Thursday, August 31, 2006

Just Write Something You Lazy Bastard

Back home in Minneapolis. Go back to work next Tuesday. Still getting up for escort service with the Mrs. Have been entertaining E the last couple of days while her mom did some stuff around the house and ran some errands. E and I chilled in the neighborhood yesterday. She was in her stroller directing me which way to push. We don't stray too far from the house in case she has some kind of meltdown and we have to hurry home for mommy's expertise.

If you're on vacation and don't have to deal with the routine bullshit of work then you might as well go out for a bike ride at 9 pm. I did last night and had a hell of a good time on lime green 1 x 1. It's funny how if I go to bed at 10 and go to work the next day, my ass is dragging, but if I don't go to work and still do escort service and all that, then I'm really chipper. All together now - WORKING FOR A LIVING BLOWS.

I now have a computer at home although it's still in the box. Need to check out high speed internet service and find a better place to put it than the roll-top desk I had planned on using.

Thanks Chicago family for the royal treatment. Was sad to leave. See you next February.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Rain Ride

Rode 28 miles this morning. Out to the Dunkin Donuts on Mannheim Road in Hillside. By the time I got home the bike and me were covered with the crushed limestone of the Illinois Praire Path. Was able to ride 158 miles while I was here so I guess bringing my bike was a good idea. Black Crosscheck is like a comfortable pair of shoes. Other bikes may be faster or have swankier components but the black one is my favorite. Back wheel on Salsa is way out of true. I think the wheel is shot. We'll see. Glad I had fenders today or it would have been worse as far as splattering goes. Nothing wrong with a good old rain ride. Leave in the morning. Still need to take front wheel and seat off so it fits in the car.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Maxwell Street And The Polish Museum

Why I Go To Maxwell Street

This guy is not an American Indian. Umm... not sure where he came from. Obviously, he was bargain shopping. He was by far the most interesting individual of the day.
This one was taken during my February trip. This guy was absolutely sure that he was the shit. His swagger was immense.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Urban Riding In Chicago

Obligatory bike photo out in the middle of nowhere.
A Raymond picture that meant something to me when I took it and not so much now.
See Rasta, I made it to Elgin. it's not like I rode to Rockford and back.
I know, I know, chess is an intellectually challenging kind of thing but I hope the kids get outside and ride their bike or shoot a basketball or something. Rode the Illinois Prairie Path and some other crushed limestone trails for 42 miles today. Don't tell my mommy that a certain dumb fucker lost another pair of expensive sunglasses today. Millenium Park and downtown tomorrow with Lizzie and Aimee. I hear PW (not Parts Washer) is going to pull out a Target shirt and meet us for lunch.

Never Give A Half Wit A Camera... And A Blog

When you drive through Wisconsin you see a state trooper about every quarter mile. They like to give tickets, especially to people from Illinois. Lucky I'm from Minnesota.
Happy toll booth guy. It cost $1.60 to go about 15 miles at 45 mph because of the construction zones. Alright, I'll quit bitchin' about gas prices and tolls.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We're On The Road To Nowhere

A Wisconsin State Trooper who was exceeding the speed limit. Probably the same guy who stopped the little girl in the Jeep for a counseling session. I was going 70 at the time and she passed me like I was tied to a post.
It's not really much of an oasis. They will sell you all the gas you want for three bucks a gallon. I donated 35 bucks to the cause.
Occupants were shopping at the Tomah Wal Mart. I'm sure it was the highlight of their day.
By the time I stopped here I was pretty GD hungry and ate at the buffet until they asked me to leave.
I'm here now out in the beautiful western suburbs of Chicago and have put the front wheel and seat back on my bike. After several gallons of coffee tomorrow morning I plan to ride my bike to Dunkin Donuts for more coffee and yeah donuts. I've got a really good photo of the toll booth agent/clerk/person that just won't load even after several tries.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'll Be Able To Look At Your Tree After Labor Day

That's right babes and babies, last day of work until the Tuesday after Labor Day. Only the biggest pains in the ass will be dealt with today at work and even some of them will be deferred. Some guy called yesterday and announced he'd called four times. I'll deal with him when I get back.

So, work will fly by and then the fun starts. I'll pick up my rental car at 4 and start packing. For Chicago dad, that's where. Will be taking the black Crosscheck with me. I think it'll fit in the car I rented if I take the front wheel and seat off. We'll see. Have a little fucking confidence in me.

I think I'm going to forego the shitload of snacks I took for last summer's trip to Chi in favor of a chicken stop in Tomah, Wisconsin. Who knows, the possibilities are endless. I can damn sure tell you I won't be stopping at the truck stop I once had the world's largest chicken fried steak. This GD thing was so tough that cops should use it for their bulletproof vests instead of kevlar.

