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.

Bell No-Mor Flats

no more flats

I am starting this blog post over from scratch…

Okay, so I have wanted to buy this for such a long time and I finally bought it at Wal-Mart, my favorite store (that was sarcasm).  They were the only ones who sold them for $20.  I was going to get it on Amazon because of how much I hate going in Wal-Mart, but Amazon wanted $30 plus shipping.  Screw that!  So I bit the bullet and we went to Wal-Mart.

I didn’t try to install it right away because I was still nursing a broken arm.  My arm was all healed up, but it still hurt.  I think I waited a week or week and a half before finally attempting it and it was not easy at all.  I tried soapy water, but that didn’t work because I didn’t drench it with soapy water.  I tried 2 other methods which one didn’t work and the other did, but the tube wasn’t in all the way like it should, and it popped the tire out on both sides.  I had a hell of a time getting the tire back in and scratched the hell out of the rim and even punctured the tire bead where it is supposed to fit into the rim.  Big mistake.  Now if I want to switch to a regular tube I won’t be able to because the tire has metal wires in it that are sticking out, so that will definitely put holes in the tube.  I was thinking about returning the No-Mor flats, but naturally I crumbled up and tossed the receipt that same day and that was weeks ago, so it’s long gone.

I did what I should have done the first time and that was Googling for videos on how to install it.  I didn’t find any videos, but I did find an “Instructable” where the guy was saying how easy it is and gave detailed instructions on how to do it.  My arms were (and still are) too sore to attempt it again, so I put the tube back in it’s box and put the tire and rim in the patio for a few days.  I just attempted it again by soaking the heck out of both the tire and the tube and I am still having trouble getting it in.  It’s just not working for me.  If this was as easy as that guy claims, then perhaps he needs to come install it for me lol.

Well, I have had this bike since 2004 and I think I am ready for a new one.  I’ve sunk so much money into this bicycle and it’s just a real pain in my ass.  It’s… get ready for this… a Wal-Mart bicycle.  Yes, I bought it at Wal-Mart way back when I didn’t know how homophobic they were.  So, I think what I will do is keep the tube and perhaps sell it on ebay or my Etsy page for $15 and call it slightly used, since I basically didn’t really use it, I just tried installing it and it didn’t work, but it’s REALLY clean with all the soapy water I put on it lol.

My birthday is coming up, so I think I want to get a cruiser at Target.  I know, you get what you pay for, yada yada yada…  But Target is a good store and the bicycles are Huffy, and that is a brand I have been familiar with since I was a kid.  I have more faith in Huffy than I do with the bike I have now.  The cruisers are $104 to $139 which isn’t too bad.  Of course I don’t have that much money to spend on well, anything actually, so I will have to set aside half of the money in June and pay for the rest in July.  It will be a late birthday present.

Whoever heard of someone buying their own present?  Screw that, I’m gonna ask for it and see who gets it for me LOL.

If anyone ever asked me if it’s worth it to buy the Bell No-Mor Flats tube, I would simply say NO!  But if you must have one, buy mine LOL.

Writing on and putting up walls

brick wall

I think as a human being we all have the right to our own happiness, right?  I mean, it’s what I would love to believe.  So when I write something silly or even stupid on my Facebook wall, blog and/or Twitter, I’d like to think that I shouldn’t get criticized or yelled at for sharing random personal information about myself.

When people start talking down to me and I have never even said boo to them, I build walls in my head and they usually never come down.  I like to think that I give people enough chances before I put up this wall.  After 42 years of having people treat me like dirt, the amount of chances a person gets goes down.  You have heard of the three strikes law right?  Well, I used to give people 3 chances.  But then I’ve heard the saying “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”  So screw 3 strikes, if you are rude to me a second time then that’s it, I’m done.  And believe me, when I say to you “I’m done” at the end of an argument, that means I’m finished with you.  I may not unfriend you, but I will remove you from any streams so I can’t see what you are saying and I will restrict you from seeing what I say in the future, that way I don’t give you any chances to be rude to me.

