Saturday, November 29, 2014

The holidays are upon us...again

The holiday season (aka the silly season). It's a time for family get togethers and in many cases xmas shopping. Big sis, BIL and youngest nephew along with his cousin (unrelated to me) all piled in the mini van and headed out to do black friday.

Meanwhile I stayed in slept late, watched some TV, ate what was left of pecan pie and turkey dressing. I then worked on the Voodoo some. Since working big retail years ago I saw up close the ugliness of black friday. I admit it seems to have considerably ramped up over the years and be much worse for the normal retail worker, especially with most everything being open on thanksgiving.

In my view the holidays should be about GIVING and not BUYING. To that end often I chose not to really participate in the insanity of holiday shopping. yeah yeah I know the economy needs it and all that shit seriously it's often consumerism at it's ugliest. I know I fall on this trip every year and I get the "Well you don't have kids, so xmas ...yadda yadda yadda..."

I have stated before and will time and again that you should not need one specific day on the calender to give something to someone to show that you care. You should do that at anytime of the year. I practice what I preach here dear friends. That's why people get random gifts and acts of kindness out of me during the year.

I am of the thought that if you're going to give something for the holidays it should be made by hand. I'm not talking some elaborate thing just something simple. In the very least if you have to go to the store it's for supplies to make something not the ends to a means. If you make something and give it to me it means more and I figure it's the same with most everyone, there are exceptions of course.

During this holiday season as usual with this blog I'll show my irreverence for the holiday. If you get a gift it means I actually made time to finish up a project or two or three.

How does this fit in with BOSAHFOW? Well it's the "head full of weird" portion you're dealing with just now.

Still under the banner of weird my current fave song:

Yes, it's brutal and if you're squeamish hard to watch. Remember I have a very gallows humor so I saw the funny side of it.

Now onto cycling.

As mentioned earlier I worked on the Voodoo some yesterday. I realized that I have hardly ridden it as of late and reflected on it. I took it out for a spin and realized once I got back to the garage that compared to my other bikes the bars were way short. I realized that I had these bars on one of my version of a city cross check and cut the bars a bit short to avoid breaking my hand again on car mirrors while splitting lanes. These bars were fine riding in an urban environment not so great when climbing when you need to leverage especially when your single speeding or in my case a fat middle aged MTB type.

My first choice was to go carbon. I'm no money bags and figured I could find NOS ones in my stem size on the ebays for cheap. No such luck. Because of my only occasional attention I give to the trends in the bicycle industry now I missed the boat on the whole converting to 31.8 for carbon bars and regular old stems. Not wanting to spend the money on a new stem 9because of certain budgetary constraints) I decided to stick with aluminum or steel riser bars. The brand I prefer is Salsa they are a quality outfit and been around for awhile now I've never had a problem with their parts (knock wood). Naturally I could not find 25.4 salsa aluminum bars that were not cut down to bare nubs by hipsters. Then on to my second choice Ritchey. I fell into the Ritchey stuff at the bike shop I use to work it. We had a lot of it so naturally a stem or two make it onto a bike. Never had a prob with the stuff so (knock wood) I'll give their bars a try. I found on the ebays an affordable set of bars that were NOS and got them. I did not cut them down even a little because I figure right now I can use all the leverage I can get.

The bike is all dusted off and ready to ride today. I confess that I gotta get the bikes out of the garage. I moved them there because I live down here. BIL does a fair bit of wood working in there and saw dust gets on everything. It seems the bikes have to constantly migrate in the garage. For a big two car garage there ain't much room in there. Not complaining it's just an observation. I'm thinking on moving the bikes to the basement and doing like a pallet bike rack thing with some tarps. I have not sketched it out the idea would be similar to a yard stash just a whole lot cheaper and using some things that are inexpensive or what we got lying around. I have about 6 weeks left of free time until school starts again. I need to organize thoughts and make a crazy person board :

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I got the space and I've made the effort to put some thoughts onto 3x5 cards instead of post its. I'm just not going to do that today. I got mild weather brewing up and a hankering to ride over at Dauset despite how many people are going to be there today. Oh and one final holiday thought:
  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tempting


I was day dreaming about my fave seasonal beer earlier, Isolation Ale. Sinse NOW as I write this it is flowing through taps in many a growler store and bar in the Rocky Mountain area. Naturally I went to the Odell site and gaze upon it in all it's Ft. Collins glory. On a whim I checked jobs I then spied with my little eye the above screen shot. Naturally of course I'm REALLY tempted to turn in a resume and cover letter and roll the dice. Knowing my luck I'd get the job. Seriously it would not be the first time I got a job from two time zones away.

