Easter Weekend 2016

Another hodgepodge blog where, like last week, cycling wins out over motorcycling in terms of which saw the most miles. 

Being Easter weekend, Debbie’s company was off on Good Friday which just happened to coincide with one of my work-from-home / sort-of-off Fridays. How nice was that.

Thursday Night

20160324_191326We took advantage of having a fake Friday night by paying a visit to our previous regular place on Friday nights, On the Border. Long-time readers may recall that we had dinner just about every Friday night at On the Border from November 2002 through October 2013 when, for a variety of reasons, the magic wore off. We’d been back perhaps two or three times in 2014, but that was about it. For whatever reason, Miss Debbie got it in her head that she really wanted to go back and try it again on Thursday night, so that’s what we did.

In short, the Maggie’s were still yummy, the chips and salsa are still some of the best around but everything else was pretty much middle-of-the-road. Back when we first discovered On the Border it had the look and feel of a Tex-Mex Cantina: it had a cozy-ness all it’s own with funky light fixtures, rustic steel sculptures and was separated from the restaurant. After the remodel it now reminds me of a newer Chili’s or even what a Denny’s would feel like if they had bars. There’s no separation from the restaurant, the ceiling is now high and uncluttered as are the walls and bar: very cold, bright and open. Uggg. Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 8.36.15 PMAs for the food, we had an old favorite: Dos XX’s Fish Taco’s. While they were tasty, even just splitting three of them between us left us both feeling bloated instead of well-fed. One look at the nutritional information made it pretty clear why: OMG!!! And to think, I was worried about the 450 calorie frozen margaritas with their 56g of sugar and 60g of carbs. Anyway, suffices to say, I think we scratched that itch. If we go back it will be for cocktails and chips.

Friday

Both Debbie and I had doctors appointments on Friday morning– noting we’re both overly conscientious about trying to book appointments to minimize the impact to our work days – so neither of us could really get involved in anything until the afternoon.

I was up around 4:30am and used my morning to do some work-work (a constant), some home banking, a little on-line research on some projects and also put another coat of Zaino Z-2 Pro polish on our Harley, Blue. It’s a rather easy-to-use synthetic polymeric-based polish where the key is applying very thin coats and then letting them dry for several hours before buffing off the residue. I typically put on three top-coats of Z-2 over the Clear Seal, so this was the 2nd coating for Blue.

Skin-Cancer-ABCDE-imageI left the house for my Dermatology appointment at 8:45am, received a thorough inspection by the Dermatologist where only two small spots on my left forearm needed to be zapped with nitrogen as a proactive mitigation treatment: everything else looked good! It felt reassuring to hear that after 56 years I did not have any moles or spots beyond the two small ones already mentioned that were cause for any concern. So, I’m now essentially “baselined” where all I need to do now is to remain on the lookout for new spots or changes to the existing ones.

Debbie had a 10:30am eye doctor’s appointment as she’s been battling an eye-infection (and likely an ear infection) caused by the very nasty pollen season that we’ve been enjoying here in North Georgia.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 8.57.46 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 8.58.12 PM

I figured she’d be done by 11:00am and we’d be able to meet for lunch at the Red Eyed Mule as we do every other Friday.   I made a detour to stop at a landscape supply yard on the way to The Mule to schedule the delivery of 8 cubic yards of pine bark for the yard, to compliment the 60 bails of pine straw I put down two weeks ago.

20160326_195652After a wonderful Jake’s Big Daddy at The Mule we took a side trip over to Livi Rae’s – a specialty lingerie store – to see if we couldn’t find some new bathing suits for Debbie, as the ones she’s had for several years were overdue for replacement.   Livi Rae has been a very nice discovery for us, where the visits and attention that the co-owners Cynthia & Molly give to Miss Debbie are reminiscent of our visits with Misty at Horsetown. The bathing suits were something they don’t normally keep in stock – it’s not their core business – so we took a shot and were rewarded quite well for our efforts. Debbie now has a lovely collection of bathing suits that will last her for many years to come. Again, way overdue… and now part of Debbie Fest 2016!!!

