Friday, October 31, 2008

Mean people suck


Yesterday morning I was a little late for work as I had to stop and get gas in the Queen Cab. No biggie, and it was actually kind of nice as the prices just keep going down. I filled up because I had to drive to Orange last night, and the Beach on Saturday morning.

Ok, fine.

At lunch I zipped over to Wallyworld to get my stash of Diet Coke for the weekend. When you swill the stuff as much as I do, you need to buy cases at a time, and as much as I hate Wallyworld, the price there is much lower on cases of soda.

Soooo, I'm driving home and for some reason I glanced at the gas guage. Empty. At first I thought the guage was stuck. Nope, empty. Some scum sucking pig siphoned my tank at Wallyworld.

I hope you aspirated gas, you son of a flea bitten poop eater.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The slogfest

I've finally hit the tipping point on night riding. Last night I was able to get in a quick 22 miler, but quick is the key word. This is the off season, time to recharge, and having to hammer from the second you get on the bike is not exactly a recharge kind of thing. When you live in the country, it gets dark early and riding with lights is iffy at best.

Other alternative... riding death circles in the West Creek business park. Yes, I know other people do it. To me, its like riding in trainer hell. You go round and round and are always at the same place. The only excitment is watching for deer as I've had some close calls in there.

So whats a girl to do... run.

Yeah, yeah. Its a love it or leave it kind of thing. I love it. I just really hate having to start running again. Its not fitness, its the pounding. The next day I feel like someone has beaten the pants off me with a baseball bat.

So here's to suffering thru the opening weeks of running season. If I can make it for a few weeks, I should be set for the winter. Trust me, its a lot more fun to run 7 miles in the dark downtown, than to try to slog 20-30 in the dark, at 30 degrees in West Creek.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm addicted...

Times are tough. I've been on a self-imposed spending cut off. The way I figure it, the economy is going to get much worse before it gets better. My job is pretty much recession-proof, but that doesn't mean you can't get laid off. Plus, my little nest eggs are shrinking to the point that when I'm 90 I'm going to be bringing my cat food lunch to work.

And then there is Chainlove. Come on, you know it. And you are probably a closet Chainlove addict, too. Every half hour or so, up pops another deal. Yes, most to the deals are on stuff that you really don't want. Sometimes though, the deal you can't pass up pops up.

All of a sudden its like panic sets in. You gotta do something, and you gotta do it now, or poof, the deal is gone.

A few days ago I scored a set of those nice Reynolds Attack Wheels. For the price you just couldn't let them go. Not only were they dead cheap, but Chainlove charged like $18 bucks to ship them. Beat that.

Today, I was on hold hell at work and I pulled up the website... there were the Reynolds KOM wheels that my buddy has been lusting after. I got him on the phone just in the nick of time, and now... he should have his new climbing wheels in about a week. As he says... Wintergreen is going down!

I'm going to get real sick of PBJ here before long. In the meantime, my new wheels are on the way, and I'm just sure that they are going to make me younger, stronger, thinner and better looking. Carbon fiber does that for you.

So go on and look. I bet you get addicted to Chainlove, too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Operation Kitty Rescue

Cliff lives on the great pet dumping way... (I do, too). Spring is deer dog dumping season, and fall is kitty dumping season. If you think that you are doing your pet a favor by taking it out to the country, you should know that the survival rate for your pet is pretty grim.

Thursday someone dumped 3 kittens. Cliff saw them in the road and tried to get them, but they were skittish so he went back to the house and brought back food and water for them. Saturday we searched for them, and it was pretty obvious that something BAD had happened and we couldn't find them.

Last night as I was going up the road, my lights caught four little eyes... again in the road. I was able to call him on the cell phone, told the dogs to behave and parked the truck.

It took a half hour of the kitties and I meowing at each other, but Cliff now has a 6 week old (+-) little white and black kitten, and a 10 week old (+-) yellow and white kitten, snugged up on cushions in his basement. The other little kitten obviously met a bad end. They are cute as can be, incredibly hungry, but surprisingly healthy for their stint in the woods.

So if you think you might like a lucky bundle of love, we have two that need homes pretty badly. And if you think that this proves that dumping pets in the country is ok... think of the other kitten that didn't make it. The Richmond SPCA offers free cat spay/neuter every spring to try to stop this senseless stuff. Get your cat spayed. Stop the insanity.

To my four dogs in the truck... who had to watch the show from the side of the road, with a 1/4 pizza for temptation... good boys. They seemed to know the gravity of the situation and were completely silent the whole time this operation went on. And the pizza... was untouched. Happiness is a well trained dog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wine, women, no song

J and I smoozed with the folks with big bucks last night at a wine/tapas party to thank the donors at the Virginia Historical Society. Not that J or I have $$. In fact I was looking at the servers from Sharper Pallet and thinking that might be a nice side job for me in the off season...

