Friday, December 27, 2013

Illuminating

Well I have now sunk to an all time low. Here, on my bike blog, we have...a car entry. I don't know what to say. I can't possibly have an excuse. I can't even blame the girl.

And I don't know, perhaps it was all those years in the saddle...all the miles on the bike...but that little light of mine, it shined, shined, shined. And then it stopped.

Now I've seen how much those car people charge you for simple little things. Search the blog for 'Honda', specifically 'EX'. And so I'm not sure if you can call me cheap when I tell you my dome light burnt out a few weeks ago and I dragged my feet about replacing it...

...oh hell of course you can call me cheap, I used to break my Q-Tips in half and save them if I only used one side....that's cheap.

But anyway, one of these here replacement bulbs only costs a girl five bucks. I take that back. Technically it's $2.50 if we're counting pennies. NOT that you can buy them that way. They come in a two pack, solely. And again, at the risk of sounding cheap...what a waste! Do I really need two? Unless of course those car people factory installed a plutonium based ultra life bulb when I bought it 14 years ago....and of course charged me $268 for it.

But I can't in this lifetime imagine needing a second bulb. This one lasted 14 years after all! I mean even if you account for all the years it just sat sitting in the driveway untouched and unlit I'd still need to throw down another 150,000 miles...and no offense DAE-Z I ain't trying to keep you that long.

So, I guess I got a bargain. And I know, most cars today probably need two of these things anyway...although really!?! This thing looks like an old carbon-filament bulb made by Mr. Thomas Edison himself...I'm super lucky they even still make them, right?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Glass Houses? What About BRICK Houses??

I told her. You can't just come up in the city and act any old way you want without consequences. I mean maybe that's something you could do in the country, but up here you need walk the line. Mind your p's (Ripley). Tend your q's (Girl).

But the girl does what she wants. You can try to tell her, but she's always going to do what she wants. And now look. Look what's happened.

That is a brick. A brick from my own house. A brick from her chimney (I also told her we needed repairs). A brick relocated to the driveway, centimeters from my car...with a brand new windshield.

Oh, that's just surface brick she says. It just chipped off the edge of the chimney, she says. Oh really? Really, really? And I suppose you think this has nothing to do with the fact that you are feeding the wild animals in the yard that I told you not to humor. No, of course not.

Yes, that's exactly what I think happened. Those darned squirrels are up on our roof plotting against us for our bird feeding preferences. "Look biotch, I told you we want peanuts. Peanuts, not sunflowers!"

"And what's with this tiny feed," the other one chimes in. "I want me some ears of corn. Do you have any idea how much seed we'll need to shove in our cheeks before we're ready for the winter cold? Ain't nobody got time for that!"

That's when it happens. Them squirrely squirrels chip away at that fireplace chimney with their squirrely-squirrel-claws until a piece breaks loose. Then they laugh and sneer as Cheeks McGee draws his tiny squirrel paws back and hurls his fuzzy-tailed-rat-rage at my Civic. I bet they turn back around and fist bump those tiny fur paws of theirs too. And say, "WHAT!?"

Friday, December 13, 2013

I Resemble That Comment

Once upon a time there was a blog. It went by the name 'Cog Blog'. It was about a girl and her bike.

Day after day the author rode her bike to work and sometimes for fun. She used to post pictures and witticisms about those rides and sometimes had choice words for naughty traffic...especially this time of year.

Then she met a girl. And a dog. And two cats besides her own. Her life became less about bikes and more about picking up shhh...she might hear you.

Yes, once upon a time tires were meant for rolling not throwing. It's true what they say, marriage can change a girl. Now there's no time for riding. There's just walking and throwing. Throwing and walking. Would you want to tell her no?

Alas, there is still a blog. It is just updated less and more about life. Or at least less about angry traffic. Thanks for tuning in and standing by. Maybe soon we can return you to your regularly scheduled program...not currently in progress.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Throwback Almost Thursday.

Perhaps I am showing my age, but old school works. Today I was at a bit of a technology seminar and I glanced about to all the laptops and felt a little silly with my pen and paper. Then I pulled out my flip phone. And read from a book with physical pages. You could touch. Yeah, I still roll like that. Like a stone wheel chiseled by hand.

And then technology bit me in the ass. I rushed home to go to a school fair...that I never made it to. Instead I took a two hour tour of the county. In the rain. During rush hour. Whoop Whoop. Guess what day it is? It's okay I heard the camel was furloughed. It's almost Throwback Thurs-DAAY.

I made the mistake of googling the address. When I arrived it didn't feel right. So I consulted GPS, which confirmed I was at the right place. I mean the sign in front of the school said Hoover Middle School, which was my destination. It had to be right. But it's not where I needed to be.

I now firmly believe this was the old Hoover Middle. What I needed was the new Hoover Middle. I had no idea. The internet didn't tell me that. To confuse the situation I found yet another Hoover Middle on the other side of the county. THREE Hoover Middles? Are you freaking kidding me??

Here's a thought, when you invite me to the fair how about giving me an actual address? And a contact number??  Silly me, I thought I could just check the internet and get there no problem. And in case the jury was still out, everything on the internet is NOT true.

Oh hey, just the other day I was on Google and searched for map. Sometimes I search for translate when I need Google translate. So I searched for map to get Google maps. Know what the number one search result was on Google? MapQuest. Go figure. And I should have stuck with it...they know where the right Hoover Middle is.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Up a Really Big Creek Without a Paddle

Okay, so the move to meld the mouses, both country and city, is a bit like shopping for a sofa. Seems like it should be a fun activity; turns out it's not. And I feel a bit like I'm up shit creek.

Doesn't help that the girl is right there with me....in the creek we'll call, de Nile.

So it's no secret I'm thrilled with the situation. Although she might be surprised to learn I'm sad about leaving the country. I'm going to miss it. But I try to keep it all to myself.

See, I'm not sure she is thrilled. And I don't want to rub it in her face. I'm sure she feels like she is giving up a lot to come to me. I, on the other hand, can't wait for her to see what she's gonna gain. I think she's keeping a secret calendar marking off the time until she can return to paradise.

In the meantime, we don't talk about it. And if we do, we fight. I'm told this is normal. I don't love it. She says I act like I'm not excited about it. --the move, not the fighting. Yes, that is kinda what I was going for. On the inside I'm pink with delight.

I say, you also don't seem excited about it. She says she is. But you see how she packs right? Keeps saying she's not moving anything. I'm like, you realize you are MOVING to the city. It's where you live now little mouse. Yeah, but all I need is some pants. Some pants, 'that's all I need... And these matches. - The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball... And this lamp. And I don't need one other thing, except my dog.' Jerk.

I feel like she doesn't expect to stay long. Like she is uprooting her life for the next 6 months and that's all. Then we move back. You see my trunk right? Just some random pieces from her life packed piece by piece in the Civic. This picture, my mug, chapstick, and some pants, that's all I need.  Baby, I don't love boxes stored in the attic, but I'm not opposed to them whilst physically moving. And you're not The Jerk. Maybe we could try actually packing something next time?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Define Normal

My whole life I've either been a step ahead or a staircase behind. I had short hair before it was cool. Rode a bike before it was green. Kissed a girl before it was on the Top 40.

What I did right on time was find my wife at exactly the right moment. We were planning our marriage just as our state was planning to legalize it. We were expecting our certified license in the mail the day the nation recognized our melded life.

Most couples are worried about colors and flowers and where to have the reception. We were concerned with rights and taxes and health care. Who would come and who would scorn, not where to seat them. As we became one, which companies would accept us and which would give us hurdles. There are plenty of hurdles...we continue to find. And yet plenty of people who won't bat an eye when a woman says my wife.

Some see our choices as unconventional. Okay, if you must. I've been different my whole life. But saying my wife feels as natural as my own skin. I don't care about your policies or loopholes. Falling asleep in my wife's arms erases any struggles in our day.

