Monthly Archives: July 2013

On being 66

During the summer I try to get out on the “morning 40” by 7:00 am to beat the heat.  Some not-so-accurate alarm clock wakes me between 4:30 and 5:30, but I know I can lie there until 6:00, if I rush through my morning routine.  Rushing does not fit with being 66; doing things slowly, methodically, preferably while referring to a list does.  Before I get on the bike I repeat like a mantra, helmet, gloves, water bottle, because reaching down for that bottle when I’m 5 miles down the road, and finding the cage empty, oooooo bummer.  I don’t eat much before the ride, but as I’m scurrying around I always eat a banana which is just enough to get me to the mid-point of the ride, where I get some kind of breakfast.  Today I ate about three bites of the banana, set it down and forgot about it until I was again five miles down the road.   On today’s ride that meant going 24 miles on three bites of banana.  Guess I’ll be adding another word to the “mantra.”

The Princess is 66 too.  Last night I filled a pan with sugar and water to make food for the hummingbirds.  I boiled the mixture, removed it from the burner to let it cool, and went upstairs to watch TV.  I came down later in the evening to find that The Princess, in the process of doing the evening dishes. had seen the pot on the stove, poured the hummer food down the drain and washed the pot.  Believe me when I say that I did not criticize the way she did the dishes.  Along with being age 66 comes wisdom.

Here’s some news.  Gene and Lynne got a great big, fancy, new refrigerator for their kitchen.  Gene said this is something Lynne wanted as a retirement present.  I told Lynne that the fridge is fine, but stuff for the kitchen is not  considered a gift, so she deserved something else too.  I learned the fallacy of the “kitchen gift” the hard way the first year The Princess and I were married.  I bought her some thing for the kitchen (don’t remember what) you know for cooking, and was told in no uncertain terms that stuff used for cooking (which she does not enjoy) is NOT A GIFT.

But I’m telling you, that fridge Lynne got is beauty!  When they opened it up and showed me the inside I practically gasped.  When the door swung open a soothing and subtle, blueish light flooded the interior and its contents.  My god, I thought I’d taken a Viagra by mistake that morning instead of my B-12!  I swear, with that fabulous lighting in there, I expected next I’d see  little puppets performing Hansel and Gretel.  That’s a dang nice fridge, Lynne, and don’t worry, I’m sure Gene will get you something else too.

On a side note, since they got a new fridge in THE BIG HOUSE, the Pony and I got the old fridge out in the garage.  Woo hoo, no more crowding of the Snickers lock box.

Pony News

Great news!  The Cost-O-Meter has bought the Pony a new (well actually, used) pair of fenders off ebay.  As I write this the fenders are wending their way out to the Idiotic Brother in California for some professional, cosmetic welding.  More on that later.  Reflected in the C-O-M is a bump of $105 (includes shipping).

In other Pony news, I’ve finished up that area around the right rear hub.  Here’s a little slide show.

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There are shots there of all three coats of Pony red paint.  Now I’m having fun hanging the painted parts you saw in the last post onto this newly finished area.  I’m working away on that right, rear wheel too.  Here’s a shot that Lynne took of me finishing-up the prime coat.

right rear wheel, primed

In that picture, that T-shirt I’m wearing, it’s from a bike ride I did when I lived back in Indiana in 1990!  I’ve got so many T-shirts from so many different events, I’ve started cutting them up and using them for Pony rags.  I told Gene about that, and he said, “Don’t do that!  “You’ve got to help me use up this mountain of rags we already have out here.”  I guess it’s another thing about being 66, you’ve accumulated so much crap, that you start to drown in it.

Don’t worry, I’m not complaining.  Being 66 is great.  I love seeing those Social Security checks pop into the bank account each month.  I love that I can still do the “morning 40,” even though for the first time this year I noted a slight tick down in the average speed.  At the mid-point on Tuesday’s ride, I was sitting out on the coffee shop deck looking down at a view of the bridge spanning the Haw River.  As the water from our wetter than usual summer rushed on like life itself, a truck crossed the bridge toting a concrete crypt to a nearby cemetery.
What a contrast.  Yup, it’s great to be up here on the deck, sipping coffee in the sun…at 66.

