Remember snow days? When I was a kid, and we woke up to snow, the first thought was “I wonder if school was cancelled? Is it a snow day???”
One thing you have to remember, is I grew up in the Puget Sound region of Puget sound. Snow is, especially when I was a kid, a rarity. So if there is even an inch that sticks, the region shuts down. Too many hills, not enough plows, few cars have snow tires and there are a plethora of steep hills! So anytime there was white on the road, there was a chance!
One must also remember this was LONG before the interwebs!! Or robocalls from schools for that matter. To learn if you had a snow day, you hunkered around the radio at the top and bottom of the hour to see it the news guy read your school district as closed before it was time for you to get to the bus. The excitement of hearing Clover Park School district closed rivaled that of Ralphie getting the Red Ryder BB gun!
A surprise day off to go have fun with that which nature brought us! They were rare and well remembered.
Sadly, as a adult, most of the time when the snow flies, like last week here,
we still have to work, especially when your only commute is walking into the home office.
So long term flowers of the this blog know that November is my birthday month.
Many cyclists ride their years on their birthdays. Thats easy when you are in your 20s and 30s and born in the summer. Even I can crank an after work 40 or so in June, However, when you are born in November, and in your (holy crap I am!) in your late 50s, It’s harder.
So there we were. We took a long weekend to Walla Walla to enjoy life and sip wine.
So after sipping wine yesterday, we were walking home from the last place and decided to stop at a local market for a snack.
We picked up a few items. Then I took it to the cashier to ring it up. As I always do, I slid in the debit card when it told me and punched in the PIN number. Vicki, the cashier, finished the transaction and turned white.
She told me “I made a huge mistake! But I will fix it.. now to me, huge is like $50.
Yeah it was a bit more.
Yep, she charged me almost $5000!!
Ok, I am no saint, and early on, I had NO idea how much was charged. Had I known, I might not have been so nice. But, by the time I did, the poor lady had down everything she could, called tech support, and was,ready to cry. I saw the total and yelled, “Holy crap!!!”
I had every right to chew her ass….
But somehow I channeled my inner Tony. Lord knows at work I have made so many mistakes. I knew I had enough in the account to cover the mistake, and she told me she and her husband were the owners, and they would make it right.
I took a deep breath and said “I know you will!”
She almost cried again!
She went on to tell me how people have been jerks and screamed at her for simply forgetting to give her a mistake! Then here I am, $5000 in the hole, and I am being nice.
My momma was a cashier, mistakes happen, and lord knows dealing with the public sucks right now!
She took my info and said she would talk to her hubby who was the accountant. I said I’d call the bank. I kept reassuring her that all would be fine. ( won’t lie, I was a bit worried.)
We got back to hotel, and I called the bank. I am NOT happy to tell you they said I was screwed. I had to wait to let it go through then dispute. People, there should be an OOPS! BUTTON! Nope there ain’t.
So I logged on and transferred enough from savings to make sure all was good.
Not 3 minutes later, Vicki called and said a check for the full amount would be there for me first thing in the morning.
We went to breakfast and walked into the market. She saw me, and made a point to say hello and give her a huge shoulder hug! Then she introduced me to a coworker who called me a saint!
Y’all know that ain’t so!
But the check was there and in addition, a huge sack of yummy snacks! Plus last night’s snacks were free!! The extra was not needed!
Ladies and gents. Life is hard now. People can be jerks, I see it every day! Mistakes happen. I fully admit that if stuff bounced I would be so much madder. But it didn’t and she made it right.
Instead of making a poor lady cry, I made a friend! She will tell the story of a guy who did NOT chew her ass forever. I, on the other hand, was all taken care of.
So take a breath, try to understand and make life better for all!
Do you ever notice that some arguments and grumbles keep coming back, time and time again?
This is the 5 year anniversary of the ride Rob and I took from Astoria to Crescent City.
As you may remember, a mile from the end I got a flat!
I have been sharing some of the memories as they pop up on Facebook with the group I started for people to share their love of the Oregon Coast. I can think of no better way to see all there is to see on the coast than from the back of a bike.
One does have to be careful of course.
There are dinosaurs
You can get sunburned
There are giant fish
And whatever this sign is waning you of.
And of course there is traffic.
The vast majority of the Oregon Coast route is on Hwy 101.
We cyclists travel along with cars, semis. campers and motorcycles.
This is what brought on the Facebook discussion, a very nice lady informed me in no uncertain terms that it is not safe for a bike to be 101.
The fact that its is a designated bike route in Oregon didn’t seem to matter,
She went on to say it was far too dangerous, and I shouldn’t stop doing it
As I have matured these last few years, (STOP LAUGHING) I have learned that sometimes its best not to get all huffy and go into battle mode. In this case I think she was truly concerned about the safety of the Cyclists.
But in my head I was thinking: Dangerous? As compared to what???
Anything can happen at any time to someone. Driving a car, walking, cleaning the gutters before the big rain hits (did that today). Shoot, a damn meteor could take me out clean while I am typing this. Or, more likely in this house, I could trip over a darn cat!
Anything CAN happen, but the key, to me, is do the best you can to minimize danger while still enjoying life!
When I went sky diving, I had professionals with me!
No not Dave
Those that jumped with me.
When I climbed BIG mountains I had guides with me
Just recently, when we ran the Rogue River, we went with a group and had two people who know the river well.
In short, I do everything I can to minimize the risk.
When it comes to the bike, I have been a serious cyclist for 13 years (though I have been riding since I was a kid)
And I have 40000+ miles of experience under my belt. I have bright lights, rearview mirror and keep an eye on all the cars around me.
Is there some risk? Yes, but hell on my back porch.
