29 April 2020

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

Here's the thing.

Your rights end where someone else's begin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm being careful, that's all.

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

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

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


10 April 2020

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

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

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

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

I'm just not tired enough.

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

It makes sense in my head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet, I won't.

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

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

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

This might be my new normal, tho.

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


9 April 2020

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


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

It is not your risk to take.

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

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


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

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

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

Are you willing to be the one who infected them?

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

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

It's not about protecting yourself.

It's about not harming someone else.

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

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


4 April 2020

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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