what I learned on my first chilly hilly in about 20 years

  1. The guy standing next to us in line for the Bainbridge ferry experienced a cardiac arrest on last year’s ride. Some CPR-savvy individuals came to his aid. He was back this year, planning to walk up some of the steeper hills, and also intending to meet up with a few of his saviors from last year.
  2. I can ride up every dang hill, no matter how steep, without stopping. There is considerable huffing and puffing involved.
  3. My foot hurts. The one that I take off the pedal and put on the pavement. when I stop the bike. By the end of the day it was seriously aching.
  4. I don’t like riding with 4,400 people. Hard to relax and enjoy when someone is always passing you or vice versa. Riding on and off ferries in a mob is crazy.
  5. It was a good trainer for the RSVP.
  6. Chafing happens.

Below: the ferry wait and the eastward view from Bainbridge Island.


the cyclist that never learns


Add it up. On one side, the broken bones and surgeries, the inhaled city pollution. On the other side, the great exercise gained and fun.

This Sunday I’m doing the annual Chilly Hilly ride, which I haven’t done in years.  33 miles – I know I can do the distance. I did about 25 miles this weekend. The 2,200′ elevation gain is going to hurt, because some of it’s really steep, and then there’s another hill and so on. Plus my knees aren’t as strong as they used to be.

Then I’ve signed up for the annual RSVP (Seattle to Vancouver and Party) ride in August. I did that before, too, back in the late 80s, I guess. Before the dawn of time, when I was in shape. That’s why we’re doing the Chill Hill this weekend – getting in shape. Day 1 to Bellingham.  Day 2 to Vancouver.

My new theme song?

far-off memories


Listening to the excellent You Are Not So Smart podcast today prompted me to think about my early memories.  I recommend the current episode about the fallibility of memory. One of the guests quotes the memory expert, Elizabeth Loftus, saying that memory is like a Wikipedia page – you can edit it and others can edit it too. Listen to the episode to get the full story.

Meanwhile – here are some of my early memories:

Number please? The first phone I can remember had no dial. You picked it up and an operator asked what number you wanted, which usually started with “GL8,” or 458, which was and still is the local exchange. Today I researched some info on phones and learned that while most phone systems switched to rotary dials in the 40s, some operator-assisted phone systems lasted into the 70s. Is this memory real or not? How would I find out? I think it’s real and that our phone looked something like this, only dark black:
The Rex Theater. Recently I blogged about a faint memory of seeing a film, The First Spaceship on Venus at my hometown theater. It would be great to confirm that it played there and to find out what year, but that’s lost to time I guess. I also remember seeing the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, there. My parents were reluctant to let me go to that one. I vaguely remember seeing Master of the World (1961), which is now on YouTube. I believe Roger Corman’s beatnik horror film Bucket of Blood (1959) came around but I didn’t get to see it.
TV. I remember seeing the classic Indian-head test pattern on our television. Is that a real memory or am I just remembering it from the opening sequence of The Outer Limits, (which is a great memory by itself)?

That’s all for now. Maybe next time there will be some visions of the future to relate.

black history month


Tucked away in the current issue of The Strangera columnist writes funny but definitely not funny commentary on how white people can contribute to Black History Month.

“If my being in your presence, minding my own business, somehow causes you to feel discomfort, annoyance, or abject fear, remember: All you gotta do is make one phone call. Once the police show up, if their own racist indoctrination makes them “fear for their life”—BOOM! I’m black history, too.”

                                        Larry Mizell Jr.

rain after midnight


Cloudy with a  chance of rain in the morning … then rain likely in the afternoon. Cloudy with a chance of rain in the evening … then rain after midnight.

A perfectly accurate forecast from my weather app! A prophecy come true. And great song lyrics if you’re not too SAD to write a song. I’ve documented the precision of the prognostication with this un-retouched photo taken through a car window tonight. Please click on the image to enlarge. Rub your nose on the picture and pretend you’re me.


Rainy Day Blues – Willie Nelson

Well it’s cloudy in the morning gonna be raining in the afternoon
Cloudy in the morning and it’s gonna be raining in the afternoon
If you don’t like this rainy weather you better pack your bags and move
But if you’re running from it brother the only road that I can see
If you’re running from it brother the only road that I can see
Is the road that leads to nowhere and nowhere is a fool like me
Rain keep a falling falling round my window pane
Rain keep a falling falling round my window pane
Ain’t never seen so much rainy weather guess I’ll never see the sun again

Save those dimes and nickels save ‘em for a rainy day
Save your dimes and nickels save ‘em for a rainy day
It ain’t gonna keep the rain from coming but at least you know you’ve paid your way
Rain rain rain keep a falling