Friday, August 31, 2012

little adventures

if you're following my story at all, you know that i like to go out and do stuff. i like adventures. not base-jumping-globe-trotting-fate-tempting adventures, but the kind of adventure you have if you just wander around a little and leave yourself open to whatever comes.

so yesterday i was playing that game i play and another player asked casually in the chat when i was coming to visit her, because she had a big farm chore to do.

i'll come tomorrow, i said. i have the day free.

there's a lot of things i don't know about the world, but i imagine it is difficult to be in the middle of moving from your old farm to your new one in a different state and having to do a lot of the things on the new farm alone while your husband does a lot of the chores on the old farm alone and imagine that each new chore looms kind of large on that landscape and company would be nice.

i've never had a huge tent to put up on a new farm and i've never raised sheep or herded geese but i have been on the wrong end of tasks that just seem too big.

plus it's an adventure.

we had to figure out how to put up a huge army tent and do it plus there were sheep and dogs and turkeys and chickens and ducks to look at and it was a pretty day and it involved an exceptional roast beef sammich.

i'd show you pictures, but i;m too tired to upload them.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


i'm exhausted.

i;m mostly not talking about the Very Bad Thing, at least not to other people. i talk about it a lot when it's just me ranting.

and it tires me out.

but every day i go out and ride my bike, and that makes me feel better, because it is an awesome bike and the trails are awesome and me out on them? that's me being awesome. i was going to show you some pictures i took, but i'm too tired to upload them.

yesterday i went to a party and i saw some very cool things. i took some pictures, but i'm too tired to upload them.

my new orange jacket?


it's nine o'clock. i'm going to bed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

gun violence in north america

i'm going to say it up front: i'm a pacifist. i do not own a firearm. i am a foreigner in gun culture.

so of course i have a solution to the problem of gun violence.

the thing about societies with a high degree of income inequality and education inequality is that there's an increase in violence of all kinds as well as an increase of crime in general and a decrease in trust and security.

where there are a lot of poor people with few prospects and little hope, there's a lot of risk.

i want to live in a safe crime free neighborhood.

you probably do, too.

so let's work on the real causes of gun violence, ok? let's do something about illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and general lack of manners.

the second amendment is important. i don't trust this or any other government to preserve my civil rights. recent history demonstrates all too clearly how much government isn't really interested in civil rights, so without that right to bear arms, we're all at risk.

so all you gun nuts, go out and practice. know your safety rules and go to the range and make sure you understand your weapons and make sure you're a good shot. thank you for exercising my second amendment rights.

no, i don't think you all need fully automatic weapons for hunting, and i don't approve of drawing weapons as anything but a last resort.

i maybe wouldn't draw a weapon even as a last resort, but that's my privilege to make a principled stand.

pacifism and belief in second amendment rights do not rest easily together, but they balance each other thoughtfully and carefully in a world with real challenges and real dangers.

so you militiamen, you go out and do your thing. i'll sit out here and work on the lefty progressive politics.

i hope we'll meet in the middle, all of our civil rights intact.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

all i'm saying about it.

i voted today. in vermont when you go to vote in a primary, they hand you the ballot for all the parties (3) and you can only  vote one, but you get to choose every blessed time. you never have to tell them which primary you're voting in.

i vote in the democratic primary about as often as i vote in the republican primary because i feel it's important  to have the best slate of candidates to choose from in the general election. i can only ever recall voting a straight ticket once in the general election.

what i'm trying to say is that i don't approve of partisan politics for the sake of partisan politics.

and i will confess to having been a onetime ron paul supporter.

yesterday i heard a howlingly funny interview from the republican national convention. the reporter had a paul  delegate there and he had a few moments to say something about his candidate. what did he say in support of his man? no matter what, he's casting his vote for paul. "you can make fun of it all you want," he said, "but it's easy to spell."

