STILL MORE TO COME

After a good weekend at pool and a no hassle Ski trip to Telluride without any hitches there is a chance of 1-2″ tonight starting after 0400. I get up at 0230 and nothing yet.

0600 and up for some coffee and this is what greets me! Its coming down in buckets, big buckets, and there is 6″on the rail in less than 4 hours!!!!

A lot more than the forecast 1-2″

So much it has STOPPED the weather station and the rotation of the anemometer

No school buses this morning and the plows are everywhere. It stops around 1000 and I venture up to the bus barn and fill in the activity forms that we had run out of. My next trip to Ouray has already been cancelled because someone had the dates wrong (again) and I did this trip a short while ago.

Wednesday now, most of the 6″ has gone and the next deluge, which was promised to be HUGE has diminished and it now seems it could be mainly rain as the temps are in the low 40’s F

Looking grim!

Home from another session of physio on the shoulder and the Director has been calling. Seems Patty, the D11 Horse driver, has damaged her foot. Can I drive this afternoon? “Of course”, and this might be for a few days depending on what she has done ….. we will see when we get to the bus barn this afternoon.

Drive the route and back to the barn where Larry tells me she will be in tomorrow morning ….. hardy or foolhardy?   anyhooo  pool tonight of the 9 Ball variety and once again there are a mass of hopefuls for tonight’s comp. I start well with three wins of the needed 5 and should have won round 4 when I had everything going on a long 9 and playing off the cushion it was straight as an arrow and I needed a  little angle to ensure “no follow on” but after sinking the 9 the bloody table, which is not true, allowed the cue ball to curl in!!! Now in the loser’s bracket I win two more games and I’m playing in “3rd or Better” with the ever grumpy and argumentative Michael who is contesting my first win when he shot the 9 in a pocket that he didn’t nominate. 3rd was good enough and with Brenda suffering it was time to go home at 2300 and another long session on the tables.

The big weather picture is getting WORSE in my opinion but they say only 1/2″ in each of the 3 reporting periods. Judge for yourself,

Slap bang over us, snowing like hell, and beginning to settle!

For the last 3 weeks Brenda has been suffering from an inability to breathe and has been on different anti-biotics and various inhalers all to no real improvement. A very disturbed night for everybody and this morning (Valentines Day) the decision is made for a visit to the Cortez Hospital ER. It snows nearly all the way into Cortez turning over to rain and sleet as we approach the hospital. More on this saga in the next article.

In my vast experience as an aviator I have found these latest weather radar pictures somewhat unbelievable as I have had more MET briefings than most people have had hot breakfasts and as I explained to Brenda from these images we are in for some SERIOUS snow when the temps drop this evening.

Really nasty!!!

……. and so it is! Continuous wet snow piling up and since we got home amazingly the weather service has changed it’s mind, issued various winter storm advisories and winter storm warnings. The daytime and nighttime predictions have gone up from a 1/2″ for each to 1-2″ for the afternoon and 3-5″ overnight.

However, enough is rapidly becoming enough.

please !

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STILL SNOWING

Thursday 7th Feb and finally the snow has stopped and we are back to blue skies for a few days but very cold in the aftermath of the current bout of winter storms.

Needless to say any thoughts of cycling and knocking miles off the 4000 target are ONLY thoughts as today the roads are snow covered and the temps are well below freezing with an overnight forecast of -1F.

To go with the theme the Director rang me late yesterday afternoon with a request for me to take this Sunday’s ski trip which is fine by me. Just a shame you are not allowed to ski yourself.

Instructor, or not, NO SKIING in case you can’t drive home

You can watch, …….. on top of “See Forever”

No true parallel demos for YOU!

Saturday morning, cold, very windy, but no snow in the forecast so all looks good for the Activity ski trip tomorrow. Pool this afternoon and I’m taking a couple of extra sticks as someone is thinking of buying them …… we will see how that goes.

Who will be King today ?

One of the many “Michaels” arrives and announces to one and all he is paying for everyone’s entry as he won a LARGE sum of money on last week’s Superbowl. It seems the news has got out and we are treated to our biggest entry EVER with 32 players! With today’s numbers you need four consecutive wins to get in the money and then if you win round five you are either first or second. Should you lose then you will play for 3rd and better. For me after last week’s 3rd place overall, despite my first round loss, I sail through all 5 games without a loss and meet Juan in the final! We started at 1400 and its now gone 2100 !!! I miss the black in game 1 and this sets up Juan perfectly. Round 2 of the final and this time I don’t make any mistakes and victory is mine! Not only a very satisfying win for that 1st place but a pretty good payout of $77.50 due to the number of players. I also get $5.00 from Andy who took a side bet on me, and I sold one stick to Ernesto for $40.00 so overall a very pleasant day on the tables.

