Well, downtown is a bit farther than I’d thought it was

Well, downtown is a bit farther than I’d thought it was. I rode about 21 miles there and back today. I’m currently feeling a bit sore.;)

I’d decided that I wanted to get fenders for my bike, and so I rode to REI downtown to take a look at what they had, and get a feel for what I was looking at. So I got online and printed off a bike map of downtown and surrounding area, and had a route all planned out. Then I went in, and discovered that they were working on the Broadway bridge, and it was closed to cars. I wasn’t positive it was closed to bikes, but it looked like it was. (For those that aren’t familiar with the Portland area, the Willamette River runs right through the middle of the city, and there are several bridges that cross it. Some are better than others for bikes.)

So I went on, to take the next bridge. Apparently, I was supposed to turn somewhere to cross the Steel Bridge, but I ended up riding past it without finding the access. I was heading for the Burnside Bridge, but wound up on Lloyd Boulevard heading East along 84. I noticed the river was getting further away, so I consulted my map and took MLK back to Burnside and crossed. Of course, I was now a bit further south than I’d planned to be. So I wandered in the general Northwest direction, heading towards 14 & Johnson. Of course, I didn’t know the best way to get there, and ended up passing through the area the homeless congregate in, at one point passing a whole row of about a dozen homeless men, all lined up sitting against a wall. It’s funny how in situations like that you feel like you should check the map to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, but don’t want to stop and get out the map. I didn’t really feel unsafe, but I didn’t want to stay around for that long. At any rate, I got there, and started looking at their fenders. They only had a few, but I didn’t understand how to determine how to apply the measurements given by the packages to my bike. After a conversation with a salesman, I discovered that they don’t make full fenders for the wider tires my (mountain) bike came with, and that I can either buy partial fenders, without the sides, which won’t keep as much water off, or I can buy new tires, and likely new tubes, and then the full fenders. New tires seemed to run in the $20-$30 range at REI, but I understand they’re cheaper elsewhere. But if I was going to get the full setup at REI then, I was looking at $100+. I’d set out thinking about $30 or so. I decided I’ll think about it. As it stands, I haven’t done too much riding in the rain, and so I don’t know if it’s worth the cost. Of course, until I get the fenders, I won’t really feel like going anywhere when it’s wet. We’ll see how this pans out. My uncle lives in Portland, and does a lot of cycling, so I think I’ll try and get in touch with him sooner or later. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while, but can never seem to get the e-mail right, and so it sits on my computer, unsent. I think I’ll call him, and then I don’t have to worry so much.

It’s funny how much correspondence can build up on you. I have a few people I’ve been meaning to contact, including my uncle Ron, and I just can’t ever get it done. He actually reads this blog, so by writing this, I commit myself to doing something. He invited me over to his house for dinner some time, and I have yet to accept the invitation.


On a somewhat related note, I have not been impressed with the Kryptonite Lock Exchange service. You may have heard about the U-locks that they made. Someone discovered that the round keyhole is just about the size of a Bic pen, and you can pick the lock with a pen. So the company has promised a free exchange for all owners of a Kryptonite lock with a round key.

They have a website, and I visited it a few days after the exchange started. They had an e-mail address on the site, and you were supposed to send an e-mail to them, and they would send an automatic reply with information back to you. Seemed like a silly way to do it, but I e-mailed them. No reply in a week or so, so I went back to the website. They’d changed it so you put your information in a web-form, and they’d e-mail you a postage pre-paid return label.

So I tried to fill out he form, and I realize that they only have one line for the address. I live on campus, so my mail is delivered to the campus address, but then needs my dorm and room number on it. So I tried to put it all on one line. But they’d limited the number of characters I could type in the field, so there wasn’t room for that. So I found a toll free number on the site, and called that. After a while on hold, I spoke with a lady who understood the problem, but had to put me on hold to figure out what to do about it. She came back on a few minutes later, and had decided to take down my information by hand. She must have had bad handwriting.

