18 October 2019

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I own these as a pair of shorts. Until 2 days ago, I hadn't realized that they were available as pants.

By Monday night, they will be mine. I was not passing up the chance to order these and have them in time for the 3 Day. They're gold pants so they're lightweight and should be comfortable enough even if it gets a little warm in San Diego while we're walking, and I'll sure as heck appreciate having them in the morning when it's What-the-Fork chilly degrees outside.

Now, hot pink would pair well with these pants, but everyone is going to be in pink and I can't be like everyone. Last time I wore neon orange and it worked well; any time the Spouse Thingy and I got separated (like, at lunch or pit stops) it was super easy for him to find me. He won't be there this time, but Michelle will be in a sweep van and keeping an eye out for me, so something blinding would be good.

Not, like, to blind her, but to make it easier to pick me out of the masses at a distance.

So, why not screaming neon yellow?

I ordered a couple of these from Custom Ink last night, with a guarantee to get them way before the walk. Today I got a couple of emails from the company, one to confirm my order, another with a proof, and a third with a request.

Basically... "Yeah, hi, we noticed that the shirt you created and ordered seems to be for a charity event. Please reply with a link to your fundraising page so that we can make a donation."

I figured the offer was cool and didn't expect anything more than $5. But within an hour, they'd replied back that a donation had been made, and apologozed that it wasn't more.


Now, I get it. This is good PR and built into the prices they charge. But I would have ordered the shirts anyway because I want them for them walk, and this was totally unexpected.

Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, and now puts me at just under $300 to go.

I'm getting excited now, because that puts it within the realm of being able to self-donate if I have to, even with the expense of airfare and the hotel (only way I'm going is if I sleep in a hotel every night and don't camp...that was the Spouse Thing's one request, no more camping.)

This popped up on Facebook memories a couple weeks ago, and I lamented (tongue in cheek) that I had actually traveled across the country wearing it.

I had a notion--before finding the rainbow pants--that I could at least wear the pants again. It would amuse me, if no one else.

So I went digging for them, because it's not the kind of thing I would throw out or donate. It took awhile, because I've store a bunch of stuff and things are not exactly orderly in my closet right now, but I found them at the bottom of a stack of event t-shirts.

And I tried them on.

There's a wee bit of room there now.

If I let go, they wind up around my ankles.

So they're not going with me, and I think I'm keeping them around just as a reminder of where I've been and where I don't want to go again.

This was good for my ego, I admit it. I've been in Plateau Hell, having not lost any weight since March and only 4 pounds since January, and it's been doing a mental number on me. I can't really cut my calories any further--I'm at 1200, 1300 tops every day--and I just don't have the time to burn more (15-20 miles a day 3-4 times a week is enough, though I'm adding swimming back to the mix next week.) It felt damn good to put them on and have them not fit so badly that even a belt isn't going to help.

I think I'll like the golf pants even more.

Just under 4 weeks to go.

There's still time to donate, and it's tax deductible!

11 October 2019

< hops on the soapbox >

I’m sitting in Starbucks, as I frequently do; I came here with the intent to work, to finish a short story and read through another for typos so that I can upload it to The Wick Chronicles soon. It’s not super busy here, but there are quite a few people around me, and people tend to sit here and talk, no matter how enmeshed in my work I happen to be.

Usually, tuning them out is not a problem. It’s when they start on something that captures my attention that my work generally suffers, because I’m unintentionally listening rather than writing.

Today’s word that pulled me from outer space back to earth: stupid.

“I don’t know why you do shit like that. It’s stupid.”

I mentally rewound the things I’d been hearing but not paying much attention to, and then listened to the rest. No, it’s not polite, I should endeavor to not eavesdrop, but my inner twelve-year-old wanted to know what this no-longer-excited young adult did that could be deemed as stupid.

He’d been excited. He was animated when he spoke, and basically shut down when informed that his interest, what he’d participated in, was “stupid.”

And now I’m ticked off.

His stupid shit? He’d waited in line to be one of the first to get the newest iPhone. He tried to explain why he did it, but it fell of dismissive ears. “You could have pre-ordered it and gotten it the day it came out. Or you could have waited a few days and not been out all night in a line with the other idiots.”

I really wanted to tell that poor kid that it wasn’t stupid. I’d almost made up my mind to speak up if his companion went to the restroom, and almost made up my mind to say something even if he didn’t, but I waited too long. They left right after that, and I’ve been stewing ever since.

Look. Your passions don’t have to make sense to other people. If it makes you happy to wait in line all night to get the newest phone, then wait all night. Revel in it. Just because I wouldn’t do it doesn’t mean I don’t get it. I do. It’s not about being the first to get the phone—of course you could have ordered it and gotten it on day one. It’s about the excitement of the people you’re with, the party atmosphere. It’s about meeting new people and connecting with old friends. For you, it’s fun, and that’s the only reason you need.

If you want to stand in a line all night for the newest book in your favorite series with a hundred other people who share your passion, do it. Dress up, play games, have a wicked good time.

If you want to stand in a line all night to be the first to see a new Star Wars movie, dressed like a Storm Trooper, do it.

Embrace your passions and don’t apologize for them.

And if you’re on the other side of the table, the person who thinks those things are stupid…don’t do them. It’s that simple. Don’t do them, and refrain from criticizing the people who do. If your friend is jazzed about spending a day or two in a line to get concert tickets to see someone he absolutely loves, don’t mock him. Be happy for him. Be thrilled. He’s going to have a great time with a bunch of other people, maybe make some new friends, and then he gets to see his favorite performer.

If your friend likes reading books in a genre you don’t but he can’t help but tell you about it, don’t tell him to shut up. Ask questions. Find out what it’s about and why it’s so important to him. No one is forcing the books on you, but your friend is attempting to share something with you. Something that matters to him.

If you have a friend who posts pictures of their lunch, their dinner, their car, their motorcycle, their kids, their finally-clean-after-a-depressive-bout house, don’t mock them. You have choices here: scroll past without saying anything, click “like” and move on, or come to an understanding that this excites them. Be happy that someone you care about enjoys his delicious food, his car, his bike, loves his kids, and broke through something that finally allowed them to create some order in their lives.

If you’re not religious—even rabidly anti-religion—and have a friend who posts a sincere thanks to God for his day, don’t shit all over it. Why not be happy that he has something in his life that brings him comfort? If you don’t like it, scroll past it. If they’re not proselytizing or rabidly shoving it in your face, just move on.

I admit, this is all something I struggle with online and IRL. I have rolled my eyes at the 1000th picture of a dog doing the same damned thing every time its picture gets taken, because frankly, that dog kind of creeps me out, but I move on. I’m sure people roll their eyes at all the photos of my cats. At my bikes. At my pink-things endeavors. I cannot fathom why someone takes a selfie every single day and posts it, or why someone takes selfies while on vacation yet never includes the thing they’re on vacation to see. Like, dude, it’s right behind you, let us see it. I don’t get a lot of it.

I don’t ask the right questions, if I even think to ask questions. Face it, I am socially dense a lot of the time; people ask me questions and I answer, but it doesn’t occur to me to keep it going and ask questions of my own. And that doesn’t matter who you are. I am not great at conversation anymore. It is what it is.

But what I hope I never do, what I will hate myself for if I do it, is to tell someone else that the thing that excites them is stupid.

