Archive for April, 2008

Cairo Wildcat Century

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Here we are at the start of the Cairo Wildcat Century:

Cairo Wildcat Century

Fourteen people showed, including four from St. Louis (Dessa, Bob, and friends Carrie and Brian).

We also had two support vehicles, driven by Mary Harriet Talbut and Robin.

I still can’t believe the weather.  It was sunny with just a few fleecy clouds, close to 60 degrees when we started, and maybe 72 when we finished.  A light breeze from the SE most of the day.

The ride started out well in the gently rolling hills west of Cape, and some lovely spring scenery.
Cairo Wildcat Century

We had enough time to get warmed up before hitting the big hills between Chaffee and Benton.

Cairo Wildcat Century

Aftersome PB&J (and for some, a tall one), we crossed the Mississippi at Cairo — the high point of the trip for me.

Cairo Wildcat Century

Really observant readers will notice that Andy, pictured above, wasn’t there at the start.  He flew in from Montana the night before and was too much of a wimp to make it at 9 AM, so he drove down and met us just before the bridge.

We had an impromptu regrouping at Horseshoe Lake,

Cairo Wildcat Century

and then Barney managed to a) take a wrong turn and b) break his cleat in such a way that he couldn’t get his foot out of the pedal the rest of the trip.   We did eventually find him, and everyone made it back.   Most of us then headed for El Torero to celebrate.

All in all, a great day, and worth doing again next year.


Friday, April 18th, 2008

I woke up this morning at 4:36 AM because the house was shaking.   It wasn’t all that strong, but lasted surprisingly long.  At least 15 seconds after I woke up, and from what I hear, that was halfway through it.  The windows rattled, and I said “Is it an earthquake?” to Robin, who agreed it was.  Then we went back to sleep.

It wouldn’t be news if this one happened in California, only magnitude 5.4.  We don’t get many around here, though.


Thursday, April 17th, 2008

The laundry basket was overflowing today.  So I sorted stuff, and filled a basket with biking clothes, along with underwear and socks.  And then I dumped it all in the washer, added some detergent, selected cold and regular speed, and went upstairs to watch TV with Robin.

Later, I paused the movie we were watching and went down to put stuff in the dryer.  I opened the washer to find the hindmost 2 feet of a large black rat snake lying on top of my clothes.

I like snakes.  Whole ones.  Pieces of snakes, in my laundry, kind of gross me out.

I went through all my clothes three times.  No other pieces, except a green wobbly bit* stuck to the side of the interior of the washer.   I’m now running the washer with just water to clean it out and I hope flush out any hidden snake parts.


*Don’t eat those.

I’m too old for this s**t.

Monday, April 7th, 2008

This afternoon, it was 65 degrees and sunny.  For the first time in ages, I was able to ride home in shorts and a short-sleeved bike jersey.  I had just struggled up the big hill on Y, and was coasting down a slight incline toward route W at about 20 mph.  Suddenly, at a house on the left side of the road, I saw a good-sized dog.  A boxer.  I’d never seen a dog at that house before.  There was a little girl in the yard playing.

Pretty obvious what happens next, right?

Yeah, the dog takes off toward me.  Little girl is yelling at the dog, who ignores her totally.  I brake, the dog runs across in front of me, then turns around and runs right back in front of me so I could hit him at high speed.  This is probably a 70-pound dog.

Sorry, I got into some sportscaster “historic present” there.  Back to past tense.

Judging by the bruise and the smudge on my glove, my left hand hit first.  That was followed by my left cheek (not one of the ones on my face), and then my head.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll just reiterate that a helmet is a wonderful thing.

The little girl was yelling “Are you okay?” but I didn’t know the answer to that question, and I was too busy yelling something along the lines of “*&%^*&(^ dog!  **&^ stupid (&*&^&*% (&*& dog ! @#$%!  $#$&!”  or something to that effect.*

My left cheek is going to be one big bruise tomorrow.   On the plus side, my bike is okay.

*Note to little girl: Don’t use these words in front of grandma.

Before and After

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

We moved into the schoolhouse 14 years ago. That spring when we were still in the process of closing the deal, we came out one day and I took some pictures. Here are a couple of before and after shots — 1994 on the left, 2008 on the right.

The driveway Our yard
The yard looking south Our yard

The trees have gotten bigger, and the driveway really needs some work, and there’s a drainage problem. They also tore down the house to the south of us, not that you could see it through the trees now anyway.