Boy, that three-day weekend came just in time for me. I didn’t crack the laptop for anything work related the entire time and it was refreshing. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t work; I mowed the lawn, moved a high spot in my side yard to a low spot in my back yard, put up the awnings (with Tiger Lilly and Ben’s help) and put a tonneau cover on my truck, plus doing the laundry, which is my usual weekend gig anyway. On top of that I still found time for some other notable moments. Here are the highlights:
Bike Bubba. (me, not him in this instance). I bought a used 10-speed from someone at work earlier this year with the idea that I’d try to get some rides in for exercise. Since then when I’ve had the time to ride the weather hasn’t cooperated. Saturday afternoon, however, even though I’d already “exercised” in my yard I decided to set off for The Black Sheep on my bike when my wife said we were out of coffee. It’s a little more than a mile each way, I think, so it’s not exactly the Kessel run, but there’s a pretty significant hill between here and there, and it’s up-hill on the way back.
Of course, that means it’s down-hill on the way over, especially if I take Marie Ave. where the slope is particularly steep. I was cruising down the hill at a good clip when I saw a white Mustang pulling onto Marie from a side street. The driver was talking on a cell phone, looking the opposite direction from me (natch) and stuck the nose of his car three-feet into the intersection, right in front of me, still without looking. Not having a horn, I later told my girls I had to resort to speaking Japanese. They gave me puzzled looks, so I elaborated: “AH SO!”
Coming back with the coffee I decided to take Southview Blvd. because, while the slope is longer, it’s not quite as steep. It’s still not easy, though, especially since it gets much heavier traffic and you don’t want to be wavering a lot on your two wheels. I set myself a goal of getting to the top of hill without walking or even standing on the pedals, even if I had to go all the way down to first gear. 100 feet from the top I was wondering if I was going to make it but I kept my momentum and made it up and over, gliding through the stop sign on the other side when there wasn’t any traffic because I didn’t trust my legs to put them down. Then I had to climb a much smaller hill before rolling back onto my street and finally into my driveway and garage. I got off the bike, went in the kitchen and put the coffee on the counter and headed for the living room to sit down. I got as far as the entry hall before my legs went to jelly, but I managed to get to my recliner before losing control.
Surrender Dorothy. Sunday afternoon my wife and I played golf with some friends visiting from back east. We were playing at Oak Marsh in Oakdale, in the northeast quadrant of the metro area. It was a sunny afternoon, but as we finished the first hole the tornado siren went off. Our friends don’t have this phenomenon in Jersey, so that was a bit of a thrill for them. Since the weather still looked nice I called the pro shop on my cell and asked if the siren was for tornadoes or lightning in the area. He said there was a tornado watch but it was up to us if we wanted to keep playing. We did.
A little while later as we were walking toward the fourth hole we could see the sky darkening in front of us. The wind, however, was at our backs and the sky in that direction was clear and sunny so we figured that we were going to stay dry. The fifth and sixth holes run west to east and as we finished the fifth we saw a strange sight: the prevailing wind was still out of the south, where it was still sunny, but looking west we could see low, dark clouds coming out of the north, against the wind as if to flank us. Not good. We kept heading for the sixth tee, where we finally saw some lightning, just as the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees. The clubhouse was about 100 yards in front of us so we started briskly pushing our carts in that direction as the winds got stronger. We made it with about a minute to spare before the rain hit, and then it was all over about 10 minutes later and we were able to go back out and finish our round. Later, of course, we heard that there had been at least one tornado in Hugo, about 15 miles north of where we were and that there was at least one fatality.
So far I’ve played golf three times in Minnesota this year. The first time I got snowed on, the second time we froze and got rained on, and the third time we dodged a tornado. I don’t think our friends from Jersey are going to be relocating here anytime soon.
The Mall Diva’s animal magnetism. Monday we decided to drive down to Northfield for a picnic. It was a wise decision because the weather stayed cool and overcast here in the cities but we had sunshine in Northfield (which is actually south of here). We got into town and set up our lunch at a picnic table alongside the Cannon River, after Ben first drove off a surly gang of illegal aliens, i.e., a flock of Canada geese. As we were eating some of the geese became bolder and moved closer. I noticed that a breeze had come up, and so had the goose-bumps on the Mall Diva’s arms and neck. “No wonder the geese are coming over here,” I said. “They think you’re one of them!”
It was mentioned that the Diva was rather pale for that. “They want to worship the Albino Goose Goddess!” I said. Everyone thought that was amusing, so I said they could feel free to use that in one of their blogs. Nobody did, however, so I had to do it.
When brats attack. We came back from Northfield late in the afternoon to grill some odds and ends of meat from the freezer. This included some steak, a large chicken breast and several bratwurst. Tiger Lilly honed in on the steak, saying that brats were fat, greasy and gross. Her convictions could only have been deepened when Ben bit into his brat and a sudden jet of greasy fat shot out of the side of the brat and hit her in the cheek, leading to much commotion.
Yep, it was a great weekend.
Oh yeah, the Mall Diva asks how I could have forgotten to mention the flashy purple dress she tried on. We’ve even got pictures! Unfortunately, Ben was working the camera and his hands got so shaky when the Diva first came out of the dressing room that the first shot was all blurry. He calmed down enough to take the second photo.