I managed to make it a week into December before running out of gas. I woke up tired and with dead legs. I was expecting some snow to give me an excuse to take the day off from riding but alas the snow stayed to our south. Still with temperatures in the high 30s for most of the morning I gave myself permission to slag off for the day.
The day was not without it’s productive bits. I got some Christmas shopping and a load of laundry done. During the former I walked about a mile in Old Town Alexandria. There was some stenosis discomfort initially but it faded as I kept moving and I managed to walk a nice loop through Covided streets. Covided streets are nearly empty of people and full of odd tents outside restaurants. I felt bad for the lonely waiters. Not much lunch being served today.
I went to Old Town to shop at Old Town Books, a new independent book shop. There are only a couple of types of stores that I enjoy browsing in and bookshops are one of them. Amazon nearly killed the small bookstores off. Oddly, Old Town Books is located across the alley from the location of Olssen’s, a bookstore that Amazon killed ten or so years ago. I loved Olssen’s so I am going out of my way to give Old Town Books as much of my business as possible.
In addition to being tired, I have been famished all day. I think the brain confuses fatigue with hunger at times. Naps are like fuel for the system. I have become quite good at napping during the pandemic. Whenever tis nonsense ends, I am wondering how I will be able to bike tour without a nap.
I’ve also taken to reading obituaries over breakfast. I suppose it’s a way to thumb my nose at the fates over Cheerios and coffee. Anyway, there was an obituary of a local man who was down in Florida. He was on his bike, waiting at a red light. He was hit by a motor vehicle and killed. He and his bike were on the sidewalk at the time. It brought to mind the death of my friend Dave who was killed in a similar fashion about 18 months ago.
Gruesome coincidence aside, the Florida victim was a 77-year-old retiree who led week-long bicycle tours. I’m out there everyday grinding away in my mid-60s complaining about fatigue, sore knees, and headwinds and this guy was a decade older leading bike tours! There’s hope for me yet.
When I am not biking, I am either reading or watching TV with the fam, as they say. My book du jour is Daphne de Maurier’s Rebecca. I am reading it so the family can sit down and watch the original movie and the recent remake.
On weekends, my wife, daughter, and I have been watching three shows. The Crown raises the interesting question: with only fraction of the US population, how does the UK produce so many great character actors? If you watch enough episodes you may catch yourself saying things like: “One never knows, does one?” and “Extraordinary”.
We’ve also become big fans of The Child, known in most circles as Baby Yoda. The series is called The Mandalorian. It could easily be called “Have Ray Gun, Will Travel”, because it’s really just a space version of a western with a mysterious hero travelling around and righting wrongs every week. I half expect him to say “Hi Yo, Silver! Away!” at the end of every episode. The vibe is the thing.
The third series is Luther, a police procedural set in London. It stars Idris Elba as the titular Detective Chief Inspector John Luther, a sort of hulking, black Sherlock Holmes. Luther has all kinds of personal and ethical quirks which encumber and sometimes facilitate finding the bad guy. He wears the same clothes in every episode and investigates crime scenes with his hands in his coat pockets. He doesn’t carry a gun, preferring to talk suspects into submission, which doesn’t always work out particularly well. Oftentimes, he makes a Holmesian observation from seemingly innocuous evidence at the crime scene. “Our killer was in the service.” He has yet to say “The games afoot!” though.