Shifting Priorities

If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever, it’s apparent that I’m in a relationship again.  Things are going well with Diane.  I bought her a new cell phone yesterday, and put her on my plan.

Diane is not living with me, but that will probably change in the near future.  I will remain car-free, but she will keep her car.  It’s paid off, but needs a little work.

My lifestyle will be going through some pretty big changes.  I have a variety of things I need to spend money on.  The plans for swapping handlebars on my bikes (or any other major expense) are on hold.  This seems to be working well as my neck issue has abated a bit, and I can ride any of my bikes again.  I rode the rSogn to work today.

Diane wants to fly to San Francisco with me this summer.  That will mean we need some extra money for spending and her flight.  I hope we can book her flight in the next few weeks.

Diane remains a good influence in my life.  She (nicely) reminds me not to overeat or drink too much.  She still enjoys an occasional drink with me.

Not everything is perfect.  As we’ve spent a lot of time together recently, we’ve discovered some of each other’s insecurities and personality flaws.  I don’t believe any of it’s a real problem, just a challenge to overcome.

I read something years ago about “being the perfect partner” rather than “looking for the perfect partner”.  That’s what I’m working on.  In the short-term, that means keeping my life in order from housework to eating habits.

Life continues to be a strange adventure.

Short, but Wonderful, Birthday Ride

I originally had plans for a 42-mile birthday bike ride yesterday – one mile for each trip around the sun.  Other things came up in the morning, and that didn’t happen.

Diane did buy me a few gifts and baked a German Chocolate cake for my birthday.  I borrowed my daughter’s bike and Diane and I rode seven miles to Apocalypse Brew Works and back.  The bike was a bit big for her, but she did well for her first time on a bike in a few years.  She handled traffic like a champ.  She had to walk a hill, but will probably manage it next time once she gets better about shifting.  She had a positive attitude the whole time.  She’s a wonderful, happy, woman, and I love her.

Look at that smile!

She was a little more tired on the return trip, but still was happy and good-natured.

Smiling on the return trip

The trip was made euro-style.  We didn’t wear bike-specific clothing or helmets.  He carried some luggage, and I hauled a growler home full of beer.

Tonight’s plans have changed.  We were going to go camping, but the weather’s not looking good.  We’re going to wait until tomorrow night.

A Good Influence

Diane is a good influence on me.  She’s more about home-cooking and less drinking.  She enjoys helping me cook (or me helping her…)  I’m buying beer at the store, but I’m only having one or two a day.  I’m saving money by not going to the bar.

Her daughter and mother came over for a cookout over the weekend.  It was enjoyable.

Some people have commented that we are “moving too fast”.  Well, we’re not living together, just spending a lot of time together.

If things do get more serious, my life will go through a few adjustments:

  • We’ll have a TV.  She’s not going to live without one, and I can handle it if we’re using internet-based shows and OTA broadcasts instead of paying for cable.
  • She’ll keep her car.  I’ll continue to get around by bike, but have a car available when needed.
  • She’s financially frugal.  I’ve spent the last few years spending too much money on bikes, bars, restaurants, and coffee.  I’ll need to adjust my budget and my habits.  I’ve already started on this.
  • She wants to lose weight and get healthier.  This will involve more walking.  She seems to have some interest in riding a bike too.

I played volleyball Monday, and Diane attended, mostly just to watch.  She was sitting up on the deck, wearing sunglasses and watching us play.  Then I remembered seeing her last year.  I didn’t know her then, and don’t remember talking to her, but we had at least seen each other before.

We’re planning on going camping this weekend.  It could be interesting with cool overnight temperatures and a chance of rain.  I’ll try to take pictures.

Whatta Week!

Okay, it’s only Thursday, but this has been a busy week already.

On Monday, my daughter, Dawn, married Guthrie.  I present Mr. and Mrs. Smith:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

It was a simple wedding.  There was a dinner afterward.

Later in the evening I went to play volleyball.  I’ve been using a dating site to try and meet women with mixed results.  While at volleyball, a woman approached me and we talked.  We had a date on Tuesday.  Her name is Diane.

