Saturday

26 September 2020

300 miles done.

$2800 raised.

Major, major thanks to y'all for your support.


 

I did 30 miles yesterday; 25 in the morning (5 miles, stop, 5 miles stop, 5 miles...I stopped 5 miles to early LOL) and yesterday afternoon picked up this pretty little bike, and did the last 5 on it.

It's a single speed with a flip flop hub, so I can give riding a fixed gear bike a try later. Now, I didn't get the itch for something new again (well, I always have that itch) but I'm about to put a few hundred miles on it in order to review it. Hence, the brand name is obscured, and if you can figure it out, please don't comment on it.

Heading out for the last 5 miles...
 Those 5 miles were fun. This is the first time riding a single speed since I was 12 or so, and the first time I've ridden with bullhorn bars. I think I'm going to really like both. Well, until I encounter a hill, whereupon I might be walking that sucker up since I don't really have the legs to climb.

Next up...150 miles to benefit the American Cancer Society in their Breaking Away for Breast Cancer ride. 

After doing 300 in September, I am far less concerned with getting these miles in, so I might do them on the new single speed for a bit more of a challenge. 

At some point I'll get back to work...but after getting Max's last 2 books out, I kinda want a break. And I might as well take that break on a bike.

The only downer right now is that the smoke has returned and I can't ride outside today. And tomorrow is supposed to be stupid hot. So, hopefully, Monday.

Thursday

24 September 2020

Oddz n Endz #8,109,268^62 x 99.410^3 + 42

As of right now, I’ve ridden 270 of the 300 miles I set as a goal for the Great Cycle Challenge. With nearly a week to go, I’ll probably hit 330 or more, but I gotta tell you…I am not going to make a habit of this, at least not the way I’ve done it. In the last week I’ve chewed up a bunch of miles by doing 25 mile rides, and while I enjoy the actual riding, I’m not enjoying how much time it takes.

I’m on the slow side and I have to stop more often than most (I presume)—and I’m generally fine with that—just to make sure I’m as all right as I think I am. Am I overheating? Do I feel like my blood sugar is about to tank? A I hydrating enough? And mostly…holy fork, my asterisk is on fire. I still have not found the holy grail of bike seats, and I accept that because of my delicate self, I may never. That’s okay.

But yeah, I stop a lot. Passing out on a bike will instill that fear in you. It's not a thing I wish to repeat.

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Max is doing well. Well enough, in any case. He eats, he drinks, he uses the litterbox, he sleeps. What he’s not doing is spending much time outside of his bedroom, which is fine. If we go in there he’s happy to see us (especially if we have food) and he accepts being petted, but he’s not getting into my lap the way he used to. It’s fine. He’s fragile and has little muscle mass on his back end so I imagine it’s not terribly comfortable for him.

Main thing…he’s happy. Buddah leaves him alone for the most part now, respecting the territory of Max’s room, and Max does move around in the room and can still get to the back of the sofa, his favorite place to lounge. He also wanders out a few times a day to glare at me, and he still sings at night after dinner.

A month ago if you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have thought he’d be here toward the end of this month. Now…who knows. As long as he doesn’t lose any more weight, he could be here a while.

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A while back I tossed my name into consideration to do an article on a specific line of bikes, mostly because the gig came with a free bike. They were looking for 10-12 writers with some riding experience but not hard-core roadies, and a friend who’s friends with the guy looking for writing riders gave him my contact info, along with a few others we mutually know.

Most of us got the gig. And the bike.

The bike arrived in a box, needing assembly, which takes all of half an hour. BUT…since we get to keep these bikes, we were warned that if we wanted the warranty on it, we had to take it to a bike shop and have it professionally assembled, and then submit proof.

This is where I got a bit annoyed. I’m no bike mechanic but I could do this easily. Local bike guy quoted $80-120 to do it, depending on the bike. Nope. Bike shop I usually go to quote $60. I still wanted to nope out of it, but…basically for $60 I’m getting a brand new bike with a warranty. So fine. I wanted the warranty.

But now I have to wait for it, because there’s a line of people ahead of me.

Deep down I am 8 years old, and I want to play with that bike.

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Max’s newest book, Interview With a Pest, came out a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got to see a print copy. This might be my favorite cover of all the books we’ve done, especially in print.

