Posted by: David | November 4, 2009

Sex Machine (or, Autumn Bike Ride)

I’m way overdue for a bike ride post am I not? I have this week off while my wife’s in SC visiting her friend. They will be competing in a 3-day combined driving event. With horses and buggies. Calling them buggies is improper and I do so on purpose. My wife loves horses and these events and has a great time. And I arrange vacation time from work to align with these trips of hers so that I can take care of our critters (1 horse 1 dog 1 cat) and enjoy some peaceful solitude. That seems to be getting more difficult as I age. Always considered myself to be completely bore-proof. But true idling has become increasingly difficult. What an idiotic complaint!

Right. Try THIS you stupid human. You people and your giant brains! Sheesh.

Sleeping in every morning has thrown off my early morning workout while watching TV news, but as these autumn days march toward winter, I’ve been able to get out and ride once the temperature gets above 48Β°F. Much cooler than that is just not much fun. So yesterday I rode up to Newbury and brought the camera along.


The popular and somewhat random graffiti along NH RT 103 in Newbury has had a sort of makeover. Over the summer it had been streaked with some kind of white paint or something that ran down over the letters. At one point I thought it might be bird droppings, but then realized that was not very likely because A) the rock face leans toward the viewer so any bird perched on the ledge would have troubleΒ  hitting the wall (except in extreme wind) and B) there are no local birds big enough to make that kind of mess. I bet some anti-chicken farmer revolutionaries shot white paint balls at it. Long story short(er), (why is phrase always used way too late?*) some kind soul has rather effectively framed the message in a nice red box. It must have taken some time to paint around all those letters. Thank you for doing that whoever you are.

I continued north to Newbury village, stopping at the public library where a friend of mine works. I asked her to take a couple of pictures of me in my ridiculously funky cold weather riding gear. She reminded me that denim and cotton socks were poor choices, despite having the chamois padded spandex on underneath. And tucking the pant legs into the socks may keep them from getting caught in the chainrings, but …Β  I didn’t mention that I was also wearing 4 layers of Techwick, because, well, who cares? The outermost layer is worn for its high visibility, this being deer hunting season. Any stray bullets should see that I’m not a deer and veer off.


Yes, I’m waving at YOU, Internet. Photos by Rosie.

After leaving the library I headed up to the Sunapee State Park. First the beach, where I’d hoped to see a flock of geese in the lake but didn’t, then to the mountain where preparations for the ski season are well underway. They’ll be starting to make snow any time now. And we should be seeing some natural snow soon as well. Hooray.

As I was framing this shot, the chairlift started up. Yet more proof that God exists.

So I was back home by 3:15. Time to do some more puttering in the garden. I replanted the bronze fennel plants that I’d ripped out the day before. My wife told/asked me on the phone that evening (rather emphatically) that those were perennials and why the hell did I do that?! I didn’t really have an answer, but the roots were fine so I pulled them out of the compost pile and planted them back at the ends of some of the beds. They would not have composted that well anyway. Sour grapes? Oliver was nearby as I worked, getting some quality time with our toy owl.

“You call this quality time? I have to sit on this rock all winter!”

I guess the owl’s not really a toy, but a sort of scarecrow. Guess I will bring him in for the winter. He can stay in the greenhouse.

In conclusion, The End.

Oh yeah, before I forget, the title of this post is just a sort of experiment to see if I get any more traffic. It has nothing to with sex or machines. Obviously. What were you thinking?

*For the same reason, as vermonter recently observed, that people say “not to change the subject” when they intend to do just that. Quirky colloquialisms.



  1. Great adventure, David. Now that’s a vacation! Glad you had a good one. The only ride I got during my workation was the riding my ass took to get more work done.

    Thx B&G. It didn’t feel very adventurous at all. I go back to work next Wednesday.

    I guess an ass ride is better than no ride at all?

  2. I thought I heard that God lived in New Hampshire…but I didn’t know he worked the ski lift. I am not sure of my status with the Big Guy and I am not sure that I’d like to tempt him by riding on his lift. We’ll… the lift is going UP…I am still not chancing that one.

