Why, Hello Again.

Wow. It’s been quite a while since I last posted. So much has happened over the past 6 or so years.

My Aunt Margie did die, I was laid off from Gannett in one of its interminable belt-tightening rounds and I co-founded a digital news site for the town in which I live.

And that was all in 2013.

Last year, a physical, printed newspaper was added to the fold. Kind of reverse what the industry is doing. But people are enjoying it, and advertisers are supporting it, so who am I to question?

I’ve never worked harder in my life than I have in these past 5-plus years. And along the way, I’ve learned some things about myself – and about people in general – that I might not have otherwise.

I’ve also been able to put into play skills that I’ve been developing for decades. Not just reporting and writing, but ad copy writing, page design and layout, photography. And sales, of all things

I haven’t put in so many all-nighters since I was in college. But people are responding, and they tell us all the time that they appreciate what we do. So that kinda makes up for the lost sleep.

I’ll try to be more diligent about posting here. Maybe I’ll have some news about future (non-news) writing projects.

See you later.

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Some things you can’t explain.

Last night, I had two nightmares.

They had no “story lines,” as most of my dreams do. They were just images, accompanied by something I can only describe as a pronounced feeling of fright. A really intense feeling of being scared.

The images were of graves. And now that I think about it, I’m not sure they were separate; I think it was the same nightmare with an interruption when I partially, briefly, awoke. Perhaps I wasn’t awake long enough to completely dismiss the original image.

Then earlier today, I found out that my last remaining aunt. who turned 100 years old in November and who is suffering from cancer, was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Her doctor doesn’t think she’s going home from this one.

Intuitive? Coincidence? Something else?

Who knows?

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The last 100

Well, tomorrow is the last century (100 mile) ride I’ll try this season, and probably the last organized ride I’ll go on.

I’ll save a later post, after tomorrow’s adventure, to sum up this past season. It’s been a great one, though, with many personal bests set.

Of course, the only PB I’m really interested in is on my Fisher House Foundation fundraising page. Hopefully, those of you who have promised donations will click the link or write the check soon; I have till the end of the year for it to count.

About tomorrow’s ride:

This is the Twin Lights ride, put on by Bike New York. (I know.) It’s a tour through Monmouth County’s back roads, which I’m really looking forward to.

The folks who plan these routes always add a few miles to the stated distance, so the 100 mile ride is really 104 miles.

The ride description says the route goes through towns such as Oceanport; I’m looking forward to ride the roads I rode when I was a kid.

Back in the early- to mid-1970s, I had dreams of being a bicycle racer. My dad bought me a 10-speed — I think it was a Columbia, but I can’t really recall — that I would ride everywhere. When I got semi-serious about wanting to race, I’d take it on training rides from my house in Oceanport, through Long Branch and into West End. That’s where I’d stop to have a hot dog at the Windmill. A guy’s gotta eat, right?

Then I’d hop back on the bike and make my way back home.

I never did get too serious about racing, though. Don’t remember why, I’m sure some shinier object caught my eye.

So tomorrow’s going to be a bicycle homecoming for me, a chance to relive the old roads. I took a 50-mile tour through Monmouth County earlier in the summer, but that was in sections I didn’t hang in regularly when I was little.

There won’t be the constant impediments of the NYC Century — the stop lights, incessant stop signs, idiot drivers pulling out of parking spaces — so I’m going for a PB in time, as well. I’m hoping I can get through the route in a least 6 1/2 hours. We shall see.

And hopefully the weather will hold out; the latest report I’ve seen is calling for thunderstorms in the late afternoon. So that’s more incentive to step up the speed.

As always, I’m riding to raise awareness of the existence of the Fisher House Foundation, and of what it does for military families. Please check out the links below, and if you feel moved to, please donate.

And, if you’re on the road tomorrow and see me and my yellow jersey, honk or wave or something.



Why I do this.

I’m cycling to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides “comfort homes” on  major military base and VA hospital campus to military, retirees, veterans and their families. The homes are used for stays while the hospital’s services are needed.

I’ve set as my goals this season 6 rides from the end of July through September, including up to three “Century Rides” of 100 miles.

I know first-hand what a tremendous service Fisher Houses provide; I stayed in one in West Palm Beach, Fl. while my dad was in his final illness. He any my mom also stayed in that particular home when he needed to visit the VA hospital there for routine things.

When you’re going through the stress of a loved-one’s illness, not having to worry about where you’re going to stay, or getting something to eat, is a great relief. On top of that, at the Fisher Houses are people who understand what you’re going through, and are there to lend a hand or a shoulder.

Please visit my donation page and, if you can, make a pledge. All the money pledged goes directly to the organization, which has been awarded four stars (out of four) by Charity Navigator and an A+ designation by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

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