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Showing posts from December, 2015

LeBron James And Phil Everly And Me

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There is a thing that happens, and it needs a word, and that nameless thing is what happens when two pieces of media intersect perfectly in an instant in the same person.

Like this morning at 9:19 am.

On my phone I was reading LeBron's explanation for why he hasn't spoken out about the Tamir Rice case. Rice is (I paused for a second over that "is" given that he is dead and so should the verb be "was?" But the record of people stay with us longer and in intriguingly real ways these days, so "is" it is ) the forever 12-year-old boy killed by Cleveland police who had thought his gun, a toy replica without the orange safety tip, was real. Earlier this week, a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who pulled the trigger on the black youngster.

The ESPN article explained that LeBron did make a public stand in the deaths of Treyvon Martin and Michael Brown. And in the case of Eric Garner, killed in a confrontation with New York police, L…

No-Desire Lines

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The story of the humble desire line is well documented. First, it is written by people. Then others read it and write about it in a kind of text on text.

The desire line, or desire path, is typically the easiest way to get where you are going. In the picture above, the desire line through the grass on the left of the city sidewalk makes itself seen as person after person chooses not to navigate the metal barrier bars installed by the municipal authority for reasons that person after person visibly defy into the erosion that is a desire line. 

People are drawn to the rich concept of desire lines for many reasons. They purportedly reveal the folly of blind bureaucracy. They underline the supposed wisdom of the crowd. People who say design is everything like to write about desire lines. People who celebrate individual creativity like to talk about desire lines. And so do people who are drawn to figurative language.

Indeed, desire lines are like those pieces of paper inscribed with messages …

Star Wars: Seventh Grade Awakens

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**** No spoilers. Youth preserved nicely. ****


A long time ago I was in the seventh grade, and the talk in the school hallways of my corner of the galaxy was about a new movie, Star Wars. Looking back to those now far, far away days, I realize it was my first encounter with binge viewing. It wasn't good enough to go to Star Wars. You had to go to Star Wars 80 times, like Danny McGee.

This was because Star Wars was something completely different. It didn't matter that it was the oldest storyline in the universe. It was brand new for us. And it wasn't just better than Charlotte's Web and The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Wonderful World of Disney and whatever else we were watching. It obliterated them.

There was no way back. And there was no way of knowing how many years until The Empire Strikes Back would arrive to blow our minds. The only option was to keep coaxing money out of our parents to keep watching Star Wars, keep depositing ourselves in the Londonderry Mall mov…

Oh, My Gosh!

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"Oh, my gosh!" exclaimed the girl standing with her mother in school morning sidewalk silhouette in the Glenora neighbourhood, her voice rising, as I pedalled by.

"It's beautiful!"

It was my bicycle, its main triangle now wrapped in festive LED lights (from a Michigan company called Brightz) that caused her happy verdict, which, in turn, made her mother laugh, and me, as I rode through the oatmeal streets, smile out loud, ring my bell and say: "Good morning! Hello!"

Just saying hello, or good morning, or nice dog, or thanks for pushing the crosswalk button—these little bits of human sound in the otherwise quiet commute remain one of the joys of riding a bicycle, the social vehicle.

The lights help that mission like nothing else. They certainly work faster than the speed of sound, print, or law.

Only a few blocks after the young girl had shared her joy, a voice in a park yelled, "whoooah, cool!" and then a few minutes later a driver untangli…

Day 68

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If you accept there are six months of Edmonton weather so wintry that this city could never seriously host the bicycle as a serious all-season transportation alternative, you are now into the 68th day of support for the other narrative.

Here are a few highlights from my ride home today:

Diamonds

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If your morning commute needs more diamonds, I suggest a bicycle ride through the MacKinnon Ravine in the dark in the snow. Tom Waits is optional, or not.


:)