Posted by: David | May 20, 2010

May I Continue?

Way overdue for a post. But May has been so busy! Thank goodness I have the last week of the month off to vegetate.

Speaking of vegetation … backyard garden is all mulched and ready.

On May 8th was the college’s commencement ceremony. It was nice, as always. The weather was very sucky though, cold and rainy. But the weather never seems to dampen the spirits of the graduates …

The entire class of 2010 sits for a quick photo before processing out to collect their degrees.

It’s now been two weeks since the graduates left campus. Enough time for the vacuum of silence to subside. The first day back to work after commencement is always bittersweet, the tumbleweeds blowing through the parking lots, and occasional cricket chirps … The students bring such life force to the campus, even when you see them all tired and stressed, carrying backpacks and coffee cups at 8 a.m. to their classes, texting on their cell phones … you really miss them right after they all leave for the summer.

May got so busy that I missed riding my bike for a few weeks. I made up for that last Sunday. My wife and I had a little “discussion” over how to handle the debris from a poplar tree that fell right into the horse riding ring at the bottom of the pasture. She had arranged for some guys to come with a truck and move it where she wanted it to go, and I said that was stupid and we should just pitch all the stuff I’d chainsawed up over the rock wall where all the stumps and trash from the pasture making process was placed. I said I was going to go and do just that. She said I was going to go for a bike ride. Couldn’t really argue with that. So I left at 10:30 and rode up to the Newbury Library to visit my friend Rosie. We resolved to try to ride together some time during my time off. I continued east, intending to visit the kids’ new house. It was a perfect day for riding. I stopped in Andover at the CircleK for a turkey and cream cheese sandwich. It was better than it sounds. I was hungry.

As I got to the road where the kids’ house is, I was getting tired. 42 miles or so. Downshifted to the granny gear and my chain slipped off. A comical little spin of the pedals and I flopped over, unable to unclip in time … damn and ouch. But I was able to get back on and continue up the Little Hill. As I came up the driveway, my son-in-law and his buddy didn’t see me until I was about 100 feet from them. They were taking a break from laying the hardwood flooring. I startled them. My son-in-law said that my hi-vis biking jersey was not very effective … they were just tired from the hard work …

They got a pretty nice deal on this Bruce pre-finished cherry flooring.

The utility company came and connected up the electric power today. Things are really coming along nicely. They’ll be moving in before they know it. I watched them nailing flooring down for a few minutes, using an air powered nailing gun run by a compressor and generator. It was a noisy process, but the floor looks beautiful. The entire first floor will be this lovely hardwood.

I left and headed into the Blackwater flood district, going down the road I’d come across a month before, getting wet. My touring bike handles the dirt roads pretty well, but requires extra alertness where the sand gets deep. Soon I hear a vehicle coming up the road behind me and it’s the guys. The generator ran out of gas and they needed to get some. I was tired enough to ask them if they were going to Warner, but they weren’t. So I continued on … and they came up behind me again a little further on. My son-in-law said he felt bad leaving me to ride on this nasty dirt road so they’d turned around and decided to get the gas in Warner after all. Threw the bike in the back of the pickup and squeezed in next to the guys. Saved me 5 miles of nasty bumpy riding. I still had some miles to go to get home, and as it happened I hit 53 miles almost exactly as I pulled into my driveway. Which is just great. Because in a couple of weeks, around my birthday, I will need to ride my age. Which will be 54. Also known as nine times six.

That’s pretty much all I got for now. Except for this photo of the dog. We got a new couch today. And he’s not allowed to get on it. I wonder how long that will last.

Wait, what? Is something happening to this couch?


  1. Excellent picture of Oliver!

    Thanks underground! He’s still not allowed on the new couch.

  2. That seems like a very impressive day. Much better than hauling debris!

    It’s a day where the pomp and circumstance come down to earth. Funnily enough, after the ceremony and the reception, the graduates and their family have to haul debris out their dorm rooms for the last time. It happens fast. The tumbleweeds are blowing through the parking lots by 4 pm.

  3. The doggie is foreshortened. Now he looks like me trying to figure out the Google logo. Do you know? A game called PacMan. And do you know: in the whole wide world , there isn’t even one who would explain how to play this game.

    What is really ominous about that is that absolutely everybody believes that this game is universally known. I even found one who said that anyone needing explanations on how to play this game had better throw his console down into the street. My console! Never even seen a console.

    Yesterday I spent 40 minutes searching. Today, after swearing that I would not spend another second on it, I spent more than an hour. No way. I found the names of some of the icons, and elsewhere I saw that they were to be operated with the A,S,W,D keys but nowhere did it say what I had to try for or how.

