There, I fixed it.

 

I told BW I wasn’t handy and I think this photo pretty much proves the fact. I had fixed this previously but it hadn’t stood the test of 60MPH winds so I’m hoping my much improved repair does this time round. Will see.

Oh, Hi! Where Have I been? April sucked here and it’s hard to write when you’re sad.

But April is over and to celebrate I bought myself a new bike!

It’s a “Fat Bike” because it has big tires but also because if I don’t try and offset the pie diet Im going to get fatter.

I popped into one bike store on the way home from work and was quoted $1500.00 for an entry level one so I left the store without one that day.

There’s carbon fiber, and titanium and OMG so many choices. Mountain, Road, Hybrid – the list goes on and on.

But I did find this beauty at Bikes Direct and it’s well, fine.

Also, It’s considerably less than $1500.00 and I did not want or could spend so much on a bike I am not sure I would ride, but I’ve managed to get a few rides in. My longest to date is just over 7 miles.

I wanted a fat tire bike because some of the time I am riding on gravel and I didn’t want to have to worry about skinny tires also plan on riding this in the winter too in the snow. If you lower the tire pressure about 4 lbs, which seems ridiculously low (BW’s bike has 60lbs in her tires) but makes for a nice comfortable ride.

It takes some getting used to though: In some ways it feels like you’re riding this:

Also I have noticed the technology has changed some and repairing and fixing bikes seem in some ways to be harder and in some ways to be easier. When I was a kid, if you had an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver you were set, but now… did you know that there’s different valve stems on bikes now? And almost everything can be tweaked with a few allen tools?

I managed to put it together from the the box but I’m no bike mechanic it seems. I could not figure out for the life of me how to get the plasting shipping piece off the wheel so i pushed it in too far into the wheel and it took me hours to figure out how it comes out. Also, I put the forks on backwards the first time around. So, I’m learning.

But, mechanical ineptitude aside I’ve been having a lot of fun. I did replace the original tires with some bigger tires that barely fit but they do. I figure if you’re going to have a fat bike have a really fat bike. This thing is so silly you really don’t need brakes as the tires are so big that you can almost coast to a stop thanks to the rolling resistance of tires.

So yeah, monster truck for a bike. No broken bones so far.

I am very proud of myself though because I managed to fix BW’s bike. She had a very warped wheel but with $20 of tires from eBay she’s back on the road and now we can go for family bike rides this summer.

It’s getting cold in here

And it’s a good thing I bought the bike when I did because just after our furnace died just days after.

So, I called Lowes. And they were no help at all. They wanted to me to come in and shop for a furnace in the store, as if I knew what I was buying. Right.

I needed a new furnace and that’s all I knew.

A quick call to home depot and I had a guy here in a half an hour. No really. It was amazing.

We told him we didn’t want to throw more money at our old one that technically still worked but it would take all morning to get to room temperature.

A half an hour and some signatures on an iPad and we had a new furnace installed a week later.

Oh, the cost? FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. (Goodbye new bike upgrades).

We got a Lennox model of some sorts. After I bought it I asked my friend who does this for a living if it was a good brand and his reply was that it was “junk”.

Junk or not, I don’t know yet. I do know that tonight I’m warm as I’m typing this and there’s a long warranty with 24 months, no interest. I’m good.

Speaking of Service..

They say bad luck comes in threes but at the rate we are going we might top that. Up next, our dryer crapped out.

Of course it’s just out of warranty. So I called somebody local because I didn’t want to pay Sears or Samsung to fix the thing. They don’t fix top loaders they said. Okay then…

I call the next guy. Same answer. And so it went. Lots of calls and no repair guy.

I called Samsung and after going through all the troubleshooting hoops (“is it plugged in?”) I get the answer I already knew from the sticker on the door – the dryer is out of warranty.

On a whim, I call Lowes where we bought it and they pull up BW’s file and tell me that yes, the warranty is over but the drum is still under warranty. I’m not quite sure how some parts are under warranty but the dryer itself isn’t but hey, whatever.

The next day the repair guy calls and says he’s local and ten minutes later BW’s dryer is fixed. For free.

 

I’m still baffled by the warranty on this thing.

Lastly, the dog might have cancer.

BW took it in for the yearly tuneup and was told it might have mammary cancer. They took tests and all came back inconclusive so it’s just business as usual. The dog seems fine (other than being a bit stinky)

That’s all for now. Hope to get back into to writing regularly again. 🙂

 

Chair Apparent

Let me start by saying that BW thinks this is all my fault.