The heteroes bucked society by living together before getting married. And here we are married, living apart. Now I'm hearing the key to a successful marriage is not living together at all. Here we go again. A step ahead about to fall behind. Different as the day is long. C'est la vie. Haven't you read the new YouTube comments, she keeps me warm.

I'm not sure if I should be excited or not, the whole process has been such a stressful journey. I want to live with my wife. I want dinner at the table with conversations of our day. Dog walks, evening jogs, rides to the city, nights on the couch with the remote. Many many more blog posts about life with the girl.

She makes breakfast. I cook dinner. She kills poison ivy. I do dishes and laundry. We love each other, support each other, depend on each other. We are married. And soon we will live in the same house. Yeah, I'm excited. Normal or not.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Hey Bud

This is exactly what I'm saying. Guess what I found today, finally? It's stringy, pink, and heard all over. Welcome back ipod, I can finally hear you now.

Ear buds. Yes, ear buds. Where were they? Is that what you asked? I just want to make sure I heard you correctly. Where? In the office.

NO, I am NOT saying the girl was right. In fact, what I am saying is I was right. This is why we don't throw items willy nilly around the office. In the black bin would be one thing, but these were clearly not there. I looked 104 times. Every time the girl said, they are in the office.

Yes, I understand how that last statement makes it seem like the wife was right. But clearly you are not listening to me. Typical. See I know she didn't put them in that white bag. That's not what she meant when she kept saying, "in the office." I have no earthly idea how they ended up in the white bag. PARKER?!! Hmmm? Well, yes, maybe.

But let me distract you from this post a second since you seem to be taking her side...

Today I was at the market and I sent a text to my wife.
It said, "Honey do we need bread?"
She replied, "No it's in freezer."
I snicker, "Really, there's bread in the freezer?"
She doesn't miss a beat, "3 loaves in freezer."
I said, "Clearly you haven't read the latest blog."
Fresh, fresh, exciting...

Really I'm just procrastinating because now that I found my ear buds I have no excuse not to go out and run. It's not like I need to stay in and make bread or anything.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Keepin' It Fresh


Good lord woman! Did they discontinue sliced bread? I mean even after the rush on Twinkies they ended up bringing them back. I don't think bread will ever go out of fashion. It's not a fad.

Haven't you ever heard the expression, the best thing since sliced bread? It's here to stay, mark my words. There's no need to hoard it. It's much better fresh.

Meanwhile she has got every chilled crevasse stuffed with the floured yeast product. And here's the thing, wait for it...she doesn't even hardly eat it!

I'm not exactly sure what the plan is but we are covered. Covered in bread. If the apocalypse comes maybe she is planning on lining the house walls in it to protect us from inevitable doom. Floods, good there too. Just open the fridge and all the water will be aborbed in no time flat!

Maybe it's the drama king across the street. He can be quite loud. Bread would most definitely deafen the sound of his whining rants that last hours and hours on end. Just ball up the bread and stuff it in your ears. I mean if your ear buds are missing and all. I know, they're in the office!

I can only assume she gets it at half price. The bread not the sarcasm. She was born that way. By the looks of things I won't be having fresh bread for the next year and a half. It might be different if we had a toaster. Or space to buy lunch meat or cheese. Good grief.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Girls, Work It Out


I used to get my panties in a bunch whenever the girl would ask me to do something in the middle of my work day. Like laundry or food shop. Um, I'm WORKING, I would quip, borderline annoyed.

And she would always put stuff on my 'desk'. Papers, Reader's Digests, crap we bought at the store the night before. It would drive me nuts any time I went to the country. I'd have to reorganize my office 'space' every morning. I'd miss the city where I had my own 'office'.

She's gotten much better about respecting my country desk. Now apparently, we need to work on the city office. Baby.

It's her house, I can't much complain. And she's cleaning up. But cleaning up means if she doesn't find it important or see a place for it it goes in the office. My office. I looked up office and it does not mean a place to store unwanted stuff. In fact it means quite the opposite.

It's a room assigned to an individual in which they do business. I'm that individual and my business is not rearranging stuff. I do collect a lot of unwanted stuff, but we send it overseas far far away from my office.

And so we do this little dance every weekend. I go to work, she cleans up the house by throwing everything in my office, closing the door, and forgetting about it. Monday morning I get up and move everything she put in there back out into the hall and living room. It doesn't belong in the office. I have to WORK there.

Baby, where's my ear buds? Last I saw them, they were in the office. Sigh, I'm not surprised. It's like the bi-cycle tri-angle in there, things go in and never come out.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grounded

At it again. By the time I'm finished I will have rewired the entire country house. It's not likely to improve the electrical situation but at least when we catch the joint on fire we will be able to do with it with less effort. Just the flick of a switch.

But not any time soon. Right now I can't even get the light lit. I can't technically gain power from the main circuit box, if we're being honest. I never said I knew what I was doing, I just knew it wasn't right.

I've honestly got the best wife ever. So she comes home from work...I've got switches dangling from multiple walls, wires shoved in and out of junction boxes, and a rainbow of wire nut accessories saluting the mess I've created. Oh, and the power is shut down to half the house and I can't get it back up.

So she walks in from a long day at the pen...me hurdling debris on the floor, running back and forth between dining room, living room, and utility room, nervously assuring her "I'll fix it." She doesn't bat an eye. I'm not sure if this is because she trusts me (tsk tsk) or is just used to me screwing things up (already?).

Maybe it bodes well for me to have a partner who never minded that her three-way switches weren't exactly wired to work correctly. It drove me nuts in two days. And I set out to reverse engineer them as soon as she wasn't looking. Not that she cared.

She is so patient with me, lucky me. And I did get the electric back on, lucky me. Simple grounding issue, lucky me. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ups and Downs

I hate to call the girl out but this is how it went down. First, I'm not sure if this makes us a perfect couple or unable to ride together...but this is what's up. I like to go up. And she likes to go down.

That sounds a little dirtier than it really is.

So the girl likes to be on top. Again, you are thinking dirtier than it is. She doesn't like to be whipped...ahh, again. Let's just say, she's competitive. And I am kicking her ass...fancy bike and all.

From my position uptrail, I heard quite the clatter. She threw her bike. THREW her bike. In the woods. Things were definitely NOT looking up. Ah, but if only that meant it were all downhill from here. That could fix everything.

I hesitated to say it, but  baby, can you find it in your heart to try NOT to throw your bike into the woods? To which she replied, I knew I should have never let you buy me a bike. It is true what they say, you should never buy a girl a bike. But I married her so I thought it was okay.

No, it is your bike. Technically you can do anything you want with it. I'm just asking you to try really hard not to hoist it above your waist and shotput it into a pine tree. See, technically, I will be the one fixing it when it's broke...so there's that. And I'm not that great a mechanic. Besides it's not good for the pine tree, worse for the bike, and do you really want to walk back to the car?

Heeheehee Banana. Let's RIDE.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Marco. Burger.

Half way through the vacation and a mere month newly married...and I'm still settling in. Getting used to each other in a small space can be a lot of work.

Is that a hamburger in the glove compartment? Cheeseburger, cheeseburger.

Needless to say we are working on our communication. I can't tell you how many times I put something in its place only to come back to that place and find it missing. Apparently it was not the girl's place...which, was somewhere else, I could never find.

Like a hamburger in the glove compartment. Cheeseburger, cheeseburger.

I'm mean car camping comes with its limitations. Mostly space. And nothing drives me nuts like trying to find something in a car packed with gear and gadgets. Try coupling that with the complications of a couple. And then try to find something you thought you put...in the glove compartment.

No, it wasn't a hamburger. Say cheese.

The first rule of marriage is: your way is not necessarily wrong, it's just probably not the best way...and will soon cease to exist. Second, your preference will probably not be hers so get over it. Third try not to make the girl cry. I still have a long way to go.

But I now know where to find the hamburger, I mean if you ever need a two day old fair burger. And chances are...you won't.



