Monday, December 3, 2007



I'm exhausted from the weekend. Not that I didn't have any fun, it just got overwhelming.
Friday night my soul mate went to a friend's house to make cards and scrapbook stuff, allowing Bell and I to have a leisurely evening watching a movie and riding the trainers. We watched Matt Damon in The Rainmaker while Jim pedaled along merrily. I on the other hand warmed up and then ground out a 20 minute full-on TT effort (quality pain if not particularly high power) to gauge my fitness, since today is the first day of winter training (don't ask about it because I'm not talking).

Anyway, Jim went home to bed, and I began to work on the honeydo list. My soul mate is very sweet about it all, but I'm afraid that in general she is vaguely disappointed in me. My intentions are good, and I'm really not that lazy (even though I joke about it), it's just that I'm so lame with stuff around the house. My Father-in-law is a mechanical engineer who built up his company from his buddy's basement into a multi-million dollar firm. He designed and built (with some help) a fabulous hand-scribed log home on the lake up north. He can fix virtually any electrical or mechanical device that is fixable. So SM has reasonably high expectations of me to get stuff done around the house.

Earlier in the week it was the "Christmas letter". I did deliver on that one, but I haven't seen it back from the editor's desk yet, and I expect the font size to be much smaller when I do. This weekend we planned to "decorate for Christmas" which sounds quaint but is about as grueling as trying to hold Doug-o's wheel when he goes to the front. After a pretty hard 2 hours on the bike Friday night, my legs were fried Saturday morning (OK, I haven't ridden much since Chequamegon, so I'm probably a little bit soft). But I knew that Beth was coming back by noon from her girlfriend's, so I needed to cart all the Christmas supplies down from the attic. What commenced was a fairly long, mostly anaerobic stair workout carting inumerable plastic tubs down 2 and sometimes 3 flights of stairs.

Then a friend and I hauled the giant fake Christmas tree in from the garage. Last January I got smart and hauled the thing out to a corner of the garage fully intact with strings of lights in place. I just covered it with a big plastic bag and left it there. That at least saved having to dismantle the light strings, pull the top half of the tree off, and lug everything up to the attic where the rest of the inventory is stored.

Once SM made it back in the snow, she called a friend to come over and help her decorate. I tried to look busy, but sitting at the table poring over a laptop computer apparently isn't busy enough, since there were a few exasperated comments and pleas for help. These mostly entailed going outside to hang stuff from windows and porchlights. "Garlands" I think they're called. Eventually on Sunday I complied, but my garlandary ineptitude led SM and friend to do it themselves, leaving me only to attach small wreaths to the outdoor porch and garage lights.

One thing I did do all weekend that most guys are pretty good at: I kept a roaring bonfire in the fireplace to cheer up the decorators (and their lame lackey). Guys tend to be able to get a fire really roaring, and after putting in enough starter wood to burn up the living room, and lighting it with a satsifying poof, I got an unmistakable uneasy feeling because I didn't really check the chimney very well before I set off the first blaze of the season. Fortunately, no robins took refuge in our chimney, or else the fire was hot enough that it burned them up completely, leaving nothing to block the chimney.

After church on Sunday I headed out to the north loop for an hour and a half of X/Cing on the beautiful new 6" snowfall. It was heavenly! I'm an old classic skier from the 1970s (my first skis were made of real wood--think of it!), so I never took to this newfangled skating. I had a pair of skate skis, but never really liked it and expended way more energy with less to show for it. So now I'm back to the graceful if slow strides of the geezer set. I am what I am. I'm not in this photo but I might as well be.
Once I got back to the house, I was tired and cold. Natch, the first thing I did was to ignite another blaze. Then I sat in the comfy chair next to the fire ("no, no, not the comfy chair!") with my laptop, fully expecting to entertain the masses with another witty blog. Instead, I was overcome by the sweet charms of the flame and ended up entertaining SM and her friend with my open-mouth snoring. Oh well, either way, awake or asleep, people find me entertaining...

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