Sunday, September 27, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Hello blog people!  As far as I know, nothing particularly end-of-world eventful happened last week, despite the warnings.  Guess we still have to pay our bills.  But maybe tonight's blood moon will bring about the apocalypse.

And it was another nice week.  Rather busy, but productive.  Oh, and I changed wallpaper and some things around here.  Notice?  I just felt a need for change.  Green...  hmm.... still deciding.

Yesterday, Magnum and I got out for some nature time.  We managed to find a few geocaches to add to our "found" list.

We went to Ute Valley park, a friendly place popular for nearby hiking and mountain biking.  

It was a very nice day for it.  Not too hot, a friendly breeze.  There were a few others in the park enjoying the day, but not so many as to feel crowded.

Last week, a woman was bit by a rattlesnake while hiking nearby.  I let Magnum check the rocky places.

Meego and company had a marching band competition yesterday.  Their band puts on a decent show, and is relatively small.  They seem to have a good time together and happily made it to the finals.

And I continue to chop away at the clutter.  I've got a couple of mini vacuum cleaners to slough off.  They were Chaco's and Wolfgang's when they each lived in freshman dorms.  Anyone want one?  I got bags too.  Yup, bags...


As far as I know, the cohabitation arrangement in Chaco and Wolfgang's apartment is going smoothly enough.  Chaco tells me that Wolfgang is messy.  Like I didn't already know that??  Probably speaks favorably for the quality state of his vacuum cleaner.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

chasing tail

Gosh, I've kind of neglected the blog this week.  Well, it was a busy one.  Plus, I'm thinking I'm due for another theme change around here...  Watch this space.

I'm curious about something.  One day this week, I went to the high school to drop off some band stuff for Meego.  My impeccable timing put me there right during a passing period, plus it was homecoming week, so it was teen heaven while I was there.

I'm pretty comfortable around teenagers, having lived with some, who sometimes bring friends over.  Plus, most of my tutees are high schoolers.  And there I was in the teen mass of humanity that is the high school.

One trend I've noticed in the last couple of years - first at the university, and I saw it again at the high school - is that of the "furries".  Seen 'em?

Yes, people wearing animal tails, not necessarily as a costume, but more a fashion accessory.

I don't really know anything about this trend.  Some suggest that "furries" identify as animals, but I dunno.

I did find it a bit strange to see college kids wearing them to class.  They often wear ears too. Even on hot days.

I'm inclined to think, "Well, they're not hurting anyone.  What's  a little fur?"

And I know there are a whole mess of them over at deviantart.

Still, I wonder.  Are furries the new emo?  A kindler, gentler, softer emo?


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Hello and happy Sunday!

This was a nice productive week.  The temperatures are starting to cool, and that's a welcome thing.

I'm still acting like I'm presiding over my P.E.O. chapter as the queen bee is still attending her night class.  I'll admit that being thrown upon the throne has helped me get to know everyone better and vice versa.  Okay, it's been fun.  We're gearing up for our annual Oktoberfest.  Yay, let's all be German!

Wolfgang was around yesterday.  He bought this old neglected pickup about a  month ago. It runs great - apparently these old Toyota 22R engines just go forever - but it's needed some TLC (recall the baldo tires!).

Yesterday's mission was to get it looking better.  The paint on the hood and roof were quite faded, so he found this stuff  to bring them back to life.  I admit to being skeptical at first, but he went for it.  A little while later, he came in the house and said, "Mom, you should come look".


 Not too shabby, eh?  I took a pic after he'd pulled it out of the garage.  Ellie Mae looks kinda jealous...

Chaco was around a little this week too, looking for something that ended up being in his pocket the whole time.  Oh well.  He recently took 2nd place "IN THE WORLD" for a hacking competition held by the NSA. *Hmmm... wondering if having "hacking" and "NSA" together in a sentence/blog post will attract all kinda unwanted attention...*

Originally, he was 2nd "in the nation", but apparently a university from Sweden had thrown their hat in the ring which boosted Chaco to "2nd IN THE WORLD" status.  Thank you, Sweden!

Anyway, he says the top 50 are supposed to receive some sort of award, but he's just happy with his standing.  It's nice recognition for him and for the university's computer science program.  I know nothing about hacking and have just told him that, as long as he uses his skilz for good and the Feds don't show up at our house, I'm fine with it.

In other exciting news, I mowed the back yard.  With no trampoline.  It was good.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

close my eyes, I am rhythm

Fall is in the air, do you feel it?  Hands went a little numb this morning.  That's always a good sign.

