Thursday, December 31, 2015

I Found A Blog Plug On Several Communities On Christmas Morning

Moral dilemma. You found someone who is plugging their blog on several forums. Repeatedly. Never participates in any discussion. What do you do: mute the user, block them, just ignore what they are doing, or report the user to the mods? Here's my story.

Christmas Day, about half an hour into my morning browsing, I noticed a blog plug abandoned on several Google+ communities. As I approached the blog plug, rather as if it were a fart trapped in a wicker chair, I considered my next move.

In my annoyance at seeing this blog plug again I failed to take a picture, so here’s a stock photo of a blog
Option one: ignore it. Conclusion: unsure.

Option two: report it to a mod. Conclusion: no, because:

a) it was Christmas Day so even if there was anyone moderating the community they would either be dealing with drunks (relatives) or enjoying a swig themselves, and hardly likely to be interested in an annoying blog plug complaint.

b) even if there was a diligent moderator willing to take the complaint it would almost certainly end up in the air, or more likely, given the issue, not be addressed, because nobody was likely to take action on something that's merely annoying.

Option three: block the user. Conclusion: tempting. But given that blocking someone on Google+ isn't as straight forward as it sounds, no. Or at least not yet.

Option four: let generosity win. Conclusion: this was the best answer.

There’s a little charity I know called Taking The High Road. They take all things annoying and somehow make them less annoying.

Letting this idea rattle around in my head for a while, I had an ever so little back and forth with myself.  "Are you willing to let this one go?" I asked myself.  “Yes” I replied without conviction. There could, after all, have been another blog plugger somewhere else in the vicinity, but, given my relaxed mood, I decided that this was probably not the time to enter into a discussion to establish without doubt that there wouldn't be another blog plugger nearby, and I didn’t much care either, so I just said “yes”.

“Is this going to keep on annoying you?” I asked myself in a somewhat accusatory tone.

“No, I will try to not have it do so.”

“Are you not going to report it to a moderator?”

“Not sure yet, since I'm not sure the mods will be interested in it.”

"Well," I said to myself, “if you're sure this won't continue to annoy you, I'll leave it up to you.”

“It’ll be a nice Christmas present for someone in desperate need of a larger blog audience,” I trolled with a big smile. “Season of good-will and all that, eh?”

Sorry, couldn't help it. It's not meant to be malicious, just funny in a passive aggressive way.

Happy New Year And Cake On Craigslist

About the cake. Around 4 pm yesterday I started feeling sleepy and a bit bored so I figured I'd check out bikes on craigslist. Not that I don't have work to do, but...

There was mostly rubbish for sale, but then something caught my eye.

Ultegra 6800 11spd CX/Gravel/Road disc bike - $1100
Now I have no clue if this is a bargain or not and I was too lazy to check if this was a good bike or not. But the bike was irrelevant. What caught my eye was the cake on the table. Or maybe it's banana bread. Either way, it made the photo interesting enough to get my attention.

Dan and I had a little convo about the cake in the photo.You can find it here. I think someone should make a movie of this since it had it all: interesting premise, beautiful scenery, and a dramatic turning point. Even a happy ending.

I decided to respond to the ad and ask about the cake.

I figured that would be it, but just a minute or so later, I received this in my inbox:

Turns out the cake was for sale, but I still think $1100 is a bit much for cake. No matter how tasty.

In a few hours 2015 is history and it's time to do this:

Happy New Year y'all. Keep on riding. If I don't freeze my toes and butt off on my way home, I am planning on a ride this weekend around the lake. ☺

My favorite New Year Song

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My First Flat - A Tale Of Shortlived Woe

