A Weather Report
Well, it’s definitely mid-winter here in Georgia. As I noted a little earlier this week, we had a small brush with some snow that gave us all something to talk about. However, it didn’t really have any impact and didn’t keep me off the Boxer Cup for my daily dose of two-wheel therapy.
As the history shows, temperatures have been bouncing around a lot this month with upper 60°F’s and mid-70°F’s early in the month. This week alone, we enjoyed near 60°F’s again on Friday afternoon but by Saturday morning it was 28°F and here we are again on Sunday with below-freezing temps. So, as much as I’d like to be taking my Valentine out for a ride on Blue, it’s just not in the cards. However, the current forecast shows a warming trend coming on the heels of some rain that could give us a wintry mix on Monday, but that should be a non-event as the temps keep trending up and staying above freezing the rest of the week. Of course, the weather outlook I’m most interested in is for 5 – 13 March, during Bike Week in Daytona. More on that in a moment.
My gut tells me that we’re still due for a weather event of some significance just because of how recent weather patterns remind me of the weather patterns we had back in 1993-1994. So, we’ll see how this all plays out. At this point I’m just looking forward to next weekend’s upper 70°F’s.
It was one of my every semi-off Friday’s this week. Thankfully, I was able to keep the hour or so of work I had to do from disrupting what was a very good day where I actually got most of the things on my to-do list done.
The day began with some office work and updates to my tandem cycling website’s calendar of events. Amazingly, that old website created using a 16-year-old piece of software continues to run on most of the browsers: simple is good! I should probably take an on-line course on web authoring using a more contemporary software package. But, since my website is non-revenue-generating I’m not sure the juice would be worth the squeeze if folks are still able to get what they need from it. Oh well, I digress.
Once I office work out-of-the-way I ran a few errands and bought 96 square feet of Gold’s Gym High Impact Flooring for our exercise room to replace the four small pieces I had under the stationary bicycles. This would give Debbie a better surface for her aerobics workouts, keep the carpet from getting permanently ‘dented’ by my weights and just make the floor a bit more forgiving for our work-outs, etc. Now I just needed to make time to get it down!
There were a couple more small home projects that I also had to knock out before it was time to head off for my lunch-time date with Miss Debbie at The Mule. As mentioned earlier, the weather on Friday was just about perfect for a mid-winter day in north Georgia so I pulled the Wide Glide out and rode it to The Red Eyed Mule. It was a little brisk at first — upper 40°Fs — but it just felt so darn good to be back on the purest motorcycle in the stable: no windscreen or fairings, just my knees and nose in the breeze! It’s a beautiful thing.
Lunch at The Mule was the usual: Jake’s Big Daddy, medium rare with cheddar-jack. I think I’ve described the burger before: special blend of their own beef, a fried egg, sloppy jake sauce (like sloppy Joe, but less sweet) and then smothered garden: lettuce, tomato, onion & mustard on Texas toast. Yummy stuff and it’s big enough that we can split it.
After lunch I made one more stop on the way home where job #1 became getting out on my mountain bike for an afternoon ride on the recently re-opened Allatoona Creek trails. All of our rain has had the trails closed more than they were open since January 1st, so finally having a warm day when the trail was OK for riding was just too hard to pass up. It wasn’t a long ride, but the 10-miles or so was just about enough for my first off-road outing of the year.
Before I knew it, the time to get ready for our Finally a Friday celebration at Loco Willy’s was upon us. We had to bail from the very crowded bar and shared a table with our friends David, Deb, Stuart and Teresa with Madeline taking care of us. Things got a little more interesting when some other friends at the bar tried to ‘poison’ us with a round of Fireball Wisky shots. I know better than to mix my drinks, but in the spirit of the moment I went ahead and downed that nasty stuff. Again, just a fun night.
After Loco Willy’s we headed over to Paddy’s Pub where our friend Jody was making her return debut to the stage singing lead for a new band called Steampunk Butterfly. I’m not really into the Steampunk genre and don’t know that it really translated into anything that enhanced the quality of the music or experience, but it was so good to hear Jody singing again. It was also great to see a whole bunch of friends who we used to visit with whenever her other band — Pretty Twisted — was playing. We called it a night after they finished their first set and the Best Steampunk Outfit contest; what a hoot.
