There is no making me happy.


We're a good 30 degrees cooler than we were last week, and you'd think this would make me all happy and chit, but no... I'm a wee bit annoyed.

It's not the temperature.

It's the wind.

I got up this morning with aspirations of taking at least a short bike ride, but before I geared up and headed out I figured I'd check my email and poke around online a little, which included a peek at the weather.

Looking at the weather report online prompted me to look out the window, which had me uttering not so nice things.


The bane of my riding existence.

Now, most people seem to be perfectly fine with a moderate wind while they ride, but for some reason anything over 10 mph seems to blow me all over the road. There were gusts of 39 mph this morning, so I sat back and pouted, resigned to not firing up my pretty little Rebel and taking it out for the world to admire.

Because the world does admire it.
You know you do.

Someday I'm going to have to suck it up and just ride in the wind and get used to it, but for right It's not fun. I bought the bike to have fun. If it's not fun I'm not gonna do it.

Just like housework.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'll take a daily high of a 10 degrees higher if it means a really light breeze instead of it being Flying Toupee Day...



At 2:15 this afternoon I was at the post office, minding my own business, waiting in a long ass line to mail something for Max ( cat has friends. He sends gifts sometimes...) when it occured to me--in an Oh Geez This Could Be A Problem kind of way--that my DDAVP had stopped working and I had about 10 minutes before I'd be doing the Toddler's Gotta Go Dance.

I waited behind throngs of people (ok, just 5, but there were only 2 clerks working so it might as well have been throngs), feeling the inevitable bite of thirst hit along with my kidneys poking at me from the inside, saying "Um, hey, you're letting things get a little backed up here..." I took a deep breath and hoped the people ahead of me didn't have too much business to deal with, and that none of them would throw a chit fit over a 99 cent envelope.

As soon as I was out of there, I looked around, and spotted The Hamburger Stand (which used to be a Der Wienerschnitzle, but that's beside the point.) They had the two things I needed most: a restroom, and drinkage. So I zipped over there and sprinted inside...where there was a line of 8 people. So I headed for the restroom...which was locked, with a sign saying "Customer Use Only Ask For Key."

So I did. I asked at the counter and was told the restrooms are for customers.

Well, yeah, I got that memo. I'll get in line after I use the restroom.

You have to buy something first.

Excuse me?

You have to buy something first.

I'm really hurting here.


I popped off an expletive I probably shouldn't have, and bolted out the door. Costco is just around the corner, and I was 90% sure I could make it there and walk all the way to the back where the restrooms are. Plus, a soda with unlimited refills there is only 59 cents. Better than the $1.60 wanted by the Cruel And Heartless People at the Hamburger Stand.

CA used to have an anti-humiliation law; if someone asked to use a restroom in a place of business, regardless of any Customer Use Only signs, the business was required to let them. I don't think it's a law any longer, but come on...if someone is about to explode right there in your place of business, don'tcha think it's a good idea to graciously allow them use of the facilities?

Whatever happened to creating goodwill among potential customers?

I can guarantee we'll never go back there. I'll take my bladder and my money elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.


Earlier this week I finally saw a gastro-type-medical person about the Gall Bladder Problems That Aren't Really My Gall Bladder; we figured we have civilian insurance, we might as well use it. We really like the new civilian family doctor, and I wound up really liking the nurse practitioner he sent me to.

Now, the Prilosec has been managing the symptoms just fine and I've only had minor problems the few times I've tried to go off it. So I wasn't terribily worried about this appointmnet; I figured she would isten to the backstory, then write me a new scrip and I'd be on my merry way.

No, she couldn't play it out the way my brain imagined it.

What? You came here with a tummy ache? You're a wuss. Go home, suck it up, quit wasting my time. Oh, I'll write you a scrip so you can get the meds for free, you cheap twit, but my God, it's just a tummy ache!

No, she listened carefully and gave me options. Continue on the Prilosec and just see, or get an endoscopy so they can see what's going on down there.

"It's your choice, BUT..."

Those buts always get you in the end.

"It's your choice, BUT this has gone on longer than it should have, and it would be helpful to get a good look to see if there are any ulcerations that just aren't healing, and we can take a biopsy, check for bacteria, inflammation..."

