We are definitely in the winter doldrums here in North Georgia. When I last posted a blog entry back on 18 January we were enjoying unseasonably warm weather. Well, it lasted a little over a week before the cold air returned. Last weekend the cold weather wasn’t an issue since we had the National and American League Football Championship Games to watch. But, with the calendar being a little thin this weekend we were pretty much looking forward to a couple of days out riding on the tandem and maybe, just maybe, on Blue… our Harley Road King. But, the cold air was the spoiler with temps barely moving out of the 40’s.
Honestly, I can’t even remember off the top of my head when I last rode Blue. I’m pretty sure there are still bugs on the windscreen from my solo 21 December Christmas Lights Ride and Christmas Day ride up to Debbie’s mother’s house. I think the last time Debbie was on Blue was mid-November when we rode it over to Loco Willy’s after a tandem bike ride on a mild Sunday afternoon.
But, that’s not to say I haven’t been riding bicycles or motorcycles. I’ve been doing both solo despite the cold weather if only for therapeutic reasons when possible,i.e., when work-related things or after-work errands crop up that are well-suited for a motorcycle. It was a pretty good start to my day and week when I swung a leg over the BMW this morning and enjoyed the 32*F commute to work… with my heated gear on of course. Hey, I may be crazy but I’m not stupid! As for the solo bicycle rides, those have merely been targets of opportunity the weekend before last and then on this past Friday when I actually used my bicycle for transportation; hey, it happens! But I’ve been pleased that I’ve gotten out at least once or twice each weekend this year.
As for a recap of the weekend, there weren’t too many highlights but no low lights either, so that’s a good thing, eh? Let’s see…
- My morning was consumed by work which pretty much followed suit from the previous day when I’d planned to leave work at noon and ended up walking out the door around 7:30pm.
- The most important thing on my list for Friday was picking up Debbie’s Honda Accord from the body shop. Still can’t believe she got hit just six-weeks after taking it home. But, they did a good job on the repairs and we’ll press hard for a fair diminished value payment from USAA given it was a new vehicle with less than 2,000 miles on the odometer. We’ll see how that goes. I say that as I’m still waiting to hear from Nationwide on the diminished value part of my accident claim.
- The second most important thing on Friday was meeting Miss Debbie for lunch at The Red Eyed Mule: seems like it had been a while and we really do enjoy having a lunch date every now and again.
- After that I had to run a few more errands: groceries at Costco, a watch battery replacement at the mall, picking up a Falcon’s jersey for Debbie to wear at work and on game day and I also treated myself to a new pair of Corcoran jump boots at the Army Navy store to wear with my tartan kilts. Yes, I’m still wearing the kilts… and loving it!
- I mentioned getting a bicycle ride in on Friday: it was a fairly short, 7-mile bicycle over to the body shop where I’d left my truck after picking up Debbie’s Honda. Amazing how that 42*F air chilled my lungs on the hilly-ride from the house.
- Being a Friday our plan for the evening was pretty much set: Loco’s! We really had an extra-special time in that in addition to our partners in crime – David & Deb – we also were able to spend time with Teresa & Stuart, Deva & Billy, Gene & Clark, Kevin, Rex, Paul and my co-worker and his wife – Peter & Maria along with daughter Sydney – who are quickly becoming Loco regulars.
- Our friends Joey, Brad and Warren had the Friday night gig at SuBourbon’s so I wanted to stop in for short visit but Debbie was pretty worn out. So, I dropped Debbie off at home before heading over to SuBourbon’s for about an hour. Their band sounded great and the place was hopping, but it’s just no fun being out without my best friend, soul mate and sweetheart. However, it was good to see the boys and let them know we hadn’t forgotten about them.