I had a date with Renee that I thought went well last week.  She told me that she didn’t think we should have a second date a couple of days ago.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day.  I’ve been trying to keep my life more in order.  The anti-depressant seems to be working.  My moods have been more level.  I’ve been drinking less.  I’m not “stress eating”.  I have more motivation to do simple things – but not enough to do great things.  Hmmm.

I had a date scheduled with Melissa today, but she never called or showed up.  So I sat and ate pizza and had a beer by myself.  I wasn’t really bothered much by it.

I have a second date with Diane tomorrow.  It’s odd that the only second date I’m getting out of this is from a woman that I didn’t meet online.  We have a few friends and acquaintances in common – mostly through the Louisville Ski Club, of which I’m a member.

I’ve ridden the bike to work every day this week.  I’ve ridden the bike everywhere.  I haven’t missed work.  I’ve done some cooking at home.  I’ve been keeping the house clean.  I have a second date tomorrow.  This is progress.

Homebody Weekend?

I had hoped to get out and get some mileage in this weekend.  That didn’t happen.

I was up late Friday after my date with Renee.  I slept in on Saturday, and once I was up mowed the lawn for the first time this year.  I also went grocery shopping and picked up dog food.

Big Dummy loaded

Cindy, my first ex-wife, took a bus from Michigan down for my daughter’s wedding.  The wedding is tomorrow (Monday).  I met up with Cindy for about 10 minutes at my daughter’s apartment.  I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years.  Cindy owns a truck, but she didn’t trust it to make it here, so she’s “enjoying” the car-free lifestyle while she’s here.  😀

I have another date lined up on Thursday.  This one is with Melissa.  I know little about her.  I think I’ll see Renee again on Friday.  There are a few other possibilities coming up too.  This dating thing is kind of bizarre for me, especially when I’m trying to keep track of the “who and when”.  I’m bad with names.  Luckily, I take notes and use Google Calendar.

Something In The Air?

I’ve experienced a bizarre set of emotions over the last few days.  My depression had lifted quite a bit this week.  Wednesday after work, I signed back up on a dating site.

I had a Thursday doctor appointment that basically meant I would go to work for three hours.  I woke up Thursday morning with quite a headache, and stayed home from work.  I enjoyed listening to the thunderstorm while laying in bed, even if it did bring a cold front along with it.

The storm had ended and the rain had mostly stopped when I headed out for my doctor appointment.  The office allows me to bring the bike inside, so I didn’t have to deal with the lack of bike parking.

This was mostly a follow-up visit for lifelong issue that I have.  I also brought up the depression again, and the fact that I’ve cut my beer consumption way down (he’s chastised me about this before).

Despite years of refusing a chemical solution to my depression, I finally agreed to try it.  He wrote a prescription.  It’ll take a few weeks to determine if it’s going to work out for me.

I was at the office for a couple of hours.  There was a paperwork snafu, and they were busy.  When I did leave, it was pouring rain, and I headed up Eastern Parkway to the pharmacy.  Tim passed me going the other way (in his car).  He was driving home from work.  Heh.  I was proud to be getting wet wearing my jeans and t-shirt.

After drinking one cup of coffee and going back to the pharmacy, I rode home.  I spent the remainder of the day cleaning the house and talking to several women on the phone that had responded to me on the dating site.  This was a much better response than I got last time.  Was it because it’s a different site?  My different approach?  Because Spring is in the air?

I had a few good conversations, but the best was with Renee.  She was also the one who could set aside some time for a Friday evening date.  I met her Friday at 7:00pm (less than 7 hours ago) at Four Pegs.  She doesn’t drink, so she had water and the famous Chicken Waffle sandwich.  I had a burger, water, and a single beer.  We spent the evening together, and I got to know a lot about her.

She eventually went home.  That saying, “parting is such sweet sorrow”, yeah.  I didn’t expect to be affected that way.  I hope to see her again.  At best, it’ll probably be another week.  She’s smart, funny, sarcastic, and cuddly.  She has a young daughter, which means I need to make some big decisions about my life if I continue down this path.