Ah yeah. Let's just shove a tube down your throat so we can check for giant holes, look for cancer, poke and prod and just make your day Oh So Special.

So in a couple of weeks I'll go in at Too Freaking Early and let them shove the tube down my throat and take a good look at my innards. I figure they're going to give me some really good drugs, so it doesn't really matter what they do to me. I don't honestly expect them to see anything exceptional, but better safe than sorry. Plus, I'll get sympathy points. And presents.

There are presents for doing this, right?

I better get a freaking present.


  • 113 degrees F
  • A/C is set at 75 but it can't keep up; it's 80 in here, but that's tolerable, and it could be worse
  • The kitties are upset because the blinds are down and they can't see outside
  • They also want to spend the day sitting on me
  • I'm really wishing we had bought that big assed inflatable pool when we thought about it earlier this year
  • The kitties could go for a swim
  • Helpful hint #32,678,167: Count your available rolls of TP as soon as word of a heat wave comes, so that you don't have to go out to buy some
  • I m dreading next month's power bill
  • There will be no cooking here this evening; we are having sandwiches
  • If the guys want hot food, they can eat on the back porch
  • I take comfort in knowing that 98% of the country is suffering, too
  • I don't take comfort in knowing that some people have no a/c
  • Now I'm kinda sad
  • I will eat a brownie bit to make myself feel better
  • Raise your hand if it's not hot where you are...and prepare for visitors

Here Is A Picture To Make you Feel Cooler...Plus, The Spouse Thingy Likes Wolves



We went for a short ride this morning; it would have been much longer but by then time we got on the road it was already feeling warm and by the time we'd reached the spot where we wanted to take a few pictures, it was uncomfortably hot. We're not total weenies, but with helmet, gloves, and jackets on, one does tend to feel a little bit on the warm side.

Click picture to biggify

I created a Flickr account for the massive pictures I'm liable to start posting. The slideshow feature is kind of spiffy, though it seems to show everything in the reverse order in whic I uploaded everything.

Hopefully the heat wave will break next week. We're at 110 right now and the weekend looks like it'll be worse...I'm not riding in that. All the fun would be sapped right out.

Instead, I'll stay home, and chase the kitties around with the new camera.


The Sites We See...

In the last couple of days we've ridden about 150 miles, just back roads around the area, see what there is to see. And those pics...those are the kinds of things we see. I had to snag them off the web; we didn't have a camera with us and until tonight didn't own one that would just fit in a jacket pocket.

So...fair warning. We bought a digital camera that will slide right into my front pocket, and have lots of places to go and see and photograph for posterity, amusement, and with which we can annoy you.

We drove down Putah Creek Road today (see 2nd picture) and stopped to check out the fishability of a couple of cutouts in the brush, and were treated to the sight of a family of otters playing on the other side of the creek; as I turned around I realized we had parked with an incredible landscape behind out bikes, and had no way to capture the moment.

So now we can go back and take a picture. Nothing like recreating something for the sake of recreating something...

We are finding all kinds of things around here we never would have found if not for the bikes. And the only thing we may have lost is a little sanity.

Reasonable tradeoff, don'tcha think?



Can we get a do-over for today?
And make it about 30 degrees cooler?
I would surely appreciate it.


Because I'm Obsessed And It's Too Hot To Go For A Ride Myself...

Dear Ben Roethlisberger,

It really sucked when you had your little accident, and the whole thing did no good for the motorcycling community in general. I mean, sure, it's your perogative to be stupid, out there without gear on, but whether you like it or not, you're a role model for a whole lot of people, and they've been judging riders in general based on your conduct. It's a high profile Look, looky there--see, those motorcycles ARE dangerous!

Not too many people are pointing and saying, Look, the rider was a little on the stupid side that day, even though technically the accident was not his fault... (and technically it was not, it was the fault of the driver...)

Let's see. You were not only riding without a helmet, you were on an expired learner's permit, which tells me--because it's PA--that you haven't complete the MSF Basic Rider's Course. If you'd taken the class, you would have had a full license, 'cause that's the way it works there. Did you know you can take it for free there? I had to pay $220, but you, Mr. Megabucks, can take the class at no cost to yourself.

