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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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


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.


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.


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...)


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


And now I want pizza.


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.


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].


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."


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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...


12 June 2020

Normally around this time of year, I'd be well into training for a long walk and just ramping up fundraising. I registered for two events this year, Pledge the Pink and the Komen 3 Day (well, Komen moved my registration from last year to this.) PtP involved going all the way across the country--but the Spouse Thingy was going, too, which made it less dicey--and there were no hard minimums to raise, which made it attractive. Plus, my friends would be there.

Komen cancelled all 3 Day events this year, which I get and agree with. There were only 4 walks slated this year, but some of them would have been in the thick of COVID, and by the time the last rolled around another surge is highly possible.

PtP hasn't cancelled anything. Yet.


I went to my annual appointment with my endocrinologist, who pointed out the veritable viral soup of that many people walking together in one location, the predicted second wave of COVID, and my kidneys.

It's wreaking havoc on internal organs, kidneys especially, and I have stage 3 kidney disease. She made the point that I also have a reactive airway and if I get sick...the potential to be really bad is significant. Added onto that...long distance walking requires downing high amounts of sodium, and while I'm not on a sodium restricted diet yet, it's just not a good idea if I want to keep my kidneys.

I've had issues the last couple of several times I've walked.


Yeah, not going this year. And unless my numbers improve, not going next year, either. Komen switched everyone's registrations from this year to next, but the odds aren't terribly high that I'll go to that one, either, unless it's to cheer walkers on (which would be tons of fun and I just might do that.)

Like it or not, I may be done walking for charity unless it's a single-day event.

No lie, when she said that I kinda wanted to panic, because...cycling. I sweat, I replace lost electrolytes. I worried that she was about to take that away from me, too.

But, no. Cycling doesn't require traveling, the training doesn't have me doing absurd numbers of miles back to back, isn't one day piled on top of another, and I don't need to choke down salty drinks and food as often. Given the number of miles I ride at a time, and the most I would typically be on the bike is two hours, she didn't see any reason to worry about it and actively encourages me to keep at it.

(This was when I whined about my weight. All the miles ridden, the diet pretty well nailed down and at 1200-1400 calories a day, and I'm right where I was last year. She was quite kind in not rolling her eyes at me, but pointed out that my labs were all spot-on, my BP is ideal, HR pretty good, and everything looks better than it did last year. And apparently I wear the same track pants every year [I do, intentionally, because they're lightweight and the first thing they do to me is force me into a scale] and they've gone from skin tight to loose. So. "Keep doing what you're doing and stop worrying." I'm not worrying, I'm WHINING. I have a spiffy cycling jersey to wear but LYCRA IS NOT FORGIVING and I have a spare tire around my waist.)


I digress.

The walks are out for this year, possibly next, maybe even beyond that. So I need to find other charitable endeavors. I'll keep doing St. Baldrick's until I hit my 10 year mark, but I need to figure out something else, even if it's a virtual event that I can do on the bike.


31 May 2020

Oddz-n-Endz #8,138,903.922

For the most part, isolation, quarantine, stay-at-home, whatever you want to call it, has not been a huge issue for me. This is when being an introvert has its perks; the only real difference in my life is not being able to ride to Starbucks and sit there for a while, and we don't just go out and wander around stores for no reason other than to get out of the house.

But...I've realized over the last few days that I have been clenching my jaw tight for a month or more. So clearly, there's some stress being felt. Also clearly, I use the passive voice when writing a bit too often...

If it doesn't let up, I'm gonna break a tooth.


Since I brought my road bike into the house to use on the trainer, I figure this was a good time to give clipless pedals and shoes a try (and not whine too much about the fact that you actually clip in to a clipless pedal, but no one consulted me when they were coming up with a name for it...) On the trainer is the only way I would ever give it a whirl--people tend to fall when learning how to ride with them on the road. I have no desire to list to one side, utter expletives, and then fall over.

But...I still want to try them. So I bought a pair of SPD pedals along with the appropriate shoes, and today I decided to swap the old pedals out for the new.


I cannot budge the old pedals. I'm not nearly strong enough to move the damned thing. Ten years ago, no problem. At nearly 59...problem. And there's a part of me that hopes the Spouse Thingy can't get them off, either. At least then it will owed to the initial installation of the pedals and not because I am that pathetically weak now.


Book two in the Wick shorts series is nearing completion. And it might wind up being longer than the first; a couple stories I thought would be super short decided they would be kinda long, including one that doesn't really go anywhere but still felt worth writing. The cover art had already been planned out, but then the Battleax Editor read one of the new stories and declared it wrong for the book, and also yelled at me for making her cry.

She also grumbled about not being able to make heads nor tales out of an important point in the anchor story, and took umbrage when I offered to use smaller words for her. But mostly, she's mad for making her cry.