Mr Shark for me!

Rehab exercises done, weight down a smidge this morning, lets hope that continues after a few days “plateauing” which is never a good feeling as you feel as though you are achieving nothing even though you are following the program.

TONY DOWN

2019 TARGETS

 

As we move into February time again to set targets and goals for the coming year. On the cycling front the target for this year will be the same as last year at 4000 miles.

Health wise the first issue is to get back down to my desired fighting weight of 195 pounds, or lbs, in old money. The Nutrisystem worked well in the past and seems to be going in the right direction this time as I move into week 2.

This coming week its also off for some physio on the damaged left shoulder and see if that helps or if I need surgery ?

Need to get some skiing in with all this snow and then start thinking motorbikes again as the Beemer is back up and running.

Plenty of snow this year!

Lets go !

Beemer ready for Spring!

The Superglitz Yam and little brother, No Excuses Cub, both need their spring do-over and then some light riding on the 3 line.

Got the “winter” sulk on

Caster & Pollux ….. the heavenly rides

Superglitz  at the ready

Don’t forget me!

More Activity trips for the weekend with another basketball trip up to Norwood on Friday and then skiing up at Telluride despite the awful storm forecast for Sunday.

Meanwhile its 8 Ball as always on Saturday and today I manage to screw myself in my first game with a small dose of overconfidence and scratch the cue ball off the 8 when a bit more of a good common sense shot would have been the way to go!

However, now on the loser’s bench and in the 1st Out round I win through this one beating Marty while the other pairing are struggling to finish their game. I played another 6 games beating Jeannie, Doug, then Brenda along with Ernesto (who is getting a lot better) and Dave who clearly hadn’t brought his “A” game. I’m now in 3rd and better against Destry and its close but he wins and goes on to take 1st place, but I certainly had a fun afternoon despite my 1st round loss, and was pleased to finish in the money with another 3rd place.

The ski trip went as planed and the weather was fortunately not as bad as the forecast.

Tuesday and off to the physio and a 45 min session and he tells me about 6 weeks, but no surgery, and just need to strengthen up those rotator muscles to hold everything together.

All done with rubber bands and a friendly door

Home in time to set off for some SAR of the Christmas items still buried under the first falls of snow. This goes well with many items extracted but some are still frozen in by their cables and are a long way off from coming free. The forecast is for another 10″ over the next 3 days …….. but at least I made a start!

Thursday and the snow has stopped.

 

TONY DOWN

WEIGHING & WAITING

Coming up to the end of week one on the diet and time to weigh in and get those answers from the Doctor.

They agree my shoulder is poorly! Just booked the first session of PT. Having examined the sample they say I need a course of Heart Burn medicine ?     ……… and its not the local dreaded infection so I’ll take the 14 day course and see where that goes.

Wednesday lunchtime and the Director calls with an unexpected drive on D30, the Wolf bus, keep them coming!

Out for a little pool of the 9 Ball variety which goes quite well but we both fell short coming into the final turn. However, a few Gt’s helped and their diet plan is working too!

The main diet is working and today the scales show 208.0 which is a loss of 3.4 lbs for week 1. Can’t complain at that so stick with the program.

Not there yet, I’ll settle for 195 this time round

Back in my “homeland” I feel a bit sorry for Prince Phillip but he is 97 when all is said and done and after accident 1 he was out and about in a brand NEW Range Rover!!!

Ooops !! …… bloody peasant driving around the Sandringham estate scaring all my pheasants…..  nerve of the fellow!

Well never mind your wife will get you a new one

……. and so SHE did …….Very nice

Perks of the job ……. (that’s me in the green hat )

Time to get out there and get a few miles in as Nutrisystem say add some exercise in week 2

Nice idea, conditions reasonable with zero wind and temps just above freezing but …….. the battery in the speedo has quit! Same problem as last year, seems they last a year or 4644 miles! Could I find the bag with all the spares and replacement batteries ??  Of course not! …… however I did find a NEW unit and eventually managed to get it set correctly for this year but the time had slipped away and temps were on the way down and wind was on the way up … NO ride then for January 2019 …… but then Brenda remembered where she had put the bag with all the bits so the day finishes on a high.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 YEARS ON

 

 

 

About this time in January three years ago as I was recovering from that lovely bout of pneumonia and decided I needed to lose a fair bit of weight as it had crept up over the years to 220 lbs. It then becomes uncomfortable to sit down and breathe as the diaphragm pushes up against the lower lobes of the lungs.

