Unicycle Insanity or Psychosis

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by wheelie_big_wheel, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. My wife thinks I am suffering from unicycle insanity. And lately, I am
    beginning to think she might have a point.

    I am 46 years old--last year, out of the blue I decided to try something
    I always wanted to do--ride the unicycle. I did a web search and I found
    an abundance of websites such as this one. I learned about all the
    brands, and even before I purchased my first uni (a Sun 26 inch--I stuck
    a KH seat on it), I began to feel an odd obsession with the world of
    unicycles. Once I got my wheel, I was hooked--almost like a drug. The
    feeling of riding (after thousands of falls, I did not, could not give
    up) was such a rush, such a feeling of triumph, that I felt (and some
    people said I even looked) half my age.

    Of course I went on to purchase several unicycles--I love them all.

    The problem now is that I eat, sleep, dream and think about unicycles
    24/7. Yes, I dream about unicycles! Is this normal?

    My family is annoyed at me because whatever the conversation might be at
    the dinner table, I always find a way to steer it toward the subject of
    unicycles. They can care less, but I can't help it.

    My daughter is furious at me because any time her boyfriend comes to
    pick her up, I always ask him if he ever heard of things like MUni or
    Freestyle, or if he'd ever like to check out one of my unicycles. She
    told me that lately he said to her "You know, your dad's a nice guy, but
    he's kind of weird--all that unicycle stuff" (note, my daughter's
    boyfriend is a football player.)

    My son is royally pissed at me because I sort of promised to get him an
    X-Box for his birthday--instead, I got him a Torker 24 inch. He sulks a
    lot, and he NEVER even looks at it and he certainly never rides
    it--guess who does.

    My wife did not speak to me for a week because we were at a cocktail
    party, and the conversation turned to the presidential election. Someone
    asked me who I was planning on voting for and I answered in complete
    honesty that I had not given the matter much thought because I do not
    know the candidates positions on unicycles. Truthfully, I don't find
    much of a difference between Bush or Kerry, but I did wonder which one
    of the two would be better for the world of unicyclists --and, perhaps
    more importantly, which of the two would be more likely to ride a
    unicycle? That's the real question. If Bush wins, and I get another 400
    dollar tax rebate, then I could afford to buy a Coker. On the other
    hand, to me, Kerry looks more like a unicyclist--he seems pretty
    sportive--I could imagine him riding a unicycle, and I can't imagine
    Bush doing that at all--but, like I said, a tax rebate means "Coker
    Time," so I'm torn. I started to explain all this to my wife's friends
    at that cocktail party, and they all just stared at me like I was out of
    my mind. My wife supports Kerry, and she was totally embarrassed by what
    I had to say.

    My Boss (a Bush supporter, by the way, who agrees with my wife that my
    political analysis is "weird") is not pleased with my unicycle
    obsession. I ride my 29 inch Yuni to work--I wear a hockey helmet and
    gloves, and I am heavily padded--he told me that I was giving the
    company a strange image by showing up for work like that. For some
    reason he thinks its 'hippyish' even though I do not have long hair.

    I only began to wonder if my obsession was going too far when I realized
    the oddness of the following;

    I missed my son's baseball game because I decided to put a Big Apple
    Tire on my Yuni 29 inch instead.

    I rented Space Balls because someone on this website mentioned that
    there was a unicycle scene in the film and I fast forwarded through the
    whole film to try and see it.

    I suggested to an English Teacher friend of mine that he should consider
    assigning Lars Clausen's book to his class.

    A policeman pulled me over for making a wrong turn--as he was writing
    the ticket, I asked him if he rode the unicycle--his answer was a blank
    stare. Then he forced me to take a breath analyzer.

    Bicycles are starting to look strange to me--they always look like two
    unicycles stuck together--I never thought this way before, but it's
    true.

    My wife demanded that I "stop always talking about goddamned unicycles
    all the time" and as a result, I have almost nothing to say to her. Same
    with my kids.

    I have secret names for each unicycle (I know, it's creepy and sick).

