instant gramming

October 31, 2009

Dumpstering pumpkins, trick or treating

Today we set off on a walk to go buy some last minute pumpkins from the Boy Scout sale that's been going on for the past month a few blocks away. Turns out that some genius decided that selling pumpkins on the (beautiful, sunny Saturday) morning of Halloween was a bad idea so we turned the corner to find an empty parking lot. We did, however, notice a bunch of cardboard boxes stacked next to an unsuspecting dumpster in that same parking lot. On further investigation we found a shit ton of perfectly good pumpkins packed away and destined for the trash. Seconds later an SUV pulls up as we are peering into one of the boxes full of squash. A woman and her daughter got out. Quickly I asked "Are you all in charge here?" I can't remember the woman's response but it was basically like "No, we're here to save these trashed pumpkins too." It was marvelous. Dumpster diving for perfect pumpkins. We ended up taking 3: a large, medium, and small pumpkin--as much as we could fit into our backpack.
It was awesome.
C carved a rad "spooky tree" in the medium size pumpkin, and I broke a knife trying to carve into the thickest, gray-colored pumpkin. I saved some seeds to bake later

Passing out candy is always a mixed bag of feelings. There are cute kids and I feel bad about giving them teeth-rotting sweets. Then there are the kids that show up not dressed up in any way, not even pretending, with their parents following in their SUV, and I just wish I had some shit to give them. Then there is the group of teenagers with skateboards and I make fun of them by guessing what they are dressed up as: "Ryan Sheckler?" is my most common guess. I overheard one kid of one group of teens say "I wish I had a blunt." I said loudly "Who's talking about blunts?" Half of that group decided not to come over for candy. A year or two ago, one stupid girl held out a pillow case with a lit cigarette balanced between her fingers. I wanted to throttle her. Go home you stupid teenager that is wasting my time and candy.

Anyway, I'm not such a grump. One group of teens was really funny and actually had funny costumes and I made fun of their costumes and they were cool about it and were just out to have fun and get some candy without being douchebags. Thanks.

That's all I got. Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2009

Effing A, Cotton. Effing Aaaaaaaaaaa

So, the internets have been pretty boring recently. And as I am getting amped on my morning brew, I am compelled to lay out my strategy for piecing together this new bike sooner than later... Here goes

So far I have the frame and fork, the insides sprayed with J.P. Weigle's Framesaver, and a bunch of parts that have been cluttering up my drafting table for a month

First thing's first: I need handlebars (Ritchey Logic Pro Biomax II - bam!).
Secondly, and maybe more pressing than handlebars, I need the steering column on my fork cut down. Problem? Yeah, I can't do it, and I don't understand how to figure out the right size... I kinda do, but it's like ordering a custom suit online in a way that you pray you got the size right the first time.
Ok, so I get the fork cut (and star nut pressed into the fork), then I can officially set up the frameset, including headset (Cane Creek S1) and stem. It's practically an intact bike at this point.
Am I on "four" yet? I want different tires (looking at white 28c Vittoria Randonneurs to replace the chunky treaded 32c's I have). I might need these tires before I get the fork cut cause the bike shop owner suggested having me "get on the bike" to see how it fits before cutting it down. "What bike?" It's a frame right now. So maybe I need to make it look like a bike (wheels, tires, crankset, pedals, seatpost, saddle...) before it is one? Nah.
Five: Now I get to put all the small parts on: derailleurs, cables, crankset, etc. I get to spend an obnoxious amount of time painting grease on all the tiny screws to repel water. I'm pretty sure I need a few replacement parts like a bit of cable housing that I messed up, maybe a new crankarm bolt that I think is stripped...
Six: I'm still up in the air about pedals. Clips (toe cages & straps) or clipless?  The price isn't too different between the two choices. I'm leaning towards getting some clipless pedals but I'm not convinced my regular 1.5mile commute will accommodate the hassle. On the other hand, soft-soled skate shoes get chewed up by the pedals pretty easily... Eff. Thoughts?
Seventh place goes to hooking up my brakes and shifters. That's probably gonna be a pain in the ass
Eight, wrap handlebars (the tan Cinelli cork tape I bought should look pretty dope)
Niner: figure out how to install my Nitto Mark's Rack on the front without tripping up the cable of the cantilever brakes. Don't worry if that doesn't make any sense to you. I've got a couple ideas and will probably post pictures if it ends up working out. I hope it does, cause it's a dope front rack that I got dirt cheap.
Ten? There has to be a ten. Ride it? Ok
Ch-ch-check it out: (by Mike Giant)

