And in other news - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

August 17, 2020

And in other news

Not again!

In response to my final post before we leave for Zagreb, Suzanne had this prescient comment: This can't be your last post! Come on, keep us entertained until you go. Just kidding, stay focused and don't lose your glasses or anything.

I wasn’t going to share this latest bit of embarrassing news until Suzanne’s comment hit the inbox and caused me to reconsider.  So it’s her fault that I’m posting again before leaving for Zagreb, after avowing that I’d do no such thing.

Embarrassing or not, I’m sure years from now I’ll get nostalgic reminiscing about the many times I’ve lost or broken a pair of glasses during our years on the road and won’t want to forget this one.  By now I must have at least a dozen such events on the timeline over the last 20 years, and by now Rachael and I are resigned to the fact that this is a permanent presence in our lives.  It’s always just a matter of time until I lose or destroy another pair and need to replace them again.

I lost my glasses again last week, on the final outing of the Portland Heritage Tree Quest.  This time was completely baffling.  I had them when I left the coffee shop in the morning, and didn’t have them when I looked for them in the evening.  I hardly went or stopped anywhere in between times, and I can only think of a couple of places where they could conceivably have been lost.  We backtracked with the car later and checked at all of them, but without luck.

My theory is that this is related to traveling with a mask - so I blame Covid-19, and in turn Trump for managing the response so horribly.  Strangely enough, for the past several years I’ve found a way to blame every misfortune in our lives on the same root cause.

I’m in the habit of wearing a mask intermittently when I’m biking, putting it on when I’m in a more congested area and then taking it off and slipping it into a pocket of my bike shirt afterwards.  When I put my mask on my glasses immediately steam up, so I take them off; so there’s a frequent shuffling of these two objects that’s a new pattern for me to live with. I’m a bit absent-minded about managing this, and I haven’t quite trained myself to be conscious of what I’m doing yet.  My theory is that sometime during the day I had both my glasses and the mask in the same pocket and when I pulled the mask out I flipped the glasses out too without noticing it.  Perhaps.

This theory was reinforced the very next day, when I lost my other pair of glasses (I always keep a backup, for obvious reasons).  Panicked, I retraced my steps - back to the cleaners where I’d picked up my Pendleton; back to the park, where I’d been visiting with Elizabeth; back to the coffee shop.  Zero for three, a strike out.  Finally, I rummaged again through my pannier one last time time and found them, stashed in an unlikely spot.  I think I put them there subconsciously when I put my mask on to leave the coffee shop.

So that’s good at least.  I’ve only lost one pair of glasses.  The maddening thing though is that I’ve only had this pair for exactly one week.  I ordered them to replace the pair I broke in Corvallis two months ago, which in turn were a replacement for a pair I lost in northern Spain last Autumn; which if I remember correctly were a replacement for a pair I lost in the Canadian Rockies the previous summer.  So it goes, as Billy Pilgrim would say.

Oh, Snap!
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Hard to believe that this new pair of glasses were mine for only one week.   I think that’s a personal record - I don’t remember ever losing anything of significant value so quickly before.  

It’s not a Team Anderson record though.  That title belongs to Rocky, who bought a new Bianchi Volpe in Salem about 30 years ago and then had it stolen only about twenty minutes later from where she had locked it up while she dashed up to her office to pick something up on her way home.  

So I at least had my glasses for a whole week.  Way better than poor Rocky, who only got to ride her new Volpe for about two miles.

At least my glasses story has a somewhat happy ending.  I found the broken pair while packing for Croatia, and took them to a glasses repair shop to see if they were salvageable.  Yup.   It’s a simple bridge replacement: $65, and they’ll be ready Monday.

Today’s ride

As long as we’re here anyway, we may as well share the haul from today’s ride - a short early morning jaunt up to Mount Tabor on the way to coffee.  Like yesterday, it’s expected to get up to 100F - an ample excuse for leaving the house early, just after sunrise.  It was comfortably warm already when I left home, and was becoming uncomfortably hot when I returned from coffee three hours later.