As I was getting ready to bike home last night, my coworker's husband noticed my rear tire was completely deflated.
M: "Is your rear tire flat?"
BC (me): "I don't think so."
Yes, I know, riveting exchange. I guess screen writing isn't my calling.
But he was right. The tire was flat as a pancake.
M: "Do you have a pump?"
BC: "No"
M: "What? You bike every day without a pump?!?"
Yes, I do. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but in my defense, a pump wouldn't have done me any good in that particular situation.
Mind you, this is the same tire that had the broken valve recently. But not only that, I bought really expensive tires - Conti 4 season - $75 each in order to prevent flats, as recommended by the guy at REI. Quote: "In all my years here I have NEVER had one of these come by with a flat!"
Seriously, when will I ever learn to listen to my own advice and stop listening to REI employees. Stupid REI. But probably more correctly; stupid me. Fool me once and so on. And I think we are far beyond once now of being fooled by REI employees.
Long story longer; my coworker drove both me and the bike home and I headed to my small local bike shop where they fixed the bike.
Yes, I know I should learn how to either fix a flat or how to change an inner tube. Or both. And I will, but I wasn't about to start tinkering with that last night in the cold and dark. So I threw my bike in the back of my car to have help instead.
The local bike shop was awesome. Turned out the almost new tire had a half inch gash in it from glass shards. There was also other shards in the tire. The bike mechanics there scoffed at my Conti tire and sold me one of theirs. Ok, so I might be a sucker with deep pockets, but until proven otherwise, I will believe what they said about my new tires.
I got new tires on my bike: Specialized Armadillo Elite.
So far the local bike shop might not sound very awesome so here's the awesome part.
I had forgotten my card and had no means of paying for the already installed tires. I was really embarrassed. But my small local bike shop believes in the honor system, so they let me take the bike back home and call them with my card info. Yeay!
Knock on wood. Here's hoping that this will be the last flat in a long while. Knocking some more.

Edit: I also learned that flats tend to happen on the rear tire because that's where my fat ass pushes it down. 

Bringing Sexy Back Josh Ross Style

With almost everything I read, if I come across something I haven't heard of before - straight to Google I go.  So when Josh Ross wrote "I love the classic lugged c60 and the fact that it's still carbon ups the sexiness.", I looked up classic lugged c60.

I found a couple of things - which may or may not be related to above statement by Josh.

First I found this:

Which led me to this:

"We take a look at Thomas Voeckler's Colnago C60, the bike that the perennial housewife's favourite will use for his numerous suicidal attacks at this year's Tour de France."
You can find the entire article here.
Of course I had to look up said Thomas Vockler. Am I a housewife? I suppose. Kinda. Not really. But what this sentence is hinting at is that Mr. Voeckler is worth checking out. So I did.
Not sold yet
Getting warmer, all though a little 70ish
Oh, behave!
All this because of Josh Ross. You're welcome.

I also looked up Wiggle Honda thanks to William Robison. Also worth checking out. Thank you.

But the sexiest part of this post is this:

Check out the curves of this baby

Round and smooth

Hard where it needs to be

Talk about undercarriage
There's but one small catch.

Or should I say 16,000 of them.

Price tag: $16,000.

And no amount of sexy is worth that.

Ok, so maybe Channing Tatum, but the days when I could pay to have him Channing all over my Tatum are long gone. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day Two Of A Supposed Post Apocalypse

I almost stopped to take a photo today - just to show just how empty the streets are, but stopping is against my nature so I biked on sans photo. The streets were eerily empty, just like yesterday. Hardly any cars. This is how I imagine the world post apocalypse to look like. I will try to get a photo for tomorrow.

However, there were no zombies to be spotted so I'm not fearing any real impending apocalypse. But just to be safe, I will check up on our emergency supplies. And melee weapons.

On that note, why is it that none of the post apocalypse movies have bicycles? Sure, there are people riding scooters or motorcycles, but no one is riding a bicycle. I would have thought that a bicycle would be the logical choice in a world where gas is a sparse commodity. Plus, if one doesn't factor in World War Z, I could out-bike any zombie on a bicycle. A bicycle is also quieter than any motorized vehicle if noise is a factor.

Sorry, guy, but this just isn't sexy
Perhaps the lack of bicycles is due to the fact that bicycles on screen aren't cool. I somehow doubt that the motorcycle scene in Mission Impossible would have been as cool if they had been riding bicycles. Running away from zombies on a bicycle just isn't as sexy as riding a motorcycle. Pedaling away with sweat dripping all over just isn't sexy. While there is something as a sexy way of running, there just isn't a sexy way of cycling. I think. I'm not ruling it completely out, but based on experience there just isn't sexy in huffing and puffing away on a bike. So maybe that's why there aren't any bicycles in The Walking Dead or Faling Skies (no zombies, but plenty of aliens).

All I know is that I would stop by the local bike shop and stock up on supplies in the event of an apocalypse. Not that I'm hoping for a zombie apocalypse but there are lots of cool bikes I'd like to gt my hands on. That is, after I test drive any cool car nearby.  I might raid the local Porche store.

