Snow Biking and Mud Cookies

Alright, I'm done bitching about the snow (yes, I know, I live in Buffalo...but this is a late blast even for us). Today was a brilliantly beautiful day full of at least a foot of newly fallen white was pristine, even on this March day. I chose to drive my vehicle to church this morning (it's the truck buried in snow a couple entries below). Bad mistake. I got stuck twice, but both times a fellow Buffalonian pushed me out without batting an eye (it's what we Buffalonians do during/after a storm). Later I drove to the JCC for a swim and a steam, and had a chance to push someone else out who was stuck. All the while I kept thinking that I would be having more fun if I were on a bike, so that's just what I did...went home, plowed my truck into a snowbank for safe keeping, and hopped on my bike.

I had a book group to attend and had to stop at my son's mother's house prior. The entire round trip was only a few miles but it felt like about ten. There were points (side streets mostly) where I had to walk the bike because the snow was simply too deep to pedal through, and there were other times were I'd see a patch of ice and have to use my patented stand-and-coast method, lest I fall. But it was a blast. I felt a real sense of accomplishment, and got some exercise at the same time. The biggest problem actually came when I left the book group to go home (after leaving the bike parked in knee-deep snow for two hours). The cable leading from the shifter to the derailleur must have had water built up in it and froze solid. This is the first time that this has ever happened. For the first half mile or so I was stuck in first gear, but with some effort I was able to free it. If that is the worst of my problems I have no problems at all.

On a different note, I recently came across a recipe that as a chef of more than 25 years never thought I would. It's this article where it talks about some Haitians that are so poor and so hungry they actually eat cookies whose main ingredient is mud! Yup, you read it correctly, mud! Apparently they use a specific dirt that is rich in minerals and vitamins. Nonetheless, it's still mud. I cannot process the thought that I could be so desperate and hungry that all that was left to do was eat mud. It makes me feel guilty.

I also came across this article that states that the war in Iraq costs us 12 billion dollars a month. Yes, here too, you did not read wrong...that's $12,000,000,000 a month (is that the correct amount of zeros?)! I wonder how much it would cost to feed those hungry Haitians that are eating mud? But at the same time, here I am sitting on my high horse ranting about the war and hungry Haitians, yet I have a full belly, food in the fridge, and a nice full glass of wine sitting next to me as I type. So how does that make me any better than the people (?) behind the war as I sit here drinking wine, typing about such mundane things as biking in the snow, yet doing nothing. I'm not sure it does, but I'm sure it's something to ponder.