Saturday, July 31, 2021

caught between the moon and New York city

My first knowledge of Arthur's Rock was sad.  A local news story told of a despondent man who laid in wait and stabbed his ex-girlfriend multiple times before jumping to his death off of Arthur's Rock.  Heartbreaking, yeah?  The woman - an elementary school teacher - had a long recovery, but thankfully survived.

The story left many questions, one of which for me was, "what/where is Arthur's rock?" as many locals  seemed to know the place quite well.

I learned it was a prominent feature in nearby Lory State Park and very popular hike.  Morbid story aside, I wanted to do the hike.  

When I started my new job in June, I knew the schedule would allow some time to get out to some local hikes I've yet to explore, Arthur's Rock being tops on  my list.  But I'd kinda forgotten about it until one of my previous coworkers from the Old Folks Home hit me up for some hiking and suggestions.  

We went this morning, and it was a beaut!  Another coworker buddy joined us for some good time nature fun.

A little break before scaling the "summit"

Summit selfie instead of looking down

It was a rather hazy overcast morning, and we were loving it after many days of full-on sun and high temperatures.  The haze hindered the views a bit, but they were still pretty glorious.  The total hike - out and back - is under 4 miles, so not too taxing or time consuming.  I learned why it is so popular!

It was nice catching up with these two also.  Continuing on the morbid theme, I asked them which residents had passed away since I'd left.  No big surprises, but a couple of small ones.  I miss my coworkers, but I don't miss watching people decline and die.  And of course, we're still mourning Malcolm.

But not to end on that note, it was a nice morning well spent.  I later learned that Arthur of Arthur's Rock is Arthur Howard, the man who sold the land to the state of Colorado.  

We'd speculated it was that aardvark cartoon kid, but were wrong... not surprisingly. 

Thanks, Arthur

Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:

1. Write about something you want(ed) to do before summer ends

Friday, July 30, 2021

getting carded

In a little while, I'm going to the eyecare place to pick up my new glasses.  They ask that customers either wear a mask or bring their vaccination cards.  I don't actually have a vaccination "card", I have a vaccination "cheesy slip of paper".  I don't know if the shooters ran out of cards and just made paper photocopies to then fill in, but that's what I have.  

We were vaccinated at work, and one of my coworkers left her vaccination cheesy slip of paper in her work scrubs and put them in the laundry.  So much for that "proof of vaccination".  But she requested and received an actual card from the pharmacy that supplied our vaccines.  

At first, I was all, "Oh NO, you WASHED it??".  But when she got her card, I was all, "Aw, I want one".

I never got one.  Maybe I should?  Last time I went to the eye docs, I took a picture of the cheesy slip of paper and showed that when I checked in and was allowed in without a mask, but they'd prefer the card for some reason.  Maybe I should put in the effort.

I'm thinking the COVID vaccine should've been the heftier gun version - like the smallpox.  Your proof of vaccination is the tell-tale scar.  My scar is still obvious, I think I was in the last class of kindergartners to get that badge of courage.  Anyone else have a smallpox vaccine scar?

Meanwhile, watching any of the Olympics?  I haven't watched any yet, just catch a few of the headlines each day whether I want to or not.  Thinking of my vision shortcomings, I could totally relate to this capture:

I may never win Olympic gold, but yes, I can relate.  Scoreboards and everything else are so far away.

Here's the full reaction:

Yeah, she's one of us.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

new colors, raw meat, and hot buns

"Well... that was confusing"

We got the family together yesterday to celebrate Wolfgang's birthday from earlier this month. The above quote was his greeting as he came in the door.  In fact, each of the guys admitted to troubles in arriving at our house.  

I guess we should've told them we just had the exterior of the house painted.  Looky!

Before 😒:

After 😁:

We hired a pro with excellent google reviews, and I'm happy with how it turned out.  It even feels like the house is preening a bit.  The body shade is called "Night Owl".  I don't know what the old color was called.  Old Mustard?  Chicken-gone-bad?  What-did-the-baby-eat?  Suffice to say I was not a fan of the old color or its fadedness.

I've mentioned that the home we bought last March, right on the cusp of pandemic lockdown, had been a rental for many years.  As such, it's needed some TLC, and we've been chipping away.  It could use some interior paint as well, and I'll tackle that task once we decide on colors.  Right now, EVERY wall in the house is the same color - probably named "Landlord White".

So yeah, we had a nice little get together for Wolfgang.  He suggested Korean BBQ, which was fun.  We ordered a pile of raw meat and things (it had a more formal name on the menu) and grilled  right there at our table.  Sizzlin' good time.

And speaking of sizzlin', I started using the all gender bathroom when I get to work since it accommodates one person at a time, and I like to clean up a bit after riding my bike in.  I learned it has a heated bidet.  Not only is the water warm, but the seat is also heated.  Seems fancy!  

But it's summer!  It's hot!  About the last thing I want to do after riding in to work is sit on anything heated.  Just, nooooooo!  

Other than that, it's quite nice.  Enough whining.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

women with balls

Rather large balls at that.