You love movies? Fantastic. Tell me more about the one you just saw that really grabbed you.

You love trashy novels? Awesome. (I might ask why, but I won’t mean it sarcastically. I hope.)

You love cooking and want to share a picture of your latest culinary masterpiece? Spiffy. And fork you, now I’m hungry. Show me again.

You quilt and want me to follow your blog where you show your work? Hell yes. That’s amazing. I adore your talent.

You went on vacation to Far-Away-Place-I’ll-Never-Go? SHOW ME THE PICTURES. I will be genuinely interested.

There’s no requirement in life that says you have to understand the things that make other people happy. As long as they’re not harming anyone else, why not skip over the WTF factor and get right to the Well Why Not factor?

Just…stop shitting all over other peoples’ passions. Be happy that someone you care about has passions. That should be indulged, not condemned.

<  /off the soapbox  >


7 October 2019

All righty.

Fundraising resumed.

I am apparently intelligent enough to go to San Diego, walk, and determine when I should stop walking and jump on the sweep van. And since DKM will be in one of the sweep vans, even if it's full, I can probably strap myself to the roof and ride to the next pit stop.

So...I need to start walking a little bit more.

I need to sort out my hydration for the walk.

I need to get 319 tiny bottles of Fireball to take with me...for pain control.

I need to get some neon pink hair dye, because it's not a 3 Day if my hair isn't pink.

I need to raise $815 more.



28 September 2019

This is my new obsession...closing all the activity rings on my watch. There's one for burning a certain number of exercise calories, one for exercise minutes, and one for...standing up.

Yeah, I dunno about that one. It wants me to get up 12 times a day and walk for a grand total of one minute. I mean, I get why, but the reminder always comes when I'm eyeballs deep into something, usually work, and I get all twitchy if I don't do it.

Getting the exercise calories burned has been no issue. One 45 minute bike ride, and I'm there.

But the frustrating one is the exercise minutes. That 45 minute bike ride only gets me 15-16 exercise minutes. Today I mowed the lawn (twice, because it was long enough that it looked stupid until I redid it) in a one hour time frame, and it credited me with 6 whole minutes.

The only thing that seems to give me minute-for-minute is getting on an indoor cycle. Last night and tonight I hopped on my Flex bike for 30 minutes, and racked up 30 minutes for the effort...which was, honestly, less effort than a regular bike ride or even mowing the lawn.

But I closed those damned rings.

Okay, I have not closed the Stand ring yet today. One more time and I'll have nailed that sucker.

I was on the fence for a long time about getting this watch, but I have to admit, it has definitely been motivating. I'm a get-a-streak-going kind of person (1633 days on MyFitnessPal, woohoo!) and I can see myself trying to build on one. One week will lead to one month which will lead to two, then six, then FORKIT I'M GOING FOR A YEAR.

Yeah, I dunno about that, but it'll sure as hell be in the back of my head.

And yay for roomy baskets.

I stopped at the UPS store, expecting two smallish padded envelopes, but there was a surprise box.

This is why I wanted a grocery-hauler type bike. It's heavy and slow, but it's fun and I can shop without having to drive.

Which is good, because the check engine light in my car is on, and I'm not driving it until it gets checked out.

I'm a weenie.

I don't remember where I stumbled upon this image--probably Reddit--but I saved it and shared it because it's so freaking true.

You know when riding became my joy?

When I stopped thinking of it as a workout. As exercise that I had to do in order to eat the food that I really enjoyed. I found something that was FUN, and it's something I can do without a lot of pain, and why the hell should it be anything other than play?

Remember being a kid and going outside to play, which often meant riding your bike?

That's what it should be.

I refuse to feel guilty for my weekly OMG PIZZA cravings. I refuse to use what should be fun as a punishment for indulging in it.

Find the thing you really like and just go outside and play. Or go inside and play. Sure, watch what you eat and drink, make sure you move every day, but dammit, PLAY.

Except dodgeball. Only sick farks like dodgeball ;)


26 September 2019

Okay. I got all excited about doing the 3 Day this year, but now I am not as excited, because there's a good chance I won't be able to go. And we can thank my farked up body for it.

As expected, I got the maybe-you-shouldn't-participate email. Last time, my doc shrugged it off and said I was smart enough to figure it out, and since the Spouse Thingy was walking with me, it was fine.

This time...aside from the fact that he's not walking with me this year, because Things came up and he couldn't ask for that time off, my medical situation has changed. Participating in the walk no longer entails just managing diabetes insipidus and all the electrolyte issues that go with it when you're sweating like a mofo and probably not drinking as much as is ideal, and it no longer just entails dealing with chronic pain.

It now deals with managing those things alongside stage 3 kidney disease.

Walking 60 miles, even when parsed over three days, requires sucking down a lot of sodium, a lot of water, and trying to balance them. I don't always get it right (Atlanta 2011, anyone? Or San Diego 2014? And maybe even 2015, but they kinda blur together now.) Nearly everything offered is necessarily salt-laden, and they push sports drinks--half of what you drink is, ideally water but the other half is Gatorade--and pounding all that down and not getting my hydration right is a recipe for disaster.

Whatever is going on with my kidneys isn't making things easier.

I'm sure there will be SOME painkillers there...
I can no longer take NSAIDS. When you have chronic pain, those are damn near necessary on a 3 Day.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my doc. The 3 Day is like, "Well, you might want to rethink it, but we won't ban you." Which I appreciate; they're looking out for their own liability, and it's a subtle way of telling me that if I participate, it's my own damned fault if something happens. But I'm gonna be honest: if my endocrinologist says no, even though she can't stop me, I won't go.

I'd like to keep my kidneys.

So I'm suspending my fundraising until I know, and hopefully I'll know soon. But I needed to put this out there, since quite a few of you have already donated.

If I don't walk, I will ride.

You'll still get 60 miles out of me, but it'll be on the bike, where I can control the environment, and it'll be on a couple of days where the Spouse Thingy can function as my sweep. He can follow, enforce breaks, enforce food, and keep me from doing something stupid.

If my doc says yes, I'll wind up doing a last-minute fundraising push. And she might say yes with caveats: limited miles, limited number of hours at a time, and I'll do what she says.

This cause matters to me, but staying healthy matters more.

But cross your fingers for yes.


28 August 2019

The Spouse Thingy took some time off work so that we could do a bunch of stuff for my birthday week, and while we didn't do a few things we had really wanted to (thanks to my insomnia) we actually did a lot.

Most fun, day before my birthday we hit the mall in Roseville with Michelle and just wandered around, bought me a bunch of t-shirts and an awesome backpack, and then had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I do not eat cheesecake, but the Spouse Thingy does, and it was really good.

On my birthday I picked this up. Like the blue bike, it's a Townie, but it's got bigger wheels and is a 27 speed. The little Townie is fun--like loads of fun--but I needed a little bit more. It'll go into storage for a while, and I'll ride the wheels off this.

Because why not?

We also hit up the Crocker art museum...used to not be my favorite place, but they had a ton of new things and we spend 3 hours wandering around, when we usually stay for just an hour or two.

There was lots of walking around, which is good because I need to launch into training for the 3 Day. I was iffy on going, but this might be the last year, and it's Beth's 20th walk, so I really want to go. I've done a lot of bike riding but need to get on my feet a bit.

