Posted by: David | July 28, 2008

Weekend Bike Rides & Stuff

My friend Bonnie and I took a nice little Friday afternoon ride. I mentioned her in a post last summer: “Charlie (sic) and The Talking Mime “. We ride together often. She’d spontaneously come up with the contradictory term “talking mime” somewhere up in Enfield. It struck us both as quite hilarious. She told me about an upcoming benefit performance she’s going to be doing this summer with Charley. Yup, I misspelled his name last summer. Now stand corrected. Charley and The Talking Mime are devout thespians.

So Charley and The Talking Mime are going to be doing a pantomime act in a benefit show for The Fells. She described what she and Charley would do in their hobo costumes. There was no dialog. She will be, this time, a “silent mime”. And all will be well as the Universe finds its peculiar rhythm and system. Selah! We have pretty fun conversations as we pedal along. We talk about everything. Science. Philosophy. This American Life on NPR. Our adult progeny …

We even talked about the Large Hadron Collider. Well I did anyway, and she politely listened. She is trained in the ways of science … “What is a hadron anyway?” she asked. “It’s a family of subatomic particles” I answered, “of which protons are members” (I looked it up later to confirm). They’ve gotten the thing almost all the way cooled down now (the particle beams will circulate in a supercold magnetic field), and may start shooting partial beams of particles in a month or so. No collisions are going to be happening until later in the fall, the LHC blog mentions. And blah blah blah on and on I went. The biggest machine ever built to study the smallest things knowable, etc. etc. Bonnie is a good listener- I love riding bikes with her! She asked the perfect question to wrap that topic. “Why are they doing all this? What applications are expected from these experiments?” There aren’t any! It’s pure research.

Don’t worry folks, it’s all for pure research!

The next day was pretty nice for biking too. Went with my friend Rosie and a friend of hers from Hillsborough. I was charged with routing. 50-ish miles desired. I described the brutal Eastman Hill that I’d experienced a few weeks before. These ladies were both strong and seasoned cyclists. Yup let’s go there. We left New London and rode down Pleasant Street (a mile or two of great downhill) to Wilmot and then up Route 4A. We detoured past the beautiful Shaker church, where a wedding was in progress.

The flower girls were doing dangerous stunts around the columns. Nobody noticed.

I thought I might be able to refill my water bottle, which was getting low. But no. A little further up was the La Salette shrine and gift shop. Water there? Maybe, though I didn’t want holy water. That would make me melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. Or perhaps I would projectile vomit like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Whatever happens when Jews drink Holy Water. BUT, there was this very retro phone booth in the gift shop parking lot.

To the left off frame is the gift shop. God regularly makes prank calls to this booth.

Please accept my sincere apologies on the preceding blasphemy. I really just liked the look of this phone booth. You don’t see them any more. It was only five miles or so before we reached the featured hill. And my water bottle was empty. Oh well. Luckily for us 50-somethings, we each had bikes with the 3rd “granny-gear” chainrings. We made it up (much heavy breathing and sweating) and down the south side of this little mountain (700 foot climb) to the promised land of Exit 17 on Interstate 89. Where we found Gatorade Fierce, Power Bars, bathrooms, and other such relief. We spent a few minutes recovering, then took off for the return trip to New London.

From Exit 17 we got on this bike path alongside Interstate 89.

We made it back to New London by about 3:30, and I got home by 4:00 which left enough time to mow the lawn, or most of it anyway. Also found some time to read some of my faveblogs and found this interesting gem at the Carrot Revolution blog. It’s a little weird but …

Sunday we went to a birthday party. A double birthday party- 6 year old boy and 4 year old siblings. The kids’ birthdays are only a few days apart so the double birthday party is a logical idea, except it seems to have some amplification effect on the gift load. There were SO many gifts and the gift opening proceeded in phases, Ten Thousand Wrapped Gifts, followed by bicycles, and then the Biggest Surprises Covered By Sheets In The Garage: 3-wheelers! Gas powered for the 6 year old boy and battery powered for the 4 year old girl. I suggested that while the kids were busy driving them around on the wet lawn they take a third of the smaller opened gifts and pack them away for xmas. The kids would never know! But of course this is illegal. It’s probably a Federal Offense, like opening someone else’s mail. But it was a fun party and I never saw the kids melting down once. This in spite of the stormy weather.


  1. Gift deferrals as federal offense? I believe it is…right along with reading the last page of a book first.

    “…the promised land of Exit 17…” That’s hilarious. Does everybody call it that, or just you?

    “Gift deferral”– that sounds much better! The recipient would get the gift, but later.

    The “promised land” is just me. It seemed apt as having had that monstrous hill climb then long coast down to the Exit, and, having run out of water, I was looking for an oasis. 😉

  2. Those silly flower girls… It’s too much temptation to be all dressed up and no one is watching! Let the shananigans begin!

    I know of an old phone booth nearby in the parking lot of a questionable convenience store – one of those places where the goods have 2-3 inches of dust? Now, I’ll have to go take a photo!

    Always enjoy your posts. Thanks!

    Yeah, there were 2 flower girls, but one was behind the column when I snapped. I think they were daring each other.

    That phone booth just looked anachronistic. Glad you enjoyed it too C! 🙂

  3. Can I please get a guided tour of that cyclotron in that picture please?

    Please? 😀

    Yes sir. Just let me put down my laptop …

  4. The Large Hadron Collider is sort of scary. What if they create a black hole and we all get sucked in to it?

    You know I hadn’t even noticed that those phone booths have all but disappeared. Do they even have public phones anywhere anymore? I suppose with everyone having cell phones they are not needed anymore.

    I would have thought a Shaker church would have been plainer.

    Is that garlic in the photo in your header? Did you take the photo?

    Gee, I seem to have a lot of questions today.

