April 13th, 2008


The Black Thumb Strikes Again...

The weather was very annoying this weekend. Yesterday was wonderfully warm and sunny, except for the thunder storms that kept rolling through every couple of hours. Today was cooler and sunny, except for the rain clouds that kept passing through every few hours.

I bought a bunch of pansies yesterday to plant in the driveway bed in the spots where I didn't put bulbs. I managed to get them in today between sprinkles. I did this thinking that pansies were perennials. Turns out they're not. I'm pretty sure it was the ex what told me they were perennials. Even a quarter century later she tests me...

I also got some seeds for tomatoes (four kinds) and muskmelons (just one), and I was down in the basement planting them in this mini-greenhouse seed starter my mother gave me for Christmas a few years back. I tried it in 2005 (I think), but neglected the seedlings, so they roasted. So it goes. This time for sure!

I still had some seeds left over from that foray, so I planted a few of those, too. What the heck? I had plenty of room in the bio-dome, and if they don't germinate, I still have the seeds I bought this year. I did up the number of seeds per peat nugget to boost the statistical chances of something still being alive.

Once I had the seeds in their little peat packs, I added water to the base and waited an hour or two for capillary action to do its thing. Then I needed to find a place in my house that is relatively warm to stash the thing while the seeds germinated. That part was harder than I expected. It's been warm out, so the house has been warmish, too, but I usually keep the temperature below sixty at night and when I'm at work. The basement tends to be even colder. I suppose I could've put it on the furnace, but then if it stays warm out, it won't kick in. In the end I wound up stashing it behind my computer, right in line with the rear fans and their continuous 30° exhaust stream. Brilliant, if I say so myself.
Bike 04

The State of the Bike...

Yesterday I took the Fuji over to the bike shop for its freebie one-year tune-up. Now it's all well-lubed and stuff, and bike shop guy even cleaned off some of the grime and grit that accumulated during a winter of riding through puddles from melting snow. He needed to fiddle with the front brake a bit because the design does not appreciate the way I stash the bike under the lid of the pick-up truck. There's this swivel arm thingie that the cable stay fits into, and it keeps getting bent out of shape in one way or another. This wouldn't happen if I were more careful putting the bike in the back of the truck, but I didn't notice it was occurring until well after the damage was done. When I did, I started disconnecting the pieces figuring that would solve it. Nuh uh. The little arm would then get stuck on the frame, getting bent even worse in a different way if I didn't notice. Anyway, he repaired it, and I will be more careful in the future.

We also noticed that there's no tread left on the back tire, so I had him order some new ones. I also spent some of my credit chit on a new pair of bike gloves, and a bike pump. I seem to have lost one of the pair of bike gloves I bought last summer. They were sitting amongst the pile of stuff on the truck's passenger's seat for most of the winter, so it's possible it made a break for it when I opened the door on that side. They're black, so if it fell out after dark I might never notice. Or else it's found a cranny somewhere.

I don't mind too much. They were only $5 on sale. I bought a pair of full-fingered Fuji gloves for $30 last fall for winter riding, and they were very comfortable, more comfortable than the $5 ones. Go figure. The ones I got yesterday were fingerless versions of the same for $22. They're black with Dodger blue trim, so that'll probably make me go faster.

The pump is neat. It's a standard frame mounted pump, but it also has a pressure gauge built in, which is a great idea. Better yet, if you're really in a hurry, you can snap in a CO2 cartridge to inflate the tire in place of tedious hand pumping. Neat! And only $20!

Of course with the weather annoying as it was, I never did get to ride. Tomorrow's supposed to be nice, though.