Saturday, January 17, 2009

Channeling Carl

The weather has improved dramatically. My gosh, it actually got into the 20's above zero today!

Now that things have warmed up from our ridiculous cold snap, the salt that the highway department dumped on the roads is finally starting to work. This means that the snow-packed roads that were not plowed exceptionally well (translation: most of the roads in my neighborhood) start to soften, developing the texture of a slushy snow cone. This is one of the things I dislike about winter. Makes for some interesting driving.

I was rounding a seemingly innocuous 90-degree corner on one of my little back roads coming home from work on Friday. To use some NASCAR terminology, my car started to push, with the front end heading straight instead of wanting to take the corner. I seriously thought I was going to slam into the curb and gutter. Not good.

I believe in that instant, I channeled the spirit of Carl Edwards. Immediately, I cranked the wheel left as far as it would go and eased off the throttle. I drifted The Silver Hornet perfectly around the corner, mere inches (I'm not exaggerating) from the curb, with a wall of snow being kicked up by my car.

It was a hell of a piece of driving, if I do say so myself. I felt like Carl hugging the wall at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Of course, as fortunate as I was to avoid bending a rim or knocking out the toe, it was a good lesson for me to mind my P's and Q's when driving in this crap! In fact, someone before me wasn't so lucky. You could see a spot where a vehicle had jumped the curb and ended up on a sidewalk. Ugh.

I was telling my Mom this story about how I became Carl Edwards, and she asked me if I did Carl's signature flip when I got home (Carl does a backflip off of his car when he wins races). I did not, as I probably would have hurt myself. But I was actually impressed with Mom's snappy response, as she does not even watch NASCAR! That was funny. And I was pissed that I didn't think of it first! :)

I will leave all the flipping to Carl...

(That reminds me, the Daytona 500 is less than a month away!)

Anyhow, in honor of the nicer weather, I ran 11 miles this morning when it was 17 degrees. This felt like a heatwave compared to the last few days. There was even a fairly stiff breeze this morning, so the wind chill made it feel colder than that. But still, it is hard to describe how much warmer it felt!

It was a good run today. I managed a decent pace (although the snow on the trails is starting to resemble the snow on the roads!). Not a lot of activity as far as wildlife is concerned. I saw some chickadees and juncos, and I heard a pileated woodpecker cackling in the woods.

Dinner this evening was an old favorite, Giada's balsamic roasted chicken. I just love this dish. Not only does the marinade of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil add a wonderful flavor and help to keep things moist, but the skin develops a beautiful dark lacquered color. Delicious! I just love Giada's recipes.

Giada's Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Until next time,

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