Monday, March 30, 2015

Latest Origami, And the Count Down Begins

DSC_9424 Cheryl's Half marathon is less than a week away.    The Lincoln Run takes place in Downtown Springfield, Illinois.  We are very excited!   She missed her previous record for 13 miles last Saturday by a mere 2 seconds!  I told her those cars we were forced to wait for would slow her down.  Ah well,,,What are you going to do?   Can’t win an argument with a moving vehicle as a pedestrian. 

So for the rest of the week we are in “taper mode”  meaning that we are slowly reducing our ( her) training so she will be at the best physical condition on run day.  Basically we are trying not to do anything crazy to run the fun of the race.   Cheryl’s goals for the race:   Get picture with Abe Lincoln.IMG_2459   That is all.  I guess she might,  weather permitting,  try to beat her time for similar distances.   And I guess if she could maintain her highest pace… is Possible that she could win an award for her age group again….even though the competition is more fierce for this one.  We shall see how things go.  

428px-SAT_Logo_svg In other news,   We received a welcome Email for the SAT project coming up.   YEAH!   Now all we need is for Pearson to send us a welcome Email as well.   Cheryl is supposed to get one sometime this week.   At least she received a payment set up….so we are taking that as a good sign.

 DSC_9407 Other than that,   I have been folding.  I fold lots of things, but rarely list them all. DSC_9402 However, I do have a few pictures that are worthy of the blog.   People don’t pay money for the blog so it is all good.  And since very few people ever READ this blog,  I’m assured that unsightly origami will not go viral. 

So enjoy the origami….Unicorns monkeys and owls.   I was quite happy with the monkey and may have to fold another one for the shop…we shall see. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some Origami Owls. So Long, Mustang Sally!

DSC_9341 DSC_9360 I can’t remember the last time I folded up an owl….But I have found a couple of designs that I like.    Check them out.  Included in the pics are a bear and a penguin.   Just thought I would have some fun folding up some old designs.



MustangSally In the mean time,  I guess the neighbor is moving out today.   She has been here about 4 months and is already giving up on the place.   Must be nice to have somewhere else to move to.  I’m not sure if we will miss her or not.  We don’t even know her name!    Therefore, we have labeled her ‘Mustang Sally”   Because she drives not one…but TWO Ford Mustangs!   I don’t know the story behind having two of the same car….I guess it must not be that unusual as we were driving around two Subaru Legacies at one time. If you like the car….Why not have two?3e1f016233c6fd2a39df4b4506f89218    She lives alone (when her boyfriend is not over)  And only drives one of the cars back and forth to work.    The Boyfriend”" has a Hummer with all the trimmings,  So I’m guessing he must have a pretty good job.  I’m not sure if they will share the “other car” .   Sounds like an automotive “love triangle”! 

My guess is that she will be moving in with him.   It’s the only logical conclusion really.   If he can afford a Hummer…and she can afford 2 Mustangs….then they probably do not need to live here in Wellman.  

I say that the jury is still out whether we will miss her or not…that will depend who moves in after she leaves.   Cheryl is most certainly not going to miss her booming television.   My wish is that the next tenant is quiet and never home.   We shall see.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cheryl’s Lucky Run! 10K

Green beer anyone? With St. Patricks day upon us,  What better way to celebrate than with an Ice Cold Green Beer!   However,  if you do not have green beer…or food coloring to turn your Honey Brown beer green,   then the next best thing is to run a race! 

Cheryl gets Lucky!So today was the 10K Lucky Run in North Liberty, Iowa.   It was nice doing a local run this time as we were able to sleep in our own beds and stay a bit longer for the after race events.  The Run itself was a rather small affair.   I would say slightly larger than the run for Chocolate.   Oh!  And Much better done…in my opinion.  Hats off to the people from “We Run”  ( The Store name of the People who organized the run) I think they made a little go a very long way. She looks good in Green!

We went there yesterday to register and pick up the Packet and T-shirt.   The Shirt was a cool tech shirt this time as opposed to a simple cotton one.   Cheryl might just wear this one on one of her training runs.  

We took the remainder of yesterday off while I fixed my bike ( again!) from another flat tire.   I guess the PSI was a little too much for the patch to take.


  Sunrises are bad for pretty!Anyway,  This all meant that we had to rise and shine nice and early this morning.   We saw something we had not seen in quite a while…..a sunrise!  Cheryl decided to take several pictures.  Unlesss you are a vampire.




