How to Ride No-handed, Lesson 2

If this kid can do it, you can do it. Please notice that he’s leaning backward all the time, never forward.

While I’m waiting for the ambulance to emerge from Pellucidar, or wherever it’s got to, let me try to write something.

Here we are: How to ride your bike without using your hands, next lesson.

Remember Lesson 1: work up to it gradually. After a while, you should be able to go half a block without holding onto the handlebars.

So for Lesson 2, some fine points.

*Don’t lean forward like you’re in the Tour de France or something. Riding no-handed is done best when you’re sitting up straight.  Very slightly leaning backward works well, too.

*Keep your knees and thighs as close to the bike frame as you can. This helps the bike remain upright. Later on, when you’re a real wiz at this, you can prop your feet on the handlebars or whatever. Much later on.

*Now take your hands away from the handlebars and let your arms hang down at your sides, or rest your hands on your hips. You will still have time to save yourself if you start to wobble.

And that’s enough for Lesson 2.

Holding Pattern

Well, we’ve been to the nursing home and now we’re back home because we have to find out where my aunt and the ambulance have got to. They weren’t at the nursing home when they were supposed to be. Sometime today we also have to buy groceries. Then we’ll have to go back to the nursing home.

I seems the ambulance simply failed to show up when it was supposed to. It was scheduled for 10 a.m. and now it’s 11:30 and no one has seen the bloody thing yet.

I hate these hellzapoppin days in which you run back and forth and all around and nothing happens, nothing gets accomplished.

Hopefully I will be back this afternoon with everything done.

I’m Back (in One Piece)

It’s hard to find a photo that truly captures the Ben-Hur aspect of driving on the Garden State Parkway.

Okay, we made it back and forth to my sister’s house, 110 miles on the Garden State Parkway, without getting killed or injured.

Next hurdle: tomorrow morning, installing my aunt in the nursing home. We have grounds for hoping it might not be as bad as we feared–might even turn out to be good for her.

And so sometime early Friday afternoon, things will be back to normal around here, or as near to normal as they get.

I think maybe Joe Collidge will want to check in tomorrow to tell you about his interllectural Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Hymn, ‘We Gather Together’

This old Dutch hymn, which has become traditionally associated with our Thanksgiving holiday, was first sung in 1597, giving thanks to God for victory in a battle for religious freedom. We may someday use it again for that purpose.

Well, Patty and I now have to head down the Garden State Parkway for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house. Pray for us to come back alive! Affectionately nicknamed the Road of Death, the Parkway is incessantly under construction and relies on high-speed traffic and heart-stoppingly narrow lanes…

Gotta stop now, I seem to be hyperventilating.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Oh, Boy! How to Politicize Your Thanksgiving!

You want to see pathetic? This is pathetic.

Sure, gratitude has no part in the liberal Democrat psyche, so we can’t expect a Thanksgiving holiday to have much meaning for them. But this is going pretty far, even for them.

The Democrat National Committee has set up a website ( ) to provide party members and other comrades with pithy put-downs to confound “Your Republican Uncle” or any other family member too wicked or obtuse to appreciate the wisdom of leftism. To quote the introduction:

“The holiday season is filled with food, traveling, and lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics sometimes laced with statements that are just not true–” apparently only Republicans do this, never Democrats. “Here are the most common myths spouted by your family members who spend too much time listening to Rush Limbaugh and the perfect response to each of them.

I’ll bet these people could just kiss themselves all over.

All right, let’s look at the perfect response to the vile conservative canard that Man-Made Climate Change is nothing but a scare tactic. Are you ready for this? You sure? Deep breath…

Presto! We are informed, “97% of scientists” believe in Global Warming! Wow, I feel utterly confounded.

Oh! Was that 97% of all scientists, or 97% of the scientists you chose to ask, or 97% of the scientists whose answers you chose to accept, or what?

How about the perfect response to Donald Trump?

Guess what–Donald Trump’s a racist! Gee, I never saw that coming, did you?

And, lest I spoil your Thanksgiving dinner, I will conclude this post right here and go outside into this gorgeous fall day and smoke a cigar.

See you tomorrow afternoon, folks–if I can manage it. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Stick With Me, Please

I’ve been distracted, lately (to put it mildly), by one of those unavoidable tribulations of life.

