An ode to intent, a word about rent, and a brief vent.

"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"
— God, probably.

Honestly, I had every intention of doing a lot for Iron Noder. I knew that one-a-day was hugely unlikely, but reckoned that one in three days I'd have something to add to the smörgåsbord that the Quest aims to spread out for us. I think this daylog will make two, I have a couple in the pipe and we're two-thirds of the way through the month. Ah well, Kevin, rejoice in the fact that you have survived a very busy and challenging month.

And it has been busy. farmers' markets have been insane, and as that means being up at a stupidly early hour three days a week (I'm talking 02:30 two days, and 03:15 on Saturdays) and napping as soon as I get home around 16:00, I'm tired both mentally and physically. Add to that the search for accommodations and friends in crisis and my will to write evaporated.

The biuggest crisis is that of a friend whose wife was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer earlier in the year. I've been helping him to navigate the classic stages of grief as well as advising him on surviving the process. His wife was told to expect six months to a year of useful life, and in fact she went into home hospice care at the end of September. His daughter was due to start at University in the autumn, and the plan was for him to fly out with her and get her settled in. He elected to stay with his wife, and his daughter duly headed out to begin her new life by herself. Sadly, she never made it. On the way from the airport, the car in which she was a passenger was involved in a head-on collision by a drunk driver. She died the following day. He had to fly out, bring back her remains and organise the memorial and funeral. That was October. To pile Ossa upon Pelion, two weeks ago he called me to tell me that his wife had died that morning.

I'm devastated for him, of course. From having a complete, loving, healthy family at the start of the year, he's now alone and grieving. His wife was in her early forties, his daughter was just eighteen.

It's not all doom-and-gloom bad news; I did find an apartment to share with a friend. I'ts closer to town and work, is in a nice green complex and I can cycle to my sweetie's place in five minutes. The downside is that it is, of course, relatively expensive, but my buddy is understanding of my plight and I'm sure it will be affordable. It does mean moving, with everything that entails, but I've pared down my possessions and it should take only a few hours with a truck to make it all happen. The worst downside is that it's happening this week, so Thanksgiving will have to take a back seat to organisation.

Rent is ridiculous in this city. As with so many university towns, rentals are in short supply and those that are available are mostly owned by big real-estate businesses and run by penny-pinching little Hitlers. I swear that when I am King (or come the Glorious Revolution, whichever comes first), these people will be the First Up Against The Wall. That said, I got lucky, as the property managers seem to have some decency and the occupants are generally regular working family people, with a smattering of post-graduates (who tend to be less party and more serious). It should work out okay.

Now the promised vent. I live in a university town, as I mentioned earlier. Not only that, but it's a town that prides itself on being bicycle-friendly; almost every major street has a bike lane, isolated from the motorists by about a yard of cross-hatched paint. There are many cycle-only paths through and around the city and the campus. At several major junctions there are lights especially for cyclists. In short, cyclists generally have an environment designed to keep them safe, and many of the residents both local and student take advantage of this and use their bicycles rather than drive. Altogether you might think that this makes the city a safer place, and normally you would be correct.

However, let's take a closer look at the cyclists themselves. As a general rule they do not have lights on their bikes, they do not wear helmets and they show a dramatic disregard for the law pertaining to road use. Almost none of them stop at stop signs, and I'm not just talking about a rolling stop, I'm talking about blowing through them at full tilt with scant regard for anyone else. As a consequence, in the past week I have seen two people hit by cyclists; one on a clearly marked crosswalk and the other actually on the pavement sidewalk. I've seen one cyclist knocked off her bike in a junction, when she cut in front of someone already traversing the intersection. I saw another knocked of her bike because she was riding it at them.

Now I am an occasional cyclist. Now that I'm living closer to town I will probably be cycling more. I enjoy it, and it saves on petrol and pollutants. But frankly I loathe those who seem to believe that they are somehow immortal, or who have no respect for other road users. Once or twice I have had altercations with cyclists who demonstrate an attitude of entitlement; one for almost hitting me when I was crossing the road (he blew a stop sign, of course). The second was someone who blew a red light as I was moving out. That one ended in police action, because he ran into the front of my truck and tried to claim otherwise. Several witnesses, seeing him getting stroppy with me, came forward. One called the cops as it seemed he was moving to try to fight me. The cops came, everyone spoke to them and I left to see him sitting on the curb surrounded by blue.

These people are idiots, and I've not even started to talk about users of electric scooters. That will have to wait for another rant.

Vent over, I'm heading out to unload some of my kitchen stuff at the new place. Wish me luck and pray that I'm not arrested for beaning a nitwit cyclist.

$ xclip -o | wc

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