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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Letting Go

A bit more than four years ago, I was undergoing a medical test that kept me face down in an electromagnet for about an hour. I tried to conjure up some pleasant memory, to distract me from the reason for, and the discomfort of, the test. So, I thought about the bike ride I took most often in Laramie - from my house on Hidalgo Drive, over the Harney St. bridge, to West Laramie, and out Herrick Lane. Thinking back, I know I could remember every turn, every curve in the road, every climb and descent, every landmark. Now, I can't. Maybe it's the insane amount of anesthesia I've had every year since 2008 or maybe last summer's concussion. Maybe it's just the passage of time and place.

Every day, for the past seven years, since I moved from Laramie to Idaho, I've checked the online version of the Laramie newspaper to see what was going on in my old home town. In many ways, it was my home town. I worked for the University of Wyoming for 18 years, more than four times as long as any other job in my 34-year career. I lived longer in Laramie than any other town, including the one in which I was born and lived until I went off to college. I followed the news of the university, as well as the Cowboy football and basketball teams, watching them on the rare occasions they were on DirecTV, listening over the Internet, or checking scores on the ESPN Web site.

Yesterday, I deleted the Laramie Boomerang from my saved Web pages, and deleted the Cowboys from my ESPN score watches - along with Rutgers and Navy, my alma mater and where I worked before moving to Laramie. I came to realize these are places that really don't matter anymore. It's been a while since I read the Rutgers alumni magazine that comes to me monthly; I've automatically discarded the fundraising letters I've gotten from UW.

I don't see myself ever going back to Trenton, New Jersey; Richmond, Virginia; Vernon Hills, Illinois; Crofton, Maryland; or Laramie. And, if I did, I know they wouldn't be the towns I only partly remember. But there are people who live or lived in each of these communities when I did, friends or acquaintances, who stay in touch through Facebook or the occasional e-mail. And I am happy for their continued contact. They are what remains of my past.

So, here I am, in rural Idaho. After seven years, I can't describe it as my home town. It's not, but it is where I live.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feeling Kinda' Belgian

Back when there was more cycling on TV, I used to enjoy watching the spring classics in Belgium: the Fleche Wallone, Het Volk, Gent-Wevelgem. Cold, wet, windy. The place for hard men, not me. But, every spring, I like to think of myself as Roger de Vlaeminck, battling the elements. Cotton cap under my helmet; long-fingered gloves; rain jacket; shoe covers. Skunk stripe down the back from muddy water spray. Today was one of those days down by the Spokane River. Not a lot of cyclists; more people walking their dogs (or in the case of a big, black Newfoundland, walking his owner).

The path was strewn with old tree trash - pine needles, leaves, small branches - all turned red from the recently-melted snow pack. A few geese were flying over the river, which was swollen and running fast, boiling around bridge pillars. Must have opened the Post Falls dam yesterday.

I was really eager/anxious to see how my new electronic shifting system would behave in the rain. The quick answer, flawlessly.

Back in July, a dog plowed into me on a ride, giving me a concussion, two broken ribs, and a displaced right thumb. The concussion and ribs have healed; the thumb never did. Problem was, down-shifting on my rear cassette using my right thumb was more than a bit painful.

Campy Chorus 9 Shifters
When I ordered my Davidson titanium bike frame (my lifetime bike, I told myself) in 1995, I had it equipped with Campagnolo running gear. Beautiful polished alloy components, shapely, shining. So Italian. The only real alternative then was Shimano, a Japanese company that also made fishing gear. Easy choice - Italian cycling heritage vs. an impressive bait-fishing heritage. And, I loved the Campagnolo group. Crisp, clean, multiple gear shifts. Logical finger and thumb levers. Of course, it was sometimes hard to adjust the front derailleur trim, but it was Campy.

After taking two months off for my ribs to heal, I got out for a few rides last fall, but the right thumb was just too sore. What to do? I hit my local bike shops with the idea of buying a new bike. Carbon. Light. Fast. Shimano thumbless shifting. I fell in love with the Cervelo R3 and thought seriously about buying one with Shimano's Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting - until I was reminded that I'd bought the Davidson as my lifetime bike.

