A Most Dangerous Sport

Name the most dangerous sports. Football, rugby, mountain climbing, wrestling (the real stuff not the professional acting on TV), X-Treme fill-in-the blank. Think again.

Bike riding is up there. At least it would be if you saw me at about 9:30 am yesterday. And no, I do not mean bike racing where high speeds, hairpin turns and group crashes await. I just mean peddling. By yourself.

This is my second fall of the season which is two more than most. The first one just led to scrapes. Painful ones but no serious damage. I walked, or actually hobbled, away from this one so I cannot claim major injury. It just feels major.

It happened fast and was just one of those freak accidents. At the 17.5 mile mark in my normal ride I bike up a modest incline and take a right turn onto a bike oath. No cars. The turn is at best modestly sharp. My speed is only in the low teens since I am climbing. I have made this very turn dozens of times.

Not sure if the path has changed in a week or if I just never take the turn so sharply. There is a crack in the asphalt that starts out just a little wider than a bike tire and closes in a few inches. My tire found that crack. The next crack was the sound of my bike helmet as it hit the pavement. (Insert bike safety promo here. NEVER ride even 5 feet without a helmet.) Then my left side, bone just below the hip, landing next and I skidded on my side for a while. No one else around at the time. I lay there and just took stock. Head was scraped but not bleeding, leg hurt. Some blood on my leg. Conscious enough to take stock. Good signs. I slowly got up. Found my left leg to be in pan but I could move. Picked up the bike and moved off the path.

Fortunately the helmet and not my head cracked. I had cuts but no serious blood flow. My left bike glove now has a new airway to cool off the Knuckle of my index finger where fabric once existed. (I have filed a patent on this new bike glove design. Truly revolutionary.)

Over the next 15 minutes I licked my wounds, figuratively not literally, that would have been gross and required some amazing flexibility on my part. I fixed my bike adjusting brakes and putting the chain back into place. I was now 17.5 miles from home, both my wife and son were engaged in activities in which they would not be hearing their cell phones.  And I had no cash–which was rare since I know things like this can happen and I might need a cab.

I got on my bike to see if I could ride and whether it was in condition to be ridden. The answer to both was more or less yes. The injury to my left leg had more to do with weight bearing than the cycling motion. So I began to ride.

At this point in the story most people being of sound mind would assume that I headed in the direction of home. No, not me. I have so few opportunities to ride that I cherish each and every one. On holiday weekends I try to ride twice. Ideally with a day off in between. This weekend I could not ride on Friday and had to limit my ride to a quick 30 miles on Saturday. While the distance was short, I pushed myself hard on Saturday. Even as I left the house on Sunday, well before I fell, I had no idea how my legs would hold up over a planned 50 + mile ride. No I had the trauma of the fall to contend with as well.

Bottom line. 53 miles completed. Lets stress completed. It was slow and painful. Hard to tell how much of the pain was the fall versus the prior day’s ride. As much as I felt physically limited, the trauma of the fall clearly messed with my head. I rely on pushing myself. There was no push yesterday.

Today I am scraped and sore. My neck hurts from the whiplash and I walk like Chester from Gunsmoke. That’s what can happen when you take on danger. That’s me. Mr. Danger.

Drive. Nothing Else. Nothing.

I get crazywhen people drive and talk on the phone, clearly being more engaged in the call than the traffic. Or eating with two hands on the food and maybe a knee on the wheel. Or texting. Or reading. Or looking for something in the back seat. Or applying make-up.

Or doing their nails.

Driving plus almost anything is an accident waiting to happen.

Or doing their nails.

As reported in the Chicago Tribune;

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s office says it’s looking into criminal charges against a woman who allegedly was painting her fingernails while driving and fatally struck a stopped motorcyclist over the weekend.

Authorities say Anita Zaffke, of the 1500 block of Eddy Lane in Lake Zurich, stopped at the intersection of Route 12 and Old McHenry Road at around 5:45 p.m. Saturday as the traffic light turned from green to yellow.