You know how facebook reminds you of stuff you posted years ago?  This week, they reminded me of this share, taken from my then crossing guard office:

Apparently, 4 years ago this week, the peak had snow on it. Facebook says so.  Well, there's no snow on the peak now - not pretty like that anyway - but the air is definitely crisper.

And speaking of throwbacks, Magnum and I went waaaaaay back in moviedom.  See, in the morning, I was listening to the radio and the radio guys were talking about how weird it is to watch movies they liked when they were younger because movies are so different now.  Then, later in the afternoon, I was working on stuff for school while streaming some generic 80s music when a Flashdance tune came on.  Remember Flashdance??

I saw it in the theater in 1983.  I bought the (vinyl) soundtrack and listened to it annoyingly repetitively.  I really couldn't remember much about the movie other than that it was about a young female welder who wanted to be a dancer who also was sleeping with the much older construction boss.  Yeah, deep stuff.

So I asked Magnum, "Have you seen Flashdance?"

"Oh yes!", he replied.  Saw it while he was in the army somewhere.

We decided to watch it since it was available on Netflix and see if it would be weird like the radio guys said.

As we settled in,

Me:  I remember I saw this at the Fox Theater (podunk town theater).  I was with a boy, but I don't remember which one.

Magnum:  Oh yeah, all  your boys.

Me:  Yeah... *sigh*... back in the good ol' days...

Anyway, we watched it.  It was definitely typical 80s cheese.  As I watched, I felt it had a bit of an "After School Special" feel to it, except with sex and trashy bars.  Still, I can see how it became such an iconic film as far as fashion and music goes.

Another thing I didn't remember is that the main character, besides being a welder and victim of a bit of a stalker/creeper boss, probably in the throes of a mid-life crisis, was a die-hard bicycle commuter.

So an interesting examination of how things have changed - moviemaking, fashion, attitudes... Not a total waste of time anyway.

Thirty-two years ago when I watched it with what's-his-face, whod've thought I'd watch it again at 50 to see if it was weird.

Got any old faves that you rewatched much later?


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Hello and happy Sunday!  Another week of good things down.

It started with Labor Day and working the marathon, which felt worthy and somewhat productive.  I met some nice volunteers and nice runners.  Especially at the later stages of the race, several runners who aren't too serious, stop to chat or just mosey on through the aid stations and seem happy for the human contact during such an arduous exercise.

I think Meego also enjoyed himself.  He's pretty easy to persuade for such things and strangely seems to like getting up early as long as there's purpose to it.  Otherwise, forget it!  The bike ride to the aid station was memorable as well.  It was a 4 mile ride in the dark with hardly another soul on our route. So quiet and crisp, with our bike lights a-flashing.  Pretty cool actually.

Speaking of bikes, Alice was creakily limping along and just not her usual graceful self.  It was a difficulty to diagnose problem, and after trying a few home remedies, I decided to take her into the shop.  All five of the service techs took turns riding her (there's a sentence!).  Eventually, we got her problem figured out and taken care of.

I'm grateful for a variety of things:  (1) this particular shop continues to give great service, (2) repair costs were very reasonable and (3) were done in just a few hours, (4) Alice is back to her awesome self, and (5) turns out it really wasn't something I could've fixed myself.  She now has a nice clean and tight new bottom bracket - the bicycle equivalent of a butt lift!

The bite from the vicious mongrel is healing nicely.  I have since been on two more morning runs and have not encountered "Fang" nor been bitten by anything else that has left a mark.

Oh, and the neighbor across the street, whom I don't really know but was carted off in an ambulance yesterday?  She's back home.  I still don't know what actually happened.  As is typical, though, they had friends over for the Bronco game today, so that was nice to see.

This afternoon I went out with the intention of cleaning out the weeds underneath the trampoline, which no one has used in a long time.  I asked Meego to help me move it, and we ended up disassembling the whole thing.  Not sure what to do with it, but will probably just scrap it since it's pretty old.  And the weeds are gone, yay.

The cat is probably upset, however.  This is where he liked to keep his cache of dead things...

I told Magnum that I was actually looking forward to mowing back there now that I don't have that pain-in-the-butt obstacle anymore.

Yeah, life is exciting here!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

I don't even know her name

I was sitting here writing an absorbing blog entry.  For a class.  Yeah, we have blogs in school now!  Boy, times have changed since the first time I went to college.  I think the computer had just recently been invented then.