I was out enjoying a nice run in the early morning coolness - not to be confused with the midday heat from hell.  A figure appeared up ahead of me, jogging in my direction.  As we got nearer to each other, I saw she was a stocky woman in workout shorts, tank top, and braces on both knees.  

She was carrying a large hefty ball on her right shoulder.  It looked like the medicine balls at the gym, only bigger.  I'd guess it was about a foot and a half in diameter and probably about the weight of a toddler.  Her face was strained, sweaty, and determined as our paths crossed.  

Hmm, okay.  Don't see that every day, but she was putting in some work.  I wondered if maybe she was training for a firefighter test or something similar?  As I continued up the street, I noticed another balled woman headed in my direction.  Similar carry form as the first, similarly sweaty and strained, but not moving quite as fast or determined. 

Not far behind her was yet another woman-with-big-ball.  This one was walking and carrying her ball closer to her body, like a bag of groceries, with two hands.  Two more walkers employing the grocery carry method trailed behind for a total of five such women within about a half-mile.  I concluded they were an early morning HIIT class at the nearby gym.

I was left feeling a bit wimpy.  I mean, yes, I was out there frolicking about, yet carrying nothing, let alone a large heavy ball.  

I do have a rather annoying and conspicuous "war wound", however.  My annual summertime war with the bug world is in full swing, leaving me with a collection of welts.  This one on my face.  See it?

In the insect world, most males don't have stinging capability, so my itchy blemishes are most likely from females.  

Those bitches.

But maybe the face welt gives me credibility among the women with balls?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1. Write about something that surprised you

Monday, July 19, 2021

out of the clear blur

In other news of getting-caught-up-on-the-health-checks, I went in for my eye exam this morning.  Remember I was whining about dealing with my transition lenses while using computer screens at work?  Thought I might get separate prescriptions for work and "play"?

Well, bottom line, I'm going with the one-size-fits-all once more.  But first, here's the cute bike rack at the eyecare place:

See it?  Eyeglass frames? *snort*.  It's actually not the greatest design for a bike rack, but it gets cutesy points.  Plus, since I was the only one needing to use it at the time, no worries.  

I really didn't want to pay for have  two different pairs of glasses, and the eye doc did note that my distance vision has actually improved since last time, so my current glasses are too strong, hence my woes.  My new glasses will have adjusted "lines of transition" to give me more area for screen viewing.  So they say.

While the optometrist was calculating my inflated eyeglass costs, he asked if I had to go to work after my appointment today.  I told him I had today off and my exciting plans included taking my car in for some maintenance.

"Oh, you're adulting!", he congratulated me.  

Yeah, okay, adulting it was.  After dropping the car off at the shop, I snapped a few pics of my adulting:

I took a ride with the lovely Violet and stopped for some much needed shade time at the University trial gardens.  

As always, a few people were also enjoying an afternoon among the flowers.  Less than a mile away, police were investigating a fatal shooting at a McDonalds, but I strove to push that to the back of my brain for the time being.

There was a small group of kids, I'd say they were 10 or 11 years old, playing off to the side of the flower pots.  From their matching t-shirts, I deduced they were part of a day camp of some sort.  They had water wands and began spraying each other.  But soon, the boys broke off and began using the wands like swords or light sabers while the girls ignored them and sat in the shade chatting with the older 20-something girls who seemed to be in charge.  

When I was that age, I hung out mostly with boys as that was all my neighborhood consisted of - other than myself.  I'm sure I would've stayed in the water fight.

Now I'm just the geeky "kid" off by herself doodlin'.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

never ending story

Okay, lemme start by saying that I like my boss.  Real personable guy, friendly, helpful, cares about people... But omg, I'm here thinking up strategies for work later today.

Since it's summer semester, we've got some downtime and time to organize and converse.  On one of my first days on the job, Boss and I were talking and something regarding hockey came up.  He asked if I followed hockey.  

"Nope, not at all", I truthfully responded.

And THEN, he went on with this long monologue having to do with the college hockey team back in his home state and related tangents.  I swear it went on for hours but was probably more like 15 minutes.  

Yesterday, a similar thing happened.  One minute, one of my coworkers and I were discussing religion -an interesting topic - with Boss, but then hockey somehow entered the chat.  Boss then went on with yet another long drawn out story about the Russian hockey team and the 1980 Olympics, and oh. my. god.  Weren't we just talking about Jesus?

I tried to act like I was interested and listening, but I SO wanted to just turn away and do something - anything! - else.  My coworker who was in on the Jesus discussion did, in fact, turn away and do something else mid Russian hockey, leaving me stranded.  Was it because I listened to the whole story of the college hockey team that other time?  Am I the now the designated hockey audience??

As I said, I like Boss, and his talk of hockey has been a way to get to know him a little.  I enjoy conversing with people and learning about them through their interests, but these long monologues suck away bits of  my soul.  

I think that's why I like to read blogs.  They are a way for people to get their stories out, uninterrupted, and to connect with others with similar interests.  I can read them, latch on to parts that interest me, make and read others' comments... all on my own time.  