    I get really really crabby whenever I go for a day without unicycling.

    I had a dream that I was at a special pagan church where they worshipped
    unicycles. I am ashamed to admit that in the dream, I participated in
    this religion--in the dream, I thought God was a unicycle--it made sense
    while dreaming, but when I woke up, I felt really strange and disturbed.
    (No offence meant to you religious unicyclists out there, I'm just
    taking about a bizarre dream I had...)

    My wife pointed out that I spend too many hours a day on the internet.
    At first she was afraid I was visiting porn sites or chat rooms, but
    when she checked my browser's history and saw that I spent nearly all of
    my surfing time at unicycle websites, she had a fit. She told me that at
    least porn was sort of normal--this, (meaning unicycles) was not.

    Ironically, when I asked my psychotherapist about my unicycle obsession,
    he laughed and said that indeed it was normal, and that unicycling is
    very healthy.

    No one else I know agrees with him. My wife thinks I'm crazy.

    Which brings me back to the psychotherapist--I started seeing him
    because I used to suffer from depression--however, since I got into
    unicycling, you guessed it, I am no longer depressed. In fact, I have
    never been happier.

    The unicycle is like an anti-depressant. Better in fact. But maybe the
    social oddities that I have picked up are like a side effect.

    I don't know any other unicyclists. So my question for all you other
    one-wheel riders out there is, am I alone in my unicycle obsession? Am I
    insane? Or do you (whoever you are) have similar enough experiences to
    think that these eccentric qualities come with the territory of
    discovering the joys of unicycling.

    --Ted T.S. (wheelie_big_wheel)


    --
    wheelie_big_wheel

    HOOKED on a HOOKWORM--that's ME!
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  2. uniextreme

    uniextreme Guest

    Wow more people need to read this story it really was great and funny.
    No you are not alone in your unicycling obseesion I think most people
    are obsessed with it. I think thats great that you overcame your
    depression thanks to unicycling. I hope you keep up with unicycling
    because this story really was inspirational.

    Brian


    --
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    Scars are tatoos with better stories

    "Unicycling looks hard then when you try to ride it its harder than it
    looks" canadian after trying to ride my uni.
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  3. bugman

    bugman Guest

    If I had been drinking a Coke when I read the line about checking your
    browser, it would have been the end of my laptop.:D

    As for obsessed, sure you are. I don't think you have it any worse than
    many that I have met. All I have to do is take my wife to a Uni event
    with other riders for her to see that not only do I not have it that
    bad, but that others that I know that unicycle are pretty normal people.
    Some of the best people I know unicycle. Not sure where you live, but
    get together with some other riders that share your passion. It will be
    like a total release.

    As for Bush/Kerry, I am not sure about either unicycling, but I have
    seen a picture of Donald Rumsfeld riding a unicycle when he was
    younger.;)

    This is definitely a healthier obsession than many choose. I am certain
    that many think I am weird for getting into unicycling, but just as many
    think its amazing that I can do it. Typically the more positive the
    person, the more supportive they are with my choice of sports. The rest
    are just a little on the closeminded side.

    If you were depressed, and unicycling has helped you out of it, then
    your family should be exited about your new obsession. I was in the
    same place. I was going through a tough situation and was unable to
    think about anything but that situation. Then I decided to start
    unicycling. I had to concentrate so much that my mind could no longer
    focus on the other situation. Soon I was out of the funk, and the
    unicycle was a big part of it. My wife knows this and is very
    supportive. As a matter of fact she even has learned to ride about 30
    feet, before she became pregnant with our 2nd kid. My 1st is still
    young enough to be impressed with everything I do, so she is real
    supportive.

    Good luck, and keep up the good work. But, just like unicycling, find
    the balance in your life to keep the harmony in your family.:D


    --
    bugman - Survivor 2004 Wolfman Duathalon

    My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with
    his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive
    achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
    Ayn Rand
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  4. 1Cube1Wheel

    1Cube1Wheel Guest

    Dont worry, you defiantly not alone. Not only do I have a name for my
    MUni, dream about unicycling, and absolutly have to unicycle every day,
    but I will sometimes find myself standing there just stroking my KH
    seat. I would suggest however that you try not to shut out your family
    with unicycling. Otherwise, uni 'till you drop.

