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20150116_142722I was a dedicated employee yesterday, did not listen to the siren’s call of my cold and lonely mountain bike.  Work won out, probably a good thing as Thursday afternoon was busy, with a potential 300 piece order thrown at me out of the blue.  Bgddy “I’m All Carbon” Jim encouraged me to stay the course and make the money so I can buy new bikes, so I did.  Thanks, Jim.  You have that all important focus.  I will have the funds to pay for that full suspension Trek Superfly 8 that I put on layaway last weekend before I know it.

BUT today was just too good of a day to pass up.  By the afternoon the temperature was in the mid thirties, perfect for a ride in the woods.  Since my boss always encourages me to wrap things up early on Fridays, I did.  Good thing I brought my bike with me to work this morning.  At one o’clock, I locked the door to my office, changed into my super spandex and emerged to fight the snowy trails of my favorite mountain bike park, Saw Wee Kee.

It

Was

Freaking

Glorious

The sun was out, shining off of the white snow.  Every contour of the landscape was highlighted and I could see the berms that had been created years ago when Saw Wee Kee had been the dumping ground for a strip mine.  All of the ponds nestled in between the berms, invisible behind the greenery during the summer months, were in full view, frozen and serene as I pedaled over the berms.  Fat bikes had created a packed path along the trails, a smooth ride as the metal studs on my tires dug into the snow.  The sun warmed me, a pleasant sweat soaking the first layer of clothing.  I was comfortable.  Happy in the quiet beauty.

“This is where my bike took me today.  Nice, eh?”  I posted on FB along with a picture taken on the trail.  I like to share the sheer enjoyment I feel when I ride.

Especially when I am riding trails so peaceful.  When I am out in the woods I feel like that place is just for me.  The moment really is mine.  I am in God’s creation and, well, it WAS made for me.

You should have seen the river, frozen over with only a little bit still flowing in the middle.  The ice was built up along the edges, snow covering the ice, gleaming in the afternoon sun.  I stopped, drank it all in.  Sorry, I didn’t take pictures.

I wonder what this year holds for me.  Riding has become so much a part of me that I can’t see myself doing anything else any more.  Once the weather warms up, I wonder if my routine is going to return to what it once was, which was riding each and every day, several times a day.  Those days were wonderful, my body thanking me for it, and I felt good.  I want those days to return again.  I don’t think I will be playing ball this summer, so that will not keep me from riding.  Hope springs.  Watch out if I do get into that zone.  I get pretty cocky.

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20150115_184609AND Mister Fixit struck again yesterday.  This time it was our gas oven.  Last November, the oven quit working.  I had a pretty good idea what the problem was but was not quite sure.  Having fixed our gas clothes dryer before, I was fairly confident it was the ignitor.  However, the oven has a little bit more to it than a clothes dryer. What if what I thought was wrong was not the problem?  I could spend hundreds of dollars trying to guess the solution.  On top of that, the holidays were upon us with expenses, so I really couldn’t afford the part.  So we found other ways to cook — range top, microwave, slow cooker, broiler.  Everything but the oven worked.

A week ago I decided to troubleshoot the oven.  By now, after twenty years in our house, I have enough experience fixing appliances to be able to figure out what is wrong.  Now that my job also includes technician duties (by default — my boss is not a tech), I am gaining technical confidence as my experience grows.  With the oven it was really just a process of elimination — the range top works, the broiler ignitor starts the broiler, so the gas valve and control board must be OK.  If the ignitor for the oven, a glow plug of sorts that glows as it heats and eventually lights the flame for the oven, lights then my only choice would be to remove the ignitor and see if it is pulling the right current.  I didn’t have to do that.  When I took the oven apart and turned on the oven, the ignitor did not light.  My evaluation was easy.

I got paid yesterday.  Bought the replacement ignitor.  Took me all of five minutes to replace.  Voila.  Working oven.  I made Ghirardelli chocolate brownies last night to celebrate.

Mister Fixit.  Rides.  Rocks.

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