tiger_spot: (foot)
Guess who figured out how to roll over this morning? And then repeated it several times so we know it wasn't a fluke? Indeed, it is Morgan, the strongest chompiest smiliest baby.

Also Cathy and I went for a ten-mile bike ride. Whee!

A good day all 'round.


Oct. 14th, 2011 02:46 pm
tiger_spot: (Default)
We have entered the dark time of year.

Lately, I'm getting up on train-catching days before the sun is properly up and biking home in the last little trailing bits of sunset. That means it's time to start buying my lunch more often, so I can take it out to the park and soak up some sunlight while it's there.

The other day, I went and bought lunch at the Indian place around the corner from my office, as I often do. However, it was cloudy and yucky out, so instead of taking it to the park I sat at the counter and watched the kitchen go. I knew the place was busy, but I hadn't realized quite how busy. I was really impressed watching all the various cooks zooming around doing six things at once, fetching and patting and frying and passing things off to other cooks and plating and serving and generally doing the well-oiled machine thing. An overclocked well-oiled machine.

One advantage of getting up before sunrise is that I cannot possibly be woken up before the alarm by the chickens or wild birds or anything, because nothing whatsoever is stirring out there. The chickens have been slow with egg production lately; Norska and Phoenix are both molting, so they're out of commission for a while. I may give in and buy store eggs again to support my ice cream creation experiments / late-night chocolate cake needs. (The five-spice syrup, by the way, worked stupendously. Piña colada next!)


Lunch today was exciting. I made a new recipe, kale bread, which is a fried Indian flatbread with kale, coriander, and chilis in it. They came out fairly tasty, although next time I am going to knead by hand, not using the food processor, because the food processor isn't really big enough and just makes a mess to clean up. Also I put too much water in, so the dough was really sticky and had to be overfloured to work with properly. As a proof-of-concept they worked, but I think I can make them better next time. [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses helpfully fried them for me while I was finishing up the rolling and making a salad to go with them.

After the frying was done, the pan got a little overenthusiastic and set off the smoke alarm, which set off the dog, who remained agitated for quite a long time. One of the other alarms decided that ten minutes after the first one had gone off was a good time to start beeping for a battery replacement, which I'm sure reassured the dog not at all. He decided, after the beeping had in fact stopped, that the best thing to do was let himself out the front door. After being retrieved, he tried the back door (open to the screen to let out the smoke, so that one was easy). After being retrieved from there, he was not any happier about existence, and kept running around whining like something was making a noise I couldn't hear, although none of the other alarms were beeping or anything. After I sat out back with him for a while, he calmed down (and did a great job ignoring the chickens). Sunlight is magic, I guess.


I have noticed that some of my shirts are fitting differently in the arms and shoulders lately. I can only assume that I'm putting on muscle from climbing. In the abstract, this is good, but it is making it even harder to find shirts that fit, which I frankly didn't expect was possible.

Clearly I should only wear tank tops from now on.


The other day, coming home from the train station after Sociological Observation Shopping[1], part of my rear bike light fell off. I didn't realize it at the time -- I thought the noise was me running over a plastic cup or something of that nature. The next morning I checked the spot where the noise occurred (in the park) and found the light cover and the batteries. I reassembled the light and continued on my way. Unfortunately, the cover fell off again later in the ride, and before I could safely retrieve it a great big car ran right over it and pulverized the poor thing. (I did manage to get the batteries, which had not been pulverized.)

So now I have a nice new rear light. The screws holding it to the rack don't want to go in very far, so I'm a little concerned about its stability, but it seems to be doing okay so far.