Monday, August 27, 2012

firing line

so then the churchman turns to me as if i do not understand the terrible inconvenient position he is in and he says "if any of that is true, we have to fire the pastor".

well, now you get it.

my original intent has always been to have my dignity restored and my name cleared, but if the only way to do that is to go with the formal complaint which will require the firing of the pastor when it all comes out, i guess that's what we have to do.

the truth will set you free.

we are all about to be set free.

and i have documents.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

time machine

my parents have been divorced since 1982. each of them has been remarried for a long time.

my sister got married a long time ago. she's still married.

last night we all were at my dad's for a boat ride on the pontoon boat and dinner after.

and there we all were, the seven of us: me and my sister and her husband and my mom and dad and each of their current spouses in the sunshine on the water and for a couple of minutes i looked over and it was forty five years ago and my dad was young and dashing, with his young wife and tiny little daughters on the big boat with the teak deck on the hudson river.

maybe nobody noticed the time shift but me.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

most shocking hour on tv

dear television executives, producers, and screenwriters,

sometimes i watch dramas. sometimes i watch procedurals.

many of these shows involve the solving of crimes.

but here's the thing: what i like about the show is the interaction of the characters, the application of ideas and thinking skills to the presented problems, and dialogue that isn't cheesy.

i do not require for the bad guys to become more and more evil, the conspiracies to become larger and larger, or the corruption of the system to become more and more pervasive.

i certainly do not need the acts of violence to become more cruel and more graphic.

here is a secret about me and many other viewers: i do not need my television viewing to become progressively more shocking in order to retain my interest. i liked it just fine when interesting characters had interesting thoughts about situations and problems and in fact i am less likely to continue watching when you decide that what i want is for mind-blowing never-before thought-of shocking depravity and or amazingness.

see, the interestingness of a story does not rely so much on the shockingness of the acts depicted in it, but the quality of the telling.

when you take a perfectly good show and feel a need to make it "the most shocking hour on TV!" so i "won't believe what happens next!", what happens next is that i stop watching your show and go watch a documentary about how shoelaces are made.

so the next time you're in a meeting and you're asking the junior staff to punch it up a little and come up with something really fresh, how about taking a normal situation for this set of characters and following a reasonable story arc for them, but taking care to tell the story well?

because the next time i tune in to see a serial killer arranging for rival gangs of child pornographers to fill explosive schoolbusses filled with desperately sick children and make them travel the country killing convenience store clerks on their way to fighting each other in ritual death combat for underground pay-per-view that's hidden from detection because a secret cabal of law enforcement agents is working under the authority of a shady government anti-terrorist plot and everybody is about to get off on a technicality but then all the witnesses suddenly die in an arson fire, my patience will be sorely tested.

so just don't do it, ok?

love, flask.

Friday, August 24, 2012


there are rules to cycling jerseys.

really, it's just a shirt. but teams and clubs have their own shirts. and a club may draw from a diverse group of riders but everyone in the club can wear the shirt. if you are a sponsored rider, you are required to wear the shirt your sponsors give you.

some professional teams make available consumer versions of their team kit so that weekend riders can show their admiration for their favorite teams. there's even "sporn" (sports porn) that features hotties in team kit.

the UCI is very fussy about how their rainbow jersey is worn, but the basics are pretty much that in the year after you win the world championship, you wear your rainbow jersey in all sanctioned races in the specific discipline in which you won. if you are the road race champion, you may wear your rainbow jersey in stage races, excluding any time trial portion unless you are also the reigning time trial champion.

as the world champion your pro team makes you a special version of the rainbow jersey that incorporates your sponsors with the required design elements. there was a flap last year about mark cavendish and a rules violation involving the shirt.

once you have been the world champion, though, you are entitled to wear spiffy banding on the sleeve and collar of your regular uniform for the rest of your life.

moving down the ladder, there are jerseys for national champions and jerseys for specific races and a complicated set of protocols that vary in strictness according to how elite a rider you are, but the short version is that if i ever win a national championship, i will be entitled to wear a special version of my club jersey with spiffy banding on the left sleeve and collar.

i ride in a catamount cycling jersey. catamount has had its own shirt since before it was an official club and then it shared a jersey with the green mountain bicycle club during the merger years and now catamount isn't a cycling club but still has a shirt.

here's a picture of my catamount shirts up until the first year of the merger. not pictured is the second merger jersey or the new handsome shirt.

the one in front is my eastern cup championship series jersey, which i won in 2004. its design is based on the catamount red shirt.

i'm thinking about jerseys this week because wednesday night lea davison showed up to the race in her olympic uniform instead of her usual specialized kit, and everybody stood a little straighter.