Without getting too much into private details, I’ve had to have my last surviving aunt transferred to a nursing home. This is something we prayed would never happen, but now it has.

She is the last of my family in her generation. When she goes, I’ll be the oldest one left–and who ever thinks he’s going to be that?

My mother had five sisters, so I was richly blessed with aunts. Two married, one became a nun, and three stayed together at their father’s house, where they were born. One by one they died. The house had to be sold. It has since been torn down. My aunt received the best care available for as long as possible. But now it’s no longer possible to take care of her outside of a nursing home.

We could not live without God’s grace. But then without God’s grace we never would have been created in the first place.

Normalcy is a good thing. Writing is the work I asked the Lord to give me to do, and He granted my prayer. So I will do it, to the best of my ability, every day if possible, for as long as I can.

God goes with us into the Valley of the Shadow. And one way or another, He will bring us out of it, and into the light.

Readers, please bear with me: normal service will soon be restored. If the next few posts aren’t up to snuff, don’t go away–there’s plenty in the Archives.

Again, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’

I don’t know about you, but I could use a hymn right about now. This hymn, in fact.

I have family things going on that I haven’t been able to write about yet. Maybe tomorrow. Things happen. Nothing that anyone can help, or avoid.

So now, now, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Clown on Campus Creeps Out Coeds

What are we to make of this story?

Female students at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, are nervous about a guy who prowls the streets at night in a clown mask and a bright orange jumpsuit ( ).

Police say they know who it is–a “developmentally delayed” teenage boy. It would appear there is no law against prowling around at night in a clown costume, even if it’s making everybody edgy.

What if the cops are wrong about who it is? Does anyone know where Joe Biden is, lately?

Or have they just launched a new Clown Studies undergraduate degree program?

Seems the only kind of stories coming out of colleges, these days, are clown stories.

Gotta Re-visit ‘Tristram Shandy’!

That catchy tune in the video, to which the redcoats marched in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, is an old Irish melody called Lillibulero. First published in 1661, Lillibulero gained a kind of immortality thanks to author and  clergyman, and proto-Abolitionist, Laurence Sterne.

In his utterly wild and wacky novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, whenever things get confusing, which is most of the time, two of his characters, Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim, have a habit of whistling Lillibulero.

I had to read this book in college. I enjoyed it, but I was young then and I strongly suspect I would enjoy it even more if I read it now. Maybe I will get a copy of it for Christmas. I’m just dying to read it again. It was first published in 1759, but don’t let that throw you. This book is just plain funny!

All those years, though, I had no idea what Lillibulero sounded like. I realize now that I must have heard that melody dozens of times without knowing it was Lillibulero.

And here’s something else that’s funny. My wife found me listening to the tune on the computer, and asked me what it was. She has never read Tristram Shandy, and so never heard of Lillibulero.

And then, just before bedtime, she was leafing through a Daphne DuMaurier story when a reference to Lillibulero jumped out at her. “That’s twice tonight!” she said. “You know what? That’s weird!”

It’s with real pleasure that I look back on those ineffectual, benign, and profoundly harmless characters, Uncle Toby and his faithful batman, Corporal Trim–not to mention Tristram’s hopeless and constantly losing battle to organize the story of his life.

Yes, I’ve got to get back to Shandy Hall. But in the meantime, at least I can now whistle Lillibulero.

How to Ride a Bike with No Hands

The video makes it look pretty easy, doesn’t it? Like, maybe you could do some crocheting while you’re riding you bike.

So don’t take this guy too seriously. I suspect he’s showing off.

Here are a few tips from moi, just to get you started.

First, get a bike. Get used to riding it with both hands on the handlebars.

Next, practice riding with just one hand on the bars, alternating right and left.

Now you are ready to take both hands off the handlebars for just a few seconds, just an inch or two off the bars so you can grab ’em again quickly if you start to wobble. You will wobble till you get the hang of it.

That’s all for now. The next lesson will take you some steps farther. In the meantime, see how you do with your hands just a teensy-weensy bit off the bars for a few seconds.

Important Extra Tip: Wind, rain, and traffic are not helpful.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 246 other followers

%d bloggers like this: