Hiatus: The Good

Long-time readers of this space will remember when the last three posts of any given year outlined “The Good”, “The Bad”, and “The Ugly” for that year. In order to have some content over the next three days, my first three at “XYZ Corp”, I’m resurrecting this concept and applying it to my hiatus which started the day before my birthday last year, July 21st.

Here we go with “The Good”:

While I didn’t go as many places as I thought that I would given the life of freedom awarded to me for the past nine months, I did manage to get around a bit.

It didn’t take long for me to travel, on my birthday I boarded a school bus headed to Iowa for RAGBRAI. With the exception of chipping my tooth doing something really stupid, I had a remarkable time riding the southern route from the west of Iowa to the Mississippi river.

The other big biking trip occurred just a week after the end of RAGBRAI when I flew up to Vermont and did six days of riding, two of which included two of the hardest climbs that I have ever attempted (both of which I failed to ride up completely). Keep in mind that I am an old man who is at best a mediocre rider, so it’s not like I was attempting these while in the Alps. Much good beer and camaraderie was had in Vermont. In fact, I may be seeing my roommate next week as he will be in the Atlanta area, and, I would be traveling to New York to ride with a couple of other participants if I hadn’t gone and found a job.

I can’t forget my fun trip to Colorado, the night I spent at a hostel in Denver, as well as the days in Winter Park, and the two nights in Fort Collins. Had the Winter Park lodge not charged me for “damages”, it would have been a primo trip. The hash had promised to reimburse me, but the payment never came through PayPal and I couldn’t be bothered to follow up again.

I was also able to make trips to Raleigh to visit the Raleigh Royalty, and down to Florida to visit my mother.

The trips I didn’t make will be mentioned tomorrow in “The Bad”.

The ITP Estate
Wait, this was good? But you didn’t fix the plumbing!

I know. I know. However…

I was able to reconfigure and create a useful home office. I am using the home office right now as a matter of fact. In doing this I also was able to give away four, yes four, pieces of furniture! A few weekends ago I got rid of a dresser, a wood chair, and a CD shelf. This weekend I lugged one of two huge bookcases (inherited from Jeannie, the note-writer referenced last week) to the curb and it was gone in a matter of hours. Of course I added two new pieces, a coffee table and a small office desk, but I’m still at a net-negative.

This weekend also saw me shredding some old tax documents to free up more space in my filing cabinet. As paper documents continue to disappear there may be a time in my future where I lug my big four-drawer filing cabinet to the curb. One of the benefits of still having it however is that it is locking, which is minor deterrent for theft.

As I mentioned a few times during my hiatus I drove a lot of things to Goodwill and to recycling center; this work is ongoing but at least I am finally making headway.

Another “improvement” which occurred was updating my home security system. Gone is the twenty-year-old panel, installed was a new fancy-pants panel and sensors. As I mentioned when it was installed it wasn’t the smoothest of installs and the salesman was a huckster, but overall I am now pleased with it.

It almost feels as if I my life is somewhat manageable again.

I’ve rediscovered the joy of cooking. Of course this means that I’ve also rediscovered the drudgery of washing up afterward, and should get my plumbing fixed…

While I didn’t work through my cookbooks nor did I discover many fantastical recipes, I did cook up some of my favorites, used my immersion cooker to sous vide up a ton of pork loin, and made many breakfasts. Win. Win. Win.

I’m hoping that the location of “XYZ Corp” will allow me to continue to cook dinners. I really think the commute to/from Perimeter Mall killed my love of cooking.

I may have lost a few pounds, may have.

My exercise logs show a tendency for exercising in streaks, many weeks I exercised almost every day, and many weeks I didn’t exercise at all. Of course a lot of the interruptions, as will be addressed in the next two days were caused by my health.

I’m pleased to say that I think that I’ve started getting my money’s worth from my LA Fitness membership. I hope to continue this trend even though I will be riding MARTA to the new job.

Video Watching
Wait a minute, you’re say sitting on your ass watching “tv” is a good thing?


During my nine months of freedom I managed to watch all seven seasons of “Parks And Recreation”, four seasons of “Chef’s Table”, two seasons of “The Mind Of A Chef”, the three seasons of “The Great British Bake Off” available in the US, two seasons of “The Amazing Race”, as well as various other tv shows and movies.

To watch all of this content I made good use of my Netflix, Amazon, and library memberships.

Bad That Can’t Wait For Tomorrow
I had signed up for a bike ride that toured Civil War battle sites that occurred around the ITP Estate. There was a part of me that didn’t want to go, that wanted to sit around and watch the end of Paris-Roubaix instead, but I had signed up and the weather was beautiful so I decided to do it. I rode my bike over to Oakland Cemetery where the tour started and everything was going great. That is, until we left the cemetery and I attempted to jump the curb onto Memorial Drive at too acute an angle and with not enough speed. I fell. I landed hard, directly on my left hip, the opposite hip that I injured six years ago thankfully, but still hurt like hell. I was able to slowly ride home but while getting off the bike at home I realized that I could put no weight on my hip, so I couldn’t walk. It being Sunday meant that there were no places I could go to buy crutches. Thankfully I was able to contact Terri and get her to bring hers over to the house. I am writing this on Sunday and am in a lot of pain. I went to an urgent care where they took X-rays, nothing is broken nor fractured, but it hurts a lot. Tomorrow I will start my new job by showing up on crutches. What a way to make a first impression. And so much for getting exercise by walking back to my car, at least for a little while.

