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!

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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.

Old Bike Logs

I used to have a page on my blog which showed what my current bike route was with a log that I kept from my old bicycle computer.  Now that I am using the Noom app, everything has changed.  The Noom app keeps all of my rides in the phone and backed up on their website so I never have to worry about logging.  But I figured I would keep these old logs so I can go back to them to see how fast or slow I used to ride compared to how fast or slow I ride now and the future, if that makes sense.

Below is the original text from the original bike logs…

When I started riding my bike for exercise some time in late 2008, I bought a bicycle computer so that I could find out how fast I was going.  I didn’t know that this 20 function computer was going to give me such a wealth of information.

I started logging it on index cards because I knew that they would last longer than if I had typed them out in a file.  Things get deleted and removed, case in point was when my blogs database had crashed.

So here they are with an explanation of the gaps in time between rides.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
11/03/2008 6.81 10 38 345
11/05/2008 9.014 10.7 50:35 436.6 43.5
11/06/2008 11.231 10.9 1:01:54 536.2 53.5
11/10/2008 18.290 10.7 1:42:33 835.7 81.2
11/11/2008 17.521 11.1 1:34:32 813.7 85.2
11/13/2008 11.907 11.0 1:05:13 552.1 57.6
11/14/2008 11.804 11.4 1:02:29 559.3 61.6
11/15/2008 11.851 11.8 1:00:32 556.7 63.0
11/17/2008 11.644 11.9 58:37 565.3 64.4
11/18/2008 11.804 11.6 1:00:52 558.7 62.5
11/20/2008 2.131 10.6 12:05 106.7 11.0

That seems to be all of 2008.  I am not exactly sure why I stopped then but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the cold weather and not wanting to freeze my balls off at any time of the day.

I started back up in the spring of 2009

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
04/14/2009 9.273 10.6 52:25 439.2 43.7
04/16/2009 9.589 10.3 56:07 454.7 44.7
04/17/2009 10.396 11.8 52:57 494.7 57.0
04/19/2009 16.603 11.8 1:24:14 780.5 90.0
04/22/2009* 10.396 12.2 52:00
04/23/2009 10.339 11.7 52:51 488.0 56.0
04/27/2009 10.412 11.4 54:40 499.8 55.0
04/29/2009 10.434 12.0 52:25 529.0 59.6
04/30/2009† 7.155 11.1 38:40 357.2 38.2

Notice how my average speed has been in the 11 range with the occasional 12?

* I dropped the bicycle computer, it reset so I lost the rest of the information.  I knew my dst, avs and time but not calories.

† This wasn’t a riding day, I went to the mall on the bike.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
05/03/2009 10.419 12.1 51:42 525.6 60.7
05/04/2009 10.379 11.9 52:23 498.1 57.6
05/06/2009 10.473 11.9 52:49 526.1 60.3
05/06/2009 10.374 12.3 50:38 501.8 58.9
05/11/2009 10.358 12.1 51:21 508.2 57.8
05/13/2009 11.368 12.2 55:56 557.0 64.9
05/15/2009 12.816 12.6 1:01:00 635.1 76.8
05/17/2009 13.441 12.3 1:05:30 640.9 76.6
05/19/2009 13.580 12.8 1:03:50 670.5 80.3
05/20/2009 16.615 13.0 1:16:41 831.2 101.5
05/21/2009 12.726 12.9 59:12 634.6 77.0
05/23/2009 12.669 12.4 1:01:26 617.7 73.1
05/25/2009 10.276 12.5 49:18 500.6 59.6
05/27/2009 12.740 13.1 58:19 645.9 78.3
05/28/2009 10.376 12.9 48:11 526.1 62.1
05/29/2009 12.781 13.0 59:11 655.3 78.8

Notice how my average speed has been in the 12 range and occasionally 13?

