Monday, October 30, 2006

Bikes Fire And More School

First off I would like to encourage any of you that are stuck inside here in Minneapolis to get out there ASAP, although the sun is setting the temp is awesome. Tomorrow however is supposed to be bien frio again, so what the hell.

The Saturday Night Ride this week was a good time, lots of craziness abounding as it was the last before the upcoming holiday. Anyone else notice how Halloween has just exploded in popularity in the past decade, it was always big, but now it is huge. As I turned off of Riverside to take a little short cut through the campus, I saw 3 college aged kids rolling around in the dirt, I hope it was for a costume, or else I am quite disconnected from the rest of my school mates.

There was a pretty good posse at McD's per usual (much better than the 4.5 of us last week), I think there was about a dozen of us, average I would say. We headed into St. Paul, taking University the entire way, and luckily enough with the wind at our backs. After hitting A's house from a little beer/sparks stop, we continued riding down towards the capital. There was a party that we had all been invited to, though I didn't know any of the people throwing it. In good form, all of us cyclists were sans costume, we tried to convince people that we were the Tour de France, but I don't think it went over that well. Turns out one of the people throwing the party was this girl and she ended up kicking us off the porch as some of the riders were preparing for the trek back into Minneapolis. I opted to stay for a while at the party, weighing my options vs being outside and hanging out with lots of people in silly costumes. The most memorable was probably the girl dressed as Sharon Tate, complete with pregnant belly and the correct number of stab wounds (she did he research apparently). There was also two women dressed as Frida Kahlo from the famous picture where they are connected, that was clever. Once again I was just Minneapolis bicycling boy, but that was fine by me. Afterwards I headed down to meet up with the group, they were at White Sands starting a little fire. It was nice that although I was riding against the wind, the majority of the ride back was downhill, awesome.

Rest of the weekend was really spent just schooling and working, pretty uneventful.

I got a flat coming home from work today, so I opted to just walk the bike back and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. Instead of simply fixing the flat (I hate the tire it was on, I have to buy another), I decided instead to swap cogs out on the FG bike. I had been rocking a 46/15 but that will prove to be too high a gear come winter. I had an extra 18 lying around in my parts bin, so I made that little switch-a-roo. Of course in the process I managed to almost rip off part of my fingernail, to the point where it started bleeding from under the nail, good times. The bike is much more fun to ride now, quick and zippy just like I like it.

(Oh and I just went outside to let the cat out, I totally change my view that you should all go outside and enjoy the weather. It is warm but windy as hell, I guess that high pressure front is getting pushed out a little earlier than I had anticipated.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mas Frio

It is getting a little colder here in Minnesnowda. The SNR left me with chilly numb little toes, that might have been in part due to the 1 mile walk along the railroad (we were lost). I turned the heat on for the first time last night, and the termal underwear is on my body for the first time this season. I have yet to break out the hard-core layers, it isn't that cold, but in general it is getting colder. I recommend underarmor base layer for anyone thinking about riding in the winter, the shit is like magic.

I am all out of coffee right now, so I am finishing up my second cup of Kenyan Masala tea brought back as a gift from my old boss. It isn't giving me the same kick I like, the caffeine is still there, just a little different. Once upon a time I stopped drinking coffee at all for about 9 months, during which I drank copious amounts of tea instead. What the hell was I thinking, coffee kicks ass.

In other "What the hell was I thinking" news, I was an idiot when changing the chainrings on the black falcon. To make sure that I was able to get the correct chainline, I moved the chainring inside shelf of the crank. Due to the little indents in the chainring, I installed the chainring bolts backwards, the only way that I could get them tight enough. Some of you probably can guess what happened a couple of days later, but I will tell anyway. One by one the bolts worked their way loose, eventually falling out, all of this unknown to me. Friday after work, I was riding home right near the U, as the stoplight turned green, I cranked down on the pedals, and I heard a big snap crackle and pop (I swear). Onto the sidewalk, I survey the damage and realize that there was only one bolt left, and the chainring was tacoed.

Not only was the chainring damaged, but the area on the crank where the last bolt was in place was bent all to shit. Good thing I live just a few minutes walk from where this happened, so it wasn't a big deal to walk home and fix things up. Seriously, how fucking stupid is that, I should know better. Now the all black falcon is sans the black chainring and cranks, though it is still a pretty swell looking piece of transportation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gonna hev ta be cwik

Alright well I am pretty tired right now, due to having staying up until the wee hours of the night reading and putting the final touches on a couple of papers. I didn't have the liberty to sleep in, instead I woke up bright and early to photocopy some articles from the library, from school straight to work and finally back at home.

So what is new?

