Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Not the Route that Matters













-TOB don't let anyone tell you "the wind in my face" is why we ride

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


-ob *sigh* it's April

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So, this mucus thing has worn out its welcome.

It's been going around work, and people have said it's bad, but this is getting old. For eleven days, I've been congested and fatigued...missed out on two cycling weekends and three days of work. Today I woke up with packed sinuses and a headache, and I figured the whole thing had turned into a sinus infection. I'd planned to head off to the doctor, but my head started to shake loose within the hour.

not me

So instead, I decided first to head off to the trusty internet. Should I spend the time and money on the doc or would I likely be sent home with a prescription to rest and drink fluids? But what do I search?? I had no words for my symptoms except thick green snot. I knew there had to be better terms that would yield better information, but I didn't know what those words were. So thick green snot it was.

Of course, searches for green snot turn up all kinds of hits, mostly from Yahoo forums: I've got green/yellow/neon snot...what does that mean? Answers offered: get to a doctor, pronto, you're about to die. Then the argument ensues: no, it means a virus and you don't treat a virus with an antibiotic, or, green is a bacterial infection yellow is a virus, or, mine's yellow-brown, what about that.... and of course all links led eventually to the worst-case scenario: the infection can spread eye-ward or brain-ward and cause either to quit working indefinitely. No wonder people run to the clinic and demand pills.

not me

Mucopurulent Rhinitis. The term is Mucopurulent Rhinitis.
Mucopurulent=consisting of mucus and pus (the thickness and color in the snot is actually pus which results from overactive...things...that then cause shed into the mucus, bla, bla, know, medical jargon) -- mucus should be clear
Rhinitis=inflamation of the mucous membrane of the nose
Bottom line. I've got gross crap in my sinuses. I knew this.

Aha. Color isn't an indicator of infection...they used to think so, but not any more. Doctors aren't prescribing drugs just because of something purulent these days. Most mucopurulent rhinitis clears up with time: research found 10 to 1 against antibiotics making any difference. Flush the sinuses. Rest. Drink hot tea and plenty of water.

By the time I had answers, I found myself with energy enough to clean the bathroom...a perfect waste of new-found energy. Normal people would head out for a neighborhood walk and some fresh air, but I wanted a ride.

not me

I'm always a bit hesitant to head out on the bike on a sick day. I don't live in the 'burb where I teach so I don't risk being seen, but I have unrealistic fears of being in some sort of accident...on my bicycle miles from home on a sick day. Sure, you were sick! But, on the other hand, people at work should know me well enough to know an easy ride for me is an average Jane's neighborhood walk.

So I rode.

And I could could feel the sun and I could breathe.

- Bags under my eyes, though

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mucus Makes Everybody's Life a Little Better

Years ago when Sweetie and his brother were both making their living as musicians, they were sitting around the table sharing their music tales with their elderly grandmother. Grams obviously appreciated music herself as she nodded and looked wistfully at some point on the wall, remembering her favorite tunes. As she looked back at them, instead of saying music what came out was

Mucus makes everyone a little happier.

Sweetie and I use the phrase now and again, and we both break up laughing. After all, what would we do without it? mucus, I mean?

Except it's not so funny lately. I've been horking an overabundance of the stuff out of my nose for well over a week now -- green, white, yellow -- and I'm finding myself less than happy about mucus.

Somehow I blame it for the fact that I feel lousy. Intellectually, I know that overabundance of mucus is there for me, hauling colonies of virus germs out of my bod with every kleenex. But, emotionally, my head is full of vanilla pudding and my eyes are watery puffs...because of it I'm sleeping my weekends away and because of it I’m not riding and because of it I'm missing gatherings of friends.

Don't shoot the messenger. Mucus is just doing its job...without it, we'd all be worse off. Think about it for a minute.

On second thought, maybe don't think about it.

- O hork B

Saturday, April 25, 2009


party last night
chatted up some old racing buddies
some leaving racing
some still in
one selling her ride can you do that??
made me miss it
the camaraderie
drew us together
but isn't enough
to keep us connected
as we sustain other lives
but we meet fondly
catch up
share our struggles
how we now ride
with groups
that don't really know
riding together

- TOB is there a twelve-step program???

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Monday, April 20, 2009


we have no teenagers who attend

the elementary school where

I work, yet I deal with

an adolescent

every day

and it



- bag feelin' an age I thought I'd left behind

Monday, April 13, 2009

She's Gone Viral

THIS woman will truly amaze and humble you. She was taped Saturday and the YouTube video has already had over one two four nine! thirteen I'll stop now million views...not to mention the views on all all the bootlegged versions.

She's 47.

And who cares whether she rides a bicycle.

- OB the 40s are just the beginning....