Drool worthy bikes on my post zombie apocalyps list:

Jamis Xenith Comp Femme

Colnago Arabesque
I'm almost through December, so it's looking good as far as remaining a year-round bike commuter. Sure it's cold and mostly wet, but so far the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Don't worry, I'm far too lazy to become a bike evangelist and doubt I will try to convert anyone to bike instead of drive. Only two more months of darkness.

Monday, December 28, 2015

All By Myseeeelf And Nipplegate

On my way in this morning I probably only encountered 10 cars, making it clear that I'm in the thick of Microsoft-land.

Being off the bike for so many days in a row felt strange. I've been off it more or less for two weeks due to the passing of my sister in law and the holidays. But I have committed to commuting all year, so on the bike I hopped this morning.

The air in my rear tire was almost completely out with a psi of 30. Strange, since this was the tire I had replaced recently. Meanwhile the front tire was almost full at 100 psi.

Christmas was uneventful and instead of the great outdoors I spent most of the time surfing online. It was way too cold for recreational cycling, and while I enjoy biking lots and far, I think that one day biking around Lake Washington might have broken me as far as cold tolerance goes. I did see a group of riders, 'scuse me - peloton, decked out Josh Ross style, riding their bikes with just their eyes peaking out.

There was one incident I want to share with y'all, but if you're of the sensitive type, stop reading now.

People eat all kinds of foods for Christmas dinner. Our tradition is roasted pork ribs - a slab of belly ribs, with scored rind, and rubbed in salt and pepper overnight. This year was no different. It's a little tricky to get ahold of this particular cut of pork so in the past I have gone to Asian markets where we used to live. However, this was the first Christmas in the new hood with new stores.

The first store we went to was a bust. They were out of the cut I needed so off I went to another Asian market. They had my cut and happily I headed home to prepare it. Hubby had bought an exacto knife, which from experience is the best tool for the job - unless you have a knife sharpener and quality knives (I have the latter, but all three knives are dull from years of not tending to them).

As I was mid-way scoring the rind, I noticed a discolored bump on the rind, which is just a fancy word for skin. As I grab the part to cut it off, I realize what I'm holding; it's a nipple!

Let it be said, I'm not easily bothered by such things and it's not my first rodeo. Let's just say I'm no friend of PETA. I know where meat comes from and I know how it goes from live animal to delicious steak on my plate.

I quickly cut off the nipple, but made a little sound as I did. Hubby asked me if I cut myself. All I managed to say was "nipple", which lead to explaining what and how, to which hubby replied, "I wish you hadn't told me".

Well, I told myself that I could handle that and went to finish the job - and encountered a second nipple, which shouldn't have come as a surprise because nipples seldom appear alone, and on an animal they usually come in several pairs, not just one.

I thought this wouldn't bother me. I was wrong.

It didn't bother me all through the following day's preparation. It didn't bother me as I sliced up the rib.

But as I'm starting to eat the former delicious pork, I find myself unable to swallow. The piece of pork that's residing in my mouth just won't go down. Hubby didn't fare any better.

We are now anti-porkitarians. Practically vegans. Next thing you know, you'll find me in the aisles of Whole Foods.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Balls! Balls! Everywhere Balls!

[Smoochy holds up a penis-shaped Cookie made by Randolph]
Randolph: What are you, blind? It's a cock! It's not a rocket, you sick fuck! It's a cock! Look. It's a cock and balls! A dick! Chorizo and the huevos! It's a big stiffy! It's a penis! Penis maximus! A willie! A weenie! Mr. Jiggle Daddy! The one-eyed wonder weasel! Don't you see that? It's Jimmy and the twins. Rumple Foreskin. He made this. It's made from dil-dough.

This is a quote from my favorite movie of all time, Death To Smoochy. And that brings me over to Christmas, which again brings us over to balls.

Because Christmas is the time for balls like no other time, except for maybe the annual Pride Parade.

There are ball shaped ornaments, ball shaped cookies, and dickheads.

The dickheads aren't necessarily accompanied by balls, but they have two feet and huge attitudes. Not exactly embracing the Christmas spirit, that's for sure.

With this, I wish you all merry Christmas. Not happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Oh, The Places You Can Go

I spend two hours on my bike every weekday. Before winter hit, I spent an additional average of 10 hours each day during the weekends. That's a lot of time spent alone on the road with no music or other distractions on hand. Let it be said that I'm usually not bored when biking. The only time I can actually recall being bored out of my mind was during the climb at High Pass Challenge.