there were a couple of guys there entitled to wear some fancy bands on their jerseys but it's a small d democratic race venue and current champions and former champions and maybe someday champions ride all together with housewives and schoolteachers and little girls and first timers.

we all put on our numbers and we all go around the course and we all trade stories after and at the end of the season they don't give us prizes for winning the race but for how often you show up.

i have shown up for every wednesday night race since 1999.

there's no official record kept, no prize and no special recognition from season to season, but i hold the record for showing up the most. it is an invisible crown, but one i wear proudly.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


sometimes i am so depressed i can barely move.

today is one of those days.

it's more of the Very Bad Thing, the thing i am not talking about, but i have been hungry for hours and if i had something i could eat without having to prepare it, i would have done. i am all out of ramen noodles. i have some cheese in the fridge, but i am not sure i want to have to unwrap and cut it.

sometimes things just suck.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

parking lot talk

if you thought the US team olympic cycling uniforms looked spiffy on tv, i can tell you that they look spiffy right up close and in person.

i think i mentioned to you that i have crossed paths with lea davison in the parking lot at catamount. i think i told you that along with her sister she runs a mentoring program for girls on mountain bikes.

tonight after our race (and i will want to tell you more about both that and cycling uniforms later) i went up to her and i had a few things to say to her. i'm only going to tell you my part of the conversation:

i want to thank you for your work.

we've only ever talked here in the parking lot and i only knew you as "that nice young woman who does little bellas". i had no idea who you were, even.

i cried watching you on tv. 

and i cried watching you come across the finish line tonight.

your work is important.

every time i see a fat woman on a bicycle i cheer. (i was well over 230 pounds when i started riding) every time i see a little girl on a mountain bike it makes me happy.

to ride a bike is to cheat death.

riding a bike is freedom. it is mastery.

and for too many of us, there is not enough of that in the world.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

mouse hole

so today i caught one of the contestants on my patio with a mouse.  a live mouse, trying to run away. so i said "all right. that's enough. this is MY patio and that is MY mouse."

and by this time the mouse had been chased under the fence and was lying exhausted in the grass on the other side. so i turned my best prey stalking manner on the cat. after a few rounds of "i'm standing crouched and motionless while you're looking at me and when you look away from me i move closer" he turned and ran.

then i turned back to the poor mouse, still lying exhausted on the grass. i wriggled under the fence on my belly to get to her. she looked ok, but she'd peed herself. i picked her up gingerly, and she didn't have the strength to bite.

out in the open is a bad place for an exhausted mouse, so i carried her back and put her in a hole in my woodpile. mice nest in there sometimes. i don't mind. mice are not allowed to nest in the house, but the woodpile is ok.

she rested there for a while and in an hour or so she was gone.

mice, left to rest, recover pretty fast. voice of experience.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


my neighborhood cats are engaged in a turf war over my patio.

i am sick of their stalking each other on my patio. i am sick or their competitive spraying on my patio and i am sick of waking in the night to their fights over and on my patio.

see, the key words in all those sentences are MY PATIO. i already know whose territory it is. it's mine.

i have been thinking about how to properly convey this concept in a language they understand and last week i was thinking that if i catch them each in their turn and pee on them, that is a message about territory and my possession of it that they will comprehend.

i have, however, settled on a different method.

i wish for the neighborhood cats to believe that they are on my menu.

you've all seen cats stalk prey, right?

well, i am now stalking them. when i see them i stare right at them, and very intensely. i move very slowly toward them, never taking my eyes off of them and when they look away, i move into better position. i wish for everything about my body language to say "i could use a little more protein in my diet and you look delicious".

today i did this with one of the contestants for the better part of an hour before he first slunk away to safer ground and then finally broke and ran away.

over the time of stalking i watched him change posture from challenging to merely confident to uncomfortable to nervous to retreating and finally running away flat out.

he came back a little while later to peer nervously around the hedge, but a few glaring stares and licking of the lips sent him away for the rest of the evening.

i am hoping to make my patio a place the contestants no longer wish to occupy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


yeah, well.

yesterday i was going to tell you about the pump track, but then there was the story of being on my back and flailing like a beetle, which seemed more amusing.

i've mentioned the pump track before or at least i have wanted to mention it.

