Lo-cal weekend wrap


I didn’t ride my bike at all this weekend. Because I suck.

Actually, I woke up with an upset stomach on Saturday morning and the idea of stopping at the side of the bike trail to allow my breakfast an encore appearance didn’t appeal to me at all. So, I called Bob and wimped out on him.

Later in the afternoon, when the sun was high and hot, I was feeling much better, so I decided to punish myself with some yardwork. I spent two hours and change edging, mowing and cleaning up the lawn. This was the first appearance of the edger this summer, 1As an edger, anyway. I used it as a trencher in the spring, when I was trying to define the boundary between lawn and flower bed in the front of the house. and it performed its task admirably. The lawn had so encroached on the sidewalk and driveway that I feared the edge could not be found with anything less than a backhoe. Not so. My little Black & Decker EdgeHog tore through grass, weeds and dirt with ease. Or what I thought was ease. My arms later informed me that it wasn’t quite so easy as it seemed.

Sunday afternoon my in-laws had a house-warming party. My mother-in-law, expecting between thirty-five and fifty guests, prepared food for two hundred. She bought two huge meat and cheese trays and at the end of the party the second one was still in the refrigerator, unopened.

In addition to meat trays, there were pasta dishes (Laura made some excellent ground beef and Italian sausage sauce in the crock pot), pizza, breads and dips (including BLT and white pizza dips, both delicious), chips, beans and more. And desserts. Eleven thousand desserts. Blueberry crumble, chocolate cake, cookies, eclairs, cream puffs and lemon bar.

I grazed almost non-stop from 12:45 until 9:00. The food was incredible, the amount I consumed insane.

Vampire the Masquerade: RedemptionAfter Laura and I got home, I waddled went upstairs and installed Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption on my PC. I bought the game immediately after its release but (you guessed it) never finished it. In the twelfth century the noble Crusader, Christof Romauld, is wounded in battle and left in the care of the nuns at a Convent in Prague. Regaining his strength, Christof descends into the silver mine and destroys Ahzra, unholy mistress of the horrors lurking deep within the mine. On returning to Prague, Christof is hailed as a hero, but his travails are far from ended.

Christof finds that he is smitten with Anezka, the lovely nun who nursed him back to health when all others had abandoned hope. Alas, the Archbishop Geza—who clearly lusts after Anezka himself—declares that Christof’s feelings are an affront to the Lord and will damn both him and the young nun. Geza orders Christof to go out and patrol the streets of Prague after dark, an order that is tantamount to a death sentence. After sunset, the streets of Prague are plagued by undead beasts, including vampire servants known as Revenants. None are a match for the powerful Christof, until he meets a vampire more powerful than he imagined possible. By the time I turned off my monitor at 2:30 this morning, Christof had been “embraced” by Ecaterina, leader of the Brujah clan in Prague. Now Christof, who so valiantly battled godless heathens and monstrous creatures in the name of Christianity, is himself an unholy abomination, doomed to walk in darkness for all eternity, feeding on human blood to survive.

So he’s got that going for him.

1 As an edger, anyway. I used it as a trencher in the spring, when I was trying to define the boundary between lawn and flower bed in the front of the house.

17 responses to “Lo-cal weekend wrap”

  1. Thagg Avatar

    Threw me for a moment there. I was correlating your weekend with ours and it did not add up. Then I realized today is Monday, and the stars fell back into alignment.

    Like yourself, I have relapsed on bike riding since last weekend.

    MFC and the broodlings will be heading for a swim at Maumee Bay State Park, and I am considering riding there. My main concern is the construction on Front Street at I-280.

    We spent some time yesterday cleaning the grill and replacing the ceramic briquettes with the Char Broil upgrades. Wasn’t originally planned, but a raccoon spent several hours trapped in our grill Friday morning. *sigh*
    All better now. The cheeseburgers tasted (and smelled) just fine. Chicken on the Chick-can tonight.

  2. KJToo Avatar

    Did the raccoon emerge unscathed, or was s/he an unfortunate (though indirect) casualty to your family’s craving for charred flesh?

  3. Thagg Avatar

    The infernal bastard was licking the grill when the lid slammed shut Friday at 4AM. Since the grill is essentially under our window which was open with the fan on, I awoke to the lid being repeatedly lifted several inches and dropped shut as it failed to escape the clutches of our Char-Broil.

    As you can imagine, I had no clue to the origins of the racket. A quick check of the bedroom yielded no results. As I became more alert I was drawn to the window. I watched the grill and I could see first a paw poke out then a tail, then the lid would lift and slam back down.

    It’s 4AM. I’m not about to get dressed and go screw with this raccoon. I shut the window and turned the fan back on.

    At the break of dawn the morphodite doubles its efforts. Now I hear it over the fan. MFC volunteers to let it out. I see this as a potentially bad idea. I’ve already had one surprise today. I don’t need another.

    I go to the back of the grill, reach over and hook my belt to the handle. The raccoon knows I’m there so it’s being still. Just before opening the lid I grab a metal spatula and whack the lid a few times to show my displeasure. I pop open the lid and there is a young raccoon covered in BBQ residue sitting there looking at me. Then it growled. Little ingrate. I took the spatula and tossed its sorry little butt into the hedges.

  4. Thagg Avatar

    The oldest Broodling was volunteered to do a basic cleaning of the raccoon ejectus. Sunday afternoon we picked up the proper chemicals and replacement briquets. Correction: We upgraded to the Weber, not Char-Broil ceramic doodads.

