Friday, December 21, 2012

You're Fired

Twas the night before Christmas when all the house every creature was stirring, was it cat, rat, or MOUSE? It was all fun and cute when we talked about country mouse and city mouse...until they started dropping from the ceiling like MI 3.

When I found her she was on a ladder, a saw in hand, and a gaping hole above her head. She was crying a little, mumbling something almost indiscernible about Hantavirus.

I was glad to see the stain on the ceiling had finally been removed after months of complaining about it.  She didn't want to find the leaky pipe behind it. I didn't like the mold growing in it. They had no idea they would be evicted days before Christmas.

I wasn't sure I wanted to ask about the Virus. Turns out neither one of us was right. We should have listened to Parker. No wonder she hated coming here, the walls spoke to her. She thought she was going crazy. While we were all nestled and snug in our bed, full bladdered meeces pissed on her head. Poor Parker.

When I went back in, she was still on the ladder, now armed with a mask, gloves, and head lamp. Mouse poop raining down like snowflakes on a cold, crisp, winter afternoon. Fiberglass insulation floating in the air like angel dust. Actual tinsel and wrapping paper hung from the ceiling...with care. How sweet, they decorated for the Holidays.

And here comes the Grinch...all five feet of her....throwing the tiny family out on their ears on the eve of winter, the nasty blizzard blowing across the land. We discussed shoving Gus into the hole and leaving him there to feast. I'm pretty sure he'd eat through the wall. And really...what are these cats doing all day? I don't think they deserve the the presents we just bought.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Piece On Earth

It's family time in the country. I've come to learn that means Cookie Day. It's about as much fun as putting a puzzle together with a menancing Calico.

I had high hopes for Cookie Day, maybe it was my fault. I love holiday traditions and baking cookies is my thing. But this wasn't so much festive as it was Betty Crocker Hell. Every elf had its specific task and I made mine to stay out of the kitchen.

I'd rather chuck matchboxes at my young playmate than squeeze crisco through my fingertips. Meanwhile, the girl was knee deep in cookie dough. Actually, she too, found a way to escape most of the kitchen fiasco which didn't surprise me much.

What I learned about the girl is she is obsessive compulsive, as if this is something I didn't already know. And I can assure you she touched the cookie you are about to eat at least four times as she perfectly placed it atop the waxed paper upon which it was perched, again, again, and again.
 
She also does this with a jigsaw puzzle. She is lucky she is darn cute. You can scour the pieces, deduce from a slight white speck crosschecked with the box that that particular piece will reside in the upper left quadrant, and lay it there for future use. As you can see from the photo above, this is how I work. There is a method to the madness.
 
There is another method to the other's madness. The girl will come behind me and take all the pieces from the center of the puzzle and move them back outside the perimeter of the puzzle. She is telling me now "the pieces don't go in the center of the puzzle". No, no, I don't think you understand the point of the puzzle. That is exactly where the pieces go baby.
 
But this is love. This is how we will do a puzzle. This is our tradition. I will put them together. The girl's cat will push them on the floor. I will pick them up and organize them. And the girl will reorganize them in a completely irrational way. My step-father says 'the family that plays together, stays together'. Yes, and we will be working on the same puzzle for the rest of our lives.
 
I wonder if she realizes when I put the knives away I purposely turn the blades every other way...just to see how long they stay that way. To her credit, she hasn't touched them, but I guarantee she's seen them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snaggled


Heavens to Murgeminid! Oh really? You're going to question that word? Because you have a particular fondness for the term, Murgatroyd? As if you even know what that is!

Oh man, I found something in the country that beats the city hands down! And it was right in front of my face the whole time.

I spent many hours sacked out on my deck in the city trying to catch a faint star shooting across the sky in some meteor shower or another in years past. Truth is I was never sure if I actually saw one or if there was just a floater clouding my eyesight.

In the country, the stars alone are worth the price of admission. They don't need to dart around at all. Wishes be damned. BUT, I did manage to catch a pre-show of the Geminids, which was quite impressive and the show hadn't technically started yet. There's something to the, lack of people...a lack of LIGHT.

Pop! Look at all those stars. There's one. There's one. Ooo that was a good one. Yeah, that's the life I wanted. Just staring up into the sky with the girl by my side. Hiding beneath a blanket, just the two of us.  Or...walking in the shadow of the Mormon Temple amidst their Holiday Lights show busloads of people around us.  It really doesn't matter, as long as we are together.

And yes, the stars in the country are still white, not green and purple like I've misled you in the photo above. It's not a recreation on my childhood light bright, but it could be....Exit Stage Left...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Time To Lower The Bar

Yes you guessed it. The bike went back. Today. Before Christmas even arrived. And here I sit with nothing under the tree, or really, next to nothing. I still have the monkey.

I could promise to buy another one, but if you read the last post she had the smallest adult bike they make. I might be exaggerating, but I still had to face the chick mechanic at the shop and try to explain why this amazing bike was coming back. An no offense, but she's not ready for a $5,000 carbon replacement (the next step up).

There was talk of T-Rex arms and stand over centimeters...she looked at me like I was crazy. I said, she's afraid of hitting the bar. I told her I asked how many times that had happened...None, but it could said my girl. And I can't touch the ground.... Okay. Oh dear, your trail cred is dwindling fast my love. I feel a life of redirected energy a'fore me.

The girl at the shop just looked at me (again). I shrugged. I know the girl teeters on her motorcycle, but this is a 20 lb. bicycle not an 800 lb. motorbike. The last trail I rode had right around the estimate of ZERO red lights or stop signs. And really....Why are we stopping on the bike anyway, just ride!

I honestly can't remember a time when I wasn't 'coming off' the bike because I couldn't handle the terrain. It was steep, it was rocky, I was flying over the handlebars as I nosed into a log. There's not too many times when I can touch the ground and way too many when I was getting intimate with my bike parts. (what the neighbor calls the 'vagina bar') The girl in the shop agreed, she can't touch the ground on her bike and she said, if the bar isn't all up in your business something is wrong.

I rode it from my car to the curb and cried just a little. She said, we could fit you on one for you. To which I replied, if I could find a way to fit Sneezy onto my old bike you'd have a deal!

So the bike went back. It's good for the vacation fund...except the vacation won't include mountain biking. :( I believe her, the bar was high, but the price was right and the components bomber. I couldn't pass up the deal. Too bad, it just didn't fit Cinderella.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boarders, Carried Alive

It has finally happened. There is a cardboard box in my attic. An empty cardboard box in my storage area. Please don't tell my neighbors.

 Maybe you don't know me, but this is a huge taboo. It happens. There are tools on the table and a box in the attic. What the hell is going on?

I am not a hoarder. I am not in denial. And I still think saving empty boxes is stupid. Unless it's a bike box. Or a bike light box. Then it's completely logical. I stand by my criticism of saved teevee boxes. It's not like the new ones will last long enough to be moved. And the old tank tubes could withstand a steamroller, I don't think it really needs a box.

And then there are the action figure boxes. And the Hallmark ornaments. Really? The box retains its value? Yes, I guess you could make $5 on that ornament you've been hanging on to from 1983 so you better hold on to that box. I bought a toy truck for $500 without a box, so I'm just saying box or no box it all depends on the buyer.

However, when you have a delicate, specially delivered, cool as shit beer bike sign, go on and keep the box. You're not gonna wanna risk damaging that in a move for sure. Oh, there might be a good shoe box or two in the attic too, I'm not gonna lie. Give me a nice sturdy Keen's box or a 5.10 and I'll hang on to it for papers or trinkets. I think I've actually got plastic Easter eggs in one of them so there! Holiday items do not count as hoard.

