25 December 2008

17 December 2008

I shoveled snow

five times today (twice at home, three times at work), and could easily have done twice that many times. (And in fact, the neighbors ran the snowblower on the driveway at home, one other person shoveled the walk at work, and at one point, someone ran a small bobcat on the sidewalk.)

It. is. still. snowing.

I love my AWD, and I detest people who tailgate.

That is all.

15 December 2008


1) I told my kid that the difference between adults and kids is that generally, adults WANT to put their pj's on.

2) It is COLD. There is probably 1/4 inch of frost on the *inside* of my kitchen windows--we were cooking, or doing laundry, or something when the temp really started to drop. Supposedly we made it to around 19F at midday, when the sun was out, but it's back down to about 5F now. I am not amused.

06 December 2008

01 December 2008


things happen at school of which I am unaware.

Today, the school librarian came into the post office. She mentioned that she couldn't believe that the kid had read all of Brisngr. "He did?" I replied. "Yes, he took the test on it, and got almost all the questions right. He renewed it about four times, and I saw the bookmark moving along in it."

It is a 784 page book. He had it at home briefly, but I never saw him pick it up at all. I called home and asked him about it, and oh, yeah, I read that, Mom.

It could be worse. But 784 pages! And me, not a clue.

30 November 2008

why veganomicon cracks me up

"Broccoli gives polenta a great texture. It just makes it, like, "RAR!" That's the only way we can describe it."

I made the Maple Walnut Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance this afternoon, and while they are tasty, they weren't very pretty. The first couple of trays, I didn't oil the cookie sheet, as suggested, because I was using my silicone baking mat and our well-seasoned pizza stone. NOTE TO SELF: JUST FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Much of the non-prettiness resulted from their reluctance to leave the cookie sheets.

I thought the dough seemed a little thin, and if I was making them again, I would add a bit more flour, and/or crush the walnuts more finely. But, tasty. And when I finished, the kid asked me if he could take a plate to our neighbors who have a very large family. Which was darned sweet.

29 November 2008

obama playlist

iTunes doesn't have all the tracks necessary to build this as an iMix, but I burned this CD for my brother-in-law the other day. It's quite good :)

Elect Obama Remix - Big Hit Buda
Clap Your Hands - They Might Be Giants
Supersoulfighter - Lenny Kravitz
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
It's a New Day - will.i.am
Sure Hope You Mean It - Raphael Saddiq
Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing - Marvin Gaye
Sweet Potato Pie - Ray Charles & James Taylor
People Get Ready - Aretha Franklin
Beautiful Day - U2
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End - Phil Collins
Put a Little Love in Your Heart - Al Green & Annie Lennox
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Ooh Child - Beth Orton
All That We Let In - Indigo Girls
Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss
2004 Democratic National Convention - Barack Obama

20 November 2008

'cause I keep forgetting

First snow (no accumulation): November 6, and then some MSAR (my abbreviation for mixed snow and rain) tonight, November 20. Okay with me if it fails to accumulate for awhile, though I should probably have the person who knows the location of the snow shovel bring it out of storage.


12 November 2008

too lazy to upload the photo

of my bike computer when I hit 1000 (.1) miles on Saturday, November 2nd. It was the day before the time change, and I rode in to work in conditions I would not have ridden in on a week day (i.e. in more traffic). Dense fog, dark, and really not all that super safe.

I haven't ridden since (sadly) because it's now dark when I come home from work, and while my small-town traffic hardly qualifies, there are a couple of spots on the ride where I don't have much of an alternative, route-wise, and the lack of light just isn't good. Even though I blink A LOT when I ride in the dark. With LED lights, that is, not with my eyelids.

Re: lack of blogging, my laptop had to go see the doctors at Dell. It seems fine now. It was gone during the election, which was a mixed blessing. I couldn't obsess as much, but the obsessing I did do was challenging. Fivethirtyeight.com doesn't format very well for my cell phone screen.

I spotted my choice for all-time oddest vehicle name the other day: the Pontiac Parisienne Safari. Which is a 1970s fake-wood-panel station wagon. I cannot begin to fathom what they were going for with that name.

25 October 2008

the aminals

I've been carrying mail for the last two weeks, and anyone following me would conclude that I am a certifiable lunatic. I talk in goofy dog voice to almost all the dogs, and I meow at all the cats. Today, my heart just about burst when, after I'd already delivered the mail and was on my way back to the truck, the big husky emerged from behind the fence and loped over to me, and when I scratched behind her ears, she immediately flopped onto the ground for a belly rub. Awwwww. Shortly after that, I got to my favorite kitty's house, and she seemed hungry, and I couldn't tell if the people had been around lately, so later on, I went back with a plate of cat food. She didn't come when I meowed, and the people *may* have been around, so I didn't stay too long, but I did leave the food.

I'm lurching toward 1000--I think I'm at 980 miles right now. I missed two days of riding this week--one planned, and one the result of being ridiculously foggy headed, and thereby LATE. Thursday might be the day...

21 October 2008

my kid is funny.

I have one of those square peg sorts of kids, which is awesome, and which tends to mean that our many, many parenting challenges do *not* include staving off boredom.

That said, he may be catching on.

(notation in the corner of his school planner): "Note to self: Do not make Coach angry."

me: Hey kiddo, did you get into trouble in PE class?

kid: No! But another kid did, and he was doing something I would do, like making smart alecky comments, and he had to do eighteen pushups!

20 October 2008

leavenworth, pt. 2

Hi Mark!

Okay, Mark, in the comments on the previous post, took me to task for describing Leavenworth as "kitschy." I take his point, sort of, in that I actually do know enough about the history of the town to appreciate its transformation into a successful Bavarian-themed tourist destination. (Short version: hard times, dying local economy, business community transforms the city by mutual decision and sheer force of will. Inventive, and fairly awesome.) HOWEVER, it was created, and while its achievements are notable*, without actual Bavarians, it is not authentic.

*It is thriving--I was there on a Monday, and there were LOTS of people in the streets.

It should be further noted that I *like* kitsch. Folks were very friendly, I was able to find a satisfactory vegetarian lunch with no trouble at all, and the natural beauty is breathtaking. Plus there is Bavarian-themed mini-golf, which I didn't play (why?!??), so I will return. That there's an artificial conceit in play bothers me not at all.

In other news, the rain is potentially hampering my efforts at reaching the 1000 mile mark. I rode today, but got utterly drenched on the way home. Hopefully it will let up by morning, as arriving at work that wet is not so fabulous. At least if I come home soaking wet, I can take a hot shower and put on my pajamas right away.

17 October 2008


Columbus Day is a minor annual holiday for me; a day on which I take myself off on an adventure someplace. Alone. This year, I drove north to Leavenworth, a kind of kitschy Bavarian-themed tourist town. I managed to get my hair trimmed (a major achievement), wandered around a lot, bought only a couple of balls of yarn, and rode my bike* on the rather excellent city trails that parallel the river.

