14 December 2008
I was thinking in the car on the way home, and I realized something about having moved to the city. I moved to the city a couple of years ago.
I had a fantasy of living in a neighborhood where work would be a couple of miles away, the grocery store close, perhaps a fruit and vegetable stand, a baker etc. Somewhere I wouldn't have to drive or go to giant chain stores.
I realized last night that that is exactly what I've found. It took a while, but that's what I have here. It's good.
My good friend Weneh accused me of never posting on my blog at a party tonight.
I will try harder to post a little more often. I don't have much to say, but I have a few things.
One of my places of employment has their website up. I either do or soon will have a bio up there. It is made of awesome.
In the meantime, here a few old pictures of me.
I miss the good bits of being in the SCA. I sure don't miss the crap.
28 November 2008
23 November 2008
I started a couple of weeks before I left TC, as a control as it were.
I dont' have the log here with me tonight, so actual numbers will have to wait.
19 November 2008
I had jury duty last week. They kept me for a couple of days, then they let me go without being on a jury. The defendant beat up his girlfriend, including using a bat. (!) she wants to go back to him, so the defense really needs to appeal to the emotions of the jury. I think they threw anyone off who seemed smart. Ah, well. I served my civic duty anyway. Yay civic duty!
A new opportunity came my way last week also. I'm a barista at Northwest Coffee now. I'm working at Velocity part time on bikes, and at Northwest instead of my cafe shifts. This is awesome. I'll get to learn how to repair espresso machines, and Eric (the boss at NW) knows more about the science of coffee than about anybody. That will be great.
That's all for now. Really it's not, I have lots to say, but I'm busy. :P
12 November 2008
04 November 2008
But I had to say "No, Mr. Nader, I voted for you once, and it has caused me no end of trouble!"
So, I'm sorry Mr. Nader, but I didn't vote for you this time.
As an old friend said "There's not always a Democrat to vote for, but there's always a Republican to vote against."
02 November 2008
I had to work until 9:30, but a gang of us went on a post-work bike ride. We wore costumes and drank beer. It was good. Fewer than the ideal number were there, but that was okay. We rode to get beer. I bought a can of Sapporo. Japans oldest brand, apparently. It was okay, and the can fits just right into a bottle cage. Cool!
We went to the Atomic Cowboy. They wanted a cover charge, and we paid it before I managed to object. It was really crowded, but fun. There is discussion of making this a regular ride. Like the FBC in miniature. Cool.
20 October 2008
And they're open for business.
I'm going to be wrenching about 1/2 time and barista-ing the other half.
It will be good to change things up some.
There is a catch, though. It is currently 5:20 in the am. I have to be at work in about half an hour. I can count the times I've gotten up this early since I was in college on one hand. It hurts.
03 October 2008
I got it on the first, but knew it was a little bouncy. They asked me to wait until this morning to cash it. At noon, I went to get the monies, and the bank declined to. The secretary told me to wait until Monday.
So, I quit. It leaves my direct co-workers in a bit of a bind, but the owner put them there, not me.
This gives me an unexpected few days off before I start my new job.
01 October 2008
25 September 2008
Posted from Craigslist.
Manly Bike for Sale
Date: 2008-07-22, 10:18AM PDT
Bike for sale
What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick ass spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you're way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan's mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are. Not having a rear reflector is like saying "FUCK YOU CAR, JUST TRY AND FIND ME".
The bike says Giant on the side because it's referring to my junk, but rest assured even if you have tiny junk that Giant advertisement is going to remain right where it is. I bought this bike for 300 dollars from a retired mercenary that fought in both World War 1 and World War 2 and had his right arm bitten off by a shark in the Phillipines while stationed there as a shark handler. When he sold it to me I had to arm wrestle him for the honor to buy it. I broke his arm in 7 places when I did. He was so impressed with me he offered me to be his son but I thought that was sissy shit so I said no way.
The bike has some rusted screws, but that just shows how much of a bad ass you are. Everyone knows rusted screws on a bike means that you probably drove it underwater and that's bad ass in itself. Those screws can be replaced with shiny new ones, but if you're going to go to that trouble why not just punch yourself in the balls since you're probably a dickless lizard who doesn't like to look intimidating.
The bike is for men because the seat is flat or some shit and not shaped like a dildo. If you like flat seated bikes you're going to love this thing because it doesn't try to penetrate your ass or anything.
