Collapsible Box For My Bike

My bike with a collapsible box

I keep saying that my new $5 back wheel is just a temporary fix and that I’m not going to put any more money into my old bike, but then something happens and I need to put more money into it.  It’s just something that I needed to do to be able to continue using my bicycle.

I think that when I had my accident, the rack got bent somehow because when I put the $5 thrift store wheel on, the rack was pressed up against the wheel.  In order to continue using the rack, I had to unscrew it from the bottom and screw it back on crooked.  It still works, but now my problem is that when I am riding with the townie basket full of groceries, it pulls the rack closer to the wheel, which makes it very difficult to ride.  I tried putting the townie basket on the other side, but then I wouldn’t be able to lock my bike up correctly the way I have been.  The townie basket is in the way and the only way I could lock it up is to bring the basket with me.  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

My partner bought a $5 collapsible box from Dollar General and I wondered if one of those would work.  He bought me a box and I didn’t put it on right away because I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that.  I had 2 options, put it on the way that I did, widthwise, or lengthwise.  I suppose it would work either way, but I just figured that if it were lengthwise, the back wouldn’t be sitting on the rack and it would probably eventually break.  I needed some time to think of how I was going to do this, and today I did it.

I was sitting in my room and suddenly it just clicked.  I thought to myself, I wonder if we have some wood in the back yard that I could cut and put under the box to support it.  I went back there and found a long piece of wood, so I measured 2 pieces the length of the box and cut them. I drilled holes in the bottom of the box and the wood and screwed them together, but the flat head is on the bottom so nobody can unscrew them from the top. The top is just smooth caps so they look riveted. I had leftover wood so I put that in the middle so you can’t really see it. When I was done putting the wood under the collapsible box, I drilled holes in the bottom of the box through the wood and into the rack, but only enough to mark where I was going to drill through the metal in the rack. 3 holes. Of course I had to remove the rack, wouldn’t want drill holes in my wheel. Also it would be very difficult to screw the screws tight into the caps if I have the wheel in my way.

So that was all that it took.  I don’t have any assurance that the box won’t eventually break, after all it is very thin cheap plastic, but it was only $5 so it wasn’t a huge investment at all.  It was a fun little project.

My old townie basket was fabric, so it wasn’t as sturdy as a plastic box.  It only held 1 bag of groceries, of course when I say 1 bag I don’t mean plastic, I mean those reusable fabric bags that they sell at the grocery stores.  This new collapsible box will most likely hold 2 bags which will make it so much easier for me to buy a bunch of groceries on my own.  Whenever I go to the store, I usually have to make sure I only buy a few items, or whatever will fit in 1 bag.  I also had to be careful with weight.  Now neither weight nor quantity is an issue.  I can make the trek to Food Maxx or Dollar General and easily buy 2 bags full of groceries and not have to worry that the groceries might fall out.  Although, I better be careful with pot holes.

The only issue is that when the box is open, it’s close enough to the seat that I’m kind of sitting on it.  It doesn’t make a huge difference to me, but I’m just afraid that I might put too much pressure on it.  I’m sure it would be fine though so I’m not going to worry about that.

The other issue is that I won’t be able to use it at night because it blocks my back light.  I don’t normally go to the store on my bike at night anymore since I had my accident.  I had the accident because it was dark and I didn’t see the thing that I ran over which flipped me off my bike.  Since that happened, if I have to go to the grocery store at night, I walk.  Not having my back light while the box is in use won’t be a real issue because I don’t ride it at night, however, there might be a day that raining and I would normally have the light during the day, but I think that if it is a rainy day, I will just stay at home and wait until it’s not raining, or we can take the car.

I like it and I can’t wait to be able to use it the next time I go grocery shopping on my bike.

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Health Update

Health_Update_rainbow

In my previous health update on my back I mentioned that my recent x-rays showed that my spine was curving like a parenthesis (.  Today I had my appointment with the physical therapist who told me that it was like that on the top, but the other way on the bottom, so basically it’s in an S shape.  ( on the top and ) on the bottom.  I like to think that I am such a huge Superman fan that my back is turning into the Superman S, which means hope on his planet, of course.

The physical therapist office wants me to come in 3 days a week for my therapy.  They gave me some homework exercises to do in the morning or at night, but at least do them daily.  She also suggested that if I could go swimming, I should.  I told her I didn’t have a pool and because I have a weak immune system already, that it’s probably not a good idea to use a public pool.  I get bronchitis if someone coughs 30 feet away, I can’t imagine how sick I will be if I’m in a pool with children lol.  She suggested that my bicycle is a better alternative since it doesn’t cause pain.