And there's the issue of the bike you were on. I know it was given to you, but come had a learner's permit and you were riding one of the fastest sports bikes out there. Without gear. That's just...well, it's not too bright.

But still, I brushed it off and was glad you weren't killed, and hoped you'd come out and admit you should have been geared up.

But you, Mr. Roethlisberger, took an opportunity to claim your mistakes and turned it into excuse fest '06.

That day I wasn't, I forgot it. I literally forgot it," he said. "You know there are times that, people that have been making a big deal for the last couple years about me riding first of all, and then me riding without a helmet, but it's one of those things that I ride with a helmet also. I do a little bit of both. If you don't wear a seat belt every time you ride in the car should I label you as a person who doesn't wear a seat belt? And unfortunately I happened to not have it on that day because I forgot it in the basement."

Um, if I don't wear a seatbelt whilst driving my car at any time, I'm an idiot, so yes...yes, you label me as a person who doesn't wear a seatbelt. That's easy enough to understand.

But, geez... "I forgot it in the basement..."


Come on, if your helmet is in the basement, it's probably there because you routinely don't wear it. Most people keep their lids with their bike, or at least somewhere near the garage door. We tend to keep stuff we r a r e l y use in the basement.

How hard would it have been to just say

  1. I was riding a motorcycle without protective gear
  2. I had a horrific accident
  3. I was VERY lucky
  4. It was a helluva lesson learned.

I could respect that. Everyone does really stupid things in their lives, but admitting it is usually alot more admirable than trying to excuse it.

If you don't want to wear a helmet, just say so. Own up to it.

Oh, and get back up on the horse, so to speak. Ride again. If you don't you'll probably be afraid of bikes the rest of your life. But next time, go into the basement and get your helmet...after you've taken the FREE safety course.


The smell that woke me up at 3:10 this morning was one of the following:

a) someone wrapped a skunk in rubber and set it on fire
b) someone outside was smoking some really bad pot
c) one of the bedroom fans was overheating

After careful hands-on observation--none of the fans were overheating and nothing else in the house was on fire--I went from window to window, sniffing and squinting, peering out into the dark.

I couldn't see anyone outside; there was no tell-tale red-ash-glowing tip of a blunt being sucked on.

I had by this point determined the burning odor was coming from outside (we will not discuss the fact that I sniffed at a closed window on my first search around the house. It was after 3 a.m. and I was sleepy...) and since none of my fans was overheating and no one was out there smoking pot, I can only conclude that there are sick, sick people around here. I mean, I'd eliminated 2 out of 3 possibilities...

So really, who would wrap a skunk in rubber and set it on fire? And why at 3 a.m.?

Inquiring minds want to know.


A Picture Is Worth A Thousand...


What is that dentist doing...?

I'm not feeding this to my kid...

And there are some things you don't recycle...

Just clicky to biggify the pictures...


Searching For Shiloh

When the Boy was around 11 years old, we lived in Illinois, spitting distance from St. Louis, Missouri. It was perfect; we were close enough to see the sights--the Arch, the killer park complete with incredible zoo, awesome art museum, and a wonderful kids' science museum--but far enough away that we didn't have to put up with the traffic, congestion, and crime of St. Louis.

We didn't live in the sticks, but we might as well have. The mall was just far enough away that I didn't go on a whim, and the shorter the drive, the better. So on one blustery fall day (all right, it could have been spring, maybe even summer...I don't remember exactly but for the sake of your imagination, it was fall and it was blustery...) the Boy and I headed out, destination Mall, and I opted for a shortcut.

Yes. A shortcut.

It took, oh, two hours to get through this magical shortcut. Normally the drive took about 20 minutes, but somewhere along the way I turned left at Albequerque, and we wound up driving through this quaint little town called Shiloh.

He has never let me forget.

Every time he's in the car with me and it looks like I'm the least bit lost I hear, "We're going to Shiloh, aren't we?"

