Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Change of Scenery

A friend mentioned that she hadn't seen Reid on Facebook and wondered if he'd deleted his account. I hadn't noticed so I took a look and sure enough, he was gone. I'd sent him a text the day before to show him my new wheels, so when he responded I asked him what's up. He said he was on a 21 day Facebook fast and that he was thinking of making it permanent because he didn't miss it. I had just deleted the app from my phone the previous day and had been toying with the idea of taking an extended break from it as well. In the 10 years I've been on the site, I've never broken from it for more than a few days.

There was a time when I loved the site and the connections I made there but whatever benefits remained were being overshadowed by my frustration with many of my friends/connections who disappoint me with their pro-Trump* nonsense and conservative media talking-points that crumble under the slightest scrutiny. I always believed we were collectively smarter than this. I have no desire to waste any more time trying to convince people that Trump* is a racist, bigoted, thoroughly corrupt man unfit for any leadership role and that the Christian right is neither Christian nor right. This is much more than simply Republican vs. Democrat. This is about allowing a hateful and fearful ideology gain a foothold of acceptance, one that makes a mockery of the words enshrined on our Statue of Liberty where it reads: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I'll still be available through email, cellphone call, text messages, Instagram, my blog, or to enjoy a conversation over a hard cider at Celts if anyone is interested in catching up with me. And I'll still occasionally stop by a few of the cycling and stained glass groups I like to check in on. I've been mostly absent from the site for one week and honestly, I don't miss it. I'll see how it goes.

I had fun working on a different sort of stained glass project a few days ago. For a while now I've been wanting to do a sun-catcher in the vein of Piet Mondrian's artwork with its straight lines and striking contrasts in color. I drafted a few designs before settling on the one to the right.

I was concerned when I began assembling glass for the piece that the transparent colored glass I typically use for my projects wouldn't lend itself well to this style of art so I purchased some opaque glass to use instead. I'm glad I did. I couldn't be happier with how direct sunlight gives such brilliance to the colors in the glass. It's very striking. Here's a link to it on my Etsy site. If you go there, be sure to click on the photos for a higher resolution photo. My camera was struggling to focus in the bright sunlight.

Tammy goes in for hip replacement surgery on Thursday. She's been struggling a lot for the last 9 months or so with continued pain and sleepless nights. We miss our trips to the State Fair, an occasional walk around Lake of the Isles, or even the mall because she's in too much pain to continue after only 30 minutes. She's experienced temporary relief through steroid shots but those aren't the answer. She was loving her Zumba classes at Lifetime Fitness but she had to stop those last spring and confine her workouts to laps in the pool. We've got a bed set up for her on the main level in the den (thanks to Mark and Becky), a walker for her to use and some other gadgets (for picking up things without bending over and for putting on her socks) loaned to us by Alex who had the same procedure on one of his hips 7 years ago. It will be nice to have the surgery over with and working on her recovery. She's so overdue for her pain to be done.

I've been enjoying my indoor bike training more than ever now that I've been participating in group events on Zwift. They're a lot of fun and very motivating. Yesterday's Stage 6 of the Tour de Zwift had us climbing Alpe du Zwift, which is Zwift's version of the iconic Alpe d'Huez climb often featured in Le Tour de France. Zwift has made their version an exact replica of the actual mountain climb with all 21 switchbacks and gradiant to match the actual mountain. It's a daunting climb, but fun. It took me 55:07 to climb the 7.8 miles (12.6 km) with an average gradient of 8.1%. Once you begin the climb there's nowhere to hide. It doesn't let up at all until the top.

I've been watching YouTube videos lately while working on glass projects in the shop, and a channel that I've absolutely fallen in love with is GCN, or Global Cycling Network. They put together some excellent videos that I find both entertaining and informative. Have a look (below).

That's all I've got.

No comments: