IDES TIME & SPRING BREAK

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Let’s hope so

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Maybe not

Ides time again and a small dose of unpleasant weather! Et Tu Brute ? Of all the elements wind is the one I like least and this one has been a cutting cold one and certainly not one to persuade me to cycle very far.

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No matter, Spring Break is just around the corner and Phil is joining us for a few days and putting in some “mummy” time.

So with 3 days lost due to high cold winds Thursday was the first 10 miler of the NEW regime and another 10+ on Friday and the final 6.34 this morning although the annoying  wind is back but the week  total is another increase over previous and topped out at 34.33 compared to week 1 at 23.81 and week 2 at 26.77……… maybe 40+ next week ?

Gardening and some yard clean up tomorrow, 3 days of driving then an either or for skiing on Thursday/Friday and then Phil’s last day on Saturday. Then it’s officially Spring Break and time to get some “real” jobs completed.

These jobs, in no particular order, are that veggie patch! …. and on that front fellow driver, Tom, has unlimited quantities of cow manure and horse shit! Of course many beds need attention and the annual rake up of leaves and trimming of branches before they get going. Need to get to Aspen Wall Wood and get 80 odd logs for the veggie bed raised wall.

Bikes need the annual pre event going over with wheels out, brakes cleaned and pivots greased. Swinging arms need the grease and carbs get the blow through and fresh fuel.

Beemer needs the mirror sorted after winter’s ravage and a new set of Iridium plugs which of course means half a day getting the old girl’s skirt and Tupperware off!

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I’m snow blind !

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Need to get in here

Safari needs a generator tune, an engine oil change and perhaps some new filters and tx fluid. Jack should help with this one I hope.

The week begins with F1 and also Moto GP …. my lucky day, but I did manage to hit a new high of 11.15 miles in some much nicer almost wind free conditions. Weight was down this morning to a new low of 203.6 from 219.8 and the target weight of around 190 looks like its attainable but a few weeks away.

Another 11.32 in the books for Monday but now the forecast is high winds with gusts up to 50 mph for today then backing off down to 35 on Wednesday. Skiing is now favorite for Friday.

Tuesday and the wind roars and Phil arrives in the gale and it even snows on their way back from Durango. Wednesday and snow on the rail overnight and very cold and windy! They go off to ride the train in Durango ……. and as the forecast is changing dive into Cortez for the ski rental just in case Thursday becomes the “prime” day.

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On turn round somewhere up the mountain

Sure enough the forecast says Thursday nice, with no wind, and Friday back to gusting 25-35 by the afternoon and snow showers thrown in. Telluride picked up about 12″ of fresh snow Wednesday night  and it looks very good on our drive up the hill and sparkles like diamonds on the virgin terrain which is enjoying its recent covering.

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” Does it get any………. ?”

Ski conditions are perfect with fresh groomed snow, pleasant temps and zero wind. What little cloud there was soon drifted away to blue skies and brilliant sunshine. No need to ask the question …. it doesn’t!   …… and the Bloody Mary’s were excellent too. Phil had lost none of his previous skills and after a few runs was off on his own to explore the mountain while Brenda and I enjoyed our “normal” Telluride day at the Ranch.

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“No !”

Thursday night and some mild 9 ball with burnt faces and then its bedtime.

Friday and a gentle day putting things away and returning skis to Cortez. Colder and with more wind Brenda and Phil go antique shopping before we try the re-opened Argentinian Grill in Rico which as it turns out is as good as ever and we enjoy a first class meal before the 35 mile return drive. Options are house and films, or back to the Riverfront for Karewhatnot …… fortunately for me, they elect to take on Jurassic  World and the fire burns once more.

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Very pleased they reopened

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An old favorite….. yummee Crab cake

Overnight the forecast snow for up country decided to make a Southerly sweep and we wake up to 6″ on the rail. So far the weather center in Grand Junction is unaware of our fate and still pushing out “less than 1″ possible” ……. still snowing as I type but a very wet snow and while pretty Now will be YUCKY when it stops.

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Less than 1″ ??

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Surprise !

By 0800 the snow has stopped and the melt begins. Plan for departure day is lunch in Durango and make the airport drop off at 1700. Excellent Brewpub located and lunch is taken there with fine vitals and brews. Very enjoyable. Window shopping to pass some time and then texts of delayed flights begin. The upshot of all this is about 1 hour delay and after dropping of we get the texts on the way home that all is well with no further hiccups.

