Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tastes Like

Mike Kinman is the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral here in St. Louis. Today as it spit out some snow flakes he commented:

Snow that doesn't stick is like a doughnut that tastes like cauliflower.

Pretty much sums it up for me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Isn't there an old saying that goes something like: "It is better to discover you've been screwed at bath time rather than during ride time"?

I took Billie over the the local coin car wash today to rinse off some of the road chemicals. I didn't go to the wash directly. I took the long way via Carondolet Park. After my little detour and finishing my rinse I did my weekly close inspection of my tires. During my inspection, I noticed I'd picked up a little something in my front tire. As I'm certain my friend Jim in Wichita would say, "Whoops!"

The good news is the tire seems to be holding air. Monday after work if the tire is still holding air I'll ride it over to Mike's and we'll put in a new tube and probably put a patch over the hole I'm expecting to find when we pull the screw out. And if the tire isn't holding air? We'll come up with a plan B.

No matter how you look at it, it's good to be lucky.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

While It Was Still Warm

It seems someone must of prayed for seasonal weather. This morning the Spring like temperatures were gone. The forecasters were telling us the beginning of the week could bring the coldest temperatures of the season. I figured I'd better get a ride in while it was still warm.

It was 28F/-2C when I left the condo.

The first stop of the day brought me bagels, nice warm bagels.

My second stop was somewhere along Rte.61. I like the wood railroad trestles that span some of the side roads. I decided today was the day to get a photo of one.

My third stop was in Ste. Genevieve.

After Ste Genevieve I meandered over to Rte.67 and zoomed toward home. I learned two things on Rte.67: Isabelle is much happier going 65mph(indicated) than I am; and, I need something to give my throttle hand a break.

But before I went home I made a fourth stop at Bee Tree Park.

At Bee Tree Park I met a man and his wiener dog. He came over as I was parking Isabelle. He told me it was a really nice looking machine. He also told me he used to ride a 750 Honda. He'd had a tumor removed from his wrist and couldn't work the throttle and the brake at the same time. He tried to ride it for a couple of years after the operation, but finally decided he was a danger to himself and others. I told him I'd been to Ste Genevieve and over "Y" to 67 and back in. I'd stop at the Park in hopes of seeing some robins. He told me I should have been there a couple weekends ago. There were flocks of robins. He'd never seen so many robins. I told him I'd seen the same thing, but I was at the Botanical Gardens.

With this robin all puffed up to stay warm its legs sure look spindly.
I did see a few robins, but nothing like what I'd seen a couple of weeks before. I'm thinking we must have witnessed a migratory event.

I saw some seagulls, too.

And some geese.

And lots of people walking their dogs.

I'm growing more and more fond of Isabelle. Today's ride was a little over 190mi/305km and it was nice, smooth, and drama free.

Oh, and it was 32/-1C when I got home.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Today it was 66F/19C. It's January.

Something is wrong with this picture.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


All the talk about a winter storm bringing ice to the Metro Area turned out to be only talk. The talk about it turning cold? It seems the forecasters got that right.

With the possibility of the freezing drizzle and ice accumulations being tossed about, I was thinking Monday might even be my first drive to work day in a very long time. Instead, Sunday afternoon found me pushing Isabelle out of the garage and heading out for a ride.

I decided to head over to Jefferson Barracks Park.

It had been years since I visited the area of the Park where the Museum is located.

I didn't remember there being a Memorial commemorating those who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Heather's Grandfather was a veteran of this battle.
Even though the windchill on the bluff was around 10F/-12C I spent quite a while at the Memorial. Considering the conditions those who participated in the Battle endured it seemed appropriate I would discover it on a cold day.

I rode over to "Jeff" Barracks under an overcast sky, but as I left the Park the sun broke through the clouds.

By the time I headed home the sun was setting.

It's going to be cold tonight. It seems all sorts of robins have suddenly appeared during the past week. It seems like really poor timing on their part. I wonder how they will fare. This is definitely not their kind of weather.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I saw these signs of Spring at the Botanical Gardens today.


...and robins, oh my.