I can do this!!

After two sessions of the good old Nutri System Diet the weight was back down to just under 195 on a good day. With all the cycling it stayed that way for over a year. During 2017 despite cycling 3602 miles I was hovering around 200 and during this last year, of 2018, it has gone up to around 212 despite another 4644 miles.  Christmas and I’m feeling bloated, even more uncomfortable and determined to get back down there again.

Yesterday time to start a new regime with Brenda’s doctor in Cortez and he wanted to do a “poop” check as he says there is some local infection that is widespread in this part of Colorado and causes all the symptoms I have.

That’s what gas and bloating will do!

He also sent me for some X-rays on my left shoulder that was damaged during Day 1 of the Pre 65 Silver Jubilee Scottish of 2009

Back in the hotel after Day 1,  I can hardly lift my left arm

Day 2, I finish the event, but its hard work

When we got back from the Hospital my Nutri system order had been delivered so TODAY, Jan 24, the Diet begins at 211.4

Back to the hospital with the “sample” and then off to X-ray for 4 shots to see what the problem is.

Friday and Saturday I’m on Activity trips with the school so no BEER today as I’m not playing pool. Sunday and Monday off and a few more outside things get done as the slow thaw continues.

Monday morning and a call asking me to drive this afternoon on the D31 bus which is basically our longest route trip going almost up to Rico.

Tuesday 29th, an afternoon drive on D11, the Horse bus and then a couple of days off before Activity trips on Friday and Sunday. Almost time to get the “thermals” back on and get back on the bike!

Should get the results from the X-rays and tests soon but I could follow their advice on Wed/Thurs with the gentle ride.

TONY DOWN

DIGGING OUT

Sorry Ruddie, I’ve been asked to switch them off

Sunday 20 Jan, Christmas is now officially over, and the lights are out! A lot of melting going on today but in order to get at some areas I had to dig out the tool shed and the workshop.

Some of my helpers are leaving

With the tool shed dug out I had access to the long pole to get the shooting stars down from the trees. All the ice lights for the Boat House and Shade Garden are now down along with the Maple Tree star.

Next thing to do between playoff games is to get some of my furry friends in and let them dry out before I can put them away. Still over the one foot mark in the front beds so this section will take some time before I can get all the connectors and cables out as they are iced in! …… and the forecast is for another 4″ on Monday.

Interesting walking over the 1 foot deep snow in the front bed area as it had a frozen crust and it was like snowshoeing in places. Several soft friends collected and then dried.

Balcony done!

Upstairs all the balcony rail figurines taken down along with the 3 wreaths. Monday will be the last shooting star and ALL remaining house lights.

Lunchtime and all the balcony and upper frontage lights down and boxed along with all the power cables …… just the lower balcony and the LED lights up the balcony poles ….. its getting COLDER as I work and feels like the forecast snow is just around the corner as that evil cold wind picks up.

Big burst of snow, turning into a blizzard, with resort size flakes which are now settling …… and more to come tonight. It continues to snow for most of the afternoon and then as we drop below freezing it starts to pile up and another 3″ are on the rail.

Today, the temps stay below freezing and tonight its down to 4F . Different soft of snow to the heavy wet stuff we have been having as this pure powder and the wind is spinning it up.

You may remember the Christmas season was pretty tough on the sleigh and there were several malfunctions….

The sleigh goes in for repairs and Santa and Ruddie go and see how the mechanic is getting on and what it will all cost.

Well never mind, they have it fixed and its duly delivered back to the North pole.

Good luck for 2019

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS EXTENDED

Still snowing!

With constant snow in the forecast and the large dump from last weekend I have NO choice but to extend the Christmas holiday this year as I can’t get at the outside decorations! All buried under about 8″ of the white stuff.

Destroyed by falling avalanche off the roof

Well as a Christmas lover I can continue with the theme. One major snow slide  off the roof destroyed the wiring to the boathouse side Shooting Star and its associated ice lights but the rest are still functional so I’ll keep the lights on until I can see where everything is and I can safely dismantle the show and put it away.

Meanwhile as we move through a snowy January Rudolph is having his annual confidential job report and after all the breaktime chats things are not looking too good.

Let’s see what everyone is saying about YOU!