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2 States, 2 Countries, 2 Posts!

Well this is a little odd for me, but there's just no way around it. Two posts under the same date. Give us a break we rode all the way to another country and back...we deserve TWO posts!

So if you're following along you know how the trip began. Keys, bag, passports...Yeah. Now let's get to the ride. The goal is simple...Vermont to Canada to New York and back to Vermont. In one day. On mountain bikes. With one tube. Ah....yep.

I carry a (1) tube and tools and a pump. The girl does not. I know this about her....or at least it's a really good guess. But I still only carry for myself...knowing full well if anything happens it's on me no matter who goes flat first.

So she's up ahead cruising down the hill and as I catch up I start to hear (to me) the unmistakable sound of a flat tire happening. I check my rear. My front. I'm good. So I ask the girl, do you have a flat? She says, no but there's a rattlesnake in the weeds.

A rattlesnake?!? Did you see it? And are you sure you don't have a flat? The noise is still there. The snake is not. She is convinced of both. Snake in the grass, air in the tires. Okay, I pass her and pedal on. I hear her call from the back, falling further behind, I think I have a flat.

Ah...yep. So we pull over and I start to dig into my bag...being extra special careful not to lose the passports.  Meanwhile the girl surprises me by taking off the rear wheel. I should hope she can change a flat, after all most of our beneficiaries can and she is my wife. Found the tube and levers, but I now notice the girl is removing the tube from the tire....Strike that, removing paints an incredibly toned down image of what was happening.

She is actually snatching the tube from the rim where it is being held captive by the nasty tire. Baby, what are you doing? You have to remove the bead of the tire from the rim before you take out the tube. I've never done this before, she quips. NEVER? Well, clearly, duh.

So here we are on mountain bikes being passed by 700c if at all and my one tube is already put into play. And we haven't even left Vermont. I'm a little panicked. What if we get another flat...in Canada? Do we walk back to the States, well, yeah I guess we would. Round trip was about 30 miles and 15 kilometers. Be a long walk. The girl is oblivious.

I actually assayed the situation and thought in a pinch, no pun intended, I could take the duct tape on the edge of her seat and possibly patch a tube if it happens again. If it's simple like a snake bite, that pun WAS intended.  But that's as long as I can get to her before she puts a choke hold on the imaginary rattlesnake and tears the living schrader out of it.

Passporting the Buck

It would be remiss of me to not include this story for the blog, although most will have already heard it in person had we met. It involves border patrol, passports, and visiting a foreign country...permanently.

Have I got your attention? I thought, what a great tale it would be - movie even - okay, the movie would be mediocre...but wouldn't it be funny if we rode our bikes all the way to Canada, got in, and then, lost our passports out of our backpack or something...it's always the or something that gets you.

What had happened whaz...we rode our bikes all the way to the road and we stopped. Still in the U.S. of A. mind you. To check the map. The girl wanted to go one way and I was sure the map said the other way. I'm usually wrong so I pulled out the map to check. Well, I went to remove my pack to pull out the map and the keys to the car swung around and whapped me in the face. Before I even opened the pack.
 
I looked at the girl. Who was last in my pack. And I remembered saying, be careful the passports are in there. And sure enough the pack was wide open, passports blowin' in the Vermont breeze. See now, I was already whining about riding my mountain bike all the way to Canada and how I was going to regret it on the way back...and already we had to make a detour...back to the car.
 
Because then the girl says, do you think the car is locked? Really? Do I think it's locked? When I clearly impatiently rode away before you were even out of the car! No, it's not locked. It's wide open. And I feel like there was a moment of hesitation when the girl actually thought, do we need to lock it? No, on second thought I'm quite certain that actually came out of her mouth.
 
See the irony of the whole tale is I just spent a buttload of cash fixing a window because I was afraid we would drive to Canada and it would be stuck open with our masses of personables trickling out of the Civic. And here we were about to consciously drive away with the car absolutely unlocked. Exactly how lazy are we?
 
We rode back and it wasn't as far as I thought. Together. We rode together, because we are a team. We both left the car unlocked. We both left the pack unzipped. We both rode back to fix the problem. It's not like we were in the wrong boat or something!
 
Oh, and that window I had fixed just for the trip...did I mention it's still broke?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Black Box

The girl shares a GPS with her mom. I'm not entirely sure how this works, the sharing not the GPS...mostly because it doesn't help me get to work on time, but it does have its advantages whilst exploring the land on vacation.

On second thought, I'm not entirely sure how the GPS works either. But if you know me, you are not at all surprised to see a paper map sprawled in my lap whilst in the passenger seat.

The girl is also a driver. She'll tell you straight up she doesn't navigate well. I will second that emotion. It's not entirely her fault. I blame Mini Driver. Not the accomplished actress/singer-songwriter but the irritating voice in the car who thinks she knows more than we do...I don't always agree.

It may have been an awful movie, but Barbra Streisand had it right in that silly movie where she drives across the country with her son...you can't expect to react in feet when you are driving 70 miles an hour! I don't drive in feet.

So here's the deal. We are in Vermont. On beautiful, winding, steep, foggy country roads. I drive my Honda like it's a race car but even here it's not unusual to find yourself going 60mph at any given moment. They are routed roads...not really small town country roads. Just give me a route number and I will follow it. But the girl does what the woman wants. Talks to me like I live there. Mini, if I knew each and every little tiny road and the name by which it goes by, I wouldn't need you.

But that's not how Mini Driver rolls...in route numbers. I think it's job security. If we find out we can use a road map or better yet an actual road sign...she's toast. Molasses topped toast. And instead of just doing her job, she likes to brag and boast her knowledge across the dashboard.

Turn left at Log Hollow Road. Talk to me in numbers Techno-Queen. Route numbers. Log Hollow Road? Are you kidding me? Is she expecting me to see a tiny green road sign tucked around the curve of a Vermont country road in time to actually make the turn?!? With a neighborhood Subaru on my ass spitting windshield washer fluid above its roof like a welcome mat on Barnard Road?

Recalculate this Aviation Blondie...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Key To Happiness

WARNING: A budding exaggeration may flower.

It's been just over 40 days since the big day and already I am locked out. In an odd twist of marital strife and not to be outdone, because the girl is uber-competitive, she is also locked out.

Perhaps because this has nothing to do with us and everything to do with modern technology. I miss the days of keys. Good, old fashioned, cut metal, ringable keys. Gone by the wayside, replaced by unpredictable, finicky plastic. We may in fact hold the key to our happiness but most definitely do not have a workable, usable key to our stuff.

Nothing against the Inn. It's stood the weather of time, lasting longer than a nickel-plated brass key. Go figure. Imagine if the pilgrims had landed on the tip of Provincetown after grueling months at sea, hungry, wind burnt, laundry layered in the salt of the mer only to be locked out of America...the thin plastic rectangle they had been issued by the Queen granting them entry to the new land, beeping and flashing a red light: DENIED.

Okay, so our plight was not nearly that dramatic. We just couldn't get back into our room after a long, shaded, chowder filled day, escorting wealthy fundraisers to their champagne laden shower oases. Now that I see it in print...oh it's dramatic all right....just maybe doesn't match the photo above. At. All.

And considering our day ended with us being incredibly late to dinner...lending to us leaving for town AFTER the sideways rainstorm...making us wait for the town trolley skipping the long walk where we would have inevitably been soaked AND in turn seeing a wonderful rainbow giving a big gay hug to Ptown. Are you kidding me? Well, I guess it all happened as it should is all I'm saying.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Despicable Me

Well, the vacation started off with this little, how do we say...issue. For those of you staring at the big ass crack, that ain't it Dion. You are probably also the same group who read big ASS crack instead of big ass CRACK. I'm just guessing.

So starts the, technically, honeymoon. Banana. Oooh Banana. If you are still wondering, it's really not important, but the issue was the minion not the crack.

