Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for the 'Dumb' Category

I hate stickers.

Friday, October 12th, 2007

I hate stickers. No, not all stickers, just ones on bicycles. No, not all stickers on bicycles, just the ones that come on bicycle components, loudly advertising the manufacturer and often even the model of that component. Specifically, wheels are generally the worst offender.

One of the first things I did when I got my road bike was to take off most of the stickers. Well, actually, Sarah did a lot of it because it’s damn near impossible to get those things off, and she’s better at it than I am (not to mention incredibly patient).  But a couple stickers we left on there because it just looked like too much of a pain to take them off.

Since I got a new wheelset, I removed all the stickers. These stickers weren’t as loud to begin with and were actually surprisingly tasteful, but my bicycle looks so much better with nice clean, unobstructed rims. In fact, it looks faster, too. It wasn’t hard getting these stickers off, but they left a gummy mess of glue behind that was really difficult to clean off, even with my new can of Finish Line Citrus Degreaser. This stuff cuts through the gunk on my chain like nobody’s business, but even with it, it took me probably 30 minutes per wheel to remove the gunk from the 5 stickers.

I think it was worth it. I should have taken before and after photos, but I didn’t. I really wish manufacturers would (a) not put stickers on their stuff or (b) at least have the common decency to use stickers that can be removed cleanly without a lot of fuss.

One of these days, I should take the rest of the stickers off my mountain bike wheels, too …

Pansies

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Pansies. No, I’m not talking about those pretty little flowers. I’m talking about my fellow man.

It’s been raining here yesterday and today, but I’ve ridden to work anyway. I’ve lucked out and it hasn’t rained in the morning — usually, I decide whether to ride based on that. I don’t mind getting wet on the way home, but I don’t want to show up at work drenched.

There were some storms rolling through the area yesterday afternoon and around 5-5:30 pm, it was very dark outside, raining hard with some thunder and lightning. I heard someone complain, “How am I going to get to my car?” There are two places you can park if you work for my company: right next to the building or right across the street. I thought to myself, “You’ll walk! And you’ll get a little wet. Who cares?” I heard various other complaints about getting a little wet, and even one person debating whether it was safe to drive. What the hell?

I mentioned I rode my bike to work, garnering astonished looks from a couple of people. One of them offered me a ride home, which I appreciated, but politely declined. This brought more astonishment. They seemed to be thinking, “What kind of masochist would ride a bicycle in the rain?”

Honestly, I was looking forward to it. It’s still warm outside, so I can take my preferred approach to riding in the rain and just accept the mantra, “If you ride in the rain, you’re gonna get wet.” I wear clothes that won’t get too waterlogged and that dry quickly. But I get wet and I dry off and change my clothes when I get home. I don’t understand this fear so many people have of getting wet. They aren’t going to melt.

People act the same way about the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter, the dark during the night, etc. They ask things like, “How can you ride in the (heat/cold/rain/dark/snow/mud)? Won’t you get (hot/cold/scared/snowed on/dirty)?” The answer, of course, is YES. If you ride in the heat, for instance, you’ll get hot. You can dress appropriately and try to make it more comfortable, but if you go out in those conditions anyway, you’ll get used to it. You might be a bit uncomfortable, but so what? Why let the weather stand in the way of doing the things you love? I know that sometimes the weather really will make it impossible or undesirable to do some things, but why is so many people’s threshold for discomfort so low?

I do understand how sometimes weather will make people lazy. It almost happened to me this morning. It looked like it could rain at any moment, so I wasn’t sure whether I should ride or drive to work. I decided to ride, and I’m glad I did. It was a beautiful morning, with the smells of the rain we got overnight. It was overcast, but everything basked in a warm glow. It was pretty muggy, but I rode slower and I was fine. It was a perfect morning to ride to work, and I got more astonished looks when I walked in carrying my bicycle helmet. I’ll probably get rained on again on my way home — and I am looking forward to it.

Showing up for work without any clothes

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Based on the title, you’re probably guessing this post is about some Freudian nightmare about being naked at work. Not quite, but keep reading …

I woke up feeling particularly crappy this morning. I wanted nothing more than to work from home, or better yet, punt completely and play hooky. So it was with a bit of pride that I dragged my sorry ass out of bed anyway, showered, loaded my pannier (including a few extra items to help deal with the forecasted rain), and rode to work.

It was muggy outside, and a little misty. The mist felt good on my face, having a cooling effect. It did a little bit to offset the mugginess. It was a little foggy, not enough for me to get a good picture, but enough to make things just a little bit prettier.

I arrived at work, parked my bicycle outside by the recycling area door, and walked through the building to bring my bike inside. I said hello to a few people along the way, as I usually do, brought my bike in and opened the pannier.

As I moved a few items to get my change of clothes out, I realized I had left my change of clothes sitting on the dining room table at home! I muttered a few profanities, walked to my desk, grabbed my notebook, and informed the other developer that I was going to ride back home, and that I was going to stay there for the rest of the day.

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