Nothing really I guess, just keeping occupied the best I can, trying not to freak out and get overwhelmed by the shear load of reading expected of me each week. For just one of my classes we are supposed to read almost 300 pages this week, crazy. Somehow I am keeping up with the important readings, you know the ones where it isn't just as easy to skim the night before an exam.

I worked the line for the first time at the new place, went well. Busy for a Tuesday night, high standards for the food and plating, one reason most everyone leaves impressed and satisfied even after dropping a big chunk of change.

Before I post random photo fill, I have one gripe about Apple. The little spunk monkeys some how have lost the rebate I sent in over two months ago. So now not only do I not have my nifty black ipod (stolen remember) or my super sweet macbook (stolen as well), I don't get the 190$ rebate. Convienent of them to have lost it I would say.

Ok here are a couple of pictures from the SNR a couple weeks back.

Oh I almost forgot, Black Beauty rides again, pictures will be up when I am damn well ready (read when there isn't a layer of rain induced sludge coating the bike).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Oh boy oh boy, winter is upon us again. It is nice and cold outside here in Minneapolis, which is funny considering that just Sunday is was near 80. Not to mention just the sheer tempurature, which is compounded by the blistering wind, but there was also snow flying. There wasn't really that much snow, just enough to make things interesting. The majority of which fell from the moment I left school until I was just 2 blocks from home. I forgot how much I missed fresh snow falling, especially when I don't have to worry about shoveling. Not that the snow was in such of an amount where anyone would have to worry about, the snow melted just as fast as it fell.

My busy crazy week of school is winding down to an end, and mostly thing have gone well. Things went well, all my papers were written, hopefully good enough. I had a test this morning, which crazy enough has already been graded and posted online. The TA has been utilizing google spreadsheets for showing the grades, which works out pretty slick. I like being able to see right away what I scored, those folks at google are pretty dang bright.

In my Material Culture today we studied material culture of death, good times.

I downloaded a copy of the new m!cr0s0ft 0ff!cE 2oo7, not in release yet. God knows I am not the biggest M$ fan out there, but the new version is pretty slick.

Outside that I guess there isn't much of import to talk about, same old shit.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Poor Thor.

(No you aren't a happy cat are you?)

Thor (the crazy raccoon chasing cat) came home a little beat up yesterday. As of yet I am not sure if he did in fact get into a fight, or if something else happened. I know that he came home after being gone longer than normal with bloody ears, not wanting to do anything but crawl under the bed. Usually Thor is agressive in not only his hunting, but his desire for affection. After he gets home and fills his belly with what seems to be delicious kitty food, the next thing he always does is attack one of us looking for some love. Last night however he was just not the same cat, something happened. His ears looked bad, blood coming from the inside and scrapes all over the left one. As well his face was a little puffy on the left side (still is). We were assuming a fight, and to ensure there wasn't any lasting damage we took a drive down to the 24hr animal emergency room.
The drive to the shelter was interesting, Thor the entire time was making the most unusual meows from the confines of his wicker basket. You would have thought someone was killing him, or that he has been in there much longer than the 15 minute drive it took to get to Golden Valley. The vet illuminated somewhat of his idea of what had happened to poor black kitty, at least one scenario. The way that both of his ears were bleeding from the inside, looked to him like maybe he had gotten his head stuck in something, and was struggling to get it out. The cartilidge attaching the ear to the bone had been ruptured a little, causing the bleeding. He was saying that when Thor was struggling to get out, his ears may have been pulled and scraped, consistent with the injuries. After a little clean up of the ears and a stern warning to keep Thor inside for a couple of days, we headed back home. Thor is still not himself, but he is regaining some of the spunkyness we all know him for. Eventhough he has spent the majority of the day asleep on a pillow, hasn't been outside once. Up until about 15 minutes ago he had not even tried to venture outdoors, another unThor like behavior. It seems like he will be ok, even if his face is a little swollen.

On a lighter note, I realized that from Tuesday until Thursday of next week I have the following to turn into or do for my various classes.
1)Lab assignment for biogeography
2)Writing assignment for biogeography, just a couple of pages about an article we had to read.
3)Exam in biogeography (fun fun fun)
4)Language journal for one of my classes, just a few pages, I am writting about speech communities and google chat.
5)Weekly hip-hop reaction paper.
6)Hip-hop pioneer paper (see last blog post).
7)Transcription work group report, which involves meeting with some of the members of my class and spending a couple of hours talking about or transcribed conversations.

Not to mention the normal reading that needs to be done, which is hundreds of pages a week.

Oh and work.

Oh and the cat that needs lots of attention and love right now.

No wonder I don't have much of a social life right now.

P.S. The asked me to work another day a week at the restaurant, in a greater capacity than mere butcher. I get to be a bonafide line cook again.

