Ride it Out

Today was much less tense than yesterday. I rode in to work, and everyone was friendly again. It was like all the tensions from the crazy start of the week had just melted away. I didn’t get into any big projects, but got plenty done all the same. We had a lockdown drill upstairs, and I got to walk around with Zach just to see what that was like. It was even more dull than I expected, as none of the adults really practiced anything.

Most of us went to Stoby’s for lunch, and the chicken taco salad I had was pretty great. Then the afternoon was more of the same. Doge just steadily dropped all day, and I kept watching the bounces as an indication that I should stay in, but it just kept going all day long.

After work, I got Eaddie and we went by the shop to set up a projector for Summer. Then I got Eaddie a kid’s meal from Dairy Queen before taking her out on a motorcycle ride all around town. It was just a little cool out for the shorts I had changed into, so I grabbed pants and a light hoodie to take her home. Autumn had a band concert that her father picked her up from, so I was out of any other kid duty for the night.

When I got back home for the evening, I successfully turned the diving Dogecoin around by selling a larger quantity of it. I still have quite a bit, but the needle moves much slower at this volume. I just keep failing to get back in at a lower rate. I guess I should either take the money and run, or hold forever.

I’m ready for my luck to turn around again.

Trump Town

I got a bit sidetracked today, but that’s not out of the ordinary. I still felt alright about what I accomplished, but it also kind of feels like there’s never any way out. Summer took the girls to work with her, but none of them would respond to me all morning, so I took a late lunch and went home to eat a burrito by myself.

After lunch, I discovered that Summer had lost her phone. I was mostly concerned that someone had stolen it, and tracked it down to a specific house just south of Scottsville. It took me a while to get an answer out of anyone, but Summer realized she dropped it in a customer’s car and just didn’t feel the urgency of getting it back.

When I left work, I dropped by the shop to see them, then rode on up through Dover to retrieve it. It was a really nice ride, apart from all the bugs. Trump flags were out in full force, and someone had placed a hay bale on top of another and painted it to look like old Donnie. It was actually kind of cute. The “neighborhood” was actually really cute, and I was surprised at how many houses were out there along that road. Luckily I found an old lady outside, and I guess it was her family across the street that had the phone.

With that relief, I headed back to town and delivered Summer’s phone to her at Planet Fitness. Then I met them all at my parents’ house after the girls finished karate. Mom made chow mein, and we even got Autumn to eat some. We didn’t stick around too long since Summer was exhausted from her chaotic week. At least she managed to get her stitches out today. Next week has got to be better.

That’s 2020 for you.

Under the Limit

I got up this morning and headed home to get ready for Bikes, Blues, and BBQ. The bike was washed, but I still had to clean and lube the chain as soon as I got home, and then it was a quick shower and scramble around the house to find all the little things I wanted to bring. We met Allen at his house, then followed him to the ATM and then to pick up Charlotte. We took the interstate all the way to Ozark, and I’m surprised we didn’t lose them for good right then and there.

The gas station was packed with bikes, but somehow they spotted us once they got there. Charlotte made it all the way there without eye protection, so Allen made her pick up some sunglasses and we sat down for a quick lunch. I thought we’d just pick something out of the hot case, but Allen and I both ended up ordering for table service. Summer and I shared a ribeye and eggs, and he had a chili dog while Charlotte ate a hamburger from the case.

We hit the road as soon as we finished eating, and I should have talked to Allen first about his speed. It took me all day long to convince him that his speedometer was reading way too high, and that he was just barely crawling along. I took it super slow, but we just kept losing them and having to stop and wait. I figure he averaged in the low 40s, and even being passed by an SUV wasn’t enough of a hint for him. It made my ride pretty miserable, but he just refused to try and keep up, which hasn’t ever really been like him in the past.

We made one stop for gas just as we got out of the woods, and then made our way to Dickson Street. The place was packed just as it always is, but I managed to snag a parking spot right on the corner of where we’ve always parked before. Allen and Charlotte finally caught up to us, and we made our way down to the food tents. I got my refillable cup for way cheaper this year because they offered a single day cup for $10 instead of the normal $25 or more for the whole weekend. Then we wandered around collecting a little swag wherever we could.

The train pulled in after not very long, and we decided it would be fun to take a ride to Baum Stadium instead of driving. The train left every half hour, and even though it was a short ride, I thought it was worth the $10 round trip tickets just to experience the old train cars.

Baum was typical as well, but this year RumbleOn came out swinging with a wind tunnel money booth. Summer and I both got a turn in exchange for our motorcycle VINs, and we really scored big time. They had some funny money thrown in along with the singles, but we could use it to buy prizes from their booth. I caught $12 in real money plus like another $25 in the fake stuff. Summer did pretty close to the same, and they rounded us up a couple times just to give us more stuff. We walked away with 22 singles, two shirts, and two insulated cups, as well as a couple souvenir poker chips made for the rallies.