Anyway, as I was blogging away, I peripherally noticed a large vehicle slowly going by the house.  I figured it was a trash truck or some other similar thing.  A few minutes later, Magnum came by and says, "What's happening?!", not in the rhetorical way, but like really wondering.

"Huh?", I intelligently responded

"Paramedics and a fire truck", was his incomplete sentence reply.

Sure enough, something was going down at the house across the street.  And once again, I'm reminded how little I know our neighbors across the street, even though they've lived there the whole time we've lived here.

This bothers me because, what I do know about them, I like.  They're a couple, a few years older than us - late 50s I'd guess.  If they have kids, they're up and out of the house.  They've got a couple of dogs they regularly take to the dog park.  He, I think, does contract work.  I have no idea what she does.  In fact, I have rarely talked with her at all other than a wave and such while out collecting mail.

He is very friendly in a neighbor-across-the-street-I-don't-really-know kind of way.  He's often working on something in the garage, or plotting in the early morning hours with a fellow contractor.  I never see them in the evenings, just mainly him in early mornings when I'm coming in from a run.

He teases me with things like, "Y'know, it's easier to drive!", or "If you get hit by a car, it's not because the driver can't see those shoes!"

It seemed like the paramedics were in the house for a long time.  Don't they know that spies like us want answers?  Eventually they emerged, and the woman was loaded onto a gurney and into the ambulance after slowly walking out of the house under her own power.

The fact that she was awake and walking and that the ambulance didn't go speeding off with siren blaring are good signs.  Husband followed in his vehicle.

As for me, the mongrel bit leg is healing nicely.

Magnum asked me this morning, "Did you put hydrogen peroxide on it?"

Me:  No, that stuff stings!

Magnum:  But it prevents infection.

Me:  Oh hell, the rabies is going to kill me anyway.

But now we wait on news of the neighbor,  hoping she's okay.

How well do you know  your neighbors?


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

wait, did that really just happen?

Okay, folks.  Labor Day has come and gone, summer is unofficially over, playtime is over, time to get serious!  That's the attitude I had as soon as I awoke this morning.

Okay, not really.  It was more like, "uhm... Tuesday?"

But eventually I got going, and it looked to be a glorious day.  I headed out for a lovely run in the early morning hours.  The air felt crisp and clean.  I felt well rested from the long weekend.  My shoo-gooed shoes were ready and willing.

And it was a very nice morning until... this thing.  This weird thing.  This thing what happened.

It was toward the end of my route, and I was approaching a woman and her two little dogs from behind.  They were standing at a corner, and I intended to turn on that corner.  I slowed to a walk since I figured they didn't know I was coming up behind them. I didn't want to startle anyone as I went passed, so I slowed to let them know I was there.

Clearly, that failed.

One little ragamuffin dog saw me before the human did and started to freak out.  This prompted the woman to reactively freak out and begin reigning in ragamuffin number one, who was on a surprisingly long retractable leash.

While all that was going on, ragamuffin dog number two reactively freaked out and came around from a different angle on a similarly surprisingly long retractable leash.  This all happened in about 2.76 seconds.

While the woman was distracted by ragamuffin number 1, ragamuffin number 2 took full advantage and came straight for my jugular!

Luckily, he was just a ragamuffin, so he only got this far:

It all happened so fast.  When RM2 came at me, I just bent down to say hello, let him smell my hand, all that jazz.  But he went right for the kill!  

I felt the sting on my thigh, and at first, thought he'd just scratched me with his claws.  The woman was apologizing profusely, and I, all strung out on endorphins, couldn't feel upset with her.  I assured her it was all fine, and I continued on my merry jaunt.

A few paces onward, I decided to look at my thigh, which so happened to be oozing a nice stream of blood.  I wiped at it with my hand, only to have the oozing stream replaced anew.  

I turned back to the woman and calmly (she was still kinda freaked) asked if her dogs were up-to-date on their rabies shots since one of them bit me and caused me to ooze.  She assured me they were.

That was it, I don't know if I should've interacted with her anymore.  I was about a mile from home, so I just ran on home to stop the ooze and get cleaned up. 

Moral of the story?

Don't trust those little ones.


Monday, September 7, 2015

work hard, play hard

Happy Labor Day!  Hope no one is laboring TOO hard.  Meego and I completed our volunteer marathon duty, so another one in the books.

It was a beautiful day for it.  Not too hot, no real wind to speak of, and some friendly clouds floating around.  We left the house at the butt crack of dawn to get to our station.  I had to trick out each of our bikes with lights, so that was kinda fun.