The reason I'm not bored is because I'm weird and random. I think of the strangest things while biking. This morning I almost rode right into a HUGE tree branch because I was busy thinking about something.

Most of the time when I'm biking I sing to myself. Lately I've had three songs rattling around in my brain - "Hello", thank you Adele, "Halo", thank you Bey, and "Wrecking Ball". The last song I don't even like, yet it's periodically stuck up there like a stuck tape player much like the scene from HIMYM.

Now I'll probably have that song stuck in my noggin for a while.

Another theme for my thoughts is food. Especially during the last 10 minutes of the ride because I'm hungry. For some reason grilled cheese is what I generally crave. Other times it's ramen.

At times I think about penises past. This makes me pedal faster. Not because the topic serves as a carrot at the end of the stick (boy, that makes for a whole lot of phallus references) but because that's where my thoughts wander. There's especially one that stands out. It was a glorious specimen but it's not conducive to biking. It's a huge distraction - pun intended, so I can't think about it for long.

At first glance this particular topic might not make sense why it appears while biking, because there really isn't anything about biking that ought to lead my thoughts in that direction - yet that's where my thoughts wander on a regular basis. But really it makes perfect sense. When biking one is sitting on a saddle that is more or less comfortable. Sitting on this saddle makes me think about genitals, my own first, then the male counterpart. Also, I'm quite fond of the topic in general.

I feel crazy on a regular basis, but if there's one thing I've learned - it's that fighting my thought train is like plugging a leak in the Hoover Dam with my finger, so I let my freak flag fly freely during my commute. And here's the reason why: I believe it's good for a person's sanity to let the mind go where it wants to go ever so often. I'm not saying one needs to act on whatever goes through the mind, far from it - but as with any place of residence, a thorough spring cleaning is needed periodically.

And why not while biking? The commute is my alone time and my brain is kind of like Phoebe's jogging style.

It's thoughts flying everywhere - and I recommend it.

You don't have to think about penises, nor sing out loud, but it feels good to get it all out. It's liberating. But not only that, you can daydream whilst riding and the only limitation then is your imagination. Oh, the places you can go... Just make sure you also pay attention to traffic and roads.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Four Wheels And A Funeral

My sister in law died a week and a half ago after having been diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago. I won't write a whole lot about the details surrounding her numerous treatments, the pain, and everything else that follows cancer. Instead I will share with you some of her thoughts and mine.
"She lost her brave fight." If anyone mutters those words after my sister in law's death, wherever she is, she will protest wildly. And oh, how she loathed those pink ribbons.

According to my sister in law, having cancer was not a fight at all. It was almost a symbiosis where she was forced to live with her disease day in, day out. Some days cancer had the upper hand, other days she did. She lived with it and she let its physical and emotional effects wash over her. But she didn't fight it. After all, cancer had arisen from within her own body, from her own cells. To fight it would be "waging a war" on herself. She had used chemotherapy on five occasions and she submitted herself to this treatment gently, and somewhat reluctantly, taking whatever each day had to throw at her. She certainly didn't enter the process "with all guns blazing".

She would like to be remembered for the positive impact she made on the world, for fun times and for her relationships with others, not as a loser. Whether one lives or dies doesn't hinge on a person's ability to defy the prognosis for his or her type of cancer. It comes down to chance and no one wants to feel a failure about something beyond ones control. One of the things my sister in law felt immense guilt over was that she perhaps didn't fight hard enough - a burden that shouldn't have been added to an already heavy load.

And that's the problem; in my opinion the language used around cancer seems to revolve around wartime rhetoric: battle, fight, warrior, beat. While I recognise that these violent words may help others on their journey with cancer, but as someone who wasn't going to "win her battle" with this disease, these words were uncomfortable and frustrating to hear.

I understand why this military language has penetrated the media, charities and everyday life. It is meant to evoke positivity at an unimaginably difficult time in someone's life and it's easier to rally support for a battle than a mess of uncertainties. But I know first hand how it can have the opposite effect and so we need to challenge it and to break away from how we have been conditioned to think and speak about a disease that will affect one third of us at some point.

I believe rather that instead of reaching for the traditional battle language, living with cancer is about living as well as possible, coping, acceptance, gentle positivity, setting short-term, achievable goals, and drawing on support from those closest to you.