Exactly two weeks after I called, last Monday, I still hadn’t received the e-mail I’d been promised. So I called back, and they told me that they weren’t sending the emails until they had the lock they were going to send me in stock. Makes sense, but it wasn’t on the website, and they hadn’t mentioned it before. The e-mail showed up Tuesday, with a link to a UPS label, and I was supposed to print it. I did, and then I noticed that they had my return address as Iannetti Blvd, rather than Willamette. At first I was going to just correct it right on the label, but then I realized that they had it wrong in their database, too. So I called about 4:30 Tuesday, and a few minutes after 5, was still on hold. Then I got hung up on, as their office closes at 8 eastern, or 5 my time. And apparently if you’re on hold when the close the office, they don’t care about you.

So I called Wednesday, and got a guy who changed the info. I’m currently waiting for the new label, but I’m betting I’ll have to call them at least once more.


It’s gotten quite late all of a sudden, so I’m heading off to bed.


Back in town

While I was in town for the week, I visited the high school, and A&J’s, the store I used to work at. Both places had said that they wanted me to visit when I got a chance, so I decided I’d visit.

The high school has changed a whole bunch. They remodeled the library over the summer, and now it’s a mostly finished ‘media center’. The contractors were supposed to have finished by the time school started, but today they were still finishing the trim on the display case outside the library. It looks very different. They re-did the hall along the library, too. They put in skylights, and extended it out towards the parking lot further. I was used to turning at the end of that hall to go to Mr. Johnson’s room, and now, although it’s still the last turn, it’s about 25 feet from the end of the hall. I was talking to the counselor, who’s office is also in that hall, and he said that he has missed the turn to his office several times due to the remodel. It’s like there should be another turn further down.
As part of the remodeled library, they knocked down the wall into the Journalism room, and made it part of the library, as a computer lab. The Journalism class is now held in RayJ’s old room, which was a computer lab. I stopped by the Journalism class to visit, which was an interesting experience. They are still getting the software up and running, and haven’t even installed the software for the yearbook yet. Lindsey, one of the yearbook editors, tells me that due to that, she’s been looking at a lot of the pictures taken, and doing a lot of homework from other classes. I also saw that they’re almost set to distribute their first issue of the newspaper, The Realm. (To be fair, part of the reason they’re so behind is that Mrs. Harmening, the Adviser for that class, came down with appendicitis, and has only been back for about two weeks.)

When I was in Journalism, I took a lot of pictures, and the editors seemed to like them, as they said so when they saw them, and quite a few of my pictures appeared in the yearbook. I just wish that they’d gotten their act together and done photo credits. As it was, no one got credit for taking any of the pictures. So I already feel left out. And then they ran an ad in the back of the yearbook, saying “Congratulations to the Journalism Seniors”, and I somehow got left out of that, too. I know it wasn’t intentional, but those two things kind of make me feel bad about this year’s yearbook. That and there’s a lot of mistakes, and such. Maybe it’s just something with being involved in the production–you know what the product could have been, and are disappointed in whatever it turns out to be.

This post has gotten longer than I’d planned, and I still haven’t talked about my visit to A&J, but I’ll do that later. I may post again later tonight, there’s an issue that’s bugging me. We’ll see if this turns into a post, or just a draft.


Going home

As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in my room at home. Fall Break started yesterday, and my parents came in to Portland and picked me up this afternoon. My desk was literally as I’d left it, complete with the feather duster I’d taken from upstairs to use in the pre-departure cleaning and hadn’t bothered to return. But I’d re-arranged it a few days before I’d left, and the normal beadspread is in Portland, so it doesn’t quite feel like home.

I’m having mixed feelings about being back. There’s stuff I want to do while I’m here, and lots of people that will want to ask me about how I’ve been and so on. It’ll probably be the same questions over again, but it’ll be fun to see how things are going back here. I’ll stop by the High school, and see the staff. I e-mailed them once, and got several replies back from them, the most recent being on Thursday. Ill probably have to stay there for a while to talk. The library has been remodeled, too, so that’ll be cool. And I’ll probably stop by my old advo (Home-base type group).

I also need to take care of a bit of business, like getting a haircut. I could have dont this at the University, but I’d have had to find a barber, and then go through the porcess of getting a first haircut from someone. Once I was three weeks from break, before I really needed one, I decided to wait until I got back. I’ll probably do that Monday.

