Sew good of a deal

January 22nd, 2009

I’ve had my eye out for a sewing machine for quite awhile.  I Know nothing about sewing but that was a major part of the allure of getting a machine…so I could learn.  Some co-workers were going out for lunch and I rode along so I could stop at the thrift store while they were getting their sandwiches.  I walked in and there it sat, a beautiful classic Kenmore sewing machine complete with all accessories, manuals and a sewing cabinet.  The price was definitely right at $65.  But that’s not all…it was 50% off any one item day so after tax I got a great machine for about $35!!

The next day when I went to pick it up there were many jealous thrifters who were goggling over the machine and telling me what a great deal I got on it.  Now, I just have to find a place for it and learn to sew.

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Cold, Dark and 2k

October 29th, 2008

I’ve reached the 2000 mile mark on my bike and still enjoying the ride.  The challenge right now is the morning cold.  Actually I’m amazed at how much heat I generate riding and how little insulation I actually need.  My coldest ride so far was 27 degrees…but it warms up during my ride.  My toes are the weak point and I’m trying to figure out how to keep them warmer.  This weekend the time changes and I’ll be riding home in the dark.  I’m anxious to see how all of my lights work.

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The 1k mark and a century

September 3rd, 2008

I’m now at the point where I actually really enjoy my ride to and from work.  I ride almost every day and hit the 1000 mile mark last week.  A buddy from work also invited me on an annual century ride (100 miles in one day).  I was a little worried if I could make it, but I did fine.  We rode from Frisco to Glenwood Springs and it was a really great ride.  But I was sure ready to soak in the hot springs at the end of the day.  Steph and the boys met us in Glenwood and we made the most of our weekend in the mountains.  I’m already making my list of rides I want to try next year.  The Copper Triangle is almost 80 miles and 6000 feet of elevation gain. But the Triple Bypass is where I have my sites set…120 miles and over 10000 feet of elevation gain as you go over 3 mountain passes. Wish me luck.

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I made it

June 27th, 2008

Wow.  I did it.  I rode the entire week.  Day 2 I wasn’t sure if my swollen rear could handle it but I sucked it up and fought the pain.  I upgraded my seat and bought some of those oh-so-revealing bike shorts (they’ve got built in bum padding) and bought a bike computer…so I probably spent more during the week than a month of gas.  But those things will last way longer than a month.  The best part is, I think I’ll ride next week too!

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Bike To Work Day

June 20th, 2008

While Steph and I were on vacation in California I shared my desire to ride my bike to work more often.  Every year I set a goal to ride several days a week and plan to start by riding once a week and working my way up.  It always hurts so bad after the first day that it takes the whole week to recover and so I’m never interested in getting on the bike the next week and soon the summer is gone.  My new strategy is to just do it cold turkey.  I’m going to ride for a whole week…5 days…30 miles a day…150 miles for the week.  Next Wednesday is Bike to Work Day, so I might as well target next week.  I hope this works.

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Bag of Crumbs

May 18th, 2007

Its funny how two unrelated things from my past sometimes come together in the present. Growing up in a poor family (actually we were not poor but frugal, but as a kid I thought we were financially poor) we had to share cans of generic pop, haul bath water out to the garden and make our lunch sack and sandwich/chip bags last for years at a time. I’m sure it was probably on the order of days or weeks but it sometimes felt like years that I had been carrying that paper sack which was now as soft as silk and as tender as tissue paper.

Totally unrelated I have a distinct memory of having lunch over at Baba and Zedo’s house. In general I really liked having lunch over there but the one thing I did not like was they would place the chips or crackers of the day in a napkin lined basket on the table. The problem was this basket contained all previous days uneaten crackers/chips. On top of that, this basket sat out 24/7. So you would be eating a saltine that was flavored with crumbs from the previous days Doritos while a few greased on pieces of last weeks stale potato chips gave it that extra zing. Needless to say I usually passed on the chips and crackers.

These days I make a very good living. I could go out for every meal if I wanted. But I was raised frugal and I remain frugal…in fact I thrive on frugalness (is that a word) to the point of being considered “cheap”. So I take a lunch to work everyday. I’m so cheap I won’t even buy brown paper sacks but use left over plastic grocery bags. These are much more durable than the paper bags and so I actually CAN get years of use out of one of them. I also will reuse the same baggy for my chips/crackers…for weeks if not months. So, you guessed it, after awhile I end up with the chips of the day coated with all the past crumbs. It actually makes for some very interesting flavors. Today I had pita chips flavored with chili, cilantro, lime, and a touch of graham cracker….deeeelicious!! The upside is I use a ziplock bag to keep the crumbs fresh and flavorful. And as I eat my chips I think back to those lunches with Baba and Zedo and I smile.

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Two Seasons of Black Beauty

May 16th, 2007

My trusty Acura Integra (AKA Black Beauty) is a great car in many respects. And its got a ton of character. From the gentle 3Hz squeak of the speedometer cable on cool mornings, to the built in sauna feature from the black leather interior and only 4/60 AC. The loose wiring of the speakers challenges me to find just the right pot hole with just the right wheel to jostle it back into place for that full hifi stereo sound. And Black Beauty has a season detector. However, she only knows two seasons: hot season and cold season. I can tell when its cold season as I cannot remove the key from the ignition. She will eventually let me have my keys back but she makes me spend time with her, talk to her, tell her how this is not the day to do this and how frustrated she makes me. And now I can tell it is the hot season because Black Beauty will not start after work. She will eventually start like she’s a brand new car but only after I tell her about my day, how much I want to get home and that this is not the day to do this to me. I think Black Beauty is co-dependent.

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