Friday, July 22, 2005


that’s it, the blog is over. every time i check it or my email, i get further and further down. friendships i have needed and depended on are threatening to vanish. that’s the last thing i ever wanted.

wait, wait a minute man...what are you talking about?

this site. i originally intended it to include my thoughts and outlook on life. just share what’s in the attic. sure, not everyone is going to agree, but i figured no worries. to me, it’s like this: i like eggplant. i know people who do not like eggplant and they may or may not know that i like it. doesn’t matter. so let’s say, to these non-eggplant liking people, i go on record that, hey, you know what, i like eggplant. shouldn’t matter, right? i’m going to continue eating eggplant, they’re going to continue not eating eggplant. not trying to start an eggplant revolution or anything. i may think to myself, “man, they’re missing out, it’s so good!” but they’re going to think to themselves, “dude, that’s so disgusting, how can he eat that junk?” and life will go on. that’s what i imagined. but that figment withers away every time i check this site.

so what’s actually happening?

people, dear friends, are accusing me of wanting to make everyone in the world an eggplant aficionado. and that’s never been the case. sure, i may have directly alluded that all the non-eggplant eaters are really missing my opinion. but i figured, hey, it’s my blog and i can do that. and if someone doesn’t agree, that’s fine. there’s no parliamentary precept that homology is imperative. i would think we could agree on the nonnecessity of a need for total agreement. and if not, put the mouse in the upper right hand corner, click the “x,” done.

enough with the eggplant. give me a concrete example.

ok, one example is that i said that i think many (not all) people work too hard and many are miserable for it and people who are such should have the confidence to quit their jobs and start fresh with whatever their passion is.

that sounds reasonable.

yes, that’s what i thought.

so where’s the problem?

well, people wrote back saying that i am telling them that they are miserable and that they should quit their jobs.

but you never said that.


well, it seems to me that someone who read that and wasn’t miserable in their job would just read it and perhaps feel sad for anyone that was miserable with their career. end of story..

no, you see, that’s just the beginning. because people are inferring that my website is a personal address directed at each one of them.

is it?

no! it’s just a massive missive of my opinions! that’s it.

well, then why is it being interpreted as such?

i think it’s because of some of the, and i hate to use this word but i will, unconventional views i have. in other words, much of what i feel and do is in direct opposition to what most others feel and do. which is fine, right? i mean, who really cares? but when they read what i write, i think they feel it is a direct personal attack.

again, you’re going to have to help me and give me a solid example.

ok, the baby thing. currently, i don’t want kids. that’s my opinion and i have my reasons and i’ve stated them. so does this mean i think anyone who has kids is inherently evil? no way! not at all! why? because they wanted kids. and they did what they wanted to do. and i think that’s great and have no problem whatsoever with that. i like kids! different things bring different kinds of happiness to different people. that’s what makes the world great.

again, that sounds what’s all the fuss about?

i don’t know bro! i’ll go deeper with another example. engagement and wedding rings. to me, they’re a waste of money. i think that money could be spent on things like a child’s education, a vacation, food, whatever. that’s how i feel. so does this mean that when i meet a married couple who wear wedding rings, i elevate myself to some platform, look down on them, point, and declare, “ha ha ha, you unenlightened fools, you! maybe someday, but probably not, you will reach my stratum of shrewdness and realize what nincompoops you are!!”? no way! all it means is that they value things differently than me. hey, they might be taken aback when they meet my fiancee and see she doesn’t have a ring. and maybe they’ll feel she should have a ring, or maybe they won’t even care. the point is, it doesn’t matter!

well, hIrSch, if it doesn’t matter, then why write about it?

because i think it challenges some people to possibly think about things they might not have otherwise, and based on what they think and how they respond, it challenges me and the views i hold.

like what?

like showering. i would say most people leave the water on the entire time they shower and that they’ve never really thought about it. i believe leaving the water on is unnecessary and a bit wasteful. so i don’t. now, someone who reads that might think, “i leave the water on the entire time i shower, and you know what, i find it quite enjoyable and am going to continue to do it.” and that’s fine! they’ve heard a differing opinion, briefly considered it, and decided against it. done. the same goes with uneaten food at restaurants. so many people, when the waiter comes by and asks, “can i take your plate?” give the head nod and the vertically oriented palm and say, “yes, i’m stuffed.” and then that food, perfectly good food, goes into a dumpster to rot. if i were the stuffed person, i would definitely take the food, no matter how small of a portion, home with me and have it for lunch the next day. however, if someone doesn’t feel that this is important and would rather just toss the food, that's fine! i don’t agree with it, but then again, that person doesn’t agree with me, and the world keeps spinning and we both realize that everything is perspective. and we can still be friends!