    Yes, doggie is foreshortened. You should see how he likes the new couch. He’s not allowed to get on it.

    Regarding PacMan, I was never much of a gamer. 30 years ago people pumped their pocket change into large machines and used a joystick to drive the yellow muncher around the maze, devouring as many yellow dots as possible and avoiding the ghost-like thingies, which kill the muncher. It seems to be the way with video games that the object of the game is not well explained, assumed to be too obvious or something like that. Essentially they’re self-hypnosis devices and time wasters, like playing solitaire. It’s kind of funny that you ended up wasting your time trying to find out what the point of the game was. 🙂

  4. Cantueso is having a bad day :o( WikiPedia’s article on Pac-Man is pretty good, but in the end it all comes down to eating the dots. That’s all! Dave, thanks for posting the video of the pro-cessing graduates. I hope your vaycay is excellent. I started my sabbatical by breaking a back tooth in half on a rye-crisp, but the village dentist is booked thru til june 7. If I am lucky, somebody else will cancel next week and i will go down there, open my mouth and mutter “So King me!”

    Thanks vermonter! Yeah pacman is a game of consumption. Damn that rye-crisp! I recommend a crown of gold! I hope your dentist visit is successful and that this doesn’t bode ill for the rest of your sabbatical. I’m gonna go ride bikes now! 🙂

  5. Ah! See, you unwittingly gave me a new lease on life. I didn’t know the yellow thing that you call a muncher could move.

    I had also not understood that he had to try and travel through the maze. In fact I had hypothesised that the muncher had to eat those thingies, because it looked to me like he always had his mouth open and they were always getting away from him.

    Well isn’t that some happy news! Trying to deliver simple instructions is one of my goals in life, maybe even a raison d’être, professionally speaking. Your hypothesis was sound, and why would these creatures exist in a maze if not to move through it? Except that each time PacMan muncher tries to eat the ghosties he dies. What a stupid game. And yes, I played it a few times. Of course. I was not in that loop nearly three decades ago. When my children were young we had a Nintendo and played Mario Brothers. It was idiotic. Thought I did manage to rescue the princess after much trial and error.

  6. To Dave and Vermonter:

    Do you mean to say that you saw today’s Google logo and DID NOT try?????


    I can’t speak for vermonter, but I played it more times than I care to admit … I’m on vacation after all. 🙂

  7. Oh, no….riding your age? Can we do it in minutes instead of miles? 🙂

    Great pics, great to read of your latest adventures. My backspace button just broke. Oliver should get the old couch.

    Yes, of course we can do it in minutes. That would be great.

    I overuse my backspace button something awful. I’ll hit it twenty times to redo something. Seems dumb. But anywho, if you’re on a laptop you might be able to replace the entire keyboard for short money ($20-30). I replaced a keyboard on someone’s Dell laptop recently because their cat had clawed off the number 1 key. It wouldn’t just click back on either. The cat was probably trying to tell them to ease up on the exclamation points. But seriously, email me if you need any guidance with this.

    Oliver is about to enter a dark period. His mommy, who spoils the crap out of him, is going away for a week on Tuesday, and dad (me) will be in charge. Dad is much less tolerant of Oliver’s negative behaviors. As for the old couch, well, you’ll soon see about that …

  8. Oh, I love graduation ceremonies, such a proud moment in life.

    I need hardwood flooring so badly, I really like that cherry. Dang, I need someone who can put in a floor for me. Don’t want to have to hire a company and pay $$$ for them to do it. My husband can do a lot of “man” household things, but he’s really nervous about flooring, and I don’t blame him. My friends did it themself and had a nightmare.

    Yes, the college’s commencement is way more fun than such formal ceremonies should be. It’s so fulfilling to see the kids who’ve wandered the campus for 4 years finally complete their degrees. I hope they all are able to find their next chapters soon.

    My wife and I installed the prefinished oak flooring ourselves. It’s really not that hard. A couple of tricks to keep in mind … buy 10% more than you need so that you’ll be able to NOT use the crappy little knotty short pieces that they put in the boxes. And, if you can, start out in a place that is less visible, so your early mistakes will be less obvious. You have to rent the special hammer that drives the special nails into the upper surface of the tongue, and you may need to rent a pusher tool that presses boards with warpage into place. Not sure what your friend’s nightmare was, but if you buy good quality prefinished flooring, it’s not a big deal. Check out some the of DIY sites on the web.

  9. You, veg? Somehow I doubt that.

    That’s a nice compliment PT. Thank you. But rest assured I can veg with the best of them. Why I’ll bet I can veg you right under the table!

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