Yeah I threw random pictures in there to shake things up a little. This last one is of me picking my nose at Maria's Cafe, right before I stuffed myself with corn pancakes. I didn't notice until I posted it but Maria herself is in the background, now wonder she glared when she entered her restaurant.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fried Brain.

I am done for tonight, totally done.

I don't think any more information will successfully be entering or leaving my head for the rest of the evening. First with school all day, then coming home and spending the majority of the night just reading and working on the big paper due next week. This one is going to be interesting, but I am having a little of a hard time finding sources that are pertinent to my subject matter.

I am writing about this guy and how he transitioned from being a gang member in the early 70's deep in the Bronx, to graffiti writer, to DJ (one of the first), to MC, to finally starting the Zulu Nation. Just looking at his website makes me think that he has somehow elevated himself to the role of religious leader, turning hip-hop into a religion. I think tomorrow after work might just be spent scouring the few books and reserve article on the subject. Hopefully I can find something that fits, or else I might have to change my thesis a little.

P.S. I guess my entire night wasn't spent just on school work. The ex-in-laws came over for a little while, which was totally fine and what I had expected. I always got along with them anyway, so whatever. The house was empty, not so much as a cat, just myself and my many plants.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cheap stuff.

I took advantage of the bargain prices offered by the benevolent folks down at Boyton this afternoon, getting myself a nice shiny (fugly) helmet and surprisingly powerful light set. They have a good deal going on, just show your U id card and you get the whole set for just 20 dollars, quite nice. My current helmet is starting to show it's age, the shell is fine, but all the straps and adjusters are fraying a bit. I think I will just brave on through the next few months until it gets cold enough, using my current helmet until I switch over to my kick ass snowboarding helment. The snowboarding (or winter beast) helmet is great for the winter season, adjustable ventilation, goggle grooves, insulated structure, everything one could hope for to keep their ears from freezing. The only problem I have is that I need a really thin skull cap if the weather is cold enough to warrant it. To big or thick and the helmet feels like it is trying to squeeze my brains out of my eye sockets. This is going to be the 3rd of 4th winter using this particular helmet, so I should be able to manage.

The ex-sister-in-law is coming over tomorrow to pick up the rest of my ex's stuff, hopefully I have everything set aside. There is the possibility that something is lurking in a box somewhere, waiting to be discovered the next time I move. Should be interesting when she heads on over, turns out her parents (my ex-in-laws) are in town as well, she informed me that she would probably be bringing them along. Compound that with the good chance that I am going to have a big dog in my apartment, a black cat with attacking tendencies, and
perhaps both my current girlfriend and her sister. Crap I just realized my own sister might just be over as well to get her hair cut.

I better buy some beer, dog bones and gold finches. You know keep the masses happy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Star Trek.

So I have more important things I should be doing right now, I have two papers due on Tuesday one of which is about this episode of STNG. Seems a little silly to me having to write a paper about a star trek episode, but I guess that is undergrad for you. The premise of the episode is how the crew of the enterprise meet up with an alien race which they are unable to communicate with. The Tamarians speak only with cultural specific metaphors; the universal translator does no good in helping the process. So the last couple of days have been spent (at least while I was doing school work) trying to tie in readings (Reddy, Basso etc) with what went on in the episode, fun stuff.

Last night Jer and I hooked up and rode up north to L and P's house for some keg action, I bought myself a couple of R.Bulls before hand, still on the wagon. Although admittedly I did drink a couple of beers right after I found out my house had been broken into, I don't know if those count though. There weren't that many people at the party, my neighbor showed up, along with some people I knew from way back when. I don't know if more people eventually populated the party, Jer and I left a little early.

Jer went down to the Lucero show, while I tried my best to not to puke outside of the bar that esquire mag seems to think is one of the best in the country. Not sure I agree wholeheartedly with that finding, but it is sometimes a fun place to go. My friends had rented the back room for a birthday party, which required walking through the meat market to gain entrance. That is a scene I never really got into, people getting drunk just for the sake of hooking up with each other, I usually have better things to do.

Em and I got back to the apartment and parked the bikes just in time to notice another huge raccoon across the street. Raccoons aren't really anything new in Minneapolis, hang outside during the night and you are bound to see one every once in a while. Watching the coon for a second and we see another equally large beast lumber over to near the first, followed by another. So three of the biggest raccoons I have ever seen (saying something too) were all playing on the other side of the street, rolling around and wrestling. If it wasn't for their high probability of disease and chance of getting attacked, I would almost venture to say that they were cute. I still wouldn't come near them though, nasty creatures.

(Just another picture of some bikes for good measure.)

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