Thursday, April 19, 2018

Apr 17/18 - behind again

Get used to it.  I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Let's see ... 17th, I dunno.  18th, easy - took Marda to the airport and continued to Epcot.  We had a great time; "traffic" (queues) were light.  35 minutes or less for Soarin says it all, let along 10 minutes or less for Mission to Space.

We met the Davies at Test Track; our FastPass was a few minutes before theirs. 

We hit Living with the Land first and then had a snack at the eatery in that building and also did Soarin.  From there it was to the big globe, i.e. Spaceship Earth, then Test Track, Mission to Space, some Pixar movies and the day rushed by with dinner at 4:20 p.m. at the Italian Restaurant.  Sandy and Kim got bored with theirs and traded; Jason and Lo and I stuck with ours. My fish Zippa was great.  The appetizers, which we shared, were excellent.  The antipasto and calamari could easily be a full dinner. The cappuccino was middling ... not like being in Italy :).

From there we wandered slowly out of the park; the Davies staying for the night show.  Home at 9:15, Cassie was very happy to see us. 

I just took Cassie out to the sandbar; did some tuning of my shifters; made some seed bars; had lunch; partly packed for the ride on Friday-Sunday and should probably do some minimal prep to save time on Monday but I'm not inspired.  Tuesday a.m., of course, I leave for Brazil !  I was just checking the weather and it's magnificent ... until we start riding; we'll get wet.  Much like this weekend for my 1000k, there's a good chance of rain every day which means 100% for me on a bike. 

Onward !


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Apr 16 - Brazil, soon

It's on my mind.  Perhaps that's because I'm working through the route and see all the squiggly lines.  Squiggly lines mean switchbacks.  Switchbacks can mean descending but that goes quickly; it's the ascending that I'm worried about !

However, that's next week.   This week it's cool here.  Right now I see an outside temp of 50F which has fallen since I got up.  However, yesterday's issue was more the wind, so much so that I didn't take Cassie out to the sandbar.  She had to watch me working on the motor, bothered that I was by the boat but not going out.  This was routine stuff - changing bottom end oil - which, thankfully, the little platform facilitates. 

I did some more digging into the Florida Sales & Use tax yesterday, doing our first filing which is zero all around as there were no sales for the 1st quarter since we hadn't transferred anything to Florida by that point.  Right now we're on quarterly filing which we can appeal once we've got a year under our collective belts.  Our volumes are low enough that we will either be semi-annual or annual - our filing for sales tax is annual in California.  I do learn a lot of mostly useless information in this zero pay job .... :).

Onward ...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Apr 12-15 - yes, I'm here

Probably should have blogged yesterday ...

Not much to report from Thursday and of course Friday and Saturday, I was riding.  It was hot.  The car thermometer said 95F when I left Tavares on Saturday.  It was a somewhat leisurely ride, with a 5 hour night stop which is very unusual for me, but I thought what the heck.  I'm going to cover some of those same roads next weekend too ... not quite ready for that yet !

On Sunday I spent some time fussing with the Florida sales tax and have questions for them today.  Patty Himes came for dinner and Sandy made her now-famous scallops.    Patty's care was in for service so Sandy picked her up and I took her home. 

Marda has changed her flight home from today (Monday) to Wednesday.  We'll drop her off and then head to Epcot.

Onward !

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Apr 11 - Dad's Birthday

Even without the calendar entry, I'd remember this date and several others, Alex, for instance.  Amex forces me to remember my Mom's birthdate, as that's a verbal security code.  I could change that, but haven't.

On the eve of the eve of the first multi day ride, we had dinner on the Disney Boardwalk with Jason, Lorraine & Kim.  We got there early and managed a trip around the boardwalk.  It's been a long time since we were there.

The Ale and Compass is a relatively new restaurant.  Kim, Marda and Sandy had the ravioli.  Jason had the Scrod.  Lorraine had (whoops, I forget), and I had the ribless ribs.  The highlight, however, was the roasted cauliflower ordered as a starter by Sandy & Marda.  A huge amount of food, it had been finished with buffalo wing sauce, quite interesting.  I started with the so-called romaine wedge.  Since romaine isn't really round, it isn't really a wedge, but whatever.

We were home shortly after 9pm.  Lisa had taken care of Cassie's dinner.

Earlier in the day I had finished up my RUSA freebie mailing and also visited T-Mobile.  I may do the phone / carrier switcheroo.  I hope that works out well. I'll have to do some googling of reviews.

Tomorrow and Saturday, I ride. 

Onward !

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Apr 10 - before I forget

to do my blog, that is ... which is what often happens; the day gets away from me.

It rained on and off most of the day, which is actually unusual for Florida. 

I had a busy day selling off Randonneurs USA discontinued items.  Selling is a euphemism as we were literally giving the stuff away, for the price of the postage.   My idea had been to bring most of it to a local ride and let people grab what they want.  Others thought that I should offer stuff to the brevet organizers, so I did that.  Of course they didn't have to do the work ! 