I have a doctor's appointment on the 8th, and got online to double check what time. Why the hell would a not-morning person like me make an appointment for anything at 8 am? I had to have been high when I made that appointment...while at the doctor's office...one year ago. At least I'll be appropriately grumpy when she mentions that I have not lost any weight this year, and I'll shoot back, "bitch, you are a tiny, tiny person, and I can break you in half."

(Okay, no I won't. Because she is a nice doctor. And probably won't give a flying fork about having not dropped any weight. She'll be like, "You are not a number on a scale" while I'm "BUT DAMN I EAT 1200-1400 CALORIES A DAY AND I RIDE MY BIKE A LOT AND LADY I AM HUNGRY!!!")

((I am totally eating an entire cake after this appointment.))

(((I really did think I would be down another 30 by now. And I really am hungry.)))

((((No, I do not need diet advice. I need a functioning pituitary.)))


 Great, now I'm grinding my teeth, too...


30 May 2020

Let's presume it's October, which is breast cancer awareness month, in a year without a pandemic. All across the U.S. walking/running events are held specifically to raise money for research into and treatment of breast cancer. User profile pictures pop up with a lot of pink, and across social media is the hashtag #breastcancerawareness or #endbreastcancer.

Huh, you muse as you sit back in your comfy chair, can of Diet Dr. Pepper on the end table, all cancers are horrible. ALL CANCERS MATTER.

Well, yes, but breast cancer is the one we're focused on right now. It's the issue at hand. Deflecting to other issues is not particularly helpful and distracting from the matter can, in the long term, be harmful. Cure breast cancer, and it opens the door for unlocking cure for others. Fix one problem, and the answers to others might present themselves.

And we're back to today...

Right now, as I sit in my comfy chair with a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper next to me, there are hundreds of protests popping up across the country. Most are peaceful, some are not. There is justifiable anger and rage because a white cop held a black man down while cuffed, put his knee on his throat, and stayed there until he was dead...and then for a couple minutes after.

Of course people are pissed off.

Of course there is rage.

Of course people are acting upon that rage.

But if you sit there, while agreeing that it was a completely, morally bankrupt action on the part of that white cop, and also complain about the protests with a dismissive "But all lives matter," you are part of the problem.

Of course all lives matter, but generalities are not the current issue. The issue is oppression, racism, bigotry, systematic discrimination, and tyranny. To reduce what every black American lives through each and every day by uttering that all lives matter is to spit in their faces.

There is no equality here. People are shouting BLACK LIVES MATTER because as a whole, we have mistreated, dismissed, held down, violated, inflicted harm after harm on our black brothers and sisters, and right now THEY ARE WHAT MATTERS.

Prior to the BLM movement, you never, not once, heard "Well, all lives matter." You didn't hear it because it didn't need to be said, and when you finally did hear it, it was an offensive dismissal of a very real problem.

And be honest. You meant "White lives matter."

Don't even try to argue it. You know you did. Gasp, clutch your pearls, get your panties in a wad, sit down, and then get over it.

Right now, because we have so monumentally screwed up civil rights, equal rights, and basic humanity, the cry is and should be BLACK LIVES MATTER.

We'll get to your sensitives later.

And before you utter, "But the riots. Those aren't protests, they're crimes," consider that it's possible to understand WHY people are rioting while also believing it's not the right thing to do. And accept the truths of the rioting and looting: much of it was started by white people--another white cop, even, who basically threw the first punch when he covered his face with a gas mask and then broke a window at an Auto Zone--and a huge number of the looters are white people using this as an opportunity to commit crimes that will be blamed on black people.

If you had to live your life tip-toeing around everyone else around you, gritting your teeth with every "yes, sir," being stopped by a cop for taking a walk in your own neighborhood; if you ever had to sit on your son's bedroom floor crying while he slept because you don't know how to keep him safe as a young black man growing up in this country...well, then you would probably get it. You would feel that rage, your lifetime of being pressed down, and you would fully understand when it explodes in others.

If you don't get it, pay closer attention, and you might find the compassion that allows you to understand it. Not agree with it, necessarily, but understand it.

Figure out a way to be an ally instead of an adversary. Because if you don't, if we don't, it won't be long until there's another George Floyd, dying while other people stand around waiting for someone else to do something.

16 May 2020

Ok, I've now had the chance to put about 40 miles on the new bike. It's still a bit breezy out but unless I'm heading right into it, not too bad. It took a few miles and getting off and back on to get the seat angle and height right where I wanted, but now that it's dialed in...not too shabby.

It rides quite a bit like my road bike, which is a good thing. I wanted that same feeling but with a flat bar, which gives me a fair shot at figuring out which one I like the most. And while it's way too soon to tell, right now, it's pretty well tied up. Basically, I like the both a little too much to be a natural thing.

The fitness bike is a little slower, though part of that right now is trying to ride with the wind pushing at me--and I can feel it. But even when riding where I'm blocked from the wind, I can feel how much the change in position (which is surprisingly not that much) puts me into a but more resistance.