20160306_151609We collected Debbie’s little car from The Mule and headed home where our next appointment was with our tandem bicycle! Yes indeed, we braved the soccer moms heading to collect their kids from school and logged a lovely 25-mile tandem ride from the house on Friday afternoon. Talk about being a welcome source of both physical and mental therapy. I don’t think either one of us realized how much we needed that ride to put the short but hectic work-week behind us!  Moreover, it also felt like a very spirited ride with one of our best average speeds in quite some time. Probably a fluke, but we’ll take it!

We carved out a little quiet time back at the house before getting ready for our Finally a Friday celebration at Loco Willy’s.  As we were getting ready we had some of our other friends beckon us to join them in Downtown Woodstock Georgia — on their side of town — for cocktails, dinner and live music at three different places in the very lively nightspot.  We decided that we’d grab dinner at Loco’s and then make our way over to Woodstock and as a bonus prize we found our friend Ryan in the mix with the usual suspects (David, Deb, Teresa, Stewart, Rex, Kevin, Mike) and our good friends and staff.  I helped Ryan polish off a yummy plate of Nacho Loco’s to my left while also helping Debbie with Loco’s amazing Ahi Poke; good eats!

After visiting with our Loco friends for a while we made our way to PURE Taqueria in Woodstock to catch up with our other friends and to meet back up with Ryan.  It was a cool night so being up on the deck wasn’t quite a cozy affair, but it was good to visit with Chuck & Julie, Bobby, Kim & Mike, Jeff & Sharon and Ryan for a while.  Like SuBourbon’s, I swear someone has been watering down their better tequila.  For better or worse, I drink enough different tequila on a regular basis to know how they should taste and just how much of a kick they have and the silver shots at PURE could have just as easily been Perrier; not a good thing. But, hey… at least they were expensive!  All that said, Kudo’s to the gals working the bar side tables, they were awesome.

With a big day ahead for Debbie on Saturday as she did her finally shopping and prepared for Easter Sunday’s visit and lunch with the kids and granddaughters, we had to bow-out around 10:30pm and arrived back at home around 11:45pm. It was good enough, as Debbie would still be able to get in 7-8  hours before heading off to start her errands on Saturday morning.

Saturday

I was up around 6:00am and tried not to disturb Debbie’s sleep by heading out into the garage to buff-off the 2nd coat of polish on Blue and to do a little work on the bicycles.

  • The Calfee’s eccentric was in need of a little tightening, which doesn’t come as a surprise as that’s often times what happens after I’ve pulled it apart for spring cleaning. So, no big deal with that: just a little twist with the torque wrench and a 4mm hex driver.
  • The Speedplay Frog pedals were also in need of some grease, as the bearings were beginning to click.  I’m also reminded that it’s about time to change out my cleats. I have a habit of rotating my right foot in and that wear’s out the outer edge of the Frog’s metal cleat, causing pull-outs on hard climbs during the upstroke of my right leg.  I can usually get a 2nd life out for the cleats by swapping the left to right / right to left, but I’d already done that with the current set so on will go a new set from my reserves.
  • Both of my mountain bikes have developed creaky bottom brackets and crank arms so they also got a little bit of attention from the torque wrench.  Although, I suspect the saddle’s are also the source of some creaks and squeaks: more on that in a minute.

It must have been around 8:30am when Debbie emerged from the upstairs dressed and ready to head out for a full morning of errands.  My plans were to start removing the sleeves from three of Debbie’s Voler cycling jerseys and then clean up the front yard so when my 8 cubic yards of pine bark arrived on Wednesday I’d be able to start putting it down that night, noting it would probably take several nights to clear what I expected to be a rather large pile of material.

As I was getting ready to head out to the fabric store to get some bias tape for the jersey project around 9:00am I heard the sound of a large truck backing-up out in front of the house; low-and-behold, it was the landscape supply company’s dump truck with my 8 cubic feet of pine bark mini nuggets!  20160326_092330For those not familiar with the bulk delivery method, that’s the equivalent of 108 2-cubic foot bags of pine bark nuggets.  From a cost standpoint it’s not a huge savings to do the bulk delivery since the actual cost of delivery erodes a lot of the potential savings, However, it’s a lot easier to work with and I believe I actually end up with a bit more than 8 cubic yards.  Regardless, as I looked at the rather imposing mound of material I knew the jersey project would have to wait as I knew what I’d be doing for the better part of the morning and early afternoon!

