Friday, September 4, 2009

Year’s End, 2008

January 1, 2009 - Thursday

Today is a very good day with which to end a very good year. It's foggy outside, as cold as ever, and now the roads are icy as well, but no matter. It's still a good day.
I drove to work earlier than usual and was there at 0605 hours, though I still didn't end up finishing everything I wanted to get done before I had to head over to Opa's around 0900 hours. I plan to spend another few hours at the office on Friday or Saturday, just so I'm all caught up before work officially starts again on the 5th.
When I drove to Opa's I found the roads in Rüschlikon frosted with half an inch of ice and snow. Luckily it all melted by time I headed home, but I really feel sorry for the Beastie. I haven't had it a month and I've already taken it through snow half a dozen times and when I gave it a bath after coming home, I discovered the black paint was splitting off the exhaust. (I'd raise a huge fuss if I had any intention of keeping the original exhaust, but I don't, so big deal.)
Opa and I worked until lunchtime, when Oma served us another of her delicious dinners that are always rich in fresh vegetables. Then Opa surprised me by announcing that we were done with work, and I could go home if I liked.
I had planned to head back to the office after Opa's, but I decided to postpone it, as mentioned above, because I really didn't like the way the roads were slowly but surely freezing over as mist and snow lazily drifted out of the heavens and settled.
But I had promised the Beastie it would be broken in before the New Year, so in order to get those missing 30 klicks on the tachometer - is that thing called an odometer in English? The bike's display says ODO - I dropped some mail off at the bank and then took the long way home, over the Hirzel Pass. We cracked that magical 1000-km mark at 100 km/h and 4000 rpm. I guess in real life it'd be like the moment you can put that old saddle on the new colt and start the serious training, not just halter and longe-line.
And the day I get the Termignoni mounted and the maschine opened up will be like that colt's first public race... But the Termignoni won't happen before February, though I'm looking into getting it mounted as soon as possible because having that stupid limiter kit in the Buell is really bad for it. It idles fussily, the spark plugs are getting gunked up and I'm worried that one day a cylinder will die on me, just like it happened last winter.
Ehh, anyway, where was I? Ah yes, Beastie. We got home, I peeled out of my upteen layers of biking gear and gave the machine a bath until it sparkled and shone and steamed in the cold air. And now it's in the garage until tomorrow - hopefully tomorrow, if the roads don't stay this terrible.
January 1, 2008 was spent biking. That was the day I spontaneously followed Roy's invitation to drive out to Aargau and spend the day biking with him and some friends, those friends ending up being Dario and Kevin. That day was freezing too, but it was my introduction into just how much the Beastie would change my life and interests. I had so much fun; for the first time I was hanging out with people I barely knew, chatting about our mutual interest and whatever grazed it. That day set an example for hundreds more of a similar sort that followed during 2008.
An example in every detail, come to think of it. I arrived home around 1900 hours, not late at all, in high spirits. And no sooner had I greeted the family set around the dinner table than both parents proceded to growl at me because I'd been gone so long and they hadn't know where I was. (Not quite. I told Dad that morning I'd be heading to Aargau to drive, and he called over lunch to see how I was faring.)
But despite multiple scenes like that throughout 2008, things have developed for the better. In fact, Mom gave me a grizzly head ornament for my tree, saying she chose it because wasn't the grizzly the "totem" for my bike? And yesterday she asked why I hadn't covered up my "growly baby." Once I understood she was talking about the Beastie, it downright warmed my heart. (Which feeling Florian seeks to dissipate by calling it nothing but "Fatso." But then again, he does call the Husky "Schätzeli" (=honeydear) which is very cute.)

It sounds like Dad and the boys just got back from their day spent on the slopes of Pizol, and my hands are getting bluer and bluer, not to mention Retta has been bugging me for attention all afternoon, so I'm going to post this. At 1930 hours I get to babysit, so I'll actually be awake to see the New Year in. There's no better way to spend the last moments of the old year than in a cozy, heated house, watching a nature documentary on TV, the little boys asleep upstairs and the parents only due in an hour or two.

Thou who roll'st the year around,
Crowned with mercies large and free,
Rich Thy gifts to us abound;
Warm our praise shall rise to Thee.

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