This is the first posting from the first vacation post wedding. It sounds like it may have started off shaky but that's just for blogging purposes. All is well in the land of Us. But for your reading purposes, we give you some of the funny hiccups....

Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Blame The Outlet

One foggy morning there was the distinct scent of burnt toast. Not to fret, I was making toast. There is always the hint of browning bread when making toast....those darn bits that linger in the bottom of the appliance. Note to self: clean toaster regularly. Not that it would have helped.

Meanwhile I was plugging away at work, my stomach rumbling. How long does it take to brown a bitty deli thin? BEEP BEEP BEEP. A fire alarm will always put a fright in your seat. But they often fire off, so to speak, at the mere hint of heat. A dog panting to close to the wife's (yes you read that right) will send up the alarm.

But this was not a drill. This was a fire in the making. Cue Dust in the Wind. I am on the list. On notice. My house was engulfed in smoke. A billowing, thickening layer of soon to be choking smoke clung to the ceiling making a mockery of gravity. Are you freaking kidding me??!!? You waited until NOW to notify me of impending doom? Damn fire alarm, you are....fired!

The smoke was e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. It seeped and oozed into every crevice in the smoldering abode. Dancing across the ceiling like a theatre grade diffusing haze. Looming above like a crafty blanket about to smother my lungs and blind my vision. It appeared in every sense, that my house was ON FIRE. As it were, it was merely ON SMOKE. But I mean come on; I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but maybe a head's up BEFORE death is about to molest my alveoli might be nice...ahem, smoke DETECTOR. This is most definitely smoke I detect.

Yes, love, funny lesbian joke...the new toaster oven is in the mail she says. As long as Melissa signs the box. She wants me to believe it's not her discounted outlet bread that is at fault. There was nothing wrong with my toaster. Was. Indeed the flames were forming when I found it. Deep inside the belly of the thing, nothing licking it's protective plastic shell. Really? Is this a good idea, plastic shell?

I smell burnt toast in the car. Am I having a stroke?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Name That Road

I don't care much for technology when I'm riding...besides the essential phone that is. I have no idea how fast I'm going or even how far. I certainly don't know what street I' on or where I'm going. Just riding.

In the country it's no big deal. First of all, you really can't get lost. Too many rides marked right there on the road for you. Problem is you might have to ride the entire Seagull Century before you get back home. And FYI...there WON'T be a pie and ice cream stop.

But at least you'll never have to worry about turning the wrong way and being faced with a giant hill. No 35% grade in this corner of the country. Not even a .35% grade.

Here's the best part. You can always phone a friend. Every try this in the city? Where no one is FROM. They are likely to not know the next street over from their house. In the country you can give a cross street and the person on the other end of the phone will know EXACTLY where you are WITHOUT consulting a map.

In fact at one point today when I was on a long stretch of road and wanted to know where I was, I noticed there was never a street sign that named the street I was actually on, only the cross streets. I considered calling the girl at work just to read names off the mailbox to see if she knew where I was. Like a party trick. I bet she could have done it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hard Head

Recently we made some additions to our helmets in the city. For the events mind you. But she said, hey let's leave them on, they make people smile and maybe it's harder to be angry at someone with a monkey on their head.

Well I'm not sure about the last part, but they definitely do make people smile. Including myself as I passed under the parkway the other day, entered the tunnel, and ducked like a pterodactyl was about to take off my head. RAH RAH! Six more weeks of spring...the scaredy-cat cyclist was afraid of her own shadow.

So, in light of my better judgment I left the aeronotsodynamic hat at home on a recent trip to the windy country. Didn't need my head tossed around like a bobble head. Tragically, some other cyclist had 'borrowed' my helmet upon my arrival, leaving my melon unprotected.

She says, what, there are several motorcycle helmets laying around surely they must be good enough for bicycling. Ah, a smart ass, yes, but I would have been off with a parrot on my head! But if I put one on, it would at least get to leave the house this spring...on a bike that moves. Touché.

Really I could just take one of the 18 kitty litter buckets adorning the yard and cut eyeholes in them. I mean now that muscles figured out how to get the lids off!  I just pulled my Dr Pepper hat low over my eyes and tried to forget about it. I did well, minus the handful of times I tried to buckle my non existing strap. Ask me about my refreshing Downy water.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Holes, She Said Two Holes, Not Hos.

I'll just put it out there, the girl ain't gonna like this one. This is a picture of two Frisbees. Yes, Frisbees. Two of them. And this might sound like I'm calling the girl cheap, but..well, in the world of Urban spitting I guess I am.

See as I understand it cheap is not needing much paper. Like McD's as opposed to Ruth Chris. It's all beef Yo! No really, as in the Frisbee on the right is clearly the cheaper purchase.

Now, the girl will argue she's frugal. Cuz, it sounds better. More respectable. More prudent. More responsible. And she does like to look for a bargain. That's frugal. But take a look back at those Frisbees. That's Cheap. Foregoing quality to buy what is cheapest...that's not frugal.

See, those yellow shards of a Frisbee...that's what a 5 minute old cheap bargain Frisbee looks like. She buys them because her hole digging, rat shredding dog tears them up in a day. I say, give the dog quality and it will last, not quite a lifetime, but at least a week or two. No way, too expensive, she says. So she continues to buy dollar Frisbees by the armful.

$158 cheap Frisbees later...the Frisbee on the left, of a higher quality, still standing. It's got a couple holes and is quite gnawed upon, but it still flies. Better yet, it's still recognizable as a Frisbee! That's a quality Frisbee. AND it was a give away at some event, so FREE.

I'm just saying, just because the bigger jar, box, or bag cost less per ounce or ply that doesn't make it the better buy. If you only NEED X amount of product A you don't need to go to Costco to spend a dollar more to get a quarter more product-B you'll NEVER use! Confusing her with algebra, never gets a point across. But if you tack on the price of gas...don't even get me started on the cost to run across town for a cheaper can of beans.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Miss Utility Player


Ahem. Dog. Yes, you. That particular area in which you are *ahem*; digging, was not preapproved for your excavating services. In fact you are dangerously close to some underground electrical cabling and I suggest you BACK OFF.

Oh, she is good. I think I mentioned recently something about a little -rat-a-tat-tat- incident? Perhaps it was just a little Ratinator reference. Meet: The Ratinator.

The thing is. She doesn't really know what she is digging for. China by the looks of it! She has gotten me on more than one occasion. I mean she really thinks there's something in those freaking holes. Sometimes, Dog, they are just holes. Holes YOU create no less.
 
In the country I don't recommend you go off all willy nilly running around the yard like some school girl in a country meadow breeze. First of all, it's never a breeze. Second of all, you'll twist your ankle in those crazy diggin' dog holes.
 
It's a bit like watching Caddy Shack when she's around. Once, just once, I said, What's In The Hole. And out popped a rat. A big, fat, city rat! rat-a-tat-MOM. I won't recall the details of what happened next, but Rips got an extry dog treat that night.
 
But let's get back to the extraneous hole digging. You are to dig on command. MY command. Yes, I know it's YOUR yard, but I have to clean up YOUR mess, in more ways than one. I win. Quit diggin', you dig?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Forget the Hot Tin

I got this. look... Really, I got this. look...panic....I, I, I don't got this! How'd you like to wake to this OUTSIDE your window. ...of your SECOND story bedroom??

It was exactly that. And from what I understand, not exactly catlike. If you saw the pitch of the roof you'd understand. Or simply appreciate that YOUR cat is OUTSIDE your window when it SHOULD be asleep between your feet!

I wasn't there you see, but the girl, and the cat, paint a vivid picture of the morning shenanigans. Let me just say, for the past two nights, the girl has misplaced cats. I leave mine in the closet, she apparently airs them out on the roof.

This morning the girl awoke to quite the clatter, I'm not sure if sugarplums went round in her head, but I guarantee you she was wondering if a mouse were a-stirring. Here we go again with what sounded like rats in the belfry...mind you we don't have a belfry...and we are really hoping we don't have any more rats!

