Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Winter

Forget about what the calendar says, today we are experiencing winter.

Freezing fog; that temporary white flag announcing a brief lull in early winter's assult. Like a blanket over the land, the fog and frost dampen all sound, only the raucous Jays break the silence as they annouce that the feeder needs filling and the suet cake has once again been 'liberated' by the racoons, those masked raiders of the night.

It's not all that cold, over night temps in the high 20's. Confronted with scenes such as these I feel a little wimpy going on about the cold. But hey, it's all relative, and compared to last week, this is cold.

We were out in the shop last night fixing up our own little 'spinning studio'. I say we, but it was the IT staff (Mrs C) who made sense of the jumble of cables and the collection of old, out dated, but still functional black plastic electronic gizmoboxes. My job was to seek and find, to fish these various 'components" out of their worn and wavy cardboad coffins, and to lift that ancient electronic boat anchor of a TV (gawd those things used to be heavy!) up on to the work bench. I arranged the trainer and cleared a shelf for setting up the collection of remotes, water bottles, towels and tissue boxes, the assorted accoutrements for a successful ride, er 'session'. Much futzing and faffing later ... et viole! No more excuses.

I put in a Spinervals tape, ... yes that's right tape, as in VCR. It worked. I got those jumpy, snowy scenes, and that diagonal line that rolls up through the picture. Eventually things settled down and those preppy triathalon wannabes came into sharp focus, responding in perfect unison to coach Troy Jacobson's every command. So 1999.

Then I unwrapped and played for the first time, a CD that has been laying around here for I don't know how long. It was Robbie Ventura; racing a criterium while giving coaching tips. A full 35 minutes of on board camera work actually riding the race. this guy is truly an animal, he not only raced, but narrated (between gasps) as he rolled through lap after lap of 25 to 35 mph racing. Robbie has nothing to worry about from me. But the equipment worked and I'm sure I will be out in the 'studio' for a few short after work rides between now and spring.

Truth is, as much as I bad mouth the tour de nowhere, I've ridden the rollers and the trainer recently and my head did not explode. But I wasn't properly set up; Just listening to the buzz of the local C&W radio station, barely audible above the static is not enough to get me much farther down the road to nowhere than about an hour at a time. Maybe I'll set a few PR's on this new, more challenging course now that I'm better equpped.

It was just starting to freeze so everything was soaked going to crunchy,
and the air was thick with chilled moisture (soon to become frozen moisture). The steam rolling off the pond made it look like one of those pools in Yellowstone in winter.

It gave me pause. Cold as I was I thought about how much colder I'd be if I was naked and bobbing around in there with the fish. Obviously they are better adapted but sheesh, how cold they must be! I'm sure they could feel the pond bleeding it's warmth into the dark night.

This morning, the water temp has dropped two degrees over night, down to 42 degrees. The water fall is running but the fountain is frozen. I am dissapointed to have this problem in these temps but this is our 'learning' winter.

The fish are locked in their winter torpor, and now we enter the long hard time for them. It's a new experience for them and for me, and I hope I've prepare them well enough that they safely make the passage to spring.

Hang in there fish, only four more months till breakfast.

Post Script;

I putzed around the place a bit, the fog burned off (the sun never came out)

the roads thawed (so did the fountain) and I went for a ride. Not out in the 'studio' but out on the roads. I'm so lucky: to know what I like, to be able to do it right off the back porch, and to still be able to get the big horse up over a hill or two.

What if I lived in Baghdad, or Mogadishu?

Really, ... blessed.

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