You know how sometimes you pick up a book and it just feels good in your hands? This is one of those. It’s got a matte cover instead of glossy, the size is right for its length, and it just has that awesome-book feel.

One thing…if you have the digital version, somehow an extra blank page was inserted at the end of the interview, which makes it look like it’s over. There’s an afterword by Buddah, written the night before the book went to print. It puts a nice ribbon around their relationship; if you missed it, go back and read it.

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I have been asked multiple times if Max will have another book. The answer…we hope so. Another volume of poetry has been in the works for a while, but the material so far is a bit, well, deep, and what we wanted was something lighter and funnier. He’s done deep, it’s time for light and fluffy and happy. Maybe for once…not making people cry. That would be a first.

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Typical conversational topic these days: So, how ya doing with the whole quarantine, stay at home thing?

You know, if you’d asked me that a week or two ago, I think I would have said it hasn’t been an issue. And it hasn’t felt like one. Our lives have not been overwhelmingly impacted, because we’re introverts who don’t really socialize. Other than not seeing the kids--and right now my biggest wish is for normalcy to return so we can see them, have dinner out or something--it doesn’t feel all that different. We both miss going places just to go, dinner with a drink or two would be nice, and I don’t like taking the cats to the vet and having to wait in the parking lot, but for the most part, life has seemed normal.

But.

Looking around the house, the state of it says something different. I’ve never been a great housekeeper because cleaning is my least favorite thing to do, but now it’s slid past the point of lazy housekeeping to what the fuck is wrong with you? It’s like I didn’t even see all this stuff building up around me. You show up at my house now, I’m not even opening the door, even if your plan was to stand on the porch.

Nope, you show up, you better stay on the driveway and text me.

So, that’s my weekend. Make a list, and take it room by room.

At least, that’s the plan. I’m pretty good at screwing up plans. Like, really good. Maybe I’ll write a book instead.

3 September 2020

 My life today...

Max: I'm hungry. Feed me.
Me: I fed you an hour ago.
Max: Feed me.
Me: There's still food on your plate. Go eat that.
Max: It's empty. Feed me.
Me: Half was left when I was in the kitchen. Eat that.
Max: Get off your asterisk and feed me.
Me, checks his plate, it is indeed licked clean. Feeds him.

Lather, rinse, repeat... Today is a Very Hungry Day, which makes me happy even if it does kinda tie me to the house. He's also not hiding in the closet (so far...I imagine naps will occur there) and he's demanded lap time.

He's only had one not-so-hot day in the last 8-10 days, but even then, he ate well enough. Not great, but well enough. Before all of this started, I wouldn't have blinked twice at a day like that. He's just acting like a normal old man, looks a bit raggedy, but we're no longer half holding our breath.

We kept as close an eye on him as possible over the last, what, 6-7 weeks, and have paid attention to as many of the little details as we could. I think we were spot on with medication issues making him nauseated, but as time has grown, we're also pretty sure his main problem was an injury.

I thought at the time he was in pain; just a day and a half before the worst day he's ever had, he tried to jump onto the footrest of my chair, missed, and landed hard. At the time, he walked it off, but by the next day he favored his back left leg and could barely walk in a straight line. By the time we got him to the vet--3 days after finding him passed out with his face in his food dish--he was improved enough that it was just another symptom in a line of symptoms, but he still had trouble walking straight and continued to favor that leg.

Because of some head tremors, the vet thought he might have had a series of small strokes, which certainly would have explained it. And with her, he was a royal pain in the asterisk, which is Perfectly Normal Max. And because he was "feisty" as she put it, getting labs and images would have required sedating him...something neither of us wanted to do to him because of the risks. And nothing would have changed regardless of what those images and labs could have shown. He's reached the point where less stress is the best course of action, and she recognized that putting him through anything might have broken him. Because of his kidneys, there wasn't really anything to give him for pain. And I know how that goes...I miss being able to take Ibuprofen and the like for the same reason. They clear through the kidneys...he's at stage 2 kidney disease, I'm at stage 3. I empathize. If it hurts, we kinda have to just suck it up.

