Thursday, February 28, 2013

going swimmingly!

It was literally 'going swimmingly' this morning when I left in pouring rain. My poor little ipod, old friend, got wet even though I had it in a zip lock bag and I fear it is no more. I am sad. My ride home via the dam saw me claw my way back up from 20th to 9th of the females, and tomorrow is my op day and I intend to do all my chores by bike all day (after a ride of course) so I am looking really good to get this done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

challenge update

I am a whisker shy of half way to 15 hours, because I was sick today and only rode for an hour. I had to host a professional association breakfast, and I was too ill to drive, so I rode in, did the deed (I had a slice of dry toast and a poached egg) and rode home again and went back to bed. What an athlete!

Today our fence finally got fixed and I have sent off a bunch of photos to GAP as part of my application for a dog.

Monday, February 25, 2013

a challenge

15 hours in a week. Piffle, how hard can it be. So I headed out early (6:30) and rode to the dam with a loop around the back blocks and back to the dam and got to work at 9:13 and rode for 2 hours and 14 ish minutes. (it doesn't add up, there is a weird ass fold in space out there). It was a lovely morning. Garbage day and all the bins lined the road like squat soldiers. Parrots swooped in front of me, dogs ran along fences. There was interesting road kill. A baby water python, a tree snake, 2 bettongs, a male wallaby. As  I passed one bettong there were several kites gathered for a feed, and most lifted on my approach, but a couple held their ground against me. One was so close I could have bent down and touched it, and the early sun gleamed off his copper feathers, and he fixed me with an intent raptor gaze that was intimidating and accepting. Heady stuff.

Idiot that I am I packed my knapsack with a ton of food and clothing and wore it the whole time. Tomorrow I am returning to base at the end of the ride to pack my work stuff. My shoulders were numb by the time I got to work for no good reason. I need to leave earlier and ride smarter.

Near the end of my ride I suffered a shoe malfunction which could have killed me. I was at the part of the return ride where you have to navigate 'cycleways' which are sidewalks with 90 degree turns and such, and my shoe got caught up in my bike because the sole had separated  The tropics is murder on glue, and all that was holding it together was the screws through the shimano clips. This all happened quite suddenly and caused un-clipping failure at an intersection so I found myself wobbling into the path of a fiat. Luckily fiats are driven by Moms and Retirees, so they gave way.
At work I attempted a fix with liquid nails, weighed down with a can of pumpkin soup and a big rock. Alas, it failed on the way home. I loved those shoes, and it grieves me to leave home without them. Tomorrows ride will be a nervous start on a pair of internet shoes that are not as nice and untried. I like my old friends, my proven performers. 

Leaving at 6am tomorrow so I can come home and pack my stuff. In for a long week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

bike racers and dogs

I guess I have officially retired from racing, as I only took out a fondo license this year. However, I love the bike racing scene and know most of the racers so it was great fun to go to a team launch today. It is my LBS team. Top Brand Cycles have sponsored a heap of individual riders for the past 20 year, but this year there is a well organised bunch who have gotten a broad sponsorship and formalised a team.
matching shirts, shoes and socks!!

very nice kit! The total team is about dozen, this is an early shot

I love that the scariest guns belong to Jo, in the centre, who is a woman!!!
 Then we went home and changed into more dog friendly walking clothes and went to schmooze with some greyhounds.
happy meetings

cooling off the bellies and tongues

one in, all in
I really liked the dogs, they were all amazingly placid and well behaved. As one owner explained it, the good greyhound racers support the GAP (greyhound adoption program) both financially and emotionally. The hard element just kills off their dogs. The dogs that come into the program are therefore pretty easy to retrain, because they are the best treated. Sad, but at least some get a fair go. We are keen, I don't think it will be long til you see a new smootchy face on my blog.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

market day and geeze it is hot

It is O-Week at James Cook University, and there is a market to celebrate
Of course the JCU BUG (that would be me) was there with bells on to talk to students who want to ride to Uni and save a bundle. It is a BIG campus, so having a bike is really good to get you from class to class too.

A hat under a marquee is not overkill, the sun is scorching. It was 32C and 66%  humidity and officially felt like 40C. I can attest to that! And I stood on my feet and talked for 4+ hours of that. It was fun though.

Stuff!! Mostly maps, because new students really need maps and they love them, and I use a highlighter to mark up the best and safest route from where they live.

So many kids!! Hard to remember feeling all grown up at 18.

We only had 3 bikes ready to go, and they are gone. We sell a refurbished bike for $50.00,  you get $20 if you give it back. All the Canadian kids said "wow! What a great service!" all the American kids said "what's the catch" well I guess that says it all about the socialist comfort zone. This one is a Yank. Willing to take a chance ; )

I got home very heat exhausted last night, but we had a nice dinner and turned on the air con and I recovered enough for a decent ride this morning. Scott cooked dinner, but I contributed my current best salad, a couple of beets very finely shredded with my magic chinese shredding thingo, then sauteed for 3 minutes with a bit of oil, then add lemon juice, a teaspoon of seedy mustard and a bit of honey. OMG.

Tonight I may have invented my newest more favorite salad!! Oven roasted cubes (small, like a cm or a bit bigger) of beets, sweet potato, a red onion cut into wedges, steamed broccoli tossed over couscous and dressed with oil, ground cumin, red wine vinegar, paprika and finely chopped fresh coriander. And my favorite quick falafal recipe. Holy smokes, a VEGAN meal!! 

 It was amazingly good, but next time I will use lemon juice instead of vinegar and make a tadziki to dob over the falafels. If I had been home all day there may have been hot pita bread.
Currently cowering in the air conditioning, I miss hearing the evening bug chorus.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

they are back...

