24 October 2009

Bike bar party Amoeba, Ho!!

One short hour until the bike bar party amoeba sets forth!
The excitement is palatable.
By that I mean that it is very tasty. It tastes quite like taco salad, in point of fact.

Why a bike bar party amoeba?
It's an amoeba because it may split, divide, or "mitose" at any moment. It may also absorb any smaller, lesser, weaker, parties that it comes across.

"Bike" because, well, we'll be riding bikes. duh.

"bar" because we plan to stop at bars. duh.

"party" because, well, just because. Because I said.

As a side note, I don't use the word "pecuniary" enough. I intend to use it in conversation today. Also "pulchritude" I don't under use Pulchritude.

28 September 2009

Fixed Something Else!

The utility sink in the basement has been cracked since we bought this house, it finally got bad enough that we needed to replace it.
Anne and I installed a new sink in our basement this weekend.
Horray! We can plumb!

16 September 2009


We (Anne and I) fixed our kitchen drain today!
Woo! We can do this stuff!
We found a big puddle in the kitchen cupboard this morning, and with two trips to the hardware store and one to the plumbing supply store, I think it's fixed. Took hours, and a long time with the hacksaw.

Final analysis is still pending, we might get home and find a mess tonight.

Still, it was good.

13 August 2009

Letter to my Senators

This is a copy of the letter I sent to my senators.

First of all, I would like to say that I am a voting Missouri resident.
Second, I would like to share with you my thoughts on health care.
We have a tough decision to make regarding health care. This decision cannot be put off any longer than is has already. We need to decide if we want to join the ranks of the preeminent industralized nations of the world or if want to languish in squalor.
Health care has become unaffordable for all but the wealthy in the United States. We must access to health care open to all citizens of the United States.
Our only alternative is to admit that we have faltered and that we are no longer a country of equals, but that we are stratified into a ruling bourgeois and a proletariat.

Really, That's all I have to say on the issue.

11 August 2009

too much espresso...

I've had too much espresso this morning.

The espresso has had a bit of a bitter taste lately which is not my favorite.
I blame an itenerant batch of Columbia. Not the usual stuff, it was organic instead of our usual excelso. Anyway, it's gone, replaced with a Peru. That has made the bitter taste dissappear.
So, when I got here I had a double shot. It was so yummy I had to follow it up with another one. Then a couple of people ordered drinks with odd numbers of shots, leaving one left over from each. Cant' let those go to waste.

So, I'm a bit jittery this morning.

07 August 2009

July! July! July!

Has never seems so strange?
Anne and I went on vacation in July, and I took over roasting at Northwest.

And, I rode a bicycle across Missouri! Ha!
I will say that for an epic ride in July, it was not too hot, not too rainy and very nearly perfect.
I will also say that there are apparently mosquitos large enough to have stripes along the Missouri river. Seriously, I would have thought they were mosquitohawks if it had not been biteing me.

You can read more about the trip on my other blog. It's invitation only, so if you are reading this, just email me (Brian dot Romine at gmail) and I'll send you an invitation.

01 July 2009

Busy Month!

For obvious reasons, I tend to post less when I'm busy, and thusly should have more to say. Well, I have been Very busy this past month, so I have not posted at all.

First and most interestingly, I have taken over as the roaster for Northwest Coffee Roasting. Awesome. I've been doing all of the roasting for two weeks, and Eric (the soon to be former roaster) has a couple of roasting days left before he's gone entirely.

Secondly, we got rear eneded in our truck. The bumper was dented. The other guys car may be totalled. It's fixed now. The other guys insurance company seems to have done right by us. Who knew that ever happened?

Thirdly, Anne and I were in our first ever bike race. It was awesome. We were promised fun, and it was delivered. I will only divulge details on the bike race in person, so ask.

Fourthly, our garden has taken off. Crazy! We've got carrots, we'll have tomatoes eventually, we've planted some herbs, and our beans seem to be dieing. :( I spent a while weeding this morning. I pulled up about a bushel of mint. Lots of mint.

