If more of us rode on days like this, wouldn’t we be filtering the air, making it better for everyone else?

My phone actually tried to self-filter the haze; it looked a lot worse than this.
There was no way I wouldn’t be riding today. Last Sunday was a very easy ride with my friend Larry (people who live in Houston don’t climb very fast), and I missed out on Thursday’s ride due to the medical conference I attended. So today I was feeling like I really needed a ride, precisely because I felt like it wouldn’t be tough making an excuse not to. The air wasn’t very pretty. Kevin felt quite a bit worse; he’d also skipped the Thursday ride (for no good reason other than the fact I wasn’t there) and felt like he was coming down with a cold.

The plan was the usual, but we shortened it up a bit after getting to the other side of Old LaHonda and seeing the coast looked worse than the bay side. Should mention that there was NOBODY on Old LaHonda. Nobody. We saw one, just one bike coming down the hill, zero going up. Almost no cars either. Spookily quiet. Guess everyone believed the sign at the bottom, that said the road was going to be closed about 3/4 of the way up the hill, for tree work. You’re wondering why we went up anyway? Well, I wondered if they would really be doing that work on a Sunday, and if they were, it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing if we had to turn around and get in the miles elsewhere. It’s not like we’d be disappointed because there’s something really special about making it to the top of Old LaHonda, not after doing it a few hundred times anyway. As it turned out, no work of any kind going on today, nor is it likely anything tomorrow (Monday) on Veteran’s Day.

I’m not even going to look at our time up the hill; it was slow. Kevin just wasn’t feeling it today, but he did get better as we went. On the other side we tried a “Facebook Live” video, reporting on the smoke, something which I’m sure has been seen by at least 2 or 3 people by now?

West Alpine was even-slower. We did stop to take the photo seen above, but even if we hadn’t, the time still would have been about 55 minutes.

Still surprises me that so few were out riding. The air wasn’t that bad. Your throat might have felt a bit dry, but we weren’t hacking, and if we had run into issues, we could have called for a ride back. And, as I mentioned, we were feeling better as the ride progressed. Plus, the longer we rode, the more we filtered out the smoke, making it better for everyone else!

Life Insurance guy tells me I’m in denial? That I’m going to die sooner than I think?

Still trying to figure out if it’s some sort of oddly-worded hard sell or the world’s most clueless or perhaps insensitive life insurance person ever. Here’s the story-

This morning, I get a phone call from my life insurance guy. Don’t ask me why I have a life insurance guy. He seemed to come attached to a former accountant for our business. Whatever, back in 2010 I bought a fairly decent policy, at a time my health was so good that the price seemed like something I couldn’t pass up. I would have been 54 at the time. It wasn’t for another two years that I picked up my first real health issue and started going to the doctor again and accumulating a medical record such that life insurance would no longer be a reasonable possibility.

Two items that, individually, might have kicked me into higher-cost premiums than I could rationalize (first Raynauds, a circulation issue that effects your extremities, and later my breathing issues that require meds for a type of asthma), but together would have likely made only the most-expensive policies available to me. But, no biggie, life goes on, already have the insurance policy, and figure it’s just money I’m paying into for which I’ll never see a benefit.

Well today I get to tell my life insurance guy that it’s a good thing I got the policy when I did because I’ve not got a very mild type of bone marrow cancer. Something that likely won’t shorten lifespan, so I’m fine.

He tells me, outright, no sugar coating, that “You shouldn’t be in denial. It will shorten your life.” What???!!! This guy knows nothing of the details of my particular cancer. I just got back from a conference on my particular cancer, in which a lot of time was spent on the expected lifespan and quality of life issues for the different variations. And, for me, things look pretty darned good. I’m really comfortable with that.

But what if this guy had said what he’d said when I didn’t have all the facts, when I was concerned about things going south much earlier? In other words, at a time I was really shaken up about mortality issues, where for a time, were quite a concern? I likely wouldn’t have reacted as benignly as I did on the phone this morning, that’s for sure. I was intellectually engaged and extremely curious about where he was going with this conversation, but fortunately, entirely detached from any sort of negative emotions.

I’d feel most comfortable about the conversation if I could figure out a purely financial motivation for his odd almost-lecture about my denial, but I really can’t. Maybe it’s part of his own self-rationalization, a way of proving to himself that he’s doing the right thing, selling people something they hopefully don’t need. But I think that should come, if it should come up at all, when you’re trying to sell someone a policy, not when you hear it’s possible they might need to actually use it. 🙂