Why is it that people are always rude to me though?  I never say or do anything bad to anyone.  I’m never rude or belligerent with people on purpose.  I don’t tell people how to live their lives, so why do people do that to me?  I don’t get it.  This is my life, I pay the rent, I pay the bills, I buy the groceries, I am who is responsible for my life, not other people, so why do they feel the need to criticize me when I say something that is meaningless to them?  I never talk down to people because who the heck am I to do that to them?  So who the heck are people to talk down to me?  Screw them!  Who needs them anyway?

I have built so many walls that if I were building a house, I would have at least 1 floor of a 2 bedroom house completed.  I’m not joking either.  It sucks that I have to live this way.

I am just venting… sorry you had to see that.

Christmas Yarn That I Can’t Use

I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a few years ago after crocheting for 20 years.  I didn’t crochet every day, but the last few years that I was able to crochet, let’s just say I crocheted a lot and it ruined my hands.  Although I cannot say if that is what ruined my hands, but when I crochet, I get numbness in both hands and my right hand gets pinching in the palm.

I haven’t crocheted for several years because when I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I decided I would stop crocheting to give my hands time to rest and heal so that some day I might be able to crochet again.  That some day has come and I still can’t crochet.

Last week I gave away all of my yarn to someone who needs it more than I do.  I decided that I didn’t want to part with everything, so I kept the Christmas Ombre yarn which is a color that has not been made in at least 12 years that I know of, but I’m sure it hasn’t been made in more than 12 or 15 years.  I have held onto this yarn because I have wanted to make a Christmas blanket and had hoped that I could, but I just don’t see that happening.

Last night I decided that I was going to make one granny square.  I crocheted the chain, then did a slip stitch and began making a cluster and both of my hands went numb right away and I started to feel the pinching in my right palm.  I thought, screw that, I’m going to make this square if it’s the last thing I do, but I couldn’t do it.  I did make 3 rounds, but had to undo the whole thing because I decided against clusters, I wanted to make the clusters 3 double crochet stitches instead, but I couldn’t do it because of my hands.  It is sitting on my desk with the 8 chain round and 3 chain and 2 double crochets to make the first cluster, that’s it.

Why does it have to be this way?  I have been good, I haven’t been a bad person, why can’t I make a simple granny square?  Is it too much to ask?  I just want to make a simple blanket, why can’t I do it?  I feel like my skill has been amputated and that I am useless, not that I was very useful before, but I’m even less useful now.

Here I can sit typing out a post that is at count 411 words, but I can’t crochet one simple square.  It isn’t fair!  Why is it that my carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t apply to typing?  Not that I want that to be taken away from me too, but why is it I can do one thing with my hands, but not the other?  I don’t get it.

Ok, whatever, I am going to make this blanket.  I can suffer the pain enough to do one simple square every day until I have all of the squares that are needed to make a blanket.  Every time I complete a square, I can sew it to the one I did the day before, this way there won’t just be a ton of squares with no purpose.  I think I can certainly accomplish that… right?

So this is my new project, wish me luck!  I’m gonna need it lol.

The Golden Corral

Darrin has wanted to go to Golden Corral ever since they opened their doors last year, but we just never made it.  We tried to go there a couple of times but their line was so long outside the door that we just said screw that, and then we would go to either a chinese restaurant or Hometown Buffet.

Last night as I was about to prepare dinner, I emailed Darrin asking him what he wanted.  I gave him choices, Beef Ravioli or lasagna.  He emailed me back saying neither, he wanted to go to Golden Corral.  I was a bit irritated because I knew we would be standing in line outside for at least half an hour or longer.  Fortunately there wasn’t a line at all so we only had to wait 10 or 15 minutes to get to the cashier.

We have never been to a Golden Corral so we weren’t sure how things worked.  At Hometown Buffet you pay for your dinners and drinks and then get seated and go get your drink and food.  At Golden Corral you get your drink before you even pay, then they seat you and you don’t even have to get your own drinks, your waitress does that for you.  All you need to worry about is getting your food.

