Friday, April 29, 2011

New Hardware Store in the Old Jones Pharmacy Building.

I am very excited about having a hardware store that I can walk to, or bring huge things home from on the Xtracycle. I was wondering how they were going to compete for parking lot space at Huckleberry's, but it looks like some possible parking spaces going in under the structure. Cool. As long as they have a decent bike rack.

It has been a great project to observe as it unfolds. It looks like it is going to be pretty upscale. I noticed this paint job on a metal column that has now been exposed. I wonder what the story is. It's on the east side, the one facing Monroe.

I like the design.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The gift that keeps on giving!

Last year at this time, my thoughts were on the Windermere Marathon. The course turned out to be quite short, requiring a turn around at the finish. Months later, I tried on my shirt and it proved to be a very strangely proportioned garment. When I contacted the organizers, they said they had many complaints and would get me a new one. This promise was a nice gesture.

This morning, I noticed an email saying that there would be fairly substantial charge on my credit card to "renew" membership to "Active Advantage." WTF? Who is this? So, after some log-in attempts to ascertain what this was all about, I finally found success. Active Advantage was the website in which I had to register for, you guessed it, the Windermere Marathon. That's how they had my credit card number.

I have to say that Active Advantage took care of the problem immediately, no questions asked (we'll see what the bank statement says in a few days). And I was able to enjoy this on-hold music for a while:

I sure hope the third time is the charm for the Windermere Marathon this year. I mean this. Yet, I might start wearing my shirt (never replaced) around town to help them advertise. It certainly would spur some conversation.

If you ran the marathon last year, you may want to check your junk email for "Active Advantage" and your credit card statement.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

River Run 2011!

We didn't do the 50K, this year. Sarah did the 25K. I did the 10K and Ike did the 5K. We all did pretty good. I did 7:10 splits on the miles, which is faster than I expected running on the trails - way faster!

Really looking forward to Bloomsday. I am on the city's corporate cup team and was a little worried about how ready I would be for it. It's funny when you run for a team (even though I haven't met anyone on the team) how you can get a little worried about "letting the team down."

After the race I ran into a gal I recently met who was visiting from Baltimore plus neighbors, friends from work and even Hank!

On a strange note - I went for a swim afterward. I was getting dressed afterward and put on a pair of brand-new socks. I could feel something in one of them. Took the sock off and pulled out what looked to be a toenail. I thought this odd. It wasn't that long of a run. Which toenail did I lose? Upon examination, all my toenails were present.

When I returned home, I showed Sarah the toenail. She said, "I know exactly which toenail this." I said, "I know the one you're thinking of. It isn't it." Her incredulity prompted a quick sock removal. There was the suspect toenail, still intact, as I had stated. We are both flummoxed.

I wonder if these socks were returned.

They were made in the USA, so I know at least it's an American toenail.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another great article and picture in the Spokesman-Review this morning!

A guy in Seattle wore a replica Civil War cap to work. In a twist, the work in which he was engaged was "unrelated" to any Civil War commemoration, according to the article. Now that is something!

I bet that people are going to start wearing caps to work that have nothing to do with what they are working on. Watch out!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Xtracycle doodads

I confess I am, when it comes to bicycling bloggers, kind of lame.

I only have three bikes. I couldn't tell you what components are on them, who manufactured the tires, gear ratios or what. I bicycle year-round but not very well. I don't race. The fastest bike I own has a basket in front. I am not very good at maintaining my bikes. I oil the chains maybe twice a year, change my tires when the tubes keep getting punctured and put new brake pads on when the metal is on the metal. I've never built a wheel.

I think I would like to be more of an in-the-know cyclist, and maybe someday I will be. That being said, every year, I change up the Xtracycle. This usually occurs outside of winter when my thoughts of bicycling are less survivalistic and more optimistic. Because of my lack of bicycle mechanical smarts, the enhancements are usually along the lines of entertainment spectacles. One year it was the sound system. The next year it was the light show on the front wheel. Then there was the Christmas Tree. In a break from tradition, I did this one in the winter. Why not?

Two weeks ago, I put campus pedals on the long bike. Very nice. Also, after reading about John's experiences with sandals, I gots me some of them too. The pedals and sandals are both from Nashbar. I like the look of the sandals - an obvious USSR - North Korean joint venture. I was surprised at how much smoother the spd system is than what I am used to (Crank Brothers).

Other than being in class all last week (8am- 5pm) looking at stuff like this:

, I have been running long and swimming a lot. I am really looking forward to bicycling other than for transportation. That will come in May I think.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Today's "news" story makes me nostalgic for 2008 Posting and a side dish of MLK irony...

As usual, my big problem with the Spokesman-Review's push for the "Our Kids" stuff is their continual endorsement of candidates and positions responsible for hurting kids. In other words, their political ideology and money runs contra to their annual PR campaign.

But maybe I am seeing it all wrong. Perhaps, they have taken a deeper look than I:

Why is child abuse so prevalent in the United States? One reason is poverty. Why is there poverty in the USA when it is such a prosperous nation? Because there aren't enough tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations? Because the minimum wage is too high? Damned unions? Maybe this violence is more of a mindset. Is it because our nation overly models nonviolence and diplomacy when it deals with other nations? Maybe our justice system needs to be tougher.

Why are our drop-out rates so high? Because teachers have too small of class size? Because teachers belong to unions?

Why are our kids not getting proper medical care? The specter of socialized medicine? Sure, health insurance companies are the only "industry" exempt from anti-trust laws. But, maybe allowing them to price fix is not good enough. What more can we do for them? If we could just get union workers to give up more health care benefits, wouldn't this help the kids?

Why are our kids malnourished? Free lunch and breakfast programs at schools? You would have thought allowing commodity speculation for our basic food needs would have helped bring the cost of food down, much like how speculators are always bringing the price of gasoline down. Maybe if we could deregulate the financial markets more. I mean what could happen?

Why are our kids homeless? See above.

At least we can all thank our lucky stars that we don't have to pay a penny more on tax for a can of pop. Think about what that would have done to the kids!

I am looking forward to the parade on Sunday. It is the 43rd anniversary of Dr. King's speech supporting the striking union sanitation workers in Memphis. He was assassinated the next day.

Will the Spokesman-Review talk about MLK's support of unions, his support of the antiwar movement, his campaign against the economic system of the time (one which has tilted much more to the right)? J. Edgar Hoover's FBI labeled King a communist for his political beliefs and actions. I would imagine that had a lot to do with his assassination, as well.

Incidentally, the union workers belonged to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. Reading the SR's recent editorials about public sector unions, I wonder if the Spokesman-Review editorial staff will have a sense of irony when they eulogize MLK this weekend. It would be great to read some articles and editorials they printed BEFORE Dr. King's assassination. That would really be something!

Enough ranting for today about our beloved newspaper. But, if you want to read some historical ranting on the subject, please continue:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spokesman-Review's pinwheels are made by Chinese child laborers...