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September 22, 1998
a year ago

Of Pie Plates, Suits and Bikes

It started with a pie plate. A ceramic pie plate, hand thrown, deep, with goats painted on the inside. It had the rest of the portabello mushroom quiche in it, about half, flake crust and dark mushrooms in the rich egg custard. The quiche was for lunch. Lunch, along with an armful of work related things came out with me to the Stoat as John came out of the garage with my Cannondale bike. The bike was going to the bike shop at lunch time, along with our lunch, as the bike had a free 90 day tune up, and I'd ridden it a good 100 miles since buying it and it needed it pretty thoroughly. The quiche and its pan, yes, I haven't forgotten about the pan, were set on the right front fender's traction plate while I helped John put the bike up on the rack. The rack floats over the heads of John and I, as it's attached to the roll bar and the frame for the canvas top that usually lies folded up in the back compartment of the Stoat. The Stoat has a right front traction plate because all Landies have traction plates on the front fenders, in case you have reason to climb onto the top of the front fenders, which can be necessary for putting on the roof, pulling the spare tired bolted to the center of the hood (or bonnet if you're British), or simply if one decides it would be more British to climb over the windshield to enter the car, as one fine gentleman from Britain once did in Ascot and suit.

Once the bike was situated, I put the armload of Things into the Stoat's front compartment and then carefully put myself in as well, watchful of the long tails of the banker's suit. I was wearing all of The Suit other than pants. I was wearing, instead, a pair of grey leggings that went well enough. We were going to drop by the cleaners to pick it up on the way to work, then I could change at work.

We bounced our usual way up the driveway, then through the development, where all the kids were lined up for school, and they were murmuring to themselves as they usually were and staring at us as they usually were. As we stopped, I heard this kid going, "Why do they have a car with..." and we took off in our left turn onto the road heading down from the plateau. The windy road was as always, the stop at the bottom of the hill a bit more abrupt as someone was actually coming towards us. Then we headed north along East Lake Sammamish road, and I was thinking about picking up my suit, when we were actually going to be able to stop to let me off to get to the place and John was going to put diesel into the tank.

The traffic slowed, then slowed again, then stopped, and started, sometimes long fits, as if we were following some school bus or something. The bike dripped on me, but I was wearing a trenchcoat over the Coat, so wasn't worried about the wet, but looked up anyway. John looked up at one of the stopping points, then frowned and asked me, "Where is the quiche?"

I blinked.

I looked out onto the front right fender.

The plate was still perfectly perched on the right front fender.

John burst out laughing.

We stopped at the next stop in traffic. I hopped out, grabbed the plate, hopped back in and John was laughing hard enough he couldn't breath for a bit. Luckily, the traffic remained stopped. I laughed somewhat with him and then shook my head and set the plate carefully on the seat between us.

Yeesh, talk about luck.

The pants were ready, and we picked them up, no problem, and I got to work, changed and started wandering about in a three-piece suit. I don't normally wear suits, so it was an odd sensation to walk around in lined wool with the soft rustle of satin linings against skin. Everyone likes how it looks on me, and I was pleased by that. It even managed to make it so that no one wondered why I was wearing it. For a programmer to be wearing a suit and have no one ask why is a fair representation of how extraordinary this suit is.

We took the bike to the shop for lunch, and Ray rode with us to find lunch. Instead of eating the lucky quiche, we decided to find lunch near the bike shop. It was interesting to walk through Bellevue, as it is a fairly dense business district, so there were a lot of suits. What was interesting was that I turned heads nearly everywhere, probably as much because of the blue hair as because of the suit. My bike was suitably covered with mud as I handed it over to the service department, and the woman behind the counter was pleased to accept it and write out a slip for me be used to claim it when they were done. I think I've done about a hundred miles in 90 days, which isn't too bad, but isn't a huge amount either.

There is an authentic Mexican restaurant in Old Town, the older side of Bellevue along Main Street. They make their own everything, and have some of the best Mexican food I've had anywhere. Ray had never eaten there, so we decided to introduce him. It was much better than John remembered, though about as good as I remembered. The food was fresh and well made, hearty and spicy, tasty in that way which all good food can be when it is made with great care. We decided that we had to get everybody at work to come to this restaurant for lunch someday.

I also remembered that we still had the half gallon of half and half at home, and we had to make the ice cream sometime soon. John proposed that we bring it to work tomorrow and make it in the sink in the kitchen. That would probably be really good.

I spent most of the afternoon without the overcoat on, as it was hotter than I really wanted to wear. And the remaining pieces of the suit still looked pretty good. The whole thing is remarkably comfortable, not something I expect from a suit, but it was very nice to experience, given how it's built. I enjoyed that quite a lot.

Spent most of the evening, after John went to soccer writing and wandering about the net. Contemplating gifts and thoughts and things. Did the fix I wanted to during the day, got things tested and so now I'm pursuing random messes in the code. Things that GPF in the night.

Amusingly enough Bryant has moved, so the IP address may be taking a while to propagate through the system, in the midst of doing all that, he blamed me for a good deal of the traffic that the machine is getting, as a good quarter of the mailing list recipients are on my lira-kin list, and then there was the matter of how many hits my home pages actually get, as well as the journal. I've never tracked those, never really even thought about them, and when I have thought about them, I just haven't really wanted to know who or what or how many actually read. I'll let all you guys read in private and in peace, knowing that you aren't count, around tracked and aren't being traced in anyway. I have to admit it'd probably be something of an ego boost to figure out the numbers, but it might well be an ego burst as well. <wry grin> Yeah, that's me, always thinking the worst.

Anyway, I told him to just not tell me, and that I'd ask if I ever wanted to actually know.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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