N'awlins at heart

Sunday, April 29, 2007

How fast was I going?

With new chain and sprockets, the bike is running great. I am very impressed. In walks my new dilemma. The speedometer. Although it was off originally, it feels different now. And I honestly feel like I have no idea how fast I'm really going. (I wasn't too impressed riding home Friday when Johnny Law decided to tail me for a mile or two, and I had no idea how fast I was going. The speedometer read about 85 so I'm assuming I was doing around 70. There have been about 5 sportbike deaths in the area in the last week, all involving excessive speed, so they are really keeping an eye on us.) But I may have the problem solved. I read about this thing called the Speedo Healer. The online calculator says that just the sprocket change, not even taking "factory speedo error", puts my speedometer at 12.1% error. (See, I knew I was right.) For around $100 this thing plugs right in and fixes the inaccuracy. I think I may look into this.

It's been a pretty usual week. We've both been working like crazy. I was wondering what I had done to be punished, but I have been safe so far. (As I knock on wood). It appears that last Wednesday one of the guys from my old iPaq group got rehired. It's good in the sense that I hate to see people jobless, but bad in the sense that I hate this guy! He is the most annoying person I have ever met. Honestly, I believe within 5 minutes of meeting this guy a priest would be ready to deck him. He says the rudest and most inappropriate things at inappropriate times. He use to squirm his way into our lunches and as of day 1 he was trying again. I have successfully avoided him so far and I damn sure plan to keep it that way.

W1 and I went to see Charlie Murphy last night. He was hilarious. He even kicked some people out. They were sitting right up front center stage and kept running their mouths like they were in a speech class. He made a comment earlier on, that I guess they just didn't catch, and finally... Yep, he hit 'em with the "Get the fuck out!". I was cracking up. Everyone started clapping. It turned out to be 2 guys and 2 girls. The 2 guys tried to shake his hand, and he told them "There's no way to look cool about it, just get out." I was dying. One of the best times we've had there so far. The comedians were funny too.

I guess I should run, I'm grilling up some sirloins I got half price, having some wine, and doing rolls, corn, mashed potatos, and brussell sprouts. Then settling back and watching some TV. We miss everyone like crazy, and I'm really bummed we missed an awesome crawfish boil and what I'm sure was an amazing BBQ at the Spinneys. We're making due with what we have here. ;) Welcome home ChiaMom. We love you and we'll see you son!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Eh, I can't complain.

W1 loves her job. S1+o just got a new job that I'm sure she will enjoy. ChiaMom got a new job back in NOLA. And H2 is starting a new job with a lot less BS. So it made me think, "should I be improving my employment status? Everyone else has things looking up for them." But W1 gave me a good realization this morning. I already appreciate the fact that I can come in whenever I like as long as I work my 8 hours. I can take breaks whenever I like as long as adding them up doesn't go past 30 minutes. And in the case that it does, it's no problem as long as I make up the extra time.

I never really looked at this part until W1 mentioned it this morning. Basically, during the day Friday my boss walked in and saw me watching cartoons (Sealab 2021) on youtube. Did he yell at me? No. Did he write me up? No. Did he fire me? No, again. So what did he do? The answer is simple. He brought in DVD's with Season 1 and 2 so I can take them home and watch them all. Not much I can say about that one. I guess there are better jobs out there, but this one has it's perks too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weight a minute...

Sorry for the delay. This and that had been going on.

Let me start with the bragging. About a month after we moved to Houston I weighed myself. I was tipping the scales at 242 lbs. I was at about 211 lbs when we evacuated to Orlando. So I put on 30 lbs when we first moved. So, last Friday I came in late (dropping off the bike for chain / sprocket issues) and as I was heading out for lunch I stopped to weigh myself. My goal was to get back down to 200 lbs. I stepped on the scale and was shocked. It read 199.5 lbs. I was so surprised I even stepped off and back on to double check. And once again it read 199.5 lbs. (Now after lunch it was 202.1 but that's okay.) I have been going between 204 and 206 for a few weeks. So I thought that was the best I was going to do. Apparently switching to red wine was the last step I needed to take, sans exercise.