    Jason


    --
    1Cube1Wheel - 01001101010101010110111001101001

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  5. mucRider

    mucRider Guest

    Someone once commented during our weekly Tuesday evening ride that
    unicyclists are pretty much obsessed with this activity. Everybody
    agreed. Afterall, why else would we all have (how should I put this?)
    more than one unicycle.

    My almost daily ride certainly improves my mental attitude about life
    and the world. However, I have to make a conscious effort to not talk
    "unicycle" at work. They are tired of hearing about it.

    Strange dream though. I hope I don't go that far over the edge. <G>

    Go to your son's baseball game. The tire can wait.


    --
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    Anything with more than one wheel is too complicated!
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  6. Mike_Foote

    Mike_Foote Guest

    1Cube1Wheel wrote:
    > *Dont worry, you defiantly not alone. Not only do I have a name for
    > my MUni, dream about unicycling, and absolutly have to unicycle every
    > day, but I will sometimes find myself standing there just stroking my
    > KH seat. I would suggest however that you try not to shut out your
    > family with unicycling. Otherwise, uni 'till you drop.
    >
    > Jason *




    You sound WAY to much like me, with the unicycle stroking, glad I'm not
    the only one so freakish.:D


    --
    Mike_Foote - Violinist and Unicyclist

    Long live unicycling
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  7. johnglazer

    johnglazer Guest

    Whenever I go anywhere, even if I have taken that same route hundreds of
    times, in a car, on a uni, walking, or whatever, I am always scanning
    the area, thinking "hey, that would be pretty cool to uni on" or "that
    would be cool to uni on if...."

    oh and by the way, wheelie_big_wheel, you are my hero.

    john


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  8. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Fri, 13 Aug 2004 18:34:22 -0500, "wheelie_big_wheel" wrote:

    >On the other
    >hand, to me, Kerry looks more like a unicyclist--he seems pretty
    >sportive--I could imagine him riding a unicycle, and I can't imagine
    >Bush doing that at all


    About a year ago, Bush tried to ride the Segway People Mover (a
    motorized contraption with two wheels side-by-side, the
    forward-backward balance being allegedly "fool-proof" under
    computer-control), and managed to fall off at the front. So indeed, he
    wouldn't unicycle by any stretch of the imagination.

    It's good for you that you get so much support in this thread.
    However, personally I think that you're taking it too far and from the
    sound of it you might even risk loosing your family. Would that make
    you happy? Or them, for that matter?

    Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
    --
    I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe
     
  9. jorkee

    jorkee Guest

    every men have some obsession. it can be everything with that you are
    happy. when I firs saw kris riding nort shore I wanted uniycycle.
    everybody from my family have to listen about unis and what I think
    about it. I could speed hours talking about unicycling. now after 7
    mounths of riding its starting to be normal for me. I just unicycling
    and I like it a lot. by the way my girlfriend dont like unicycling but
    understand me and likes my passion. but sometimes of course can say to
    me "stop talking about unicycling all the time" :)

    by the way my unicycle has name too...;)


    --
    jorkee
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  10. muniracer

    muniracer Guest

    you are by far the coolest person on earth.

    some suggestions:

    -cook pancakes in the shape of unicycles
    -keep a spare tire under your pillow
    -legally change your name to something unicycle related
    -build a trials park in your son's room, so you can spend more time with
    him
    -scare your daughter's boyfriends away until she finds one that can
    unicycle
    -try to list your unicycles as dependents
    -buy your wife a shirt with a unicycle on it
    -use profanity when passing a bike rider
    -promise your son an xbox AND a playstation 2 and instead buy a coker
    (so you can vote for kerry)
    -refrain from using plurals
    -buy enough unicycles so that they outnumber the rest of the family,
    then speak of unicycling as an interest of the majority


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  11. steveyo

    steveyo Guest

    "wheelie_big_wheel" wrote:
    >
    > My wife thinks I am suffering from unicycle insanity. And lately, I am
    > beginning to think she might have a point.

