I Ride the Iron Butt Rally in 2015

First, I know what you're going to say: Lisa will be most unhappy. The prohibition was clear. Keep your mind on the rally. We can send brief status messages to family but no blog-type activity to the world until the rally is over. I don't care. I'm an adult and I can decide for myself how to allocate my time. But thanks very much for your _input_, Lisa.

Things started well, but now.... Well, "hell in a handbasket" seems appropriate. I can't find my rally flag. And the rain is getting heavy. Jesus, where is it? It lives right here in the top case, or should. But at the last bonus I made a lot of clothing adjustments, moving stuff around, rain gear, and I guess the flag got moved too. Hell, do I have to unload all my stuff on the wet ground in the rain to find it? Yes, I have to unload all my stuff onto the wet ground in the rain.

Still can't find it. I'm starting to hyperventilate. Could I have left it at the previous bonus? Did I put it on the bike for the photo or put it on the sign? I can't remember. Get the camera out, check the last photo... Yes, it's on the bike in the photo. Surely I couldn't have left it there when I added clothing! But where the hell is it?

NOW what??!! Is that my cell phone alarm going off? It is. Dammit, I turned the phone off to conserve power, because I don't have any way to charge it on the bike. (How the hell could I have overlooked a charger for the phone?) And the rain has obviously gotten to the phone and done something to set off the alarm. I'm truly screwed. No call-in bonus, no emergency calls... Sweating, panting...

Phew! A blow to my chest expels what little breath I have left. I open my eyes to see Pepe staring at me, tail quivering. Of course, he always crawls out of the bedcovers when he hears the alarm and stands on my chest. Probably wasn't the best idea to take him on the Iron Butt Rally, though he seems happy enough about it. I yawn and then splutter and shake my head. "Dammit dog, do you have to stick your muzzle in my mouth every time I yawn?" Knowing he now has my attention, his tail-quiver turns into a massive (for a 13-pound dog) wag.

I flip him off my chest onto the floor and swing my legs out of bed. Out of bed? The fog starts to clear. I don't have to find my rally flag. I don't HAVE a rally flag. My stuff isn't getting wet in the rain. It's ok to write a blog entry, Lisa won't care. (Though, just to be on the safe side, please don't tell her. I don't know how long her reach extends.)

I pull on my pants, still slightly out of breath. Jesus, if I get this stressed just from READING about the damn rally, what must those poor riders be going through?

No class today. I'm going for a ride.