The only thing that irritated me was the cashier.  They have signs posted all over the place that said that it was 2 for $20 Mon-Thurs after 4pm and then under that “the whole restaurant.”  OK when you read that, what goes through your mind?  Food, dessert, drinks etc. right?  WRONG!  They charged us for drinks,  $2 each in fact.  That is a bit misleading and so I mentioned it to Darrin and made him ask the cashier and she started laughing at us.  That put me off because I don’t like being laughed at and that was a legitimate question.  I feel that it’s false advertising because the drinks are in the restaurant, so why wouldn’t that be included in the deal?  She told us “nice try” and we shrugged it off.

The choices of food at Golden Corral were vast.  They had this long salad bar that seemed to go on forever, across from that were the cooked foods where you had to stand in line for your steaks which you have to wait to be cooked.  Their steaks were so frickin’ good too.  I mean, can we talk?  Their steaks were so good that if it were possible to have an orgasm from eating meat, we would have been screaming “OH GOD, OH GOD” at the top of our lungs while pounding on the table with our fists, that’s how good it was.  I didn’t want to stand in a long ass line to get steak, but Darrin gave me some of his.  He on the other hand kept coming back with more steak and I didn’t understand how he was getting them so fast.

My first plate was a salad and oh my goodness, the thousand island dressing was so good.  I have never had thousand island dressing that tasted like that.  I love Bob’s Big Boy thousand island, but golden corrals was even better, and that’s saying something.  Next time I want to try their ranch.

My second plate had fettuccine alfredo.  Again, orgasm.  Their alfredo sauce was so freakin’ amazing.  I also had some bourbon chicken, I don’t know the exact name but oh my goodness, it was so fantastic.  I was in awe of the flavors that were dancing with my taste buds.

I went back for another plate because I am a glutton for punishment and of course I got more bourbon chicken, macaroni and cheese and a slice of pepperoni pizza.  I just had to have all of these flavors in my mouth all at once.  I knew my stomach couldn’t handle all of the food but I was just too curious.  The pizza was better than Pizza Hut and Dominos combined.  I kid you not, it was amazing.

I was already full by the time I finished eating my three plates, but I wanted dessert.  I went to stand in line for the desserts and I noticed a machine that was supposed to squirt batter into grease to make these little mini donuts, and there were these arms that were supposed to flip the donut so it could cook on the other side too.  I didn’t actually see any donuts being made because it didn’t have any batter in it because their donut bowl was already full, but my mind was blown away.

I grabbed a slice of chocolate cake and put 2 marshmallows on a stick and dipped it in some chocolate.  Speaking of which, they didn’t have a chocolate fountain like in the commercials.  I asked the waitress about that and she told me they were missing a part so it wasn’t working.  That was disappointing, but the taste of the chocolate on 2 marshmallows that I put on a stick made up for that disappointment; it was AMAZING!

They have really put Hometown Buffet to shame.  In fact, I have noticed over the last few months when we go there that they are always empty.  I mean not empty empty, but when we go there, we don’t have to wait in a line, we just go to the counter and pay for our meal and we don’t even need to wait to be seated because there is usually plenty of seating, and now I know why.  I guess when Golden Corral opened up, everyone abandoned every other restaurant in town, and with good reason.

We went to the Golden Corral on Ming Avenue here in Bakersfield and our waitress was Denise, and she was the sweetest waitress.  When the manager told us to come back, I replied “Oh we will, you can count on that” and I meant it.

My Computer Finally Works

What a bad time I have had with my desktop lately.  I will give you a quick recap of my situation.

First my video card stopped working so I bought a new one but it wasn’t nvidia like I should have bought, it was Radeon.

It didn’t work right away and I should have returned it to get an nvidia but I was so thick headed that I said no screw that, I want Radeon.  It worked but only if I didn’t turn my computer off but then the PG&E turned it off to install a new pole.  When our power came back on I couldn’t turn the computer on at all.

I read message boards that told me that if nothing showed up on the screen then my problem is power supply and I looked in the Radeon website and found out that my new video card needed a specific power supply.  I had to wait a month to buy it when I had the money.

