All posts by admin

RAIN AND MORE RAIN

Becoming a yukky mess

About sums it up!

With temperatures not dipping below freezing and a week of near constant rain the snow pack in and around our dwelling is melting and turning everything into a very muddy swamp. Can’t complain as maybe I can get to the buried Christmas decoration cables and the last of the display items.

I’m sure we are not fully done with the snow but a “clean up break” would be appreciated. Might also be nice to start racking up the miles for this year and shedding those last 7lbs that seem to be plateauing backwards and forwards and can be soul destroying when you are staying on their plan.

Despite all the rain of the last couple of days this morning awoke to yet another 5″ on the rail while the forecast was showing “less than 1/2″ total overnight”.  Melting like crazy with mega sunshine and clear skies with temps forecast to be around 50F all week.

Lets hope if the melt goes well I’ll be able to find a decent surface to ride on without getting plastered with slush and spray.

Not quite

Almost

Here we are, Wednesday 3/6/19,and all that 5″ melted and now its rain, and more rain for the rest of the week although the temps are up around the 50F mark, but its doesn’t feel like it as its very damp and muddy and of course the snow has changed color with all the mud and slop!

Up at the bus barn two of our lady drivers are off, one has been sick since last Thursday and the other is away all week tending to her brood who got sent home with the Flu. So 3 days driving the D3 Mouse bus to wrap up the pay period.

Friday morning and still raining, muddy and melting! The last of the Christmas Decorations are down to about 6″ cover so perhaps by Sunday they can be rescued after “66th Night”. New LOW on the weight front of 202.2 this morning …… I want to see the 190’s!!!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

SUNSHINE AT LAST

 

Need to find some snow free roads

I think I can safely say that even here, up in the mountains, we have now had enough snow and, much as we love it, it will be nice to return to some warm, wind free, weather and glorious sunshine. The temps are now showing 57F on the outside Weather Station and that is confirmed by the secondary equipment of the standard old fashioned thermometer. Its so warm in fact that I’m THINKING of a gentle break-in ride for yours truly!

Time to open the 2019 account

But first, some more snow and ice clearing as there has just been another massive fall off the roof. Then I think I should change that other battery on the fork leg of the Roubaix to keep the speedo and odometer in a state of union.

New battery in the sender unit

Wednesday and the snow was cleared, and the other battery was changed during yesterday afternoon. Can’t see any reason not to go for the FIRST RIDE OF THE YEAR, the bike is ready, I have all the kit, the weather is much better and there is NO WIND !

With all the excuses pushed to one side the Roubaix was carried out to the road over the ice, slush and snow and for the first time since  11/24/18 the wheels went round again. Double set of thermals, no wind, and 11.18 miles are in the book to open the account for 2019.

Thursday 2/28/19 and although the forecast is warmish there is no sign of the sun. I’ll give it one hour and see how it looks. An extra trip this afternoon on D30. It didn’t warm up, the sun didn’t break through so I chopped wood and cleaned the Roubaix after my ride from yesterday ….. it was pretty mucky!

Here we are on a dismal Sunday morning 3/3/19 and the memory banks tell me it was 55years ago yesterday when  the boy child, having achieved the “magic” 17.5 years of age started his Officer Training at RAF South Cerney  and onward air force career.

Yesterday the next storm system arrived and its been RAINING ever since and looks like continuing most of this week. The long period of permafrost is abating and the huge puddles and lakes from all the melt run off are beginning to seep into the mud.

I’ll wait !

With wet roads, rain and mud everywhere, any thoughts of riding have been cancelled until there is a positive change in the weather.

TONY DOWN

 

 

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

Here it comes!

President’s Day on Monday, no schools, banks or post ……. but it does start snowing again and turns into a real mess. It snows most of the day and then blizzard conditions overnight ….. yuk!

Yesterday I ring in to see if my trip to Durango is still on but find its been cancelled but there are 2 more on Friday and Saturday so I elect to take the Friday one as I’m scheduled for the ski trip on Sunday.