I enjoy monkeying around with the self-timer, although I tend to try to avoid being observed....

*Bianchi, not the electric. It did quite well on the trail, even though I had to switch to the road tires. I dismounted briefly three times--once for loose gravel, once for big rocks, and once for mud.

15 October 2008

pointing out the obvious

(Listening to the third presidential debate in the car on the way home from soccer practice. Kid starts talking about something unrelated with great enthusiasm.)

Me: SSHHHH! This is really important!

Me: I'm sorry. You're really important, too. But they're only going to say this once.

Kid: MOM, it'll be on YouTube later....

11 October 2008

bonus post!

1) Using Biology, Not Religion, to Argue Against Same-Sex Marriage HEAD THUNK. 6.6 billion people, folks. Protecting human procreation is not really our issue just now.

2) Raphael Saadiq.

That an album released in 2008 sounds like this makes me REALLY happy. There's a live video on YouTube, but it doesn't do this track justice.

3) Charlie Haden - Rambling Boy

No adequate video on this, but go listen at iTunes or Amazon or something. Or you could go to the official site but I warned you about the Flash attack. Lots of the Haden Triplets, together and separately, plus lots of well-chosen guest artists. Even Jack Black's contribution on "Old Joe Clark" works.

4) Extra more, because I am nice like that:

5) (further video aside: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is on heavy rotation around here, but Nick Cave's mustache here is blowing my mind.)

Oh. hi.

Regular busy, three places at once, etc. etc. sort of stuff. Riding still, even though it has only been 30 freaking degrees in the morning. I gave up and wore long johns the last two days, and my wool mittens are pulled on over my riding gloves, and sometimes I'm wearing my Buff and a wool stocking cap, but whatever. It's also getting darker, so there are lots of blinkies--LED headlight, a seatpost taillight, and one attached to my messenger bag. My coworkers who pass me up in their cars assure me that I am visible.

I'm up to 920 miles since I installed the bike computer, and my goal is 1000 before the snow sidelines me for the winter. I ride about 45 miles/week, so I fervently hope this is not unrealistic.

I've also had a number of irritating mechanical issues, which are making me a bit paranoid. It started a couple of months ago when I had a bent front rim, but no corresponding bending event. Then a while later, I went out back one afternoon, and my rear tire was flat. Then again this week. (Lucky break: dad (and all-around nice guy) of one of the kid's friends was driving by in his pickup, threw my bike in the back, and gave me a ride home.) Anyway, that all of these events have occurred in conjunction with my commute HOME, not TO work, has me struggling not to be a paranoid freak. I have my reasons. So the bike is coming inside in the afternoons, even though there is no incredibly spectacular place for it.

We have Columbus Day off at work, and even though I harbor all the usual skepticism about that particular holiday, it serves the annual purpose of providing me with a day to go mess around all by myself. The town I am visiting this year has a yarn shop, an independent bookstore, and bike paths, so it's all good. I am taking the Bianchi with me, and in advance of this, I knew I had a flat to change (I'm getting quite good at this...). When I went to do it, discovered that it wasn't the tube, exactly, that was the problem--the tire itself was totally shredded. Luckily, I had the original road tires for the bike in the basement, so I swapped them for the hybrid tires I'd been riding with. On which I'd been riding. I adore that bike, even though the electric suits my commuting needs better. Hoping for a nice day.

04 October 2008

I highly

highly, highly recommend the audiobook version of Dreams from My Father, read by the author.

Sarah Palin makes me furious on so many levels, but her snarky description of him as a "man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate" (which is false) makes me wonder if she has bothered to read them, which I think would surely be wise. Dreams is a thoughtful, honest, and insightful meditation on race and family. Mocking it reveals a world view that is so debased and cynical, that...well, consider the source.

21 September 2008

the awesome allure

of items that aren't in commercial production yet, and which I probably could not afford if they were. But cool!

I rode only half my normal distance on Friday, and about two-thirds of it on Saturday. On Friday, at the conclusion of a week in which I worked many hours, and had only one lunch break, I went out back to get a piece of equipment and noticed that my rear tire was flat. Three little letters would express my reaction to that, and I'll leave you to guess which three. I don't carry a frame pump (yeah, I probably should), and fixing it on the spot would have been a pain anyway, so I called for backup. When we arrived home, I left the bike on the bike rack, using it as sort of a pseudo shop stand. I used the bathtub method to find the leak, patched it, and all was well with my biking world again. On Saturday, it just happened that my family passed me on my way home--they were returning from a soccer game. So they stopped to pick me up.

This slayed me.

11 September 2008

I am not a hockey mom.

And I am going to go ahead and blast Sarah Palin's parenting.

Not because of choices her children have made. I know full well that kids don't always behave in the ways their parents would like, and they deserve our continuing unconditional love and support anyway.

What I find utterly damning about Sarah Palin's parenting is that her position on abortion would potentially cause her own children to endure a pregnancy that was the result of rape or incest. (Citation here.) The lack of compassion present in that position is incomprehensible to me.

Here's a story: my own child was not the result of a neatly planned pregnancy. But I was (and am) married to a good man, in whom I could see the heart of a great dad, and I consciously *chose* to have a baby. And let me state this in unequivocal terms: it was the BEST, most joyous decision I ever made. The fact that it was a decision informs my parenting every day. This is the path I chose, and I have the responsibility to do everything in my power to make it worthwhile for all of us. I make mistakes--we all do. But I choose to do my best to show my kid that he is wanted and cherished, absolutely.

That's my story. Here's another one, abbreviated and incomplete, because it's not mine. In high school, I was friends with a girl. She was being raised by a single mom, and their finances were tight. Still, she found a way to get herself to college. At some point, she was still broke, she needed to get from point A to point B, and for whatever reason, hitchhiking was the option that she chose. She was picked up by a long-haul trucker, and he raped her. She got pregnant, and she had an abortion.

That story haunts me. She was someone I knew, and if I couldn't imagine myself in that position, not exactly, I could imagine her in that position. I could imagine her pain. I shudder at having to make a decision in that situation, and I cringe at the at the idea of a woman who believes she could make it for someone else. For her own daughters.

09 September 2008

By the way, I still support Barack Obama

and check out these awesome anti-theft bike stands (via Bike Hugger).

My two main parking locations are at home and at work. At home, I noose a cable to connect the frame and the front wheel, then take the remaining loop in the cable and attach it and the frame to one of the posts on the front porch. Which you could saw through, but if we were home, such shenanigans would wake us up, and if we weren't, the dog would have a full-blown fit. She's a love, but she can sound quite ferocious. At work, it's the same strategy, only I'm locking to some huge metal pipe that comes down the back wall. If I stop at the grocery, the bike gets locked to one of the cart corrals, and all the peripherals go in with me. (Which always confuses the checkers and baggers--yes, I KNOW there is stuff in the bottom of the bag (my pannier). Put the groceries in anyway!)