The power supply came and it still didn’t work so back to the boards for help I went.  I read that it was the motherboard so I had to wait to buy that.  Darrin loaned me the money this week and it came on Wednesday and my computer turned on but it wouldn’t load Windows from my hard drive.

I discovered that my hard drive is ATA-100 and the book says it will accept ATA-133 but someone told me that ATA-100 is backwards compatible so it should work but it didn’t.

So on Wednesday night I bought a new hard drive and it showed up at my house yesterday.  I installed it and ran the Windows CD and it copied the Windows setup files to the new drive and rebooted.  When it rebooted nothing happened and my heart sank.

When the Windows setup came on the screen with mouse support I was ear to ear smiles.  But I wasn’t going to celebrate just yet, not until I had the desktop up on the screen and was able to start installing drivers and programs.  That is why I haven’t blogged about it until now, I didn’t want to jinx myself lol.

So I FINALLY have my computer back after 2 months of waiting.  I am so beyond happy right now.

My Frustrating Bicycle

I bought a brand new back wheel for my bicycle from the local bicycle shop, Snider’s Cyclry, in June.  They didn’t give me the rubber that covers the screws inside the wheel and the way I feel is that you shouldn’t even have to ask for it.  They should just put them in the brand new wheels when they take them out of the box so they don’t forget to install them when they sell them.

I assumed it had one when I bought it so I didn’t ask for it and came home and installed it without the rubber.  I noticed it didn’t have it and I didn’t feel like asking to be taken back there so I just covered it with black electrical tape.  I went 2 months with the tape on there with no issue at all.  Not one flat tire the whole time so I’m very confused as to why I can’t keep air in it anymore.

A week or so ago I got a flat tire so I took it out and the hole was right next to the valve.  I checked the black tape and it wasn’t covering the screw so I could see that the tape wasn’t the perfect solution.  I repaired the tube and put the tape back on the screw and filled it with air but I think because the repair was so close to the valve it just wasn’t going to work.

Luckily I had a spare tube so I took the wheel off and put the new tube on it.  Later that night I heard my bicycle fall down in the patio.  What the…  I took the wheel off and pull the tube out and it has a hole in the same exact spot on this brand spanking new tube.  Not wanting to waste the tube I decide that I really want to repair it and naturally the repair won’t work.

I haven’t been able to ride my bike at all in over a week because I didn’t have the money for a new tube.  Darrin went to Target and bought me a new tube but he bought the expensive Schwinn self sealing tube.

Since I knew the black tape wasn’t helping, I thought that I should try to make my own rubber screw cover by cutting up a tube that I had repaired way too many times.  It’s a little thicker than the rubbers that they normally use to cover the screws but it’s all I have to work with.  It was too long so I had to cut it and patch it.  The patch didn’t stay on so I decided to just hot glue it to the wheel lol.  I didn’t use too much glue so it shouldn’t make it too thick and if it doesn’t work out I can always remove it.  The glue peels right off very easily.

This morning I get on my bicycle to run down to the store and buy some milk for my breakfast and the wheel is flat.  I just installed it this weekend and rode it to the store once or twice on Saturday and it was fine all day Sunday so I don’t understand why it’s flat all of a sudden.

I took the wheel off the bike and removed the tire which was a huge pain in the ass because the tube still had a lot of air in it.  I finally got the tire off and put the tube in a bucket of water to find the hole.  When you see bubbles coming up then you know where your hole is.  No bubbles at all.

I put the tube and tire back on, put the wheel on the bike and fill it with air and it was fine.  I have even been checking it every couple of hours the whole day by squeezing the tire to make sure it was hard and it’s been fine.  All I kept thinking was thank goodness, I don’t think I’ll have any more issues with it.

JINX!

Tonight I was in the kitchen getting a glass of water and I hear a banging sound in the patio.  I go out there and my bicycle is on the ground.  It fell because the tire went flat.  I don’t understand.  I haven’t even been on the bicycle since I filled it with air.  The tire has no stickers in it so I know that isn’t the problem.

