I Didn’t See That Coming

Atlanta’s victory in New Orleans last night. I picked the Saints to win. And I literally didn’t it coming as I fell asleep sometime after the first half.

A Lackluster Thirty
I didn’t want to ride yesterday, I needed to ride. It had been a week since I mounted my bicycle.

After one false start, when I realized that I didn’t put my water bottles into the cages, I pedaled my way out to Stone Mountain.

Starting a ride at 11:00am (ish) is not recommended, even when the weather is starting to cool, because of traffic. My ride was a series of stops and gos as I got stuck for more lights than I usually do on this route.

By the time I reached Stone Mountain I was ready to turn around, so I did. I entered the park and rode as far as the Dekalb PATH at which point I exited the park.

My loop yesterday was thirty miles, taking two hours. You don’t have to be a math wizard to calculate that I rode at an average pace of 15mph.

I may have to find alternate routes because some of the roads used by the old “Thursday Night Pizza Ride” have fallen into dangerous (for cyclists) disrepair.

ITP Flickr Pic
Nope, fallen off the wagon.

Pour Some Sugar On It
A few days ago I read this article which claimed that Bicycle Magazine has named Atlanta a “Best Bike City in the US”. In my experience this is a crock of shit. Let me point out why I think this:

  • Atlanta’s roads are filled with potholes and, even worse, metal plates
  • Most of Atlanta’s bike lanes do not go anywhere useful, and many are shorter than a few miles long
  • Some of the bike lanes are littered with debris (glass, tree branches, sand), creating hazardous riding conditions, because the street cleaning program is severely underfunded
  • Atlanta has many aggressive drivers

Sure we have Silver Comet and parts of the Beltline, but these are far from idyllic places to ride because they are heavily, and rightly, used by runners and walkers (some of whom are dog walking or stroller pushing).

So I wonder if our city being chosen as a “Best Bike City in the US” came about in the same way that we’ve been told that “fat is unhealthy, but sugar is not” — through a generous grant from one party to another.

If you ride, what’s your take?

I Am The Rainmaker
Guess who has a ticket for tonight’s Braves game, the only time he/she plans to see Turner Field one last time. Me.

Guess what the weather forecast is for tonight. Rain.

That’s right, it’s going to rain for the second time in two weeks and perhaps for the fourth time in months.

So I guess if you want rain for your lawn you should start buying me baseball tickets…

Dangen!

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Not Exactly As Planned

While interesting, this weekend didn’t exactly go as planned. What weekend does, amiright?

So What Did I Do?
On Friday night I hung out and home and randomly watched One Wall: Kings Of Coney Island, a movie about one-wall handball. I watched it on my iPad! As a kid in New York I played both one-wall handball and paddleball, sports which I never saw again after moving to Florida. For me watching the movie was a throwback to my youth in Queens. If you have no connection to handball watching this movie it will be ninety minutes of your life wasted, however if you do have history with the sport I can highly recommend watching it.

After sleeping late and bumming around on Saturday I finally walked up to the village for the East Atlanta Strut around 3pm. I’d like to say that I sat around and watch Florida beat Tennessee, which looked promising at the half; I’m glad that I can say that I didn’t watch Florida’s collapse either. Nearly immediately after arriving at the Strut I found a cadre of hashers. We hung out together, drinking (surprise!), listening to some music, and hearing some comedy. At some point I texted Betsy, who I heard was also in the village, to find out she was sitting at SoBa so I wandered over there to see her. We hung out for a few hours before trying to, but failing, to get her home. It’s too long of a story to recount here, but suffice to say she made it home thanks to another hasher.

At Strut I also saw a few reformed hashers in the form of Martha and Jerry, and Ashley and Jim. In fact perhaps the only people I didn’t see who I figured that I’d run into were ITP-Reader Jenka and Kevin.

I was going to ride on Sunday (“going to” but not “going” is the new standard for my riding these days) but that didn’t happen. Around 10am I went out with the new string trimmer and cleaned up the curbside, then I managed to lug some fallen limbs to the cleaned-off curb, and then mowed the lawn; holy shit, it was nearly 1pm by the time I completed these tasks and showered and sat down to watch a little football. The afternoon plan was to head to Streets Alive and wander the closed-off streets, but an emergency occurred and I had to drive someone to a doc-in-a-box to get some stitches after losing a battle with a can. My reward for being available to help was a trip to Oz Pizza in East Point.

