Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 1973 - Blog for Choice

A woman's right to bodily autonomy was my political awakening. I was 16 and completely politically apathetic in 2003 when the Bush administration used their brand new mandate to shoulder through a new piece of legislation: The Partial Birth Abortion Ban.

That was all it took. I was a done deal. I immediately saw the incredible hypocrisy of this conservative, small government president (government so small it can fit in my uterus?) and it pissed me the hell off. I've argued for and championed women's rights ever since. That's what this post is for.

Today is the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, probably the most famous case the Supreme Court has ever ruled on because it gets under people's skin like very little else. And when it comes those of us who care deeply, no matter the side, there's no swaying us. We talk at each other. I've been vocalizing my support for women's rights for nearly ten years, and I've only worked one person back over the line with me. It's not an easy topic.

But it's one I continue to discuss because it continues to be an issue. Elected on a platform of economic issues, this 112th Congress pushed twice the anti-choice legislation in 2011 than in any previous year. Apparently, the GOP spells "jobs" u-t-e-r-u-s. And they're pushing this legislation through to take our county backwards, even as Americans themselves move forwards. So much of our government is pandering to (to quote the Daily Show) a small but vocal group of elderly lunatics.

Most Americans support abortion rights. Conditionally, yes, but they don't cop to this bullshit about eliminating it entirely, like, say, the uber-religion governor of my state. But even if the majority of Americans don't support the unconditional right to terminate a pregnancy, this is one of those situations where we need our government to be better than us. To handle what we cannot.

I talk about it because the conversation won't end. These people who call themselves "pro-life" will continue to execute doctors, and to promote their assassination and label them targets. To bomb our clinics and harass any woman who dares use their services. And then they stick their god in my government to legislate my body.

On this anniversary, as on every anniversary, NARAL (a previous employer!) promotes their Blog for Choice day. So I am blogging for choice. I'm an insignificant blip, but I am a blip. I exist. I have a voice and just as importantly I have a vote. I vote for Eddie Bernice Johnson. I vote against Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn and Rick Perry and I am vocal about it.

And just sayin: Abortion Rates Are Higher In Counties Where Procedures Are Illegal

Things I forgot to include:

Reproductive coercion: In a relationship, it's sexual violence. When it's state-mandated, it's just being a good Christian.

And the Texas sonogram law that just cleared the courts? That ain't always a jelly-on-the-belly sonogram. "The vast majority for women in their first trimester of pregnancy will be done by a vaginal probe." A) So much for any sense of privacy or freedom from government intrusion and b) the state is going to force a doctor to put a stick up a woman's vagina? Is it just me or does that fit the FBI's updated definition of rape?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Link Roundup

A day late. Damn you, SOPA! Tell Congress: Don't censor the web!

Accident Raises Urgency for Bike Lanes in Dallas (Seriously? Fuck you, Dallas. You AND the SUV you rode in on)
"I Didn't See the Cyclist" Isn't a Defense, It's an Admission of Guilt
Biking + Farmer's Market = Velo Fare Cookbook (Recipe)
Biking In Dallas » Dallas Bicycle Cafe coming soon!

Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics
7 Things Poor Voters Want Rich Candidates (and Their Rich Supporters) to Know
5 Things More Likely to Save Marriage Than an Anti-Porn Crusade
12 Times Stephen Colbert Interrupted Politics 
Gingrich Suggests Illegally Firing Federal Employees Over Liberal Views

No More Highlight Reels: How SOPA Would Hurt Sports Fans
Movie Flops Are Driving Internet-Killing Bills in Congress
Infographic: Why the movie industry is so wrong about SOPA
What are the REAL motivations behind support for SOPA?

New Hampshire Introduces Bills to Defund Planned Parenthood, Weaken Domestic Violence Laws (GOP to Women: "No, seriously. We couldn't give less of a shit about you. Make me a sandwich") 
Teen Birthrate Plummets Because Girls Can Actually Get Birth Control
Santorum Campaign Worker Believes God Doesn't Want a Female President
Abortion Rates Are Higher In Countries Where Procedure Is Illegal, Study Shows

Science and the Environment
Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms
At the Consumer Electronics Show, a New Focus on Recycling Old Gadgets
CES 2012: 3 Examples of Sony's Mantra, "Do More With Less"
Collar Camera Offers Unique Glimpse of Life as a Grizzly Bear

Architecture and Design
Wind-Powered Land Mine Clearing Device is Nominee for London Design Museum's Design of the Year Award 
Industrial Piping, Recycled Into One of a Kind Shelving 
200 Chinese Workers Erect a 30 Storey Prefabricated Hotel in Just 15 Days 
Embodied Energy and Green Building: Does it matter? 
How To Build a Resilient Design: Make it Smaller, Higher, Stronger and Warmer 

The Rise And Fall Of Poverty Porn 
On the New York Times and Truth Vigilantes: The Place of the Media is NOT Stenographic Journalism
New York Times Public Editor Asks Readers To Weigh In On Whether Or Not Reporters Should Attempt Some Sort of 'Reporting'

Pretty Cool
There Flows the Neighborhood: Follow the Booze to the Next Big Block
What the Right Gets Right
Cuppow - Turn a Canning jar into a Travel mug
Coffee Is For Closers: 14 Of The Most Impressive Monologues In Movie History
The Cast Of Community As The X-Men

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just Sayin


I'm blacking out for the day in solidarity with Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist and a ton of other sites. I know I'm tiny and inconsequential, but enough of us tiny folks add up to one regular folk so ... 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh no

So after Dallas said it's too broke to paint in bike lanes as they go through basic street repair, a cyclist was struck and nearly killed crossing a bridge from Oak Cliff to downtown this weekend. A bridge that was a focal point of the proposed bike plan, because it's, you know, dangerous.

