30 April 2012

I love San Francisco. The Spouse Thingy took ten days off work. So there was plenty of time to go back to SF again. We got off the BART and headed back through China Town today, but this time we were headed for Pier 39, which is only about 4 miles away and gets a couple of decent hills in (not enough, but still.)

Old photo...that macaroni noodle is no longer there.


But once we were there, it was lunch time and the Spouse Thingy's reward for walking and not whining is fish. I don't do fish. I don't like the smell of fish. I also don't mind if he goes into a restaurant and has his fish, because while he's indulging, I can shop.

And shop I did. I wandered into the wine shop and bought some mini-bottles of booze: Contreau, Jagermeister, and two bottle of Chambord, which the Boy said I would like...and now I need him to tell me how to drink it. Mix or straight. But...still. I bought booze. In teeny tiny bottles.

I wandered some more and went into a knife shop, where I came this close to buying a 2" switchblade. The only thing that stopped me was that there was no blade lock to keep it from popping open in my pocket.

I know, a bizarre want...but I've wanted a switchblade since I was a kid, probably because it's illegal...but under 2", apparently they're legal enough in CA.

So no knife. Then I wandered into a touristy shop that sells tons of hats and shirts and fell deep in like with a striped sorta cowboy hat that can be molded into whatever hat shape you want. But I wasn't sure, so I headed back out and wandered some more, almost-buying a few sweatshirts and a crystal Thumper (but could not justify $100 for a tiny piece of glass) and went back.

I tried the hat on again and was looking in the mirror, when an older lady near said--very sweetly and with genuine concern--Oh,

So I guess that was not a good look for me. Good to know.

This has been a really fun mini-vacation. We've hit SF twice, shopped for some stuff for the Spouse Thingy's woodshop, wandered around a flea market, spent his birthday losing money in a casino...He's only got 2 more days off, and one of those we have dental appointments...all fun things must come to and end, I suppose.

But my highlight just might be Oh LOL


24 April 2012

Dixon is flat and I need hills upon which to train for the upcoming Bay 2 Breakers, because that sucker is uphill for a good mile or two at least. And we wanted to do some shopping in the touristy parts of San Francisco, so that was the logical place to go sweat and part from some cash.

We took the BART in (gawd, people, stop peeing on the train. It stinks) and started walking in the general direction we wanted to go, and then ran smack into this:

People protesting at Wells Fargo. And while I appreciate someone's right to protest, I don't appreciate them being dicks about it and intentionally impeding other people from being able to get from point A to point B, and it seemed to be that this smallish throng was determined to keep people from getting from one side to the other.

Which meant, of course, that we were pushing our way through whether they liked it or not. I wasn't going to turn around and walk down and over a block just to avoid them.

It wasn't a huge protest, but it had more than one city block of California closed off, typing up several police officers, and drew in a lot of news crews. Other than being really noisy, I'm not sure what they really hoped to accomplish. There was a shareholders meeting they tried to disrupt, but my understanding is that it was in another building entirely.

At least the street closure made it possible to get in the middle of the road and shoot a picture up California, the street that reminds me I am so not in hill shape anymore.

Protesters aside, we had a good time wandering around spending money. And I bought myself some new blue balls.

And look, we found the heart of San Francisco.

It's at Union Square, so if you go looking for it, you at least have a starting point.


22 April 2012

How I know I'm special:

I got a medal for walking a little over 3 miles.
And a t-shirt.
But the medal, that means special.



11 April 2012

Because I suffer an extreme shortage of toys, I needed a bicycle. Oh, I already had a bicycle, but the front fork is bent and I really didn't want to ride in circles all time, though we live on a court so that would certainly be doable. I could just ride out there and go around the court for an hour at a time, as long as I only wanted to to do the Nascar thing and go left. I needed a toy.


Trikke on...
What I needed was something that would get me a little more cardio work, because all the walking, even at those long distances, that hasn't been cutting it. I can walk 6 miles no problem, but I'm not getting my heart rate up. And over the last couple of years, even though I'm far more active, I've lost a lot in endurance. I'm not even walking as fast as I did even 9 months ago.

I was up to 5-6 miles on the Trikke when I started walking. Then I decided to concentrate on the walking, and lost all my Trikke endurance.

This bums me out mightily, because the Trikke is a whole lot of fun.

Fusion...tons of ouchy fun
And then there's my Street Strider Fusion. This has the potential to be a farkwad of fun, but it kills my bad knee, and I am so far from having the cardio fitness needed to really do more than tool around the street it's not funny.

Enter the desire for a bicycle. I wanted something that was fun but would still help me get into shape better than just for walking, but that wouldn't make me feel like I was going to die after 15 minutes. And I wanted something that I wouldn't outgrow, presuming I do develop some conditioning.

