THE PRE THANKSGIVING RITUAL

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Turning the corner, halfway into November, only one more week of driving …… and then a week off to celebrate Thanksgiving. The nice weather we have been enjoying is set to change and this Thursday the high is down to 37F with overnight temps at 19F and SNOW in the forecast.

Today means I had better set about the garden and cut the Russian sages back around the waterfalls, throw out the last of the annuals and make ready for Christmas decorations. Tuesday is my “decs” shopping day and hopefully all the lights and extras can be acquired and then all the annual testing of lights and the frustrations that always go with that task! “They were working when I put them away” and every year, as ardent decorators will know, the bloody things refuse to come on or have an annoying stretch that won’t illuminate so I’ll have a few spare sets available and cut my losses.

The Cycling Gods have been kind to me on the weather front so with 1990.26 miles already in the books I’m fairly certain that I will hit the goal of 2000 before Christmas. Today also marks another significant hurdle, in that Brenda and I, have been SMOKE FREE for ONE YEAR.

No pool today, F1 from Brazil, Moto GP from Valencia, and the Broncos trying to redeem themselves from last week’s lack luster performance. Telluride’s T Cards purchased yesterday, and today our favorite breakfast venue is sadly closing as the owners are moving.

The week is done! As the forecasters predicted it snowed like hell on Thursday morning and driving into a blizzard in the dark was anything but fun!

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Thursday morning!

Bitterly cold Thursday night with a low of 14F and a daytime high of 42F.  Slightly warmer last night at 22F. No matter, more Christmas goodies collected and ready for this week’s layout.

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Lights and things!

Santakins  were taken out of their boxes and plugged in and all seem to be in good working condition…….. Oh, and by the way she likes them.

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A new applicant for the “Driver” position suddenly popped up on the Bay and was snapped up and is on his way.

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Our new driver for Scuffy

So, it on starts tomorrow (Sunday) with a mega clean up of storm damage branches, dead annuals, and rose bed trimming to make ready for cables and then build some houses for spotlights and lasers.

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The Russians need cutting back

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Got to remove those leaves

The Russians were cut, roses trimmed, and branches removed. The mega piles of leaves were blown to Kingdom Come and the ground is now ready for the art work to begin for this year’s ambitious set of Christmas decorations.

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Ready for those Deer

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“Let it blow, let it blow”

TONY DOWN

DRIVER WANTED

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Saturday November 5th. Guy Fawkes Night in the UK and an election here in the US to follow next week. I have little to say about the election other than to express deepest sympathy for the country as a whole as neither candidate seems worthy to take on the office.

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Untrustworthy Liar or Political Buffoon?        What a choice!

The weather this morning is rain, and then more rain so a bit of a classic tale for Guy Fawkes night with memories of damp fireworks and village bonfires that wouldn’t light and something of a similarity with the new TV series “Designated Survivor” which shows what might have happened had Guy got it right back in 1605!

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“Penny for the Guy”  ……. and then we went and bought fireworks

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What guy Fawkes wanted on the State Opening of Parliament

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How he is remembered to this day

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The enthralling  new TV series Designated Survivor

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Never mind, as Hallmark reminded me we are only 50 days out to Christmas and having watched, and enjoyed, the first new film of the season the Christmas Good Will Button is now firmly depressed. All thoughts now turn in that direction as we spin through the last hunting seasons and my thoughts turn to Christmas decorations and the Town Prize!

My list is all mental so far but is taking shape. Early purchases were more of the “shower lights”, back in July when they were cheap, and a couple of cuddly toys to go with Santa’s helpers in the back of Scuffy who will get the full treatment this year. 4 of the “Santakins” family were purchased this week to help out and now I’m looking at the lighted gift box sets to complete the picture.

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Some of the “Santakins” helpers

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Lighted gift boxes at outrageous prices!!

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That brings us to the “AD” ……… and I shall be interviewing suitable candidates for the open position of Boat Driver, Water Sleigh Operator, etc, etc. Brenda would have volunteered but with the onset of winter might have frozen overnight. Currently there are quite a few applicants in the 5′ 8″ to 6′ range and some can be seen in their resumes and past portfolios for similar seasonal jobs.

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Cheapest of the bunch from Walmart with MP3 player adapter

Brenda joined the Interview team and our final decision has been made although there are a few late candidates popping up on Ebay.

 

TONY DOWN

 

PUSHING PEDALS

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48.07 miles to go to the 1800 banner, but the forecast is rain tonight so it was back to the firewood task as its nice and dry up in the lumber yard so load 7 is brought home and stacked. No ride today and nothing again tomorrow as I’m on an Activity trip taking elementary kids to Jones Pumpkin Patch, well at least I know where it is!

It rains as advertised and the kids activity trip gets cancelled so I’m free to ride. More miles in the book for Wednesday and 1800 is now a marker in the past! Thursday, and only single bus runs both morning and afternoon as elementary schools have the day off. The last load of firewood is collected and stacked. The weather is perfect for cycling  and 20.24 is added and now the question is can I reach 2000 ?

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Friday,  28th Oct 16 and a day off thanks to PTA. Bit of a serious headwind but I push on into it for the first 2.5 miles and the “false flats” that have you wondering which way is up ? Always nice on the turn round as the speed picks up and I zoom back into town and have 5 miles in the bag before I pass the house. That soon becomes 12.66 and part 1 is over and time to winterize the Safari.

With the hot water tank already drained time to bypass the tank and then drain all the other tanks before adding anti freeze. Trying to fit the metal coupling on the plastic becomes problematic and I seem to be in “crossthread” mode but eventually after much cussing and choice swearing its on ! All faucets open and the wait begins. Finally I’m ready to add the pink fluid but where did I put the special bits I made up last year?

Well of course I cleaned out the complete underside before we went to Groundhog so what did I do with it ? The bus and all its compartments are searched to no avail. Perhaps its in the workshop but of course that was done over as well. Clearly I put it all some place, but where?  About 1 hour later I stumble on the box with all the bits I need and then the task is finished in no time and the “pink” is in the lines.

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Time for the second phase of cycling but its getting darkish and riding in twilight, even with lights, is always a risk. No matter, the manic pedaling continues ………Saturday, and after the morning ride knocking up 110 miles for the week its time to think pool.

Good turn out today, Brenda draws No2 and I’m 19. Brenda wins over John McEwan so she is very pleased and I pull off a bank shot on the black to win against Anita. Not quite sure how the system is working today as Brenda has played 4 and I have only been at the table once.

On the black in game 2, I once again scratch which is the 5th time in 3 weeks of competition ! I don’t mind losing to a superior player but to keep beating myself is getting very frustrating! I fight my way up the loser’s side beating Jen, Bill Ragland, Donnie and finally a good player (can’t remember his name) to get to “third or better” where I meet an on form Jerry. I have good run but can’t get to my last ball letting Jerry back in for the win. Overall not bad and a First, Second and now a Third in the first 5 weeks of the season. Maybe today we will try our luck at Mancos.

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31st October and the pedaling has crested 1875.39 so 2000 before Christmas looks feasible but lets not discount the weather ……. so push on when I can. October was my best month ever with 344.33 miles completed, not bad for a 70 year old!

TONY DOWN