again, this seems reasonable to me.

i know, it’s kind of a live and let live outlook.

well, i’d have to disagree with you there...


i don’t think you follow a live and let live philosophy. if you did, you wouldn’t have this blog. you wouldn’t have written all this stuff. you’d just live. i think you’re more of a: live, explain why you’re living that way for anyone that may care, and let live. you seem to have some very strong opinions and you seem to be willing to share them. i think people, because your opinions are in direct contradiction to most of their opinions, might initially feel a bit slapped in the face by them. but i also think these same people should step back and say, well, that’s his thing, and i’ve got my thing and everyone has a thing and there are many different things, and no worries. and if they really disagree with something, they can let you know by saying, for example, “i think marriages should involve rings because....” or “i think riding a bike for who knows how long is foolish because...” then there’s dialogue. and friendly dialogue is the way to go.

i agree.

so how did this whole thing blow out of control anyhow?

i asked people to vote as to whether i should or shouldn’t use some mcdonald’s coupons i had. somehow, that was the fuse.

do you have a problem with mcdonald’s?

yes, and i don’t patronize them.


i guess there are three main reasons, and i realize that it’s not just mcdonald’s which is why now i don’t patronize fast-food at all, but nonetheless:
1. the food is generally unhealthy and over the long run contributes to various diseases and health problems which creates an unnecessary dependance on health care which raises insurance costs and taxes for everyone. so many people just eat without an ounce of consideration as to what they are putting into their body.
2. people are more likely to just grab something to eat "on the run" rather than sit down to a nice meal with their family and/or friends. it intensifies and makes the rush-rush world we live in that much more real, something i consider a downward spiral.
3. the corporation is insatiable always pushing its niche into every imaginable market. almost 80% of interstate exits include a mcdonald’s. 90% of americans live within 5 miles or less of one. giants like this and walmart and many others are taking over towns such that it doesn’t really matter where anyone grew up because we all come from anywhere, usa. and it’s doing this the world over.

now there was a time when i loved mcdonalds and would scarf down happy meals and hope beyond hope that the toy i got was cooler than my sister’s! and there were also days, and my family will vouch, when i could spend unbelievable amounts of time roaming around wal-mart contemplating the purchase of a goldfish or a radio alarm clock. but this is how i feel now about these things and i’m just sharing those feelings. if you value mcdonald’s differently than i, then by all means, enjoy your filet o’ fish. just because i’m not going to eat there doesn’t mean i will think any less of you if you do. and all i can say is that i truly mean that and i guess it’s up to you as to whether you believe me or not. i know it’s not as simple as i always try to make it. 40 shades of gray. perfect example, last night, i’m lubing up my bike chain and i start lauging at myself because the grease contains petroleum distillates. so i pause, because in my mind, i might as well be the one manning the oil drill in the arctic national wildlife refuge in alaska right? i’m no different than the hummer driving urban commuter. sure, i’m contributing to a lesser degree, but is it degrees or is it absolute? i don’t know. i’m a work in progress, always sorting stuff out. and the miles glide under my feet. my current opinions could change 180 degrees in the future. i’m just sharing what i feel now and definitely welcoming any constructive input. i’m addressing no one in particular. that’s all.

well, maybe you should let people know about the bike ride. i mean, based on this site you could be living a stationary life in tulsa slaving away at a 7/11 engulfing slurpee’s and donuts while tapping away on your keyboard...

brilliant idea! next blog is about the ride. no philosophy, no etiology, no stoicism. just me and the bike! my oh so beautiful kona sutra. after all, the two of us have become quite intimate. so stay tuned!

may i say again that, really, you do have a spectacular beard.

again, i both thank and salute you.


Anonymous Ted said...

Yes, tell us about the bike ride, but PLEASE don't stop making us THINK!

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Blogger R3dcurlz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Blogger R3dcurlz said...

yeah, i agree w/ ted...i want to hear about it all. i think it's important to express your beliefs/way-of-life and to stand by them/it. i never thought that you were trying to force people into the eggplant thing.

plus, if you really believe it, isn't it worth pissing off 99 people if the hundredth sees the light of day?

also...i'm a huge fan of the 'conversations'. don't get rid of that for sure. {:-)

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Anonymous Ginger Carnahan said...