No rats, no mice...this time. But the Ratinator was standing by just in case. This my friends, is a clear high and dry case of a cat on a cool asphalt roof. Are you freaking kidding me? The roof? A cat on the roof? Yes, a cat on the roof. Or rather dangling precariously from all twenty claws a good twenty, okay maybe 35, feet.
 
I mean I've been in the girl's bed, I ain't gonna lie it's worth trying to get into...but scaling a roof, in the middle of the night, sliding into the gutter, clawing your way back up, just to get inside? I'm sorry baby, but it's not all that. After all, I'm afraid of heights and I don't got nine lives.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Testing, Dummy.

So the secret love affair of same sex dating is usually in the closet. No, really. Shoes. Pants. Shirts. The doubling of the actual closet. Not the oft mentioned, proverbial one.

AH...unless...the same sized loves can share bikes. THIS is the true secret appeal of like pairing couples. Doubling your bike cache! Makes buying a bike for your loved one that much easier too.

So since my mountain bike is sojourning in the country I took the next best thing, which turned out to be the single best thing, riding today. Sweet jesus...I mean it's got its imperfections, most notable, it's not mine, but boy is that a nice ride.

She's gonna regret I ever took it out. I mean, really. Do you seriously have any excuse not to kick my ass on this thing each and every day?!? It practically taunts you to ride faster, and stronger, and bolder. The new shock, icing on a non-carvel ice cream cake.

It's beastly. Climbs like a mountain cat. Corners like Parker sneaking up on an unsuspecting Ripley. I'm a little afraid of putting myself in the doghouse so I'm somewhat gentle with it...let's just say I don't ride as hard as it's begging me to. It's like a Porsche stuck in second in beltway traffic. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!

As I said, it has it's quirks. And I wasn't sure what to do about the play I felt in the headset. Do I mention it? Do I wait to see if the girl notices? It was bad. Felt like the hub wanted to explode. But it wasn't the wheel, wasn't the brake. I determined it was either the headset or the brand new fork. Either way I didn't want to know the answer, or the lack of solution.

I was going to let it go. I knew she'd be safe. That's why I was testing it. Not joyriding, testing. But I had to know that she was going to feel safe on the bike, and I knew the looseness going down a rocky hill was NOT going to go over well. And if it's unfixable, hey, I just got myself a new bike because, well, I'm okay with it.

It was a quick, easy tighten. But one can't be sure until it's retested upon the rocky terrain of Patapsco. Don't worry My Darling Dear, I'll test it thoroughly, often, just to ensure your safety each and every ride. AND to avoid any of those quivering excuses claiming she couldn't keep up because of some thing or t'other.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gashole!

I am well on my way to having more posts about lawn mowers than bicycles on my blog. This, does NOT make me happy. Nor does it make me any more knowledgeable about mowers and engines than the last time I blogged about them.

You may recall, if you follow the blog, I broke down and bought a new mower last year in an effort to escape working on them four times a season. So much for that theory.

And all I kept saying today was, I don't know nuthing about fixin' no engines. I ride bikes. I struggle to keep them rolling, but as you well know they ain't got engines. Just wheels and pedals. I know those. But a mower isn't a bike.

And, if you also recall, the last time I tried to fix a bike problem I didn't get very far. I basically took off the cover, looked in the hole, breathed on it, and closed her back up. And the issue has been gone ever since.
 
So today, the mower wouldn't start. And although I got real familiar with the old one, this one didn't look anything like that one. What was once on top is now buried beneath and basically you have to take everything apart just to get to one thing...or you can't reach the bolts.

Genius. So they sat around the board room scratching their heads saying, now how do we get them to just keep buying new ones instead of fixing the old ones? First, make sure they get clogged good and often. Then, make it so complicated to open that they either give up, give in, or just say the hell with it...and buy another one. Brilliant!

And so, not to be completely outsnookered by the geniuses, I dove in...okay, I stuck my toe in the engine. Not literally! I took off the cover, looked in the hole, breathed on it, and closed her back up. And she fired right up.  I stand corrected, they are exactly like bikes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Birds and TVs


Still making teevee after all these years. I'd like to credit my years of training or degree of schooling, but these is the skills you learn in kindeegarten, or shortly thereafter...and they stay with you.

It's true, I've spent many hours on the weekend juggling equipment, wires, and formats in order to get a picture out of a box through a hose and into another box. WHAT are WE talking ABOUT here??!! Signals, no maintenance technicans in house, and out of station reporters and non compatiable equipment, what did YOU think WE were talking ABOUT?!

Circa 1980...remember that episode of Laverne and Shirley when they all contorted their bodies and grabbed some tin foil in order to tune in the tv signal that was snowy and indiscernable? Ah, the good ole days of broadcast.

Now a days it's all HDTV and either the signal is there or it's not. No more ghosting, no more hash. No more tin foil antenna parties. Just signal. No Signal. And then there's the whole converter box saga for those rare few of us still holding on to our square teevees. Yep, that's me.

And like a good girlfriend, I left not only my antenna but now my DirecTV box at the country house...leaving me with NO tv. I've still got the box, but no way to tune in a signal. Or do I? I do have an incense burner. Yes, incense (it's metal). And a spare co-ax cable. TADA, teevee. If that didn't work, the tin foil hat was next!

So just to recap, in case you ever need to do this at home: I jammed a coax in my box (watch your minds...)  touched the tip with metal (still talking television) and presto: TV...that boys and girls, is how tv is made. And actually I guess babies too!



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Let Sleeping Cards Lie


It's been a while since I've been allowed out after dark. Okay yeah, I'd rather be home on the couch not out sweating through pedal strokes with no where in particular to go, it's true.

But last night I was out after dark and I had to get home. Back on my old commute route. The plus side is I got to do my Meg Ryan routine down the big hill...but that also put me at the intersection I don't love and then the stretch of road followed by the HILL.

....and....the....DETOUR sign that makes me hate the color orange. Change is not welcomed opened arms, really, ever. And I followed that detour once in the car...it sucks! Clearly not thinking of the daily cyclists when they suggested that detour. There is a somewhat better option.

Which I took. And was rewarded with a free DVD. Alas, although it was a good movie, I had already seen it. And it wasn't really mine to take. But I do like to rescue items roadside, so I turned around and picked up the Netflix envelope strewn upon the gravel.

Add it to the list. Credit card, credit card, metro card, wallet, $20, credit card, library card, purse, cat, credit card, yearbook, PA license, DVD, and....wait, CAT?!

Yes, Parker might be the biggest, oddest, cutest find ever on the bike. I typically like to try to bring peace of mind to the rightful owners, but companies don't really give a shit. IF you can ever reach a human at a credit card company good luck making headway. Without a pin number attached to the card, first of all, they don't want to talk to you. Secondly they don't care that you are trying to do the right thing. They won't contact the owner or send them a new card. I've been without plastic thanks to an evil doer, and the faster you can turn that card around and put it back in my hand the better...they don't care.

The DVD company...doesn't even know who the customer is without an email address. Yeah, no, I have their name and address right in front of me. Maybe you could just make a note that they didn't get the DVD and if there's damage didn't create it. I don't want to kick a postal service that's down, but I don't always get MY mail either.

I'm not dogging Netflix, Erin was delightful on the phone and was super nice to me. They were quick to pick up and address my concern (kinda). She asked why I didn't take it to the address. Yeah, well, I was tired, it was dark, I was on bike, didn't really know where the street was, and wasn't interested in getting shot somewhere near Walter Reed because I was poking around some one's house in the dark. Call me lazy.
 
Then she expected me to drop it in the mail, on my dime, after I took it to the post office to have it weighed. Again, call me lazy, but NO. Next time I might not be so quick to return it. I'll first need to consult the address and the condition of the envelope. If I hadn't found it and returned it I'm just curious if Steven would have been responsible financially for replacing it? Since they don't really know who Steven is without @gmail tacked on the back.
 
