I am happy to announce that we now have two red phones in the gerbil tube.

(quoted from a work email)

I am part of a project at work which seems to be moving along ok, but the guy running it uses his computer mouse like he’s hovering over a sketchbook with a drawing pencil. Our meetings take place while we look at a projected computer screen, and as he reads parts of the documents or clicks on links or just thinks about pointing at something, his cursor is jittering all over the place and following text like that stupid bouncing ball under singalong lyrics, highlighting this and that, opening and closing links without actually looking at the page that is opened. I don’t know why it bugs me, but watching the screen makes me want to slap at a fly or something.

Sorry, still cranky from yesterday. I accidentally had double caffeine which I think contributed to that funk, but I’m feeling almost manic at this point. Riding my bike to work this morning helped as an energy outlet and I’ve been quite productive today, but still. Put the mouse down.

And heaven help you if you need to use one of the third floor bathrooms. The one I’m thinking of only has two stalls and is rather secluded, so everyone in the building sneaks up there for their, uh, longer bathroom breaks. Here I come from a nearby lab needing a quick potty break and the stench in there is pretty awful. Poop in your own areas, outsiders!

Cranky

I’m distracted and not multi-tasking as well as usual. And my connection is not making me happy; browser windows keep freezing and sometimes when I try to close the offending one, I lose all the windows where I’m working. (Of course blogging instead is a great way to be productive. What is wrong with me?) One of my coworkers noticed I wasn’t myself today, and told me so while we were on the phone. He said I’m usually “a rock.” I almost answered that it’s due to PMS, which is absolutely true, but not something I like to announce on speakerphone at a Fortune 500 company. At least I haven’t completely lost the ability to monitor my internal monologue.

Solution: candy bar from the vending machine.

You KNOW I’m not myself when I post lolcats

cat

Quit calling me! Everyone! Let me get some work done! grrrr

funny pictures

Republic recycling facility tour Junk

I was going to talk about my tour of a local recycling facility today, but I just feel like uploading pictures.

Rode to work Thursday and decided to take a new way home just to make it interesting. I discovered there is a reason I ride the normal, planned route. However, this excursion was entertaining to a degree.

    Sarcastic dude on sidewalk: Hey, how far have you rode?
    Someone in passing car: Get on the sidewalk!
    Shirtless skinny guy on front porch scratching his armpit: Hey, your light’s on
    Out the window of passing car: Wooooooo

My current setup, having transferred lights and rack from the old bike. I need to adjust the rack angle and get the computer installed. Walt thought my bike smelled interesting and he licked the tires when I got home. I need a better system to haul my laptop so the rear bag doesn’t get so bulky, but the reusable bags work great for a change of clothes and some papers.

Ewwww. Our water cooler at work has an algae problem. You should see the inside of the spigot area, which we can’t get to to clean. I do clean this accessible part now and then.

Artesian bread: local Marsh supermarket sign. I was thrilled that a previous shopper had corrected the sign to “Artisan” for me! I had to mess with the contrast to enable you to see this correction due to poor camera phone performance.

Commuting sans petroleum

I guess I know I’m even busier than my usual busy when I can’t come up with the time to post here. The last few days I’ve been getting home late and falling asleep on the couch. I’m only checking email or using my home computer a couple of minutes in the morning… Once again, I either get enough sleep or I get everything done. Sleep wins this week!

I’ve ridden my new bike to work twice this week. It’s very light, agile, and fast (weighs at least 10 lbs less than my old bike) and I’m enjoying my time on it. Well, the way home still isn’t that much fun after a long day, but coming to work is zippy so far. It’s been fast enough that I am having to learn to pay more attention to obstacles, pedestrians, and traffic (like the school bus that nearly ran me down today) because I’m coming upon them more quickly and have less time to react.

My first ride on the new Bianchi was with people from work when we did a 20+ mile route around town, and while it wasn’t as fast as many road cyclists like to go, I felt able to keep up on my new contraption even while I was learning a totally new system of brakes, shifting, and steering. Even coming down the left lane of Meridian Street! One big benefit (and one of the reasons I chose this bike instead of another flat handlebar bike, which I thought I wanted) is that the rotated hand position above the forward-most set of front brakes makes my ergonomic injury (basically tennis elbow) feel MUCH better, instead of aggravating it like the traditional positions of using a mouse, rowing, and riding a flat bar bike do. I think I’m actually stretching the muscles in a way that combats my computer use!

I have a few brightly-colored wicking shirts and tanks which I wear to hopefully avoid getting smushed by inattentive drivers. A 10-year-old girl yelled from her porch the other day, “I like your shirt!” This is great because David HATES that pink shirt (like most pink things) and I trust a little girl’s fashion sense more. I yelled my thanks.