I've topped out at 75 miles per hour on this uphill but if you're just a regular man you'll probably top it out at 10 miles per hour. This thing is listed as a street bike which is man-code for bike tank. The bike has 7 speeds in total:
Gear 1 - Sissy Gear
Gear 2 - Less Sissy Gear
Gear 3 - Least Sissy Gear
Gear 4 - Boy Gear
Gear 5 - Pre-teen Boy Gear
Gear 6 - Manly Gear
Gear 7 - Big Muscles Gear
I only like gear 6 and 7 to be honest.
Additionally, this tool of all immense men comes with a gigantic lock to keep it secure. The lock is the size of a bull's testicles and tells people you don't fuck around with locking up your bike tank. It tells would-be-thieves "Hey asshole, touch this bike and I'll appear from the bushes ready to club you with a two-by-four".
Bike is for 150 OBO (and don't give me no panzy prices)
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
I mentioned yesterday that the new bike is ordered. (that's not it, just a refrence)
That is the case. The parts should arrive tomorrow. Mine will be green rather than the slate blue on both of these. I'm getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker, and I'm really excited! It has wound up being slightly cheaper than I expected, but I haven't cut corners on parts. I've left some room for upgrading in the future depending on how I use it, but I think that the initial build will be rock solid. This is not the bike, but it is the same model. Note, I've put the geeeking out after the pictures, so skip it if you like. You've been warned.
I think I'm most excited on the wheels. They're going to be nothing particularly special, LX hubs with the alex rims that I really like. I'm going with 36 spokes, since I want to do touring. I'm also doing something funky with the shifters. I really hope I'll like it. I'm putting a STI lever on the right, but a bar end on the left. I'm a little afraid that the mis-matched levers will look goofy, but I think I'm really going to like the friction shifter for the front. I mostly use the rear, and STI levers are super-expensive. Even the Tiagra which I went with for the 9 speed. I've got a 9 sp mountain drivetrain right now, but I might switch the crank-set out for a road triple. I really wanted the super-low granny gear for now. it remains to be seen how much I'm going to be commuting and how much I'll be touring on this bike. (also, the difference between 48t and 53t on the big ring is not that huge)
24 September 2008
31 August 2008
Some jerk yelled stupid things at me from his car. I don't really mind, I hope that he recovers from his road rage and feels bad. Maybe even that he grows up a little. Jerks yelling from their cars has never bothered me much when I'm on my bike. I dunno why, but they don't.
He was not even the jerkiest person to yell at me ever, or the most random. That goes to the guy in the old T-bird who yelled "get on the sidewalk you faggot!" at me one day as I was heading up a hill. I wasn't in his way or anything. I mean, top that.
Okay, I've dwelled on this jerk long enough. I'm done.
If you've got anything choice that someone has yelled, I'd like to hear about it.
25 August 2008
I hate people.
Sort of surprising the number of persons I like individually. They fail to outweigh the sheer numbers of people ripe for my hatred.
Really, I should probably get out of retail.
I'm not sure if I'm just an introvert who works in retail, and I've been driven to misanthropy, or if my experience in retail has shown me the ugly underbelly of humanity. Currently, I'm leaning towards the latter.
Also, I haven't posted in a while. It's been a super-busy summer, I sold one of my bikes, and I hope to buy a new one soon.
06 June 2008
This stuff is So good.
Also, I'm back from Canada. Many photos and stories to post. I would say that I'll do it in the next couple days, but I probably won't. I'll try to do it sometime before I die.
in the meantime, watch the damn video.
Also, you can download their album from Itunes. I did, you should too.
16 May 2008
I totally failed to ride in to work today. I saw a few commuters, but not me.
"why, oh, why didn't you ride your bike to work today, of all days?" you may ask. Well, I say, I had a decent excuse.
My commuting bike was at work already, so I couldn't very well ride it in.
Anne and I had the day off yesterday, so we went to Columbia to visit some friends Wednesday night, and spent some time wandering our old stomping grounds yesterday. I rode in to work Wednesday, then Anne picked me up so we could fly straight to "college town, USA" asap.
The original plan had been to spend a couple days bike touring and camping in the Columbia region, but it transpired that I would have to work on Friday. So, the plan morphed into taking a ride around Columbia on Thursday. Then it was going to be cold and rain on Thursday, so we wound up at the last minute not even taking our bikes with us to spare them the sitting out in the rain and not being ridden they would have been subjected to.
So, in the end, Stupid.
Hopefully, you managed to bike to work today, doing a better job of it than I.
