Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Week

If this isn't love, I don't know what might Valentine's card from patient, understanding and loving Peg.

It was quite a week here in the valley (and beyond).

Fellow blogger Martha posted a photo of a typical Wisconsin snowy day on a rural road and Bob, who lives in a more temperate, costal location commented that normal people shouldn't be driving on roads like that.  Those roads and conditions are what's necessary when living in the north, doubly or triplely necessary when you live an hour and a half from your workplace, which we do.  That isn't winter's fault, only our fault for living so far from our place of employment, a difficult choice that we've made and live with.

Commuting a long distance is what some rural people that want big city wages must do.  It's expensive both in financial costs as well as time, something money normally won't purchase much of.  If it wasn't for our long drive each day, I'd have little if anything to complain about winter.  Even as an avid motorcycle/scooter rider, a break in the seasons is welcomed and I hope always will be.

Blogger Deb and I couldn't be more in agreement about how to spend winter.  We no longer have lambs being born in February's worst snowstorms, the horse waterer never freezes these days, the pipes in the mobile home we lived in while we were building the house no longer freeze......if we didn't have an 80 mile commute, I'd have NOTHING to complain about winter.  We buck-up-little-cowboy and deal with it, the price we pay for work we enjoy(?) and get compensated fairly for.

This week on Thursday I had my semi-annual doctor checkup and needed to leave work early to make it at our local Mayo clinic.  Partially to make up my time and partially to avoid the overnight slushy snowstorm and about-to-be-horrible morning commute, I was on the road at 3AM.  The roads were terrible, but alone, I've got the practice (and snowtires) to make a little car perform like a great deal more.  My normal 1:20 commute took about 10 minutes more than usual.  Had I left at my normal time, I'd have been lucky to do it in 3 hours.

Leaving work early, I made the doctors appointment on time, though just barely.  We've had a busy time at work, hectic and stressful lately attempting to get some new products released that are behind schedule.  I'm in the R&D department and the support of product validation and testing is a big part of how I spend my employed time.

So, Thursday afternoon as I was leaving my favorite doctor's inspection room, she requested that I make a quick stop at the Lab for a quick blood test in order to make sure my chemicals were all on balance.  I walked in to my appointment feeling fine though tired from the long day.  By the time I walked through the maze of hallways on my way to the Lab section, I was feeling cold, on the edge of woozy and suddenly achy.  I walked out to the car, made the 12 mile trip to our rural home and sat down on the couch, shaking and very quickly, uncomfortable.  I'm the guy that wears a pair of shorts and a T-shirt most of the winter around the house, sometimes even out to the barn to feed the cats.  Thursday afternoon, 3 shirts, a pair of sweats over my shorts and under an electric blanket had me shaking like an old out-of-time British single.

I was in bed at 7, very much afraid that I'd not make work on Friday and after some very strong and well-meant promises that fixtures would be done for over the weekend testing, very concerned about my ability to  make it to suburban Minneapolis the next day.

I made it..........though it was a very long day, the fixtures completed.  Last night I was in bed again before 7, hoping that I'd feel well enough to join my friends for coffee this morning, for which no promises had been made but coffee with friends on a Saturday morning is a quest like few others.  Up at 5, out the door by 5:30, I was at Diamond's, with Mike, when the Coffee Shoppe opened for the 7AM door unlocking and feeling very refreshed.

Of course Paul was there with his Ural; 8 degrees F is no reason to stay home on a nice Minneapolis morning.

The usual crowd was there, even someone we'd not seen for 6 weeks, which was very unlike him though he did have a good excuse.  John, who often shows up many winter Saturday's on his side-carred Harley, has been staying home due to his broken neck.  When I asked him today, he told me that's he'd lost his balance...."no idea why".  Lucky for John and for the rest of us, a neck brace and following doctor's orders seems to have him healing well.  His daughter was kind enough to bring him today and he strolled in to a room full of applause.  Knowing John well enough and with today's crowd, he told me, ".....guess I'll have to leave the sidecar on all year long now...."  I learned that his doctor told him he was "old", a reminder to John that his 90 years haven't gone unnoticed.

This afternoon, once back in the valley, it was in the shop to finish getting the TW200 '13-ready.  Some lubricating, repair of my Sigma Bicycle Odometer/Speed/Trip/Cadence/Clock/Timer/Stopwatch hook-up connection, new license tabs and bolt/nut connection check.  My new Wolfman Tank Panniers will be here early next week and I'll get them installed while the bike is warm and on the lift before rolling the Yamaha out and the next one in.

Since we finished up Downton Abbey Season 3 last weekend, this afternoon it was an episode of Justified and our very first attempt at Homeland.  We have 0 channels and TV watching has never been better.


  1. Coop:

    I was kidding about driving in a blizzard. I remember when I had my jeep, we would go looking for snow. Nowadays I would rather it rain instead as they say out here "you don't have to shovel rain".

    You sure have a long commute. My commute is about 45 min in the morning and perhaps up to an hour coming home. It would take an hour and a half each way if I took the bus.

    You have to be careful as you get older. I also got some warning signs recently but I am afraid of Doctors, poking and prodding but I am glad you are back to normal

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob, I'd agree that snow driving can be a fun adventure under the right conditions.....long days of it get old very quickly for most of us.

      That's the thing about our commute, it is long in distance but not necessarily much longer in time than many of our friends that drive from one corner of the metro area to the opposite. We get 'out' relatively quickly and most of our drive is at or slightly above posted speeds on rural roads that I'm able to enjoy. The radio, audiobooks, discussions with Peg and 'thinking' time make the time a payable cost.

      I'm employed in the healthcare industry and let's just say my beliefs aren't necessarily in sync with my occupation.

  2. Good for getting regular checkups. My cousin never went to get checkups because he didn't want to hear about all of the things he needed to change. He had a heart attack....

    1. Richard, sorry to hear about your cousin. I wish good health for us all.

  3. I really enjoyed this post! By the way, I thought tonight was the last DA episode...I also know that the creator of the series did not want to go into WWII, so the series does have an end- unlike Upstairs Downstairs which went on forever. What shall we do without DA?

    Do wives ever give husbands cards thanking them for being patient and understanding?

    I tore up the application for that job one and a half hours away.

    If a person goes off the road on their m/c and sidecar do they call a tow truck if it gets stuck?

    1. Thanks Martha. We've (Peg and daughter) have downloaded the entire season, so I know what you'll see tonight :) It's a longer broadcast so get comfy and enjoy. Daughter Hanna and I were hooked right away, Peg was slow to join, if only because she was so busy back when the series started. She quickly caught up however. No apologies.....I'm a sucker for all of those period pieces. Many if not most are here on DVD and they don't wear out.

      Cards for being patient and understanding? I doubt it, that was my read and hope. It was a pink card in February, the other comments were mine.

      If you can work locally, I would strongly encourage you to do so. I'm inching closer, but right now, lack the choice.

      For the stuck sidecar, they may very well have to. It would be easy to think it's "just a motorcycle" and do serious bodily damage trying to do what shouldn't be done. The goal, as it is with the rest of us that don't three-wheel, would be to stay properly in the tracks.