And oddly, my hands hurt more on this, but that might just be a matter of getting used to it. The grips are ergonomic and cushioned, but my hands don't get to move around as much (though I did switch up and use the inner part of the handlebar for a while today, gave me a little relief.)

What I haven't done is swapped back and forth between the two bikes yet, and I won't for about a week. I want to give this one a good breaking in...and also want to change the saddle on the road bike.

I've had a Specialized Power Pro with Mimic on it, and at first it felt all right, but over the miles I started having some serious pain right where my left sit bone hit the seat. This wasn't even a get-used-to-the-seat thing; this was agonizing and left me literally bruised. I spent a few minutes describing the pain to someone who knows a thing or two and who works for the company, and he thought I had a saddle too narrow for the distance between my sit bones.

Now, I was sitting there groaning internally because it's not a cheap saddle. And I wasn't about to pony up for a new one. But because he's the one who hooked me up in the first place, he arranged to have the next size sent, and when it gets here I can send the other one back.

If that doesn't work...well, the one on my fitness bike is (seemingly) comfy so I can order one of those.

In any case, I'm digging the new ride and am now pouting because tomorrow it's supposed to rain. Hard. With a lot of wind. I could ride in the rain, but I don't want to on a new bike and besides...I'm delicate. Tomorrow's miles will be done inside while I catch up on The Crown...which I am WAY behind on.

Priorities. I has them.

Oh, and I'll probably do some real work. The second Wick Shorts book is about 80% there...pre-editing, that is.


11 May 2020

My leg is healed up, I picked up this beauty today...so of course as soon as I got home the skies opened up and it rained.

I did circle around the court a few times, and holy hell it's light. And fast. I think I'm gonna have a lot of fun on it.


10 May 2020

I set a goal at the beginning of the year: minimum 2020 miles, but shooting for 2500. And I was on track, racking up a decent number every week that I knew if I kept the pace I would hit the 2020 in October and likely break 2500 by December 31.

But now I am so far behind it's not funny. COVID happened, I made the hard-for-me decision to not ride alone to prevent anyone else from having to deal with me if I wrecked, and decided that when I did ride I would not go all out to lessen the risk that I would wind up in a hospital bed that someone else needed. I set up my little blue Townie on the trainer and was determined to get my miles done inside.

I forgot one very important thing: how long it takes me to heal from an injury.

Well, two things, really. I cannot ride a recumbent anymore because my hip locks up. The Townie isn't a recumbent, but it is crank forward, apparently just enough that 30 minutes on it is a bad idea.

I was happily pedaling along, watching You Tube videos, when I felt the first stab. And being the intelligent person that I am, I just shifted my weight and kept pedaling. Right up until I felt a super sharp, you-are-so-stupid burn.

It took a good 10 days to recover from that stupidity.

That was a good 100 miles lost.

It's May, and I'm only at 800 miles. I expected to be over 1,000 by now, and while I still think I'll hit 2020, the more robust 2500 seems remote.

[side note: I read a post online from some guy who had 2500 under his belt by the end of February. I am jealous. One day, I want to be that guy. If we lived somewhere with better riding...I could totally do that.]

I've reached the point where I'm no longer set on riding with someone else, so on the days the Spouse Thingy can't, now that I can walk without cringing and limping, I'm going out alone. I won't be stupid, but I damn well want my 10-15 a day.

Ohhhh and I'm picking this up tomorrow or Tuesday:

Yes, another bike. Hey, I made room in the garage by giving the gray hybrid and the cruiser to the Boy and DIL. I HAVE ROOM FOR A NEW ONE!

I love the hell out of my road bike but there are times I can't deal with the drop bars, and to keep riding (but not on the admittedly much slower Townie or my electric) I ordered a fitness bike with a flat bar and can pick it up tomorrow. I still have my eye on the forever-bike, but if this is as good as I'm hearing, I might not want that expensive forever-bike. This might do it for me. Kinda hope that's the case.

Not that I won't stop drooling on other bikes.

Totally will.


29 April 2020

I'm sitting here with the news on, listening to people trying to justify going against the current Stay in Place orders, wanting to open their nonessential businesses. And the argument across the board is Operating my business is my right as an American.

Here's the thing.

Your rights end where someone else's begin.

You have the right of free speech; you cannot yell Fire in a public venue. Why? Your right to free speech ends when the safety of others is in play.

You have freedom of expression; you cannot paint your neighbor's house as any sort of statement. It's not yours to do with as you please.

You have freedom of religion; you cannot chuck rocks at someone's head no matter how strong a commandment it might be. And that's right there in the Bible, stoning adulterers. I don't recommend trying it.

