Sunday, August 22, 2004

Wooooow and That's Beauuutiful!

This was quite a weekend. Friday afternoon, I went and picked up my new bike; also dropped off the old one and Dawn's. They're both going to be tuned up and the pedals swapped so Dawn will have clipless pedals and my father will have the toeclips. We'll probably put a new stem on Dawn's too, so she can be more upright and not have to stretch as far. Had them move the rack for Rachel's seat to the new bike, though they didn't do a good job of it, and put a new computer on it as well; this one has only one trip distance, but adds cadence, which I'm interested in. I have a feeling that eventually I'm going to get something more like Jason's that does tracking of cadence, heart rate, speed, and even elevation over time so it can be downloaded for graphing & such. That'll be a while, though.

Anyway, the new bike is awesome; I love it. I took it for a little spin in the evening and found that the front brake was too loose and the seat too low and maybe angled up in front. Have to figure out how to change that. Saturday morning I took the same ride I did with John; took me a little less time, but I didn't stop at the lake or the coffee shop. According to the new computer, it's 8.25 miles; I can't remember what the old computer said, or what John said it usually is, so I'll have to check on it next time, or when I ride to work next. Actually wound up heading back out for a few minutes just to get a couple things from the grocery store so we could have breakfast.

Yesterday was a little rough; after my ride we went to music class, and then I went to the accupuncturist. We tried to clear my plastics allergy, which was very frustrating, because it meant I couldn't talk on the phone or touch much of anything including most of Rachel's toys, light switches, etc. Couldn't even get my vitamins out for myself. Frustrating.

After Rachel's nap Saturday, I took her to the park with Michele, Xin, Carmen & Leila where Xin & I tried to teach the girls a little about soccer. This amounted to encouraging them to kick it to each other or us and many many many repetitions of "no hands, sweetie, just use your feet". Then they all came over to our place for dinner; we could have just as well gone to their place since all we wound up providing was the place and some sausages - Michele brought over a ton of great Chinese food made by Xin's parents. Delicious!

Was constantly forgetting about the plastics - Dawn turned on the BBQ for me, and I actually adjusted the flame using the tongs (which are wood & metal), but then when I took the girls' sausages off I turned the flame down with my hand before I remembered I wasn't supposed to touch it. Sigh. What a pain in the neck!

Today was great. I gave up on the plastics allergy stuff for now because I got tired of trying to explain to Rachel that I couldn't help her do something with her bracelet. Either the clearing took or it didn't. We had breakfast at my parents' place, and then all went up to Marine World where we had a grand old time.

I wore an old pair of shorts because the only new clean ones have plastic as part of the integrated belt; this pair is a size 38 that several months ago I was almost too big for, maybe hanging over the waistband a little bit. Now I've got a huge amount of room in them - I can actually take them off without unzipping them if I don't have a belt on! My mother made an interesting comment about the accupuncture - on the one hand she's delighted with the changes it's helped me make; on the other, it sounds like so much hocus pocus. I certainly was a skeptic before we started, but now I sometimes feel like some kind of cultist when I talk about it! It does sound like hocus pocus sometimes, and I wouldn't have believed the testing would work before she did it on me.

At Marine World, we saw the Sea Lion, Dolphin, and Orca shows, fed sea lions and giraffes, rode an elephant, and walked through the butterfly house. Rachel just loved the shows, especially the dolphins and orca. She said her favorite part was the dolphin show; or the sea lion; or the orca, depending on when you asked, but I thought the best part was when she pointed at the dolphins and said 'wooooow' completely on her own during their show. The butterfly house was amazing and I got some fantastic pictures - Dawn and I decided that one of the things that has to be on our list for after we come into a large sum of money is having a butterfly house of our own! Near the main entrance to the park, there's a sculpture of 4 or 5 dolphins the make up the centerpiece of a large fountain; it's quite pretty really, in stark contrast to all the commercialization going on around it, and Rachel actually commented on it's being pretty on her own, which was great! She said "that's beauuutiful!" several times.

Rachel did amazingly well throughout. She did spend a lot of time being carried, mostly by me, but she wasn't clingy or demanding about it. Part of the reason we went to Marine World with them instead of to the ballgame by ourselves was that we were worried about how she'd do at nap time, or without one, and that we would have to deal with the aftermath; at least if we were there we don't have to wonder what happened. It certainly isn't that we were worried about my parents' care for her, though my mother said she felt that way a little bit because we didn't make up our minds about going until almost the last minute. It's just harder on us when Rachel's routine gets messed up and we don't know how exactly. Although we had a pretty rough night (she was up at 3:00am after having had a short nap and then again at 4:20, when Dawn brought her to our bed, and then up for good a little before 7) and she was obviously tired at points, she did really really well; almost no fussing/whining/etc at all!

Tonight after we had dinner, I did some work on the new bike, with Rachel "helping" me and working on her bike. Raised the seat (still need to ride it to see if it's the right height), repositioned the seat rack, tilted the handlebar up a little (which meant removing the computer mount because its wire was got too tight). Discovered by accident that there's a second barrel adjuster for each brake close to the brake that let me make the front brake tighter. Also discovered that one of the pads on the rear brakes wasn't very tight and it was angled so that it was rubbing on the tire. I think I checked both on the front but probably still need to check the other on the rear. I think that's probably more work than I've ever done on a bike, though I did put V-brakes and a suspension bike seat post on the mountain bike.

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