And I have to clean up our home computer. I had all sorts of files on it, and I didn’t get my laptop until after school, so this is the first time I’ll have had access to both of the computers. I’ll move a lot of my files over, and delete the last of the programs that I installed for me, and will never be used by anyone else. I’ve also got to do a bit of general repair–Adobe Acrobat doesn’t work anymore, or so my dad says. The computer has been somewhat slow, too, so we may go ahead and re-install Windows, depending on how much work I feel like doing. It would solve all the other issues, too. I should probably start soon so I can fix all the problems Windows will throw out before I go back to school. On second thought, that means we’d have to download all those patches again, and that would take forever on dial-up. Maybe that’s a project for Christams break, which is longer. Or I could take my laptop to the High school and use their broadband conection….

I’ve been on our dial-up connection for exactly two hours now, so I should probably log off.


As easy as falling off a …Bike?

You would think that I was done with bike crashes. The last major bike crash I remember was the day before second grade. I’ve crashed while rolling down a hill in my wagon, but I haven’t had a fall-off-the-bike, skin-up-your-hand-and-knee, tear-your-pants crash in a LONG time. The picture is what I did to my pants (luckily, my oldest pair I have here).

I was riding back from lunch at The Cove, and had purchased a bottled juice. I finished it, and filled it up with water. I was riding back witht he bottle in one hand, and just resting on the handlebar, when I encountered the speed bumps. Unfortunately, because of the bottle, I didn’t have a very good grip, and just had to hit the bumps straight on. Because one hand was pushing on the handlebars a lot harder than the other, when I hit, the wheel turned. and I put my foot down. I was still going too fast to stop, and my foot wasn’t in the position to brace myself, so I fell over, skinning my right hand on the pavement, and totally ripping out the right knee of my pants. I skinned up my knee pretty bad, but my hand was surprisingly uninjured, considering it slid a few feet along the pavement. Just a few cuts. This took place behing Mehling, about 100 yards from the back door of Villa. I walked back, put my bike away, and wandered upstairs, where I examined the extent of the injuries. I cleaned up as best I could, then got some Hydrogen Peroxide and gauze from the First-Aid Kit at the front desk. I had saved the strechy bandage from the blood drive, so that’s the green thing visible through the hole in the jeans. I also managed to scrape my elbow through the sleeve of my fleece sweater, but didn’t hurt the sweater.

The lesson: Use two hands to ride your bike, and slow down before you get to the speed bumps.

I’m a hero!

Sort of.

That what my blood donor card says anyway. In the top corner, it says “Type O Hero”.

There was a blood drive here at the University Monday, in the Mehling lounge. I went over after class, about 3:30. The procedure is diffent from any time I’ve donated before (once), volunteered (three times), or went with a parent (lots). You read the information, got the other form, and were instructed NOT to fill it out until you had talked to the nurse, who took your blood pressure, iron level, and temperature. Then you filled it out, and went back to the nurse, who reviewed it, and then you went to the cots to donate. Of course, there was a wait between each of these steps.

I don’t donate well, I guess. I ended up getting light headed, and had to lay down and use the paper bag trick. And when the nurse put me down, he accidentally pulled the needle out of the vein. He had only filled three of the five test tubes so far. I had the option of him drawing the last two tubes from the other vein, or not, but they can’t use the blood without the tubes, as they use the stuff in the tubes for testing. I went ahead and did it. I think part of the problem was that I didn’t have Intro to EGR on Mon, and had agreed to meet with Martin and Peter during class time. That threw off my schedule, and I hadn’t eaten lunch that day.


I noticed that in older posts, Blogger doesn’t show the lines I’ve been putting in to seperate the thoughts-I guess I’ll just revert to dashes, like above.


This is Homecoming week here, so there’s something going on most nights. Tonight, there was a speaker to talk about how to avoid overusing alcohol, and advocating moderation. They were offering a free ticket to the Homecoming dance for attending, ($10). I was intending to go, just so I’d have a ticket. I’m not sure if I wanted to go to the dance anyway, but if I could get a free ticket, I could make the decision later, and there’ll always be someone who wants a ticket. I forgot to go, however. The time just slipped by. That’s the third not so important thing I’ve forgot to attend, the other being a Wing Meeting, and a Soldering workshop. There’s another workshop on Thurs, though. I really need to remember to set the alarm on my Palm. It’s tied into my Outlook, so if I have my Palm, or am at my computer (or both), I get a reminder about the event. The problem is that the Palm is not set to turn on the alarm by default, and so events I enter on the Palm, I have to remember to manually turn on the alarm. Not a big hassle, just one more step to remember.


