Believe it or not, it's that time of year again.
No, not Christmas. But believe it or not, due to economic hard times, Christmas is being extended this year, just to put a few extra points into the retail sales index. These trees were first spotted at Shopko on September 29th.
And as you can see here, road construction season is officially over. I discovered the road up Mt. Spokane is finished and open for riding this past Monday.
So what season am I talking about? Well, for me it is birthday season.
Time to lament another year lived and gone and once again confront my mortality. Last year, as I hit the midway point to 70 years on this earth, I keenly noticed that not all 35 year olds were created equal. Or rather, not all 35 year olds looked 35. Some looked older and fatter. I figure it's around age 30 when the metabolism hits its first big slowdown and the little flat tire and love handles appear. For many this flat 700cc road tire can quickly grow into a steel belted radial snow truck tire. Fortunately for me, it only grew into a modest 26" 2.35 knobby MTB tire. Not terrible, but I knew I'd be taking another hit to the basal metabolic rate by age 40.
35 was officially the age of reckoning. My thousand years of medical training behind me (where, ironically, I learned about physiology and health yet badly abused my body with hours of studying and working instead of exercising), it was clearly time to start living healthy, getting regular exercise, and shedding a few pounds.
I'm happy to report that I've lost about 15 pounds since last year and am convinced I've lost more fat and gained back some weight as muscle. I think I'm in better shape overall and, while I didn't simply power through the ride, I did successfully ride an 80 mile loop from home to the top of Mt. Spokane on Monday.
Despite this, I still wasn't in the mood to celebrate my 36th year. Fortunately Veep has been out of town so there was no formal celebration and there was no pressure to do anything special. I've been off all week and just spending time at home watching the kids has been celebration enough.
So how did I celebrate? Well, after getting the kids off to school I took a little ride on the trails near our house.
This was my first attempt at a riding cameraphone self-portrait, as suggested by photo-genius Dean. Not too bad. I'll have to try it some more to perfect the technique.
Later I picked up Sal and we headed downtown to what he affectionately calls his "favorite mall" for lunch.
Afterward we browsed the toy store, where I picked up a couple paper/balsa wood glider kits, and then headed over to the playground. Sal made his first steps to swinging on his own. I'll miss those hours of pushing kids on the swings.
Cameraphone videocamera comes through again.
Then we vacuumed my car out, picked up Schmoopie from school, went home, and Sal helped me wash some windows on the back of the house. Later we picked up Boofis from a playdate and headed to Round Table for a heavy pizza dinner. The girls both gave me birthday cards. I thought for sure they had forgotten. Schmoopie's card contained the following jokes with the answers carefully hidden behind little paper flaps:
What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
It smells like carrots.
What gets bigger the more people take out of it?
Then we ate one of those huge Costco pumpkin pies and watched Discovery Channel. A really decent day.