Someone told me that people in my line of work have a fantasy about leaving their field. To that I say who doesn't? Seriously show me anyone in most any job where they don't think working at the beach selling sea shells or towels (or a brewery doing warehouse work for that matter) When I worked in a bike shop which was great at times and at others I was out of my mind with the sheer drudgery of separating hubs. So why the hell not?

Well in my life I have learned that the grass is always greener metaphor. I moved to Colorado from a warmer climate before in November and although I ended up staying for 14 years those first few months were a bit chilly. It's fun to think about at the moment just the scramble to make arrangements to get out there would be monumental.

I did learn with my online research that once I get a bachelors in biology degree that I could apply to be a entry level brewer at most any place in the country. How does that grab ya? Me thinks that's just fine. Well it's a thought at least.

There is a definite chill in the air gonna to drop to below freezing here tonight. Imagine that Georgia is finally getting a little taste of winter. I sure could use some Isolation Ale from O'dells. I've said the same thing for the last five years wished for a Colorado or west of the Mississippi friend to stealthily send me some. Perhaps that's asking a bit much, I'll look into beer trading here in the near future.

I got plenty of other projects lined up. Maybe I'll go out and s/s once it warms up into the 50's tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kona

The Kona Lava Dome (single speed) has been with me for quite some time. Most of it started out as a Voodoo Hoodoo frame that was way too small for me. I rescued the Voodoo Hoodoo (this is the OG version of the late 90's early 2000's) from a garage some place and slapped some parts I had from other bikes which made for a terrible high geared s/s that was way too small. I could not part with the Hoodoo frame because it was at the time now part of the history of a then defunct bike company.

I finally had a pal that worked in a bike shop with me who was fairly short and fit the frame. I gave to him happily, maybe a six pack of microbrew beer was involved. In any case I was single speedless and winter was creeping up on us in the 303 area code at the time. I loved single speeds in the winter because you did not have to worry about snow and ice getting clogged up in derailleurs and such plus with low gearing and proper snow tires you could ride most anything. This was around 2005-2006 time the time way before fat bikes became oh so popular.

I worked in a bike shop with a to put it the best way a temperamental owner who was not on his best behavior until he had a few drinks in him. Then he could be very giving. We got paid shit, we did get paid in cash under the table and got the benefit of being to buy everything the shop could get ordered or have in stock at COST. With winter at our elbows and the Hoodoo frame gone I had my eye on this oldish Kona "Lava Dome" steel frame up on the wall. No one paid any attention to the poor thing. Single speeds were really taking off and despite my co-workers urging and not getting a surly 1x1 I wanted to get the Kona and build it up with what I had lying around and what I could scrounge out of the shop.

The shop owner knew I wanted the Kona frame and graciously one night GAVE it to me during a post work suds session on the condition that I never sell it or give it away. If I decided to get rid of it I was to give it back to the shop ASAP. Where it would find a place back on the wall. Very nice of him and to this day I greatly appreciate it still.

So the frame went home and in the next week or two it got built up with the help of my bike shop co-workers. I had a winter bike. The bike hung around for a long time its main purpose was mainly as an urban s/s beater. I'd use it for snowy days and bike soccer over at civic center park in DenCo. It hardly saw dirt because I did not own a car and when I wanted to MTB I'd ride to the trail head someplace real far away which did not make the s/s very logical. I kept it and it made the move with me out to Georgia.

Once I got back to Georgia (2009) I nearly instantly shipped it up to Mayday an old friend who was living in DC at the time and was bemoaning the fact of not having a bike. I sent it to her thinking that I might not see it again. Good to her word Mayday sent the bike back in better condition than it left. It left Georgia with a really old and not well functioning Rock Shox quadra fork and came back with a brand new Surly 1x1 rigid for, I was pleasantly surprised. This was about prob a year or so after I sent it to her.

