Sunday, May 25, 2014

Via ferrada

Went off with some new friends and climbed a Via Ferrada....BEAUTIFUL!

A via ferrada is one that has steel safety preinstalled, chains and cables and footholds for the more technical parts of the climb.  I am sure there are purists out there who scoff, but you know was seriously fun.

We were in Montserrat, and ended up at the mirador at the very stop...where I had seen folks appearing up the mountain side once before and very cool!

Well, today, it was Youngest and I who got to be cool, and it was AWESOME!

The photo below, we're part way up and looking to where we're going....

Looking back down, the furthest point is the previous photo

View of Montserrat

It's called the Teresina, it's 8K with 450 meters of elevation.  Fun.  The descent was scree, Youngest didn't love that part.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Attacked by a dog!!

No, really!

Well, the bag on my bike suffered, fortunately I didn't get a scratch.

I was riding near where we live on the bike, not even going all that fast cause there was so much water on the road I'd have drowned....and a REALLY BIG dog...something like a Pyrenees Mastiff or  Great Pyrenees...BIG! 120 pounds big, appeared down the driveway of a stable, barking, ran up to me and set it's teeth into the bag on my rack, just behind my butt, and pulled.  As in pulled the whole back of the bike sideways and the bag half off the rack.

Fortunately, it backed off a bit when I yelled, so we were stalemated for about 5 min, with me yelling at it, and it barking at me.  No owners, of course.

Finally, it decided that I was not going anywhere and went further away.  I stood around a while longer, they will chase you if you move, and had a debate about trying to walk into the stable, with the bike....which I could put between me and him if I had to....

It let me walk up the driveway (?) and I - finally - found someone who worked there.  The 'senyor' was sleeping.  Just as an aside, if you have a stable, shouldn't you be up before 7:45?  Just saying.

Anyway, I told him what happened, walked the bike back down the driveway, and slowly road off.

I eventually reported it to the police, showing the cop the multiple holes in my bag - not realizing until later that he had actually punctured through a semi-rigid plastic folder and the paper inside it and out the other side as well.

Not dull anyway!

I do have to say that I have gone past there before, and I've never seen the dog out, so something weird may have happened today, by the same token, another friend who has ridden there for years warned me that the dog was dangerous! 

Good gracious, never ever boring!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New on the bucket list

MUST go to Cappadocia.


I wanted to put up a single picture, but I am not sure I can find one that, well, seems to do it justice. 

Must go.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Turning down work

Honestly, if I could clone myself.

I currently have 5 jobs.  F.I.V.E.

And I got offered another today.

Lets see, I work for three different language academies, mornings, mid mornings and evenings more or less respectively.  Cool.

I work as an examiner for Cambridge exams, intermittent, but good for getting jobs, and makes me a better teacher along with bringing in some money from time to time.

Plus I work in Canada as a teacher of teachers, mostly summers with a bit of work month to month during the year.

All good.

Today I got a call offering me a couple of months substitution teaching in a high school.  The pay is good, the hours are fine, the students are big fat brats.  Big fat rich brats.  This school is well known for having truly pretty awful kids.  Not all of them, but a pretty big portion, lets say more than 50% are obnoxious. 10% truly horrid.

Ho hum.

Also it is a 2 month substitution with no hope of further employment, and it's a job I wouldn't want.  One of the things I like about my job(s) in the academies is that there is a HUGE variety of students and levels, I teach 4 year olds and retired people, I teach super prim rich women and young adults who dropped out of school have dreads and more tattoos than I care to count and I teach every level from beginners to people that are nearly fluent.  It makes it really interesting.  A high school does not offer this sort of range.  They are all much the same age, much the same level (mediocre to low) and have much the same interests.  Monoculture, more or less, with a few neat kids that are mostly keeping their heads down till they make it out of high school and can get on with all the fabulous ideas they have.  We know who we are or were.

Currently, I make fair money - just enough... just -  in a job (well 3 jobs) that I generally like and that I am, frankly, very good at, as I have been told this week by both some of my employers and a number of my students.  If I took this position as a sub, I would have to quit at least one of these jobs which also may impact on my employability next year. 

Ho hum.

Ultimately, I feel wrong bailing out on the work I have and the students I have now. It feels crappy.  And I like them. 

And I need work next year.

Still, it feels very strange to turn down work.   Very strange. 

Wonder how much I will twitch tonight instead of sleeping.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chuck vs Psycho cat

The man took Chuck out for a walk this morning, pretty normal, but on a narrow street up behind the house...they met psycho cat.

Now Chuck is afraid of cats.  His usual technique though is to ignore their existence.  He averts his eyes, moves away from the cat and goes by with as much speed and dignity as he can muster.

This is what he did today.  There was the cat, all arched and puffed up, he crossed to the far side of the street and looked away, but she came. after. him.  He apparently screamed like the man has never heard him before. Utterly terrified.

The cat took three or so runs at him, hissing and yowling, him screaming and running, the man hoping around too.....

Finally the man yelled at the cat enough that it let them go by, but his Chuckiness had no trouble relieving himself once they got to the park later.

Scared *less he was.

Poor pup.