Yeah, I won't be surprised if the 3 Day just goes away. Supposedly there will be 4 walks next year, but part of me thinks they might cancel it before then. I hope not, because I dig walking it and really dig San Diego.

Not sure what weird things I'll do for donations, but y'all know I'll do almost anything.

I need to get moving just to fix the damage done this week. Let's just say all dieting was suspended and there's been a lot of cake. And pizza. And drinking.

Yep, it was a fun birthday week.

Remind me about that when I scream after getting on the scale tomorrow morning.


19 August 2019

I'm getting behind... 4.5 months to do 600 more miles.

I really want to nail the 2000 for the year.



17 August 2019

Basically every year for the last three years, we've decided to sell the motorcycle and scooter. The first time, after a short ride, the Spouse Thingy changed his mind because it was so much fun. In April, when we actually got to the point of posting an ad for the scooter, I changed my mind after an interested buyer realized the little scooter he thought he was going to look at was actually a pretty big scooter. When he passed, I was relieved, and figured that meant I wanted to keep it.

But...since then we've gone on two rides. That's it. I may have gone out a couple times on my own, but I've had this thing for four years and have only put a little over 1200 miles on it.

It's definitely fun to ride. When I'm on it, I have a blast.

The problem is that when I have a choice, I grab a bicycle instead. I'd much rather tool around town on that. And since I'm not a fan of the Interstate, and the back roads around here kinda suck, going on a joyride no longer appeals to me.

So...this week they're going up for sale again.

The Spouse Thingy is off for 10 days, and with any luck we can get them sold in that time.

Cross your fingers. We have a patio cover to pay for and the funds from these would just about pay for that.

I'm also going to try to sell a couple of my bicycles...and turn around and get another one LOL

No, not the screaming pink beast. That one is my favorite. But the newish gray Marin just isn't working out for me, and the older Raleigh isn't being ridden, so I won't cry if someone buys them. I need to put all the stock items back on (I'm keeping the new seat and post, and the new bars, because I still want to get a beater to learn to work on and those might become part of a future Frankenbike) but this might be a good time to sell a bike.

We're close to UCD and the bike culture there is strong, and with the semester starting soon and all those kids moving in, I should be able to sell them.

So...if you want a Piaggio MP3 500 or a 1600cc Triumph Thunderbird, both in excellent condition, I know where you can score.


7 August 2019

If you follow Max's author page on Facebook, you know he now has a mancat cave. Basically, we took the dammit machines out of the spare room (which involved taking the treadmill apart...apologies to the Spouse Thingy) and shoved the sofa and love seat in there.

Max is already embracing the idea of his very own room. Most nights, he bugs the crap out of me until I stop working, set the computer aside, and offer my lap.


I offered my lap and he jumped up, circled like 4 times, and gave me this look like, "Eh, I have something better." He wandered off down the hall, and when I went back there, he was lounging on the love seat, looking at me like, "I'm the King, dammit."

We'll let him think this was all an unexpected gift for him. The truth is that he and Buddah had basically ruined that furniture, and the last time I tried to vacuum it, I realized it was kinda gross.

I really didn't want anyone coming over and sitting on it. Yet, it's perfectly functional and they both love it, and combined with the reality that neither I nor the Spouse Thingy enjoyed having the exercise equipment in the hottest room in the house made the idea of swapping the two rooms ideal.


There was a lesson learned here. And that lesson was if you buy a decent treadmill, and have it delivered and built in the room you think you'll use it, make fricking sure it will actually fit through the damned door. This monster treadmill would not fit through the door, not even close, so today the Spouse Thingy carefully took it apart, and it still barely went through.

We're assuming it can be reassembled. If not...that's a damned expensive paperweight.

In any case, the cats are happy, the gross furniture is still in use, and we no longer have a family room. Just an expanded Room of Pain. One that has a nice fireplace for winter and a giant TV that pretty much only gets turned on to watch the news.

It won't be attractive, but...I bet it gets used more often.


5 August 2019

When The Space Between Whens was published, I waited for the fallout. There was sure to be fallout, because I’d normalized something a few people I knew were certain was not normal, and HOW COULD I? What hiccup in my brain would ever think that was normal? GOD WILL SMITE YOU

And I was not wrong. I heard everything from “You’re closet trans, aren’t you, you freak?” to “I hope you get hit by a bus and I am never ever ever ever reading anything you write again you horking doodyhead.”

I may be paraphrasing a bit.

But, yeah, I went there. I have several trans friends; a couple are openly out, a couple are not. I knew one or two long before they began the processes of getting their bodies to match their gender; I knew one or two long after and would have had no idea had they not said something. Truthfully, the only things that matter to me about the journey each of them is on is that they’re safe, and that they’re happy.

Neither of those things is a given, no matter who you are. But when you’re openly trans, or even when people think you might be, you are not safe. Not in today’s political climate. .

There are a myriad of reasons I wrote about a boy who, despite the more normative culture I envision the Wick universe to reside in, has zealously held onto his secret, who was then presented with an option that every trans friend I have wanted: easy, affordable, it’s-your-right medical care. To not just appear the gender they know they are, but for the world to not have a way to determine they were ever anything BUT who they know they are. Mostly, I wanted people to see themselves in Jay; the horror of how he’s treated by his stepfather, the conflicting emotions he feels toward the man standing in his way, and the hoops that people who truly love him will go through to make his life a tiny bit easier. I’d hoped that by seeing his pain and then his victory, people would soften their views, even a little bit.

Well…since I am now apparently going to Hell because I, for even one moment, think there’s nothing wrong with THOSE PEOPLE, I fell short.

Or maybe there’s no reasoning with some people.

I don’t know.

What confuses me most about the people who had issues with the subject is that they present themselves as good, true Christians. When Target (the store) made it clear they weren’t going to stop people from using the restroom of their choice regardless of what’s between their legs, the same people got their shorts in a wad, stomped their feet, and swore they would NEVER shop there again.

Spoiler: they shopped there again.

When the military began allowing transgendered members to serve openly, they wailed. OMG HOW CAN THEY? They clutched their pearls and began hyperventilating at the idea of military surgeons performing gender surgeries….never taking into account that those surgeons need to operate across a myriad of specialties because things happen in war, and if your junk gets blown off, who do you want holding the scalpel? The guy who can do little more than perform a urostomy, or the guy who has, legitimately, crafted genitals for 500 other people?

And always, always, the objections come down to religion. YOU’RE PISSING GOD OFF WITH YOUR QUEER ACCEPTANCES.

Yeah, no. I don’t think so.

God’s not a dick.

I’m sorry you think so little of Him.

Here’s the thing, where I was headed to with all this: you don’t have to understand someone who’s journey is one you don’t understand nor wish to take. You don’t have to believe that it’s normal. You don’t have to believe that it’s right. But if you have any compassion, any sense of morals and ethics, you do have to back off and allow people their right to pursue happiness in whatever form they choose, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

And a transgendered individual doesn’t hurt you, not really.

Offense is not hurt. Offense is lack of understanding.

Not mine, but I shared it on FB yesterday
That person heading into the restroom, the one you think just walked through the wrong door? They know where they need to be. They’re not there to do anything to you. They’re going in because they are subject to the same biological processes you are, and they just want to pee. You think that’s a man going in to do things to women and little girls? No…she just wants to pee. Maybe she still has a penis, maybe not, but she’s not there to do anything but take care of her own needs.