Is it just me?  I've found myself in similar situations with others who like to tell long stories without pause.  I like dialogue.  Monologue, not so much.  In fact, I would feel weird going on with a long story where I'm the only one talking, not stopping for thoughts or comments.  

I mean, I have a blog for blathering on, right?  I don't need to do it in real life.

Maybe I'll encourage Boss to start a blog, a hockey lovin' blog.  I'd read it.

No I wouldn't.

Linking up this week with MamaKat for the prompt:

5. Pet Peeve time! Write about something that makes your blood boil.

Monday, July 12, 2021

remember when we wished we were older

I went to my referral with the skin doctor regarding my "changing nevus" and was beckoned from the waiting area by a girl who looked to be about 16 years old.  She told me she was a physician assistant.

Then the good doctor arrived.  She didn't look much older than the PA.  Okay, I don't necessarily feel old, just everyone else seems so young!

Anyway, she looked at the mole and declared it harmless.  I think she gave yet another name for it, which I've since forgotten, and said it's common to get these as we age.  "...and you don't have to be very old to get one", she added, probably to be nice.

She said they often show up in high-friction areas, and that makes sense, as this mole/nevus/old-person mark is on my shoulder where the strap of my purse or backpack lays.  It was a very relaxed - almost boring - consult, unlike the internet search that told me I was abnormal and doomed.

And that was that, I was in and out nice and quickly.  She offered to remove the mole if I wanted, but I said I'd just keep it (and the removal fee).

Some people believe that birthmarks or moles we're born with are signs of trauma from our past lives.  Well, first you have to believe in reincarnation.  Ya think? Maybe?

Who knows?  I have a large birthmark that covers most of one side of the upper portion of my back.  I forget which side it's on as I don't see it often.  I was oblivious to it until a doctor pointed it out to me when I was a teenager getting a sports physical.  

I have another on my lower left leg.  Show-and-Tell time, see it?

I remember often pondering the mark while in the bathtub as a little kid.  But I certainly never had any past-life revelations.  

If I were to make up a past life story?  Civil war injury to my leg?  Eventually killed me.

As for the big mark on my back... Gored by a wooly mammoth?  Or something stupid like worked or smoked myself to lung cancer oblivion?

Birthmarks.  Got any?  What's your (made up or otherwise) story?

Thursday, July 8, 2021

let them brush your rock and roll hair

She called to me, I'm sure of it.  Subliminally.  I wasn't looking, but then all of a sudden I was.  And there she was.

Earlier this week, I got a sudden urge to look for a road bike to add to my fleet.  This, after determining I didn't want another bicycle just a few months ago.  I have two bicycles, I'm a minimalist, clearly, I don't need another.  Clearly.

And there she was. Staring at me from face6ook marketplace.  Her keeper said:

"...been in the closet for the past year, hardly ridden"

Well, she's outta the closet now!  Out and proud!🌈 

We had our first quality time together this afternoon.  She told me her name is Violet.

Violet, during a quiet moment.
Pondering metal watermelon slices

What can I say?  I love her already.


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. Tell us about something you recently purchase

Monday, July 5, 2021

not to be blunt...

I walked into the room for a little information gathering.  Back in high school, I don't remember what year it was.  I grew up in a small town, but our high school still had a handful of extracurricular clubs and activities.  Horticulture club was meeting for the first time of the school year - prospective members were urged to attend.

I had a passing interest in horticulture although I hadn't done much "gardening" myself.  My mom had quite a green thumb and kept various plants in a sunny section of the house as well as maintained some outdoor foliage.  I could remember going to the local greenhouse with her as a kid and finding it an interesting place.

So I thought, "Hmm, horticulture club.  That could be fun - learn some plant biology, soil chemistry, greenhousing..."

I'd stopped by the after-school meeting, mostly on a whim.  As such, I was by myself as opposed to part of a group like most things in high school.  I was a bit surprised to see I hardly knew anyone there.  I mean, it was a small town, so I knew of the other kids there, but none of them were in any of my circles.  In fact, I was surprised at the attendees, they weren't the kids who usually joined clubs.

"Interesting", I thought to myself, "all the kids here are known stoners.  Wonder why they're in the horticu... OH!"

DUH.  Here I went into it thinking "science" as opposed to "grow-your-own-weed".  Nerd alert!

Suffice to say, I didn't join the high school horticulture club, and that marked the end of my horticultural education.

Last week, a coworker told me about a large greenhouse operation in the area.  She owns a rental property and does all the landscaping and visits the business often.  Magnum and I went on a little field trip on Saturday to check the place out.  

It was huge and impressive and rekindled my adolescent interest in horticulture as well as my wanting to do "something" with our boring yard space.  

We managed not to purchase anything, just scouted out the place to get some ideas.  I learned that the university here offers a gardening extension program specific to Colorado conditions.  It's part of a program available in all 50 states, and I'm planning to sign up.  

Now, 30+ years after my short foray into horticulture, recreational pot is legal here.  I could learn how to grow a decent crop of my own...

don't bet on that bud.