In other news, I recently had the chance to attend a benefit dinner for Lambda Legal through a ticket I won at work. I don’t discuss this topic much here, but GLBT rights are something I feel strongly about. I decided to go despite my discomfort with more formal, social occasions, primarily because I knew it was a good development opportunity. Even introverts should be able to interact and network with executives from their company. Finding a suit that still fit was a humorous affair, but fortunately I had one in my closet that worked. It was a lovely dinner–my eating preferences were even accommodated without too much hassle–and I met several vice presidents from my company. Bart Peterson, Indy’s former mayor, received an award for his work to make our city a more just place to live. Would you believe it’s only been in the last couple of years that it’s no longer legal to fire or evict someone in Indianapolis because he’s gay? Lambda Legal represents cases like these, or when HIV-positive people are denied government employment based on their health status, or lesbians who are denied fertility treatments because their doctors decide it’s morally wrong to let them raise children. What century is this??

The next night I met friends for Meatout, which was held at City Market this year instead of a church basement.

The venue was much more pleasant but the event seemed rather sparsely attended. I don’t think it’s advertised all that well. Some of the food was kind of blah, but I really enjoy going because I can eat ANYTHING there and it’s great to hang out with like-minded folks. Amanda and I staffed a table for IHRS and I carpooled with Nicole and Ainsley, who didn’t fall through the upstairs railing! I even won a Whole Foods Market raffle prize, which included a book I’d been wanting to read by a cattle rancher who went vegan, plus a cookbook, spatula, and a couple of snacks in a reusable shopping bag.

The rest of life has been bunny stuff lately, and a bit of experimental cooking. I tried a new recipe this week with spaghetti squash, spinach, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and of course garlic and onion. A little salt and some cheese and that’s it! It was weird but pretty good.

Pirate Eve the Staggering Drunk

Hey, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day already! The last one seems like just yesterday. Get your pirate name generated! That’s how I came to be the Eve in the post title.

Reprinting my joke from my 2006 observation of this date:

A pirate walks into a bar. He’s got the huge steering wheel of his ship hanging from his belt buckle! The bartender notices this and says, “Matey! Ya know ya got the steering wheel of a ship hangin’ from yer belt buckle thar?”

And the Pirate replies, “AAAYYEE! It’s drivin’ me nuts!”

(Thanks Kat for the joke!)

New bike!

Looked for a few weeks, picked one tonight!

2008 Bianchi Axis

Bianchi likes that “celeste” color but I’m not a huge fan. It’s seafoam green. My bike has black bar tape instead, which is fortunate. I pick it up tomorrow after the second set of brakes is installed. I was torn between that and a Specialized TriCross Sport, but the Bianchi is a bit better bike and was a better deal, too. Also rode a Surly CrossCheck but it just didn’t feel good to me.

PQ just got a new bike too!

My realtor said someone called to make an offer on my house! They’re having their third showing tomorrow.

IndyParks survey!

Indianapolis residents and park users, here’s your chance to tell the folks in charge what YOU want from your parks and greenways! Think we need more benches? Connect the multi-user trails? Bike lanes? Better bathrooms? An idea no one else has mentioned yet? PLEASE make your voice heard.

Imagine easily accessible, safe trails to get around the city, do your grocery shopping, go to school or work… get yourself healthy and cars off the road! Maybe you just want doggie pick-up bags at the park where you take your pet. Maybe your local trail is too crowded. Please let them know what is important to you. The longtime director of the park system is leaving so the change in command is a great opportunity to start fresh or reevaluate how we’re doing things in Indianapolis. We have the potential for a great greenway system, but it’s not quite there yet!

Click here to fill out the IndyParks Survey
Deadline: Friday, October 3

The old bike and the first job

Somehow this has turned into one of the longest posts ever. It’s compelling so I dare you to read it! Maybe it’s only compelling if you grew up on bikes in the eighties.

I’ve been looking around for another bike, and some of the older ones on Craigslist reminded me of the bike I used in the eighties.

My parents bought this Huffy Sea Pines bike at KMart in about 1978 for around $60 (information gathered from Dad’s memory and online, including the picture! I love the internet). It was stolen from their garage (in INDIANA, take note) by the druggie neighbor, then found by the police in FLORIDA and returned! I then used it as my paper route delivery vehicle. It had big wire baskets on the rear and I also wore double shoulder bags of papers. I’m not sure why this big clunky bike seemed like a good idea to get up and down driveways and front porch walks (walking makes more sense now), but I do remember pitching the papers to the porches, and how I had to buy my own rubberbands and plastic bags from the Tribune, so even back then I was conserving the use of these items to save myself money. Most days the paper was thin enough that I could fold it into itself and use no rubberband at all. I cringe now every time I get a paper in a plastic bag on my covered front porch, delivered from an idling gas guzzler… I bet I’m the only person recycling those bags.

On Sundays, my wonderful father would get up and help me deliver the big heavy paper with the minivan. Part of this was because I was not (and still AM NOT) a morning person, but many of my customers liked reading their paper early! During the week the paper was afternoon delivery, so I did it after school. The Sunday paper had to be assembled from the parts that arrived on Sunday morning and the parts delivered a couple days before that which had all the ads and comics.