A little cold,  Cheryl surveys the scene.


We arrived, parked the car and checked out the stations.  Cheryl had two goals in mind for this race.   We make sure we know where the trophies are.First was to set a new personal record. Second:  Be the first to cross the finish line in her age group.  She did a little research and found that there was a high probability if she could consistently run faster than an  8 minute mile. 


onward to the start line.


  The race started at 8 am.   It was a little cool this morning with a bit of a brisk wind.  Cheryl wades into the crowd Luckily the coarse was fairly flat, meaning “ no hills!”   There would be three races running all at the same time. The BIG lineup. This causes a bit of confusion as it looks like there are “slow people” winning the race; when in fact, And they are OFF! they are simply running the 5K and the 10K people are lapping them. Cheryl sets her pace.



So, Lucky for me as the ‘photo journalist’ I was able to run ahead at where the coarse looped back and catch The crowd stretches out!Cheryl at several points.  She was wise to down dress for the temperature as we run in this climate everyday.  Gotta shed those clothes!   I watched several people take off bits of clothing half way around the coarse as they overheated.   It is probably a surprise to some people that running generated that much heat over a short length of time.

Cheryl closes on the ELITES! Cheryl clipped right along at the edge of the “elites”.   She followed a couple of people who were “easy to pick out of a group” so I knew when to snap her picture. Keeping her lead! I had the camera set on “continuous’'” so I would not have to post a movie of her running this time.   Movies are such a pain to edit anyway. 

I had a pretty good feeling about her pace as every time she came into view she looked relaxed and smiling. The Guy in Blue is closing in.... She had already lapped several of the 5K people and was pushing towards her fastest 5K yet.  The Results for the 10 K are not in yet, but I will post them when they list the finals online.  I could have found out there after everyone was finished, but Cheryl did not want to wait around.  

Not even a struggle!   Look how much fun she is having! So in the end,  She finished in under 50 minutes.  Of this we are fairly sure as the timer said 49:30.  The Chip time is the official time since it takes about 10 –30 seconds  just to cross the start line! Guy in Blue sprints ahead at the finish,  But Cheryl Laps the 5K people.



Success! After she was finished and collected up her medal,  We headed over to the “Top in their Class” trophies.   Cheryl was hoping for a top 3 placement in her age group.   I thought she had a pretty good chance as I was studying the females who were ahead of her.   First:  there were not many of them.  Second:   many of them were young. I'm  only looking at the competition.... I want to stress that the ogling I was doing was purely as a professional  team scout.  And NOT as a perverted old man!

THE BIG WINNER!Finally they read off the names of the 10 K winners in their age groups.   Cheryl was #1!!!!Best in Age group!  A Full minute over the nearest competiton.  

She is VERY happy!   Just how happy you ask?   She was so happy she forced me to go out for Ice Cream AND donuts!  I guess you can eat anything you want if you average 8 minute miles over 6 miles. 

Puppy! So there it is!   Cheryl is a big winner and I got to ogle younger competitors without looking creepy.   I also got to pet several dogs.   Dogs are So cool!

Next target to conquer!The next event,   Unless Cheryl schedules another “fun run” into the mix, will be the Lincoln Presidential Half marathon.  It’s coming up in two weeks.   Perhaps she will be able to get a new personal record at this event as well.   In fact:   I’m POSITIVE she will….mostly because she has not yet run an official half marathon. 


If Cheryls feelings could be put into animal would look like this. So the Official results are IN!  Cheryl finished 41 over all.  ( That is out of 184 competing in the 10 K)   Overall there were just over 400 participants running in all three races.  Her time was 49:18 with an average of 7: 57 minutes per mile!   She has been wondering if she could keep that pace over a 6 mile run….I guess we now know that she can.  Let’s see if she can do it over 13.1 miles!

And even more pictures here:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mountain Bike Woes. DIY to the almost rescue.

So I have been feeling pretty good lately fixing things.   Tells me what to do...and I do it!Knowledge is power and can save you tons of money if you know what you are doing.  And..The only way to learn how to do things is to do them on your own….with your own hands, so to say.   You tube has been a wonderful teacher in some regards whenever I encounter a task I have never had to deal with before.   So lets start at the beginning, shall we?

Tire rubbing on frame is NOT good! While oiling up my bike chain a few days ago, I noticed the rear tire was out of tune.   Namely:  It wobbled and rubbed on my rear brake.   I’m not sure how long it has been like this, but I have noticed it locking up whenever I’m about to put the bike away.   I watch a quick YouTube video to see how it can be fixed. 

