Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bethel Spring Series 2009 - Pre Ris van Bethel

So it's Saturday afternoon, about 4:30 (5:30 on my watch, since I already set it ahead, hint hint), and I'm here at my dad's. No one is here except me, though, since my dad and bro are delivering a car to my bro in Maine, and my sis-in-law is out somewhere with the three kids. Or the three kids are out, and so is my sis-in-law.

Something like that.

I got up kind of early this morning, trying to get myself into the mode for tomorrow's ridiculously early wake up call. So I was up and around at about 5:30 AM, checking one of our kittens, letting the others snuggle, feeding them a bit, and reading about the 1984 Tour.

But my pep petered out at about 7:30 or something, and I came back to bed and fell into a delirious REM type of sleep, one which the missus kept interrupting to wake me up. She realized that I was delirious so waited until I seemed different, and got me at an oddly cohesive moment. I sprung out of bed, about an hour and a half after I dropped into it.

I spent what had to be 3 hours figuring out what needed to go into the car for the drive down to my dad's. I managed to get in a 30 minute ride on the trainer, realizing things like, well, that I hadn't tightened the bars when I assembled the bike, but that the seat was in the right place.

I had to bring a few things back home from last week's aborted race, like my bike, my gear, and some electronic stuff. Since I scattered all that stuff over the last week, I had to go around and gather them all up again. I ended up with something like the following:

- clothing for non-cycling
- toiletries, including stuff that I'll leave at my dad's so I don't have to bring them again
- gear bag with cycling stuff, including BOOTIES! (I packed them with my summer helmet when I went to CA, and I never used it, so I sorta forgot where they were, and I was starting to panic a bit)
- laptop bag with two laptops
- wireless router from home, to network the two laptops. I just used our home router, plugged it in upstairs to verify it would work, it did, so it went into my bag
- Carpe Diem Racing business book. I'm tracking expenses and such in it.
- Coat in case it's cold. Scarf, gloves, hat, etc.
- Bike. With carbon wheels. Can't find my carbon brake pads though, so will ride without them. Race wheels I left in the van.
- three folding chairs
- ream of paper
- Bin with TiVO, cables and remote for same, all the radios
- USB cable for the mini camcorder
- 4 pin to 4 pin 16 foot firewire cable for finishline camera in case TiVO doesn't work
- WD-40 for cleaning my drivetrain

Also, since we have a bunch of kitties at home, I did some preparations for their day and a half on their own. We have 2 adults, 1 fixed male kitten, 1 just-fixed female kitten whose incision I checked a few times and it seems fine, 1 unfixed male (due in a couple weeks), 1 unfixed female (ditto), and 1 fixed female cat (she's just under a year old, so about 5 months older than the others) who is a guest for the moment and isolated in our "cat guest room".

That's a room that's so far been used primarily for cats in isolation (seriously). We've used it for cats that haven't gotten checked for diseases, that are new to the house, etc. The kittens were there until they could get tested for feline HIV and such, Mouse (the glue trap cat) was in there until she went to her new family's house, and now we have Estelle in there, a black long haired cat.

Anyway, I had to make sure the cats would be okay till Sunday evening. This meant filling their water bowls (about 1.5 liters), filling their bowls with food (1 scoop per cat per half day, so 18 scoops), and cleaning out their litter boxes.

Estelle gets treated separately and she has food, water, and a litter box of her own.

Since I was shuttling stuff out to the car, I'd grab a bin of new litter on the way in, and this way I brought in 210 pounds of new litter. I hope the floor is strong enough to support them all.

I drove the non-highway way to the highway and regretted it. Folks really take their time on Saturday afternoons, and the other way would have been much better. Note to self - next week, take the highway way.

After an agonizing drive down to my dad's, I steeled myself for doing some sweeping. I jumped in the van, stuck the key in the ignition, and...


Not even a click. I checked the lights (off), the glove compartment door that has a light inside that stays on if the door is open (glove compartment was shut), interior lights (off)...

Then I looked down at a couple specks of dirt moving across my hand.


Suddenly the van seemed a distant worry.

Yes, they were ticks. No, I'm not overreacting. Well, not now anyway. At the time I went bug-eyed (I refrained from screaming, I don't know how), jumped out of the van, and desperately wrung my hands at the driveway. Then I tried to crush the one tick I could still see. The other one must have flown off in some other direction.

(I'm still randomly feeling a slight itch or something on random places on my body and of course it's a tick or three in my mind).

Since my dad got Lyme it's no joking matter, but at least I could see those ticks. Ticks you can't see give you Lyme, which is a bummer because I can't see any ticks that I can't see.

I jump started the van (it worked, so the battery was reasonably okay). After a few minutes I realized that it just doesn't like to idle anymore. So I gotta take it back to the garage and see what's up with it, because I don't feel like looking at it. I mean, yeah, I looked at the engine when the hood was up, but I like when I can look over the whole engine, not peer into a tunnel with an engine in it.

I called the guy that was going to help me sweep because with the sketchy van, I didn't want to drive over to the course and strand myself on the way. Tomorrow morning the missus can follow me so I'll have backup.

So now I have all this time to do things like figure out some of the expenses so far for Bethel, check the spreadsheet for any other problems, and see what there is to eat around here.

Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything. Hopefully the weather cooperates a bit tomorrow. Hopefully the van makes it to the race.

Lots of "hopefully's". I'm hoping it all works out.


Connor Sallee said...

duder, you can definitely get lyme from ticks that you both CAN and can't see. i've gotten it, graham has gotten it like 5 times. every person i know from the northeast has gotten it at least once.

take a shower and shave EVERYTHING so you get rid of it, cause lyme's will lay you up for an unrealistically long time.

shave that undercarriage!

c-rob said...

small thing but be sure, if washing your components with WD40, to wash it extremely well because if left on it will prevent lubrication from sticking to necessary parts