instant gramming

January 29, 2009

Wrench-in the gears

I'm getting depressingly bored at work and sinking back into obsession with bicycles--probably a subconscious yearning for the freedom of long, sunny, summer days--fed by countless hours in front of the internet

That said, I am signed up for a short series of bike maintenance classes at a nearby shop each Tuesday of the next three weeks. I hope I learn a lot about using different component-specific tools and how to work on the obscured parts of bikes. Not sure if much else will come of it, but dream that such work--in the sense of a job--would be rewarding in that each task at hand would be very tangible and not so theoretical or open-ended...

I mean, don't get me wrong: my job is cool, pays exceptionally well for my qualifications, is relevant to my under-grad studies, and is located near to where I live--not a thing to turn down...

January 27, 2009

Harold Shelburne

My grandpa passed away last night--he couldn't overcome the damage caused by the stroke. I can't even begin to imagine how my grandma feels. After talking more with my mom I understand he was probably ready (as was the rest of the family) to move on, out of the shackles that his body had become. It has been no less shocking to us all--we can't grasp what has happened to a good man that has always been so lively and full of so much joy he couldn't help but share it. I can't remember exactly what my mom said last night, but she was quick to talk about celebrating him and his life and all the good memories we have.

A few good memories include eating lots of chocolate ice cream with him and my sister at my grandparents' kitchen table, stirring it into a chocolaty soup; the musky smell of pipe tobacco; Andes mints (dubbed "sleeping pills") before bed; stories and photos from flying bombers in the War; sitting at endless cattle auctions after McDonald's happy meals; and recently, congratulating me on being lucky enough to marry such a good lookin' woman.

January 25, 2009


Winter came back today. In retaliation I went to the hardware store and bought some seeds including pole beans, chamomile, lavendar, green onions, parsley, and a big ol' bag of snap peas. A strange mix, for sure... but the rest of my seeds will probably be ordered online and hopefully soon. Until then I'm watching snow fall outside and not enjoying the cold.

January 22, 2009

Gonz 2 + Bad Words

Another video featuring Mark Gonzales, this time about kickflipping a bike. So goood.
"New York City life: anything goes. You wanna be a throat slasher? a night stalker? You wanna be a skateboarder? Personally I think--I think if you're gonna do it, do it to your utmost capability. You're gonna do nose-wheelies? Fuckin' do a nose-wheelie, bro."
"Then how would you flip it?"
"With your foot! How would you flip it?! With your fuckin' foot, dumbass!"
"The secret is to be mello."

January 21, 2009

Start of the Art: Take Two

Ok, big things are happening in my world. Yesterday our new(ish) camera--a Canon Rebel XT--was delivered. As soon as we get a USB cable, and figure it out, C and I will hopefully taking pictures of everything, and more.

Also, a friend invited me to enter art (two pieces) in an upcoming show featured between two galleries at Columbus's notorious Gallery Hop. I am conjuring up a pretty wacky idea, unprecedented in my sheltered little world, that I hope I will pull off. I have a little over a month to make it happen. I'll keep you updated.

Beyond that, I've been buying miscellaneous bike parts and tools and simultaneously selling off bike parts and tools to help compensate for the cost, with limited success. I totaled up my investment in my bike (not including tools, or things that could be transferred to a different bike like lights/fenders, etc) and the number is pushing 375 US dollars... Yikes. I guess that's decent compared to the 700 dollars that a new, (almost) comparable bike would cost. Plus this figure accounts for an extra wheel that could be sold, an extra crankset that no one would care for, and a couple extra chain-rings that I don't want but hope someone else does...
In other news:
If you hurry up and visit Brandi's blog, Get Buck, you might catch a photo of C and I with friends on the day after our wedding (in 2007, duh!).

January 20, 2009


Speaking of biking, I made a terrible decision today: to bike to work without regard to the temperature outside. I'm looking at the current temps, and currently we are experiencing 9 degrees above zero that "feels like" 2-below. This means that an hour and a half ago, it was much colder. I've never been so unhappy to be on my bike. I missed the morning forecast as the Today show was hell-bent on catching a glimpse of the Obama family entering a limo... in fact, I didn't even get to see that. Oh well, I have 6 more hours to decide if I want to bike home in steamy 14 degrees, or ask my boss for a ride. Oh yeah, and a semi-truck ran me off the road. Fortunately, my tires cut right through the snow piled alongside the curb and I was able to quickly turn into a parking lot.

