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Bike Jock; Recovery Mode; Mountaineering Training; Debris Field; Perils of Husbandhood; Playing with Strippers; Photo Quiz

In my pain the other day, I forgot to post these photos from the Fat Tire Fest of a 30-something guy on a bike doing tricks. He could balance on his bike for 15 minutes at a time, only moving forward and back a few inches, and then going boing like a pogo stick, hop the bike onto a picnic table, where he would stay for a minute, balancing on one wheel, never touching the table with his feet, and then jumping the bike to the next picnic table, and finally onto and over a fence! I wanted to stay and take some lessons, but My Lovely Bride gave me a gentle smack with a tire pump and said, “Time to go home, Hot Dog.” “Yes, Dear….” 

We are recovering pretty well following our mountain bike spills. A few bruised limbs and one very bruised ego…  Suzanne has decided to pamper herself, muttering something about estrogen vs. testosterone (wuss!).  For me, a five mile run on Monday and a 34 mile bike ride on Tuesday seems to indicate that (a) the body is recovering satisfactorily; and (b) the mind… well, that depends on your point of view. We also had a pleasant walk through Oklawaha County Park just a few miles from the house. Here is My Lovely Bride enjoying the beautiful scenery, lots of oaks festooned with Spanish moss. It was a perfect day, 72 and sunny. 

And here is Your Faithful Correspondent, in the park playground, doing some leisurely mountaineering training in preparation for our 2014 Summer Tour, which will include visits to the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades. The view from up there was terrific! (Yes, I did check to see if there were any age restrictions, and you had to be at least 6 years old.)

We have lots of birds in our neighborhood now that Spring is officially here and those chilly 40 degree nights have become a thing of the past (that’s for you, Terri). Some of the common bird species we see are wrens, mockingbirds, robins, pelicans and songbirds, in addition to our resident flocks of sandhill cranes, anhingha, vultures and the occasional bald eagle. We don’t have a lot of hawks in our area; they tend to collect more around the forests and farms a few miles from here; we do, however, have several owls hanging about. This is the second “debris field” I’ve seen lately, probably a result of a mockingbird’s unfortunate close encounter of the worst kind with an owl or hawk. There was nothing left but feathers…

Two of the perils of Husbandhood are Fixing Broken Things and Installing New Things. My Lovely Bride decided she wanted a new lighting fixture in her study. I made a tactical error when we went to our local home supply store and she picked out a nice new fixture – I should have stayed home complaining about my sore hip and begged off on that job for a year or three. Instead, when we got home, she said with typical Ensuzyasm, “Okay, Ty, let’s get to it… no lazing about today!” Grumbling, I turned off electrical power to the study (remembering the lessons learned from that classic Navy movie, “110 volts, Your Deadly Shipmate”).

Rigging the ladder and collecting a few simple tools occupied but a few minutes – not enough time for a beer (MLB drives me hard!); removal of the old ceiling fan and light fixture was pretty simple, except that (1) the goofballs who installed it had stripped the screws holding it in place, and (2) the fact that it weighed about 300 lbs. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. In any case, what I found after inspecting the old junction box was that it was totally unsatisfactory for the new light.

It took 15 minutes of looking through my pack rat supply of Miscellaneous Spare Parts and Junk to find the bits and pieces required to complete the job. (Ladies, that’s what your husbands keep in the Mason jars on the bottom of their workbenches…) My favorite sub-task is playing with strippers. (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about wire strippers!) Finally, connect the wires, turn on the power and Presto, “Let there be (more) light!” It actually worked, and I didn’t electrocute myself or blow a circuit breaker.

Finally, here’s our Photo Quiz. I have always liked doors. Not “The Doors”, like the band from the 70s, but the wooden type that sealed out the Huns and Vandals (briefly), or those that keep your little Fluffy from biting the mailman (oops, sorry, PC Alert! I meant to say “Postal Carrier”.) The best and earliest responder to most nearly, almost correctly, come close to identifying the geographic location of this door (area, building, city and state, or city and foreign country… whatever works!) wins lunch with Your Intrepid Correspondent and His Lovely Bride. And don’t think this is a really hard, trick quiz… for experienced geocachers, a 12 digit lat/long will suit just fine.

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