I agree! Definitely keep us posted on the ride, but don't stop discussion of what you think/believe/are learning.

Bravo! You did a great job of (hopefully) telling people that none of it was intended to be a personal attack. I would never have thought this post would have been necessary, but it clearly was from some of the comments. I mean, has anyone ever met anyone who agreed with and thought the same way about absolutely everything in life??!? Maybe in a cult. How boring!

Thanks for the previous challenging dialogue...each of us is moved by different things in life and need each other to see a bigger picture.

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Anonymous Cook & Senator said...

Hey Hirsch-

Haven't had a chance to read everything yet, but we think its always good to make people think. Even if they do not agree with you, at least now they know were they stand.

So, do you like biking as much as walking? Just curious.

Cook here- I gave up the car thing for a few years (Not totally for environmental reasons. Mostly, it was just safer for the other people who like to drive. he. he) Anyway, I remember my poor glute bruises in the beginning. Let me know where you are going to be and I can always send you a donut pillow. lol

Anyway, just want to wish you the best for a wonderful and safe journey!

Cook & Senator

Friday, July 22, 2005  
Anonymous sarah said...

hey hirsch, i have been inspired to leave a public comment. i am a huge fan of left overs. you hear people complain about the food that gets wasted all the time, but i guess i never really thought it was true... until about a week ago when i started waiting tables in a higher end italian restaurant. i'd waited tables before, but at cracker barrel everyone finishes all that is put before them. but at this place i am throwing away tons of food. good expensive food, scallops and stuff like that. last night i had a table that ate about half their food and were going to a play afterwards. the woman said she hated to waste all the food but didn't want to hold it through the play and whatever else might follow. since she seemed genuinely distressed i suggested that i go ahead and wrap it up and if she should happen to pass a person less fortunate than herself on the walk to the theater she could give it away. if not she could toss it at the door. and she did take it and seemed happy to have this option. hopefully she was able to pass it on to some one who was hungry last night.

so i am just sharing this little story for any one else who doesn't want their left overs, but might live in a city where they are surrounded by less fortunate people. it sucks that because of liability restaurants really cannot give food away. but you can. and even if she threw the food away it will be there in a nice container for any one who goes dumpster diving. (sorry hirsch it wasn't vegetarian, so don't come all this way looking for it.)

Saturday, July 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Rob. Now don't get so upset. The fact is, I think you're a little kooky, but that's what makes you interesting. OK, a lot kooky. Very, very weird in fact. Anyway, don't mistake my sarcasm for hostility.

But, you did offer some suggestions for us, your readers, in hopes that we will change our minds about some things and think more like you. So, it's only natural for us to try to change your mind about some things and think like us.

I don't agree with most things you say, but frankly, your philosophy is more interesting than your bike ride. But maybe that's because I'm not a real bike afficianado. Although once, I crossed all four lanes of Farmington Blvd. on my Schwinn Junior Ten-Speed to get to the TCBY.


Oh and by the way. I think it's very admirable of you to state that you don't want kids. I have met far too many people who SHOULDN'T have had kids.

Saturday, July 23, 2005  
Anonymous THE Dad said...

MAKING US THINK!! Sometimes uncomfortable - Somestimes reminding us to do MORE! We don't have to agree, but the 'thinking' and discussion seeds our growth. I don't think you and I agree on EVERYTHING, but you are always articulate in the opinions and 'life' views that make you - ROBERT!

About this "flushing" ...

Saturday, July 23, 2005  
Blogger Ryan said...

Longest post ever. Didn't really read the whole thing, but ok.

Sunday, July 24, 2005  
Anonymous Gayle said...

Hey there...

Don't ever stop making us think. People makes decisions about their lives because they made the decision, not because of your opinion. You have to remember that the decisions that count are the decisions you make for your life. If it is right for you, nothing else matters. I had to learn a long time ago that you can't please all the people all the time, just trying pleasing yourself and making life happy for you. Its not being selfish, its looking out for your best interest. I love reading your thoughts, I may not agree with them but it makes me look at the other side of the coin.

I have been divorced for 13 years and my feeling is that you don't have to be married to be happy with someone. You don't have to have wedding rings if you don't want to. You can have a life commitment without the legality of of a piece of paper from a courthouse. So if I were to ever find someone, someone that would put up with me, I don't think I would get married again. I can understand your thoughts on that.

Kids are wonderful. If you aren't ready now, hey at least you know that for yourself. You'll know when you are ready. I wanted kids and couldn't have them but I have 3 wonderful nieces that I spoil to high heaven.

