I have been away at another conference, this time in San Juan, Puerto Rico where it was warm and humid–easy weather for dressing this girl who is still stocked for living in New Orleans. I had a good trip seeing friends and colleagues, thinking and talking about new ideas, staring at the ocean and swimming in it, and maybe gambling some pennies away, but oh boy, was I happy to come home to Baltimore. And today I was super happy to be back on my bicycle, if only to ride down the hill to do some grading, up the hill to drop off papers, and then back down to Harbor East to zone out to a really terrible movie. I got some groceries, tied everything to the bike, and rode back home. But first I took a picture of these poinsettias. It didn’t feel much like slouching toward Christmas with the summery heat in San Juan, but here it’s chilly and already there are carols everywhere–not my fave, but what’re you going to do. I took the terrible bike lane on President Street because I just wanted to get home. They’re redoing the sidewalk we’re supposed to ride on at Fayette, and they’ve removed the asphalt patches that were the temporary fix on the Fallsway bike path. You go away for a week and they mess up all the infrastructure–harrumph. It’s the holidays, so I’m going to imagine it is all on the way to something bigger and better that will prioritize cyclist and pedestrian safety. Regardless, I’m just glad to be back on the bike so I can track every change as it happens and have Very Strong Opinions about it all, because that’s a nice part of home for this cat.