Polished Campy Rear Derailleur
After some conversations with Bob Freeman at Elliot Bay Bicycles in Seattle (also home to Davidson Bicycles, I decided to send the frame back to see if Bill Davidson could convert my old titanium frame to use Shimano Di2 with internal routing. He could. Drilling here, removing derailleur cable guides there, shaping holes to accept electronic cable grommets, refinishing the modifications, putting on new decals. Took two months, but it was worth the wait.

First off, Bill does great work. the bike looks new, with no trace of the removed cable guides remaining. The electronic cable guides and grommets fit snugly into the frame; no chance of rain leakage. The derailleurs and electronic brain were set up perfectly. Shifting is quicker and quieter than my old Campy group (the shifting paddle setup is different than Campagnolo, but three weeks on the indoor trainer while the snow and ice melted, gave me time to adjust). Light tap, shift one gear. Light hold, shift two gears. Longer hold, sweep all the way up or down the cassette. No adjustments needed; the front derailleur pivots slightly to avoid chain rub even in severe cross-gear configurations. I have small hands, and the ability to reduce brake reach with just a few turns of an Allen bolt was wonderful, and the brakes are just as responsive as Campy's.

Shimano Di2 Shifters
One drawback. Aesthetics. Campagnolo parts look like industrial jewelry. Shimano parts look - well - industrial. Chunky, broad shoulders, grey finish. But they work, and they work well.

I had a few minutes to admire them after my ride as I hosed off the road grime, finishing just before a sudden downpour, accompanied by hail. The bike's drip-drying in the garage; my jerseys and shorts are hung from a drying rack in the mud/laundry room. Ribs are slow-baking in the oven (yeah, I know, should be fries with mayonnaise and a bottle of Stella). Looking forward to dinner - and another ride tomorrow.



Shimano Brakes, and Port for Electronic Cable in Downtube

Shimano's Electronic Brain

Ultegra Di2 Rear Derailleur
 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Languishing...

and going through withdrawal. My bike has gone to meet its maker. Literally. I've sent it back to Bill Davidson in Seattle to see if he can convert the titanium road bike he made me in 1995 to handle Shimano electronic shifting - the result of the July bike crash that's left my right thumb unable to use Campagnolo mechanical shifting.

While I've been walking my dog - the only exercise I've been getting - I've been thinking about my checkered cycling history. Things done wrong, things done right (mostly by accident), memorable rides, and memorable people.

Like most kids, I had a bike growing up. A black Schwinn with a tank horn. Heavy and slow, but kids have an amazing amount of energy. My friends and I would tool around Hamilton Township and Trenton, New Jersey, to see the dinosaurs at the state museum, to dig around in the banks of the Delaware River, and to annoy the cuter girls in our junior high school classes. Then, one day, I parked the bike in our garage and waited to get my driver's license.

I never thought again about bikes or cycling until the mid-70s, when I was living in Richmond, Virginia. a college friend, Merle Steelman, was getting his graduate degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and had bought a 10-speed French Motobecane. "Get a bike and come cycling with me in the Smokeys," he said. I only found one bike shop in Richmond that had two bikes to sell me: a brown Austrian Puch and an orange Swedish Crescent. I went with the Crescent, a beautiful bike with a French Ideale leather saddle, white cloth bar tape, and Heuret Alvit shifters. Only one problem - it didn't really fit me. About 2 cm too tall, a quick stop could result in a painful encounter with the top tube. I rode it a few times in Richmond, and then a few times on the rural roads of Vernon Hills, Illinois. Years later, when my stepson became tall enough, I gave it to him. He didn't much care for road cycling, and so, one day in Laramie, Wyoming, I gave it to the local Salvation Army. One day I saw it chained to a bike rack at the University of Wyoming grounds building.



Just like my Crescent.

Wind back the clock to the early 1980s. Karen and I were married and living in Crofton, Maryland. She was in the Army and had to go through a physical training test every year. She had to train for a two-mile run, and, having suffered a hip injury running track in high school, I accompanied her on the Crescent. I was wary of riding on the busy suburban roads, and then the city put in a boardwalk through the local park. I started riding that on a new Fuji I picked up at a local bike shop. "Fits you like a glove," said the shop owner. Actually, it didn't, I later concluded - 2 cm too short in the seat tube, way too short in the top tube. but, I rode it during our time in Maryland, equipping it with early Look clipless pedals I picked up at Proteus in College Park Maryland. I bought Karen a Fuji as well, a silver mixte. She rode it with me on vacation on the Virginia Easter Shore, and once to the National Zoo. She never warmed to cycling. Too dangerous. Too sweat-inducing. That bike also went to the Laramie Salvation Army.

