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Tree and Bike

Posted by james on Sept. 12, 2003

<i>There once were two friends who lived near each other. They were Tree and Bike. Tree was tall and brown, with lush green leaves in the spring and summer, and twisting, stretching branches in the winter. Bike was not as tall as tree, but he liked to think of himself as Full-Sized. This is because he was originally a child's bike, and he always prided himself that he was taller than the other bikes his age. Tree was a peaceful tree, slow thinking and slow moving (as all trees are, except for a few in africa that run away at the slightest noise). Tree enjoyed the nights the most, when the nearby cars would return home, and it was all quiet except for the chorus of grasshopers and crickets. Bike, however, loved the noise of the nearby road. Above all, Bike wanted to be fast.

"Look at that! Did you see how fast that car was going?", Bike would say. Tree would groan as only trees can groan (houses can too, but then again... they're made of trees).

"It was going as fast as all the other cars here; too fast," he would say, unimpressed.

"No way!" Bike would retort, nearly slipping off his chain in his effort to look dramatically offended. "He must've been going almost 40 m.p.h.!" (Bike always said "Emm-Pee-Aych", since he had never learned that it was an abreviation)

Tree was never impressed with speed, and couldn't understand People's need for it. They were always trying to go faster, so they could go further away, and spend less time at home. He'd seen it happen; when he was a sapling he could remember people spending hours at home. They would even sit outside (!). Then he saw the cars come, and the people spent less time outside until he could barely tell one People from another People.

Tree and Bike had been friends since Bike had moved to town with his owner. At first Bike had been awed by the majestic and tall Tree, and had listened quietly to his stories. Now, however, Bike simply talked and never listened. On and on he went about how fast the cars were and what new bicycles he'd seen pass by. And constantly he reminded Tree that he was fast.

"Oh yeah," began Bike one day, just as Tree was waking up. "I'm sure I'm as fast as a slow car, and maybe faster than all the bikes in the neighborhood." Tree could never get used to how much Bike wanted to boast about himself, and lately he'd become fed up with it.

"Bike, I'm sure you could not beat even the slowest car," Tree boomed out of frustration. Bike stopped dead in his tracks, wheels ajar in surprise.

"Not even downhill?" Bike said, astonished.

"Not even downhill," Tree answered plainly. Bike made no noise, didn't even swing his chain like he always did. He just sat there in silence, squeezing and unsqueezing his brakes in frustration. "That suites me," thought Tree, and they spent the rest of the day without conversation.

But Bike could not pacify his feelings toward tree. "Who does he think he is??" thought Bike as he leaned on his kickstand. "That old tree has probably never moved in his whole life... what does he know about cars? He's never seen me go really fast, downhill with a fast rider. I would beat a car, for sure!" thought Bike assuredly. But his confidence was shaken; he knew that tree was old and wise (for trees are immensely wise, as everyone who stops to pay attention knows), and in his heart, he feared that Tree might be right. It hurt him to know that Tree thought he was simply not fast. After a night of fuming, the sun started to reach over the buildings across the street and Bike's hurt turned to anger, and finally rage.

"I'll show him," Bike hissed as a barely audible squeek of his tires. With his brakes still partly clenched and his chain taught, Bike edged towards tree, careful not to wake him. Now, trees are very heavy sleepers. It takes them hours to fall asleep in the evening and hours to wake up (in fact, everything trees do take hours), so Bike needn't have worried about waking Tree up. But Bike, being a young bike, did not know this. He crept up to Tree's trunk, and then without hesitating for fear of losing his courage, Bike took one swipe with his back wheel and rolled away as fast as he could. On his own side of the yard (which was really only a few feet away from Tree, as Bike usually slept under Tree's branches), Bike looked back on his work. The cut was there; not too deep, as Bike had been in a hurry, but there on the trunk nonetheless. Immediately Bike felt regret that he'd vandalized his own friend, but he convinced himself that it was deserved, and that Tree would wake up and not even notice, and then he quickly fell asleep.

But Tree had been awake that evening, and had even shaken his leaves in that way trees do at night while they snore, to fool Bike. He had watched Bike's slow approach, had stood still while Bike cut his trunk, and had stayed even stiller when Bike retreated and fell asleep. But Tree was not still inside. For Tree was welling up with anger and rage, that only trees can know (exceptions appropriately made to any readers that have had many of their dear friends and family chopped to peaces with axes and chainsaws while they attempted to run away, as they will know what grief trees have). But you know how slow trees can be. Tree immediately started towards Bike, which is to say that no one (except another tree) would have noticed any difference. But there was a difference, and Tree was moving, very slowly, towards Bike with one thought in mind...</i>

The other day I was sitting in my room, typing on my computer. My desk faces the window, so I can see my driveway (and yard) out of the corner of my eye. All of the sudden, I heard a cracking sound, followed by a WHOOSH and then I noticed some commotion outside. I looked, and I saw my bike, hidden underneath a tarp, and covered by a broken branch. It was a tangled mess, the branch had smashed the bike so hard that it fell to pieces on top of it. I stared for a while, was tempted to laugh, then wondered. I didn't know what to think of it...

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adventures in IM, part 2... (Updated)

Posted by james on Sept. 9, 2003

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the following rant is hard to comprehend for some. Please see the attached note at the bottom for further insight and explanation.

her: but Heather doesn't really see why a Christian guy would want to present himself in the way that Chip does
me: I don't know either, even though I understand it to some degree.
her: I do too, but not completely
me: like why Jacqueline would want to get a tattoo... a nice christian girl like that.
her: but then again, I've also grown up in a place where "men are men" and "women are women"
me: And Chip is somewhere in between?
her: ????
her: well by ppl's standards up here I guess you might be able to say that
me: Long hair, earings. The occasional dress he wears, it's all confusing. That's why he has a big truck and a motorcycle.
her: lol
me: And a large sign he wears that says "MAN" in big block letters
her: I miss you


"Think of words ending in -GRY. Angry and hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word? The word is something that everyone uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I have already told you what it is."

Send any answers, guesses, or comments to the link called "EMAIL". You will find it on your left.

Stupid. Human.

Posted by james on Sept. 4, 2003

<i>"Nationally, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile passenger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. A motorcyclist without a helmet is 40 percent more likely to incur a fatal head injury and 15 percent more likely to incur a nonfatal injury than a motorcyclist wearing a helmet when in a crash."</i>

I really want a motorcycle... Alright, anyone who's interested in donating to the James Get a Motocycle fund, use the email link on the bottom.

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