January 19, 2009

New Monday

Long weekend with lots of stuff. Babysat on Saturday night. Drove to KY to visit my grandpa in the hospital--he's really weak and exhausted from all he's been through. It was hard to understand his words, but he was talking and seemed very happy and excited that we were there. I hope he doesn't feel defeated. I won't accept that he is gonna be in a hospital bed for the rest of his life. Hopefully he is just working hard on getting healthy and back to normal so he can come home. Drove back to Ohio, picked up Aldy (thanks J&M for watching Ald & for the vegan lasagna!). Went on a bike ride to the store. Came home and cleaned my bike in the basement--the snow and salt is killing it. I shouldn't have left it so dirty and unused for so many days. Took the morning off at work today--got a couple small errands done, and more importantly, just chilled with C and Alden. Biked to work.

Impatiently waiting for two packages to arrive: some bike tools and a camera, from ebay. C reminded me they won't come today because it's "MLK" Day. Dag!

I want to get more tattoos...

January 15, 2009

Grandpa Is Good Folk

My grandpa recently had a stroke and hasn't been recovering as quickly as we have been hoping. I've been thinking about him a lot and figured I'd post up a photo of him to share--something I've been meaning to do for a long while now. This is him driving his golf cart on the farm. I thought I had one of him from a recent vacation he took with my grandma and mom, but I can't find it. This is probably better cause he's in his element. Haha.
The most important thing my grandpa has ever taught me is to always dwell on the good, the true, and the beautiful. Sometimes I forget, but I eventually get back to it.


Here's a humorous beginning to the latest Bike Snob NYC post; and relevant too considering the "crappy weather" all of us here in the Midwest are experiencing:
Inhabitants of the snowbelt may scoff, but here in the New York City metropolitan area we're experiencing what we amateur meteorologists call "crappy weather." The scientific explanation for this is that a front of crap is moving through our region, carrying with it such crappy things as snow and coldness. Temperatures are below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about [mumblemumblemumble] degrees Celsius. Of course, as anybody who watches the weather knows, we no longer go by Fahrenheit or Celsius. We go by "feels like." According to it "feels like" 4 degrees Fahrenheit right now. ( arrives at this figure by forcing three naked people to stand outside for five minutes and then guess how cold it is. They then take an average of the responses.) According to me, it "feels like" my nose hairs are freezing.

My biggest regret this morning (besides not having just stayed in bed, where the "feels like" was "womb-ish") was using a bicycle equipped with brakes and fenders

I drove to work today which is never very fun, but I didn't feel too guilty in the face of temperatures that "feel like" below zero.

January 14, 2009


I love going to work.

Going to work. And coming home from work. On my bike. Each way is up to 8 minutes of solitude and fun about which I don't feel guilty; 8 minutes of doing something fun that I would otherwise have to do one way or another.

This morning, in 10 degree temperatures, I biked 1.47 miles to work in 5 min 58 sec.
Update - I biked home for lunch just after Columbus started getting pounded with the beginning of 5 inches of snow. That was probably the scariest experience of my life on a bike. I ended up driving back to work. I took a photo of the scene outside my house when I got home - I'll post it later. Seriously--it was so stupid. But I was super hyped to get a hearty cheer from a man walking up the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure he's the same guy who I see around town on his cruiser bike. I pumped my fist in the air as a "thank you." I stopped at the BMV for some info, and a bunch of people in there were asking me if I needed a ride and asking me about riding in the snow. Funny stuff. I felt like a badass.

January 12, 2009

Urban Underminers

Urban Outfitters has produced a series of ugly cycling caps. I am having trouble analyzing my opinion regarding the products. I suppose it seems exploitative or something, as I assume U.O. has contributed little to Cycling. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it becomes extremely accessible to non-cyclists in a setting that has no cycling context and loses history and function as a meaningless accessory...? I dunno. My opinions are usually inconsistent and/or hypocritical, and this instance is probably no different.
I found the U.O. blog has a "Transport[ation]" section that has a bunch of entries about bikes...

and they sell a Bike iPod speaker ($50)

Prob more to come...