We did get her to change from an oral med to topical, and we lowered his dose. That did wonders for his appetite and nausea, but something was still off. He was hiding, grumpy, only moving when necessary. And then the light bulb went off...yes, I'd suspected an injury but not an INJURY. I started thinking he'd possibly broken that leg when he fell.

I've broken enough bones to know how it can feel. Hurts when you do it, but the pain doesn't really come roaring at you for a day or so. And then you settle with it, but it's exhausting and hurts more when you move, so you move as little as possible. You don't want to be bothered; you just want to stay still, snooze, and if you're lucky, someone brings food to you.

And right at the 4 week mark, when a bone would have healed well enough, he began moving a lot more. He gets onto the sofas in his bedroom more and doesn't just sleep on the floor. He doesn't wait for food to be brought to him, but comes out and asks for it. He's not lying exclusively on his right side, but curling up. He's grooming again.

I may be way off the mark. But I don't think so.

He's still an old man with kidney and thyroid disease. He's going to have off days for the rest of his life. But I think we can ease up on OMG MAX because he's all right. I will still stand in the doorway and watch for the gentle rise and fall that tells me he's breathing, and the Spouse Thingy will still annoy him by listening to his heart several times a week because that tells us a lot of his thyroid and how the meds are working, but...my level of stress has greatly improved.

I get that he could still suddenly die; he's old. But I'm not consumed by the worry of it, and until last week, I was. 

There are now a lot of boxes around the house he can use as steps, and dedicated pet-steps that he ignores but has available, so he doesn't have to jump anymore unless he wants to. He quickly figured out the wood boxes the Spouse Thingy made and doesn't even try to jump up to the sofa now. We took a bunch of extra padding out of his living room cubby to make getting into it easier and have a appropriately sized box he can use as a step to get into it if it looks like he'll need it. 

By the time we put boxes of varying heights all over the house to accommodate him, this place is going to look even worse than it usually does, but...that's fine. It's not like y'all were coming over anyway. ;)

Friday

21 August 2020

With the exception of St. Baldrick's, every charity event I signed up for this year was either canceled or turned into a virtual event. No complaints, I understand and respect the decisions, and if they'd been held, I wouldn't have gone. I was surprised StB went on and up to the last minute expected news that they weren't going to hold it, but it was before everything shut down and there was no social distancing. Just...don't shake hands. Tap elbows.

I wanted something to take the place of those events, though. Yes, sure, I could have just made some donations here and there, and that's fine, but I felt as if I needed to do something.

Then friends signed up for a virtual Blue Ridge bike ride raising money for food insecurity in the Carolinas, and I hopped onto their team, made a donation, and began pedaling. 475 miles, and finished this past weekend. We also registered for a Tahoe to Malibu 700 mile virtual, and for this one I donated a couple hundred to the Sacramento Food Bank. That one might become a regular donation because...food.

I also lucked out in stumbling across the Great Cycle Challenge, raising money for the fight against children's cancer. I (perhaps too ambitiously) set a goal of 300 miles, and start riding that one September 1st. I'm doing it with my Blue Ridge and Tahoe to Malibu teammates, Jeni, Dean, and Michelle, and while we're all riding in different locations, we can track each other and cheer each other on. 

I may have bit off more than I can chew with the 300 miles, but I'll figure out a way to get it done. And I know that's a very low threshold for a lot of riders who do that in a week...but I am not that rider. I am slow and more of a 200 mile a month person, I think.

But before that ride...I found one for the Michael J Fox Foundation, raising money for Parkinson's research. This one hits home: my dad had Parkinson's, and he died from it. So on August 29 (three days after my bday! woohoo!) I'm hopping on my bike and cranking out 20 miles, regardless of the heat (smoke in the air will drive me inside to ride on the trainer, tho...)

And in October, we're still walking for Pledge the Pink, but this time at home. 30 miles over 3 days, super easy. 

Still...I think I need to find a post-September bike event. There are a ton of virtual races out there right now so it shouldn't be difficult. And I'll make it easier...I'll share this to my FB page, and 95% of the ads I get after will be virtual bike events.

Thursday

13 August 2020

 Life with him this last month has been up and down and up and down, and even on the good days, the stress levels have been high. Not gonna lie, my stomach has been tied in knots every damned day, mostly because we just don't know from one day to the next how he'll be, and every morning the worry is there...what will I find when I open the bedroom door?

