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About Me, Biography, Featured, Sundry

Week of 6 December, 2009

Sunday, December 6

I bought a bicycle. There’s a place not far away, Brooklyn Bike and Board, that fixes up old steel-framed bikes because they’re darn tough, then sells them for not a whole lot of money. I spent $250 on the bike, and some more on a front basket and a bike lock. I now have a white, steel, 1-speed bicycle made in France.

I had been avoiding the bicycle thing because Mei is not yet a rider, but on the Greyhound ride back, that college student had mentioned that he’d bought a “recycled” bike for fairly cheap, and rarely spent money on the subway. The prospect of riding around for my own pleasure and exercise pleases Mei. Come Spring we can find her some wheels and learn her how to ride.

Monday, December 7

A day that shall live in infamy or simply “Monday?” For “lunch” I rode up to drop off a bag at Goodwill, and I realized I had totally forgotten my helmet. Fortunately, I made it home safe, then stashed the helmet in the bike’s basket.

When I make coffee I dish the grounds into the filter, and then place the filter into the basket. This reduces the chance of accidentally slopping grounds down between the filter and the basket. Instead I have the occasional accident where I spill coffee grounds everywhere.

Every month or so my Grandmother forwards me another e-mail that has been forwarded to her via a chain of dozens of people who haven’t quite figured out how the Internet works, and these photos are from Miniatur Wunderland, in Hamburg, DE. That’s in the North of Germany, and may likely be on the itinerary of my next trip.

From an e-mail shared with my team at work:

While it is true that I wear dark-framed eyeglasses, post to my highly-customized blog, and Twitter, and uhm, have a 100% telecommute, and just yesterday I bought a “recycled” 1-speed bicycle, I don’t like to think of myself as a hipster, no. And the smart phone and the mini computer . . . gah! This is why I can’t own a Mac or an iPhone or grow a goatee . . .

Tuesday, December 8

Come on ride the snake! Ride it!
Come on ride the snake! Ride it!
Come on ride the snake! It’s a Python!

Wednesday, December 9

New York’s MTA is an excellent system for most parts of New York that existed in the 1920s, when the last major expansions were completed. That means airport service is sub-optimal: ride a local train as far as it will go, then catch a local bus that meanders to the airport.

Note that during peak hours they’ll run that bus line in pairs, but only one bus of each pair runs to the airport. The other goes somewhere else and if you’re lucky the driver will speak up and direct you to the correct bus. If you’re less lucky you can wait fifteen minutes for the next pair of buses.

Note also that if you’re running late and try to use the Virgin America self-service checkin kiosk, it will keep inviting you to try again after you swipe multiple credit cards at different kiosks. If you dig out and enter your confirmation code, it will invite you to try yet again. In this way you’ll not hear the lady announcing that if you want to catch your flight you should come over to the human being right now, because this is the last chance to make it on the flight.

Note also that if you wait behind a family with a newborn and plenty of luggage at security then stroll liesurely to the gate you’ll get to watch the plane you missed push back from the gate and taxi away. And yes, while Google is giving us all free in-flight wireless network access for the holidays, JFK expects you to pay several dollars for the privilege during your hopefully brief wait in the airport.

Thursday, December 10

I helped Todd find an appropriate box into which to pack the extra-large can of Sysco beans.

Friday, December 11

I needed change for Muni so I bought a to-go coffee at the cafe on the corner. I joined a little man at the bus stop as I waited for my cup to cool. He noted my coffee and explained that he was banned from that coffee shop. I offered him a sip, and he worked his way through the entire cup I had only bought for bus change anyway as he repeatedly introduced himself to me as a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Various neighbors passed, exchanging pleasantries with the Chiefs Fan, one saw him drinking from the cup, “that had better be Hot Chocolate.”

“Decaf.”

Apparently I delivered a cup of contraband to a guy who isn’t allowed to drink caffeine.

Saturday, December 12

Mei’s sick. Slept too much, and enjoyed riding my bike down to Roots in the 30 degrees.

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  • jen

    ha! my boyfriend taught me how to ride a bike this summer/fall and got me a bike for christmas so we can ride together. i haven’t traveled out on the streets of SF yet and cars scare the shit out of me but i look forward to the day i can bike to work…when i get a job. :) your new york stories and photos are awesome.