Today I also went to have a cat scan with contrast, which by the way… ick!  All I taste and smell is Iodine lol.  They will hopefully find out what the problem is with my swollen parotid gland so they can fix the problem.  My regular doctor suggested surgery, but the ear, nose and throat doctor doesn’t know my doctor’s diagnosis and isn’t exactly sure why he should care.  At least that’s how it seemed to me by the way he spoke to me.  He didn’t seem to have any of my doctor’s notes or even know why I was there.  I basically have to start from scratch with him as if I have never come to any doctor with my problem.  It would be nice if when a doctor refers you somewhere that they tell that doctor why they are being referred.

I will see my regular doctor this Friday and the ENT doctor on Monday.  The place I went to today for the cat scan said it would be released to both doctor’s offices in 2 business days.

I woke up in the middle of the night with THE worst headache and pain from my saliva gland.  I was also sick to my stomach so I had a PB&J.  Right now I have nausea and all I smell is Iodine still.  I hope that goes away soon lol.

More updates as they happen. 🙂

Cycling again… FINALLY!

noom cycling 2013-07-20_09-51-23

Today was the first time in a very long time that I have been able to ride a bicycle for exercise.  Of course I used the Noom app on my Android cell phone.

This is the map, but the statistics are wrong.  The app froze at a few points and I was not given credit for 3.5 miles.  I mapped it out on Google Maps and the roundtrip ride was 11.8 miles, but I was able to add what I missed manually so I got credit for it.

The reason it froze is not the apps fault, I believe it’s that the music was causing it to freeze.  I wasn’t using the built-in music player, so I think that with the Noom app running and other apps running caused my phone to freeze up.  I also kept getting phone calls from home and I got a notification from Facebook and from eBay and from my emails, so I feel that everything was causing my phone to become slow.  So I don’t blame anyone but my phone itself for that happening.  Whatever the app doesn’t record, I can add in manually so I’m not worried.

It’s been a very long time since I was able to ride my bike.  In January I was 264lbs and I was worried about riding my bike because it says in the manual for the bike that it has a weight limit of 250lbs and at that heavy weight, I was afraid I would break something, so I just didn’t ride it.  I waited until I was 245 to ride it again and every time I tried to ride it, the back tire would go flat.  I lost more weight and bought a Bell No Mor Flats tire from Wal-Mart (it was the only place I could buy it) which was a huge mistake because installing it ruined not just the rim which was practically brand spanking new, but it also ruined the tire.  I tried using a tube and I don’t know if it was the scratches in the rim or the wires sticking out of the tire that popped it, but the tube wouldn’t stay inflated.  I was saving money for a new bike because I couldn’t see myself spending $30 – $35 for a new rim and $20 – $25 for a new tire.  My bike was originally only worth $60.

Fortunately we found a thrift store nearby that had a used rim and a used tire and they sold it to me for… wait for it… give me a drum roll please…  $5.  That’s it.  I saved $50 or $60 and saved myself from having to buy a new bike.  Check it out.

bike 1 july 20 2013 bike 2 july 20 2013

I wore my Black Nashbar Bib Shorts with my black Noom shirt and I put my wallet, my phone and my keys in my Noom backpack and set off with only my Noom water bottle to quench my thirst.  I actually didn’t think I would be riding more than I did, so I didn’t bring my Camelbak.  Next time I go out, I will load my Camelbak in my Noom backpack and put my keys, wallet and phone in the front pocket.  Although, I may put my keys in with the camelbak so they don’t scratch up my phone.

When I came home from my walk I was pleased to see that my Nintendo 64 had sold on eBay for $28 plus $21 shipping, so I took a walk to the post office to pick up a Priority box (if it fits it ships), so naturally I did a walking workout, so my total calories burned today was 736 with that extra 3.5 miles added that the Noom app missed on my bike ride.  I normally get a 1400 calorie allowance for my meals, but with the amount of calories that I burned today, I can eat 1770 calories.  Not that I will eat that many, but I know that if I feel hungry for an extra snack, I won’t feel guilty about it.

