Friday, March 23, 2012

Yesterday sucked

Work has not been much fun this year. I can't believe my department has experienced more turmoil/stress this year than we did last year. I've been at my limit for months now and I have no clue how I'm continuing to keep things together. I don't know that I've ever been this stressed. Yesterday morning I started my car in the driveway with my spare key that I throw in my fishing vest and then grabbed my normal keys on the way out the door. When I locked the car at work I knew right after shutting the door that I had locked the spare key inside. No biggie...I put the other keys in my backpack. We had students for half the day and then conferences until 8 at night. I looked in my pack at 1 and could not find the keys. I assumed I left them on the table so I got a ride home but found no keys. Then I went back to work and looked in the car. They were on the seat. So I went to grab some welding rod from the Industrial Tech class but the seals on my doors are really in good shape and I could not get in.

So...I called a locksmith. About 30 minutes later this guy arrives. I actually posted the pictures out of order so I'll explain. He pulls up in front of the school and calls me. I'm standing there in the front of the school and do not see a locksmith truck. I then look at this beat up Toyota Celica and can see the guys lips moving exactly when the person on the phone is talking. I hang up my phone and sigh, "Oh great." The Celica was in bad shape. It had mismatched panels, bald tires, steel wheels, and no muffler. The guy had already passed my car and the loop at school is one way so I have to get in and take him back around to my car. The interior of the Celica was on a whole nother level. I did my best to document the incident photographically.

This picture was taken shortly after I asked how much this was going to cost me. I was stunned when he said $120. I'm pretty sure my response was, "Yeah you can pound sand." For $20 and some time, I could break a window and go pull one at a yard. He then tells me that he could go down to $110 and I don't even remember what my response was but I know it wasn't polite. Then he tells me there is going to be a service charge of $30 for him coming here. I tell him I am not paying that either. We go back and forth a bit and things get heated. I am not in a pleasant mood at this point and am told by a co-worker to keep my hands in my pockets. The locksmith calls his boss to let him know that I am refusing to pay the service charge and I end up talking to him.

We argue a bit and I say some things I probably shouldn't have said. He knows there's nothing they can do to make me pay a service charge and tells me he can do the job for $100. I need my keys back and I need to get back inside as well so I tell him I'm at $60. Then he tells me he can meet me in the middle at $70. OK I say...right in the middle at $70. The locksmith gets back to work. Here he is in action. He is trying to slip the air bladder in but, like I said, the seals are in really good shape. I get a little concerned when he retrieves a flat head screwdriver from the Celica and begins to pry on the glass with it.

While he was busy working, I was checking out the Celica. Ironically, the drivers seat was in better shape than the passengers.

Within 30 minutes the locksmith is dropping multiple F bombs because he can't get in. At one point he runs back to the Celica to grab another "tool". It was a milk crate so he could be higher up. After 2 hours he finally gets in. He's packing up his stuff but goes back to the Celica and pulls out a credit card machine. I tried not to laugh when saying, "I won't be paying with a card but you're welcome to follow me to the ATM machine." He does and we settle up. I go back inside for the rest of conferences and have plenty of time to think. I KNOW I only have 2 keys for the car but something doesn't feel right. When I get home I start going through the junk drawer in the kitchen. I find a remote that looks oddly familiar. It does not say Subaru on it but it does say made in Japan. On a whim, I push the lock button and hear a faint horn honk. I go out on the deck and push it again and clearly hear the Subaru horn. This all costed me $70.

Fortunately, later that evening I would sell the Cannondale road bike that I've gone back and forth about getting rid of for a year now. Here's what I came up with for packaging. I was able to get the shipping charges down to $52 which is nice. So it's gone. I'm still sick to my stomach over yesterday but this helps a bit.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amped up

Maybe a year ago the amp in Heather's Jeep shit the bed after the hot wire coming from the battery almost started a fire. I knew the issue was with the hot wire but was too rushed at the time to figure it out. Today I got a wild hair and decided to look at it. I pulled the hot wire connecting the battery to the amp out and found the issue. The insulation had been compromised where the wire entered through the firewall. So I ran thicker wire, made the entry hole bigger, and wrapped the wire right there (I already had installed a rubber o-ring there and I'm not really sure how the insulation became worn in the first place). I ran the wire back under the center console and under the carpet all the way back to the amp again. When I turned it on there was no power to it. I did put an inline fuse in that hot wire and the amp itself also has a fuse so I knew at least one was blown. It turned out to be the fuse on the amp. I replaced it and it immediately blew when I plugged it in. So did the next one. I checked the ground wire and it was fine. I even checked the remote start wire that runs to the head unit and it looked good. I'm miffed. I suppose the amp could be fried but it's the fuses job to make sure that doesn't happen. I suppose it's also possible that the new wire from the battery has been compromised but that's not likely. I gave up on it today. Tomorrow I guess I'll check the continuity of the wire. I hate when I can't fix a simple problem.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cleaning up

The second bay in the garage has been getting outta control with crap. The canoe is the biggest issue really. So after sleeping in until almost 10 this morning, I ran up to the hardware store and got some saw horses and then re-arranged everything on that side. The canoe now rests on the horses and I was able to slide a bunch of stuff underneath it. It made a huge difference. I'm not totally done yet. Pretty soon here I have to run back to my father in-laws house and get into his barns and prepare for an estate sale. We are planning on bringing quite a bit of stuff back home so we can further decide what we would like to keep and so I'm sure I will be building some pretty serious shelving for that side to be as efficient as possible. I can't stand clutter in my garage.