Looks like there will be plenty of time to review Rudolph’s fate as the current forecast is 3-7″ tonight and then another 2″ tomorrow and then on Thursday night HEAVY SNOW!

Santa begins;   “well Rudolph there have been several incidents of insubordination as we can see here……”

and then in the Kitchen at Christmas lunchtime……..

“Then there was that navigation incident when your comments were not entirely complimentary”

….. and of course your lack of driving skills with reference to the elf community”

……. and then this happens!”

……and if you want to get promoted you need to brush up on your spelling and planning

…… and then there is the subject of personal hygiene

Well the snow keeps coming! The forecast snow for yesterday was only about 3-4″ but it was that very wet slushy stuff and with temps around the 30F its a real mess everywhere. More slides off the roof and digging out of the Men’s room, again, and Hypertherm was covered and collapsed under the weight. Still snowing and another 5″ on its way for tomorrow night.

We get another4″, there may have been more but it came down in blizzard conditions along with tree branches and anything else the wind could move. Another plough out and a bit of a break until the next round early next week.

Santa tells Rudolph he can stay for another year and shows him how he started the business all those years ago.

Of course he’s worth billions now.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL

The mighty Bluebird School Bus

Tuesday 8th Jan and its back to school day and hopefully the start of a melt to get rid of some of the snow. A quick refresher drive on one of the shorter routes as I’m driving this one tomorrow as the lady driver has to take her three kids to the dentist first thing.

Morning run seems to go incident free despite all the snow and ice on the side roads and no Elves were harmed unlike poor Rudolph on one of his Christmas runs.

An afternoon run into Cortez to see the route for a “Special Needs” boy who we take into town. I’ll be driving this one on the 17th when another lady driver needs a day off.

Thursday and a morning and afternoon “drive along” refresher ride in case I need to drive the “Chicken” route in the near future. A couple of activity trips on Friday and next Monday which have a bit more distance and meat on the bones but as I know where the schools are not a lot of time map searching and planning. (Unlike friend Santa)

Rudolph has been in a bit of a depression since the beginning of the Christmas season with identity crisis issues and worrying about zero pay rises and whether the whole deal is viable in 2019. Always a problem when  you work for the government and the Clown has shut it down.  A lot of these chats occur during breaktime and is does seem if this goes on Rudie might get fired as the lead sled man/woman or whatever.

This all starts up on the roof

Continues in the workshop

More heated breaktime chatter

Still more questions …….. could be handled by Amazon next year

Meanwhile, back here in Dolores its Friday and I’m on an activity run to Ridgway this afternoon with some snow showers in the forecast but nothing here at home base.

With the melt going on the Shade Garden and Workshop entrance have taken some heavy hits with the snow almost up to window lines as it continues to slide off the roof with audible “thumps” as it lands.

A LOT  of heavy wet snow and ice from the roof

On the other side of the building I’m on constant call to shovel this heavy wet snow, including a night outing, to rescue our new cabin tenant who was in the Men’s Room when the “crash” was heard! New warning signs are now in place.

Much cutting and shoveling

The signs go up

The activity trip to Ridgway yesterday went more or less as planned on the outbound portion with the snow starting as light rain just after the turn at Telluride. At the bottom of the hill is had become light but steady snow and continued all the way to Ridgway. Forecast was for it to stop about 1600 but it just kept coming and was still falling as we left at 2200. Going through the town I could feel the bus sliding a little on corners and under light braking. Up the Great Divide Pass I have about 6 cars behind me and I’m crawling along at 35 mph and even when we get to the two lane uphill portion nobody wants to overtake.

The slow drive continues all the way to Telluride and onward up and over the Lizard Head pass and down to Rico where eventually it has stopped and the last 30 miles are snow free. Home just after 0100, now that’s another long day!

Saturday morning and the snow (unforecast) is now here in Dolores and we have an inch or so ….. surprise, surprise!

Christmas Eve surprise!!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACK TO NORMALITY

Saturday 5th January   …. its here again

So soon ?

Always a sad time for me as 12th Night approaches and you know its time to get those decorations down and put back into storage for another year. Being Saturday its pool again so not much happening on the Christmas decs front and the current weather forecast may well become “a delay of game” penalty as we are in for 3″ tonight and another 4″ + tomorrow. Finding electrics and collecting wet items out of 12″ of snow may not be a good or pleasant idea.

