March is done. Kaput. Over and done with. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Biking: I was a sloth this month. I attribute this to being sick and tired of cold weather. This meant that for seven days I rode Big Nellie in the basement for a total of 122 “miles”. (I assume 11.5 miles per hour and translate time into distance.) Another 19 days were spent riding 631 miles on The Mule, mostly going around in circles. I did manage to ride the Indian Head Rail Trail. The 27-mile round trip featured more bull frog croaks than spring blossoms. The Mule did my longest ride of 50 miles early in the month. I also used Little Nellie to run a short errand. Yesterday, I cracked 2.000 miles for the year while on my second cherry blossom fly by in DC. Total mileage for the month was a paltry 755. For the year I am at 2,028 miles, about 100 miles fewer than 2020.
Health: I think I ate well over 2,028 Doritos which explains why I ballooned to 223 pounds. I seriously need to do some long slow distance. A couple of 60-70 mile rides should get my metabolism back on track. On the up side, I received two Pfizer Covid-19 shots this month with minimal side effects. I attain full immunity tomorrow. Yeah, science. On the down side, three days after my second shot, one of my pre-molars died. I had a root canal last week. I go back to the endodontist to finish the repair. After that I’ll be visiting my regular dentist to fully seal off my tooth (probably with a crown).
Reading: I didn’t set the world on fire in the reading department either. I read The Searcher by Tana French, State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts by Nick Hornby, and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. They were all entertaining but not likely to be re-read soon. The Hornby book is actually the script of a rather unusual 10-part TV series. Each chapter is a conversation between a husband and wife who meet in a pub across the street from the marriage counsellor. Chris O’Dowd and Rosamund Pike play the couple to perfection. The book is witty and ironic and clever. The actors take it to another level entirely. It can be streamed on Sundance in 10-minute episodes.
Viewing: We finished watching Wandavision and still have no idea what the hell that was all about. We also took in four other films via streaming services of course. Britt Marie Was Here is the film version of a novel of the same name by Fredrik Bachman. It’s faithful to the book which I liked a lot. After that we started prepping for the Oscars. We all liked Nomadland but it gave me flashbacks to the long, brutal days riding my bike tour across the barren landscapes of Utah and Nevada in 2019. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom didn’t float my boat. Mank was okay, but Gary Oldman who plays the lead is way too old for the part. We finished our Oscar prep (at least until next weekend) with Pieces of a Woman. Depressing and a bit predictable. My wife and I stumbled in Casablanca on TV and watched it again. They don’t make ’em like they used to.
Chores: It was my intention to do one adult thing every day during the pandemic. Suffice it to say this didn’t pan out. If you want something done, give it to a busy person, as the saying goes. Last week I began the first of many small jobs around the house. (There are an infinite number; you just have to decide when to stop. They’ll be plenty left over for your ancestors.) We have a metal stoop on the side of the house that I painted about 20 years ago. The paint failed a long time ago and the stoop is now rusted and ugly. So I am re-painting it. So far, I have spent about 4 or 5 hours scraping the old paint and rust off. The platform and steps of the stoop have a textured surface which means I can only scrape about one square inch at a time. It’s tedious. In another two or three hours I should move on to sanding, plugging holes, and washing. Then I get to paint. The best time to do this work is when the weather is perfect for riding. I should be done with the project by October.
I also helped my daughter move back home from her apartment. My wife and I managed to move a 30-year-old sofa out of her place to the trash room in her building. It weighed a ton and had to be twisted and turned to get it out of the apartment and into and out of the elevator. My 80-year-old back was not amused. It took me three days to get fully upright again.
Today we cut down two trees and a couple of large, overgrown Russian olive bush. Ok, we paid someone. The pine tree was diseased. I was a white pine, one of a stand of six or seven evergreen trees that are now all gone. The other tree was a silver maple. Like the pine it was over 30-years old. It was unattractive and messing up an oak tree next to it. When we moved in 30 odd years ago, we had four silver maples. Only one of the original cohort remains. My wife planted two volunteers, seedlings that sprouted in the yard. They are thriving. Live goes on.
Baseball: I watched the only two spring training Washington Nationals games broadcast this year, last weekend. Yesterday the Washington Post had a special section on the upcoming baseball season. My picture was in this section. It’s been a while since I was in the Post. The previous time was an article about bike commuting. I’ve also been interviewed by local radio (my part was cut for time, on air, but I made the station’s online story) about long distance bike commuting. For work I’ve did a telephone interview that was broadcast live on local radio. It was a bit nerve wracking. I put a picture of the interviewer up on my monitor during the chat. It helped me stay focused. I also did an interview for AP radio and another on local TV in southwestern Missouri. My big shot at media stardom came when I was interviewed on tape for a segment on NPR’s Marketplace, They used about 10 seconds of the 20-minute interview and broadcast the story on the day after Christmas. Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.
Tomorrow is opening day. Dang.