The Bike Guy’s Advice

Tour de France
Sharing a smoke during the 1927 Tour de France. Really? Really . . .

“Don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt.”

I recall waiting at the red light. The driver next to me had leaned out of his window to give me that suggestion. Or was it advice? Or a joke? He smiled and I smiled and then he made his turn, merging his car into the traffic.

The light turned green and I bicycled across the intersection, still smiling. Fasten your seatbelt, the car guy says to the bike guy. Right. Road humor. (Once, before walking my dog chewed into my exercise time, I oft pedaled the roads of Fresno.)

The driver’s comment was more a joke, but I probably filed it in the advice category because I had recently given my sage advice to another person sharing the road of life and skinny tires with me.

Now, let me preface these next comments by objectively stating that what I provided—free of charge—was excellent advice. Was my advice uninvited? OK, no one had asked to hear my opinion. Am I a qualified expert in the subject? OK, I wouldn’t even be considered an amateur.

But why let common sense prevent dispensing my valuable insights? Continue reading →

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Beware the Holy Banana Peel

banana peel oopsThe photographer wanted cheesecake. Some skin. A flash of teen flesh.

I refused.

How about angling your glasses so they are crooked on your nose or make a silly face?

Still I refused. What was the Joker’s ominous question in 2008’s Dark Knight? “Why be so serious?” But then I was so serious. (Hey, I’m probably still too serious.)

Way, way back in high school I was voted “funniest” in my graduating class. We selected the usual categories: “most likely to succeed,” “best looking” and “cutest couple.” I was class clown. Please note, I never included this honor on my college application forms, but I was proud of the designation. I knew why I’d won. During my senior year, a friend and I followed our high school’s intercom announcements with humorous weekly predictions about upcoming sporting events. We joked about the basketball or football team to encourage students to attend the games.

We were actually funny. Well, sometimes! Continue reading →

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No Miracle at the Mormon Church

Mormon Temple
Awe-inspiring skies over the Temple at my neighborhood Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

There was no miracle.

Years ago, soon after departing fulltime church work and its weekly sermonizing, meetings-in-the-evening, annual-reports-to-the-denomination obligations, I avoided getting hauled into the net of Mormonism.

I have my own private doubts about Biblical miracles. Sorry, it’s true. But as a Christian, I haven’t spent much time defending or denying that Jesus preformed miracles. I’m also not overly interested if Buddha or Krishna were involved with miracles. Regardless of which religion, please deliver me from explaining the—according to Mirriam-Webster’s 10th edition—“extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”

However, I like that the word “miracle” is from the Latin, miraculum. A wonder, a marvel.

But Jesus walking on water? Water into wine? No, I’m too modern, too cynical, and too analytical to embrace miracles. I know that Jesus—like Muhammad after or all the Jewish Biblical prophets and priests before—lived in a time when miracles were part of daily life. Last month, my wall calendar noted a “total lunar eclipse” on the same Monday we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. Many witnessed the moon’s “disappearance.” Once, it would have been a divine intervention, an omen, or a miracle. Instead, eclipses have become predictable and understandable events. They are on our calendars! Though we 21st century dwellers know less than we think, we do know the hows and whys for lots of stuff. Continue reading →

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