Right after we first moved in, I was walking in the dark, dazzled by the night sky and almost stepped off the side. of the deck. I coulda broken something easy. And that’s in my own house.
What cycling does is keep me healthy, makes the heart and lungs strong, and relieves work stress.
More importantly, it makes me happy!
I could hunker and let life pass me by or I can get out and soar, seeing the world and experiencing life!
No, riding a bike on a busy road is NOT for everyone! But it is for me. Without it I would be a very sad camper and truly this woulda been a very boring blog…
“Today I did nothing, tomorrow I will do same. Thanks for visiting….”
Funny thing, I am reading Bicycling with Butterflies by Sarah Dykman (great book will do a review soon) but last night, while reading by fire on the deck, there were these two quotes
The first was her talking about how much their parents worry (and I have been told I am the cause of each of my moms gray hairs….)
This one was in response to those who said she was taking to many risks.
Finally she said, “Accepting the risk of riding a bike, lowers the risk of having a heart attack!” (paraphrased)
Folks, in a nut shell, do what you love. Those who do needle point can draw blood with a needle. Those at the gym can fall off a treadmill. I work in insurance claims so I KNOW how dangerous cars can be. And, hell, beach walks you can get lost.
I met Ross this week. He was walking the beach, forgot where he entered from his VRBO, so he kept walking thinking he would find it soon. When I met him he was 6 miles south of where he shoulda been…
There is risk in everything. But maybe its because I rode in the back of pickups, jumped ramps on my bike as a kid, and climbed trees, I don’t mind a little risk.
I don’t have a death wish, but to quote Jimmy Buffett, I don’t wanna die before I am dead.
So do me a favor, no matter where you are, keep an extra eye out for cyclists. We are really nice people, and we are out enjoying life!
Funny thing about August, we all know it is still summer and there can be some hot days, but in the back ground we all know…
To this end, its time to start getting ready for the bad weather coming. Add to it, with as dry as things have been, fire danger is still pretty darn high. This week last year, our world looked like this
There were huge fires within a few miles of of us, the power was out and we had to bug out. It was not a good week at all.
Last year’s fires made me get smart and buy a generator. This month I made sure I knew how to fire that sucker up!
Happy to report it fired right up, and I plugged in the rock tumbler, sure enough we had power! I am hoping not to have to use it, but we are ready if we do.
So what are the chances of a fire?
Check this out…
The last week of July I was walking the beach. I had JUST been down at this part of the beach agate hunting. I was walking back toward the car and was half a mile away from the smoke when every siren in town was going off! I was trying to figure out what was going on, and turned around to see this plume of smoke and the flames shooting into the sky!
I hotfooted (no pun intended) back toward the fire. There are houses on top of that hill. I didn’t know what I could do to help but wanted to be there in case I could. Hats off to our local fire fighters who got there (at the same time dealing with a head on car/semi fatality collision) and knocked this sucker down within minutes. No loss of property or injuries. No idea for sure how it got started, but it shows how dry we are, and how fast it can hit the fan!
The other big event of the month, dealing with the feral cats…
Somewhere along the line we have ‘adopted’ 5 feral cats
No these are NOT them! I have to chase off the resident raccoon family pretty regularly, they love the cat food.
We have Kitten Kitten, Filbert, Nutsy, Scaredy, and the youngest, Peanut (Kitten Kitten is the mom and we are pretty sure Filbert is the poppa.)
We don’t want more kittens. So Michelle got ahold of the local human society, and the traps arrived. Peanut thinks they are the best toys EVER!
OK folks NO worries. These are humane traps. The plan is to trap them, then they are picked up spayed/neutered and brought back.
The first day we trapped Kitten Kitten, and 10 minutes later got a call that the vet had to cancel due to covid. Folks, that is the smartest cat of the 5. we would NEVER catch her again. The cat wrangler told us to hold tough, but not trap any more that day. He found a vet and picked her up.
Poor thing, good thing they did, she had somehow sustained a broken jaw! They fixed it, and she is now in a cat halfway house for recovery and meds. We will see her again in October.
This last weekend the two big boys, Filbert and Nutsy were caught, and have come home fixed.
Poor Peanut though has been lonely, Michelle left the back door cracked, and look who came to visit.
If she decides she wants to move in, looks like we will have a new addition. Stay tuned….
There have also been outside activities for me of course.
This year has NOT been a high mileage year, in fact, I am still, here it is September, and I am still under 1000 miles for the year. I should hit it tomorrow though…
The bikes, these two shown above and the eBike,
Have allowed me to see SO many cool things this last month,
A juvenile bald eagle being pestered by seagulls
A smiling baby seal just a snoozing.
And of course the assorted blue herons
As always, when pedaling along, you see so much more that people in cars and you can pull over for the photos! Love these guys!
Finally, there is just the back yard of our house. It is a place to escape the world and just relax. It is one of the reasons we bought the house, and if I don’t bike ride or beach walk
It is an excellent spot to decompress after work…
Aside from just sitting and relaxing, nature adds to the joy of the back yard!
It has been one helluv an interesting last month or so.
I have found an excellent place to stop for lunch on a bike ride
Found a cool piece of art for the house
And with fall approaching, I can stay awake long enough for sunsets!
Not that I needed it, August helped remind me how much I love living at the Oregon Coast. It refreshes the soul, relieves stress, and makes crappy days at work worth it.
I am hoping the next month has more bike rides, tide pools and fun adventures. Most of all, I am hoping there are no fires or evacuations needed. Send cooling and raining thoughts our way!
It doesn’t happen often, but last week it did. Michelle and I left the Oregon Coast for a bit, and had a non Oregon Coast adventure. We loaded up the car, and the Kayak and headed south to Shady Cove Oregon to run the Rogue river.