A NEW BOOK OR 2

If you have a Labrador and a new book this could easily happen to you. Including the wine disaster

My Hospice Counsellor sent me over a book that she thought I should read called “Being Mortal”. I read 25 odd pages and then it started depressing me as it discussed what happens to those left behind and their ongoing problems with old age and feeling alone.

Of course it discussed all the disasters of the past when caring for the old and those in failing health. Not exactly a cheery subject but I have continued and in some ways feel that perhaps a terminal illness is at least a slightly better way to go rather than hanging on for many years to come. Perhaps that was her idea, or a kind way of showing me it can always be worse!!

Ian, my Hospice Chaplain, let me borrow his bible as I try to learn how to pray after all these years. I had the standard religious upbringing in the UK which in our village was “Church of England” Sunday school and member of the choir etc, all the normal Church activities over Christmas and Easter, and then Friday night Youth Club in my teens. A very short gap working on a local farm before joining the RAF on March 2nd 1964 for Officer and Aircrew Training.

By my birthday Officer Training is complete and time for a little break at home until the next phase kicks in. A chance to get the “Photo” for Mother, it was the least I* could do after all she had done for me.

The first of my next selection of books arrived on Tuesday and I’m into it with more books arriving this week.

2 books on their way, currently reading “Answers about the Afterlife” and waiting on “Spirited ” by Stockwell

A whole load of hassle with the computer which was eventually resolved remotely by running a load of spyware to remove the infection, whatever that may have been ?

Cats remain demanding while the Canine community are having some upcoming “Paternity Suits” demanding things pets!

The evidence is overwhelmingly strong in favor of the wronged and not even that Dipshit Rudy Guiliani could persuade any court otherwise despite his mob of absurd Trump Supporters

EYE EYE !

Dalmatian or Damnation!






















FLATTICUS BATTRICUS

Time to go and see Sir Cumference again about the flat battery issue again but he was out doing some Fall harvesting of numbers to solve all the riddles of circles and globes, and with his next project PY, hoping to dismiss the flat earth society.

Seems the Jaguar needs to be driven more often or I’ll be recharging it on a very regular basis. 3.1416 I’m told. Sound advice and I’m finally checking the GFCI and of course that had tripped and now all is well! Time to put on the nice shining armor and ride back to my own castle

Now what else did Mummy say ?
As I understand it, I get to see her soon, but there was something else?


Honest Mum, it’s RUST from the armor!!!
The 4th Road Bridge in Fall with the Street lights still on



One can only assume its not as profitable

Just finished a 2 hour session with my Chaplain Ian and at least it was good to be able to talk with someone and point me in the right direction with my next phase of spiritual learning. He even let me borrow his Bible.

Yesterday was the first snowstorm of the season, YUK! and a small test fire was laid and enjoyed

A few knock on effects from the storm on the sleep front
and of course “midnight” the black cat was having problems with the gate
Always at the ready, best remember to tell Noah
Never had that problem on the Safari. Happy Days



TONY DOWN

EVERY PEDAL STROKE

For those not familiar with Earthly Coordinates we are on a parallel just above the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea at Gibraltar

510.47 miles to complete the 1 lap circumnavigation of the Earth at Parallel 37.65N. Assuming no increase in the misery of cancer I should complete this reduced task by early November if the body will still comply with the owner’s requests.

Lovely thoughts

A pleasant visit from the Hospice Counsellor who lives just up the road from me, when I had finished my discourse on my thoughts of Oncology she told me that she hears the same saga and anger from many other cancer patients who have been thrown out in the trash just like me.

Here we go again!

Odd sort of day weather wise with high winds and gusts above 30 mph and then rain and thunderstorms to follow. With all the recent rain plus full irrigation on the hanging baskets one pulled its hanger off the balcony so I must redo that, but without the wind!

It fell in the Whisky Barrel and no damage
Very lucky!

Also as the driveway has been a source of major puddles for the last week causing a lot of settling on one irrigation trench and the pipe has come back to the surface. Try a little deeper this time!

Bit chilly outside to start work so I’ll wait a couple of hours and then get on it. Meanwhile the dogs are still complaining, the owls find it all a bit amusing and the cats just do what cats do.