    ....
    > My son is royally pissed at me because I sort of promised to get him an
    > X-Box for his birthday--instead, I got him a Torker 24 inch. He sulks a
    > lot, and he NEVER even looks at it and he certainly never rides
    > it--guess who does.


    Your kids will avidly seek to emulate your activities, but only if they
    don't feel forced to.

    > I had not given [Bush vs Kerry] much thought because I do not
    > know the candidates positions on unicycles...


    Dude, that is twisted. Take a look at the Bush enviro record, all decisions
    favoring big business over public and environmental health.

    > I missed my son's baseball game because I decided to put a Big Apple
    > Tire on my Yuni 29 inch instead.
    >...
    > My wife demanded that I "stop always talking about goddamned unicycles
    > all the time" and as a result, I have almost nothing to say to her. Same
    > with my kids.


    You're going to lose your family if you remain so obsessed. Your son has
    only a limited number of baseball games until he's grown up. You can Uni
    for your whole life.

    > Ironically, when I asked my psychotherapist about my unicycle obsession,
    > he laughed and said that indeed it was normal, and that unicycling is
    > very healthy.


    Maybe he's comparing you to people like murderers and father-rapers.

    Since you asked this forum for advice, mine would be to find a balance and
    think about what really important to you, and to your family.

    Enjoy Unis, but don't trade your family for a Coker.

    --
    Steveyo

    I complained I needed new shoes, till I met a man with no feet.
     
  12. muniracer

    muniracer Guest

  13. onewheeldave

    onewheeldave Guest

    wheelie_big_wheel wrote:
    > *
    > My son is royally pissed at me because I sort of promised to get him
    > an X-Box for his birthday--instead, I got him a Torker 24 inch. He
    > sulks a lot, and he NEVER even looks at it and he certainly never
    > rides it--guess who does.
    > .......................
    > I missed my son's baseball game because I decided to put a Big Apple
    > Tire on my Yuni 29 inch instead.
    >
    > ............
    >
    > I suggested to an English Teacher friend of mine that he should
    > consider assigning Lars Clausen's book to his class.
    >
    > .................
    >
    > My wife demanded that I "stop always talking about goddamned unicycles
    > all the time" and as a result, I have almost nothing to say to her.
    > Same with my kids.
    > .........................
    >
    > Which brings me back to the psychotherapist--I started seeing him
    > because I used to suffer from depression--however, since I got into
    > unicycling, you guessed it, I am no longer depressed. In fact, I have
    > never been happier.
    >
    > The unicycle is like an anti-depressant. Better in fact. But maybe the
    > social oddities that I have picked up are like a side effect.
    >
    > *


    I find the depression thing, and the fact that others have had similar
    experiences, interesting.

    During a very harsh and long lasting depression I found the same thing-
    riding my uni (at that time a standard 20") made me happy.

    And, unlike most such things, it continued to do so after many months,
    and had no bad side effects :)

    I sorted the depression out, so i know longer need this effect, but I
    still spend a hell of a lot of time unicycling, and one day may do a
    thread on the anti-depressent aspects of one wheeling.

    IMO you do need to reflect on your situation, I think that buying a uni
    for your son when he wanted something very different is not a good
    thing.

    And Lars unicycling book is good for those learning to unicycle, but not
    appropriate for an English class.

    I'm single and have no children, which is good for a unicycle obsession,
    but, if Idid have a family I would consider an inability to talk to them
    to be an issue in need of working on.

    Family relationships are fragile things that need cultivation,
    unicycling may be really good but it would be a real shame if it damages
    your family life.

    Maybe life has something in common with unicycling- they both require
    balance.


    --
    onewheeldave - Semi Skilled Unicyclist

    "He's also been known to indulge in a spot of flame juggling - but it's
    the Muni that really fires him up."