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
06/02/2009 12.722 12.8 59:45 662.2 79.1
06/03/2009 14.285 13.5 1:03:25 749.2 91.9
06/04/2009 14.247 13.4 1:03:54 730.4 90.4
06/08/2009 16.410 13.2 1:14:51 818.0 101.0
06/09/2009 12.707 13.3 57:18 659.9 80.0
06/10/2009 12.896 13.3 58:00 670.7 81.0
06/12/2009 16.376 13.8 1:11:02 858.2 106.7
06/13/2009 16.348 13.6 1:12:11 858.8 105.2
06/15/2009 16.337 13.6 1:11:51 680.3 105.7
06/16/2009 16.324 13.4 1:13:03 841.2 102.5
06/18/2009 16.366 13.5 1:12:42 848.6 103.6
06/19/2009 16.497 13.4 1:13:56 858.5 104.7
06/20/2009 16.351 13.7 1:11:46 850.6 105.2
06/22/2009 16.413 13.6 1:12:44 862.4 105.5
06/23/2009 16.323 13.6 1:11:51 853.2 104.9
06/24/2009 16.380 13.0 1:15:25 824.9 99.8
06/25/2009 16.359 13.0 1:15:24 813.0 99.0
06/27/2009 16.187 14.0 1:09:13 864.1 106.4
06/28/2009 16.481 13.2 1:14:56 848.3 102.7
06/29/2009 16.490 14.0 1:10:55 869.8 107.3

Notice how my average speed has been in the 13 range and a couple of 14’s in the end?

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
07/01/2009 16.503 13.8 1:11:57 870.4 105.5
07/02/2009 19.112 13.7 1:25:00 1002.8 122.4
07/03/2009 19.118 13.9 1:22:54 1008.3 123.7
07/05/2009 20.286 13.6 1:29:30 1067.1 133.2
07/06/2009 20.099 13.9 1:26:41 1075.1 132.0
07/07/2009 20.132 13.5 1:29:46 1043.6 127.4
07/09/2009 20.536 14.2 1:27:01 1093.9 135.9
07/10/2009 21.047 14.0 1:30:33 1105.7 135.8
07/12/2009 16.490 14.0 1:10:55 869.8 107.3
07/13/2009 21.051 14.4 1:27:33 1121.8 140.0
07/14/2009 22.199 14.1 1:34:15 1180.9 147.0
07/16/2009 22.198 14.2 1:34:03 1178.4 146.3
07/17/2009 16.783 13.5 1:14:22 883.7 106.4
07/18/2009 22.859 13.9 1:38:38 1198.0 146.1
07/20/2009 22.985 14.0 1:38:39 1212.5 148.0

Notice how my average speed started out in the 13’s range but then the rest of the time it was in the 14 range?

July 20th was my last ride because my new ergo bicycle seat hurt my shoulder so bad that I couldn’t stand the pain enough to continue riding.  I bought beach cruiser handlebars so that I could ride again and it did help with the pain.  I did try to ride in October.

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
10/05/2009 7.331 10.4 42:19 357.6 34.6
10/06/2009 3.883 10.2 22:59 183.1 16.3
10/07/2009 5.446 10.8 30:11 259.5 26.4

Notice how I didn’t go very far?  I was in so much pain that I couldn’t really go that far from the house before having to turn around.  After 3 days I gave up.

My shoulder pain eventually went away on it’s own without any help from any of my doctors despite waiting 8 months for appointments.  I could have been out on the bike trail but I just wasn’t into it anymore.  By July I had enough of the weight that I had gained back so I tried going back out there.  Here is my log.

Date DST AVS Time Calories Fat Calories
07/17/2010 22.559 11.9 1:54:07 1011.9 113.2
07/18/2010 22.489 11.0 2:02:34 965.5 97.1

Unfortunately, the next day after my last ride logged the nut on my back wheel came out as I was riding to the store and I had to walk the bike home with groceries.  The axle really screwed  my wheel up and that was the last time I was able to ride my bike.  I called the bike store and they told me $40 for the wheel and $10 to install it.  It was difficult as it was to pay my bills and I just couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money.  So… that was the end of that until June 2011 when I finally bought a new wheel.

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)

