Friday, June 09, 2006

This is how my week went, in a nice short statement. You have been warned. Personally, I'm grateful its over. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My new camera...

My new camera. Posted by Picasa

This is my new camera. I got it through a program at work. We have a deal through Panasonic. I bought from Panasonic direct less expensive than I could find it anywhere on the web through any catalog sites. It came pretty quickly. The web site suggested that I'd get it in three weeks, but I got it in less than seven days. Pretty cool.

Days later I got my copy of the latest Consumer's Reports and it had a big review of digital cameras broken into three sections; Simple cameras, middle complexity cameras, and Single Lens Reflex (SLR) digital cameras. At first I noticed that not many Panasonic cameras were reviewed. Later when I read the whole article I found that in the first two groups the Panasonic (at list price) was rated as a best buy. It wasn't the exactly model as mine, but another one with slightly different feathers that was the same price. I chose mine because I preferred the features it has over the other one. So far so good, I think its an okay camera, and I'll look forward to use it a lot more. YMMV.

You Know You're Old When

When you are riding a bicycle and lose a race to a rabbit.

And the rabbit was facing in the opposite direction you were at the start.

And you had a rolling start when the race began.

And the race only lasted the lengths of two residential home yards.

And the rabbit makes a complete 90° turn at speed after the second house and is still leading when you lose sight of him behind some bushes.

Only redeeming factor? It did make for a smile that early in the morning. And I guess I scared the beejebus out of that bunny.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Denon Adventure

My new used cassette player/recorder. Posted by Picasa

So I saw this advert in Craig'sList. A quality cassette recorder/player for only $40. I haven't had a cassette player for years since I wore out the last one. I've worn out two Sony machines from the late 70s. I have hundreds of cassettes that up until now I could only play in the car player.

Speaking of cars, I'm car free again. My family and a few trustworthy friends know me as an easy touch when it comes to my car. Especially in the summer. I don't use it, so if they need to, it works for everyone. So since last weekend I was without a car.

I discussed this with the owner of the Denon and she was okay with waiting, but I wanted to get it done figuring that way someone else doesn't buy it first. Only trouble is their house was an easy 18 miles away on a direct route. Everyone knows you can't usually ride the direct route on a bike. That is if you value your life. And in this case value the new purchase I'd be carrying in my trailer. Her house was somewhere in St. Paul I wasn't very familiar with. Turns out there was two entirely disjointed sections of the road with the same name. My use of Google Map turned out to be most unhelpful. It sent me to the wrong section.

Start over. I told her I'd be by about 9:30, and intended to leave by 8:00 to be there on time and try to miss the worst of the heat during the day. Of course, as usual I didn't get on the road on time. It was more like 8:20. I'd spent about an hour with the maps trying to figure out the route. It appeared that the best route was to meander over to Lexington and take that south. At some point I needed to get off Lexington to avoid traffic and find my way to their street. I did this and it went okay until I followed Como too far almost into downtown St. Paul. And meanwhile they are doing road construction on Hwy 94 and they are rerouting traffic to a cross street. I don't know how long I waited at that light, but I finished the rest of my water. There was a squad car using some remote device to trigger the light.

At one point I was stopped behind some old gigantic tank of a car at a stop light. After one cycle of the quick light behind the guy, I got the idea that he wasn't moving. So I cycled by slowly and the car was running, the AC on, the windows closed. The guy was nodded out, or dead drunk or simply asleep. Against the steering wheel. He eventually woke up and later passed me. Just really strange considering it was like 9:30 in the morning. Maybe it was early for him?

I rode the entire length of the their street (or so I thought) and realized that I wasn't even close to their street address. So I finally pulled out the cell phone and called them. I apologized for being late and asked if I wasn't keeping them from something. Turned out I had actually gone too far. They lived close to Lexington and Grand and I wasn't far off. So, with his added directions, I was soon at their home and looking at the item. It was in great shape. Some tiny scratches on the top, but all the cords and instructions included. Awesome. I paid them for it and loaded it up in the trailer.

I rode down Grand a bit so that I could find someplace to get a drink. I ended up at an SA and got a couple of liters of Gatorade and a couple of doughnuts. Yum! I just sat in the shade and ate the doneys and drank a bunch of the Gatorade. Then I refilled my water bottles with the rest of the Gatorade and got back on the road. I tried a different route for the most part and got home in a reasonable time.

Total trip was just over 46 miles and about three and half hours of riding. It worked out to a pretty slow 12 something MPH, but reasonable considering I stopped at every light and such. I also spent mcuh time checking the map in my bag. I wasn't exactly lost, just trying to avoid dangerous routes. It was fun exploring St. Paul. It also makes you feel awesome to get out in any winter and do something like this car free. I just love the ability to say, I don't need no stinkin' engines. And I can tell the tales to prove it.