The last couple of days have been good for him, relatively speaking. He's eating and he's been getting on my lap, and when I peek into his bedroom he's actually sleeping and not staring off into space. If I peek in and he's awake, he talks to me and usually perks up thinking I've brought him something (oh yeah, some a lot of spoiling going on; we've been taking food to him in his room when he doesn't want to come out...) I don't want to pin too much on his good days because he is 19, he's lost a lot of weight, and he just looks rough.

We hope we've finally got his medication dose under control, which seems to have been his biggest issue over the last few weeks. If he's good with that, the rest is just him being an old, old man with kidney disease. He's not going to suddenly be the Max of even a few years ago, but happy and comfortable is a pretty good thing to shoot for.

This guy went in for his checkup last week. Whereas Max was proclaimed to be "feisty" for his checkup, Buddah is "a sweetheart." This is the same cat whose teeth have been buried in my arm. He'll bite me, he purrs for them while they're drawing blood.

Most importantly, he's healthy. Down to 13.5 pounds from nearly 17, but that was intentional. It was a little more than I thought it would be so of course my brain went to hyperthyroidism, but his labs were good. 

And ya know, I sat down intending to write about something else, but...Max. 

The last Wick Shorts book is beginning to pop up in online stores. For sure it's available on Amazon for Kindle and Kindle apps, which means it'll start showing up on other sites soon. Print, I'm not sure. Because of his condition the editor pushed to get this through, so the typical order went out the window and we haven't even seen a proof copy and probably won't until after it's been for sale. 

This won't be the last Wick book, but we're taking a break to read a bunch of other books, and when we get back to work we're jumping forward a few years.

But this one...this one is a good capstone to the Wick Chronicles.

Tuesday

21 July 2020

I had plans to rack up some miles this past weekend. I did 10 on Saturday with every intention of doing 15-20 on Sunday because why not? I had a list of things on YouTube to watch while I pedaled my little heart out, and when those were done, I have roughly 20,000 things on Netflix, CBS All Access, and Prime to plow through.

The weather was good enough that I could have gone outside, but I'm sticking close to home because Max is all over the place on how well he's doing and if he'd come out of his room to tell me he wanted food, well, I was damn well going to be there to get him something to eat.

So Saturday night I took my benedryl at 9pm, and at 10:15--just long enough for it to start working--I was ready to shut the computer down and go read in bed for a bit.

But my phone rang. No one calls me. Caller ID said it was the Spouse Thingy, so I picked up, curious, because he would text, not call.

It was not the Spouse Thingy. It was a co-worker telling me that he was on his way down to the ER. He'd gotten lightheaded in the middle of a case, his heart rate was up, he felt nauseated, so they'd slapped him on a gurney and she was walking down with him. And then she handed me his phone so he could talk to me...and I couldn't understand anything he was saying.

Worth noting, I usually can't understand what people are saying on a phone. But I can him. He and the Boy have voices within my frequency range, and normally I don't have to guess what they're trying to tell me.

This time his voice was staccato, and I wasn't sure if he was slurring his words or not. I could feel my BP rise, and my own voice jacked up a bit, trying to get him to talk to me, but the call went dead.

And he didn't answer when I called back. Twice.

It's 10:15 at night, I'm night blind, the hospital is 30 minutes away, and I don't know what the hell is going on. So I texted the Boy and told him I would probably need a ride, what I knew so far, and I tried to not panic.

I threw pants on, took my other meds, and waited.

The phone rang again, and my damned DND kicked in and sent the call to voice mail, but I knew it was the hospital so I tried dialing back. All the person who answered could tell me was that he was just triaged and admitted, and someone would call back.

Fuck.

It rang again, this time Mike's co-worker. She was able to give me more details: he had not been slurring his words, but they'd gone into an elevator and lost reception. The trip to the ER seemed precautionary given the symptoms, and she called a nursing supervisor to see what protocols where in place, whether I could even go into the hospital or not.

Last week, I could have. This week, no.

So I texted the Boy again and told him I wouldn't even be able to get in to be with the Spouse Thingy, and eventually--after him calling me because texting takes too much time when you don't know what the hell is going on--someone handed the Spouse Thingy a working landline.

