Thursday, January 28, 2010

3-Speed Barend Shifter is Here

Here's my 3-speed, bar-end shifter. I may be one of the few people who owns one of these right now. I'm guessing most people don't want to own one, but I won't let that diminish my pleasure.

This means I'm an early adopter -- a term that rarely describes me. Although, it's questionable whether the term should be used to describe someone who buys a slightly different version of a 3-speed shifter. It's like buying a laser sight for your muzzleloader or a like putting grandpa in a Wolverine mask for Halloween.

I apologize for the blown out flash thing in the photo. I'll do better next time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stuffed Dog

I found this photo on my cell phone. I'd forgotten that I'd taken it back in the fall.

It's a giant stuffed dog that someone abandoned in the woods behind the parking lot at work. This dog is about four feet high. It's so big that someone could be living in it.

I wish I had someone stand next to it to provide scale.

Russian Brides

Every morning I look over my spam mail folder before deleting the contents. At a glance, I can quickly determine the latest favorite topic of the spammers. Lately, I've seen lots of watch and jewelry spam. If you know me, you know that I don't go for that stuff.

I've also seen lots of Russian bride spam. I mentioned this to my coworkers and we all think it might be a nice idea to bring a helper into the house. Don't you think it would be nice to have someone dedicated to keeping the house in order? Maybe she could teach the kids a new language too?

I searched for "Russian brides" on the Google and found lots of hits. I'm surprised how beautiful they all are. Who would have known that all Russian women look like pro football cheerleaders in their underwear?

If we bring one of these brides into our house, we'll let her know that she has to wear less revealing clothing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Adjustable Stem Would be Nice

Take a look at this adjustable stem listed on ebay. I've always wanted one, but I bet this goes for a fortune.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

3-Speed Bar End Shifter on the Way to Me

I ordered one of these the other day. I intend to put it on my orange three speed and mate it to a to-be-built 3-speed hub. That will be the coolest setup ever.
Thanks to SOMA for bringing these in stock and I grabbed the image from their site.

Strangest Conditions Ever

I rode today in the strangest conditions I've ever experienced. We have a layer of snow and ice on the side streets and bike trails and it's raining. The layer of ice has nearly turned to slush and goo. Riding on it is very similar work to riding in sand. It's hard work. I put in an hour of riding today and found I enjoyed the work -- happy misery, if that makes any sense.

I'm guessing the temps will drop below freezing and turn it into a skating rink very soon.

The single speed is working nicely, but the slush made me want a lower gear.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Vista has installed two updates in the last two days. The updates sometimes take a moment and don't require a restart. Other times, they take a long time to download, install, and then require a long restart. This eats up lots of my time. I wish they could bundle them so I don't see them two days in a row. They don't often happen back to back, but my laptop's update history shows it happens once in a while.

Generally, I believe the updates are important for security reasons. That's why I don't delay installing them unless I'm in the middle of something.

After each update, I look at the update history to see what's been installed. Today, I counted the updates that have been installed through 2009.

Guess how many?

How did you guess?

66. That's right, I saw 66 packages of updates last year. Many of the updates contained several smaller updates (sub-updates?).

Disclaimer: I use the computer my employer provided and it has Vista installed. They were going to upgrade to Windows 7, but they might be purchasing new computers. I guess that's what prevented us from upgrading.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Snow Bike or Mike Hatch Lives!

Here's my current winter bike. I installed the coroplast fenders the other night. That's a fun project. It only takes a few minutes and the results are significant. I used Mike Hatch campaign signs, just in case you wondered. I have a Colleen Rowley sign too.

As Seen on TV

We discovered this product while shopping for a gag gift for my wife's birthday. (The expression "gag gift" raises my eyebrows. Maybe the expression has a replacement.)

My son thinks it's ironic that the tool designed to help you "stop struggling with those stubborn plastic packages" is sold inside one of those darned plastic packages.
The woman on the packaging who is using her teeth to open the package must be a real tiger.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Painted Maruishi

I picked up my Maruishi touring frame from the painter this afternoon. It looks great. I think it looks too nice to take into the snow, salt, and wetness. I'll build it and ride it when the roads are clean again.

I doubt this frame looked this good new.

I also traveled with the Hiawatha crew to Madison, WI for the Cronometro bike swap. I bought brakes and a seatpost for the Maruishi to replace the broken down parts that were on it. These items were exactly the ones I wanted (NOS Diacompe cantilevers and a Suntour Superbe 26.8 seatpost). I almost bought a new crankset for it, but I waited too long and someone beat me to it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Paint the Bike

I took my Maruishi commuter frame to a local guy for paint. I chose silver and I'm looking forward to seeing it with a new finish. I'll post a photo or two when I get it back -- maybe this weekend.

In the meantime, I cleaned my basement workshop. It's still cluttered and embarrassing, but now at least it's functional. After cleaning the workshop, I installed studded tires on the single-speed road bike I built. I have to admit, I'm not eager to get out in the ice ruts even with the studded tires.

I took some photos of the work area and this gives me a chance to show off the results of my new flash unit. I received it as a present recently. It really makes photos of people look much better if I use the bounce flash feature.

Here's my pile of discarded tires. They are all in good shape, but I won't ride them again.

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