The bike. I got a really good deal ordering the chain and sprocket through D+L (Sorry but their website didn't seem to work properly so all you get is a citysearch link). It saved me about $40. The down side being, bringing the parts to the local dealership changed the labor from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. They "all of a sudden" remembered they had to take the plastics off to do the work. Apparently they do a much better job than I do because I can have them all off in 5 minutes but the trained mechanic takes 1/2 hour. So there went my savings. That was okay though, I just smiled thinking of the 30 other bike shops in the area who may like my money next time I need work done. Let's face it people, a 12 year old bike is gonna need a little more work than the newer stuff. Oh well, life goes on. Now the positive note is, I guess I didn't realize how bad off my chain was. When they put the new one on it was like a brand new bike. I mean totally, night and day. It's like falling in love (with my bike) all over again.

After the chain, it was bath time. For ALL of the vehicles. I took the truck first and gave it a good wash down. Then when I got home I followed W1 on the bike and parked in the stall behind her. She washed "She who is of Thunder and Lightning" while I washed "the bike" (Yeah, my name isn't quite as creative. The other one is "my truhk". Well, at least that's how it's pronounced).

I forgot to mention before, but we also saw a good accident on the way to the bike shop. As we were pulling up to a stop light, a car heading towards us was making a right turn. They did everything properly from what I could see. The issue being the lane they were going into. Much like a situation the New Orleans family has heard, there were 3 cars preparing to cross the intersection. Apparently a police officer was in quite a hurry and decided to pass all these cars in the oncoming traffic lane. Yep, that's the same lane the car was making a right turn into. So, SLAM. The turning car spun (front end accordianed) into the intersection, and the police unit barreled front end first into a telephone pole. The best part of the accident was the fact that we were across the street and it did not hinder our "trip" at all. The light turned green and we were able to continue about our day. One thing I can say about Houston cops is that there are tons of them. I think there's 5 different police forces that have jurisdiction over our area. A HPD unit went head on with a car, and before we even made it across the intersection a Houston Constable was at the scene.

Now I saved the best for last. (I think this is going to be the last). After all the excitement of the day we decided to head out to lunch. We went to James Coney Island for some Hot Dogs. As we're standing in line waiting for the guy to pour our drinks I look at a picture of their hamburger. I turn to W1 and make the comment "Damn, I bet their hamburgers are rollin!" The guy making the drinks responded "If you ordered the hamburger, I would have made it". (As I have grown older I have learned to not always say the first thing that comes to mind. But I will admit I am still a cocky and arrogant, just plain mean, individual at times. I'm just better at hiding it). So my first thought to his comment was "And... Who the fuck are you that I should feel so honered that you made me a hamburger?" With this thought running through my mind I had to look down at his name tag. I looked and almost shit myself, literally (as in, truly, I almost pooped my pants). His name tag said "HERRICK". I couldn't believe it. I was like "Hey, that's my name". After talking to him for a second, I discovered his mothers maiden name was Herrick so when he was born they made that his first name to "keep the name alive". Is that crazy or what? It made me laugh a bit on the inside thinking is I wasn't being such an ass, I would have never even bothered to look at his name tag.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

On the road again...

Looks like I've been tasked with another 3.5 hour install, which means you all get punished with another blog post. Hee Hee Hee.

It appears that H2 has made it back to New Orleans. Good job there. I hear it rained the whole way. That sucks but it makes sense. It rained all last night and was still raining a little when I left for work. The storms probably followed him the whole way. But, the good news is, about 1/2 hour after I got to work, the weather turned gorgeous. So everyone in New Orleans should prepare for a great Wednesday (and Bike Night) over there.