He felt a lot better but had gotten seriously lightheaded, to the point where he had to ask for someone to come in and take over his case, and he needed help getting out of the OR. The dizziness and nausea were a little too familiar; he'd had the same thing a couple times in the last 6 weeks or so, the other times resulting in him horking his toenails up and spending a day in bed.

I Googled the shit out of it while he waited in the ER for lab results--they were ruling out a cardiac event just to be sure--and landed on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It was familiar because a friend had just gotten the same diagnosis following a trip the the ER. I texted him again, ask about that, and he replied that it had already been brought up as a possibility. But he was feeling much better, it had just become a matter of waiting for the second cardiac enzyme test before he could be released.

The Boy waited at home, awake, because there was a chance we'd need to go up there and get him. But by the time he was released, he felt okay enough to drive.

By the time he got home it was nearly 4 in the morning or thereabouts. He was hungry, so the nausea had abated. He wasn't dizzy anymore. And he was fine to go to work Sunday night.

Someone had to get up to feed the cats, and that someone was me. At 8:30. After 3-3.5 hours of sleep. So no, riding 20 miles was not going to happen. And yes, I did just make this all about me.

And no I have not made up those miles or any others yet. Between that and Max stress, I have not felt like it.

BUT

This is the scary thing: if someone you care about has an emergency you will not be allowed to go with them. You might be the one to drop them off, but you will not enter the hospital, and you will wind up waiting for a very long time to get even a tiny bit of information. If he hadn't been a hospital employee, there's no telling how long I would have sat here, terrified that he was having a stroke or heart attack--because those are the things I worried most about--and if it had been something major, he would have been alone.

Wear your masks when you're in public, people. Even if you think this is all overblown bullshit. Wearing a mask helps calm the fears that others have, and it doesn't hurt you. And maybe if we all get on board and just do it, the infection rates of everything will drop, and we can get back to a sense of normal...and if the worst happens to someone you love you'll at least be able to be with them.

Consider it an act of kindness.

Not an inconvenience, not a violation of your rights, not caving into hysteria.

Just an act of kindness.

I'm lucky. The Spouse Thingy is all right. He may go wonky and barf a few more times, but he's all right. Someone else might not be as lucky, and let me tell you, the feeling of impotence in this situation is hard.


Wednesday

15 July 2020

Clean black shirt, clean black shorts, so of course the cat with white fur decides life will not be any fun at all until he sits on my lap, rubs up against my shirt, and leaves a ton of evidence behind.

And once he's done that, he's done with me.

Because of course he is.

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We had a really rough weekend with Max, you can read more about it in his Ask Max column on Mousebreath. Short version: I did not expect him to be here Monday morning. And while he's okay now, Sunday night was super hard on him, and it just hit home with me that I am not ready for any of this, not yet.

We're trying to keep the mindset of one day at a time, and today is a good day.

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We're also asking ourselves what the hell we do if he dies at home on a weekend. When the time comes I would prefer he just drift away in his sleep, but what do we do with him if it's Saturday night and the vet is closed until Monday? We're not burying him because he's always been terrified of outside and it seems wrong. I want his ashes. But what the hell does one do with a body for 48 hours?

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Yes, it's morbid. But it's also something we have to consider.

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In a not as depressing mode...I've seriously started thinking about how to handle the 300 mile goal I set for September's Great Cycling Challenge. The obvious is 10 miles a day, every day, but I need rest days at least every 4th day. So then what, 10 three times a week, 15 three times a week? I'm not sure I can do that, either.20 five times a week? I know I can't do that.

I mean, I'll figure it out, but I think I may have set the bar too high.

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I had my first flat in a bazillion years this weekend. Changing the tube should have been easy, should have taken under 10 minutes, but I wrestled with that sucker for far longer than I care to admit. I could not get the tire back on. I know, you only unseat one side of the tire, but the tire had its own ideas and came all the way off and did not want to go back on.

I better hope it never happens out in the middle of nowhere. This was at home, so at least I wasn't sitting out in the blazing sun screaming at an uncooperative chunk of rubber.

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One day I'll either upgrade my current road bike and use this one to break things on so I can learn how to fix the, or I'll find the ideal beater. But I really need to learn more basic repair beyond changing handlebars and stems. I can take the back wheel off, though, so that's something.