It’s now almost 2:00am.  I plan to get out on the bike tomorrow, but I won’t be getting up early to do that.

Spring Day

I think this nicer weather is the boost I need to be on the bike every day.  Although I decided not to participate in the #30daysofbiking thing over on G+, where we ride every day of April, I have been on the bike every day this month, except the 1st, when I got around via cab and bus.

Today’s weather might have been the best yet.  It was in the low-60s when I rode to work.  I wore short sleeves and no jacket.  Signs of Spring were everywhere.

Along my morning commute in Old Louisville

I failed to pack a lunch for work, which meant a quick trip across the street to the Mexican restaurant.  That’s not ideal, but I knew I wouldn’t be going out for dinner.

After lunch, I was jaywalking across Main Street,  a one-way street and I was almost hit by a cyclist riding the wrong way.  I normally look both ways, even on one way streets, but I was distracted by a woman who also showed that Spring was in the air.

There was no collision, no yelling, just some rattled nerves.

After work I had a massage appointment.  I took a slow pace in the now 80-degree day.  I didn’t want to get too sweaty.  The ride up Baxter Ave and Bardstown Rd was pleasant and uneventful – which is something during rush hour.

My massage therapist found a particularly nasty knot in my left leg.  I’ll need to do more stretching to keep it from coming back.

I had a leisurely ride home where I cooked beef and pork on the grill for several meals.  I steamed some broccoli, which I overcooked and it turned to mush, and later I made a potato soup. I have enough food prepared to last until the weekend.

Potato soup!

It’s supposed to cool off later in the week.  That’ll be a shame, I’ve been enjoying sleeping with the windows open.  The weekend is looking nice.  I need to plan some bike miles.

I’m still beer-free since Saturday.  I think some of my depression and muscle aches were from too much beer and not enough water.

So, another glass of water, and I’m off to bed.

A Familiar Feeling

In 2008 and 2009 I felt better mentally and physically than I had since I was a child.  Not surprisingly, this is when I lost most of the weight that I did.  It was neat to discover that I actually had ribs.

Moving into town in 2010 so I could live car-free tempted me with all of these wonderful places to eat and drink within a short distance.  My neck issue flared up.  I didn’t do as many long rides.

I’ve gained weight.  I’ve gotten lazy.  I’ve been using a bus and a cab to get around at times.  This has bled through to other aspects of my life.  I’ve not been keeping my house clean.  I’m been drinking too much.  I put off grocery shopping – which leads to more eating out.  I spend a lot of time moping and not being productive.

Yesterday, I did get out and go grocery shopping.  I rode the Big Dummy to work today.  After work I ran to get my hair cut.  There was a one-hour wait, so I went to a sub shop next door for a cheap sandwich.

After I got home, I felt the normal “bleh – I don’t want to do anything” feeling, but I ignored it and cleaned the house.  My house is now cleaner than it’s been in two years.  Now I just need to keep it that way.

Having clean house makes me happy.  If I’m home more often (because I’m not eating out) I’ll have more time to keep the house clean.  My dogs will get more attention.

So, the “no beer” thing continues for a while.  I like the way I feel today.

A Stumble

So Friday was my “new beginning”.  Then Saturday happened.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I had no coffee in the house.  I headed out on the bike to Sunergos where I bought three pounds of coffee and sat and drank a couple of cups there.

The plan was to go home, then later go grocery shopping.  Instead, I went to Four Pegs with the intention of a late lunch and a beer.  I had the food and seven beers.  I was sober enough to know I needed to walk the bike home.  So, I walked home.  It was still early afternoon.  I slept for a few hours and woke up in the evening with a hangover.  That’s a new one for me.

I was unable to sleep most of the night.  It was miserable.  I metaphorically pulled a muscle by kicking myself over it.  I felt very stupid.  I was depressed.  Sometime overnight I had a bit of an anxiety attack.

Today was better.  I didn’t get out for a long ride, but a puttered around the house.  I went grocery shopping and didn’t get beer.  I didn’t go out to eat.  I can’t say I ate healthy today, but I ate food from the grocery store that I prepared at home.  That’s an improvement.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my first volleyball game, but it’s been put off another week.  That’s actually a good thing.  I have a lot to do this week.