Once I'm in shape, I'll have three really fun options for exercise, without it feeling like exercise. I have hopes that a bike will strengthen my knee so that the Strider won't be the toy that makes me cry because I just can't play with it.

I'm sure to the Spouse Thingy the want of a bike seemed like another thing seemingly coming out of nowhere, but I do tend to quietly mull over my apparent impulses before I bring them up. I surf online and research, read reviews, get basic information so that I have a modicum of an idea what I'm looking for and whether or not some sales guy is feeding me a big hot steaming bowl of carpola.

We looked at basic bikes at Walmart last night...and that was ugly. I haven't been on an upright bike in years and there wasn't much room to really try a bike out there, but it was a start. I did learn that cheap bikes come in pretty colors. Today we went to the two major sports stores in Vacaville and looked at bikes there, and I got what I wanted: a good idea of the price range I was looking at, and the type of bike I wanted. From there, though, we came back to Dixon and went to the local bike shop. Surprisingly, Dixon has a bicycle shop. And the guy there knows his stuff.

I just wanted to look elsewhere first to make sure I wasn't going to be pointed toward a $2000 spiffy Trek bike, when all I'm going to really want to do is ride around town. I wanted to buy local; aside from supporting community business, if something goes wrong, the shop is right here.

Raleigh Venture 3.0 Comfort Bike
He didn't disappoint. Hearing what I wanted a bike for, he narrowed the range down to just a couple, and pulled one in particular out of the lines of bikes. Upright, cushioned seat (but not too cushioned, which is good, because too squishy over the miles will just create hot spots...), correct frame size (I'm a 20, it seems) and he adjusted the bar height and seat height for me, then sent me outside to test ride it.

Walmart...they're not gonna let you take the bike out to the parking lot to ride it around.

I took it to a parking lot across the street to zip around and he watched from inside the shop; it wasn't that he thought I would take off, because he had our car in the parking lot and I'm pretty sure he could have caught and tackled the Spouse Thingy if we tried to run, but to see how well it fit and how comfortable I seemed.

Tell ya what, for not having ridden in years, I was damned comfortable.

So yeah, I bought a bicycle. One that I can take back for adjustments as needed until it's tweaked to fit me perfectly. Something that will help get me into better cardio shape but not feel like exercise.

Because exercise...that sucks.


9 April 2012

What I've been doing over the past nine days when I obviously wasn't blogging...besides playing on Facebook...

Mostly...getting this formatted, uploaded to the printer and distributor, then formatted for the Kindle and uploaded to Amazon. It's not on other major bookstore sites yet, mostly because I haven't gotten around to formatting it in their preferred style. I would really like it if everyone would agree on one standard format... If they would, it would be everywhere by now.'s on Amazon. The print version shows right now as out of stock, but that's mostly because they just got the data from the distributor. [clicky]

The Kindle version is available... With the e-ink it's all in black and white, but if you have a Kindle Fire or another color e-reader with a Kindle app, there are pictures in color. Color! Imagine that! [clicky]

My favorite toy also decided to give me headaches. We started to head out on a ride, pulled the bikes out of the garage and I fired mine up...and then it died. Fired it up again...and it died. Tried a third time, and =click=. Nothing.

Ride aborted, we put the bikes back, the Spouse Thingy hooked up a battery charger and a few days later he fired it up. And it died. He fired it up. And it died. =click=

The frustrating thing is that the dealership is 50 miles away, and pretty much all the other bikes shops around here closed one by one over the last couple of years. The one left...the Harley dealer in Vacaville. They had no issues with testing my very-non-Harley battery, though, and were happy enough to dig into manuals and find out exactly what battery it needed, and then ordered me one.

So two days later the Spouse Thingy put the battery in for me, charged it, and yesterday I fired it up...and it died. Fired it up. Died. Fired...and the engine would turn and turn and turn, but did not want to start.

Well, hell.

It finally did start, but was obviously not happy about it. It ran rough, so I decided to ride around the court, and when it died once more I took it back into the garage, thinking that on Tuesday it would be headed to the dealership on the back of a tow truck. But today, after some advice from a couple other people, I fired it up and we went for a ride around town...not a single issue.

Apparently my favorite toy does not like gas that's even two weeks old. So I clearly have to ride it more so that it gets a regular supply of fresh gas.

Since I'll need to ride a lot, before winter I think I'll need something nice and warm and very bright to ride around in.

These suckers...crash in one of these and unless you get run over, too, you get to keep all your skin.

Go ahead, buy me one, I know you want to. It's only like $900...

Should have bought it a couple years ago when it was a hundred bucks less...

Oh, and the other thing I've been doing?

Tormenting the cats.

They didn't seem to appreciate their Easter gift.

Tho..Buddah has bitten it a couple of times.

He needs a name.

Something like NEDS. Non Edible Piece of $ least that seemed to be what Max would call it.