More rehab this morning and down to 204.4 so some progress at last. Back from rehab and the weather forecast is turning crap again and the warnings begin. Snowfall predictions keep changing and by Tuesday evening we now have a Winter Storm Advisory.

Doom and gloom for the 4 Corners and we live under the Crab’s right claw.

Wednesday morning and it has now become a Winter Storm Warning until 1700 on Friday and the highest snowfalls are Rico and Durango with 20″ each and ourselves (Dolores) and Mancos at 14″ Chances of the Durango trip? slim me thinks!

Next one moving in

No surprises so another 6″ on the rail on Thursday morning and no school buses to be seen. Facebook tells me there is a “snow day” for Dolores and after my trip into Cortez my Physio tells me Cortez are also closed.

Rico enjoying winter!

Rico and Durango are getting hammered and I see NO HOPE for Friday’s trip! Better get a load more wood upstairs as its looking awful.

1600 and its moving into the 4 Corners for round 3

Fire burning, and watch it coming down. Only 15 minutes and the roads are covered and its looking like it won’t stop all night. Around 1730 Larry rings to say a Snow Day has already been declared for tomorrow and the trip is cancelled. It continues snowing and getting thicker by bedtime.

Thursday morning, about 5″ overnight

0700 and I’m up and looking at my “crisis” on my Southern Border as I survey the load …….. clearly the “Clown President” has got his way and the wall has been built!!

A solid 14″ on the rail!

The Met Office has been shut down (Gov workers) …. no reports from the corner of the balcony

Time to dig out

Friday becomes a “rescue day” as I have to shovel enough of the snow out of the way so that the dogs can go outside. Fill the feral cat bowl for Rocky Racoon and dig a pathway out to the Workshop where he has made his home.

Plowing begins after cars are cleaned off and moved and I set about clearing snow and ice out to the men’s bathroom. Next two loads of slightly damp wood from the storm are hauled in. Now time to shovel off all the new snow from the balcony and uncover the Met station.

No sooner finished snow clearing and taking first sips of hot choc when it starts Snowing Again and drops another 2″ just to rub it in.

 

TONY DOWN

 

VALENTINE’S DAY IN THE ER

Not a planned scenario or venue for this normally festive and romantic day but one of great necessity this year!

Since the end of January Brenda has been on various anti-biotics, steroids, and inhalers as she has been finding it hard to breathe. Finally after a semi sleepless night, by midday she had had enough and we drive into Cortez for a visit to the ER …… and yes, it is Valentine’s Day.

No sooner in the hospital and they rush her into the ER and some high speed work begins with doctors and nurses plugging her in to all manner of monitors and electrical devices.

More and more cables are connected and very soon she is looking like a human generator. First dose of nebulizers are smoking away as the mobile x-ray machine and team arrive.

With initial diagnostics complete, an armful of blood taken, the wait begins as more and more specialists arrive and depart with their findings.

More Doctors and equipment, best guess scenarios, and more nebulizers as we await the x-ray results. All good on the x-rays and now a steroid drip goes in while yet another nebulizer gets sucked .

Senior nurse returns and says its most likely COPD which really doesn’t come as any big surprise although she did give up smoking 3 years ago. He also states ” these steroids can kick in and YOU might fly off the handle over nothing!”

With breathing restored, panic over, and after 4 hours of excellent care and medicine we are free to go.

Drip complete they cut Brenda free and we are out and on the way home, Cards and Flowers yes, but NO chocolates as Brenda is now  on a low sugar intake and I’m on Nutrisystem.

Well no chocolates anyway.

A lack luster pool session on Saturday and home we go and settle down to the roaring log fire  …….. when suddenly those steroids kick in and I’m accused of everything in the LOG department and its MY fault for making her cough as I’m deliberately using the wrong wood!!!!!!!

FIREWOOD , firewood , firewood!!!!!

Well, at least I was warned, so ………….

Follow the Doctor’s advice

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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