Happy Birthday Jean Baptiste

If he were still alive Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt would be 98. Gotta love his music.


The passing of Corporal Henshaw

I would like to take this time to recognize the passing of Allan Melvin last Thursday, 1/17/08. Most obits say he is best known for his role on the Brady Bunch, but having never watched that show, I remember him as Corporal Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Bilko's right hand man along with Cpl. Barbella, played by Harvey Lembeck. In my mind that is how he will be remembered, as well as for his role on All in the Family where he played Archie's friend Barney. But never for The Brady Bunch. In addition he also might be remembered for his voicing of Magilla Gorilla, as Drooper on The Banana Splits Hour, and the plumber in the Liquid Plumr commercials. But never for the Brady Bunch. At least not for me. He will be missed.


Common sense and courtesy

For the third time this year I went for a ride outdoors. Prior to these three rides my last outdoor ride was back in mid November. In the time between those rides I have been on my bike on the trainer in the den watching television while riding. The workout just isn't the same and now back outdoors I find I need to get in shape again, working back into longer rides and hillier rides gradually. But that isn't what this posting is about.

Riding today made me remember all the nuances of riding on roads where there are other vehicles sharing the way. Most people are aware of riders and are courteous but some are not. Those that are will give you a wide berth and wave you across when approaching them as they wait to pull out onto the road. But this post is about those that are not. I don't know if it is ignorance or just plain rudeness, but there are quite a few people who seem to either resent riders, not care, not see, or just don't know what the law is concerning bicycles.

Bicycles on the road are subject to the same laws as cars. In other words they should be on the right side of the road, stop at all stop signs and red traffic lights, signal for turns, and even when permissible to turn left from the left most available lane. These are a few of the rules that cyclists should be following. In addition they should be in single file when riding in a group. This is a gray area sometimes because on a country road two abreast is not uncommon when there is plenty of room for car to go around.

Courtesy and common sense should be observed when approaching a cyclist from the rear. Obvious you might say. But I find it not to be the case. If you approach a rider on urban streets he will be out in the lane slightly away from parked cars to avoid a car door suddenly swinging open into his path. If there are no cars for a section he will stay out there instead of going in near the curb and then swerving back out to avoid the next parked car. A defensive position to take when approaching a rider on any road is to look ahead of him to see what he sees in his path. This will alert you to the possibility that he might drift into your path to avoid a road hazard, sewer grate or puddle. If there are no cars approaching from the opposite direction do give the rider extra room. Don't try to see how close you can get to him. It seems as this is the goal of many people. They seem to think they are prohibited from going over the center line for any reason. As I said, courtesy and common sense.

I guess what prompted me to write this post was the car that passed me today. There was a driver and a passenger, both estimated to be in late teens, possibly high school students or not. As they passed quite closely, the passenger stuck his head out the window and yelled, "You f@#king moron, get off the f@#king road!". It is not the first time this has ever happened and I am sure it won't be the last. I just wonder what is going through his mind.