Nuthin to Prove

I can’t remember the year, but it was sometime early in the 2000s, and I was going for my 3rd attempt at Mt Rainier.  Having to turn around the two times prior, though necessary, was a major blow to this cowboy.

I was SURE I was going to make it the 3rd time.  I trained harder and longer, read everything I could get my hands on, and mentally visualized myself on top.  I had also found a quote from a mountaineer that I loved:  “Summit or die, either way I win! ” I wanted to get a t-shirt made.  My plan was to lie through my teeth, and do whatever it took to make it to the top.

Yeah I didn’t make it. That’s not the story here.

This weekend, I learned how much I have changed from that younger me. Continue reading “Nuthin to Prove”

I am tuckered!

Once again, a week makes a major difference in the life of our hero.  Last weekend was wet and miserable.  A major windstorm blew through and knocked over our little free library, and it was just flat wet and cold!

At the time I am writing this post, last week, the Seahawks were orchestrating the biggest comeback in the division playoffs (EVER!) and he who shall not be named was deflating 11 of 12 balls for the Patriots. (My theory is the 12th was used by the kicker!).  I of course was sicker than a dog and too tired to even pace during the game.

Flash forward a week Continue reading “I am tuckered!”

Hehehehehe FIRE!!

We do things a little differently in Strohville.  This weekend of course was Mothers Day.  Now I am not sure what it is like in your neck of the woods, but around here, places to eat  on Mother’s day itself are mobbed!  That means long lines, noisy places and grouchy people.

To avoid this, we took the 80 year mom in law out to lunch yesterday!  Still crowded, but much less so.  I had a killer meatloaf sandwich!  This meant that today, Michelle and I had a free day! Continue reading “Hehehehehe FIRE!!”

That didn’t work out the way I planned

I can NOT tell you how many times over the last almost 50 years I have said this phrase.  From the time I slid down an icy embankment when I was 5 (I was trying to get to cool icicles.  Mom had to throw me a clothes line and pull me up) until the day I slid the rental car into the truck earlier this month, I have tried some things that just didn’t work.

Today, I can add to the list of days this has happened to me, but for once, at least part of it, was NOT my fault! Continue reading “That didn’t work out the way I planned”

Dad and Husband Duty Day

Not every day can be a free wheeling, tail wind blowing, mad cap century ride to the Pacific Ocean.  Nor can it be a fun-filled, wine sipping, hand holding weekend away.

Alas there are times when dad and husband duties take priority.  It’s not often when both occur on the same day, and even MORE seldom when the dad duty involves BOTH kids.

We woke up Saturday  morning, with both boys under the roof.  The oldest (Alpha Tango Victor) (so named as he is now a tango dance instructor as well as a math major at Western Washington University) was down for the night.  He and his friends had to navigate the detour from hell to get around the I5 bridge that fell into the Skagit River Thursday.  He showed up ready to start chewing his own arm.  First dad duty was getting him to Dicks Burgers (a favorite in Seattle)  He devoured the fries and one Dick’s deluxe before we hit the main road.  Dad Duty.

At 10 PM, I went down to the park and ride garage to get the youngest ( (Echo Sierra (he’s a skateboarder) Victor) who was taking the elevator to the top floor and bombing down the ramps.  Yep, past my bedtime, but Dad Duty.

Saturday morning started with husband duty!  We were at our favorite nursery, Molbaks, when it opened at 9 AM.  We got there 5 minutes early and entertained ourselves watching the old guy walking from door to door to see if they were open, then back again!  Dude, relax!  it aint 9AM yet.  I think they purposely opened the door he wasn’t  at just to annoy him!  We did a power shop to find some plants to put into the garden this weekend.  Husband Duty.

Next, dad duty again.  Alpha Tango Victor had a job interview in downtown Seattle.  So, yep, he asked dear old dad for a ride.  I made sure to write down the address.  We got him there, and he asked “Um, where is the interview?”  “Ok pal, just get your stuff out of the car, I’ll check the address.”  Yep Dad duty.  Later he called. “Which way is Westlake Center?”  Yep Dad duty (did I mention he’s 20, but then I am sure my dad had to do the same things..) Dad Duty.