TONY DOWN

 

PROGRESS

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A quick return on Thursday night, post the High School bus run and I make it to the Riverfront for my 2nd attempt at the new 9 ball season. Make it with 5 minutes to spare and Brenda already has my first GT waiting.

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The games begin and I’m up against Sydney who has already got a 1st and a 3rd place this season and clearly is going well. She breaks but gets nothing. I’m on and take the 1 ball to the top pocket and retreat the cue ball to center table for a “canon” type shot coming off the rail onto the blue and then onto the 9 ball …. it works and that’s game 1 for me.

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Sometime later I meet the Club Pro, Jerry, in the last of the undefeated players bracket. Jerry is so good that he just pots the balls sequentially and makes it look very, very easy! …… ooops, the white goes in a pocket and I have “ball in hand” and a chance at the last 4 balls.

Further review shows I can line up behind the 5 and can take the 9 into the corner if I hit it perfectly. 1 more nano watt of power was required and although it was on track it stopped one revolution away from the hole …….****! He wins, and now I’m playing for third or better against upcoming Willie. He misses his shot on the 9 and leaves me a difficult cut to the corner, which  I make, but the cue ball trundles all the way down the table for the scratch in the end pocket. Finish in 3rd but at least I enjoyed it and I’m qualified for the final.

Friday and the weight is down to 206.2 from 219.8 so progress on that front and off I go for the daily cycle ride round the town. Well I pick my days and don’t like too much headwind and today with some what limited time available clock up 6.53 on the odometer. Total for this week 26.77 miles for the 4 days. So far the 2 week total is 50.58 miles and I’m convinced there is an improvement.

Saturday and Jerry is bringing some eggs round and passing on a few cuemanship tricks. So, some stuff to work on, but now its time for 8 ball again over at the Riverfront. Arrive in good order but doesn’t seem as many as usual and indeed the Mancos contingent are missing but we still chalk up 19 players by the 1400 cut off.

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Not sure why but I feel I’m playing better, or maybe stroking the ball better, but whatever the reason I’m enjoying it and win 3 beating Brenda in the third round.

Lose my next one to Nick, who is currently playing very well. First on the black didn’t help as the shot was too risky! Play another 3 and now find my self playing Nick again for 3rd and better. GT is getting the “better” of me and despite a thrilling game Nick takes it and I’m in 3rd place for the second time this week.

So overall a few extra miles on the pedals, breathing capacity seems up, and two 3rd places in the Pool comps so I think we can call that PROGRESS!

TONY DOWN

 

 

WHAT’S IN STORE ?

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The fitness program continues and some extra work needs to be done on  pool table skills with a bit more finesse and science.

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Spring is almost on us and I see plenty of garden work ahead. Might even get that vegetable bed going as every year it slides on the back burner! Now its Ski time and  Phil is coming over.

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Phil with Brenda

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EPSON scanner image

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Skiing would be good

Brenda’s son Phil is coming for a visit and wants to ski (so do I) and he also wants to ride the Durango train with Brenda. By the end of this month we will be asparagus hunting and after years of believing this was a myth put about by the locals we actually found some last year so now we know where to go and what to look for.

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…….. and it grows wild ………. and its free…….. yummeeee!

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Now add a pork chop and some mashed…….. and butter

Trials wise I won’t be attending the opening round down in Roswell NM at the end of the month but should be good for the rest.

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First outing at Turkey Rock 21/22 May where I usually do quite well on the very grippy rock.

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Sections are just right at Tucker’s

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One day it will have water in it!

Nothing in June so gardening and fishing until 23/24 July when we take on another old favorite at Tucker’s Ranch and the Waterfall in the start area.

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August and Sipapu again in the middle of the month on 13/14. Not 100% sure about this place …….. variable results here over the years and one or two spectacular crashes I can do without!

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3 weeks later and I’m back in Casper WY in what I view as Trials Heaven. Back to Labor Day this year which I enjoy as it fits in with School Bus Driving and gives the extra day  for travelling.

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San Ysidro wraps up the season in mid October and hopefully won’t be as wet as last time when we had to leave early or be stuck there for a few days.

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Current thoughts are we will not be at Napa this year as the house needs a $3000 paint job on the exterior involving ladders and scaffolding……… and then there is “Scruffy” who, after make-up and wardrobe will hence force be called “Scuffy”

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As she was…….

