Fools Crashing through your Walls

In reference to my being jumped in my own home:

“You just have to watch your back all the time these days. You could be sitting in your living room when some fool comes crashing through your wall in an out of control car.” – P.I.

Thanks, Mate.

HUMAN FAULTS ARE LIKE GARDEN WEEDS. THEY GROW WITHOUT CULTIVATION AND SOON TAKE OVER THE PLACE IF THEY AREN’T THINNED OUT

Habits are formed so slowly that most of us don’t realize what is happening until the habits are too strongly entrenched to be broken. Seldom can one pattern of behavior be eliminated without replacing it with another. It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum and will always find something to fill a void. The best way to thin out the “weeds,” or faults in your character, is to identify those traits with which you are dissatisfied and replace them with their positive counterparts. If you have a tendency to lose your temper, for example, find a replacement for your anger. Neutralize it with a positive expression or affirmation such as, No one can make me angry unless I let them. I will not let anyone else control my emotions.

IF YOU HAVE NO MAJOR PURPOSE, YOU ARE DRIFTING TOWARD CERTAIN FAILURE

Not having a major purpose for your life is like trying to navigate without a chart. You may eventually get somewhere you like, or you may drift aimlessly, always hoping-but never finding-the place where you would like to be. As you grow as a person, so will your major purpose. It is the natural order of things that, when you reach the top of one mountain, you will look around for higher peaks to climb. In life, either you are moving forward or you are going backward. When you plot your course carefully and thoughtfully, you can ensure that you are going in the right direction.

Non avere un obiettivo importante per la tua vita è come cercare di navigare senza un grafico. Si può finalmente arrivare da qualche parte che ti piace, oppure si può deriva senza meta, sempre con la speranza-ma-non trovare mai il luogo in cui si vorrebbe essere. Come crescere come persona, così il tuo obiettivo principale. È l’ordine naturale delle cose che, quando si raggiunge la cima di una montagna, si guardano intorno per cercare di scalare vette più elevate. Nella vita, o ci si sposta in avanti o si sta andando indietro. Quando si stampa il tuo corso di attenzione e pensieroso, è possibile garantire che si sta andando nella giusta direzione.

Original Work: We flit amongst the stars in the Heavens

We flit amongst the stars in the Heavens
And skim the plane of the night and the dawn.
Ours is a magical existence dappled in Fortune’s fair smile.
She looks over her children and protects their youthful radiance.
Mortals long for the treasure we embrace.

–Original Work by The Flandrian.

The Lance-haters: They are nihilists.

Not only do they have one of the most-pleasurable-to-browse cycling e-commerce sites out there, but Competitive Cyclist absolutely shreds with a pen in their blog:

“…I think it’s really and truly a jihad. It’s a terror exactly like the one our country is at war against, where the ideology of the “oppressed” can find no satisfaction in this life. The Lance-haters: They are nihilists. What is their purpose of their anger? What endgame, exactly, do they want to see? I have some bad news for them: Everyone who raced the Tour de France in 1999 was on EPO. Do you not understand that? Why the outrage at a fact that no one disputes?

Tell me this: What is Lance’s path to penance? Clearly confession isn’t the answer. If it were, Jonathan Vaughters wouldn’t still be tap-dancing around the issue of his own doping. And if confession reliably earned Christ-on-a-cross-like redemption, Joe Papp and Patrick Sinkewitz could plot their racing comebacks. But, no, a rational path to cleansing doesn’t exist for the haters. It’s because they’re not rational. It’s because they’re suckers. They’re suckers for the would-be eloquence and fashion sense of the preening David Millar. They’re suckers for the cuddliness of family man Erik Zabel. The haters think they’re la Résistance, but in fact no one has proven more susceptible to the modern-day crafting of character — where public figures aren’t appraised by their deeds, but rather are judged by the packaging job concocted by high-dollar PR firms with their expert media manipulation. Like the fat fuck idiots who run me off the road when I train who honest-to-God believe in “Must See TV”: The haters run like rats to their media addictions: The New York Times, Paul Kimmage, “honest” interviews with the spokesmodels of Team Garm*n. Here’s what the Tour of California taught me: Lance has no path to penance. Why? It’s because there’s something the haters hate even more than him: That the world doesn’t share their self-righteous outrage. Their capricious use of forgiveness proves that there’s no true north for their moral compass.

