Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Vital Few; It Doesn't Mean What You Think, Unless You're A Jerk

So, yay, I ordered a new bike. So, boo, they never shipped it, cancelled my order without telling me, ignored two e-mails, then responded to an e-mail on Monday by saying they'd already shipped it even though what they'd already done was cancel the order. I wrote them again this morning wondering why the bike had never arrived and why my credit card had been charged and then credited all in the same day last week. Oh yeah, we did cancel the order, but we appreciate your business. If they had really appreciated my business, we might have done some. As it is, I've sort of lost the mood. I was going to use my current bike as my winter bike; it will be winter again in about 8 weeks; at the present rate of e-mail ignoring and bike not shipping, it won't be here before that anyway. I was probably going to have buyer's remorse. Now I can still be glum, but keep my money. The upside of shopping with the vital few.

At work, our supervisor (who has to use a mohel instead of a barber) told us that our station has improved in several areas. We are no longer the vital few. Well, we still suck at delivering mail, but we are great at following flow charts.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Harshing My Mellow

Trouble unfolded at Walter Reed when Thigpen, angered by Jackson's jokes, reached for his gun, police said. Another guard tried to restrain Thigpen, but he broke free and started shooting, police said.It was a shame that a minor squabble had turned so violent, Jagdeo said. “The bottom line is we should all start doing yoga.

At work today another mailman came up to me all, "Dude, you won a bike race?" I was like, "No, that's another guy with the same name. He could beat me if he was riding a unicycle."
But then it turned ugly, "Yeah and balancing three Chinese acrobats on his shoulders while they spun plates and balanced eggs on their noses."
Luckily we were postal workers, so no harm done.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In Grade School I Was Julianne Moore

“In grade school, I was a complete geek. You know, there's always the kid who's too short, the kid who wears glasses, the kid who's not athletic. Well, I was all three.”
Julianne Moore

Yesterday I went to the Blood Bank and topped off my sixth gallon. They've revamped the process so you no longer have to go into a small office with a woman who asks you embarrassing questions. They were embarrassing partly because of their subject, and partly because they revealed that you (and when I say "you" here, I mean me) never went anywhere or did anything. Anyway, now she just takes your vitals. When she took my pulse yesterday, she said, "That's kind of low, but, oh, you're athletic,"
I said, "That's going in the blog,"
The 39 year old genuinely athletic David Hart was in the paper recently for winning a solo 24 hour race. When someone on my route asked me today if that was me, I said not only did I win, but I shaved 14 years off my age, a personal best.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Go Blue and Gold

I'm done painting for the moment. That's not exactly what it looks like because you can't see the brush strokes very clearly in this picture and the gold sparkles aren't really quite that garish.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Well, Woad Can You Do?

So, the paintable wall paper has been hung, and every night after work I clamber up and down the ladder painting the wall a sparkly blue. Really, not so much like a monkey anymore, more like a zombie as I get more and more sore from the ladder work.
A blue zombe. Blue, because even zombies must get tired of doing the same thing over and over, especially if they're not thrilled with the results and also because I just fell against the wall.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hey There, Pilgrim, Your Children Don't Respect You.

There's only so much that Zoloft can do. I've put most of my little quirks aside, but, look down on me if you will, I still don't like my ankles to touch. I was wearing shorts and sandals at Home Depot the other night, and suddenly I realized, "Ooh, ooh, my ankles might touch!"
I started to swagger a little bit to keep them apart.
I was telling Leah about it, and we spoke simultaneously.
Me: I was walking like John Wayne.
Leah: You were walking like you wet your pants!

When Thou Walkest Through The Fire, Thou Shalt Not Be Burned; Neither Shall The Flame Kindle Upon Thee

It's much cooler today, possibly because the sun has been blotted out of the sky by the smoke from forest fires surrounding Anchorage. It's sort of like living in a town with a pulp mill, but without the good jobs.
It's not dark dark, but some of the more excitable streetlights have come on. Tourists contemplating leaving the city have to decide, inferno, or non-inferno.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


As an Alaskan, I know how to deal with the cold; put on extra layers and complain. Today, though it's 73○ and it could get even warmer. So, far my repetoire only includes laying in the shade and gasping like a fish. Oh, and complaining.
The good news, today's the solstice and eventually the sun will start setting so the nights can cool off.
Other news, I ordered my bike this morning and my sister has agreed to put it on a ship in Tacoma to save most of the outrageous cost of shipping to Alaska (still a state).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Now, Let Us Turn to the Verses Starting With Catch-22:1