Very similar to my Fuji.

Early during our 18-year stay in Laramie, I met Charles Pelkey, then a writer for the Casper Star-Tribune, covering the University of Wyoming, where I was public relations director. We became friends and started riding together. He steered me to a great deal on a British-green Bridgestone RB-1 with Shimano downtube SIS shifting. I'll never forget one of my first rides on it. I'd gone for a ride with a friend, Al Deiss, out Hwy. 230. On the way, we met up with Charles and some other riders, who were planning a 60-mile round trip to Woods Landing. Being younger and dumber, I decided to ride out and back with them. Big mistake. Took me 5 1/2 painful hours. Some years later, training for cycling camp, I felt good about completing in in 3 1/2 hours on back-to-back days.

OK, but what's with the seat post length?

The Laramie area was great cycling terrain: the flat ride to Woods Landing; the climb up Telephone Canyon to the Lincoln Monument on I-80; the undulating ride out Herrick Lane, through ranch lands dotted with pronghorn antelope that would sometimes race you along the sides of the road; the steep ride up from Granite Reservoir; and riding up through the Snowy Range to an altitude of 11,000-feet at Libby Flats, and then down to Lake Marie. The first time I made that latter ride was in June, with some friends from UW. I met them about halfway up from Centennial, and unloaded my bike from my car. They exited their van wearing jackets, gloves, leg warmers, booties, and warm caps; I was wearing shorts, a jersey, summer gloves, and a cotton cap under my helmet. Clearly, they knew something I didn't. It was my first summer in Laramie, having arrived the previous autumn. As we approached Libby Flats, the sky split with thunder and lightning, and snow began falling. Then sleet, which made the run down to Lake Marie more than a little treacherous. I returned with the rest of the group to the van, transferred to my car, turned up the heater full-blast, and upon arriving home ordered a jacket, booties, warm gloves, etc. Lesson learned.

Over time, it became obvious that the Bridgestone was too short in the top tube, even with a long stem. After seeing an ad in Velo-News, for which Charles then wrote, I drove to Denver to the Clark-Kent factory, which was then making LeMond titanium bikes. I'd read about titanium bikes, and had even seen some early Sampsons at Velo Swap. I bought a LeMond with, if I remember right, Campagnolo Ergo-Power 8-speed, carbon fork. I loved it. Smooth, fast, and it fit. I climbed better and descended with confidence. Then, one day, I was hit by a car. Stopped at an intersection waiting for a green light, I waved to the driver in the oncoming left-turn lane to ensure that she saw me. She didn't; she said the sun had been in her eyes and she roared off the line just as I started crossing, blowing me out of the pedals. My helmet hit her windshield, embedding glass in the helmet foam liner - and my neck. The next day I had to drive to northwest Wyoming looking as if someone had tried to cut my throat. The bike was damaged; I didn't know how badly, but I knew I wouldn't trust it screaming down Telephone Canyon.

Loved this bike, but later read that the welds sometimes broke!

The driver's insurance company came and took the bike. They paid for my minor medical bills and a new titanium bike. I decided to go custom to ensure a good fit after years of a kind-of-fit. In one of the many cycling magazines to which I then subscribed, I was a gorgeous Davidson Stiletto, steel, in purple and white paint. I discovered that Bill Davidson also made bikes in titanium. During a vacation in Seattle soon thereafter, Karen and I stopped by Elliot Bay Bicycles to see Bill. He measured me up, decided on components, and gave me the estimate. Karen's always been supportive of my cycling expenditures, and I've always appreciated it.

With my Davidson, second-from-right at the 1997 Carpenter-Phinney camp.
The bike came while I was in Florida, visiting my parents. I unpacked it when I got home; it was beautiful. Campy 8-speed Ergo Power; Cinelli bars and stem; Mavic Open Pro wheels. I've ridden that bike for 18 years in Wyoming, at the Carpenter-Phinney bike camp in Colorado (thanks to Davis and Pete Penseyres for pushing me part way up Copper Mountain when I had a hamstring cramp) and here in Idaho and Washington. Along the way, I've changed out a lot of components (Selle San Marco Regal, to Fizik Aliante, to Specialized Toupe; Cinelli bars and stem to Deda; seatpost from Cinelli to American Classic; wheels from Open Pro to Mavic Helium, to Neuvation R 28; Campy 8 to Campy 9) but, as I once said, the Davidson was my lifetime frame.