Meego wouldn't let me take a photo of his face.  Look at  him here pretending to be all attentive to the ONE approaching runner.

The course is traditionally a one-way gentle downhill slope starting north of the city and finishing at a downtown park.  Because of closures to the trail through the Air Force Academy this year, the course was altered to an out-and-back, starting and ending at the downtown park.

Our aid station was at mile 11, and then we got them again at mile 18.  I tellya, looking at some of them the first time through, we weren't sure if we'd see them on the flip side.  Most of them trooped on through.

I'd say things went very smoothly at our post.  There was quite a bit of recreational traffic in addition to the marathoners, but everyone seemed pretty polite.

One poor woman crashed her bicycle and was helped down to our station.  She was rather banged  up and didn't seem "all there".  Pretty spacey.  She convalesced for a while and then got a ride.  Hope she's okay.

But it was all pretty inspiring.  We saw old runners, heavy runners, blind runners, recovering-from-something runners, along with the fast runners and slow runners.

And there were a few that we didn't see on the flip side.  Bailed out somewhere in between, and there's no shame in that.  One of the guys at our station gave a runner a ride back to the park after she was too sick to continue.

After the last runner'd gone through, and we'd cleaned up,  Meego and I stopped for lunch and a visit with an iguana on the way home.

Because what's Labor Day without an iguana?


Saturday, September 5, 2015

cruising into fall

Happy Labor Day weekend.  A holiday for the workin' man... and woman.  I guess after this, summer unofficially ends.  Got any plans?

Meego and I plan to do the American Discovery Trail Marathon again on Monday.  "Do" as in "WATER!... GATORADE!... WATER!... GATORADE!..."

Yes, I volunteered to work an aid station again, and I managed to get buy-in from Meego despite the early morning duty.  I had leverage - his want of a band jacket.

And with the start of September comes the start of bike month at the university.  "Bike Jam" was Thursday, and we were glad to learn that Pedal Perks will continue for another year, woot!  Bike month just throws in a few more events and incentives to hopefully get people to continue to commute for the rest of the year.

So, I was there towards the end of bike jam.  It was a nice day for it, and there were friendly booths scattered about.  Several of us went on a "campus cruise", probably to the annoyance of people trying to park and go to class.  Serves them right for driving on bike jam day.

Find Alice and Abby?
hint:  I'm in red, behind a woman in a chartreuse cape (?)

There were contests and raffles, but I didn't win anything.  One contest was a fix-a-flat contest.  I didn't enter, I hate fixing flats.  Even for prizes.

The wellness center gave out some little ice packs and these cute first aid kits.

I, for one, appreciate the "Sting and Bite Pad", y'know what I'm sayin'?

There was plenty of food too and other freebies, including this button that serves no other purpose than being a button.

I'm not much for backpack adornments, but the button is still there, now two days later.

So, a fun little diversion, and I met a few nice fellow commuters.

On the way home, I passed some maintenance crews cleaning up the trail.  Maybe prepping it for the marathon?  Or just for the Labor Day weekend in general?

I hope my blog friends have a nice end-of-summer weekend, and get to enjoy some fruits of the labors!  Doing anything fun??


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

sister, can you spare a dime (bag)?

Yesterday, I was on my way home and making my way through a busy tangled intersection.  In fact, it's the busiest intersection in the county.  It's not too bad of a place for bicycling, just a bit cumbersome with all of the crossings of on- and off-ramps.  A lot of stopping and starting, but ample path space away from traffic.

As it is such a high traffic area, I've noticed that it's become a popular place for panhandlers to set up shop.  As far as I've seen, the panhandlers don't get aggressive or obstruct the flow of traffic.  They just stand near the off-ramps holding their cardboard signs.


So, I was minding my own business and went on by one such panhandler.  We smiled our hellos and I continued on when I heard him say, "...mumble mumble spare?"

I stopped and turned to him, "Sorry... what?"

To which he replied, "Ya got any weed to spare?" and  brought his fingers up to his lips to mimic toking on a joint.

"Ah... no, sorry" I answered, "Good luck" and a wave good-bye.

So as I was pedaling on home, I got to thinking.  He's standing there asking motorists for money, but he didn't ask me for money.  He just asked me for pot.

Is it because I was on a bicycle?

Is it because I have a tattoo?

Is it because I ride a bicycle and have a tattoo?

Is it none of the above and I just look like a pothead?

Seriously, you guys would tell me if I looked like a pothead, wouldn't you?