On a related note, we drove half way cross country to attend her funeral. Why? Try to get tickets at a somewhat reasonable cost last minute before Christmas. In hindsight, the price of the tickets was probably worth it. Note to self, never try crossing mountain passes in the winter without having a four wheel drive.

As for me - I "survived" my diagnosis. I got lucky.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Commute Report And Meeting The Man Of Your Dreams

The weather today as I was biking in was terrible. Let it be said that I'm not one for complaining about weather conditions, but today it was raining sideways. There was thunder and lightning galore and tons of debris in the bike lane and the road. Seriously #rule9. I briefly considered not biking in, but I'm not a wuzz so I biked. Granted, I might be slightly delusional which in turn makes me susceptible to stupidity - because had any of those branches that were strewn on the road hit me, I'd probably be dead. Not to mention flying trash cans.

I made it in to work - unscathed. Dirty and wet, but very much alive. I tell you, there's nothing that will make you feel more alive than riding on your bike in the dark with horizontal rain and gusts of wind threatening to blow you off the road. In the spirit of being alive I'd like to share a story with you that was shared with me by a friend. If you're of the sensitive sort, stop reading now.

Man of my dreams
Like everything in life, farts have a time and place. However, I never realized that in the wrong time and place, flatulence had enough power to alter my course in history. Well, it can if it’s the third date with the man of your dreams. And, if it makes his eyes burn. If God destined us to be together, I was one SBD away from foiling His plans (that’s “Silent But Deadly” for you prudes).

I was trying to lose a few pounds so I was staying away from carbs. That’s when I met my husband. On our first date, he booked the next two. He liked me. I liked him. Things were looking real good.

He picked me up in a Mustang and his pathetic attempt to win me over with a car totally worked. I’m not shallow, but since I spent most of my twenties picking men up in my car because I didn’t want my hair to frizz in their non-air conditioned jalopies on 3 wheels and a 15 year old spare, I welcomed his fancy sports car with open arms.

We arrived at the restaurant and Dan was ordering food I hadn’t allowed myself to eat in months. I didn’t want to be “that girl” so I ate, drank, and oh, was I merry. Later we shopped a bit. Dan surprised me by buying an expensive pair of shoes that he caught me eyeing. Was this love?

These heels are made for lusting over
That’s when it happened. Gas strikes in two different ways – uncontrollable toots or sharp, shooting pains that feel a lot like dying. I thought I was dying. Not to make a scene, I told Dan I suddenly wasn’t feeling well and probably needed to head home.

On the way home in his Mustang, he tried to hold my hand and ask me lots of questions, but I wasn’t having any of it. The pain was so bad it felt like I was being stabbed with a bunch of tiny forks. Then I realized …

My God, help me. I have a horrendous fart on deck. I’m in trouble. Big trouble.

The more I held it in, the more pain would shoot through my stomach and down my legs. I was even having to raise myself off the seat, gripping on to my door and the dashboard.

“Seriously, you need to hurry – I’m in a lot of pain.” I managed to say through gritted teeth.

“Wow, it’s that bad? What’s wrong? Do I need to take you to a hospital?”


Well, you can either tell him, or like me, let the fart speak for itself.

People, hear me. There was nothing I could do. As impressive as I am with sphincter control, this was out of my hands. Slowly, it eeked out. The more I tried to stop it, the more it forced its way through the door. However, to my pleasant surprise, there was no sound. I sat silently, sweat accumulating above my upper lip. Ok, maybe I got away with it. Maybe I’m home free. Then it hit me. Not an idea, a cloud. A horrific, fart cloud. Not in a, “am I smelling something?” sort of way.

More like a “is someone dead and rotting in your trunk and am I in hell?” sort of way. Suddenly, I panicked. “Roll down the windows!” I screamed (yes, I literally screamed it like I was in a horror movie).

“What? Why?” Dan asked, starting to freak out because I was freaking out.

“I can’t roll down the windows, unlock it! UNLOCK IT!”

What’s going on?” Dan yells back to me, “Why are you …” then it hit him. I could see it in his eyes. Was it surprise? Horror? Water started to accumulate at the base of his eyelids, “Oh my God, I CAN TASTE IT!” he screamed.

“Roll down the windows!” As I screamed, the toots started to flood out uncontrollably. I scratched and clawed at the window like I was being kidnapped. Dan, unable to see either by fart cloud or panic, kept turning on the windshield wipers instead of unlocking the window.

It was chaos. We were acting like we were under siege by gun fire. We were under siege alright, just not by gun fire.