As always, we were the youngest folks in the room. That's sad. What's great about it is we got to flirt with everyone and rescue the staff when it looked like they were getting a bit to much attention from the donors.

So we flitted from table to table, drinking luscious wines from around the world, snacking on empanadas, chorizo, lamb skewers and other yummy stuff. By the end of the night,we had new friends from far and wide.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things are looking up

Lowest Gas Prices in Richmond
2.99 and 3.04 (Manakin Sabot- where I live!)

I don't know how long this latest little dip in the price of gas will last, but I'm going to be right happy now that it's here. Who'da thunk I'd be overjoyed at gas at $3 bucks...?

This is the time of year that all the great deals start piling up, and so far I've been really good at letting them all go by. Yesterday Chainlove had several great deals on Reynolds carbon fibre wheels... and I let them go. Frugal is good. Debt is bad. Being in debt when the stock market is doing back flips and stock brokers are jumping off the ledge (or should be jumping off the ledge) is just bad.

It's always darkest just before the lights permanently go out... but until then, maybe gas will stay at $3 bucks...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Random Acts

Face it, fall is coming, and the days are getting shorter. For me, getting a ride in after work is a true rushed affair. I zip home, throw the dogs out, and jump on the bike and go. There is no time for playing around.

So last night when everyone and their cousin wanted to talk to me as I was trying to get out the door... I was a wee bit stressed. I grabbed the bike and pedaled down the driveway and totally forgot about blinky lights.

I live in the country. When it gets dark, it gets real dark.

Damn, ok, one ride shortened. Then I thought, nope, pedal faster!

All worked out just fine until I got to the intersection of Maidens and Fairgrounds, my one really busy road that I have to cross. After a solid 10 minutes of waiting with no breaks, I was starting to sweat it... there was no way I was going to get in before dark.

And then...

This really nice man looked at me from his red truck. He smiled. He checked the oncoming traffic, and he stopped. Then he waived me across the street holding up the traffic behind him. Love you guy in the red truck! Mean it!

I was hauling freight in, but I got in before it was totally dark. One more ride for the record books, and a new friend out there somewhere.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Columbia to Scottsville

Sunday was one of those fall days that just have to go down in the record book as fab. 48 degrees to start, and it hit close to 80 in the afternoon. With a gentle breeze, you really couldn't get a better day. To be out on the bike... priceless.

We hooked up with a RABA ride from the desolate flood town of Columbia out to the little C'ville bedroom community of Scottsville. Scottsville has the coolest old fashioned 4th of July celebration, with bluegrass, vendors and fireworks by the levee.

You start out of Columbia by climbing a one mile hill into Cumberland. Nice. All the way out to Scottsville there were great views, great farm land and really nice people. Once in Scottsville it was obvious that the money pinch had come to roost in this little burg. Two of the restaurants we had eaten at before were closed, as was the first gas station we went to and the convenience store. We were lucky enough to find a gas station open, and then had to again climb out of the flood plain.

I would say that except for getting stung in the neck by a yellow jacket as I was screaming down one of the steep hills that this was just about the perfect ride. 63 miles, lots of hills, great roads. If you'd like a cue sheet, give me a shout and I'll email you one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm

Ok, Dr Marc: We are going to have remedial training on exactly how to strap down a $6000 bike. While bikes should fly down the road, they shouldn't literally fly off your vehicle. Ouch! Now that's gonna leave a mark!

Like J says, sometimes its ok to be a wee bit OCD. Like me, when the bikes were on the top of my Camry, I'd ride with the window open so that I could reach out and touch them every 45 seconds or so... now that they ride off the back of the Queen cab, I have to have a clear view, and not only do I strap them down, I tie them up. (and have gotten to races with bikes and/or wheels only hanging on by dog leads...)

When Regina Jacobs was ruling the track (running) she had this nasty habit of pulling out of major races... when she thought she was going to get busted. It was sinus infections, etc... all a month out. (she finally got hers in the Balco affair)

Spartacus, say it aint so! How many top riders pulled out of the worlds because they were tired, didn't want to lead young guys, had a hang nail, or whatever? If these guys get caught cheating, I hope they have to forfeit a testicle or two... Give them a penalty that hits home, as it were...

And I may just have a new love... we do a century in the slop on Sunday, and teammate Brian emails me to let me know that as our team mechanic he wants to work on my bikes... Oh, Brian, do I have a scummy bike for you! I think it has dried worms living in the bottom bracket and the idea of having to soak the more crusty bits off has left me cold. (good thing I have back up bikes...) Now I can leave the less glamorous stuff to a studly guy while I do my nails or something! (yeah, right)