I always love receiving phat checks in the mail unexpectedly. The one I got today comes just in time for RAGBRAI, the week long excursion across Iowa on a bike that I will do next week, with 10,000 like minded individuals.

As a private contractor, I have to take my vacations unpaid, and this little stipend more than compensates for the week's wages I am sacrificing to enjoy one of the funnest events I have ever participated in. RAGBRAI is by no means a cheap vacation. Even though it is travel by bicycle and lodging by tent and sleeping bag, there is no shortage of charlatans trying to exploit the event for money. Food and beer are overpriced. The bike shops that support the riders charge basically double their normal retail prices, and even the towels cost money when you want to take a shower.

So this recent influx of cash will make me less aggravated and pugilistic when I encounter there highway robbers. Thus I will be able to enjoy RAGBRAI quite fully.

Tomorrow is the Friday before the ride and it is going to be very difficult to focus at work. I am at a good stopping place on my projects though so I will manage. I take Buddy to the kennel in the morning and then my friend Sherry and I are taking Foster and her dogs, Bella and Curella, up to Oshkosh Friday night where we will stay over at Todd's, the friend who is dog sitting the Boston Terrors for us during RAGBRAI. We head out to Iowa butt early on Saturday morning to hook up with our bike team, TEAM CRAZY BIRD. After that all is unknown...

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