Not happy!
Always a way
Happy again
Don’t think this will work out too well

More of what we all need

Very, very trueI
If only


Time to move onto those other animals who we work tirelessly for and in return they tolerate us!

and then we can play, “I wanna go out, I wanna come in”
Then I’ll go out to start the game

Hide and Seek time!
It’s one of my tricks I learnt while working for the circus
You crack me up!

TONY DOWN

LOOKS LIKE A WET ONE!

They got the forecast right!

Dismal weather forecast for the week with a 60% chance of rain every day and temps down about 10 degrees. Could be difficult watching TV as these ineffective pain pills do not let me sit down for any length of time.

1600 and the rain and thunderstorms finally arrived so now its wet and even more miserable. Dogs are saying no thanks to walking invitations.

Love it!

Yesterday’s deluge and thunderstorms did not turn up until 0600 this morning and then they made up for it with a bang and a short burst of torrential rain.

Hospice visit, more pills, and the once over check up, so I should make it through the night. Good change to the pills by upping the sleep pills to 3. First 2 lasted until 0230 and then take 1 more which saw me through to 0600 for a reasonable night’s sleep. Pain pills now doubled up, 2 every 6 hours.

Chances of surviving ZERO! The name for this team must be Obesity and maybe swimsuits don’t come in their sizes as nobody brought one with them!!!

Just been watching “Survivor”, which I used to enjoy, but this collection of contestants is the dumbest bunch of fuckers ever assembled for a game show and almost rivals children’s TV awful “Big Brother”

2 weeks in and we have a few bamboo poles, but they are bored with that already

Totally incapable of doing anything! No survival skills whatsoever, overweight and unfit, and here we are two episodes in and not one of the three tribes has built a shelter yet.

No, that is NOT a swimsuit and your chances of balancing are remote!
If you want to get ashore no amount of paddling will get you there if you have not unclipped your boat from it’s mooring!!!!!

They can’t make fire, have NO IDEA how to use a machete, and either just flop about or spend their entire time searching for idols. Not even good tv!

A couple of rain free days on the horizon but then another 3 day sequence of showers and thunderstorms. Today just might be a cycling day? A few miles go in the book in coolish conditions with that bitter wind again. Skies are getting darker and it eventually can’t resist a few showers to close out the week. Meanwhile more dog discussions over who owns what

TONY DOWN

THE WEEKEND AGAIN

Need to get King Arthur to pull the Sword out of my tumor!

In the light of all things Cycling & Cancer I have made precious little progress in my “World Tour” of Parallel 37.65N this month. This prompted a visit to King Arthur’s place over at Camelot where I found him at a square table searching Ancestry.com on his computer

I think Arthur must have an Oncology upbringing as he was unable to do anything for me even though his speciality is getting swords out of things.

German knives in a King’s Block

He did kindly point me in the direction of Sir Cumference who of course built the Round Table and gave me the formula for my distance around 37.65N

Thanks to Sir Cumference and Merlin of course

The distance as calculated was19,262.00 and so far, including today, I have pushed those pedals to 18,720.44 and I must confess to feeling tired!

Saturday and the weather is fooling with me, too hot, too cold and that wind never lets up! Finally take a short ride to see if I’m still up to it. Better see what’s happening in the Canine department.

First up is a Dalmation? or rather I think he is, well if he wasn’t he is now. Other dogs are having none of this Covid nonsense and are using sanitizer again for the Delta variant.

Some are not too keen on these new car air fresheners either!

Amid all the pandemic crisis others are thinking about changing careers

Just had one little bit of gardening to do on the waterfall bed before settling down to watch the UCI World Cycling followed by the Russian F1 GP and then 3-4 games of football.

Just needed a change in the “flow pattern” and some extra lights

Fixed it !

TONY DOWN

ANOTHER SUNDAY

A wet night

Looks like we had quite a bit of rain overnight but drying up as I write. Not sure what my plans are but it may include a two part ride to knock off a few more miles. Might dead head the roses again as there are plenty of new buds coming.

