19 June 2011

Father's Day

Today is Father’s Day here in the USA, and perhaps other parts of the world. Of course, you probably already know that.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever written for Father’s Day. When I started blogging it was 2003 and very early in that year my dad kicked me out of the house for being gay. It was not a happy time for me, and I don’t think it was for him either. So since then, I don’t think I’ve written anything for Father’s Day. But, obviously, this year is different.

I’ll start with some background history. My parents divorced when I was around 2 yrs old, so I don’t really remember much of that time, which is probably a good thing. My dad got custody of my brother and I, and he raised us by himself for a few years before he remarried.

Up until I was kicked out, I was pretty close to my dad. We’d always gotten along well enough. My step-mom and I were close too. Then the whole kicking out thing happened, and it was not a pleasant month from my coming out to the kicking out. I did not want to be home. Awkward conversation, pent up anger on both sides, general unhappiness.

Now, after not living ‘at home’ for eight years, we’ve gotten along much better. And of course, my being older sure helps. I think I’m closer to my dad that I have ever been, and while we see eye to eye on most things, we don’t on everything. And what that is should be apparent. This last year we’ve been building a bridge, and I think that’s a good thing.

Needless to say, for a few years, thinking about celebrating my dad wasn’t something I keenly looked forward too. Sure he helped bring me into the world, but what had happened still burned in my mind. I’ve forgiven him. I still love him. And perhaps one day we will see eye to eye.

For all you father’s out there, happy Father’s Day.

07 June 2011

Why We Should All Ride Bicycles

I used to own a car. I used to drive everywhere from work, to the store, to the gym, for vacation, etc. I’ve been carless for almost four years now. That is a long time. People ask me how I can get along without a car. It is possible, and we humans have lived most of our history without automobiles.

Everywhere I need to be, I don’t need a car for. I have a bicycle that gets me to where I need to go. The grocery store, the gym, and the places I work are bike-able distances aka less than 3 miles. If I want to make special trips I can either bike or take the bus.

I must admit, however, that I tend toward the lazy. I want things done and I want them done ten minutes ago. Slowly, my patience in this regard has risen. But I’m not wrong in assuming that things should really be closer. The car has made it possible for our civilization stretch, but it also creates artificial distances in the places we live.

This is the reason we should all ride bicycles: everything would be much closer together. You wouldn’t have to drive all over town to get done what you needed done. Businesses would be close to homes (to reduce commute time and leg strain) and a variety of businesses would have to arise to complete and compliment what is needed in a particular area.

In turn, there would be a larger sense of community as people would be able to recognize those the bike past, wave, talk, etc. Roads would be vastly smaller, safer, and much less costly as they would only need to support bikes. If someone needed to travel long distance they could take a train/public transit to get to where they needed to go and these would have special roads.

Suddenly that house on a hill would not look as attractive, and more people would move to flatter areas. In turn, the general health would improve, because, hey, we’re all getting a lot more exercise!

Of course this is not viable right now, but I think, in the future, bikes will become a lot more popular. Doesn’t the world sound a little more enjoyable if you aren’t in bumper to bumper traffic and instead commute a shorter distance while getting exercise?