We hit all the tents there, then took the train back to Dickson where we got dinner. I had the best alligator I’ve had yet, which was battered like catfish. We all basically lost the Cherokee Casino wheel spin because we all won $10 in free plays, when all we really wanted was some hand sanitizer or lip balm. We wandered around a little more, but were pretty exhausted by that time, so we headed on home.

Allen still refused to keep up, so we just left them and made the trip home as quickly as possible. I thought it had started to sprinkle just as we got into town, but it was really just a massive cloud of bugs hanging out over a bridge by the lake. It was super gross, so we had to shower before we could do much else. When Allen got home, he called and said he dropped his bike as we were leaving Fayetteville, but luckily nothing was damaged. Overall, aside from an incredibly slow ride, it was a great success.

Next year we’re riding the Grom so they can keep up.

Swag Bag

I woke up a couple times last night, and at one time in particular had a bit of trouble getting back to sleep. Eventually Summer got up and took the girls to school, and I headed home to get ready for our bike ride. After trying unsuccessfully to nap a bit, I took a shower and then Summer came over to help load up. We headed to Fayetteville via Highways 21 and 16, stopping first in Lamar for a quick breakfast snack, then a drink in St. Paul, and finally a McDonald’s in Elkins before coming into greater Fayetteville.

When we landed at Baum Stadium, Summer was in awe of all the bikes there, but being the middle of a Friday it actually wasn’t that busy yet. We wandered through the vendors and picked up a bunch of shirts and other swag. Surprisingly no pens, but I did get a pair of AARP sunglasses for providing my name, home address, phone number, and email on the pretense that I would learn something about identity theft. I hope this isn’t one of those hard lessons, but I guess neon yellow sunglasses are worth it.
Summer got her hair braided at Flo’s Chop Shop, and then we made our way to Dickson street. It was every bit as thunderous and ridiculous as I remembered as we coasted downhill surrounded by people revving their idle engines. We walked down to a big food court and had an awesome seafood giro and eventually a couple big plates of barbecue. We never did make it to the fanciest of funnel cakes before we were both stuffed and the sun began to set. We got quite a bit of “higher quality” stuff this year, but I was surprised not to find a large Geico gift tent.

Maybe I’ll go again with Allen tomorrow.

Bikes, Blues, and BBQ 2017

I got up early this morning to meet Allen and some people he invited along to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ. For some reason I was actually a little surprised to see Kristen there with him. I guess just like him, I’ll never learn.

They had three friends meet us at the First Assembly of God, then we took the interstate to Ozark where we exited to take the Pig Trail north to Fayetteville. It was so incredibly hot, and when we weren’t stuck behind an 18-wheeler, we had freshies along to slow us down. Overall the ride was pretty frustrating. For a bit of relief near our destination, we stopped at a hipster McDonald’s where I was greeted by a girl literally training customers to use a self-ordering kiosk that will eventually make her position irrelevant.
Once we got to Baum Stadium, I found they had traded up Wild Bill’s $25 refillable aluminum souvenir cups for Ozark Mountain stainless steel tumblers that were nicely painted with a BB&BBQ logo for the same price. That was a purchase I definitely didn’t hesitate to make. From there, I bought a $9 ribeye sandwich that was a solid two steps below cafeteria food. It started off as a really shitty cut of meat that was served bland on a cheap white hamburger bun. That was it. That was the whole sandwich, wrapped in foil. I didn’t realize until halfway through that they had a condiment table with just the very basics like ketchup and mustard, but at that point I had already convinced myself to enjoy the childhood reminiscence of stuffing the last half of a simple bread-and-meat sandwich into my mouth to finish it in one bite. Wholly unsatisfied, I visited a different vendor and was recommended some brisket nachos that did not disappoint.

After I finished eating my nachos by myself, I wandered through the vendors looking for the gang. It had gotten so hot by that point that I was just dripping with sweat… and probably cheese and barbecue sauce. Somehow it wasn’t just completely miserable, though. Once we finished at Baum, we rode down Dickson Street for one of the guys that was with us. Throughout the trip, he seemed a simple man with a questionable moral compass and an overall negative attitude, so it didn’t help when the rest of us were ready to go home instead of walking Dickson. He claimed not to be a drinker, but I don’t see the draw to Dickson for any other reason, especially since he didn’t see any of the tits or ass he kept expecting to be hanging out on the street.

The rest of us headed back home straight down the interstate for the sake of speed, but it was such a boring drive. I still had a bit of a headache from the ride up there, and the sun was just unrelenting. We stopped by a Braum’s on the way home, and I had a surprisingly reasonably priced strawberry shortcake sundae that was really good.

In spite of everything wrong, I had quite a bit of fun doing something..anything with real life people. I made it home with a new stainless steel insulated tumbler, a free beer mug, a Geico backpack and cotton candy colored sunglasses, and a wicked suntan. I call that a success.

New Lights album, tho…