    I would have to swear that I know the architecture firm that drew up that building in the picture behind you on the bike. I have build three buildings just like it…or at least I think that I have.

    That is enough for one comment. I will leave now.

    Hi MTAE, thanks for your measured comment. God doesn’t really live in NH, but keeps an address here for tax reasons. Live Free Or Die is our state motto. Yeah so the governor had to lay off a bunch of state employees and stuff, but we’re gonna keep that motto. I think it should be “Live Free Or Die Trying”.

    Oh and He won’t mind if you use the lift, just don’t touch his 4-wheeler. πŸ™‚

    The building behind me is the Newbury Town Hall, which was one of those bigger-than-the-original-structure additions. I think it was a school building originally. Perhaps it’s some kind of typical small town municipal structure that meets and exceeds all codes and shit? I’ve never been inside.

  3. Well, the title was a bit curious … πŸ˜‰

    But I love the autumn in New England pics. Remind me a lot of Oswego County, NY.

    Yeah, right? (As the kids are saying today …) It didn’t score me any extra hits or spam for that matter. Stupid title. Stupid.

    Glad you liked the pics. That’s the real mission here. Should be called Sights-0-Dave.

    Never been to Oswego County, but after checking the map I’m willing to bet that their winters are worse than ours. You spent some time there I gather? Looks like similar terrain judging by the tourist photos on the web. Thanks for commenting.

    • Yep, I spent three years in Oswego, NY, right on the lake. The worst of the snow usually blew over us and slammed the higher ground farther inland. Still, I think we beat Buffalo’s total one winter. Lake effect sucks.

      I can well imagine. About 5 years ago we had one massive snowstorm that dumped close to FOUR FEET of snow on us. I think our particular location gets the upper ranges of snow accumulations. But not like lake effect stuff. That sort of thing is what I use for my “could be worse” logic.

  4. Great pics! I’m glad to see the chilly weather hasn’t kept you in yet. I’m loving that jeans-tucked-into-socks look. πŸ˜‰

    Hey birdpress, thank you. I spent a lot of time inside today. Brrr. Thanks for your compliments on the ultra-dork look. It’s not a fashion statement that’s for sure. I’m way too cheap to buy those pricey cycling legging thingies. πŸ™‚

  5. Well, I know you donΒ΄t want to hear about it, but the title will get first day visits only for technical subjects where they read each other to keep updated. Instead of “sex machine” you should have said Ubuntu, Photoshop, or something even more alarming that you would know and I don’t.

    Anyway, it is funny to hear that you get bored when your wife is not around. That is really rare. Your wife is much to be admired (though not envied……….hmmmmm).

    And I am surprised she did not simply make a list of “Things to Do” and display it and two or three copies in several strategic places of your house plus one where the bike is kept.

    What do you mean I “don’t want to hear about it”? I LOVE hearing about it. Thanks for the suggestions. Ubuntu is a super-fun word (as well as a pretty nice system) and would be great in a post title. Better title than “Operating Systems”, which is what I’ve entitled a post I’ve been working on for a couple of years … it’s not ready to publish.

    Not really boredom. πŸ™‚ I am thankful that my wife does not make such lists for me. I had my own “Things to Do” list (a mental list mind you) but item #1 on that list is RELAX. #2 GO FOR A BIKE RIDE #3 Finish putting garden to bed for winter, and then a few more tedious chores after that. I think I’ve done pretty well with that list as this vacation comes to an end in a couple of days. 😦

  6. Does this painted owl really keep the birds away? If so, you should also try a Picasso version. That would be a new and amazing insight if birds understood cubism.

    If you don’t know of any Picasso bird, try Jacqueline or something by Picasso, because the difference is minor. If you don’t have a Jacqueline in your clip art collection, try a Picasso guitar, it is the same.

    That’s funny! A Picasso scare-owl. I would love one of those in my garden. And the unwanted birds don’t need to understand cubism, they just need to be afraid of it.

