It’s an okay Friday, at least, I guess

Well, as the titles says, it’s Friday, and I’m on the early train heading to the office.  I actually don’t feel terribly well this morning, and probably should just have stayed home, especially since I have tomorrow off and would thus have had a three day weekend in which to rest from whatever is ailing me.

However, I got my new bike seat post and portable tire pump with pressure gauge yesterday, and I wanted to be able to try out and ride my bike today.  So, last night I put the thing together and put it in place—more or less—and this morning I rode it to the station, getting on the second train of the day.

I say “more or less” because the seat still needs a bit of fine, and not so fine, adjustment.  For instance, the clamp that holds the seat post in place* seems to have been thrown out of whack a bit when whatever little mutant troll goblin stole my prior bike seat.  I tried to put the new seat a little higher than I’d had the one before, because they say that having your legs more extended makes for more efficient biking, but as soon as I sat on it the seat slid down into the frame pretty much as far as it would go.

Still, I really don’t like the feeling of not being able to put my feet securely on the ground, so that isn’t such a terrible thing.  Maybe, if I get more used to biking and feel thoroughly at home doing it, I’ll feel better about adjusting it higher.  In any case, I ended up having to bring the seat and post with me on the train, and to the office, because I found that my cable was too thick to fit between the spaces in the frame of this bike seat, and I didn’t want to leave the seat unsecured on this, my first day using it, especially since it’s a holiday and foot traffic in and around the station might be light, and so make the seat more prone to be stolen.

I hate the fact that I have to worry about such things.  It’s one thing to need to worry about mechanical failures and the like; things fall apart, as the poem says.  But people who do things like steal someone else’s bike seat need just a quick death and an anonymous burial.

At least, that’s how I feel about it.  Fortunately (for me and for others) I don’t consider feelings to be reliable guides to action.

It’s amazing how out of condition my legs and everything else has gotten after only a week without using the bike (and despite having walked about forty miles so far this week).  It was really a bit of a struggle to keep going at times, and I rode in low gear at least half way to the station.  I really feel fatigued to an inordinate degree.  I suppose that will go away relatively quickly, unless there is something truly wrong with me physically**.

Oh, right!  The conductor made her announcement and thereby reminded me that it’s “Good Friday” today, and will be Easter on Sunday—the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, as my sister taught me decades ago, and which I still remember in precisely those words.  I guess there’s nothing remarkable about the fact that the specific words are how I recall it.  After all, they are concise, precise, and clear.  Why change them?

Anyway, for those of you who celebrate these holidays, please enjoy them.

I hopefully will make use of my new bike a bit this weekend.  At least having the seat with me today will allow me to adjust the pitch of it slightly, because this morning it was leaning back somewhat, and I didn’t want to get out my socket wrench—which I have brought with me, oh yes—and adjust it early in the dark of the morning.  That’s one of my difficulties when it comes to getting such things done:  I am only at the house before dawn or after dusk, so it’s a pain to do anything that requires light, even though there is, of course, a good outdoor porch light in my entry area behind the house.

I still feel a little fatigued and out of breath, even as I write this, and it’s been more than half an hour since I got to the train station.  We’re almost to my stop.  I hope this doesn’t persist, because it’s annoying.  If there’s something wrong with my lungs or heart, I wish it would just go full catastrophic and kill or at least thoroughly disable me, rather than lead to some gradual, annoying deterioration.

But nature doesn’t respond to requests, unfortunately.  I was going to write that it doesn’t take them, but it takes them fine—you can request things all you want.  It just doesn’t respond.  It doesn’t know you’re making a request.  It doesn’t know you exist, frankly, as far as we can tell.

As the saying goes, “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.”  Of course, you cannot do anything other than obey nature.  That’s the nature of nature.  That’s why we refer to “laws of nature” rather than “suggestions of nature” or “requests of nature”.  Wishes don’t do anything—but learning about nature, learning its rules, and applying them to your best advantage can be useful.

This is what lies at the heart of the saying.  It’s not implying that you could choose not to follow the laws of nature, merely that, if you want to get things done, you should know how nature works as well as you can and apply that knowledge with creativity, with determination, with discipline.  Then you’ll be able to achieve remarkable things.

You won’t be able to revoke or waive the law of gravity, for instance, but you may be able to use fluid dynamics and chemistry and thermodynamics and the like to make a structure that will use the air to create a force powerful enough to overcome the pull of gravity, and which will let you fly through the air at speeds never achieved by any organism in its “natural” state.

Wishing won’t get you from Detroit to Florida in two hours, but science and technology can.  Science and technology can even get people to the moon and back.

Anyway, that’s enough for this week.  Have a nice weekend, whether you celebrate it as a holiday or not.  I’ll do what I can at least to get some rest and, hopefully, to get a bit more adjusted to my bicycle again.

happy easter basic

*I don’t really know any of the “proper” terminology, so if there are bicycle aficionados reading and they can give me better, more useful terms, I would welcome the input.

**One can always hope.

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