There’s nothing like the college life for doing things at all hours. During the space above this line, I played a game of Chess with James. He’s been bugging me for a while now, and just happened to ask about 12:30 as he passed by. I decided to go ahead, and discovered that not only was I mistaken about my own chess ability, but he understates his. Maybe 10 moves, and checkmate. It boils down to the fact that I’d been concentrating on all the other pieces, and frogotten to protect my king. I had his queen if he didn’t move it, but I didn’t see that he could checkmate me in one more move. He says he’s always up for a game, so I may play more often. Eventually, I’ll get better. I just hate looking stupid like that.


Now I wish i had learned to touch type correctly. I can get going pretty well sometimes, but I can’t do it without looking at the keyboard. Not that I don’t know where the keys are, just that I nned to look to make sure that my hands dont wander. I type with ten fingers, but he pinkys are reserved for the shift keys. Most of the buttons are pressed by my index and ring finger, with a few o fthe buttons towards the edge pressed by my ring finger. I can get up to 30 or 40 WPM, if I’m lucky, but it’s hard to type something from a source, as i have to look at the item, remember a line, turn back and type it, and repeat for another line. But in keyboarding, i was even slower, doing it the correct way, and there wasn’t really time to work on technique at the expense of speed. I don’t really want to take the effort to change now, so I’m stuck with a backwards method of typing that can only get so fast. And is prone to a lot of errors. I tend to push the space bar one letter too late or early, ending up with sentence sthat look reall uy fummy. (That and I’ll occasionally add or change a few letters, like in the last sentence.):) And recently, I’ve been having a real problem with typing a semicolon intead of an appostrophe. It;s really stange looking when I do it. But enough on that topic.


Nik has been cleaning up in the poker tournaments, I hear. He came back tonight, and had won $18 in a $3 buy-in tournament. He’s won a fair ammount of money in these tournaments, held several evenings a week, with varying buyins. Earlier in the year, he was playing online poker for real money, and had to put in $50 to join. THe problem with online poker is that the company is in business to make money, and they’re still in business, so they must be making money. If the average person made money, the company would go out of business. That and the fact that there are a lot of very good players meant that in the long run, a dollar or two at a time, he lost his money. I think his winings cover most of his online losses, though.

In a way, I’m glad he did lose it, as now I’m probably never going to join an online gambling society. I wasn’t planing on it, but now it’s definate.


Long post so far, and more to say, but I think I’ll call it a night.


Drink is evil

I can’t really explain what brings me to state that, but I’ll just say that it wasn’t anything I did. Situations get really complicated with alcohol mixed in, as some people are finding out tonight.

I feel like posting now, but don’t have that much to say. (That turned out to be an understatement. This whole post is me ranting about a member of the forum who was incredibly annoying. It probably won’t be interesting to anyone, except me.) Here I go!

In the Aloof Forum I’m a member of, there had been a member who just was rather annoying. In his first incarnation, Madeye always was complaining about the lousy features, or that Admin needed to fix something. Some of the things he brought up were actually valid concerns, but the way he brought them up was just horrible. He couldn’t take a joke, either. It just went downhill for a while, until he personally insulted two of the moderators. Apparently, they had been trying to decide whether to ban him, and that was the last straw. A few days later, Madeye Revisited registered at the forum, with his first post as “I’m Back! Ha, you thought you got rid of me” He went on about how he had realized what he did wrong, and would be better this time. He was around a few weeks, but on thin ice. Understandably, some of the mods (moderators, the people who oversee the forum) still didn’t like him, and edited a few of his posts. One ended with “I’m a crybaby”, which I think was added, but was not inconsistent with the tone of the rest of the post.