11 May 2008
Anyway, Anne and I went to Marble Creek a couple weeks ago. It's part of the National Forest system. The National Forests are a Fantastic place to camp! Less built up than State Parks, and less crowded!
On the way there, we stopped at Fort Davidson, which was apparently an important battlefield in the Civil War.
Here's a picture of the walls of the fort. Really, it's just a redoubt, but even after 150 years, it wouldn't be a good time to try to storm it.
On to our actual destination, The Marble Head camping area!
There was a stream (the marble head creek) right next to our camping site, it was great!
We could hear it all weekend. We tried to go hiking, but the section of Ozark trail that is at Marble Head was too soupy. We wound up leaving a little early and stopping at Elephant Rocks state park. That was fun. It started raining just as we got back to the car.
23 April 2008
Maybe nobody gets the joke. Maybe my blog readers are a bunch of smarties who do get the joke, but see it as the only very slightly funny pun that it is.
Maybe nobody reads those subtitles, and nobody reads the blog except a very few friends.
That seems the most likely.
Read the subtitle on my blog! It's right up there ^^
...and it's a clever joke.
or, it was once.
We hadn't seen him in a while, and it was good to catch up. He had what was basically a 11 hour layover in St. Louis, so we only got to visit a little and sleep, but it was good.
Also, Anne finishes her Masters exams tomorrow (!!!!) so we're going camping this weekend!
We haven't decided where yet, but we're going!
Hopefully (unlike usual) I will manage to take some pictures this time. Our big ride this past Sunday including the Riverfront trail, Laclede's landing, and Earth day? We took the camera, but nary a photo. Really, I need to figure out a better plan.
It happens all the time, I'm riding, and I say "wow, that would be a good picture, but I'm having fun riding, I don't want to stop."
Thus, No pictures.
Well, maybe I'll do better this time.
18 April 2008
This time (Yesterday) Anne and I went to Bayers and bought ourselves some poop and some bedding plants! Then, we tilled up a section of yard (henceforth to be known as "the garden") mixed in the poop, then planted! Woo! That's about all of note for this post.
02 April 2008
First, I finally got around to getting some SPD pedals and some mountain shoes last week. These are cycling shoes with a metal cleat on the bottom that clips into your pedals. It's like toe-clips, but much, much better. It is in fact, Awesome. The shoes are comfy, and don't have laces to get caught. They are velcro shoes, but I'll forgive them that because it's for a good reason. Don't let that dissuade you, they are totally awesome! My coworkers have been telling me for months and months that clipless pedals are the best possible way to go, and now I believe them 100% (I still don't like road shoes, though)
A nice thing about these shoes is that they're well designed to vent air in between your toes so you don't get so sweaty. My feet sweat a lot when I'm wearing shoes, because I don't when I can help it. So this will usually be a great feature. The downside, is, not surprisingly, that they will blow air in between your toes all the damn time. These days it seems that, no matter how nice it's supposed to be during the day, it's 35 deg. out when I leave for work. This means that my toes first sweat, then the frigid air blows on them, then they go numb. Brrr! The first day this happened, last week, As I was riding, worrying a bit about the condition of my toes, I thought to myself, "self, all you really need is some sort of plastic barrier to stop the wind. Perhaps a cheap plastic bag of some sort, you had better use that on the way home" Within 10 minutes of arriving at work, as I was massaging the life and blood back into my toes, one of my co-workers asked me if I was familiar with "The bread-bag trick" It seems I am not the first clever fellow with cold toes. Stu!
The second point, I finally got around to buying a thermos that I can use for commuting. I have a green Stanley thermos, which is the bestest thermos ever, it will keep coffee too hot to drink for 8 hours. Unfortunately, it is fairly big and fairly heavy. Not perfect for backpacking or bike commuting. My former co-worker, Chris, had a very cool REI thermos which was smaller and lighter than mine, in fact, designed for backpacking.
So, this morning, I pulled in, stopped sweating, warmed up (yes, I know, but that's how it works) changed, then? I had a piping hot cup of joe! Kick ass! There is a coffee maker here at work, but I'm the only coffee drinker, and I won't make it just for myself. Also, I like milk in my coffee, and it's too much trouble to keep milk in the fridge at work. On the other hand, the little REI thermos is perfect for a couple cups of coffee, where I can add whatever I want at home.
Really, few things in life beat a nice hot cup of coffee after a cold ride. Really, it's as good as a cold beer after a hot ride.
31 March 2008
I've been getting my bicycle commute dialed in at the new store. I had it pretty well figured out nearly a year ago, but then I spent most of the intervening year working in other stores.