Over time, I've decided that's not a bad place to be looking for. Shiloh was a sleepy little town, painted in shades of Old Towne; the houses still had expansive front porches, some with lazy swings hanging by room-width windows. There were real yards for kids to play in, and massive trees overlooked lawns that were not-too-manicured, but neatly trimmed and well cared for.

Today the Spouse Thingy and I headed out on our bikes with no particular destination in mind. I started out in the lead position and followed familiar roads until reaching an intersection I normally turn at; on a whim I went straight, and we rolled on for several miles, until it occured to me that we could get far enough out that the Spouse Thingy's bike could run out of gas before we could get back, so we turned around.

This time he was in the lead, and again we bypassed the turnoff, heading towards more unfamiliar territory. Over a hill, the road began to twist and turn, winding through neighborhoods that have been there for decades; some houses were dots in the middle of vast fields, others were street side with pastures behind them. We rode until it seemed like a good time to turn around again, just in case.

We headed for the familiar; after a quick stop at the Factory Store Outlet's restroom, we wandered the back roads of Vacaville, zooming past the landfill (never again, holy crap that smelled like...crap), turning around and heading back...where the Spouse Thingy missed the turnoff and headed straight for Shiloh.

He says it was intentional and he was pretty sure the road would connect with where we wanted to be sooner or later; I didn't care. This time I knew where I was and knew how much time we were adding to the ride, but on the off chance we might find Shiloh here, I went with it. We rode a little over 70 miles all in all, then stopped for food and gas.

Somewhere in the back roads of Solano County, there's a Shiloh to be found. I'm just hoping we don't stumble across it too soon.


If you read the Spouse Thingy's blog today, then you already know he spent some quality time at the ER yesterday. It was Pukefest 2006, complete with Someone Is Sticking A 32 Inch Knife In My Gut...he was miserable. The fact that he called me to come home told me he reallllly didn't feel well.

Yes...I heard him barf around 10:15 in the morning, so what did I do? I went out to gas up his car and then headed for the library to work on my next masterpiece. Because that's how nice a person I am. Barfing? No problem! I'll just be back in, oh...3 hours.

To be fair, I heard him but it didn't click in my head, muffled by the walls between the bathroom and my office, that he was sick. It was more like "eh, he's up for a minute" and I didn't think anything else of it. Not until I answered my cell phone and this tired voice was asking, "Can you come home?"

Nothing personal to the Spouse Thingy, but damn...he really looked like crap. As we sat in the waiting room (when he wasn't running for the bathroom to hurl [and oblivious, I suppose, to the echo created in the men's room near the ER]) he looked more and more haggard, as he walked back to the exam room he was sagged and shuffling... but ten minutes after getting an anti-nausea medication and a pain reliver in his IV and he looked 80% better.

All hail modern medicine.

It should be pointed out that by 9 pm last night he looked really bad last night, but I suppose anyone who had worked the night shift (if working includes sitting around, watching 8 episodes of Smallville on DVD...) and then spent the day turning their guts inside out would look pretty bad.

He looked much better today. Tired, but better. He needs to be recovered by tomorrow so we can go on a long bike ride. It's been like 4 days! Our bikes might think we've abandoned them...

Oh, and for your enjoyment, I bring you How To Freak A Cat Out:

Get 'em a mousie as big as they are...


No, it's not my helmet.
I haven't wrecked.

It's a picture emailed to me by a friend when I first began to muse over the whole motorcycle thing, and one I've seen in a couple of places online since.

His reason in sending it to me: a visual on Why Full Face Helmets Are A Good Idea. He also espoused fullgear:

  • a leather or mesh jacket (with armor)
  • gloves
  • good boots
  • heavy jeans, though leather chaps would be better

And I do all that. I wear a full face helmet. I wear a fully armored mesh jacket, even though I would be more comfortable without, especially at stoplights where there's no moving air to cool me off. I wear motorcycle-specific gloves, with knuckle and palm padding. I wear leather boots that go up over my ankle, even though they give me a bit of a rash.

For me, it's not a choice. It's wear it or don't ride. Most of the riders I see around here don't wear all the gear; most have helmets on, but they ride in t-shirts and shorts, tennis shoes or--though I can't fathom how--flip flops. The mother in me wants to say I don't understand how they can do that to themselves, but as sweat pools in my hair, I totally get it.

