22 February, 2006 Temperature: Getting warmer…
It is snowing outside as I type this. I feel good about that. I don’t think we are going to see any accumulation, but I don’t really think it’s time for OMW to throw in the towel just yet. OMW, of course, is my abbreviation for Old Man Winter. You know, kind of like OBL was for the Hairy Plotter himself? Oh, I am stepping out onto thin ice there. Never mind…
I’ve called this post “River Ride”, but of course, every time I commute to work it is a river ride. The Mississippi River is the reason that these Twin Cities exist. Saint Paul and Minneapolis are defined and constrained by this river. The river is the reason our roads wind so beautifully. You can choose to follow it’s contours on the freeway, where you are almost completely unaware of it, or you can get right down next to it and appreciate it’s powerful presence and beauty. I always choose the latter.
This morning, the Baron and I rode in darkness, yet again. I was present, in the moment, but there wasn’t anything to really challenge me. We didn’t stop for coffee, because I wanted us to get to work early, so I would have time to hunt around for some photo ops on the ride home, before the light faded.
Well, the light faded around one o’clock, when the clouds moved in. By the time we left work, there were light snow flurries in the air. We stopped in at Doolittle’s, where I saw some of my friends and brought them up to date on my winter riding adventures. I was teased about the red spot of frostbite on my nose. Everyone seems to be calling me Rudolph these days. But they just won’t let me play in any reindeer games! How frustrating is that?
On West River Road, there is a place called “Bohemian Flats”. This used to be a city or county park, with free parking, where you could just go and hang out and watch the river roll on by. These days, it is a parking lot, with a couple of excursion boats tied up. These can be chartered for whatever, by people or corporations with enough money. You have to pay to use the parking lot now, and the boats block your view of the river. This is called Progress.
Progress means: Nothing cool ever lasts, and nothing ever changes for the better. Somebody richer than you will always buy the things you like and take them away from you, then make you pay to enjoy them later.
Of course, there will be lots of folks whose opinions differ, and these statements aren’t always accurate. But I put them out there because they are true a lot more often than they should be in a compassionate, civilized, human society.
See what happens when road and weather conditions are not trying to kill me? I have time to think about Other Things. This is a dangerous distraction.
I took this photo alongside the boat that looked the oldest. The other one was so modern it hurts my eyes to even look at it. The Baron and I rode brazenly over the curb and across the grass so we could achieve this proximity. A bunch of young men who were up to who-knows-what in the parking lot, looked over and loudly heralded our transgression. We were being cheered on in our violation of private property statutes, or whatever it was we were doing. It didn’t feel like crime, but I probably wouldn’t have chanced it in the presence of a police battle cruiser. You have to be careful about such things these days.
So I took a picture, and we rode along home. No animals or humans were harmed in the capturing of this image. It’s not that great of a photo, but what do you expect this time of year? It would have been much more dramatic if I could have showed a single-track trail leading up to the scooter, next to the boat, across a field of snow. If we get a suitable snowfall before winter ends, I might just do that.
Tomorrow, I am going to stop by Baron HQ and take care of some scheduled maintenance. I haven’t seen crewchief Lorne in awhile, and I’m sure he misses us (yeah, right). It will be quite late, by the time we get home, so don’t expect an update tomorrow night. Check this space again on Friday night.