Fifthly, Anne's latin class has just finished. It is good. 5 weeks is not enough to learn Latin. Also, Latin grammer is stupid hard. Really. I found a page she conjugated a verb on. Just one verb. The chart spilled over onto the back. A Latin verb conjugated into like 70 forms. I'm not kidding.

Finally, We have jumped into high gear in preparing for our vacation in less than two weeks now. We're taking the train to Sedaila, and biking back. It's a long way. 225ish miles. We'll have a week. We might skip it if the weather is awful, but right now it looks like it will be good.

27 May 2009

My sister got married

My sister got married last weekend. It was good. For reasons that are not at all clear to me, she chose to get married in St. Charles, MO. If you aren't from around here, St. Charles is like St. Louis, but with more cars, no soul, and nothing of any interest. I had been in St. Charles last summer once, but not since. I forgot how much I dislike it.

But I digress. My sister's wedding was very nice. I got to see many relatives who I don't get to see very often. Why am I so bad at keeping up with people I don't see regularly? I don't know.

Our summer is filling up fast. We really hope to go to KC for a weekend in addition to everything else we had planned. I'm really looking forward to that trip, we'll just need to find a place for it. We also want to go to North English to see my grandpa. That will be good, too.

13 May 2009

New Layout!

Yay! A new Layout!
I think I like it, but the jury is still out. I'm using the new "blogger layout make things easier" thing. I kind of miss getting my hands into the HTML, but we all saw how often I did that. Sorry about all the broken links, btw.
My bloglist is shorter than it used to be. Not to name names, but many folks have given up posting entirely, or locked their blogs down (Wendy!)

I'm curious about feedback. There could well be more changed on the horizon.

5 star day?

My horoscope tells me that I'll have a five star day today. Well, truthfully, some schmo wrote it in the newspaper, my coworker Joe read about it, and relayed the information to me.
So, to be more accurate, I have it on very poor authority via a game of telephone that I will have a five star day today.

So far, unexpectedly, this assessment seems thus far to be accurate.

It looks like it might thunderstorm, and a ride home in the rain is a good way to well, rain on anyones parade.

On the (very) bright side, according to the plan, Anne finishes her semester later today. She's grading finals even as I type. Hooray! Unbelievably exciting.

Not really too much excitment other than that, except we've decided on a time and place for our next bike tour. We're going to take the train to Sedalia and ride home via the Katy trail at the end of the summer session. So, we have a couple months to be excited and plan and train. Big projects = Good stuff. Should be more on that later.

05 May 2009

conclusion of my project

The communications project ended on Sunday. I still have some letters to write, but other than that it is finished.

I have some thoughts about it, and how it worked. The first (and main) conclusion that I came to is that, like it or not, human communications have changed. You can like it or opt out. Opting out leaves you sort of "out of the loop" in many goings on.
Many of our gadgets (cell phones, email etc) are tools. Phones in particular, I found to be difficult to go without. It made many of my operations much more difficult to organize.
Email likewise, a useful tool. There is something about a physical letter that is lost in an email, but email is certainly more useful for instant communications.
One aspect I did not miss at all was internet chatting. I don't do that very often, but I don't think it's a useful way to communicate with other people. I think I'll give that up.

The big things I think I've decided from this project are as follows.
1. I should try to get together with my friends more often. Based on that, I am going to make an effort to be "at home" to visitors more of the time. Mainly Monday afternoon and evening, Tuesday afternoon, and Friday afternoon and evenings, you should feel free to stop by my house. I'll generally be home (feel free to call to see if I'm home) but I really mean it, feel free to stop by.
2. Letters are good. If you write me a letter, I'll do my very best to answer it. I am going to try to write letters to my friends and family.
3. I have the best wife ever. Thanks for being so supportive, Anne!

As a side note, I drove 6 miles last week, and that was 100% because I felt like going for a drive. Yay, My team!

26 April 2009

Show me the way to go home.

I'm tired and I want to go to bed.

