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Less With the Random (Sure)
2007-04-30, 5:09 p.m.

Day 981

What an odd weekend. Been saying that a lot lately.

Workout Saturday morning, of course. Too late for the early spinning class, so I ran instead, did some weights, THEN did 1.5 hours of cycling. Sheer genius I tell ya! Since running hits your legs just a bit differently than cycling, by doing both in one day you’re able to completely toast your legs. Pretty sweet deal.

Oh – Friday nights “Spamalot” show was great. It helps immensely if you like & ‘get’ British style humor. Even so, it’s always a delight seeing professionally done shows. I don’t know what it is the critics find to pick apart, I’ve yet to see a show I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. Maybe I’m not picky enough?

Weather here Saturday was less than inspiring. Plenty of outdoor things to do, but nothing that’s do-able in the rain. Spent the afternoon grocery shopping, solo. Cindy was either getting a wicked sinus infection or a wicked cold Friday – either way, even by Saturday afternoon she wasn’t up to wrestling the crowds at the super market.

Tried out a new “green” Chili Saturday night. Interesting. Used tomatillo’s, pork, gobs of garlic, cumin & cilantro (and beans too – great northerns). Nice departure from your normal chili. No heat in it to speak of, but the flavor change was nice. Added plenty of red pepper to my salad to make up for the lack of heat in the chili.

Sunday. Man, Sunday could have been so much better. Weather broke late morning, turned absolutely gorgeous. 70, clear, cloudless sky. Instead of getting anything real accomplished, I paid bills. Finally got most of them set up to be done electronically. I know, you’d think that with me being an engineering nerd I’d have done that long ago. I think I liked the torture of having to write everything out. Might have been a deterrent to spending too much. All this on-line stuff just makes it too easy. Ah well. Finally decided to enter the 21st century with my bill paying.

Once the trauma of bill paying was through, it was time to go out and pick up The Bob. We were planning on holding him hostage for the afternoon, force him to be outside and soak up some sunshine, then drag him out for his birthday dinner. 75 for the old boy. Physically, he’s doing well. Little arthritis in his knees, but otherwise pretty sound. Mentally? Yesterday was a good day. He was pretty sharp, until we got to the restaurant and had to deal with the menu. He doesn’t do ‘new’ well, and this was our first time trying out this particular place (Famous Dave’s).

Tell you the truth, I don’t think we’ll be going back there. The food was merely ok. The service was decent (our waitress looked like Yancy Butler – that helped her score), but the big thing I have against it is the dishes. Dinner was served in a big plastic basket. Side dishes (BBQ beans & tater salad (potatoes undercooked) for me) were served in little plastic bowls placed inside the basket thing. In there with the sides were a hunk of corn on the cob (cold & over cooked) , corn bread muffin (stuck to the paper wrapper), my brisket (served on bread?) and my sausage link (not hot and also served on bread). The bread may have been used to keep the meats off the PAPER that lined the basket. I was a little confused as to how, exactly, to tackle the brisket. Normally, I’d cut it with a knife and eat polite little chunks. But there was the bread to consider. Only one slice, so clearly not a sandwich. But if you cut the bread, you cut that pesky paper liner too and risked eating that. I came to some sort of compromise and managed to avoid eating the paper while still consuming a goodly quantity of the bread. The sausage wasn’t so bad. I just kinda worked the ends down until it was the same length as the bread, then used the bread as a bun. Not too messy, and avoided the paper liner problem entirely. Cindy’s ribs? Not falling off the bone tender. Obviously undercooked for smoked ribs.

After eating there, I wonder just what Dave is famous for. Tepid food, served oddly and not consistently cooked. No sauces that had any heat to them. One was named “Devil Spit” Had high hopes for that one. Sadly, I think you could use it for chugging contests. Didn’t even put a little spark on the tongue, much less make you break a sweat. I really hate wimpy hot sauces.

All in all, our Dinosaur Bar-B-Que kicks Dave’s ass. Better food, served hot, and it’s really pit smoked. Dave’s ribs were kind of a joke. NOT falling off the bone tender. Could have used another 2 or 3 HOURS in the pit. They even looked par boiled!! Sacrilege I say. Plus, I didn’t see their pits. At the Dinosaur, you have to walk by their pits to get to the front door. And it smells sooooo good.

Heh. Just got back from emailing Famous Dave’s franchise headquarters. Didn’t send them anything nasty, just mentioned how disappointed we were with the meal. Probably get a form letter back with some buy one get one half off deal for our next visit. Except I told them we’d be sticking with the Dinosaur. I won’t be sending anyone there either. Send them to my patio instead. At least I know the cook there.
(Quick aside – already got a note back from franchise headquarters. They’re forwarding my little critique to the franchise owner. Wonder if it’s a good thing I gave them my address?)

Been surfing Craigslist for bikes lately. Looking specifically for gently used road bikes at reasonable prices. Have run across several that piqued my interest. Contacted the seller in each case, only to find out that the frame was too small or they didn’t even know what size the frame was, it was really older than I wanted or had bent rims or some other such deal breaker. Last night, I saw an ad for a Trek 2100. Normally a $1500 bike that someone was willing to part with for $200. Downside? It needs new tires. Checked that out too. Pair of Bontrager 700-25’s go about $40 a pair. Not horrible, but that’s for the low end, Kevlar reinforced tire (saw no options below that!). Bike snobs will scoff at me, but not nearly so bad as if they’d seen me on my trusty 20 year old Huffy Durasport! With the warped rear rim that wobbles & rubs the brakes.

Waiting to hear back from the seller. With my luck he already sold the thing. Hope not. I’m thinking that with the larger diameter wheels (27.5” vs 26 on my Huffy) and better gearing I ought to be able to go 2 – 3 mph faster on the flats (take me up to 20mph) and climb hills better too. If this guy writes back, I will be at his house tomorrow to stuff that bike in my van.

Mentioned to Cindy I wanted (needed) a new bike. Just like my entering the Tour de Cure, I don’t think she quite believes it yet. So there’s the whole buying the bike thing to deal with. She might be thinking I meant a new bike, so getting a gently used one would be good news. I wanted to discuss it more with her yesterday, but she has this thing about needing to be buzzed when ever her dad is around (don’t know why, he’s the nicest guy in the world, really), so that discussion never got under way in earnest. So I guess the thing to do is what an old supervisor told me once – do what you have to do and apologize for it later. Now – he’s talking overspending a budget to finish on time or something like that, not buying a toy without your wife’s prior knowledge. My argument (to me) is that I tried to tell her, but she was in no condition to have an intelligent discussion (I’d have gotten buzzed on her breath and lost my train of thought!), and my window of opportunity was closing fast. IF and only IF Mr. Trek bike seller writes back.

Otherwise, I’m considering a Nishiki that may be a tad too small. Again. Apparently all bike riders around here are either 5’7” or 6’4” (and damn few of them) – nobody 6’ tall rides bikes. It’s so hard to find anyone with a bike frame for my (not that odd) height.

Oh – got pics done for that Tour web page too. Except the Tour website was cranky last night and wouldn’t let me update my page. Soon as it’s done I’ll put a link in my template so you all can see just how tiny my old Huffy is. I’ll shamelessly plug the sponsoring later. After I hit up the family to get things rolling.


Now – I must be off to do more car shopping. Mom still hasn’t found a car she’s happy with. She’s having a little trouble accepting that smaller cars don’t have that nice, soft, Buick style ride. She’s not used to sporty. We’ll hit up a few dealers tonight, take some test drives and avoid commitment. Maybe compare notes later tonight and come to a decision before her transmission completely shits the bed. Please!

Later folks.


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old habits - new tricks