So you can be as frustrated as you want; your right to operate a legal business is suspended when having it open might inflict illness upon someone else. It's that basic. It is fair, even when it doesn't feel like it is. And yes, you would be careful, you would practice stringent sanitizing, only allow X number of people in at a time, and you're healthy.

It only takes one person. One customer without symptoms. One employee working because they're too afraid to admit to that scratchy throat. You might feel fine when you're not; your customers might feel fine.

Yes, fast food is allowed to have drive-through and curbside pickup. Grocery stores are open. Hardware store are open. They're open because there's no way around it. People have to eat. Stuff in houses break and need immediate repair.

No one needs a haircut badly enough to risk someone else's life. No one needs a tattoo (and trust me, I want one. Badly.) No one needs Starbucks and I am flummoxed as to why they're considered essential enough to be open...and I love going to Starbucks.

You might be willing to risk your own health; your customer might be willing to risk their own health. But you both carry that risk with you when you leave that place of business, and because of that...your right to do business ends because it infringes on the rights of others to pursuit health.

It's not perfect. But it is what it is, and if you embrace your rights as an American, then you have to embrace those inconvenient moments when you have to let loose your grip on anything other than the fundamental cornerstones of this Republic.

(It's not a democracy, you know. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance for a light bulb moment.)

It sucks. Some businesses won't survive, and that sucks even more. But if you open too soon and spread this virus, we're going to lose any advantage we've gained, and we start this sucky little merry go round all over. Only it will probably be worse.

(See: Spanish Flu, when people started going out and clustering at the first signs it had abated. It got worse. Much worse.)

You have a right to operate a legal business...just not right now.

15 April 2020

The last time the Spouse Thingy and I went on a bike ride, my chain was rubbing on the front derailleur a bit, only in a few gears and only on the small chain ring. So I popped it onto the big chain ring, finished the ride, and decided it was time for me to learn to adjust things myself.

A couple of You Tub videos and a perusal of my Bike Maintenance & Repair for Dummies book, I was confident enough to make such a small repair.

Long story short. Or short story long. Yeah, I was grateful that the bike shop is considered essential and is open right now. Yesterday he took my bike there where someone who KNOWS things could adjust it. And where he was told that yeah, it was time for a checkup since they usually recommend it after 3 months, and I bought it about 3 months ago. (And nearly 700 miles! Go me!)

I did not know that. I'm sure they told me, but I was all NEW BIKE NEW BIKE NEW BIKE and probably didn't hear (and I will not hear again when I upgrade, probably in August, because I'll be all REALLY AWESOME NEW BIKE and wetting myself with joy.)

((Ooh...new contender I probably have mentioned but am soooooo looking forward to test riding once normal life returns. Orbea Avant M20.)

Anyway, the adjustment was free. I appreciated that. And today we took advantage of the nice weather and headed out for a ride, the first one for me in, hm, 3 weeks? First outside one, anyway.

When I last took a nice, long ride, I think I did 14-15 miles. Today I had to step off the bike at 5 for a few minutes, and at 7 I declared myself to be DONE because my poor ass was on fire.

I need to get used to the seat all over again, I guess.

He's off tomorrow so we'll probably ride again, and this weekend I'll make use of the too-comfortable Townie inside.  But after this weekend, he's off for ten days and as long as the weather holds, I intend to be on that bike every damned day.

I do not look right without the tattoos...
I also want to pull out the Trikke and the Street Strider and play with those, too.

I don't even know if the tires are okay for riding on, it's been so long. The Trikke's tires were upgraded shortly after this picture but it hasn't been used for several years. Same with the Strider. For all I know they both have tire rot.

So fingers crossed. Those are things I can play with in the court and not worry about venturing too far from home, which gives me more options when I'm alone.

And yes, I realize I could wreck just as easily with the Spouse Thingy with me, but he can better assess if I need emergency care or not, and if he's there no one else will need to touch me.

I'm being careful, that's all.

But I'm looking forward to his time off, just so we can go outside and play. Away from everyone else. And man, I really need to just to work off some of the junk I've let myself eat lately.

No regrets. PIZZA IS LIFE. So are brownies. And I might make a cake. And fry some chit.

Oh yeah, I'm gonna end this thing with a nice 5 pound gain, I bet. Do. Not. Care.


10 April 2020

I am so freaking tired. I am the kind of tired where everything coming out of my mouth probably sounds bitchy, even when I don't mean it to be. Someone might want to warn the Spouse Thingy.

Over the last week I don't think I've slept more than 5 hours at a time, and the last 3 nights, my longest stretch was 4 hours. Usually my insomnia starts with a thought that zips through my head, which triggers another thought, and then 5,827 things are thundering around in there, and I just can't sleep because of it.

Nine times out of ten, it's pieces of a story worming out of the gray matter, connecting with other pieces, trying to become a Real Thing.

I've been pondering work while trying to fall asleep, sure, but this not sleeping has little to do with the bees in my brain and everything to do with trying to be a Good Little Citizen and staying at home, not outside wandering the aisles of Walmart and the grocery store with a hundred other people.