January 8, 2009

Shiny metal things

Yesterday on my way home--besides forgetting to go to the grocery store--I stopped at the Westerville Bike Shop to pick up some supplies and gawk at beautiful things I can't afford and wouldn't buy new (like a $165 Brooks Professional leather saddle). I did end up spending a lot of money on a few things I needed though: a new set of metal Soma toe cages & leather straps to replace the plastic set I shattered last week, as well as a pair of "Power Grips" toe straps for winter riding on the mountain bike. I eagerly installed the metal cages and had the pleasure of testing 'em this morning. Perfect. And shiny.

I opted for the single-strap cages over the double-strap cages--not sure why; I suppose I didn't want to appear too gaudy or something, as if being flashier was stepping outside of the boundaries of the tacit mores of a sub-culture of Biking of which I'm not even a part (read: self-inflicted paranoia); as if a tricked-out bike should only be backed up by experience and abilities (of which I have none). Perhaps I was attempting to appear modest (in my self-contained world) by resisting the urge to "pimp" out a mid-90's touring bike-turned-beater-fixie. Sorry Xzibit. Damn, I need to get away from the internet and meet some friends. Haha

Sub-cultures are so interesting to me. Thoughts?

holy ish balls!

i love coffee
i love riding my bike
i love C more than both of those things
i would love to ride bikes with C right now to go get more coffee
i love my stanley thermos because i found it (full of warm coffee) in a ditch while biking, it keeps stuff warm, and i just found more coffee in it
i love thinking about bikes when i'm not riding

i wish i could find a workshop for bike mechanics

i love my dog
i love summer
i love this photo
i don't love shin-splints
i love laughing and fun because nothing is more fun than fun
i love lamp

January 7, 2009


Brandi of GetBuck notoriety posted up this (brief) little gem this morning, and I present it to you here:
It's a good reminder of why people find pleasure in simple things.

While not directly related, here's a quote forwarded to me this morning by my dad:
"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go find something to do if you are bored and unhappy.
If you're really bored--and you must be if you are reading this--try any of these:
- Check out the newly added link to (on the right side of this website, under "Good Stuff") and go clean your bike...
- Sign up at and listen to Bad Religion's album, Generator when you visit this link...
- Go to the library and check out Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life by Jim Lindberg--the lead singer of Pennywise. Not sure if it's good or not, but I like Pennywise, and hope to read this soon.

January 6, 2009


Got my computer set up last night and these are the numbers for my morning commute... on the bike path... in sleet:

Travel time: 8 min 18 sec
Total miles: 1.84 mi
Max speed: 18.35 mph
Avg speed: 14.03 mph

I was really glad to see that the distance is closer to 2 miles than the 1.5 miles I estimated.

January 5, 2009

week one

The new year is off to a good start.
More time spent with my parents-in-law who spent many hours installing recessed lighting in our living room and hanging doors and who (once again) were gracious guests despite our unaccommodating sleepover amenities.
Plus a surprise day trip to Cincy to visit my parents-in-biology to exchange Christmas gifts and updates.
PLUS relatively warm weather for early January that has accommodated many more miles of biking--shoot! I need to install my bike computer to start logging miles for the year...
I haven't run yet and my 365 photo project is looking pretty questionable, but I'll make sure stuff happens without blemishing my integrity too much.
Unfortunately, there is sad news: M's paternal grandfather passed away on New Year's Eve. He and J are on their way to Boston to be with family and pay their respects.

M, I was sad to learn about your loss. You've got a big heart and I hope the trip home is better (in whatever sort of way) than you expect. Hopefully C and I can make your life a little easier by doing anything you need, and we're looking forward to a week with Bella.
Much love, D

January 1, 2009

Start of the Art

Today I will embark on a painfully slow journey involving a camera and me, everyday, all year long...

C & J are busy preparing a fantastic feast and I'm reveling in the delight of this sunny day, copious amounts of drinks and food, and the periodic breaks I've taken from my laziness to ride my bike around in the street...

A seed catalog arrived in the mail and I've been flipping through, taking mental notes about what herbs, vegetables, and flowers I hope to plant next year. When I finally commit to an order, I'll write out my list...

Happy 2009