Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bikin' It

Bikin' It

5 miles! On a bicycle!

Now, before you discount that out of hand as measley and mediocre (as many of you certainly could do with deserved impugnity), please consider extenutating circumstances.

1. I Don't Like to Exercise.

Many of you speak of the "rush" of exercise, the "glow" of health and vigor, "getting past the wall" and other terms of which I cannot fathom. Right now I'm feeling bushed, hot, sweaty and thirsty. Those words all imply loss and pain, am I not right? My body is crying out for retribution in the form of water, rest and my recliner, right?

So, despite the potential for injury and distress to my body, I completed a five-mile bicycle ride today.

2. It was Five, Full Miles.

I have a digital speedometer, odometer and distance meter. It was five miles, uphill most of both ways, against the wind most of both ways.

3. The Sun was Shining.

Potential for heat exhaustion and eye injury was massive, or at least possible. Perhaps.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that almost one mile of the total distance covered was due to forgetfulness. I did not intend to ride five miles. But my plan required me to execute two errands, paying for each purchase with cash money. I hopped on my bicycle and rode almost a half-mile to my first destination and then remembered I'd left my cash money at home. It is to my credit that I sucked it up and rode home rather than use plastic money. Thus, an added mile (almost) to my trek.


I feel quite virtuous right now.

Is that part of the "rush"?

Image courtesy of Fernando Weberich,

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Definitive Guide to Repairing a 1993 Chevy Pickup Which Coughs and Sputters

The Definitive Guide to Repairing a 1993 Chevy Pickup Which Coughs and Sputters

Symptom: 1993 Chevy pickup coughs and sputters to a halt 14 miles from home.

Note: Coincidentally, the gas gauge of said vehicle indicates a fuel level that is below Empty. Curious.


Step 1, call wife.

Step 2, wait.

Step 3, get gas can and fill with gasoline.

Note: It works much better in the long run to get a five-gallon gas can. Refer to Note following Step 8.

Step 4, pour gas into fuel tank of broken-down vehicle.

Note: Do not expect the gas can to deliver all of the fuel into the tank. Gas cans are designed to dribble and spill. Pitiful.

Step 5, start vehicle, drive home, eat, sleep.

Step 6, start vehicle, drive to work, drive home, eat, sleep.

Step 7, start vehicle. Vehicle will immediately cough, sputter and die.

Step 8, start vehicle. Vehicle will not start.

Note: Driveways are always built on a slight incline. A scant two gallons of gasoline in a 1993 Chevy pickup is sufficient only for one day's driving. After one day, an adequate level of gasoline does not remain in the fuel tank.

Step 9, immediately suspect the worst. The fuel line or filter is probably clogged with sludge or the fuel pump is fried from running the tank dry.

Step 10, take wife's vehicle to work.

Note: At this point you will need to arrange for alternate transportation. You cannot use your wife's vehicle indefinitely. You should not use wife's vehicle at all. The optimum interim solution is to borrow a friend's motorcycle. This solution provides instanteous pleasure (no day is a bad day when one rides a motorcycle to work). Thank you, friend!

Note: Refer to

Step 11, allow broken-down vehicle to sit, neglected and forlorn, for two weeks until it has fully atoned for its sins. This two-week time of penance will coincide with the two-week limit of patience with which your wife will view a broken-down vehicle parked askew on the driveway.

Step 12, purchase a new fuel filter, a five-gallon gas can, nitril gloves and a cool 12-volt Power Station with with mobile device holder that converts single power source into a 4-way power source that fits into a cup holders.

Note: Refer to

Note: Impulse purchase, I know. But the Power Station is so cool!

Step 13, fill five-gallon gas can with fuel.

Step 14, don nitril gloves, replace old fuel filter.

Note: Step 14 requires laying flat on your back in the dirt (the pickup is parked askew, half on the driveway, half on the dirt). Genuine expressions of love toward your wife in the hours preceding Step 14 will make it much more likely that she will massage your back after Step 14.

Step 15, refer to Step 4. Pay attention to the note that follows Step 4.

Step 16, start vehicle, allow to idle for ten minutes to rebuild confidence in said vehicle.

Step 17, drive vehicle to nearest service station and fill the fuel tank.

Note: The fuel tank of the 1993 Chevy pickup has a capacity of 34 gallons. Today, the service station sells regular gasoline for $3.77 per gallon. Payday is not for another week. Ten more gallons of gasoline, on top of the five previously poured in, is much better than the zero gallons that the vehicle started with. I guess.

Step 18, repark the vehicle, straight and proper.

Step 19, clean up.

Step 20, eat a big bowl of fresh watermelon and write a cheesy post to your blog.

Note: Refer to The Definitive Guide to Eating Watermelon (

Life is good.

Image of fuel gauge courtesy of Hugo Humberto Plácido da Silva

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