Stupid Groundhog

So, the groundhog saw his shadow, which supposedly means six more weeks of winter. Bah!
At least the New York groundhog (Chuck) fulfilled a long-time wish of mine and bit someone (not just anyone, New York’s Mayor Bloomburg!)

Remember when I said that I didn’t much care about the snow and ice that was forecast for us? Well, I lied. We got it, it’s still around, and I hate it. But I am still taking some solace in my cheerful little Shamrock’s reemergence.


Shamrock 2009-02-05 (1)

Spring Arrives (in my kitchen)

I have a potted shamrock that I received as a birthday/Saint Patrick’s Day gift a few years ago. It thrived in my kitchen window, producing blooms almost continuously. Back in September, though, it seemed to be becoming less vigorous and I decided that maybe it needed a rest. Being essentially a bulb (actually a rhizome, I believe), it made sense to me that it might need a dormant period, so early in November I snipped off all of its leaves and flowers, stuck it in a paper bag and tucked it away in the back of the refrigerator.

After I did this, I did a bit of Googling and discovered that apparently I should have withheld water until it died back on its own, then put it away for a nap. I really worried that I might have killed it with my impulsiveness, but I stuck to original plan and hoped for the best. I took it out just after Christmas and started watering it. A few weeks went by and nothing was happening, reinforcing my fear that I’d killed it. Then, last Friday, I thought I detected new growth, but feared it was just wishful thinking. Suddenly, Sunday, three leaves shot up! Hooray! I’m hopeful that this means it will begin producing blooms in time for my birthday, as per my plan.

There may be a winter storm warning in effect through Wednesday and we may get another six inches of snow, but I don’t care (much). It’s Spring in my kitchen!

New Bike Update

As you may remember (click here for a refresher), I was planning (and saving) to buy a Bianchi Pista Concept frameset. I had basically made my mind up to wait until next Spring and then get an ’07. Then Providence intervened, the exhaust fell off of my car, and the repair bill wiped out my new bike savings, thus making the decision for me.

I just got a look at Bianchi’s 2007 lineup on their website, and boy, did I like what I saw! I’ve never been a huge fan of Bianchi’s trademark Celeste color, but the most recent pearlescent incarnation did grow on me, after a time, and I decided that the Pista Concept in Celeste was a pretty sweet-looking ride. That being said, I’m so glad I waited for this:

2007 Bianchi Pista Concept

‘Athena White’ with Celeste decals!
Plus, it appears from the picture that they’re going to stop putting the model year on the top-tube. That was the biggest gripe I had (and a major factor in my decision to wait, rather than get a 2006 model late in the year); I really hope the picture is representative of the actual production decals.

Looks like I already know where my Income Tax refund is going!

Like I Needed Another Reason To Hate Winter

So, I’m driving home from work today, and as I come across one of the speed-bumps by the park, the whole goddamned exhaust falls off of my beloved Maxima. Well, not off exactly, but down, as in ‘suddenly my car sounds like my idiot neighbor’s far-too-loud-to-be-legal-jackass-mobile’ and I can hear shit dragging the ground.

Crawling under the car upon arriving home, I discover that that the intermediate pipe has rusted completely through (thanks, road salt!) and the resonator is now dragging the ground. At a minimum, everything downstream from the catalytic converter will have to be replaced. Oh, joy! Looks like the new bike will have to wait. Thankfully the money that I had saved up for the new bike should just about cover it. Let me just say:

“Shit!”

Snow

Thankfully, the foreboding forecast was a bit off, we only got an inch or two, it scarcely stuck to the roads and sidewalks at all, and it had all melted by Wednesday.

For those commentators (Hi Jon, hi Fishy!!) and others also battling the evil white scourge, let me remind you of my favorite snowy day marching riding cadence:

    I do not like it when it snows
    I do not like it no, no, no!

If that’s a bit too ‘Dr. Seuss’ and not enough ‘boot camp’ for you, you can also spice it up with curse-words. Sometimes I do!