Apr 5, 2013
commented on Savage Love
Man, I can't believe all the irrational hatred there is here for motorcycles and the people who use them. Yes, there are idiots out there on two wheels -- so don't be one of them. I've ridden motorcycles for 15 years, and the only two accidents I've had were in parking lots.
To the original letter author: You should go actually read up on motorcycle safety, rather than clinging to ignorance. There are many, many choices that you make, that affect your safety, both regarding motorcycles and in life in general. A few very simple rules will start you (or your man) in the right direction:
1) Wear all the gear, all the time. This is such a common, ingrained thing among most good motorcycle riders that it is known by an acronym -- ATGATT. It doesn't matter if you're taking the bike down the street to fill it up with gas -- you wear full protective gear. You should only expose skin that you don't want. Do not waste time with denim (no matter how thick), and even leather is an inferior material. Go buy textile-based motorcycle jacket and pants. These things contain body armor at important places (spine, elbows, hips, knees), and the material they are made out of will protect you from the road. I've seen people spill a bike at 145 mph (on a closed race-track), and literally stand up and walk away, without so much as a bruise. Also, always wear a full-face helmet; the little kaiser helmets are for fucking idiots, and the 3/4 helmets will not protect you enough.
2) Take a motorcycle riding course. There is no substitute. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation runs classes continuously, and they're only $50 or so. These classes are excellent, and they assume zero knowledge. You can show up without knowing how to use a manual transmission. The only requirements are the ability to ride a bicycle, and a willingness to learn.
3) Ride appropriately. City streets are the most dangerous place to ride, since cars are constantly entering and leaving your field of view, traffic starts/stops so frequently, etc. Highways are one of the safest places to ride (at normal speeds, not insane speeds). A closed track is even safer, since they are designed for motorcycles (so they have long, safe areas to skid out on, in case the worst happens), but most people are not going to spend the money on going to a track.
4) Wear high-visibility gear. There are tons of high-quality motorcycle jackets available, with good visibility (high-viz orange or yellow, with reflective strips). There's no excuse for not wearing high-viz.
5) But ride like they can't see you.
6) Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that a bike that is less powerful is somehow safer. Below a certain range, a less powerful bike is actually more dangerous, because you cannot quickly accelerate or maneuver in order to control your position in traffic. I religiously avoid riding in the "blind spot" of other cars and trucks, and I know this has prevented incidents. I use the power and agility of my bike to keep me visible in traffic, and to avoid blind spots and other tricky spots. A less powerful bike would work against this. Do not buy a bike that is less than 600cc.
7) Do not buy a racing bike for your first bike. No matter what, you are simply not ready for it, because racing bikes are set up for maximum acceleration under the slightest throttle control. However, do not make the mistake of confusing the form or style of a bike, for being a racing bike. Most good bikes (including good first-timer bikes) have a style that is quite similar to racing bikes -- sleek, with a faring (the plastic cover around the body). The faring is not just for style -- it serves the useful purpose of efficiently pushing air out of the way, making the ride quieter and easier to control. You (or your guy) should read reviews of bikes, and specifically focus on how a bike handles, and what the acceleration profile is. A good first bike will have a smooth acceleration profile, and will have "general-purpose" handling -- good at all speeds.
I fully expect to have a motorcycle accident someday, just like I fully expect to be in a car accident one day. It will most likely not be due to my own actions, but that changes nothing. Because I know and accept this, I prepare -- I always wear all my gear (when riding), and I always wear my seatbelt (when driving). You should really educate yourself, get over the hysterical notion that motorcycles kill everyone who touches them, and understand what kind of behavior is risky, and what is not. As I've said, I've ridden for 15 years without injury, and everyone that I know who rides, rides safely.
Apr 4, 2013
commented on Savage Love
Jesus Christ, leave the guy who wants a motorcycle alone. One of the few pleasures left in life.
Mar 27, 2013
commented on I, Anonymous
Parent here. Those parents are assholes. I would be thrilled if my (hypothetical!) nanny did something surprising and fun and cool for my kids. I don't get the extreme focus on rules, here -- life is just too good to squander it on this kind of insane shit. Oh, the kids got to meet a dog! And eat a pizza! Jesus fuckity Christ, call in the SWAT team!
It's especially bizarre to see this kind of reaction at The Stranger, where every other reader smokes pot. But pot is (or was) illegal, so let's go fucking nuts over that! Or maaaaaaybe, ethics and reality matter more than the exact letter of the law?
If you don't trust your nanny to make judgment calls like this, then you don't trust her enough to be your nanny at all.
Sep 6, 2012
commented on Savage Love
To all the Burners: The rest of us can't stand you. All you do is natter about how god-awful special your doped-up experience on the playa was, how you made some deep connection or transcended some shit. Blah-dee blah-fucking blah. And how the rest of the world is just a bunch of walking dead zombies who just don't *understand*, man...
Just shut the fuck up. We don't care. You went to a week-long rave and lived on baby-wipes and drugs. We get it, and we just don't fucking care.
Aug 27, 2012
commented on The Woman in 606
I lived in Capitol Hill for about five years. I thought it would be fun -- but it was the loneliest five years of my life. I don't have any mental health problems or whatever, so it's not like I was ever in danger of hurting myself or others. I tried to meet neighbors and new people and such, and found just an amazing level of apathy and insularity.
In a way, I get it -- Capitol Hill is really only interesting for a narrow band of people, and in retrospect, I wasn't one of them. I'm not bitter about it, but it was quite an education. I've moved since then, and am glad I did. I actually know my neighbors, and they aren't rail-thin heroin-addicted snobs.
Don't bother living in Capitol Hill unless you are 18-25, very attractive, and willing to act and dress in only very specific ways. Everyone else is really not welcome. And for a subculture that demands tolerance, it has very little.
Aug 3, 2012
commented on Runaway Train
I grew up in a neighborhood that had a nearly continuous flow of freight trainss. Maybe 10 a day, and a lot of those were coal, miles long. It was just not a problem.
Seattle people can be so pissy. And I'll bet these are the same people on the street corner, demanding jobs...
The only really problematic thing here, besides SODO residents having to wait at stop lights (oh the horror), is the issue of China burning that much more coal. But you know what? China doesn't give a fuck. China's going to get the coal, one way or the other.
Jun 22, 2012
commented on Cover Up
I love it. Texas is more liberal than Seattle. BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
Jan 4, 2012
commented on Savage Love
Married man here, been happily married for about a decade now. Before we married, we lived in a poly situation with one other, whose details are not important. Unlike a lot of poly folks, long-term poly was not really our goal. Our situation allowed all of us to treat each other with respect, and love, and to allow a transition from one person to another to happen without anger or recriminations or deception. We are all very happy with the results; two people who had been in a LTR and both wanted to dissolve it, did so, without any of the horrid fallout that often comes with break-ups. And she and I started an LTR that continues to this day, again without "fighting over a woman." To this day, we're all friends. Not FB lurkers, but for-real, actual friends. That means a lot to us all.
I know, that doesn't seem very exciting -- it's not a big, long-term polyfest with lots of partners and drama. But it's what we did. We treated each other with respect, we talked openly, and we were all better for it.
Part of our personal, informal-but-serious wedding vows to each other also included the possibility of other partners, later in life, once our marriage was clearly solid. So far that has not happened, but both of us are confident that, if one of us takes a shine to someone else, that all we have to do is ask.