A friend emailed me this op piece on why Sarah Palin is scary, and not to be trifled with.

07 September 2008

Why I support Barack Obama

This is what I wrote when prompted in my profile at the campaign website.

Why I support Barack Obama: I support Barack Obama because I believe we need a President who believes in the American people--one who can inspire us to start believing in ourselves again. We need a national leader who is thoughtful, who can listen to a variety of viewpoints in a deep way, who can bring people together rather than drive them apart. I support Barack Obama because of his opposition to the war. I support him because he believes in diplomacy. I support him because I think the world he wants for his daughters is the world I want for my son--one in which the US is strong, but not arrogant; where we have a healthy economy that is not built on exploitation; where people are treated with dignity and respect without regard to gender, race, class or creed; where the environment is our treasure, not our plunder; where we try, and think, and work, and hope, and work some more.

(That's my main reason, above. Photo taken on the beach at Lincoln Park in October 2000, when he was 17 months old. Deluge followed very soon after the pix were taken.)

02 September 2008

90 Days

As of today, it has been three months since I last drove to work. Although I was on vacation for two weeks, so I am requiring myself to bike for an additional two weeks before I think about driving, and truly, I will go for as long as possible after that. I am also confident that I will be able to start biking earlier in the year next year. Although I was biking pretty regularly in April and May.

This morning was very chilly--maybe 40 or so. However, I recently purchased a fleece and cycling jacket combination from REI, and gloves from my local bike shop, and I've been fairly comfortable on those brisk mornings and in the windy afternoons. I also bought a Buff head scarf thing, which works incredibly well as both a helmet liner and a neck gaiter.

Proper clothing makes all the difference.

25 August 2008


NPR story on electric bikes.

I think it overplays the "it's so easy!" aspect of things, but I was grateful for mine today. First day back at work after a two-week vacation, it was chilly and threatening rain*, also windy, and I carried mail. Flip the assist on, baby!

*I even fished out the rain cover for my pannier, since I was ferrying paperwork and returning books to my coworkers. It covers five sides of the cube, and while I'll have to wait for a wetter day to truly test it, it shows promise.

Also, Ted Kennedy. *sniff*

24 August 2008

only exciting if you are me

In a final fit of Accomplishing Something While On Vacation, I cleaned my office.


--1 1/2 bags* of recycled paper
--2 banker's boxes of magazines
--1 paper grocery bag of outgrown children's books
--1 banker's box of miscellaneous stuff to go to Goodwill
--1 banker's box of stuff to sell or swap

*These bags are the approximate size of a first grader.

I also revamped my filing system, cleared out the holding bin downstairs where my husband tosses my stuff which he doesn't know what else to do with it (or doesn't want to, which is fine), finished sewing the knitted top on a throw pillow--a project which has been languishing for at least three years, and fixed a sweater I'd made for the kid in order to pass it along to the younger cousins.

So, while I mostly screwed around, played Guitar Hero, and went camping, I did knock a couple of items off the to-do list....

23 August 2008

at least I didn't get wakened at 3 am

B- U bsy? Cuz u didnt txt me.

(Aside: when we were camping, the kid had made friends with a pack of kids, and wanted to go over to their campsite. I told him he had to wait until the dad, the supervising adult, was back from the store. He started petitioning me: "Well, if Barack Obama went with me, could I go now? How about Hillary Clinton?" Yes, fine, but I think they're both a little busy right now...)

21 August 2008

went campin'

I've been on vacation, and we went camping. Top to bottom: 1) My kid paddling a canoe from the rear position, never having done so before in his life. (He buddied up to a kid who was with a Boy Scout Troop at the same park we were camping at. One of the other scouts commented, when the boat, predictably, started drifting off course, "Mr. Kirby, we have a situation here.") 2) She Who Watches 3) A snail. 4) Touch-Me-Not Jewelweed. 5) Me, my husband, my mom, and my kid in front of the yurt we stayed in at Paradise Point State Park. It rained a lot when we were there--the yurt as awesome. We'd tent camped at our previous site, where it was 115 F one day. The difference a day and a couple hundred miles makes....

Like all such outings, it had its ups and downs, but all in all we had a fun time, and didn't do much. Which was the point.

08 August 2008


With the addition of this guinea pig, the critters in our household now outnumber the humans.

I was initially entirely against the adoption of this little beastie, because rodents, ew. But he is terribly cute, and sweet, and the kid is extremely gentle with him. I call him the wee rattie. He's not, of course.

He is enjoying some green bell pepper in this photo.

07 August 2008


So far, I haven't been beat up because of my new sticker.
Posted by Picasa

30 July 2008

sending you away from my blog

I think everyone who believes in equality and fairness should carry a wallet photo of this picture.

Also, I am a Unitarian Universalist, too.

29 July 2008


Due to a bout of daydreaming in the shower about a situation that was bothering me, I was very nearly late for work on Monday, but I still stopped to photograph my bike computer when I hit 500 miles. (It's the last reading on the screen.) Speed is at the top (I was stopped), then ride time and trip distance. I'd forgotten to reset the computer after the previous day's ride, so those weren't accurate just then.

I rode part way home with one of the nurses from the medical clinic, which was kind of fun, even though my natural instinct is to wave a cheery hello and the pedal on by...

27 July 2008

lame blogger steals meme. news at 11.

Lifting this meme from Michelle.


Who was your first prom date?
I only went to my senior prom, and I went with my friend John. I wish we lived closer, because he is way fun, and so is his wife, and his kid, and our families totally get along.

Do you still talk to your first love? Oh hell no.

What was your first alcoholic drink? Probably some kind of wine cooler, and not much of it. I had a foolproof routine for ordering gin and tonics with my boss at the Peanut Barrel in East Lansing before I was of age. Foolproof except that I was drinking bad G&Ts--ick.

What was your first job?
I taught music theory to 2-3 year olds.

What was your first car?
Land yacht. 1976 Ford LTD. 8 whopping miles to the gallon.

Who was the first person to text you today?
The coworker I text with is on vacation. I did text her, though.

Who is the first person you thought of this morning? Well, my husband, since the dumb cat woke us both up at the same time trying to walk around *behind* the blinds in our bedroom.

Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Donovan. She was kind of crabby, and I got in trouble for talking to my best friend. I was MORTIFIED.

Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
Probably back to Grand Island, NE from college in East Lansing, MI.

Who was your first best friend and are you still friends? Cindy Grooms. We see each other about once a decade now.

What was your first sport played? Outside of PE class, softball. I played for several years, but ultimately quit because of an episode of appalling sportsmanship on the part of my teammates.

Where was your first sleepover? Probably at Grandma's.

