Friday, June 11, 2010


Any long-standing organization or enterprise is going to experience what they call “mission creep.”

You know, there’s where the entity’s original mission, vision, and/or values get off track somehow. Like when Coca-Cola went all whacky with New Coke or how the Obama administration is getting all bogged down putting out fires while the core message of hope and change falls by the wayside, or it’s how a drinking club with a cycling problem can find itself turning into a group that camps and roller skates and even milks goats or whatever you do with farm animals beside eat or avoid them altogether.

So, it’s good to see that when the elements return to their elemental state that pretty soon, the rest of the world follows suit and the old ways re-emerge, as naturally and organically ever, in spite of how contemporary practices may have veered from an original starting point by slow, incremental degrees.

Case in point: a characteristically rainy evening in Seattle’s June led to a short ride (although longer than the legendary eponymous .83 miles) but then a goodly amount of libating under cover by Fremont’s troll—a local landmark I’ve mostly managed to overlook in my decade and a half here—although by the looks of it last evening tourist groups of fresh-faced students can’t seem to get enough of it.

Continuing rain was then met with another traditional response: an even shorter ride and an even longer period of drinking.

And then finally, even though the deluge had turned into little more than mist, the ensuing pedaling was hardly more than a short spin to another watering hole, this one, a longtime favorite that apparently, is soon to no longer be.

Thus, we see the sort of recommitment to basic values so vital to the ongoing existence of deeply-cherished institutions; in the end, it’s heartwarming to observe that really, the only mission creeps to worry about are those with beers in our hands.


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