Finally he was able to hit the right control and he rolled down our windows. We both gulped in fresh air. I was horrified, yet happy to be alive, then remembered I just farted on the man of dreams, then sorta wished I was dead.

We sat silently for the rest of the way home. Although the shooting pains had subsided, I now desperately needed to use the bathroom, in an urgent, explosive kind of way.

He pulled up to my apartment and before he could come to a stop I had already jumped out, “Ok, thanks for dinner, sorry about the fart, love the shoes!” and ran in to my apartment like I was running from the cops.

I burst through my door and ran straight for the bathroom, where I was finally able to unleash and make noises that no one should ever, EVER, hear coming from another person.

Then I heard it. Dan's voice. Right. Outside. My. Bathroom. Door.

“Nina? You left your shoes in my car and your front door was open. Where do you want me to put them?”

“Get away from the door!” I scream like Reagan from The Exorcist.

“Ok, I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

*toot* *toot* *splatter* *ungodly noise*

“I’m fine, Dan – just leave the shoes there. I’ll call you later okay?”

“Okay, are you sure you’re …”

“I’m fine! Get away from the door!”

This man! I mean, I like him, but take a freakin’ hint!

Finally, I heard the front door shut, and the Mustang engine zoom away. I thought that was the last I’d hear from him. I didn’t think it was possible to ever see a man again after he screams he can taste your fart after only knowing you for 48 hours.

But, to my surprise, I did. A couple days later, actually. Now we’re married and he’s lying on the couch while I type this … “It was your rack that saved you,” he just lovingly reminded me.

Heh heh.

(Names have been altered in order to protect the innocent)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Jacket, New LBS, And No Bike Tuesday

Last weekend was our Christmas party, which is why I didn't leave any cyber footprints yesterday. While I don't get hungover at all I do get paranoid. The post alcohol paranoia isn't aimed at anyone or anything in particular, but it's present and it's real.

I biked in yesterday because I figured the fresh air and rain would do me good - and it did. I also wanted to test out my new jacket that was given to me by one of my nervous friends. With the exception of hubby, no one in my life thinks commuting by bike is a good idea. What I see as exercise, they see as a death wish. But I'm as stubborn as they come, so instead of fighting a losing battle I am constantly bombarded with opinions and advice. And last, but not least, this jacket.

Yellow Teletubby
I am torn over this item since I'm not sure if it's preventative or serves as a big target on my back, so I decided to test it out. Well, turns out it made zero difference. The asshats along Newport Way were as plentiful as usual. So much for that. But I liked the jacket in and of itself - it's warm, completely waterproof, and overall quite functional - not to mention free, so I'll most likely remove the letters and use it for very cold and rainy days.

The tip came off!
No, not quoting John Bobbitt
Much like the Hulk, I don't know my own strength. As I went to put a little more air into my rear tire yesterday morning pre ride, part of the valve broke off. Initially I thought I had unscrewed it a bit too far, but I couldn't get it back in again. The air seemed to stay inside the tire, so I figured I'd take a look once I arrived at work. Well, the stem was broken off, so I called a new LBS. I tried to be supportive of the local business last time and went to Issaquah Bike, but let's just say I didn't notice an difference between them and REI.
A story about fixing a tire at a small local bike shop
I think the new LBS is better. At least they were able to fix my tire and tighten my brakes, but they charged me over $60 for it. The tire being $5, I feel it's a little on the higher end of what I believe to be reasonable. Especially since Gregg's Cycle charged me $5 for the same amount of work. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid.

I didn't bike in today. I'm jealous of those who did so I'm declaring this day No Bike Tuesday - which means no one can bike. Unless this is how you bike to work.

If I were really hardcore, I would install this at work and bike while I'm at my desk. Not sure if the world is ready for this yet.

I miss my weekend rides but I am holding off until the other side of winter. I prefer to enjoy my rides instead of constantly dodging debris, which there is tons of in every bike lane. But come March or so, I'll be back at it - riding centuries every weekend.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Worst Of The Worst

Cars. Some are better than others. And I'm not talking drivers here but makes and models. You'd think that a driver's ability to drive well is dependant on the driver and not the type of car he or she drives, but I've found that this is not the case. Similar to how certain professions seem to attract a larger percentage of asshats so do certain car brands. That is, if you want to call certain brands - cars. Not sure that all of the below qualify.

