5 Years a Cyclist

Back in the summer of 2015, I was averaging about a hundred miles a week and I was still the slowest guy in the bike club on group rides, no matter what bike I rode.  Later in the season, just before Fall, I started getting sick. Like a knucklehead, I googled my symptoms and came up with viral spinal meningitis.  My doctor’s nurse practitioner diagnosed instead seasonal allergic rhinitis.  I still think I was probably right, but whatever the problem was, I got over it.  Still, the pounding heart thing while riding abrupt and steep (for me) hills niggled at the back of my mind.  In 2016, about a year later, painful irregular heartbeats occurring at least once a day prompted a lot of diagnostic procedures by a good cardiologist in a neighboring county.  Turns out at some time or other, I’d had a heart attack but damage was not too bad and my arteries were clear.

Anyway, after Fall of 2015, I quit riding for a while and then started again riding only for fun.  I think this year my longest ride’s been about 22-24 miles.

This year, I’ve got a new solo kayak, have taken my son paddling a couple of times, have started working out at a local gymnasium, and continue to ride most weekdays from work at lunch with a few after work and weekend rides.  My son still doesn’t enjoy riding for exercise – mostly, he wants to ride to a destination for nerf-gun war or in hopes of finding a disc some cannabis use disordered frisbee-golfer has lost.

Here’re a couple of photos from 2016 – the cotton field picture is from a lunch ride while I was working in a rural Southern Middle Tennessee county; the dredge photo’s taken beside a small, decorative lake that’s got clogged up with mud and lily pads.

Cotton Pickin Supernova

Supernova Dredge Phot

 

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Early Mornings but Little Motivation

I got up around 4:00 a.m. this morning and yesterday morning planning to get a cup of coffee and ride my bike to the gym, but instead, both yesterday and today, I had my coffee and read the news.  This morning I think I will work out here at the house, but yesterday I engaged in no fitness activities whatsoever.  Did some other stuff like help out a neighbor and attend my son’s first soccer game of the season, then socialized with other parents afterward at the local Chic-fil-A restaurant.  I almost never socialize with anyone, but sort of enjoyed the time I spent with both my own family and others from the sportsfield group.

My wife, who earlier in the morning looked after her friend’s three young children d/t a family emergency, wanted me to check an email we received to determine whether we’d had our data compromised in the recent Equifax data breach and I got side-tracked deleting some 2200 emails from the family email account my wife uses.  There’re probably about that many more that need purged.  No, we didn’t get any Equifax notification.

Finally, I tore myself away from the computer and drove out to my mechanic’s garage on the off-chance that he’d be there working on a Saturday.  He often does work Saturdays and holidays, but doesn’t answer the phone on those days.  The car I’ve been driving since my green ’98 XC70 was totaled last summer by a young woman who had lterally gone off her meds a week or two prior to the wreck.

Apparently some previous owner had a mechanic (or did it himself) who hard-wired one of the low-been headlight bulbs.  Now, after seven years, it’s gone out.  I ordered some replacement bulbs to change them out, myself, but found yesterday morning the wired-in problem.  Hence the need for professional intervention.  I may drive out the garage again, today, because the place was closed up when I got there, yesterday.

On the way back to the house, I stopped at a produce stand and got my wife some tomatoes for BLT sandwiches.  Our backyard garden hasn’t produced much.  Three green tomatoes out there, now.  Not much else besides, although the various plants seem to be okay.  About a 30 mile round trip, but not completely wasted.  I hate driving around with a headlight out – it feels shameful not having something that basic tended to.

Did I mention I’ve been reading a lot, this year?  Mostly Star Wars “Legends” novels – way more entertaining than the lame SJW-inspired Disney sponsored novels that are now, supposedly, “canon.”  By “reading a lot” I mean wasting a lot of time reading novels like some people eat candy.  My mind is probably getting fat and lazy and my brain fit for maybe the glass-jar equivalent of soft, fast-food and ice-cream stained couch.  Did I mention I had a milk-shake yesterday at lunch.  See?  It’s not just my brain that’s deteriorating here.

My wife reports my son has complained that I’ve been spending too much time reading and not enough time playing with him – hunting each other with Nerf guns outside Son-on-Scooter versus Dad-on-Foot dodge-the-scooter driveway game; backyard target shooting with the Tippman 98 (ours has been modified for killing grackles); building with Lego blocks, etc.  So, late yesterday afternoon when my son was too worn out from a day playing soccer and running around outside with friends while watching other teams’ games, I got another Mojang account so he and I could multi-play Minecraft on our LAN.  THAT was pretty time-consuming.

Next week, I’m scheduled to preach at our congregation’s worship meeting.  I don’t think I’m very good at that kind of speaking.

I think part of what’s getting in the way of my preferred leisure activities is that I know I’ve got two or three responsibilities I’ve got to carry out and have been procrastinating about getting them done.  That’s weighing on me and obstructing the clarity of purpose and function that equals motivation I seem to’ve been lacking recently.  To the good, I haven’t been binge-watching series on Netflix.

That’s all for today.