Spring is for New Beginnings

So it’s good that I got up and rode the rSogn to work, albeit a bit late due to the damn snooze button.  I brought leftovers for lunch, but a friend invited me to lunch.  I’ll save the leftovers for another time.

I really wanted to go out for a beer after work, but I stuck to plan and came home.  I set up my new tent, so I know how for my next camping trip (possibly tomorrow).

I’d order this tent a while ago.  It arrived a while ago.  It’s been sitting in it’s unopened box until today.


Without the rainfly, the tent is mostly mesh.  This helps with ventilation.

With rainfly

The rainfly sits far enough away from the tent that it should be more waterproof than other tents I’ve owned.  It also creates two vestibules (one on each side) to store things outside the tent, but covered.

All packed up

The whole kit, including the footprint I purchased separately packed into the tent tube on my tour panniers.  It was a tight fit, but it worked.  The main body of the pannier is empty.  Only the tent tube has anything in it.  The rest of that pannier can hold sleeping bag, pad, etc.  I still have the other pannier available for cooking stuff.

I’ll write more about this tent once I actually get to use it.

Once I was done playing with the new toys, it was time to cook dinner.  I threw pork chops on the grill, steamed some veggies.  I drank water with it.  I’ll admit to craving a beer.  I don’t have any in the house.

I’ll be up early tomorrow.  I have no coffee in the house.  I consider that an emergency.  I’ll run by Sunergos and grab a few pounds.  After that I plan to go to the farmer’s market.  Yes, I’ll be riding the Big Dummy.

Home Cooking

Yes, I need to cook more.  Tonight, I cooked a simple spaghetti meal, but I steamed fresh broccoli, and served it on the side.  I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and one more meal after that.

I’m not currently counting calories, so I didn’t try to total them up.


I weighed myself on April 1st.  I gained 3.2 lbs.  I’m up to 237.8.  That’s now how to do this.  Hopefully the change going on now will make my May weigh-in go the right direction.



I’ve been frustrated with life recently.  I’m unhappy with my weight.  I’m unhappy with being alone.

It’s time to accept things.  I need to not worry about being single.  I’ve done it before.  I can do it again.

I need to acknowledge my eating issues and work on them.  I need to cook at home, give up the beer for a while, and do some exercises in the evening instead of sit at the bar drinking.

One thing will help me to achieve the “stay at home and cook” goal – I’m going to be broke for a few weeks.  Poor planning and unexpected expenses teamed up to take my beer away.  Maybe this is a good thing.

I have been riding.  I’ve even been back on the rSogn.  I still need to replace the handlebars with Albatross bars, but that’ll have to wait for finances.

Tim got a new bike.  He calls it SeaFoam.  We managed to get out for a ride both Saturday (foggy) and Sunday (Easter).  I have a few pictures from Saturday.

SeaFoam and rSogn

If you can’t tell, SeaFoam is a Rivendell Atlantis.  Tim always has the nicer bike.


A trip through Joe Creason Park in the fog completely hid the fact we were in an urban area.

I didn’t ride the bike to work on Monday or Tuesday.  I took a cab (waste of money) to work.  I took the bus home.  Both days involved walking, and drinking at a bar (more money wasted).

Tuesday, I had a few beers after work, when Tim contacted me about an evening ride.  I ran home and got ready.  We met and rode 15 or so miles after dark.  Again, I was on the rSogn, and he was on SeaFoam.  Both of us with dyno-powered headlights.

As he headed for home, I stopped again for another beer.

Bike and beer – a match made in heaven

See?  This one was totally the bike’s fault!

It’ll be at least two weeks without beer now.  I’ll then limit my drinking to one day a week.

In addition to spending more time at home with my dogs, I’m starting back with sand-court volleyball next Monday.  This will hopefully give me enough social interaction (and some exercise!)

Life is an interesting journey.  It’ll be fun to see where I end up by the end of the year.