bits and pieces

I did that thing again. I went out on my bike and tackled the trails. We’d had a week of rain and overcast skies, and I knew the trail was wet and muddy, so it wasn’t going to be a pleasant trek on those days. But then Saturday came, starting with rain and drizzle, and when I looked at the weather maps, we were pretty much done with the rain for the next week. That meant that I could get on the trail and grab some peddling time while everyone else feared more rain was to come. I started out under massing gray clouds, but by the time I got to my turnaround point, seen above, the sky was clearing. The week of rain had brought cooler temperatures too, so the ride was pleasant (though I did have to ride through some big puddles and a couple of spots of deep mud), and there were very few riders and runners on the trail, fearing more rain I suspect.

What you see above is the shipping container that the trail passes through below the construction on the interstate highway. It’s the green thing with the black maw.


The words “jock” and “jock strap” and “jockstrap” appear six times in the current manuscript of One-Match Fire. I know this because I did a word search for them, having found in one story that I use “jock strap” and in another “jockstrap.” (It’s about four men, two of whom go from boys to men in the story and two of whom are runners.) Based on the dictionary on my phone (and the one in the app on my computer), the proper spelling is as a single word. Now you know the proper spelling, should it come up in conversation. You don’t have to thank me.


I think I mentioned before that I have a mild “case” of synesthesia. I know the “color” of each letter of the alphabet, for example, and I can picture the “shapes” of most sounds. (Classical music is especially “shapely” to me.) I thought for a long time that everyone was this way, but it turns out most are not. I also used to think that everyone dreamed in color, as I do, but apparently that’s not true either.


I had a runner friend who is also a handyman come by one afternoon last week — during the rain, which was handy for the man — to shuffle through the itchy insulation in my attic, stepping from joist to joist, to seal some leaks in the roof (that the roofers didn’t). The leaks are most common during driving rains, which led me to think the flashing wasn’t sealed properly. I reasoned this through without having gone into the attic myself. When my friend got up there, he confirmed it through observation. And then he sealed every bit he could find as well as replace both the bulbs and the pull chains in the two light fixtures up there.*

I’ve lived in this house 31 years, and I think I’ve been into the attic four times, three of those times getting no farther than poking my head in through the access panel.


I currently have 12 story submissions circulating. That’s comprised of five stories as multiples and the One-Match Fire novel (in an earlier form) at a contest. The oldest is from last December, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a contender (though I’ve heard stories of older submissions getting accepted). I know/suppose I should be more aggressive about submitting my stories, but I’ve never been a hustler, and with my withered self confidence I understand why I’m not. Still.



*All of his work getting things done around my house motivated me to do some things myself! Fortunately, the feeling passed.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fathers and Sons, Ramblings Off Topic

2 Comments on “bits and pieces”

  1. markparis Says:

    I’m going to assume the handyman knew what he was doing, but I would have thought roof leaks would be sealed from the outside.

    I have noticed on occasion that most of my senses show up in my dreams, from smell and taste to color.

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    Mark – The “leaks” were where the flashing from a flat roof came into the higher attic beside it. The flashing came up the wall a few inches at least, but it wasn’t sealed against the wall in any way, and you could see daylight coming through. When wind-driven rain came down, it was apparently blowing up into the attic and over the flashing. So he sealed the top of the flashing in the attic to stop that. We now have a week of sunny weather, so I won’t know if it works until we get another hard rain.

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