Who was the first person you talked to this morning? My husband, cf the cat issue, above. The first *creature* I talked to was the CAT.

Whose wedding were you first in? I have mostly dodged that bullet, but I was the maid of honor in my sister's wedding when I was nursing my 3 1/2 month old baby. The dress was NOT designed for nursing moms.

What was the first thing you did this morning?

What was the first concert you went to? Lionel Richie, baby.

What was your first tattoo or piercing? Ears, age 12. I rarely wear jewelry other than my wedding rings and a ring that my friend Wendy made for me when the kid was born.

What was the first foreign country you went to? Canada, where I went to piano camp for a week, or maybe two.

What was your first run in with the law? Pleading the Fifth. Way too embarrassing.

When was your first detention?
I was mortified when I got busted for TALKING in the first grade. Do you really think I ever had detention?

What was the first state you lived in? Nebraska. I still consider myself a native, even though I've been away for 22 years now.

Who was the first person to break your heart? Ugh. I'll say this: it wasn't worth it.

Who was your first roommate? April Tagge. Freshman year of college.

Where did you go in your first limo ride? To the wedding chapel in Las Vegas, the second time my parents got married.

20 July 2008

new saddle

I haven't been completely happy with the saddle that came on my bike--it looked pretty good, but it wasn't that comfortable, and I wasn't that impressed by the quality of whatever synthetic the cover was made from.

I considered replacing it with one of many beautiful Brooks saddles, in part because they are what the original saddle was emulating. However, I decided that paying upwards of $100 for a new saddle was not what I needed to be doing right now. Not that they are not worth the price: on the balance, I think that they probably are.

Color was a consideration, because I just don't see a black saddle on my bike, and there aren't that many other options. This saddle is orange, but it's subtle enough to fall into the honey-colored leather spectrum. It's a synthetic with a nice feel, and an embossed flower print. The look of it on my bike isn't perfect, but it's nice enough, and I think I'll get used to it. Test ride says it's quite comfortable, though I'm probably going to be monkeying with the positioning for a while yet.

Also: Wall-E. AMAZING.

14 July 2008

Farmer's Pasta Primavera

Sources on the ingredients: spaghetti and angel hair plus lemon all purchased at independent local natural grocery, organic zucchini grown by my father-in-law, peas and onions grown about 10 miles away and purchased at farmer's market, carrots purchased from regional grower at farmer's market, regional supermarket broccoli and garlic.

Can you tell I recently read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

13 July 2008

hey, I'm supposed to be paying bills. time to blog!

(insert annoyance about small, time-consuming aggravations here)


I dragged my family to the farmer's market today. I went by myself last week, but harassed them to come with me today. I bought organic carrots, chioggia beets, and bing cherries, and possibly organic, but very, very local potatoes, peas, onions, and lettuce. Local as in 25 miles away, tops. When we got home, I cleaned what needed cleaning, cut things up, shelled the peas. Weirdly (or not), it's much easier to attend to that sort of thing when you just bought the veggies from the person who grew them. The kid helped me with the peas, even though he refuses to eat them.

Yesterday, I made grissini. Again with the connections sort of thing, the recipe I used came to me via one of the letter carriers in the office, who had brought it in from one of the older ladies on his route. I am not a great baker (cf too-doughy pizza dough, and rock-hard loaves of bread), but I have been wanting to give it a shot for awhile now. And it worked! For what it's worth, I accomplished this on a day when a saner person would NOT have turned on the oven...

Weekly mileage: 49.04, BAT/KAT trips 13

09 July 2008

well, hi.

I am just about recovered. From carrying mail in the heat, from freezing to death on the 4th of July (NOT FAIR), from waiting impatiently for Guitar Hero: Aerosmith to arrive.

I am still sadly lacking in all enthusiasm, but I think it's because I need a break, which I will get in a few weeks.

And then, sometime, there will be an extra break, because at the FREEZING COLD FOURTH OF JULY EVENT, we somehow won a raffle prize for three days on the ocean. I didn't even know that the boys had purchased a ticket until the kid called me to tell me WE WON.

That's all for now.

30 June 2008

eleven billion degrees, and some photos

These were from yesterday, when it was also eleven billion degrees, but I was riding my bike instead of driving around in a convection oven, so it was actually quite pleasant.

Today, I was ridiculously hot and filthy by the end of my shift, and I had NO qualms about using the assist all the way home. I was tired, but more importantly, I couldn't afford any delay that would keep me from the shower.

29 June 2008


I just realized that the camera went to California, but the memory card stayed behind. To be fair, I thought that the other camera was going, and I also thought I had put the card back in the camera last time I uploaded pix, but apparently not.

Right now is the earliest my guys could get back, like if they didn't have to pee at all on the road.

My total mileage for this week was 72.47 miles, and I rode every day. There was the regular commute, Monday through Saturday, plus a trip back into town to see the cycling film, and today was our UU congregation's annual garden tour. I parked at the church (under a wonderful, wonderful shade tree), then biked the 15 mile loop in 17.12 miles. (I made a navigational error traveling from the last stop back to the car.) I tried to use the assist as little as possible, but there was a gnarly bit going through a freeway interchange positioned on an overpass, and then toward the end I was starting to get tired, and wanted to finish up my errands and get back home to finish cleaning up the house. Oh, did I mention that it was 100 degrees out today?

(T-storm right now.)

I need to pay bills, but then perhaps I'll go sit on the front porch, wait for my guys, and listen to the thunder. And hope for not too much lightning. It's not super dry yet, but the fire danger got boosted from low to moderate in the last few days, and I suspect most of our fire fighters are in California right now.

i suck at going to bed.

Back at my old blog, I had this busybody reader who would periodically nag me about posting at 3 am. I was doing freelance work after the kid went to bed then (and he, like his parents, is a night owl), but you know--Charlotte knew best.

I forgot to link to Evan's website yesterday.

I think my windbreaker got ripped off while I was at the movie last night. It is just an orange nylon windbreaker that stuffs into its own pocket, but geez, people. I'd be less irritated if it was actually cold last night. It might have flown out of my pannier somewhere, but I've retraced my steps three times now, so maybe not.

I've been rearranging furniture tonight. Not sure if it is an improvement, but the bookcase is such a pain to move it's going to stay this way for a bit, anyway.

27 June 2008


I went to see Evan Schmitt's new film tonight, his second, which at the age of 18, is really kind of amazing. He's got a great eye, and oh my god, I could watch cyclocross racing forever. I kinda think I want to go watch Star Crossed CX for my birthday.

Also: this was my odometer reading when I rolled back up to the house after the film tonight. 299.9 miles. Guess I will pass 300 tomorrow.

I ordered the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith bundle for the Wii today. Decided that if I wait for Guitar Hero World Tour instead of Rock Band, the guitar compatibility issue should not be a problem.