Okay, okay, I might have some old Panasonic tape boxes at the ready too. But those are superior ace boxes. And on the endangered list, not to mention I no longer have access to swiping them. I'm not making excuses. Just what are you trying to say? Okay, so I hoard boxes. It's not exactly Reality Show material.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Oldsmobile

"That's a big bi....ke". Why yes Parker, indeed it is. Such a big bike for such a bitty girl. Yes, yes, that's precisely why the girl is getting it early. That, and she doesn't much like change...and this is a big change. I'm already prepared to return it...:(

I know, I know, I am breaking Rule #1...NEVER buy a girl a bike. Never. It's what I tell all the boys. But I've got a couple things in my corner. First the girl can ride. And second the girl is mine.

But, back to that snag...she doesn't care much for change. She definitely doesn't do different. Same town, same job, same 80s polo...I mean the actual shirt, not just the style. The girl holds on. This looks good for my future, I mean I'm lucky she ever picked me in the first place, but she did. And maybe, just maybe she'll hold on to me...I did after all buy her a bike.
 
But it's not looking good for the bike. A 29er. It's big. It's different. What? She has totally earned it; she's a kick ass rider. She deserves the Lexus of mountain bikes. You wait, she'll jump on it and love it. I did! Truly, I hopped on this thing and it felt like a luxury car. She rolls smooth. Up and over the curbs like butter. Across the parking lot in a jiff.
 
What's that? It's not for me? I know, I know. Maybe she'll let me ride it. Oh, who are we kidding this thing will NEVER fit me. It's an XS (the smallest they make) WSD frame...they don't get any smaller. The next step down and we'd be looking at 20 inchers in the kiddie section. Would you like us to remove the training wheels ma'am? No, my monkey arms would never crunch into this geometry. Although I can ride anything.
 
But it is sweet. Makes me want one of my own. Wasn't I the one that said, 29ers? Pwah, just another gimmick to get us to buy another bike, who needs it. Me! Me! Me, I need it! There's plenty of room in the bike barn. Go Buy A Bike.
 
Wait, if a bike is as good as an engagement ring...and I already bought the ring...oooh, I am such a sucker. If you like it then you should have put a chain ring on it...
 
Whoever thought the name Oldsmobile was a good name for a car??

Friday, November 30, 2012

Up In Smoke


Let there be no mistake, I am bored in the country. I complain about the incredible lack of things to do. The limit of culture and art. It's just not like the city.

Take today for example. My country mouse was in town for some very important training after which we were under the gun, so to speak, to get our butts downtown for some very important 'art'.

Forgive me, I stand corrected. Turns out the city, too, bores me quite a bit. A limitless amount of culture and art, apparently, is not always a good thing. Today, a Chinese 'artist' blew up a tree. And called it art. I call it FAIL. To quote Deana Carter, "I shaved my legs for this?"
I expected pyrotechnics, like the sign said. I expected mind bending, tree altering effects like the diagram indicated. I expected lights and wows and cool. It's not at all what I expected. It was beyond the complete opposite. It was what they call in the fireworks biz: A DUD.

It sounded like a ancient gun fight with the smoke of one to boot. But when the smoke cleared, the tree stood unaffected and the crowd dispersed, scratching a collective head going, huh? The guy next to us turned and said, Is this Art?!
 
Well, it's in front of the art museum; that's the closest it's gonna get to art in this town. The smoke artist said he hoped the smoke would look like a virtual tree. O...kaaay.... It was some kind of protest about lighting Christmas trees. Protest, YES!, now you're in the right neighborhood.
 
Art, maybe not so much, and the Chinese, maybe not as big a threat as once thought.
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Change

My neighbors have five vehicles lining the street. I can't talk, I've got 8, but they all fit in the Barn and roll on two wheels. I guess it depends how you define vehicle.

Theirs have motors, barely. And ironically they got three bills when they finally sold one today. I don't have one bike less than that! But three hundred is better than no hundred so you take the money and run.

Sounds like fun. I want three bills! I asked my ebayin' neighbor about selling unwanted items. He gave me a name. So today my neighbors sold a big hunkin' car and I sold two tiny round pieces of hollow metal for the same price. Party on Kerwin.

He said, "you sure didn't waste any time dropping those rings." Depends on how you look at it. I've been sitting on them for a decade. Not because I have any emotional ties to them. I just didn't know what to do with them. She wanted to chuck them over the side of a cliff. I didn't even have that much attachment.

Having done both...I'd rather have love over a ring any day. And it'd be a lot more fun to drive the neighbor's car over the side of a cliff anyway. Today I am a much richer girl.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Glad We Got That Straight

Awesome. I'm allowed to marry the love of my life. Thanks for that Maryland. Seriously, it was a much closer vote than I anticipated and a bit of a slap in the face.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. I mean I hear those arguments for families or some nonsense. Sanctity of marriage? Nonsense.

Let's start with protecting our families. Whose families are we talking exactly? You know gay families exist with or without the legalese of 'marriage' right? It's a shame you don't want those kids to have the same rights as the others.
 
Next, that holy thing. Yeah, today's marriages are really sanct. Tom Cruise. Liz. Britney. Do I need to say anything more? How about 55 hours. People get married for all kinds of crazy reasons today; god forbid we should let folks marry for ever lasting true love.
 
And why do so many people care anyway? I tried the traditional unionization. It failed at I do. And I don't remember anyone coming to the door trying to help. No one cared. No one tried to fix anything. Where were those Sanction Police then?
 
In fact why is divorce legal if that's the argument. Divorce is bad for children. It's clearly destroying families. Surely it is a blow to the sanctity of marriage, no? And it's been around since the turn of last century.
 
No matter. We won. We won the ridiculous fight to be considered human. Here. We won here. We still don't exist at a federal level. Or in the next state. We are still separate and unequal. But we can say we're married. Well, next year we can.
 
And really that's all that matters. I love her. She loves me. If God has a problem with it I'm sure He'll let us know. You can keep your comments to yourself. Unless they contain, "you can kiss the bride".

Friday, November 2, 2012

Clean Up on Aisle 3


I just discovered something more annoying than talking on the phone behind the wheel...talking on the phone behind the cart. OMA.

In fact, I'm heavily weighing the consequences associated with starvation in an attempt to never need to go to the Giant again. I'm not entirely sure when it happened, but today I became THAT person.
The one who knocks things down and doesn't pick them up. I didn't mean to do it and ordinarily I would have cleaned up my mess, but I'm sorry, I just couldn't. For the sake of sanity, humanity...I just kept walking. Oh, other people looked at me, I. Did. Not. Care.
 
As if the customers weren't bad enough. Let's talk about how Giant squeezed the aisles together and made less room. Let's consult exhibit A. Down at the end of the aisle you can see an employee stocking shelves. At the busiest time of the day. And there are cases of stock blocking the right 'lane'. No matter, because closer in the foreground you can see the promotional display ALSO blocking the right lane. Repeatedly. Really? Tsk. Tsk.
 
And then comes the dreaded checkout lane. Duhn Duhn Duhn. I thought I picked the shortest lane. Tricked again. Food Stamps! Here's where I struggle to suppress my closeted inner Republican. Now I've got nothing against government assistance, or at least I try to withhold judgement, but here's when it gets hard. I just need not be subjected to it...the purchases on the end of the belt, the fact that they are buying cut flowers or didn't bring their own bags...the list goes on.
 
I say let's give them their own lane. It's for everyone's own good. Take one of those 12 or Under (when did it become 12?) Items Lanes and turn it into a Government Assisted Lane...no item limitation. I'm not suggesting 'separate but equal'--okay, maybe I am, but is that so wrong?
 