It was at Oz’s bar counter that I experienced one of the strangest acts of passive aggressiveness I have ever seen. To get a better view of the football games we stepped up to the bar, which had three chairs, one occupied by a man and another by his briefcase. I asked the very well dressed man if I could “steal” the chair in which his briefcase sat. I should interject that there was plenty of room for him to place his precious bag on the floor by his chair, or even on the bar. Instead, he looked at me and said nothing, rather sneering at me as if I asked him to place an infant on the floor. We grabbed a fourth chair and started to make due with less than half of the bar space when the man got up, and moved with his bag from the bar to a table. WTF? I was obviously bothered by this man’s actions, and kept trying to convince myself that it was his problem instead of mine. I even considered getting up and confronting the guy at his new table, but figured it would be best to let the situation drop.

No ITP Flickr Pic
Hmmm, not shooting again. Bad Paulie.

Speaking Of Situations
On Friday I received an email from Woodspur Lodge in Winter Park, Colorado (where the Colorado Invihash was held) informing me that they were charging me $76 for damage I caused to the rug in my room. I asked if I could get a photo of the damage, but they said that they were unable to do so, and described the damage as “alcohol spilled on the rug”. This seems plausible, so I begrudgingly agreed to pay.

A few hours later I received an email from one of the hash organizers asking me about the situation. She informed me that Woodspur tried to charge another hasher $75 to clean a ketchup spill, and that the hash was charged $210 for a water spill that occurred in one of the common spaces. Yesterday Woodspur charged my credit card and the hash has told me that they will reimburse me. I just now need to figure out if my PayPal account is set up to receive payments.

The whole incident left a really bad taste in my mouth for Woodspur. Not that I was ever planning to return to Winter Park, but if I ever do you can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be staying at Woodspur ever again.

Well Look Who Won This Week!
Woot! I have won the Yahoo! Pick’em Pool side bet this week. $5 coming back to me!

Because I Can
I’ve been negligent mentioning birthdays in this space but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that two ITP-Readers turn officially “old” this week.

Welcome to your fifties, ITP-Reader Debbie and ITP-Reader Randy!

😛

In fact I will be returning to Raleigh on Friday to help Randy celebrate, and to teach him how to avoid breaking a hip.

Goodbye Arnie
At 51 I am too young (not a phrase I get to say often enough these days) to have seen Arnold Palmer in his prime. And when I was starting to be introduced to golf it was Jack Nicklaus’s world.

At 87 Arnold Palmer died yesterday, creating a huge hole in the history of the PGA.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

So…

It’s the first Friday of Fall. Wow.

Could midtown have had more traffic, with a Tech game, the Kaiser Permanante Corporate Challenge, the Atlanta Symphony, and two plays at Woodruff Arts Center? Not to mention some fancy pants event happening at The High.

So Intense
File last night’s play, “Ugly Lies the Bone”, under “Intense”.

The premise of the play is that a soldier who is severely disfigured in battle returns to her Florida home where she tries to rehabilitate as well as return to the life she had prior to volunteering for service.

Light hearted enough yet?

Toss in some PTSD, a sister who is dating a guy she doesn’t like, and a mother with Alzheimer’s and you have the makings for hilarity!

In all seriousness the play is well acted, and kudos to the makeup artist who disfigured half of the very pretty face of the lead actress.

Special kudos to Home Depot, who have pledged to allow any veteran with a valid military ID to see the play for free.

ITP Flickr Pic
“By Any Other Name…” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
By Any Other Name...
So pretty.

So Busy
I have planned another busy weekend. Unemployed life is so busy I should probably give up blogging. Kidding.

Today I am attending another German breakfast, having lunch out, and then need to start putting some things in order.

Tomorrow is East Atlanta Strut day (already?). For most of the day I will probably be wandering around the village.

Sunday is a football day! My theory on my Yahoo! Pick’em Pool losses is that I am not watching intensely enough. Maybe my account has been hacked and the hackers keep changing my picks? Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Have a great weekend friends!