– Speaking of Paul Kimmage, he of the starry-eyed Team Garm*n worship, let’s not forget the fact that in his cri de coeur “A Rough Ride” he makes it clear that he experimented with doping during his own pro days. There’s no shame in that. As his book makes clear, life is complicated. It’s interesting, then, that he’s so eager to play character-assassin to Lance. Stones, glass houses, etc. Why, Paul, why? I have a theory: It’s guilt that motivates Paul Kimmage in his splenetic, very public hatred of Lance. He can’t stomach the experience of his own personal doping experimentation. It’s as though confessing it in his book wasn’t enough, and forgiveness can only come through more punishment. Punishment of himself? No way. It’s punishment of others who might be guilty of the same.

I can already hear the ripostes of the haters. There’s a world of difference, they’ll say, between Kimmage’s youthful doping dalliance and Lance’s methods. I’m sorry, but nary a shred of proof exists of that. In lieu of facts, the haters will compensate with the Great Wall of Vitriol. In the place of due process, they prefer the ease of trial-by-media. I agree that there’s a “world of difference” here: It’s a talent level that differentiates Paul and Lance. As bike racers. And as effective communicators…”

“…Lance-haters, I appreciate meaningful dialogue. With this in the forefront of my mind, I yield the floor to you, my esteemed colleagues whose second-most prized asset is their David Millar-autographed copies of Rouleur #8 (featuring a glossy full page photo of a freshly-scrubbed, looking-thoughtful DM head-to-toe in Paul Smith at the foot of the Eiffel Bridge in Girona.) Please help me understand: (1) Why the selective forgiveness? I have a soft spot for Kazakh riders. What will it take for you to embrace the no-less-guilty-than-Millar Vinokourov and Kasheckin? And Papp and Sinkewitz? (2) What will cause you to lower your moral crosshairs from Lance? Let’s get into the realm of the purely theoretical: If he surrendered his ’99 maillot jaune who is the innocent that we’ll hand it down to? Jesus, look at that top-15. It reads like death row! How about a Festina rider? A Casino rider? A Mercatone Uno rider? Look at all 141 finishers — not unlike life, who there is without sin? Let me narrow the questions to this: What is Lance’s way to penance? Or would you prefer not to get into that, since forgiveness to Lance would deprive you of your most prized asset, the thing that finally gives you a sense of purpose in life: Your white-hot hatred of Lance.”

Full, delicious entry here.

Farewell

“We part at the crossroads,
You leave with your joys and problems,
I with mine. Alone, I look down the road.
Each one must walk one’s own path.”

People’s paths come together all too briefly when sharing friendship, but that makes those times no less valuable. We must take advantage of support and sharing in a mutually beneficial way. Whenever we take from another, we should try to give back something. This is fundamental. No one should lean on another person, or expect another to carry them a long distance down the road. Friends should walk side by side for as long as their journey carries them, without becoming dependent on one another.

There should be no obligation. If I can help someone do something, then I should do so without any hesitation or expectation of reward or debt. If there is something that I need to learn and my companion can show it to me, then I should accept it in humility. No one “owns” knowledge. It should be freely shared.

Parting is inherent in all meeting. Nothing lasts forever. Transience is what gives life poignancy. Every person is responsible for himself or herself. There is no road to walk but your own.

–Deng Ming-Dao

Someday I’ll be able to look back on this moment of my life with what I hope will be tranquility and perspective, but right now, all of the drama and stress and fear and instability has kicked my ass. Kids – don’t dope! Stay in school and have a plan for post-biking. Expect the unexpected, and be ready to be betrayed by your closest allies – only to have those you considered enemies display unexpected compassion. And if you betray (and I recognize that I betrayed the notion of clean sport)…make amends – which start with delivering an honest accounting of who you are and what you’ve done.

Gutted

Well, I was wrong, and appearances are not all that they seem. Thanks to a sometimes-friend who revealed to me a very hard-to-swallow, totally unexpected truth, I’ve been disabused of the notion that something good was coming out of the past couple of years. I’m reminded of the classic Mike Fraysse quote: “Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and take away all doubts.”

This really sucks – I’m gutted – but better to learn now the truth rather than lose even one more day to a lie. Next comes the challenge of turning the other cheek and just walking away, as there is no logical explanation to be found that will justify what I’ve seen. I want to keep asking “Why?” and find some rationale for what is totally unbelievable, but by it’s very nature the situation precludes ever being explained-away.