20160326_103946 20160326_110628Chipping away at the pile as the upper section of the back yard is covered.

20160326_110705 20160326_121812Phase II were the walking paths that probably should have been sod; lesson learned.

20160326_121840 20160326_122100Yes, lots of walking paths and the pile continues to shrink.

20160327_093224 20160326_170612The final phase was the big island in the front yard and that was that.

It was indeed a full 9-4 job moving all of the pine bark from the driveway to the various places it needed to go around the house.  I’d venture a guess that I filled, moved and dumped between 35-40 wheelbarrow’s full of pine bark throughout the day.  Good exercise, but I would have rather been cycling with Miss Debbie!

It was around 2:30 when Debbie arrived home and began getting Easter baskets put together while I finished up in the front yard.  As you can probably see in the last two photos, we had a 45-minute rain delay in my project and it also derailed our plans for an afternoon tandem ride.

12472638_1192508094100535_8346944534237492092_nAs is the norm for a Saturday night, after finishing with the pine bark and putting away all of my tools it was time to get ready for dinner at Loco Willy’s.  I should note, the better-than-average photo of us at Willy’s was taken by our friend Rex, who doubles as Loco’s marketing arm.  I believe he may be assembling a rogue’s gallery of the regulars and I think we qualify!  We decided to do something different for dinner and were reminded why we tend to stick with certain favorites. While I”m sure a lot of folks like what we had, it just missed the mark and will get scratched from our line-up.  But, we still had a grand time.

deadpool-gallery-03As we headed towards the house I asked Debbie if she’d like to go and see the slightly off-color Marvel Studio’s adaptation of the antihero comic book character “Deadpool“.    Without giving away the plot or outcome let’s just say that I was reminded of seeing Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles for the first time, when I hadn’t really done any homework and assumed it was going to be similar to the previous Mel Brook’s comedy, The Producers.  Yup, that R-rating on Deadpool never caught my eye in the same way that the R-rating on the original Blazing Saddles slipped by.  But, like Blazing Saddles, Deadpool had both of us in stitches from beginning to end.  There was surprise after surprise after surprise and it was definitely not a kids matinée kind of flick: R means R!  Just a great night out and we were even home by 11:00pm!

Sunday

Once again, I was up early and began working through my to-do list noting we were expecting the kids to arrive around 10:30am.  I was able to put the final coat of Zaino Z-2 Pro polish on the Harley, knock out laundry and some ironing before it was time to start getting the house and ourselves ready for our Easter celebration with the kids.

FullSizeRenderThe rain was nice enough (he says sarcastically) to hold off until the kids rolled into the driveway and had to get the girls in their lovely white Easter dresses, tights and shoes into the house, at which point the bottom fell out: we call those gully washers here in the South.

The kids were all as cute as could be and we had a delightful visit.  As is the norm, Miss Debbie outdid herself with the girl’s Easter baskets, sweets, hidden eggs and other gifts such that it was at times hard to know if it was Easter, Christmas, Halloween or a hybrid holiday with a little of each!  But, bless her heart, she loves to dote on those lovely little girls and see their faces light up as they tear into new toys, etc.

IMG953533 IMG_3541

It was a lovely time despite the weather, noting we had to take our Easter photos inside the house this year… for the first time in many years.   The Easter egg hunt was held upstairs, the cookout in the kitchen and a grand time was had by all.

We spent the rest of the day “chilling” at the house as the rain fell all day long.  It was a nice quiet afternoon and evening at home for a change and, well, that’s OK once in a while.

Monday

A Monday entry; that’s rare!?

20160328_191205Yeah, well…  if you have a sharp eye you’ll notice the saddle on my Dean mountain bike is doing something that it’s not supposed to be doing: slouching!  Yes indeed, the right saddle rail broke during my afternoon off-road therapy session.  On the bright side, it didn’t break until I had finished 10-miles of the 11-miles of single track I’d planned to ride and the left-hand rail didn’t break which if nothing else made sure I’d be less likely to be impaled on the seatpost!!!  Not an ideal ending to the day, but thankfully I’ve got spare saddles at the house and, again, at least I was almost out of the woods when the saddle failed.

 

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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