Proper chainline is very important on a singlespeed and, thus far, I've had it setup pretty ghetto with a handful of cassette spacers that I eyeballed. I wanted to run Rennen's spacer kit but they've been out of stock on it for weeks now. So the one I ordered from Endless Bikes showed up today. This is their Fibonacci spacer kit. It comes with a handful of spacers anywhere from 1mm thick to 21mm. They have a huge explanation on their site as to why the spacers are cut the widths that they are and its too technical for me to go into. I decided to do some simple math which then told me that the center of the cog needed to be 21mm in from the locknut. So then I started stacking stacking spacers until I had it the way it needed to be.

Here's the end result which looks far more attractive.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I finally got my x-ray results today. I'm sitting there and the doctor tells me that there were some issues found so it's no wonder I'm in pain every day. It seems there is significant calcification in the area of C2-C7 and some of it is believed to be on nerves. So the next step will be to go to another doctor to have him do an MRI and then look at doing shots or things like that. If that doesn't work then it will likely be surgery. This terrifies me.

What terrifies me more is what he calmly told me next. While looking over the x-rays, they happened to see what looks an awful lot like a partial blockage in my left carotid artery. He says, "I haven't seen that in 20 years but I'm wrong at least once each day."

Shouldn't that have been the first thing he told me about? So now I've been told to take it very easy until they can get me in for another test to check that out. What concerns me the most is that I know my cholesterol was checked about 3 years ago and it was extremely high. I had it checked again several months later and it was good but....I'm a bit worried.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I headed down to Pueblo today for a solo ride after getting turned down by Dobbins. The weather was supposed to be in the low 60's but it felt a little cooler than that and a storm blew in during that last hour which made hustling back to the car a really good time. I originally wanted to just ride easy and felt poor right off the bat. Five miles into the ride I stopped the music and heard a racket coming from the rear hub. I have not had good luck with non-Shimano hubs. The bearing was so tight that spinning it backwards engaged the freehub. I started to head back to the car and made it about a mile from it and then said fawk it and kept riding.

I still wasn't feeling all that hot but, like normal, I decided to ride way over my head. Thankfully, I installed a new 20 tooth cog to make the day hurt a little bit more. I simply can't ride at 175 beats per minute and that 189 did NOT tickle. I don't know what I was thinking but, I generally never do. I have no clue how I placed as well in cross country races years ago. I'm usually too busy looking at stuff to worry about how fast I'm going so trying to race some short stuff this year could be a huge mistake for motivation. One of the reasons I considered racing at Pueblo in the first place was to just practice doing MY ride and eating how I know I have to eat to ride all day. I seem to struggle with this.

Already in the hurt locker, I was frustrated, but I became even more so by other riders not yielding to me on short climbs and just not being nice. How hard is it to say hello back or give a thank you? And if you're going to stop to enjoy the scenery or eat...don't lay your bike in the middle of the trail. Props to the couple on the bitchin' tandem WITH radio though. They were fun both times I saw them. Anyways...I hit the wall pretty hard in the last hour and put a serious beat down on the Mike and Ikes. Then I flatted. This is no surprise and I deserved it. Only I'm dumb enough to ride in cactus country with tires that have not had Stan's replaced since the beginning of August. I ended up having to top off the tire with air 3 times in that last hour. I could have put a tube in but that would have been smart. In an effort to get back to the car in the least amount of time, I took the longest trails.

I averaged about 10 miles an hour and I could not have gone much harder. I made it back to the car with 5 hours of moving time. Once in the car and headed back home I suddenly got really hot and nauseas. To the point that I pulled the car over. I stopped for some apple juice and, eventually, started to feel better. When I got home I looked at results from the Voodoo Fire race in Pueblo from last year. I can't believe that guys were finishing that 70 miles in 5 hours. I feel like a bitch.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not much to report lately. Been riding a fair amount. Work is stupid crazy and we have state testing for the next 2 weeks. Even with that on deck and some other stressful stuff, there's still a lot of cool shit going on. I got out today for 4.5 hours on the blinglespeed. I have a loop that I do that starts in Lake George and heads out west towards Spinney Ranch and then circles 11 Mile Reservoir before dumping me back into the beautiful 11 Mile Canyon and then back to Lake George.

I made due for almost 4 hours with trail mix, Mike and Ike's, M&M's, and Good and Plenty's because I wanted to eat lunch in the canyon while watching the river. I like to just dump all of them in my gas tank bag and then just mix em up and get what I grab while on the move. I almost brought my fly rod along today and wished I had when I watched at least a bakers dozen of decent Rainbows feed in this pool. They were stacked up just to the left of that boulder and in the trailing edge of that darker oval spot.

I can't believe nobody was climbing. Pretty rare that this rock face isn't getting worked over on a nice day.

The ice along this stretch of water had some blue hues to it a la Alaska. They're glaciers.

Hope you got out and did something fun this weekend.