I had to purchase the papers from the Tribune and then my income was based on the collections door-to-door from the customers in my neighborhood. A few people paid by mail, but mostly I had to knock on the door and make change and all that. One time I apparently misplaced my cigar box of checks for a few months and wondered why people started asking me about them not clearing the bank. I also found an old ring of their pay stubs recently! There were always a few houses (I thought of the houses as the paper receiver, not the people in them) who wanted me to come back later because they didn’t have enough money. It seemed a bit crazy that they ordered a paper and wouldn’t pay an eleven year old for it, but the entire experience was great education in money matters. I also remember the dogs on my route, like Ziggy the chow who I was warned not to pet when I waited for my money, and Max and Heidi, miniature Schnauzers, who ran out to my bike all the time. Max bit me on the calf and died a week later when he was struck by a car!

Tribune tangent: great opinion piece there today on biking in the real world, and my brother actually writes for their monthly publication now, too! Would you believe this month’s article is on his new bike? Check out the third page from the end in the pdf until I get a chance to scan or something.

The Ford Taurus was a brand new model in 1986 and someone on my route had this cool new car! It was so curvy in shape, so different than all the other cars at that time. Well, I ran into one with my bike while crossing the highway that divided my route from three papers–a house that always seemed abandoned, a real estate office, and the Elks Lodge. No one was injured, and I was all worried that the lady driving it (my customer) would be mad at me for hitting her as she waited to turn left into our subdivision, but she just asked if I were ok! (Note: this more formal/correct use of “were” also tolerates the informal “was” but I have readers who care about these things so I’m forcing the issue and pointing out that I looked it up. And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.)

The only headline I remember from my delivery days was the stock market crash in 1987.

My dad ran into one of my old customers (near “the H house,” which had a giant H for Henderson hanging on the outside) the other day while walking his dog. He remembered me!

I upgraded to a ten speed in boarding school, which was also stolen. The Muncie police got THAT back too after they found it in a garage full of stolen bikes a few months later. This demonstrates that you should always file a police report!

My current bike has been in the shop for a few days, a bummer since the weather is so nice right now. Meanwhile I’ve been looking around for another style of bike that would be a bit zippier. I’m really torn because I hate to purchase something new and waste those energy/manufacturing/monetary resources when there are used bikes available, but the features I’m looking for are not showing up on used bikes in my size. Anyone have a 53ish cm cyclocross bike they want to sell? Meanwhile when you factor in depreciation and a strong possibility of theft, spending a grand on a new bike seems silly. But would I buy one used unless it met my new, current needs? Probably not.

I even went to a pawn shop yesterday (largely out of general curiosity) and marveled at all the (stolen) tools and space heaters and stereo components. If you need a random socket, I can tell you where to find buckets of them. I won’t get into whether pawn shops prey on their neighborhoods and promote a criminal lifestyle, but with only one bike there, I cringe to think of all the bikes that are stolen now and just end up at the metals recycling facilities. What a waste. You know that’s what’s happening when thieves will even steal your aluminum downspouts (happened to ours a few months ago).

I can’t end my post on that sad note, so I’ll mention my Flower Girl banana bike, purchased for me in blue so my brother could have it later! My parents removed the flower stickers for him. And I’m not sure which bike it was (probably the Huffy), but I used to take my guinea pig Frisky for rides around the neighborhood in the front basket, a plastic one with big flowers on it.

Ten bucks says my brother will leave a comment about how I beat him up with my newspaper route.

New pigs!

I adopted two new pigs from one of our vets in Lafayette last week, who rescues them as well as about anything else (anyone need a pigeon?). I had already arranged to adopt the boy before Cappy died, so then I added a second pig so he’d have a friend.

This is Frisco. I fell for his picture online because he’s a teddy breed and similarly marked to my very first pig, Frisky. I named her that when I was nine because she made a lot of noise and was “frisky” the first night I had her (got her for ten bucks with cage and supplies in a newspaper ad… who knew I’d be recycling pets my whole life!). I figure Frisco is a better name but gives homage to the legacy anyway.

Frisco was given away to someone through the Lafayette Freecycle (don’t get me started on allowing pet giveaways on there), then the new owner had “allergies.”

And this is Sparkles, who needs a new name. Please suggest one. Sparkles was owned by an old lady in the Terre Haute area who was feeding her suet and birdseed. These are not appropriate foods for a guinea pig, in case anyone else was not aware. I picked Sparkles because she seemed to get along with Frisco in their brief date.

Walt has been fascinated by the pigs since they’re currently on the floor. They have a divider in the cage for now while Frisco’s neuter heals.

Nicole, Yorick‘s friend came to visit our porch this weekend!

This one’s in Broad Ripple. I’ve been driving past it for quite some time and finally bothered to capture the triple apostrophe abuse.