 

Solar Eclipse Phots 8-21-2017

Pre-Eclipse Bike Ride Sky

A week ago Monday, I went for a bike ride at lunch hoping to notice some odd lighting changes related to the scheduled “Once In A Lifetime” solar eclipse.  I do recall seeing some kind of solar eclipse when I was in elementary school in Southern California – we made a viewing device out of cardboard that had a reflecting surface upon which to safely see the eclipse.  I think I had trouble making mine; recall seeing something and looking at the sky; my eyes kept working so I guess I didn’t take a long look at the eclipse.  I took my ancient Pentax Optio WP kayaking camera with me to work and snapped a few pictures during the day.  But on my ride, I noticed nothing out of the norm – too early by at least an hour.

None of my afternoon appointments presented, so I was able to snap a few pictures during the eclipse later.  One of my co-workers gave me her extra pair of bona fide cardboard and plastic solar eclipse glasses.  I was able to see the event pretty clearly, snapped a few phots with the Pentax with poor results, then someone suggested holding one of the eclipse viewer lenses over the camera lens.  That produced better results.

Crescent Sun

At full eclipse, I took a couple of pictures without the special viewing lens.

Full Eclipse

Full Eclipse 2

Probably the oddest phenomenon I observed during the eclipse, though, besides the early afternoon darkness, was the crescent shadow effect.  Behold the effect of the crescent shadow-inator:

Crescent Shadows

Life

isn’t color-coded.  Those who imagine that the value of human lives or whether human lives matter depends on skin color are: racists; have well-below average cognitive horsepower; make their living by ensuring large numbers of human beings see themselves as primarily their skin color.

color_wheel

Do black lives matter?  Not any more than the lives of members of any other race.  And the extent to which human lives matter is best determined by other human beings on an individual basis.

In the world of work as in the larger society, I tend to value human lives according a rule of three.  I ask whether the individual with whom I have contact is:

  1. A person of goodwill;
  2. Oriented to reality;
  3. Competent or moving toward competence.

Obviously a man or woman can be a person of goodwill and still not be oriented to reality or competent.  A human being can be oriented to reality and be a person of ill-will and an incompetent.  A competent person is usually a person oriented to reality, but that person may lack the quality of goodwill.  An individual who meets all three of my criteria, or Christov10’s Big Three, is not often found in media, in politics, in government middle management positions, or really occupying positions prestige in most realms of human endeavor.

I’m reminded again of C.S. Lewis’ address, The Inner Ring.  I’ve either linked to it previously or mentioned it in this space.  I first ran across when working for a largely unknown and strictly small-time (by the standards of modern bureaucracy) state government agency.  It was while so employed that I also developed my Rule of Three, which appears as a numbered list, above.  No imagination should be required to understand why it was that I turned my mind to matters of this sort during that period of my life.  By the way, it was at that time that I first read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

Keep your speech free, people of the left, the right, and center.  Resist anyone who tries to silence you and to diminish your ability to think for yourself and experience your own circumstances according to your own perspective and within your own values.  None of that is infallible, but to what extent a genuine manifestation of your real self, to that extent meaningful and of value.

Dos centavos, people, dos centavos.

 

Thinking About Another Kayak Part 3

Although in anything but a hurry, I’ve spoken with the owner of another Seavivor for sale.  This kayak’s in need of a repair and I have not yet seen photos.  I was able to get some longerons made for the Pionier I owned a few years back, and successfully dealt with tears on my Pouch solo’s deck closure arrangement.

Thinking About Another Kayak Part 2

I was able Monday at lunch to speak with the Seavivor’s owner by telephone.  He’d already sent photographs by email.  The kayak’s beautiful, but at present I cannot justify spending what the Seavivor’s doubtless worth.  Still, it was certainly worthwhile to meet, however briefly and by telephone, another folding kayaker.

Back at my desk, I found myself effortlessly and efficiently going about my work-related tasks – paperwork associated with a long, structured interview conducted during the morning hours.  In that work, I experienced a sense of inner peace which came as a surprise when I noticed it.  Contentment for the time being and living reasonably, well within my means.

Thinking About Another Kayak

I’m thinking about getting another kayak. This, the holy grail of American made kayaks, a Seavivor Greenland Solo.  I’m very interested.  The kayak’s long at 17’4″, and reputedly fast.  It has no sponsons which, I think, is a bonus in terms of skin fit, weight, handling.  The Seavivor’s located a long way off, which is logistically maybe  a problem.  Also, it’ll be heavy compared to my Folbot Aleut, but I may still be strong enough to manage its weight.  Anyhow, I want to go far and go fast on the water.

A few things I’ve learned about myself and folding kayaks are:  I like to keep them put-together most of the time; my driveway and yard are lousy environments for storing a folding kayak assembled; I tend to dislike assembling at the put-in even when that makes better logistical and kayak-care sense.

My experience with the RZ96 has informed me that the squirrels in my neighborhood pose a hazard to any stationary thing softer than their teeth.  My experience with 450s has informed me, to my shame, that even covered, in the yard moisture will wreck wood parts.

The two kayaks I currently own are safely stored disassembled in their bags.  I have room for a third.  I DARE the local squirrels to take their teeth to my aluminum canoe, which does stay out in the yard.