It started with a bookcase, which admittedly was my idea. I had wanted a bookcase so I could evict BW from her library in the basement to make room for my new office space.

My logic was that if we got a bookcase for the dead corner in the basement then we can toss some of her most used books in there- the rest can go in the basement and then I would have a lot of space for my man cave. Sounds good right?

Well… as I wrote about before we are good at measuring the space where the bookcase was supposed to go but we were not good at realizing that it would have to also fit downstairs – which it didn’t.

That left us with some thought about what to do? The bookcase can’t stay in the living room.

Or…maybe it can.

After some thought and realizing we had two choices: make the bookcase fit upstairs or sell it and try again with a smaller bookcase we decided to move the old couch over so if faced the wall instead and toss the bookcase against the only wall in the house it could go.

BW had already bought one chair:

Which is a very nice chair and once we saw how ugly our couch really was I suggested that we might as well get another chair to match because…what the hell. YOLO.

Then there was the issue of the couch…

Our couch was U.G.L.Y. . It was very comfortable (ask the dog, or me) but it was not the prettiest thing and now with all the other nice furniture in there the couch really stood out like a sore thumb.

A few days later after a trip to BW’s favorite store once again we found a couch:

And some lamps, and and end table or two.

This new couch is not as comfortable as the old one, but it looks a lot nicer and thankfully I have another couch in the family room that I can still nap on. This one is so new I am afraid to sit on it.

If you thought that this story was over though you’re wrong.

While at the store buying the couch – what did we see? Another bookcase that matched exactly to the one that’s in our living room. And this one fits down the stairs.

So in a circuitous route that took us from buying a bookcase to a whole new furniture rig in the living room and then back again to finding a bookcase that would fit in the corner of the family room I can say that we are done.

We almost left bookcase number 2 at the store because $$$$ but it turns out this 2nd bookcase matched exactly to the one in the living room. It’s not a close match – it’s an exact match so we figured we had better get it or we would be kicking ourselves later.

Add a crappy new table from Target for fifty bucks, and we are done decorating the living room and now it looks like a scene from mad men.

dog not included

I have to say that this looks much better than how things looked before.

The old leather recliners are moved downstairs into my office (and I’m sitting in right now!) and the old coffee tables got moved to the family room which is probably the next room to get a cash infusion once we recover from this room.

This actually worked out very well for all parties as this new bookcase has a perfect spot for my tube amp and speakers because what’s really important is not how the furniture looks or the bookcase or the funky new lamps – what’s really important is where the stereo will go?

This setup works well and hides cables yet there’s room for my little speakers in the corners for the important listening sessions.

The important thing is the stereo stays. I will get used to the uncomfortable couch.

This Doesn’t Look Right

I came out this morning to go to work and I saw this:

Now I am not the handiest guy in the world but somehow this doesn’t look right.

This fence is toast. I had to prop it up with some small pieces of wood and leave it in the closed position all the time as the last time it was windy it did this too. So in a way this is not a surprise.

But it seems my ‘fix’ does not withstand gusts up to 60MPH.

It looks like there’s a new fence in our future.

Yay.

Final Steps

Yesterday I finished the last steps as a new citizen.

One was technically not required as a new citizen as I would be just fine without it. I updated my nexus card information to reflect my new ‘status’ here in the US. I had hoped I could use the online system to do so but I had to drive to Niagara falls to get all sorted out.

Both the US and Canadians had to update their info and of course the Canadian border officers were much nicer. (we can’t help ourselves).

BW and I travel to Canada a fair bit because we’re only an hour away door to door from my home to ‘home’ and family so the nexus card sure is handy to avoid lineups at the border – especially in the summer months due to all the tourists and Niagara Falls.

It’s funny – we have been to parties and have been asked if we are staying overnight. NO…we’re going home – the dog needs let out to pee.

Social security was next. Again, I assumed the worse because – government office. But the wait turned out to be five minutes and the officer was nice and even congratulated me on my new status.

All in all a pretty good experience.

Now all I need to do is vote.

Signs of Spring

A few signs that winter just might be over..

BW has added another $100 box to the collection. Now I have to bring home my sandwich bags from work so they can be taken care of properly. You should see the trouble I get in if I forget.

The 2019 Corvettes are out.

The tulips I bought BW

My new bluetooth headphones for my birthday.

Peanut Butter Pie for my Birthday Pie

BW’s new favorite chair

Another Pie!!

There’s hope for our flower garden for another year

New Kicks!