    Our trip to the park started and ended late, no chance to grill a chicken. I did ride there (1hr, 15 minutes) on the Takara, and the construction zone was challenging. Even though I was headed East and this region is known for its prevailing Westerlies, I had a steady headwind for most of the trip. Bah.

  5. KJwon Avatar

    “I didn’t ride my bike at all this weekend. Because I suck.”

    ‘Soy un perdedor!’, as Beck might say…

    Here’s why I’m a loser when it comes to bike riding:

    I decided to knock the dust of the ol’ bicycle the other week and get into a pedal-pushing workout routine. Ah, but the rear tire is flat. Appears to be the valve core. No problem; I’ve got that valve core tool and some spare cores around here somewhere…maybe in my toolbox…no, I put that stuff in the ‘special junk repository’…evidently, the first two auto parts stores I visited after giving up the search had the same problem of mislocating stuff as me. Persistence pays off, and the third store had what I needed. I rushed home, quickly replaced the valve core, and quickly realized that the tube ALSO had a hole. FF to the next day. Picked up a tube repair kit, and after a failed first attempt, got the patch on right. Fired up the air compressor and … can’t get ‘er to put out more that 20 psi! Don’t have one ‘o them thar hand pumps. Can’t take the bike to the gas station to pressurize the tire ‘cuz the wife has the truck, and the ‘burb is in the shop! FF a couple days… throw the bike in the back of the truck and head to the gas station with the ‘free air’ … – oops, the ‘free air’ station area is cordoned off as the area is being pressure washed. So I suck it up and head for the gas station with the ‘not-so-free’ air station… and, you guessed it … it’s broke. FF a few days, and I find the receipt for my air compressor … and that’s where I currently sit with this saga. Just might have to put some gas to the bicycle and torch it.

    “The raccoon knows I’m there so it’s being still.” Come on, tell me you didn’t toy with the idea of lighting the grill…

  6. KJToo Avatar

    Maybe you’re the star of your own sitcom and don’t know it. Then again, maybe we all are, ’cause stuff like that seems to happen around here on a regular basis.

    Don’t you have a bike with some sort of motor on it? A motorized bicycle, if you will? Perhaps that could even be shortened to “motorcycle.”

  7. KJwon Avatar

    Yup, I sho’ ‘nuf have one ‘o them thar motersickles. I prefer to ride it over the oatmeal drive type, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of a workout. I probably get more exercise doing 12 oz. curls…

  8. Thagg Avatar

    I did indeed toy…

    Thought it would be quieter to turn on the grill w/o lighting and weigh down the cover. Alas, I was short on time and patience.

  9. KJToo Avatar

    Oh, the humanity! Will no one think of the poor, fuzzy woodland creature?

  10. Thagg Avatar

    Trust me, I had plenty of thoughts about the fuzzball.

  11. KJToo Avatar

    Our clashes with nature generally come in the form of birds stuck in the chimney, which the cats get all excited about.

  12. KJwon Avatar

    “Our clashes with nature generally come in the form of birds stuck in the chimney, which the cats get all excited about. “

    Nature is attracted to my pool. Worms flock to it when it rains (?). Frogs “gather ’round the good stuff”, but don’t fair up too well when there’s shock in the pool (they move reeeal slow after awhile…). Little snakes totally freak us out when they decide to go for a swim. Spiders (big ones) always sink and die on the shallow end. Unidentified wormy bug things with 18 gagillion legs find their way into the skimmer baskets. Moles turn a wicked pale white after being exposed to chlorine for awhile. And the most gross… a squirrel that got hung up in the skimmer inlet. Didn’t see him in there for several days; when I tried to pull him out, his fur started falling out and wafting thru the pool, and his, um, insides were exposed to the outside ‘cuz his skin sort of, ah, disintegrated… I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  13. KJToo Avatar

    Yeah, but you have a pool, so quitcher whinin’.

  14. Thagg Avatar

    Indeed, the Broodlings get excited when they get to visit their Southron cousins and frolic in the concrete pond.

    Considering the challenges already presented by the abundant wildlife including the growing collection of feral cats, said pond may be enough to push me over the edge. Maintenance would almost certainly need to be farmed out.

    Case in point, I finally put backyard floodlights in the sockets provided (after ejecting the squatting wasps) on Monday. 270 Halogen driven watts of untold luminosity lighting up the entire area like a police helicopters’ searchlight on COPS. Attracting of course every winged denizen of the insect world within the entire swamp to do an attack/tailspin dance right next to the door. I can now see my backyard, I just can’t open the door to get there. My Favorite Canadian does not, and I will repeat not, like bugs in the house.

  15. KJToo Avatar

    I told Laura that I’d like to turn the entire backyard into a patio w/in-ground pool. No more lawn, just patio tiles. She could still have her flowers, but they’d all be in boxes.

    She’s not going for it.

  16. Thagg Avatar

    Ahh, the voice of reason.

    KJwon may insist that the pool is more work than the lawn.

    Flowers belong in boxes. Those that aren’t are called weeds. Or are surrounded by and eventually killed off by. I forget.

    MFC attempted flowers last year. Or was it the year before? About 1/3 of the flowers were actually planted, the rest died still in the thingy she brought them home in. Then she had to weed around them. Then the rest died because they were annuals. We don’t get much beyond the “Gee, those flowers look pretty” stage anymore.

  17. KJToo Avatar

    The front bed looks mighty nice right now. I spent about an hour weeding it before the ‘rents visited earlier this month. We’d had a bit of a wet spell and the dandelions had taken full advantage of the moisture. By the time I waded into the mess, some of the weeds were four feet tall and hissing.

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