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The refurbishment system starts, and it works !

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Something like this circa 1965

As soon as the boat gets Brenda’s final touches we should be out on the local lakes for trout, walleye and maybe a bass or two. Then a “maybe” on another engine ?

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What I’m currently using

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He says “it will slot straight in”

…….. and back to trials again …….. at the end of last season spoke to Ray (The Cub Guru)  over in CA and he surprised me by stating that he would build me up a NEW engine for the Cub over the winter from his large stock …. my mind immediately thinks of a 280 cc with a lower 2nd gear, the KTM kicker and all the other big boy mods that the EVO motor has in the UK. Ray says he think staying at standard 199 cc is the way to go so I left it at that, especially when the total cost to me for this enterprise was ZERO !  So,  as the keenness light was on I rang him last week to see if this was just a “post work” drunken rambling or whether fiction was actually fact. Well it could be fact???

Finding a few pics of Escalante Days Trials, of course the last one they hated so I stopped doing them but I could be persuaded for 2017 if somebody ever said “Thank you” !

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Two cleans here under the 4th Street Bridge

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Some said it WAS impossible ……..  I’m passed the “2” boards…….

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The biggest delight after the day of pouring rain was actually being the FIRST CLEAN of the dreaded Graded Hill …… and then 2 more!

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Fun sections in Lost Canyon and by “Bottle House”

 

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS 2015

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With Christmas long gone and we trundle into March just time to reflect on all those decs that went up and those outside NEWBIES that the judges liked and won us 1st place yet again in the Town’s Christmas Lights competition.

NEW additions for 2015 were a new inside tree to replace the old fiber optic Walmart one which although still functional was beginning to show its age. The top of the line model which was pre lit with multi color bulbs arrived, was erected,  …….. but SHE didn’t like it ! 2 days later the replacement with plain lights arrives and all is well.

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She likes it!

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I love it

Outside, after much research, laser lights were ordered and they certainly give a pleasing effect but in my opinion they need a bit more WHOOOMPH! These are angled up in the trees  but you need to be fairly close to see their magic. One fails as the blue light stops working so the company send another and then say keep the old one so now we have 3.

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Pleasing when close but hard to see from the road

My plans for outside also included the addition of decorating the Maple tree and using a bunch of the meteor shower lights which I thought were spectacular and will be increased 3 fold for 2016. By the time the Maple was having its lights put on Walmart and True Value had started selling off their light stock so plenty of reasonably priced goodies suddenly became available….. and as we will see for 2016 I was able to scoop up a LOT MORE when they were 75% off.

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“by day and by….”

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………. and by night ……. Noel, Noel……..etc”

Locally our Four Seasons nursery does Christmas trees and super ornaments and as the stuff is of such high quality the 75% off sale is really worth waiting for and we scored heavily on garlands and glass goodies.

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Got to have your garlands!

Christmas nears, and so does judging Saturday. Being Saturday its pool as usual and also one of our long term Cozy guests is leaving. Pool  is fairly mediocre on my part but Brenda is in a last ditch effort to qualify. About 1 hour into the play our leaving guest pops in to say he has a flat tire and no pump and the gas station one is frozen. OK, back to the ranch and beat my way through the snow to the workshop and drag out the compressor having changed the end piece.

The tire goes up but bulges start appearing in the sidewall so we know that will explode within a couple of miles. Now we need to change the bloody wheel and its starting to snow! Finally after getting more sockets out of the workshop the wheel is changed and it accepts air. He is on his way, and I trudge back to the Riverfront in time to see Brenda make it into the money and secure 3rd place.

About 5.30 we wish Christmas farewells to all and make our way home in the snow. As the stars in the east herald “good will to all” and Cozy Comfort on the horizon I can’t help but notice that something is not quite right ? As Cozy comes into view the whole of the NEW display on the left side is out!!! HUMBUG !! and other expletives break the crisp night air. Frantic cable changes to other electric outlets continue but within seconds the circuit breakers trip and with bitter cold frozen fingers I’m forced to accept defeat as I can’t rectify this in the dark.

Sunday morning and the problem is found as I had put a staple through a cable causing the short. All that work …. !!!!! However comma the judges had watched the build all week and were sympathetic and gave us joint 1st place with the Coffee Shop and a pleasing $100 check.

Lets see what they liked

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HAPPY CHRISTMAS 2015 from TONY & BRENDA

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GEEKY

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I wish!