it's a bumpy oval track, berms on the corners. the bumps are wavy and the track is smooth. the idea behind it is that you go in and you don't pedal if you can avoid it. you use your body weight and your arms to push and pull the bike and if you're very good at it and very strong you can not just keep your momentum but actually gain speed.

if you are a very fit person you can go around and around and around.

i am neither very fit nor very good at it, but i can get around it twice most days and three times on a good day before i have to rest.

in other news involving pumps, my rear shock still does not hold air like i need it to. and i was having something weird happen and it was hard to get air into it and i was wondering what was going on so i let the air right out of it, just to see how it pumped up from nothing.

i did pretty well up to 100 psi, but then the going got slow. and i had already done a lot of pumping, so the next 80 pounds went in hard. and now my hands and arms are sore. it's nothing that won't sort itself out with a good night's sleep, but i am tired. that good night's sleep is goign to start an hour or two ahead of the usuals.

Friday, August 17, 2012

bottoms up.

so today i had an awesome ride.

this wednesday, the last bike race of the season, will be on the blue course so according to my rules (which i make up) i only had to ride the blue course.

that's because the rules for my ride are that if i'm able i have to ride one lap of the upcoming course and then either one of each of the other two, or two of one of them and then if i feel like it i can do other stuff.

and since the blue is my favorite and since the only one left is blue, i rode four laps of the blue, which is 20k, and farther than i have been able to go all at once in a couple of years, so i was feeling MIGHTY.

i even cleaned two laps of it, which means cleaning ridge run, which even in a good year i don't clean often. really, who am i kidding? in a good year most of the time i have to get off and walk ridge run.

(jargon alert: to clean a thing is to ride it without having to foot down or brace against trees.)

so i was feeling VERY MIGHTY.

and then i took a few laps around the pump park (that sounds like a boy thing, doesn't it?) and i took a couple of pix of that thing because that's really what i was going to tell you about today but then i went over to the other pump track and got to the far corner and then suddenly just fell over on the steepest part of the little embankment.

it was totally not a big deal, because i fall over a lot and i'm a very good roller. you start to figure out if you do it enough mostly how to keep your tangly bits from tangling and your fragile bits from breaking.

and i landed decently, too. not even hurty.

but then the terrible truth settled: some of my weight was resting on my bike.

which was on top of the rest of me.

...head down and with my legs sticking up in the air, unable to be brought down on account of my abs just aren't strong enough to lift my legs and unbend my body when i'm lying head down underneath a bicycle that i'm also holding down.

so for a couple of minutes i just stayed put, trying to figure out what parts ere going to have to get moved in order to get up.

to recap: i am lying on my back, with my head downhill on a little steep bank of loose dirt and my legs are hanging above my face and i don't have the core strength to bring them back where they belong without rolling to one side or the other which i can't do, because i am tangled up in a bicycle.

after a few minutes i figure that if i can untangle my right arm a little i can push the bike away from me, but this only causes the bike to start to move in a way that starts to pull parts of my body away from other parts in a fashion that is most unsatisfactory, so then i have to try to return the bike to its original stuck position so i don't go sliding the rest of the way down the dirt.

by this time it's a little uncomfortable.

but what am i thinking? i'm thinking i wonder if i can reach my camera...

turns out i can't.

and mark is in the parking lot, so i holler to ask him to come help me up, but it tuns out that that little corner of the track swallows up sound and even though i'm shouting pretty loud (and flailing like an overturned beetle) it does no good.

and then i realize that although i can't reach my camera, i CAN reach my phone, so i call the shop and ask shop girl to come help me up, which she does right quick.

but not before i ask her to take a picture of this.

you know.

because if you have to be rescued from a humiliating position from which you cannot move, it's best to have a picture of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

shock and awe

i think i mentioned to you that i recently bought a bike. i thought when i got it the rear suspension was spongier than i wanted it, but i figured to adjust it. no biggie, right? so then after the crash i pumped up the shock, because it was spongy. and it was nice and snappy until i rode it. and then it wasn't snappy. it was saggy and the shock was only holding 150 psi. i weigh 200 pounds, so i ought to be riding that shock at about 180, give or take a little. but i don;t know a lot about shocks, so i tested and repumped and had someone else test and check it but it holds 150 psi and that's it. into the shop. out of the shop. the took the shock apart and found nothing but dry seals, lubed the seals and sent me home with it. then more leaking to 150 psi. back to the shop. they replaced the shock. two days riding, and it's spongy! another shock dropping to 150 psi. i am getting frustrated. if a shock doesn't hold air, it should not hold air, not just not hold any air over 150 psi. if one shock does that, it's a freak thing. if two shocks do that, it's a challenge to my concept of reality. what is going on????

