So, I recently took my bike in for a tune-up, and now I am soo pleased to have a nice tight ride with shifting gears and everything. I rode up to Shoreline and found my tire flat. I re-inflated and re-inflated once more close to home. I changed the tube out and the next day had a flat tire again.
So, a run to Orchard Supply Hardware later, I have a "thorn resistant" tube on the back, and a spare tube in my bike pack, as I have had. Today's bike ride went nicely. After a lazy morning and a breakfast and playing with the cats I rode on up to Shoreline, and had lunch, and walked through the park finding a nice place to sit, which was hard because goose shit was liberally sprinkled about the place. Well, I found a nice bench at the water's edge, read a few chapters of "Blue Mars," digested the nice pasta lunch I had eaten, and headed back home.
Yesterday was a BBQ at Sam's house. Sam has recently moved from Madison, Wisconsin to work in the NetOps group at Tellme. He's got that distinctive Wisconsin accent that reminds me of every nice gal I've ever met while on vacation around Lake Michigan. Every other time I talk to him, I think to myself how I should find me a nice Wisconsin girl.
And there were a number of cheese-heads at the party. Sam's got a room in a very nice house in San Jose with a pool in the back and geek toys throughout the place. He remarked that he'd never thought he'd have a palm tree in his back yard. The crowd was pretty well-balanced, gender-wise, and pretty geek goth, which is a nice change for me because most parties I get to go to are mostly geek geek guys.
Which brings us back to California. After I got back from Shoreline, I rode around my neighborhood some. I looked a little at where they're looking to extend the Steven's Creek bike trail further south, by a nice apartment complex that is pretty secluded, and a bit ratty-looking, but which has large common patios overlooking the now dry Steven's Creek bed. There are signs posted about by the Santa Clara Water District about how they've reduced the amount of water coming out of an upstream reservoir to keep it cooler for a certain species of fish. Meanwhile, the Bay outlet is wetter than it had been back in May, though I don't remember it raining.
Anyhow, I also rode around Landel's School, which is actually just across Dana from my house. It's a grammar school, and I found the design very interesting. It was basically rows of small buildings holding a few classrooms each, connected together by covered walkways. I guess you can do that in a nice temperate climate like California, and I think that is must be good to get children outside more easily, more often. I also like that the physical manifestation of the institution is spread out and decentralized. The schools I attended were built in big, hive-like buildings, all the classrooms stacked upon each other and arrayed across the hall from each other in one or more linear patterns. We'd go out and play on the black top at recess and after lunch. These kids have their own adjoining park, and they have to walk out in the fresh air just to get to the washroom!
So, between swimming at Sam's yesterday and biking today, I've been left at the end of both days with that vague fatigue you earn when you actually use your muscles a little. More so yesterday than today, but it is a nice feeling to have, as I don't use my muscles nearly enough these days. I should drop by the apartment complexes' gym and work my arms and such some, huh?
On Friday we had a three-hour all-hands meeting. The uber-all-hands. Normally we have all-hands on a Monday, and it lasts less than an hour, about a third of that time being employees scrambling at the week's lunch. This thing actually went I think to four hours or so. They were presenting us with the latest "evolution" of the business plan, which is somewhat mind-blowing. I'm not sure how much I can say, but let me just say that the consumer service and business partnerships we're working on right now are just the first small tentacles in the Tellme Plan for World Domination. (My pronoun for it.)
It is nice to work for a company that seems to have a grand, pretty solid and clear, and revolutionary plan of what it is doing. If only I finally had the year's review and raise that I've been looking forward to. I haven't been worried about it much, and I'd told myself I'd wait until I could actually afford one out of my savings, but I want a car.
I've got wheels, of polished steel.
I've got tires that grab the road.
I've got seats that selflessly hold my friends,
And a trunk that can carry, the heaviest of loads.
I've got a mind that can steer me to your house,
And a heart that can bring you red flowers.
My intentions are good and earnest and true,
But under my hood is internal combustion power,
And Satan is my motor! (Satan is my motor!)
Hear my motor purr!
Not just any car - if I'm going to wait on a raise and take out a loan, it is because there is a certain car that could be very useful to my lifestyle, and that car is the Honda Insight, in which I could tour the country at 70 MPG.
Now there's been much fretting over the fact that gas is two dollars a gallon these days. I barely notice because I usually walk or bike to work, and the gas I occasionally have to put in my car is just an expense I to add to my weekend fun sometimes.
Unfortunately, my odometer doesn't actually work reliably. I have no idea how many miles my car has on it, how many I'm putting on it, or what kind of fuel efficiency I'm getting, and that's a severe discouragement to driving off to Iowa for a family reunion on the ninth - I just don't know for certain that I would make it, even with AAA behind me, and I just don't know how much cash I'd end up spending on gas.
With an Insight though, I go 105,000 miles before scheduled maintenance, and even at $2.50 a gallon, assuming a mere 60 MPG (61 City) I can drive 1,000 miles for well under $50. A round trip to Chicago and back can be done in four days at under $200. (I'd figure $300 after meals, caffeine, and maybe a place or two to sleep.)
The thing is hard to get ahold of though. Apparently Honda have underestimated the demand for such a useful contraption. If after my review the money looks good, I think I'm going to run by the Honda dealership and put my name on the waiting list - I at least want to test drive.
Another thought - in my limited experience, I've always been pretty decisive in buying cars. I heard about Lucy, went out and bought her. I wanted a Volvo wagon, went out and bought the first one I found - and the current ride, for all her surface issues, is an awesome ride. I hope my infatuation with the Insight pans out, as the whole hybrid idea just sounds so smashingly clever that I'm a little disappointed that the auto industry hasn't been more involved with this stuff for longer than it has. I am also disappointed in the fact that I'd have to buy a car that is made in Japan because American auto makers have head too far up ass building bigger and better SUVs to beat the Japanese to market with such a great idea.
Hello America, how are you?
Don't you know me, I'm your native son.
I'm the train they call the City of New Orleans.
I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done.
Hrmm. Google is da bomb! I found a neat story about the Insight that sounds like others have been living my ambitions.
H O M E