(Yes, mock me.)

(Anyone can do that. I'm not sure why I was reluctant before. Probably because I wasn't sure exactly how the derailleur and chain were on.)

(I could have, you know, looked. But that makes sense, so...)

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And lastly...what the hell is up with soft drink distribution? Caffeine-free diet DP, diet Crush, diet cherry DP...nowhere to be found. I know coins are in short supply, but why soda? I need my fix. Especially the diet Crush. I'm feeling kinda twitchy here, folks.

Saturday

11 July 2020

^HISS...or...I never want another flat ever again...^

Fine, so I felt accomplished over a stupid little fix to my bike. And it made a huge difference. I swapped the bike stems; yesterday I realized the tires were a bit low, pumped them up, and did my 15 miles.

I finished that ride (on the trainer) around 2 pm.

Last night at roughly 9 pm, as I sat here in my comfy chair, surfing Reddit despite my initial intention to, you know, work, I heard this sudden, very loud, click-hissssssss, as if a nest of rattlesnakes had spontaneously appeared under the treadmill and were very, very unhappy about being stuck there. Poor Buddah damn near jumped out of his skin but instead of running and hiding, he carefully crept toward the sound, which made me wonder if perhaps, something was under the treadmill.

But no...my rear bike tire had committed suicide.

It was dead, Jim. Very, very dead.

I was not going to change a tube at 9pm. I have spare tubes on hand because at one point I decided it was a good idea to have spare tubes on hand, but I haven't changed an inner tube in 25+ years, and the last one I changed was on a bike with wide, user-friendly tires and my gut said this was a little different.

Face it, 25+ years ago we shoved screwdrivers between the tire and the rim to break the bead, not worrying about rim damage because those suckers were steel and sturdy. It was brain-dead easy, but because of the width of the tire I expected it to be a little tougher, given that there's not nearly enough material to work with.

So to You Tube I went, where the good folks at Global Cycling Network have videos for pretty much anything you need, and I watched as Simon Richardson showed me how to change an inner tube on a skinny tire, and I was confident that I could do it. It looked freaking easy: pull one side of the tire back, insert tire levers, get just one side of the tire off--leave the other side--pull the old tube out, put the new (slightly inflated) tube in, then re-seat the side of the tire you've unseated.

Super.

No problem, I can do that.

So this morning, like a champ, I got the rear wheel off, pulled one side of the tire back, used my levers, got it off all the way around...and the whole tire came off.

Should be no problem, right? Just put that side back on as if I were installing a whole new tire.

Except it would not stay on. I'd get it in place, the new tube in, try to seat the other side, and off it would all pop again.

Fine, this side of the tire hates me, I'll do it from the other side.

The other side hated me just as much. The more times I tried, the more that entire wheel hated me.

I ran out of things from the Bad Word List to say.

I don't even want to count how many times I tried and failed to get that tire back on, but it took me well over an hour before I settled on a solution. And I sure as hell don't want to have to do this on the side of the road, like, ever. Not without a whole lot more at-home practice...which I will eventually do, once this bike is no longer my primary ride.

On the plus side, I don't think Buddah is going anywhere near the bike for a while, so hopefully I won't be dealing with as much cat barf on the trainer pad.

No, really, that little shit has gone out of his way to get from wherever he happens to be, just so he can hork onto the pad upon which my trainer and bike sit. And it doesn't just wipe up. No, I have to clean up his mess and then drag the freaking Spot Bot out to get it all.

Same thing with the treadmill, which he has so generously baptized a time or two.

So here's to hoping that explosive hiss was enough to keep him away from it for a while.

(I'm not holding my breath.)


Friday

10 July 2020

Odds-N-Endz #66.666^6

While I've got the next book 80% done (absent a few rewrites) I have not done a lot of writing in the last week or so, and apparently I have upset His Majesty, who was sure the editor would have it in hand my now.

He's also upset because instead of working, I rearranged the office and workout equipment again, which actually works out to his benefit--his bed under the desk is significantly more private now--but he was not consulted and, well, he's a cat. He's not happy.

If he's in a better mood, we'll get back to it tonight.

If he's not. Well, there's a lot of TV I could watch.

