Thursday, August 31, 2006

And on the depressing news front

This article about Senator Allen on Daily Kos shows how little progress has been made since, I dunno, *ever* on the racism front in America. I followed some of the side conversations and comment threads on the various stories; the vile hatred and ignorance contained in some of the comments turns my stomach and makes me weep for our future.

I hope Senator Allen and his ilk fry. I hope they lose everything to someone smarter and more tolerant than themselves. I hope their hatred and sneering disrespect for difference earns them a penury and poverty in their financial/material life to match that of their spiritual life.

Wild eyed bandit

On my way to the climbing gym at way-to-early-to-have-no-coffee AM this morning, I saw a raccoon. Not just a glimpse or a flash. I got to watch him trundle along and then disappear after about 20 seconds. He's been eating well, too. Big boy.

I know that raccoons are vermin animals in urban areas, but I still think it's cool to see wildlife even in the city.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Updated my links

Updated the links in the sidebar to reflect the pages I visit on a regular basis.
(And yes, I'm *still* reading American Theocracy).

New online photo toy

So my sister-in-law introduced me to a new online photo album site: Picasa Web Albums

I've played around with Flickr and I like it's interface. But it has a monthly upload limit to the tune of 20 MB. So that really limits how many pictures I can post in a given month. But Flickr has no limit on the total data you keep on their server - so you never have to remove an album to make way for a new one.

Picasa Web Albums has no monthly upload limit. They do have a total data limit of 250 MB on their server (for a free account). Of course, photos optimized for web access are pretty small, so that 's still a lot of photos.

Here's me on Picasa Web Albums.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wow, that's a little scary

I'm so glad I don't live near yellow jacket country anymore.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Too much going on

Sorry about the lack of recent posts. Been busy. Found two new rock climbing partners, so I've been spending more time at the climbing gym (and more on real rock soon during the week and on the weekends). And our neighbors and friends Sara Ryan and Terry Allen got married up at Cooper Spur on Mount Hood last weekend (congrats guys!). And I've reconnected with a couple of old high school friends recently. And Dev and I are in the middle of 5 billion home improvement projects.

And really, it's summer; who wants to spend more time than necessary in front of the computer in the summer.

But I promise I'll try to post more often. I even have some good political diatribes brewing. -grin-

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Nailed on the Bridge Pedal

Dev and I rode the 8 bridge route (out of a possible 10 bridge route) on the 11th Annual Providence Bridge Pedal. It was only our second year to ride in it, and the organizers did a phenomenal job of fixing last year's flaws. They managed to reduce the bottlenecks to one (from about 4 last year) AND they managed to keep their rest stops well stocked with food and drink (they ran out last year because of record attendance). And they managed to order perfect weather - sunny, light breeze and about 88 degrees faranheit.

But, as you all know, there has to be a hitch if Devon and I tried to attend an event.

First mistake, we only allowed an hour time to get ready. Even without showers (come on, it's an *athletic* event), that time frame turns into a pretty close shave with a real breakfast, bike checks, stretching and dog maintenance. So until we actually made it out the door and started pedaling, Devon was pretty cranky.

Then it was my turn.

Literally two blocks from the house I pick up a nail in my rear tire. A fence nail. And it didn't just poke through the tread and clip a small piece of my inner-tube. No. This nail tore through the tread, and then ripped sideways through my sidewall! So it was my turn to be grumpy. I had a spare tube, so I swapped out the tubes, aired the tire up and we loaded up the bikes in the truck and raced down to the start line and managed to finish the Bridge Pedal and have a good time doing it.

As a quick aside, am I the only person who demolishes bicycle tires on a REGULAR BASIS? I mean, I've chewed up a tire every six months minimum. Not that I really think that's a lot for the mileage I run. Still. It seems excessive to me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Frankenbike gets a new cassette - no not music!

Scene: Monday morning commute

Set up: Bike in 3rd sprocket in back, 2nd chain ring on front.
David stands on the pedals to start moving from an intersection.

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -expletive-

The pair slows for another stop, then accelerates

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -double expletive-

End Scene

Scene: Macforce Parking Lot

Set up: David is bentover adjusting the cable tension nut on the rear gear shift.
After each adjustment he tests to see if it works better.

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -expletive- -expletive- stupid -double expletive-

End Scene

Scene: River City Bikes

Setup: David is speaking with bike mechanic about the problem with Frankenbike.

Mechanic: You need a new cassette (set of gears on the rear wheel).

David: -sigh-

End Scene

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Frankenbike rises

So I just got my Volpe back from the bike shop. From a tune up.

And a fork replacement.

And a chain replacement.

And a wheel replacement.

Seems like the last 19 months haven't been kind to my bicycle. I took the bike to River City bikes for a tune up - it's been over a year since my last one. First thing the mechanic says is that my fork is bent and I need a new one.

I know when that happened. I just didn't know that it had wrecked my fork. About two months after I bought the bike I took it out for a training ride. I was approaching an intersection with a stoplight and was moving quickly. A pickup going the other way decided that he needed to beat me through the light and turned left in front of me.

I did not grab enough brake and bagged into the side of his pickup. We're both stopped. I'm okay and he's okay. And the bike needs the handlebars straightened, but seems okay otherwise. Guess not.

The mechanic kindly demonstrates the difference between a proper fork and my fork using a new model Volpe. OK. So I'm getting a new fork. At least they're comping the labor since I have it in for a tune up. So I sign the paperwork, hand over my steed, and go back to work.

That was Wednesday. Thursday I get a call from the bike shop. My chain is worn out. I already knew that it was close to it's death rattle, I just hadn't made the preparations. So fine. Apparently my rear wheel has some chewed up spokes too.


So I get a new wheel too. Which does not color match my front wheel. And my new front fork - chrome - doesn't match the rest of the bike either. So now my bike has indivduality. I'll be able to pick it out in a crowd.