It turns out the answer wasn't in James at all, but in 2 Thessalonians
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
I think I'm going to go back on the Overtime Desired List for the next quarter. That should bring in enough money to pay for a new bike. Of course it also means I won't have time to ride it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Consumed by Lust

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Last night Ambre (she didn't have a date) and I looked at the Bikes Direct website and dreamed about new bikes. Today, the webikes people e-mailed me links to a couple of Bikes Direct bikes to look at and one of them was the one that Ambre and I thought was perfect for me! Alas, just when I had rationalized spending the money for a new bike, I found out that they charge an extra $150.00 to ship to Alaska (achieved statehood 48 years ago). So I started this post to talk about how the lust for things to consume, consumes us blah blah blah. I want a new bike and it irritates me that they charge Alaskans and Hawaiians so much just because we live in a place they can only dream about back in the la-di-dah Continental United States.

But while I was painting and peeling (kind of like a hobby if pushing boulders up hills is a hobby) just now, my amazing rationalization powers kicked in once again, and I realized that the webikes people had included that in their ballpark figure.
Still irritating, though. Especially since I've already told Karen how affordable the bike would be and now they've added half the price of a new recliner to the cost. Hmm, maybe my power isn't all that amazing since the longer I type this post, the more irritated and depressed I get about the bike. James had this to say,
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

That's why he's Saint James, I guess because secretly I still want a bike right now.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This Old House

I spent today, Father's Day, scrambling up and down a ladder over our stairway like an organ grinder's monkey. The walls over the stairs had three layers of wallpaper. Karen wanted to paint them, or more accurately, wanted me to paint them. I peeled off the top layer a couple of weeks ago and primed a little patch. It was clear that the seams would be visible under the paint so we called a wallpaper hanger to hang paintable wallpaper. She told us that before she could hang the new paper, we had to paint primer over the walls so that if they ever got wet, the underlying paper wouldn't bubble up from the wall. Do you see the flaw in this? There will NEVER be a time when the walls get wetter than they got from the paint! This was the day; paint, peel the bubbling wallpaper and repeat.
I am so tired of hiring pranksters.
At that, my day may not have been as upsetting as Ambre's. She's been dating a hot new guy for the last couple of weeks. In the middle of a conversation today he mentioned how busy he'd been this weekend. He not only got baptized as a Seventh Day Adventist, but he'd gotten married as well. Actually, I guess it was more towards the end of the conversation.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bike Therapy

Ambre and I signed up to do the Fat Tire Non-Competitive division of the Fireweed 400 race. This afternoon Karen and I drove up to the look at the course. It starts at Sheep Mountain Lodge and goes gently up hill for about half a mile and then steeply up to the point that you have to brush the moon out of your hair. The Sheep Mountain Lodge is in an interesting area that reminded me of a part of Montana, Bozeman maybe? When Sarah and I were driving to Michigan ten years ago we came to a town that was the last one going east where you could find a Taco Time, and the first one where you could find a Hardees. As we drove towards Palmer and then Sheep Mountain there were plenty of "Moose Crossing" signs, but after Sheep Mountain they switched to "Caribou Crossing" signs. Oddly, no sheep crossing signs anywhere.

This morning I went to WeBike for a consult. "It's a poor workman that blames his tools," but I wanted to know that my bike was the reason that I was the slowest Hardly Davidson. According to webike's Wayne Lahti, yes it is. Apparently as I fixed my bike with the cheapest replacement parts available I created a slow heavy behemoth fit only to ride through the mountains and over tree roots. To actually ride on the roads, as I mostly do, would require a new bike from the ground up, and he had numbers (26, 29 and 52 for example) in both inches centimeters and dollars to prove it. I'd be skeptical except for this important point; if he's right, I can feel good about myself, well better anyway. I'd feel really good about myself if I was one of those people that had chosen a career and a savings plan that would let me feel good about buying a new bike.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Day Without Moose

I'm not sure why the Anchorage Daily News posted this video since what is so rare as a day without moose, but I thought you might like to see the parking lot at Karen's doctor's office.
Also, I'm trying to learn how to use the RSS feature in Safari and I have to post something to see if the feed works. Hey, maybe that what the News was doing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Later That Night

We're watching identical twins on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader".* They have to see each other every day and they like to touch thumbs. Man, I'm glad I'm not a twin; I can barely stand to be around myself every day.

*Since, as you know, I peaked in the sixth grade, I really think this is the one show I could do well on.

