Austin, TX on April 30, 2005

In the wee hours of the morning Carol got up and closed the 3 windows (2 in the bedroom) sucking heat from the house. The gray, rainy morning greeted me a few minutes after 8. As I let Peanut in from the back porch I saw that the temperature was in the highish 50's, 44th street was patchy with reflecting water. Not windy, though.

As I put breakfast together, Carol and I thought about Richard Gravois out in this stuff running the Governor's 5K. Well, Richard said he sweats alot. Maybe not this morning.

As Carol prepared to head off to work at Celebration about 9:30 I stuck my nose to the AmigaOne and worked on website updates. I had "Car Talk" to accompany me followed Jay Robelard's "The Lounge Show" on KOOP. He said he was warned by name over the airwaves to find a parking place *elsewhere* because of all the traffic associated with the Pecan Street Festival consuming 6th Street.

By 10:30 the sky was still solid gray and the temperature only up to 60. I emailed Ferris that if we were going to do all the stuff we have vowed the night before, that I would meet him at the Sears Auto Store at 11:30 and said I'd set out at 11:15. A mere 45 minutes away. Hmmm. Shaved, dress warmly, start the washing machine on the lights, drag out the recumbent, removing all the volleyball paraphenalia (See last Wednesday). Knock, knock. Ferris?

He explains that the Bicycle Sport Shop AHCC setup actually begins at noon instead of 1, so we can register at 12 and then eat with everybody instead of the other way around or whatever... since we had not be decisive.

OK. Hmm, now where are those keys... Oh yes in yesterday's "hot outside" wear of course. So, we're off. Ferris defers to me since he doesn't ride across the river much. Good, because our 1st stop will be at 3804 Ave. H so I can drop off the 16 copies of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association's Pecan Press to Phoebe Moore, a.k.a. Gracie Moore. I'm a block distributor of 255 of these things in packs of about 20. From there across 38th, then west within a block of where Ferris and Ruta lived for a while on Tom Green; down Speedway, west on 33rd, [Here we see a fellow leaning over his driver's side door from his sidewalk with antler's for a crown. He's in a black leather vest with no shirt. Ahh. Tom tom's on the seat. He's headed for Eyore's Birthday Party over in Pease Park. Brrrrr. It's so cold! I'll bet this year those young maidens keep their bras on.] south on Hemphill Park, right on 29th. God that BBQ smell from Ruby's BBQ has made my stomach yell, lunch already. At Guadalupe its south again and into Nueces, which we follow all the way down to 3rd without event.

I was worried for a moment since I haven't been down this way myself in nearly one and a half years... ever since I took that "retirement" job with Brett north of Round Rock, but, yep, behind the bus and a couple cars blocking the west end of the Austin Music Hall's parking lot, there is the good ol' hike and bike trail. Ferris' never been on it and wishes he had brought his camera for the pink poppies in full bloom along the way (at head height, yet). We come out on the Town Lake hike'n'bike. After a moments' conference we see that we are way (10 minutes) early for Bicycle Sport Shop, so, at my urging we head back east and over the Colorado via the 1st street bridge's drop down pedestrian path to the AVP's Volleyball Bash brought to town for yesterday, through tomorrow. Things are blocked off, but we ease onto Riverside Dr. and, sure enough, the far side has a path back to the hike'n'bike. As I had hoped we are able to bike up to the fence and watch a men's match about half way through. Boy, can those guys move. Everyone of them sports a jump serve, beautiful hand sets, jump-in-jack springs to spike and crack spikes that only the likes of the players out there today can hope to pick up. Definitely fun to watch. But, I know I could watch all day, and Ferris'll just get antsy. I averr that we are still going to be early by a couple minutes. Away we go. Across on Dawson, to Barton Springs. 517 S. Lamar is 2 establishments south of the intersection on our side, so we ride through the parking lots and dismount. Ferris is #8, which I insist is infinity, and I am #12, begging my way out of #13 for fun. Of course Ferris wants to trade for #13, since that is his lucky number. Harumph! That is exactly what the man and woman said of themselves when I angled for #12.

I'm in the market for a replacement right rear view mirror for the vacancy on my right handle bar (don't ask!), but these prices begin at $16 so I'm just window shopping. Ferris says he only shops here when there is a big sale. Oh, I dunno, I say, "I bought my rear, side bag (pouch?) here. No one else had anything quite so 'primitive' nor as inexpensive.". Soon we are done and back outside. The weather is beginning to clear. I cannot judge the temperature, since we've been riding. Ferris phones the Gravois'. Yep, they're there. I lead Ferris along the west side of Lamar, as once Richard led me, until we pass Uchi and reach the nearest intersection to the Saxxon Pub, et.al. Crossing with the light, its over to Kinney and south a couple blocks to Richard's.