With my Davidson at the 2012 Spokane Tour de Cure


This autumn, after a stray dog crashed into me while riding Washington's Centennial Trail (or so the ambulance crew told me) and I suffered a concussion, broken ribs and a dislocated thumb - thank you, Giro helmet - I found the thumb would no longer operate the Campagnolo rear cluster shifting without significant pain. The thumb, which was actually subluxed, wasn't going to heal. So, I test rode several carbon bikes with Shimano mechanical shifting and one with electronic shifting. The mechanical, which doesn't involve use of the thumb, was comfortable; the electronic shifting was very comfortable. I loved the Canadian Cervelo R3; liked the Specialized Tarmac and the Scott CR-1; and hated the Specialized Tarmac. Local bike shops that carried the Italian Pinarello, the American Felt and the Spanish Orbea had nothing in my size for a test ride. So, I put the whole exercise on hold. Winter was coming. Then I contacted Elliot Bay to see if Bill could convert my 1995 bike to internally mount Shimano's Di2 electronic shifting. Bob Hoffman, who runs Elliot Bay, said he could.

And, so, I wait, walking my dog, anticipating delivery of a new set of Neuvation wheels before Christmas, selling off my Campy group bit-by-bit on eBay, and hoping that the converted Davidson will arrive shortly after the wheels come. No time estimates yet. Maybe by the annual February thaw. I need to get in some miles before this year's American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure.

Thanks to the local bike shops that let me test ride their frames: Wheelsport East, Fitness Fanatics, and Vertical Earth. Doesn't look as if I'll be buying a frame from them anytime soon, but they'll always get some of my business.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Long Autumn



Hawthorn Turning
Autumn's come in hard. Sweatshirts and gloves in the mornings when I take Pepper for walks in the hills. The grass is drying; the apples are crisping during the cold nights; hawthorn bushes and trees are turning yellow and red. Mountain bluebirds are feeding outside our living room, and the deer are bedding down in the meadows. The knapweed keeps flowering, and the wild asters are hanging on. The burn pile is growing, and the hot wire our neighbor strung to keep in his steers grazing on our land is being rolled up





Rolled-up Fencing
The Growing Burn Pile





A couple of days ago, Pepper and I saw a young porcupine in its black-needle phase, waddling among thin pine saplings, probably looking for breakfast. Given stories Karen has told about her mother's dogs' encounters with porcupines and the resultant vet bills, I was glad I had Pepper on a lead. Would he have gone after the porcupine? I don't know. He'll rush deer and turkeys, but only for a few yards. That's more than far enough to catch up to a porcupine.

Dying Old Apple Tree
We've been harvesting fruit for a few weeks. The plums have been picked and frozen. The old pear tree by the lower house has been picked clean, with some given to family and neighbors (we tend to share produce in our valley. One couple distributes eggs from their hens; another has given us home-grown tomatoes and vegetables). We've - well, Karen has - been picking apples; so far we've taken about five cases to the Post Falls Food Bank, and Second Harvest is sending gleaners to our place in a few days. Unfortunately, winter and time have taken their toll on one of our oldest, best eating-apple trees down by Anna Spring.

Donovan Caulking New Front Window
Old Window










Karen's son, Donovan, has taken autumn renovations very seriously. During the past couple of weeks, he's been replacing the 1950s single-pane windows with modern double-pane sliders. He's doing a really good, fast job. Makes the house look better and much more energy-efficient.


We've been in our house about 13 months now, and the builder's been here working on warranty repairs. One more visit from the electrician to secure a ceiling can light and from the job-site manager to replace some railings, and it's done. And everything from now on is on our nickel.

The steers and our neighbor's pigs have gone to the knacker, and today I picked up our pork ration for the year. The butcher was doing a great business today. Pickups were rolling in and out. That was my second stop of the day - the first was getting an MRI on my dog/bike-accident-injured thumb. Tomorrow's a follow-up with the orthopedist. He suspects cartilage damage, and if it is, I'm probably going under the knife, and cycling season's over.