Today was also weigh-in day and naturally I didn’t lose any weight this week, which is disappointing, but now that I’m exercising again, perhaps this will kick my weight loss back in gear.  I hope so.

noom cycling bike store 2013-07-20_11-34-43 Oh and one more thing.  The spot that I stopped and rested at on the bike trail just so happened to be near a bicycle shop.  That’s the place where I bought my beach cruiser handlebars many years ago.  The store is called Finish Line.  You can’t see their sign or logo in the map, but that’s what they are called.  There is a seat right there on the bike trail which is where I took a break and that’s where I turned around to come back home.  There is a bridge right there too, so if I ever need to, I can cross the bridge and park my bicycle somewhere and go in and buy whatever it is that I need.  Not that I will need to mind you, because I usually buy all of my cycling supplies from Nashbar or Amazon.  I probably won’t need to go in there, but it’s nice to know they are there in case I do need to.

You have no idea how happy I am to be able to ride my bike again.  I really want to finish losing the rest of this weight, of which there is really only 23lbs.  I feel that if I could lose 70lbs with diet alone, I can certainly lose 23 more pounds easily with diet and exercise.  I’m so psyched!

Why does Target want my social security number to help me save 5%?

target logo

So I finally got a new rim and tire for my bicycle so I can start riding my bike again, but I didn’t get a tube, so we went to Target.  The new tubes were only $4.99 each and I bought 2.  At the check stand, the checker asked me if I was saving 5% with them and I said no and she asked me if I wanted to apply, it’s free, so I said eh, why not.  Naturally she had to void everything and start all over.  She asked for my ID and she asked me to tap something on the screen that you pay with a credit card on, then she asked me to type my social security number.  RED FLAG!  No, nope, nuh uh, no way, forget it, not gonna happen Baby Jane Hudson.

Why does Target need my social security number to help me save 5%?  It makes absolutely no sense.  I can see if I were applying for a credit card or if I were applying for a job, but she said it’s a rewards card, not a credit card.

She had to cancel it all out again and start over.  I paid for the 2 tubes and a bottle of soda and we left, grumbling about it all the way to the door and out to the car lol.

I just don’t understand why Target needs my social security number for that.  I had a rewards card with Albertson’s and all they asked me for was my home address, phone number and email address.  No problem.  I don’t mind giving out that information, but when it comes to my social security number I become suspicious.  Where is my tin foil hat?

I love Target, I really do.  I was upset when I couldn’t shop there because they had donated money to an anti-gay politician and was thrilled beyond belief when I could shop there again.  I was thrilled when they started carrying LGBT t-shirts and had a gay wedding registry.  I have always loved Target since I was 16, but this is just going too far.

So no Target, you can’t have my social security number to help me save a measly 5% on my future purchases.  Perhaps someone can explain to me why they need that.  I would love an explanation.

Earrings for Men

checkered 1

I’ve been so focused on making the keychains and keychain style earrings for women that I totally forgot that I actually wanted to make earrings for men so I could make some for myself.  I finally figured out how to make the studs out of the plastic lanyard “gimp” by only making a couple of stitches before gluing them and sticking them to plastic studs.

black and white 3

This is the pair that I made for myself, I made another pair to sell.  When I was a kid, my parents bought me a pair of Vans with the black and white checkered pattern and for some reason I’ve been a fan of the checkered pattern ever since.  I made one in every color, except for orange because when I mix the orange with black, the orange is translucent so it turns brown.  It’s not pretty.  So I have red, yellow, green, blue, purple and white with black.  I made them in all those colors to sell, but I will be making myself one in each color.

gold and silver I also have a pair in silver and a pair in gold.  The silver is a solid silver ribbon with a mirror finish in clear gimp.  The gold is different though in the sense that it looks gold, but it’s sparkly.  When you look at it and tilt it, you see the little color spots seem to change color with the lighting.  I honestly don’t know how else to explain it.  I would have liked to have bought some solid gold like the solid silver with the mirror finish, but they didn’t have any.  They had the same type of silver as the gold, but I wanted solid silver.

These studs aren’t just for the studs, ladies can wear them too, of course.  I also have the Breast Cancer Awareness pink color in solid pink, pink and white and pink and black.  Anyone can wear those actually.  You don’t have to be a woman to wear them, you can be a man who wears them in solidarity, or whatever reason you have for wanting to wear them.

pink 1

I am quite proud of my ability to make these earrings.  I have listed them on Etsy for a mere $3 a pair.  I didn’t want to ask too much for these earrings because I am not a professional, these are just a hobby and the only reason I am selling them is to help pay for a new bicycle so I can start losing more weight with Noom.  Which reminds me, I’m going to make some solid green earrings for myself for when I start riding my future bike.