Date DST AVS Time Cal Fat Cal
07/06/2011 17.172 11.2 1:32:12 868.5 91.6
07/08/2011 22.920 11.9 1:55:52 1162.9 131.3
07/09/2011 22.902 11.5 1:59:18 1132.6 124.2
07/12/2011 22.971 12.2 1:53:16 1160.9 136.2
07/14/2011 22.923 11.9 1:55:20 1159.5 131.6
07/19/2011 22.904 12.5 1:49:44 1169.4 139.9
07/21/2011 22.589 12.8 1:46:09 1176.4 140.8
07/23/2011 22.900 12.7 1:48:10 1219.9 146.5
07/24/2011 22.864 12.7 1:48:09 1208.0 144.5
07/26/2011 22.867 12.9 1:46:00 1193.7 145.7
07/28/2011 22.953 13.0 1:46:08 1198.8 144.9
07/29/2011 23.014 13.3 1:43:53 1226.4 150.1
07/31/2001† 13.030 12.3 1:03:29 671.6 79.6
Date DST AVS Time Cal Fat Cal
08/02/2011 23.159 12.7 1:49:12 1197.0 143.3
08/06/2011 23.019 12.6 1:50:01 1156.7 137.1
08/09/2011 22.986 12.6 1:49:44 1178.5 139.1
08/10/2011 22.979 12.6 1:49:27 1176.7 138.7
08/13/2011 23.022 12.5 1:50:34 1167.0 138.5
08/14/2011 23.055 12.5 1:50:54 1167.5 137.7
08/16/2011 23.031 12.8 1:47:59 1181.1 141.9
08/17/2011 23.259 12.5 1:51:27 1173.1 138.7
08/18/2011 23.089 12.4 1:51:22 1150.2 136.0
08/22/2011 23.460 12.3 1:54:14 1184.6 138.5
08/25/2011 23.009 12.2 1:53:14 1141.7 131.8

*DST = Distance (miles), AVS = Average Speed (mph)
†Rain

I tried to ride again in the Spring of 2012, but I had gained so much weight that every time I sat on the bike, the back wheel would deflate.  Even going to the store, I would end up walking the bike and the groceries home.  I tried pumping the tube up, but even just sitting in the patio it would deflate.  I changed the tube and the same thing happened with several tubes.  I don’t know what is wrong with it.  There isn’t a thorn in the tire and the tubes don’t have holes in them, I checked by inflating them and dunking them in water.  Their valves aren’t malfunctioning, so I really don’t know why they won’t stay inflated.  I am determined to ride in March 2013 even if that means buying an airless tube despite the reviews saying if you are over 200lbs it always feels like riding on a flat tire.

Kinivo BTH220 Bluetooth Stereo Headphone

 

Kinivo BTH220 Bluetooth Stereo Headphone

My new headphones arrived today and I am beyond excited about them.  At first they didn’t fit me and I was ready to throw in the towel and pack them back up to ship back to where they came from, but I gave them another chance and now they fit me like a glove.

I watched a few YouTube reviews which I know I shouldn’t do because they almost always put the product down and compare them to higher end products, but these were okay and gave it a high rating for its price.  One guy said there was a bit of space where sound escapes or whatever, and that is true, it’s not air tight, but when have headphones ever been air tight?  Who cares!

I did call myself on the phone so I could see if I could hear it ring and I did and it answered like it was supposed to when I pushed the button.  So cool!  That’s the issue I had with my other phone when I was riding my bike.  It would be in my camelbak and I couldn’t get to it in time because I’d have to pull over and take the camelbak off and find it and by then the person hung up or was leaving a message.  Sometimes I’d have it in my pocket in my shorts, but it gets uncomfortable in there and I’m always afraid the phone will drop out as I’m riding and I will never even know.  Nobody ever calls me except for my partner, but he is why I have a cell phone, so if I’m out exercising on my bike, he will be able to get in touch with me, or if I have an accident I can call either him or 911 depending on the severity of the accident.

I activated the voice dialing feature and it asked me to choose between the voice dialer that came with the phone or Robin which is an Android’s Siri challenger (it’s free in the Google Play store).  I chose to use Robin by default because the voice dialer that came with the phone sucks.  It never recognizes what I say.  If I say “Call Home” it calls my friend Ruth lol.  At least Robin understands me.

The sound quality is actually amazing.  I pressed the button once and it automatically started playing music that I had on my phone.  I thought I would have to load the music but I didn’t.  It’s more amazing than I thought it would be.  I press the button once to start and stop the music and when it starts back up again, it continues where it left off.  I loaded Noom to begin an exercise and it started, but I could barely hear the voice talking, which is actually fine by me because I don’t want to hear how fast I’m going or how many calories I’m burning.  Surprise me!  I’m actually going to mute that during workouts.

