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Biking In Traffic - Funny Video PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 19:42

The video below is a great video, a funny video, but also hits a real issue for me since a friend of mine recently received a ticket for a bicycle traffic violation.  There are times when cyclists break the traffic laws but do so for safety reasons, not always for good reasons, but often.  Few drivers give much thought to bicycles, they'd rather that bikes were not in the way.  If you check the Pennsylvania guide they will tell you to take the lane, instead of hugging the shoulder, its safer but few think to do this.  To be technical bikes are supposed to follow the same traffic guidelines as cars, but often, in high traffic areas, cyclists must be creative to avoid the dangerous traffic that at times may not recognize their presence.

America is far from being a bicycle friendly nation and traffic laws give little consideration to cyclists.  Thankfully most policemen know and appreciate the need to bend the rules.  Not this guy though:

 

 

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Prayer For Peace - It Is Good That You Are Here or Scandal? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 June 2014 21:09

Last week I wrote about the Pope's Amazing invitation to the Israeli and Palestinian Leaders to pray for peace at the Vatican.  There is no doubt that this is a tremendous moment in history, for the first time muslims, Jews and Catholics will offer prayers for peace in the Vatican.  The initiative is beautiful and has sparked many positive responses such as the ones on Fr. Rocky's post on facebook when he shared the news of the Pope's invitation to all of us to pray for peace. (See photo to left)  Of course, something so incredibley unprecedented brings with it many theological questions.  Is it heresy to allow Muslims to offer prayer on the sacred grounds of the Vatican?   To no surprise many Catholic Reactionaries, mostly traditionalists, are attacking this event as "heresy" because it supposedly violates the teaching of Pope Pius XI: "..it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ."   First, lets understand that the prayer will be held in the Vatican Garden not a consecrated Church or Chapel.  Here's the text from the Muslim prayer that is causing the uproar:

Oh God, to you all praise, O Lord, to you all praise, O Creator of the heavens and the earth, O You who know the unknown and the manifest, O Lord of everything and its sovereign, we testify that there is no god but You alone and You have no partner, we seek refuge in You from the evil in ourselves and the evil of Satan, his partners, his godlessness and his whispering, and we seek refuge in You from godlessness and want, and we seek refuge in You so that we do not bring evil upon ourselves or bring it upon anyone else.

 

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Feet On The Ground And Pedals PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 June 2014 18:59

A broken down car.  That's what I got for moving back to St. Louis and I'm thankful for it.  One month before I made the move back my car died at a busy section of one of St. Louis' busiest streets, cars racing by on all sides I was lucky that some one stopped and helped me push it to the nearby gas station, safely.  Ninety miles from my home, I made my way by foot and bus to a friend's place for the night.  That difference in how I got around for a couple days changed everything about my week in a very good way.  I slowed down, noticed the people around me and even ran accross a couple old friends.  There is definitely something to the simple life, taking things slow and appreciating the small things.  

Recently there was an article in the Irish Times by Cliona Brophy The Road Less Traveled telling the story of a small family that dropped their car for bike (electric) trasport.  Their motives were to avoid the threat of vandals, as well as the troubles and costs of a car.  I guess my reasons for liking this mode are different, but how much?

Instead of being daunted by the prospect of a new year with car loans and associated costs and worries, we are looking forward to a new phase in our lives: car-free and carefree.  - Irish Times Article

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Amazing! Pope Arranges Prayer for Peace with Israel & Palestinian Leaders PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 May 2014 10:28

The most incredible gesture was made by Pope Francis this weeked when he invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet in the Vatican to pray for peace.  Now even more amazing news, they have accepted the invitation.  Its hard to put to words the positive movement generated by Pope Francis' envagelism of peace but there is most definitely a beuatiful spirit of humility and action in his efforts.  Here's the report from the Associated Press:

At the end of Mass in the square, Francis invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray with him for peace, saying: "I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer."

The offices of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents quickly confirmed that they had accepted the invitation, with the Palestinians saying the meeting would take place in June.

The best way to understand the spirit of Francis' work is to watch him in action.  Below is an video of Pope Francis visiting the Israeli-Palestinian wall.

 

Pope Francis at Israeli-Palestinian Wall from Rocco Palmo on Vimeo.

 In his homily at Manger Square Pope Francis summed up our prayer beautifully:

We entrust the future of our human family to Mary Most Holy, that new horizons may open in our world, with the promise of fraternity, solidarity and peace.

 

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Bike Journal: RT 66 Country Commute PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 March 2014 23:11

Its been a long cold winter.  I was well prepared for cold weather but the icey conditions combined with my schedule has made commuting to work difficult.  I'm dying to back to the commute this next week, after the ice melts. 

During the past year, I have been collecting photos of the scenery on my commute to share with you all.  My commute from my home in the Missouri Ozarks is my favorite among all the commute routes I've had over the years.  The route heads down historic RT 66 through the country side of Missouri wine country.  There's some nice scenery including the oddest of all landmarks, the world's largest rocker. 

 

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