Friday, September 20, 2013

Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger

This morning, I went for my first bike ride since my dog-induced accident two months ago. I'd recovered from my concussion a long time ago, but wasn't sure I'd recovered my confidence on two wheels. My broken ribs felt OK, but my dislocated/relocated thumb was still sore. I'd missed riding for most of a hot, dry summer. With autumn coming on strong, it was time to see how my body felt back in the saddle. It was also a good opportunity to try out a new set of tires - one had blown out in the accident.

I picked the Centennial Trail - the same general route where I'd had my July 19 accident. But, with the wind blowing hard from the east, I decided to ride in the direction of Coeur d'Alene, and away from my crash site near Mirabeau Park, Washington.

It was a hard go outbound. Long walks with Pepper hadn't given me the leg strength and endurance I'd had early in the summer. By the end of the ride, my shoulders and triceps were tired, but not especially sore. My right thumb was a different story - brief, sharp pains when downshifting with Campagnolo thumb-shifters, but those didn't last more than a few seconds. Surprisingly, the sharpest pains were removing a water bottle from its cage and squeezing out the Gatorade. Still, it was OK. The wind blew me back home after only 20 miles round-trip. Short ride, but an enjoyable re-start to the season.

Now, in homage to Stephen Colbert, here's my Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger.

Tip of the Hat::

  1. Whoever invented the bicycle. Just a great way to get exercise and have fun.
  2. Courteous cyclists, joggers, and dog-walkers. Thank you.
  3. Davidson bicycles, Seattle. After I got hit by a car in 1996, I replaced my fatally-wounded bike with a Davidson titanium frame and Campagnolo components. They came through the July crash without any damage.
  4. Campagnolo components. See above.
  5. Neuvation wheels. When my Mavic Heliums started snapping spokes, I asked a friend who worked for VeloNews what he'd recommend. He suggested Nevations. They're made in Asia to John Nugent's specs, and they're virtually bomb-proof. Haven't had them go out-of-round or out-of-true in nearly 10 years. Not the lightest wheels around, but they're the same weight those climbing-specific Heliums weighed when new in 1997.
  6. Giro helmets. The Ionos I was wearing when I crashed in July saved me from more serious injury than a concussion. My replacement Atmos is even more adjustable and comfortable. Chapeau!
  7. Specialized Toupe saddles. If not adjusted properly, it's a virtual butt-hatchet. When it's dialed in, it's a hammock. When I swung into the saddle today, it felt as if I'd been riding it every day for the past two months.
  8. Tacx bottle cages. When I got blown out of the saddle in July, the bottles stayed in their cages, a far cry from a Specialized cage that broke when I hit a bump on its first ride years ago, spilling the bottle into the road and me over it.
  9. 25 mm tires. I'd read that studies showed 25s rolled faster, cornered better, and softened bad roads better than 23s. They're right, at least on the latter two.
  10. Clif bars. Tasty, nutritious, all 40 carbs, just right for an hour ride for this diabetic. Two-hour ride, two bars.
  11. Wheelsport East and other great local bike shops who know their bikes, how to repair them, and how to outfit them.
Wag of the Finger:
  1. People who don't control their dogs. Nervous when I saw two women walking toward me today, each with her dog off the lead, I slowed to a crawl. Eventually, they called back their dogs and leashed them up. Please, keep your dog on a lead when walking on a trail shared by joggers and cyclists.
  2. Campagnolo thumb shifters. Yes, I know that those of us with sore thumbs are a small sub-set of cyclists. And, yes, their electronic shifters take very little pressure - but I don't have a couple of thousand dollars to throw around.
  3. Centennial Trail Commission. Please finish the trail through Post Falls. And, please post "leash your dog" signs.
  4. Orthopedic specialists who can't seem to fix a dislocated thumb.
  5. Clif bar packaging. If aspirin manufacturers can come up with arthritis-friendly packaging, why can't nutrition bar manufacturers? 
  6. Bears. There you go, Stephen.

                     

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Change in the Air

The first chill of an approaching autumn was in the air yesterday morning as I walked Pepper down to the county road to get the newspaper. Time to start wearing long-sleeved shirts early in the day and in the evening.

