Toastmaster Bread Box 1155

wheat bread

I took a trip to the thrift store yesterday, well, my intention wasn’t to go to a thrift store, but while I was in the neighborhood, I figured let’s go check to see what they have.  I was actually hoping to find a hot air popcorn popper, but instead I found a bread maker machine.  They had at least 5 of them, but this one had the little paddle inside of it, 2 of the other ones I looked at were missing that.  I didn’t look at the other ones because they were smaller than the one I found.

Okay so I’ve never made bread in my life and I’m 43 years old.  I have always wanted to, but never tried it because I knew it would probably be a lot of work because you have to knead the bread and what not.  I have a habit of burning water, so I was afraid of trying to bake my own bread.  This machine does it all, so there is literally no muss, no fuss.

toastmaster bread box

This is what the Toastmaster Bread Box 1155 looks like.  It was quite disgusting on the inside and outside, but I cleaned it up so it looks practically brand new.  It was only $5.95 plus tax, so how could you not buy it?  I knew I was taking a huge risk because you never know if what you are buying at a thrift store will work, but it works just fine.

The bread maker was cheap, but the ingredients for making wheat bread weren’t.  I went to the store to buy everything I needed for making wheat bread and it came to $30.  Ouch!  But, the good thing is that I will get a lot of bread with those ingredients, so the money I will save will make up for that.

Good wheat bread is expensive and you never really know what is inside your bread, so at least now I know what I am putting into it.  It’s basically water, oil, lemon juice, salt, brown sugar, dry milk, bread flour, whole wheat flour and active dry yeast.  That’s it.  100% whole wheat bread is the same, except I don’t use bread flour and it takes 1 hour longer to make.

White bread is unhealthy, but it’s basically all the same ingredients except there is regular white sugar and you don’t use whole wheat flour.  I don’t plan on making white bread unless it is requested.

My first time making bread was a success, but I thought I screwed it up because I used the whole wheat setting.  Well, I was making whole wheat bread, so naturally I thought I had to use that setting, but it turns out I only need to use that setting if I am making 100% whole wheat bread with all the ingredients minus the bread flour.  Since I made regular wheat bread, I should have used the basic setting which takes 3 1/2 hours.  Now I know.

I’m particularly excited about making other things with this bread maker like spiced pumpkin bread and banana bread.  The machine didn’t come with a manual or a recipe book, but I did manage to find them online all in 1 pdf file.  The recipe book has many good recipes, but I will probably only make wheat for our bread and the pumpkin and banana bread for special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  They also make great gifts.  Someone gave me homemade banana nut bread for my birthday once and it was AWESOME!  So I plan on doing the same.

So I finally have a bread machine that didn’t break the bank.  What an awesome gift from whoever donated it to the thrift store.  I know it’s an old machine, but it’s still a gift to me since I didn’t have one and couldn’t afford to pay $75+ for a brand new one.

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.

No More Monitor, No More EverQuest :(

I recently decided that I wanted to make my return to EverQuest after 5 long years, but then my monitor decided it doesn’t want to turn on anymore.  My video card has an HDMI so I can plug my HDTV in so I can still use my computer, but now my issue is that EverQuest crashes before it can begin to load the game.  So much for that idea.

My monitor is a 20.1-inch Sylvania SK2000w-b Widescreen LCD.  What it is doing is when you turn the computer on, the screen doesn’t turn on and the power light turns green and starts blinking over and over.  The screen never actually turns on, it used to turn on after a few minutes, but now it isn’t turning on at all.

I googled the model number and found out that it is fixable.  I found out on the Fixya website that the problem could be that the capacitors have gone bad.  My first thought was, what the heck is a capacitor and how do I fix it?  So I looked at YouTube and they have a video that shows a guy who bought a monitor from a thrift store for only $2.98.  It’s not a Sylvania, but he is showing what a capacitor is and shows you how to identify a bad one and how to remove the old and replace it with new.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02uLSu1Jj5M)
It looks really complicated, but I’m sure that once you figure out how to remove the solder from the capacitor and are able to replace the first one, the rest are a cake walk.  Hey, if it works then I get my monitor back and I can play EverQuest again, but if it doesn’t then I still have a 20.1-inch paperweight, so really, what is the worst that could happen?  I mean sure I could buy a new monitor, but who has that kind of cash?  I could pay someone to fix it for me but they would end up charging me half of what a new monitor would end up costing me.  I can pick the parts up at Radio Shack and fix it myself.
I think that if I can build a computer, I can replace a capacitor, right?  Yeah… easier said that done, but we’ll see how it works out.
My concern about EverQuest is that I will have to cancel it before they charge me for another month, but I haven’t really had that much time to play with it anyway and I don’t want to keep paying for something I’m probably not going to be able to play very often.  I may as well cancel my account and go back to it when my monitor has been fixed.  I waited 5 years, I’m sure I could wait a little bit longer until I can fix it.  Who knows, I may be back in the game by the weekend.  I think I can afford to spend up to $10 on capacitors rather than $200 for a new monitor.

