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Long Time, No See
2008-05-28, 1:18 p.m.

Day 1375

Wow. Been a while. Busy, distracted, tired, busy, having fun, marveling at The Bob’s new antics.

Cindy and I had a nice little heart to heart Friday evening too. Cleared some air, defined a few issues, crafted a plan to get on with things. All very low key, with the premise that what we said wasn’t meant to get the other angry, it was just what we felt. It was good, useful and overdue. It set the tone for a very pleasant weekend.

However, I did NOT get a decent training ride in this weekend. DID manage to get in 18 hoes of golf with the boys. Doesn’t do my riding muscles any good, but it’s always good to get out with the boys, especially considering I still get to beat them without them “letting” me.

Zach managed to get the only birdie of the day. We were on a long par 4, probably 425 yards. There was water on our right and a series of low undulating rills running up the fairway. After our drives, Zach had about 200 yds left to the green. I think he grabbed his 4 iron, got lined up and let ‘er rip. Skulled the shot. For non-golfers, this means the club came through the ball a little high, resulting in the ball being struck with the heel of the blade. You end up with very, very little loft, but an absolutely smoking shot. His shot got MAYBE 3 feet off the ground, followed the contours over one of those little rills and became a heat seeking missile – plunking a Canadian Goose square in the mid -section at about a zillion miles an hour.

These geese are tough birds. He/she/it jumped up, flapped it’s wings a bit, took two or three steps to the side and settled back down, sunning itself in the fairway. Fecker. Being very casual golfers from University of Mulligan, we discounted that shot, let Zach hit again (bird free this time) and played on. For the record, Zach bogeyed the hole, in spite of getting a birdie.

Also for the record, apart from the carpet of crap they left behind, the geese were pretty cool. If you did have to walk through them to get to your ball, they’d kind of part and leave you a 6 foot berth as you passed. No hissing, wing flapping, chasing with their head real low – no aggression towards the golfers. In turn, aside from the odd heat seeking missile, we left them alone. There were just too damn many of them to get all wrapped around the axle about it. Golf courses have water, geese like water, therefore golf courses have lots of geese hanging around. If they could figure out what to do with the little (little? Sheesh!) turdlets they leave lying around, it wouldn’t be so bad.

Saturday afternoon we spent at my brothers helping to celebrate our niece’s graduation from Clarkson College. The best news? She doesn’t have to go back to Potsdam, NY. The first (and damn near only) time I was there we woke up to temps of -40 (Farenheit, centigrade, makes no difference at that temperature – go do the math). That happened to be a record for the month of January that still stands I believe.

Anyhow. Niece is all graduated and grown up and will be working for an outfit over towards Buffalo starting in June. She gets to be a big girl and head off on her own. We’re all traumatized by the mere thought. In reality, she’ll do fine. Super girl, very smart, even has a lick of common sense.

Sunday the weather here was gorgeous enough that there was a moratorium declared on any and all kitchen work (pesky damn moldings) and we spent the day outside. Annuals are planted, lawn is mowed, 2,539,816,993 maple seeds have been swept/vacuumed up and there are 10 times that yet to come down. Our big Silver Maple looks yellow, it’s so loaded with seeds. Of course, it’s directly upwind from the patio AND pond, so guess where all the little fecking helicopters end up?

Oh. Also did a pork butt Sunday. Smoked it with apple wood. Delicious. Trying work out a recipe for pulled pork fajitas to help use up the leftovers (chillin’ in the freezer – not sauced yet) Thinking of doing some sort of black bean/corn salsa as a go with. We’ll get it figured out and let you know how it goes. Provided we survive the experiment.

I think it was also Friday night I intended to make home made pizza (the dough with herbs & spices in the crust? Pizza Hut stole it from me!!) and maybe smoke some wings, then grill them to crispy perfection. Everything was going great. Got the wings smoked, pizza dough was all risen & ready. Punched the dough down, got it spread in the pan and started the blind bake. Then headed outside, fired up the grill and put the wings on. Came back inside, pulled the semi-baked dough out of the oven and loaded up the pizza (sauce, cheese, Italian sausage, jalapenos, black olives, pepperoni and a little more cheese on top)(I didn’t say it was a diet friendly pizza!). As I’m putting the pizza back in the oven, Eric comes inside saying something about “how long have those wings been on?”. Seems he got back from his little shopping trip with Zach & Jill in time to see the grill belching flames from every conceivable opening in the lid. There were 2 dozen wings on the grill. All but the 3 in the very front were crispy. Crispy & black. It was a real tragedy. The 3 wings that survived were really good. The 21 that got over crisped? Wasn’t even worth trying to peel the skin off and sneak underneath. It was that bad.