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  14. bugman

    bugman Guest

    Interesting that he has not replied yet? Wonder if his wife took him
    out.:eek:


    --
    bugman - Survivor 2004 Wolfman Duathalon

    My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with
    his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive
    achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
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  15. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    I wonder whether the original thread was serious, or a complete joke, or
    the truth, deliberately exaggerated for (comic?) effect. Whichever it
    was, it did raise some issues that some respondents have regarded as
    serious enough to warrant serious replies.

    After many years as an occasional rider, I got "seriously into"
    unicycling at a time when I was sinking into a depression and had
    "issues" in my life.

    I have a fairly obsessive personality - this may well be
    disproportionately common among unicyclists because to learn to ride
    well you need to overcome other people's prejudice, and commit time and
    effort to learning. It's not like joining a squash club, or watching
    football.

    Unicycling is an exceptionally vigorous activity. Vigorous activity
    releases various chemicals in the body which can improve your mood, and
    which can be physically addictive. Endorphins improve your mood.
    Adrenaline can be addictive.

    So, if you have an obsessive personality, and you start to unicycle
    regularly, you will get into what is known as a "virtuous circle" of
    riding, improving your mood, being more inclined to ride, improving your
    mood further, getting fitter, feeling better, riding more...

    But this can go over the top and become a vicious circle: ride, be
    happy, talk too much about it, argue with wife, go for a ride to forget
    about it, come back to another argument, go for a morning ride, be late
    for work, be reprimanded by boss, ride the long way home to cheer
    yourself up, miss the kids' ball game....

    Any obsession taken to extremes can be a bad thing. If it starts to
    damage things that are important to you (your relationships, your
    family, your job...) and you fail to address that, then it will
    eventually put you in a position where a further bout of depression is
    likely (no job/promotion, rows at home, separation or divorce, etc.).

    The behaviour described in the opening post on this thread, if taken at
    face value, is well on the way to this destructive level.

    I'm not a qualified psychoanalyst or psychiatrist, but I have quite a
    strong interest (intellectual and personal) in such things, and it
    sounds like an extended manic phase in a cycle of manic depression to
    me.

    And will me saying this help or hinder? It could do either, but I hope
    it helps. Please, if the opening post was literally true, try to back
    off a bit, and speak honestly to your therapist about it. In fact, show
    him/ her a printout of your post, unedited.

    Mike.


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  16. Borges

    Borges Guest

    If you drive people crazy talking about unicycles, how about you just
    ::SHUT UP AND RIDE:: the unicycles instead ;)
    Don't buy unicycles for people who don't want them. Buy them for
    yourself instead.
    And if unicycling is hippieish, vote for Nader.


    --
    Borges

    "However, I confess that the ultimate wheel lacks the day to day
    practicality of the conventional unicycle" -Mikefule
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  17. The replys I got from the post I made about obsessive unicycle behavior
    were proof that I am in excellent company with regards to the unicycle!
    I have always been shy about posting this kind of thing, but now I am
    glad I did, because every reply made me feel a bit less freakish.

    Bugman--you are right, my wife did "take me out" -- I showed her the
    post I made, and she laughed her head off. She said "I was wondering why
    you were acting normal today" She meant that sharing my obsession with
    other unicyclists via this forum, at least for the past 24 hours meant I
    wasn't bothering my family about it.

    Mikefule--you are right in that I wrote in a comical matter because I do
    think my obsession with unicycles is comical--but it is not a comedy I
    would share with the non-unicycle world because they would not
    understand--however, I do have a history of depression, and I was
    hospitalized for depression 10 years ago. I had a terrible nervous
    breakdown. It happens. I'm not ashamed of it, but it is not something I
    brag about either. In all truthfulness, after trying loads of
    antidepressents and not liking any of them, I have to be honest in
    saying that riding the unicycle has had a profound effect on me. Just 20
    minutes on the unicycle is bettzer than any prozac (or any of the other
    numerous anti-depressants I've had througgh the last decade). My
    analyist won't say that the unicycle has cured me, but I don't think it
    is a coincidence that I no longer need anti-depressants (according to
    psychopharmacologists) since I have been riding the unicycle. But what
    you said about extende phase of manic depression could very well be
    true--I'll ask my head shrinker what he thinks!