[1] Sociological Observation Shopping is like shopping, but without the expectation (or in this case the fact) of buying anything (well, lunch and cream puffs, but those hardly count). It's much less stressful than the other kind. Oh, and we went to Paxton Gate, which I will have to take my sibling & sibling-in-law to if they ever come visit, because it is awesome. I wanted to buy them this lamp with chicken feet and a sort of bathysphere aesthetic and an anglerfish/lotus flower thing on a stem and a tentacle, but it was too expensive. (Aha. Not this one, but a similar one.) The website looks all respectable; this is a lie. The store is full of disreputably alarming things like mouse skeletons dressed up as cherubs and taxidermy unicorn heads and bowls full of penis bones and strings of dried pufferfish. Occasionally you get this feeling like you're being watched, and of course you are, by six things that have been dead for years and have their heads swapped around on the wrong bodies.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] chinders and [livejournal.com profile] cobalt_00 and I biked over to Planet Granite for our round of climbing. [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b drove, with the bike rack, in case it rained or we otherwise wanted to bail, but it didn't actually start raining (although it looked like it was going to), so we went ahead and biked home, too.

It takes a while, so I don't know that we'll be doing it very often, but it's a nice ride.

(Also I climbed a bunch of 5.10bs and scraped up my elbows something fierce.)
tiger_spot: (Magritte)
This morning, I was stopped at a traffic light as usual, squinting off into the rising sun and thinking vague morning-related thoughts as usual.

Then I started to feel a bit funny about the wheels. I thought maybe something was wrong with my brakes, but when I glanced back I saw that the car behind me had its bumper UP ON TOP OF MY REAR TIRE. And scooted forward as I looked back.

My immediate and forceful BACK THE FUCK UP gestures were obeyed, but JESUS. We DO NOT TOUCH OTHER VEHICLES with our vehicles, you infinite jerk. Especially not bicycles.

The wheel looks okay, but the braking's gone a bit muddy, so it's probably squished slightly off true.


Feb. 18th, 2010 10:04 pm
tiger_spot: (Default)
[Poll #1527410]
tiger_spot: (Default)
I was reminded this evening, collecting my bike from the shelter, that there's an interesting side effect of having performed an action repeatedly, in slightly different ways, when I don't have much of a temporal memory, and that is that when I get to the shelter in the evening I have to look for my bike rather than remembering where I put it, because I am remembering 60 zillion instances of putting it away in various parts of the shelter and I have no idea which one is the most recent unless it was very unusual.

The same thing happens with my car, if I've parked it in a lot I've used more than, oh, three or four times.

I know my temporal memory is bad, but I'm not sure whether it's unusually bad. Let's find out!

Hm, that got long. Let's put the poll back here, for tidiness. )


Dec. 9th, 2009 05:17 pm
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1. The water in the fountain was frozen solid this morning and yesterday morning (it melted in between). It's been cold out there! Interestingly, puddles I biked past yesterday morning were not frozen at all. Earth is a good heat reservoir.

2. The CSA has spoiled me. Now that it is in winter interregnum, I am bereft and hungry. What? I have to buy food? And plan?

3. I took my bike to the shop this morning. The funny grinding vibration when setting out from a stop was caused by a broken axle. Yikes! All better now. (I love the Off Ramp. In addition to fixing the problem, they also corrected the tension on the wheel that keeps going funny and nicely lubricated the chain. And gave me a little lecture about chain lubrication that sounded remarkably like the lecture you get from the dentist about flossing. And charged very little.)

4. There is this sidewalk on my way from work to the train station that has bits of glass or something in it. When it is dark, it is SPARKLY. I cannot look away from it while I am walking over it. This is unfortunate, because it also has lights embedded in it, and they are bright and hurt my eyes. But SPARKLY.

5. If I had an internet-enabled device on the train, I would make a lot more posts like #4 there, about billboards and birds and dogs and people asking for directions and other things I see on the way. Also random thoughts, because I have a lot of those while I'm walking but I don't usually remember them long enough to bring up later.


Dec. 2nd, 2008 12:44 pm
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My missing bicycle glove was waiting for me at work when I got in today. I was worried I might have left it on the train, but there it was, waving jauntily at me from the top of my desk.
tiger_spot: (Default)
I hopped on my bike this afternoon to head to City Hall to drop off my mail-in ballot, and promptly ran over a pin and exploded my rear tire.

So I went to the bike shop instead, and got two new inner tubes (one for backup!). Then I dropped off my ballot and changed the tube. This is the first time I've changed a tube on a bike. It wasn't difficult, but it required more strength than I was expecting. Also I had a little trouble getting the wheel properly seated when I put it back on (I've not removed the rear wheel before, either), but it is all better now.