Sincerely,
Good Samaritan (for the time being)
 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#Take Your Dog To Work Day Fail

Honey, I broke the dog. I used it like you showed me but now it's not acting right. It doesn't move. It's snoring. It's letting the cat reclaim the house.

I'm sorry. Maybe you can take it back and get another one? It's not really my fault. If you hadn't lost custody, it would have been with you today, and maybe it would still work right.

But you left it to its own devices and it ran into a car. Come to think of it maybe it was defective from the start. Did it come with a warranty? Money back guarantee? 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed?

If it means anything the cat likes this new calmer version. Maybe we should just keep it? This one might not run out willy nilly into traffic butt bumping bumpers anyway. Let's give it a try and see how we like it.

But I can make it disappear if you'd rather. Just let me know by 2pm tomorrow...I'll be at King Farm loading for CESTA. Actually if you could tell me by lunch I'll make sure to leave a space for it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stumped

Day 3 on the trail handed me an obstacle. Really the whole experience has been nothing short on obstacles. It's one obstacle after another. It's what defines the trail.

We are referring to the Day 3 Obstacle as The Rake Incident. And it has a tree by which to lay offerings. And I suggest you lay offerings. To be on the safe side.

The trail is defined by stump holes. It's why the trail twists and turns. It's why there are logs to jump. It's why you probably shouldn't walk the trail, only ride...and it could swallow your wheel. Be Ware. No, No, DON'T be Ware...good lord!

I did fall in my share of holes the last few days. Swallowed whole. By a hole. Really, these are no joke. To the knee. To the hip! It will drop you an easy 2-3 feet. But it doesn't hurt. Like they said when I jumped out of a plane...you need actual ground to be afraid, or get hurt; without it you are just falling. Tree Falling.
 
Day 4 was slow going. I miss the rake. I can't seem to get anything done without it. I mean I pushed on, but it wasn't easy. I'm back in the city now and can't wait to get back to my trail. Which is somewhat crazy...there are perfectly good trails here, no rakes required.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tedi's Timbers - A Work In Progress

Well I've had it with Eastern Shore living. I mean it's wet like all the time. Every day I wake up, wet. Foggy. Icy. Dew. Wet, wet, wet. That small town barber must always be late for work!

Then the sun comes out and it's gorgeous. I grab my gear, load the bike, drive entirely too far for a mediocre trail...only to get there and guess what, it's raining.

It's unpredictable. Unexplainable. Inexplicable.
Done.

But you can't win that easily with me. I'm gonna out trick mom nature and build my own trail in the back yard! Yes. That is what I'll do. And I'm just stubborn enough to pull that off.

So that's what I did, started clearing the backyard. After a decade of neglect it really wasn't so bad. Gives me something to do. Will give me somewhere to play. And the pup and me can run off leash without anyone yelling at us.

I'll admit, it's not the best trail. The turns are tight and the ground is mushy. But, it's. right. in. my. back. yard. It's doesn't get any better than that. Unless your backyard is Allegrippis, that would be better.

Come to think of it Gambrill was in my backyard and I never even went there then, so it doesn't hurt to make a day of it. Load up the car, ride til it hurts, stop at a bar, drink til it feels better...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Twofer Tuesday

So this lady and gentleman (and an occasional third reader) is the inside of my hub. I never got my paws on the pawls. The best I can figure that's something on the drive side, where I can't seem to access. Things shooting off into the ether was quite a discourager.

That and the couple people I consulted with made it sound like tackling the impossible. But really any mechanic will tell a non-mechanic that no matter what. A little bit of patience goes a long way and saves a ton of cash; I know that.

So I got as far as removing the nut and we'll say the cap. Then I hit a road block. There's talk of a 10mm and a 5mm and this and that, but I don't even have a 10mm so we stop there regardless. And both parties keep talking about repacking the hub, the bearings, and the like. Okay, I hear you! But that there folks appears to me to be a sealed cartridge. No servicing required.

But I cleaned up what I could, dripped a couple drops of oil around it and screwed her back up. Nothing I did shoulda made a lick of difference, but the $80 service quote sure would have. Know what, it worked. No more noise (for now). I'm not gloating because I can tell it wants to howl again. But with a little screw and a little lube I got a quiet smooth ride. That's what she said.

And on that nice quiet ride I encountered a war zone over on Connecticut Avenue. Water main break. I didn't realize it at the time, but with those pants I coulda got a ring side seat to the geyser. And maybe an honest answer as to when the water restrictions would be lifted. It smelled a whole lot like gas so I didn't hang around.

The trail was still open and the traffic was horrendous so I was sitting pretty. All 4 stations were camped there but no one stopped me to interview me. :( And there I was all prepared with my sound byte:  How am I affected by the water restrictions? Oh not so bad, I drink more beer and shower with my girlfriend...sounds like a lifelong plan!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rien Ne Va Plus

I lent my bike to a friend a few months ago. And now it's broken. I'm not saying there's a correlation; however, I heard she had a broken nipple the other day. Spoke. Broken nipple spoke.

I couldn't recreate the noise she claimed she heard while riding it. I'm not saying it was in her head, I heard it too, and I'm not in her head. But as much as I rode it I could never recreate the noise.

True, many of those miles were logged on my trainer. Because let's be real, it's scary out there on the roads. This was my old commute route just one week ago. Then this weekend I took Mary Todd back out on the road, that's when I saw the crushed car. DAYS after the wicked snow 'storm'. It was the same car I saw on the news, just now, live, in person, up close.

And there it was. The noise. Was back. For me. It sounded like rubbing. Something seemed to be rubbing but I had no idea what or where. And it only happened at speed. Downhill speed accessorized with a bump. It's not exactly a time when you want something undefined 'rubbing'. On a bike. In the city.
 
When I got home I took the thing the apart. I removed the cassette, gave it a good cleaning, gave the wheel a spin. ?? What the?? I spun the wheel in my hands like a roulette wheel and it seriously sounded like one. It sounded just like the little marble looking for a number to land on. With a fully pumped tube inflated in it? I think not. But sure enough no matter how many times I spun it, it was an unmistakable sound.

I had no choice but to pull the tube. And if you had been here when I put the new tires on you would know that's not an exercise I cared to repeat. Tire off, tube removed, bouncing ball still in tact. Another reason I dislike the deep dish rims, add it to the list. So, I'm guessing there's a pebble caught between the rim and the tape and I can't decide if it's worth looking for. Spin, spin, watch, spin, watch. I kept my eye on the nozzle hole like a puppy watching a mole hole. Red Fourteen. FINALLY, out popped a...presta tip? What are the odds? Okay, I wasn't expecting that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stair Me Down

Let me just start by saying this IS the doggie in the window but NOT the puppy in my tale. She's cute as shit though right?

Okay, so here's how it goes down...I've had my new bike for just under a month now. It's been cold and wet and muddy; I haven't been on it much. In fact I've been off it more than you'd think.

So yeah, I've fallen off it on more than one occasion. And every time the girl says, how's your ego? Snicker snicker. After confirming that I'm okay, of course.

Really? My ego? As if I care. You can't fall if you don't ride. And you don't ride if you don't fall. Me? I just fell down the stairs. Excuse me, STAIR. It was just ONE stair. I fell off one stair. Oh no, I wasn't ON a bike. I was on my feet, emphasis on the WAS.

Here's how I went down...hard. End of story. Don't ask me; I have NO freaking clue. There I was just sock hoppin' down the steps and boom. I went boom. 4 inches from the ground. Clearly I caught myself on my forearms. Lucky me. Happy Half Birthday I feel OLD.

Enter Puppy 911. Ripley was a little slow to respond but quite able and willing, unlike some other first responders you may have heard recently in the news. This dog was on it, er, well, on me. As I rolled myself over I was face to face with a whimpering puppy. No doubt, concerned about my well being. How sweet.