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

good dog

i was going to write about something else, but i;ve had a beastly day and a friend just sent me this asesome video of her and her dog.

i hope you like it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

cause and effect

my car smells a lot like i keep a half dozen pairs of athletic shoes in the back seat.

i have no idea why.

Monday, August 13, 2012

hill o' beans

in the world of glitch, i am obscenely wealthy. this is a nice change from real life.

i have always made most of my money from selling raw materials in the auction house. most people think the money is in more complicated things, but it costs you next to nothing to wander around the world gathering beans and cherries and bubbles and such and although you can't sell them for much, you can sell a lot of them for a little, and volume adds up.

beans are nominally worth 1 currant. you can sell them on auction at a daily average price of 4.8 currants, and often as high as 6.

in  my early days when i didn't have money and needed it quick, i used to sell beans on auction for two currants under going price. i made a LOT of money doing it.

but other player would speak to me, insisting that i should sell at higher prices, mostly because they wanted THEIR beans to sell at those higher prices. and sometimes they would appeal to my sense of greed by explaining to me as if i were terribly naive that other players were only going to buy my cheap  beans and turn around and resell them at higher prices.

"fine," i said. "then two of us can get rich off of the same beans and not just me."

the thing was at the time i needed money and i needed it quick.

now i can afford to buy hundreds of thousands of beans at 3 and wait until i can sell them at 6.

and someone out there still needs that money quick.

here's a thing: if you think my prices are too high, feel free to undersell me and you can control prices. if you think my prices are too low, fell free to buy my underpriced beans and sell them at a price that suits you better.

if you can't do either, get out of my way.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

you shouldn't eat it.

this is a lobster mushroom.

it is a parasitic species that grows on other mushrooms. it is reported to be delicious.

the tricky bit is that it takes on the toxicolgy profile of whatever species it's growing on AND it completely consumes its host, making it nearly impossible to tell what the host species is.

so maybe completely edible and delicious, maybe totally deadly and still delicious.

i wouldn't risk it. you probably shouldn't either.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

soooo-eeee! pigpigpig

so today i watched the 'lympic mountain bike race. i was going to talk about that but afterward i went for a little ride and my hurty foot has cleared up and a couple of days on the sofa seem to have done wonders for my ride (note to self) but i didn't want to push things and came in after only doing a lap of this weeks course and a lap of next week's course.

...which put me in the parking lot as the wedding guests were arriving. the venue is often used as a place for weddings and such, so that's nto unusual.

what was unusual about this was that both sides of the family were from away. as in from MA and CT away, and heaven only knows why the happy couple (who do not live here) decided they should get married in a meadow in vermont.

i heard a few of the guests talking about the having been warned not to wear spiky heels and being somewhat in disbelief that there wasn't a path or patio or anything, and i hear one say "and that's a real barn there. not even a refurbished one with a dance floor or anything. not to be mean, but it's an actual barn."

i nearly peed myself laughing.

so you can imagine how fully hysterical it became when the pig came trotting down the road.

a passer-by asked me if she was a pet, and if she was supposed to be there.

"her name is bacon", i told them, and she doesn't belong in the road.

one thing was for certain, though. we had to catch the pig, because even if folk wisdom says it's good luck if a runaway pig crashes your wedding none of us thought the wedding party or guests would have enjoyed a visit from the pig.

since i was still on bike, i herded her in the general direction of eric and lucy, who had a rope and a bucket of feed.

it's like bike polo, only with a pig.

yes, bike polo is a sport.

it is, too. they play it.

anyway, we got the pig into the barn, but she slipped right on out.

she is a clever little pig, and quick. i have not spent a lot of time around a lot of pigs, but i know from experience that some pigs are mean and some pigs are ornery but this pig was just having the best time. if pigs laugh, this one was laughing.

at first she was nervous about me and my bike, but then she decided she liked it and came over and snuffled my tire and brakes and then it was my turn to be nervous, because she looked like she might like to take a little taste of that front tire.

i reached down and scratched her ears.

and then we managed to get her over near the pigpen and eric thought the pig liked my bike well enough to follow it in, so he just put it in there and she scrambled in after it.

ten minutes later the sky opened up and the rain came down and the wedding party- (sans tent- who has a wedding without a tent on a late summer afternoon in vermont???)- the wedding party fled.

ten minutes after that the pig was loose again.

we decided not to care.

