Saturday, February 14, 2009


The day started like any other Friday. Typically, my "non work" day of the week although I always end up working 2 or 3 hours doing end of the week stuff, I managed to grab an extra hour of sleep and woke to a pretty day. I brewed my coffee, heated my breakfast, and sat down to do a little reading on my favorite cycling blogs. After a couple of good cups of coffee and some fine reading and corresopondence catch up, I headed to my Rotary meeting and followed that with my monthly massage. The day was going swimmingly!

My "better half" and I were joining my sister-in-law and the "Wood-Man", my riding partner and friend, in Pigeon Forge, Tn for the weekend. We had a nice cabin on the side of the mountain with all of the amenities. We plugged the address into our Garmin Nuvi 260 and headed out. Little did I know that the curse of Friday the 13th was hiding just on the other end of the gorge. After our GPS unit took us on a very circuitous route to the cabin, we arrived on the western end of the neon horror show known as Pigeon Forge, TN. This shopping mecca was ablaze with all of the latest blinding computerized billboards that could possibly be packed along the sides of the road. Arriving near 6:30 p.m., we spent the next 30 minutes stalled in 6 lanes of traffic trying to negotiate the final 4 miles of highway before our turn-off to the cabin and an expected slice of Smoky Mountain tranquility.

Shortly after arriving at the cabin, the "Wood-Man" and I stepped outside to start the charcoal for supper. I stepped off of the deck into a pile of leaves covering the paver laden walkway below. Rather abruptly, I discovered that the leaf covered pavers didn't extend the full length of the steps. As I contemplated this fact from my now prone position beside the grill, I realized that the popping sound I had heard was my right ankle rolling off of the shortened pavers. Having been through many sprained ankles in the past, I was acutely aware of the swelling that was already beginning in the back of my ankle. The curse 1 - Zeke 0...

Now having the opportunity to reconsider my plans as I used the time tested ankle sprain reducing method of ice on - ice off, I settled in and enjoyed the remainder of the evening and nursed my excitement for the start of the Tour of California. We turned in and hoped for a good night of sound sleep, which more or less we accomplished. Heavy rains moved into the area after midnight but these were mostly just enjoyable on the tin roof of the cabin.

Arising this morning, the 14th, I quietly celebrated the end of another Friday the 13th. Little did I know that events of the previous evening were about to intervene in my ankle icing schedule for the day. Shortly after morning coffee, our cell phone rang. Our pet sitter was calling with the urgent news that our Labs (Zeke and Orla) had managed to get into their medication overnight and had eaten all of it! Worry over their condition resulted in phone calls back home to our Veterinarian, who advised that the dogs should be brought in immediately as the medication, in even small amounts, could lead to liver and kidney failure. To make a long and expensive story short, we had to get our close friend back in town to go get the dogs and take them to the Vet where they were started on activated charcoal, fluids, and had catheters inserted. The dogs are likely to spend the next 4 days under observation to be certain that they don't have some fatal response to their late night cavorting with their medications.

So, I end this entry knowing that my good buddies are safely in the care of the vet, my ankle is responding to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, and by golly Lance made a fine showing in the Prologue of the TOC today. The world is back in balance and Friday the 13th is over for...another month!

Until later,

-- Zeke
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