Stammer all you want. You know I’m right. If you pay any attention at all to statistics, you are fully aware that you’re not in harm’s way. If you’re honest with yourself, you know that sending your little boy into a men’s room with men who were correctly assigned gender at birth are more at risk than anyone else being in a restroom with someone in transition.


Here’s another thing: it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters how I treat people. But truthfully, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or weird or abnormal about being transgendered—or nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender queer. I think people know who they are and what they are, and it’s not up to me to define that for them. And if you get right down to it, I also don’t think it matters if someone wants to change gender on a whim. It’s not my life.


:::shrugs::: I think by now I would know if that were an issue, but it wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t leave. I wouldn’t freak out. I love the Spouse Thingy for who the Spouse Thingy is, and there’s not much that could change that. I would miss the beard, though. I really dig the beard.

Love is love is love is love.

You don’t have to believe any of it is normal. You truly don’t. You’re allowed to be uncomfortable and twitchy about the whole thing. But that doesn’t give you license to stand in someone’s way. It really doesn’t.

Matthew 7:1

Go on. Look it up. I’ll wait.


Lead with love, I imagine.

And if you’re not sure, if the whole idea creeps you out, if you don’t want to judge but can’t help yourself?

Be kind.

That’s it.

Be kind.


13 July 2019

Because of reasons, I've been looking at bikes online. I test rode a specific model a few days ago and liked it, but my brain was more interested in another one from the same company which the store did not have, so I went home to research a little more.

Also, there was another store not far in the other direction that carries the same line, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to look there. Now, I've been in that bike shop 3-4 times and always felt like I was an intruder, but I was just looking so if no one stepped up to help, no big deal.

So of course I walk in there today and someone followed me from the door to the side room where I knew they would be. He asked what I was looking for, and I told him: I'm interested in an Electra, either the Townie or the Loft.

He tried to steer me to the front room, because "We have that in a Specialized." (That's a brand, for those who don't know."

"No, I'm specifically interested in Electra."

He pointed to another bike and said, "We have one right here. It's a fun bike."

It was another electric, I didn't look to see what brand, but it was not one of the Electra electrics.

So I had to emphasize: No, not an electric. An Electra. The brand. I was hoping you'd have a Townie and a Loft so I could compare them.

The lightbulb goes off, and I assume this is just a misunderstanding type thing. Electrics are getting more popular and I'm older, so he probably thought that's exactly what I was looking for.

We're in front of the Electras (which I led him to) and he points to different bikes. "This is a single speed. This is a three speed. This is...I dunno, but I could look it up for you." The tag was hanging off the handlebar; it was a Lux 3 speed, not what I was looking for. I again stressed I was interested in 2 specific models, mostly to compare the crank position. I wanted the more forward crank, but I couldn't tell from images online if they shared the same geometry.

He had no clue, but he could look it up, and maybe show me the electrics up front. The $4000 electrics. They're good for old people.

I did not look at the electrics, nor did I have him look anything up. I thanked him for his time, and then headed in the other direction, to the bike shop where I tested the first bike, a Townie 7D.

I walked in, was greeted warmly, and offered a test ride on as many bikes as I wanted. The sales person was a different one from the other day, but just as nice, but more importantly, knows the line well. There was a Loft on the floor and I explained that I'd ridden the 7D but wanted to see if the crank was as forward on the Loft.

She knew right off: no, it's not, and pointed out the difference. So I was asked her about a couple other models, more expensive ones that were not currently in the store. She rattled off answers to every question I had, and when it came down to it she thought that for what I wanted--a crank forward bike for knocking around town--I probably wanted the Townie.

She could have sold me a bike twice as expensive, easily, without much discussion. But she took the time to explain the differences (aside from components, which I can upgrade in the future should I chose to) and to highlight the cons of this bike (real hills might be a problem, it's not a super fast bike, it's a bit heavier than the average frame) but she made sure I knew what I was getting.

There were no snide remarks about my age, either. It's a very popular bike (I knew that) even with the college crowd, and the difference between it and some of the other bikes they sell to students is that people tend to keep them. They're comfortable to ride and as long as you're not in it for speed or competition, it's a keeper. If I decided later to get a Path or Commute (the others I was interested in) they would take the Townie back as a trade in.

I like how the ride felt on my poor abused knees; I wanted one.

The downside was that I really didn't like the color of the Townie in stock. So she checked their database and ticked off the colors in stock in California, and could order what I wanted if someone had it. So sometime this coming week I'll take possession of an icy blue Townie, and will again ride my asterisk off.

I digress.

The whole point was, kiddos, if you want to make a customer happy, don't make them feel like they're intruding on your day, pay attention to what they're asking for, and for fark's sake, no matter their age, don't call them old. And know your merchandise. I might have been willing to overlook everything else if this kid had been able to answer my questions, and absent that, been willing to get someone who could.

Good thing it's gonna get hot today, because I am suddenly 10 years old and I want my new bike NOW.


10 July 2019

Yesterday, the Spouse Thingy and I took a decently long bike ride, right around 18 miles. I tracked it with my Garmin, wore a heart rate strap, and burned a little over 700 calories.

Not bad.

In a PM exchange with a friend, she mused that I must have lost "crazy mad weight" from that ride, and was excited because she's buying a bike this week and wants to build up to the longer rides as fast as she can. does not lose crazy mad weight from one ride.

It was only 700 calories.

It felt like I should have dropped 10 pounds--my ass was on fire and still hurts today--but there's the math to consider.

It always comes down to math. Math is hard.

To lose a pound, you need to burn roughly 3500 calories (though I've read a couple articles lately that suggest some people have metabolisms that require a 7000 calorie burn.) If I ate at my TDEE, with no additional calorie deficit, I would have to repeat that ride 5 times to lose a single pound. I didn't inhale quite that many calories yesterday, but I was probably closer to it than I am on a typical day.

And the morning weigh in kicker? On days like that, there's enough muscle trauma that they tend to hold onto some water, so getting on the scale the next day is an Oh Hell No moment--it's usually up a bit.

That never surprises me anymore. I learned the hard way from training for and then walking the 3 Day. At the end of a 3 Day, I'm sometimes up 9 pounds, and it's all water.

Now, I'd like to get where I can ride like that everyday, but I think I'm going to need a different bike seat or an ass transplant before that happens. I don't think I can even get on the bike today it hurts so much. But maybe tomorrow.

But, day of decent riding does not really budge the scale.


Don't let that stop you, though. One day leads to two and that leads to three, and if you do it enough you'll get fit. Get fit. Fit is good. And then if you watch what you eat, the weight will take care of itself.

That's the theory anyway. I'm stuck in a very long plateau that's pissing me off, but...I'm getting fitter, which matters more to me.

Lose weight in the kitchen, get fit in the gym. Or on a bike. Or in a swimming pool. Whatever totes your goat.


7 July 2019

My first real ebike snob.

I did a mediocre ten miles on the spiffy gray, non-electric bike, then headed home to switch up. I’d gotten a good workout in and just wanted the next 5-10 to be fun. I get my heart rate up just about as high on the pink beast—it’s all about the ratio of pedal assist to gears—but I can go a hell of a lot faster, and quite a bit further.

So I’ve already done ten miles, burned a fair number of calories, hopped on another bike and did five more, ending at Starbucks. And as I locked the bike up (two heavy duty U-locks; the bike is insured but I’m not stupid) Dorkas McBikelitist stops before going inside and snorts, “Get a fucking motorcycle, damn.”