It would have been easier had I been using new boxes & envelopes and taking payments through the RUSA store, but no ...  I was recycling.  Since these are all but one going parcel post vs fixed price priority mail, the postage will be different for each, so I then have to ask people to PayPal the money to RUSA, separate emails, separate tracking.  The job is far from finished.

No good deed goes unpunished.  This really did take my entire day.  I didn't get over to T-Mobile to talk to them and I didn't even get to the post office.

Sandy and Marda went shopping and brought home some wine.  Liquid assets !

Onward !


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Apr 8/9 - I'm always behind, it seems

Forever behind.  Perhaps I should give up blogging.  George did that; only planning on blogging when they were on the road and really doing something interesting.  Facebook took over for the interim times, but even that dies off after a while for most of us. 

I find my blog useful for myself.  I can search back, see when people visited, see when we were in certain cities, countries etc.   BUT ... I'm having trouble keeping up.  The first hours of the day get taken up with email.  My clearest thinking hours are spoken for.

For now, I'll keep at it, blogging that is.  Blogger ... "you're a hard habit to break" ... to quote Chicago !

Let's see ... the 8th was supposed to be a rainy day.  I'd ridden the day before expecting that the 8th wouldn't be good for riding.  I did ride on the 9th and almost made it home, got dumped on 3 blocks away. 

I've been working on the RUSA store inventory -- physically -- counting, offering up for give-away, getting Paul started on running his part of the RUSA Store show. Today I have to call the State and do something about sales taxes.  Great.

I've been researching flights, best options for the Oz/Israel trip, starting point either Montreal or Orlando and how to break up the flights.  I should call Amex and see what advice they can provide.

As I mentioned, I did ride on the 9th, south again.  It seems that south has become my most frequent loop.  It's much more interesting now that I have the path to use.   Surely one of these days, I'll have a NE wind.

Sandy picked up Marda at the airport yesterday.  I was wondering if she'd be delayed due to thunderstorms.  We were repeatedly dumped upon and that is continuing even this morning.  No doubt the sprinkler also ran ... right ... I'd meant to turn that off !

Rides are coming.  600k this weekend.  1000k next weekend.  Brazil 1200k the following weekend. 

Onward !

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Apr 6/7 - riding

Two days in a row, as we had so-so weather on the horizon - south both days, as it turned out.

Jason, Lorraine & Kim left after breakfast on Friday and soon afterwards, I headed out on my bike.  Saturday was the same, not a really early start but rolling southwards.  I'm getting full value out of that new path !

I've also done some bike maintenance; general cleanup, chain replacement, shifter cable replacement and reviewed my spare parts inventory and ordered a couple more chains and another bottom bracket.  I'm still running the old style bottom bracket cups on the travel bike and should swap that soon ... after checking it out.  I believe that it's still rolling smoothy but don't want to find out otherwise in the middle of a 1200.

My last free weekend for a while is going by.  Next weekend I've got the 600k pre-ride; the following weekend the 1000k pre-ride and then, oh oh, it's off to Brazil.

Speaking of trips, I've been investigating flying options to Oz and Israel.  The cheapest option is to fly back home (Orlando or Toronto/Montreal) and then fly out again.  Another option is to have a round trip to Perth in the middle of a round trip to Tel Aviv.  The most expensive is to Perth, from Perth to Tel Aviv, from Tel Aviv to home.  Since TLV is 7 hours different and Perth 5 hours different than that, it might make sense to spend a couple of days in TLV to start reorienting the body clock, and then head to Perth.

There are many possible airlines involved, from what I would say as "safe" - Qantas, Air Canada, various European airlines, Cathay Pacific - to not sure - Thai, Turkish etc etc.  None of the flights are direct, all involve some sort of plane change.  Believe it or not, one of the best options fr Orlando => TLV and back is through Toronto, Air Canada.   Different airlines offer different versions of Premium Economy or better seat selection; some don't offer that at all.  Some of the layovers are long ... what does one do in Honk Kong airport for 17 hours ?  That's just one example of a possible connection between Perth and Tel Aviv.  Others include somewhere in Europe (doesn't make sense), Addis Ababa, Bangkok ...

I'm not so sure about booking this one so far in advance without some certainty that I'll still be rolling at that point.  There are a lot of cycling kms between now and then !  Oh well, there's always travel insurance but it could be dicey as well since I could be in fine shape to travel, but not in fine shape to do a 1200k !

We got some thunder and rain late in the day and probably some rain overnight but I didn't see it.  Today it's cloudy and the high for the day was before dawn. 

I've been sorting through RUSA store inventory and working with Paul R as he gets up to speed on what's required. Quite a pile of stuff arrived at my doorstep on Friday.  I've got all the discontinued items, or most of them. 

Onward !