Happy Easter

I hope everyone had as lovely an Easter as I did. I spent the day at my parents' "ranchette" up in Marysville with my entire immediate family. We ate good food, hunted for eggs, jumped on the trampoline and played Bananagrams and all was well with the world. Photo by Gabe.


my own little bbq

photo by my brother gabe


Top ten retail pet peeves

The following are the top ten complaints people have about retail establishments, and my thoughts on the list:

10. Sales Associate (SA) A ignored you - did not say hello, smile, make eye contact 21
9. SA didn't listen when explaining what you wanted 22
8. Product/item was out of stock 22
7. SA not very polite, courteous 24
6. SA not interested in helping you find what looking for 27
5. SA insensitive to long check-out lines 27
4. SA acted like you were intruding on their time/conversations 29
3. SA followed, pestered when you wanted to browse on own 30
2. Could not find anyone when needed help 31
1. SA had 'that's not my department' attitude 32

10 - Perhaps this SA was in the middle of helping another customer or doing any one of the hundreds of other things that take place in most retail establishments. Ask for their help, then wait until they're available. They're probably not snubbing you for kicks, you'll get help when they can give it.
9 - You're probably not making any sense.
8 - It happens. If you're going to drive an hour to pick up some obscure item from a specialty shop, call first to make sure they have it.
7 - As hard as it is to believe, most sales persons are real people with real lives and emotions. Sometimes those will seep through. Even though you're a Zen master with no visible feelings, not everyone is.
6 - See # 9
5 - We don't control how many people are working the registers. Management does. Talk to them. Or don't shop during the busiest times.
4 - See # 7
3 and 2 - Some people need their hand held, some people would prefer to walk around for hours looking confused, but feel threatened and upset if someone offers help. We can't read your mind. If you need help, ask for it. If you don't, say no thanks.
1 - It's probably not their department. If it's not, they probably don't know anything about that departments contents and thus, would benefit you not-at-all by hanging around and speculating.

I hope this has been helpful.


A good commute.

Well I suppose I ought to write something as I haven't written anything about my life in some time. The truth is I've had bloggers block something fierce lately, compounded by long work hours and a series of uneventful commutes. Today's commute was delightfully different though. I left work around 6:15; charged by the still shining sun and mid 60s temperature, I decided to take a new way home, and headed the opposite direction on the bike trail. About five minutes in, I saw a rider up ahead that looked very much like my roommate. He recently purchased an Electra Amsterdam (a bike I've been lusting after since it's inception) and sure enough when I got closer, I realized it was, in fact, Zack on the 'dam. I grunted at him as I pulled alongside and he casually said, "what's up", completely unimpressed by our meeting there. I told him that I'd never taken that route before, so it was crazy that we ran into each other. We chatted as we rolled along and as we were approaching the golf-course a rider passing in the opposite direction said, "watch out for the coyote on the right!" Sure enough there was a coyote pacing next to the path on the golf course. We stopped to look at it and rider passing behind us said, "I wouldn't worry about him, he's hitting from the women's tee." We rode on through Sac State and I nearly ran over a HUGE brown snake that was crossing the road. Cutting through our neighborhood we passed a rather large Tom turkey being stalked by an equally burley tabby cat. All in all it was an interesting ride, and worth blogging about. For dinner we had corned-beef hash and cabbage, lovingly prepared by Zack. He was out on a short ride while the corned-beef cooked. For desert we had Big Spoon Yogurt. Mine was "tart" flavored yogurt (tastes like sweetened sour-cream!) with raspberries. They had goofy flavors like mint with caramel and gummy bears.


Don't buy chinese bikes!

China is still routinely engaging in the murder and torture of Tibetan monks. It may not make much of a difference if only a few people refrain from buying Chinese products, but eventually they'll feel the sting. Free Tibet.
Keep it simple; as simple as possible, but no simpler.
- Albert Einstein...



Sacramento installs 100 bike racks

Cyclists who used to have to lock their bikes up to several blocks away from their downtown destination will have to hoof it no longer. The city has replaced 100 of the parking meters with classy looking, bike-parking signs that double as bike racks. The vehiclists can still park in the street, but now they have the option of paying with cash or credit at the nearby, solar-powered parking ticket stations conveniently located a few yards from the meters. Check out the story in the Sac Bee. Good work Sacramento!!!


How Bicycles Came to Be

"...the most likely "inventor" of the bicycle is Baron von Drais.
In 1817 he invented what he called the "running machine" also known as Draisine, after the Baron.
Another common name was the Dandy Horse.
He built the machine to help him get around the royal gardens faster...."
from the Fiji Times
"This city is built for cars; humans are only accessories created to attend the needs of cars: drive them, fuel them, fix them, wash them, build road for them, buy parking space for them. People believe they need a car to go to work but never realize that what really happens is that they need to work mostly to pay for that car." -JimCi


Driver prosecuted for violating 3-foot law.

Police in Salt Lake City are searching for a driver who violated a 2005 Utah law that requires drivers to give cyclists a 3-foot buffer when passing. The driver of the truck swerved close enough to the cyclist to allow the passenger to reach out and swat the cyclist. They picked the wrong guy to harass, as he is the president of the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective and victim of a previous bike-car-collision. When found, the driver will face a possible fine of up $750 and 90 days in jail. I hope they throw the book at this dipshit and his mental-giant of a passenger. They'll get all the grab-ass they can handle in the pokey. Read it here.

Gives new meaning to "hot-pants"

A cyclist in Koroszczyn mysteriously burst into flames while riding last week. He told police he was riding along when he smelled smoke. He glanced down and found his pants aflame. Police say it may have been a combination of friction, sweat and the flamable material his pants were made from. According to a police spokesman: "Witnesses said he was like a flaming human torch cycling along the road." Story here. Thanks fritz for the link.


Messenger profiled in the Times

NYC bike messenger Mike Dee is profiled in the Times today and talks about alley-cats. Read it.

Google Maps "Bike There"

Sign a petition to encourage google to include a "bike there" option on google maps. Info and petition here.