In all honesty, I should change the 'all weather cyclist' header at the top of the page because for the last several months I've been only an occasional cyclist. My knee still hurts and I'm afraid to do more damage by riding in the cold. Sure, I could go see the doctor and say, "Doc, it hurts when I do this."
His reply would be, "Then don't do that!" And it would cost me about a hundred dollars for his common-sense advice.
Or it could be worse - he would order x-rays, CAT scans, dubious orthopedic devices from the Marquis DeSade Medical Supply Company, and numerous strangers would poke and prod my knee, saying, "Hmmmmm" in profound ways. They'd tell me to avoid riding, jumping, running, twisting, or putting down ceramic tile on the remaining floors. Then they'd send a bill to my insurance company and I could fight with them for months about it.
Why do I get the uneasy feeling that if government takes over health care it won't be much of an improvement?
More boring news about flooring...
Now, despite the knee pain, I'll continue working on our floors once the weather breaks. I have a great incentive. Mary and I were preparing dinner in the kitchen last night. Right out of the blue, she said, "You know, I really like this floor."
I made a lot of mistakes tiling the kitchen, but she doesn't see that. She's just happy to have it, and if there's one thing I've learned very well about marital bliss, it's Keep Mama Happy. I'll forego cycling to get the floors done and I'll do it happily.
Ice and snow...
We're in the middle of a typical Oklahoma winter blast - a few days of arctic cold followed by a rapid thaw. This is much different from a winter in western Pennsylvania, where temperatures dropped below freezing at Christmas and didn't change until March. That's a slight exaggeration, of course. But here in Oklahoma, we can have near record highs one day, followed by a precipitious drop to well below freezing. I often wonder how pioneers survived such rapidly changing conditions.
When I left work on Monday, we had freezing rain. The roads and sidewalks looked uniformly wet, but that served to disguise patches of ice. The car danced around a few times on the way home. For most of the trip I had no problems. I was wary enough to avoid walking on the driveway, preferring the better footing offered by the yard with its bed of pine needles. But I had to cross the sidewalk to reach the porch and that single step was costly. I started to fall, then caught my balance quickly. In doing so, I managed to wrench my right knee - again - and felt a sudden pain right above the patella. This is the problem area that's given me fits for the last several months.
Back around Thanksgiving, we captured some feral kittens. Mary lured them into the house one at a time over the course of a week. Three have tamed down fairly well while one is still extremely wary. We need to place them soon.
The short haired tabby is the most gentle. In the photo above, he has his face in the food bowl. Mary dubbed him 'Shadow' because he follows her around in the house. The two long haired tabbys - both gray - are more typical. When they want attention they'll let you know. Otherwise, go away. The orange tabby isn't ready to be placed. He's just too afraid of people yet.
Collectively, I refer to them as the Wild Bunch. They're fur-covered eating machines who will devour cat food, dog food, sandwiches, pretzels, and potato chips with total abandon. All food must be guarded from the feline menace. If one of them drank beer, it could stay. (That earned me the Very Stern Look from She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed!) Also, they've learned that if my keys jingle, it means the laser pointer is about to appear. They come running, even if they were asleep, and start looking on the floor for the red dot. I've been very, very tempted to run that red dot across Jordan's bed when he sleeps in late, but that would be wrong. Probably. But it would be funny! And wrong, definitely wrong maybe.
Want a kitten? I'll mail it to you.
My employer 'lost' $2.1 billion (that's BILLION, with a B) in 2008. And I say 'lost' because I once had a boss who said, "There are two kinds of accountants, honest ones, and very good ones." On the same day as the announcement of the loss, they also said that upper management would be receiving stock bonuses, though those bonuses would be reduced.
I could apply this same principle at home. "Son, I know you want to go to the movies tonight, but you still haven't done your chores. I was planning to give you $25 dollars, but since you've shirked your work, I'll only give you $20. I hope you've learned your lesson."
That'll show 'em!