Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A crazy little thing called lug

Steer tube
Originally uploaded by iTripped
For a while now I have been looking for a new (to me) bike. I already have a mountain bike but found that I was missing the days when I rode a nice road bike, in my case an older Cannondale. So for the past month or so I have been scouring craigslist in search of a suitable bike. Now people on that site (and other sites too) can sometimes flog a lot of crap. There are loads of overpriced bikes and the real gems tend to go quickly. I have also noticed that what I want in a bike has changed, or at least has evolved.

Specifically, I fell in love with lugs.

Lugs, for those who don't know, are the corner pieces that hold the metal tubes in a bike frame together. Most modern bikes no longer use them because welding technology has advanced to a point where they aren't needed. But in losing lugs, road bikes also lost one of the parts that made them more than just a bike. Frame builders used to put personal touches into the lugs, making them ornate and adding character to the bike. Some could be considered to be more like art than anything else. The more I searched online the more fascinated with these beautiful bikes I became. Which brings me back to craigslist. Since virtually no bike maker still uses lugs (they add weight to a notoriously weight conscious product) I am resigned to find what I want as a used product. So long as I can find what I am looking for, this is okay. I would love to ride a bike that has a history that begins before me. I want to be able to tell that story. It is part of what would make such a thing special to me, especially since I probably cannot afford to hire some retired bike builder to make me a new one. (Although I haven't ruled that out completely either.)

In the end it boils down to getting something that not only can be used to commute to the office, but something I will enjoy riding. Otherwise, what is the point? I might as well walk.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I gots nothin

Sometimes, posting to this blog can be very difficult for me. I just have nothing to say. By contrast, posting to Louise's blog is easy to do: take a photo or two, pick the best of the bunch and generally write about what was going on when I took it. Mention any dog-specific things I happen to think of and voila! A new post is born.

Maybe it is because this blog is way less focused. Actually, I think that is exactly why I post less here. Well that, and I also prefer to include a picture of some sort too, and well some days, all I have to show for my efforts are dog photos. I've taken pictures of our cats before, but they are indoor animals and honestly, how many pictures of a cat on the same sofa does the world need?

It is also possible that I've been affected by taking Derek's advice: I started listening to CBC podcasts, specifically As It Happens (a favorite I got used to when traveling from Vancouver to Vernon every weekend) and Ideas. One is stylized news and the other is weighty, intellectual stuff like pondering Quebec's place in Canada by men with tenure at universities. Not at all the same calibre of writing that my reader(s) enjoy here. One could argue that I am fresh out of ideas of my own because I'm busy dwelling on the ideas of others.

Oh crap, now I have another podcast to download - it seems Derek is soon to be featured on Spark, yet another CBC podcast. I swear to you, he's poisoning my mind with all this intellectual stuff.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dave and Noel, Sun Walkers

Dave and Noel, Sun Walkers
Originally uploaded by iTripped
So this morning was the day of the Vancouver Sun Run, and a bunch of us from work participated. It's one of those events I look forward to every year now, even though I haven't been in it very long. The distance is just right, the route is through downtown and Kitsilano, and there are bands scattered all along the course which adds that 'something extra' to the run.

This year I walked it with Noel, who was pushing his son in a stroller. This relegated us to the back of the pack and with the stroller we weren't exactly going to push through the ranks without injuring other people. We finished just before the race went into hour three (but we didn't start until about 1:15 after the 'official' start.) We crossed the finish line with the 'Hiking Vikings' who were also wearing Viking hats.

So yes, every now and then I do post a picture of me on my blog. Enjoy it Mom.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Park Bench

Park Bench
Originally uploaded by iTripped
Not every picture I take comes out the way I would like. But sometimes the ones that don't turn out as I expect still have something about them that I like. This is one of those shots, where I was disappointed that it was slightly blurry at first, but now kind of like the look.

I took this one while walking the dog and didn't put a lot of energy into it - I just saw a couple on the bench and went with it. Louise of course wanted to go over and introduce herself - luckily I was able to distract her enough to head in another direction as to not disturb them.

The empty bench in the shot is the same one from a few days ago that had crows perched on it. Same setting, different tone.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Land Yacht, white elephant

I don't have a car. But I am a car enthusiast. I like sport cars, off road vehicles, old cars and convertibles. I'm not a fan of four doors or practicality as a rule. Which is probably part of the reason I don't have a car.

If I was to buy a car, practicality would rule my decision making. It would have 4 doors. It would be economical. It would be an automatic. It would be most things I hate in cars and very few things I like, because those are the only cars I can justify owning.

So I suppose it is only fitting that I see cars like these at the marina where I walk the dog. Expensive. Curvy. Uneconomical. Just like most yachts. It only makes sense that the people interested in expensive boats are also interested in expensive cars. They are the only ones who can afford to fuel 'em up.

Oh ya, I included two car photos to appease other enthusiasts. Some like 'em big and old while others like 'em small and new. Whatever. Both of these cars made me say 'ya, that's cool.'

Monday, April 07, 2008

Crows on a bench

Crows on a bench
Originally uploaded by iTripped
I posted this picture because it is way more interesting than the only decent one I got today at Shabusen when we went for all you can eat sushi (and Korean BBQ too). It was a memorable trip because my wife and I happened to get a secluded table that was nice and intimate. So much so that we also had a great view of the near-fistfight that broke out among the staff.

My wife was so impressed she instructed me to tip extra.

Nobody got hurt and other staff jumped in to separate the two before they could make the situation worse. Of course, this brought on the 'drunk fighter' syndrome out of the waiter - you know the moment, where one guy, who is being restrained by friends, struggles to get free so he can cause a fight. If he wasn't being restrained though, how hasty would he really have been to take the first swing? Experiences with my friends has lead me to believe that restraint builds a lot of bravery.

Two Crows
Originally uploaded by iTripped
Which brings me back to the crows. Normally they don't let me get quite this close, even with a zoom lens. The crows in Vancouver seem to know when a person is pointing something at them and associate that with a hostile action somehow. Anyway, these two didn't seem to mind at all and let me take a few pics before we moved on.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bright lights, dim city

Coal Harbour lights 2
Originally uploaded by iTripped
I was trying to photograph the lights from Grouse Mountain this evening and was a little surprised to see how well the street lights turned out in an earlier photograph. That lead me to do a little experimentation and this was one of the best of the resulting bunch.

I really need to delete a few thousand photos off my hard drive by now.

It was a nice night for a walk and I finally got the opportunity to get a decent photo of Cadero's (a restaurant at the marina that has a nice orange glowing sign). Most of my earlier attempts have been blurry or grainy but tonight had a better mix of light I guess. Anyway, I also uploaded that photo to my flickr account if you are curious. I left it darker than most because I liked the overall look better that way.