Brisk is how I would describe Saturday morning. It was hard to get going, but we were finally up and out of the house by 10:00am. My plan was to take Debbie shopping for Valentines Day so she could add a few new outfits for the Spring. Sadly, Horsetown’s selection of women’s fashion clothing is a mere shadow of what it once was. It was one of the first times when we couldn’t even find anything for her to try on, never mind taking home with us: so very disappointing. I tried a Hail Mary pass by heading out to Cartersville Harley-Davidson where we had pretty good luck last Spring but also struck out there. So, no dice on plan A for Valentine’s Day. After making a stop to pick up another 96 square feet of Gold’s Gym flooring for my exercise room project, we headed home to have lunch and knock out some chores and projects.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the flooring project turned out. I over-achieved in one respect in that I didn’t fully account for how covering nearly all of the carpet would eliminate any sound dampening from the room: yeah, it was an echo chamber. I wrongly assumed the rubber matting would have excellent sound absorbing qualities, but the glossy facing nullified that. I pulled up 24 square feet to re-expose some of the carpet and that helped to knock down the echo effect. I was able to re-use the that flooring down in the garage as mats for my work benches, something I should have done a long time ago.
Loco’s was on the agenda for dinner, as usual, but this time we were meeting with a co-worker, Tony, and his wife Kay for a way-overdue evening out. We snagged the same table that we had on Friday and Brittany took care of us. I think it was 10:00pm before we finally called it a night: just a great time and something we’ll need to do before too long. Back at home we were both pretty tired from the long day and the previous long night, so no movies: just bed!
Sunday started off cold, just like Saturday. It was Valentines Day so I let Debbie sleep in while I knocked out some on-line research and checked the low-lights from the recent Republican and Democratic party debates.
As part of my early morning research, I went ahead a booked a room at the Shores Spa & Resort on March 5-8 in Daytona as Plan B for Bike Week. We stayed there last Spring and it was a very nice place; now, if we could just get the same room for what we paid last year we’d be dancing!
We’ve typically gone to 10-day long Daytona Bike Week on the second weekend which put us in hotels on the three most expensive nights of the week: Thurs – Fri – Sat. I suspect those may also be busiest / most attended days as well, just based on feedback from folks who attend the entire week. My thinking on going the first weekend is that by riding down on Saturday we’ll be staying at our hotel on two of the less expensive nights and, while we’ll still have good crowds on Sunday and Monday, they may not be as overwhelming as the final Friday and Saturday.
Sadly, we didn’t really get serious about Plan A early enough and are still searching for a 3 bedroom condo on either of the two weekends for Bike Week. Being the 75th anniversary of Bike Week, everything booked-up early for the entire week and we’re now checking and re-checking for places that have cancellations to open up.
Anyway, as I said, we have our back-up plan and can cancel the room as late as March 2nd. That will give us time to watch the long-range weather, keep an eye on those possible condo cancellations and firm up plans with two other couples and some other friends who may be going down without their spouses before we have to fully commit. Can’t believe it’s just 20 days away!
I also sent Debbie flowers for Valentines Day, but to her office where they’ll hopefully be delivered early on Monday. There was no sense in giving her flowers here at the house, as she’d only get to see them for a short while each evening, whereas at the office she’ll have them on her desk for 9 hours a day. I’m not quite sure she knows that she’s still getting her flowers, even though I hinted “they’d be late.”
I’d hoped the temps would have gotten high enough to entice Debbie out for an off-road tandem ride where she’d be sheltered from the wind in our lovely wooded trail system. Alas, no dice. So, I ended up going off to ride by myself while she headed out to the exercise room and did a 25-mile / 90-minute ride on the resistance trainer.
For Valentines Day dinner we went to the place with the best food in town: Loco Willy’s. Yup, there’s just no sense in going to the fern bars and fru-fru restaurants; the meals are all high in fat, sodium and cost too much. Debbie looked stunning in her little black and white top and I just did my best to accessorize her knock-out beauty.
Dinner was, well… excessive! We usually split a single entree and that’s more than enough. We had a dilemma tonight in that while we wanted ribs, the Ahi Poke would really hit the spot. Well, we decided to go ahead and get both, since that’s what most couples do, i.e., get their own entree. What we didn’t anticipate was our good friend and barkeeper Brian (who was not working and merely being a patron at the bar) treating us to a plate of Chicken Jambalaya. So, instead of splitting a single entry we ended up having three of their best specials (special, as in not on the menu / you need to know to ask) and were in food heaven. We ended up taking several of the ribs and the bowl of jalapeno cole slaw home and didn’t touch any of the fries: the Jambalaya was mostly rice so we’d had more than enough starch already!!!
Just a great way to end an excellent weekend. Back at home it was time to do things like this — blogging — as a way of taking in the weekend while gearing up for work on Monday. On the bright side, there are only 14 (or 17) work days left until we head to Daytona on Blue! It’s good to have things to look forward to!!!