Holy snapping hordes of young people Batman.... it is that time of year again. I gave 3 one hour Spatial Dog and Pony shows yesterday, and have had the phone ringing off the hook with people wanting bicycles (who do they think I am that I have so many bicycles??). Last year we had three, this year about the same, because even when nobody is here, as soon as a bike is fixed and ready to go, it is gone. Phew, it is going to be a long Semester.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

garden helpers

We planted a terminalia on our front nature strip, hoping that the black cockatoos would come, and they haven't disappointed us.

They love the nuts on the tree, and eat them by snipping a branch tip, browsing the nuts, then dropping the pruned bit and getting another. And another...

getting a bit messy out there!
So full flight is almost impossible, we could have grabbed him for a cuddle if  we were quick

Look at that sweet cockatoo face!!!
I still haven't managed to get a meeting with a greyhound, but I have a date next Saturday. I am excited!

Friday, February 15, 2013

something nice

I used to be so nice, and yet I seem to spend a lot of time banging out aggro emails and Carrying ON at work. It isn't my fault, I have a low tolerance to stupidity, and it abounds. I will get them sorted out, don't you worry about that. The latest battle is the banishment of unattractive clothing hanging outside at work. I am taking swift and fairly hilarious action, stay tuned. A new clothes line is going up on Monday, they may not be happy. I may attend a meeting in reeking wet gear. Such a lot of fabulous options. 

So here is a nice sunset to show that the end of the day brings us home and it all rolls off as you cycle towards your own personal paradise. Pour me a glass of wine honey, lets have something nice for dinner. It will all work out just fine. At least it isn't as exciting as living in Russia ( a twitter link, not sure if you have to log in) 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I am a great cook

OK first off, we are all friends here so I am not afraid to reveal what I look like. I couldn't bear to photograph max swelling, it was beyond weird. So here is :doh! I got my collagen in Thailand and now I am sorry! This is probably less than half the max swell
 Now I just have a slight case of mumps and I feel ever so much better so it was time to cook! Notice I have learned to look up so I don't have ugly chicken neck. Super models just know this stuff, I had to learn by trial and error.
I was a bit worried about hard effort this morning so we took a nice 6.5ish km walk around the river loop in our neighbourhood. Yes it is a very nice neighbourhood. Next time I will take a proper camera so you can see the Jabaru that I thought I took a photo of here

I started cooking before noon because it was that kind of food, but Scott called me downstairs to look at a native bee swarm. We have a 'hive' in an overturned pot, so he put out another in case they were looking to expand. Then Scott googled around and found out that some swarms are mysterious fighting swarms of workers, and this seemed to be such a thing. A few dead bodies and then they broke it up at dusk. Strange.

The fruits of my labours. Fabulous nann bread, tandoori chicken cooked from scratch (sorry Mr Patak!) my justifiably famous Indian carrot salad and Aloo Methi, with curry leaves from a plant that just appeared in my garden by magic! Sorry I can't link all the recipies, the cook book is on the table.
I was ably assisted by the master of the bbq, who cooked the bread and chicken to perfection

*sigh* bliss... I do think home is the best place to be. 

Finally, while all this domestic fabulousness was going on I had a bit of an facebook thing about this news item: wankers on drugs, which was food for thought about why people drug, and can we stop them. If your very average FRED (can cycle 70 kms in just under 3 hours!!) is keen to inject a cocktail of who knows what, how can a pro who is desperate to succeed resist? I don't know. But what I do know is that there is a big difference between 40 something and 50 something. That 40+ guy is afraid he'll get old. At 50+ you are kind of afraid you won't!!

just ride

Friday, February 8, 2013

catching up

Life is pretty basic, and that is a good thing. So while the rain here was intense, it was short and the ex-cyclone headed south to wreak mayhem while we just enjoyed things going green and a return to normal. It was so normal (in an intensely hot and humid way) that friends went on a short holiday and we had dogs. YAY!! I miss them terribly now they are gone and am looking at greyhound rescue websites. I just love this whippet and figure that a greyhound is similar, but takes up more couch.
Although the cyclone has moved on, we are left with the aftermath of an insane and unsustainable food distribution network that sees EVERTHING trucked to Brisbane (1300km south) and then shipped up here, even if the produce originated from here. Seriously. There ought to be a law.

There is a law regarding the safe movement of vehicles at intersections, but my university has decided to make up their own anti-social engineering rules and make this campus CAR CENTRAL! All you weird asses walking around, just piss off!  

I have cut and pasted chapter and verse of the road rules to the powers that be, and I think I am winning, again. I seem to have to revisit this every couple of years. Time to push for some actual policy around here.

I was invited to one of those 5am group ride thingies and felt obliged to go. It was good if you like that sort of thing. meh. Couldn't wait to get home, put in the ear buds and shoulder the backpack and have a decent fang.

I had to get to work for a photo op with the new workstations. I hung my bike up this time to demonstrate how it is done.

And really not much happened this week. My son has gone over to New Zealand for a holiday and if I had a dog maybe I wouldn't miss him so much : )   I got stung by something on my thigh on the ride home last evening and I have a itchy goose egg. Regardless, we rode this morning and about one km from home I got smacked in the face by another stinger and I look like Jar Jar Binks (without the ears, just the lips). A full day of icing my face and it just got worse and worse. I think it is finally calming down a bit. I can drink wine through a straw, and I ate little cubes of boiled potatoes for dinner, with ice cream for dessert. I was aiming for a Good Week on the bike (250km+) and now I doubt it. My morning ride made the bite on my leg flare up and spread, and I really don't want that to happen to my face. I would have thought getting the blood pumping would clear things up. Ah well.