OK, back at the house and husband duty!  But this time I drafted the 15-year-old, Echo Sierra,  to help.  We went and rented a uhaul van and hit Home Depot.  Today is plant the plants and spread bark where needed day, so the kid and I needed the bark!   Yep loaded, delivered and unloaded in an under an hour.  Echo Sierra jumped in and helped a lot.  I let him relax while I went and pulled weeds.  Husband Duty.

Then Echo Sierra, the man-child, started hinting about going to Motion Board shop.  He wanted some grip tape,  His was fine, but he wanted to do some changes and he wanted to use his own money.  Evidently this is the Mecca of Seattle longboarding, and all skaters are required to make a pilgrimage there.  I parked around the corner, and read the kindle while he went in.  “No hurry dude, take your time!  Dad Duty.

Then, knowing nothing about applying grip tape, I made sure it was done outside, to minimize residue all over the living room!  Husband Duty.

But I supplied tools, appreciative comments and held the board as instructed. Dad Duty.

Yep, love my bike riding days, but Dad and Husband days are important too.  its not often I do this much in one day, but its nice to know I am appreciated!

AK a122  wine at base camp

Back to Seattle

So after a great, though very wet, ride and a fantastic, though WAY too short stay at the ocean, Monday morning was back to work in Seattle.  (NEVER a good thing)

First we had heard that the weather was going to take a turn for the worse after being VERY nice on Monday.  Worse meaning rain, snow in the mountains (Snow in MAY?  Yep welcome to the Cascade mountains, and cooler down here.

This meant 2 things:

  1. If I wanted a dry bike commute, it better be Monday.
  2. The grass needed mowing so it better be Monday!

Now yall know I just rode a century ride, and pushed it during the ride!  Sunday was an “off” day, though it entailed driving over 200 miles to get home.  Not generally conducive to muscle recovery.  Therefore a smart man would’ve skipped the Monday afternoon bike commute home.

Yeah smart I never was!  the weather was in the high 60’s, so perfect!  No coat, the new reach the beach jersey, and no real wind!  Add it all together I go cocky, and took the BIG hill home!  I didn’t stop on top, but i did slow WAY down to catch my breath.  That took a lot out of me!

Of course, when I got home, it was not “sit on your butt time!”  Nope.  If I didn’t mow it now, I may not get a chance till after Memorial Day! (that the way our weather works!) And we do NOT have a riding mower or even a self-propeled one.  It goes by brute force! (My wife traded a 6-pack of beer for it back before my time.).  Yeo these legs got a double workout.  They will make me pay tomorrow!

The strangest part of the day though, was a text I got from the oldest.  He is a Sophomore at Western Washington University.  His text said simply “Hey, I impaled the work van Saturday!”

Now, there are words that bring certain pictures to mind.  if something is said to be “charging” at someone, I picture a rogue elephant trying to trounce someone.  Being “stared down” is Clint Eastwood, doing his flinty stare and spitting before shooting you.  And “happy place” would be Disneyland.  Impaled is one of those words.  I picture Ahab harpooning a whale, someone falling on their sword becasue they failed, or a knight with a lance running another knight through!

An impaled vehicle?  I picture a car that caught air and landed on, and is still stuck in the middle of a flagpole or church steeple.  So it was with trepidation I requested that he “Define impaled.”  Turns out he cut a corner too sharp, and something protruding from a parked truck punched a hole in the work van!  I would call it more a perforation than an impaling.

Once he explained it all, it was easy to relax.  In my younger years, working for Ryder Truck Rental (just like uhaul only yellow.  I was parking one 24 foot truck in front of another.  I cut it WAY too close!  the back bumper of my truck ripped off the front of the other truck.

When i called dispatch to let them know they asked “How bad is the damage, really?”  “Well,” I said, I am holding the severed turn signal in my hand and duct tape won’t fix it!  All this during the busiest weekend of the month.

So all in all the kid comes by it naturally.  We’ll see what the boss says.

Next year we hide in Oregon longer!