So it’s been like forever since I hit this thing. I’ve got some stuff to drop.
First off, I finally upgraded my Mac at home to Tiger, the most exciting thing I have to say about that is that I’m psyched that I can use the iPhoto Export app for Simpleviewer now. Badass. This is by far the coolest and easiest way to get your pictures on the web.
So I’ve been promising kid birthday pictures, they are here. You’ll see in the photos the evidence of Emma’s little ‘Pete Rose’ impression on the gravel trail. She scraped her face up pretty good. All’s healed up nicely now though.
One of the big hits of the birthday party was a game we drummed up to play in the park, sort of a twist on a scavenger hunt whereby we hid a bunch of toys in the park then gave the kids cards with pictures on them of each toy, one at a time. They had to go out and find the toy on their card and bring the toy back before they could get another card. This prevented the big kids from simply scooping everything up. It was huge. The kids loved it. Total shocker. In fact, Lyn has already done it twice again with Emma and Julia on some nice days in the yard around our house. Anyway, yours truly took pictures of all the toys we hid – an interesting (to me anyway) photo essay in itself. Here that is.
Yea, I’m gonna go crazy with this photo thing.
For Easter we had fun. We took the kids to a local park where they were having an egg hunt. Not much of a hunt really. They had sections of a ballfield roped off into age groups and there was candy/eggs thrown all over the grass. All the kids lined up in each age group, they dropped the rope and BAM, they go at it. Makes me think of that old gameshow where you had to grab as much cash as you could inside the wind tunnel. It was interesting to say the least.
Most disturbing of all was the behaviour of alot of the parents, they were worse behaved than the kids. I went into the lineup with Emma (3yrs.) They guys said, “Ok folks, after the tape drops, let you child go – NO PARENTS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE THE TAPE. So I prep Emma, tell her the deal. The tape drops. Of the maybe 60 or 70 pairs of kids and parents there, me and maybe 10 others followed the rules. Idiots. So of course Emma didn’t even want to go in ’cause it’s a bunch of adults running rampant and she’s afraid (rightly so) that she’s gonna get squashed. After a few minutes of this and the organizers trying – in vain – to reiterate the rules, I decide if Emma’s gonna get any candy, I gotta help her. So we go in, but I try to stay behind her and merely point stuff out, and let her do it herself – needless to say she got like 5 pieces of candy while other kids baskets were overflowing ’cause mom/dad had picked up half their junk.
One of the organizers came to me at one point (I guess she’d been watching us) and said to me quietly that “there would be some treats available at the gate for those that FOLLOWED the rules.” It was nice of her, but they were so unorganized that by the time all was said and done there was none left.
It didn’t appear to bother Emma too much as she was just happy to get some candy in her basket. I was pissed. I just don’t understand people. This is my ongoing beef with people today. I just don’t understand what makes people like that think that they are more important than everyone else and/or above the rules. Morons.
Then Julia’s turn came with the older kids. This time they didn’t even let the parents into the area with the kids, they had to stay outside along a chainlink fence that was the outfield fence of the ballpark where we were. So, around 15 minutes before the thing starts, I stroll to the fence (where no one is, coincidentally) and pick a good spot to get some pictures of the Bean egg hunting. Emma is with me, sitting at my feet eating her loot. Of course as the time grew near, spots on the fence became scarce. About the time that they dropped the tape, I had people on both sides of me banging me with their elbows trying to get in to get pictures all the while screaming directions at their kids telling them how to position themselves to get the best access to the goods and where to come for the best pictures.
Once the tape dropped it was chaos. It was like being against the barricades at the front row of a Limp Bizkit concert. There was a huge surge as everyone behind me pushed forward and tried to weasel into nooks an crannies to get a photo op. Grown adults were screaming like idiots and behaving worse than their children do half the time. At this point Emma was freaking out. I had to brace myself against the fence at an angle to keep a little spot for her so she didn’t get trampled.
Meanwhile – I am trying to take pictures of Julia, although not screaming directions. I managed to get a few in between the times when 2 or three other kids (children of the people next to me, no doubt) would PUSH HER DOWN and cop candy directly from her basket. Un. Freaking. Believeable.
By the time all was said and done – I was furious. I was ready to swing on anyone there. Lyn thought I was over-reacting. She said that this is just the way people are. She used as a point of argument that it was that way every time she picked up the kids from school. Parents in the hallway with pretty much no regard for anyone but themselves. She said that she was used to it and I should just let it be.