After another frustrating day on the computer via the good old blog things are finally looking up. A few days ago I followed the computer instructions and updated the blog site. Next mission to upload some recent pictures for an article. Try as I might the system rejected every effort I made and as there is NO “contact us” to rectify the problem I’m left totally in the dark. Seems you have to go to a “forum” where some other user will email you through the problem in “computereese ” which I’m certainly not fluent in!!

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Eventually I decided to go backward and delete any of the updates that concerned pictures ………. and lo! the system is back up and running.

On the subject of pictures I’m still beyond furious over the loss of over 4000 pictures which vanished when Godaddy decided to stop hosting the Quick Blogcast that I’d been using since I started writing. While I’m not the only one to suffer this it still doesn’t help as  the vast majority of those “article appropriate” pictures were saved on old laptops that have been replaced. However, someone who has an interest in old ISDT events did email me saying he had found all my pictures of the RAF team’s exploits in the 1975 event.  Clearly there is a “way” to get some of them back but now I need to find a guru who knows how to do this and tell me the way to fix it. I can find some pics but they are in thumbnail and will not size up without losing the focus. Some of the very old pics I can re-scan and upload which will be a job for those retirement years.

Right now the emphasis is getting back on track health wise. Still losing a bit of weight on the Nutrisystem Diet and down to 208 from 220 so slightly ahead of their month 1 guarantee. The cycling seems to be working giving better lung capacity and more general energy although today might be the last ride for a couple of days as the weather forecast is snow and rain from Sunday onwards.

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Well its windy, seriously windy,  so no bike riding today which becomes a standard Saturday of GT’s and pool. I did find, and I’m finding more and more pictures from the past and some that I published on Trials Central.

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EPSON scanner image

1974 in the Cattle Market for the SSDT

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2008 Mick riding Superglitz  at Sandia on one of his Stateside trips and he did have a choice of the “Ossahama”

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A joy to build and ride

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Alto Pit AZ 2007

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Very  pleased I found these ….. the search continues

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEANWHILE…… BACK OUTSIDE

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The ravages of winter and 4′ of snow seem to be slipping away and some “green” is coming back and although we can still get a mega dump of the white stuff any time in the next 6 weeks its time to venture back outside and start some mini clean up and rectification

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This I can do without!

On the medical front breathing is better and lung function continues to improve as does energy. A new speedo has arrived for the mountain bike and will be fitted this morning before I embark on some gentle cardio work in the local area.

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Ready for  action

My initial track will be down Central Ave and out to the lake where we started the Saturday trial a few years ago. From there around the towpath and along the river to the main road bridge where we had the section that came up the flight of steps. Continuing on the path to the 4th Street bridge where we started the following year before a summer storm soaked everyone!! Then back on the road to the house…… I think it should be about 3 miles but today we can find out with the newly acquired odometer.

3 weeks into the diet and 10lbs gone so the next milestone will be to get under 200 and maybe even get back to my best fighting weight of 14 Stone (196 lbs) which is where I was when I was 16 and playing rugby and putting the shot at athletic meets back in the 60’s!

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Bikes fettled and tires pumped up and Brenda’s too we brave the world on bicycles once more. Total distance was 3.39 miles and the going on the towpath was a bit sticky with melting snow and mud but should be dry around mid week if I’m lucky.

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A bit “sticky” along here

Now time to put a NEW saddle on my other mountain bike and maybe sell it on Craig’s list.

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Time for a new one

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Looking good!

Just goes to show how “unfit” we can get!!!  Puffed, quads burning, needing to stop etc, etc. Well day 2 a bit better and 3.46 in the bag without any stops. Nothing on Tuesday due to work but out again this morning with the objective of going a little further each day and despite an unexpected headwind…… 4.26 miles clicks over.

Thursday and Friday off this week thanks to the PTA. Some plants think spring is here already and tulips are poking through along with some re-emerging violas that I planted last year.

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The tulips don’t care

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Yellow and purple violas coming up

Good run Thursday and the 1st run over the 5 mile hurdle. 5.31 goes in the book and then extra work around the NEW boat house where ice is still lurking and its axe work to break through the 4″ of left over bits of winter.

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The Mexican army had this up in 2.5 hours flat!

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Friday and the target is 6 miles but I clearly over trained for this one and the odometer clicks up 7.39 so something over 8 tomorrow?

TONY DOWN