Speaking of bike night, I'm not sure what tomorrows plans look like. A few people said they were meeting up at the Starbucks by our house and heading out to ride from there. Probably cruising downtown and such. I'll have to message some of them and see if they are staying on back roads. I don't want to hit the highway until I get my chain changed out. (Does my chain hang low? Why yes, yes it does.) The good news is, H2 got it ordered from D+L in NOLA for a lot cheaper than I was about to pay here. And they said it would be in by the weekend so I can pick it up while we are in for the wedding.

We had a good time with H2 in town. it made for a not so lonely Easter. Apparently we did miss out on the first half of Kenellie's poop stories. That's right, I said stories, as in the plural form of story. I guess there were a few of them. I'll have to have him fill me in. Hey, you know where I could read about them? On his blog. Oh wait, no I can't... (Ha ha, I got you good, effer!) I did see the update though, niiiiiccccceeee...

Ok, my install just crapped out on me so I guess i should get back to doing what I get paid for. And on that note...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The only stupid question is one that is never asked.

True or not I guess questions can't hurt. I bring this up because once again I'm gonna talk about bikes. Specifically, my chain and sprocket. I was discussing what I needed to purchase with the mechanic at the bike shop. And I told him I'd gotten use to the one I had. My concern was that with the one I have, I'm doing about 75mph when it says I'm doing 85mph. And I didn't want to go into a corner faster than I think I'm going. That was when he told me changing out your sprocket doesn't effect your speedomoter reading. Well, I'm glad I asked because now I know that guy doesn't really know his shit. And it may be wise to take the bike to a mechanic that does.

Speaking of bikes, bike night was awesome. They blocked off the parking lot with trucks but bikes could weave through. It "felt" safer anyway. I doubt it was because those bikes were cuttin up like crazy. So, of course, they shut the place down. Reading the forums the next day it looks like the cops showed up and yelled at them. They were even mad that the entrance was roped off (even on private property). We really missed out because I heard after we left the cops arrested cars for acting like jackasses. Two 16 year old girls for underage drinking. And another couple for having sex in the back seat of their car. I did get to see a bike run into another one while they were stuntin. And there was also a bike that fell over as we were leaving. So, all in all, if that was the last one there it was worth it to see.

H2 arrived safely Thursday night. He surprised the shit outta me. W1 knew of course. We haven't really had a chance to do anything cool though. We did stop by the bike shop yesterday and look at my other obsession. But today (and probably tomorrow) it's been raining like crazy.

We did watch "Saw III" and "The Departed". Not bad. "Saw III" was much better than "The Departed" in my opinion. (And H2's). W1 is currently napping so maybe she'll comment her opinion soon. I did throw in my weekend watching of "Not Another Teen Movie". Truly the best choice.

Ok, that's all ya get.

Monday, April 02, 2007

And also.

I got 2 compliments at the bike shop.

1. As soon as I walked in the owner said it looked like I lost weight since the last time I was there.
2. His mechanic said that was the best sounding F3 he had ever heard.

And... Just thinking... How precious would W1 and I look riding matching bikes?

Ridin on my Yamaha Chromed out 1100...

Okay, so it's a Honda, not a Yamaha. Come to think of it, does Yamaha make an 1100 sportbike? I don't think so. Well, anyways, that jumps us into todays post. How I spent my free weekend...

I went home Friday night and a few friends came by to have a few beers and watch some TV. We went to Los Tios for dinner which was lovely. They left around 12:30 that night and I crashed very soon afterwards. Not a very exciting Friday at all.

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of noon. It was raining outside so I knew it would make for a pretty boring day. Little did I know what was about to unfold. Surprises, bad news, big mistakes, the whole nine yards. All this unfolds from a gloomy, rainy, day. It wasn't raining hard, and I noticed a while back that my chain is in desperate need of tightening, so I called the bike shop to see if I could bring it by that day. They told me the sooner I got there the better, so I toughed it out and rode it to the bike shop. As I was waiting for the work to be done, I looked around and couldn't believe my eyes. I had to go take a closer look. Could it be? No. But wait, indeed it was. My exact same bike. Same paint job as was originally on mine, solid black muffeler, the works. Even the same year. I couldn't believe it. (Here's a pic of what it would look like, but imagine the blue is actually dark purple. Come on people, use that imagination. Oh yeah, and the plastics aren't missing on one side either. Ok, use a LOT of imagination).