EASY!   Just take a spoke wrench and tighten or loosen the spokes on the side that wobbles!    Even a grade-schooler could do this. Grade school power Oh!  One warning!   Don’t used anything except a spoke wench.  Especially needle-nose pliers!

Okaaaaay    So  I have no spoke wench in my possession.  But they are Cheap, right?   And I will probably need them at a later date if thisSpoke wrench to the rescue! situation happens again.  No need to pay for a bike mechanic to do something so easy.

$10 later…I have a universal spoke wrench….Not as cheap as I would have liked…but still cheaper than the mechanic and I can do it at home and have it ready by tomorrow.   Piece of cake!

It’s funny though…it is not truing up!   I turn the spokes and they continue to rub.  Am I turning it the wrong way?   Did I get it right? this is what happens when you overtighten a spoke.


Finally,  I feel I’m making progress…..and “POOF!”   FSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST    I pop the inner tube. Nice! 

All the tings you need to fix a flat.....except an air pump Now I have no inner tube repair kit in my possession!   Other than irritating,  this is ok.   I know they are cheap and are available at just about any hardware or target store.   I’ll grab one tomorrow and fix the flat….I at least have an air compressor. That is when I realize the issue with the spokes. Shiny new spokes....

The reason it was not truing up was because two spokes were broke!    I quickly go back to YouTube and find “spoke replacement” videos.    It looks EASY Even a trained Monkey could do it!  No need to pay an expensive mechanic to do something you can do at home.  And HEY!  I already have the spoke wrench! Trained Monkey power.   ( ok,   technically an ape.)

However…I still need the two replacement spokes and those are sold only at the bike store.  And I need another tool to get the rear tire cogset off.     But that is ok,  they are Cheap Cogset.  Remove this to get to the spokes.And I will probably need it later if this situation happens again….Piece of cake!

So…Up and early the next day….Travel to bike shop.   I bring in the broken spokes I'm still doing what YouTube tells me. ( because YouTube told me to!)  I also bring in the entire rim….( because YouTube told me to!)   I explain the situation,  show off the damaged parts.   Ask what Cogset tool I need.   Everything looks good.  They give me two shiny new spokes, an inner tube repair kit, and a cogset removal tool.   All for only $20!   Hmmmmmm..   We are approaching the point where a mechanic might have done it for cheaper….But I reason that I have all these REALLY COOL TOOLS to clutter up my area and hodge podge tool box.   And I will now be able to fix this problem over and over again

Take tire to auto shop to get cogset off. We get home.     30 minutes later!  ( Not an exaggeration!) I end up going to the local mechanic to have them air hammer the cogset off.   Even though  I have the proper tool,  I lack the herculean strength to get the cogset off.  It’s ok….the mechanic hammers it off in two seconds  and we are back on track!    2 hours later!   ( Not an exaggeration!)  The spokes are not threading onto the rim nuts ( called nipples)   Stop laughing,  that is their true name. 

I struggle over and over,  threading them onto other spokes and other nipples on the new ones.  FINALLY  I realize the spokes…..ARE THE WRONG SIZE!  

Spoke_Length 3 mm shortA mere 3 MM is keeping me from completion of the job.   By now  Cheryl is looking at me as if I’m a crazy person,   Which I am.  I brought in the very spokes that were broke so they could match them up properly ( just like YouTube told me to do!) You tube even warned me about the customer service issues. Now the cost of going BACK to Iowa City to replace the spokes…again!  will end up costing even MORE money.   Even I can’t defend this now.    Even I have to admit that just dropping it off at the mechanic would have ultimately been cheaper. 

So now….are you still with me?    We run into the shop an hour before they close  ( it is late now)  and grab the correct spokes.   I assemble the rim in the car as Cheryl drives.    ( Apparently, by this time,  I am too “angry” to drive safely)   It’s ok….Even A trained dog with no opposable thumbs can do thisNo need for opposable thumbs here! There is no need to take it to the mechanic at this point…..The damage to my ego and logic is so catastrophic that no one else can repair it except me. 



I'm still confused about this one,  The cliche' never made any sense either. 10 minutes later….the spokes are on; the tire is on;  the tire spins true; and the flat is repaired!  Hurray!   It only took 6 hours of lead up time to get to this point. Think of all the money I WILL save if this situation ever happens again.   I’m forward thinking here!   It’s best to prepare for a future of failure.  


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