Friday, August 10, 2012

sofa king

today was another day on the sofa.

i thought of getting up to take a gentle ride, but then it started to rain very very hard.

maybe another rest day will be good.

tomorrow is the olypmic women's montain bike race.

i am excited to see it.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

new records

i'm now forty-nine hours past the sting.  for a little while i'm just letting the reaction go without the ice while the swelling isn't too big and the heat isn't too much. my line of reasoning (and please correct me if i'm wrong) is that the ice slows down the reaction, whatever it is. it's important to slow that reaction to keep the swelling reasonable and the heat down, but two days into it it's not worse without the ice than it was with the ice yesterday so i'd just as well let the thing play out and be done with it.

i spent most of the afternoon sleeping.

there will be some ice a little later.

according to awesome internet diagnosis, apparently this is what they call a "large local reaction".  i think i'm just going to go ahead and call myself allergic to bee sting, though. some of the fun internet sites advise immediate medical attention  for a reaction that takes up your whole arm and some tell you it's not that big a deal. some of them say you should run, not walk to a doctor even if you only have one symptom on the list for full allergic reaction, but i'm still two days out and at this point there's nothing to do but wait it out anyway.

it's hard to describe the "i'm having a reaction" feeling. when it happens to me i just can't get comfortable. all of my joints feel itchy and i keep getting up and lying down, as if i just need a little air, or as if stretching will shake it out, or as if having a drink or eating some pretzels will make the full-body feeling of "nothing in particular but everything in general is wrong" go away.

i never really put the pieces together until afterward.

in other news, since the olympics started my television has been firmly tuned in to only channels that are carrying the olympics. the only exception to this is that i watched an MLS game that came on an olympic channel and the revs were playing, so i wanted to see it.

but at this point it feels like some kind of event in itself, watching hours of olympic coverage and nothing else every single day, both on tv and streamed live online.

it's not all i do; of course i get out and ride my bike. but today there's the stupid bee sting and the hurty foot and my bike is in the shop for some work on the rear shock, which apparently wasn't well-sealed from the factory but it's all better now and tomorrow i'll need to ride else i will go out of my head.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


last saturday i rode, but my legs felt bad. sunday i was going to ride, but the rain came and my legs felt bed, so i spent the day on the sofa, watching olympics and napping.

monday morning i woke up strangely lame in my left ankle. it's not tendinitis, because there's no tendon there. full range of motion, but hurts in some directions. hurts to bear weight in some positions. hurts to walk, hurts nearly not at all to ride.

so i rode monday afternoon. it was a good ride. my legs felt really good, but i didn't want to go more than three laps (15 k) so i didn't tank for tuesday's run.

back up in timeline.

saturday on the trail i found a new nest of bees, or some ground dwelling wasp, or whatever. i wasn't prepared to identify them conclusively and although they looked like a thing that might be sting-y, i was not prepared to test that empirically.

but i went into the house and drew a map so they could exterminate, because one thing they do not want is a nest of bees on the racecourse.

monday the bees appeared to be gone.

tuesday i came early to ride my bike because with my foot all hurty and everything i knew i wasn't going far in the run and didn't want to give up a whole day of exercise and i was sitting there talking to jim and he said they hadn't been able to find any bees and right then is when the first runners came back reporting multiple stings on the course so after the runners were done i took some flags from the barn and went out to mark the nest.

and got stung.


it is now a full day later and i am apparently in the middle of what we'll call a moderate alleregic reaction.

overnight and for most of the day i've had it on ice, but even under the ice pack my arm is pretty hot. when i take the ice packs off the swelling increases, along with the pain.

i raced tonight, but halfway through the lap i stopped feeling my left hand, presumably on account of the swelling.

it's back under ice.