The driver of a Chevrolet Impala behind Zaffke, Lora Hunt, 48, of Morris, told police “she was painting her nails as she drove and did not see [the motorcycle] until contact was already made,” according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Department incident report.


I do not care how much time you save doing other things in the car. Stop it.

It kills. Maybe not today, but it kills. This woman died leaving a husband and young son behind because somene was painting their nails. Its not right.


Being With A Prostitute. Was That Wrong?

spitzer.jpgDear Eliott Spitzer,

As Governor of the great state of New York and a former attorney general I would have thought that you knew the law.  Not right from wrong mind you. Or ethics. No I never expect that much from a politician, but a knowledge of the law–absolutely. Apparently you missed the statute that makes paying for sex a crime even in Albany. Even if you hold a high governmental position. A position of trust. 

Now I have nothing against you personally despite the fact that I lost more than a year’s pay when you righteously sued the company I was working for for something that may or may not have been criminal but was certainly ethically questionable. Tens of thousands of us who had nothing to do with that part of the business lost money or jobs. But I digress.

I feel for your wife who stood there gallantly while you apologized. (I would not have been surprised if she pulled a Lorraine Bobbitt on you right there at the podium.) Fortunately an apology makes everything right again. Sort of like when my son was little and I kissed his boo boos when he would fall. Can you kiss away the pain that you caused to your children today? I know that your mother must be very proud.

I assume that no apology would have been necessary if you had not been caught. It isn’t wrong if no one knows.

One of my friends had an interesting take on your situation. He felt that he would like to spend time with you to learn time and money management. He wonders how in your busy schedule you repeatedly found time to spend with the women of the Emperor’s Club. And at $4,500 a pop. That must be some pop! So much to learn from a man once known as the man Time magazine once named “Crusader of the Year”.

I am not judging you for what you did. Lord knows you were not the first or the first politician to hire prostitutes. I do think this situation drips with irony. (In fact the Chicago Tribune begins all videos with a commercial. The sponsor that played before your apology–The Bedding Experts. Beautiful irony.)

I cannot wait to find out how long you last as Governor and what you will do next with your life. My plan is to play your press conference over and over again. Nothing like good comedy.

Best regards,


Stupid Parent Tricks

I no sooner write about overindulgent parents, then this headline shows up in the Chicago Tribune “Plane’s Landing Not Par for the Course“. A fourteen year old living in the north suburbs of Chicago was going to be late for a tennis lesson. In a week he would be trying out for his school’s tennis team. To be clear, this was not the tryout it was a lesson.

If i were the dad being asked to get my son to a similar event and we could not drive there in time I would be inclined to say “Hey, next time you should have planned to leave sooner.” But Robert Kadera is not me.

He decides that they will take their small plane and fly to the lesson. Is there an airport nearby? No. There is a private golf course attached to a hotel across street from where the lesson was to be. Why not! Oh yea, it is illegal and perhaps not safe.

But I need to get my spoiled kid to his lesson or the world will end. From the story, it actually does not appear to have been the son’s idea but the dad’s. So now the ma’s plane is impounded, he will at least pay to have it tow (police would not let him attempt to take off) and may face criminal and/or civil penalties.

Good life lesson for the kid.

Stupid Onion Story

An article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune last week.

Man Hits Wife in Head With an Onion

DES MOINES, Iowa – A man was arrested after he hit his wife in the back of the head with an onion. James Izzolena, 54, of Des Moines, had been drinking, became upset with his wife, Nicole Izzolena, 27, and threw an onion at her during an argument on Wednesday, police said.

Police said James Izzolena admitted throwing the onion at his wife but said he didn’t mean to hit her.

His wife told police it made her head hurt.

Many layers of stupidity.

Wife. Marrying a man twice your age and not expecting an onion to be tossed your way or worse.

Husband. For ruining a perfectly good vegetable.

Police. For arresting the man (unless there is a history of abuse not mentioned anywhere in the article.)

Associated Press. For writing and distributing this story. Just because you can does not mean you should.

Chicago Tribune. For wasting valuable newsprint on something so inane.