Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Cycling, Home

…in which I talk about all the things I accomplished this weekend.

So I don’t really have a “honey-do” list, mostly because Heather’s not the kind of person to burden me with assigned tasks like that, though sometimes I think it would be easier if she did. Either way, I did a lot of things around the house over the last week and through this weekend specifically to the benefit of my lovely wife. I felt bad about wasting so much of my home-time with just sitting around watching TV and playing games that I wanted to get some real tasks taken care of.

On Monday, I started by digging the hole for her new retractable clothesline post. You see, we don’t really have a place to put both ends of a clothesline up, so we decided to install a retractable clothesline on the side of the shed and then have a post to run the clothesline to just to the south of the patio. I also, in my infinitely odd inspiration, decided that the post had to be removable in the event of festivities in our back yard, so I designed, in my head, a socket system wherein a pvc pipe is anchored into the ground with concrete, and the actual post then slides into the pipe for easy installation and removal. This simple idea lead to almost two hours in Lowes, walking between the hardware, plumbing, and fencing sections, trying to configure a contraption that did exactly what I wanted. I found a pretty good combination of parts that would seem to facilitate my needs. So, back to Monday, where I dug half of a hole. I stopped right after finally breaking through a nearly 2-inch thick root that was, no joking, running exactly through the center of my hole. Tuesday, I continued digging to the point where I just didn’t care anymore. I was still 3-6 inches short of my goal, but I cut off the bottom of the “socket” pipe and went to work with the concrete. I installed a couple of pieces of all-thread in the bottom of the socket, and cut a tab-slot into the bottom of the fence post so that once the post was inserted into the socket, it would effectively lock into place. the all-thread was also almost 6-inches long, passing through a 2″ pipe, so I had almost 2-inches of anchor on either side to help keep the socket stable in the concrete.

I put a few inches of concrete in the bottom of the hole, dropped in the socket and post, leveled everything up, and filled the rest of the hole with concrete. I let it set for two days, just to make sure it was all stable, and finished up the post, flange, and cap. Between those days, I replaced the handle on the toilet in the master bathroom as it had completely come disconnected and took some fancy jiggling to get the toilet to flush.

Sunday, however, was the big day. I started off by replacing the faucet on the kitchen sink because it had gotten very drippy underneath. With the exception of hooking up the water connections backwards and having to reconnect them, it all went fairly smoothly with minimal cursing. I took a break to eat lunch and continued by replacing several outlet plates in our house with new baby-proof plates, now that Ansel is mobile. This was followed up by some last minute adjustments to the clothesline post and the actual installation of the clothesline. We had tried to get it all together early enough for Heather to actually try it out, but a cloud bank came in and blocked out the sun almost completely for the rest of the day upon my completion of the clothesline. I finished up by changing out Heather’s license plates.

I felt pretty good by the end of the day, I felt like I had done my husbandly duties around the house. Sometimes if just feels good to be responsible.

…on riding my bike.

So I’ve been riding my bike to work as much as I can since Heather quit. Last week I was able to ride three times and regretted not riding it on both days that I was unable. Its a 3.85 mile ride, so its not that rough. In the mornings, its usually only about 75°-80° and so its not horribly strenuous. It takes me almost 20 minutes to ride to work, which isn’t bad since it takes me just over 15 minutes to drive to work. I’m not losing much time, I’m getting a bit of a workout and a wakeup as I get myself to work in the morning, and I’m saving money. My ride home is a bit more of a pounding as its been over 100° each time I’ve ridden. Fortunately, I can ride slower, take it easy, and I’m not concerned about my sweat or my smell when I get home. Don’t fret, I always have water and I don’t push myself.

I didn’t get to ride today, however, because my bike is at the bike shop today getting a tune-up. Its needed it for quite some time, but I just never got around to it. I’ve done some minor re-callibration on my own, but I just don’t know enough about what I’m doing to be very successful at it. I’m getting all the gears and brakes adjusted to improve my ride. I’ve had problems with the lower gears on the back wheel with them randomly switching, usually when I’m trying to climb a hill. The bike is 13 years old and it probably needed some work anyway. I’m just glad they didn’t feel like it needed a complete overhaul.

And still, I’m bummed about not being able to ride today. We had a cold front come in (the one that brought all those clouds that canceled Heather’s clothesline debut, yesterday) and it hasn’t exceeded 95° at all. It would have been a beautiful day to ride. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, though!

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August 2008
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