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Hey Siri, Add To List

This morning I had to add another inevitable task to my “To Do” list. Get a job? Well, there’s that, but to what I am referring here is adding “Get dead pine tree cut down” as I discovered this morning that it’s losing its limbs. Fortunately the limbs are not near the house, but if the whole thing topples that may be a different story. I have a good tree guy to whom I will be placing a call soon. More money out? Yep. Hey Siri, add “Get a job” to “To Do” list again.

Another Fun Night At Terminal West
Last night I made it to an “early” show at Terminal West.

The opening band “Landlady” was really good once I got passed the fact that the lead singer kept reminding me of Ty Burrell, aka “Phil Dunphy” from Modern Family.

Okkervil River took the stage around 9:15pm and performed until near 11:00pm. They played a lot of new songs, but also played my two favorites — “Plus Ones” and “A Girl In Port” — from 2007’s “The Stage Names”.

Open Window And Doors, Insert Fans
It’s getting to be that time of year when I can use box fans to lure the cooler outside air inside the ITP Estate. Hooray!

ITP Flickr Pic
“Trees Everywhere” (Hartwell, Georgia, United States)
Trees Everywhere
Thankfully if these trees fall they will definitely not hit the ITP Estate. Click on the photos if you want to see this photo much larger as this was taken using the iPhone’s panorama mode.

Another Busy Day
Today I will be meeting up with former coworkers for lunch. Hooray! I want to keep in contact with a handful of them that I consider to be friends.

Tonight I will be headed to Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre for their performance of “Ugly Lies The Bone”. I will have to be cognizant of the traffic headed to the Tech game tonight so that I can get to Woodruff Arts without hassle.

Going To Be An Early Day Tomorrow
The blog might be super early tomorrow (or super late) because today I am going to sign up for the Goethe Zentrum’s final “German Breakfast” of the season. Having a month off between classes has been difficult because my discipline for learning German has been waning (along with many other things I should be learning). I need the outlet for practicing, and while I’m pretty certain I won’t get another one-on-one lesson tomorrow it will be go to force myself to think and speak in German.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Doing Things I Normally Don’t Do

I am watching the Tour of Britain, after it has already concluded! I normally do not watch recorded sporting events but with no idea of who won (no spoilers!), a curiosity about the event, and the ability to stream each stage to my iPad thanks to the NBC Gold app, I am doing so.

Turkey Sandwich For Breakfast?
Yes, yes I did. This morning I ate the remainder of the turkey sandwich purchased from Kroger last night. The sub was huge and I was incapable of eating the entire thing for dinner, so I ate the remainder this morning for breakfast.

It was delicious.

ITP Flickr Pic
“We Have Reached A New Level Of Trust” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
We Have Reached A New Level Of Trust
Pictured in my side mirror is the neighborhood feral cat sleeping in my carport. She has been around for years, and for the first time yesterday did not run away went I went out to the car.

Domesticated Me
Today I need to catch up on the many day-to-day tasks that I’ve been ignoring — laundry, grocery shopping, etc. FUN! I’ve already eaten a large breakfast, as I mentioned above, so I may wait until early afternoon before doing laundry so that I can eat lunch, assuming I schlep my clothes up to the lavanderia on Buford Highway.

Tonight I will be returning to Terminal West for the Okkervil River show.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Step One: Get Out Of Bed

Sabbatical is turning me into a sloth. Actually, I think yesterday’s sloth-like day is a direct result of a wonderfully eventful weekend.

Much Like Most Of Atlanta I Was Out Of Gas
I left the ITP Estate twice yesterday. The first escape was to eat lunch and then go grocery shopping. However, after a satisfying lunch at Elmyriachi in Kirkwood I decided to return home to rest. “Rest” turned into a two-hour nap. Ah, the sabbatical life…

With legs still hurting from Sunday’s ride I nixed the idea of driving to North Atlanta for the Monday night recovery ride. About a half hour later I made plans with Hank to meet him at the Lucky’s Burger & Brew in Emory Village to watch a little Monday Night Football. I tried to buy some gas for the M6 at the QT on Briarcliff at Clifton before meeting Hank, but they were completely out of gas. I know about the pipeline break and soaring gas prices (greedy fuckers), are stations running out of gas across the city?

