… and I was still struggling with writer’s block; therefore, more photos fewer words.
Friday morning began with the assembly of Vivian’s toy box just after Debbie left for work. It wasn’t a time-consuming task by a long shot and the simplicity of the furniture design is amazing: a handful of toggle-bolts, a few screws and two hydraulic arms to tie the six pieces of lovely finished particle board together.
Although not captured in photos, the balance of Friday morning was captured with me running a variety of errands before meeting my sweetie for our every-other Friday lunch date at The Red Eye’d Mule.
I did a little re-upholstery work on the seat cushion that Debbie uses the most on our kitchen bar height table and chairs as the original padding had been worn to nothing. If she liked how they came out, the other three cushions would get an overhaul on Saturday.
Once Debbie arrived home from work it was off to Loco Willy’s for our Finally a Friday celebration. We met our friends David & Deb there and were joined a bit later by Stuart & Teresa, Paul, Kevin and many of the other regulars. It was a really nice evening and I think we may have finally called it a night around 9:30pm, then headed for home.
I think Saturday was a bit of a blur. I spent the better part of the morning reworking the saddle on our Road King and re-upholstering bar stool cushions for our kitchen table.
As with the first bike, this new bike’s saddle was just too soft for long rides so a large portion of the softer material was removed and replaced with some very firm material and then shaped to fit the original contour. Of course that’s all easier said than done, particularly since I decided to do the rework this time instead of taking it to the auto trim shop. Let’s just say, most folks wouldn’t notice my less than flawless job but I’m still not satisfied. I’m also wondering how it will hold up over time. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained and in this instance I gained some experience and an appreciation for how well the pro’s do this type of work.
After getting the saddle foam reworked and recovered I decided to take Blue II out for a ride in our brisk 40°F weather to see how the saddle fit and how the bike ran after the dyno tune with David M. While I was out I made a few stops to look at hardwood flooring — yes, I still need to finish the largest part of that project, some 1,500 sq ft worth — none of which was all that impressive. We’ll have to pay a visit to Dalton, Georgia here in the not too distant future to close that deal.
Blue II ran well but seems to be a bit louder than Blue I so I may need to revisit the exhaust baffles before our next long trip. Nothing worse than (a) ending up a ringing in your ears, and (b) realizing if it’s too loud for me then it’s too loud for everyone else.
Debbie was out running errands for the better part of the day while I did a little house keeping in the exercise room, garage and started some periodic leather care on our western boots. I also finished up the cushion overhaul before it was time to get cleaned up to celebrate our oldest son, Charlie’s, 41st birthday with dinner at Ray’s Rio Bravo.
We arrived before the crowds and had a very nice and leisurely dinner with Charlie, his girlfriend Christie, Wesley & Julie and the three granddaughters: Caroline, Charlotte and Vivian. It had been a while since we had the entire gang together.
After saying our goodbye’s to the kids and dropping Charlie & Christie off at their little place in Roswell, we headed over to Loco Willy’s for a night cap. We ended up splitting a cup of Brunswick Stew and then I got a hankering for sweets and made a trip over to Gabrielle’s bakery and picked up some brownies. Yummy stuff!!! We had a great time visiting with friends before heading home around 10pm and calling it a night.
Sunday brought us more household chores in the morning and around mid-morning Debbie headed off to the grocery store while I threw on some warm cycling clothes and headed off for a leisurely 25-mile road bike ride from the house. It was a bit overcast so no solar heating to speak of, but with the right apparel the ride in 43°F temps felt just fine.
I should note, before I headed off for my ride I was reading the Facebook page for the West Cobb SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) and saw where someone mentioned that they had three sets of lost keys at the Old Stilesboro Road trailhead. Regular readers will recall that I lost a full-set of keys while out riding our local trails on August 28th. I figured my odds of finding my set of keys among the three had to be pretty good so I made a point of stopping at the trailhead to see if my keys were there.
Son-of-a-gun, they were ! Talk about a welcome sight, particularly since there was a key-fob for my truck on that key-ring. And, amazingly enough, the key fob still worked. After getting home I replaced the now rusted key rings with some new ones, polished up the keys to remove the patina that had been added over the past four months of exposure to the elements and put a new battery in the FOB and the key-set was good-as-new.
We paid a visit to Loco Willy’s for our Sunday wing fix and had a quiet night back at the house watching football and finishing up our weekend honey-do’s.
The highlight of Monday was a special lunch date at The Mule so that I could drop off our truck for service at Alan Cox Automotive before we headed off for our 780 mile road trip to Pennsylvania on Saturday. I took Debbie back to work at 12:30, picked her back up at 5:00pm and then dropped her off for a nail appointment while I picked up laundry, shopped for wrapping paper and ran a few other errands.
It was a quiet week at work so taking Debbie to work at 7:30am allowed me to relax at the house for an extra hour-and-a-half on Tuesday morning. As promised by Nick at Alan Cox, our truck was ready to go early on Tuesday morning so we had our second lunch date of the week — this time at Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs — before parting ways at Alan Cox where I collected the truck. Hard to believe that during my 25 years in Marietta I’ve never been to Brandi’s, or Betty’s as it was called before Brandi Wilson bought the place. The chili is the key to their success, otherwise it’s a lack-luster, small dog in a starchy bun. I started with a slaw dog and was unimpressed but Debbie went with the chili dog. After snitching a piece of her chili I knew I screwed-up by not having a dog all the way. So, that’s what I had for dessert. Not sure I’ll make Brandi’s a regular place to eat, but I can certainly appreciate why folks love the place, Brandi and her crew. It’s pure May-retta, Georgia!
My original plan was to burn off a few hours of vacation time on Tuesday afternoon but found myself buried in last-minute work and didn’t lift my head up until 6:30pm. Well, that and we had a team-building / community service event where 10 teams of 5 team members each built wagons for use by Children’s Health Care of Atlanta that derailed me for about an hour, but it was great fun for a great cause.
When I finally arrived home I could tell that Debbie wanted to go out for dinner. Sadly, we weren’t able to find a place to sit at Loco Willy’s and couldn’t get our bartender’s attention at our old haunt, Olde Towne and simply walked out after 10 minutes of cooling our jets: guess we’ll need to find a new alternate sports bar on our side of town. We ended up back at home and made due with what we had in the fridge for our dinner and called it an early night.
I spent the first couple of hours of the day working from home, even though I’d planned to burn a full 9 hours of vacation as Debbie was off from work. After getting work out-of-the-way I hauled off our old 32″ CRT TV to a recycling center, ran a few more errands, wrapped the grandkids presents, did some more western boot care and finally carved out a little us time with Debbie in the afternoon before the kids and grandkids descended for an early Christmas dinner and gift exchange. It was a wonderful evening, hectic but lovely just the same… photos to follow since I didn’t take any. Julie had that duty!