While I was still drooling over (almost) my bike, they came out with the bad news. Apparently my chain is about to give way. They said I have about 300 miles left on it, then I need a new sprocket and chain. Parts and labor come to the low low price of just $280. Niiiiicccccceeeeee. 300 miles huh? Well considering I put 250 miles on it just going to and from work 1 week I was not impressed. But you gotta do what you gotta do. Since 99% of my drive is highway, I decided not to push it for that last 300 miles. I don't think it's be a lot of fun (for me anyways, watching it may be fun) to be doing 100mph (did I say 100? I meant 65.) on the highway and have the chain snap on me. Not to mention I don't have a chain guard anymore so it would most likely take off my leg too. That's be great, one minute I'm riding along trying not to get squashed by crazy Houston motorists, and the next minute my back tire is skidding down the road while I do my best SuperMan impression over the handle bars. So I rode it home and parked it.

Due to the fact that I will be bikeless this week, and I will have to drive the truck every day, it brought up another issue. My freezing cold A/C is not all that cold anymore after not using it for like 5 months. And if I was going to drive it all week, I may want to do something about that. So I headed to Wal Mart for some 134a A/C coolant. I picked up a 12oz can at the rock bottom price of $10 and headed home. I already had the hose and was ready to go. I popped the hood and turned the A/C to max as the directions stated. Then I hooked up the hose. It took me a few seconds to figure out where the hissing was coming from. I finally realized, I needed to hook the can to the other end before hooking the hose to the engine. I wonder how much I let out before I realized that one. So I unhooked it, hooked up the can, then rehooked the hose to the car. This time, "success". Well, somewhat. When I was done I checked and it still wasn't very cold. So I must have let too much out originally. This time I headed to Auto Zone. I bought another can, but this time it was $5.99. Not too shabby. I decided to put it in once I got home. As I was leaving I decided I should at least turn the A/C on while I drove. About half way home it got cold. I just hadn't run it long enough. So I bought another can for nothing. Well, at least I have a spare if it gets low again. That pretty much ended my Saturday Adventures. The rest of the night I spent drinking wine and surfing the web.

Sunday Morning I woke up around 10:00 when a co-worker called looking for another co-workers phone number. I decided since i was already up I might as well stay up. Plus W1 was coming home that day so I was really happy. I decided I was in the mood for Crawfish (since some of the NOLA peeps were going to a boil that day too). I went to Ragin Cajuns right by our house. I ordered 1/2 bucket, and it comes with 1 potato(e) and 1 corn cob. The corn was very sweet, but neither were spicy. Then I dug into the crawfish. They were actually pretty good, but I noticed they put the spices on the outside of them after they are boiled. I found that odd. Anyway, 1/2 bucket is 1.75lbs. For only $11.99. They were rather large so it essentially worked out to about $1 a crawfish. With drink and tip I got out of there for about $18 and still hungry. It was nice out so I headed to the "stunt area" to see if anyone was out. They weren't. A few hours later I went to McDonalds. Not all that great. We haven't ate a lot of fast food lately so it sat pretty heavy. Which meant it was nap time. After walking up I passed by the stunt area again, this time on the bike. Still nothing. So once again, home again home again jiggity jigg. All in all I passed by there 4 times and the parking lot was totally empty. I wonder where they were.

I finally settled down around 7:00 pm to some good old fashioned Lego Star Wars II. That pretty much occupied the rest of my evening until W1 returned from NOLA. Then we went out to eat at House of Pies and I had a Monte Cristo. Delicious! Went home and prepared for the next work week. As you can tell by the length of this blog entry todays work consists of long (3 1/2 hour) installs, then 30 minutes of testing. And that's how it goes...