Thanks for reading.

Ode to the Vidalia

Some people are quick-witted.  You know… you think you’ve just said something sage, or cute, or whatever, and they come back in a flash with a truly devastating come-back.  I got whacked with two of those recently, so I’m starting to doubt myself.  The first one…a professional dog service was taking care of the neighbor’s dog recently.  One day when the young lady was leaving the front door to take the dog on a walk, I said, “Hey, how about taking me for a walk.”  Right back she says, “Sure, get your leash!”  Ouch.  This next one really hurts, because it’s The Princess that got me.  We were talking about how great the Vidalia onions are this time of year, and I said that to truly enjoy them I’d decided that from now on I’d eat a big, thick, raw slice on all of my liverwurst sandwiches.  Her comeback, “So I guess you’ve given up on ever having sex again?”   Hey, it’s just a little raw onion for crying out loud…and they’re Vidalias.

Here’s one I got from a friend.  Sunday service was about to begin at church.  Very few seats were left, but there appeared to be a single seat open on a pew near the front.  The late-comer leaned in and whispered, “Is that seat saved?”  Without missing a beat, the man in the pew looked over and said, “Well no, but Reverend Roy hasn’t even started to preach.”

Speaking of things marital, The Princess and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary July 5th.  We were having some inane argument later in the week and I finally stopped and said, “You know we’ve been doing that for 44 years, unbelievable”…and it was enough that we both stopped and laughed.  My parents had a nice long marriage.  Talk about planned parenthood, they had 3 children, all boys, and spaced them three years apart.  I suppose this assured that each kid would be potty trained and out of diapers before the next one came along to use them.  Hand-me-down diapers, yuck!  Having the IB precede me through each school I attended was no treat either.  Every teacher had a preconceived notion about my capabilities.  Suffice to say, they were not high.

But back to family planning, a few days ago, I got an email from the Idiotic Brother which shed new light on the extreme to which all this family planning was taken.  Take a look at this photo.

Bruce's twin revised

The IB says this is proof that I have a twin brother and that mom and dad sold my twin in order to keep the family plan intact.  This is amazing and jeez, mom, you almost got away with it.  Wondering how you decided which one to sell.  Just guessing, but I suppose you kept the better looking one.  The similarity is uncanny, and the fact that this was taken in a Taco Bell…well I love TB.  I wouldn’t be caught dead in the clothes he’s got on, but this is the kind of thing that creeps in when you take a guy out of his intended environment.  Jim, you didn’t tip him off did you?  I don’t think I could stand another “left coast” brother.

And on the bug front
Why me?  Last year it was chiggers, then earlier this year it was ticks, and finally this week I got stung by the meanest bee on earth.  Look at this.

bee sting

That’s what my forearm looked like after a bee stung me while I was out doing the morning 40 on Thursday.  Man, that sucker really stung.  I tried getting a little sympathy at my volunteer gig on Friday, and I noticed that generally women were neither impressed nor too sympathetic, whereas the guys were more interested.  Just wondering, are women dismissive of men’s pain, because guys are wimps, or is it because women feel they have the market cornered on true pain?  I may see if Dr. Reinhold would like to weigh-in on this in the next post.  The Princess was incredibly helpful.  She looked-up homeopathic remedies for bee sting, and found that rubbing the sting with raw onion was purported to be effective.  Well of course she’d recommend that…THE VIDALIAS STRIKE AGAIN!

Pony Baloney
You may have the impression that there isn’t much left to do on the Pony, but there’s still quite a lot.  I’ve scrubbed, scraped, sanded, wire-brushed and primed the right rear hub area.  Pictures in the next post.  I’ve got the final coat of red paint on a whole bunch of parts.  See below.

parts ready to reinstall

And I started work on the right, rear wheel.  After just a couple of hours of work, I got it looking like this.

back wheel after sanding

So, it looks like I won’t need to drag these heavy things out to the sandblaster after all.

I’ll leave you with this:

The bee’s stinger shoots out to impale ya,
With great swelling and pain in the area,
But the remedy’s in,
The odoriferous skin,
Of God’s perfect onion, the Vidalia.

Have a great week everyone.  Thanks for reading.