Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Chair

My first day at Petrie's was pretty productive and the shop is a fun environment to work in. There are characters coming in and out of the place all day. Tuned up 4 bikes and started another. Lots of things to learn, lots of grease to clean. My only hangup is not being sure and having to wait to ask a question when Farzam is busy, and Farzam is always busy. In brakes alone there are about 4 different major types and then a good dozen variations of each. I need something to fill the void when I can't finish a task. Some of the bikes are in such terrible shape and everything needs to be fixed or replaced but I'm never sure how far to go, how deep the pockets are. At least when I'm done with one now I can see a major improvement in the condition.  Back again Friday.

One event that was big was the destruction of the chair. Tom bought a barber chair in 1964 from the barber shop that closed next door. It' s been sitting right across from Farzam's workbench forever. A couple and their 10 year old girl came in and as the parents were looking at a bike the girl slammed herself into the conversation piece and broke the cast steel frame in three places. Not even a word of apology from anyone. They may not have realized the shock we were all in. That chair, weird as it may seem, has been a centerpiece for nearly 50 years. I've seen lots of customers sitting in it as their multi-thousand dollar bikes were assembled or repaired. Hopefully a welder that can tackle cast can be found to fix it.

At least I haven't jinxed the H***s yet. On the winning goal I actually reacted with a quick fist pump. I guess I really don't like Ovechkin. I guess we know who's shaking now. Can anyone see the H***s running around their own end for 45 minutes a game and coming out on top for another 4 games? Against the Penguins?

Wednesday I got skinnier, today was a draw.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cure for the Drowsies

Was just doing my email and reading a few sites I visit daily and started nodding off. Let's go Jill, gotta try out the new saddle anyway. Back in a bit.

That's better. Just a quick 10km. Enough to shake the cobwebs, adjust the saddle angles and get on the good side of I am skinnier than I was yesterday.

A long day at work listening to someone complain about everything under the sun and a few resting in the shade as well. Can't wait to go somewhere and have some fun with real personalities.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Old Parts and New Work

I went over to Petrie's this morning to cannibalize a bike that had very few good parts but the crank was just what I was looking for and free if I wanted to do the work. Farzum helped get the chainline straight and with the inside knowledge that he has in spades. Eowyn now has a great aluminum crank with a 38 tooth ring that will let me climb most any hills on the trails in Calgary. The new saddles came in and are installed but I'm not sold on them just yet. There was a buzz in the shop this morning about lack of help so I talked to Tom for a bit and I start Wednesday. Even if I just work for parts it's money I don't have to spend and a reason to get up in the morning and get moving. I know I can learn a bunch and probably pass on some computer stuff they don't have. They're a fun bunch to work with and the kind of business that I can be proud to be even a small part of.

Tonight I went over to Delaney for a meeting about the Bike Rodeos happening on May 1st and 15th. I volunteered to help out. There were at least 20 people on hand so it should be a good day for the grade 5's that are intended to come out.

How about those H***! I won't say I'm pulling for them since we know what happened last time I admitted that I was in their corner. Has anyone else ever seen 3 unsportsmanlike diving calls against one team?

Today I am fatter than yesterday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Watch Out Deer, You Could Be Next

I got another hour and a half in the saddle this morning as I took Jill over to Mission Marsh. The wind which was blowing every evening this week was strong this morning and as I write this has died down this evening. Coming down the bridge by the Thunder Center into the wind I never made 30 kph while with the wind at my back on the flat stretch I was easily doing that without even going into the big ring. Oddly there wasn't even one deer in sight, must have heard what we were having for supper.

We picked up a few elk steaks from Rainy River Elk Co. at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. Added some salad (with excellent home-made cornbread croutons) and a wild rice concoction. Elk is very lean so we had to be careful not to overcook it. Basically tastes like beef. Can't say we'd get it again but it was worth a try. Brandyn came by for a bit this afternoon, practiced some batting and then took off with his buddies.

Off to watch the Amazing Race, Go Cowboys!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long Way To Go To Watch A Game

I was all ready to send an email to Northwood parents as one of our former players (and current ref) was in Regina for the Women's Canadian Midget Championship. I watched most of the third period and she never got on the ice. That has to be devastating. I almost hope she was injured. The Thunder Bay Queen's won the game 4-3 over Notre Dame. 

I got out for another hour on Eowyn late this afternoon. Went out through the LU campus and back. No dozing even while reading lying down so there must be something to the CPAP settings fix. I can't wait for the chance to hit some of the trails in Calgary, riding around TBay is all been there done that, infinutm.

Bike Stolen? Check the Police Station

Think having one bike stolen is terrible? How about New York City where the police came along and cut off the locks of hundreds of bikes and loaded them into a truck and hauled them away. The bikes were on a street that would be part of President Obama's motorcade and the reasoning was the bikes were possible bike bombs. No warning and no word immediately as to where the bikes were taken.

Go West Old Man

Plans for Calgary (and now Vancouver!) are coming together. We both have the time off and have a room booked in Brandon for the night of the 1st. It will be a couple of long days driving but great to get away for a bit. Checking out the massive amount of bike paths and singletrack in Calgary is interesting. There's a provincial park about 20 minutes from Mike and Mel's back door with more than 50 miles of trails. Better raise the seat up on Mel's bike and get your legs in shape Mike, we're going for a ride or 2.