The headphones are very good and I am so glad I bought them.  They are definitely going to come in handy when I begin cycling this Spring as my cardio to help me lose weight.  I normally ride 22 or 23 miles per day which is a bit much for some, but it’s enough for me.  It’s not too much, I could go more but I just don’t want to.  Obviously I haven’t tried them to receive a phone call on the bike because the bike is missing a back tube, but I will find out in a couple of months and I will try to remember to update this post.

I highly recommend these bluetooth headphones.  Mind you, I base my opinion on wearing them for 10 minutes so this isn’t really a review at all, it’s more of a hey it was awesome for the first 10 minutes, you should try it.

If you do have a pair of these, please do me a favor and comment and tell me how you like them and what you use them for.

Update: I wanted to give an update on these since I’ve had them for a week.  The instructions say to charge it fully, then let it drain completely, then charge it again and drain it again.  Holy crap, that is taking forever to do because the battery seems to go on forever.  I’ve already drained it once and that took at least 3 days to do.  I’m on day 2 of trying to drain the battery for the second time.  The way I’m doing it is to just play music all night long.  Well, it has an 8-hour battery right?  Well, 8 hours pass and it’s still going strong.  I use it the whole day and then play music all night again and it’s STILL going.

One of my concerns when I bought these headphones was that it wasn’t going to last my 2-3 hour bike rides, well that’s out the window because I could probably ride for 3 days straight before the battery died lol.  So no worries there for me now.  That’s actually a relief.  The box says 150 hour standby time and 8 hour talk time, so I’m just guessing that if you don’t use them too often, don’t expect to have to charge them more than once or twice a week, if that.  These are damn good headphones in my opinion.  So worth the $30 I paid.

Oh and one more thing.  The sound is AMAZING!  What is it that the annoying reality celebs say?  AMAZEBALLS?  Well, that it is.  The sound is so awesome and you don’t lose quality from that space between the headphone and your ear.  The headphones seem to be a bit stretched out more than it was when I first opened the package.  It goes back to being small, so it’s stretchy I guess lol.  Stretchy hard plastic.  Yeah.

I was watching a YouTube video with Karl Pfeiffer (Ghost Hunters Academy and Ghost Hunters International) and his voice sounds perfect.  It’s not too loud, it’s not too low, it’s exactly the way it should be.  Before I couldn’t watch his videos because the volume on my monitor sucks, same with my Chromebook.  I can finally hear him with these headphones.

Oh I was told in video reviews that you can fold it and put it in the little pouch that they included with the headphones, but they don’t recommend doing that because the plastic gets too loose when you try to fold it.  It stops snapping into place in other words.  So I’m going to take their word for it and keep them open at all times and never store them in the bag.  I’d rather they be in plain sight anyway.

That’s all for now.

My Net10 Phone is Rubbish

I have had my Samsung T401G Net10 cell phone since last summer when I started riding my bike. I bought it through the Net10 website as a refurbished phone and I only paid $25 for it. I also got a free $25 phone card so technically I got the phone for free. I chose this one because it’s the one that Darrin had. I’ll admit that I was a little jealous because all of a sudden he had a better cell phone than I had, although now he has an iPhone…

I have had issues with my phone from the very beginning. When I activated it, I had to go through a process of typing codes in the phone through the prepaid menu. I wasn’t sure if the issues were because it was a refurbished phone, but I didn’t care because when it finally worked I was able to make phone calls, and that’s all that mattered.

I started out with the $25 750 minutes monthly plan, but they failed to charge my debit card every month so I was forced to buy phone cards instead.  I have had to add minutes every month from their website. I wanted to do it directly from the phone, but their menu doesn’t offer the cheaper $20 phone card. You have to buy the $30 and up. I didn’t want to do that so I had to do it on the website.

Darrin bought me a phone card in the beginning of December and it was the $25 plan again. When you go with their plan, they are supposed to automatically charge the debit or credit card that is in your account, but they failed to do so and my phone was deactivated. I tried to reactivate it by getting the $15 200 minute monthly plan, but it didn’t accept it for some reason so I had to call them.

I was on the phone with Net10 yesterday for 90 minutes. They walked me through a very tedious process of pressing codes in the prepaid menu like I had to do when I first got the phone, but that didn’t work. The operator I spoke with had reactivated the phone and added my minutes with the 30 days, but unfortunately my phone itself never reactivated. So he said that my phone was not working and that he would send me another one and then I’d have to return my faulty one back to them with a prepaid envelope.