I'd settle for a One Transaction Per Customer Lane if you think singling out the Food Stampers is somehow an infringement on their rights.

Friday, October 26, 2012

This Socks

I'm not naive and I don't live under a rock. I've heard of this very thing happening. Here and there. Sometimes on Tuesday. I know it happens. But it's never happened to ME.

You might argue that's it's because of the way I live my life. You might be right. Who I sleep with. Where I hang my hat. Who are we kidding, if you really knew me you'd know I sleep IN my hat. No way I'm losing THAT.

Socks is another beast. Or maybe a small sacrificial lamb. And somewhere in my abode is a nasty, ravenous Sock Monster who eats Sock Guy for snacks. Not only that, it follows me. From City to Country. Country to City.

My dwindling sock supply is not locationally challenged. This has never been a problem for me. I've never sacrificed a sock before. I've seen it on teevee. I've heard the old wives tales. But never once have I permanently lost my fuzzy foot covers.
 
Until now. Now it's a good day when the dryer spits out TWO perfectly matched SmartWools. It's like winning the lottery. Kenmore Keno. And Luck is not my Lady tonight.
 
In the country there is a cat. Maybe two I'm not sure. But they carry these things around like a two year old's teddy. But I collect and congregate them. And engage in round of the childhood game Memory Match.
 
That's not it. There is something seriously eating these things like pop tarts. And it's not just mine. Now Sock Monster is eating the girl's socks too! So if you see me at an event or cruising down the street PLEASE don't mention that my socks don't match. I KNOW, but I'm running out of socks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Now We're Cooking With Rice

She doesn't know this yet, but I found the cup. See, I have this gucci rice cooker. I LOVE it. Not that it's hard to make rice, but this thing does it all for you...IF you have THE cup.

Recently we lost the cup. And I felt like I was on Survivor trying to make rice in the bush.  I guess you could say it was like a box of chocolates...you never know whatchur gonna get. Fluffy, soupy, sticky??  And this is IN THE CITY!

This is when you know you love someone. The rice cup went missing and I was upset...about the cup going missing. Now, signs were pointing in the direction of the girl recycling the plastic cup (gasp)...she herself suggested it...but I refused to buy it. I would not be mad at her; it couldn't possibly be her fault.

True, it was absolutely possible, plausible, passable, she may have recycled THE cup. But I said, that just doesn't make sense! Not that she is messy or lazy, unable to clean up a cup. In fact, it's the complete opposite, she did clean up that's how we came to this insane conclusion.

And not that she is some type of crazy A&E Hoarder, but she doesn't readily throw perfectly good items away. This was a hard plastic cup. She said, maybe? Yes, it's nondescript, but I don't think she appreciated how sturdy it is. You wait, when she touches it she's going to say, You thought I threw THIS away?!?

NO, I didn't. This girl doesn't throw her little plastic pudding cups away, her yogurt containers, her beer caps...now I haven't figured out what she does with the bread ties but that's a separate blog posting entirely.  ...unless she has a barnyard of chicks running around...?? (I don't expect you to get that, it's okay; she should, hi baby ;) )...

And then it was back. And all is right with the world. My girl is still my girl. And I can make her yummy rice in 5 minutes. Rice, water, cook, eat.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Two Year Service On a Two Week Phone


Gore-Tex by definition is unaffected by water. It is backed by price. A 'windbreaker' jacket that runs into the $200 range must have super powers hence the hefty price tag. Those powers I believed to be Gore-Tex.

I. Was. Wrong. As the clouds darkened and moved closer, I raced to beat them home. I think I just might make it. I took a couple photos of the scary storm approaching as I dropped into the park by my house. I'd show you now, except that those photos became 'locked' in my phone after the above mentioned super powers FAILED.
 
Had I trusted my indestructible Timbuk2 bag all would have been well and dry. But NO, I went with Gore-Tex; it sounded meaner, badder, mad as a hatter! And my phone was DRENCHED in my Gore-Tex pocket, I guess, it stopped working immediately even though there was no visible water damage.
 
I gave it a week. Then two. See, I was convinced it didn't actually get wet since it was protected by Gore-Tex. Nothing in my bag even got wet...not one single dollar bill. Yes, I was soaked; it wasn't a derecho, but perhaps an ochocho (an 8 in the scheme of rain storms)...I'm glad for my helmet, let's say that.
 
Finally I broke down and got a new phone. I hated it. All of it. I didn't want a new phone. I wanted my old phone to work. Then I got slapped with this cost and that. I was charged an 'upgrade' fee and have yet to figure out how to access those 'upgrades'.
 
They gave me 14 days to return it. Two weeks. Fair enough, that's what I gave my old phone. The camera sucked. The resolution sucked. The camera features--sucked. The keyboard too small. The text messages small. The way the camera saves messages stupid! BUT, right around day 13 I conceded that the phone itself was pretty good. I could hear the person on the other end...and since my NEW business phone sounds awful as a phone I took this as a 'keeper'.
 
On the 14th day my phone DIED. Or rather, I guess, went deaf. I could no longer hear that crisp, clear caller on the other end. I called the store where I got the phone. Clearly, I had to borrow a phone. They told me to bring it in tomorrow for a brand new phone, which I did. And I got the runaround. No Phone.
 
I'll cut this short and just say I paid over $100 bucks for a phone that broke in two weeks. I wasn't allowed to get a new one because apparently phones at Verizon are only guaranteed for 13 days, unlucky 13.  My Timbuk2 Bag has a lifetime guarantee. My Gore-Tex jacket 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed from REI where I bought it. Verizon...somewhere in the vicinity of 2%.
 
I bet I could return that jacket for a new one stating my phone died in the pocket. I bought it about 5 years ago I think. That's over 1,825 days, 20 seasons, derecho, blizzard, perfectly sunny day. What I got at Verizon is the runaround, a week without phone service, miles on my car, a standoff on the phone, and eventually a brand new USED, REFURBISHED, POS. Awesome. And don't forget that upgrade I'll see on my next bill.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ballasted Light


Have you ever purchased a cheap shop light at say Home Depot? You know, long, white, cheap, fluorescent? Have you ever had to rewire one out of the box because whoever put it together couldn't follow the picture printed on the outside of the ballast?

Actually I know you have...why else would they include the picture of the wiring on the actual light itself? Also maybe why there is shelf after shelf of ballast replacements in aisle 10.

It goes without saying I HATE fluorescent lighting. I am to fluorescent lights as Mommie Dearest is to wire hangers. I'm just saying...

But what I hate even more than working fluorescents is not working fluorescents, which my dear love recently had in the kitchen. It's one thing to feel your way around a dark hallway, an unacceptable other to grope wildly amongst knives and hot plates.

So against my better judgement I not only took on the task of removing the flickering taunting non-light source, but I set out to replace it.  THIS was an adventure all unto itself...and I came home with...wait for it....yes, a cheaper fluorescent replacement.

One would think a country lesbian might have herself a cache of power tools, but one would be wrong. She likes to tease my electric chainsaw, although she herself has none. Then there was the drill that wasn't charged and the other that had a cord as long as my pinky.

So there I was in the kitchen, balancing a light on my head, standing on a ladder, sweating, attempting to 'guess' what straight was (haha, hold your snide remarks to yourself) winding  up the equivalent to a Model T. And the whole time all I could think was, I hope that blue wire is attached to the right doohickey.

And lo and behold once I managed to get the new light hung I threw the switch....and NOTHING happened. Not even a flicker. Back up on the ladder with my manual screwdriver, twist, twist, twist. Put the old light back up, throw the switch...NOTHING. What the??!!?? White wire white wire. Black wire black wire. It's not organic chemistry.