My energy was still up today. Took the long way to and from work with a medium route at lunch. After supper I headed out through town to the far side of Westfort on Molly. A strong headwind made the outgoing part of the loop tough, Molly's 48-16 gearing is a b***h. The return was much more enjoyable. New saddles have cleared customs so I should have a smoother ride by sometime next week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tinkering With CPAP

I'm not sure if messing with my CPAP settings last night has anything to do with it yet but I took a 'no destination' ride tonight for the first time in a long while. My thinking is that with putting on some weight the prescribed pressure setting was too low and I might have been having some low level apnea episodes. Not severe enough to have me nodding off at traffic lights but enough to where my energy for extra activity was just missing. I've been reading lots and often have to munch on something so that I don't snooze, not abnormal I guess but I can do without the munching.

Eowyn has benefited recently from the donated gift card I was given by the Northwood parents. All used parts but definite upgrades. Front wheel, tires, stem and hopefully a new 'old' crank soon. I ordered from ebay for the first time ever, picking up some Giant decals, and she looks almost complete. I sawed off 2 inches from the On One Mary handlebars and have a saddle on the way. Building her up is a big incentive to get out and ride more.

My new plan for Northwood registration seems to be working. I have 6 kids signed for next season. Bingo participation is up and people seem to be happy with the setup so far. Over at Lakehead Minor we're putting in a new constitution and I think the group is finally all on the same page.

Sal and I have tentatively set the first couple of weeks in July as holiday time so we're planning a trip to Calgary. We've decided to take the Impreza as airmile bookings are already filled for the summer months. Once we hit the divided highway Sal says she'll help with the driving. We'll hit in time for the Stampede and maybe even find a few days in BC. Now if I can just find a way to stow a bike so I can do some riding out there.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Skip the Preview

A quick and simple solution to the dreaded dvd previews that can run for up to 15 minutes before you get to the movie. Hit STOP-STOP and then PLAY. If it doesn't work make it STOP-STOP-STOP and then PLAY.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Buddy Guy is THE Man

I was looking forward to Jonny Lang in concert as I've been a fan since his first cd was released when he was a 15 year old blues guitar prodigy about 13 years ago. He started his set with my favourite song, a little known tune I've never heard on the radio. I have to say he's probably the best guitarist to ever hit the Community Auditorium stage.

That was until 74 year old Buddy Guy let loose with his searing first note, wow, what an entertainer. He had the crowd singing, clapping and thoroughly into his music. Not an easy thing to do in TBay. His band is incredibly  tight, you can't help but get drawn into the rhythm, especially the walking beats that thundered through the building. I'm going to dig out the one BG cd I have so 'Mustang' Sally and I can listen to it while we drive to Mom and Dad's tomorrow.

Northwood Awards Banquet...Done!

Saturday was a long...long day. I went out with the coach that did most of the organizing for the banquet at 11 and didn't get home til 3:15. Trophies, prizes, ice cream and three trips to unload at the hall. The banquet was a good one, a few glitches that will end up costing the league some extra dinero but the first time in the Slovak Legion was a popular move. The coaches and parents raised some cash for me to replace Bridget and awarded a trophy for a consolation game in my name. The cash gift card at Petries will cover the upgrade Jill went in for Saturday morning. Ironic but the amount was almost to the penny what was raised for the first Conquer Cancer ride 2 seasons ago. As nice as the gesture is I wish I could take it to Toronto.

The reunion portion was not what I hoped. 20 people showed up. For two months everyone I talked to was coming and had passed on the word to others, plus 2 ads in the paper. Disappointing but I did get to meet John Belluz who started the league as part of the Northwood Association in 1970. It was very interesting to listen to him speak about the origins. I'm proud to say we haven't strayed very far from the goals that were set for the league in 1970. I'm going to get together with him next fall to get everything written down so it's finally recorded.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Still Got It

Just got home from a parents/players game and I felt really good out on the ice. I haven't skated since the Christmas Party. Helped one little guy get his first goal and never fell or got winded. I was a standout with the 5 and 6 year olds.

Saturday is our banquet and I think I'm almost ready. Picked up the yearbooks today, trophies and drinks on Saturday, a few hours to set up and do the presentations. Then the reunion after. It will be a long day.

I finished the big bands for Lakehead Marine this afternoon. Every one of the blind holes went back together perfectly. I spent a lot of time measuring, praying and drilling with my toes crossed. The shop has been as busy as it has been in a few years, and the profit is highest with ship work. Maybe things are slowly turning around and since I'm the only one doing the work in town, maybe we'll get through another tough year.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cleanup & Startup

This morning I deleted 5 other blog projects I had running. A couple of them had seen no new posts in over a year. From a singlespeed bike blog to flight sim logs I had separate blogs for a bunch of ideas. I have 2 others under different accounts and one on Wordpress I can't even log into. The wordpress blog was one I started under sports administration and thats what I'm going to reopen. It's something I know a little about, maybe I can help somebody getting started in the president's shoes somewhere.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Blind Side

Sal and I just watched The Blind Side and enjoyed it. Throughout the story of the homeless black teen who was taken in by a wealthy family in Memphis I kept thinking how there are millions of Michaels and not nearly enough Leigh Anns.

Password Security Simplified

Here's a link to a great method of generating passwords, saving them and having access wherever you go.

The Best Things in Life are Free

If there's a job your computer can't do because you don't have the right software, check out PC Magazine's list of the best free software for 2010 before you part with that hard earned cash. Just about every area of computing is covered. I just grabbed Orange Note, it saves and catalogs text clips of any kind right from the clipboard. From phone numbers, web addresses or complete document text.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


With CSI branching out to more and more cities and spawning so many copy-cat shows I started my own version, Bike Stolen Investigations. I've checked out a few of the seedier pawn shops and chased down 2 suspects over the last few days with no luck so far. There sure are a lot of grey mountain bikes out there. It's a good thing Molly is fast and I can catch up to most anybody who isn't aware they are even a suspect. I may never find her but at least I'm giving it a whirl.