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Wet Weekend
2006-09-05, 10:25 a.m.

Day 744 Wet Weekend

Remnants of Ernesto had us pretty well soaked up in these parts. Steady showers all day long, brief bouts of heavier rain, totaled 1.5 inches for the day. Had hoped to get the lawn mowed early, but the showers started in at 8am Saturday and didnít stop till Sunday afternoon. Made for a quiet weekend.

Sunday evening had my brothers families over for some ribs. Maggie brought a thumb drive full of pictures of her trip to China. Sheíd gone as part of a People to People outreach sorta thing. She took nearly 2000 pictures on her trip and winnowed it down to her favorite 100 or so. Gorgeous shots. Great Wall, Forbidden City, Emperors Tomb, shots of most of the meals she had. Ate native food Ė not too much was Americanized for them.

Earlier in the summer Maggie showed us the itinerary for the trip. I spied a visit to the Hard Rock Cafť in Beijing. I told Maggie Iíd give her $20 if she brought me back a t-shirt from that Hard Rock. Well, Iím $20 poorer, but what a t-shirt! Black, with really sharp looking silk screening front & back. Had planned on using it as another work out t-shirt, but itís too nice for that. Itís been promoted all the way up to a bowling shirt. Which starts in a whole week and a half. Guess whatís getting worn week 1?

Finally got the lawn mowed yesterday. Well, had fun first, then the labor started. Did a nice little jaunt along the canal again, this time heading east. Paved the whole way. Got a little crossed up where the canal crosses the Genesee River, than heads through a park and tangles with another creek. Had to cross 3 bridges in about a half mile, using trails that didnít appear to be very clearly marked. Got off the trail once, probably added a half mile to the trip, but got to see some of the park.

Anyhow. 22 mile bike ride. Got home. Trimmed up all the shrubs, which were desperately in need of a little attention. Cindy came out and helped with the shrubs when I was 2/3 of the way along. Didnít mind the help Ė but she did the trimming. She does ok with the trimming, but, well, she doesnít do it how I would. I bit my tongue, made a few mental notes on what to go back to later and just kept raking up the cuttings. Got her to re-trim a few things on the spot, others Iíll go back and get later on with just the pruning shears. Nothing major, just smoothing out some lumps and actually trimming the forsythia, which got skipped completely.

Lawn mowing was an experience. First, the grass was really long and still damp. Decided to use the bagger, cuz trying to mulch all that wasnít going to work. So there I was, all innocently cutting the first lap around the front yard. Got 2/3 of the way around Ė along my own driveway, when I got stung. On my left cheek. Yes, THAT cheek. Ouch. Passed it off as a random pissed off bee. Figured maybe there was nest up in the ash tree and I passed a little too close. I was wearing yellow shorts too Ė maybe the bee was upset about not getting any nectar off my butt.

Next time around, I looked up into the tree as I passed under. Couldnít see a nest, didnít think much of it. I continue mowing, worrying about when to empty the bag, whereíd I leave the wheel barrow, am I going to finish before the rain starts back up, when Wham! Got stung again, this time on the right ankle. This time I was on the other side of the front yard, next to my neighborís driveway. Now, two stings will start to get my attention. But I was near no trees, no shrubs, no buildings, nothing. I get the mower re-started and get going again when Zing!, another one, this time inside my right elbow. Now Iím dancing around out there, slapping at myself, looking pretty spastic Iím sure. At least there were no witnesses. But the bees? Where? Finally, I see a bunch of bees (yellow jackets actually) working their way out of the grass right next to the mower. Little bastards had a nest in the ground, and Iíd now stepped on it at least three times. No wonder they were pissed!

Went to the garage, got me a can of ethyl-methyl deadly shit and doused them up pretty good. At least I could finish mowing in peace. Of course, by this time, Cindy has heard the mower stop waaay too many times and sheís poking her head out the front door, wondering whatís going on. I took advantage of the opening and headed inside and got some bee stings relief thingyís out of the first aid kit. The stings on my ankle and elbow were easy enough to swab, but I needed a little help with that first one. Rather than just whip my shorts down right there on the front stoop, Cindy dragged me inside and applied the bee balm to my tender left cheek. But she wouldnít kiss it and make it all better. Well, at least then. We took care of that particular need a little later.

Guess Iím still not allergic to bees. Iíve heard of people developing an allergy after getting stung a lot. Couple of years ago our neighbor, previously not allergic, developed a huge reaction after getting stung by an oddball variety of wasp. He ended up being carted off to the hospital to get treated. Heís ok now Ė but he swelled up awfully quick after thinking he wasnít allergic at all. So with that whole episode was running through our minds, we kinda kept an eye on my ass (literally) to make sure it didnít start getting too big for my britches. Guess Iíll live. No swelling, but the sting sites are a little itchy still. Iím sure itíll pass eventually.

FINALLY! Ė the Y is open again. Got to go in this morning and give all the machines a good workout. Cardio part was no problem Ė the bike riding over the break was enough to keep from back sliding there. The strength part? Oy!! Struggled to complete 3 sets at the previous settings. Of course, being a thick skulled stubborn German, I didnít back off on the weights even a pound. Iíll find out how smart that was later this week. Have yet another 5K race Saturday, this time in support of a YMCA on the other side of the county. Itís one of the Invest In Youth Fundraisers, which I kinda promised my coach at our Y that Iíd dig in and support. Iíd won a pedometer through accumulation of points, but broke the clip off it after a month of so. She was kind enough to give me another one, but roped me into supporting the fundraisers. Cool by me Ė I get to do another race and pile up yet another tshirt!! This one is in the town/village of Victor, which has the potential to be a hilly course. Ought to be fun.

I have to go at least pretend to get some work done. Had a bit of a breakthrough late Friday, now things will accelerate a bit and I need to keep up. Thatís the downside of fixing a problem Ė the need to make more progress. Ugh.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight: 187.0 on 9/5/06 Not as bad as I feared.
Next weigh in: 9/11/06

New target Ė Aim is 180, date? How about Halloween?? Ė Yeah, look like a skeleton by Halloween.

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 8/25/06: 693.54
Miles with cool down: 762.69
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 108+ miles biking so far.



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