The girl saunters over and says, you have to use the 'other' switch. The WHA??? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tangled Web We We've

Yes, yes, dear Doctor that is precisely what it means. Country internet is spotty at best. City internet as you can see screen left not always a good substitute.

I have indeed neglected this personal blog. You see, I look up at the title and see something about bike riding and I think, "mmm? what is that exactly?" I've got nothing.

But then again, I look down at that last posting and see that WWII death fan and think, I'm sick of looking at that thing. And yes, I take pictures, have a witty story, but alas no working interweb! The boy online is looking for updates. The girl in person mentions my dry spell...I'm getting it from all sides I tell you.

So let's talk about the web. At home it's fast, quicker than a Bieber tweet. Did you hear he got sick on stage? I haven't seen it, I also don't get news anymore. Life is hard in the country for a lost city girl.

Anyway, internet, at home. Challenging, let's say that. See there's this needy cat and she likes to lay on my hand as I type. She's not here now or you'd see something that looks like:
````````````````````````````````````````````````````` She also falls asleep sometimes on the upper left corner.

But then if you keep typing and she's on your hand she gets mad. Mean mad. She gets that look in her eye. You may have never seen it even if you have a cat, only the possessed ones have it. And then it's ON. Like she's gonna Donkey my Kong, wait, what?

And

Then


There

is

t

h

e


countr

y

int

er

n....screw it, I can't wait for this prehistoric connection to compute. The sad thing...it's 4G. It looks great in the stores and on teevee, but clearly objects are slower than they appear. Way to go Verizon, you've snookered us again! Maybe I could unleash the evil Parks on 'em?!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Afrayed Knot

Yet another entry from My Life in the Country. Those country girls are of a tougher breed. You'd think I could hack it, but I am often yanking out my girl card. I ain't too proud to show it.

It's like camping. The dirt. The bugs. The heat. There's no TV, barely Internet. But back home in the cushy city...there is no power. It's hot, there's no moving air, and rotting flesh in my freezer. I think I'll stay put.

The above is a picture of my girl's cooling source. I see now why she unplugs everything for fear of fire. She is a smart girl. She should be afraid. I sleep with one eye open in case that Pre WWII wiring ignites.

I'm typically a fan, no pun intended, of older appliances because I think they were built to last. This is clearly an example of just that; it's lasting all right! However, improvements to efficiency and attention to detail, most notably, SAFETY, are good excuses to UPGRADE. Just a suggestion.

So this death trap is placed precariously to cool us whilst we sleep. A shot of WD40 couldn't hurt things. I tried to sleep near it but couldn't get a wink of sleep. Squeak, Squeeeeeak, Squeeeeeeeaaaack! And I hate turning the thing off, it takes a good twenty minutes before it completely slows to a halt. The girl claims the slash in the Pitt's ear was from a vicious dog fight...I'm not entirely sure she didn't just get too close to the spinning machete she calls a 'fan'.

Clearly the girl got sick of waking up to an empty drenched bed because she broke down and bought an air conditioner. Say it isn't so! This is more historic than that Farmer Joad Fan. Now if I could just get her to clean out the 'office' so the puppy can actually lay down and enjoy the air.

Baby, you rock!  And I promise, you're gonna be a fan!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear John

I don't know, have I mentioned how amazing the country home is lately? No really, this might seem like sarcasm but I mean it.

Saturday afternoon tractor pulls. Need I say more? Yes? One dollar hot dogs. I know! It's a hot time in the cool city.

I am hesitant to note it here, but I am a sucker for small town country activities. A good watermelon festival, Plow Days...You know I love me some lumber jack competitions. Rodeos? Hell yeah. Monster trucks. You know it. So you can imagine the 'tractor pull' intrigued me.

So when do they start racing? There's racing right? How fast do they go? Where's the other racer? I don't understand. What exactly are you saying? There's NO racing? As in ZERO speed racing? Wait, why are they mashing down the loose mud? This is becoming extremely boring...

No fire? No burning? No overturning? No revving? No racing? No mud flying? They just sit on a lawn mower and pull some weight? This is the complete opposite of watching grass grow. Now that is a fun activity.

It's a tractor you say? No, that is a lawn mower. The thing mashing down the dirt, that is a tractor. Gosh, you think these country folk would at least know that.

I don't know, have you guys ever considered racing them? I mean some fast track action. Maybe a little healthy competition between tracpetitors. I can't help but noticing we are the only spectators. Maybe a couple Buds with the dollar dogs?

Really? They aren't going to race? Not even a little bit? Sheesh.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cat Latch

Hey Bitches...sleep with one eye open. Let this be a warning...DO NOT lock my furry fat ass in a closet ever again.

Look Gus. I know you are bigger than most cats AND have 10-20% more toes than most, but really? A closet? You were locked in a room. A rather comfortable room. With a bed. And running water.

Once upon a time there was wall to wall plush carpeting. You didn't even have the nerve to eat what you dug up. You and Parker will make a famous pair!

Did you happen to notice the rather large bag of dog food locked in there with you? Yes, there was a bag of dog food as big as a twelve year old mere inches from that masterpiece you carved out. Do you think maybe you could have clawed your way through that instead of destroying the flooring?

Oh, and you were rescued less than 24 hours after being 'locked up'. I'm not proud of it, but I've locked cats in dark, crowded closets with nothing but smelly shoes to lay on. You don't know how good you have it.

It was an accident. You ran in and never waddled out. It was an easy mistake to make. But there was food and water...you just had to work for them. I know, this isn't a word you are accustomed to, work. I know of a couple of kittens recently that destroyed a friend's bathroom when they discovered how a faucet works. Surely you could have nudged the sink or stuck your nose in a toilet if it came to that.

And work you did. But instead of fixing your problem you redirected your energy negatively. Not cool. A reverse latch hook? This is your idea of art? I mean look at you. I'm fairly certain you lay around for sport. You couldn't just kick back, relax, and wait until someone opened the door? I mean really! Cats.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Built To Last

Exhibit A
The girl called me last week in a panic. She was about to spend money. God forbid. Meanwhile I continue to throw it around like it grows on teevees.

Take for example Exhibit A. This is my new mower. I've retired the old one after one exhausting season. It didn't exactly work very well; you may remember the post about my dad, the mower, and him not producing any YouTube How To videos for a living.

You missed the one about how I tried to give a sewer pipe a crew cut with a lawn mower. The pipe won, the mower folded, and I pulled out my wallet. Yes, I considered trimming the grass with a pair of scissors. It might be more effective for me. Aww Man, and I just got that old mower running!

Instead, I bought a new mower. Little to no research. I saw one in the back of a truck. I said, there! If that's good enough for him, that's good enough for me! I went to Sears, threw down the plastic, and loaded it in the truck. Yes! that IS handlebar tape on the handle and if I could figure out how to affix pedals to it I would. Apparently I sacrified power and comfort for price.

Then there is the girl. She spent weeks, months probably, researching the exact perfect power washer to get. Then when it came down to ordering it she went weak in the knees. Something about price. THEN, she found it in a store. and panicked...What do I do now? You BUY it cheapskate!

I promised her I would wear it on my finger like an engagement ring. She doesn't like that one. It makes me rib her more. Poke. Poke. Poke.

But really we'll get entirely more use out of that power washer than an overpriced silver band of metal. I just read on facebook how one guy lost his wedding band in the forest...the other ran over it with a car. Hey Girl, I dare you to try either one of those with my engagement washer. And I can eat all the cupcakes I want!

Updating....So the other day the girl says to me, I could get a new fridge for $600, OR I could just powerwash the old one. See, this thing is paying for itself already! Imagine what it could do for our 'non-delicate' whites.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cookie Monster

Oh shit. No joke. Last night I was scared out of my pants. At least I think I was wearing pants...then again, maybe not. I was home alone, late at night, watching teevee. Ah, Home, Late, WATCHING teevee...those words still excite me.