I'm just not tired enough.

I've avoided doing my favorite thing, long bike rides, because of the chance that something will happen, I'll wreck or get hit, and then take up space in a hospital, space I shouldn't take. I'm more concerned with that than the notion that I am in a couple of risk categories and contracting COVID would be a bad idea...even though, right now, beds are not in shortage in CA, I don't want to be That Person, the one who has options at home but chose to not use them, and who did something risky that then impacts someone else.

It makes sense in my head.

I have options here. We have a perfectly good treadmill--and it's a really good one--and a nearly top of the line rower.

I have a bike up on a trainer on my office, conveniently parked in front of a fairly large TV with Netflix and Amazon Prime and CBS All Access, and a bunch of other options.

I even use them. Well, the bike mostly. Training for the 3 Day had kinda ruined walking for me and the treadmill now feels like torture.

But it's not the same, and it's not enough.

Until now, I didn't realize how much ancillary moving I typically do. Walking around the store. Going places where walking is just part of it. Getting up and doing. Granted, there are lots of things I could be doing, but even those things (side-eye to the kitchen) don't take much time or effort. I did the major thing, completely rearranging the bedroom, which required a lot of heavy-ish lifting, and deep cleaned it and Max's bedroom...but the rest of the house doesn't require that much effort.

I need to get out and do all the things I normally do.

Yet, I won't.

So now I'm stuck in this Catch-22 of not being tired enough to sleep, and being too tired from lack of it to do much of anything else around the house.

I suspect what comes next for me is embracing my inner night owl, staying up until 4 in the morning and sleeping as late as I can. Fingers crossed that Max and Buddah can adjust as well, because those furry little bottomless pits like being fed every 2.5-3 hours during the day.

And despite the whining...this isn't hard. It's just staying home and being lazy. I'm a damned professional at that. I have books, TV, Internet, and I enjoy my work. I would just like it a whole lot more if I could sleep like a normal person.

This might be my new normal, tho.

It really sucks to be a night owl when you're night blind...


9 April 2020

Look, I get it. This weekend is important to a very large segment of the population, perhaps more so than Christmas, and the idea of not being able to attend church services is like having a grain of sand irritating your soul, right where you can't scratch it.


This wasn't a serious conversation...this was me being poked at by a friend helping me bring to the surface of my brain something buried, something that bothered me about seeing people on the news whining about being turned away from their churches this past weekend, people who are determined to meet and worship on Easter Sunday.

It is not your risk to take.

Nothing that involves going out in public right now falls under the blanket notion of infection being your risk to take.

Yes, Sunday is Easter. It's important. But there's something more important if you consider yourself someone of Christian faith:


Go ahead, look it up if you're unfamiliar. If you need a hint, think "6th of the 10 Commandments." Or peek at Exodus 20:13 / Deuteronomy 5:17.

You don't have the right to risk that you might be a carrier of this virus, and that your attendance in church will infect someone else. Maybe you're asymptomatic; you could have it and not know. Maybe you just got over it and figure all is well; you could be shedding virus still and not know. The experts don't know. 

If you and you brethren show up to worship together on Sunday, and even one person in that congregation falls ill, you are culpable. If that person dies?

Are you willing to be the one who infected them?

This isn't even a "But I didn't know" type thing. You DO know. By asserting that you have every right to assemble and worship, you're admitting that you're will to kill someone else for the privilege.

It is a privilege. You have the right to your religion; you do not have the right to inflict any part of that on someone else. Not even those with whom you typically meet and pray with.

It's not about protecting yourself.

It's about not harming someone else.

Stay home on Sunday. You can hit your knees and pray, you can thank the Lord for as long as you want, as deeply as you need, and as loudly as you can without being a nuisance to your neighbors. And while you're down there, perhaps consider thanking him for the grace you've been given, the fact that you are truly blessed to be home, where you can believe and pray in any manner you choose, and not hooked up to a ventilator somewhere, fighting for your life with every torturous breath you take.

If you are the Christian you seem to want the world to think, then be one. Treat others with the consideration you would wish to be treated, and don't risk infecting anyone. Don't risk killing anyone. Because you truly do not have that right.


4 April 2020

Stupidly, the only thing annoying me about isolation is not being able to go into a restaurant, sit down, order, and eat there. We've kept up with our once-a-week pizza habit, mainly because we want to support this place, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I would much rather not do take out.

What we usually do is take a good, longish bike ride, and stop there near the end of the ride. Before the had a dining room they had a couple of outside tables, and we'd park the bikes, go in and order, and then eat outside. Spring through fall, it was nice. Then the dining room opened so even on hot or cold days, we could still use it as an end-of-ride treat.

Now we order takeout and sit in front of the TV. Not nearly the same.

I miss going out. I mean, I'll totally survive, but it's the one thing I miss.