I should go to bed. I am really not excited about going to work tomorrow. I would much rather stay home, make lemonade, and finish my room rearranging project.

26 June 2008

reason eleventy million

why I love my local bike shop:

Today, riding to work, and then home again, I noticed a shimmy in my front wheel. It was ridiculously windy, and I was trying to convince myself that the crosswinds were causing the wobble. Then I started thinking about stopping by the shop on Saturday after work, or, or, or. I ended up riding straight to the shop, and asked John to look at it.

Turns out I'd bent the rim, and the wheel was out of true. On the one hand, ugh. On the other, I'm weirdly gratified when I am paying attention to my instincts AND I'M RIGHT.

John trued it up in short order, and then informed me that adjustments were included in the original purchase price of the bike. Dude was turning down money, because I am happy to pay for people to help me with things I don't have the skill to accomplish myself, but okay. Excellent, excellent customer service.

Also: my dog is awesome. She was crated for most of today, though I gave her breaks at decent intervals (before work, at lunch, after work, when I came home later at night). She is a very nervous dog, but she handled the day well. Even though we got her for my kid (ostensibly), she has been *my* dog from the time she was a puppy.

25 June 2008


I'm spending the week with the animals, trying to keep on top of the chores I normally don't do, and trying not to kill the lawn with benign neglect. My boys went to California, and due to some kind of ugly circumstances, I couldn't get the vacation time off to join them. At least not without a huge amount of drama.

Before they left, I bought a pay-as-you-go cell phone to send with my little monkey. Nine year olds get VERY excited if you get them their OWN cell phone. But I'm pretty reliant on my phone, didn't want to send it, and couldn't imagine not talking with the kid (and his dad) a few times a day.

Problem is, my little one is *sad*. He is the human equivalent of the border collie (in all respects, really), and he does NOT like it when his pack is not all together. Hopefully his cousins will distract him a bit--the purpose of this trip is a wedding, which will add two to the three he already has.

Sure miss them.

22 June 2008

61.01 miles

That was my total for June 16-22. I hadn't ridden anywhere today, then decided Dilly Bars would be yummy for dessert, and then further decided that if I wasn't willing to ride to get them, I didn't really want one. I ended up riding all but the big hills coming home in manual mode, as I realized I wouldn't have enough electric power to make it all the way. It wasn't that bad--just slower than I like (about 10 mph vs. 15 mph).

Friday left me less enamored than usual with the driving public, as I would have been creamed (or nearly so) three times if I wasn't a VERY careful cyclist. (All three incidents involved failing to signal and/or yield. I am ALWAYS prepared to yield, because right of way is meaningless except as a social nicety when you are a bike.)

Any photos this week will be limited to lo-res cell cam pics, as both cameras will be on the road. I made a really fantastic vegan pizza with garlic, mushrooms, garden greens, and sundried tomatoes, but you will have to imagine it. And feel free to note the discrepancy between making a lovely vegan pizza and then biking eight miles to get Dairy Queen for dessert.

19 June 2008

and another weird thing

I carry a Timbuk2 Metro Messenger bag. Tonight, due to a tedious sequence of events, my stuff went home in the car, while I went home on my bike. And I discovered that the strap of my bag feels like a seatbelt, and I feel really, really weird riding without it.

I have two, or possibly three, trips to a nearby town planned for next week, but I have a goal of not driving otherwise.

18 June 2008


I had a two hour lunch break today, so I rode home. My coworker was having a memorable birthday, and dinner plans were being formulated, but weren't perfectly clear yet, so I rode my Bianchi back to work, figuring it was easier to a) leave at work or b) throw in the back of somebody else's rig if need be. (It's MUCH lighter than the e-bike.)

It turned out that dinner wasn't until 6:30, leaving me time to go home and change into civilian clothes if I scammed a ride. I did, with the birthday guy, and we picked up a (known, local) hitchhiker, who rode in the bed of the truck with my bike.

Dinner was fun; large sombreros were worn. Not by me; though that might be on the horizon in a few months...

17 June 2008


I had a "scheduled day off" today (euphemism for weekend comprised of non- consecutive days), and almost the first words out of the kid's mouth were, "Can we go for a bike ride?" He knows the answer to this is nearly always yes. He's no dummy.

However, it was really windy, and a little cold. Since swimming lessons were on the evening agenda, I decided to load the bikes on the rack and drive us a bit further to the Yakima Greenway, a 10 mile paved path that parallels the Yakima and Naches rivers. (Yakima is typically 10-15 degrees warmer, and a bit less windy than home.) This photograph was taken at a huge playground which we have seen from the freeway many times, but have never been to because (kind of gloriously) it is not accessible by car. You have to walk or bike about a mile to get to it. My kid devised an obstacle course for himself, complete with a crazy scoring system and video game style "boss battles." A girl, several years older, stopped with her father while we were there, and he was surprised at how long she wanted to stay. It's a really nice playground.

We rode a little over four miles out to a point where the path continues, but involves crossing a busy overpass and riding in a bike lane in traffic. If I had been alone, I wouldn't have hesitated, but with the kid, it seemed the appropriate place to turn around. We finished with the wind at our backs, pedaling past lots of folks fishing, and there was a park volunteer scooting around in a golf cart, offering cold water served in those cone shaped paper cups.

I rode my Bianchi because I knew there would be no need for the electric assist, and it is so much lighter than the e-bike. Much easier to maneuver on the rack.

We went to look at refrigerators, but did not buy one. The kid liked the big stainless steel, french door, bottom freezer model, on sale for a mere $2700. The salesman told him he had excellent taste.

I also did not go put a deposit on Rock Band. This was more a time crunch than any kind of good sense on my part. Oh, and we watched a commercial for the Aerosmith Guitar Hero game, which made me laugh (in a good way). "Sweet Pandora, smelling like a flora" being one of the most awesomely bad rock lyrics ever.

16 June 2008

will wonders never...

I previously posted this photo, sans arrow, with a description of the electric assist controls. Later, I edited that description when I realized that the indicator lights correspond to the battery charge, not one's speed. Or maybe it's the amount of assist being employed. I'm not 100% sure, and the owner's manual for the bike is weirdly mum on the subject. It's also weirdly mum on the subject of the thumb lever the arrow is pointing to, and which, up until today, I thought was an unused control within the U.S. market. TURNS OUT IT'S LIKE A POWER UP BUTTON. I was just messing around on my way home, and accidentally discovered this.

Potential uses for this feature (though obviously, I've been getting along without it just fine): accelerating from a stop (the assist doesn't come on until about 10 mph otherwise), going up the steeper hills I usually go around, and accelerating up the hill I have to ride without any kind of bike lane or shoulder.

I am trying to convince myself not to buy Rock Band or Guitar Hero until the guitar compatibility issues for Wii are sorted out. On the other hand, if I buy Rock Band, then eventually someone should make a controller playable with both games, which could then function as the bass guitar. On the other other hand, we still need to replace our refrigerator....