I hot, sweating, super thirsty*, and all I want is an ice-cold passion tango tea. I have no patience for a bike snob, especially one who rolled up in a 4x4 pickup that might get 8 miles to the gallon.

“I have a fucking motorcycle at home. What’s your point?”

If he had a comeback of his own, it was lost as his spouse thingy prodded him inside, laughing her ass off at him.

For some reason, they didn’t stick around. Huh.

I got my tea, sat down and fired up the laptop, and realized I finished the short I was working on last night. I can proof and edit or start another one. I have no idea what I want to do, so I’m procrastinating by playing online and jotting down stupid thoughts as they occur to me.

I could work on the template for, but I’m not enjoying having started it using Wordpress. Blogger is just so much more intuitive for me, and I might move it. Or just link to a blogger site from the existing Wordpress page. Or something entirely self-hosted.

I dunno. If I were rich I would hire someone else to figure out all of this, as well as distribution of stories and books without DRM** and without risking pirating or outright theft. Whatever I wind up doing, I need to figure it out soon. The first short is almost ready to go.

**I’ll probably use Book Funnel. Y’all need to get comfy with sideloading your digital readers. Or reading off your computer screen.


Damn, I really want pizza.


Also, I want cake. I will cave into one of those this week. And it will be pizza. Not having cake until my birthday, because I will eat the whole thing and I should probably only do that once a year.


*That’s like regular thirsty, but I get to wear a cape. And by cape I mean backpack. Because it had my laptop, which I need to sit here and spew forth stupid chit no one really cares about.


7 June 2019


Dude, I parked my scooter in a parking space because it's a farking parking lot, and where the hell else am I going to park? No, I will not park on the sidewalk. That's illegal. Yes, I have every right to park in a parking space BECAUSE I AM PARKING and were I in my car, you'd never have noticed me.


Other dude, no, riding a scooter is not for wussies. I can ride a motorcycle. I choose to ride the scooter. It's fun, it's probably faster than that beater you rolled in on, it leans just like a bike, and did I mention it's fun? Also, I don't have to duck walk my ride out of the parking matter what I'm on. Sorry if you're not confident to lift both feet before you're moving at speed.


No, nice older lady, you cannot read what I'm writing. Not even over my shoulder. It wouldn't make sense out of context. Besides, your perfume is killing me. No, I don't want to hear about the story your 5 years old grandson wrote but I won't tell you to shut up, so go ahead and tell it. Yes, booger stories are gross, but so are 5 year old boys.


Other other dude, school's out, so there will be kids running around. Sorry if their giggling over in the corner clear across the store bothered you, but to be fair, one of them farted and farts are always funny. Seriously, I think the kid damn near lifted off the seat. Take your latte and go be old somewhere else.


Lady, I don't care what the person ahead of you has in their grocery cart. I'm just here to buy a slice of ham. That's it. I'm not here to pass judgment on a total stranger about the type of cereal she's buying or the fact that she has a lot of junk food. I don't care. It's none of my business, and it's none of yours. And no, I don't care that the guy in the line one over just dropped an f-bomb. It wasn't directed at me. It wasn't directed at anyone. All he did was utter "Well fuck me sideways," and I have no context. And I repeat, I don't care. It's just a word. And right now I wish you were using fewer of them.


Self, you should have worn all your gear. A nice, fast ride up the Interstate might have been better than going into Walmart. Next time...

31 May 2019

I am slow, but I get there...
I set a goal this year to hit 2000 miles.

This morning I realized I was 20 short to hit the halfway mark by June 1. I'd have probably been there a couple weeks ago if I hadn't thrown my back out, but it is what it is, and I was *just* shy of being on track.

So I got off my asterisk, put some shorts on, grabbed a drink, and headed out. I was only counting on 10 or so, thinking I could make up the difference over the next week by adding a mile or two here and there.

But I got going, and it was so nice out, not at all hot yet, and I was having fun, so I didn't even head toward my break point at Starbucks until I was 12 miles in. I hit 15 just before I stopped for a drink and to take a few minutes to let my poor, aching asterisk off the seat for a bit.

You'll never guess where I always stop for a break...
I have options for the ride home. There's a 1.6 mile route, a 4 mile route, and a 5 miles route...and probably a bunch of others in between, but those are the ones I've ridden and know the distances. What I choose usually depends on the time of day and the traffic, but it was a no-brainer today. I wanted to hit 20 by then, and traffic was light, so off I went.

I hit the driveway with a few wheel rotations past 20 miles, and with some added walking...1003 miles.

As long as nothing else happens--no more back injuries, no getting sick--I think I'll be just fine for making my goal.

Also, my ass hurts.


29 May 2019

This guy.

Max has gotten to the point where I pretty much have to stay in the kitchen when he eats because he pushes his food to the edge of the plate, and if it falls off, he either doesn't know where it went, or he just not going to eat off the mat his plate is on.

There may be some visual issues, too. He might not be able to see it.

But still, I stand there and every minute or so, scrape the food toward him, piling it into a little mound so that it's easier for him to get it into his mouth. He understands why I'm doing this, and with certain foods he'll stop eating and look up, letting me know he needs a little help.

Buddah has no issues with eating. It doesn't matter how sticky the food is, he can get it off the plate, and it doesn't wind up sliding off the plate.


He's been watching. He sees what I'm doing. He wants the same attention.

So for the last few days, when he eats, he'll stop and look at me, waiting for me to push his food into a little pile, too. I only have to do it once, just to appease him (whereas with Max, it's a 3-4x thing) and then he'll lick the plate clean.

He's an old man, too. Old men should get what they want. Even if it means I have to stand there while they eat, spoon in hand, waiting to push tiny little globs of dead delicious things around.


Today would be my parents' 70th wedding anniversary. I'm pretty sure they're up there together, doing exactly what they would have done if they were still alive.

Not much.

Party animals, they were not. But still...they would have been together here, still, and 70 years is worth remembering.


 Near the beginning of the month, I did quite the number on my back while helping Max keep his food on his plate. I'm just now getting back to where I can do the things I did before. So yesterday we headed out to Six Flags, just to walk around and see if there was anything new (two new roller coasters, neither of which I can ride) (half the rides in the park were closed) and then we came home and took a very short bike ride. Just 5 miles.

I hesitate riding again today because I now have another twinge in my back and I don't want to push it, but damned if I don't have that feeling of oh, a few miles won't hurt.

I'm not an idiot. So I won't ride.

But I wanna.


 Just because...


24 May 2019

This little chit...

I was awake until 3 this morning, my own doing because I had caffeine after 2pm yesterday. But no big deal, because the Spouse Thingy worked last night and would be home in time for The Feeding of the Beasts.

I heard Max meow outside my door at 7:30 and rolled over, because if the Spouse Thingy wasn't home yet, he would be soon.

At 8:30, Max was howling outside the bedroom, which propelled me out of bed, because that was over an hour after Food O'clock, and surely something--hopefully just holiday traffic--was delaying the opener of the can.

I opened the door; Max led me into the bathroom and then down the hall to the living room. He had clearly been fed, and the Spouse Thingy was asleep in the other room.

Max made sure I got myself a drink, that I sat down...and then he raced to the bedroom, where he curled up on the bed.

