way home last night with no problems and the tire is still holding air.
This morning I saw the weather report was looking good for the next few days so I decided to ride my Schwinn Suburban commuter bike with the skinny, 27x1-1/4? tires. By this time my unplowed-neighborhood streets were all packed down by cars so the riding was fairly easy. That’s when it happened. I came to the last unplowed segment of road in my neighborhood and pulled up to the stop sign. It was solid ice from the cars packing it down and the melting/refreezing, but it wasn’t a smooth sheet of ice. It was all layered and sloped and at different levels. As I was about to stop my wheels started to slide out to the right and I went down. I couldn’t counter-balance because I was on a slight incline and there was nothing stopping my momentum. Down I went. This was my first wipeout this winter. This was a new experience. I guess these are the exact conditions where studded tires would have come in handy.
My left hip was really sore but after riding the rest of the way into work it all worked itself out. Now I feel fine. I suppose the more I do this, the more likely it is that I wipe out, given the varied conditions and my use of different equipment on various days. It’s still worth it, I just need to be more cautious when stopping on ice.
So now can I put winter biking to rest for the year?

Posted by carl1236 at 10:25 AM

March 15, 2006

Starting to Snow again

Tonight as I was riding home the snow was flying into my eyes. I wear glasses but it was blowing in around them. I'm glad I made it home before it got too nasty out there. But it was a good ride home and I was actually starting to overheat a little (overdressed as usual) Someday I'll figure out how to stay warm and cool at the same time. haha.
But I heard that all the snow will be gone by monday with the warm weather coming our way. I believe it. Snow can never stay long in Spring. ;-)
So this may be the last of the snow and this weekend may be the end of my winter biking for the year. I've really enjoyed it this year. Goodbye old friend. See you next year.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:58 PM

March 14, 2006

The beginnings of a Triathlete

This is the beginning of my Traithlon category and the beginning of my training. Well, I've been training for part of it all year long, but today I signed up for a Triathlon Training Program and will do my first Triathlon in July. I'm excited to have a new goal, with diverse training and to meet so many new people. More as I catalog my training for this purpose. Bike Racing as a whole is on hold while I try this new sport.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:57 PM

March 13, 2006

Melvin's New Pedal

Finally I got to give Melvin a new pedal!!! Saturday he came into the shop for something else and I noticed he STILL did not have a pedal on his bike. I offered him a free pedal and he didn't want to take one. So as he was chatting with one of the other guys, I went and dug out a matching pedal. It took me about 15 minutes to find a right pedal that matched his other pedal, but I found one that did not have a mate. I brought it out and instead of arguing with him, I told him I needed to see if it fit, and then proceeded to put it on for him. He said, "Oh that's what you were doing back there!" then he laughed and said thank you. I told him I had to do it. I last saw him on January 10th I believe and he's been riding around like that since then!!! Melvin is one cool dude! And I finally got to give him a pedal!

Posted by carl1236 at 8:00 PM

A Local Celebrity Now?

Haha, here I am. This appeared in Sunday's paper. I'm famous now:


It's interesting to note that they used a different picture in the online version than they used in the printed paper on Sunday. That's me riding up the Ohio Hill, one of my commute routes and a tough ride no matter how many times I ride up it.

Posted by carl1236 at 7:48 PM

March 12, 2006

Heart to Heart Talks

I've had a couple heart-to-heart talks lately, one with a friend and one with another friend and another with my wife. Sometimes we need this kind of long, unubstructed, uninterupted, honest talk to get to some real meaning. Often we hold things inside and don't ever get to the feelings we really want to express. But taking some time alone with another person and really being honest and open with another person and with ourselves, is important and valuable in life. It can deepen our relationships and our love for each other. If there is a conflict we can work it out. It can also increase our understanding and appreciation of another person. So I'm thankful for the opportunity to chat with my friends and wife in this way.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:15 PM

March 11, 2006

I received schooling today

With humble gratitude I learned a lesson today. That is that I have a lot to learn about the bike business. Especially the value of old bikes. What happens when I get a bike donated that is worth way more than I know? I agree to sell it to the next person who walks in the door that wants an inexpensive bike to ride.
I have a lot to learn about bicycle collecting. But I don't want to know about that. I just want to get people back on bikes, not hang bikes on the wall, though they look like art sometimes. So today I learned something. Collectors want the authentic thing, even if it's non-functional and they'll pay for it. But people who just want to ride don't really care if it's authentic parts or not, as long as it's safe and functional. It's still nice if it looks cool, but it better function.
I'm all for functional art that doesn't cost too much. If there is such a thing. I learned a lesson that I have to research bike and component values some though, so I have the basic bike business knowledge necessary to do this as a business.
Sometimes the best learning is by making mistakes, don't you think? I'm thankful for the friend who pointed out my error.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:33 PM