We did go see the kids this week. And by see them, I mean we put some stuff on their front porch, backed the hell up, and talked to them with a respectable amount of distance between us. While I'm okay with self isolation, I didn't realize how badly I needed to see them.


We also took a couple of bikes over so they would have something else to do. Now I'm down to three; the road bike, the little blue Townie, and the screaming neon pink beast. And I'm not sure I'm counting the pink beast anymore, because I've kind of outgrown it. It sits in the garage, waiting for DKM to be ready to start riding. It'll live there for a while then, so she can play with it and decide if she even likes riding. Not everyone does, and she might as well use my bike so she doesn't waste money buying one and then realizing she hates it.


All y'all who are social animals much be going about 6 degrees of bat crap crazy by now. And now you know how the rest of us feel when you drag us to things with lots of people. ;)


I really thought that will all this time being stuck inside, I would clean the house. Turns out, I don't really have more time than I did before. Who knew that when you work from home, you wind up still working from home when you have to, you know, work from home? 

Also, I hate housework. When this is over, I am totally hiring someone to come in here a couple times a month and do all the crap I never bother with. Unless it's spendy. In which case, no one is ever allowed inside again, because this place is kinda gross.


Yesterday I discovered the joy of bike sprints. Last night I decided to get on the indoor bike (which is now the little blue Townie because the gray bike now belongs to the Boy) and see if I could approximate a sprint on it. Turns out, if you try to go fast on a trainer, after a minute or so you smell burning rubber. I know I wasn't going that fast, so I probably need to dial the tension back a bit. Or not. Worst thing that will happen is I'll need a new tire soon.


Oh. I am down to three bikes. That means I need a new one, right??? Fine, I'll wait, but I totally know what the next one is going to be and I'm totally getting it for my birthday. Or I'm 99% sure. There's one other that caught my eye. That's the joy of looking at bike porn online. It's all attainable. I can want as much as I want, even if I know I'm never getting any of it. Half the fun is drooling over the pretty toys.


I should be working, but now that my brain has gone there, I'm gonna go watch bike videos. BECAUSE THEY'RE EDUCATIONAL, DAMMIT.


It's gonna be one of these. Domane SL5 or the Orbea Avante M20. If I choose by color, the purple wins hands down. But the Orbea has better components. So we'll see. Hopefully I can find a place to test ride the Orbea this summer.


31 March 2020

I have enough hair now that I don't feel freaking cold all the time, and I'm willing to wander outside without something on my head. Basically staying at home since St. Baldrick's has made things easier this year...very few outings means far fewer side glances and pitying looks from people who just assume.

Chuckles and her glowboy held up their end of the deal. In exchange for the neon green and rainbow hair, they coughed up another $1000 in a direct donation to StB's.

And yes, I'm in the same shirt...I swear, I have changed clothes since then.


20 March 2020

We're taking the whole shelter-in-place thing seriously. I fall into a couple of risk groups, so minimizing my exposure to other people is a good idea. And the Spouse Thingy works in a hospital, so us wandering around exposing ourselves to other people is a bad idea. Well, not that kind of exposing, your freaks. You know what I mean.

Since I'm not riding to Starbucks with my trusty laptop, I'll be working from home exclusively. So we swapped a couple of rooms (really...90% of that was to clean them both) and now I have a brighter, more open space to work in.

Max has a socially distant enough spot from which he can dictate. If he feels like getting closer, there's always the red chair. Or the stool right in front of my desk. Or the desk itself, since that cub is there to make it easier for him to get up there and lounge on the Gizzy quilt.

The bike is a reluctant addition. I had one in the living room, but it blocked the fireplace, and the last few nights we've wanted it. I rolled that bike into the garage, thinking I wouldn't need it anyway. It's nice enough to ride outside, and that's still an okay thing to do.



My brain keeps going to the rules recently imposed in Italy and France, where cycling isn't allowed right now. The reasoning? You wreck on your bike, there's a chance you'll need an ambulance, and then a hospital bed, and those are in short supply right now. Leave the beds for the sick.

My brain also goes back to the bide ride a few years ago when I passed out. I didn't get back on a bike for a long time, and then it was baby steps back to really riding. I still have the same medical issues I did then; I recognize the symptoms better now, but if I'm alone...? I'm not chancing it. A couple weeks ago, the risk seemed acceptable. I ride around town, where someone else is bound to notice if I need help. I've had it in my head that even if I go down, I won't just lie there for very long.

Not gonna do that to anyone right now.

So when the Spouse Thingy is sleeping off his night's work, I'm limiting myself to riding indoors. His days off, we can venture around the neighborhood.

The whole social distancing and isolating isn't going to be hard for me--I'm pretty introverted as it is, and I enjoy the quiet and solitude more than is probably healthy. What I'll miss is heading for the outlet mall just to wander around, riding to Starbucks to work, or going somewhere to people watch. But, it won't be hard...and I do feel for those of you who are extroverted and for whom this is honestly painful.

