Well, I haven’t ran in over six weeks. But I have been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time helping Dear Niece  get settled in, then I spent even more time getting caught up with the stuff around my house that I ignored in the process. All while spending a fair percentage of my off time relaxing with my lady friend. To say the least, my physical fitness efforts have dropped in priority. 

I finally got the new bicycle, which I’ve taken out twice for real rides – one three miles, and the other one five miles. I want to get solidly used to it before I take it out in questionable weather, much less consider commuting.  Neither of my rides included any real hills, and the route from my house to FaucetCompany has a couple doozies. 

Now that Dear Niece has mostly settled in and is working, and I’m slowly getting back to something that I can call normal, maybe I will be able to get back on the fitness wagon before I lose everything that I worked so hard to build. More time in the bike saddle is definitely on the list. And I’d like to continue running, even if not thrice per week like I was doing before. 

In other news, I found and killed a smallish copperhead in the chicken coop last week. It wasn’t aggressive, but it scared the shit out of me. Had to go get a gun quickly, before it disappeared or bit the chickens. Couldn’t find any ammo for the shotgun, and wasn’t sure I wanted to use that anyway. Even birdshot would’ve destroyed that whole corner of the coop. So I settled for the 10/22. I emptied a 25-round magazine in probably five seconds once I got lined up on it. I think I hit it twice: 

I didn’t even know what kind of snake it was until after the deed was done. It did break broody bitch out of her nest sitting, so there is that. 

The tires on my new bike require high pressure – 100 PSI minimum, 130 PSI maximum, according to the sidewall markings. I have two 12V units that are supposed to be capable of 125 PSI, but neither can get it out of the 70s. Part of that might be the Schrader to Presta adapter that I have to use, but I didn’t have any trouble getting 120 PSI in them using the adapter and a hand pump.  

Being the lazy bastard that I am, I don’t want to use the pump. I have a small, three-gallon 120V compressor that I use for normal stuff around the house, but it maxes out at 100 PSI. That translates to maybe 90 PSI in the tire, which is below the minimum. So, I’ve ordered a new pressure switch and overpressure valve which I hope will cure that problem. 

I know that the higher pressure will shorten its life expectancy, but I don’t expect to run it but a few times per month at most. I would’ve just bought a new compressor, but I couldn’t find a reasonably priced model rated for even 120 PSI. I found all kinds of 120V “inflators” that claimed the ability to do the job, but I already have two that told that lie. And I don’t need a commercial unit or a forty gallon tank. I just need more pressure. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

Well, that’s about it here. Y’all take care, now. 

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Memorial Day

Please don’t thank me for my service this weekend.  All gave some, but some gave all. I don’t agree with every mission, but I support those who serve, and especially those who paid the ultimate price. 



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Been a busy couple weeks. Finally got the deadbeat tenants out of my house in the ghetto, got out all the shit they left in it, paid a small fortune to have it disinfected, and then got Dear Niece moved in a little over twenty-four hours ago. She’s stressing over the fact that the neighborhood seems to have gotten worse since she stayed there with me a couple years ago, the work that still needs to be done on the house, and the fact that she has her own place for the first time in her life. Wish her luck. She’ll be fine, although I’m not sure she believes that at the moment.

Because of the aforementioned extra activity, I haven’t ran since the Great Strides 5K on 29 April. Hopefully the new normal will kick in soon and I can get back to it. But probably not. Today I start training a new operator, and because of the production schedule on that line, I’ll be back to 10-12 hour days instead of the 8-9 hours that I’ve grown accustomed to the last month or three.

I’m not extremely happy with Jenson USA at the moment. On 8 May, I dropped nearly a thousand Federal Reserve Notes on a bike from them. They estimated a ship date of 10 May. On 11 May, after I hadn’t gotten any follow-up information, I logged into my account on their website to check the status of my order. My order does not exist. The account does, but the order isn’t there. So, I called them. Have I mentioned recently just how much I hate trying to talk on the phone? Anyway, dude looks up my order, finds it, and is clueless as to why I can’t see it. He told me that my bike was #13 in the build queue and should be done and shipped out on 12 May. Well, it’s now 15 May, my order still doesn’t show up in their system when I log in, and I haven’t heard fuck all from them as to if it left People’s Democratic Republic of Kalifornistan on Friday or not. The thing is, I don’t mind so much that it is taking a while to get it done. I do want it done right, and am willing to wait a little while to ensure that. But I’d really appreciate a functional website and honest date estimates. Absent that, I would expect direct and timely communication with the accurate information.

On the way back home from my Mother’s Day road trip, I saw the aftermath of an accident. Part of that was a bicycle folded in half. Kinda makes me nervous, considering my recent purchase. Fuck it! Gotta die of something.

One of my two remaining chickens has been broody for a month or so. Every couple days I get pecked while annoying her off of the eggs so I can collect them. I hope she gets over it soon. Bitch is annoying the fuck out of me.

