Monday, July 21, 2014

A Suggestion or Two and Somebody's Got Mail!

I was clicking through channels one day last week when I landed on my all-time favorite movie: Breaking Away. It didn't matter that I have it on DVD, I couldn't pull myself away from it. I remember watching it in a theater by myself in San Diego when it came out in 1979. I loved it and the connection I felt with the lead character, Dave Stoller. I brought along a couple friends from my ship the next night to see it again.

It's a coming of age movie about 4 friends from Bloomington, Indiana and a growing competition (born out of their own insecurities) between them and some of the college kids in town. I guarantee you that you won't be disappointed if you take the time to watch it.

As of a couple weeks ago, Rachel has a set of wheels to get around on. Her dad gave her his 2001 Toyota Camry with about 110,000 miles on it. This should be all she needs to get her through the next few years until she's more able to afford something newer. She's done well the last few years using her bike to get herself most places, even in the winter. She plans to continue using public transportation between Rochester and Minneapolis for her job as a medical scribe though because it's considerably cheaper than driving her car and paying for parking. I'm glad to see that she's got even more independence now.

She drove up on Friday and stayed with us through Sunday. Her visit was timely because her diploma came in Saturday's mail. We didn't get to spend very much time together because she was getting together with friends who were also in town. Still, it was nice to see her.

We were in the studio last Wednesday for a few hours. Steve and Craig were putting on an impressive display of glassblowing skills on the far bench. We always learn when we watch them.

Of my 3 turns at the bench, I had two successes. I'm doing an occasional vase, bowl or tumbler but mostly I'm still really enjoying making the candle votives I've been playing around with for the past several months. I tried something different and embedded a layer of frit between the 2nd and 3rd gather on the piece to the right. It gives a nice shimmering effect to the candlelight.

I do need to step it up a little though and move on to other forms.

It's been a dream of mine for pretty much all of my adult life to bicycle across the country. The dream hasn't totally died but I put its chances of ever happening at no more than 15%. Keith told me about the daughter of a friend of his who is cycling from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to Seattle, Washington. Megan doesn't appear to be a hardcore cyclist although she did her share of riding in preparation for the trip. Wait a second—isn't someone who bicycles across the country a hardcore cyclist? Yeah, I stand corrected. You can follow along on Facebook at Moon Cycle. She's a recent college graduate and began the cross-country trip with a friend but they decided to part ways somewhere just west of Chicago. She writes very well and has some interesting stories to share.

Speaking of riding—I'm finally getting out much more regularly than I'd been. It feels good and so does my troublesome right knee. I was riding Saturday morning and reconsidering my plans to 'go long' and opt for turning toward home instead. I had pulled over on the side of the highway to shoot off a quick email to a friend when Paul (from work) and his wife Tracy passed me by. Paul had quickly paused to see if I needed help before recognizing me through my helmet and shades. I thanked him and assured him I was fine before finishing my email and putting the chase on them, finally catching up with them a few miles up the road. We spent the next two hours riding together and turned what for all of us had been somewhat mediocre rides into something a lot more enjoyable.

I'm typically a solo cyclist but a departure from the norm was welcome.

Thanks to my friend Eugene Benjamin for the backing music in the video below.

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