Paulette ushers us in, introduces us to 4 year old Jude (with cookie in hand), glad hand Daniel who isn't over keeping KXAN-TV in order at the moment, and out onto the back porch where Richard is airing up the Jogging Stroller. The thing has a brake cable for the front wheel AND a hand strap. Richard assures me that both are advised. Darn pump nozzle won't stay on so I hold it by force. Ferris phones Ruta for the rendezvous. Wow! Looks like everybody but Daniel is coming along. The sun is out! Ferris & I practice bike balancing as we wend our way along Kinney to Barton Springs Drive. That hill connecting the two doesn't look half as bad as it did back in 1972 when I was courting Carol and usually took that hill the hard way about once a day.

Well, it is the lunch hour at the Austin Java Co. Richard goes off to find seating for us all. Ah, the short line is taking drink orders so I sneak in a cookie (h u g e   cookie) request too, so I'm the 1st one with food. Our seats are outside. The benches are still wet from the rain earlier, but already I can tell we'll be happy to be under this umbrella as the humidity rises. We all manage to fit around a table and a half and catch up on the locations and doings of various relatives. Ruta talks more about events in her 4's vb league.

Lunch over, Ferris dumps his registration goodies and coat on Ruta to take back and I remove the long sleeve shirt, gloves and head band. Ferris was right to have put on sun tan lotion. Its summer time again. We make our way back to Riverside Dr. and up onto the Pfluger (non-car) Bridge, over the Colorado and onto the north side hike'n'bike. Once past Congress Ave., --smell that bat guano-- we come upon group after group of high school rowing teams with only a boat or two on the water at the moment. We have to stop so as to not run over teenage groups oblivious to their surroundings. That's OK.

As we near IH35 I nearly took us off the course, but a hail to a faster cyclist put us on course again. The paths go lots of ways and the foliage is thick enough so you can see far enough down the way to be sure. As I promised Ferris here be dragons.. well dragon boat races anyway. Its put on by an Asian organization with speechifying, dance performances, atypical food and trinkets for sale. I beg Ferris for a brief stop to look over the booths and pick out a moon-agate embossed with a "Year of the Chicken" motif (last one they had) for Carol who is slaving away at Celebration this beautiful afternoon. I also by a rice-soybean wrapped in bamboo leaves for a $1 to take home for a special treat at supper, then back on the bikes. No, wait! There's been a collision between two dragon boats tipping them both so they have swamped. I see one has the occupants digging is with oars. Everybody is crowding the hike'n'bike to get a better view. We hear a cheer down the way and swim the crowds to see what its about.

The crowd is cheering on the rescue boat. There you see the heroes heading off to the pounding of the cockswain on the drums. Exciting stuff. Our bike ride quietens down as the festival recedes. Everytime there's a dip I can feel a slight drop in temperature, reminding me of just how pleasant this is compared to next August. (Reminding of the future... can that be?) There is yet more celebration noise coming from near the Holly Power Plant (wasn't that supposed to go into disuse after the neighbor complaints?). Ferris has pointed out that my rear tire sure seems low, so I pull up in the parking lot by the baseball field just outside a fence where grade school children all dressed in green shirts are having somesort of field day contest. As I air up my tire we see parents aiding (pick up here - deposit there) participants in a 3 legged race. That accompanying boom box is no slouch. Its too loud for me way over here (hear?). That reminds me that the O'Henry Pun Off is in a couple weeks. Carol and I usually show up for the finale of shaggy dog stories that end the event.

So we leave the hike'n'bike and proceed generally north, uphill along Pleasant Valley. Not so many cars out for whatever reason as we continue into the Rosewood neighborhood. I guess its rising from the bad name it made for itself a few years back. Cross 19th, cross Manor, into Cherrywood and the Dellwood neighborhood. At Cherrywood and Willowbrook we unload the few remaining things of Ferris from my side bag and we part ways.

After I get over to IH35 feeder at Wilshire Blvd, so choose to skirt Hancock Shopping Center (going right past where I was supposed to meet Ferris to start with lo' these many degrees F ago) and thus must await the opportunity to use the turn around lane under the freeway... about a traffic light's worth of wait.

Its still nice to get stares and an occasional "thumbs up" when tooling through neighborhoods at a slow speed and people find the sight of this recumbent (it not me I am sure!) pleasant.

Home, I'm too late for KOOP's "Dead Celebrities" show, and I'm unplused by any of the 3-4pm offerings so I suck down water while doing minor backyard pick-up-sticks kind a thing. I throw some pellets to the two feeder fish in the pond that grew to be gold fish and now are koi. Wonder what I call them next? They have avoided predators for 3 years now.

Well, the rest of the day was spent on Hyde Park Neighborhood Assoc.'s monthly newsletter. It comes to me as a PDF. I tear it apart for things to create the 20 static HTML pages embellished with hyper links, custom photos, table of contents, list of advertizers, and a cute clickable map of the whole newsletter tiled as 5 x 4 single image of the 20 different pages for quick access. It takes and average of 0.5 hours per page with the lions share going to the 1st page and about 30 seconds to page 20. Anyway, I went to bed with about a 1/3 of them hanging over my head, but nightmares about it were dispelled by reading William Marshall's Yellowthread Street. That book is a pleasure to read, even if it is a murder mystery. I'll see if he holds up on other books.

Nightie nite.


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