Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

July 23, 2013: A little walking in Belo Horizonte

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

So yesterday around 5 we decided to venture out and look for something to eat. And drink. We wandered around a bit in the central city, and wound up at a tiny bar with plastic tables out on the sidewalk on a very busy street, Rua Sao Paulo. Peggy took some pics of us sitting there with buses booming by right over our shoulders. We had olives, cheese, and beer, which I believe represents all of the food groups. Then we wandered around some more; for some reason no matter where you walk in BH it’s always uphill. Eventually we got back to our hotel, and stopped at a cafe across the street for dessert. Peggy and Robin had crepes; I had beer. Again, all food groups covered. This place was kind of the polar opposite of the first cafe — upscale and very quiet and tastefully decorated.

Then, to make it a fully wild and crazy night, we went up to the hotel room and taught ourselves to play Sheepshead. This is apparently the official card game of Milwaukee. Do not ask.

This morning we had planned to go to the Parque Municipal Americo Renne Giannetti, and we did get over there for little while, but Robin wasn’t feeling well (too much crepe?), so we took her back to the hotel. Peggy and I proceeded back to the park where we birded for a couple of hours. Here’s my list:

Neotropic Cormorant
Black Vulture
Rock Pigeon
Squirrel Cuckoo
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet
Masked Water-Tyrant
Cattle Tyrant
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Pale-breasted Thrush
Sayaca Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Rufous-headed Tanager
House Sparrow
And a mystery bird I can’t figure out. Looked kind of like a yellow oriole, but oranger and the range is wrong anyway. I’ve looked at every pic in my Brazil bird book (van Perlo) and I can’t see any likely matches. Oh well.

We finally got good looks at the parakeets, which I’m sure were the same as the ones that were so annoyingly elusive at the Parque da Liberdade yesterday; they’re yellow-chevroned parakeets. I didn’t bring the good camera (big lenses are too heavy to carry around), so any bird pics I post are coming from other people’s Flickr accounts. Like this one:

 periquito-de-encontro-amarelo na Paineira-rosa / Barriguda / Yellow-chevroned Parakeet in Cotton-silk tree (Ceiba speciosa
Photo by Flávio Cruvinel Brandão. Yellow-chevroned Parakeet.

Now we’re back at the hotel resting. We plan to go to the Inhotim park and botanical garden tomorrow. Robin and Peggy are napping; Robin said she felt better.

Night ride to Trail of Tears

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

This Wednesday was the last one before classes resume at the University, so Laura wanted to schedule the ride to Trail of Tears State Park.  She’s been pushing for this most of the summer, so this was the last chance.  Trail of Tears is about 15 miles from Burritoville in Cape Girardeau, where the Wednesday Night bunch (aka, for reasons that are best left obscure, the David Hassellhof 5) meet at 10 PM for beer and biking.

After the obligatory stop for beer,

Wednesday Night Ride to Trail of Tears

we headed north out of town.  There’s something visually impressive about a group of a dozen bikes, adorned with assorted lighting, out on a country road at night.  My photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Wednesday Night Ride to Trail of Tears

We were a very strange sight indeed to the few motorists who passed us.  One of the nice things about riding on Wednesday nights is that a) there’s not much traffic and b) most of it is sober.

We made it to Trail of Tears, where we sat around in the road and had a beer.

Wednesday Night Ride to Trail of Tears

Fortunately, the park was closed, so no traffic there.  We made it back to Cape about 1 AM, stopped in a parking lot to drink another beer, and headed back to Burritoville in a rapidly diminishing pack as various participants peeled off to go home.

All in all, a fun evening.  Most of the DH5 gang don’t get out on the road for long rides very much, being more townie types, so it was a nice challenge out in hilly Cape county for them.   I don’t ride much in groups, so that was a nice change for me — and of course, I get a bit loopy when I’m out that long after my bedtime.   There were a few long-haul types there for a change, too.  Tim drove up from Sikeston, outfitted with a set of headlights that I kept thinking was an overtaking car.  And Rick brought his touring bike and his grey hairs to join the kids, too:

Wednesday Night Ride to Trail of Tears

A good time had by all as usual.  I was in bed by 3 AM, and up by 7:30.  I am probably too old for this s**t.

Hannah is a bridesmaid

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Well, actually Maid of Honor, if you insist. Hannah’s friend Megan got married yesterday, and Hannah flew in from Boston for the event. The wedding was in Union, MO, southwest of St. Louis, and Robin and I drove up yesterday afternoon; Hannah had gone up with Megan’s mother on Thursday for the dress rehearsal and stayed up there.

Here Hannah and I are at the reception, looking Blue Steel:

Megan's Wedding

And here’s Robin when we were killing time between the wedding and reception, at the Missouri river waterfront in Washington, MO:

Waterfront at Washington MO

Why you should always have a backup

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

This morning I got all my gear on (I do mean ALL — it was 16 degrees when I left the house [that's -8 C for you furriners]) and proceeded to ride merrily away.  8 miles into the ride (That’s about 12.8 km, foreign devils) I noticed that the bike wasn’t steering normally, and I pulled over to find that my front tire was going flat.  Not a big surprise, really.  We had gale-force winds yesterday afternoon when a big cold front went through, and there was debris all over the roads.

No big deal, right?  I have a spare tube, and a pump, etc.  So I get out my tire pump.  The handle is stuck, so I pull on it a little harder– and it pops right out of the pump.  It’s busted.   Perhaps not actually designed for these temperatures.

At this point, I stop to mentally kick myself a few times.

I have, at home on another bike, a CO2 pump that would have solved the whole problem.  It doesn’t weigh much, it would be easy to carry it in the panniers, and I’m an idiot for leaving it home.

I have an emergency backup of EVERYTHING.  Else.   I have pepper spray for dogs, and also an ultrasonic “dog remote.”  I have a 9-volt battery in case the battery pack for my headlight runs out.  I have extra batteries for the front and rear flashers.  I have an extra taillight that I don’t turn on normally.  I’ve got flashing lights on my helmet in case other lights run out.  I have a spare pair of gloves.  I have a patch kit in case the spare tube gets a hole.  I have a multi-tool in case I lose my screwdriver.  I have three pairs of glasses.  No, four, plus three sets of interchangeable lenses for the bike glasses.   I have an extra balaclava, in case –God knows what– happens to the one I’m wearing.  Why don’t I have a spare pump?

Okay, got that over with.  Next I pulled out my cell phone and looked at it stupidly for about 10 seconds.  Should I call Robin?  Nah.  A) She’d be late to class if she came and got me and B) I’d never hear the end of it.  Who do I know who both has a pickup truck and is likely to be awake at 6:40 AM?  I called Walt, who came and got me — he was already at work, as usual.

So later today I’m going to the bike shop to return the broken pump and get something a bit more substantial.  I know this won’t be a problem, as it’s a Serfas pump, and Serfas exchanges or refunds no questions asked.  And my local bike shop is great anyway.  Meanwhile, I guess I’ll go teach genetics.