It's fricking hot out there, and they've made a choice. Granted, they may not understand what will happen to their skin if they go off the bike at speeds even as slow as 25 mph, but they've made a conscious choice. Comfort over safety.

The ones who are sans helmet...those are the ones I don't understand. At slow speeds if you get knocked off the bike and hit head first, you're going to have some damage, possibly irreversible damage. Like, ya might get yourself dead and stuff.

Yet...I support the choice. I support the right to be totally, incredibly stupid.

I don't support what that choice might inflict on someone else: picking up your medical tab. Agonizing through your post-accident care. Saddling someone else with the financial burden of long term rehabilitative care, or with long term personal care. No one else should have to bear the brunt of your decision to ride without a helmet.

There are a couple of states that, where they normally require the wearing of helmets, provide for an element of choice. If you can prove you have adequate medical coverage, you can ride lid-free. You get a neat little sticker for your license plate to avoid being pulled over by the cops, and you can ride your little heart out with the wind blowing though your hair.

As far as I can see, it's a fair compromise. You prove you won't be dumping all the burden onto someone else (no way round the emotional aspect, I don't think) and you can set the skid lid aside.

I will always wear a helmet. I'll always wear a full face helmet, if for no other reason that I don't think I'd enjoy bugs and other things bouncing off my face at 45 mph. And there's that whole Keeping Of My Face thing. If I'm ever tempted, all I have to do is look at that picture.

But that's my decision.

The politicians can create all these laws about what riders should do, pontificating over protecting people from themselves, but in the end it doesn't help much. Riders who hate the idea just go out and buy these thin little novelty helmets that don't do anything other than keep cops off them. They might as well be not wearing anything.

Or you wind up with this person.

She is wearing a helmet.


I don't think wearing it like this was exactly a choice, though...



See, The Government Is Considerate...They Warned You

Warned Me, Too.. doubt it?


Overheard in the library yesterday:

  • Oh I'll read the book but I'm not writing a report on it. School is OUT!
  • Um...the toilet in the men's room is stopped up and overflowing but I didn't do it.
  • Mommy when you fart you suppose to say EXCUSE ME!
  • Who the phck was Dewey anyway?
  • I'm going to count every book in here!
  • So help me God if you don't get up right now...
  • Can I get a book if the title is weird?
  • But I'm not done counting!
  • Mommy the boy's room floor is wet and I can't go in there but I really hafta go!
  • If I eat all my lunch can I have ice cream after?
  • Can we go to McDonald's for lunch?
  • Excuse me...the men’s room seems to be flooding.
  • Mommy...mommy...mommy...mommy...
  • But I don't want to get a movie here I want to get a book!
  • My shoes are wet now.


Feeling Like Longfellow Frost

Her name is Millie
Goal reached
I have no doubt expenses will continue to mount
Malcolm gets props
Most people would have left her
Or put her down.

Twice today I rode
Once with windshield on
Once with windshield off
Then left it off, because it’s cooler without
Physically cooler

I realized as I was leaned over
Taking a corner
That I was smiling in my helmet
Where no one else could see

Now I understand the want
Of learning how to fly

Buddah, commando cuddling
I sit, he stomps up my body
Where he can curl on my chest
My cupped arm holding him up
And he purrs
So hard that it feels like my heart vibrates

He talks to me now
Long conversations, the way Max does
For a small kitty, he has a lot to say
And I have time to listen

I wrote this week
Just a little
Just enough
Library Bob was not there
I think he’s read all the books by now

For a brief moment tonight
I felt like a failure
Looking in the mirror
Pissed off at weight gained back

And then I thought
Mirrors just don’t matter
Because they don’t show
Everything that’s right
Like the feeling of flying
Heart swelling commando cuddle purring
Stringing words together

And I heard a cat outside the bathroom door
Calling out as if saying
Either come out or let me in
Because I want to be with you
The cats don’t care what I see in the mirror

After a moment, neither did I
So I opened the door
And realized it was not me that was wanted
It was my opposable thumbs
10 pm
Snack time

:::checks date:::
Happy Canada Day
Even though it’s almost over