    Thank you everyone for replying! You have all done me the fantastic
    favor of making me feel not so alone in this nutty fixation on
    unicycles.

    And about my son--I neglected to mention that I only missed one of his
    baseball games due to the Big Apple tire--I did see all this others, and
    I felt so goddamned guilty about missing that one, that I won't miss
    another.

    ...and as I write this, my son is playing his X-Box (Halo, which I also
    like). Through my manic (and I guess comical way of telling this story)
    I left out the part about buying him his x-box a few days later. I
    honestly thought he would prefer the Torker. Since I posted my story of
    uni-psychosis, I too saw how nutty (and selfish) this was, so I paid him
    the amount I paid for the Torker--he was really happy, but he still
    sulks at the thing--I still have some mending to do...

    I still think my daughter's boyfriend is a closet unicyclist--I can
    tell. But I'll try to shut my mouth. And my Boss--this is a Coker rider
    if there ever was one--he just doesn't know it yet...

    And Bush/Kerry? I stand by my thoughts on this. I will vote for the one
    who will in some way improves the lot of us unicyclists. And you know
    what? The other day, I saw one of those pictures of Bush sawing trees in
    the country--this could be a MUni rider, you know. I don't see Kerry as
    a MUni rider, but as a Trials rider, certainly. So it's a toss
    up...Maybe I should do a poll on this question, or is it too silly?

    Anyway, thank you all for replying! I am sorry if this is
    self-indulgent--I did not mean it to be, but I as just wondering if I
    was the only one who was deeply obsessed with unicycles.

    Ted T. S. (Wheelie_big_wheel)

    PS--please excuse the bad spelling--I did not put this through a spell
    check program


    --
    wheelie_big_wheel

    HOOKED on a HOOKWORM--that's ME!
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  18. Mikefule

    Mikefule Guest

    Just keep the obsession at a healthy level! To excel at anything, you
    need to be deeply committed. If you were deeply committed to distance
    running, or rowing, or squash, it would cause fewer "social" problems,
    just because these are "respectable" activities. Paula Radcliffe, Tiger
    Woods, Brian Lara, and so on, must all be obsessed with their sports to
    perform as well as they do.

    The hobby of unicycling is (colloquially) "addictive". At one time, I
    had a 20, 24, 26, 28 and Coker, a vintage (1959) 20, a small giraffe, an
    old 20, and an ultimate wheel. Now that I have my addiction under
    control, I've sold the 24!

    I used to ride 4 or 5 nights a week, hard riding, and was several pounds
    lighter than I am now. People used to express concern that I had lost
    too much weight. I used to post 10 messages a day to this forum.

    Now I ride once a week, sometimes more often, but sometimes less. A
    typical ride is a couple of hours long, but I do occasional longer
    rides. That's a healthy level.

    Of course, I'm also fencing two nights a week, and I never shut up about
    that (oops, there I go again) but that is a rather less solitary
    activity.

    Enjoy your riding. Be self-aware. If you've been depressed before, it
    is always there in the background - like being an ex smoker, or
    recovering alcoholic. Recognise the signs, recognise the triggers,
    identify the behaviour patterns. Learn when to back off or try
    harder.

    Mike


    --
    Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

    Everyone should be fatuous for 15 minutes.
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  19. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 03:45:35 -0500, "Mikefule" wrote:

    >I used to post 10 messages a day to this forum.


    It's dangerous to make that sort of statements when the group's
    statistician is listening in. You've been on an average of about 2 - 3
    messages per day for quite a long time, with no big excursions - based
    on the average per month. Granted, you may have had a few days with 10
    messages posted - requires more work to check, but it's not like you
    'used to post 10 messages per day'. Sorry to burst your bubble, but
    you are (were) not THAT obsessive. :)

    Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
    --
    I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe
     
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