Friday, March 25, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor

Dios te pague.

My Spanish is how do you say....quite a bit rusty. In fact, I can barely tell you the color of my bicicleta, but certainly not ALL of them. ¿Cómo se dice bamboo?

I'm fairly sure the above phrase can be loosely translated as: non-profit bonus because my boss gives it to me at the end of every week. Especially the ones when I put in extra hours.

But as I mentioned, my Spanish ain't so great. This is why I keep a Spanish dictionary in my pants. Not really, but really. There's something Hispanic in my pants I swear. It comes in handy from time to time.

Like this one time at band camp...

Completely unrelated, I saw this scene on the beltway today. Man, that ditty must really work. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Before 911 in fact. That's an accident on 495, ambulance, State Farm vehicle, and Fire truck apparati.

I'm going to try that the next time I turn in my time sheet. Like a buen vecino, State Farm is there...with a bonus!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No More Wire Hangers!

Humor me for a second, I'm having a hard time believing this myself. That's why I'm putting it here...because everyone knows if it's on the Internet it has to be true.

My car had a little checkup the other day. "While you've got it, can you take a look at the rear seat latch...the key won't release the seat, I think the wire pole is missing"

Now for all I know, it's hiding in the car; I'm not exactly sure how it would have jumped out. But it's a bent pole...I figure if they've got another one lying around...yeah right. And what I said was, "if it's $25 forget it, I'll use a bike spoke"

It was $190. Excuse me, did you say, ONE HUNDRED NINETY? DOLLARS? For a wire hanger?? A BENT wire hanger?? Are you serious?? Mommie Dearest.

No thanks. And the faulty valve on my tire....can you just go ahead and put on the spare; I'll take it somewhere else. They did. They even changed the plastic nut cover...shoot, I should have checked to see how much that cost.

So tonight I tackled the trunk Mcgyver style. I considered it a challenge. Cuz I was determined to fix the seat FOR FREE. And with a shop full of gadgets I jumped on it.

I couldn't quite see how the plastic piece held the pole in place. Against my better judgment I yanked the good one free. Bet you're expecting to hear about how I broke it. Sure didn't. And I noticed that a spoke might actually be long enough. Hot damn!

But do I have a spoke? I might. I start digging. I found a brake cable. But since the mechanics were in my car, the trunk was discombobulated. So I had to dig...around the spare tire...did I mention how it got there?

Guess what I found there on top of the spare tire, that the mechanics replaced? NO! It wasn't a WIRE HANGER, Joan. It was the $190 missing piece. Or was that the cost of labor?

Because I wonder if I had said, yeah, go ahead and replace the part...well, you know what part they would have used and it still would have cost $190.

But it was tricky, you had to hold it in place and pull it against the plastic holder. It took 2.5 seconds to install both sides. That's $76 a second, in case you were wondering.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snap, Splinter, Pop?

Well, I almost found out the answer to that question. What happens to Urbamboo when crossed with traffic? Well I'm still in one piece, but the trail is looking better every day.

I was sitting at a red light, ironically right in front of the hospital, which could have come in handy. There was a truck sitting also at the red light...or rather green light as his case may be. I watched him because it was curious. Everyone knows green means GO.

But he sat. With his eyes in his lap and his hands fumbling somewhere between. I'm sure he was looking for something, not something more inappropriately crude. None the less HE had the green. But HE was distracted.

When the light turned red (for him), green (for me) I hesitated, waiting for his eyes. Without eye contact you can never be sure what a driver is going to do. Sometimes you still can't.

I had a front row view of his eyes, up close and personal-like. They popped right out of his head as his left front bumper skimmed my personal bubble. In other words: thanks for that!

There he sat, waiting for the red light. Then, and only then, he decided to turn on red, phone in hand, eyes in lap. YES indeedy, he started operating his vehicle without ever looking up. That is UNTIL he was nose in to the intersection...where I sat track stood waiting for him to hit me.

We locked eyes, he stopped and let me go, and gave me an expression that did not really say, I'm so sorry or damn, that was close but rather more of a casual, oops my bad.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Three of these things belong together
Three of these things are kind of the same
Can you guess which one of these doesn't belong here?
Now it's time to play our game.

It's never a dull moment with the kids next door.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grab Some Wood There Bub

My baby rode in her very first parade today. Almost no one cared. Almost. Today I got stopped. It was the first time ever.

"Excuse me. Are you IN the parade?"

Well, let's see. The parade is on Constitution Avenue. And I am on Constitution Avenue. I'd say YES, yes I AM in the parade! Whatdya know.

I'm riding a wooden bicycle in a green shirt, what do you think? What do you need, a pot of gold and a leprechaun? Of course I'm in the parade, Bub.

'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!'

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Oh brother. Does this make me look fat? Are you sure it doesn't look like a bib? Or a clown collar?

The fearless Parker found her match in the form of a generic paper bag. They aren't proposing a bag tax because of the environment, Oh No! It's no different than any other form of side splitting entertainment out'll cost you.

If she had been brave she could have fooled me. It really did sound like she had taken down about a gang of four. From one side of the house to the other, upstairs and down, the gang put up quite a fight.

But in the end when I came out from hiding, all I found was SuperParker tada. No evil doers. No stolen property. Just a cat and her cape...a shredded Whole Foods bag.

Did you want to add your two cents about the Whole Foods deal?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't Call Me Al

Up until now I have ridden aluminum, aluminum, and mostly aluminum. From here on out, I will never ride aluminum again. Not really.

But really, save the aluminum for the cans. I know, I know, they make planes out of aluminum, but really how much ground do they cover?

I've heard this time and again, "but aluminum is a terribly, uncomfortable ride." No, I love it! Ignorance is bliss...and CHEAP.

I was skeptical about the bamboo. Really, that woody weed I always see draped across the trail after a storm? You're gonna make a sturdy bike frame from that? The breakfast of panda champions? Awwright....

But it's a head turner right? I mean how many have you seen weaving through traffic? So I gave it a test ride. And I pulled up to the light, yeah, I'm gonna stop at every single one now, maybe even green ones...just so you can get a good look at it!

So I pull up to the light and I look around to see who's checking me out. There to my right, well, she's overly distracted in applying another coat of heavy mascara.

Next to her, a lady in uber-black sunglasses; she might actually be blind. Which would explain why she almost hit me. And although I am curious what will happen to the bamboo in an accident, I'm not overly interested in finding out first hand.

Oh forget it, when it comes down to it, it's not how it looks, let me tell you about how this bike FEELS... Like I'm riding on tank tires, that's how it feels. I don't feel the road much at all!

NOW I know what everyone is talking about with aluminum frames...yuck. Don't worry, I'm still gonna ride the other 18 bikes I own, but you really can judge a bike by it's cover.