Saturday, June 17, 2006

Steady State of Confusion

Ride a lot. Don't ride a lot. Hot weather. Dang near frigid weather. Its been a crazy two weeks in my hovel. Work has been rather insane with a demanding customer that buys very little in volume, but when they discover what they perceive is a problem, look out. Not only did they come for a visit with a failed system, they brought a couple of their customer reps along with. What a dog and pony show.

I'm lucky in that the intense autopsy of the device wasn't my job. I've got great colleagues that take care of that. Then the data analysis comes along. How many like this in history? Out of how many? Any like this? After they went back home, some days I got five-seven calls from these folks. Sometimes they'd be on a squawk box and the questions and stuff came so fast I couldn't write it down, so I'd have to do the, "let me see if I got this all straight" before we could end the telecon. I'd have missed something every time. Three weeks later we still aren't done. Normal customers we figure out what is wrong and fix the system and return it in a month. Enough about that noise. Its a good thing I have great people to work with (really, not BS in case they read this).

I am just about to finish up a bike for a friend. He ordered wheels from Chuck's a great clearance house. I've bought stuff from him for years. Okay, so I don't really know if there is a Chuck. They have been good to me. I ended up doing more to the bike then planned like rebuilding the headset. I've just got to put the chain on, lube it, and then install the cycle computer for which I located a battery.

Last weekend I wiped the drive of a computer for my son, Thing 3. It was just lousy with junk. He's used stuff to download music and who knows what else. It wouldn't boot without a pop up saying windows needed to evaluate all the system files for something. I split the drive into two virtual drives and put all his music data onto the second drive. I've also been loading songs onto his iPod. I've now loaded about 140 days worth of songs. He could listen 24 hours a day, and not run out of music before he has to return to school. I hope he enjoys that. I had real trouble loading the copy of Norton Systemworks that I had bought for it. I never did get it to load. I tried using the "safe mode" and other tricks, but no go. I couldn't uninstall either. I had to use a special uninstaller from the Symantec site to get it uninstalled. It then appeared to have hosed up iTunes as I couldn't load any more music. After I reloaded that, all seemed to be okay.

Now, next I've got another bike to work on. I'm going to try to take photos as I build it. Still learning my camera. I've had a vintage Cannondale frame for years. Its absolutely in cherry shape, as in built up, but never street ridden. No dents, no bends, nothing. I'm building it up into a light fast training/race bike for a nephew. He wants to try his hand at riding in a triathlon. Fun!

A reader (Doug) commented that in Idaho it is okay to do a rolling stop. I think that is okay, but in some cases I wouldn't. By that I mean, I wouldn't flaunt it when a car is in view. I don't like to piss them off, and since most cagers are so very ignorant of bike versus motor vehicle rules, why open the question. Here in Minnesota, a vehicle can't pass unless it can yield at least three feet. Very few drivers know this and they love to buzz you when annoyed with you. On hills, around corners, with oncoming traffic. Like its my fault they chose to pass. Thanks a lot, put my life in danger, you morons.

A fellow at work has a very nice Cannondale he bought from a shop I used to work in. Now as he has aged he learns that the classic road bike has the bars too bloody low for a normal person. Uncomfortable. So he spoke to me about it and I showed him the Nitto Technomic in the Rivendell catalog and how it has a double length quill to bring his bars up higher and make him more comfortable. So he calls a few shops locally and they either have no idea what he's speaking of, or quote a wacky price (double!) to order it from Quality (QBP) which happens to be in Bloomington. I started thinking I'd do it for him, but then thought, Duh! and have him call Jim at Hiawatha. Sure enough, Jim has the stem. It didn't take me long enough to make the leap from buying the stem and doing the installation, to sending him down and let Jim do the work. More money in Jim's pocket is a good thing. And it worked great. Jim suggested a very fair price and was a pleasure to deal with. My pal suggested it was a great experience and he likes putting dough down when its someone like Jim across the bench to pick it up. Saved me from another project I'd just procrastinate on!

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