I've noticed a lot of posts from people disappointed that their races--running or biking--have been canceled, and there are always "I shouldn't feel like this" mentions.

Yes, you should feel like that.

You're allowed to be disappointed about missing events you were looking forward to, even while you embrace the idea that what we're doing collectively is a good thing. Your disappointment doesn't mean that you're angry that we all have to stay home; it means you had something you wanted to do and now you can't because of something totally out of your control, and that's normal.

Don't measure your event against someone else's. Your canceled race might not be, in the grand scheme of things, as 'important' as someone's graduation, but it's still your disappointment. It's not a competition. Feel what you feel. Then wash your hands.

Tomorrow I'm going to hand in the final draft on the first Wick Shorts book, work on the second, ride my office bike to nowhere, read, watch some TV, and try to ignore the fact that there are two different cake mixes in the pantry, and they're both calling my name.

I'm staying home, avoiding cooties, and please listen to me when I tell you that the Spouse Thingy, who knows a thing or two, is farking scared where this virus is concerned. Take it seriously. You might not get sick, but you might wind up a carrier, and friends...it's people like me who wind up kicked in the nuts.


18 March 2020

I began writing my first book when I was 14. It was published when I was 40--a lesson in not giving up. It was also a lesson in publishing as a whole, how badly one can be treated by the industry, and how absolutely necessary an editor is.

My first two books suffer from poor editing. I know that. If I could go back a rewrite them, I would...but that would not be fair to the people who paid good money for them, and there are enough that doing it would be a selfish move on my part. Bragging aside...it's a lot of a lot.

[Horrible glee on my part: the original publisher went under, which means the rights are mine to do with what I wish.]

Still...I kept writing, through five books in the series, and each one is better than the previous. The last two, definitely a lot better. The last one, the best.

The Charybdis Novels are mainstream fiction, unlike Max's light sci-fi series. I don't write heavy literary fiction; I write--basically--literary junkfood.

So now that I've totally undersold my early writing career...for the next week, they're yours for the taking. Just follow the link to Bookfunnel, where you can download them for whichever digital device you have. The files are in ePub and Kindle formats, which covers all the bases. If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the Kindle app onto just about any tablet, phone, or computer, and still get them.

For free. The link expires on March 25th.


12 March 2020

I'm bald, my head is cold, and -- laugh if you want -- we're prepping a bit.

The dye job on the hair turned out pretty good. Good enough I kinda wished I'd done it a few days earlier to enjoy it.

But, that was not to be. The event was not canceled, though not nearly as many people were there as in years past.

Usually by the time we get there, about half hour before everything is supposed to start, the bar is packed and it's impossible to get a table. This time, we walked in and got one right off the bat...and DKM bought me a shot of Fireball, either to celebrate or steel the nerves.

Either way, one shot was all it took given that I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I was a tiny but buzzed for the next half hour. And that turned out t be fine since things were delayed a half hour. I'm not sure if they were waiting for more people to sign in or what,  but we waited outside from 5 until 5:30, when things finally got rolling.

In the end, my rainbow hair was gone and my head was cold. I showed up as promised, in neon green, down to my shoes and socks, and y'all helped me raise $3500 this year.

The event raised $150,000 which brings their total--since they started doing this--to 2 million.

Will I do it again? I wanted to hit year 7, when I would be knighted. I figured I'd stop after that. But I dunno...it's a good cause. I hate being bald, but the hair will grow back. I hope. I have time to decide, and I will by Ocober, I think.

Many, many thanks to everyone who donated and spread the word!


 A couple weeks ago, we ordered a case of TP. Got a little mocking for it, but we didn't clear out the local store. We ordered it online. We tend to buy some things in bulk--TP and paper towels--so this wasn't a whole lot more than we would have bought at Costco.

But, yeah, we are preparing a little bit. We're not panic buying and going nuts about it, but we're stocking up on a few extras when we go grocery shopping, and want to have 2-3 week's worth of food on hand
by the middle of next week.

Yep, today when we were in Walmart we bought 4 cans of soup to the 1 or 2 we usually get, extra kitty litter and cat food, two jars of peanut butter instead of one...the cart was full when we were done, and we got a few looks for what was really just a slightly heavy grocery run.

Mock if you like. But consider this:

The Spouse Thingy works in a hospital. One where patients have been quarantined, not far from the OR. It's probably not a matter of if he's exposed to COVID-19, but when. We not only want to be prepared for the phone call that tells him he has to self-quarantine at home (which would effectively do the same to me; if he's exposed, I'm exposed, and I will not go out risking anyone else), we need to be prepared. And if he winds up being stuck at the hospital, I won't mind having a loaded pantry because chances are I'm not going anywhere.