Pool went well, after two good wins a black and scratch in game three which I should have seen coming. No matter, an excellent comeback on the losers side with wins over Sam, Marty, Chaz,Terry, Destry, and then Michael for third and better who I had scratched against earlier. Can’t match John today so I finish second for the second time this week! Total winnings $66.50 …. not bad!

The weather forecast was spot on, started to snow just before midnight and still going strong this morning. Looks like inside decorations, upstairs and down, a couple of play off games to watch and officially declaring Christmas 2018 is now OVER.

I found a “boatload of my favorite Reindeer cartoons” on the internet, the first being one from a Christmas card from Edward several years ago which made me laugh.

Just luv’em and the Rudolph looks, got a ton of these so here are a few more ….

Just like hunting for Black Bears

Monday 7 Jan, the storm has passed, it dumped about 10″ of wet snow and is still very cold at midday at only 24F. Just adding a note for myself here as I have just cancelled a free trial which turned out to be a scam and post 18 days from the day I ordered they would be charging me $160 monthly!!!! It was one of those scams claiming it was Shark Tank approved etc, etc……. thanks Brenda.

Loopy Reindeer

As the month moves on we did complete all the “take down” of Christmas decorations, both upstairs and down and they’re all away in the loft for another year. Outside will take awhile as its over the 1 foot mark and needless to say downright dangerous working up a ladder with snow and ice everywhere. Time for a break (kit kat) and here’s one I like but I guess you don’t get Penguin bars in USA which is a favorite UK snack food bar.

Rudolph often has these break time chats with Santa and after the next one changes his opinion of the penguin.

Break time again

There you have it Penguins are  gooooood !

The day continues with a much needed plough out and after a lot of serious thumps as major avalanches off the roof take place I’m in shoveling mode to clear the falls so that people can use the men’s room. Meanwhile Rudolph sets up a stall to make some money from all the extra snow.

Rudolph the entrepreneur

He is also out on the main road playing with a road sign and drumming up some trade for the snowmen

Tuesday and its back to school and a nice sunny day with hopefully some melting so I can get on those outside decs.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WRAPPING UP 2018

Saturday 29 Dec, last part of the year seems to have gone very quickly? It has to be said I’ve been a bit “off” since the end of October and not 100% sure what the problem is, it could be the remnants of my last cold, as since then I’ve been short of breath again, feeling congested, and bloated and very uncomfortable sleeping and sitting, exactly like the first dose of pneumonia I got back in 2015.

Well I’m thinking another dose of the Nutrisystem Diet is coming in the near future, I did it back in 2016 and got down to 195 and I think despite all the cycling I’ve put about 10 lbs back on.

Talking cycling, just before Christmas I thought I might get out there and knock off a few more miles, but it was not to be with the  awful cold and miserable conditions.

Lunchtime on New Year’s Eve and I have 4″ on the rail and the forecast is about 10 more to come!! So without more ado I can safely say I will not be venturing out on snow packed roads with a temp of 17F !!!!

Not all gloom, as the 3 year cycling total now stands at;

2016               2031.22 miles

2017              3602.09  miles

2018               4644.30  miles

TOTAL      10,277.61 miles @ 7000′  Still a fair way to go to the finishing line at 24,902  !

Nice big fire required to deal with all this, better invite Snoopy in

They like it

Well the snow kept coming and we ended up with 8″ on the rail and about 12″ overall. We were ploughed out again yesterday and eventually the snow stopped around 1900.

Plenty of NOG

Can’t remember when I’ve ever been this bored in my life as with nobody to talk to life becomes very dull. New Year’s Eve night I could not sleep at all and had to get up and watch Hallmark movies and the snow which was incessant. Last night wasn’t much better and I woke up at 0500 and very cold. House heating on, coffee in cup and relight the fire as the temp is  -6F, now that’s cold, very COLD !

Major problems of the New Year become evident the moment I have a look at my bank account ……. my UK Old Age Pension did not get paid ????? in December. This is a 4 week pension (you get paid 13 times a year) and it was due when the bank account was having problems with the new debit cards which were not working and the account went into a “hold” status…… and as I know NOW, that not only means you can’t get money out, but you can’t get it in EITHER!

Today was my second day struggling with this one but fortunately the good people at the UK Pension Center traced my  money and it had been returned.  They will pay it again TODAY!

Yesterday was my last day of the “Cabin Fever” as Brenda will be back this evening and I shall be joyously pleased to see her and have someone to talk to. Being Wednesday I walked down to the pool competition and sailed through to a good second place and $28.00 prize money. That took until 2230 as we had 16 players.

 

TONY DOWN