maybe i should have been scared-er while i was tossing and turning and not sleeping last night. i get a weird full-body uncomfortableness that i can't quite place but in retrospect i've felt a lot like that every time i'm having a bad reaction.

by "bad reaction", i mean that once i required ambulance transport. twice i might have required ambulance transport, but i was already in a hospital, so no point in rolling truck.

in a few minutes i'll toss back some more benadryl and take my cooler of ice packs up to bed.

i know at least one of you will wonder if i have an epipen.

yes, i do. if i had been wheezy or my lips had been numb, i would have used it.

ice and benadryl seem to have a lid on it. the pain and heat has not left the arm and is still mostly in the forearm. since the ice is back on it the swelling is down some and i can feel my left hand again.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Monday, August 06, 2012

hadleigh farm

i don't know about you, but i am very excited to watch olympic mountain biking.

i am afraid that nbc will not carry it very well and i won't see it, or won't see much of it.

i mean really, boxing?

and i do not really understand race walking. they're going so fast, they need judges on the ground to make sure nobody actually has both feet off the ground at once. oh, fer pete's sake. run already. is this sort of the equivalent of having a kayaking event for which judges make sure only half your paddle blade goes in the water?

somebody feel free to alert me to fine points i have not considered.

anyway, i'm excited about the mountain biking. i have been looking forward to seeing what that course looks like, and happily, there is some video of test events on that course and some nice ride-arounds.

here's one.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


i want to tell you an andy bishop story.

in 2000, at the end of his professional cycling career, he was sponsored by gary fisher/ saab. it was his job to ride around in team kit and stuff.

and i think i remember that was a big year for hatwipes not really involved in sports teams buying expensive team cars and driving around in them as if they'd actually been part of the team.

that year there was also a gary fisher/ saab commercial with the team car driving off into a pretty sunset, and one evening i was on route two and a car JUST LIKE THAT turned left and went down french hill and i thought "who does that self-important twit think he is? andy bishop?"

and then i realized that he was actually andy bishop, and that he was paid to drive that car.

oops. hi, andy.

and when he got the actual end of his pro career, he had all this stuff left over from sponsors, stuf he had been paid to wear and use but you can only keep so much stuff, equipment and clothing with all the brand names on it, so one wednesday night at a race he brought in racks and tables of the stuff and had his retirement garage sale.

it was good stuff, too, pro gear that hadn't been used very long and clothing that was a great deal if you were the right size and on one of the tables i found a nice shirt that fit me, with the gary fisher/saab logo embroidered on it and it's sporty, but something you could put on after a race and go into a restaurant with and look pretty decent.

and of course i had brought a sharpie, because there's no fun in an andy bishop retirement garage sale if you don't get andy bishop to autograph what you buy.

and this is the funny part, the part that tells you what kind of guy andy is. we went to him with our newly purchased shirts and our sharpie markers and andy took the shirt i was asking him to sign and he looked up and said "you know this is permanent marker, right? it won't come out in the wash."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

you gotta have heart

i know who wrote this on the back of my car.

if you are following along AND you have any detective skills, you know who did it, too.

it made a difference in my day.

Friday, August 03, 2012

more from AT&T

today i got three -count them- THREE text messages from AT&T asking me how satisfied i was with my customer service interaction of a couple days ago.

now, i don't pretend for a minute that just because i put it here in my blog and both of you are aware of it that the message got back to AT&T.

and even though i tweeted it, i still don;t expect AT&T to have known how grossly dissatisfied i was with their service.

i DO, however, expect them to know about it because while i had them on the phone (they're the PHONE company, right?) i made a point of telling them both at the beginning and at the end of the conversation how very displeased i was.

i am probably more amused then rather than disappointed and surprised that today they would have sent me THREE text messages asking me how pleased i was with their service and how likely i am to recommend it to friends.

on a scale of 1 to 10?


the one point is because out here there are a lot of places where AT&T is the only option, and in that case i guess i'd recommend them over no service at all.

why do we give you crappy customer service? because you don't have a choice.

new slogan:

AT&T. your only alternative. expect to be treated that way.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

ineffective protest

according to many news sources (apparently this thing is getting some national attention), a farmer in the northeast kingdom today went down to the sheriff's department and drove his giant tractor over half of the fleet of police cars, destroying them.

if you would like to read the freep's account of it, it's here.

