Thursday, June 27, 2013

Forced Haitus

I’m still alive.

Last Friday I had a bike accident.  Because of a set of slippery streetcar tracks i broke my elbow, mashed up my hand, and hit my head hard enough to cause a seizure.

I’ll be fine, but for now I’m in constant pain.  And typing 1-handed takes FOREVER.  I just don’t have time to write.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Yesterday morning I biked to work.  Seeing a friend as I walked to the door, I stopped to chat for a few minutes.
The world suddenly went flippy, and I had to sit down for a few minutes.  As I sat, my body exploded with sweat.
When I felt better (but still a little shaky), I went up to my office.  Dropping my bag and coffee off, I went to the bathroom to splash some water on my face.  Looking in the mirror, my skin was a pasty white/green palour.  After a couple of minutes of holding cold wet paper towels to my head, I knew what was coming and not to fight it.
I sat down and passed out.  Waking a couple of minutes later I knew that I’d just had another seizure.  The first since November, the second since 2008.
I staggered back to my desk and sat for about 45 minutes while I regained enough strength to take a cab home, where I slept the day and night away.

Today I’m back to my lovely chipper self.  Just a slight hiccup in a life of hiccups…

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I did it.  I bought a new bike, and hopefully will end the frustration related to what should be a simple mode of transportation.

Last year I bought a used bike from a friend.  We discussed what I wanted, and worked out a price of $250-300.  When he pieced it together, he handed it over asking for $360.  Due to his financial issues at the time, I paid without complaint.  $60 is nothing for me, but significant for him.
I then spent about $100 getting it to the state that it should have been purchased in.
Then I spent another $100 for random bits and pieces necessary (helmet, lights, etc).
Since then I’ve had the brake cable fray, the chain was too big and damaged the cassette requiring both be replaced.  With the spring check-up, this was around $125.
The bold holding the seat to the seat post sheared one day.  That cost around $40 for a new post and bracket, and also a lot of fear when the seat wiggled between my thighs and fell off on a bumpy road.  Those few seat-less seconds were terrifying, worried about what body parts it would damage.
In 7 months of riding, I’ve also popped 5 inner tubes.  Not a lot of cost, but it always happened when I had something planned that had to be cancelled to deal with the f’ing bike.
All in, with a few other minor issues, I estimate that it’s cost me around $850 for 7 months of inner-city biking.

On Saturday, I bought a brand new bike from a reputable shop.  With taxes it came to $580.  It has a 5-year warranty on the frame, 2-year warranty on parts, 2 years of tune-ups, and the shop is around the corner from my house.  It rides a lot better than the old one, and gives me much more confidence in it’s reliability.  I ride around 150km per week, over 6 days.  I'm pretty busy, and don't have time for the related failures of an old piece of s**t.

I big chunk of change to blow, but I’m looking at it as an investment.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strike Fail

For the last month or so, there has been a strike by the Elevator Repair Contractors (or whatever they’re calling themselves).

At first the strike annoyed me.  I haven’t been able to discern what they’re actually striking for, and they’re picketing in front of my office.  They are blocking traffic, both pedestrian and auto, and causing issues with the shipping aspects of my job.
In general, a pain in the ass.

It’s been at least a month, and I’ve just realized 2 things:

1.       The elevators are working perfectly.
2.       In most high-rises, the elevator cars are double-decker.  To get to my odd-numbered floor, I have to go down to the concourse to get a car that will stop at my floor.  The ground floor car will NOT get me to my office.  Since the strike started the building has removed this feature.  The ground floor car will now stop at all floors, not just the even-numbered ones.  This means that I don’t have to go downstairs to go upstairs.  I like this.

So guys – Keep up the strike!

Although I have to say, the danger of a strike is that the populace appreciates your not working.  So yeah, ummm, good luck.