Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday on the Couch

Sometimes this is just how it should be.

Today is one of those days where I have about an hour of energy at a time, and then I need at least two hours on the couch to recover.  We're entering hour seven of Olympic viewing.  We, of course, being Gaia who is sleeping next to me.  Seems that every Olympic athlete this year has kinesio tape somewhere on them.  I could only handle about three points in the women's beach volleyball game, since every point was followed by excessive celebration.  Too much hugging.  Caught a couple of rowing heats - the women's 8+ was just plain full of Rar, which is to be expected.  The women's lightweight double from Greece was by far the most beautiful rowing all day.  Pure grace.  I'm currently watching synchronized diving, which is really very cool.  The American pair are adorable (i.e. I collect rubber ducks... Oh my God, I do too!).

Adam went climbing in Index today, and is now sitting in Hwy 2 traffic trying to get home.  Hopefully this latest nap on the couch will carry me through dinner.    It probably hasn't helped that all I've eaten today is a baguette with some squishy cheese.  Earlier I added some dates & walnuts.  Pork loin on the grill, plus bell pepper pasta will be a welcome addition to my digestive system later on.  Whenever Adam is back in Seattle, we'll make our run over to Chuck's Beer Haven for a delicious companion to the meal.

The big news is that Friday I took delivery of Victoria Wilhemena, the blue Jetta Sportwagen that now sites in my driveway.  Let me start off with - it is SO MUCH COOLER now to own a station wagon than it was 25 years ago when our parents did it.  It's a little Adventure-mobile now.  Yesterday we took it out to the crag and 12+ miles of unpaved/sometimes-washed-out forest service roads properly began the break in process.  Then Gaia got to ride in it this morning, and a little dog hair really does make it my car.  It's pretty fantastic,  and the TDI means 45(ish) mpg.  Win.  Also win because after about three days of riding to and from work I just don't have the energy to deal with the other cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.

What else do you do with a new car on Day 1?

And how could I forget to report that Adam has a new motorcycle?  And he DOES NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.  I will be much more excited about it when we have a side car, helmet and goggles for Gaia.

She's so excited.  But I'm not sure she understands why.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And then I got passed by Santa Claus

As previously implied, yesterday began Operation Ride to Work Everyday.  I made it in no problem - even logged a new time record of 48:03.  It was the first time I went through downtown, instead of along the waterfront, so the route was much more direct, but it was also much more hilly.  And much more filled with anxious bus drivers who made my commute like a real-life Frogger.

By the time I got back on the bike in the afternoon, the wind was purposefully coming from the direction I was headed, and making no indications of letting up.  Made it up to downtown, only getting lost once, made it to Dexter Ave without being squashed by a bus and navigating around my second wrong turn on the day.  Climbing up Dexter was pretty brutal, although there was a line of us cruising.  Unfortunately we weren't cruising at my comfortable climbing pace, so I passed and went ahead.  I was vaguely aware of a cyclist in full kit that stayed on my wheel, so I just waited until he or she had enough of my speed and went around.  It didn't take long.  As she passed I realized I knew who she was via the racing circuit, and jumped on her wheel for the remainder of the hill.  Whew!  We had a little chat at the next light, which concluded the highlight of the ride.

On my way up 8th Ave, things started getting sluggish.  One guy blew by me south of Market, and I started to wonder if maybe there was something mechanical going on, because I could not POSSIBLY be that tired or hungry.  Thought about pulling over to check the rear wheel, but kept pushing.  As I'm cruising at a blistering 7.5 mph, an old guy with a white beard, khaki pants and white walking shoes passes me on his hybrid comfort bike.  Santa Claus just passed me on his way to his 3rd margarita.  Awesome.  And ego = deflated.  So another block and I pulled over to discover my back brakes rubbing and effectively rendering me useless against the fat man's power.  Or at least that's going to be the story we stick with.  I might just have hit the wall.  But I'm pretty sure it was the brakes.  Or fenders.  Or reindeer poop.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Car Free

I am officially jeep-less.  The signing of the papers and the transfer of the check went down last night, over beers in cans.  (The last time I had a beer from a can was at least three years ago; it felt just as rednecky now as it did then.  Or maybe it felt collegiate - going to school in Indiana can cause you to get the two scenarios confused.)  Anyway, I woke up in a bit of a panic yesterday morning when I realized there was a lot of cleaning I had promised that hadn't been done yet.  Six dollars in quarters, a small spray bottle of Armoral, a medium sized bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels later, and she was looking pretty good.  Not surprisingly, that was the first time I had washed the jeep since I got her six years ago.

I had kind of been freaking out about not having a vehicle, and not being ready for a big change, but I think I was freaking out about being overwhelmed in general.  When I started tuning up my bike and putting the fenders on (it's summer in Seattle, why wouldn't you need fenders?), I got excited.  Things will be even more exciting if I can convince the Boeing Powers That Be that I should work from home one day a week, because you know, it's kind of a long haul to ride in EVERY day.  Richard insisted that I have the Honda until I get the new ride, but we won't tell the PTB about that.  So really, as far as getting around, there's nothing to freak out about.  And besides, soon Adam will (probably) have two motor-powered means of transportation, one of which may be my other back up.

I'm almost positive the new car will be a Subaru Impreza.  It's practical, utilitarian, and still has way more bells & whistles than the jeep.  Apparently the one I'm ordering has leather interior, which I hope is more comfortable than the base model's cloth version.  New Zealand Tony over at the dealership hasn't been able to produce a similar model to what I will order, which is kind of frustrating.  The Subie (with Boeing employee pricing) will come in at approximately $10k less than either of the other two options, which is kind of a big chunk of change.  The All4 Mini was super fun, super cute, and super cool, but was really just over the top for me.  Too many buttons and options and costly accessories - if the point of this endeavor is better gas mileage and a vehicle I can lock up, the Subie does just fine.  The other option was the Audi A3 deisel, and while I haven't even driven it, I can't imagine that it would be $10k better.  $5k better, perhaps, but not ten.  And the closest one is up in Bellingham and I just don't have four hours to trounce around testing a car I'm luke warm about already.

Hoping to get back to regular posting here, but I think I've said that before.  Not sure if anyone is even still reading this, although I had a whopping 18 views today, which is at least 6 times more than I've ever had in a single day before.  But I also don't recognize the webistes that are listed as the main recommenders to here, so I'm not sure the clientele is the targeted audience.