I’ll huff and I’ll puff

Car goes in tomorrow for that “check engine” annoying light and finally I’ve accepted that I better get that fuel door fixed. Must have been the respray job that kicked me into gear!

Took a little ride but it was windy and unpleasant and the wind was decidedly chilly. Not much done here but I’m not riding to survive!

That sums it up!

Monday and the car goes in while I quickly read my book. 2 hours and it’s done but the paying is difficult as their card reader does not ask for a pin and UK cards won’t function without those magic numbers …… bloody ridiculous!!

Not sure how to deal with this problem, my bank says there isn’t a problem but a series of “Declined” or “invalid” is very embarrassing .

Cold and I mean very cold as the overnight temp went down to 31F compared to the 50F we had been used to. No matter, it’s Load 9 today after another round of sorting out debit and credit cards! Back, unloaded and stacked, not sure what the tonnage for this load was but it was bloody heavy as the wood is “green”. Two more loads max, and then I’m finished logging, maybe forever? but certainly for 2021. Should be able to get back to some cycling and if this weather continues it will be thermals to combat this chilly wind.

The forecast said another night near freezing but the lowest I saw all night was 39F and it subsequently warmed up to 80F while I was out logging for Load 10. All stacked and no more room at this time so I can get back on other activities.

Load 10, home and stacked! No more room
Last few pieces (1/2 load) added to the Great Wall of Dolores

Perhaps time for some humor amid all life’s other setbacks, well how about that chicken ? The saga was brought home to me by one of facebook trials riders who gets his eggs from a local farm in the UK and a few surprises with Double Yokers! My Grandad, WWI sniper, and then full time gamekeeper, had chickens and periodically they would lay the “Double Yoker” haven’t seen one in the US but here we have it>

Not one but two!

Clearly the Chicken Police need to get to the bottom of this

“So what’s with all these double yokers ? The same could be asked of a particular wine ?

I’ll take a case!!

Haven’t had my daily rant about Chemo yet so here is a thought from an Oncology class sponered by the Big Pharma $200 Billion Industry

90% failure rate in ALL Cancer Treatments

A visit from the Hospice Team and a load of form filling as the end gets ever closer. But they do have a counsellor who lives locally who I can have a rant with and maybe release some of this pent up anger. Pain pills seem to be ineffective, sleeping pills seem to be working as advertised, a lot of discomfort with the “bag” which could be constipation?

Getting to be too chilly for shirt and shorts!

Managed a ride yesterday and even though all thermometers showed about 74F the wind from a westerly direction was cold, and I mean , bloody cold. If I ride today it will be thermals!

TONY DOWN

HOW MANY MECHANICS ….?

Your mission Jim, is to insert this into a Cadillac

Its Daytime Running Light change day again on the Cadillac. My how I remember how easy this task used to be in my youth, up with the hood or bonnet and reach in and remove the bulb, replace with new one, check, job done. Well not so with a Caddi as this involves dismantling the front of the car to get at the headlight! Harder on the driver’s side as I have the windscreen washer reservoir to contend with. I dread to think what GMC charge for the labor on this task?

Nearly time to start and get task 1 out of the way, then change the Y fitting on the water lines at the Dump Station that some heavy handed person managed to break! Also need to replace the Dump and Shower signs as some people have difficulty in READING!

Off we go into headlight changing for beginners and after opening the hood or bonnet time to locate where this running light goes

The running light is the top one and is under the rubber cover

Next step remove the radiator cowl and all the plastic grommets that hold it in place

Cowl removed

Now time for a couple of nuts and bolts that hold the grille and the bodywork together

Bodywork bolt removed now the grille


Now remove the two barn door bolts that hold the headlight assembly in place.

With these bolts removed the headlight can be “wiggled and jiggled” until it pulls forward

The top one you say?

Now we can get to that bulb! Lets see how it looks

Good thing we bought one, I think this is “toast”

With the new bulb in place go through the reverse of everything you did and then get your faithful assistant to start her up and put it in DRIVE. No running lights until you are in gear! This time, thanks to many years of experience it is all wrapped up in around 40 minutes.