I managed to ride one and a half times last week in between the days of raining. On Friday, it was splendid. I got off the train early, took an extraneous lap of Forest park, then stopped at Vitale's bakery for some bread to take to my in-laws on Sunday. It was really good. (both the ride and the bread)
Tonight we are going over to an unusual location for nerd-night. Normally, this would mean organizing such that I could pick Anne up on the way. It turns out that my friend Ed lives very near Midland Drive. Huh! That's only about 6-7 miles from the store! I thought I might ride to work, then just ride to Ed's. Then I looked at the forecast. 90% chance for heavy thunderstorms this afternoon Esp around 3-5. When I would be riding. Damn! I don't really mind a little rain, but I'm not really up to plotting a new course in a downpour.
It occurred to me belatedly that I could have ridden up, then had Anne pick me up from work if it was raining hard. but, by then it was too late. Oh, well. Maybe next time.
I hope it's nice the next day I get off earlier than the now usual 8:00. I might ride home on Midland/Delmar. It's like 17-18 miles. Maybe I'll have the road bike dialed in, and it will be a good day for that.
We managed to carpool with my parents from KV to North English, IA. It would be a ~6 hour drive straight from St. Louis, so that was good. It saved us about half the driving we would have had.
I gotta say, working retail kind of sucks. It's really hard to get two days off in a row, so it's hard to visit people. Being in the SCA would be nearly impossible, so in a way I'm glad that I don't miss it too much. I do miss it some, though.
Other than that, work is going well, we're getting busy, and that's nice. I have more to say, but maybe another post is the best place.
18 March 2008
I loves me some bubble tea.
Unfortunately, it has rained pretty much since then. Bleh!
I find it to be pretty difficult to get organized to go bike commuting to work when I know it's raining before I leave. :P That means I've been driving more than I like this week.
Also, this week we go to summer hours here at lovely TC. That means a return of the 10 hour days I love so much. So much. Or not. bleah. 10 hour days.
12 March 2008
05 March 2008
I had quite the winter adventure yesterday.
Against my better judgment, I set out for work (leaving extra time) at 9:00. Normally the drive takes me ~20-25 min. The roads were slick, snowy and getting slicker. When I saw that the highway was going under 20 MPH, I should have cashed it in right then, but I stuck it out. At 10:30, after 90 minutes of driving, I got the truck firmly stuck on the I-70 on-ramp. This held up traffic until a cop showed up, determined that I really was good and stuck, and called a tow-truck. The tow-truck (actually a rolloff truck) driver was nice, he pulled my truck up onto the back, and away we went.
After some sliding on the part of the truck (with my truck on the back) We eventually made it to the garage. Nothing was wrong with my truck, and I wasn't given a ticket, so that was all good. On the other hand, I couldn't really get anywhere. The driver offered to drop me off at the metro station on his way to his next pickup. (in fact a USPS truck stuck in a ditch) I got onto the train at the North Hanley Station.
Strangely, there were about three people waiting for the train, and about eight employees shoveling the platform. They were not shoveling the walk, stairs, or bus platform. Just the train platform. Over and over as far as I could tell. (it Was snowing really hard, but one or two people shoveling it over and over might have been enough, imo) Once I achieved train-dom, I saw that all the platforms had a similar surfeit of employees. Mysterious. At length, the train stopped at the old familar CWE station. Yay! My travails were almost at an end.
After a 30 minute wait for a bus, I secured a position of the number 93, which would take me the remaining 2.5 miles home. I spent much of that time standing under the canopy, watching the snow come down as hard as I think I ever have. It was nearly a white-out. The roads were getting slicker all the time, and the bus I was on had started to slide around more than I was comfortable with.
So it was, with some relief, that I disembarked by Anthino's Taverno, and trudged the remaining couple of blocks home. Anne greeted me with dry clothes, hot tea, hot soup, and fresh biscuits. Have I mentioned lately that she's the best ever? Thus, at 1:00 pm. My aborted trip to work ended. Four hours, and my car was still in Edmunsun, MO.
This morning, I got on the bus early to catch the train up to N. Hanley so I could pick up the car. The roads are much much better today.
Have I learned a lesson? Yes! St. Louis is blessed with a mediocre public transit system, but when the weather is awful, for god's sake, take it! it will save you hours and hours.
03 March 2008
02 March 2008
I made up a verb.
I'm doing a favor for my buddy, Matt, the Casey Ryback of team Segal fame.
Working in the Manchester store today. Fun Fun!