I had a little drink about an hour ago
and it seems to have gone to my head.

Anne and I had a great time tonight. We set out at five, planning to drink beers and eat burgers. About ten miles of biking, Seven hours, many beers, two burgers and lots of visiting friends later, we have succeeded. Very tired. But all in all, just what was needed.

Well, this is it. I'm signing off.
I hope you come to visit. or write.

See you next week.

25 April 2009

Zero Miles

I have had a zero miles of driving week. I know it doesn't end until tomorrow, but anyway.
Zero miles. I have actually not started the car since a week ago Monday.
Yeah! Success!

22 April 2009

Earth Day and a game!

First, it's Earth Day, horray! I guess. I'm pretty ambivalent about having an "Earth Day" It implies that we don't care about Earth the other 364. Meh. It's probably a good thing. And, yes, I did ride my bike to work today, but not because it's Earth Day.

Second, I ride my bike a lot. On the street. People in cars (or on the sidewalk) shout things once in a great while. Less than you'd think. Sometimes it's rude, sometimes it's nice. Sometimes it is mystifying.
So! I have a comments mad-lib kind of game for you to play.

This morning, I was on Vandeventer about to go under the 44 overpass. I had a red light, it turned green. The line of cars westbound still had a red light. Some guy shouted something out of his car. I'm about 90% sure it was directed at me. Unfortunately, I only understood a bit of it.

That's where the game (and you) come in!

So, what I gathered was "________ __________ (is or it's) a Car! Waaaaagh!!!" Imagine this accompanied with leaning out the window and flailing arms.
So! What do you think he said?

20 April 2009

Mileage project update

As you may know, I've been tracking the miles I drive my car for some time.
About 6 months. I stated in this post that I expected to have a zero mile week in the next month.
Well, that hasn't worked out as such. I have had no zero mile weeks in the past month. Last week was my best, twelve.

That's right. I drove 12.0 miles last Monday, and I have not started the car since. I'm pretty pleased with that despite not having achieved my zero mile week.


14 April 2009


I have been thinking lately about communications technology. I think that it has fundamentally changed how we communicate with other people.
Is it more efficient? Certainly.
Is it faster? Yes, of course.
Does it provide more quality in our communications? No.

Bottom line: Is it better? I don't know.

I've decided. I'm taking it back.
I'm going to stop it all.

For a week I won't communicate with anyone electronically.
I'll turn off my phone. I won't post on my blog. I won't read blogs.
I realize that it may have to happen at work, but that cant' be helped.

This absolutely does not mean I want to be a shut-in. I like talking to people. I enjoy communication. So, please, that week, swing by where I work. I'll buy you a cup of coffee, my door will be open. Stop by my house. I'll show you what I've put in my garden and give you a beer. If you live too far away, send me a letter. I'll send you one back.
I would like very much to have an actual conversation. With you. Really, if you read my blog, take this seriously. Stop by. Or let me know, maybe I'll come calling at your house.

It will be April 26-May 2. I am going to tell my friends and family who don't read my blog.
I would encourage you all to do the same.

01 April 2009

Coffee Roasting!! Go!

Eric, the master roaster is out of town this week.
I'm in charge of the coffee in his absense.

If you drink some NW coffee purchased between Tuesday and next Monday, I roasted it. :) '8r)


29 March 2009

Black Thorn

We went to the Black Thorn Pub on Friday night.
Pizza and beer.

And darts!

The Black Thorn is a little neighborhood dive bar with (inexplicably) the best pizza in town.

It's only a couple miles from my place, so it's easy to get to.

And Fantastic.

Really, I can think of few better ways to spend a Friday evening.

also, I've finally gotten the terrible chocolate smell off my hands.

24 March 2009

unspeakably vile

I had to do something unspeakably vile today at work.

Repackaging flavored coffee.
I was careful to not let any touch me.
I wore rubber gloves.
I packed up and threw out everything it touched.

I still smell like chocolate.
Probably, I will still smell like chocolate tomorrow.


