Sadly, it was a cycle-less weekend: no bicycling and no motorcycling. If our local off-road trails had been open it would have been a different story: I’d have made the time to go and ride a few loops on the quiet, bucolic trails. But, between the cold mornings and traffic-filled roads each afternoon and my sweetie still being ‘grounded’ until at least January 4th, a solo road ride just wasn’t all that inviting. So, what to do to fill the time?
For some reason I’ve been struggling to settle down at night and when I finally do fall off to sleep it doesn’t last long: perhaps four hours and then I’m wide awake by 5am, earlier if I get to sleep before 1:00am. So, Friday began early at 4:30am with a little bit of work-work, some research and then a little more work-work until my dear Debbie was up and getting ready for work.
With her rib still giving her fits, she’s been driving my truck as it has an automatic transmission that doesn’t require her to wrestle the manual shifter down and back to select reverse in the S2000. Seeing where I had a number of errands to run that would be easier to do in the truck vs. the roadster the plan for the day included me driving Miss Debbie to work, which was fine by me! That just means we get to spend even more time together!
It was a relatively easy drive over to her office at 7:00am, after which I headed back home to get all of my documents in order before heading over to the Cobb County Tag Office where I would hopefully be able to apply for a Georgia title of ownership for our new-to-us, 2013 Harley-Davidson CVO Road King and transfer the tags from our totaled ‘2013 CVO Road King. The Florida title, a power of attorney and a copy of the sales agreement showed-up on our front porch in a UPS envelope on Tuesday afternoon which cleared the way to finish sorting out the registration & title. With those documents and a fresh insurance binder from State Farm for the new-to-us Road King I was all set.
I arrived at the satellite tag office near our home 30 minutes after they opened and only had to wait about 5 minutes before being taken care of: far better than standing in the lines that are 20 – 30 deep at the main tag office near my office. Everything was in order and with the payment of a one-time obscenely high Ad Valorem tax and a $23.00 tag transfer fee I was all set and Blue II was officially titled and tagged in my name: woohoo! It was a month to the day that I purchased and brought her home from Florida.
My next stop was Costco where I gassed up the truck and stocked up on a few groceries and household necessities. Nothing exciting to report but it was nice to get out for under $100 after last weekend’s LCD television upgrade festival, but it was really worth it! It’s amazing how much easier on the eyes it is now that we can read the news tickers, scores and other text that shows up during sporting events, which is about all I ever watch. But, most of all, Miss Debbie is very happy with the new equipment! Probably need to upgrade our DirecTV receiver, but it looks like they’ve turned that into a lease-only proposition and loaded up the “and/but” up-charges for everything else we’d need. Break-even over buy is now something like 3 years and I’m pretty sure our current receivers are well over 5-years old, perhaps even closer to 10-years on the one in the family room. Oh well… that’s progress!
Before picking up Debbie and taking her to The Red Eyed Mule for our every-other Friday lunch date I had just enough time to swing by the local Harley-Davidson dealership to pick up some miscellaneous parts that I needed before I could install Debbie’s new footboards on the Road King. I will say that I was a very disappointed to find Harley’s on-line product description of the foot board brackets was incorrect once the parts arrived on Wednesday and I began to prep them for installation. From the product description and the alternate photo of the brackets it was pretty clear that the, “...footboard mount hinge pins and installation hardware” were to be included. Yes, well guess what was NOT included per the installation instructions that come with the very same part: the four hinge pins, two springs and two delrin balls you need to install the footboard pans and footboard inserts. Thankfully, our local Harley-Davidson dealer had the 4 pins, 2 springs and 2 balls in stock and $22.89 lighter in the wallet I was good-to-go.
I picked up Debbie around 11:25pm and we were at The Mule 10 minutes later for a lovely, relaxing lunch. As always, we split the Jake’s Big Daddy and had our respective drinks: the burger is big enough for us to split, which is always a good thing. Being two smaller than average adults, we simply don’t need huge portions.
I dropped Debbie off at work and headed on home where I threw in a load of laundry and then headed into the garage to install her new footboards on Blue II. The narrow, Streamliner boards with the Slipstream inserts were a nice compliment to my footboards and don’t look all that out-of-place on the Road King. The only question now is, will Debbie like them?
With the footboards installed I finished up the laundry and a did a few other household chores, all the while wishing our local off-road trails were open as I would have had just enough time to get in a nice mountain bike ride before having to head off to pick up Debbie at work. I REALLY need to make some time to get back on the bicycles this month: waiting until Debbie can ride is not a good strategy as we’ll both be struggling mightily.
Before I knew it was time to head back towards Debbie’s office so that I could pick her up at 5:00pm. Instead of going back to the house and then turning right around and heading back into Marietta for ‘Finally a Friday’ at Loco Willy’s we decided to go direct to Willy’s and just get started a bit earlier. We started off with a little guacamole, some adult beverages, went with the steak fajita special for dinner and had a grand time visiting with friends until around 8:30pm or so. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re having a good time at place where you’re comfortable and well-taken-care-of.
We headed back to the house where we finished up the night by watching a Christmas favorite: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s one of those movies that’s simply a part of the holidays and always good for a chuckle no matter how many times we watch it. Other Christmas favorites include A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch (Ron Howard film & Chuck Jones animated versions), Scrooged, What a Wonderful Life and the Santa Claus (original only) but Christmas Vacation has somehow climbed to the top of the list.