Anyway, I was there on the couch when I heard a disturbing noise. Outside. RIGHT outside my window. I was scared frozen. I don't know if the door is locked. I sincerely doubt a bat mysteriously appeared beneath my bed. I was home alone. Unprotected. With a mysterious noise a-clatter outside.

It wasn't just me. The cat was crazy insane. Like something was OUTSIDE THAT WINDOW. She was in the window, darting across the house, in the other window, back again. Parker please STOP THAT you are NOT HELPING THE SITUATION.

The morning revealed the dramatic matter. A plastic cookie container loose in the yard. Yeah, I suppose that could have caused the disturbing noise the night before, sure. But before you sling your biting judgements...it wasn't just a cookie container blowing in the breeze....there was definitely something UP IN that cookie container.

I'm not saying there was a peeping Tom standing outside my window peering in my personal space hoping to find what I stashed in my panties...all while snacking on cookies...but it COULD have happened. Good Lord, the image of that!

Alas something was digging its nose all up in that plastic container that we know. Parker was...On. It. And she is no Pit Bull I know, but if that thing came flying at me in an open window I wouldn't stick around to lick the inside of an oreo. Dessert destroyed.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Roll

I know I promised all these blog entries about our upcoming riding adventures, but it turns out the girl can hold her own. Not that that should surprise anyone. I think in some instances she has redirected her emotional energy inward so I just don't know she's dying on the outside.

I, on the other hand, wear mine on my jersey sleeve. Today was just that day. And I have no excuse. I might as well have been riding an Amish bike for as well as we did.

I really think that's unfair to say now that I said it. We finished. We finished within the allotted time in fact. We even placed. Last. Yes, we were the last three riders back in the parking lot. But as you can see, we stopped often to take pictures and eat jelly sandwiches.

Thankfully the rest stops all waited for us before packing up and heading home. The last three stragglers. Out for a Sunday roll. But why then did my legs ache so? Oh, you think I'm kidding? You should have seen the sag wagon circling us like a vulture atop its prey. Patiently waiting for the twitching entree to die. "Okay, die already!" so says the girl; she should totally have her own blog!

It was a 'Rec' ride. I had no idea we would be racing against serious riders. Perhaps it's the lack of hill training we received on the Eastern Shore? I knew that would be back to bite me in the ass. I just had no idea two riders on Elliptibikes would dust us. 72 miles on a StairMaster! But I'm telling you the girl rocked!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What In Damnation?

It was bound to happen eventually. But can we PLEASE keep this between us!?! So blue, it's true, I passed over into the forbidden zone today. After a decade of strength, today I found weakness. Chalk it up to geography. It wasn't my fault I tell you...I needed tampons.

$165 later I was allowed to leave the Evil Empire. It's a bargain, as they say, if you think about it. I am rarely released from the Giant at under $125 and I walked away with a 40 pound bag of dog chow. I didn't quite appreciate that this is really the size of 2 dogs.

And if you don't mind you could tell the Girl they have a bin, a rather large bin, of movies for $5. Movies you've heard of. Movies you want to see. Now I know this isn't $3...it's damn near twice the price, I can hear her saying it. But it's a movie title you might loan out. You may even watch it again yourself. You'll more than double the value just by getting it here rather than Big Lots.

Okay so, back to my shopping extravagursion....it hasn't changed much. It's just as amazing as I remember it all those years ago. Don't get me wrong, I still don't believe in the monster it became, but damn, the deals can blind you...yes, I know.... I still don't think you should buy an engagement ring there, you know, if you're shopping.

I got hardware items, feminine hygiene, dental, camping supplies, pet items, craft stuff, things that are STILL in the car! I'm telling you, if I had just discovered this joint I'd die just telling you about it. But sadly it wasn't my first time, and worse yet, it won't be my last. Those days are over, for so many reasons.

But really, you could spend the day in there! All damn day. If you couldn't afford AC...they give that shit away for free! Go on, pack a lunch, no don't, you can get one there. Just go. Shop. Walk. People gwak. Get your eyes checked. Yeah, they got that. You don't HAVE to support the Evil Empire, but I dare you not to buy something. In fact it's like a Pringle, I dare you to just buy ONE thing.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trim Your Bushes Ma'am?

For those of you who don't know, I like to ride. And I hate to walk. Hiking should not be an activity high on your To-Do-With-Me List if you are taking notes. Unless you don't mind hearing me whine about how I "could totally ride my bike here".

Now I know you can't tell from this teeny picture, but at the tippy end  of my clippers here is a bush. A bush that needs trimmin'. She says. This is also something that should NOT be on my To Do List. I don't exactly understand the meaning of "a little off the top". It's easy! She says. Just enough so you can read the numbers. She says.

So goes life at the country house. While the Bride-2-Be earns my keep, I am left to fend for myself in the boonies. So I pack a sandwich, fill the canteen, grab the clippers, and begin my arduous trek out to the end of the driveway. Unfortunately my Mavic Ksyriums "should totally NOT ride here".

Much to my disappointment there are clippers to do the actual cutting and others that are merely decorative in the shed. Guess which ones I grabbed. So back to the house I go; at this rate I should be done by Friday. And depending on how restrictive I am about the cutting, the bushes are likely to need trimmin' again by then.

Oh yeah, the clipping.That old issue.  And my inability to stick with the plan. When the girl left this morning the bushes were red. They are now green. But you can read the address. You know, just in case any Dr Pepper delivery boys are in the area distributing free samples of Dr Pepper 10. It happens.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ride and Seek

Either you already know me and are full well aware of this or you've been following along and can naturally assume...I've found the love of my life. Problem is she lives over there. And I live here.

Up to this point we have been juggling nicely. In this corner we have the city closet and the other the country cottage. I'm fairly certain all the pets would prefer to reside freely in the country...just maybe not all together.

And I think both girls would also like to reside in the quieter, calmer country, even together, just one of the two gets bored. I'll let you figure out which one. That one complains about lack of activity, lack of excitement, the bugs, the wind, the straight, flat, boring rides. Oh, and the pillowcases the other one keeps trying to pass off as actual fortified pillows.

But I'm, I mean, she, is trying. Okay, it's me, I'm the complainer. But let's focus back to trying. It was windy as hell yesterday...and I couldn't wait to get there and throw the bike to the wind. I'm gonna beat that beast! Now I knew the wind was behind me, but it so rarely is here. So I went with it.

And went. And went. And went. I also took the ipod. Oh, yeah, that is a must have addition. Both ears, I don't really want to hear the car about to run me down on those curvy country roads, sorry Baby. And no GPS, I'd rather get lost.

And lost, I got. Well, not really, I'm not sure you can get lost there. First there are all these seagulls all over the road. White. Yellow. Teal. Full on green. SB, I followed that once too. And the sun and the wind and the tried and true, satellite dish. Clear view of the southwest sky. You can't get lost, but you can get good and far from home, quick, depending on the direction of the wind. And I say, ride with it!

So I did. And then I looked at my phone and realized I was nowhere near home and the girl was about to get off work. I was about to mess the whole night up as I was out trying to turn my bladed spokes into a kite! So I snapped a picture of the cross sign nearest me and sent it. Come find me! And she did. If you did that to someone in the city (in their same neighborhood) they wouldn't have a clue as to where you were! I'm just saying...

Okay, now go on and grab yourself a seat for this one....Are you ready? I love this girl so much I am about to propose....

....a compromise.

From now on I head out on the bike and ride with the wind until I either run out of road or time. I send pix of street signs and landmarks to the girl until she gets off work. Then she comes to find me, like a scavenger hunt, throws the bike in the truck, and takes me out for a beer. Yeah, I think maybe I could get used to the country...there's just that small hitch of a job....

