Friday Fun and the Spanish Inquisition

When I was in middle school, my science teacher used to have a little weekly quiz called the Thursday Thrill or Friday Fun. They were neither thrilling nor fun but they were some of the many memorable things I learned about science from F. Norton Curtis, a.k.a. Snortin’ Norton (because he had a habit of snorting when he talked) and Skippy for reasons unknown.

It was an all-boys, private, military school. In those days at least, the teachers could use physical means to maintain order. One English teacher I had used to make disruptive boys go to the corner, step back then lean into the corner and hold themselves there using only their foreheads. The walls were hard plaster. You’d have a screaming headache for the next hour. Try it.

Skippy had a different approach. If you were disrupting his class, he’d walk up to your desk, tell you to roll up your sleeve and stick your hand out palm up. Then, he would slap your wrist with his open hand. It was far more embarrassing than painful. He understood the peer pressure of an all-boys middle school.

So what the hell does this have to do with Friday.  Well, yesterday was Friday and it was fun. (Sorry, I ramble sometimes.)

It was ever-so-lightly raining when I left the house, so The Mule was the ride du vendredi. As I rode up the river on the Mount Vernon Trail, the “ever-so” part of the precipitation got dropped.  I gave the holey sweater the day off and I was glad I did. Between the light rain and the 40-ish temperature, I was comfy in my long sleeve base layer and t-shirt and my touring bike shorts, all beneath a water proof rain suit.

I headed into DC and Friday Coffee Club. FCC is much more fun when you’re not sick. And this week I was feeling better than I had in at least ten days. There were a surprising number of people in attendance considering the fact that it was raining. The high-ish point was the return of Froggie, our active duty, naval, weather geek. It was great to see him even if it took me about 10 seconds to recognize him wrapped in a couple of layers of bike commuter rain gear.  I think I speak for all the FCCers (not to be confused with Bob Cannon who is an FCC FCCer) when I say that we miss Mary, Queen of Caffeine, whose j-o-b schedule no longer permits attendance. There was some discussion on Twitter about having an extra early FCC next week. This would necessitate me leaving home at something like six a.m. That’s probably not going to happen.

Speaking of Mary, she is also Queen of the Coffeeneuring Challenge. It is now official, I am a Coffeeneur. For complete results, check out her blog. I am proud of this accomplishment. The last time that Mary held a bicycling challenge I failed miserably by, among other things, riding into the back of a parked car. (I am not making this up.)  Mary gave me an honorable mention.

The ride home on Friday was slow and effortless.  No complaints. Just the kind of easy cruise that Friday evenings merit. It was my 150th bike commute of the year.

As soon as I got home, I showered, changed and headed out to see Lincoln at the movies. I had popcorn for dinner. I think the movie is overrated but the acting is off the charts. It has many of my favorite actors in it including David Straithairn and Tommy Lee Jones. They say Daniel Day-Lewis is in the movie too. I didn’t see him though. All I saw was Abe Lincoln.

Today I did Christmas stocking shopping by bike. I rode Big Nellie into Old Town. As I was coming out of a Starbucks, I heard bag pipes. I nearly walked smack into Santa playing a Christmas tune. I would have taken a picture but a Santa playing bag pipes is a bit like the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects it.


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