DON'T STOP WRITING!!!! Or I'll tell your Dad (he's a great guy by the way)!!! Don't stop being the individual that you are. That's what makes you unique. That's what makes you YOU! Stick to your your dreams!! I will expect to read more of your ride and your opinions. Take Care!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hirsch, when did you develop such thin skin? I'd suggest that if your afraid you'll loose friends over this blog, then they probably weren't really friends to begin with.

Rob, you set the stage for this to occur. Had this blog simply been about your tri, then you'd have never reacieved a single critical posting. When you try to convince others to believe when you believe (which you've admitted to wanting to do) then you open up an avenue to recieve the same treatment in kind. I can imagine that you were probably picturing some of us coming to grand life revelations based on your post, but man it isn't going to happen. You've adopted a very radical lifestyle, that you may be happy with, but would not fit 99 out of 100 regular folk.

I'm not going to sit here and let you carry on a one sided conversation where you spin life in a way that makes most of us not look as enlightened as you. You can try to back peddle and say "I just wanted to convince others to try the eggplant"; but your talking about how so many of us are wasteful and how we go to hum-drum job that we don't like and how routine and boring our lives are...and Hirsch, your more than welcome to think that, but your going to get push back from those of us that happen to enjoy our lives.

When you deal in topics such as this, and you are proposing a radical way of living, don't be suprised when you have others react negatively. You may think that your right, but I'd be willing to say 95% of the civilized world would think you were nuts.

So if your going to take your ball and go home, thats fine. If you post about life on the trail, I'll tune in daily to see what old Rob is up to and post words of encouragement...but if you want to keep preaching about life, well I have not problem engaging and rebutting your points. I will not kiss your rear end and tell you that your right, when I don't believe that you are.


Monday, July 25, 2005  
Blogger Unca Joe said...

Hi robert. Hope The ride is going well. Check out this guy I do hope you post more about the ride and scenery.

Uncle Joe

Monday, July 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


there you go. focus on the trip...and you will find more internet/blog peace. show us some places we have never been..and tell us your impressions. that is worth reading.

lance won his 7th by the way if you didnt know....amazing athlete.

love you buddy and safe journey


Monday, July 25, 2005  
Anonymous Dew L Grande Barn Lover said...


you have time to think a lot on that bike. After reading your blog i think you almost spend too much time thinking. I studied science for years and had a hard time breaking everything down to vibrations. I mean tecnology is great but is it necessary? Not everyone is cut out for kids and that is okay. But evolution is made up by passing along a strong gene pool. You have strong genes so it is your duty to reproduce. Maybe someone will stroke that beard and conceive. Just don't worry about it now because the timing is wrong so it is time wasted. Attacking McDonalds is another waste of time. It is clean and offers food that won't kill you. Think of McD's as a gun. Guns don't kill people kill. So McD's doesn't kill, people kill themselves through excessive eating brought on by laziness. I have always felt better about watching someone cook my food as opposed to a digruntled employee spitting or spunking in my food behind the scenes. The best choice is to prepare your own food. People make bad choices all the time. Look at your President.

If people give you bad energy let it bounce back. Accept positive energy with gratitude. Don't be bummed out because of your BLOG. It helps people to think and that is the main thing. Thanks god that everyone isn't just like you. Start for 50%. So if half of your e-mail gets you down, your are still looking pretty good.

What is life on the road like?

Monday, July 25, 2005  
Anonymous olga said...

Hi Hirshi!
For someone who is riding his bike across multiple countries you sure have a lot of time to type! I am barely catching up reading your blogs, forget about the comments. But I love it, keep writing.
And don't you ever eat at that shitty McDonalds, their food is horrible, even if its free.
Love ya!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005  
Anonymous bcook said...

Asking people to think, especially about things and ideas they accept without thinking, will give them indigestion of the brain, and you will likely hear various gut rumbles and other less polite noises from them. Most will recover, and some will develop a taste for this kind of diet. Carry on.

Thursday, July 28, 2005  
Blogger andress said...

Hirsch, first time to post but I have been following. I have enjoyed all of the conversation, and to some degree I can see why there are so many defensive comments. However, I do not see what all of the paranoia is about. Everyone should keep something in might be special in your own world but not everything is about you.

Keep the comments coming, it is interesting to see what is on your mind with all of that time on your hands.

By the way, you can pick up Jojoba at a Health food store for your bike chain, it is a Hobacare product that is an all natural lubricant.


Monday, August 01, 2005  

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