ITP Flickr Pic
“My Weekend Abode” (Hartwell, Georgia, United States)
My Weekend Abode
Up in Hartwell I set up tent early, picking a space I’ve taken in years passed. You can see from the image that I was not too far from the M6 either — camping as I like it best.

Paulie Don’t Valet
I don’t like valet parking. Believe it or not many moons ago this opinion was the cause of strife in a relationship of mine.

Naturally I was disappointed to not find a parking space in Emory Village on North Decatur and even more disappointed when I went to park in a parking lot behind Lucky’s only to find it is now completely reserved for valet parking thanks to the new Double Zero restaurant that has opened. Double Zero shuttered its Sandy Springs location (in the old Good Ol’ Days location?) opting for Emory Village instead. After driving around, you know there aren’t many streets with parking near Emory Village, eventually lucking into a space near the Barnes & Nobel a block away from Lucky’s.

With parking secured I joined Hank at the bar and watched the Mets lose to the Braves (DANGEN!) and the first half of the Eagles v. Bears game, for which I picked incorrectly (DOUBLE DANGEN!). At least the beer was good even if Lucky’s has raised their prices slightly (TRIPLE DANGEN!).

Have a great day friends.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

What Are We Going To Do Today, Brain?

Same thing as we do every day, Pinky.

As my summertime funtime comes to a close in a couple of weeks I need to start thinking about what my (new) daily routine will be as I prepare to become an employed person again in 2017.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
Though it may not see action today due to sore leg muscles I am glad to say that I rode my bicycle two out of the three mornings that I spent in Hartwell over the weekend. The only reason I didn’t ride on Saturday was because that I knew that I would need the energy to run the hash.

On Friday morning I went out and rode 45 miles in about three hours. It’s really easy to do a long ride in that area of the state because the roads are fairly smooth, have only a little traffic, and are not very hilly.

Yesterday morning’s ride was shorter, 28 miles, but far more difficult because the route I took was a little hillier and I forced myself to ride in bigger gears.

ITP Flickr Pic
“So Much For A Clean Car” (Hartwell, Georgia, United States)
So Much For A Clean Car
Actually, as I found out when I parked, the M6’s cleanliness was already compromised by a vehicle that was ejecting small droplets of oil somewhere along I-85.

Old Man Paulie
10:00pm.
10:30pm.
09:30pm.

Those are the times at which I was back in my tent on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights respectively in Hartwell. It’s not that I didn’t want to stay up and get stupidly drunk, which I really didn’t, I find it hard to party like a hasher any longer. During campouts I find myself drinking early and wearing down early; perhaps my morning bike rides and the grueling hash were to blame.

Speaking of the actual hash, it was fantastic. We started out by crossing the dammed side of the Savannah River, having to swim parts of it. After romping through the woods the hares found incredible patches of shoe-sucking mud. At one point we had to cross a water crossing whose underlying ground was so soft that I had to crawl in order to get through; needless to say that my entire body below my chest was covered with mud when I exited. Thankfully there was some clean water soon after in which I could wash off. The hash ended at the Shady Lady Saloon where we far dirtier than the regulars. I think Oops had the best job at the hash’s end when he found a hose and hosed down most of the hashers.

Fighting The Itch
My hands are starting to itch. I have that sinking feeling that I picked up a bit of poison ivy on trail Saturday. Try as I might to avoid the shit, there is little hope when trudging through the woods of Georgia and South Carolina during the summer months, and cleaning off afterward it never seems to help.

Week 2: Another Loss For The Good Guy
Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s NFL game I have once again lost my Yahoo! Pick’em Pool side bet. I have the Falcons, who looked like a second-tier college team against the Buccaneers but world-beaters against the Raiders, as well as my lack of confidence in them to blame.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Gone Riding

It was my intention to write a glorious post this morning, and the coffee drinking wi hashers interrupted that.

It’s now 8:10 and I am going to out for a long bike ride in order to beat the heat. Plus, my pants are starting to get snug again, time for me to exercise for the first time since Colorado.

Have a great weekend friends!

Cheers,
Paulie [hartwell/ga]

Getaway Day (Again!)