I don't think my hands have ever been that dirty before.
tiger_spot: (Default)
I was running a little late this morning, after dithering about what to pack for lunch and what to have for breakfast. As I glanced at the clock and thought "Hm, I'm running a bit late -- better get a move on", the skies opened. So I finished breakfast, brushed my teeth, put on my nice rain pants and my windbreaker and headed out into the storm.

About halfway there, it rained harder, just to prove it could.

My windbreaker is sweet and tries hard, but it is not waterproof. It does just fine in light rain; pleasant spring-type showers are just its thing. It couldn't handle the deluge at all. So I arrived at the train station with soaking-wet shirtsleeves and a rather damp front (in spots).

As I was locking up my bike, it stopped raining.


(Note to self, or anyone who feels like taking me shopping: need raincoat, in some bright don't-run-over-me color. Also backpack protector. Maybe waterproof gloves?)
tiger_spot: (Default)
I've been using the bike shelter at the train station for a week now. It seems to work pretty well. It's a dark space, like a garage with a gate on it, filled with vertical bike racks. I put my bike in it on Sunday when I went to the Farmer's Market so I could test it without the time pressure of catching a train; that was a really good idea because it took me 30 minutes to figure out (1) how to open the gate (there's more to it than just the magic number) and (2) how to lift my bike into the rack.

The lifting has been somewhat problematic; I keep falling over backwards and/or covering myself in grease. Part of the problem is that my bike is quite large relative to the rack. Specifically, it has big ol' puppy-feet wheels, so I can only use the higher-up spaces and I have to go over the top of the bar on the rack rather than sliding the bike in from the side (thus the falling over backwards; a bike is a large awkward thing to be waving about in the air). But last night fetching it down, I realized I could rest the seat on my hip and kind of lever it from there rather than relying entirely on my arms, and this morning I tried that in reverse and it worked beautifully. Useful things, hips.

The vast majority of the bicycles I've seen on the rack I've been using are also gray, unlike the other racks, which seem to have a more normal color distribution. It's the big gray bike convention; I'm sure they have all kinds of fun things to tell each other while their owners are at work.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Today I have purchased:

* a seat
* a seat post
* a wee tiny cable so that it now takes tools to remove the seat from the bike
* a new rear light
* a magic number to let me into the bike shelter[1]


* relevant tools

and attached:

* the post to the frame
* the seat to the post
* the cable to the frame
* the cable to the post

those last three simultaneously, which as it turns out does not require three hands but does require some clever leverage.

I still need to make final angle and height adjustments, after a bit of test-riding, but it's kind of hot out there just now. So I will probably leave that for this evening, and then head to the library tomorrow (they close early on Fridays; it was on my list for today, but I think all that running around collecting things with which to fix the bike makes a perfectly good substitute).

[1] Technically, this is a deposit rather than a purchase.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Today I learned that it takes 45 minutes to walk home from the train station.

I didn't want to know that.

My bike is still here, but it is missing a major component of functionality, viz., the seat.

Tomorrow, trip to the bike store for a new one. Perhaps I can pick up an additional cable lock to wrap around the hypothetical new seat. Or perhaps I should just cover the whole bicycle in barbed wire.
tiger_spot: (red river hog)
Imagine that you are driving a small white car. You are approaching an intersection, and wish to turn right. The light facing you is red. Do you:

(A) stop at the light, check for cross traffic, then turn right
(B) slow down before turning
(C) drive directly through the bicyclist on the cross street

I am unharmed, for I was paying attention, and there wasn't anyone in the left lane (to which I dodged). The driver saw me when she was about 45 degrees through her turn, at roughly the point where if I hadn't dodged her car would have been centered over me, and then stopped.

The other bizarre bike-related thing that happened today is that when I got off the train, unlocked my bike from the rack, arranged all my little accoutrements (lock, cable, helmet, front light, garter, gloves...), and pulled my bike away from the rack, it didn't come.

