Sunday, May 15, 2011


We just returned from the annual VRCC Cheaha Mountain motorcycle rally, held at, of course, Cheaha Mountain State Park. This is the Alabama VRCC's annual run, and was as always a great time. I see people from other states there that I only see once a year.
The concern I have about the event is that it brings its own climate. We used to freeze in April, so moved it to mid-May, which in central Alabama is usually severe early-summer; the April showers are long gone, temps in the 80s, etc. Until Cheaha weekend, when it turns unseasonably wet and cold. This year, true to form, the temps have been mid-upper 80s, with lots of sunshinium; Wednesday was 91. Thursday night, a massive cold front swept in from the NW, with lots and lots of rain. Yesterday, the rain held off for the group ride, but last night, at our outdoor pavillion party place, temps were low 50s and showers played peeky-poo. This morning, the mountain was socked in with heavy fog. [sigh] This just in time for folks from eight states to ride home...
OTOH, Sandy and I had a great time, saw some great people, and relaxed for a bit. Well worth it, except for the carrying on of the evil weather omen...

Saturday, May 7, 2011


I had a semi-productive day today, and am fairly happy with the results, though I am hoping that tomorrow will not lead to regret. I attacked the yard work today, which I usually approach over several days, carefully controlling the exertion. Fifteen years ago, of course, I would have been up early this morning, and would have been completely done by lunchtime. These last fifteen years have, however been exceptionally hard on me, and let us leave it to say that after five hours of labor in the sun, I have about 40% of the job done. This may be a three, or possibly four-day process, which will put me back at starting point, and the cycle will begin again. The planter beds out front must be cleared of jungle undergrowth, as must the four feet or so immediately behind the house, the growing hedge forest around the old hackberry stump must be sheared, and a number of smaller things done hither and yon. Today, my hips and knees were acting up painfully, and I worked myself to virtually the end of my energy; sometimes this comes back to bite me later, sometimes not. We will see.
OTOH, Sandy went today to a session of the A Taste of Home cooking school, her very first, and had a blast. The woman conducting the thing is a noted local chef, entertaining, communicative, and "scary organized", and did several dishes, one of which Sandy won in one of the many drawings! It is an all-in-one thing called a Rueben Casserole, and it is very good indeed. They also covered, among other things, the making of eclairs, for which I would have to have insulin on IV Push, but I am looking forward to trying that. More of these classes to come, when they happen around here...
The next coming weekend, the Valkyrie Riders are doing the annual Cheaha Mountain ride-in, at, of course, Cheaha Mountain State Park, and Sandy and I will attend. Sandy does not ride at all, but enjoys the atmosphere of rallies and ride-ins. Some issues here - I am having some stump troubles, and my new legs are not here yet, so I will not be able to ride the Silver Wing, which will preclude me from the group ride on Saturday - on the Elite, I simply cannot keep up with the group. Also, the computer models are generally agreeing on a high probability of rain for the weekend, and right now, I simply am not up to riding in the rain. I will feel very wimpy showing up to a bike event in a car, but it may happen. We will see.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sadder news

I have been hesitant to post this, but hey, this is the situation. We have had a good old-fashioned southern weather incident here, a Tornado From Hell. Actually, we had several dozen tornados in one day, but the mother-of-all-tornados was on the ground continuously from Mississippi to North Carolina, possibly the longest-tracking tornado ever recorded in North America, varying along its path from F3 to F5 strength, and from one-half to one mile wide. On its merry way through my state of Alabama, it followed a popular practice for tornados by following I-59 through the state, inflicting incredible damage on Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide), Birmingham, Gadsden, and dozens of smaller towns and communities. Several small towns are simply no more - they are gone, wiped off the map, nothing left standing. The death toll is almost 300 in Alabama alone, 3000 are injured, tens of thousands homeless, and there are still more than 200 people simply unaccounted for, though this number may go down as communications are reestablished.
A hard week.