Actually, it was worse than that. Sunday, in the course of sweeping up some of the 2,539,816,993 maple seeds that were on the patio, I had to move the grill. When I did, I noticed a peculiar side effect of the chicken wing flambé from Friday night. It blistered the paint on the house. In a small area right behind the grill, there is a lovely patch of paint blisters – right at the height of the vent openings in the back of the grill lid. Good thing I still have to re-shingle large portions of the back side of the house. It’s all got to get painted anyhow – what’s an extra square foot or two?

Oh. Sunday. Cindy was getting nips from some hidden stash. Eric noticed. By the end of the day she was pretty well loaded, trying to make believe we didn’t notice. Funny how our attitude towards her changes the second we even suspect she’s been doing her version of ‘social’ drinking. Enough to piss a guy off, if you let it. I kinda gave Eric the Readers Digest version of detaching and not enabling. He gets the concepts, but the practice is going to take some work.
Personally, I think she pre-loaded a bit for the nieces party on Saturday too. She played nice and didn’t drink there (I had 3 whole beers), but I think her preload helped. She just seems to have trouble interfacing in social situations with large numbers of people. (Large – there were 25-ish people there and we knew all but 2 of them).

Monday starts with “M”. So does molding. A coincidence? Not a chance. Molding was done. Mucho molding. There’s even more out in the garage all stained & varnished, ready to go. Actually, my hands are still stained & varnished too. That shit just will NOT come off. Sooner or later the skin underneath will die and take the stain with it. I hope. Also scored major brownie points when I showed Cindy the new sill for the window over the sink. It is now deep enough to be able to hold a medium sized flower pot. Seeing as it’s a northern exposure, an African Violet or three might be just the ticket.

Tuesday? Boring as hell. Work, Jambalaya for dinner, meeting after. With Eric home, we now have 3 people needing to get to work in the morning and only 2 vehicles. Since I’m the gonzo one, I told Eric to take my van, I’d bike it. Nice way to work in extra saddle time for the Tour de Cure too (see that sponsor link waaaaaayyy up there?). So last night I packed up my back pack. Toiletries bag, shoes, full set of clothes suitable for work (jeans, polo shirt – that kind of stuff), spare tube, pump, phone, wallet, glasses, bath towel, hand towel water bottle, knife, tire removal tools and probably some other stuff. Got up at 04:50. Brushed the teeth, dressed (bike shorts, t-shirt, fleece anorak, biking shoes) and headed for the YMCA. 4.25 mile trip, at 5something am, in the freezing cold. Did I say it was cold? DAMN, it was cold. Had to be under 40. With a 17mph wind chill, +/- what ever breeze there was (at 5am? Not much breeze.) I was scooting up a nice quiet side street headed north when I heard a sickening little “twang!!” again and my rear wheel seemed to get looser.

Fortunately, the alignment didn’t seem as bad as it was before. I limped it in to the Y, locked up and headed in to spin class. (Told you I was gonzo) Did spin, grabbed a micro sized up of coffee and went outside to size up the wheel situation.

This time, the spoke snapped in near the hub. That doesn’t matter much, it’s still a lack of support. Must be the neighboring pokes aren’t strung all that tight, because the wobble isn’t near as bad. Decided to ride it in to work. And here I sit, after a lovely shower. Now I just have to get it home without making things worse.

Where was I? Oh yes – at corner of Lexington and Colfax, right in front of Edison Tech (a high school). We all (me and 20 or so cars) pulled up to a red light, waiting for cross traffic. As I slowed down, I kicked my right foot out of it’s lip, prepping to lean on it while at the light. That was all well and good but for one thing. As I stopped, my bike kinda leaned to the left – the side where my foot was still clipped in. I started tilting right over into some poor innocent guys front fender. Somehow I got my left foot free in time and rather ungraciously kept from splatting myself all over this guys car. I don’t think he noticed, but I’m sure the cars behind us got a pretty good view. The downside of high tech biking I guess. Man, I had visions of bouncing off that car as I made my way to the ground, inhibited by nothing but my embarrassment. Woulda been a great way to start the day. Busted spoke, busted face. At least the face grows back.

Better run. Got to negotiate my way back to having the van tomorrow. Time for another emergency spokectomy tomorrow. Wonder what else they’ll have in the shop that I need tomorrow? A jersey? A windbreaker? Hmmmmmm . . .

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old habits - new tricks