Not much of a ride, but I feel fine about that because Rachael and I went out along the Columbia for a brisk 45 miler yesterday.  She’s repeating the same ride today, But I don’t want to overdue things.  I’m saving it up for Croatia.

Mount Tabor, about fifteen minutes past dawn. I should have gotten out the door just a bit earlier to see the fireworks, as this man and his dog did. I’ve still got two mornings here, so maybe I’ll try again.
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The lower of the two Mount Tabor reservoirs. Really a beautiful sky this morning.
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The same reservoir from the other side, staring back toward the mountain.
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Biking up the southeast face of the mountain, the sun just begins to break through onto the path.
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Ron SuchanekMt. Tabor is one of my favorite places in Portland. Well, anywhere for that matter.
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1 month ago
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Radiant! I really should get out early more often.
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There’s company at the top.
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This spot on the crown of the hill looked so idyllic in the morning light that I decided to take Rodriguez up for a portrait.
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Great bike, great tree.
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It’s a bigleaf maple.
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That bench is placed as it is for a reason. It’s faced toward the only gap east through the trees from up here.
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Casting a shadow on Bigfoot.
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On Mount Tabor.
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The view to the west.
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A salmon, on Salmon Street.
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Ron SuchanekWe used to ride or walk by that all the time.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekI have a few times but always going the other direction, climbing toward the mountain. I never really noticed it from that direction.
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1 month ago
I was going to ask someone to identify this dazzling honeybee magnet, and then I remembered the Picture This app. This is a Harlequin Honeybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum), a large shrub/small tree that is known in Japan as a Peanut Butter Tree.
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Bruce LellmanThese small trees have a beautiful aroma and I don't think they smell much like peanut butter. The strangest thing about these Clerodendrums is that if you do the least bit of digging underneath them then they will send up dozens of runners but if you don't disturb the earth they won't. I've never owned one but this is what I've heard.
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1 month ago
Lalo Salon, in the Hawthorne District.
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A double negative makes a positive

While sitting at the coffee shop this morning, a message comes in from Medical One.  My PCR tests results are back, only 44 hours after I was tested.  I’m delighted that they’ve come back so soon, a full day earlier than expected; but I‘m of course anxious to open up the results. Negative!  

So far, so good. We’ll get tested a second time Tuesday, late enough to fit within the 48 hour window required by the Croatian border authorities.
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Jen GrumbyWoohoooooo!
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1 month ago

When Rachael returns from her ride she checks out her results too.  We’re both clean - or at least we were so two days ago.

This is important for two reasons.  First of course, it’s great to have our health verified so close before the flight.  The last thing we want is to infect others from our discretionary travel decision.  Also though, it has positive value when we cross the border.  The requirement is a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival in Croatia.  This test doesn’t satisfy that of course, which is why we’ll be retested the afternoon before we fly out.

If for some reason the second set of test results aren’t in when we arrive though, the first set offers us some protection.  With them, we’ll supposedly be allowed to enter the country and then proceed to our hotel for self-quarantine until our newer results do arrive, or even to get retested there in Zagreb.

So at this point, less than three days from departure, I think the only thing that would prevent us from flying out is a last minute change of policy by the Croatian government.  Looks like it’s a go.

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Jen GrumbyIf a double negative makes a positive, then a quadruple negative makes a double positive .. right?

For the glasses, I recommend getting a giant spatula and a magnet to attach your glasses to it whenever you take them off.

You *do* still have the reincarnation of the GBO, right? I'll bet he's pretty excited about this Great Pandemic Escape. And how great that he's exempt from the PCR test due to absence of nostrils!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI might lose my glasses, but I would never lose GBO. Oh, wait.

Yes, he’s definitely going along for the ride; but we haven’t broken the news yet to spare him a disappointment.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekJust attached the GBO to your new glasses with a medium-sized chain.
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1 month ago
Suzanne GibsonI had a good laugh, love that you don't lose your sense of humor along with your glasses. Maybe you could have your eyes lasered so you don't need glasses?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonHumor? There’s humor in this?

Actually, I hardly need them - it’s one of the problems. I had lens replacement after cataract surgery years ago, and most of the time I ride with them off.
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1 month ago