Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20(NIV)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beautiful Weather

This week has been a bit on the chilly side, it being December and all, and we are expecting a hefty snowfall throughout the day tomorrow. I've been riding my scooter to work most of the week, though I rode the Sabre to a training on Tuesday. My new coverall has proven to keep me warm and comfortable, so long as I wear my polar fleece cowl. Even on the Sabre, I was unaffected by the cold.

I've seen a few other intrepid riders out there on scooters and dual sports, but few on cruisers or street bikes. We've had some warmer weather up until the last two weeks with weekends in the fifties to lower sixties. This gave riders a reason to be out enjoying the warmer weather before winter hit in force, and here it is. With the advent of winter weather, there are few of us who are still willing to be out in the cold with our two wheelers.

I'll freely admit that I will not be riding to work tomorrow morning. I will be firmly entrenched in my wife's Rav4 with traction control, appreciating the heat and the security of four wheels firmly planted on the ground and a protective cage around me.

Of course, if I had a dual sport with knobbies (and could actually mount one), I'd probably be tempted to ride it tomorrow, but, I don't, and I've not completely departed from my good sense, so the SUV will have to suffice.

The scooter and the sabre are both happily ensconced in their covers, with the scooter sitting in the lea of the house so as to be out of the wind. Perhaps I will find them coated with snow in the morning, sleeping peacefully...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stayin' warm

This has been an interesting week. On Wednesday, I woke up with a splitting sinus headache. I made it to work, borrowing my wife's car, and by the end of the am shift, I was glad I had. I was feeling aches in all my muscles and joints and had horrible chills. When I arrived at home and took my temperature it registered 103.3. So, I spent the rest of the morning in bed. Even after drinking, taking some Tylenol, and eating some jello, the fever would not diminish, so my wife took me to the Dr., where I was told to go to bed, drink a lot of liquid, take some Tylenol, and eat some Jello.

Great advice. So glad I went to the doctor.

Well, I felt better the next day, and feel even better now, two days later.

I got some birthday money from my mother and my coat was wearing out, so despite the fact that I couldn't really afford it, I purchased some coveralls. I was at K-Mart with my wife, and the price was right, so I got a Wall Blizzard Proof coverall. It is very warm, which is what I expected since my previous coat was of the same make.

I am very happy with it, even if it is a little bulky. For my short ride to work, I am impervious to the cold. It will be interesting to try it for a longer ride.

At the moment though, it seems to work great.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Hunting!

The day dawned with me walking down a trail into the woods in Perry County PA. It was a beautiful crisp, 15 degrees outside (Fahrenheit). Snow still clung to the hillsides, though in some places, the leaves showed through. My best friend/pastor had driven me up to his father's cabin and the three of us drove over to Tuscarora State Forest.

As I started walking down the path into the valley to take up my position against a tree, I realized I had forgotten my albuterol inhaler at home. If any of my readers are asthmatic, you will know and understand that this revelation almost always means certain doom, and like a self fulfilling prophecy, I had a whopper of an asthma attack. I began to pray for a miracle since my hunting partners were not answering their radios and I did not have the keys to the truck, nor was my home in easy driving distance. Just as I finally contacted one of my hunting partners on the radio, another pair of hunters rolled up in a big Chevy pickup, and asked if I was ok and if there was anything they could do to help. I replied that there was little they could do unless they happened to have an albuterol inhaler on them. They at first thought that they did not, but the driver of the truck had a realization and reached into the back for a bag. He produced an inhaler from the bag that had just enough albuterol in it to relieve my symptoms. I thanked them kindly and they rolled on up the hill.

You may say it was a coincidence, but I do not believe in such. It was nice to have my own little birthday miracle.

I was able to stay in the woods for several more hours, and I was glad of it. I didn't see any deer, but the experience of hunting, for me, is less about the taking of game, and more about experiencing the wonders of creation. I found a nice little creek which I plan to return to in the spring when trout season opens.

After returning home from the woods, I found an interesting ornament had been added to our tree. My wife and son then gave me my birthday presents.

Due to our current financial situation, the gifts weren't expensive, but I did get something I have wanted for quite some time; an am/fm radio that fits in my pocket. It's an authentic Sony Walkman so the sound output and quality are fantastic. I put my Nintendo DS speakers in my helmet, and went for a little birthday scoot. It was so nice to be able to listen to my favorite radio stations, though I noticed that the engine makes AM stations crackle a bit. The signal was clear, until I started the scoot, then suddenly the interference started. It's livable, and I am just glad that I can stay connected as I listen to talk radio or music or NPR, whichever I feel like at the time. The great thing is, I can still hear the ambient sounds, so I do not feel unsafe.

So, being 35 isn't starting out too badly aside from the one hiccup. I even got to share my birthday cake with the men at the group home, for which they were overjoyed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend update


Well, it's been a while since my last post here, due to multiple different factors; the first factor being Goose season and deer season. I've mentioned before that I like to hunt, and two weeks ago, my pastor and I spent two mornings out at the crack of dawn with shotguns at the ready and decoys in the field.

Our first outing brought no luck, but the day after Thanksgiving, we got some shots at a low flying flock of honkers. Unfortunately, I was so excited to have geese in range, I forgot to actually aim, and I missed all five of my shots.

The weather has been very nice for the most part, so I've been scootin' a lot, and from time to time I will take the sabre out for a spin. That's where factor #2 in not posting comes in. This past Thursday, I overshot a turn on a back road through a forested area and ended up with my back wheel in the leaves and mud on the side of the road. I was going about 10 mph, but just the same, the bike went down with my leg under it. I didn't recieve any outer injuries thanks to my protective clothing, but I pulled a few muscles and lightly bruised my left shoulder. The bike got a slight bit of rashing, but nothing terrible.

I was so sore that I was unable to go hunting on Friday as I had planned, and getting on or into a vehicle was an interesting proposition. So the scooter and the cycle have both been parked. My wife was at a ladies' retreat this weekend, giving me access to her vehicle, but getting into the driver's seat with pain in both of my thighs was a singular experience which I do not wish to repeat.

This morning, I awoke and the pain in my legs was gone. My shoulder still hurts, but that I can live with. There was a thin coating of snow and ice on everything, so I took my wife's Rav4 and left my snow covered two-wheelers where they were.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning. I shall be celebrating the end of my 35th year of life and the beginning of my 36th. My father used to tease me each year that it was "a day that would forever live in infamy," punning on the statement made so many years before on the same day of December.

But I shall once again try my hand at deer hunting. I usually go out on my birthday to give myself the treat of having a day out on my own, but tomorrow will be extra special since I get to go up to Perry County and hunt where I have never done so before.

So that is what is new in my little corner of creation. I hope to be able to report a successful hunt tomorrow and a full freezer to boot.