When I didn't really answer outside the groans and moans, she panicked. Tempered panic mind you. She began CPR-- Cute Puppy Response. There I laid at the foot of the stairs, puppy poised above me. The whimpering stopped and the paw tapping began. Yes, Ripley began tapping my chest as if she might fix what was wrong with her careful chest compressions. She would stop, look, and listen then continue with more tapping. Thank god she skipped the breath.

Come to think of it, sweetie, would it be okay if I rode my bike in the house? I do much better on stairs on two wheels than two feet. I mean as soon as I can maneuver a handlebar again. :(

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stick A Fork In It

Brave. That's what the guy said as he passed me. Brave. No, I'm tempted to say stupid, but it wasn't my idea. Although it was fun. But I like hills. And I like them even more on 29 inches. Felt like riding a StairMaster up a hill, outside, on the road. I guess that's what it felt like, has anyone ever rode a StairMaster up a hill on the road outside?

Here's the thing...never, ever bail on a trail. I know I sound like a broken record, but she never believes me. Has her own agenda. Thinks I'm out to get her. But you know, it never ends well. Usually you end up lost. Riding fatties on concrete. Nobody likes that.
 
This time I knew where I was. I just didn't love it. And I knew she wouldn't either. Earlier she said she didn't like riding that road, with no shoulder. And here we were back on it. With a 49% grade. Give or take a percentage point. Depending on if you ask her or me.

In her defense, she broke her bike. Her new classic amazing race machine. Broke. Yes, that's what I was afraid of when we stole it from that guy at the swap. And when I lifted it ever so carefully and put it on the rack of the car I questioned the watery oil concoction seeping down my forearm.
 
I don't know very much about shocks, even less about oil based shocks, but I'm thinking oil running from the fork is bad. Very bad. But that explains the bargain bike. Still worth it even if we need to buy a new fork, but what a drag to find out mid ride at technical Patapsco.
 
So I don't blame her, she should want to bail on the trail. She is after all riding it on an oversized underwheeled road bike. While I take a sabbatical on my oversized overwheeled comfort style mountain bike.

Don't tell the kids but these 29ers might be the off roader for the elderly. Seriously they are super comfy and easy to ride. No pulling through a rock garden. No header after your crank sticks in a log. No aching back as you hover over the flat bar cranking out the miles. This baby feels like a comfort bike built for the woods. How cute that the youngsters find them trendy. And I didn't even mention the extra three inches. Ladies, size DOES matter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sew Me

None of this is my fault. First, look at me. I'm not built for home ec. I got dressed today, but I can't remember the last time I combed my hair.

Second I'm more of an idea man. And not always a good one. I throw them out there like Mr Mom in Night Shift. Most should be left by the curbside. If I'm not saying, "hey this would be a good idea" I should really just be pushing the buttons.

I'm no engineer, no matter what the project is. I'm not great a planning things out. I don't want to measure and check and recheck. I want to go. I want to do. I get an idea and I want to roll with it. NOW.

Third, you see what I'm working with here right? The calico is PARKED on what I am TRYING to sew. And she is staring at me like, WHAT? Sorry, to have disturbed your catnap, but do you mind IF I FINISH THE QUILT FIRST BEFORE YOU START FURRING THE THING UP??!!

As a short aside, Cats, listen up: the women who love you most are crafty. They like to sew, knit, cross stitch...they use needles, thread, and yarn. We understand you like those things too, and we might think it's cute the first or second time you experiment with them. But it ends there. It gets 'uncute' FAST. And Parker, that little circus trick you do swallowing pins...was NEVER entertaining.


Oh, and then there's the whole reason I need a new blanket, also NOT my fault. I'd love to keep using my warm fluffy down blanket and feather filled poofy pillows. But it's not really fair to my snotty girlfriend. See what I did there sweety, snotty, cute right?

Through all this stress, she puts me under further duress by contributing to the quilt with her precious stash. Then proceeds to tell me, Don't MESS IT UP! Breathe, breathe, breathe, you can do this.

Turns out I cannot. I got my first flesh wound whilst sewing today. I haven't even started the quilting process yet. She's on her way, I warned her of my ills, and I could hear disappointment in her voice. She told herself, "it's only material" and I'm sure that was more for her than me.

Well, it's warm. It's not overly pretty. It bunches. Some key things were covered in the making of the quilt. But Parker likes it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Here's Mud On Your Thigh

Thems my pants. This My Dear, is why I need to buy new pants. So the other day the girl gives me grief, says "don't you already have a brown pair of pants?"

I'm sorry, aren't you the one who wanted to go to Gabe's, absolutely knowing neither one of us needed a single thing from there?? But really, who can pass up a trip to Gabe's?

Skipping Gabe's. It's like eating one Pringle, who the hell can do that? Come to think of it I'm not even sure that's a word. Pringle. I'm quite certain the correct use of that word would always require plurality, Pringles. Anyway...

Then, she wants an inventory of my brown pants selection.

THEN, she puts on my brown pants to go biking. Mountain biking. In the mud. And of course she falls. Repeatedly. In my brown pants. Yes, thank god they were already brown. But I repeat, this is why I need to buy new pants. ANOTHER pair of brown pants.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That's What You Get For A Dollar

Today I took my bike for a ride. In a car. I took my bike for a drive. And I wasn't happy about it. But it rained so I guess it doesn't matter anyway.

So instead of a nice leisurely, flat ride on the laid back Eastern Shore...cuz let's be honest the only place you can get a nice, leisurely ride on the Eastern Shore is in the woods, deep in the thickly populated dense forest, protected from the harsh flatland winds...I digress...

So anyway I got some sketchy directions. And let's be completely frank, I only blame myself because clearly I wasn't paying close enough attention. I remember something about a Y. But the girl does talk to me like I sprouted from a local country field, trolled the beaches since I was knee high to a praying mantis, was perfectly pooped from a purdue chicken butt. "You head toward Pocomoke..." I mean really, I have a 50-50% chance I guess and I know it ain't north. She's right I ought to know...But I never found the forest.

Instead I ended up making a circle and wound up right back in town. Otherwise known as, Route 13. Here, for miles and miles and miles, one can embark on the Dollar Tour. Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Store, there's even one called Family Dollar Store. And this is in no way to be confused with Big Lots or Ollies Bargain Outlet.

So instead of doing ride bys of deciduous trees we were doing bargain buys at Dollar Trees. Not quite the same. It wasn't a good day on the Eastern Shore. I'm not sure if the rain made it better or worse. wah, wah, wah.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back In Time

Like a trip in a time machine. A broken time machine. Today I went back to where it all began. When I first started mountain biking. When I was riding dirt along Naylor, no trails or trail heads. Back on my black High Plains.

Traversing Salisbury without touching pavement...well, sort of.  On some of my old routes...almost. Cutting back by the ball field...you can still launch off the old sand pile. That's where the fun started. Twenty years ago.

It's also where the fun stops. Jump forward to 2013. Well it was fun back in the day. Drop down by the zoo, weave through the trees just beyond the park. Cross the street and go at it some more. By the lake, pause on the dock, go all out weaving trunks and foliage.

Not so much any more. You can ride by the zoo, on gravel, no bobbing, no weaving. Unless you count the meandering dog walkers who have complete disdain for sharing the trail. Makes me have a new found appreciation for the city.

And I've spent many a year accepting the fact that I AM a vehicle. Here all the paths are marked Official City Vehicles Only..is that me? Is it not? Am I a vehicle? Can I use this trail? I have no freaking idea.

By the pond...it's completely unmarked. I guess? I can ride there? Back there where the magic started. Back where I actually helped blaze the trail a couple decades ago. But it's hard to say. Now it's Salisbury University's. Some kind of Frisbee playground. For adults. Where adults throw discs free of dogs...and probably bikes, but I couldn't be sure. There were no signs, but I was in constant danger of getting whacked in the head by a flying disc. And I'm not overly sure they cared for me ramping off their tee pads. Tee pads? Really? Whatever.