- I’d pretty much built our Saturday morning and early afternoon around a visit to the annual Great American Motorcycle Show which, for the first time, would not be on the other side of Atlanta’s top end perimeter – about an hour’s drive – but would instead be about 30 minutes away at the Cobb Galleria Center on our side of town. We arrived when it opened at 9:00am as we like to get in and see things before crowds fill the place but honestly, it was just not nearly as enjoyable as the previous events were at the much older, smaller North Georgia Convention Center. Some of the vendors we always look forward to seeing weren’t there and the sheer volume of the Cobb Galleria’s event center made the bike show event seem a lot smaller than it really was. We made our way through the entire show in about 40 minutes as there really wasn’t anything – other than a Moto Guzi cruiser – that really captured our attention. I think the “Biker Lawyers” actually outnumbered the motorcycle dealers and all of the vendors seemed to be selling the exact same stuff within eyeshot of each other, which was weird. Anyway, we found ourselves headed back to the truck before 10:00am, leaving us with a couple of hours of free time when we thought we’d be walking around looking at bikes, stuff and people.
- We salvaged the still cold early afternoon by making the drive over to our friend Ralph & Carrie’s Semper Fi Bar & Grill for lunch: they have some amazing food and a great staff. I was craving their big fat hot dog so Debbie and I split one of those after visiting with Ralph for a good half hour. It was a nice change of pace and I wish it was closer than the 35 minute drive from home.
- We spent the rest of the day doing small errands and chores around the house, biding our time until we’d head back to Loco Willy’s for dinner. We’d thought about heading over to a local biker bar to meet up with some of our friends who’d ridden down the Motorcycle Show about 2 hours after we left, but just decided to chill at the house: it was just that kind of day.
- We considered a tandem ride but, once again, the overcast skies, temps and wind just weren’t all that inviting.
- We had another great evening at Loco Willy’s, but with a much smaller crowd than was on hand Friday. In fact, by 9:00pm we were pretty much the last one’s at the bar. We stopped in at Paddy’s Pub on the way home to give a listen to another friend’s band. They play some killer 70’s/80’s rock, but it’s mostly concert music and, well, we like to dance. So, from that standpoint it was kind of a bust. But, I will say the band and a few guests really liked my kilt!
- Believe it or not, neither one of us left the house on Sunday. You’d have thought we were iced-in again! But, not so… it was cold, cloudy and windy and there just wasn’t a strong desire or reason to leave the house so we didn’t!
- However, staying-in gave me the time I needed to migrate some of the tandem cycling content off my old website and onto the WordPress platform that I use with my blogs. This will allow me to make updates in mere moments whereas it was taking me upwards of 30 minutes to code and upload the old .html by hand on my 19-year old PoweMac that’s no longer compatible with any Internet Browser programs.
- I also found enough time to track down a $1,018.22 error in my checking account that I was pretty certain I’d made vs. the bank getting it wrong. Sure enough, right after switching from paper statements to paperless/on-line delivery in August 2015 I missed a monthly reconciliation and there was a Credit Line payment in that month that I never recorded. So, being a bit OCD, you can imagine I’m now a very happy camper since my checking account box balances again!
- I also did a little furniture shopping from home, as we’ve been wanting to update our dining room from an eclectic, semi-antique look and feel to something a bit more casual and intimate. We found a narrow rough-hew bar height table that seats six at 78”, eight at 94” and ten at 110” with 10 bar stool chairs which is very intriguing. We’ll have to go have a look before deciding one way or another and the, well, we’d have to get serious about getting rid of our current table & six chairs, a sideboard, globe-bar and Victrola so that we can truly re-do the dining room. It’s always something.
- We finished out the night and our weekend making hot wings and fries while watching the NHL All-Star Final Game ahead of the always boring and who really cares NFL Pro Bowl game. Well, and we had a wonderful phone call with my folks… always a highlight for the weekends!
That’s about it. I definitely need to get our 2017 vacation plans worked out as I’ve amassed too much vacation (400 hours) and can no longer accrue additional hours. Which is to say, I’m losing 1.5 day’s pay / 13.2 days of vacation a month at the moment: not a good thing! So, I’ll be taking a couple of hours off here and there until Debbie and I can lock-in a week or two’s worth of time off somewhere… well, actually, I need to find four week’s worth!