It is difficult to believe this is the current weather forecast from the National Weather Service:
  • Tonight Occasional rain or freezing rain, becoming all freezing rain after 2am. Low around 27. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.2 of an inch possible.
  • Sunday A chance of freezing rain before 7am, then occasional flurries, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle between 7am and 1pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 28. Northwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 17. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph.
Oh well.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Hint of a Sunset

Gradually the days are getting longer. If I was commuting by car would I have noticed? I can't say, but I suspect I would have noticed the change in the sunrises.

Up until this week the sunrise happened as I neared Downtown. Now, I'm able to watch the show nearly the whole way in.

And, tonight for the first time since the time change last November I actually saw a hint of a sunset.

Still, by the time I got to Billie, my Symba, in the parking area all evidence of the sunset was gone.

One thing about commuting in the City is even after dark there is always plenty of light.

Ah, but it's not daylight. It might be bright, but it is still night.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Gray Day, Still...

Saturday was a gray day, still we managed to make our way to Laumeier Sculpture Park.

It was colder than we thought and Heather's hands turned red, white, and blue. Still, we managed to spend an hour exploring.

I needed to preach this morning. This was an unplanned trip to the pulpit. The priest I work with has a son who was both unlucky and very lucky on New Years Eve. He was rear ended by a drunk driver and spun into a light pole. That's the unlucky part. He is very lucky to have survived and the prognosis is excellent for a full recovery. Needless to say Doris, my colleague, has had a very stressful few days. She wanted to preside at the liturgy, but asked if I'd preach. Of course, I was willing.

This left me the afternoon to stretch Isabelle's legs. I try to ride her at least once on the weekend and was last out on New Years afternoon. I was surprised and not pleased to find she didn't have enough juice to turnover. This definitely was not part of the plan. Once we got the relay thing sorted out, other than the incident with the "kill switch", she has started up on the first. Since I've had reason to question if my battery tender was working and she had started up so strongly I haven't  been using it on the Kymco. I'd already had plans to get the charger checked out this upcoming week, but with this development I figured I might as well hook the tender up to Isabelle and see what happened.

Since I was geared up I couldn't make any sense out of going back upstairs to wait and see what would happen. Instead I pushed Billie, my Symba, out of the garage, turned the key, hit the starter and, of course, away we went.

Most of the snow has melted, but there is still some thin ice covering the lake at Carondolet Park.

There were some folks out on the dock fishing. They'd broken the surface ice in order to get their lines in. I guess this is what passes as ice fishing in Missouri.

The geese are on the move and they are everywhere.

On the way back home I pulled over and took a photo of a small wall mural.

I can't figure out if it is a floating mushroom or an umbrella.
I was out and about for around an hour and a half. On my return, I tried to start the Kymco. She started right up. Since she was running I figured I should return to plan A. After an hour plus ride I put Isabelle back to bed. This time, I plugged in the battery tender. If it worked enough to get her started I guess it is working good enough for now. That said, I still plan to get it checked out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Last Sunday we were on a trail at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

I saw a coyote. I saw it three times. The first time Heather didn't see it. It came out of the woods ahead of us, saw us, and hightailed it back into the woods. The second time I saw it Heather saw it, too. It was up on the paved part of the Confluence Trail, but by the time I got the camera out it was gone.

The third time I saw it, I was able to get a photo of it. I'm taking this as a good omen for 2013.

A second good omen for 2013 was having both my son and daughter in town for New Years. It was a treat for me and it was the first time I'd met my daughter's beloved even though they been together for years. She lives back East and we don't get together near enough.

Oh well, busy lives.

Two omens would have been enough to raise my hopes for 2013, but there was a third good omen. After the family time and partaking of some great East Indian food I was able to get out for a short ride . It was 4pmCST when I pulled out of the alley. There was a nice chill in the air.

It was a nice temperate 26F/-3C when I took off and it pretty much stayed the same temperature all the while I was out and about.

I was out for about an hour with probably fifty minutes of saddle time.

And, although it is hard to believe, there was even a fourth good omen leading me into the New Year.

While on my ride I discovered these flamingos. They were on a street I often travel. I think they are new. Yay!

Happy New Year! May it be a wondrous and beautiful year for you filled with nothing but good omens and miles and miles and miles of safe riding.