Another Week, Another Training (Auburn)

Day’s Verse:
What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-4

Cue week three of one training a week. This week it’s Auburn, and paid for by the Bicycle Alliance’s CPPW grant. Oh, yes, didn’t I mention that the Bike Alliance has two grants where we teach the same thing? CPPW is Communities Putting Prevention to Work, stimulus money that’s aimed at reducing obesity and smoking. It comes through the Federal government to the King County Department of Health to the Bicycle Alliance to me. Your tax dollars at work! The Bicycle Alliance’s CPPW grant is run by John Vander Sluis, a great guy and, more importantly for me, an organized guy. (Seth Schromen-Warwin, who does the OSPI grant, is also an organized guy. I have to give him credit for doing a truly amazing job. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.) The Bike Alliance’s CPPW grant is much more than just these two classes, but this is my part in it, and it’s essentially the same thing as the OSPI class. Continue Reading >>

Get Out Your Tiny Violin

Day’s Verse:
Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
Proverbs 27:1

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: My Bicycle Alliance teaching job may be going away very soon. Bluntly put, I may be losing my teaching job because of some federal requirements for major construction projects.

Now the explanation, which is exceptionally convoluted, so bear with me. The funding for the OSPI grant I’m doing for the Bicycle Alliance comes from the federal government, the US Department of Transportation. It’s the same money that pays for major capital improvements — big road projects. Our project doesn’t involve building roads, of course, but it’s transportation money nonetheless. That means all the rules that apply to those major road projects also apply to our little $250,000 bicycle grant. Specifically, one rule says that essentially all steel used in the project must be American-made steel; the rule says that of $1,000,000 spent, only $2,500 can go to non-American steel. Continue Reading >>

Advantages of Having a Big Mouth

Day’s Verse:
When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.

Proverbs 28:2

You can fit things like this into it:

Hamburger

(There’s a large-size pickle jar next to it for reference.) Next time I’m making the hamburger buns a bit thinner. And maybe we’ll slice the tomato and avocado (not visible) a bit thinner, too. Still — yum.

Identity: More of the Other Katie

Day’s Verse:
Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.
Proverbs 27:1

Remember The Other Katie? I’ve mentioned The Other Katie phenomena before on my blog (here, here, here, and here, to be exact).

I continue to periodically receive Other Katie emails, but earlier this week I had a particularly egregious example I just had to mention: I received a flight itinerary from Houston to Lubbock, TX. On Friday, April 29, I could conceivably fly to Lubbock on Southwest Airlines for free. I actually recognized the name of the people who made the reservation; we’ve had previous Other Katie interactions, and I hoped they’d gotten their email address confusion straightened out when I stopped getting emails from them. Alas, no. Continue Reading >>

Walking Petri Dishes Strike Again

Day’s Verse:
He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning,
It will be reckoned a curse to him.

Proverbs 27:14

And by “walking petri dishes,” I mean elementary kids. At least, I assume I picked up this cold while I was at the elementary school in Lynden. I haven’t had a cold in a long time, and I’d forgotten how deeply blah it makes me feel. I could do things…but I could also just blow my nose, drink hot water with honey and lemon (we don’t have any tea), and stare blankly at the wall. The first day of the cold I felt bad but not terrible, which I hoped would be indicative of the cold overall. Possibly I was overly optimistic. I feel pretty lousy right now, now that the cold has moved up into my sinuses. Continue Reading >>

Things I’m Thinking

Day’s Verse:
Reliable friends who do what they say
are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

Proverbs 25:13

What a weekend! It felt nonstop. Saturday Dad and I did a Francis Gan/Team Earthdreams ride around the Issaquah Alps. It was 50 miles with between 5900 and 6300 feet of climbing, depending on which GPS track reader/elevation profile creator you believe. All but 400 feet of that climbing was in the first 37 miles. The last 13 miles were mostly flat and faster-paced. The ride took us all day — we regrouped at the top of every climb (normally I’d say “hill,” but we were riding up small mountains), and had a couple of water-refill stops in there, too. Even so, by the end my legs were howling. Partway up the last climb I honestly wasn’t sure I could keep pedaling. But I did. It was excruciatingly hard for me, but I did it, and I’m proud to have finished. I spent pretty much the rest of the day napping or quasi-asleep. Continue Reading >>

Safe Routes to School Training #1: Done!

Day’s Verse:
It’s better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.

Proverbs 24:5

All right, this isn’t the world’s shortest or most creative title, but it does get the job done, and it has the added bonus of giving you a taste of what the rest of this post is going to be like: Long and workmanlike. That said, let’s dive into it.

…I started to write a post describing what happened during the training, but that’s just not compelling to me right now. Instead, here are some things that stuck out to me. Continue Reading >>