Closer examination revealed that someone had used a zip tie to attach my bike to the rack. Fortunately, I carry nail clippers, so about 30 seconds of dedicated gnawing later the bike was freed. But seriously, WTF?
tiger_spot: (Default)
I learned this morning that I can go from horizontal and asleep to out the door on my way to work in seven minutes. This includes toothbrushing, hair braiding, and putting on all appropriate items of clothing. It does not include showering or eating breakfast.

The reason I know this is because my alarm did not go off this morning, for mysterious reasons. (Usually, either the volume got knocked all the way down to zero or the clock was accidentally set as p.m. instead of a.m. after a power failure. Neither condition seems to apply this time, and [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b doesn't think I beat it to death without waking up. Testing[1] will occur when I get home.) I woke up at just about the time I'm normally thinking "Hm, it's about time to go put on my shoes."

Also, my bicycle chain chose[2] this morning to have an adventure, and explore parts of the bicycle that the chain doesn't normally get to see! But despite its extremely determined clinging to its new-found favorite spot, I managed to pry it out and slap it back on the gears, where it settled back into its usual routine within about a block or so.

But despite the very best efforts of the mechanical devices on which I rely most, I made it to the train station on time, and the day proceeded normally from there. So there. :P

[1] For best results, imagine "Testing" in the most ominous voice you can.
[2] Actually this was entirely my fault, because I fussed with the gears after I got it back from the shop on Sunday without turning the pedals to keep everything aligned properly.


Nov. 18th, 2006 12:21 am
tiger_spot: (Default)
Good stuff:

1. A car/bicycle interaction that was just as confusing as, but much more cheerful than, the last one.

In the left-turn lane, from front to back: Other Bicyclist, Woman in Burgundy Sedan, Me. We're all sitting there blinking in our various ways, and the driver opens her door to lean out and ask me if I'd like to go in front to be with the other bicyclist. I'm a bit confused by this, and allow as how I'm perfectly happy where I am, in line to turn left and all, and she seems a little confused but pleasant, and then the light turns green and we all go on our merry ways.

So still a rather peculiar thing, but good intentions. It was nice to be considered.

2. Got ambushed on the train by [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses on Tuesday. This is what comes of having predictable habits.

3. I thought, early in the week, that I was horribly undersocialized (in the sense of not having been spending enough time with people recently, not the sense of not having been trained to deal with people when young), but then realized that I was completely wrong. I am missing specific people, mostly my family because I'm not going to see them this holiday season and that makes me sad, but I am okay in general. I also have a bunch of art I want to play with, so now I am looking forward to having a Thanksgiving holiday wherein Andres and I will be, as far as we can tell, the only humans left in the entire Bay Area, because it will give me lots of time to get things done. So that's nice.

(Not that I am against having an emergency party, if you will be one of the few humans not leaving town. In fact, I would be delighted to have anybody feeling abandoned or adrift over for Thanksgiving-type dinner. I will feed you pie.)
Weird stuff, stuff you can help with, and a footnote behind the cut )
tiger_spot: (Default)
After work today, leaving the train station and toddling along my usual route, this car pulled up beside me and someone inside yelled, very loudly and distinctly, "You... are not... a car!"

He seemed upset about it.

My initial reactions ("That is why I am in the bike lane" and "Neither are you, you [adjective] [noun]") were sadly swamped by confusion until he was out of range. Not that I think it would be a good idea to get involved in a driver-bicyclist altercation of any sort, but some people really do need to be... educated.
tiger_spot: (Default)
My bike was stolen today.

It looked, from the evidence lying around (bit of broken lock, locks chained to rack with no bikes in them), like quite a few bikes were stolen from the train station along with mine.

The police were actually quite pleasant and helpful, although they don't have much hope it'll actually be recovered.

And right after I got a new seat (and light, and gloves -- although I do at least still have the gloves), too. :(
tiger_spot: (Default)
Well, the rear tire, anyway. So I had better get on with that finding a bike shop and getting a tune-up thing I've been sort of vaguely planning to do for a while.

Er... does anybody have recommendations?


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