Tag Archives: nature

It’s me again

I haven’t posted in close to two months. To be honest, I just don’t have that “passion” for self-expression that other writers seem to build on. On top of that, I get little to no feedback, including from the person who encouraged me to write almost daily, as she did. (She said she wanted to stay in touch, but she didn’t say anything about the posts. Her health deteriorated since then and she has passed on.)

Also, I’ve been taking classes online through an outfit called edX. They are free unless I want a certificate to prove I took a given class. I’m just taking them for fun, but they take up a good bit of my time.

Digital Camera

I think I posted about the front shifter cable breaking on the Diamondback. During the winter, I didn’t worry about it because I didn’t have enough energy to use anything but the low gears anyhow. As the temperatures have risen, so has my energy level. I finally fixed the cable last week and got back to riding that one, which is still the “good” bike as far as actually riding.

4-24-2017 Stream near Eureka Ave on Camp Chase Trl

This picture comes from the trail that runs near my place. I couldn’t find a name for the stream, but the trail crosses it a 5-minute bicycle ride from home. By the way, this is in the Hilltop neighborhood, near Eureka Avenue. We have more going on here in Columbus and in the Hilltop than the crime you see on TV.

One of my goals for a while now is to ride a bike to London, Ohio, and camp for free at a little facility along the trail. I will give myself a day to ride the 22 miles, then come back the next day. One way I’m building up to that came today. I rode to Batelle-Darby Metro Park and back.

Batelle Metro Park 2

(These are cell phone pictures on a free phone. The quality kind of stinks, but I didn’t think to bring my camera.)

I didn’t remember to take breaks on the way down, and I only took one bottle of water. When I finally reached a place in the park (south part of it) that had water, the water was rusty and it didn’t clear up when I kept pumping for a while. Coming up the hill when I headed back, I realized that I had a wind to my right front. I made my way home with three breaks.

The good news is that I did it. The bad news is that once I sat down here I did nothing for three hours. I need much more stamina to do this distance (18 miles) without quite a bit of misery afterward.

I also need to improve my system so that I have much more water onboard. I might need to buy still another bike when I can. I’ve owned a couple of recumbent bikes in the past. Those are bikes that have a very different riding position, sort of laid back as in the next picture, which I found on the Internet. (This one is a Rans V, which I’ll never be able to afford.)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Rans_V_recumbent_bicycle.JPG/512px-Rans_V_recumbent_bicycle.JPG

Recumbents do far better riding into the wind, and the wind blows almost all the time in this flat country. I won’t have the money (mostly $500 and up) for one of those any time soon, but eventually I’ll probably get another recumbent.

Other than that, Loretta and I finally got our dissolution of marriage. We got a bill for it, too. It will be 50% each, and that will be payments. We’re still friends.

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Nice From Indoors

Pretty much any scenery (other than trash cans) is nice as seen from a safe, comfortable place out of the weather on a full stomach. Experienced outdoors, it’s usually different.

I got home today just as the rain began. It looks benign from my doorway. My friend in Spokane, WA, has been posting pictures of her husband shoveling large amounts of snow with lighthearted comments. However, I have walked miles in rain and snow. Even if I have the right gear, it’s far more difficult than driving in it or staying indoors. I’m counting my blessings tonight, but let’s all remember that people are homeless and trying to sleep in tents or under tarps in this stuff.

Accomplishments: Filing System, New Chair, Drying Rack

I have been accomplishing things this weekend, and I like that far better than the exciting/chaotic times I once had. It beats sleeping or sitting here in a daze, too.

Friday evening was boring but will serve my needs. I finally got filing supplies and set up a new filing system. I found the file box a month or more ago at the VOA Thrift in Galloway, but hadn’t used it until now. This may be the dullest picture I ever post, but for people dealing with SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, “Part D,” SNAP, and all the rest; keeping track of all the paper really counts.

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File box 12-9-2016

I’m not done with my filing yet. There’s a mini-mountain of paper waiting, but I can work it down now that I have the basic setup.

The weather has chilled. Saturday (yesterday) tested my winter gear setup, and I enjoyed the results. The neck warmer/face mask (prior posting) not only lets me breathe well, but it neither fogs my glasses nor collects condensation. The condensation improvement makes it the best face mask I’ve ever used.