Job done

Now for the Y piece on the hose, and on goes “el cheapo” in yellow plastic. It leaks everywhere so replace ALL the washers and no more leaks!

Finish the dump station off with a NEW sign



Time to replace the roadside signs which take real hammering from the snow plows during the winter months. See what can still be used and this time round only one new mounting bracket required.

Four new signs
Let’s hope “they ” can read!



Don’t think “the old Guard” are too impressed with the All Electric quiet Harley!!!

And yet more stupidity as we discover a whole load of locals who still haven’t been vaccinated. All the political bullshit to one side when are they EVER going to Learn????

TONY DOWN

AROUND PARALLEL 37.65N

September 15th

A much improved night’s sleep and definitely a feeling of more energy, a few more nights like this and I could be back on my game.

“Big Wheel keep on turning”

Having lost the first half of the month to gardening, logging, and lack of sleep, it was the day to get out there and hit the pedals again, albeit at the new rate to make the 37th Parallel once round of 19,262.00 . With only 626.97 to go to what may be my finishing line I set off and took a gentle 21.74 off the target. More new pills for pain arrive, but this time WITHOUT the side effects so come bedtime I give them a try.

Another respectable 7 hours, getting to like this!
Couldn’t bear to see it like this!
Poor Jaguar
Never a word about this from the dealership!!!

Energy levels building, a lot of “things” happening today! Jaguar respray done so must pick that up and also get another daytime running light for the Cadillac from the same dealer who is doing the respray.

Here we are at last!

1300 and a planned visit from the Hospice nursing team to fill me in on all the missing details of what happens as I get closer to the “Pearly Gates”. Then another medical zoom meeting with Julie, my N.P. at 1430. It does seem they are beginning to “care” a little more of late rather than the “chuck him on the scrap heap attitude”

Unseen footage!!!!

In other good news my daughter, Sally, has just got engaged and I hope she will be very happy after all her past problems. She NOW tells me this was 4 YEARS ago but Faceplant have only just put it up!!! Well congratulations anyway as I didn’t know or had forgotten!!!!!!!

Yes, you can now reclaim your “SUPER” title
The “Trunk” in American or “Boot” where I come from
Fabulous job!
Pride of ownership restored!

Into town and pick up the running light and collect the Jaguar which indeed is once again the “Super” model it once claimed. The body man said it was a beautiful car and I thanked him profusely for a superb job. Worth every penny of the $775 to be rid of the unsightly roof damage. Start it up and the normal check engine light has gone out!

Louis XIV palace at Versailles

With all the visits complete, just time to mow the lawn and strim all the edges up by the road. The mums are causing me a little grief as they are struggling to retain enough water to flourish. If I’m around when their planting is due again I’ll keep them in their pots, a bit like Louis XIV did at Versailles when the French Nutter said he wanted to see a NEW garden EACH Morning. The gardeners waited until he was in his chamber and moved all the potted plants to their new locations while he slept. Too late for that in my case so I’ll be making some “bore holes” so the water can get into the root balls.

Personally I’ve just finished planting up the hillside behind the house which turned out well this year.
8.5 hours of actual sleep!
Energy tanks set to REFILL!

Friday once more, and the energy tanks are refilling with another 8.5 hours of meaningful sleep. Bit cooler this morning at 44F but when it warms up another load of firewood and then hopefully another 20 miles on the highways and byways of downtown Dolores.

Load 8, all Aspen, loaded and stacked and maybe another 2 loads to go which I suspect will also be fresh Aspen, but there is enough time for it to dry out before the “burn” begins. Energy levels still seem good so I’m thinking more miles this afternoon.

Off I go again

Out on the road again around 1600 and 18.88 shows up on the odometer leaving 586.35 to 1 lap of the globe at this latitude. Hopefully about another 50 miles over the weekend if there are no setbacks. Tomorrow is another “how many mechanics to change a headlight bulb routine?” No logging as the woodyard is closed and none on Monday either as I’m taking the Jag in to get the last 2 annoying problems fixed

Remove this annoyance on Monday!

No1 the annoying “Check Engine Light” which is an oxygen sensor in the exhaust system. It has ZERO effect on actual performance and might just be the sensor itself.