We're going to be ready to be stuck at home for a couple of weeks. That's not a bad thing. 

Consider that a lot of the people you're making fun of for stocking up are doing it for similar reasons. Yes, even in Italy the grocery stores are open, but that doesn't help if you can't leave the house. People with a significant risk of exposure, people who are immunocomprised, and people who need to not risk exposure and are staying home have good reasons to stock up.

Sure, it's likely that most people who buying insane amounts of TP and bottled water are doing it out of a knee-jerk reaction, but you don't really know that when you watch them in the store, buying things. Consider that you don't know their story, and they might have valid reasons. You don't know how many people they're buying for, or why, really.

A month from now, I really hope it turns out we didn't need to do a damn thing. But the food will still be edible, and we won't really have to shop for a while. And that's a win.


6 March 2020

With just 3 days until St. Baldrick's, it was time to dye the stripes into my hair...

My hair has not been this long in years...
The stripes are wider than originally intended, because we wound up using cheap toothbrushes for ease of getting the gunk onto my hair.

Also, my scalp is going to be *so* stained LOL


Y'all donated nearly $2300 for research into childhood cancers, and if I show up to the event Monday wearing neon green jeans, shirt, and shoes, there's another $500 coming.

Tell ya what, if this dries nicely, I might have to do it again for the hell of it.

I suspect it's going to kinda of moosh together, but hey! It'll work!

28 February 2020

Year 2's leprechaun kisses
Ten more days until St. Baldrick's.

I have not yet bleached my hair, the first step in neon green with several colorful stripes, though I had planned on having that done by now...mostly so I didn't get my head shaved with lots of stains on my scalp.


There have been two cases of COVID-19 of unknown origin that popped up here in the last couple of days, and people are, understandably, on edge about it. Granted, I'm not quaking in my boots, but I accept that it's out there and it's going to get worse before it gets better. But because it's out there and spreading, a lot of events have been canceled, and I'm waiting on dyeing the hair to see if St. Baldrick's will happen or not.

As far as I know right now, it will. But just in case, I'm waiting on the hair dye until shortly before the event. I'll wind up with scalp stains, but I can live with that. And I'm really hoping it's NOT canceled because...hell, this is year 7 for me and I've raised more than my goal, and as much as I don't want to be bald I do want to go.

Also, I want my freaking t-shirt.

It's all about the t-shirt.


18 February 2010

Max is 99.99% better...no real limp, though every now and then he steps carefully, like he's testing his weight on his paw. We were able to avoid a vet visit, which is traumatic for him, so hopefully that's it until his next checkup. due in June, I think.


Three weeks to St. Baldrick's. I'm still doing stripes in my hair, one color for every $10 donated, donor's choice (there's a post on my FB fundraising page, you can leave your choices there) but I had a huge donation with the caveat that I show up in neon green. Neon shirt, neon jeans. I shot back: toss in more and I'll show up in neon green shoes, too, my hair mostly neon green, and even undies. 

So we're technically at $2100 or so, with $1000 more promised if I hold up my end of the bargain.

There's still time to donate! Just click here.


Years ago, I stopped riding after I passed out while on the bike. I had some serious issues with reactive hypoglycemia and frankly, was a bit afraid to ride and have it happen again. Then came the neon pink electric, which gave me a sense of control over the matter--if I felt like I was in trouble, I could crack open the throttle, not pedal, and get home quick.

Then came the string of other bikes, some still in the garage, some not. And the new one, the favorite, the one for which I have basically abandoned the pretty pink bike. I'm still getting comfortable on it, but I can ride about as fast as I did on the electric with the pedal assist set to level 1 or 2, my heart rate gets into the mid 140s, right where I want it, and I just dig the hell out of it.

But today...first time in a long time I've felt super not right while riding. At first I thought I'd pushed too hard right out the gate, so to speak. Then I thought I was just overheated, and headed home to leave my track pants in the garage. That helped, but something was still off. I wasn't done riding, though, so we headed home in search of Lifesavers, just in case it was my blood sugar.

No Lifesavers, but a sample pack of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. I chewed those up, swallowed, and we went back out...where I suddenly felt great. I struggled through the first five miles; the only thing that made me stop at 10 was a sore tushy.

I wear padded bike shorts, but somehow on one side the padding shifted and it was my inner groin against the seat, and that freaking hurt. But 10 miles was good enough, and the first half reminded me that I still have issues and I damn well better pay attention to them.


Probably won't get time tomorrow, but I think I'm putting a new saddle on that bike. I've given the stock saddle a couple hundred miles and it's still not great, and I have two in the garage worth trying. A Selle Italia and a Terry Butterfly. So, we'll see. I'm not sure how much effort I want to put into a bike that I'm surely going to upgrade in a few months.


We're in the home stretch of the first book of Wick Shorts. There's still some editing to do, but cover art is in the works. And unless there's a last minute hiccup...new publisher. Yay.