P.S. Thanks to George for the link (drop by an wish him a speedy recovery, by the way).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

...and Tigers and Bears

neighborhood ride

it's always fun to look at houses, to get ideas

nice landscaping

I'd like nice landscaping

brick on the front fa├žade

I'd like brick on my house

that one has stone

no, not brick...stone! Stone would look nice.

as I went east, the houses got bigger

a bigger house would be so great, yes...big, with big rooms...with, but I only have a couple of chairs

one of the houses stretched around the entire corner of a block

I wonder how much flooring there is to clean in a house like that

with lots of windows

just think of the views! and the Windex...Windex makes me cough...vinegar works, though

and houses that faced the lake!

oh the lake, with all the walking on the trails and there's always people close by, especially in the summer...all the people, people are...lots of them, there...with their cars...parking in front of the house so they could walk by the lake all summer...all those people

and manicured lawns

and puttering around the yard, picking daisies! and weeds, the could golf on those do they, do they pay to have that done? why doesn't anyone ever plant native prairie??

and lions




-TOB doesn't have lion envy

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Bit of Cheese?

a baiku

Mouse-squeaking chain links
aren't as hard on my drive train
as they are on me.

- OB because people who don't maintain their bicycles are...wait a minute...nevermind

Monday, April 06, 2009


I don't


head out with Betty


a 23 mph wind

but today

I went



the two of them cleared

some of

the cobwebs

- OB sometimes all I need is a ride

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Learnin' How to Walk

Why Bicycling Makes More Sense

I headed out to hike the White Tanks, a fairly benign set of hills in the west valley outside Phoenix. Since this vacation was shorter than most, I decided to leave the bicycle at home and only bring my hiking boots and a hydration pack. I was trying to make the best of my few non-wheeled excursions.

I was about a half mile into my morning hike, experimenting with close-range photos of some desert blooms.

As I turned to continue walking my ankle was pierced with pain. Yeouch! A hand-sized, unevenly shaped, prickly brown thing attached itself to my leg. I breathed-in sharply. Snake?noAnimal?dunnoPlant?maybeIdon'tknow!!
Logic: Remove offending object, pain will subside.
Action: Shake foot vigorously!
Result: Object still attached, pain continues.

Logic: Object requires assistance in removal.
Action: Grab at object with right hand in order to fling object to ground and examine.
Result: Object still embedded in leg, pain increases due to pulling motion, piece of object now embedded into hand, pain introduced to thumb.

Logic: Do not handle object.
Action: Vocalization.
Result: Frustration expressed.

Logic: Remove offending object from thumb, pain will subside.
Action: Shake hand vigorously!
Result: Object still attached, pain continues weren't we here before?

Logic: Instantaneous reactions are not appropriate in this situation and forchrissakecalmdown.
Action: Examine ankle and thumb.
Result: See needle-like dead cactus pod-thing attached to ankle and thumb.

Logic: None.
Action: Breathing...breathing is good.
Result: ???

Logic: Individual inadvertently picked up needle-like dead cactus pod-thing.
Action: Carefully grasp at cactus spines attached to right thumb with uncoordinated left hand, and pull.
Result: Barbs remain attached to thumb.

Logic: None.
Action: Vocalization!
Result: Frustration expressed.

Logic: Pulling off sock will result in assistance with removal of cactus barbs from ankle.
Action: Left hand pulls on sock hoping sock will assist in removal of cactus barbs from ankle hell it works with seed pods back in Minnesota.
Result: Sock is permanently attached to leg via cactus spines, which is plain creepy.

Logic: Abort abort abort.
Action: Yell at nearby boulder.
Result: Heightened indignation due to hike being interrupted by stupid needle-like dead cactus pod-thing!

Logic: Careful examination of ankle and thumb in air conditioned home advised.
Action: Turn on trail to begin half-mile walk back to car.
Result: Walking with cactus barbs and sock embedded into moving ankle just above shoe-line HURTS, dammit!

Logic: None at this time, really.
Action: Stop, take off shoe and really yank on sock.
Result: Sock and several cactus barbs break free leaving puffy, bloody, swollen lumps on ankle along with a couple dozen still embedded cactus spines.
Turns out, the toe of my right shoe had picked up a piece of dead cactus. As my right foot was swinging past my left leg to take the next step, there wasn't enough clearance. Motion and speed combined to pound a good sized chunk of cactus into my left inner ankle. When I finally calmed down and looked at the situation, it had me stymied. Obviously cactus spines are barbed. How deep did they go? do I yank them out? how? will it rip apart my leg? are there toxins? what if one breaks off in my skin? IT HURTS!

It's odd to be in a predicament and have no frame of reference cycling, whether the offending article is a nail, a piece of glass, a spoke, a thorn or a pinch there are certain lists one tics through in one's head when repairing a flat. Works every time. Broken rear derailleur cable in hill country? I can get you three gears.

But this had me perplexed. Turns-out that putting one foot in front of the other, in spite of the fact that I've done it for the majority of my 47 years, can be more complicated than I thought.

- Ocriminy!B

Friday, April 03, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

Even when the vacation is short....

- The it's good Old to be Bag home