Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keven in a Backpack

Last night, I saw this note taped to the ceiling in my daughter's room above her bed. It was a reminder.

... a reminder to put a stuffed bear, named Keven, in her backpack for school tomorrow. She received this bear at a Timberwolves game a couple years ago. Because the stuffed bear wasn't wearing the basketball jersey, I was lost as to why it was named Keven. Yes, I know that's not how his name is spelled, but that's OK in this case. Besides, the real KG is in Boston now and won't care.
I taught her to put reminder notes in helpful places like pinned to her backpack, but the ceiling is a better place.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Skyline of Minneapolis

Here's a CreepyCam photo of the Minneapolis skyline taken on my ride to work this morning. The sun was rising and illuminated the downtown buildings.

I played the role of pack mule as I brought two laptops into work. I put one in a pannier and the other in a backpak. One of them has a unique hardware configuration that I can't recreate on the other laptop. So I'm forced to use two of them on occasion.There are snowflakes in this photo, although you can't see them because of the poor resolution of CreepyCam. I also ran into ice on a trail that is covered by water runoff. I'm not complaining -- I'm bragging! My standards are low when it comes to weather. Any weather that doesn't hurt is good enough. Sometimes I see weather is mostly entertainment. Right now, I'm very entertained.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Welcome to Indiana

I'm staying in South Bend, Indiana for work. Here's a local story:

GOP candidate Zirkle addresses Nazi gathering

The people I'm working with here are sure this photo will ruin this candidate's election chances. I hope that's true.

Saturday HC Ride (or Lots of Coffee)

Tour da Coffee Shop: We visited two coffee shops on the Saturday HC ride. I spent most of the afternoon in the restroom.

Riverview Cafe

CRC: This place sells one of the best chocolate chip cookies around. Who makes them?

Train station stop to tighten slipping rear wheel (before ride)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pedro the Squash Part 2

Back in the fall of last year, I posted about a squash my son adopted. He named it Pedro.

It's in good shape and has turned bright orange all over. At least the outside is in good shape.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Menanced by a Goose: Epilog

The goose disappeared.

We suspect a critter had him/her for a meal, because the goose had become too weak from chasing cars and occasional bicyclists. Perhaps the goose came to his/her senses and moved on to a safer location.

Hey Steve, did you get the goose video working?

I've wanted to photograph a Minneapolis man-hole cover for a long time. So I took this photo while standing in the middle of the street and was killed by a speeding car in the next moment.

I have nine lives.

Click on the photo to see a larger version. The covers are impressive. Many of them have been paved over and that's too bad. They remind me of giant coins -- lots of interesting details to examine, but when you take the time to examine a man-hole cover, you get run over. That's too bad. The wind was so bad yesterday that I discovered small rocks in my hair when I showered after my ride home. It was steady at 30 mph with much higher-speed gusts. It was fun except for the rocks. Wind is good and we don't get much of it in Minneapolis compared to other places I've lived.

To the mustache wielding idiot in the black Navigator: I hope your gasoline bill doesn't hurt too much. I bet you have to golf at a cheaper course these days. That's too bad.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Rhododendron Time Again

My wife took our kids to see "Horton Hears a Who." Her review, "It was funny when I was awake."

High praise.

I know you've all been eagerly awaiting my rhododendron photos. Here's the first of an ongoing series of the rhododendrons that live in my front yard.

The leaves stay somewhat green throughout the winter, for those who don't know.

I like 'em.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Menanced by a Goose

My coworker has been attacked by a goose on his last couple of rides into work. The goose guards the entrance to the parking lot and he/she swoops down on him. He says it feels like someone swatting him in the head with a newspaper.

Yesterday, at lunch time, we went in the parking lot to video an attack. My coworker rode his bike near the goose. Another guy used his cell phone to video it. The video didn't turn out good enough for showing, but we laughed for a long time watching a goose trying to get my coworker. Even the smokers on the smoking balcony were laughing. We'll try again with a better camera.

Today, was my first bike ride to work this week. I forgot about the goose and as I entered the parking lot, I heard flapping wings and turned to see a goose flying about 10 feet behind me. I dodged and sprinted. The next time I looked over my shoulder it was closer -- huge wings, red mouth, hissing.

The goose let me go when I reached the door at the far end of the parking lot. I really want a video of this. I took this photo later with my cell phone camera. It does not have video.

Monday, April 07, 2008

SPAM Subjects

I have to check my spam folder, because I occasionally receive important, or at least useful, messages that get chucked in the Junk Mail folder -- false positives.

So I scan the list of subject lines and then scan the sender names before I flush them. This process keeps me in touch with the latest tactics of the spammers and keeps me amused while performing a task that really ticks me off. If it weren't for occasional false positive and the humor, it would be a waste of time.

Your neighbour naked!! watch
Before I watch this one, I want to know which neighbor they're talking about.

Your high school teacher nude!!
Again, I want to know which one.

Sender: metaforic neudigate, Subject: voruaan
WTF? This is either the result of a very creative mind or a clever, random word creator.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

3-Speed Thoughts

I've ridden my three-speed bikes exclusively this winter and this has given me enough experience to comment on the gear ratios of the Sturmey Archer AW (both of mine are AWs). The AW has a direct drive gear and then a gear that is 25% lower and another that is 33% higher than the direct drive.

The 25% reduction gear is great. I use it when starting from a stop, especially with a loaded pannier or a load in the basket. As I accelerate, I get into the direct drive gear quickly and remain in that gear most of the time. When I need a higher gear for downhills and tailwinds, I don't use the 33% increase gear, because it's usually too much of a jump. I'd like a 25% increase instead. That would be great.

I know Sturmey used to sell a mid-range hub (the AM) that had smaller differences between the gears. I think it's called the AM. Correct me if I'm wrong. Does anyone know if the guts of these
two hubs are interchangeable?
I also have a Shimano 333 hub that I'd like to build up. I can't find the ratios for it. Do any of you know? I've read that Shimano 3-speed hubs are less durable than the SAs. Any opinions on that? I bet the parts are difficult to find for old Shimano hubs.

The Cruiser is Alive, mostly

This bike is ridable if the seat height is exactly what you need, because the seatpost is stuck.

I've sprayed WD40 in the seat tube several times, but it hasn't budged. Today, I bought a can of Liquid Wrench. I've sprayed that in there a couple times today. The seat post hasn't budged yet.

Do you have any recommendations for a next step? I'm trying to do the least damage to the frame as possible. I think the last resort will be to heat the seat tube with a torch. I'm looking for recommendations for "in-between" steps.

The photo does not show it, but the seat tube is slotted in the front and back. This makes a nice entry point for the Liquid Wrench, I hope.

Back so soon?

I haven't posted lately for various uninteresting reasons, but I'm back. I have lots of ideas for new blog posts. I'll try to space them out instead of dumping them all in one day.

I bought a new pair of long fingered gloves for riding. I like this style, but they seem to wear out too quickly for my cheapo expectations. Today's HC ride stopped at CRC and I bought these mechanics gloves. They look heavy duty.

The gloves came with a sticker. I put it in the regular place, at least at my house -- on the vacuum.

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