Spinning Wheels

bike wheel 0519I am trying to do too many things this morning, and getting pretty much nowhere with any of it — and it’s all depressing me. And I’ve barely made it out of bed — what does this portend for the rest of the day? Maybe the Boomtown Rats were right when they sang “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

In my in-box is an e-mail from Doctor on Demand (which I used one time at my health insurance’s recommendation, although I don’t know how much I’d recommend it) entitled “Mental health hacks you need to do right now.” I’m not sure when “hack” started to get so overused, and I should read this, but who has the time?

When I go to open a new tab in Firefox, it suggests reading I might like to undertake. Usually one of the three suggestions is for all the great credit cards I should apply for, so that’s easy enough to ignore, but there was the promise of an article from The Guardian about how an adrift boat with a LOT of cocaine changed some island that sounded quite interesting, and another from The Atlantic about how a university in Budapest is trying to stave off Viktor Orban’s attempt to make the Hungarian populace less educated (and more malleable, and I can’t help but note this is someone the U.S. president professes to admire, to the dismay of many Americans, regardless of party).

But it’s also Day Three of the Giro d’Italia, one of the three Grand Tours staged each year across the scenery of Europe for and by professional (male) bicyclists. Some people watch a lot of football; I watch Grand Tours. I also follow, more than participate in, a chat room of like-minded folks. This is coming in particularly handy this year, because I’m having trouble finding a place to watch the Giro.

The other two tours, the — I am blanking on the name of the biggest bike race in the world, honestly! — Tour de France, that’s it, and La Vuelta a Espana are covered by NBC Sports, and although I no longer pay the gold standard to have that as part of my satellite package, Lynn buys me NBC Gold each year so I can watch on my computer. It’s not nearly as convenient as watching on TV — and yes, I’m aware there’s some means of witchery by which I can make my computer show up on the TV screen.

But NBC lost out (or didn’t care to try for) a few years ago on the Giro, which was aired by Bein (it looks like “bine” but is “bee in,” like “be in sports,” I guess), and now I’m not sure who has it, other than subscription services that must be platinum rather than Gold, because their prices for a month are more than what NBC charges for a year.

So I was trying to find an alternate feed — last year I watched most of the Giro compliments of Israeli TV, covering it because the Israeli Cycling Academy fielded a team. And even though the ICA has a team again this year, I haven’t found my way to that, or any other foreign feed that I can access.

So I am reliant on the chat room for race updates. It’s not nearly as engaging as actually watching the race, which is probably just as well, because I’m trying to watch CBS This Morning and its multiple reports of who, exactly, is liable to be hurt the most by tariffs on Chinese imports. Though we weren’t specifically mentioned by name, I have big concerns about Pat’s Screen Printing and its customers being on this list.

While this same U.S. president insists that it’s all Chinese hurt, his own economic advisor contradicted that with Chris Wallace yesterday on Fox. And Jill Schlesinger of CBS did not help my mood when she was asked by the anchors if there are other places for American consumers to source goods. This is what Ms. Schlesinger reported:

Last year, with tariffs on washing machines, the price increased about $90 — just like it did on domestic models. And there was no tariff applied to dryers, but those prices went up $80 nonetheless. It’s just a darn good thing, now with new tariffs looming, that I’m not in the market for either a washer or a dryer. Oh, wait . . .

CBS, which was jam-packed with not-uplifting-news this morning (all of the Gulf Coast is under water, and the Mississippi River isn’t likely to reach its crest for another couple weeks), also featured the Connecticut attorney general, who is taking on companies that manufacture generic drugs.

We just learned last week from CBS that a lot of generics made in foreign countries are not made with the same level of oversight that is provided here in the U.S., and they may not be made to the proper specifications. Now AG William Tong alleges price-fixing among all these generic-drug companies, with ample evidence to back up his case. (There was apparently a segment on 60 Minutes about this last night, if you want to be completely outraged.) One drug he personally takes, he said, rose in price 8,000 percent. 8,000. Just because big companies can, I guess.

So I’m feeling very helpless in the face of big entities — can’t watch my race, can’t pay for my drugs, liable to fall victim on multiple fronts to trade wars — and I can’t get my mind to settle on which personal issue to focus on, either.

My “new” truck has undergone its second battery drain in the two weeks I’ve owned it, and I don’t understand why. This doesn’t appear to have been a problem for the previous owner, nor for my mechanic, who had it for most of a week (one of the things he liked about it was how it “started right up”). The first time it happened I decided I’d left the door ajar with the dome lights on, but I’ve been paying close attention to closing the door better, so now I have no explanation. I even left my solar trickle-charger plugged in.

And I could put it on our battery charger, but I can’t find that or anything else I need in the garage, so apparently I need to find time to scour the garage. I don’t think I like the accent paint I picked out for one of the bedrooms in the new house, and at some point I have to go back to Ace to see if I can find a turquoise that I might want to try on one wall in the otherwise white bathroom. Floor decisions need to be made . . .

And mostly I am expending brain power wondering if we can refuse showings of our house to agents (and their clients) from Crested Butte. We have not had a lot of showings, 10 or 11 total, and we still aren’t ready to move so that doesn’t bother me, but the feedback we’ve received from agents coming down from Crested Butte has been substantially more negative than that from Gunnison agents.

They seem — these people from the Land of Big and Growing Bigger Money — mostly outraged at our price, a price that was suggested by our realtor and not us. Last week’s agent noted that for this same price, she could find a new four bedroom, two-bath house. So then I am wondering, Why didn’t you take your client there instead?

I’m running long on my word count, which is lucky for you before I list everything I am thinking about Crested Butte real estate (although I would like to note we had a good experience with Kiley Flint, who sold us our lot), but you should know — in case it hast already become apparent — that my week is off to a very cluttered start.

 

 

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