Fluappalooza

This weekend was recover from the flu weekend for BW so we laid pretty low as BW was only conscious for some of it anyway.

Before I go any further I want to state that I did not create this flucollage. This is BW’s work

 

I never knew you could create a flu-selfie, but as the photo shows you can apparently.

A few other things are happening here:

  1. The dog is on the bed!! ON MY SIDE!!!
  2. BW is the only one i know that would take a photo of the flu test strip.
  3. There was a lot of dayquil consumed. Also tissues….
  4. I told her not to but she can’t help herself – she was working while she was sick.

I tried to tell BW that the world would continue turn at work without her for a few days but she’s so dedicated she just had to.

The good news is that we’re at the end of a week of the flu. BW wanted to go back to work Monday but I asked her to wait a day.

She should be on her feet by Tuesday. We hope.

Moving on…

My bluetooth adapter for my car died and with just classic rock FM to listen to it’s hell on wheels – literally. I have been spoiled with the adapter I had as it just worked and allowed me to get caught up on some of my podcasts which makes the drive a breeze.

This little orb just plugs into the cigarette lighter. It’s much smaller and nicer looking.

The Amazon Fairy also bought me an early birthday present for my birthday later this week (there’s still time to buy me a gift with 2 day shipping) : )

What would you think I would buy myself for my birthday? The old me would have bought some technology of some kind like a google something or some cables or speakers or something that I was afraid to tell BW what it costs.

But seeing as I am the tidy husband , I bought myself….

A vacuum cleaner!

This is actually the second vacuum cleaner I have received as a gift. The first one was a floor sweeper from my MIL so I could vacuum up the dog hair when we had the laminate flooring installed and we realized our vacuum for the carpet.

I never knew I needed this until I realized how dirty my car had become over the winter and I was going to toss 2 bucks into one of those vacuums at the gas stations but then I realized that it usually costs about 3 bucks because you never get it all with the 3 minutes the thing runs for. So for another 30 bucks I bought my own.

I really didn’t have high hopes for this but it works great – or at least as good as the car wash one. The best feature is it has a blower attachment so you can blast all the crumbs and stuff from the tight corners and between the seats and the dust in the air vents that you can never seem to get out.

It also vacuums up dry muddy dog prints from the back seat (we know who you are)

But it wasn’t all hard work here – we even had a bit of time for some fun.

To summarize, BW is getting better and I have more cleaning supplies.

What more could a guy want? 🙂

The Appointment

I applied for my US passport last week. I filled in the forms and made copies of all the required documents and went and I had a passport photo all ready to go.

I’m ready. Off to the post office I go.

I get to the desk and say I would like to apply for my passport.

“Do you have an appointment? Asks the Clerk.

No, I replied

“You need an appointment – you can book online”

I looked back at all the other people waiting in line. Except, the place was empty. I was the only one there. It’s a small post office in a small town so I have found over the years it’s busy – or depnding on time of day you go and some luck, you are the only one there and that was the case for me.

No sense arguing. I went home and made an appointment. It should come as no surprise when I tell you that the day was wide open for me to pick a time for passport application but so it goes.

The following day I go in and the very same clerk who told me I needed an appointment was waiting for me. As it was early in the morning – again I was the only one there. The only difference between my first visit and now was the appointment.

 

This is not a big deal and it will all end well but after being interviewed and had physicals and more fingerprints and ‘biometrics’ than I can count I was hoping that this final step would be the easiest – but nope – I had one more bureaucratic hurdle to jump.

Next up: the SSN office. Stay tuned…

Pie Day

It’s Pie Day!

Is this country great, or what?

I stopped at our favorite grocery store to pickup some things on the way home from work and there was a big sign that said happy pi day (because it’s March 14) but I thought they meant it’s PIE DAY so of course being a brand new American citizen I had to celebrate accordingly.

Because what’s more American than eating Apple Pie on Pie Day? I’m just doing my part. (or, slice).

Look what the Dog Found

This is why we can’t leave the wild animal alone because she find trouble to get into. Today was some candy wrappers that BW saves because she is now the recycling queen.

BW had them stuck in a empty peanut butter jar and in a bag on the floor. I can only imagine the dog watches us leave and as soon as she sees taillights down the road she goes straight for it.

Today, the dog found a prize.

The prize we get? BW has the FLU

Half a Pie

When BW came back this weekend from her conference, she also came back with half a peach pie.

If I had to guess I got the leftovers from a party and that’s okay by me.

Today’s Lesson: Half a free pie is better than no free pie.