October 28, 2009


C's stomach has generally been feeling better during the day, but sleep has been rough on her and her back is really starting to suffer. Not sure if it mostly the fault of our mattress, or if it is purely the result of her growing belly. Anyways, we are seriously considering getting a new mattress--about which I know nothing...

I actually slept really well last night, and felt more awake this morning than I have in a while. It was probably because I had made coffee last night and set the delay brew for 6:45 this morning...

Speaking of coffee, I've been selfishly enjoying my caffeinated brew daily, while C has managed to keep away from it usually. We both know it's not very good for the baby, but understand that small amounts of caffeine wont hurt (apparently it's okay to drink wine???), but might boost C's spirits/mood/feelings/patience/energy at times.
I'll mention I've been having a lot of premonitions that the baby is a girl...

October 26, 2009

Workin out

It's been really hard for C to get motivated to exercise since being pregnant. As little as I can understand what she has to deal with, it makes total sense that trying to go on a run or lifting weights, or whatever, would seem impossible.

Over the weekend C found a couple pre-natal workout and yoga DVDs. We ended up getting Kathy Smith's "Pregnancy Workout" (Classic edition). I can't find a date on this obviously re-issued video, but these film stills will give you a great idea of what we found.

At the end of the workout, the pregnant ladies are found in a line with Ray-Bans or side-ways baseball caps and start rapping, 80's-style, about being pregnant. Check it out:

I don't think this is really going to get C working out, but it did afford some good laughs... Back to the drawing board


Yesterday I saw a kid--"kid" but probably not much younger than I--skating in the street directly in front of our house. After maybe 20 minutes, realizing the kid was planning on staying there, I put on a long sleeve shirt, my skate shoes, and grabbed my board. Mind you, it's been well over a year since I actually skated beyond cruising down the street to pick up pizza. Maybe even two years. Damn.

Anyway, I went out and introduced myself to this kid, Joey, who just moved in to the apartments across the street. He was really pretty good. It took me a while to warm up and my goal was to finally land an ollie over the traffic cone that was out there. I finally landed it a few times, after a lot of frustration. I was trying all kinds of 180s and just reclaiming some comfort on my board. We didn't talk a lot, just talked a little about ourselves and talked about how we were old and skateboarding wasn't as easy as it used to be... ha

I was out there hardly 30 minutes before I was exhausted and had to call it quits. Joey was real cool and I'm sure I'll be skating with him soon. But seriously, my entire body hurts today. It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit, it hurts to turn, it hurts to think...But there's something wholly satisfying about these aches that makes me excited about feeling better soon and getting back out on my board, even if it is only in front of my house. Maybe I'll try to build a fun-box from some scrap wood I have for the next time I want to mess around...
Currently listening to a playlist of Jackie Mitto music on

October 21, 2009


Doctor appointment today. Not sure what went down while I was sipping coffee over Fit Pregnancy magazine, but I got called back to hear the baby's heartbeat. 140 bpm, I think, plus a few "kicks."

Next step, trying to get the H1N1 vaccine.