When I asked him why they didn’t automatically charge my credit card for the monthly service on the first, he replied that it was the phones fault. Um, isn’t that the responsibility of the website, not the phone?  My plan was in their system, so they should have automatically charged my credit card $25 on the first of the month.  They didn’t and now it’s the phones fault?

It doesn’t matter, I am going to keep all of the minutes that are still on my phone from last months plan, get 200 minutes from the $15 I paid for the day before yesterday and then in another month I will just go back to the $25 750 minutes plan. If they don’t charge me automatically, I will just have to make sure that I am keeping up with it by going to the website.  It’s a schlep but what else can I do?

I noticed that they are now selling android phones, the LG Optimus Net and Q. The Q just has a slide-out keyboard and it’s about $20 more. I am not too happy with their service because I rarely have more than 2 or 3 bars and when I am downloading games, it always gets interrupted and I have to start over. Maybe because it’s a faulty phone though (that was said with a hint of sarcasm).

That’s another thing, I had spent a lot of my minutes buying games. I have 8 games that I paid for and now I will lose them because my new phone isn’t going to have them. I think I would be more pissed if I had paid for those with actual money, but considering I will be getting all of my minutes back from last month, I think I can either buy them again with my minutes, or just not worry about it because I never even played them.  If I had the android phone then I think it would be more worth my time playing games than it is with this crappy phone.

I will have to wait 3-5 days for my replacement phone so I will be out a phone until then.  It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it.  I only ever use it for texting with Darrin so it doesn’t really matter because he can just email with his fancy schmancy iPhone 4S lol.

I want to upgrade to the LG Optimus Net this summer for my birthday because I can use my wi-fi to use the internet with it when I’m at home.  When I am out on the bike trail this summer, I will be able to make twitter and Facebook updates.  I couldn’t do that with my current phone because it didn’t store my long difficult passwords and I could never remember what they were to log in every time I wanted to update.  Also, an Android phone has apps like the WeReward app and the QR code scanner.  Not that I really need to scan QR codes, but it would be nice to have that option.

It’s funny, I rarely ever use my cell phone, but I am being tortured by not having it to play with.

New river park area aims to attract visitors, wildlife

New river park area aims to attract visitors, wildlife – Source Bakersfield.com

A train whistle sounded in the distance as Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall cut a thick blue ribbon Wednesday, signifying that the Uplands of Kern River Parkway is open to the public.

“Imagine it on a 60-degree day instead of a 110-degree day,” Hall joked to a small crowd of mostly city and county officials who stood under a canopy overlooking the Kern River.

While the Uplands park — which was funded with a $1.4 million state grant from Proposition 50, $314,000 from city Park Improvement fees and $275,000 from the city’s agricultural water fund — seemed more desolate than lush, officials were optimistic the park will come into its own….”

Some time in the beginning of June I started riding my bike to the Bakersfield bike trail.  I didn’t make it too far before heading home.  Around mid-June I took it to the next level and continued along the bike trail all the way to Manor and noticed these new seating areas.  Only one of them is different from the others, it has a telescope, none of the others have that.  They were all closed but they opened on June 22nd.

They are really nice aren’t they?  It’s too bad I can never use it.  Why you ask? Take a look at this:

No bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, in-line scooters or horses.  So, if I’m riding on the bike trail, I can’t pull over for a rest.  Or does that mean that I can’t “ride” the bike in there?  Do they have any rest stop police to make sure I don’t get to sit in there?  Uh no.  They don’t have anything saying so.

I’m not quite sure what this sign means.  Am I allowed to walk my bike along the wooden path in the dirt then prop it up on its bike stand then go sit down and rest?  Probably not because it’s apparently not intended as a rest stop but more as a bird watching area.

It says in that article from the city of Bakersfield that they want to encourage more animals to come:

“The whole purpose is that once the trees mature, it’ll draw some animals and birds to that area,” said Hoover, “birds and animals that people can watch and just observe.” She said kit foxes, beavers, egrets and blue herons, among other native species, will likely return to the area.

Is that really such a good idea to have more animals along the bike trail?  As it is there are a ton of squirrels in the parks over by Yokuts and Beach Park that run across the bike trail and get squished by bicycles.  There are tons of jack rabbits and lizards that get squished along the bike path just where these new parks are too.  I squished one lizard already (and I felt terrible, just terrible about it) and I’ve seen people who were in a group of like 10 bicycles that have squished a jack rabbit.