Did I mention she stopped and bought me chocolate milk without prompt? That's my girl.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Before I die...

I was finally ready this morning. Not to die silly, keep reading, you don't need to sign up. I decided it was time to forgive news. It's not it that treated me wrong, it's actually people like me, who don't pay attention. And I missed it. The News.

But I no longer know how to find News. I'm sure it's still out there. Seems like now more than ever it should be easy to find, but I'm still looking. I decided on a source and went to check it out.

Not so much. I read one story. And I got worried someone somewhere was tracking my tastes and then it would wind up on Facebook. But I kept going. I'm not really sure how to find what's in there though. I'm used to, and I know I'm dating myself here, holding up the paper and checking the headlines. When I tried to do that there, I got blogs. While I enjoy reading opinions, that's not what I was there to do. Do they still make news without opinions? Maybe not.

When I was a kid I used to watch my Daddy read the newspaper. I would grab the comics and try to be just like him. But my arms were just so short and holding them out there with the paper was so hard. If you had asked me then what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have said, 'able to hold the paper like Daddy'. I had no idea paper would become a fossil.

Anyway, then I found a story I wanted to read. I tried clicking on it. This Source needs me to sign up. Sign up? Oh no, that's how they git ya. Then they'd have my true identity and really start checking what I read. Then I'd have freaking advertisements flashing at me when I'm trying to read my HOTmail. No thanks. If I wanted that, I'd watch teevee. Oh, that's how people get paid? I thought they just slashed salaries and laid people off. Maybe I'm not ready.

Okay, so I saw the title, Before I die I want to.... It's an art project. I simply Googled it. Yeah, I know they are still tracking me. But I didn't have to sign in to get it. The Art Project: It's like Post Secret. I like that stuff. But I couldn't finish the sentence.

I'm not one to carry a bucket list. I like to make lists but I like even more checking them off. So I'm sure there's a ton of things I want to do before I die, but right here right now I'm doing them. I hate to go back to a previous post, but you can either wear the shirt or live the life. And yes, my Doctor, I suppose you could do both!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

H8RS

There's been some discussion about money lately. Big surprise, but it's not the economy stupid. There's also been some discussion about the topics of my blogs of late. The girl points out it should be about biking not her.

Noted. Unfortunately since the quitting of the job (money) there's been no notable commute (riding) to speak of. And since she's the hub of my universe, there you have it. Besides, as I told her, I have an audience of two and they'd rather hear about my happiness than biking.

I ran into a friend today who asked about 9. I told him I quit. He smiled and had an unmistakable twinkle in his eye. I could have hugged him right there in the liquor store. THAT'S WHY! I don't know how, but this positive response is more rare than one would hope.

I guess one really needs to weigh one's happiness...and more often than not it's measured from a wallet. I'm not discounting that; in fact, I accepted that early on and planned accordingly. But I reached a point when I needed to make a change, so I did.

I don't have a family depending on me. And the bills are manageable. You let me know when our retirement funds match and then I'll worry...for now, I think I'm good. If you play the lottery to get more stuff then by all means keep working. If you play to quit your job you are wasting your money; save it and quit!

I'd rather spend the day doing nothing with the girl. Riding my bike through the forest. Working in the yard. Penciling my way through a crossword on the couch, girl leaning on my shoulder giving me the right answers. Cost = nothing; Value = priceless.

So you know what...you can keep your money. I have everything I need right here. She's proud of me. I did what I said. I'm living the life. You can buy a Life is Good shirt, or you can just Make Your Life Good. It's YOUR move.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

She Makes It Rain

I am certainly aware that lately the girl has been the object of my blog. And she's a super good sport about it, but I might add, she asked to be written about.  I still feel compelled to show the other side; she is after all the girl for a reason.

See, she has what it takes. What it takes not only to put up with me, but what it takes to make me happy, which comes with its own set of challenges. But, she's getting it done.

We like to say we discovered each other. You see we've known each other for more years than I care to admit. We've crossed circles, had dinner, shared a laugh or two, but never knew each other. I guess we were doing what we needed to first. And clearly life just lined up perfectly this year...unless you really believe that crap about posting on my blog my list to Santa and she wound up in my stocking.

It's been fun 'dating' online, really taking the time to get to know each other, developing a foundation of listening and communicating before jumping in. It's even fun dating long distance (it's really not that far). Most of all it's just fun, period.

She listens to me. She tells me stories. I trust her. She shares her life with me. We take turns doing everything, from driving, to dishes, to writing little ditties. She laughs at me. I laugh at her. She is my best friend.

I can't begin to tell you about great she is, but I think she knows. You may not even care, but I had to say something. She is amazing and I repeat a good sport. She takes care of me when I'm not even looking, but eventually I see.

I realize my recent life choices probably made us possible. It makes my decision just that much sweeter. Once upon a time I wanted to see more sunsets. Turns out I like listening to the birds at 6 in the morning too. Right now the best I can do is make it drizzle, but it's still worth waking up next  to the girl...despite the cheap ass pillow ;)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dog Gone It!

Doggone it! I could have been a speed racer. But I went and moved. Over here on the Eastern Shore you can really focus on things like speed, and cadence, and pedal stroke. There's really nothing else to think about.

So now that I'm back my rides feel a lot like sitting on a trainer...except for that blasted wind. I've got flat, and boring, and windy. Awesome.

But I'm making the most of it. I do miss the puzzle of squeezing through city traffic and the contant mind whirl of how to survive, but a quiet open road in the country is not bad. It's just different.

Yes, there is the pitfall of the 'country dog'. I picked up a rather large one today. He was with an owner so I didn't sweat it. Just poured on the power because I could. In the distance I could hear the dog's name being shouted repeatedly. I figured it might be chasing me. I was about to turn around to check when I saw it pulling ahead of me. Wow! We stayed neck and wheel for some time. Could anyone help me with the SOP on this one....do I need to return the dog after our sprint workout or just keep on keeping on?

It's good training, but as of yet, I'm still a nogo on the racing scene, despite the tireless (ha) training partners. I'm much more content working on my post Tour Finish Line technique, seen here in the photo above. Arms outstretched, eyes to the sky...there's just no one around to hand me my glass of champagne. Really, I'd settle for a PBR. Anyone?

Note to the Christmas shopper...a stocked ipod and tri bars would be awesome in my Christmas stocking...What!?! It worked last time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bare Naked Ladies

Haha. It's not what you think. The group, not the the exotic male fantasy. But let's watch my Hit statistics soar on this post!

If I had 1,000,000 we would absolutely still eat Kraft dinners. We are both cheap that way. The girl would prefer to call it frugal, but let's be honest cheap is as cheap does.

And I would like to state for the record, some things are worth the price. Take pillows for example. She scoffs at me because I will pay $80 for one pillow. I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't easy, but I don't spend more time in the day in any single other place; it should be comfortable.

She on the other hand would rather spend 12.99 on a pillow. And then buy 5 pillows. This is great if there's the possibility of a sleep over or orgy breaking out, but at our age I suspect neither one is highly likely. One good quality pillow should suffice.

So what happens apparently is she gets to pile four pillows on top of each other  in an effort to create one usable pillow while I get the one  flattened extra one, which by the way, is not unlike sleeping on the bare naked mattress.

Now she will read this and say' "HEY, you make me sound like ________________." (I'm not sure how she will fill in the blank this time) She will then follow that proudly with, "And I did NOT spend $12.99 on any pillow! I bought them at the Dollar Store."

