Monday, September 10, 2012

The hot seat

  I just returned from a pretty productive and fun weekend in Ohio.  I took off work on Friday and scooted out of NoVa Thursday night after rush hour.  Made it to my mom's house right about midnight.  I ran over a cat about 2 miles from home.  I prepared for the type of bump you get when riding over a downed racer in a criterium but found cats, unlike humans on a bicycle, are quite squishy.  It felt like nothing more than running over a phone book.  I'm not sure how the cat enjoyed its 560lb back massage though.

I woke up friday and ordered all the wood I would need to build my mom's deck.  The deck would be 8x18 with a 2ft wrap around step.  Effectively making the deck 12x20.  I ordered all the materials and they said it would be ready for pickup in a few hours.  Meanwhile I rode over to my cousins and we took apart my motorcycle to do some repairs. 

I've been having a wierd electrical issue that sometimes I can trace to one specific connector and other times it's even farther back.  I guessed two connectors were bad somewhere in the wiring harness.  He invited his 70yr old neighbor over who enjoys working on bikes and we dug into it.  We decided eventually just to run an entirely new wire.  Once we got that working we got to the main problem I discovered last week and was anxious to fix.  My gas line was rotting.  It had been looking a bit bad and I wanted to replace it.  Then on my trip home I found myself looking down at 88mph and seeing gas actually spraying out of it with 4 hours left in my trip to Ohio.  That turned the want into a requirement.  I did the math in my head comparing the flash point of gasoline to the outside engine temperature of a motorcycle engine  and it made me feel pretty safe that I wouldn't be a flaming missile.....but seeing gas shooting out....and then running over a cat.....sure made for an anxious ride.

We got the bike all fixed up and removed a good deal of feline fur and I had to hit the road to get the wood.  While I was gone my cousin detailed and polished my motorcyle and let me borrow his truck.  I let him borrow $23k  for a few months so I guess he felt like being a nice guy.  My bike looks better after his treatment than it did when I bought it :-)

Once I got the wood the building marathon began.  I worked on that deck from about 2pm Friday to 8pm.  Got the ledger board on and the posts all set.  Then headed to Geneva on the Lake for "Thunder at the Strip".   My town is a summer resort town and it normally closes this weekend.  All the businesses board up and close down for the winter.  My friend owns a bar down there and came up with this Sturgis type motorcycle rally idea a few years ago.  Now he makes 1/3 of his yearly sales in this 4 day event.  Crazy how one good idea can take off like that.  This weekend there were 30,000 bikers in town plus all the locals.  It was quite a party.

When I got down there my friend Mike and his brother were trying to help the stage people get setup for the Warrant concert and things weren't going well.  After an entire day of screwing up he finally fired the sound guy on the spot because nothing was working.  Having worked in a production company in the Virgin Islands I had a little experience with the generator trucks and all so I said I'd take a look.  Dave and I found a few problems, one of which was a loose ground so Mike pulled his truck over there and I attached the ground wire directly to the frame of his truck.....that and taking a wire brush to a bunch of the contacts and we were in business.

The cool thing was that now because his truck was there we had the perfect place to sit and watch the concert.  As we watched the show the lead singer called up Dave and I and thanked us for saving the show and had Dave sing and pretend to play guitar while I banged on this spare set of drums.   It's funny.  I've run in track meets in Europe with thousands of people pounding on the stands.  I've run marathons with millions of people lining the course.  But I've never had thousands of people focused on me like that.  I pretty much sucked at the drum banging but the chicks seemed to dig it.  When I got back to my seat on top of the truck the girls from the "Girls Gone Wild" van came over and one by one rubbed their boobs in my face.  

They wandered off and we went back to watching and a few friends I hadn't seen in 19years hopped up with us.  It was a great time talking with them.  Sitting in the place I grew up, listening to the 80's music I grew up with, and telling stories with the guys.  What a fun night!!   Later when my friend was sitting in the same spot I had been when the boob extravaganza took place (Turns out those girls are nothing but paid strippers who just mix in the crowd and pretend to be actual college girls gone wild.  Then they try to incite normal girls to join them..) one of them came up to him grabbed him by the hand and drug him off for a bit of recreation.  All my married friends decided that it was that particular seat and went to fighting about who got to sit there next.  hahahha

The next morning I got up bright and early to run with the youth track club in my town.  The coach keeps trying to get me to finish my masters degree and come back to Geneva to teach.  He said he's retiring in 2 years and that everyone wants me to take over as the coach.  Last time I was home a few of the junior high kids told me I was all they ever hear about whenever they tell someone they're a runner and that they're from Geneva so they've always wanted to meet me and run with me.  That made my ego feel good.  

After our 6 mile jog I headed back to my moms to work on the deck.  My friend Jim and my aunt came over to help.  I worked from about 11am until about 9pm and then headed back to the lake for another concert. 

The next day I woke up and repeated the processes except this time the coach brought over about 8 of the local youth runners to help me.  That was a huge help and a lot of fun.  They said they wanted to give me the full court press to get me to move back and coach them when they got into high school.  That was cool.  We finished up the deck and steps about 2pm and again I went back down to the lake.  This time things were wrapping up and I had a 6hr ride home to look forward to.  I left about 7pm and got home around I'm dragging today... OUCH!!

I'm pretty beat up from all the manual labor but it was a fun weekend.  I now have only 2 more projects and my mom's house will be ready to sell.  I'm waiting on permits to build a retaining wall and I need to put some siding on a part of the house where my ex dad did a shitty job.  I came back to Virginia having had one of the busiest but most fun visits I've ever had.  No crazy family drama!  I loved seeing all the people I hadn't seen since high school.  We made some plans to go on a rafting trip next spring and are pretty excited for our 20 year reunion (dang I'm old) next year. 

Glad to get back to routine though.  I ran 9 miles last week........  I need to see if that darned patellar tendonitis is healed and get after it.