Do not support flavored coffee. Yuck.

23 March 2009

Saturdays ride

Here's our ride from Saturday.

32 miles.
Good times.

Well this doesn't happen very often.

But it does sometimes.
I really want to make some armour.
I mean, look at this. It's fantastic. My tastes run a little more towards Italian export, but damn.

I'm not sure who made this, so I won't speculate.

To be perfectly clear -- I did NOT make this suit.

18 March 2009

Chapter 5 Wherein Brian makes a prediction.

I noted yesterday that gas prices have gone up to ~2.00 a gallon.
This only shows that we're on our way to $4/gallon again this year.
Really, I'm not joking. I think that gas prices are going to go right back up to where they were last summer.

Start figuring out how to use your car less now.

My mileage for the week right now is under 20. I'll probably end up around 50.
I'm planning to have a zero mile week in the next month.

... I've said it here, so now hopefully I'll be obligated.

17 March 2009

I miss camping

The weather could not be better today. Really, weather does not come nicer than this. I have been biking to work this week. Trying to get back into shape for some bike touring this summer.
In the meantime I want to go camping.
I've been looking through some old pictures.

14 March 2009


I saw a great movie last night!
It's called Priceless. The original title was apparently Hors de Prix.

It was fantastic! I highly reccomend it.

07 March 2009

The most fantasticest drink

I had the most fantastic drink tonight.
A Sandinista. At the Upstairs Lounge.

It was great.

05 March 2009

observing cyclists

With my job, (one of them) I have a chance to watch a busy interscetion, where I can see many cyclists toing and froing and zooming about &c. I've not been keeping scientific list, but I've been trying to keep an eye on what people are doing wrong or right. The breakdown is not really as I expected. it seems to be something like
people doing things right - ~35%
people in the right lane but not stopping etc - ~15%
People on sidewalks - ~35%
Bike salmon ~15%
That looks better than I thought it would. My sample may be skewed, as I'm only 2 blocks from Forest park. I may be getting some number of "recreational" cyclists who only really ride in the park.

The thing that bugs me is the obvious commuters. There are a fair number of folks with bike shop bikes and baskets &c. obviously commuters, obviously doing this a lot, who are on the sidewalk. (today I saw a salmon with panniers and fenders) I mean, they should know better. and recognize that they could get where they are going much faster out where they belong.

... Okay that was weird. I just saw the serious bike salmon riding the other way, this time he was in the correct lane. ... Weird.

Bike Salmon -- A rider (usually in the bike lane if there is one) riding on the left hand side of the street.

04 March 2009

Sumer Is Icumen In

One of my favorite middle english poems.
It's about flatulent deer.

Also, I'm about ready to punch winter in the nose.


It's like Hastur, you say it's name three times and it appears?

Ah, well. I wish spring would hurry up.

25 February 2009

area cyclist killer charged!

Check out this link: (safe for work &c.)

STL today article

The thing that really upsets me about this is that this jackass is only being charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was going 100+ miles an hour in the Wrong Lane, and blind drunk to boot. What the fuck did he think would happen?

The most notable aspect? The cyclist was in a car.
See, I told you cars were more dangerous.

23 February 2009

I use a safety razor when I shave.

I use a safety razor. The blades are much much cheaper than crappy disposable razors, and they're better, too.

So, Screw you, Disposable Razors!

18 February 2009

print cartoons

Print cartoons just aren't funny anymore.
I don't understand. I used to love the comics in newspapers, but they are not funny anymore. They're just dumb. Is it me? is it them? I can't tell. At any rate, it makes me feel old and sad when I read the comics in the newspaper.
On the other hand, I love a bunch of web comics. I think all of the good cartoonists are heading to the web these days.

A long ago promised update

This post regards my milege project.
For a recap -- I am tracking the miles per week that I drive my car. Anne and I share a car, so it is the total miles we drive together or seperately. I would like, on that account, to divide all of the numbers herein by two. That, however, would be disingenous as the fact is that I drive more than Anne does. I will leave the numbers unaltered, please bear in mind that these totals are for two people.
These numbers have been tracked for a 20 week period from September 21 to Feburary 15.