Pedals, Mirrors and Shorts

Well I just came home from Snider’s Cyclry.  I bought brand new pedals that are metal, not the cheap metal ones either that cost $7.  No these were $20 and they are a lot heavier than the cheap ones.  Weight on a bike is a huge issue but when it comes to something like that you need them to be as sturdy as possible for standing up on.  That’s why the pedals that came with the bike are breaking, from having 230lbs of weight standing on them.

I also bought a helmet mirror.  When I was trying to put it on, I was having a hell of a time finding a good spot because the mirror isn’t that adjustable that I can just put it anywhere I want to.  I wanted it to stick to the plastic on the outside but the arm on it is so tiny that it had to be on the Styrofoam part in front of my face.  I finally found the perfect spot for it and stuck it on.  I had to go stand outside on the sidewalk, or more in the street, more the gutter really to be sure it was right.  It was so I stuck it on and then looked again without my arm being in the way.  The only problem is I have to look up with my eyes to see it.  That kinda hurts my eyes lol.  So for tomorrow mornings ride (at 4:30am that is) I’m going to bring both mirrors so I can see which one is better.  Who knows, I might need both.

I went to the thrift store before I went to the bus stop to look for shorts and to see if they had any bike shirts at all which they didn’t.  I picked out 2 pairs of shorts but they were so big and I went to hold them up to myself to see if they would fit but wasn’t quite sure.  They don’t have any dressing rooms there so you have to look at sizes and hold them up to yourself lol.  So annoying.  Anyway, I just took them to the register and figured if it’s too tight, it will fit me eventually lol.  One of them was $7 but the tag says $2 and I said well forget it then.  I know they have to charge the lower price, well, I know that applies to everywhere else you go lol but apparently not there.  I said forget it because I didn’t really like them anyway.  So I got 1 pair of shorts with a Hawaiian print on it.  It was only $2.  It’s a bit tight but… it will fit me eventually lol.

Awake Too Early

I woke up at around 4:15am this morning.  I tried going back to sleep but it was a no go.  It’s now 1 hour later and I’m wide awake.  I think this is a good thing though.  I’m going to use this opportunity to get my body used to waking up early for summer bike riding.

It’s not hot outside yet (even though my bedroom is hot) but I can see on this weeks forecast that it’s going to be in the 100’s this week.  99° today, 103° tomorrow, 101° on Monday then Tuesday and Wednesday are like 93° and 94°.

Right now it’s a nice 63° out but this is the perfect time to go riding.  Today however is not a riding day.  No, instead I’m going to take the bus this morning to the bike store to get some new pedals.  While I’m there I’m going to see how much it would cost for a rack and if they have the grocery bags, if not then that’s fine, I will just get them from Nashbar.  I may just get the rack from nashbar too if they are the same price as Snider’s.

While I’m out I’m going to see if the thrift store has any bike shorts.  I doubt it but you never know.  But I do need some other shorts to go on my ride with.  I have 3 pairs of shorts that fit me but they all have their faults.  One pair rubs against my knees, another pair is too light (it’s beige) and get dirty fast and the 3rd pair is just too freakishly big and will only stay on with a belt.

We have like maybe 10 more pairs of shorts but they fit me like 10 years ago (some 2 years ago) so they are obviously too small.  I will eventually fit back into them as I lose weight but for now I have no options.  I need to find at least 3 pair of black shorts that fit me that I can wear on the bike that aren’t too long, aren’t too wide and aren’t too white lol.

UGH!  I’m starving so I’m gonna go get breakfast, make some coffee and start my day.  I’m thinking about just buying the things I need on nashbars website instead of going to the bike store.  Although, I still need pedals before tomorrow when I plan on riding again.

10 Speed

I decided last night that instead of getting my bike fixed right away or when I get money I want to go to the thrift store where we saw that 10 speed road bike for $20 and see if they still have it.  I’ve wanted to have 2 bikes at the house so if Darrin ever decides he wants to go bike riding for weight loss then we can go together.

