It is, purportedly, the last day of our semester. Final exams are completed, my grades are all turned in; we planned for an early release day after a morning of short classes. At 5:30 this morning the house phone, my work cell, and my text alert all went off at the same time: automated alerts were being sent out to catch the early birds before they headed in to the classroom. Our first snow of the year, coupled with 50 mph winds and less than fifty feet of visibility leaves us in near blizzard conditions. You could almost hear the yelp of joy from my students across the metro area, just before they rolled back over and returned to the arms of Morpheus – today is a Snow Day.
It’s an interesting way to begin the Christmas holiday break, housebound, as it were. Clearly, with a week and a half of vacation I have plans that include a bit of holiday cheer with friends and relatives. I’d really have enjoyed logging in a few more road miles before 2012 clocks out as well – Mother Nature has allowed me to get in several 2o to 40 mile jaunts even as late as a couple days ago, in spite of a few bouts of low temps, cold winds, and – of course! – the shortest days of the year. Heck, that’s why I sport wider tires, fenders, and a hub generator lighting system.
The dog and I are aimlessly and restlessly wandering the house, looking for something to do. My single winter project – the one I intentionally chose to limit myself to – is out at the moment getting a fresh, new coat of burgundy. My tools are (sort of) organized, and my parts are boxed and cleaned and labeled. Half of my watercolor kit is in my classroom studio – I’d planned to bring it home with me after the last class today – and even though I don’t really have a painting in mind, it irks me to think I’ll eventually have to traipse across the Northland today to get those items just in case I have an artistic inspiration over the next several days.
Listless, I begin to ponder meaningless ways to modify one of my bikes. It occurs to me that I really only use three gears on the Boulder – four, I suppose, in a pinch. 53.5, 61.2, and 71.4 gear inches. I occasionally bail out to the 45.9. This random thought gets me to thinking about the configuration on my Gazelle on which I seldom stray from the 59.7 to 75.6 range. Maybe I should build up a four-speed rear with a single ring in front some time?
What on earth am I thinking about! Idle hands, idle mind. Maybe I’ll go patch some inner tubes.