Overall total miles driven: 2843.6
Gallons of gas burned: 142
Amount spent on gasoline (Approx) $400
Overall miles per week: 135.4 or 19.34 miles per day.
Miles per week when I worked at TC (the job I quit in October partially because of the long commute) 180.23 Or 25.75 per day.
Post quitting TC avg. 127 or 18 miles per day.
Post quitting TC on weeks we did not drive out of town 69.8 miles per week or 9.98 per day.

These are very interesting numbers to me. I expected the overall total to be lower, and I expected more of a difference between the TC and post TC driving. We did take more than the usual number of out of town trips during the past 20 weeks, betweenthe holidays (two 400+ mile weeks to visit relatives in Iowa) and not working weekends for the first time in years. I'm a little distressed by my non-trip miles of nearly 10 per day. I recognize that that includes the winter, and I have hardly biked anywhere in a couple months, but that still seems high. Must resolve to not drive more. My goal is to have a 0 mile week this spring. Ideally more than one.

Some working definitions
Out of town trip means any trip past the 270 belt or outside the greater Metro east I'm not splitting hairs with this one, pretty well all the trips have been Columbia or Kirksville.

A week is defined as from Sunday morning when I reset the odometer to the next Sunday morning when I reset it again It includes all of the miles my car is driven in that week, weather it is myself, my wife, or borrowed. (I don't think I lent the car out in that time)

I only worked at TC for three weeks of this project, so the numbers will reflect that only figuring lightly into the overall averages.

17 February 2009

I roasted coffee today.

I roasted some coffee today.
Wow! I'm learning to roast for work. I may well be the next roaster there.
It's hard. It also kicks ass.
I'm a bit stunned now, but I'll talk more about it later maybe.

10 February 2009

Back on it

Now, I'm not saying that spring is here or anything crazy, but the weather has been very very nice the past couple of days. Anne and I went on a bike ride Saturday. It was great. about 20 miles, and it totally kicked my ass. I'm out of shape after not getting on a bike in like 2 months.

I think map my ride is pretty cool, but they are always wanting your money. It offends me. I am so accustomed to things on the internets being free. Probably unsuitable, maybe I should send map my ride a little cash.

04 February 2009

Enough, already!

I am tired of it being winter.
I want to go on a bike ride and go camping. hurumph.

also, and more interestingly,
Last week was the semi annual (bi-annual? twice a year, anyway) roaster cleanup at Northwest. We took the coffee roaster apart, ground out all the accumulated crap, and put it back together.
It was like taking the ventilation system out of your house, using power tools to clean out 10 layers of paint, then putting it all back together. It was okay, but the clouds of dust nearly killed me. Better mask next time. *cough* *cough*

10 January 2009

The Distant Future the year 2000

Working in a bike shop in the winter kinda sucks.

God, I'm bored. The third 8 hour shift this week in which I haven't had anything to do.


At least things are busy at the other job.

08 January 2009

So, have you heard this new guy speak?

I heard a press confrence from the new guy, Obama, yesterday.

It was great! As I listened to the radio, I tried, but I couldn't.

I tried to imagine Obama giving the speech with a beer can in his hand.

I could not. Try it sometime. Try it with one of jr. speaking. Be warned, though, after you imagine jr. giving a speech with a beer can in hand, it's hard to stop.

It's pretty damn refreshing to know we're going to be getting a president who's not a drunk frat boy dumbass.

College and papers

So, this post won't be about what you expect.
Some people, who shall remain nameless, are in college, but insist on using wide rule paper. WTF? Stop and take a moment to consider the poor college rule maker. He slaves and slaves so that college students can write on their own special paper. He knows that they deserve it, they have learned to write both quickly and smally. But no, by using wide-rule paper, his efforts are spit upon.

Use college rule paper! It's for America!