I also wanted a 10 speed road bike because that’s what the majority of the people are riding on the bike trail.  I think that a 10 speed is a lot faster because it’s lighter and it will give me less pain in my legs, I think.

I still want to fix the handlebars on my mountain bike but just when I get the money that’s all.  I don’t want to fix it myself because I really don’t know what I’m doing.  You gotta take the rubber grips off of the handlebars first and I just don’t want to do that because they have the roadmaster logo on them.  I also would like to just bring it in to the bike store so they can look at it to make sure everything is in good condition.

My mountain bike can keep the lock on it and the lights with the generator because I might want to ride that to the store (when it’s fixed) at night and I’ll need the lights and the lock.  But I will transfer the computer over to the 10 speed and the frame bag.  The frame bag really doesn’t work in the mountain bike because the frame is too small for a frame bag.  I was barely able to keep my water bottle on it because with the bag there the water bottle was sticking out and I’ve been terrified that it would eventually pop out into traffic.

I’m actually looking forward to getting a 10 speed road bike because I think it would be easier to ride and I think I would go a lot faster which would mean that I would burn much more calories.  If I went faster I could probably ride the 18 miles in a lot shorter period of time and burn a ton of calories in the process.  And rest less.  Yes, I’m very excited about this.

Proof of Ownership

Ok.  You are going to laugh.  I went to Albertson’s on my bike and I have one of those locks that is like telephone cord that is curly and it has a 4 number combination that you can set the numbers for and when I got to the store I went to lock it and as I was pushing the lock together I felt and heard a clicking sound and as I was pushing it in I knew I messed up big time.  I immediately tried pulling it out and it wouldn’t budge.  I started freaking out.  I started trying different combinations because I thought that I turned the dial to set it then accidentally turned a number as I was pushing it in, which I have done before.  I had no luck.

I went into the store and told the lady at the information counter (she sells lottery tickets, cigarettes, electronics and does the photo stuff) and told her what happened and she called Jim to call her and told him what happened.  This other lady came up and I told her what happened and she said that she knows I come in here a lot but how do they know it’s my bike.  Luckily, I have the paper work with the serial number and the manual with the model of the bike on it as well as the receipt and I even took a picture of it.  WHEW!

So Jim finally came to the front with bolt cutters and I showed him my paper work which he didn’t actually look at because I think he figured if I took the time to get someone to bring it to me and I was showing it to him then he believed that it was indeed my bike.  So, he tried cutting it and it was really hard for him to cut it but eventually he did get it off.  It made me feel good that he couldn’t get it off because I knew I had a good lock.  But on the other hand…  I wanted my bike back lol.

He told me that if I didn’t have this proof of ownership then it would’ve sat there until someone tried to claim it and then eventually they would’ve had to call a company out to get it and auction it or something.  So I’m very glad I bought my bike at a store and not at a thrift store with no manual and no receipt.  And I’m especially glad that I took a picture of it too.

Here are some pictures of the lock.  The first one is where he tried to cut but it just wouldn’t cut then the 2nd one is where he finally got it cut.

Dell DJ Battery On Hold

Well, since I bought the pump and frame bag for my bike I now have to wait on the battery for my Dell DJ.  In order to ride my bike I need stuff for it.  If my tire blows I can’t pump it up without the tools in a bag on my bike frame so the Dell DJ is a moot point because the whole reason I wanted to get a new battery was so I could enjoy music while riding the bike, if I can’t ride the bike then no reason for music.

There are a few other things I need as well like a new headlight and backlight preferably the kind that attach to the back wheel that turns on while you are riding the bike.  What can I say, I hate buying batteries.

I also need a bike shirt that absorbs the sweat and makes me cooler while I ride.  Cotton is so bad for riding a bike because it sticks to your skin.  It doesn’t absorb the sweat and then dry while you are riding.  Ok, don’t worry, I won’t subject anybody to bike shorts.  Believe me, it ain’t gonna happen.

I do need a helmet too though.  I know it’s the law for teenagers but it’s only common sense for an adult to wear one.  I tried buying one at this thrift store one time and Darrin laughed at me and it was a very nice one so if he laughs at me then it makes me not want to wear it which is a very dangerous way of thinking because if I got into an accident I’d DIE!

Hopefully when I get all that I need to ride then I will be able to get a battery for my Dell DJ.  I just can’t ride without music.  It’s so boring without it.  I do have a solar charger that plugs into the Dell DJ so that’s not a problem, the solar charger works as a battery.  But still, I’d rather have a proper battery.