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By riceowlguy (Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 07:41:41 AM EST) (all tags)
After a couple of controversial postings about STDs and the Houston Chronicle, I return to my roots: blathering on about the minutia of my life.

My shoulders hurt today like I've been doing the military press, but what I really did was replace my ceiling light fixture in the kitchen.  A standard 4', two-tube florescent model.  The original has been dying for a while, giving off flickery, weak light. I've tried replacing the tubes but that didn't help.  If I complained about the problem my apartment maintenance would have laughed at me, or more accurately they would have said they did something to fix it and would not have replaced the fixture or the ballast (at this price level, the two are equivalent).  It's worth $20 to me to a) get better light in the kitchen, b) not have to hassle with the management and c) learn how to do the job.  Some of you might remember I did a similar thing with my kitchen sink faucet more than a year ago.

Anyway, this is not a job I would recommend doing alone if you can help it.  You really need one person to hold the fixture up while the other one does the screwdriving and other stuff.  However, at the end of the day it got done and I have good light in the kitchen again, which has served to highlight just how badly I need to mop in there when I get back from camping.

Another frustration I have with my living accommodations is my laundry, as many know.  The laundry rooms are coin-operated and outsourced to Coinmach.  I figure they owe me about $40 for all the times I've ran a dryer only to find out it had no heat and thus I have wasted a dollar and an hour.  There's been a recent improvement - some machines don't turn on at all after you put your money in, so you only waste the dollar.  I finally got off my lazy ass and called their service request line and told them about it.  Classic tragedy of the commons; whenever this happened I would figure somebody else had already encountered the problem and called it in.  Then I realized that somebody is me...I'm sure there's a song in there somewhere.

I've swapped cars with Sir Roderick for the weekend since his Pontiac Vibe is much more conducive to hauling three people and our camping gear to Lost Maples than my Civic Si is, and my Civic Si is more conducive to not being a rattling, unstable beat-up peice of American car than his Pontiac Vibe is.  That's what I call a win-win.  Anyway, when I was driving to Lowe's to get the light fixture yesterday after work, I look in my rear-view mirror and I think "wow, a blue Civic Si just like mine.  And a guy in sunglasses just like Sir Roderick's.  I guess I should dig my cell phone out of my pocket now."  Sure enough, it rang almost immediately and we had a good laugh and ended up going to Lowe's and then the bike shop by his place together.  I should explain that he and The Duke live in an apartment complex right over by the Lowe's, so it's not that odd.

The bike shop...he was seriously looking to get a new (or at least different) bike because he figures he can bike to work when the weather is nice like this.  I've not had a bike since 2002 when the last of my non-functional bikes was stolen off me and Y's balcony; I don't want to have another bike stolen from an outside parking spot (and in general, bikes left outside get rusty and dirty and whatnot) and I don't want to have to haul it upstairs and into my apartment all the time, nor give up precious bedroom or living room real-estate to a bike.  However, I've seen one of these and I'm in lurve.  That seems like the modern equivalent of the Fuji I had in high school and freshman year of college before it got stolen, and couldn't seem to replace because the hybrids had all gone over to the "comfort" side of things.  I like a more aggressive geometry.  My other reason for giving up on bikes is that I destroy rims constantly.  The shop guy recommended Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rims - "costs about $200 to build a pair of wheels on those, but they should be the last wheels you ever need to build and you can move on to breaking frames."  So, maybe.

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Safe boring diary | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)
more contorversy! by clock (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 09:06:14 AM EST
when are you hitting lost maples?  we're actually heading to bastrop next week.

camping rocks!

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Heading out to Katy tonight by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 12:53:42 PM EST
We'll head out to Vanderpool tomorrow morning.

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