Well, I'm off to look at an ant problem in some guy's tree. It's a matter of life and death and has moved our country to condition orange on the TSA's scale. Pictures and reports from Chicago will start tomorrow.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

E's Reaction To My Off Road Riding Style

Please Stay And Look Around A While

You people who wandered in from Oil Is For Sissies need to give me a break. I'm still recovering from a head cold, a fall on the Hiawatha Ride yesterday and a shopping trip with my 82 year old mother to Target.

Note to family: Don't worry about the fall yesterday. We were riding off road and I hit some kind of rut hidden by grass and went down. No injuries or grass stains. The guy behind me who also went down because of me is kinda pissed. Pissed that when he hit me with his bike that he didn't puncture some part of my anatomy.

Thanks for the linkage Jim. I'm not used to such an aristocratic crowd.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Same As It Ever Was

Shit yeah, it's not raining now. I'm at work so it may as well stop. Congrats to Mrs for missing the rain. It evens out doesn't it doll?

It's track night so I hope this rain blows through and the sun comes out. The only thing I don't like about track night is the drive out to Blaine. It's a great atmosphere and really fun to watch so many people I know race. It's well worth the hellish drive out to suburbia.

Still trying to get caught up with stuff before I head off to Chicago next week. I've been marking trees like a banshee and even sorting through the shitloads of paperwork that occupy my desk. The City's tree crew removes the trees I mark on the boulevard and have a backlog of about 50 removals waiting for them. The boys will be able to get caught up now that the heat streak is over. Removing trees with all that safety equipment they're required to wear can't be all that fun when it's 90.

Looks like my man Jeff has his Bike Jerks web page up and running. Give Jeff a look. I don't know where he came up with that Admiral Pickles shit but whatever. Jeff's ADD is worse than mine so conversations between us can ramble and be pretty wild.

Speaking of links, I still need to link to some people who have links to me. I'm such a f-ing procrastinator with everything but biking. Not lawn maintenance, mind you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ooh, I'm Shitting Myself With Fear

Was out marking a tree yesterday when one of Richfield's boys in blue stopped me to inquire why I was stopping at the house in question. I told Officer Friendly that I had to mark a diseased elm tree. He told me that house had a 'danger report' filed for it. I told the cop that if they killed me a bike that would probably fit him would be available. He didn't find that amusing. So I told him that they could only kill me once and he left. I marked the tree without any problems. The bad boys/girls? must have been shopping at the mall.

While recovering from my head cold Monday I happened to be riding behind a woman who crashed at Lake Calhoun on the trail. Her riding partner said the victim's handlebars had become tangled in her shirt. A number of people stopped to help. I think she was more embarrassed than hurt although her elbow had a little rash on it. She wasn't wearing a helmet. No preaching here. I will say that your head does some weird things that are beyond your control in crashes.

Starting to get a few things in order for my trip to Chicago next week. Our 13 year old car needs a number of items fixed so I'm renting a car. I'm taking my black Crosscheck so I need something with a fold down back seat. I have a bike rack but have had dreams about my bike falling off the rack and cascading down the highway. I need to stop at Freewheel to have some drivetrain issues straightened out but otherwise my bike is good to go.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hi, This Is Ray And I'm Actually Sick Today

Unlike most of the times I call in sick when I have to sound sick, I was actually ill'n yesterday. I started to feel shitty on Saturday afternoon when I stopped by Ma's apartment. Still made it out with Mrs Saturday night for the ride to Dinkytown and sliders. Slept really bad Saturday night but was able to do a Dragger ride in the rain on Sunday. The rain killed my cell phone for a period on Sunday but I was able to bring it back to life by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds. You can also bring a stale cigar back to life in the microwave too, in case you were wondering.

Back to my sick day on Monday to keep this from being too chronologically effed up. Woke up and felt like real doggy doo doo so I grabbed the phone and left a gruffly voiced voicemail on my bosses phone. Not my usual paper cut, malaria, bird flu, torn rotator cuff or other bullshit excuses. Mrs walked Snowy and excused me from escort service so I went back to sleep. Woke up around 10 and after several cups of coffee decided to mow the lawn. Can you think of a better time to mow the lawn? Why not when you're feeling shitty. If you're scoring at home and as Tony Bruno says, 'congratulations', this is the 3rd mowing of the season. Yes, Yes, I mowed my lawn - therefore I am. Mowing #3 accomplished without fanfare or press coverage and no lunatic buzzed me on the sidewalk with their bike while I was mowing. The same can't be said for E's mom.

After mowing I had some lunch while listening to tunes at window rattling decibels. Got myself together and did the through the lakes loop to meet Mrs at the hospital. Pizza at Davanni's and then a grueling one mile ride to Birchwood for coffee and dessert. I even took the time to leave a chalk rendering of a dying elm tree complete with orange ring on the Birchwood sidewalk. So, what have we learned today? First, a little bike ride and some pizza do wonders for knocking out a head cold. Second, I miss being able to call Ma for her remedies when I'm sick because nobody knows what's best for your illnesses like your mother.