Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bike changes!

The bikes were working out pretty well, but the one Hunter got was skipping gears on its own, so last night we went and replaced it with a nicer bike (not too much more) that had a better gear system. So, a word to the wise for people considering purchasing a bicycle: Sure, that $129 jobbie you see at the Wal-Mart looks like a good deal, but consider the shifter! The "dial" shifters, that are connected to the handlebars, tend to be imprecise when shifting, which makes it easy to be "between" gears, causing the bike to shift one way or the other based on how far the dial is over to one number or the next. We ended up switching to a bike that has clickers for the gears... Push the lever down, and it clicks to the next number. Much smoother, and much more control.

Here's looking forward to many more bike rides!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just like riding a bike

I thought of something else to write about! :D

As I was cleaning the shed (see previous entry) I also cleared out four old bicycles. Well, with the allergy season gone and all, Hunter and I thought it would be fun to get two of them fixed up for riding. We took the two most likely candidates down to the repair shop, and found out only one of them was worth fixing. No worries, so we ended up buying another one from a local store.

Last week, we went riding for the first time! For Hunter, since he was a kid. For me, since about 10 years ago. It was more fun than I remembered it could be. We've been taking evening walks lately, to settle food and just get out to enjoy the night air, but after a while the feet start to hurt, and you can't really do much except travel to the same places. Riding a bike, though, you feel the wind in your hair and on your face, and you get to coast and such. It's great fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whew, finally completed some projects, yay me ^^

Well, I managed to get a few things done recently that have been on my plate for some time, so I thought I'd reflect on them.

Clean shed: When I first moved into my current house, back in 2000, I realized the garage would be a bit cramped for two cars and storage, so I purchased a little 10x15 metal shed for the backyard. I promptly filled it with stuff and basically forgot about it all. Occasionally, over the next few years, I would duck in for a shovel or something, and notice a few wasps nests had moved in. Of course, this made me a little wary about entering in there again, and until 2007, I basically didn't. I finally filled up the garage to the point where I really wanted to be using the space again, and when I opened it and avoided the wasps, I discovered that quite a bit of the stuff in there was water damaged and would have to be thrown out... Oy... Well, I decided after Rosa's visit, I'd finally tackle the thing, and I did, over the last two weekends! Threw out most everything in there, and swept it out, and bought a good tarp to throw over it to keep out the rain. It's in pretty good shape now, and I just have a bunch of paint to get rid of at the hazardous waste facility tomorrow on the way in to work.

Group photo of Hawthouse crew: As some of you know, I'm part of a fairly large community in SL at the Lingmell sim called the Hawthouse. It's been in existance for roughly two years, and is a nice conglomeration of builds by a group of about 10-13 of us. Well, late last year, Rosa suggested that it would be pretty cool to have a group photo taken for posterity. Originally, we thought to get everyone together at once, and find enough interesting pose balls to take a picture. Trying to schedule that was sort of a nightmare, and trying to find a selection of poses everyone liked was proving to be similar, so I suggested taking individual shots of each person, to be cut-and-pasted together later over a nice background image. I got a nice whitescreen, and his-and-her poses, and started scheduling photo ops to collect the shots. Scheduling this, however, was also not so easy, but about three months later I managed to get approximately half the photos taken. Well, then my laptop motherboard decided to give up the ghost, and I felt I had lost what I had originally taken. Ugh... Fortunately, I discovered I could still use the hard drives from the old laptop, and removed them and salvaged the photos. Anyway, I did finally manage to complete the rest of the photos earlier this week, and yesterday I used Photoshop to cut and paste the whole thing together! Below, you see the "casual" and "formal" pictures. Woo hoo!

SL tier reduction: Ever since I bought the land for Amphibicatt Gardens, I have been up at a full tier land fee of $195/month. Now that Hunter is here, I just don't find myself in SL as much, and wanted to try and use some of that money for other things. Lowering yourself to a smaller tier is not easy, as it turns out. :) A full sim tier allows you around 64K of square meters of land. The next step down is half that. I had almost completely filled my 64K allotment, so I started selling off land as best I could, without impacting too much of the surroundings at the Hawthouse and Amphibicatt stage. Today I finally got it down to an amount that allows me to choose the lower tier, which puts me at $125/month instead. Woo hoo! And two days before I would have had to pay for the next month, good timing! :)

That's all I have for now, take care everyone!