Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Pal Prince

Prince has been in the town kennel for almost eight months. Being a pit bull is not easy when your looking for a home. Such a sweet dog, Prince was always a favorite of people looking to adopt. A few minutes with him and people melted. Landlords and insurance kept him from being adopted in the past.

We did lots of work with him and the new owners are going to get him "Off leash control certified". We all hope Prince has a great long life. Wifey got to say goodbye. Something she has been wanting to do for months.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Popsicle Toes

Weekends I get to start work at eight, a half hour later than usual. With that, I am able to ride the eleven mile commute in full daylight.

It was 34 when I left the house on the coast to drive the 30 miles inland to the park and ride. It was 28 at the park and ride. Unpacking the car.

Bike. Check
Shoes.. check
facemask...fortunately I found it on the floor. Still no hat though.

I used the facemask as a mock hat, at least covering my ears. There is a Cumberland Farms store at the three mile mark, and I did manage to get a hat there. Understand that convenience stores are notorious for being over prices. The hat cost me a buck and a half and now I'm wondering what the heck it could be made of. Will I go bald?

My toes were very cold when I got to the office and the room echoed with a pretty good YEOW! when I stepped into the hot shower. All turned out well and I'm happily at work.
On overtime.
YEOW! he he.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Short Commute Story.

The weather is starting to be very nice to us bike commuters. Mine takes me through some very low traffic routes. For instance, the first part is through an abandoned state school. I have seen some articles describing some of the arcane treatments for the severely retarded adults and children who were wards of Paul Dever School.

Commuting this time of year is very casual and there is a ten or twelve minute window where there could be some traffic. As with most places, school buses are the most difficult vehicles with which to share the road. There is very often the attitude of the drivers that they are owners of the road and safety is something the others have to practice. Most in this area drive much to fast, and take far too many chances, while depending on the rest of us to give way. So far, it's been working out fine for them. I suppose the rest of us have a better attitude when dealing with a bus full of kids.

Here are a few photos I took on the way home tonight. Click on any one to make it really big.

One of the entrances to Paul Dever school is behind the parking lot of General Dynamics in Taunton, Ma.

Abandoned staff residence.

Gravestone marking the burial area of the original family that owned the land at the turn of the 19th century

A Midnight Rider

Good commuting road

One of three RR crossings

Decrepit industrial area

The end of the short commute.

The "winter commute" is a short five miles. A 35 mile drive completes the route. The rest of the year it's eleven miles and there is lots more traffic to maneuver on the home bound leg. The "long route" morning ride from six to seven AM, is usually me and a couple of pickup trucks sharing the back roads. The only thing I'm waiting for is daybreak to get a little closer to 6AM.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slow and Steady

Been having hip problems for a month and finally got into the Dr. office. Xray shows some pretty bad arthritis in my lower back and lots of inflammation. Biking is not a problem luckily. Walking can get testy and getting out of a chair after extended time at work is very painful. The hip was radiating pain from the back. It's tough at times but not debilitating fortunately. Lots of core work in my schedule now.

I begin a ten day medication regiment to ease the arthritis in the morning. We'll see how that goes.

Tomorrow I will get the Giant (road bike) ready to take over the commuting duties. The Marin is a tank, but is really good on bad roads and hard pack trails.

Still riding in the dark for the inbound commute. Another two or three weeks of that. Not that it matters much because there is so little traffic. But it's difficult to get going when it's dark and cold.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bikes and Books

Got the bike ready, put the riding clothes out on the bed in the spare room.   Work clothes were folded and ready to put into the backpack.  I set the alarm for 5:30 and was ready to do the first bike commute in months.  At twent past five, the dogs wanted to go out.  When they returned, I shut off the alarm and went back to bed.

It's the third time this has happened in the past few weeks.  I am working the weekend and am determined to get up early and ride the 10 miles to work on Sunday. With the temps forcast for the high 50's, the ride promises to be a nice one.  Changing the clocks will make it a little more difficult, but I know once I start dressing, everything else will fall into place mentally.

I usually have a book at work and one at home to read.   However, I am into one that follows me everywhere. 

The Historian ".  A very different novel about Vlad the Impaler, better know as Dracula. It's a very different take from that of Bram Stoker. If you are one who enjoys reading,  put this one on your short list.   

I'm starting to get the riding fever since I got my confirmation for the bike tour this July.  A couple of friends have been discussing day rides and maybe even an overnighter.  We call them S24O.   Sub 24 hr. overnights.   That's when we ride out on a Friday evening after work, set up  and camp out.   Rise early in the morning and ride back home. They are usually twent to thirty mile rides.   We pick  some good food and there is also a package store with a good sized wine selection close to the campground in Plymouth  Ma.    The Cape Cod Canal and Cape Cod Canal Rail Trail are two other great riding places for both day and S24Os.