Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bad Dog, Gas Money and Some Tough Miles

I was a bad dog at work last Tuesday; at least according to a certain supervisor. I'd love to tell you all about it but I should probably exercise some discretion and hold off just a bit and see how it plays out. I spent far too much time during my days off dwelling on it. I hope to return the favor by the time it's all over. Let's just say that common sense met unreasonableness and because of that an investigation is underway. I welcome it.

Little man syndrome. Ever heard of it?

Rachel mentioned that she's down to a quarter tank of gas in her car. I have to smile about that. We'll no doubt be hearing her say that a lot in the weeks and months to come. She works teaching dance but whatever she earns goes back into her studio dance lessons. She had some leftover money from her trip to Seattle which she offered to use to fill her tank. We told her to keep it. Tammy and I both feel that her main focus should be school and there's no way she can take on another part-time job with all the homework she has. She attends 'early bird' classes and is taking APUSH (Advanced Placement US History), a college level history class. She's doing her part so we have no problem doing for her those extra things which many parents would consider her obligations.

I had to laugh yesterday. We have an agreement with Rachel that for the first month of driving she'll have no kids in her car with her. After the first month she's allowed one other person for the next couple months. Anyway, I got a call from her asking me if it was okay if she went to a restaurant with five other kids. She said that the other five would be in Katrina's car and that she'd drive herself. Katrina drives a small Toyota and the thought of all those kids crammed into her car with Rachel all by herself in her Taurus had me laughing. But that's our agreement.

I got some decent miles in on my bike the last couple days. Yesterday's ride was brutal. The first 35 miles were straight into a 20 mph wind. The temp was fine, in the mid 50s. Once I got to Belle Plaine I could see some dark clouds developing to the north in the direction I was headed. I called work to see if I could get an idea for what was happening with the weather as rain hadn't been in any forecast I'd seen. Mark Anderson gave me as good a description as he could and with that I decided to press on northward. I'd at least lose the head wind and not have to work so hard. Ten minutes later I was in a driving rain and getting soaked with a temp which felt like it was dipping into the mid 40s. I'd spend the next 15 miles being rained on.

It's one thing to be in rain when the temp is warmer and there's hope for eventually drying off once the rain ends. I didn't have much hope for that. My shoes were soaked through. Each car that passed by hit me with another blast of grit filled spray. We're still dealing with an abundance of sand on the roads from all the sanding and salting done over the winter. The grit took its toll on my rear cassette and within an hour I'd lose a couple of my preferred gears. The cold sapped the warmth from my quads and as a result I had no leg speed whatsoever. It was becoming one of those rides where you just have to endure. All the while I kept thinking that I'd still rather be out on my bike than at work dealing with the little fella and I was thankful for the perspective.

The skies were clearing by the time I got to Prior Lake and my upper body was actually drying out a bit. I was glad to be within reach of home. I finished the day with just over 70 miles. Not as far as I wanted when I first started out but feeling good about getting some tough miles behind me. I've done much longer rides which didn't take as much out of me.

Toby and Allie have me trained to take them for at least one walk and sometimes two walks a day. Toby has a look which says it all. He'll sit in front of me and look at me until I get up and then he'll lead me to the back door. I don't mind. It's the least I can do for all the love and affection they give us.


John said...

Good luck with the situation at work. There is just no telling when it comes to FAA management and common sense. Sometimes I wonder how they have managed to get so far in life.

Kevin said...

I'm a very easy person to work with so for him to be having trouble with me says a lot. I'm not expecting that to help me much in today's environment as we all know how they protect their own no matter how distasteful that may be.