When you are riding your bike on the bike trail at such fast speeds, you can’t slow down or stop for an animal.  If one person starts to slow down or comes to a complete stop because of a rabbit or a fox or a beaver, the whole lot of the riders will crash and some could end up injured and in the hospital.

I don’t encourage more animals along the bike trail because that just encourages more accidents and dead animals.  If they are going to put in a fence to protect the animals then that is one thing but I don’t see that happening.  And they can’t stop people from riding their bikes on the “bike trail” because that’s what it was intended for.

What I wish they would have spent the money on is bathrooms.  There aren’t any bathrooms along the bike trail, couldn’t they have spent some of that money on porta-potties?  Or maybe perhaps building mens and women’s restrooms with those fancy new seating areas?

If you start out at Beach Park then you have a bathroom to go to.  If you ride your bike all the way down to China Grade Loop you will notice that there is not 1 bathroom.  I’m not saying I have to go to the bathroom too often but I mean seriously, I’m drinking 2 liters of water over 18 miles that I ride every day.  I haven’t had to go pee but there have been times that I had to go number 2 and it would’ve been nice if I had a bathroom to go to.  I try to go before I leave the house but it doesn’t always happen at 5:30am.

The new seating areas are nice and all but I just see them as a huge waste of money.  Also, I haven’t seen 1 person sitting in one of them.  I saw an old couple who I see walking every morning walk into one but I’m sure it was to look around and see what they have.  I can see this as being a fun thing if it weren’t so close to the bike trail.

An Idiot Abroad on Science Channel

I totally forgot this new show An Idiot Abroad was supposed to be on today. It’s on during one of my shows but being on basic cable it repeats. I thought about it tonight and luckily it was on demand so I could watch it instantly.

If you haven’t seen The Ricky Gervais show on HBO then you probably don’t really understand why they are making fun of him on this show. I have only really seen a few episodes, last night I watched 2 episodes on HBO On Demand to catch up a little on the 2nd season so I can prepare myself for what I’m going to see in An Idiot Abroad.

All I have to say is that Karl Pilkington is HILARIOUS! Some of the things he says is so out there that you just can’t help but to laugh out loud, literally out loud. So loud that your neighbors are like, what the hell is he laughing about over there?

Other times during tonight’s episode I was thinking, if he’s an idiot for saying some of the things he said then I must be an idiot too because I would’ve said the same thing. I mean for instance, he was in the bathroom in China and there were no toilets, actually there was 1 toilet but I’m sure it was for older people who can’t squat. The other stalls were just holes in the ground, or ground level toilets. There were walls separating them but no doors.

I agree with him on the doors part, but mostly I agree with the squatting thing. I am so glad we don’t have those kind of toilets here in the states. Also, no toilet paper… what’s up with that? Can you imagine going to the bathroom and not cleaning it up then going back to work with a stench? Uh no, I don’t think so.

We do have stalls here in Bakersfield in the parks that don’t have doors.  When I was riding my bike to the bike trail for exercise, sometimes I would have to go really bad and trust me, that’s the only way I will ever use a park bathroom, if I just can’t wait to get home.  I’d go in there and there are no doors.  Sure the walls are really high but that doesn’t help me.  I need a door for privacy.  What if someone walks in and passes me?  So I use the one on the far end so nobody can pass me then I have my bike kind of sitting in there so I can hang onto the front wheel if someone tries to steal it.  So imagine me sitting on the toilet while holding my front wheel with no door on the stall.

I don’t think that Karl is an idiot, I mean to the degree they are calling him one. I think that he says some pretty smart things and I applaud him for being able to go out of his comfort zone against his will and just deal with it and do what he was told because there is no way I would’ve been able to do that.

The food alone is a reason I wouldn’t be able to do that. I have so many food issues, I’d end up starving. Or I’d end up getting fatter off all the potato chips. I’d have to pack loads of energy bars just to keep me from starving when I refuse to eat the frogs or the bugs.

Well this is a show I will be adding to my TV page I so I don’t forget to watch it every week.  It’s on Saturday nights at 10 e/p on the Science channel.

Update 2011-02-02: I spelled his name wrong, it’s Karl, not Carl.  Who’s the idiot now?  It looks like I am.