Once Around the (Writer's) Block

I don't have anything really to write about today, but I do have ten minutes to kill (while it's killing me back). I want to eat at five, and it's only ten till. I could hang out near the food, but Karen's getting stimulated by talk radio, and one of the reasons I take Zoloft is to not be so worked up about up to the minute minutia.
Do you remember me saying I saw a bear last year in Kincaid? According to the Arctic Bike Club, on Sunday a bear charged three bikers there, near where I saw it last year. I feel sort of vindicated, although it was apparently a black bear, not Shardik.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Eating at the Louvre

A former carrier and huge Krispy Kreme fan stopped by the PO today. Last time he was in town we talked about the Mumbo Gumbo. He said he was going there on this trip. I raved, of course, about the biscuits. He asked if he should put honey or butter on them.
"Would you put ketchup on the Mona Lisa?"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Welcome to the Funhouse

I was talking to another carrier while loading my truck this morning. Suddenly he appeared to be talking to me through a kaleidoscope. This was the first warning sign of an impending migraine. I didn't stick around to find out what came next. A supervisor gave me a ride home (I didn't want to bicycle through all the broken glass whirling in front of my eyes) , I took a handful of Advil and now I'm sitting in a darkened basement. I think I dodged it, but every so often a little migrainy wave passes over me. There's a Law and Order episode on that involves a heroic reporter dodging bullets as I type. We in the press have a commitment to our readers.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pride of Dogs

I was notified of an open swim for dogs at a local pool, and wanted our dogs to be able to participate. I could have put on my gay dad outfit and ridden them up there, but I have to work today. I asked Leah if she would take them, but she said that our prissy* little dogs don't like to get wet. It makes sense; by any objective measure they are cats.

*She didn't actually say "prissy", that's more of an editorial comment.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Resistance Begins

It's only fitting that the resistance to global warming should begin in Alaska. Two weeks from the solstice and the high today was 51.
Oh, and here's a link to today's big wildlife story. It's not for the squeamish, but it does help to put things in perspective. Which would you rather have in your lawn, dandelions or a bear eating a calf‽

Be Not Conformed

And be not conformed to this world... that ye may prove what is good
So it turns out that we've been turning ourselves inside out to conform to the flowchart, but the flowchart itself conflicts with the M-41 (the carriers bible), and in fact may have to be destroyed. It may turn out that having clipboard people at our station for months will prove to have been a waste of time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Soul Delights in Fatness. Wanna Make Something of It?

I was talking to some ladies today and it came out that I like to bicycle and one of them told the other that I used to be pudgy. The way she said it though, it sounded like I used to be so pudgy it would take two people working together just to see me.
There might be some truth to that though. On Sunday, I couldn't even finish the meal I ordered at the restaurant and still I got an order of nachos to go.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Every Fair From Fair Declines

So, the giddy excitement of finishing has sort of worn off, helped on its way by the second bill for Leah's recent trip to the ER. It looks like it will come out to be about 10 times as expensive as the trip a day later to the Urgent Care place. On the other hand the billing people for the ER doctor are at least 10 times ruder than the other place.
Yesterday we had our picture taken at the start of the ride. I was going to post it here, but no, there are some sights that are just too geeky, and my picture is one of them. So imagine five people; I'm the poser in the middle.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Hardly Davidsons Ride

Okay, let's get this out of the way, I don't want to be coy; I rode the Tour de Cure today, and I made it the entire 100K. How far is that? It's 100,000 meters.
Our team had six members. One didn't show up, and then there were five. One dropped out at the 20 mile mark and two dropped out at 44 miles. And then there were two, and I was one of them!
I think I'm done bragging now because a very obese diabetic man passed me, twice, and a man with no legs passed me as well. The other finisher on our team probably rode an extra five or ten miles because she would ride ahead, and then ride back to check on me and then sprint off again. I don't know if sprint is even the right word because during my worst period she could probably have walked ahead and then come back to check on me. After we reached Eagle River, the start and finish of the ride, there was an exhilarating plunge down a curvy hill. I felt refreshed, but of course we had missed a turn and the curvy hill led to the women's prison, not the park where we were supposed to be. I got off and walked my bike back to the top, and that seemed to be enough of a break for me to pedal the two or three miles up the hill to the end. There was a brass band and cheerleaders waiting for us. I say for us, because right after we got there they dropped their pom poms and packed up their instruments and left. In a twist that is unbelievable in fiction and just irritating in real life, the only member of our team that won a door prize was the one who dropped out first. The hot dogs were all gone, so we came home.
After I got home, I suggested to Karen that since I was off my eating plan (almost any excuse will get me off my eating plan, for instance a Fred Thompson announcement or a Public Service Announcement, whatever) we should go out to dinner and that if we went to Eagle River I could show her where we got lost. Instead, I missed the turn and she showed me where I got lost.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Just a quick note; the overmen didn't show up today, but our own Valkyrie returned.