This is the first part of a two-part report on our weekend. You can find the second part HERE.
FRIDAY was an off-day that began with spreading 70 bales of pine straw around the yard then crawling around on my hands & knees rolling the edges. This was in addition to the 30 square yards of pine bark that I put down two weekends ago. It’s yard chores and expenses like these that make a townhouse or a zero lot-line home more and more attractive. The Zoysia grass is also starting to come back out of dormancy, greening-up and growing up past the winter thatch so my 4-month vacation from mowing the lawn is now at an end as well.
I’d wanted to get a bicycle ride in during the afternoon, but between intermittent rain & ominous clouds I decided to putz around inside the house. Going out and running errands wasn’t really an option since Debbie still had my truck while here little red roadster was in the body shop having the rear bumper cover re-painted.
Note that a few weeks back a young man in a large truck gave her Honda S2000 a little shove. A first glance neither of them saw any damaged, but exchanged info just the same. Good thing, as the Honda has an “endura” rear bumper that’s designed to deform and then spring back to its original form on light impacts. That’s all fine, well and good except the paint sometimes can’t be deformed as much as the bumper, such was the case with this little incident. So, upon closer inspection at home I saw that the paint had micro-cracks all along the impact point. So, $400 later the bumper cover is now refinished.
So, being somewhat grounded with just my motorcycles and bicycles, I opted to do a little light maintenance on the motorcycles, write a few entries on my other WordPress site, The TandemGeek’s Blog, and do a few other little chores before Debbie arrived home at 5:30 pm. Of course, being Friday night we’d be heading over to On The Border where we would get to catch up with our friends, Deb & David, who had been out of town the past few weekends tending to family matters with the passing of a parent.
Our visit to On The Border was fairly epic… We had such a good time! I think all of us needed to unwind and we did that and then some! As sort of a mixed blessing, there weren’t any of our local bands playing so we really didn’t have any firm plans for after dinner. However, as we headed toward home Debbie and I decided we just weren’t ready to call it a night and took a flyer to see a new band at the Dixie Tavern called “Coverboy”. When we arrived, much to our surprise the place was nearly empty. We were able to get front-row seats at a table above the dance floor and were treated to an outstanding acoustic set by Michelle Enix, accompanied by Danno and another friend on guitars. I found a video that someone shot of her singing Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gold Dust Woman‘ at Atlanta’s Tabernacle back on 10 June 2009 just so you can get a flavor of her vocals.
Coverboy came on around 9:45 pm and really sounded good. They’re just a 3-person band — drums, guitar and bass — and all three pull duty as lead singers for songs that suit their voices and style. Sadly, the place was still empty and the thunderstorm that was hammering the area certainly wasn’t helping matters. But, all said and done, Debbie and I really had a very nice time just enjoying the music and relaxing. I think we called it a night around 11:30 pm.
SATURDAY started off with the usual 5:00 am get-up that I’m apparently stuck with. I never use an alarm clock, but always seem to find the clock at 4:00am and then again around 5:00am, at which point I surrender and get up… regardless of when I went to sleep (or even where, as the family room is also pretty cozy and inviting). So, given that I was up, I did some banking and other paperwork, then a few chores and then headed over to Collision Tech to collect Debbie’s little car around 9:00am. As always, Jerry did a great job on the car. After visiting with Jerry for a little while — he’s a great, down-to-Earth guy — we caravanned over to Costco to do some grocery shopping and then we parted ways as I needed to take my truck into Toyota for the typical 5,000 mile oil & tire rotation. We met back at home around noon and with gloomy skies and rain in the area, we decided to pass on doing a bicycle ride and headed off to look at a possible new car, and then did some appliance shopping.