So my next thought is that maybe these expensive self sealing tubes have a glitch in the valve that when the blue or green gel is inside the valve it keeps it open a little so air can escape.

This whole thing with this back tire is really frustrating the hell out of me because I’m not getting any exercise because every time I go out there I have a flat tire.  There is nothing more infuriating than not being able to ride my bike.

Ok well, tomorrow I will clean the valve out and fill it with more air and see what happens.  I hope that works.  If it doesn’t then I’ll have to go out and buy some of the cheap tubes that don’t self seal.  At least the cheapo tubes last a heck of a lot longer than the expensive ones.

Friends of the Snowman Stocking is Finished!

I started making this earlier this year in May (you can see the date and time on the left) but halfway through making it I got bored with it because this was my 3rd stocking that I was making. So I figured, I still had about 7 months to finish it, I can certainly wait until November or early December to continue working on it.

I started working on it a few weeks ago but I could only do so much in one day because of my back. What I thought would only take me a couple of days to finish ended up taking a heck of a lot longer.

There are probably a few flaws in it like the fox’s mouth for example, I just could not get it right and that was my 5th attempt. I figure if this is the only way I can get it to look then so be it. I can’t make it any more perfect than that. After close examination of the picture I see that I missed a spot on the fox’s ear lol. I ran out of that color so I had to use the same color as the face. Screw it lol.

Tomorrow I will sew all the stockings to their felt backs then I will get another picture of all 3 of them together. I’m too tired to do that tonight because my back is absolutely killing me. I have one more day to go before time is up but I will get it done tomorrow.

The Situation With My Bike

A couple of months ago my bike bit the dust. Well, the back wheel did. What happened was, I rode it to the store and all was ok, it started wobbling but not enough for me to stop and take notice. When I left the store, I unlocked my bike, put the groceries in the bag on the back rack and left. That’s when it took a turn for the worst. Get it? It’s a wheel… it took a “turn”… no?

Anyway, as I was leaving the space that I locked it up at, I got on it and started riding away. It was wobbling something terrible and I got off of it but couldn’t see anything wrong. I got back on it and continued to ride. All of a sudden something terrible happened and I had to get off the bike.

The sun was going down so it was hard to see what was wrong but I did notice that the long screw that holds the wheel onto the bike in the middle had unscrewed all the way over on the left side. The nuts on the right side were missing and so was everything else that was supposed to be in there. I didn’t see anything on the ground so I don’t know when that happened.

I walked the bike home which was a huge mistake, I should have gone across the street from where I was to use Chips cousins phone to have him come get me and the bike because walking it home ruined the back wheel.

The end of the long screw was digging into the middle of the wheel which screwed it up so much that the bike store told me that they can’t fix my wheel, I’d have to buy a new one which is $39.95 plus tax plus $7 to install.

I don’t know if by install they mean they will take the gears (cassette?) off my old wheel and put them on the new wheel or if he means that the new wheel has all the gears on it and installing means placing it on my bike frame. All I know is if it’s the latter, why should I pay someone $7 to do something that I can do for free.

I have put so much money into this mountain bike of mine, I just can’t keep sinking more and more money into it. The only original thing that is left on it is the frame and the chain. Everything else has been replaced.

When I had my first accident on the Oak st. bridge, I had to replace the handlebar stem and a new front wheel. I had to replace the pedals because one of them was broken because it was cheap plastic. My seat was making me impotent so I had to buy an ergo seat which gave me back problems and shoulder pain that wouldn’t go away for 8 months which is why I had to replace the handlebars with beach cruiser handlebars. My front tire got a bubble in it and broke the wiring for my bike computer so I had to buy a new computer and new tires.

I’m just going to get the new wheel and get it over with. I need my bike back for going to doctors appointments. I refuse to take the bus to visit the doctor with lunatics getting in my face at the bus station downtown. I also need it for the daily trip to the grocery store and so I can get back on the bike trail and lose this weight.