I said, that’s the f’ing problem.
These people vote. These people hold high positions in government and industry. These people are teachers. They’re parents raising a whole generation of kids like them. I just don’t get it.
And if we just let it be, they win. We don’t get any egg candy.
Ultimately, most of the time I feel like the only real thing I can do to better society is to try and raise my children to be good people. I’m not sure there’s alot of hope for some of the people out there now, but I figure if I can turn two (or more, if Lyn has her way) really good people loose on the world then, I’ve done all that I can. That means making my kids the priority, leading by example, and being the best person I can be myself. I don’t think this is rocket science, but it would seem that alot people don’t get it, and I don’t think it’s just because they are Republicans either.
That was a joke, but I had to interject a little levity as I was starting to sound like a lunatic. In all honesty the behaviour and/or people I talk about are pretty much bipartisan, I’ve seen ’em on both sides, so save your flaming comments and emails for Michael Moore. There’s photos of the easter madness here.
On a somewhat related note, in an effort to repair some of the foreign policy – shall we say, ‘mishaps’ – of our current administration, I’ve taken it upon myself in a most selfless move to reach out to members of the world and heal. It’s time to heal. In that vein, I invited my New Favourite UbermickÂ®, Gaz out for intelligent discourse on US/Irish relations. We convened on neutral ground (i.e. a pub) and after far too many Brooklyn Browns, Arrogant Bastards, and Guinesses, we were forced to table any concrete resolutions due to the fact that we are losers who pretty much discussed mountain biking the entire time.
At one point, when a tipsy coed approached and attempted to start conversation, I think she couldn’t find anywhere to get in, as she wasn’t very knowledgeable regarding the benefits of a hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brake or the best gearing for your off-road fixie.
Speaking of fixies. I’ve almost finished my off-road one, and I’m reasonably confident of my choice of gearing. I’ve opted for a 34×16 which will be lost on most of you, but those in the know will dig it. I remain undecided on whether to go with 175mm or 165mm cranks. Doesn’t seem to me that 10mm will make that much difference. I’ve consulted my local off-road fixie sage wiseman, DT, for advice – we’ll see what he says.
I have hit one minor road block today. I got a Surly Fixxer for my rear hub off of ebay and it would appear the guy I bought it from pulled some sort of switcheroo on the axle nuts, cause they don’t fit. It was months ago and I’m not even gonna bother harassing the dude over 2 nuts, but it’s a drag since I can’t get my rig together. I’ve done some research and these are apparently hard to come by, as they’re metric. I checked at Bike Club, no dice. Home Depot – I tried, but c’mon – it’s America! We don’t sell metric here! I tried the little Brown’s Hardware down the street from my office. They had a small metric section, but alas, not what I needed. On the way home from work today I hit The Bike Lane, and although the dude knew what I needed, they couldn’t hook me either.
I wrote Andy at Surly and he was very cool and says that although they don’t sell direct, that any shop should have the nuts as they’re standard for Shimano axles, so if they don’t he suggested I ‘slap ’em’. My boy Nature insists that I should just write Andy back and have them send me some as they probably would, it’s only good pr. I try to follow the proper channels though and play nice…
Apparently there’s an obscure hardware store out in Springfield (Fishers?) that 2 different people have said may have ’em. Crazy. All for 2 nuts that will probably cost around 64 cents.
One of the guys at The Bike Lane was like “we should order a bunch of those to have now that single speedings’ all the rage” and the other guy says, “I tried, no luck.” I might have to have them order me some from QBP, which ironically would be Surly anyway.
On another related note, I should be meeting up with DT this saturday as I take part in my first IMBA Trail Construction Class for which I am positively psyched. I wanted to go last year, but couldn’t due to scheduling, but this year I’m a lock. It’s gonna be sweet – I even got out this weekend and got me some new workboots as mine were toast. Now I just need my own Pulaski or MacLeod and I’ll be all set. Then I will truly know that I am a trail geek.
So. To sum up:
1. Site improvements, more pictures, more often.
2. I had an angry Easter buzz, but the kids were none the wiser and enjoyed the moonbounce.
3. Irishmen, even though stereotyped as such, are STILL formidable drinkers.
4. Project fixie is almost complete.
5. Soon I will be a trail building master.
For those of you (the non bike geeks) that have read this far even though you don’t even know what a fixie is, here’s your reward.
Another gratuitous photo gallery of the kids, this time with bubbles thrown in.