31 May 2020

Oddz-n-Endz #8,138,903.922

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


30 May 2020

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

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

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

And we're back to today...

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

Of course people are pissed off.

Of course there is rage.

Of course people are acting upon that rage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We'll get to your sensitives later.

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

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

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

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

16 May 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priorities. I has them.

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


11 May 2020

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

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


10 May 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was a good 100 miles lost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Totally will.