15 June 2008

my electric ride was rode this week.

Except for that one day when it snowed. But Monday, and Wednesday-Saturday, I rode. If I go straight to work and back, my round trip is 7.67 miles. If I ride to lunch somewhere, it's 8.13-10. If I add errands, it's another half-mile to mile. I forgot to note my beginning and ending mileage, but my total for the week was about 40, and I rolled the odometer past 200. I'm trying to figure out what a good yearly goal would be. Whatever I decide, proper clothing will be key to making it happen. I have been pretty disciplined about riding--my standard rule is that if I'm not going to, I need a specific, concrete reason that is better than "I don't feel like it." However, even with the electric assist, the wind kicks my behind, and even if it it's not that cold otherwise, the stiff "breeze" can make for a chilly ride.

In other important news, we got to borrow Guitar Hero III for the Wii this weekend, and oh my goodness, I rock. I realize that the Guitar Hero franchise has no shortage of positive reviews, but I was amazed at how much crazy fun it is. Obviously, it's not exactly equivalent of playing the guitar, but there is real musical value to it--you have to listen for the guitar melody within the full song, you need the same types of fingering skills (even if there are differences), and you need to find and keep the beat. I beat the game on easy mode, but I probably will have to get a copy of our own so that I can conquer medium, difficult, and expert modes. I will also need a timer, because it is a giant, fun time suck.

10 June 2008

yes, really.

 This didn't last long, but ugh.
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09 June 2008


 I was biking home in traffic, but pulled over to snap this shot of the sky. THAT was a big, black cloud. Not too much later, it started to sprinkle. I stopped to get a pizza for dinner (using my bungee cargo net to fasten it to my rear bike rack), and a few blocks from home, it was raining hard enough that I made an emergency call--"Meet me at the post office!" I was afraid the pizza box would get too wet and start disintegrating. The P.O. is only a few blocks from home, so the trip to rescue the pizza didn't negate the benefits of riding to and from work. Also, I rode my bike back home after handing off the pizza, and beat the boys by at least 30 seconds.

Now, it's raining even harder, and people have been saying all day that the snow level is supposed to drop to 2500 feet tonight. We're at 2280. So yeah. Juneuary.
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06 June 2008

not complaining.

I love beautiful sunny days, with a light breeze, especially late in the afternoon when the very slowly descending sun makes the forest all around me glow a warm, deep, golden green. I hope we will have some of these days this summer.

I also really enjoy it when other cyclists ride on the correct side of the road, with helmets, and when, if they are riding three abreast, they drop into a single file line when I pass them.

I am very appreciative of the road crews when they sweep the shoulders of broken glass. Also, I like it when weekenders take their beer bottles home with them for recycling, instead of tossing them onto the road.

Automotive UV film that allows me to make eye contact with drivers (who would not dream of talking on their cell phones while driving) is awesome!

Relief from huge propane bills is a welcome sign of summer! I hope it's coming!


It's been a bit of a long week; you can read between the lines for my petty complaints. Hopefully I will boost my mileage a little tomorrow--it was raining hard Tuesday morning, and today, and I wasn't scheduled to work on Wednesday. I did ride back to work from lunch today, but got quite damp. I considered picking up pizza on my way home, but I was too tired to contemplate waiting for it to be cooked.

On the brighter side of things, the elementary school spring concert was this week, I got to spend a big chunk of my day off with my guys, and my little guy called my cell phone while I was at work, just to tell me he loves me. And also, the third graders kicked the fourth graders' butts in kickball.

31 May 2008

This is my ride home. Where I live, pickup trucks outnumber bicycles by...well, a lot, but there's not a lot of traffic in general, and there are some really lovely roads to travel. This part of my route goes past several acres of horse pasture, and the only loose dog is one I know, who wags his tail when I call out hello.

Odometer right now is at 130; I think I started the week at 79.2. In addition to my commute, I rode to the new natural market (yay), and to the hardware store to get line for the stupid weed whacker. (That was the same errand, and a short one.) Weed whacking is just slightly above cleaning the bathtub on my list of hated chores, but I was mad at the time, which is when many onerous tasks are completed.
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30 May 2008


I rode my bike to work and back twice today (scheduled for long lunch, and didn't pack my lunchbox). At lunch, I grabbed the grocery panniers so I could stop at the store after work.

At the store, I placed the bags on the conveyor belt, side by side, with the items that fit in them lined up neatly behind each one. The annoying bag boy took my panniers, put them in the grocery cart, and then put my groceries in three separate plastic bags. (I was distracted by fishing out my discount card, paying the bill, etc.) I try not to have fits in public, but I did, a little bit.

Right after, though, I ran into a neighbor I hadn't seen in quite awhile, with her darling children. That took the edge off. A little.

Tomorrow's commute will bring me to six consecutive days, and approximately 50 miles.

29 May 2008

ye gads

Sometimes things take on a life of their own. I called my mom as soon as I got home to find out the name of the artist at her gallery who made the bigger knit? felted? bike bags that inspired my little bag. Cindy Krushenisky showed a series of bags at the art gallery my mom is a member of last February. Hers were much larger, designed more like a traditional front basket, but they gave me the idea to hey! knit something for my bike.

I finished a gift project yesterday. It will probably be late arriving to its recipient, but only by a day or two. I am rarely on time, but I try.

My odometer rolled past 100 today. I'd intended to photograph it (geek), but I was too busy thinking about the near-miss slow speed accident I avoided. Note to people in cars: you have to check crosswalks before you turn! Really! And turn signals are good, too.

28 May 2008

my bike is a supermodel

but also charmingly utilitarian. I just took this photo because it kind of cracked me up. By the time I reached my driveway, I was tooling along with a hat and pair of mittens in the handlebar bag, plus two pennies I found in the street; my coffee cup; a small tote bag containing a knitting project, three catalogs I got in the mail yesterday, and my lunchbox; mail from today; my bike lock; and a loaf of bread. Amazingly, the bread didn't really get scrunched--I just fastened the cargo net between two slices in the middle of the loaf.

This was my lunch from yesterday--simple coleslaw with radish slices, potatoes and chickpeas roasted with nutritional yeast, some almonds and corn nuts (left over from the bike ride with the kid), and some baby carrots with a Vegannaise dip. The kid and I both use Laptop Lunches bento boxes, which are the most awesome lunch boxes evah. They make it super easy to pack a varied lunch, and we generate no lunchtime waste. (I carry a bandana as a napkin, and I'm quite certain the kid uses his clothing.) Plus the plastic boxes ride around in lead-free insulated cases which have room for a small water bottle (which comes with the kit). I usually freeze the water bottle, and then don't worry about refrigerating my lunch.

26 May 2008

photo frenzy

We went for a five mile ride on a rails- to-trails trail today. We had a 2 1/2 hour window from the time we set out until we needed to be back at the house for a matinee of Iron Man.

