Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Trip to the Big City

Billy had a training to attend in Charleston today, so I decided it would be a great opportunity to get a look at the big city.

We live out here in the sticks you know, just us, the dogs, the cows, quarter mile to the neighbor, 25 miles to work, 500 kids in the elementary school, wood stove for heat, miniscule electric bill, Internet, cell service, all the sunshine and stars you can imaging - absolutely wonderful!

So when I get a chance to go to the big city for an adventure - well, I just can't pass it up now can I!? I mean we never travel anywhere, this summer's trip to Germany and Prague were not typical, so I have to appreciate what I have somehow. HA!

I got the obligatory picture of the capital building from the Interstate. Can't leave without that!

Three dollars for parking on the bottom level! That is amazing and worth every penny! Just how do they do that? All those cars have got to be heavy and we dared park on the bottom. Coooool.

There were two events going on in the Civic Center today, a college recruiting event for the local high schools and Billy's event. We talked to a guy I went to college with, he works for Concord's admissions office now. After registration got started I took off to walk around the town. First I went across the street to the mall, the stores were not open yet, but I thought about getting something from Starbucks or one of the other places serving breakfast. Then I saw they had a Gyro place and decided that lunch would be better served if I didn't have a snack. So I left the mall and headed down a connector walkway between the mall and Capitol street.

Here is the end of that really pretty alley. Kind of nice actually. The Queen Anne Renaissance style building to the left was built in 1891, it is called the Scott building because it used to house the Scott Brothers drug store and soda fountain. The shop at the end of the picture is Taylor Books, which is in another building from the 1890s. Since it was still early I spent some time in the bookstore and looking at their art display, picked up the latest Mother Earth News to catch up on my conservationist reading, got a cup of hazelnut coffee, and spent an hour or so reading. The locals were discussing politics before they went to work. The staff was rehashing weekend adventures. Then the working crowd left and the only ones left were us with nothing else to do on a Tuesday.

After I finished my coffee I walked toward the Kanawha River. Along the way I found the Union Building built in 1911 it was the tallest building in West Virginia at the time. Now a symbol of early banking and business concerns it stands alone along the edge of the river.

I also spent some time walking along the river enjoying a nice morning before I headed into the mall to do some shopping. I thought this was a nice view of three bridges over the Kanawha.

Once I got back to the mall I went up and got my gyro lunch, did a combination of window and rack shopping through every store, picked up a book and Bicycle magazine, and used the stairs as much as possible. I was tired by the time I got back to the Civic center. Billy was just about done with his meetings so I waited him out in the car because the seats were much more comfortable than anything inside.

We ended our day by finding him some shoes and then went to Dominic's in Princeton for dinner. Slow service excellant food. Typical. If the service is fast the food is not as good. Must be a rule or something, at least for around here. Well, debate number two is about to start gotta go.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Back to the Real World

We have been living the normal life for the last couple of months. Haven't really been doing much that seemed interesting, but I thought I better do a little update just to prove we are still here. We had a nice garden this year. About 70 quarts of tomatoes on the shelf. We got a bunch of onions, squash, and cabbages. This is the biggest one of the group.

I have been running off and on for the last year, mostly to lose weight. I haven't done much exercise this summer, but I haven't seen any problems with that either, just maintaining. A few weeks ago I got an idea about adding bike riding into my fitness plan. For once I didn't go out and buy something without trying though.
Mom brought me a mountain bike that someone had dumped in her woods. It needs a lot of work. Then one of the guys at work told me about a 10 speed he had in his shed that I could have if I wanted it. I took the bait and brought it home. The rims were a bit rusty, the seat post was stuck, the handlebar was off a bit, the color was fine, and besides all of that I decided to make some changes.
So, I took the wheels off and painted them a nice bright yellow.

Then I painted the frame black, put it all back together, put on new tires and tubes, rolled the handlebars back to a more comfortable place, raised the seat, played with the gears, and added a trip computer. Yes, I geeked out an old bike.

Now I need to find somewhere that I can ride comfortably. We have a lot of downhill around here. I don't really like downhill. It goes by really fast. Uphill is pretty slow, but not so scary. I am trying out different areas to ride. Some are better than others. I will keep looking.

Other than that we are doing normal things. Recently, Billy has started rebuilding the wood pile for the winter. There has also been a lot of fence upgrade building going on around the ridge.

Cows and pigs are doing their thing, the dogs are chasing each other, and in the end, not much happening. Thanks for checking back.