I had more fun riding over the curbs in the EVO parking lot really. Even if I did eat gravel on one of them. Just goes to show the riding is more technical in a parking lot than the actual single track of the big city. Truly, I'm not sure why I went with a 29er...really a niner would have been sufficient!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Toast

Dating beneath you. I've heard it. And I'm not talking about being on top...really? Where is your mind? GUTTER. What has that got to do with King's syrup and peanut butter...wait, strike that. This is NOT about bowling, I SWEAR! She gets me, I mean it.

Yes, I admit it, I am dating beneath me...and I felt the effects of it today. When I was having breakfast. And I couldn't find the necessary ingredients for my toast. I had to look here and there...waay UP there.

Why? Because she can't see over there. Or reach up here. Oh, I tried to fix it and I made it worse. Because I don't live down there. And I have no clue what makes sense...in her world. And that's what it's all about.

I'm not making this up. That's what she says. When I try to move something. Or find something that no longer lives there. Welcome to together. I don't mind so much. I can, after all, see things she can't. That gives me a slight advantage. I mean if you've ever seen us heel to heel. Slight. Right.

This is where the beneath me ends. She is perfect. But you know that. Or we wouldn't have celebrated the first full year of bliss this week. It's true. And I couldn't be happier. Even if I can't find my toast condiments all in one place.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ithacat

Yes, that is poop on my blog. Poop. I've blurred it in an attempt to make it less offensive. Have I succeeded? That's Parker. Perhaps you've met.

She doesn't care much for the litter box.  She used to be able to stand on the corner so that none of her precious feet had to touch such a gross and disgusting event. I'm not sure if she can still manage that or not. Clearly she can't manage actually hitting the box, so NO I won't be teaching her to use the toilet any time soon.  I'd settle for her covering it up when she is done.

The good news is she is a relatively clean cat. Now that I've met country cats I can say that with some form of authority. I do not love poop on the outside of the litter box. I have a part-time dog I get to bend over and pick up poop for...I do not need a cat. Parker, this is one of your selling points, don't muck it up.

I mean if it's particularly offensive when it comes to odor, you can scold her. If she agrees, she will actually go over and try to cover it up with litter. You can see her vain effort above. It's not always effective. I am not convinced she does not do this out of spite to let me know she doesn't approve of my irregularity in cleaning said box.

All things being equal, which they are not, I do much prefer Parker's poop slightly missing the litter box to say Gus's inability to clean his toes after using his litter condo. The girl excuses his poor hygiene to his polydactylism, which would be much cooler if it were pterodactyl RAH RAH!

I've got nothing against the liberal-toed, I just don't love litter in the bed, for example. It's days like that where I'd rather pick up doggie poo in a bio-degradable bag, yes we just bought those! Right!? Here's a girl that doesn't want to pay for a bag for her groceries, and I just bought bags for poo. (can you see my eyes rolling?!) I'm quite certain  it would be cheaper to buy bags with groceries and use them twice rather than....oh never mind.

Anyway, when did my blog become about this? Oh right, when the only exercise I got was picking up poo. Right, right. For shits (pun intended) and giggles, have you seen this yet? (yes, I was thinner then, I did more than pick up poo. Oh, and that is not the aforementioned Gus...does that toe thing grow on trees??) sheesh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Butt, Er

Waitre...I steal butter. Or rather this is my first coup. I've never been that person, but times are tight. And snax is good with actual butter. These little gold popcorn pats of it are super duper handy too.

Excu...Fits right there in yer purse for emergencies. Cuz you never know when you might need a dab of butter. Gum in your hair. Stuck ring. Sap on the hood of your car.

But I...And I snagged them like a stealth burglar in the night. What with our waitress taking an hour to even take our drink order. RIGHT?! Indeed, me and my dinner date, thought we'd take the sneaky option and sit outside since we had that warm January night you always look forward to every year. See, there was a lively fundraising function on the inside...with a band, and tots (the running giggling kind not the tasty fried treats) and an hour wait for a table.  Did you say an hour???

Er...Yeah, so we waited an hour in the 'waiting area' of the restaurant, sitting outside reading our menus and wishing for drinks. We couldn't get an order in edgewise. I was glad to see my friend's function booming with success. The waitress says the Event Planner (they have one of those? and they still have a job? can I turn in my resume? just in case?) only expected 24 people. Are you kidding me?

As my friend said, I am truly shocked that they were only expecting 24 people. I mean what the heck?  I mean do they know who I am??? :) KK brings in a party! And that's NO LIE.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quilt, Quibble, Quit.

We all have our obsessions I suppose. She has hers; I have mine. The girl on one hand has a healthy supply of scissors, bet you thought I was gonna say T-shirts! I, on the other hand, think each pair of scissors should have a specific, defined role. She, clearly, does not.

Eight pairs of scissors and not a one that can cut material. I think it may have been a set up. See, the girl also has an unhealthy supply of T-shirts, ah, there it is, the T-shirt reference. And doesn't want a single one cut.

I like to make quilts. Out of T-shirts. Little cut squared pieces of T-shirt. Cut with a clearly defined pair of material scissors (used on nothing in its lifetime but material). She likes to hoard, yes hoard, T-shirts. And what does a hoarder do? Clings to every day items in an abnormal obsessive irrational way.

I get it. Kind of. I did an essay in college about the importance of T-shirts. But I believe in a time and place to let go. And if you've got T-shirts from college, or worse yet, high school...it might be time. Or not, hence, the immortal T-shirt quilt. I thought it the perfect match; she and I. She has 852 T-shirts. And I have the ability to turn them into a blanket to keep us warm.

Wrong. She can't bear to let a single thread be cut. "What is it about this one?" I ask. "I went there", "my friend made his one", "I like Peanuts", "the color", "I've had this one 30 years". Yes, I could tell from the smell and the fact that I can actually see through the shirt. Baby, not only is it time to let go, but I can't even use those for a quilt...be a chilly blanket.

So I gave in. Keep your ratty T-shirts squirreled up in the unfinished room, you can use them as insulation. I'll cut all of mine and make a boring TV quilt. She actually buys shirts, I can't blame her. I get so many free I wouldn't dare spend money to get one more. And I'm not that great at quilting so it's just better this way for sure. At least for the sake of the relationship.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Below the Fold

When my friends find out how much I make (and the fact that it doesn't pay the bills) they think I'm crazy for quitting my financially comfortable job. They also suggest asking my boss for a raise. Mmmm...yeah, I think they call it non-profit for a reason.

So indeed, I took a bit of a pay cut, but the flexible schedule, nights, weekends, and holidays make it all worth it. I think. And yet, I struggle:

1. Where to get my news.
This has been quite a big dilemma. I used to get my fill of current events on the clock. I tried watching local news, but it turns out they need to pay me to watch that crap. I can't afford the paper nor do I want the pressure of reading it every day. Online...well, I spend a majority of my day on the computer and don't really want to do it a minute more. So if it doesn't cross my facebook newsfeed, it ain't news.

2. How to get exercise.
I used to commute to work by bike. Now I walk down the stairs, brew my coffee, and wear my pajamas into my home office. No commute required. I've gained 20 pounds. And aged 10 years. I can't touch my toes and my hips ache. When I walk the dog my arm hurts the next day. This sucks. When did I become that person?

3. I'm dehydrated.
Oh, I know how it sounds. It's true what they say about the water cooler, there's a certain social aspect tied to it. My kitchen faucet doesn't have nearly the same effect.  And I'm downing beer, coffee, and tea but now I'm hearing that doesn't even count. I've seen how they're all made and I can assure you plenty of water goes into everything. In fact, you can even see it in certain mass brews.

The good news is I've found a solution that addresses all three downfalls at once! At least for those days when I'm in the city. If I ride down to the Newseum I can get the front page news from across the nation in one quick ride by. Then I flip and climb back up the hill. Inevitably I get thirsty.

News. Exercise. Hydration. I still can't pay the bills, but I had Christmas and New Years off. And...there's your Christmas bonus!