    Yes, my initial reaction to it was fear also. I’m still a little afraid of it. But we’re way overdue for the apocalypse anyhow, right? I mean how much crazier does this world have to get anyway?!

    Interesting point on the Shaker church. It’s really a magnificent building. The stone work on the inside is even more amazing. Guess them Shakers felt it was OK to go crazy where the House of God was involved, but what do I know? There ain’t no Shakers left to ask about that …

    Yes, the garlic was harvested from our garden and laid out on the Awful Pink-Colored Picnic Table in our backyard. Had a pretty nice garlic harvest! I won’t plant it so close together this fall now that I know how it grows. What a wonderful plant! It doesn’t flower.

  5. If you were to drink the holy water, and we all know how dangerous this would be to you for all the aforementioned reasons, we would be required to burn you to ash and pour you down the holy sink. What happens from there, heaven only knows.

    I bet the Pope knows too. I certainly don’t want to be burnt to ash so I guess I’ll try to stick with the just plain water. 😀

  6. I’m so in love with that phone booth. Is it okay for me to be in love with a phone booth? Because if it’s not, I could just like it a lot.

    I wish you could see the bike trails here. You would love them. Beautiful, gorgeous, and they stretch from Columbus to Cincinnati.

    Good grief– that party sounds like overkill. I wonder if those parents would adopt me?

    You and the phone booth can be “just friends” how ’bout?

    I would love those nice flat trails, though the hills of New Hampshire do guarantee a certain level of workout.

    The birthday party was really great, it’s just that there were too many presents. But maybe that’s just the way the kids do it nowadays. I don’t think they’re looking for any adoptions. They just got the cutest little boy kitty (from a boxful left in a supermarket parking lot) named Milo. He enjoyed the party too, and found himself needing a good nap halfway through …

  7. These phone booths still exist here, but they are mostly out of order. The immigrants from East Europe and from North Africa run their own “locutorios” where you pay something little to talk to your people on a computer.

    I do not understand why there was not any water. Don’t you have public fountains there? Or weren’t there any villages on that road? What is there in the center of a typical US image?

    Here there would be the church and the Mayor’s offices, typically on a square plaza lined by the houses of the town’s important families. And there would always be a public fountain.

    In many little towns these central plazas are really beautiful.

    I like that word “locutorios”. Nice profit center for entrepreneurs with internet connections.

    It is a little odd but this particular stretch of road doesn’t have many stores and no real village center either. I probably could have gotten some water if I’d put more effort into finding it. I figured I could make it to the next place where I knew I could rehydrate. Public fountains are a little rarer in places like this where we have fairly extended winters.

  8. The “locutorio” is run by an immigrant for other immigrants. I don’t think there is much money in it. He has to buy some kind of computer and pay for a connection.

    I think that in fact these locutorios are just places for the immigrants to meet and get the news from each other.

    Well that’s just fine. I still like that word “locutorio”. Thank you for bringing it in.

  9. […] would make more sense maybe when I point you to Thoughts-0-Dave’s post where he presents a pic of a photo booth…     I realized, as I drove away, that I maybe […]

    Thanks for the link C 🙂

  10. You said that you talk to this girl about that collider and she listened in silence, but finally asked what a collider was.
    Did she want to know when you began your explanations or only in retrospect?

    And do you know when that collider is supposed to start working again?

    Two things which I have had on my agenda for a long time and keep forgetting to ask you:

    Have you noticed “you want” used as meaning “you have to”? I saw it first in tower instructions to the pilot, often quite peremptory in intention, but I have now also seen it in online doctor’s instructions to patients.

    And from the Gary Olsen cartoons that I often use on my blog I saw “your son” said by the mother to the father and “your mother” said by the father to the son when there was some little anger in the air, as e.g. “Your son has been caught cheating in an ethics exam” said by the mother to the father when she had just received a call from the teacher. Do you know of this?

    This “girl” is a woman around my age who, as I mentioned in the post, is “trained in the ways of science” and knows molecules from atoms from subatomic particles. She wouldn’t have asked if she wasn’t interested. I do tend to over-explain things when not asked though. It’s a habit I’ve been trying to work on breaking.

    I read in the LHC blogs that they’re hoping to have some collisions this year, with the collider expected to be chilled back down to operating temperature by July 2009.

    LOL on “cheating on ethics exam”!! 😀

    Yes, I’m familiar with both of these vernacular forms ‘you want’ and ‘your child’.I use the ‘your dog’ reference when informing my wife of Oliver’s latest transgression. Neither of them is new, though I think the ‘you want …’ is newer than the ‘your child …’ reference. The ‘you want…’ I think may stem from some politically correct corporate psychobabble, but I don’t really know what the derivation is. Of course you didn’t ask that did you? 🙂

  11. Ah? But whose is the dog ?

    It’s my wife’s dog. She is the bringer of all household animals. HER DOG pissed in the back seat of my car last Sunday on our weekly trip to the town dump. I think he got overexcited while I was in the store picking up the Sunday newspapers. He must’ve seen something like another dog in another car or some children or something.

  12. I see. Now that’s a surprise. If this is so, then ¿is the cat yours? And if the cat is yours, then ¿why does he never get on this blog? Why is the cat kept in the background?

    I’m just asking.

    However, no. The dog got excited, but not because of another dog or children, but because he was waiting for the Sunday newspaper. And that is why he pissed on the back seat. Where should he have pissed instead ?

    Remember I wrote “She is the bringer of all household animals”? It’s true. I’ve never brought a single pet into our household. But you’re right, our cat Hunter doesn’t get the attention she deserves. The dog gets more attention because of his extroverted behavior. Yeah, maybe he wanted to read the funnies or start the crossword puzzle, but he should have pissed OUTSIDE of my car.

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