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This was one of the distractions. I freaking love this bike but have had neck and shoulder pain on more rides than not, and after more than 1100 miles on it, I decided I needed to be a little more upright. The easiest solution seemed to be raising the handlebars, so I bought a stem with a 35 degree angle (as opposed to the stock 7 degree) and installed it last night.


Stupidly, this little fix made me feel wicked accomplished. And it worked. I did a 15 mile ride on the trainer today and was relatively comfortable. Usually I start feeling pain between my shoulder blades at about the 20 minute mark and my hands hurt; today the only soreness was from the new position (different muscle use, I think) and it wasn't bad at all. My hands never hurt.

Hell, even my ass was happier.

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An oddity, even for me: I fell asleep easily last night. Turned the light out at 11:30 and was probably asleep by 11:40. That rarely happens.

So of course my brain decides I can't have it that good, and woke me up a little before 3 with the sound of a doorbell. It was so freaking real, but instead of wondering who would ring it at 3 in the morning--is there an emergency?--my first thought was "Did the Spouse Thingy order pizza?"

I got up to get a drink, and sadly, there was no pizza. He was watching TV, not eating,not hiding a cheesy delivery from me. I was kinda disappointed.

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And now I want pizza.

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There's the rub about riding more...I am freaking hungry all the time. Now I know how Max feels.

I did 15 today. Maybe ice cream is in my very near future.

Wednesday

8 July 2020

Sweet. I wanted something to replace walking for a charity this year, something localish but not in a giant cluster of people, something that raises money for a good organization, and found a virtual bike event.

This one kind of fell into my lap, and it seemed like a no-brainer since its purpose is to raise money for children's cancer treatment. It's the Great Cycle Challenge, and I freaking lucked out that it was delayed this year, otherwise I would have missed it.

The GCC raises money for the Children's Cancer Research Fund, and I get to keep my hair.

Participants set their own mileage goals to be done in September, and my stupid brain said, hey, I can do 300 miles! I'm pretty much a 50 mile a week rider and this would add 100 miles onto that. 20 miles a day for 5 days every week. I was not thinking...

I mean I can change my goal, but I'm going to shoot for it anyway. By the end of the month my legs damn well better be like steel bands...

And the best thing! If I raise $2500, which I set as my minimum goal, I'll get a spiffy Spider-man bike jersey.

It was designed by the kids...hellz yes I want it.

So the rest of this month and August will be dedicated to building my mileage so that I have the endurance for this. Also trying to think of good ways to fundraise...g'head, think of a way to embarrass me. I do things for donations.

If you want to donate--it's tax deductible!--just clicky [HERE].

Friday

26 June 2020

Drive-by DMs (paraphrased) that drove me a bit batcrap crazy, mostly because they were send-and-never-respond kind of things.

1. "Stop with the fucking bike posts. No one cares."

2. "Stop with the libtard black/trans/queer lives matter bullshit. If your kid came home with a black girl, you'd shit yourself."

3. "Stop with the I-support-gay/trans/nonbinary crap. You're just proving that you're NOT Christian. It's right there in the Bible: man should not lay with another man as with a woman. So go fuck yourself."

4. "Stop with the trans crap. If your husband announced he thought he was really a woman, you'd run screaming."

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1. No. My riding brings me joy. You're also probably one of the so-called Max fans who FB-Messenger-whine when he posts about Wick. Just guessing. We blog/write/FB-post about the things that matter to us, and those things matter. If it bothers you so much, why are you still reading? I enjoy cycling. Max's career is crafted firmly in the Wickiverse. Why does that annoy you so much?

I honestly do not get that. If a blog has multiple posts about a topic you have zero interest in, why would you keep going back? Same with FB or any other venue. If you don't like what's being written about, move on. Whining about it is kinda like bitching to a horror writer that they don't write chick lit. You don't like horror; you like chick lit; find someone who writes that instead.

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2. I think my son's wife would have a bigger problem if he brought some girl home, regardless.

But let's play the game. Let's assume that he's single and dating, and he brings home The Girl. They walk into the house, all happy, and hey, she's black.

I don't care.

I never cared.

Well, I would care about the way the world treated them, together and separately, but no, I would not and never have cared whether he was in a relationship with someone not white. Why would I?

For that matter, I wouldn't have cared if he'd been gay and the person he brought home was male.