Without further ado, I present the list of The Worst Of The Worst:
  • Fiat 500
  • Subaru anything station wagon like
  • Last, and very least the Prius

I'm not even sure that last one qualifies as a car.

It's like calling Donald Trump a person.

Top two things that are wrong with where I live

The proper use of a Prius
Good use of a Fiat 500

Wood shed - Fiat, same shit different wrapping

Oh, hahaha... I don't even know where to begin here
I don't know what it is about these "cars" that attract terrible and rude drivers, but in my experience these seem to top the list of people who shouldn't own a driver's licence, whether I'm on a bike or in a car. Doesn't matter.

Friday. Thank You. I think I'm going to drink tonight.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Was Promised A Male Genitalia Free Environment!

I don't mind Tom and Harry...
When I interviewed for this job, my only requirement was that this was a dick-free environment. Both figuratively and literally. I came from urology where male genitalia is a dime a dozen. Add doctors with huge egos to an already extremely stressful environment and you have a cocktail I'm not interested in drinking. No pun intended. So I left. My direct boss has a good sense of humor, so in her written job offer she promised me a male genitalia free environment.

It seems silly to write an entire post about this, but I just have to get it out of the system before I explode or implode. I don't know physics well enough to know which direction I'll be blowing. I suppose it depends on whether I've had peas and cabbage or not.

Just what the doctor ordered
My boss is behaving like a proper dick today. I think this have to do with yesterday somehow where I had to leave early due to personal reasons - which I had cleared with my manager last week. In other words, this wasn't some unplanned sudden vanishing act on my part.

We all have favorites. People we get along with better. Or people we like more. That being because they have something we want, have a personality that works better with ours, or we think they are attractive. Whatever the reason, the end result is that we treat these people better than we do others who don't have any of these qualities. My boss has such a favorite. It's funny at its best, ridiculous at its average, and anger inducing at its worst. Today it's the latter.

My boss it very attracted to this person. He is also very married in the traditional sense to a wife that would most likely chop his bits off should he act on this attraction. This doesn't prevent him from behaving like a teenager in lust whenever he's around this person. The teenage hormonally charged behavior I can handle. But when his hormone goggles has a direct effect on my day, I mind. My coworker, who is my peer, gets away with anything. Probably murder as well. Should she ever find herself having murdered someone, my boss would be the first person there with a shovel and a tarp - no questions asked. We all need friends like that so that's not where I have objections.

My coworker is notoriously late for work. She messes up with labs on a routine basis. This was apparently something my predecessor was fired over, making her "get out of jail free card" even more distasteful. What she really does around here is still a mystery to me. Point in case: she was gone for almost three weeks and no one noticed. None of us had to work any harder because of it. In fact, things seemed to run smoother than usual. Probably because we didn't  have to watch out for drool on the floor, which can be a work hazard.

My coworker's philosophy
To make a long story longer: I was gone for the last part of yesterday. Apparently things got "crazy" here because there were four patients here. FOUR! WTFF!! Means freaking fudge. So now my boss feels that I abandoned ship, causing my coworker to actually having to work. Go figure. He's been soooo nice to her I almost want to vomit. Example, "thank you for doing your job". Actual words he said to her. Eh, I'm all for work place appreciation and all that and positive feedback but only if it's true. Me - he's ignoring or treating as if I'm in his way.

I feel better now. And that's why there will be no bodies to show up for with a tarp and a shovel. I guess I'll use the Call A Friend option for another time.

This is a video Edwin, who claims he's a grumpy pants, tipped me of and that I'll be doing later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You Go

No, You Go

No Really, You Go

Sammamish High School. You're going to be the death of me one of these days. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't. As I've said before; when I bike, I always assume that drivers don't see me. With the exception of the unpredictable actions of asshats, this generally keeps me from getting mowed over. But then there are the over considerate drivers, who stop and wait for me to pass when there really is enough time for an entire kindergarten class to cross the road before I get to the critical spot in the bike lane.
Almost as confusing as this diagram
That's not the problem. The problem occurs when oncoming traffic thinks the car parallel with me is waiting for them to cross the road and turn left - crossing my bike lane. And they do. Because they can't see me behind the stopped car next to me. And I can't see them because of the stopped car next to me. See the problem? So I'm going, "what the hell are you doing? Am I stopping? Are you stopping? WTF!!!" And then nobody goes for then to everyone going at the same time. It's like an orgie but less fun.