I had ridden the local trails close to where my parents lived and felt that there was a place I could ride s/s with confidence of not doing much hike-a-bikes. It went well and soon it was my main bike for the trails I called TAB. It's true single speeds make you a better rider esp rigid ones. Along the way the Kona got new brakes (inexpensive calipers) and better grips (salsa lock on grips) It keeps plugging along. I have used it for a get around campus bike when I know I have to do a lot of walking from end to end of campus. I even loaned it to BIL for him to ride (he never rode it even after I put flat pedals on it).

Which brings us to the present about 8ish years later after getting the frame. The bike continue to ride well despite a strange mix of parts that date from the 90's (the old tioga head set) and inexpensive parts grabbed out of a discount box in local bike shops (caliper brakes and Kore handle bars) The Kore handle bars are super long and thick. I love those bars and they're perfect for any s/s The Kona unlike most any bike you see on the trail today is a simple 26'er. It's getting harder and harder to find quality tubes and tires for that and the Voodoo Eruzlie.

I took the Kona to the trail with me today (Dauset) and had a blast. I rode the karate monkey for about an hour and then rode the kona for about as long. I decided that I needed to see what Iwas made out of being all fat and out of shape. I'm glad to say I did not push the bike at all and the small stream crossings had a minimal pucker factor for me. I'll try to s/s at least once a week.

That's it except for the pics:









Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Realignment

This entry is a break from cycling to explain some life decisions I recently made concerning my career.

I have not written here in a couple of monthsish, which is obvious the primary reason was that I was busy with nursing school. Which brings me to my "realignment". After a lot of thought (and I mean A LOT) I decided to drop out of nursing school. Which at first glance is quite a shock. There are a number of reasons why I did so. My grades were ok and I was not in trouble or anything of the sort. I was not asked to leave the program nor was I thrown out. I agonized over it a great deal the last two weeks before our mid-term. I decided that in the proverbial sense that my the headache will stop hurting once I stop hitting myself in the head with a hammer or brick or blunt instrument of your own choosing.

It boiled down to me being burned out with patient care. I enjoy caring for patients and love what I do. I'm really just tired of the grind between work and school. I also came to the realization that because of my extensive back ground in the ED I'll never get out of the department no matter where I work and no matter the level of my education. Some would say that's not a bad thing at all. Brother let me tell you for me at least the juice is not worth the squeeze anymore.

Over the last several shifts I have had some rough experiences with patients which quite frankly have scared me. It has brought back to my consciousness something I have thought for a long while now. Which is if I don't get out of the ED soon something very bad will happen to me. I have brushed against bad luck a bit too often now and remember vividly what happens when things go VERY badly in my work place. Unlike most jobs I am under constant threat of serious injury or death every time I clock in. I'm just talking about the elephant in the room. I have been told that lightning never strikes the same place twice. IT DOES. The only way to avoid that is by not being there.

I have cut way down on my shifts, although here soon I'm going to be picking up more shifts just to pay bills and save up to travel. I hate that and I'm very reluctant about it. I'm actively looking to leave the department which is frustrating because every job I have applied for within the hospital I've been turned down for and that is now a dozen positions applied for that I was qualified for. I had a close friend rake me over the coals for dropping out of nursing school. Which to his credit he called a spade a spade, I'm being a crybaby about it. His argument was get through nursing school and get a floor nursing job then go from there. The problem is that as a male in a female dominated profession no matter where I am at I'll get thrown into the jackpot no matter what. Also, despite a potential nursing degree, I now have an extensive back ground in the ED & EMS which really pigeon holes me. I've toiled over this ad nauseum.

So what do I do now? Well, the last month I have had a lot of free time on my hands. It's allowed me to catch up on a couple of projects. Like finishing up my storage for the truck (pics soon I promise!) and catch up on fun reading. I've kept quiet and been contemplative which is why I have not written here. The big question is will I return to college. The answer is YES. I won't do nursing any more. I am looking to get an associates of science and then a bachelors of science after that. I've contemplated going after an interventional cardiology tech certification, maybe I'll do forestry, maybe I'll brew beer. It's nothing set in stone, I just know I'm not wrong continuing college.   

In January I'll take a biology course and an algebra class and go from there. Prob starting in June I may decide to arrange my shifts so I can take a couple of months off to be a mountain bike bum and head out away from Georgia. That's one reason I have been pushing to get the truck done. I got the cab finished all the way. I have other plans for the truck just too many to list here because this entry has gotten a bit long. I'll post those thoughts another day. Well that's it for now. I return back to BOSAHFOW regular blogging. Thanks for reading.
 

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