Monday, June 15, 2020

I Sometimes Wonder, and Meet Pepper Jack

When I was stationed in San Diego in the mid '70s, I strolled into a 7/11 one night and purchased The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. I wasn't into politics but considering how Nixon had been forced to resign just a few years earlier, the book intrigued me. I brought it home with me while on leave and my dad noticed it. "What are you reading that for?" he queried. I actually thought he'd be impressed because I believed he was more conservative than not, being a financial manager and subscribing to the Wall Street Journal. I didn't give it much more thought. Years later I was driving in my car with my dad on our way to the driving range at Southern Hills Golf Course when I excitedly told him about a new guy I was listening to on the radio: Rush Limbaugh. I tuned into Rush's program and was somewhat surprised again that my dad wasn't showing any interest in something I thought would appeal to him.

My dad may have at some point been a conservative but those days were clearly over. Rather than support more progressive candidates, though, he instead chose to be cynical about them all. I regret not having taken the initiative to probe his mind more than I did, to get beyond his cynicism.

The last year of his life was spent glued to the OJ Simpson murder trial. He passed away in September 1995, three weeks before Simpson was acquitted. My dad would not have been happy.

I sometimes wonder what he would've made of our politics today.

I've got a new favorite walking route. It's an 8.05 mile (13 km) walk that I like to do at least once each week. It's the perfect distance for me. And here's a typical week of walks for Charlie. I let him choose the direction our walks take us. Like Toby when I used to have him lead our walks, Charlie does a nice job of varying each day's direction.

My Pixel 2 cellphone disconnected from my car's Bluetooth last week and appeared to be trying to reboot but it couldn't get beyond the startup screen. I got home and researched online for a remedy—none of which worked. We used to replace our phones every two years but since retiring nearly 5 years ago, we're reluctant to replace them as often. I was hoping to pull 4 years from my Pixel 2 but I've had to abandon it at 3 years and 3 months. A tech I spoke with said it's likely a faulty motherboard and wouldn't be worth the cost of replacing it.

Our new Pixel 4 XL phones arrived on Saturday which means we're in the early stages of learning the myriad of features they possess, most of which I'll likely forget about and never use. Rachel suggested we watch the various YouTube videos available to learn our phone's features. She upgraded a while back to the same phone.

Speaking of Rachel...she and Drew have a new addition to their family. No, it's not a grandchild for us but a close 2nd. Meet Pepper Jack! He's an adorable Shih Tzu with a feisty personality all his own. We brought Charlie with us when we went to see him a week ago. It was so cute to watch Pep (as Rachel calls him) follow Charlie around. Charlie had to jump up in my lap to get away from him. He's a keeper!

I had my fat-bike in the shop for the past month to have some maintenance performed that's beyond my ability—bleeding the brakes. All of the bike shops are backed up about a month for maintenance requests. I was asking a friend who used to own a shop why it is the local bike shops are reluctant to hire more mechanics. He said it comes down to bench space to work on the bikes. They just don't have enough of it to accommodate more mechanics. That makes sense I suppose but I would think they would factor that into a shop's layout during the planning stages for the business. I think the next time I need my brakes bled, I'll purchase a bleed kit, watch a few YouTube videos and take on the maintenance myself. It can't be that difficult.

I got in a good mix of both gravel and singletrack riding this past week. Variety is important to me as it helps keep fresh my desire to ride. So far this year, walking the links is mostly taking a backseat to my other activities. I've been playing some but not as much as in years past.

I was commenting in a post to Facebook recently that riding the singletrack trails at Murphy-Hanrehan is where I feel most alive. There's nothing in my world that does that for me the way singletrack riding does. I have to exercise caution, though, because of my bleeding disorder (I'm on a blood thinner) but oftentimes it can be difficult to rein in my desire to push my limits. The video below is from my ride at Murphy last Thursday evening. The subsequent videos are from rides since I last updated my blog.

That's all I've got.

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