We initially turned back at this gate, because the kid thought we shouldn't skirt around it. I hadn't ridden this trail before, and thought there was at least a chance that it was closed on purpose--the snow pack melted FAST last week, and the rivers are high. However, we ran into a park ranger, who told us that it was just the equivalent of an ecology block to keep the cars out.

We stopped to snack on corn nuts, dark chocolate M&Ms, and water.

There were more photos with crazy faces than not.

My new adjustable water bottle cage not only holds my awesome coffee cup, it will take my liter sized Sigg bottle, too.

The kid worked out a call system with his bike horn--one honk for yes, two for no, four for "MOM! STOP!!!" There was a lot of that, as the trail had a fair amount of loose gravel. We both lost patience toward the end of the ride, when I finally exclaimed, exasperated, "It's NOT that big a deal if you fall on soft gravel going four miles per hour!!"

My ride time was 48 minutes, with an average speed of just a little over six mph. We were gone for quite a lot longer than that--the computer wasn't counting the time when I was stopped to wait for the kid to catch up.

Still, I think we'd do it again. He was ready to call it a day at around 3.7 miles, but I pushed him to make it to five, and in retrospect, I think he was glad I did. He was annoying about it there for awhile, though.

I stopped to talk to my friend John, who sold me my lovely bike, and he told me he'd had several other customers report that they'd seen me out riding my bike and, "it's like she's barely pedaling!" Grrr. 1) How lovely of you to note that FROM YOUR CAR, since I don't encounter that many other cyclists on any given day. And 2) my cadence is not super fast, but whenever I check it, it's in the 60-70 rpm range--whether or not I'm using the pedal assist. Which is reasonably normal, especially since I tend to grind, rather than spin.

I will get over my bad self now. My bike is AWESOME for the kind of utility cycling I (mostly) do, but it is not a free ride.

I did get the rear tire changed on the Bianchi--much more expeditiously than the last time I did it. Both wheels on my e-bike are quick-release, but the most time-consuming part of the replacement job on the Bianchi was finding an adjustable wrench for the rear nut.

Current National Bike Month stats: I've ridden 15 out of 21 possible work days, and of the six I didn't ride, two were out-of-town training days, two were scheduled days off, one I had plans immediately after work plus it was raining HARD in the morning, and the first one, I just forgot. 100% would be lovely, but I guess we'll roll with 75%.

20 May 2008

local color

This is slightly off my route home, but I pass by it on a regular basis for other reasons. Photo was snapped with my phone's camera--it's pretty decent for this sort of thing.

Not so much with the mileage so far this week. I was not scheduled to work today, and it was too yucky out (read: windy & cold) to get up the gumption to ride recreationally. And tomorrow, I have another training, so I'll have to drive.

I discovered that my Bianchi has a rear flat the other day, so I have a repair to do. I've changed out the tires before (a couple of years ago), but I'm not sure if I've ever had to repair a flat. Discovering your flat at home, on something other than your regular ride, is, of course, ideal.

The one downside of having a day off (other than not getting paid for working, that is) is that I yell at the radio too much.... Election years are really stressful.

18 May 2008


That's the odometer reading on my bike computer. Plus I rode to and from work on Monday (i.e. before I installed it), so my mileage for the week was around 56 miles. Today, I attempted to visit a toy store by bike, but arrived three minutes after they closed. So it was just a ride.

(A windy one, and I reset the computer for the trip home, to compare. On the way to town, my average speed was between 16-17 mph. It would probably be higher, but there are several intersections where I either come to a complete stop, or slow down dramatically. Coming home, I think my speed was right around 14, riding against the wind with the pedal assist engaged.)

Tomorrow is my kiddo's birthday. He'll be nine, and he is awesome. We did not get the kind of kid you can just phone it in with, but it is totally worth it to live with such an interesting and complicated boy. Not easy, hardly ever, but totally worth it. (Hint: the background is the important part of this photo.)

14 May 2008

I rock.

Not as hard as some people, but. Today I was scheduled for a stupid two-hour lunch, so I rode my bike home and back again. Total mileage for today was 15.2 miles, total ride time 1 hour, 2 minutes, average speed 15 mph (obviously), and warp speed was 32 mph. (And that was with trying NOT to just bomb down the hill, since the pavement was wet this morning.)

It's supposed to be 90 degrees here tomorrow (will believe it when I see it). That could be interesting....

13 May 2008

radar. bring it.

New toys. I got a blinky, and an adjustable water bottle cage, and a bike computer. Took me a while to get the magnet that cues the computer's sensor installed last night, and I cut my hand doing it, but today I had stats. It took me 12 minutes and 44 seconds to get to work, and about 18 minutes to get home. My average speed over the course of the round trip was 14.9 mph, and my top speed was (on a downhill) 29.4 mph. I rode 7.68 miles. Note that the 29.4 mph was on a stretch of road where the actual speed limit is 25, so bugger off, you pesky cars. I'm speeding.

10 May 2008

national bike month - update

Mental comment to self last night--"You are TOO riding your bike tomorrow, you wuss!"

For May, my bike commuting progress has been as follows: May 1, hadn't realized it was NBM, and didn't ride; May 2,3,5 rode to and from work; May 6 had out-of-town training and did not ride; May 7, day off (weird!), escorted kid which equaled two round trips to the school; May 8, rode; May 9, drove in the morning, but rode back from lunch and back home; May 10, see above. Also: May 4, recreational ride with kid.

I have biked through my espresso stand once, biked through the ATM once, transported food for the NALC food drive in my grocery panniers to the office, picked up a few groceries on the way home, and carried home packages from the PO twice (personal mail).

And some battery stats: I charged last Saturday when I got home, and rode every day but Tuesday since then. I've previously said that I rarely use the pedal assist when traveling SE and downhill, and usually use it when traveling NW and uphill. Additionally, two days this week were insanely windy. On a fluke, I checked the battery when I was gearing up to go this morning and discovered that perhaps I'd better bring the charger with me, and plug it in at work. The indicator has four lights to indicate the charge, and the first light was just barely flickering, which is as far as I've depleted the battery. You can't tell from the riding performance, because the pedal assist works--until it doesn't. In other words, you don't gradually lose power--it's all or nothing.

09 May 2008

the windy ride home.

As threatened, Wednesday was "Bike to School Day." Just for us--there was no organized event, and from what I could tell, about three other kids were bike commuters that day. (Sad! But understandable, given the location of the school relative to a street with a speed limit of 45, and lack of really usable bike paths serving it.)