As a side note, it is the most beautiful day EVER! I really really want to be out riding my bike. There is some chance that Anne and I will manage a ride after I get off work. I hope it's not getting too dark and cold at 5:30. Though there is a certain appeal to riding in the dark when it's not too cold.
The moving in goes well. we overcame the stupid combination of a dual key deadbolt (you need a key to open it from either direction) and not having the key to open our back door this morning. We also bought new locks for house so we can change them out. Yay!
27 February 2008
We have all of the boxes and junk in our house.
Now begins the long slow uphill struggle to find each of our pieces of junk a place in the new house.
Additionally, it has been a remarkably busy week at work. I may be getting a promotion to be the manager of the store I work at. Certainly, Chris, the current manager is leaving. He put in his two weeks notice on Monday, but has apparently been told to go by this Friday. Woah! Alarming.
Troubles seem to come in packs. Not that these things are necessarily troubles, but they are certainly big stuff.
19 February 2008
18 February 2008
How can so many people act so dumb? Are they drunk? Are they really as stupid as they act?
If that is the case, how did they manage to live so long?
They seem to not hear you unless you tell them what they want to hear. I got a phone phone call from a customer at the bike shop today.
Him: Uh... Yeah, do you guys uhhh fix uhhh hand brakes?
Me: yes, we do.
Him: how much would uhhh, it uhhh, be to uhhh, fix my hand brakes? Like it uhhh, doesn't work. (at this point, I've edited out the stammering, but it continues)
Me: Well, I can't really say for certain without seeing it. There are a wide variety of things that could be wrong. The best thing to do would be to bring it in, so I could have a look at it. Estimates are always free.
Him: well, like, how much would it be to fix?
Me: It's hard to say. I'd really have to have a look to say for certain. It would be about $10 to adjust them, or about $15 if you need to replace the cable and housing. That is a fairly common problem.
Him: well, like, the if you squeeze the lever it doesn't stop. How much to replace the cable and the back part?
Me: Well, the cable and adjustment would be around $15, and new calipers (the "back part") are around $20, though that depends some on the style.
Him: Uhh, I dont' think it's, like, the caliper. Like, when you squeeze the handle, it doesn't stop.
Me: Well, I really should have a look at it. If the caliper is not moving, it could be that your cable is seized up, and you would need to replace the cable and housing. Though I can't say for certain without actually looking at your bike.
Him: But like, how much would that cost?
Me: the cable and housing? That would cost right about $15.
Him: $15? thanks.
I mean WTF? Do people call car mechanics and say things like “so , my car doesn't run, what would it cost to fix?” ...Well, come to think of it, they probably do.
If provided with some actual information, I can make an educated guess as to what's wrong with a bike. Given a description of symptoms which are vague and possibly contradictory, there's not much I can do.
Why are people so dumb?
my fantasy conversation:
"uhh, what's it cost to fix my bike, so like when you push the thing the other thing goes "click" then it like goes thump and stops"
Me: Oh, that's the very common "thing, click, thump, stop" That's twenty billion dollars. then there's a lubrication surcharge of $1.50.
It's extremely awesome! Very small. The upstairs is actually somewhat smaller than our apartment. The full basement makes up for that, but we're apparently getting a ping-pong table. (!)
There are more pictures on my flickr account. (see side bar)
24 January 2008
Anne and I are buying a house, and the store I work at is closing. Like now. I'm going to (yet) another store in the company.
More later, I think.
10 January 2008
91% Dennis Kucinich
85% John Edwards
81% Chris Dodd
81% Barack Obama
79% Joe Biden
76% Hillary Clinton
72% Bill Richardson
31% Rudy Giuliani
23% John McCain
21% Ron Paul
19% Tom Tancredo
18% Mitt Romney
17% Mike Huckabee
9% Fred Thompson
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Who is Mike Gravel? I seem unlikely to get my way exactly. On the other hand, I'd be pretty okay with about any of the Dems. running this year.
Thanks, Wendy for the link!
04 January 2008
Yay! I can hardly wait to see them. I haven't really gotten to see Amanda in quite a while.
So, I've been very busy. Not much to report; cooking, cleaning, and wrapping.
I didn't manage the 3 out of four days commuting last week, only two. This week between being very busy and Very cold days, I've only managed a couple days, also. Though, I rode in today, and it was good.
The weather was really nice today, so nice that I under-dressed. brr. This is the first winter I've bicycled much, and I'm trying to figure out a good balance of clothing at various temps. I think it will take a lot of trial and error.