Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Musette (Updated)

(Image from CNN)

(Note: The update included a link to the TV news story about cable barriers.)

Tulsa Joint Base Communications

Steve Sanner is writing an article for one of our internal newsletters based on an idea I sent about encouraging bicycle commuting.


Commuting to work on a bicycle “Saves money, gives you exercise and its fun” says Ed Wagner, AMT, CRO Avionics Shop 260-5. In view of the continuing rise in the price of gasoline and the push for ‘going green’, Ed proposes that AAers step out of the cars and onto their bicycles.”


The company is making a big push to green up its image since we burn tons of fossil fuel every day. But my pitch didn't address their image. My idea was to promote safety both on and off the job. The very first training an incoming employee receives here is in shop safety, so it's in both the company's and the employee's interest to maintain safety awareness.


I said that with gasoline prices here expected to exceed $4 per gallon this summer, more employees will turn to their dusty bicycles for transportation. Some may ride to work. Others may just ride to the grocery store. Regardless, they should have some awareness of safe bicycle operation.


I'll write more about this as it develops. Once Steve publishes his piece, I'll include it here. My hope is that we can develop a plan or a pattern that can be duplicated at other large companies interested in promoting employee health and greening up their images.



Volunteer Awareness Expo

We had an expo at work with 40 different charity organizations looking for fresh volunteers. I walked over to talk with Duane Friesen who volunteers with the multiple sclerosis group. We talked about the enormously popular MS150 ride, and he signed me up as a member of the company bicycle club.


The women from the Tulsa Community Food Bank got my attention too, simply by giving me a cookbook for Mary. Now I owe them a favor, an obligation I'll have to re-pay with some volunteer work. I'll write about that too. Everything is fodder for the content beast!



Dave

It's cold and windy here in Tulsa. I walked across the parking lot feeling like Dr. Zhivago in a blizzard. “Tanya! Tanya!” I know. It means nothing unless you've read the book or seen the movie. Let's say it was cold and leave it at that.


So I was dressed in layers, a skull cap on my head, an over-sized hoodie with a vest over it, baggy carpenter's pants, and work boots. As I left the expo, a voice behind me loudly said, “Who let the homeless guy in?” It was my friend Dave. Now, I'm hardly a sharp dressed man, but do I look homeless? At least strangers don't walk up and offer me money for a meal – not that I'd turn them down, of course.



Highway Safety 'Improvements'

KTUL in Tulsa did a story about replacing steel or concrete barriers with cable devices meant to retain motor vehicles on the highway, absorbing the impact of a crash and causing reduced injuries to the occupants. Great idea – unless you happen to be on 2 wheels. For a bicyclist or a motorcyclist, these devices are more akin to a cheese grater. Granted, I wouldn't want to hit a concrete or steel barrier wall, either, but the cable design is far worse. The cables are bad enough, but there's a vertical post every couple of feet too. They may not offer much hazard to someone inside a car or truck, but a cyclist can easily impact them with a limb or his head. Even at the relatively low speeds that bicycles normally travel, I would not want to hit a vertical post.


The cables are cheap, and apparently our lives are equally cheap to the state highway department.


Here's a link to the television station's story:

http://www.ktul.com/news/stories/0308/501850.html?ref=home

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4 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

You're wearing a hoodie! You must be the Times Square bomber.

I've only seen the cable barriers installed in highway medians. Why would crash barriers be installed at the sides of roads?

I'm looking forward to seeing that article.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Call 460-1170 EVERY morning, 7-9 a.m., and harass 'em about bikes. They've been yakkin' about it lately.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

You actually listen to those yahoos, Paul? It's a cesspool of right wingnuts. I'd have to wash my hands after touching the radio.

All kidding aside, I simply cannot listen to their venom and bile.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

For Fritz -

Yep, I have an over-sized hoodie made of some synthetic fiber - probably recycled soda bottles. The kids gave it at Christmas a few years ago and it's become one of my favorite winter garments. I like it because I can pull the hood up over my face here at work and fall asleep over lunch. And at home, where our bedroom is the coldest room in the house, I can watch television or read and pull that hood up to stay warm. It's like having a wearable sleeping bag.

In all the coverage I've read on that bombing, one thing strikes me as odd. The police are looking at subway cameras from 10 blocks away. That would be a mile in NYC, I think. They saw someone exit with a bicycle. Also, they found a bike in a dumpster a few blocks away. News reports make it out as the 'getaway vehicle'. Forgive me, but I do not see the connection. If the bomber had used a blue Ford and a blue Ford was parked a couple of blocks away, would it be assumed to be the criminal's vehicle? I don't think so. It's just as irresponsible to jump to conclusions about the bicycle bomber.

Other news: Number One Son and I are going to Claremore this afternoon so he can take his driver's test. Pray for my sanity either way. If he passes, he'll be insufferable. If he fails, he'll be a real PITA for a few days. I cannot win here.

2:35 PM  

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