Friday, April 19, 2013


I am well on my way to having more posts about lawn mowers than bicycles on my blog. This, does NOT make me happy. Nor does it make me any more knowledgeable about mowers and engines than the last time I blogged about them.

You may recall, if you follow the blog, I broke down and bought a new mower last year in an effort to escape working on them four times a season. So much for that theory.

And all I kept saying today was, I don't know nuthing about fixin' no engines. I ride bikes. I struggle to keep them rolling, but as you well know they ain't got engines. Just wheels and pedals. I know those. But a mower isn't a bike.

And, if you also recall, the last time I tried to fix a bike problem I didn't get very far. I basically took off the cover, looked in the hole, breathed on it, and closed her back up. And the issue has been gone ever since.
So today, the mower wouldn't start. And although I got real familiar with the old one, this one didn't look anything like that one. What was once on top is now buried beneath and basically you have to take everything apart just to get to one thing...or you can't reach the bolts.

Genius. So they sat around the board room scratching their heads saying, now how do we get them to just keep buying new ones instead of fixing the old ones? First, make sure they get clogged good and often. Then, make it so complicated to open that they either give up, give in, or just say the hell with it...and buy another one. Brilliant!

And so, not to be completely outsnookered by the geniuses, I dove in...okay, I stuck my toe in the engine. Not literally! I took off the cover, looked in the hole, breathed on it, and closed her back up. And she fired right up.  I stand corrected, they are exactly like bikes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Birds and TVs

Still making teevee after all these years. I'd like to credit my years of training or degree of schooling, but these is the skills you learn in kindeegarten, or shortly thereafter...and they stay with you.

It's true, I've spent many hours on the weekend juggling equipment, wires, and formats in order to get a picture out of a box through a hose and into another box. WHAT are WE talking ABOUT here??!! Signals, no maintenance technicans in house, and out of station reporters and non compatiable equipment, what did YOU think WE were talking ABOUT?!

Circa 1980...remember that episode of Laverne and Shirley when they all contorted their bodies and grabbed some tin foil in order to tune in the tv signal that was snowy and indiscernable? Ah, the good ole days of broadcast.

Now a days it's all HDTV and either the signal is there or it's not. No more ghosting, no more hash. No more tin foil antenna parties. Just signal. No Signal. And then there's the whole converter box saga for those rare few of us still holding on to our square teevees. Yep, that's me.

And like a good girlfriend, I left not only my antenna but now my DirecTV box at the country house...leaving me with NO tv. I've still got the box, but no way to tune in a signal. Or do I? I do have an incense burner. Yes, incense (it's metal). And a spare co-ax cable. TADA, teevee. If that didn't work, the tin foil hat was next!

So just to recap, in case you ever need to do this at home: I jammed a coax in my box (watch your minds...)  touched the tip with metal (still talking television) and presto: TV...that boys and girls, is how tv is made. And actually I guess babies too!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Let Sleeping Cards Lie

It's been a while since I've been allowed out after dark. Okay yeah, I'd rather be home on the couch not out sweating through pedal strokes with no where in particular to go, it's true.

But last night I was out after dark and I had to get home. Back on my old commute route. The plus side is I got to do my Meg Ryan routine down the big hill...but that also put me at the intersection I don't love and then the stretch of road followed by the HILL.

....and....the....DETOUR sign that makes me hate the color orange. Change is not welcomed opened arms, really, ever. And I followed that detour once in the sucks! Clearly not thinking of the daily cyclists when they suggested that detour. There is a somewhat better option.

Which I took. And was rewarded with a free DVD. Alas, although it was a good movie, I had already seen it. And it wasn't really mine to take. But I do like to rescue items roadside, so I turned around and picked up the Netflix envelope strewn upon the gravel.

Add it to the list. Credit card, credit card, metro card, wallet, $20, credit card, library card, purse, cat, credit card, yearbook, PA license, DVD, and....wait, CAT?!

Yes, Parker might be the biggest, oddest, cutest find ever on the bike. I typically like to try to bring peace of mind to the rightful owners, but companies don't really give a shit. IF you can ever reach a human at a credit card company good luck making headway. Without a pin number attached to the card, first of all, they don't want to talk to you. Secondly they don't care that you are trying to do the right thing. They won't contact the owner or send them a new card. I've been without plastic thanks to an evil doer, and the faster you can turn that card around and put it back in my hand the better...they don't care.

