11 Across: Ridged Grid…

SBC Rides 4 Art: Hogan Dam Start

When the most irritating thing that happens to me is a creased crossword puzzle, it had to be a pretty good day.

Sunday was the first time the high temperature rose above 70 degrees since November 12, 2018.  That is 125 days, and I learned from Mark Finan on KCRA that a streak this long hasn’t happened since 1974. It has been a cold and wet winter here, as both my rain gauge and PGE bills can attest.

What better way to spend the first beautiful day in 5 months than on a tandem bike ride with Stoker? We were signed up to do Ride4Art, a fundraiser put on by the Calaveras County Arts Council to raise money for art programs in the public schools. The ride started at the Hogan Reservoir observation area and meandered down to Lake Comanche before returning to a wonderful post ride meal featuring delicious chicken in a barrel and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. There was beer and wine and Irish music too!

Stoker stayed off the bike for most of January and February, but over the last couple of weeks we have begun riding in the hills to prepare for our trip to France in May. We are getting a little better and yesterday’s ride went pretty well. 30 miles, 2150 feet of climbing, and some very steep short pitches on Bergsma and Hartkvickson roads (12%+).  The weather was perfect: morning temperatures were in the 60’s and there was very little wind. The hills are incredibly green and both Comanche and Hogan lakes are nearly full and beautifully blue.

First Grilling in 5 Months: Stoker Praised the Result!

After the ride we spent a couple of hours socializing with our fellow Stockton Bicycle Club members during the post ride festivities. Our  Club turnout was pretty large; someone said that between riders and event volunteers there were about 25 of the SBC Faithful, many wearing club jerseys.

There was a raffle for some paintings, and Stoker saw one she really liked, so I purchased a string of tickets and put them all in the bag. And we won! People who have been to our house know there is very little space on the walls for new artwork, but Stoker took one down (donated to the library used book store that she co-manages) and our new piece has a home.

Continuing the nice weather theme I cranked up my bbq for the first time in a LONG time. I grilled steak and asparagus and Stoker pronounced both “Delicious!” She was correct.

The only hitch in an otherwise perfect day was the aforementioned crease in the crossword. I recently started doing crossword puzzles and I am not very adept at them, but the Sunday Record puzzle is usually not terribly hard and I can breeze through some of it. However my rhythm (now there is a word for 12 down!) kept getting interrupted by my pen (erasable of course) catching on the crease. This is not the first time the crossword has possessed ridges and furrows: it seems to happen with some frequency, while the rest of the paper is perfectly smooth. Why can’t the creases inhabit the Opinion section and leave the crossword alone?

If every day could be a bit like yesterday, I’ll take the creases every time.

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