What would I care about instead? That he was happy, loved, safe, and content. That he was treated well and offered that in kind.

And I'm super curious how one equates the BLM movement to "yeah but you wouldn't want him to bring one home" school of thought. How entrenched in to 50s are you?

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3. I dunno, man, maybe it's time you brushed up on biblical translation history. Literally, the translation with which most people are familiar didn't appear until 1946. There are questions about it, sure, but until a translation from Greek to German to English, it was more like "Man shall not lie with young boys." Kinda makes it an edict against pedophilia, not homosexuality.

It hinges on the word arsenokoitai,which somehow morphed from "young boys" to "homosexual" during a translation from Greek to German. It became a rolling stone, and the moss gathered upon it has been flicked at gays ever since.

And ya know, Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality.

I prefer to land on the side of kindness. I don't, not for one minute, believe Jesus would have turned his back on someone for being gay; I don't believe God would reject one of his children for being gay. Nor would He reject them for being trans/queer/fluid/nonbinary. We're all designed differently, and different is not a sin.

Also... you don't get to define my Christianity for me. It's that simple.

And if you have to know...my Christianity revolves around equity, parity, fairness, and most of all, kindness. Not exclusion and condemnation. Neither of those strikes me as being particularly Christ-like.

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4. Surprise, mofo, no I would not run. It would be a shock, but other than that, eh. One of us should be the girl in this relationship.*

Do I understand when one partner opts out of the relationship under those circumstances? Of course I do. Ending the relationship is not the same thing as not supporting someone in their transition. But I would not opt out; I love the person, not the meaty outer shell.

AHA SO YER GAY!

No, that's not what it means at all. And it's sad that you can't wrap your head around it.

Would it be different if we hadn't spent the last 40 years together? Maybe. But I doubt it.

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And since you love my bike posts so much, here's the next one I'm going to get. Just because.





*That was probably insensitive and for that I apologize but I'm leaving it anyway because it did make me LOL

Thursday

25 June 2020

So...Pledge the Pink has officially been canceled so me deciding to not go was just getting a step ahead of things. They're turning it into a virtual event (kind of a steep entry fee for a virtual, but, ok it's a charity and I'll count it as a donation.) We could get a deferral to next year, and we'd like to say sure, we'll go...but realistically, who knows? My gut says I'm done with multiple-day events because they're just too hard on my body.

I can do a virtual, no problem. Close to home, I can stop when I want, give up if I want, no one else is inconvenienced by it (unless I do it with DKM and she's used to my chit.) No travel is a bonus. But we'll see.

Next year, though, even if my doc is okay with it? It's a milestone kind of year for us. We both turn 60. We'll celebrate our 40th anniversary. We might only be able to do one big thing and I'm not sure a charity walk is it. Ideally I'd like to do something with the kids, but, again, we'll see. I'm honestly not counting on there being full normalcy next year.

What I am doing right now...a virtual 475 mile bike ride that's raising money for food insecurity in North Carolina. Yes, I know, I live in CA, but I don't know of anything similar for here and I only know about this one because of friends who live out that way. They started a team and began riding, and I hopped on because why not? It's a great cause, and I have people to prod me onto my bike every (almost) day.

I am behind them, because of course I am, but that's all right. I'm just waiting for the right time to jab a virtual stick in Jeni's virtual wheel and sideline her long enough to pull way ahead. Because I MUST WIN.*

Because it's freaking summer and I am a weenie, most of my riding is done inside, but I've got a great setup now, so it's actually kind of fun. I put the road bike up on the trainer, have a Wahoo stand in front of it and a 24" TV on it, so I can watch whatever I want, including streaming, and set up a Vortex fan near the front wheel so I don't get hot. And if I have to stop to pee, I don't have to search for the nearest restroom.

Of course, this is now Buddah's favorite place to barf...

Given how many places have been closed lately, and still don't have everything open, that last thing is major.

I kinda don't like how my office looks with this setup in it, but, eh, it's not like anyone else is coming into the house right now. And I use it a lot. It would be nice if Buddah would stop horking on the bike mat, but it seems to be THE place to barf these days. And that chit does not clean up well, not on this mat.

*I really don't care but...hey, whatever makes me ride...