No2 which is the fuel door opening switch which wasn’t working when the car was delivered and you have to attach a rope behind the carpet in the boot/trunk to make it work.

Something like this!

TONY DOWN

SUNDAY, SUNDAY

Some sleep, but still tired. Lawn needs mowing and the car needs a once over today before it goes in tomorrow to have the sun damage on the roof resprayed. Way down on energy and short of air so don’t feel much like doing anything.

A lot of sun damage

Nothing gets done as I muddle my way through the day with two NFL games and the Italian F1.

Max Verstappen lands on top of Lewis Hamilton In F1

No incentive to do any more gardening and not feeling like riding the bike either, if I could only get some meaningful sleep.

Another Yam brake plate sells on ebay so I’ll be polishing that when I get back from dropping off the car.

I want to continue with another load of firewood to stay on top of that task as I get weaker I might not be able to get many more. A couple of items need listing on ebay as well so I have plenty to do when I feel up to it. Also need to check in with Hospice to see when they will start visiting and apart from the “doses of morphine” what else they provide to speed up the journey.

Six loads now home and stacked so the “Great Wall of Dolores” is complete once more, and as they say up here a person’s Net Worth is judged by the size of their woodpile!

6 Loads and the “Great Wall” is rebuilt

Gave the sleeping pills another try last night but once again after a 3 hour period I’m wide awake and that’s it for the night. Can they not make something that works? Everything seems to come with dire consequences and side effects!

Load 7 home and stacked

The quest for firewood continues and a slow and difficult Load 7 makes it home and is stacked in front of house. Can’t do much else today as I’m so desperately tired. Still no riding but I can only do so much.

More new books arrived and I was straight into one of them as I was just way too tired to even think of other things to do. Last night tried going to sleep normally but that didn’t work so in desperation took the pills again and actually managed around 7 hours and I’m feeling somewhat better this morning as a result.

Got to keep trying!

After my 2 week layoff from riding might just get out there today as the firewood task was taking too long yesterday as they were not cutting anything so it was a search and carry day to get the nicer pieces that I like rather than ratty bits and off cuts which are everywhere.

Keep going old man!

The revised quest for miles has come down to one lap of parallel 37.65N which is 19,260.00 and I’m currently at 18,635.03 so only 626.97 to hit the reduced target. Or for my simple mind around 3000 miles for this year which is realistic and should happen before the end of October all being well.

TONY DOWN

ANOTHER FRIDAY

C’mon daylight

Looks like my hands are in for a rest after all the weeding and planting of those Mums. But as we know you no sooner finish one project and now its back to mowing and strimming.

Should get another load of firewood today and maybe another bike ride if I’m feeling up to it.

Load 5 collected and stacked in this very warm weather, I know he never stops complaining, too hot, too windy, too cold! Into town and Walmart still have the mums so another batch are picked up as they are such good value at $5.97 a plant. These are planned to go in my old seed bed by the Maple where I planted radish and lettuce in previous years, but I don’t have enough teeth left to eat radish these days!! The bed does have irrigation so at least I don’t have to water them.

Some sleep last night without any pills, but I was getting to a point where some changes needed to be made. No fear of the dark but painful for the bum which kept waking me up.

You may remember our Lions who were unimpressed with the tofudebeest and not keen on spamalopes either. Well as the tourists were, like me, past their shelf life, they have turned their attention to a herd of sheep.

Look a bit wiry to me, desperate measures!

Saturday, the watering ritual is complete, next plant the new mums and mow the lawn, finally add a few miles to the annual total.

Still in their pots, but this will be the layout

Sounds easy but I had forgotten I hadn’t used this bed in the last two years and Mr Maple had taken over and spread his roots throughout. Two hours of digging, cutting and pulling and I have a full bucket’s worth of roots of all sizes and I’m finally able to get planting.

A lot of hard work getting the Maple roots out
2 hours and a bucket full

Too warm, energy way down, after the root removal but I get the bike out for a short ride to show willing and remind the body we are still fighting even at times when it feels like a lost cause.

Planted

TONY DOWN