October 18, 2009

Sleep, Body

Some quick updates (in no particular order):
C has had a little trouble sleeping due to the fact she can't sleep on her stomach and, apparently, shouldn't sleep on her back either. Yesterday afternoon I spied on her sleeping on the couch, slumped over on her knees in the "fetal" position so that the weight of her upper body was resting on her shoulders/face. Pretty cute. I was tempted to take a picture but figured that wouldn't make her happy and that this was honestly a subconscious attempt to rest in a new position without suffocating the bambino.
C has been complaining a little about her sore back. It's probably a pretty normal ache but she reminded me that she had been diagnosed with scoliosis which could be a serious concern in some cases... Keeping an eye on that.
Without going into too much detail, C had a rude awakening at Victoria's Secret recently when she realized she had jumped to yet another bra size. Let me just say it involves two letters and that some women would pay money to have this size chest. For C, it was mildly funny, slightly dumbfounding, but more depressing than anything.
We have a doctor appointment this week so hopefully we'll have a solid update then!

October 15, 2009

Quote: Come Alive

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman

October 13, 2009

Bike camping result

So, the bike camping trip worked out - mostly. 8 of us set out from downtown Columbus and, after about 70+ miles, 4 pizzas, and some beer, made a fire and (after losing one rider) crammed ourselves into a tent for a crappy night's sleep. Unfortunately I woke up with allergic conjunctivitis--the result of campfire, sleeping in my contacts, dirt, etc.--and convinced C to drive 70 miles to pick my sorry ass up.

So I made it half way - which is more than 3 times longer than the longest distance I had ever ridden. The best part was I met some really cool people.

Random notes from the trip: Bloody Mary's at Jimmy V's to start the trip; 3 of the guys were wearing jeans and boxer shorts (it can be done!); at least 2 water bottles were filled with liquor; Evan and Matt rode a racing tandem that, among many other things, carried a football; one accident sent the two ladies down on the bike path, resulting in one knee scrape and stopped us long enough to discover an abandoned kitten that we hauled half of a mile to a gas station where we fed it tuna and milk and left it with the attendant; big hills on the last 5 miles; head-wind for most of the entire ride; Ha-Ha Pizza and BYOB; outstanding beer selection at BP; front light burnt out on the 2-mile ride back to camp =  terrifying... High of about 58-degrees; low of about 40. Stayed warm with long-sleeve wool shirt under short-sleeve wool cycling jersey, padded bike shorts under synthetic thermal underwear, and thin wool cycling socks...

more later?

October 9, 2009

Visiting family, Health, House, Work

It's been a hot minute since any update. As this is a journal of sorts, I owe it to myself to check in.

Well. Things have been good. Mostly quiet. C's nausea seems to be subtly waning away into nothingness.

We were at a family function over the weekend and everyone there knew the news of our pregnancy--which was nice because we could talk freely about it. The moms were able to share stories and were curious to hear about C's experience.

Just before that event we had stopped by C's cousins' house to visit them and their 2-week old daughter. How freaking small! Like, freakishly tiny. I was blown away--like, I had never seen a newborn before. It was the first time I got a little freaked out, like, "This is gonna be us in 6 months!" A new piece of furniture that it seems we don't yet have the space for. We were able to share our good news with them and they were happy for us.

I need to get my butt to work and finish our basement--finish the drywall, add some flooring, and get a bathroom installed down there. After that we can start on a baby's room...
Fears about H1N1/"Swine Flu" are rising and I'm trying to keep optimistic about everything. So many things can go wrong between now and forever that I just can't let those fears dwell in my head space.
C and I got in a little argument yesterday about my job and the pressure to work "above and beyond" as a non-exempt yet supposedly "highly-compensated" salaried employee at a fledgling company (this means I'm expected to work over 40 hours a week without over-time pay). I believe any other job in the same line of work will come with similar demands/expectations. The alternative? Quit and become a stay-at-home dad. Maybe get a part-time job. I agree that we could probably take the cut in total income... Is it possible? Would it work? Not yet comfortable with the idea of quitting my job, but can see that it would suck to leave the baby every day in the hands of strangers I'm paying to do what a parent should be doing.