So to respond to the men who have asked for earrings, here you go.  If you would like a specific color combination, there is a link in every pair of earrings listed for requesting a custom color.  Just tell me know which two colors you would like and I will make them.

Week 23 with @Noom

week 23 profile

Today is the first day of my second week with my second goal and I have lost less than 2lbs.  I was so hoping to lose 2lbs or more.  On the last day of my first goal I was 200lbs on a Friday, two days later on Sunday, I weighed 199 and a day or two later 198.  So, to still be at 198 sucks.  If I was 198 on a Tuesday, then wouldn’t you think that by Saturday I would be 197 or 196?

I am not going to stress myself out over this because at least I lost weight this week.  I could have hit a plateau and I could still be 200lbs, or worse, so I am going to take this as a positively as I can.

My profile says that I have 0 workouts per week, and that is because I never plan a workout since I don’t have a bicycle.  My back is always in pain and if I decide I want to go for a walk then I will do it, but I don’t want to feel pressure to do it by my phone.  I have an app called Squats that is constantly beeping and reminding me to do squats, but I am always in too much pain to even get out of my chair or get out of bed, so I just ignore the reminder.  When I do go for a walk, I am in agony the entire time.

My pain:

I have not really explained the pain I feel with degenerative disc disease.  I am not a scientist or a doctor, so I can’t really know for sure that this is happening, but with degenerative disc disease, your discs are well, degenerating, they are wearing out, they are thinner than they are supposed to be so it feels like my spine bones are grinding together.  It feels like I am getting 10 shots all in the same spot all at the same time.  I also have nerve damage in my back, so I can’t feel the skin on my back, so when I am touching my back in the area that I am having pain, it’s like I am touching someone else’s skin.  I wish that it was in reverse, where I can feel the skin but not the pain in my spine, but it is what it is.

So now you know what happens when I try to take a walk.  I go out and I am fine for the first 5 minutes, but then my pain starts to come on gradually, by 20 minutes the grinding is intense.  These walks might take 30 to 40 minutes so you can only imagine how I am feeling by the time I get home.  Oh and that’s only 2 miles by the way.  It’s not really that far.  This is what my walk looks like.

walk 2013-06-08_10-45-10

This is the last walk I went on.  I went to the post office to drop off a package, and then I decided to just keep walking.  You can see where it says Oleander/Sunset, that’s where I live, where I started walking, the bottom right is the post office.  I went South to the post office, then West, then North, then East and then South to come back home.  That is a typical walk, and that is only 2.07 miles.

It’s not a lot of distance, but it’s way too much for my back to handle.  I insist on walking this far because I want to succeed.  No pain, no gain, right?  Although the pain they are referring to is from muscle tearing while you are working out, not your spine grinding, but still.

I would love to go for walks everyday and for a lot more distance than just 2 miles, but it’s just too painful, so I can only do it a couple or a few times per week.  I wish that I could fix my bicycle or buy a new one, but I just can’t afford it right now, so walking is my only cardio option for now.

I am hoping to lose more than just 1.8lbs next week, but I am not going to put pressure on myself if I don’t because I can only do so much with what I have.  Like I have said in the past, at least I haven’t hit a plateau or gone back up in weight.  Let’s see where I am at next Saturday.

Exercise

may 29 walk

I have really been neglecting my exercise throughout this entire diet that I’ve been on using the Noom app on my Android phone.  I have no excuse, but I really do lol.  With my degenerative disc disease in my spine, it’s difficult to walk long distances and I don’t have a bicycle anymore since my last accident which caused me to break my arm.  So the only thing I can really do is walk, which again is hard on my back.

Yesterday I took a vicodin and went out and just walked as far as I could with my Noom swag on.  I was in pain from the minute I left the house until I came home, except the pain was excruciating by the time I came home.  But, what other options do I have?  As you can see from the picture above, I walked 2.21 miles at an average speed of 3.4 miles per hour for 39 minutes and 30 seconds and I burned a total of 263 calories.  It’s not much, but it’s the best I could do.

I hope to get a new bicycle some day, but money is always tight so it’s really difficult to save anything.  I am selling the keychains on Etsy and whatever I get from that will be saved so I can buy a bike.  Of course, I probably won’t sell very many.  I’ve only sold 1 and the profit from that was like $1.87 or something.  So yeah, I don’t expect that to help me buy a new bike.

Until I can buy a new bicycle, all I can do is walk.  It’s free, although I don’t know how free because it does come with a huge cost, and that’s back pain.

I plan on going out again today because I know I should get SOME exercise lol.