On the spot I had just vacated.

The nice, toasty, warm spot.

That little monster just played me.

I am still sleepy, I needed another hour at least, and I really want to go back to bed. But...

There's a cat curled up near my pillow, and he's clearly comfortable and now deeply asleep.


13 May 2019

I've spent the last 5 days doing as little as possible, because moving is 120 kinds of suck and I am a delicate snowflake unwilling to suck up the suck. I've plastered myself into my recliner with the TV playing stuff I'm not really watching, my computer in my lap, and have spent more hours than is healthy scrolling through Reddit. And it's all because one afternoon last week I bent over to scrape the food on Max's plate into a little pile. He has issues getting all the food into his mouth now, and it helps if we pile it back up 2-3 times while he eats.

He's gotten so used to it that when it spreads thin, he sits down and waits.

But, I bent over to scrape, pain exploded in my lower back. It settled in one spot, an angry knot of ouch that is only feeling a little better today. Because of the pain, I haven't gotten more than 4 hours a sleep a night, so my brain has not been fully engaged.

Thus, I sit and scroll, reading but not reading, and getting absolutely nothing productive done. The house is a disaster (really, don't come over, I won't open the door it's so bad) and it's going to stay that way for a few more days...even if I miraculously heal overnight, I'm not risking moving the wrong way and starting this shit show all over.

So today I'll probably sit here and scroll, maybe write a bit. Then scroll some more.

This morning I surfed through Facebook and Reddit, reading posts about Mother's Day and the things people did. Most were cute, most were fun and funny, but a They made me feel twitchy, and not because these were from people hurting because their mother's are gone and it's a hard day for them.

No, what bothered me were posts from people who are--and this is good--doing things to improve their health. There was a theme: DH and the kids took me to breakfast, but I was good and I didn't get the pancakes; I got fruit instead. My husband brought home donuts for me, but I was good and I didn't eat one. The kids gave me a box of candy, but I was good and let them eat it all. we went to my favorite pizza place, but I was good and had a salad while the kids and husband had a pepperoni pizza.

It seriously bothers me when people deny themselves a treat and label it as good behavior. It seriously bothers me when people allow themselves a treat and label it as being bad, as if a donut or a couple pieces of chocolate is personal failure.

I understand the frustration of trying to lose weight and get healthier. Hell, I've been watching what I eat, counting calories, tracking exercise, and I hit a plateau a couple months ago and haven't lost a damned thing. I'm 8-10 pounds behind on my goal. It sucks, but it is what it is. I wanted to go to my next endocrinologist appointment at least 10 pounds lighter than I currently am, but with two weeks to go, that's not happening.

Oh, well.

I'm pretty tight with the calories. But when the Spouse Thingy was off a few weeks ago, we went out to eat a couple times, and at no point did I feel like I was being "bad." Food should not, not ever, make you feel like you're engaging in negative behavior. It's just food; you have to eat. And there's nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence.

I get it if you make the salad choice because pizza might be a trigger. I understand if the calories in that donut or chocolate just aren't worth it. But denying yourself isn't "being good." The flipside is that if you made a different choice, you'd "be bad," and peoples...eating is not bad behavior.

Your kids are listening. They're watching. Letting them see you make good choice is admirable; hearing you label your choice as being good sets them up for issues later. Change the narrative; it's not being good, it's appreciating that the foods you're choosing make you feel better and healthier. Let them hear that you enjoy that salad. Let them understand that once in a while a donut is a fine choice, but right now it's not something you want to eat.

And if you really do want it, eat it. Account for the calories and move on.

Have the donut, and if it looks like it will make you go over your total for the day, take a walk or bike ride and burn it off.

Enjoy your food, because you're not getting through life without it, and a life of deprivation is only going to make you miserable while setting you up for a spectacular binge.

You're not being good if you pass up on a treat.
You're not being bad if you eat it.
You're simply making a choice, and that doesn't need a label.


5 May 2019

I had plans for today. Get on the bike, ride 5-7 miles, stop at Starbucks for a bit, then ride another 5 or so, depending on how sore my backside was. Come home, have lunch, clean the kitchen, throw a load of laundry in, then sit down and get some work done.

But...I didn't get to sleep until after 2 this morning, and then Buddah was a total shit and attacked Max at 7:20, which functioned as a loud, piercing, unwanted alarm. Max screamed, I shot out of bed, and threw the door open in time to see Max running down the hall, Buddah on his tail, and the Spouse Thingy chasing Buddah.

The Feliway diffusers were dry. Those suckers might not be perfect, but the do work well enough that we notice when they've run out.

There was no going back to sleep. I've been trying to wake up enough to be at least moderately productive today, but it's nearly noon and the only things I've managed to do are feed the cats at snack time, find a potential handlebar for my bike thanks to a post on Reddit, and blink. And yawn. I've yawned a lot.

Unless I cave and take a nap--which will mean not being able to sleep tonight--I think blinking will be the highlight of my day.

21 April 2019

I've spent the better part of the last 10 days staying with these two:

The Spouse Thingy and I split the time; I took the first 4 nights, he took the next 3, I took the remaining night, mostly for Max's benefit. He would have been fine if I'd stayed the entire 10 days, but he is also very attached to me and physically fine doesn't mean emotionally fine, so it was better for him if I came home for a few nights.

It was also a bonus for Butters, because he really digs the Spouse Thingy. He gets longer walks, often twice a day with him, and walks seem to make him the Happiest Dog in the World.

I came home for a couple hours every day to feed him; he can't go all day without food and the Spouse Thingy was sleeping all day. He'd eat and then head back to nap, probably expecting me to be there when he woke up.

I was not there.

The first night I was back, on the break, Max attached himself to me. He usually sits in my lap and watches TV with me for half an hour to an hour every evening, but that night, my lap was Velcro and he couldn't peel himself up.

Other than 2-3 hours in the afternoon, when I drove back to see the dogs and have lunch with the Spouse Thingy, Max had access to me the entire time.

So, of course, other than that one night, he ignored me.

And then I went away again, but this time I didn't need to come home in the afternoon to feed him. The Spouse Thingy was up and awake in time to open cans for the cats, and it was easier for me to stay where I was, avoiding traffic.

He had everything he needed. He even got fresh steak twice in that time. And shrimp. He had the whole bed to himself. All the things he likes most.

I finally came home last night, and he planted himself on me.

That was like he'd decided I was never coming back and couldn't believe I was there.

Normally when the Spouse Thingy leaves for work, I unlock the door and let him out, and tell him to have fun. Last night I stayed in my chair so that Max didn't have to move, and he stayed there until it was time to eat. After that he went to take a nap and I thought that was it, he was happy, and knew I was staying home.

But this afternoon I decided to go to Starbucks for a bit and get some writing done. As I locked the door from the outside, he sat in the window and watched me, and started meowing.

I told him I'd be back in a bit...but then realized as far as he was concerned, I was leaving him all over again, and that had just happened and he didn't know if I was coming home or not.

I'd barely sat down at Starbucks, but packed everything away and went home. He was still at the window, watching and waiting, and as soon as I sat down he jumped in my lap and stayed there until snack o'clock.

He keeps coming out to see if I'm still here.

There's not really a way to convince him that I won't be leaving him for more than a few hours at a time. So for the next few days I doubt I'll get a lot of work done. Instead, I'll be providing a lap for an upset kitty, and hoping that any errands I run don't upset him too much.