Now here’s where I come in. Up till today, I’d been ignoring the scuffle, or treating him like a regular member. But yesterday, a link to my site was in a prominent location on the forum, and he went to look at the page mentioned. He posted something like “Wow, I can’t believe your blog template, it looks so prefessional. Did you really design it?” I had just written him a long post about how things can be misinterpreted in text, and that he needed to understand that, both to be more conscious of what he wrote, and so he would not mis-interperet our posts. In response to his “awesome blog” comment, I said that, as an example of what I was meaning, I could have taken that to mean that I was stealing the template, but I wasn’t, because it came free with blogger, and I didn’t take anything out, so they must be okay with me using it this way. I also said that
“I’ll assume you were unaware of the way your comment came off, but be warned that I can, and eventually will, take things in the worst possible way.”

He posted this reply, which was a typical one.

I just cannot believe how people can underestimate my posts like this, this is some kind of joke right. You are trying to tease me right?
I was making a compliment, an honest compliment and there you do breaking it out to me that I am acusing you of stealing the template. This is ridiculous man!

He declared that he was leaving, which was the third time he’d done so, and was gone for a while. I wrote one more post, clarifying that the internet was not quite like real life, or more like a foreign country, and that he might say something offensive without meaning it. As long as one is properly apologetic, it’s no big deal. But when you don’t look/sound sorry, eventually, the foreigners think you mean to insult them.

Then he was back, complaining that the board was probably all ’18+s’, and that we demanded perfection in all things, and that we weren’t royalty, and that he always posts like this at another forum, and we just don’t understand him, but it’s not really his problem. He isn’t perfect, and we’re always guessing that he’s trying to insult us over the templates.

Still trying to resolve it peacefully, I posted back that regardless of what I had thought, I now knew that it wasn’t an accusation, and asked for a truce. He accepted. That was the end of last night’s posting.

When I got up Saturday, he’d visited the rest of my site, and decided that it was “a little messy but has amazing content”. He’d designed a layout for me to use. Now what was I supposed to do with that? I didn’t really like it, and despite his insistence that my site “wasn’t crap”, he’d called it messy. So I asked him why he thought it was messy. I ended up with a few decent suggestions, and some wasted time. He posted an image called “Nathanproof” to show me why he thought it was messy, and I guess he uses some strange skin on his machine, because everything was blue. Which made my red corners stand out too much.

Anyway, he went on to post in another thread, where a new user had posted a link to their site, and he’d, among other things, used a rolling eyes emoticon, and said that he had no clue what they were talking about. This evening, AloofKitten, the administrator’s wife, deleted the post, banned him from the forum permanently, while her husband simultaneously deleted his website.

I don’t know where along the line my opinion switched, but two days ago, I would have said that he was annoying, but that he shouldn’t be banned from the forum. But when he was banned, I was glad. Something about dealing with him personally changes your opinion. He just doesn’t understand anything, or ignores it. I have no idea how much advice he ignored over the course of his two lives here. I’m just glad he’s gone, and won’t be coming back.

And if that bored you, I’m sorry, but I feel better now.


my bike!

I got up late Thursday, as I am likely to do later this morning, and had only a few minutes to get to the commons. I went downstairs to the bike room, and my bike wasn’t there. I’ve taken to not locking it inside the building, but it took only a few seconds to realize that I’d left it locked up somewhere else. I quickly went over to the Commons, arriving at 9:31 (closes at 9:30), but Twila is nice, and will let people in a minute or so late (usually). I then went to my 9:45 class, then had to remember where I’d left my bike. After a minute of figuring, I remembered that I’d ridden it to class Weds afternoon, and then walked home (to the dorm) with someone, forgetting all about the bike. I apparently didn’t notice that I didn’t have it when I went back to philosophy, either. I’d wanted to be a bit early, and was reading the text on the way over, so I walked. It’s hard to read while riding a bike–I tried once.

But as I was saying, when I first got my bike, I rode it everywhere, but then I realized that it’s kind of anti-social, and now use it when I’m late, or whatever, but don;t mind leaving it behind to walk with a group. I usually would only do that if I plan to get the bike later, like after Philosophy. Leaving it out overnight is not the best idea, especially because I only have one of the infamous Kryptonite Locks–If I ever get registered, they say they plan to ship free replacements starting in mid-October.

off to bed so I have time to eat breakfast this morning–I think it’s Belgian waffles, but maybe that was yesterday. (It’s so confusing referring to ‘yesterday’ after midnight and before you go to bed.)