I was up early and did some research on exhaust wrap material for Blue II. I have some ceramic cloth but would like to have a little something else to wrap around the baffles that will knock down the higher frequencies that are the source of the annoying Harley sound. I decided to order up some silca-based fabric from McMaster-Carr that I’ll use as an outer wrap on top of the ceramic cloth. Yeah, I know… exciting stuff for a tandem cycling thread. Sorry about that: tandem stuff is just around the corner!!
Debbie was up and then out-the-door as she had made plans to spend the morning and early afternoon with her mother. After she left I spent the rest of the morning doing some deep cleaning around select spots in the house that were in dire need of attention and then turned my attention on holiday decor.
For whatever reason, decorating the house has always been something I’ve always done, probably because I simply did it out of habit when we first met having lived on my own for 13 years. I can’t think of a single year when I didn’t have a tree, even when I was in my Air Force dormitory and had a miniature tree on a table that I would decorate and light… remembering this was before LED lights! Anyway, getting back to current day, our pre-lit, ever-lasting evergreen tree was up and decorated in about 2 hours and it took about another hour and a half to string garland on the stairs, hang-out the door wreath and drops between the garage doors, put the 13 candle lights in the windows and a few other little decor items.
We don’t go nuts with it, but I’m always tempted to get some of those icicle lights for the roof lines of the house as I think that would look pretty awesome. Unfortunately, it would also take about 16 strings of lights!!
In the early afternoon before Debbie returned home, I knocked out the rest of the laundry, a little more cleaning up around the house (does that ever end?) and also watched a little football to give my feet a rest. Debbie brought home a Subway sandwich that we split as our lunch around 2:30pm.
After lunch Debbie tried out the footboards on the Harley which was sitting in the front wheel chock out in the garage. Her initial impressions were pretty positive, so I’ll be anxious to see how she feels after we get out and log a few miles in early January.
I had to run over to Home Depot to get a few things after that and then dragged out the 8′ step ladder so I could change out the fall foliage in the window boxes on the two windows above the garage doors with silk poinsettia plans to finish up the exterior decorations. After that it was back inside to watch the latter part of the Alabama and Florida game before we headed off for a later-than-usual dinner at Loco Willy’s. We opted to forgo the ahi poke tuna and once again split a bowl of their wonderful Brunswick stew followed-up by the smoked ribs with Korean barbecue sauce. It was exceptionally good!
Now, I will confess that it was a bitter-sweet evening in that had it not been for our October incident we would have been off with our motorcycling friends tooling around West Cobb and Cherokee Counties looking at Christmas lights, an annual holiday tradition that we’ve enjoyed immensely over the past few years. But, it wasn’t a total miss for us as we did go ahead and meet up with our friends at a local restaurant & bar around 9:00pm
Sadly, we’ll also miss out on the cycling version of that ride on December 9th when The Tandem Club of Georgia’s December ride merges with the Atlanta Cycling Christmas Lights ride for an evening of leisurely cycling and a post ride gathering at a pizza joint.
The highlights from Sunday were getting out of the house with Miss Debbie and doing a little shopping. She needed a few things from one of the local department stores (yikes, now I remember why I never go in those places around the holidays!!) and then to a favorite women’s fashion store — White House / Black Market — so she could get something to wear at next Saturday night’s holiday dinner hosted by my boss. And yes, I’ve learned to never question the logic behind finding a new dress to wear to the holiday parties each year. I don’t get it, but I get it, if you get what I mean. And, well, she always looks exceptionally lovely which will be true again this year. She found a white turtleneck tabard sweater that she’ll combine with some black leggings and black shoes for a stunning look.
We took a break from the late morning / early afternoon shopping for some hot wings at Loco Willy’s and found ourselves sitting at the patio bar instead of our usual place at the inside bar as it was packed with pro football fans… people whom we’ve never seen before: what’s up with that! Yeah, well… if you tell everyone how great a place is it’s bound to become busier and busier as word-of-mouth continues to travel. But, it was very pleasant out on the patio and there were only a couple of folks smoking. We had a nice relaxing time, enjoyed our wings and got to spend a little time visiting with Maddie.
Our last stop was at the local Harley-Davidson dealer where I picked up yet another part for Blue II — hopefully the last one not already on order — and looked at a couple of jackets and, of course, the women’s fashions. There was a jacket that looked pretty nice, but really wasn’t all that practical that had caught my eye in the past. At $160, it just wasn’t rocking my world and even though it had been hanging in the shop since March the sales manager still wasn’t ready to offer a mark-down to make the deal. I didn’t even specify how much of a mark-down I was looking for which made it somewhat interesting. The gal working in the motor clothes department did a good job of brokering my question, but never asked how much of a mark-down I was looking for. The answer came back, if it’s still here in February they may mark it down. Yeah, well… like I said, it was nice, just not that nice. As for the women’s fashions, nothing was really rocking our world. Not that that’s a bad thing! Lord knows, my sweetie has more clothing than she knows what to do with!
We ended the day back at home with a quiet dinner in and Sunday Night Football. It was a good weekend, with a few things accomplished. But, without a bicycle ride it definitely left me feeling unfulfilled. Perhaps the coming weekend will give me an opportunity to get out for at least a 20-mile ride before the rain starts on Sunday. Ah yes, winter is just around the corner and as I always remind my sweetie, mid-winter doesn’t hit until the end of January / beginning of February! Better gird-up for the cold and bleak days ahead!!!