Baby, if you can spend $80 on a bike seat the least you can do is spend as much on a pillow. Wait, what am I saying I bought the bike seat too.

Hi Sweetie, I love you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coaster

Beverly Hillbilly Cart. That's what she called it. My no emissions carbon footprint reducing rig...a cart? Hillbilly cart?  Baby.

I mean maybe there might be a design flaw or three. Maybe. Maybe I didn't think it completely through when I was McgYVering together a bike trailer to haul supplies and stuff out of scraps around the bike barn.

Take for example the zip tied milk crates...which got in the way of transporting the display board. She may have mentioned something about the immovable crates. Nothing about the display board.

She may have also mentioned something about weight. But we were fashioning this thing out of stuff in the yard. I mean I know they sell wood at Home Depot (who doesn't...don't answer that) but what about aluminum beams? And most people who weld, can't even do aluminum. What do you expect Baby? I'm an office manager not an architect. And I don't even have an office!

So the peg board was a nice compromise I thought...until it rained. Particle board doesn't do great in the rain. Know what else doesn't do great, in general? Pulling a loaded down trailer with a single speed. Not great at all. She didn't mention that either.

But I really can't hold her responsible for the design flaws, I was the one throwing this thing together. Not to detract from her part; she held a very important role in the cart making experience, but it's not like she came up with it. On second thought, perhaps indirectly she may have been partially responsible for the design flaws now that I think about it. Holding someone's beer as they work, as important as that may be, may also involve a few negative kickbacks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Lesson In Communication

What she said was, my chain came off and my brake is rubbing a little bit. I didn't take a hint. We kept going. This is the first of the many blog posts I promised in an upcoming mountain bike series...word of caution: it might also be the last.

Now I don't know if this was before or after she decided to ram her bicycle into a tree in hopes of rendering her bike useless forcing us back to the parking lot. If this happened before the chain came off...I'm thinking this might be why.

If, however, it happened after....Baby, we need to address your stubbornness.  When I stop and ask, how we doing....the generic answer is not fine. When I stop and ask if you want to go to the zoo...I'm saying, would you like to take a break from the bike and go look at animals. Maybe I should have asked, would you like to have pizza?

Turns out my wording is all wrong. This isn't the first time I've heard this. When we got to a turning point what I said was, do you want to BAIL? I hear it now, I get it, you're right. What I needed to say was, would you like to redirect our energy in a more advantageous way to make the most of our dwindling time together and perhaps grab some food before you need to head back home?

In my defense, I did ask about the zoo. It's my gentle reminder about our 'safe word' Po-UHOH-ny. Damn it, I did it again. I missed her obscure clue. What she said was, what's that brown thing over there? Like a clueless dolt I said HORSE. Which dumb ass....is the same as....PONY.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wolf

Oh Virginia, we need to talk. We've been spending way too much time together these days. And let's be honest, you're high maintenance.

It's the roads. The directions? The signs? Somehow every time I'm in your state, I get lost. I'm not sure it's me, it could be you. I know your people say it's us and they talk dirt about our roads, but let's be real...

Have you ever traveled the back roads of Virginia? They are numbered, like Interstates. I think some of them might be driveways. But then you get on the big roads and it's like they ran out of numbers, so they use them twice. Did anyone think maybe this wasn't a great idea? Different roads, same numbers.

Take the weekend I wound up in a circle with directions to stay on 29. And every road leaving the circle was 29! Four choices, all the same route. Business 29. Old 29. New 29. Let's-Trick-The-Out-Of-Staters 29. Nice.

This weekend the road completely changed names on me. When I looked down at my directions it said Gallows Rd. Then, turn left on Gallows Rd. And left on Gallows Rd. And somewhere along the way Gallows Rd. became another road. So let me get this straight, I was supposed to turn three times onto Gallows Rd. but after the first time, I LOST Gallows Rd??

I gave in early. I turned off to look at my map, to see where I went wrong. Turns out I just needed to go one more street and I'd be back on Gallows Rd. UNCLE.  I'm done trying to figure it out. So when I left I followed a fellow Virginian. He drove me in one complete circle, but at least I recognized it straight up. And he was using a 'smart' phone.

Siri, get me out of Virginia.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Huff and Puff and Bluff

You may be scratching your head these days over the topic of this blog. You look up, you look over, it appears to be about biking and yet the body is disguised as something else. Why did you sign up for this feed after all? Certainly not the wisdom, or the entertainment. Why DO you read this insanity?

Well, strap yourself in, you are in for quite the ride, AND we are bringing it back to riding. I anticipate some lively entries this upcoming riding season. I, as you know, have more time to kill. And perhaps you've noticed I've also acquired a girl...to kill. Tell your friends, they're gonna wanna subscribe.

She will tell you different. She will puff out her chest and spit quite the smack. I will goad her on. I will tease and taunt her. She will call my bluff. I will chase her up hills. She will run me off the trail on the down. IF she can catch me.

I think her lungs will explode. She has informed me it is not about lungs, but heart. Baby, this isn't a Hallmark card, pocket your sappy sentiment.  These are her exact words, not lungs, but heart. I am recording them here so I can feed them to her later. A mid-trail snack. That is if her heart doesn't stop due to lack of oxygen. I'm just saying....

But we ARE talking single track. She doesn't get to pass me on the down if she can't get ahead of me on the up. I don't doubt she will blow me away on the downhill. We haven't been on the trails together yet. She will say she is fearless. It could be that. It could be her competitive nature. Stubbornness?  Perhaps stupidity? It could be she's a card carrying insurance holder, and I am not. I'll let you, the reader, be the future judge and jury.

Like I told her earlier, it is she who makes it uphill first that controls the speed on the other side in single track. Baby, try to keep up.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doo Dad

IF he had a day job I might tell him to keep it.  My inheritance depends upon it you know. We are talking about my dad. And I'm not being overly critical, technically he did fix the problem.

The ah, the DANGER sticker there on the right...I realize the red highlights look particularly nice against the red mower but it is NOT an accessory. It is actually alerting the user to potential DANGER. Go figure. The most notable ones, surprisingly, involve putting your hands in places they shouldn't be, hence the hand on said label.

So the lawn mower has not worked for months. Every week I pull it out and try to start it, without really doing anything to it, and well, it doesn't start. See, it's not a computer, you can't turn it off and turn it back on or reboot it or even unplug it.

It's a good old fashioned mechanical engine. Even runs offa petroleum based gas-o-leen. In fact I thought that was the problem. I tried filling it. Nothing. I checked the brake cable. Nope. I took off the cover and confirmed the primer has actually spitting gas into the doohickey. Wasn't it.

I tried my Dad again not that he typically answers my calls. He knows about this issue and he is avoiding it. See, he 'fixed' it last fall. AH, Hello? You're home?!?! The mower....here's what it's doing, or rather not doing.

He tells me to take another cover off, back near that brake cable I already checked. Here is where the previous issue resided. Do you see a wire? Yes. Cut the red one, NO NOT THE PURPLE ONE...Just kidding.

He told me to disconnect the wire and try to start it again. Clearly I didn't understand what this does and I asked if I needed to squeeze the handle, he confirmed that I did. Now, here would have been a great time to explain that the mower would no longer stop running when you let go of that handle, but he left that part out. Sure enough it started...

And so, I had the cell phone in one hand, the mower in the other, and when I let go nothing happened. Cool, now the mower won't stop! I might have preferred it not starting. I could barely hear my Dad, and then he was gone. Perfect, Call Lost. Now? I lose the call NOW?

He tells me to grab a piece of metal and touch the wire, it needs to be grounded. Do WHAT? Ground a live wire? Really? Is that safe? From a man who will stick a metal object in a live receptacle. I bravely pushed a screwdriver on it, nothing. Nothing. Nothing. He said, well, I guess keep mowing until you run out of gas. Awesome.