It’s now Monday morning. I got more sleep than expected last night though I am awake at 5:00am. I still can’t put weight on my left leg and my chest is bruised. Getting ready for, and going to work is going to be interesting. Why did I have try to jump the curb?

Hope your day is all good.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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19 Responses to Hiatus: The Good

  1. HamWithCam says:

    “When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade…”

    “Whoa! Is that the new guy? Crutches and everything and he still showed up…”

    Beautiful Saturday at the Dogwood festival. Perfect weather.

    Oh, and I got my taxes done. Well at least gathered up for the visit with the accountant.

    Knock ’em dead Paulie.
    73 de JG/HamWithCam

    • Thanks. Going to do my best to keep a stiff upper lip and a good sense of humor.

      Still in a lot of pain. Decided to drive to office and incur high parking fee instead of being a gimp on MARTA at rush hour. Also, the hobble from parking garage to the office is much shorter than from Arts Center station.

  2. Having interesting problem with borrowed crutches. The handles are at different positions, they are one hole different. Unfortunately the tools I need to fix this are in my basement, where I cannot get due to my injury. I am a bit askew.

  3. Steve says:

    Knock ’em dead indeed. And don’t feel bad about not making it all the way up the hill on a bike. One of the pro’s at the road race pushed his bike up the last 50 yards or so on the KOM. Other than riders that can’t climb, there were also lots and lots of riders who could stay upright in both men’s and women’s pro fields at the crit. I was having to send riders back into the race in waves- too many to launch at once! And I think most of the women’s field went down in a crash right at start/finish. Oh. What. Fun.
    Due to Delta’s troubles last week, the chief referee had her flight canceled Friday morning, so ended up driving from St. Louis!!

    Other than that, it was a quiet weekend. Barb, I hope the partay was a grand success. TJ said there are shoes around to be had, so I think a trip is in order. Maybe some TC Friday night?


  4. Okay, signing off for a while.

  5. Barb says:

    I have a fear of falling & getting hurt when jumping curbs, so I so rarely do it. I get a lot of crap for not jumping curbs. Thanks for reinforcing my fear.
    Hope its just so bruising, and it will get better with lots of Advil & time.
    At least everyone will remember the new guy now………. have a great day!

    I actually rode my road bike yesterday. 30 miles with Ray (aka Red Eye). Silver Comet was pretty busy, it was such a nice day.

    Party was fun, great group of people. we have way too much cake left, and since TJ ordered it that big, I’m taking it over there later today.

    Steve – Friday night 4/14 could work.

    • Stacy says:

      Your party was a lot of fun – thanks Barb. Great to see you and a whole bunch of folks again (including Paulie here; no mention of the gathering??). Guess what I forgot to do though? Ask you for the air mattress. *sigh* At least I finally got your beautiful sweaters back to you.

      Good luck on your first day, Paulie! I actually started college on crutches (that was a fun move). I hadn’t thought about that in years.

      I wish I could get back into bike riding, but I’m just too afraid to in this city. Drivers are idiots and the Beltline is so darn crowded.

      • Steve says:

        The Comet would be a good way to get back. It’s a bit crowded at the end, but you have to drive anyway, so could head out to the hinterlands to start. And you have the park to at least tool around a bit.

        Did you make it to the Dogwood Festival? The crowd should have been HUUUUGE!

        • Stacy says:

          No, I avoided it this year. I love our festivals but sometimes I go into anti-people mode and I absolutely hate crowds. I was just not in the mood to deal with it yesterday.

          • Steve says:

            I understand completely. And the DF vendors think a lot of their merchandise. Had I not been off Friday, I would have slipped down there for a quick lap at lunch.

          • Barb says:

            I haven’t gone to that festival in years, people with strollers & baby joggers just run into you, and then you are the bad guy because gosh darn it, they have a baby! I end up just being annoyed instead of having fun.

      • Barb says:

        well crap Stacy – I even told Allan I needed to get you an air mattress, and I totally forgot about it as well. When do you need it?

        Beltline is crazy with people on the weekends, I learned that on the Wheelhopper. You need a small amount of skills to not run into people when riding.

        We started our ride at mile 4 (big parking lot at Silver Comet Bikes)- I’d rather start further out, as yes, there are tons of people on SCT those first miles. It was fun talking to Ray, it has been forever since I’d talked to him.

        • Stacy says:

          I don’t need it until the 20th. Maybe I can pop up there sometime and get it before then? Or I can go out to Allan’s precinct and get it from him….hahahaha, no. I’d rather drive up there.

          Are you around Saturday? I have to be in Marietta at noon on Saturday. Maybe I can come by for it before then?

  6. Well, except for the pain that I am in today, and the utter inconvenience of being on crutches, my day has been alright.

  7. This pain killer can’t kick n fast enough. Holy cats I hurt.

    I am glass that I drove, because I never would have been able to navigate MARTA today.

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