Anyway, the ride there was great, filled with exclamations of "I wish we could do this every day!" (When we actually arrived at school, I was almost instantaneously mama non grata, but that's a different story.) The ride home however, was a different story, my favorite bit of which was, "Mom! My bike's not working!" Uh, no, the wind is just blowing against you at around 30 mph. Awesome! A real life lesson in wind resistance! It took us about an hour to get home, and for reference, this portion of my ride usually takes me about 10 minutes. Kid also fell off his bike, and yelled, "I'm NEVER going to ride my bike again!" "Okay," I calmly responded, hoping his recovery would be quick. Luckily, a trio of border collies (accompanied by their humans) came bounding up and dropped a stick at his feet--a better than average distraction.

04 May 2008

Sunday ride.

I am currently scheduled to have Wednesday off, and my plan is to escort the kid to and from school by bike. The distance is eminently bikeable, but he's not quite nine, and there's a local-use highway to cross, and no crosswalk or crossing guard, so accompaniment is necessary for my peace of mind.

In advance of this plan, I decided that he needs a new bike helmet. It probably should have been replaced last year when he flipped over the handlebars of his bike and thumped his noggin, but it wasn't. So we walked down to our bike shop today, and got him a nice Bell helmet that should last for the next five years.

With a new helmet in hand, and blue skies overhead, the begging quickly commenced. "Mom! Can we go for a bike ride??" And who am I to say no to that? We live next door to a large developing resort, which has a great paved trail system. I have issues with many aspects of the resort, but a local citizen group worked really hard to, among other things, preserve public access to the land. My kid learned to ride his bike in an undeveloped cul-de-sac there, and it's a great place to ride together. It's a little hilly for him, so he has to hop off and walk up some of the steeper slopes, but his attitude was great, and we covered about four miles. First time my e-bike has been on the bike rack, too!

03 May 2008


I plugged my battery into the charger last night, and checked before tucking in. The charge was at about 75%, so I left it plugged in overnight. In the morning, it was still at 75%, which was a bit disconcerting, as full charge should be reached in less than four hours.

I worried about it, and figured I'd try to charge it again before making any panicky phone calls. Then I remembered: my husband vacuumed last night, and both plugs in the outlet he uses were in use, meaning something would have had to be unplugged.

The charger had been, and I charged the battery to full power.

It's National Bike Month, and I'm going to bike to work for as many days as possible. I missed Thursday, and I have an out-of-town training next Tuesday, but otherwise, I plan to ride. I just wrote that. In public.

02 May 2008

leak. proof.

This awesome mug is actually leak proof. AS in, fill it up, turn it upside down, and nothing comes out. There's a review of the pink, breast cancer research model on Amazon, and one of the three reviewers says that it leaks. If the cap is put on correctly, no, it doesn't.

This revolutionizes my working life. I made my first morning ride into work this a.m., all because my coffee was in my mug, strapped to my bike rack, and it was hot and all there when I arrived at the office.

I bought another manufacturer's leak-proof mug, which was not, not at all. But this one is absolutely water-tight. I bought it for $15; the other one was $25. (And will be returned.) Plus, it matches my bike. And the leather sleeve is not real leather. Score!

29 April 2008

helmet liner

I made a helmet liner of leftover sock yarn. I needed something with earflaps, and it needed to be lightweight and warm. I started at the top, worked increases at eight points, and single crocheted the edging.

I rode my Bianchi hybrid on a short errand after work today. It was quicker to take it than to unlock the e-bike. I totally love my e-bike, but my hybrid is a sweet little bike, too.

It snowed on me on the way home from my errand.

28 April 2008


Compare and contrast:


RCW 46.61.770
Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.


RCW 46.61.667
Using a wireless communications device while driving. (Effective July 1, 2008.)

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction.

Okay, you are off the hook, only because the law prohibiting cell phone use won't be enforced until July 1. But it's on the book. In case you're interested at all, the reason why I was riding in the driving lane was because I was preparing to make a left hand turn. This occurred approximately 5-10 seconds after you felt the need to honk at me and pass me. I wasn't quite close enough to signal my turn, which I always do, but I was close.

To sum up: hang up and drive. Courteously!

23 April 2008

The "out like a lamb" part never happened.

I left the house (in the car) amidst yet more snow. (Aside: the Californian spouse did remarkably little complaining when it was snowing *on his birthday* last week.) At lunchtime, I decided that it was warm enough to ride back to work. Warm enough, yes, but by the end of the afternoon, not dry enough. At all. Which didn't alter the necessity of riding home, so I walked through the front door soaking wet. My husband dryly noted, "That didn't work out as well as it could have, did it?"

For me, 90% of getting dinner on the table is a loose meal plan. I usually shop by sketching out five or six meals, plus extra salad fixings and easy lunch-type things. I don't designate any specific order for making them, though logistics come into play. (For example, all postal employees are tired by the end of your average Monday. Complicated dinners do not follow.) Since I just did the shopping last night, I had a fresh selection of meal plans to choose from. I decided to make the soba noodles with green beans and almonds from Vegan Express. Wow--easy. A quick sauce based on hoisin; toast some almonds; slice some scallions; cook the noodles, green beans, and in this case, the added edamame together, and dinner's ready.

20 April 2008

I did not sign up for this.

It keeps snowing. Not a lot; just enough to continue annoying me. And the robins.

I'm attempting to make a helmet liner out of leftover sock yarn. If it worked, I'll know shortly. I've been winging it, working from the top down, and I ran out of yarn and had to go foraging for something that was at least in the ballpark. It has ear flaps. It should probably be a full face mask.

16 April 2008

tempeh fries with wild rice and veggies

In the interest of moving that snow photo down in the queue, this is what I made for dinner tonight. Tempeh Fries with Horseradish Mayonnaise from Vegan Express , served with wild rice mix, steamed broccoli, raw red pepper slices, and radish halves. Yes, I like arranging vegetables on my cobalt blue Fiestaware.

It did stop snowing, and today was brisk and sunny. If you were inside, it looked beautiful outside. If you were outside (and I was) you tried to ignore the fact that you were being buffeted about by a mighty cold wind.

14 April 2008

remember when?

This weekend, temperatures were in the upper 60s, and on Saturday, at least, we had sunny blue skies. TODAY IT SNOWED. Not much, but please, please, stop it. This photo was taken on February 1st, and what you can't really tell is that the roof of our porch is at least ten feet off the ground. I took this shot from our driveway, and you also can't really tell that there is a path shoveled up to the steps. The piles of snow were so high at a couple of times during the season that I could barely hoist the shovel high enough to get the newly shoveled snow on top of them. My last electric bill noted that the average daily temperature for the billing period was eight degrees lower than last year. And I don't recall last year being especially balmy.

I did not ride my bike today, as the wind was blowing so hard that the entire flagpole at work was swaying. Also, did I mention it snowed?

I discovered today that Erik Marcus blogged my photo of the Coconut Pineapple Noodles. (Leftovers of which I finally finished at lunchtime today.) One of those things that makes you realize that we are all just regular people, even if some of us totally know who others of us are...