chalk or dirt trails?

This weekend was a pair of gorgeous days… the brightest, sunniest, clearest days we’ve had lately. I don’t know what it is about gorgeous sunny days… they just make me want to do things, to get outside… and enjoy them. I think I did pretty well this weekend, taking time to enjoy two of the best rainless days we’ve had in a long while. As such, this entry goes down more or less as a play-by-play of the weekend’s events.

It started Friday night with the post-work round of beers and appetizers at the steakhouse/bar. That complacent mood just settled over me like a fog, making me feel just right just then. I didn’t care where we went afterward, or how long we stayed… it was one of the times you’re just with friends and drafting off the joy of company, small talk, and a the swirly happiness that an alcohol-infused bloodstream can provide. Luckily, I managed to maintain the feeling overnight… and early Saturday morning found us over at Kristi and Erik’s for a fine homemade breakfast of waffles and eggs. I ate and relaxed with that right-where-I-wanna-be feeling. Sitting on the couch watching a poorly-produced VHS video of Mexican bullriding… these people are dying… I’m mean, ceasing to live… it’s insane. It was a good morning.

In the afternoon Erik and I decided to go out for a ride, both being owners of new bikes. This city is completely crisscrossed with well-maintained, paved bike trails. They cut through neighborhoods, skirt duck-ponds and city parks, and where there aren’t defined trails – there are always marked bike lanes to the sides of every road. We had no destination, just wanted to get out in the sun and make a sweat offering to the weather gods. We ended up finding some empty lots with plenty of hills and ditches and rocks, and for a good 20min I was twelve again. Huffing my way to the tops of dirt hills, zooming back down to search for anything I could launch off of with my new gravity-given speed, fishtailing and riding wheelies… it was great. Once we got back to the trails, we “discovered” some parts of the city we’d never seen before, and, more importantly, some more trails we didn’t know about.

Riding on the trails made me think of something Pat had said earlier in the week, something about thinking there might be a trail-only shortcut that could ease my rides to work and back. Sure enough, the exploration Erik and I did led to the discovery of a completely new route than the surface-road route I’d been using last week. The alternate route is comprised of probably 20% road and 80% trail. Paved trails, mind you, but trails that wind their way to work in a much more direct route – and without any car exhaust or traffic lights or stop signs to compete with. I actually can’t wait to try it tomorrow, and see if it really does buy me time or not. Since I can’t drive the new route, I’ll need to borrow a GPS to compare the mileages… but even it does turn out to be longer (which I don’t think it will), I plan to take it anyway. It’s so much better, I’m so happy we “found” it.

Sunday, I woke up early and cleaned the bathroom and shower, finally replaced the burned-out bulbs in our closet, and made my first real yard-demanded trip to Home Depot. Picked up some crabgrass killin’ fertilizer and pranced around my yard pushing the SpeedyGreen 3000 in front of me like a proud father and his chemical-spreading baby carriage. To make sure the fertilizer gets in there good, I run the sprinklers for a few seconds in each zone. I don’t know why I’m going into this much detail… all I wanted to say was that, as I was standing in the driveway, watching the sprinklers in the sun and waving to neighbors – I was happy… I was content. I mean, it’s hard not to be… brisk mid-50s, cloudless sunny skies, and the feeling that I was witnessing what was the beginnings of a new summer.

I noticed today that several blogs are talking about Halliburton leaving Iran. I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories, but with recent “posturing,” it does seem that there could be a tad more to it than a simple contract expiration. They’re already charter members of the AoE, and the media coverage lately has had a snowballish be-afraid tint to it. With the headlines from the Iraq voting over the weekend being so rosy, it would seem that all my doubt and cynicism was for naught. I would, however, be interested in hearing the ballot tally… as in how many people voted. Not absentee, citizens in-country. Not that a low number would really prove much, I just think it’d be interesting as a percentage of the population. (Wow, ask and ye shall receive… 60% is awesome.)

Does anyone even notice that I alternate my little post image from left to right with each entry? That’s a manual process you know!


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