March 10, 2006

Something new and fun

I really had fun this morning! I took the day off and got up way earlier than I'm used to, met Mike at the bikeshop, picked up 6 bikes the volunteers had fixed up on Wednesday night, and we then hauled them off to a Middle School where Jerry teaches. It was awesome!
We set up cones in the school yard near the ball diamond, and ran relay bike races. There were six teams of about 6 kids. When one member rode down and returned he/she would hand off the bike and helmet to the next team member in line and they would go at it full speed. Well, not quite full speed if your bike is in a low gear and you don't know how to shift! Haha, he made good time though with his legs spinning furiously the whole way.
Then 45 minutes later the two classes of students went back into the school building and Mike and I hauled the bikes back to the shop. That was it. A fast and fun event! They really had fun, I could tell by the way they were acting, but at first, we heard a lot of, "Do we have to do this?" And there was one girl who came to school in shorts and sandles! I have declared it Spring already, but I still dress for the weather, haha, but evidently her attitude is a declaration of Summer!
When they all went inside, they were all excited and talking and thanking us for bringing the bikes there and doing this race. We waved goodbye to them, loaded up and left. But one thing that struck me was how such a simple thing can create so much positive energy and enthusiasm! Too often in life we are stuck in a rut of ruthless rules and decorum that prohibits trying something new. Not so with Jerry. He's a good teacher. He got parents there to help out, got us to bring bikes, got another teacher to bring her class outside and they did something out of the ordinary. The kids showed some good teamwork, by holding the bike while the other person put the bike helmet on, and they were all exited when they went back into the school. Who knows, maybe they learned something today with all that buzz up there! Good times.
And I learned to appreciate the people I have around me more and am happy to know them. Thanks Mike and Jerry!

Posted by carl1236 at 5:25 PM

March 9, 2006

A ride in the smog

Yesterday I rode my bike from Downtown St. Paul to the wastewater treatment plant for a meeting. I decided to race a train that was leaving St. Paul on the tracks along shepard/warner road. I was really pushing hard and when I arrived at the plant, I was breathing hard and my heart was pounding and my legs were like jello. But I made it in 16 minutes! Of course I had to cool down then before my meeting, but it was ok. Then on the way back to my office I took it easy and enjoyed the view of the river.
When I checked my email I discovered I had an air quality alert for the day. Due to the low winds and the fog, more microscopic particles than normal were just hanging in the air. The alert said for people with heart problems or lung conditions should refrain from going outside and reduce their activities. They recommended for athletes to take it easy. Too late. Now my lungs contain a lot of some microscopic polution.
A ride in the smog, how nice. This is the world we have created for ourselves, how nice. One of our first steps in fixing a problem is to stop creating it. If a boat is leaking it does no good to plug holes in the hull if we are drilling more as we go! How many holes can we drill before we realize we cannot possibly plug them all, ever?

Posted by carl1236 at 10:32 PM

March 8, 2006

A hug

A hug has many forms, not just a physical act of puttting our arms around someone and squeezing. It is a rare case when people in our modern society really reach out and embrace another human being. Ther is no reservation or alterior motives in a hug; just a genuine happiness and acceptance of each other. Today was a hug day. When we have the opportunity to give hugs and we do it, it is a good day in life.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:50 PM

March 7, 2006

Creating Systems

Here is a way to cope with things in life:
create systems, not end results.

Instead of creating a rulebook, create tools that are useful and knowledge about why things work the way they do.
Intead of saying I need 50 bikes repaired for this by this deadline, why not say that every bike that comes in the door gets a tag put on it, which has a repair checklist. Any volunteer can start with any bike and work on it, checking off the item as it's checked/repaired. The next person that grabs that bike knows where it was left and they can do what they are able off the list. When a person finishes all items on a repair tag, she can notify the shop manager for inspection, or moves the bike to the 'done' isle. The Shop manager also goes through the bikes on a regular basis and looks for bikes with completed tags, and/or spot checks bikes, then inspects and signs off on the bike. Then as we go, someone says, "I need 6 bikes for this donation," and we pick out 6 completed bikes, or mark the tags for the project. Then progress can be easily determined on those bikes. In an operation like this, it's always an ongoing process of fixihng bikes regardless of what they are for. If there is a system to handle the workflow, it gets done. They get fixed. Ok, so maybe volunteers aren't skillled enough to keep working on bikes, then the system becomes, "if you are an experienced volunteer, don't do it alone, find someone who wants to learn and pair up!" Amazing things will happen.
I know people want things to be finished, so we can say that we 'arrived' somewhere, but often the process never ends. For example, we may wish to win the lottery so our problems are over. But if we are poor money managers and we win the lottery, it doesn't absolve us of managing money, it only makes matters more complicated and larger scale. We'll still blow it with a greater amount. Having more money doesn't improve our process and we get into bigger problems and waste more money. Creating a process of doing things is beneficial. Processess are not rigid, but problem solving tools.
Jaak and I were talking the other day about training and motivation. He made a good point, that we are often motivated by a goal. True, it's helpful to have goals to work toward, but a process of improving health is also good. For instance, I will eat fruits and vegetibles on a regular basis and exercise daily. Then when an event comes along that you want to train for, you can create a specific training plan and already be on your way, any time, like pulling a fixed bike out of the lineup and knowing it's ready to roll.
I don't know, this may all be bunk, but I see much of this as a positive approach to life. I approach retirement this way also. I don't think I will ever 'retire,' by kicking back, laying around etc. The end result doesn't appeal to me. I like the idea of being active and engaged in life. Sure there is time to rest, but isn't it better to be balanced and mix action with rest throughout our whole lives? Then in our retirement we are not regretting all the things we gave up in life and now cannot do because of failing health. It's the process of living that is important isn't it?