If you haven't seen the story, here it is on WFAA.

Please keep Dallas and his wife in your thoughts. Word is he's already able to talk and the doctors think that, with therapy, he should eventually make a full recovery. Looks like this is an instance in which they were able to snag the driver who did it as well.

If anyone has any links where we can help support either Dallas the person or Dallas the (lack of) bike plan, please leave them in the comments.

It is 7:10 AM on January 16

Who has two thumbs and rode to work this morning in September clothes? This girl ...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You can't see what you're not looking for

Last weekend was the going away party for two of my first friends from Dallas cycling, Waly and Jigna. They headed up Bike Friendly Knox Henderson, the first cycle group I started riding with—some of those rides, like down to the DMA for concerts on Thursdays, are why I started the blog. Their going away party was full of Dallas's recreational cycling finest.

I was talking to Amanda from Dallas Cycle Chic and she pointed me towards this video:

You're going to have to watch it twice. 

The video makes an incredible point—you don't see what you're not looking for. Dallas is not a cycling city. Although we feel like a community, cyclists in Dallas are a virtually non-existent fraction of the moving population and the cars don't realize there's even a chance they'll encounter one of us on the road (unless they're near White Rock, and then they just get mad). Hopefully this kind of video can get a little viral support, because it makes a good point and it makes it well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Link Roundup

Foot Strike and Injury Rates in Endurance Runners: a retrospective study
Marathon Runners Face Low Risk Of Cardiac Arrest : NPR

Rick Santorum Is Wrong: Lack of Healthcare Kills
The Santorum Effect: Why Sex and Culture Debates Are Recession-Proof 
Chart of The Day: Presidential Recess Appointments
How the Oil Industry Manufactured the Myth of the 'Energy Voter'
A Pennsylvanian's Guide to the Rick Santorum You Don't Know
Abortion-Rights Group Faults GOP Presidential Field : NPR
Over Two-Thirds Of Corporations Pay No Federal Corporate Income Tax 

Iowa Caucus: What's in it for Women? 
Rick Santorum wants women to have lots of babies, whether they like it or not
New Abortion Laws By Year (Chart)
Generous Governor Pardons Men Who Murdered Their Wives
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Heroine, Issues Smackdown to Opponents of Planned Parenthood
Slut Shaming: 13-Year-Old Explains Why It's Wrong In YouTube Video

Another Researcher Complains That an Anti-Gay Group Distorted Her Work
Child Abuse Rate At Zero Percent In Lesbian Households, New Report Finds 

Occupy Christian Oppression 
Rick Santorum’s Idea of Freedom: Enforcing Catholic Sexual Morality 

Still “Lying to Children”: How No Child Left Behind Corrupted Education 

Science and the Environment
MIT Researcher Explains Why Gas Mileage is Still Low Despite Advances in Fuel Economy
This is What the U.S. Would Look Like Without Environmental Protection 
The 2011 Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards

Design and Architecture
TreeHugger at CES 2012: Our Hopes and Frustrations for Green In Consumer Electronics
DIY Shipping Pallet Bookshelf and Bike Rack Looks Quick and Easy
Built on Stilts: Tom Kundig's Sol Duc Cabin

What gear to I need to start: Rock climbing 

New Year's Detox
50 Healthy Recipes to Kick Off 2012
Five Packaged Foods You Never Need to Buy Again

Just Fucking Awesome
Fuck No Rick Santorum 
INCIDENTAL COMICS: Design Like Nobody's Watching
Pentagon Scientists Use ‘Time Hole’ to Make Events Disappear
What to tip your waiter (almost) everywhere in the world
25 clever ideas to make life easier
How To Sleep For Free (How I Saved $18,000 While Traveling)
21 podcasts to check out
Introducing the Greatest Cosmetic Product Known to the Mankind: Fotoshop by Adobe

Hindsight: I really don't like Rick Santorum

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cold weather riding

For Christmas, my mother got me some gear from Luke's Locker. I'm a Run On! girl myself, but cold-weather gear is cold-weather gear, so I was stoked. Granted, it didn't quite work out—the more I run races, the more dry-fit t-shirts I get—but hey, that was a lot of store credit to use! I got a new jacket, a new pair of compression tights (yay!) and a few extra pieces to help me out.

The gloves are "wind resistant" and, go figure, they work! As we all know, the wind is the most painful part about winter cycling. The base cold we can deal with, cycling warms us up fast enough, but the wind? That can cut right through. I believe the brand is Manzella, they set me back $30 aaaaaand worth it! I'm thinking about sometimes layering a set of sweat-absorbent gloves underneath and see if that adds any extra warmth as the temperature drops.

