What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Okay, so what is new

Nothing much. Busy week this week. We have been scrambling around trying to get everything lined up for buying a house. To our surprise we were pre-qualified with no issue at all via one of the local banks for a conventional 30yr loan. Our friends are moving back to Florida and we are working on picking up their house. I will keep things posted on progress here. At this point the offer is accepted, now it is just up to inspections and appraisals to finish the deal. With luck we should be in the place by the beginning of June. We are happy to be buying a home, but very bummed to be losing our closest friends here in AL. Yet again Austin is losing a best friend.

Doing our taxes this week too. Not fun. Hopefully we are in good shape there. We have moving, medical, and charity write-offs but it really sounds like standard deductions are still the most benefit to us.

I actually got a ride in Saturday. Yes, that is green making an appearance for Spring. In another month the entire trail system will be lush and green again. For now this is what most of the mountain looks like.

It was a muddy mess on the lower end of the park. Kind of the same story as my last ride. The downhills are draining well, a little slick in places but overall very fun. Once you get down to the base of the mountain all of the water tends to pool and make mud bogs. We spent over an hour slogging around in the low land before calling it and hiking up a creek bed to get back to better trails. I am still in poor shape for these longer rides. A couple of my friends have been very dedicated to getting saddle time. Me on the other hand, well just not motivated to get out there. Also cleaning and maintaining a muddy bike in an apartment is not fun. The weight that I have lost has been good. The climbs are easier. I am still feeling the respiratory effects of that stupid cold.

I managed to get another flat. Of course this time I am tubeless. I sliced the tire, so my sealant did little to help. It tried, but just couldn't seal up the hole. So I threw a tube in. Gotta love changing muddy tires full of stan's silicone sealant. What a mess. I guess it could have been worse. There are a couple of pitfalls to tubeless one is actually pinch flatting a tire and the other is slicing a hole in it too big for sealant to close. Guess luck is still against me wrt flats on my bike. Oh well, life goes on.

Easter came and went this last weekend. We tried to keep it very mellow and cheap. Still ended up about $100 out for goodies for the kids. Everyone had a good time. Eggs were died, candy was consumed, beer flowed freely, and lots of pictures were taken. After the rush of the week settles Erin or I will get some of the images posted up. We did get a lot of cute pictures and some good short video. We ended the day by catching a late lunch over at the Nicely house. Then another egg hunt. All things considered, we had a wonderful weekend with family and friends.

Big Thank You to everyone who sent cards and prizes for the kids and us. They were stoked on having fun stuff arrive in the mail. Again, these small gifts really do make everyone's day over here and they are much appreciated. It was also nice to hear from those who called. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

That's all I got for now. Keep the rubber side down...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Razor skooters suck

...but this kid is pretty amazing

Friday, March 14, 2008

Should have gotten out yesterday.

Well, raining pretty good today. So the trails that were drying up are now saturated again. Dang. Suppose I should just suck it up and go play in the mud tomorrow. My bike is still filthy from Sunday's ride, so it isn't like I have to worry about that.

Other than the rain today the weather has been picking up and really has been nice. Sunny days. Temperatures 60-70 degrees. Starting to feel like Spring out here. Some of the treas are starting to blossom or green back up. The grass is again starting to be green. Before long the barren winter look will be covered up for the year.

Nothing too exciting happening this week. We went to a dinner and talent show at Austin's elementary. If you haven't sat through a elementary talent show, well you just don't know what you are missing. Okay, not like I had anything better to do, so I am not going to complain about it.

Still kicking that flu/cough/whatever it was. For the most part we are back to normal. Still have a bit of the cough hanging around, but it is getting better with time. I gotta say, I would rather have a really nasty flu for a few days than this dragged out not so bad sickness for near a month.

That's all I got for now. I will try to get out this weekend with the camera and put up something more interesting than my rambling here...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wiggles, just wrong...

So Austin was playing the Wiggles video game this morning when I got up. Nothing too exciting until it comes to time to pin the tail on the fairy. Yes, that's right, the wiggles guys actually bend over and prompt the player stick it on their behind. Wow. Really don't know what to say about that one. Here is a short video I took of it...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Freekin weird weather round here

So this morning we awoke to this.

First time the snow has really stuck to the ground this year. What was even stranger is that by around 10-11am it had developed into a nice day. Partially cloudy, but almost 50 degrees. Austin grabbed some snow and stuffed it in the freezer.

As anticipated my tubeless rim made it here yesterday. Erin was busy cooking, so Faith and I built a wheel. Surprisingly Faith was pretty helpful. Okay, she was handing me spokes faster than I could use them but overall she was very cute about it.

Sultan doesn't look any different, but it is fully tubeless now. The bigger front tire did require a trip to the gas station to use a compressor to get it seated. Once the bead seated it sealed up very nice. I was anticipating a big mess since it was a tire with a few miles on it. I will keep an eye on things, but hopefully this whole wheel build will get me past this string of flats that has plagued me this winter.

My version of a garage. Really not too bad for an apartment...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday already

Well shoot, another week down. And what do I have to show for it? Nada. Zip. Nothing.