Today I will be toting the road bike up to Hartwell, Georgia. This weekend is the annual Lake Hartwell Campout for the Black Sheep Hash and because it’s not being held on LEAF weekend as it was last year, I will be returning. My plan is to ride Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and run the hash on Saturday without getting left alone at the end. (Short-time readers of this space should search the archives to read that story, it’s probably been six years now…)

Queen For A Day
Yesterday was all about the M6.

I spent two hours down in Morrow having the M6 get its 25k mile routine service done (it has over 27k miles already so it won’t be long before scheduling 30k service).

Upon eating a quick Chinese buffet lunch I did something to the M6 I’ve not done since banging her up back in February — I vacuumed and washed her. Funny, the “Jackmobile” obviously became a boy car, however the M6 is feeling more like a girl car to me. Of course you could question my sanity for cleaning the car up prior to driving it up to Hartwell where it will get dirty driving the dirt roads of Hartwell. Oh well.

Last night I had dinner at a restaurant in which I have not eaten in years. Feeling the call of Thai I had dinner at Mali in Virginia Highland, my has it grown in size since the last time I dined there. It was a wonderful dinner, and, it’s going to prove to be a good breakfast as I am eating leftovers for my breakfast today.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Who Doesn’t Like A Good Pomegranate?” (Raleigh, North Carolina, United States)
Who Doesn't Like A Good Pomegranate?
I know that I certainly do.

J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!
I’m bringing a portable TV with me tonight to see if I can catch a portion of the Jets v. Bills game. I’d tell you who I picked to win, but some of those cagy Yahoo! Pick’em Pool players may read this space and I don’t want to tip my hand.

There will be a blog tomorrow, assuming that I can get cell service at Oops’s cabin in the woods.

Until then, have a great day friends!

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

I Know, I’m Late

I’m blogging from Hennessy Mazda this morning, the M6 is in for its (late) 25k mile maintenance. Hennessy has wifi, so I am using my laptop this morning.

Some Who Wander Are Lost
I left Raleigh around 8:30am yesterday. Full of (misguided) confidence I took too many wrong turns and side streets on my way to 440 in order to avoid traffic an head south. On many occasions I have taken the back roads to and from Raleigh so I was sure that I would remember where I was supposed to turn. This certainty lasted until I took a most unusual S-turn, one that I was certain I had never encountered before. Google Maps confirmed that where I was on US 1 was way off my intended course. Fortunately US 1 eventually intersects with I-20, so I knew that I was okay.

My drive along US 1 took me through many small South Carolina towns, and I chuckled as they all reminded me of the small towns in Iowa that I visited two months ago.

Eventually I wound my way to I-20 and was back inside the perimeter by 3:30pm. All in all an eight-hour drive, especially as one as serene as I had taken, was a good day.

ITP Flickr Pic
“We Bought A Zoo (South Carolina)” (Bethune, South Carolina, United States)
We Bought A Zoo (South Carolina)
There were so many new-to-me sights along my drive home yesterday. I took this shot from the M6, clearly I was too busy to stop to take a proper photo.

Another shot that I skipped entirely was the “No Street Performers” sign that I saw posted on a Mission Store. Seriously, except for the highway there were no streets nearby on which a “street performer” could “perform”.

New Roads, New Lavanderia
Continuing my role as the busiest unemployed person alive I had limited time to do laundry yesterday. Because of this I chose to do something I swore that I never would do — visit the Moreland Av laundromat near the ITP Estate.

The four positive reviews on Google convinced me to give this lavanderia a shot, but the severely distressed conditions of the machines convinced me that this lavenderia will only be used in emergency situations. My clothes are clean, but one t-shirt seems to have to have suffered. I need to buy more Simple Green to see If I can salvage it.

Week One Loss Punishment Commenced
Last night I drank a Mich Ultra.

Long time readers of this space know that I would not do such a thing without good reason. The reason I punished my body so was because it was the first part of the punishment associated with my Yahoo! Pick’em Pool loss. Still owed are a $5 bill and listening to a pop song of the other player’s choosing.

ITP-Reader Stacy, remember the days we used to but on The Amazing Race and the loser had to add a song to his/her iTunes library?

Cheers,
Paulie [morrow/ga]

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