Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Livin' la vie de mocha

When the alarm scratched at my eardrums this morning I slid down the side of the bed, hauled myself upright and lurched out to turn on the coffee pot. We'd had a house guest Sunday night to Monday evening. Monday morning I had gotten up to test two different river sites for a largely volunteer environmental organization and then met with a subcommittee of the conservation commission before heading home for a very late breakfast. Then we hiked the neighborhood mountain. After an early supper our friend left to return to the music camp in Maine where she teaches in the summer. We stayed up watching Frost/Nixon.

In high school I hung out with the brainiac kids. I was the token underachiever. We actually watched the Watergate hearings. It all seemed like a tangled mess to me at the time. It's interesting to see the current events of my youth turned into streamlined historical fiction.

Tuesday started with a ride. The cellist wanted to knock one out before she headed to town to teach. After she left I put in a couple of hours stacking the last of the firewood in the baking mid-day sun. In and around that I got a load of laundry on the line. Monday and Tuesday were superb drying days. The rest of the afternoon was filled with errands and other tasks I wanted to get through before the work week swept me up again. Late Tuesday night I was trying to draw one deceptively simple commissioned piece for the environmental group. It didn't go well. And so I flopped into bed near midnight, to rise at the buzzer just after six.

Summer traffic is light this year. Even the crotch-rocket riders seem subdued. But morning traffic is morning traffic. I had to spin it up and shove my elbow in to hold a place in the flow.

I had plenty of jobs waiting, but those were pushed aside by a visit from The Seven with No Stem Bolt.
That's right. This bike has no stem bolt. I originally reported on it in the article "In Rust We Trust" in August 2006. The owner continues to ride it. Today I dealt with more Shimano compatibility antics. He has a Flight Dork computer with the two control buttons on the right lever body. The original lever has been replaced with a newer one set up for one button, The rubber hood only has one pimple to accommodate a button instead the the two he had before. In addition, I believe the contacts inside don't recognize input from the B button. I could not get a response from it. The A button worked. I also saw some damage to the insulation on some of the wiring. Of course the wiring harness is not available as a separate part.

Just another day. I did what I could, informed the customer and worked on the other bike he had brought in. Between the jobs the other techs can't do and the jobs they won't do, my plate is completely full through the weekend.

On the plus side, Lydia's Cafe had Kenyan today. Its distinctive flavor and acidity, combined with enough caffeine for an elephant make it my absolute favorite. A Kenyan day can't be a bad day.

A strong southwesterly wind pushed me home. I missed the green light at 16 and 28, so I didn't get to wail through the corner at 30, but I did get to phone in a camper towing a flat bed trailer with two canoes full of firewood on it. I would not have cared except that one of the canoes was not going to be on the trailer much longer. It was sliding out of the straps. The bow scraped the pavement as the trailer bounced over the smallest undulations. Of course the driver did not notice a gesticulating cyclist. There were a lot of other vehicles behind him. One of them might have realized what was up and signaled him. In case they did not, I had alerted the cavalry. A canoe full of firewood spilling across the highway could ruin someone's day.

No later than tomorrow night I have to finish drawing a frog in an inner tube. That's in addition to the complete overhaul, two wheel builds, assorted tune-ups and whatever comes limping in. I should start angling toward bed.

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