We were at a tandem cycling rally last weekend (something I covered in my other blog) we saw one of the couples had a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen and were really impressed by the little car: great gas mileage, good-looking, and very practical with four doors and lots of storage space… a far cry from Debbie’s little S2000. Put some nice 18″ sport wheels & tires on there, tint the windows, add a roof rack and you end up with a snazzy-looking sportwagen that gets 40 mpg. So, we decided to go and see if we could get out hands on one to test drive . Sadly, they didn’t have any Jetta TDI Sportwagons ready to test drive, but we did go out for a spin in a 4-door Jetta TDI sedan with the same drive train: wow! I was really impressed by the torquey little car. You had to use the Sport mode to really appreciate how peppy the 4 cylinder turbo diesel was, as the standard automatic mode is way too practical, i.e., boring and sluggish. So, we’re thinking about it, but Debbie’s not quite ready to give up her little roadster just yet. Although, I should mention that while we were there we also stumbled across a very nice, used 2012 VW CC that we also took out for a test drive. It’s been a long time since I drove any VW products and I’ve got to say, we were really impressed with the Jetta TDI and the CC. In fact, if we weren’t trying to be a bit more practical in terms of moving to a higher gas-mileage, more flexible vehicle like the Jetta TDI Sportwagon, I could have been very happy with the CC. It’s similar to the Mercedes CLS “four-door-coupe” in that it has four doors and four seats, but isn’t quite a full-size sedan. The rear headroom is a bit limited, as is trunk space. But, I look at these as cars for folks who really don’t need a sedan all that often, but when they do it’ll get the job done.
After playing around with the cars, we headed over to BrandsMart USA to check-out refrigerators and washer/dryers. I think we’re on borrowed time with both, as I bought my Maytag stack back in 1988 when I lived in Redlands, California. I had the transmission replaced about 5-years ago, but at 24-years of age I can tell that it’s developing some issues in both the lower washer unit as well as the upper dryer. While there’s a strong urge to see if I can replace a few parts to keep it going, I’m just thinking that 25-years is a long time for an appliance . Our refrigerator is in the same boat, as it was bought back in June 1992 and is going-on 20-years of age. It’s been behaving well, but a few days ago and found myself standing in a puddle of water, water that leaked out of the freezer door after the self-defrost mode ran. Not good. I may try to pull it apart to see if there’s some type of blockage that I can address, but again… 20-years is a long time for an appliance made in the early 90’s. Of course, every time we tell folks how old the machines are that we’re looking to replace, they always tell us: these new ones won’t last that long…. Yeah, thanks for reminding me. So, at least we now know what’s out there in the different price ranges.
With all of the chores behind us, we were starting to look forward to dinner at Olde Towne. Somewhere along the way we planted the seeds for David & Deb to join us and they did! We headed over a little early just to be sure we’d get some prime seating as the Final Four was coming on at 6:00pm and there was a pretty good chance that the bar might be crowded. We succeeded in getting out table and had a couple cocktails and an appetizer to tide us over until David & Deb arrived. Once Dave & Deb arrived, merriment ensued. We had a great dinner and great service from Erica and found ourselves looking for an encore, as the night was just too young to call it quits. There was still one more basketball game to go and we needed a place to be. We first tried Dixie Tavern, as there was a band playing that had a pretty good reputation.
However, when we arrived we had two really unpleasant surprises: 1. The band was getting a $10/per person cover at the door (Dixie Tavern rarely has a cover), and 2. just about every good place to sit was apparently “reserved” by friends of the band, even though none of them were actually sitting in those seats: WTF? We pitched a bit of a fit about the practice of holding tables vs. the more traditional “first-come-first-serve” approach and then decided to collect our cover and head to Applebee’s Bar & Grill back closer to home. What a great call that was. We ended up having a blast, making some new friends and probably spent about 1/3 as much as we would have at Dixie Tavern. It was just a great way to wrap the day. Oh yeah, and we also made plans for a motorcycle ride on Sunday as well as a quick trip that David & I are now taking to Panama City Beach next weekend: an advance trip for when the Debbie’s join us for Bike Week in May!
Whew. Now I’m exhausted just recounting the darn thing. I think I’ll end this entry here and do a separate one for Sunday…