Note 1

As John B. points out, there’s a hoax question hanging over the story about the Massachusetts student who says he got sweated by the Department of Homeland Security for trying to get Chairman Mao’s original, unexpurgated “Little Red Book” through interlibrary loan (see my previous post). OK — the original story does have vague elements I noticed but didn’t pay attention to: mostly the fact the entire story is secondhand. That having been said, no one has shown yet that that the story is untrue, and (famous last words) the reporter who wrote it says he stands by it. BoingBoing is doing a pretty good job following the hoax allegation.

Note 2

A long, cold bike ride in the rain sounds like it builds character (or affords one the chance to display the character you’ve already built), but: Last Saturday, I went out on what was supposed to be a 95-mile ride down to a town southeast of Berkeley called Livermore. By the time we left at 8 a.m., the chance of rain for the day was up to 60 percent — but it sounded as if the incoming storm wouldn’t arrive till mid-afternoon at the earliest. Of course, it started raining about 10:30 or so, maybe 10 miles north of our turnaround destination. Most of our little group of riders bailed and rode over to catch a commuter train back to Berkeley. Still, we were on the road for 20 miles in the rain, and by the time we got to the train station it was 39 degrees (chilly for the Bay Area). So I got to demonstrate my mettle. And since Sunday, I’ve been home sick with the first real cold I’ve had in many months. From now on, I’m going to reserve my character-building activities for warm, dry days.

5 Replies to “Notes”

  1. Sorry to hear that ride knocked you down. I myself am just beginning to understand that during the cold season, it’s especially important not to stress the body too badly. I paid for my marathon with 10 days of discomfort. Hope your bout with this cold is shorter…

  2. Hope you feel better soon. Those bike rides should carry a measure of pleasure…look, I made a rhyme…as well as a test of one’s mettle.
    As to the story about the Mao book. It may not be true, but nothing these guys in DC do particularly surprise me. And therein lies the rub. When you think people are capable of all manner of mendacity you are not inclined to accept the truth even when they are telling it. The whole domestic spy business that is now brewing is an example. I don’t think these guys would stop with badguys, because anyone that doesn’t agree with everything they say is a badguy. I’m would take Vegas odds that the government does spy on peace groups, Quakers, or for that matter, Democrats.

  3. Not that I ever saw one before but the Chinese “Little Red Book” has the more interesting title 最高指示(as seen on your link to Boing Boing) meaning “The Best Instruction(s)/Orders”.

  4. I, too, am sorry you’re illin’ as the kids say. I conveniently don’t have fenders on my bike so I don’t have to – er, can’t ride in the rain.

  5. Hope you feel better. When I was young and fearless, I would bird in the worst weather and scoff at those birders who would bird their feeders from the confines of a warm kitchen. As I get older my tolerance for bad birding weather has diminished.

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