Monday, April 2, 2012

Good Ole Fashioned Neck Wringing

Why I oughta...I don’t often ride up to an open window. Especially one at a stop sign, lingering, on a chilly, dark night. But it was clear I wasn’t pedalling forward tonight if I didn’t.

The driver leaned over and back and said, “Excuse me…” This is how they ‘get you’. They act like they are in need of assistance and then they try to school you. And not like they ever ask, but this particular night I was all good with my pile of knowledge, thanks.

So he says, “I just wanted to let you know you aren’t very visible from behind.” Now I had checked my light before I left and I knew it was bright and visible. The headlight….not so much, it was desperately in need of a charge. And so I waved my hand in front of my sputtering headlamp and said, “I’m not overly visible from the front right now either and the longer we stand here and discuss it the less visible I become so I’d really rather go.” 

Then, because he’s the type that knows everything and needs to not only let every one of us know that but also spread his diarrhea of knowledge around the crib like a unsupervised baby with a dirty diaper, he starts to talk about the angle from which my light is dangling from my bag and the trajectory of light emanating from within. 

He follows this up with, “And you should really have reflectors on your pedals.”  Okay, Mr. Selfish…did I not mention my dying headlight? I politely and less condescending than him explained that real pedals don’t really work that way, but thanks again.  I left out the presence of the glowing reflectors on my shoes, bag, jacket, and gloves, which he clearly didn't see.  

And if he actually had his eyes on the road, the brightly lit city road, he might actually see me. Given the field angle times the hypotenuse of the beam spread divided by the width of the lens x focal length of the instrument minus the kelvins absorbed by my dark clothing…Really I just wanted to say, maybe it's your driving.

Then he gunned the engine, scared the elderly man dead center of his front bumper carefully crossing the street in the crosswalk, as I screamed, “Don’t hit the pedestrian in front of you!” The street crosser breathed a sigh of Thanks to me and I rest my case about this guy’s driving. Just sayin...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Found My Match

When I was a kid, right about the age of 12 I bet, my mom said I should collect something. We were sitting at Wendy's with a burger, fries, and frosty. I had no idea this would stay with me for a lifetime. That is a true story, and this was my first pack.

Turns out whatever I was searching for all those years has been here all along. Just glad we both finally figured it out...at the same time.

For those of you who know me it may have seemed like I was never satisfied with anything.  Yes, I knew what I wanted and I wasn't overly interested in settling. Again, you can blame my mom. I had a tall (so to speak) order and some of you said it not possible. Shame on me for listening.

Mom always said, a girl can do anything a boy can do...better. I'm not sure this is what she had in mind...but HANDS UP! Mom was right. Damn that Title IX women's lib shit. The girl doesn't have red pigtails but I'm telling you if she did I'd still love her!

She is smart and witty and fun and sensitive (don't tell her I told you). She enjoys being outside, she writes, she listens, she pretends that she's not.  She knows the value of good beer, eats oreos off the floor (really, don't tell her I told you), sings off key, and makes up her own words. She likes to drive, knows how to use a prehistoric map, listens to ABBA, and can quote John Hughes.

She is there when I need her and lets me help when I can (although she phrases it more like an order and I let her because it makes her feel like she doesn't need me -- when I know she really does). She has a really cute dog, an awesome house, and should be pulling up any second.

I know she didn't think this when she woke up, but I really can't think of a more perfect day. Hi Dear, how was your day, can I get you a beer?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Horror Trailer

CUT! Parker heard the news that we were cutting back due to my recent employment situation. Not wanting to miss a meal, she decided to try her hand at writing/directing, you know to bring extra money in.

Unfortunately things went horribly wrong during the dress rehearsal of her latest masterpiece. We had ourselves a near fatal kite incident in the office today. It began with blood curdling screams and ended with actual blood. Yet another inconvenient distraction in the workspace called home.

It wasn't her fault. I heard the kite attacking her from the living room to the kitchen. Then came the screaming. At first I thought she was rehearsing, but the screams were loud and real and unstopping. When I entered the room I saw the kite flying across the room...We had gone over NO BALL PLAYING IN THE HOUSE, we had never honestly discussed flying a kite. Noted.

Like a fool I ran to her aid. She promptly repaid me by impaling my finger with her fangs. And then continued her drama routine. It may have been overly dramatic. When it was all said and done all that had happened was she had slipped her paw through the plastic handle. She then proceeded to act like Janet Leigh at the hands of Anthony Perkins. It's not like the string was wrapped around her intestine and pulled tight.

Later we will review the fable of the little boy who cried wolf. Right now she is resting comfortably and I am planning a life with one less finger, just in case it turns black and falls off.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hi Jack!

Well that is odd; when I parked the car there it was gold and now I'll be darned if it don't look silver. It's true, the Honda with the bike rack I put in that spot had been replaced with a similar one. The most notable difference not being the change in color but the fact that my personal effects were no longer inside AND my key did not work. Honestly I didn't try but I suspect it would not.

As a cyclist I naturally assumed my car had been stolen immediately. People don't TOW bikes. I wouldn't really expect a company you were representing at an event to tow a car either but you know what they say about assumptions.

Let's just skip to the retrieval process shall we. First let me say AAA gives you 4 miles in which to tow a car on their basic plan. And it's not like we live in the expanse of the country, surely one could find a place to tow a car within 2 miles! Alas my car ended up cross town, which on a rainy dreary day is much further than it sounds.

Lucky for me I turned down the cab ride and hitched a ride with my boss. And as we stood there waiting to pay the fee to have my car relocated 14 miles from where I needed it to be it occurred to me I had no ID on me. It had likewise been towed with my car, which was nowhere in sight.

Again, lucky for me, that guy in the cap (upper right corner) had his, which they readily, without question, accepted as permission to simply release MY car to HIM for a mere $168.  Apparently any Tom, Dick, or Jack can drive off in my car, no proof required. Again, without question, a quarter mile down the road, I walked into a lot and reclaimed my unlocked car.

Lessons:
1. Next time, ride a bike. 
2. Never assume a company 'has your back'
3. If you are short on cash and need a new car, hang out in a parking lot, follow a tow truck back to the lot. Write down the make and license number of a car you like. Turn it in with about $200 cash and tell them your wallet was in the car, Presto...new car, no monthly payment!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Grounds For Divorce...Already?

First, please don't tell the girl. Girl: please log off immediately, I think I smell smoke, you should go check it out. But when I got up today I wanted coffee. Now I know she told me where the filters were, I can see her holding them when I close my eyes. I just can't remember from where she pulled them.

So I dug deep for my McGyver skills. Okay, and second, it was already used so I didn't waste an IKEA napkin. You see the girl loves IKEA napkins, goes on and on about them. So I thought, these things must be industrial good. Good enough to run coffee through, or so I hoped. Take that Bounty.

Now somehow the girl is going to find this out. I have NO idea how but she will. And then I will get the eye. Maybe even, "Baby, I told you where the filters were..." She did. I admitted that above. She gave me a novelette of items to remember about co-habitating in her house. I've got the internet to work but I'm not even going to try the TV and that's sad given my background. But it's not my fault the boss says I'm untrainable.

But they were IKEA napkins! I bet it even says, can be used as coffee filters right there on the packaging. They didn't catch fire. And I did the dishes and picked up sticks. And dinner, did you want your sauce on top or on the side?

You shouldn't have given Boi the day off (again). Baby, I unplugged the coffee pot as soon as it was done. Just like the novelette says.

ooh. I just found the filters.