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Category: family


Last night neither Danielle nor I slept well, tossing and turning and frequently waking each other up. Just before 6am Danielle decided that she’d sleep downstairs, but after being unable to find a sufficient warm blanket I told her that I wasn’t sleepy, would just get up, and that she could have the bed. No more than a minute later my phone rang with my mom calling to tell me that PA (my grandpa on my mom’s side) had died in his sleep.

Recently he hadn’t been doing well so this was not unexpected news but such things are always a bit of a shock. Still, I can’t help but marvel at the timing. Life is strange and it’s weird how things like this happen.


Busy Day, Good Day

This morning was fairly non-stop busy. I woke up, ate breakfast, set out on a bike ride that ended up being a bit over 40 miles (and just shy of three hours), came home, showered, then set out for my sister and brother in law’s place for dinner for my sister’s birthday. Lots of driving was involved, but it was a good day.

Along the way I ran into a bunch of people that I knew, rode with some, and talked with others. I picked up another GPS to repair, tried out a Banana Hammer-brand gel (it’s good, but a bit thick even when hot), and generally had a good time. Now I just have to wait for bike clothes to finish washing and then I can hang them up and go to bed. Currently I’ve got two rides scheduled for tomorrow, each on opposite ends of the Metro Detroit area, and each likely a bit over 15 miles of single track each. Yay!

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W. C. Wetzel State Recreation Area via Richmond

Being Mother’s Day I headed over to Richmond to visit my parents. Being a nice day I wanted to get in a bike ride as well, so I combined the two deciding on W. C. Wetzel State Recreation Area as my destination, as I’d never heard anything about it before and it supposedly has trails. I figured that I would ride there, check out the trails, then head back.

Save for the steady, strong winds out of the north/west and the disappointment of the rec area this was a fairly nice ride. It turns out that this is a quite small/flat area consisting mostly of grass and gravel trails surrounding a few ponds in a low-laying piece of typically flat southeast Michigan farmland.

This rec area has odd signs at the trail entrances, some indicating “No Wheeled Vehicles” and others saying “No Motorized Wheeled Vehicles”. I made a point of entering at the ‘motorized’ varient of the sign, did one casual lap of the trails (roughly a mile or two) then headed back to the roads to check out the radio controlled aircraft field further down the road at the park. This ended up being a quite nice place to visit, as it had super-clean portable toilets, nice benches to sit on, and a man to watch as he flew an RC helicopter.

After a brief break to eat a bit (I’d only had two bowls of cereal and two bananas to this point today) I headed back to Richmond, taking a slightly different route due to some dogs that I encountered on the outbound route. This slightly different route involved 30 Mile Road, one of the many east-west grid roads here in SE Michigan. This one, contrary to what Google has to say, actually is broken in two pieces with a supposedly-out bridge in the middle. It turns out that the bridge (located here) is this one from and is very much passable, but only to foot and bicycle traffic. It’s an old wood surface bridge that I wish I’d spent more time looking at, as it supposedly has quite-rare stone abutments.

Not far beyond the nifty bridge I actually got stopped by a train (CN 8802) at a crossing. With the train traveling particularly slow (~25 MPH) I could have very safely crossed the tracks it if I went around the gates, but I thought it’d be neat to watch the train go by. Unfortunately this train took a bit more than five minutes to pass, so I spent quite a while just standing at a gate watching chemical tankers, wood haulers, car carriers, and steel coil cars pass by with cars stacking up behind me.

The ride after this point was very uneventful, with me taking a quick trip through downtown Richmond then back to my parents house, where I found my mom having brushed and fed Roxie, who I’d brought along with me. We had pizza for dinner, talked a bunch, and then I headed back home right as my dad was laying down to sleep before a midnight shift at work.

Two Rottweilers who started running towards me and barking. I quickly sped up before they got anywhere close, and didn’t slow down until I could no longer hear them. Having no ready dog defense (OC or ammonia in a squirt gun) I took a different return route to avoid actually meeting the dogs.

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Sleepy, Wet, Dirty Roxie

Today I took Roxie out to some parks and now she’s tired, wet, and with some rather dirty fur from playing in the mud along the banks of rivers.

Here is a photo of her standing on one of the ramps on the dock into Lake Sixteen (yes, that’s really the name) at Orion Oaks Dog Park (Bark Park). Since I’m watching her while Danielle is in Europe I need to take her out for regular play and exercise, so I figured that some playtime outside with other dogs would be a good idea, and this is a particularly nice park. Amusingly, after she feels that she’s done at the park she will actually walk back to the main gate, stopping only to look back for me, waiting to get in the car.

On the way back home I decided that we should stop for another walk, so I took her to Holland Ponds and we walked through the park and out along the Clinton River, through Yates Cider Mill to Yates Park and back. With today being a rather warm and humid day (73°F, 78%) she kept wanting to stop and lay down in the river to cool off. I let her do this a few times, and she’d usually go wallow around in the water for a few minutes, lay there for a while, then stand up and shake off.

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Danielle Rides Trails!

Today after work Danielle and I headed out to Stony Creek so she could try out her new 29er on some trails. Prior to today she hadn’t ridden a bike off road, and despite some initial (but quickly alleviated) fears about how a bike feels when it’s on loose gravel she did great. We rode most of the easy two-track; following the route P-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-17-18-19-5-4-3-2-1-P as seen on this map.

Here is another photo of Danielle, this time riding her bike and approaching marker #6 just before the entrance to The Pines.


Glitter, Herpes of the Craft World

Today I received a Christmas card with glitter on it. While I appreciate the card, the glitter is a bit difficult to like. It’s already on my pants, stuck to my hands, on my desk, and in the carpet. I’m sure I’ll find bits of it for years to come. After all, glitter is the herpes of the craft world. (I believe this phrase must be attributed to Demetri Martin.)

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Good Bye, Afie

Afie, my parents’ / family’s dog since the mid-90s, is being taken to the vet at 3pm today. As my mom said:

Afie is going to go play in Doggie Heaven with the other happy, fun doggies now.

I’m half glad that I’m at work as it provides a bit of a distraction, but being sad will likely get in the way of thinking clearly. While I understand that Afie has been sick for quite a while and it’s likely time, I can’t help but be sad about it.

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Danielle’s Wisdom Teeth

Danielle had her wisdom teeth removed this morning and is currently in the living room napping. While all four wisdom teeth were impacted, three were removed intact, which impresses me. In particular I find the one on the right with the twisty root to be neat.

Click here or on the image above to see all the detail, including the yet-to-dry-out pieces of her gingiva.