The home renovation project is proceeding. We are in Week 4 of having our family room and a chunk of our basement refurbished. Framing and electrical are done. The plumbing awaits the fixtures. Insulation is in. Next week will add more drywall, install a new exterior door, and do more work on the bathroom in the man cave. I think we are past the unpleasant surprises stage. Knock wood.
I have been collecting golf balls on my athletic excursions for decades now. Yesterday brought the biggest one day haul ever.
Nine golf balls! They were scattered about on the outside of a golf course fence near a green and its adjacent sand traps. There must have been a parade of rank amateurs recently. Among the balls I found a beat up iPhone. I took it to a local phone store. They found that it was missing its SIM card and concluded that it was stolen and tossed out a car window. Phone thieves are the worst.
For two years, I have been working on my application for Irish citizenship by birthright. Just before I left for my tour in May, I sent off a request for documents to the New York State Vital Records office. I paid $30 extra for expedited, 60-day treatment. I should have received the documents in July, but it took them a month to cash my checks. So the clock on my expedited treatment didn’t start until mid-June. (Unscrupulous credit card companies use a similar tactic. They sometimes sit on mailed payments then charge late fees. My wife had this stunt played on her twice.) Despite giving themselves a full month leeway, it still took the folks in Albany 2 1/2 months to process my request. I had lost all hope until I checked today’s mail. Bingo!
With my grandmother’s wedding certificate now in hand, I now had all the necessary documents in support of my application. As I went to mail it, I noticed that the form listed one address in Dublin and the Irish government website listed another. A lovely lady at the Irish embassy in DC told me to use the address on the website and to send the documents with tracking. As I left the house it began to rain as if I was in Castlebar, County Mayo on a dreary winter day. I drove to the nearest FedEx office. They couldn’t deal with the lengthy address. I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever get this thing out of my hands. A competent bloke at a nearby UPS store set things right and my application and documents are now winging their way to Dublin. Now I wait a year. Yes, a year.
On my way home I was stopped at a stop light. A big silver sedan pulled up behind me and nudged my car. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a bun of white hair and two eyes peering over a steering wheel in the sedan. The little old lady had a death grip on the handlebars. It’s a good thing that I drove. That nudge would have knocked me ass over kilter had I been on my bike.
My left knee is really unhappy with me. When I exert force on the pedals, it barks and sends painful electrical signals to my hip which then joins the pain party. When I sit with my leg elevated the knee stiffens up. No bueno. If this doesn’t clear up, I am afraid I will go under the knife this fall. What’s winter without a medical mess to deal with, I say.
Ed and Mary, the King and Queen of Caffeine, on completing Paris-Brest-Paris yesterday. They rode their tandem 750-odd miles in under 3 1/2 days. Mon Dieu!
My friend Chelli and her daughter Shivani. They both climbed Kilimonjaro in Africa. Over 19,000 feet. Chelli is taking some friends, me included, for a hike on Sunday. We are so screwed.
The French sisters who completed their ride across America in New York City this week. I only talked with them for a few minutes in Boulder, Utah but their energy was inspiring. In the process, they raised over $4,500 for Rose Altitude, a breast cancer charity
Dan Hurwitz who I met near Sapinero, Colorado. He was scheduled to reach the Atlantic Ocean at Revere Beach, Massachusetts today. He started in San Jose, California over 100 days ago.
Cassy is riding 50 States with me this year. When I asked her to join me for the ride, she said she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to keep up. Today she passed me on the way to work. Left me in the dust. Suffice it to say, I am going to get my ass kicked in a couple of weeks.