    I could say that fake owl works, but we don’t really have any bird-caused problems in the backyard garden beds. So the owl is “doing his job”. Item 17 on my mental to-do list: PUT OWL AWAY. Done! πŸ™‚

  7. Eh! I almost forgot.
    Tell your cat that if it were not for humans’ stupid brains, he would not be sitting in that chair.

    I know of a cat that belongs to a US law teacher who has mice in his house, because the cat can’t be bothered.

    Excellent point! Next time the cat cracks wise I’ll tell her that. I put those words in her mouth. She may not realize how much she depends on humans. Because her brain is very small. But she does a great job with the mice. She lives up to her name: Hunter.

  8. Well I definitely raised any eyebrow at your blog post title, wondering to myself what exactly you’ve been doing on your vacation! πŸ™‚

    PS: loved the denim/pro cycling look, you seem more “every man” this way πŸ˜‰

    PPS: OMG, I love cats with big puffy tails! Mine doesn’t have one so I feel “pet owner envy” (I mean he has a tail, just not a thick and bushy one…okay then)

    I know, right?! Stupid stupid title. Will I change it? Unlikely. But possible. Don’t usually edit posts after clicking PUBLISH, except in cases of typos, bad grammar, and other such errors … sex wasn’t even on my “Things to Do” list for this whole vacation!

    Thanks for your support of “every man”. πŸ™‚ Usually I’m just going for “any man” …

    Our cat Hunter is very proud of her tail. She takes good care of it and makes good use of it in her expressions. If she wore a cap, I’m sure she’d want a “Romi Likes Me” feather in it. Who wouldn’t? πŸ™‚

  9. It took me a while to read this because of the title! Oh I am such an old lady.

    Good for you maleesha. Good for you. Sincere apologies for the stupid title. Thanks for visiting anyway. I say you are a wise lady if and/or not an old lady. πŸ™‚

  10. I like the idea of the stray bullets veering off when they see your biking jacket. I will have to get something similar for my walks in the woods. It seems to be working for you. Enjoy your last couple days of vacation.

    Thanks LakeCrazy, today is the last day. Wahhh! It’s very overcast but warm enough for a bike ride. I hope that while I’m pedaling I’m able to psych myself up for returning to work tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  11. I love that rock. In my mind, it’s a romatic gesture from a woman to her man…who happens to be a chicken farmer. *sigh*

    Awwww, that’s sweet Allison. It took a fair number of years, but that romantic message to the chicken farmer has wormed its way into many hearts in Newbury, New Hampshire. It’s even featured on some town publications.

  12. @MTAE: I don’t think god *lives* at a ski lift; he just works there.

    @Dave: isn’t our motto was Live, Freeze and Die? And couldn’t you do an interim release of that OS post you’ve been sitting on (in multilayered techwick chamois pant-pads, no doubt)?

    and @Alison: nice shoes!

    Hey vermonter! I’ve seen that bumper sticker, but it’s contradictory logic has always bothered me. Live Free or Die Trying actually makes sense, though it rarely gets a laugh. Same thing with “Murphy’s Lawyer”.

  13. I thought you had already hung up your bike some weeks ago. I was surprised to see that because I did not know bikes have to be hung in winter.

    And I have been wondering whether you couldn’t create a lot of electricity be attaching a dynamo to your bike when you ……. in winter (I forgot the verb you use for “cycling on a static bike”.

    Especially in the big cities where people have to exercise on a static bike, this could be a real incentive and also fun to create electricity. I wonder whether I have not asked you about that before. I used to have a bike, mainly to go to school, and it created its own electricity. And wouldn’t it be easy to find out how much electricity you would create by exercising that way in winter? Things like kilowatts and joules, you know.

    I had hung up the bikes. But it’s easy to take them down. And they don’t have to be hung up, it just saves some floor space.

    Spinning to generate power is a wonderful idea. I’ve heard of people who do that. If I was a genius engineer I would develop a spinning bike to do that very thing. And I would develop some “green” storage batteries to save all that energy. And I know some cyclists who measure their work in watts. Some spinning bikes have such meters on them.

  14. You are the most extraordinary person. Seriously.

    *head swells* πŸ™‚

    No more extraordinary than the next guy. Seriously.

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