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Sun, Feb. 6th, 2011, 10:27 pm

Yesterday was the last day of my term as President of the Folsom Active 20-30 Club.

The Paramount / Campagnolo project is stalled out.  Need to pull off the bottom bracket and front derailer to finish cleaning.

I took both motorbikes out today.  Moto #1 still runs like a top despite long storage.  Moto #2 is a better bike by far but needs a new battery.

I have a ton of unused motorcycle stuff (including a whole motorcycle) that I ought to sell to free up some capital - and space.  I mean really, I only have the one butt, and moto #1 never gets ridden.  Also have some ill-fitting apparel that never gets worn and some panniers that were never installed on moto #1, and an exhaust pipe for moto #2.  (And a pipe for Car #1 that is too loud, while I'm at it!)

Getting better on skis.  Moving from green runs to blue groomers.  If only it would snow here.  We've had hardly any since December.  If we want to keep skiing well into the spring we need some more snow on the hill.

Sat, Jan. 29th, 2011, 05:24 pm

I've been thinking lately about the chemicals used in processed food.  Not to vilify them, but why can't we buy them?  I started down this path when I considered making better corned beef.  I had been making it with salt alone but stopped when it was made clear to me the threat of botulism wasn't being addressed by my recipe.  It contained only salt, and not any sodium nitrate or nitrite.  Nitre has been used for thousands of years in cooking, and traditionally it's what turns corned beef red.  But good luck finding it in the spice aisle, and the corned beef from the store includes red dye.

Lately I considered making my own Gatorade.  What separates it from lemon lime Kool-aid?  Electrolytes, right?  It says so on the bottle.

The electrolytes you can get in the spice aisle are salt, "reduced sodium" salt which contains potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and the various things in baking powder.  The citric acid content of lemon juice is something like 4%, says the Internet.  I haven't looked yet but I suppose you could find some more in the vitamin aisle.  There's all kinds of random things in the vitamin aisle.

But what are the electrolytes in Gatorade?  Citric acid, salt, sodium citrate, potassium phosphate, calcium silicate.  Anyone seen any calcium silicate in the vitamin aisle?

Wed, Jan. 26th, 2011, 09:01 pm

I'm wrapping up my year as president of a local charity club.  I'm glad I did it and glad it's over.

We've accomplished an awful lot - I have been tallying it up.  I count over a dozen volunteer events, and three major fundraisers that overall have brought in something close to $10,000.  Our secondary mission is development of leadership skills in a fairly harmless environment, and I'm pleased there too, with a whole new crop of members this year stepping up for officer positions.

But it's been difficult on me personally.  I'm not a good manager, and I knew this going in.  I didn't want to be president of the club.  I was just the last one without his thumb on the table.  This being a volunteer organization, there is no incentive to show up for anything and no consequence not to.  But still I needed to think of my friends as employees and implore them to attend everything.  I've fought with my board over the stupidest things (especially over a member on hard times who wanted help with her dues, but who also alienated the treasurer).

It has disrupted all the friendships I had built with these people.  I've been fairly unhappy, probably as bad as it's been since I've moved to this part of the world.  This has not only been due to my difficulties with the club, but also my health problems, and my father's own health problems.  My blue moods also probably contributed to the loss of my girlfriend.  (That is, I know where she is, but she isn't that any more.)

My main goal for the coming year is to patch myself and my friendships up.  If I can manage that I'll be satisfied.

Wed, Jan. 5th, 2011, 12:17 pm

On this year's Christmas trip, I brought home my father's quite old but also high-spec bicycle.  I guess it counts as an antique now... it's a brazed frame.  I'm working on it now, as time allows... taking it mostly apart.  My boss the bicycle nut is going to true the wheels for me.  The chain is most likely getting replaced, and definitely going in the trash are the handlebar wrap and the tires.  Everything else is getting a bath... this thing had a solid coat of WD-40 followed by 30 years of dust, so there's oily mung on everything.

The only head scratcher so far is where to get hoods for the brakes.

