August 16, 2008

Notes on Recent Events

Here is the down and dirty on the last few weeks.

1. We went to the airshow last Saturday and saw the Blue Angels. It took us three times as long to drive out of the parking lot as it took to watch their little portion of the show. If you squint, you can see the planes on the ground after the show (trusty cameraphone).



Sal liked climbing in the transport planes they had on display.



2. I've long been fantasizing about building a bike. I've already stared in fact (Warning: masculine techno speak coming). So I've opted to build up a 22" Surly Big Dummy longtail/cargo bike with a Rohloff 500/14 speedhub drivetrain. And when I mean build, I mean build--everything except some of the frame prep because cutting tools for facing and tapping the bottom bracket and head tube would be ridiculously expensive and would never be used again. I do plan on building the wheel set--I've already got the front hub with the rear hub--the big Rohloff tuna--on its way from the Motherland (Germany) as I type. So far I've got the frame prepped with some framesaver (its 4130 Cromoly--real American steel. . . well, actually it was manufactured in Taiwan so whatever--"steel is real" as they say) and just placed the headset and bottom bracket/crankset this evening after work. I couldn't quite finish either one because I haven't gotten a stem yet or a tool to set the star nut in the steerer tube. Plus I'm waiting for the rear hub and wheels to be built because I need to work out the chain line before really being done with setting the cranks. I'm ready to cut the steer tube with a jig and hacksaw, though a little hesitant. So here's a little photo montage.



Have you ever seen such a strange frame? That big rear monstrosity holds panniers and racks for haulin' stuff. It is actually based on the Xtracycle hitchless trailer, so I'll have to get the racks etc. from them.


Setting the headset. Yes, in fact that is a 1 1/8" Chris King threadless headset. I splurged on a headset cup press--starting my own garage bike/ski shop. The headset, front and rear hubs, and probably the pedals will be red. The frame is green. Everything else will be black. A closer look at the tools.


Enough on that for now. I'll save some more of the technical details for later.

3. We are headed to Seattle tomorrow night. I'm working there all this next week and everyone is coming along. Next weekend the plan is to catch the ferry to Victoria. It is nice to visit the big city every once in a while, but I wouldn't want to live there.

4. It is going to be 100 degrees tomorrw. Yuck.

5. I forgot our 12th anniversary last weekend. I still can't figure out how it got by me. I swear three weeks ago I was working out some different celebration ideas but somehow never got back to them. I was probably thinking about my bike. Oops.

6. I've been watching a lot of Olympics this past week. Veep is getting sick of it. What can I say, I like the drama and history. I've got to say I'm impressed with the sportsmanship of our basketball team. I hope they don't screw it up and do something lame.

7. The kids finished up swim lessons a few days ago for the summer. Sal is now interested in seeing how far he can jump into the pool and how long he can stay under water. The girls learned how to dive, but still won't jump off the diving board during free swim time.

8. My parents are headed back to China, right after the Olympics end. For some reason I have this fear that they're going to get sick or something this time.

9. In four weeks we will be starting some work on the yard--finally. Rock work and final grading will be done this fall. Sprinklers, a paver patio, and grass should happen in the early spring. We plan on doing extra sprinkler heads around the perimeter of the yard as a little fire barrier. There was a pretty good sized fire a few miles to the East earlier this summer during a windstorm that destroyed 11 homes. Two of the more senior radiologists had their homes threatened, lost trees and a shared outbuilding. Their immediate neighbors lost their homes. I'm thinking a generator would be good to have too because they turn the power off when there is fire near homes--but we need the power to run the well pump and the sprinklers. Our neighbor has sprinklers on his roof. Maybe we should do that too.

10. It is midnight and I have to work tomorrow, so that is it. I'm actually driving so that we can hit the road sooner after work.


  1. Why are you worried that your parents will get sick in China? Last time they were both healthier than any of the other teachers they were with!!

  2. Have to know: Who's doing the welding on this project?