Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Bikes

For a while now, Matt and I have been talking about getting new bikes. We both loved to rid bikes as kids/teeen. But, we never got a new bike after that last growth spirt. So, our old ones (if our parents even still have them ) are to short. We've been shopping around at bikes for a while now. We aren't expecting to get into serious mountian bikeing or anything so we didn't want to spend a lot on bikes, but we wanted something nice.

First off, I hadn't gone looking for a bike since I was in elementry/middle school. So, I was just overwhelmed by the whole "mountain bike" thing. Last time I went looking, only a few boys bikes were "mountain bikes' Just about everything was what is now called "road bikes." There were no "normal" bikes at any of the sporting good stores. All of the "normal bikes" were at the high end bike shops and were ment for proffesional raceing. So, it was decided for me that I was going to get a mountain bike. That's fine. I just want something I can ride around town and on the trails at the local park.

So, we did a lot of looking around. We found out that Dicks had some bikes on sale this week. We were heading in the general KC area today anyways so we figured we would stop by. First off, the store was one of the bigggest ones I've seen. Their selection of ladies bikes was, shall we say, serverly lacking. I know that now and days, it's perfectly fine for a girl to ride a guys bike. And, the only real differance is that the girls bike is easier to get on and off of. But, that seems like a really good differance to me. So, I had my heart set on a girls bike. No bike for me on the first stop.

Matt, however, was much luckier than I was. We found this great Schwinn Mesa bike on clearance. It is last years Mesa model. But, that's ok. It's still a great
bike, and we got a great deal on it. It even tempted me to not go for a girls bike. But, in the end, I knew I would be happier with a girls bike. So we left the store with a great bike for matt, but nothing for me. We went around the KC area for a while doing other stuff. Then, as we were about to start heading home, I remembered that there was a second Dicks in the area. They might have something. It's worth a try. After all, if I didn't find it there, I was going to be ordering on line. And, all things being equal, I would rather do a "test ride" in the store to make sure it's a good fit.

Well, luck was with us. The second Dicks had a womens Diamond Back Outlook.
It was not a brand I had heard of until I started looking at bikes. However, I've seen a lot of them so they seem to be a big brand. And, they tend to sell the higher end bikes. Mine is one of the lower end ones they make. But, it's still a good solid bike. My grandpa (dad's dad ) had been a tool and die maker for Schwinn before he passed away. So to me growing up, the only good bike out there were Schwinns. Yes, I road a kids Huffy around. But, I had always thought I would get a Schwinn when I got my "good adult" bike. However, the family that owned Schwinn when Grandpa worked for them sold the company in the 1990s so it's not the same. The old Schwinn company was really good to my Grandpa and took care of him. If they still owned Schwinn, I wouldn't have considered any other brand. I still had my eye on some Schwinns on line. In fact, if I went the on-line way, I was gonna get a womens Schwinn RidgeAL. But, I couldn't find any women's Schwinns in the store. Specialty bike shops and sporting good stores. I found one at Target. But, it was not as nice of a bike, and a shade of purple that I don't really like. I do really like the bike I got. It's a nice good solid bike. I won't do any stunts or anything like that with it. But, it rides smooth and I like it. I just have to get used to the gear shifting since the gear controls are part of the handles that you twist. Very odd. But, that seems to be very popular. Man, did I feel old and out of date looking at bikes. But, I think we got to great ones.

Oh, and for those of you who wonder, if we wanted to drive somewhere, and then
ride, we can fit both bikes in matt's car. Just pop the front wheels off. We even fit some other stuff in there too. Plenty of room. That car always impresses me with how much it can hold.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Project updates....

Well, it's been a while since I posted. I have been working a lot on gift projects so there hasn't been to much to say on hte project front.

I have been working on some socks for DH. I'm still not done with the first one. They are going a little slower because of the cable design, and I'm not spending as much time on them. It's been almost two weeks, and I still don't have the first sock done. These are taking the longest of any socks so far. Of course, with a cable pattern, they are a bit more work. And, I have been neglecting them. But, I really like how they are turning out which is the most important thing.

Last week, I did something I had never done before. I met in person someone whome I only knew on line. One of the wonderful women from Crochetville is visiting the area. Barbara and I went and explored a bunch of yarn shops in the area. I had been planing a yarn shopping trip with my mom, back when it looked like she was gonna make it out here. But, things happoned, and mom couldn't make it this year. (but I did get to back east and visit so it's not like I didn't see her at all.) While I was sad for not
being able to go with my mom, I had a lot of fun going with Barabara. She is a wonderful person. And, she didn't get upset with me when the directions weren't exactly correct. (I had never been to most of the store. ) I had a great day.

While out shoping with Barbara, I found a nice simple lace shawl pattern. It's "Charlotte's Easy
Lace Shawl" from Fiber Trends. I've wanted to try lace for awhile. I love so many of the patterns. However, I don't think I should start with a very complicated pattern. I decided that since this is supposed to be a simple pattern, it would be a great one to start with. I have some weddings to go to this summer. I have a good dress to wear, but I didn't have a good summer weight wrap for the dress. Somehow a fall weight cardigan in Augest in Kansas just isn't the best thing. So, eventhough I had told myself that I wouldn't be starting any new projects until one was done, I bought the pattern and yarn. After getting home, I cast one for the shawl. After sevarl restarts, I finally got it going. To the left is how far along I am, right now. The other shot is a close up of the stitch pattern, in it's unblocked form. I'm useing Skacel Merno Lace and size 3 needles. I am totally guessing on the needle sizeing since I couldn't find anything out about the pattern yarn, and the yarn I picked didn't have a recomended needle size listed. I hope it turns out ok. It likely won't look like the pattern. But, as long as it looks ok.

Well, that's about it on the project front. I'm still working on all the projects, but nothing noteworthy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My $0.03

I just had to do a post on this 'cuase I found it amauzing. As part of our move a few months ago, we had to change phone companies. (Which is good 'cuase I like the new one better. ) I spent two months straiting things out with the old phone company since they kept sending bills without paying attention to the fact that we had paid our final bill. (Isn't it amazing what happons when you threaten to send them a copy of the cleared check ?) Then, for the next two months, I got bills from them saying there was a zero ballance on the account. I didn't care if they felt like wasting there money to send me a zero ballance bill. As long as they didn't think I owed them anything. Fianlly, the letters stoped and I was happy. I thought I would never have to deal with them again.

Then on monday, we got a letter telling us that they owed us three cents.. Then, on Tuesday the check came in the mail, for a whole three cents. How much money did they spend to send us the three cents ? I realize that they are legally requred to send us a check if they owed us money. But, why did they have to send a sepreate letter to us. Why not just send them togther ? After all, the postage for one of those was more than what the chek was for. Personaly, I woudln't have cared if they hadn't sent us the check. If it had been more money, I would have wanted it back. But, $0.03 ? That won't even buy me a cup of tea... Hell, it won't even pay the tip on the cup of tea.