Yesterday I took a trip to the VOA Thrift (again). The most important objective was to try to find a chair at the thrift shop. I use one chair at my computer and most of the time. The one I’ve been using was a $1 deal back in July or August from a nearby thrift, but I’ve worn out the legs. It looked like this:

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Notice how the front legs slant a little wrong? So did I. I figured in somewhere between a day and a month it would fall apart and dump me on the floor. So yesterday,  I took the time to find a different chair. Neither I nor the clerk could read the price marked on it. She sold it to me for my favorite price, $1.91. I had to carry it to the bus stop and from the bus stop back here. The bus driver was friendly and helpful, and I’m glad for that. It’s a little big to take onto the bus.

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New used chair 12-10-2016

This is way better. Besides giving me a safer seat, I also get much more comfort. It’s even short-legged enough that I can rest my feet  on the floor.

While I was looking around yesterday, I noticed a clothes drying rack. I have wanted one of those since I moved, and there it was. I could not carry both that and my chair yesterday, so I had to take my chances and go back today. Got it! This fits neatly inside my bathtub for the dripping part of drying clothes, then I can easily move it close to my wall heater. Here it is with a few cleaning cloths for a test use.

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You can’t really see my new jacket in the background, but I got that today too.

I like this kind of weekend. It’s not exciting, but it improves my life.

Bike ‘n’ Bus Adventures

Bus Bike and “Proof of Concept”

So here’s the bus bike again. The picture on the right shows it after I changed the seat post. I took the seat post from a bike I brought with me that I found in someone’s trash in Mount Vernon. It took me several tries to get it out of the frame, but it’s exactly what I needed.

This bike is a Huffy Rock It. I have seen those in red and neon green, but only this one in blue. Therefore, it has an identity, the blue Rock It. To lessen confusion, I’ll call it Blue Rocket.

I got the seat post on, changed the seat, and so on yesterday. This morning, the weather warmed quickly and the forecast looked good. So today, I rode the Blue Rocket on her maiden (for me) voyage. We went down the Camp Chase Trail, came back far enough to take some streets, and took a bus to Walmart on Georgesville Road, then home via a different route with two more bus rides. She passed all phases of the test. I can ride her a couple of miles easily, and putting her on the bus rack or getting her off is much easier than past bikes. Neither she nor I was perfect, but I certainly have what engineers call “proof of concept.” That is, I’ve shown myself this was a really sound idea.

Another Adventure via Bike ‘n’ Bus

After a break, I found myself still with some energy. The wind had picked up, but I wanted to ride more. For lack of a better idea, I decided to see if the bus drivers would let me put the Diamondback (big bike) on the bus and how that would work out. I only wound up putting it on two buses, the #10 and a #4 that would put me in the area of my favorite park. Neither driver gave me any trouble about the height of my bike, but this thing weighs 45 pounds (20 kg) and takes up every inch of its space on the rack. I put about three times the effort into loading the Diamondback as I had the Blue Rocket.

While I was Downtown, I noticed that  the weather had cooled and that the wind was coming through my hoodie. I wished I had brought another layer, but stubbornness prevailed over good sense and I went on. I got off the bus on Indianola Avenue and coasted down the hill to High Street. By this time, I felt so cold that I stopped at a McDonald’s and had coffee to warm up. Then I coasted on down the hill to the park and decided to take some time in the woods there that I enjoy. I noticed that the most of the under-story plants beneath the autumn-leaved trees looked green and alive, although some had turned golden. We’re expecting below-freezing temperatures tonight, so that may change.

I took a phone call in that beautiful setting, during which I realized that I did not want to climb back up the hill I had coasted down. If I rode the nearby trail back toward home, I would not only have a “net” downhill ride, I’d also put the wind behind me. I needed that. By this time, the wind speed had increased over the 16 mph (25 kph) that Accuweather told me it was blowing when I left home.

That’s what I did. Tired or not, I liked riding downhill with a tail wind. Eventually, I left the trail (and the tail wind) for McKinley Avenue, then back to a trail at Eureka Avenue. By that time, I just kept downshifting and wishing I was already home, but I made it okay. I think the only lasting effect will be a day or two of sore knees. However, after all of that, I could barely stay awake for about four hours. I refuse to take a nap after 6 p.m., but I could not tell you much about that time because I was incredibly drowsy. Now that it’s past my bedtime, I’m waking up. Oh, well.

All in all, I had a very good day. I learned how the “system” of bikes and buses will work, visited a place I love, and had a nice ride for several miles.