Things with my new lady friend are going well. We haven’t completely annoyed the shit out of each other yet, anyway.

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Adventures At Cracker Barrel

I ordered a breakfast that included both hash browns and biscuits. The waitress asked follow-up questions. 

Would you like hash browns? 

Yes, please. 

Do you want biscuits? 

I was hoping for some. 

Girl, even with a cute little ass like this

you still can’t get away with asking stupid questions. 

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Off and on for several years, I’ve wanted a road bicycle. Not the hundred-pound monstrosity I bought on ebay fifteen years ago that calls itself a mountain bike. Not even a quality mountain bike. 

A road bike. The kind made for asphalt and speed.  Never mind that I probably won’t ever ride it more than one hundred miles total. If even a tenth of that. 

I still want one. It doesn’t need to be a fifteen thousand dollar Pinarello, but I damn sure don’t want anything made by Huffy. My recent physical struggles with running have rekindled my interest, and if I am going to do it, I require quality. 

I think I’ve found the one – a closeout deal on a non-current model year of the Jamis Xenith Endura Sport. It has a carbon fiber frame and fork, and solidly middle-of-the-road hardware. It retails for $1,800 but can be had for slightly under a grand. All indicators point to it being a good, reliable machine. 

I have a lot of other irons in the fire, so to speak, and I probably shouldn’t have spent the money. But last night I went ahead and ordered one. It is scheduled to arrive here around the middle of next week. Then I’ll take it to a local bike shop for a fitting, after which I’ll be ready to ignore it. 

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Great Strides 5K

This morning they had a 5K walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research and treatment. FaucetCompany was a local sponsor of the event, so I got to participate без платно (free). Even though it was officially a walk, and even though many participants only completed one or two of the three laps necessary for a full five kilometers, I ran the entire distance. They held the event in the park where I usually run, so I knew the course.  They included the hill portion, and I haven’t done hills since the American Cancer Society 5K six weeks ago. And I haven’t been running regularly for almost a month. Which resulted in this pathetic time: 

But I ran every step after I got past the initial gaggle. I’m slow, but I can still do this. 

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The 5K That Wasn’t

I was supposed to run my second 5K this past Sunday afternoon. Those in charge cancelled the event due to rain and forecast heavy storms at race time. As it turned out, there was nothing but a cold drizzle until several hours later that evening. 

I’m glad that they called it off. I haven’t ran much since the 5K last month in an attempt to give my body time to heal. Consequently, I’m not in race form. Far from it. 

I’m unsure how to continue my fitness journey.  Even when my body will let me, running three miles three times per week simply isn’t enough exercise. And I’m nowhere close to even that at the moment. Do I fight my body and try to get back to that point? And assuming that I’m successful, what do I add to the mix to finish the job? If I can’t do it without some part of my body protesting more loudly than I can ignore, what then? 

But the biggest question of all is motivation. How do I convince myself to make time for whatever it takes? I was able to do the 5K because I had convinced myself that I had to do something, I had a specific program to follow and a deadline to meet, and there were people who didn’t think I could do it who absolutely had to be proven wrong.

But now? I’ve used my pain as an excuse to blow off many recent workouts. I struggled to find the hour or so every other day that my runs take. How do I increase that time and add more days? 

I’ve thought seriously about commuting to and from work by bicycle. I like the idea, because after I get over my fear of deserted roads after dark without an automobile cabin to shield me, it just makes sense. It will add over an hour to my travel time, and will regularly be unpleasant due to environmental factors, but it will serve a purpose. I have to go to work. It’s not time lost (in my mind) to exercising solely for the purpose of exercise. Therefore, I’m much more likely to stick with it.  

Several people have discouraged the idea, though. There’s the general risk associated with riding a bicycle on the road. And the increased potential for breakdowns that could make me late and cause issues with my employer. Then there’s the whole question as to how I can protect myself from the myriad of potential threats on back country roads at night without getting caught violating FaucetCompany’s “no firearms on company property” policy. 

All these are valid and reasonable concerns. But what alternatives are there? I have a gym membership. I could pick one or more of the many machines there. I could continue my running, adjusting time and speed as my body will allow. I could bike some of the local trails. I could use the exercise bike and workout videos that I already have at home. But every single one of those options is single use time. If I’m not doing something productive, I may as well be sitting on my ass relaxing. God knows, I get enough drama and excitement at work. And in my mind, exercising isn’t productive by itself. 

I’ve tried to ride the stationary bike while doing whatever I do to relax, but it interferes. I could bike and watch TV at the same time, but I seldom watch TV at home. Usually I’m reading or doing something on the computer. The movement of my legs makes it impossible to hold anything still enough to be able to read it.  

The obvious answer is to adjust my outlook to accept that exercise is a productive task, worthy of priority status. It’d be easier to stop eating. Or breathing. I guess I’m just fucked. And not in a good way. 

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