I'm sure as hell not telling him I enjoyed my time with the dogs...that might break his brain.

31 March 2019

I have joined--and left--dozens of writers' groups on Facebook. There tends to be very little discussion of writing on these groups; there tends to be quite a bit of "tell me what happens next in my story" or "name my MC" and my favorite, "I want 2b a writer n I gots a millyon ideas but no one'll by my storys."

I wish I were kidding.

I leave a group when it seems like 99% of the posts are requests for other people to, functionally, do someone else's work, or when it feels like no one in the group truly wants to write--they just want to call themselves a writer. I leave when the same question is asked 50 times a week without the admins doing anything. I can easily overlook issues with language differences or when someone asks a question easily answered by 5 seconds with Google; it's not fair to judge someone struggling with getting their point across in an unfamiliar language, and not everyone has the same level of search skills.

The few groups I've stuck with have many of the same issues, but there are more people participating who genuinely want to write, and who have stories stuck inside that are screaming to get out.

A common question across the board: how do I even get started? I've had this idea for years but every time I try to write it, nothing makes it to paper. I can't get the beginning out. I can't find the inspiration.

The answer, the one no one wants to hear: just sit down and write. Treat it like a job. It is a job. Your dentist doesn't wait for inspiration before filling your cavities. Your grocery store cashier doesn't wait for inspiration before ringing up your Flamin' Hot Cheetos and toilet paper. Your trash man doesn't wait for inspiration before hauling off your garbage.

They show up and do the work.

And that's the answer. Show up. Do the work. It's a job.

I can't get the beginning out. I have the story in my head, but not how to start it.

Just start writing.

It's that easy, and that hard.

However you begin your vomit draft, even carrying over to the first draft, it's not likely to wind up being the beginning of your story in the final draft. That's what the vomit draft is for--pouring out the story with all its awful mistakes, and letting it take form. Some writers don't have a vomit draft; they work from a carefully crafted outline and have the story on paper and jump to the official first draft. Others write by the seat of their pants and have one draft that they tweak. There's no right or wrong way to approach your work.

But all writers proof and edit and rewrite, and things change. Including the first lines.

I start with a vomit draft; it's a royal mess of convoluted thoughts and sentences that would make my fifth grade teacher cry. I know the story; I know what I want it to say. But the vision in my head often starts with very simple things, a relaxed and basic structure only intended to get rolling. By the last draft, I'll have changed 80% of each sentence in the manuscript, at the very least.

My current work, the vomit draft opening:

First & second draft:

This is the version that went to my editor...yet this is not how the final draft begins. This is now the start of chapter two.

When I sat down to start this book, The King of Saint Francis, I had no idea how I wanted to describe the chaos the King walked into. I needed a starting point, so I sat down and started writing, knowing that it might not make it to the final draft. I didn't worry about grammar, style, narrative, or anything other than starting.

I did not wait for inspiration.

There is nothing wrong with writing something so horrible that you won't even read it out loud to your cat. That's what the vomit and/or first draft is for. Just sit down and do the work. Write the words, even if those aren't the words you want to use. Write even if you're not clear on where the story will go; chances are it will tell you. Cough up 100 pages if you have to, but you'll find your beginning somewhere in it.

And to that...there is no writer's block. Write your way through it, and cut the crap out of your manuscript during revisions.

Give yourself permission to suck.

But start, even when you don't know how. Sit down, open your favorite word processor, and if nothing else type out, It were a dark and stormy night...


28 March 2019

Sometime last year, probably August when I was staring at a birthday barreling down on me, I had another enough-is-enough moment and decided that this was it, I was damn well going to lose some weight.

I'd had those moments before. Be all rah-rah about it, lose a few pounds, get less rah-rah, and gain it back. I turned to fad diets because why the hell not, and because I wanted fast results.

I still want fast results, but for once I wanted to approach the whole thing with a realistic bent. And I didn't want to dive in hard, because the Boy's wedding was approaching and I didn't want to buy clothes for it that would end up not fitting on his wedding day.  With his bride's help, I picked out some spiffy things that I liked, and I was damn well going to wear them.

Still, I lost about 6 pounds before the wedding, and promptly gained back 3 because of the food we ate that week...and I was totally cool with that.

When we got home, the Spouse Thingy and I both decided to be sane about this for once. No more fad diets. No Jenny Craig (even though we liked the food), no Nutrisystem, no keto or paleo or Whole30. sensible. Nothing is off the table. But accountability is definitely on the table.

I'd been using MyFitnessPal for years (1449 day streak, woohoo!) but not as seriously as I could have. He downloaded it, and we started paying attention. Since I also have a Fitbit scale, I was able to look back and track when I'd gained and when I'd lost, and go back and see how and what I was eating. It was a little disheartening at first, because I really haven't been overeating in the last few years.

I just hadn't accounted for a dead slow metabolism. By every metric I could find online, I should have been losing about a pound a week. I kept my intake to 1300-1400 calories most days, rarely going over 1500. I didn't allow for the things that set me apart from most people: zero--and I mean zero--growth hormone, which even at my age would give me a bit of a boost in terms of lean muscle mass, which aids in how much energy you burn; hormones out of whack because of the pituitary tumor, and a host of other things.

The answer, the same as it is for anyone, is to burn more calories than I take in. Common sense. No one is immune to the laws of thermodynamics; if you burn more than you take in, you're going to lose weight. The problem is figuring out where the tipping point is. Just because the average person of your height, weight, and gender can eat 1500 calories a day and lose a pound a week doesn't mean you will, as well.

And I had to get that into my head.

I dropped my calories bit by bit until I figured out where I needed to be to lose. I wasn't happy about it because it's not a lot of food. I like food. When I dropped to 1100 a day--less than the minimum recommended for women--I started to lose. And while I didn't feel hungry, I knew I needed more.

So I started riding the hell out of my pretty electric bike. It was my favorite toy, so that wasn't a problem. I wore a heart rate monitor, tracked the calories I burned, increased my mileage, and ate back less than half those calories. It was enough to get the scale to move, and I got to eat a little more. Win-win.

But eventually, it took seriously long rides to get to the calorie burn I wanted. I love my pink bike, but 20 miles takes a while, and this town is small and riding the same streets 10 times a day gets old. My heart rate wasn't getting as high as it had, and while it was technically still in the burn zone for my age, I didn't feel like I was getting a good enough workout.

I've been following this one guy online for a while now, reading posts he's made about his journey to fitness. Last year around this time, he was over 400 pounds and had also had enough. He has kids, he wants to play with them with the energy they deserve. So he sat down, did the math, figured out how much he was taking in every day and how much he needed to cut to lose...and then bought a bike.

He started with a cheap bike from a big box store, and hated it. He hated it so much that after a few weeks it wound up in his shed, and he started asking online about why other people seemed to ride so easily, even heavy, and he couldn't. The answer--get properly fit for a bike. Then get a better bike. It didn't have to be expensive, but it needed to fit his body and riding style.

So he did, the ride was easier, and a couple weeks ago he did his first century ride. 100 miles.

He weighed himself the morning of the ride and was 190 pounds.

I'd already gone to a local bike shop and had a casual fitting, and bought a road bike. Riding it was a hell of a lot easier than I expected, though I honestly don't think I could have taken off on it the way I have if not for all the miles on the electric bike. But reading about his victory and how he got from 400+ to riding 100 miles in a day, and knowing how much happier he is, made me a bit more determined.