I am still kicking back and waiting to be healthy. So riding and beating myself up at the gym have been off the back for the last couple of weeks. I am still coughing a bit, but it has been lessening over the last couple of days. Hopefully I will be done in a few more days.

I got my lcd monitor mounted to the wall above the desk yesterday. Guess that is an accomplishment for the week. I scrounged around the net for a bit to find a wall mount that set the monitor closer to the user, but wasn't ugly or expensive. Cheap may have been the best description for what I was looking for. I settled on this. It has a level bubble, but I found mine to be off level by about 15 degrees so I just aligned min the old fashioned way. End result is cool, more desk space and the monitor a couple of inches higher.

Talked with Chad over at red barn bikes and ordered up the matching rim to the one that I built for the back. So I will be running a full set of Stan's Flow Rims. Hopefully I will have a box waiting for me when I get home with rim and spokes. I can build up the wheel this weekend. Looking forward to being off of tubes again. Time will tell if this is the right choice.

In other news, I found another item that is cheaper here in AL... Building materials. I checked out the price of some 4ft x 8ft x 3/4in mdf and oak plywood. Typically the stuff runs about $40-45 in the Bay Area. Well here the sheets are under $25. Cool, makes my project a bit more palletable.

Project, what's this all about? Just geeking out, contemplating building a new desk. I came accross a cool site on building a DIY laminate desktop. Seems simple enough. Looking at $150-200 in materials including the legs. Then I could have a mondo desk, deep enough to keep my feet out of the cords and off the wall. I am thinking 72Lx36Wx28H. Only real issue is work space to build. Might have to see if I can call in a favor from my boss and use his wood workshop for a couple of days. Okay other problem is that I would have to locate my router and bits in the storage.

Yeah, I am this much of a geek...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Commercial not quite fit for mainstream

Great commercial. Might be offensive to some, so be forewarned.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A little blurb about work

Here is a little video that gives some info about the Ares rockets, Orion capsule, and NASA's plans for the future...

Blog me, It's Monday again

Hello blog readers and welcome back to another exciting edition of the Rolling lifestyle blog...

Okay, so maybe it isn't exciting. A guy can embellish a bit right.
Nothing too interesting out here on the AL front. Weather has been all over the charts the last couple of weeks. We have had snow, rain, and 70 degree sunny days. Even with my jacket fetish I am sometimes at a loss for what to wear around here. Today is no jacket. Tomorrow I may have to dress for snow. Weird.

Well, the whole family is still sick to some extent. Erin has been down for the last couple of days in some sort of a relapse. Faith has had the crud and an ear infection took hold on Saturday. Fortunately we caught that early and got her on antibiotics quick. By last night she was back to her crazy kid, climb on the coffee table, jump on the couch, and avoid bedtime at all costs self.

While Erin was trying to sleep it off yesterday I went into project mode with Austin and Faith assisting. I got some shelving up in Austin's room to get all of his videos and robo-whatevers organized. Kid has a lot of videos. With just vhs movies I filled an entire 6ft long shelf. Over his bed I mounted another 6ft and a 3ft in an L-shape so that he could set out his robots. It is high enough to keep Faith out of them, but low enough that if he stands on his bed he can get them down. This little project made their room a bit more functional. They seemed pretty happy with it as well.

Next project was to fix my jerry-rigged pc cooling fans.

I have been running a new cooler that uses a 120mm fan, but it wasn't PWM so I couldn't control it's speed off the motherboard cpu fan header. So I had it hooked to an aux header and needed to have something plugged into the cpu header. I strapped a spare 80mm fan on so that the motherboard would think it was the cpu fan. At any rate, I strapped on a new 120mm Scythe PWM fan on and got the redundant 80mm fan out of the case. The fan didn't work with the stock mounting hardware, but some steel wire made short work of that minor hurdle.

After a few reboots and tinkering with the duty cycle I was able to get the fan churning along quite happily. New fan is quieter and is running on the cpu fan header, so I am gonna call it a success. Only concern I have is that it is more concerned with low noise than cooling performance. I picked up another fan to try that outputs about double the airflow, but the downside is it draws 4X the current through the motherboard. It would keep the cpu cooler, but runs the risk of burning out a fan header.

Okay, sorry for geeking out on the computer. Kind of been my project for the last couple of months, so I usually have to purge about it here. New case and psu. Not sure if I mentioned these already. More roomy and more power. I e-bay'd off my other case. Amazingly enough I broke even on it, so not a bad deal.

No riding, still working on kicking this sickness. I am finally feeling pretty normal again, but am still coughing. Probably will throw a leg over the bike this week at some point if it doesn't rain much. Otherwise back to the gym. I got pretty worked over by last week's gym adventure. Gotta be more careful. I have been doing situps on the floor. Well, the gym has a decline bench so I hammered out my situps on it. It worked my abs a bit differently. Here it is a week later and I am still tender. It is amazing how changing up something so seemingly inconsequential can really rack you up. Lesson learned, gradual changes and lighter weights for a while.