Posted by carl1236 at 10:00 PM

March 6, 2006

It's just another day for you and me in paradise

Hey, hold tight! The bike ride is getting wild! Tonight was an interesting and eye-opening evening at the bike shop. A year ago I never would have imagined what I'd be getting into. This is often how things work in life. Life is very interesting and full of adventures isn't it?

Posted by carl1236 at 11:22 PM

March 5, 2006

The boat that stayed

Well, I tried to give my old wooden sailboat away, but it is in too bad of condition. I kind of suspected this but you know, I don't have time to work on it nor do I know enough about boats to have known it was this bad off. But it's ok. I wish it would have been in better shape, but it's not and I really won't be able to work on this for at least another year. I wanted it to go to someone who wanted a good restoration project. But if it's this bad, it's almost like building a brand new boat. At least with a new boat the materials are all new so it's starting fresh. Rebuilding and reusing is a cool idea to me though. Oh, well, the boat didn't want to go. But my table saw did. I gave it to Josh because it was going unused and he is going to repair it and use it. New life for the table saw that I haven't used in at least 5 five years. And since I declared it Spring already, I've started my spring cleaning! haha. This table saw came out of my garage, which will be transformed into a bike shop/inventor's workshop, welding shop eventually. Proof that Spring is here? we rode from St. Paul to Minneapolis hauling the table saw on a trailer. Then I had a great cup of tea and rode back! It was really fun and a good experiment and experience! I can Imagine the possibilities knowing this is possible, because i did it! Yeah the boat stayed, and there is a good reason I'm sure. But the table saw went to a good home! So it was a great day!

Posted by carl1236 at 7:11 PM

March 4, 2006

Trypillian Designs

Last night I did not blog, because I never made it home. I spent the night in my studio creating Trypillian designs on eggs. It's a favorite of Pysanky artists because of the Trypillian history in the Ukraine as well as the swirling designs and three colors of red, black and white that work so well on the eggs. The Trypillians had very advanced pottery techniques and used clay masterfully in many things they did. Here is a link to a company that makes modern pottery in the style of the Trypillian pottery found in unearthed Trypillian villages. My eggs look very similar to this pottery. However I decided to use brown eggs, which gives a soft, light brown color to the white and makes the red slightly darker. It has a very nice effect.


Want to know more about Trypillia in ancient Ukraine? This site seems to have a lot of information:


St. Paul Art Crawl, April 21-23, is one of the coolest events ever and you can see me there with my Pysanky and other artwork. It will be eggsellent!

Posted by carl1236 at 9:52 PM

March 2, 2006

Good Blood Pressure

I guess riding bike all year round helps, because today I had my blood pressure checked and it was low and in the good range. As it was last year at this time. Good news for the continuance of my body.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:59 PM

March 1, 2006

I feel disjointed

Today I was encouraged to write down some things I need help with, and then be open to the help that comes. I see the problems I face from a distance right now as if I am staring down at a small stream from the top of the mountain. I am so close to the source yet so far away from the solution. Today I accepted help on several occasions and am thankful for it. This is the core of the matter. Often we have trouble asking for help when we need it the most. I have taken a baby step in that direction by just listing what I needed help with and paying attention to the help that arrived and being willing to accept it. I think overall things will be good because we are functioning more as a team. The odds of failure for this effort were astronomical but now I can at least see the stream from the mountaintop. But I still feel like I'm out of balance. It is because there are some fundamental problems with the way this whole thing is operated. There are gaps that are not filled. There is a break in responsibility at several levels. There is no shared ownership of the problems and the responsibility. It's still operating on the old model that did not work. So maybe we need a different approach. The greatest vision here is to ask for help and to accept it when it arrives.

Now I want to tell you about Phil. Phil was really drunk tonight when he showed up at the bike shop. I offered him a cup of coffee but he said no, but he wanted a beer. He said he used to be a member and used to come here to true up his wheels. Now his wheels are all bent out of shape. We talked for a bit and then he pointed to a guy in the shop and told me that that was the guy who kicked him out last summer. After we talked for a while Phil went on his way to another bar. As he was leaving I told him, "Take care of youself Phil." And Phil grabbed my hand and shook it, and then held onto it with his other hand and mumbled something. Then he went to the bathroom and left. He was having trouble walking a straight line and talking coherently. And off he went. I don't know if I'll see Phil around again, but I was nice to him, so probably. But Phil is destroying himself. So maybe not.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:45 PM