Hawthorn berries - and thorns
Nice crop of pears this year
It's been a brutally hot summer with little breeze and about ten minutes of rain. The cattle have been off our grazing pastures for a few weeks now, and the grass is short and brown, except for the long meadow grass on the west and north sides of our driveway. The knapweed, thistles, and mullein are still thriving, of course. The hawthorn bushes are heavy with large purple berries, and the apples are starting to turn color. Perhaps the cooler nights will build some sweetness into them. This will not be a good fruit year. Many of our most productive apple trees are resting, but a few that haven't borne in a few years are producing - pie apples, in the main. Hard to tell about the plum trees, since they always are the last to show. The old pear tree down by the creek is heavy with fruit.

Cable Creek at "low tide"














Cable Creek is as low as I've seen it in the past six years. Poor Pepper can barely get his belly wet after a long, hot run. It's his only natural respite, since Anna Spring and the flats surrounding it are dry; no place for a mud wallow.

The deer are out in force. This morning I saw a young buck with its first growth of antler. It looked like a tall, skinny Pronghorn. The fawns are losing their spots. The new elk are nearly as tall as the cows. The turkeys are hatching chicks that look like baby ducks on the hillsides. There's also a pretty spooky creature we've seen twice. At first glance, it looked something like a dingo or a jackal. It's not, of course. It's a coyote with mange that looks like this picture I captured from the Web.


A lot of folk in this valley despise coyotes, and after one of them took three of our cats before we got Pepper, I understand the sentiment, even though I don't share it. This one, though should be put out of its misery. Since it's crossed our property lines each time we've seen it, I expect that will happen some day. Failing that, a hard winter should do it.


You want me on that hill; you need me on that hill
Next month marks the end of our one-year home warranty. Karen and I have already sent our repair punch list to the builder; first up will be repair of settling cracks in the wallboard. Nothing major, but lots of little things for the builder to fix. 

Not a warranty item, but something we've had to take care of, is an infestation of ants chewing their way through the expanding foam insulation flanking our front door. We've had the exterminator out twice, and we'll see if this takes care of the problem until the 90-day application. He's also sprayed for wasps and yellow-jackets. This has been one hell of a summer for those flying pests. We've gone through about a dozen disposable traps, and now I'm on to reusable ones with replaceable attractant cartridges. They just love the space under our front porch and balcony. Ants, wasps, sick coyotes - we can use a hard freeze this winter.



My stepson, Donovan, has been hard at work to make this a more comfortable winter for himself. Though he spent more than a few years in Wyoming, I don't think he ever lost the warm blood he was born with in Washington, D.C. and refreshed in California. So, he bought himself a used hot tub and has been spending the past few weeks refurbishing it, building a deck around it, and constructing a boardwalk from his front porch to the tub. He built it under the apple trees south of the old house by the creek, and I imaging in late fall he's liable to have a few Isaac Newton moments.

Our mothers are holding on, and I'm slowly healing from my bike accident. Karen's working hard on her third novel and haunting local thrift shops for eBay inventory. Preseason football is on TV. We're enjoying the porch in the evenings with no mosquitoes or yellow-jackets after dusk. It's all good - mostly.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dogs Bark

So, I found this note slipped into my mailbox today.




I sent the following to all my neighbors for whom I have e-mail addresses:



"Dear neighbor,

Anybody have an idea who might have slipped this silly note into our mailbox today?

The week before we got our dog, Pepper, a coyote took three of our cats. In the 15 months since we've had him, we haven't had any coyote predation. Pepper's a working dog, and I'd say that, statistically, he's doing a good job.

This is the country. Horses whinny, cattle moo, pigs crash through fences and root in neighbors' property, coyotes howl, roosters crow, and dogs bark. Life goes on.

Regards,

Jay Fromkin"


Got the following responses:


"I would obtain an additional larger dog, if it was me Jay. Anything that thins the coyotes out is good by me."

"Wow!  It is unfortunate that this note was left for you. Apparently, no one is going to address the problem of the Tysdal dog barking at early hours in the morning. I agree, this is the country. Dogs are going to bark. It is their job."

"Whomever, they are cowards for not putting a name down. Maybe its the grumpy guy I saw walking this morning. He is always yelling at people if he thinks they are driving too fast. He lives on Quail Lane. Anyway, if its not your neighbor I think its none of their business."

We've got some good neighbors.