why did he do such a thing? apparently he was angry that he was arrested last week for both marijuana possession and for resisting arrest.

i'd probably be pretty irate over being busted for for pot on account of i'm in favor of legalizing marijuana. i don't use pot, and i don't approve of most of its use but also i think the drug laws in this country and about marijuana in particular are disastrously harmful.

and i'm largely not in favor of the general trend these days of police powers and the erosion of civil rights, so i can understand being hacked over the arrest, maybe.

i wasn't there. i don't know the circumstances.

but even if the arrest was an outrage, the best response is probably not to take a giant tractor and roll over seven police cars, thereby destroying them.

because last i checked, large scale intentional destruction of property was a pretty serious crime and no matter how much of a hatwipe the arresting officer might have been, you do not get a free pass to destroy seven police cars, even if you are really, really mad.

and i don't know what the guy could possibly have been thinking. it takes some time and effort to drive a giant tractor into town and over seven police vehicles. and everybody SEES you do it, so you KNOW they're going to arrest you for that and if you thought you did not enjoy the first arrest, you will almost CERTAINLY not enjoy the next one.

yep. drive over their cars.

that'll show 'em.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

AT&T customer service fail

i received this message from AT&T:

The protection of our customers' privacy is of utmost importance to the employees and management of the AT&T family of companies (AT&T)*. Please take a moment to read the following important message about the privacy of your customer information. 

AT&T companies that provide telecommunications and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service (which permits VoIP customers to both send and receive calls to/from customers with traditional telephone/telecommunications service) would like to share your customer proprietary network information within the AT&T family of companies for our own marketing purposes, including using that information to offer you additional products and services. 

What is CPNI? Your CPNI includes the types of telecommunications and interconnected VoIP services you currently purchase, how you use them and the related billing for those services. CPNI does not include your telephone number, your name or your address. Protecting the confidentiality of your CPNI is your right and our duty under federal law. As an AT&T customer, you can restrict the use of your CPNI even within the AT&T family of companies. 

To allow AT&T to use your CPNI, no further action is required. AT&T will not use your CPNI to offer you other products and services until at least 33 days after this notice was mailed to you. AT&T and our authorized agents will not sell, trade or share your CPNI with anyone other than those who are in the AT&T family of companies or are AT&T authorized agents, unless required by law. 

If at any time you would prefer that AT&T not use your CPNI to offer you additional products and services, you may: 

    - Click here to submit your request electronically
    - Call 1.800.315.8303 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and follow the prompts
    - Call 1.800.288.2020 and speak to a service representative
so i went to the website and logged in to submit my request electronically. it should be easy, right?

it's a short form. i checked the little box that said "restrict my information" and i got this message:

ECPNI0112: We're unable to find your account. Please call a representative at 1.800.288.2020.

why am i not surprised this didn't go through?

so i called the number it told me to call. the very long messaage told me that if i was calling about service arkansas, kansas, missouri, oklahoma, texas, i should press 1. for service in california and nevada, press 2. for service in connecticut, press 3. it went on like that until i was out of options and they still hadn't named my state.

i should hang up, they tell me, and call a second number. to hear all the options again, press the star key.

i pressed the star key so i could get this right to tell you about it.

does it repeat the very long menu for me again? no, it does not.

it puts me in the hold queue. i did not hang on to find out how long that would go on. now i will call the number again and pay attention to what number i should call.

(woo, real time blogging)

i am now wading through the long menu.

long computerized menu. and they can't find my account. there are no options for what i need. i press the button for all other options. i am sent through six- count them- SIX layers of automated hell before they offer to connect me to another number. 

at this new number i have to go through an additional automated system of three different layers and now i am on hold. my estimated time is one minute.


three minutes...

the call center representative is very lovely and full of apologies for my frustration and it takes her an additional four minutes to get the thing sorted out.

total time elapsed, twenty minutes.

why? because the freaking PHONE COMPANY can't get their PHONE system right.

i am inclined to believe that if the little box i had wanted to check was "yes, please. sell my personal information to anyone you want", that little beauty would have gone off smoothly and they'd have been able to find my account.

but then again, if you don;t want them to sell your information, you don't have to do a thing.  you can just sit there and say nothing and your silence is taken for assent.

get bent, AT&T.


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