And the headband? I've been trying to get by with the kind of silly hats I have (I have a lot of silly hats) and those weren't quite doing it. I haven't gotten a winter liner for my helmet—I have hair, nature's liner!—but my ears get so cold and this thing does the trick. Obviously Nike, and it has little reflective bits on it! If anyone's wondering, it will muss up your hair a bit but no more than a helmet (and makeup, it doesn't stretch a whole whole lot and can scrape past your face).

I've got a set of running tights that are crap for running, but they are full-length and make a great layering piece, same for a long-sleeved top. So, yay! Winter cycling!

Yeah, that's Texas winter cycling. It got into the 70s last week. Because of course.

But in the winter, the DART station is deserted. There use to be seven or eight of us on the platform in the mornings, now I'm by myself, or maybe there's one other person and that's not exactly comforting. Luckily we're past the solstice, so the days are only going to get longer. Can't wait!

Funny things I spotted:

Plano has a historic district?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things that make my day

I've got a bit on cold weather gear in the works, but as a holdover ...

Yes, he really said it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(Two Weeks Worth of) Link Roundup

Why We SHOULDN’T Wear Helmets
10 bicycling myths debunked
Bike Lanes and Learning Curves

Now We're Cooking: How to Get Americans Back in the Kitchen
Eaters, beware: Walmart is taking over our food system
7 Cheap and Easy Vegetarian Meals

Gay Community Apologizes to Cheating Minnesota Rep for Ruining Her Marriage
An Open Letter to People Who Hate Gay People

98 Percent of Welfare Applicants Pass Florida Drug Test
Are Iowa's Republican Frontrunners Taking Cues from Sharia Law?
God’s undue influence on U.S. politics
The Story Behind Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters
Gingrich thinks Palin would be a darned fine energy secretary

The GOP’s 10 Most Extreme Attacks On A Woman’s Right To Choose An Abortion 
Frat Email Explains Women Are "Targets," Not "Actual People" 

The Christian Persecution Complex

Design and Architecture
Sony Develops a Battery That Runs on Paper
Beautiful Home Carved into Quarry Wall Enjoys Natural Air Conditioning
Living with Less: 229 square foot lofts have everything you need to live

Science and the Environment
Environmentalists Should Learn from Gay Rights Activists 
7 Ways Going Green Will Make You Lose Weight in 2012

diy project: neon tag giftwrap and decor
diy project: paper snowflake mini-garland

Cops to Jogger Hit by Truck: "Don't try to jog to work, dumb$@!%" (Video) 

Just Fucking Cool
Trust Us, It's Not Just The Accents: Our Favorite Cravat-Wearing Brits
Ain't That A Kick In The Rectum? The Best Literary Adaptations Of 2011
Sesame Street Generation: Why S Now Stands for Smarter
2012’s Most Anticipated Movies: Dark Knight Rises, Hunger Games, More

Monday, January 2, 2012

A little Katy Trail etiquette

For Walkers and Runners

• Do not walk/run/meander three abreast. You take up an entire lane and force anyone passing you into on-coming traffic

• If you are two abreast, try to hug the righthand side of the trail. It's just polite

• Keep your headphones at a reasonable volume. You need to hear people behind you as they warn you they're approaching

• There are points where you enter/exit the main trail for the pedestrian trail. Please, check behind you before suddenly dashing in front of an unsuspecting on-comer

• Don't put yourself in the middle of the trail (unless you're passing people breaking rule #1) Don't just ... chill in the middle

For Parents

• In regards to babies, the three-abreast rule applies double to you—your carriages are a huge roadblock and they add an extra level of stress for anyone passing you

• In regards to older children, please don't let them out of your sight. There's something terrifying about a lone six-year-old struggling on rollerblades

For Dog-Walkers

• An idea: stick to the right hand of the trail and perhaps keep the leash in your right hand? Your dog doesn't know the difference between the the paved trail and the dirt just to the side, and it leaves more space for people

• Don't let your dog run crazy all over the place, animals can be very unpredictable and that makes them a huge hazard. If you cannot control your dog, consider a dog park where they can run around instead

• Pretty please, find a visible leash. Those long skinny ones are like trip wires and no one can see them coming. Considering the momentum a cyclist carries, this is as big a benefit for you as for us—the sudden impact of the crash could easily snap Fido's neck and then I'd feel bad because your dog doesn't deserve to pay for your idiocy

For Cyclists


Bells work, but a friendly "On your left!" works better. It's a little more specific

• You are the car of the trail. As much as you like cars to look out for you, look out for pedestrians. Expect the unexpected and be ready to dodge out of the way

For Motorcyclists

• If I see that fucknugget on my trail again I will kick him over so help me ... 

For the Asshat Who Tipped My Bike Where She Sat Outside My Apartment

• She was sitting innocently locked up and not in anyone's way, what the hell is your problem

For Everyone

• Smile and enjoy a beautiful day, a good run, a chat with friends. Respect the trail and respect the people around you and most of all, have fun :)