Be sure not to park your car in a bike lane in Vilnius
I suppose I shouldn't complain about this. First world problem and all.

Speaking of roadkill. There seems to be an epidemic of dead raccoons. Last week we had our own version of #raccoonTO on 8th st. A dead raccoon was laying on the road for three days before he/she was removed. I considered getting a candle and write a note, but I'm no copycat. I know most people don't like raccoons, but I do. I think they are cute with their burglar eye masks. Today there was a second dead raccoon in the middle of my bike lane. He was too far away from the first raccoon to be related but he might have been on his way to the funeral - in which case it's very sad.

Next year's Halloween costume?
Or maybe this if it's cold

I had no idea there was such a thing as a sexy raccon, but this just goes to show that whatever one can think of - there's a sexy version of it. Aaaand I'm not going there today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There Is Definitely Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Tuesday, December 22

This date marks Winter Solstice for 2015, which means the days will start to get lighter. My speed on the bike has slowed with road conditions and layers of clothing but I'm already excited to see how much I have improved when the time comes for shedding the layers and the roads dry up. This will be a first for me, hence the excitement.

Truth be told, I miss this
I watched the news this morning which has become part of my routine and there are no less than two officer involved shootings that are heading for trial. I don't know enough about the two cases to have an opinion so I will refrain from commenting on the particulars, but hearing the news makes me sad. Sad because events like these make the divide bigger and the media certainly isn't helping.

Less like this...

More like this...
It's very white where I live. Very. Not a whole lot of cultural diversity on the east side of Seattle. There's a whole lot of granola and Birkenstocks but Benetton wouldn't find any united colors here. Yes, I know if one is to be PC, the term is Caucasian, but since I'm not - white it is. With granola and Birkenstocks comes a somewhat misunderstood urge to promote social justice. Perhaps it's white guilt that's somehow infused into the granola and walking a certain mileage in sandals makes that urge grow even stronger. Or perhaps it's Whole Foods and their fair trade propaganda and their overpriced asparagus water. Whatever it is; when the white people in my area read or hear the phrase "black lives matter" or anything that imply that white people think they are better than people of a different color, first they cringe, then they rally like never before and lie down in the fancy local shopping malls, fists raised, chanting whatever it is they are chanting. I believe last time it was "justice for all". I really can't recall.

Kinda like this
Misunderstand me correctly - of course black lives matter, and yes, it's ultimately a good sign that white privileged people feel an urge to make things better. It's just weird. And funny.

There are bad apples everywhere. You'll find bad school teachers, bad doctors, and bad police officers - and I'm sad to say that I'm afraid that's par for the course. My experience though, is that these people are few and far in between. So I haven't lived in the deep south, nor smack in the middle of the heart of Texas, and nor am I black - but I am a female minority where I live - and even more so when I was in law enforcement.

A while back I had an interesting encounter with a female colleague. From the outside we have very similar histories. We had similar childhoods, growing up in similar small towns amongst similar white people, but that's where the similarities end. While I can't recall ever having issues that were race related, she had many. She referred to herself as the "token [insert race]", a term so foreign to me that I'm almost offended by it. She had numerous stories of how she was treated differently than others because she looked different. I have no such stories. Growing up I was always me. Myself. End of story. Perhaps that's just me being lucky, but I have a different theory.

Again, misunderstand me correctly. It's NEVER the victim's fault - no matter what the subject matter. That being said, my theory is that bullies detect fear or insecurity. I've never suffered from either. Write it off as ignorance or youthful naivete, whatever it was it served me well. I kinda always walked in like I owned the place. If I have a superpower, it's that I can walk into pretty much any situation and feel completely at ease. My colleague - not so much. From what I could gather, she always felt inferior and therefore acted accordingly, making her the perfect target for bullying. My point is that I believe the world tends to treat you in line with your expectations and how you carry yourself. If I expect people to treat me a certain way, nine times out of ten they will. Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that.

But then again, I've never been a young black man in a neighborhood where stereotyping is the only course on the menu. So maybe I'm just full of it and ought to shut up.

But I won't. Shut up, that is. Because in spite of my perhaps skewed world view and theories of how things work, I have faith in humanity. I believe people are ultimatly good. Police shootings, whether we agree on whose lives matter (or not), acts of terror, no matter what happens, I believe most of us are good eggs. Maybe not that asshat driver that pushed the poor biker in the ditch, but most everyone else. And soon - in just three weeks, we are headed towards the light at the end of the tunnel.