No one said I couldn't take Starbucks breaks...
 This isn't just about weight. It's about being healthy. Having energy. I have a goal weight in mind but if I get to where I feel fantastic and am happy with where I am, I'll work for maintenance.

I'd be lying if I said I don't care what I look like. I don't like being fat. I really hate my turkey-waddle-multiple chins. And along with my weight goal, I want to be able to wear a tight t-shirt and feel great about it.

Mostly, I want to be okay.

And just as much...I want to be able to get on the not-pink bike and ride for hours at a time. Maybe not a century ride, but a half century would be aces.

No more fad diets. No torturing myself over food, no telling myself that I'm cheating for eating pizza, that I'm being bad if I have a cookie. attention to what I'm eating, keep moving, and for once, don't give up.

No more dieting at all.

Eat. Move. Be well. And bike, like, a hell of a lot.


24 March 2019

After last year's miserable failure to hit 1500 miles, I decided to shoot for 2000 this year.

March is almost over, and I'm 750 miles deep into the year--way better than last. If not for the rain we keep getting, I'm pretty sure I would be close to 1000 already.

Decal I got for my bike LOL
The legs hurt. Not constantly, but man, when I was riding today, I felt every rotation of the pedals and somewhere around mile 7 I'm pretty sure I head sobbing sounds coming from my quads.

Still haven't started running, though, and if I want to manage the Hot Chocolate in January, I really ought to get to it.

My feet can start crying right along with my quads.


22 March 2019

I have a little bit of hair now; 11 days out and it's nice and soft and looks more like hair than stubble.


My head is still freaking cold. Even with temps in the 60s, it's cold.

I don't remember being this cold in previous years. I probably was, but you know, I'm getting older and the details fade quicker than they used to. Or it's brain freeze.

Another week and I'll probably feel comfortable going outside without a hat.

Which means in another week, I'll need to rub sunscreen on my head. Lesson learned the hard was a few years ago.


16 March 2019

File under stupid chit that makes me happy.

I needed bike shorts. Real bike shorts, with the padding, not just Lycra shorts (which, honestly, I already have somewhere around 20 pair of, because I wear them under jeans and shorts, a habit picked up from 3 Day training to reduce chafing, and now it feels awkward and weird without them.)

Because I've been hitting up a lot of bike things online, I get a lot of bike things in my FB ads...and these shorts were one of them. So I popped over to Amazon to look, the reviews were decent, but the sizes were not. Still, I ordered the largest size available, because...goal shorts.

After they shipped, though, I realized I'd ordered the next size down, not the largest (which was a 14...not exactly large.)

I was annoyed with myself.

I popped back over to Amazon...and the 14s were gone. So I resigned myself to getting a pair of 12s and hanging onto them longer than I'd initially expected before I fit into them.


They fit.

I'm under no illusions--this is vanity sizing. I am not a size 12. I'm smack in between 14 and 16 in women's wear right now, probably a 16 in regularly sized clothing. But I'll take this tiny victory, because these shorts would not have fit 2 months ago.

The biking is paying off.

The downside...just before the Boy's wedding I bought *a lot* of clothing. Several blazers and several pairs of slacks. A few dressy sleeveless shirts. None of them fit now. I tried on a blazer I've been saving for a meeting with my editor, and it looks sloppy. So someone is getting a few never-worn things.

Editor Battleaxe has assured me that when she gets to SF (ahem, lady, it was supposed to be last month) there will be no dress code. But still. I had a nice blazer and I wanted to wear it and look all professional and chit. Instead, she's gonna get Thumper in a ball cap, jeans, and a t-shirt that says I CAN'T ADULT TODAY.

But, yeah...I am oddly pleased that the shorts fit. Now I want to go see if they have other colors...


15 March 2019

Instead of doing real work, even housework, Max and I (shuddup, he's helping) have been setting up a site for The Wick Chronicles. It's bare bones right now, with links that probably go nowhere, and one that leads to my Amazon author page, but eventually we want it to be comprehensive, interactive, and we'll occasionally offer freebies.

This is how he's helping...
The original idea was to set up a Patreon page, but I keep reading horror stories from both the creators and their supporters, and I don't need any new headaches. I'm not totally dismissing the idea, but if we can offer up the same things without committing people to something every month, all the better.

I have no idea how this will play out, really. At the very least I'd like to be able to offer moderately tech savvy people discounted first reads on Max's books as they come out--you'd only need to know how to side-load a file onto your Kindle or other reading device--but I also need to figure out how to implement that without the books winding up for sale under someone else's name before we get to print. Or even after.

I've never had DRM on my books; I believe in trusting people with the things they purchased and presume they'll be fair about it. The only time I know for sure that I've been burned was by a publisher who offered my entire first novel online instead of the first 20% as intended. There were, the publisher estimated, 25,000 downloads before they caught the mistake.

No, I was never compensated.

We'll figure it out.

Since we're not going down the Patreon path, there might be--I stress might be--a tipjar* at some point. It depends on how much content we can generate. The tipjar would function as royalties do when you buy a book online--the money Max earns is used to purchase toys at Christmas for either Toys for Tots or the local foster kids program, and once in a while it's used for other charitable donations.

There will be more than Wick content available, eventually. If you haven't read any of his books, they'll be offered at discounts, and on random days, perhaps even for free. My books will show up there at some point.

But, we're getting things ready. Mostly, I need a better theme, because it's kind of bland right now. I'm not creative enough to write the code for my own, so I'll probably wind up buying something, once I find a reputable site for themes.

*I mention that upfront because many, many years ago, I had a link to a joke tipjar, a link no one clicked on, and got reamed for my crassness in having it. If anyone had followed the breadcrumbs, they would have eventually landed on a "Thanks, but..." page. The max total anyone could have clicked on to donate was 50 cents, and even then they would have wound up at the Thanks, but... page. I expected one person to click on it, someone with whom I had a long running joke about owing me fifty cents for a long forgotten debt...but the whole thing backfired, and after it languishing on my blog for over 3 years, someone noticed it and started yelling...people piled was not pretty.


14 March 2019

Max and I are working on two different things right now: another Wick book, and his interview with Buddah. the former is a week or so from going to the editor for a final look (she's already read it, likes it, and the beta readers have had their way with it, too) and the latter is at the end stage of the first draft.

So, kind of close to two more books hitting the market, and all I could think today was, "Damn, that's really going to screw up my blog header."


I think the bike in the Room of Pain is coming off the trainer and heading into the shed. I keep trying to use it, but the fit is all wrong and I feel so cramped that I don't stay on it long enough.

Sucks, because it's a good bike otherwise. I may pull off all the extras, like the rear rack, and re-home it. Before I do, though, I'll take it for a spin could be how I feel up on a trainer. I dunno. But I have two other bikes in the garage so if it's a matter of fit, there's no point keeping it, not when there's surely someone else out there who would like a good bike but can't afford one.


 My head is really cold.


Buddah's 14th birthday--the one we picked, because we don't know the actual date--is tomorrow. He's getting new nip bananas but not anything else, really. 1) he doesn't like people food so that's not much of a gift and 2) he's a cat, he doesn't care. But mostly 1.

That spastic little demon kitty is an old man now.