The DVD company...doesn't even know who the customer is without an email address. Yeah, no, I have their name and address right in front of me. Maybe you could just make a note that they didn't get the DVD and if there's damage didn't create it. I don't want to kick a postal service that's down, but I don't always get MY mail either.

I'm not dogging Netflix, Erin was delightful on the phone and was super nice to me. They were quick to pick up and address my concern (kinda). She asked why I didn't take it to the address. Yeah, well, I was tired, it was dark, I was on bike, didn't really know where the street was, and wasn't interested in getting shot somewhere near Walter Reed because I was poking around some one's house in the dark. Call me lazy.
Then she expected me to drop it in the mail, on my dime, after I took it to the post office to have it weighed. Again, call me lazy, but NO. Next time I might not be so quick to return it. I'll first need to consult the address and the condition of the envelope. If I hadn't found it and returned it I'm just curious if Steven would have been responsible financially for replacing it? Since they don't really know who Steven is without @gmail tacked on the back.
Good Samaritan (for the time being)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#Take Your Dog To Work Day Fail

Honey, I broke the dog. I used it like you showed me but now it's not acting right. It doesn't move. It's snoring. It's letting the cat reclaim the house.

I'm sorry. Maybe you can take it back and get another one? It's not really my fault. If you hadn't lost custody, it would have been with you today, and maybe it would still work right.

But you left it to its own devices and it ran into a car. Come to think of it maybe it was defective from the start. Did it come with a warranty? Money back guarantee? 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed?

If it means anything the cat likes this new calmer version. Maybe we should just keep it? This one might not run out willy nilly into traffic butt bumping bumpers anyway. Let's give it a try and see how we like it.

But I can make it disappear if you'd rather. Just let me know by 2pm tomorrow...I'll be at King Farm loading for CESTA. Actually if you could tell me by lunch I'll make sure to leave a space for it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Day 3 on the trail handed me an obstacle. Really the whole experience has been nothing short on obstacles. It's one obstacle after another. It's what defines the trail.

We are referring to the Day 3 Obstacle as The Rake Incident. And it has a tree by which to lay offerings. And I suggest you lay offerings. To be on the safe side.

The trail is defined by stump holes. It's why the trail twists and turns. It's why there are logs to jump. It's why you probably shouldn't walk the trail, only ride...and it could swallow your wheel. Be Ware. No, No, DON'T be Ware...good lord!

I did fall in my share of holes the last few days. Swallowed whole. By a hole. Really, these are no joke. To the knee. To the hip! It will drop you an easy 2-3 feet. But it doesn't hurt. Like they said when I jumped out of a need actual ground to be afraid, or get hurt; without it you are just falling. Tree Falling.
Day 4 was slow going. I miss the rake. I can't seem to get anything done without it. I mean I pushed on, but it wasn't easy. I'm back in the city now and can't wait to get back to my trail. Which is somewhat crazy...there are perfectly good trails here, no rakes required.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tedi's Timbers - A Work In Progress

Well I've had it with Eastern Shore living. I mean it's wet like all the time. Every day I wake up, wet. Foggy. Icy. Dew. Wet, wet, wet. That small town barber must always be late for work!

Then the sun comes out and it's gorgeous. I grab my gear, load the bike, drive entirely too far for a mediocre trail...only to get there and guess what, it's raining.

It's unpredictable. Unexplainable. Inexplicable.

But you can't win that easily with me. I'm gonna out trick mom nature and build my own trail in the back yard! Yes. That is what I'll do. And I'm just stubborn enough to pull that off.

So that's what I did, started clearing the backyard. After a decade of neglect it really wasn't so bad. Gives me something to do. Will give me somewhere to play. And the pup and me can run off leash without anyone yelling at us.

I'll admit, it's not the best trail. The turns are tight and the ground is mushy. But, it's. right. in. my. back. yard. It's doesn't get any better than that. Unless your backyard is Allegrippis, that would be better.

Come to think of it Gambrill was in my backyard and I never even went there then, so it doesn't hurt to make a day of it. Load up the car, ride til it hurts, stop at a bar, drink til it feels better...