Sat, Jan. 1st, 2011, 08:17 pm

It's been a long time since I posted anything. But I'm missing the long form, and actually the lack of a large and unsympathetic audience is also kind of a relief. It lets me be utterly dull and tedious, to wit:

Let's talk about food processors.Collapse )

Tue, Jan. 19th, 2010, 08:27 pm

I haven't had much to say in this space lately. Sorry, Mom, and whoever else might have been looking in.

From "The Innocents Abroad"


After prayers the Synagogue shortly took the semblance of a writing school. The like of that picture was never seen in a ship before. Behind the long dining tables on either side of the saloon, and scattered from one end to the other of the latter, some twenty or thirty gentlemen and ladies sat them down under the swaying lamps and for two or three hours wrote diligently in their journals. Alas! that journals so voluminously begun should come to so lame and impotent a conclusion as most of them did! I doubt if there is a single pilgrim of all that host but can show a hundred fair pages of journal concerning the first twenty days' voyaging in the Quaker City, and I am morally certain that not ten of the party can show twenty pages of journal for the succeeding twenty thousand miles of voyaging! At certain periods it becomes the dearest ambition of a man to keep a faithful record of his performances in a book; and he dashes at this work with an enthusiasm that imposes on him the notion that keeping a journal is the veriest pastime in the world, and the pleasantest. But if he only lives twenty-one days, he will find out that only those rare natures that are made up of pluck, endurance, devotion to duty for duty's sake, and invincible determination may hope to venture upon so tremendous an enterprise as the keeping of a journal and not sustain a shameful defeat.

One of our favorite youths, Jack, a splendid young fellow with a head full of good sense, and a pair of legs that were a wonder to look upon in the way of length and straightness and slimness, used to report progress every morning in the most glowing and spirited way, and say:

"Oh, I'm coming along bully!" (he was a little given to slang in his happier moods.) "I wrote ten pages in my journal last night -- and you know I wrote nine the night before and twelve the night before that. Why, it's only fun!"

"What do you find to put in it, Jack?"

"Oh, everything. Latitude and longitude, noon every day; and how many miles we made last twenty-four hours; and all the domino games I beat and horse billiards; and whales and sharks and porpoises; and the text of the sermon Sundays (because that'll tell at home, you know); and the ships we saluted and what nation they were; and which way the wind was, and whether there was a heavy sea, and what sail we carried, though we don't ever carry any, principally, going against a head wind always -- wonder what is the reason of that? -- and how many lies Moult has told -- Oh, every thing! I've got everything down. My father told me to keep that journal. Father wouldn't take a thousand dollars for it when I get it done."

"No, Jack; it will be worth more than a thousand dollars -- when you get it done."

"Do you? -- no, but do you think it will, though?

"Yes, it will be worth at least as much as a thousand dollars -- when you get it done. May be more."

"Well, I about half think so, myself. It ain't no slouch of a journal."

But it shortly became a most lamentable "slouch of a journal." One night in Paris, after a hard day's toil in sightseeing, I said:

"Now I'll go and stroll around the cafes awhile, Jack, and give you a chance to write up your journal, old fellow."

His countenance lost its fire. He said:

"Well, no, you needn't mind. I think I won't run that journal anymore. It is awful tedious. Do you know -- I reckon I'm as much as four thousand pages behind hand. I haven't got any France in it at all. First I thought I'd leave France out and start fresh. But that wouldn't do, would it? The governor would say, 'Hello, here -- didn't see anything in France? That cat wouldn't fight, you know. First I thought I'd copy France out of the guide-book, like old Badger in the for'rard cabin, who's writing a book, but there's more than three hundred pages of it. Oh, I don't think a journal's any use -- -do you? They're only a bother, ain't they?"

"Yes, a journal that is incomplete isn't of much use, but a journal properly kept is worth a thousand dollars -- when you've got it done."

"A thousand! -- well, I should think so. I wouldn't finish it for a million."

His experience was only the experience of the majority of that industrious night school in the cabin. If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year.

Tue, Dec. 15th, 2009, 09:44 pm

Hob is burbling along nicely.

Sat, Dec. 12th, 2009, 05:46 pm

Making a Hobgoblin clone today. Ran out of propane mid-brew and had to move indoors to dinky kitchen range. What a hassle!

Fri, Dec. 11th, 2009, 05:16 pm

Merry Christmas from Die Chermans

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