August 26, 2008

Peter’s Bike is Jacked!

Filed under: Bikes — maryparadox @ 7:09 pm

Peter has been complaining that his bike is creaking for a couple of weeks. For some reason I didn’t take this seriously (apparently I don’t learn too quickly). He diligently took apart his bike and found that his seat post was cracked, replaced it, then rode the bike the next day to see if the creak was gone. It wasn’t. Then yesterday he looked down at his top tube and saw that the tube he had wrapped around it (to protect the frame from the handle bars swinging around) was undulating oddly. When he got to work he pulled back to tube and saw the scariest thing ever.

What lies beneath.

What lies beneath.

The problem might be hard to see if you aren’t sure what you’re looking at. Here are more pictures I took when he got home (which unfortunately involved riding the bike).

The break goes straight through the top tube!

Gratuitous shot, just so you can see the ground through the crack.

We’re not sure when this happened, since Peter hasn’t crashed on this bike (amazing!) The bike did partially fall off the roof rack on my car — it was still connected by the rear wheel so it swung down and hit the side of the car (causing a few dents and scratches in the car as well). At the time we thought that the dent in the top tube was the only thing damaged.

The crack is the mark towards the front of the top tube. The dent is towards the seat.

Even scarier is the fact that this has obviously been broken for a while. Peter has been hearing the sound for weeks and when you look at the two halves there are silver marks where one half has been working its way inside of the other half.

A side shot of the wear marks.


August 25, 2008

Born Free

Filed under: Burning Man, Ceramics, House, Kitties — maryparadox @ 3:00 am

Now that the cats have collars we felt obliged to introduce them to the great outdoors. I wanted them to understand the relationship between the inside and outside, so that they could find their way back in, so we left the back door open and coaxed them outside. Penny came along fine, but Hunter (oh, the irony) was scared and wouldn’t step over the threshold. And of course, as soon as we got them both outside they decided to explore underneath the back steps and foundation first.

Penny the explorer.

Hunter the chicken.

Penny eventually came out and explored the whole yard, with Hunter lagging a good 20 minutes behind anything she did. We both stayed outside to make sure they didn’t do a runner — we’ll build up slowly to free-range kitties.

Kitties roaming under watchful supervision.

Our yard is fenced in on all sides, except for a few kitty sized holes at the back corners that I had the good sense to patch up haphazardly. Penny seemed particularly interested in these areas so I’ll have to be on the lookout for any other escape routes.

Penny sniffing my make-shift hole patch.

We stayed outside for about an hour, until the cats seemed comfortable and happy chasing all the flies.

Camo kitties on the prowl.

Kitty butt and weird gnome things that came with the house.

I see a fly.

New smells.

Team kill (with cuteness).

On the hunt.

Hanging among the lemon tree clippings.

Timid. Hunter. Oh the irony.

Posing picture perfectly.

We tried letting the cats back outside later in the afternoon but they didn’t seem much interested, they were pretty worn out from their first exploration. We’ll have to try again after work or on the weekend, though it works out better if we’re both home since they can run in opposite directions.

Recuperation after the sojourn outside.

Other things I accomplished this weekend; pruning the lemon tree; laundry; packing for burning man; grocery shopping; waxing my legs; making lemon juice; knitting; photography; cat liberating; eating; showering; cleaning beads.

Stockpiling lemon juice for lemonade and Vodka Collins.

The beads I made in ceramics class and Raku fired, which leaves carbon anywhere you didn’t glaze. It also leaves a layer of soot where you did glaze, so you have to clean the piece after you fire it. I finally got around to cleaning the beads this weekend, and even strung them up on a necklace, which I proceeded to wear around. I had forgotten I was wearing the necklace when Peter and I walked to the grocery store, which only added to my confusion when I heard a pop and suddenly shiny objects were flying around me. I stood for a moment in stunned silence before the “oh crap” eascaped and I rushed to join Peter chasing the beads rolling down the street. We thought we found them all and continued to the grocery store, but on our way back we both saw another bead at the exact same moment. “I saw it first” “no you didn’t I did” “nuh uh” “yeah huh”.

Beads recovered from projectile disaster.

I transplanted this artichoke from our last house where it suffered in the shade. It didn’t grow for the two months after I moved it then all of a sudden, about two weeks ago, it took off. Hopefully it will make it through the winter and we’ll have artichokes next year. I think there might be artichokes that produce in the winter and others that produce in the summer, and if so I’d like to get at least one of each. Research required!

Artichoke plant: it's alive!

August 24, 2008

Collared and Belled

Filed under: House, Kitties — maryparadox @ 3:17 am

Not a happy kitty.

We are planning on letting our cats outside as soon as they get big enough — against the *strong* recommendation against this by the San Francisco SPCA. The SPCA argued that they would have shorter life spans if they were let outside, but my counter-argument is what kind of life would that be? Every indoor-only cat I have ever know has been weird and neurotic in some sort of way — I think the house is just too small a world for something that was born to roam free.

We are going to start by letting them into the back yard, with the hope that they are small enough that they won’t be able to jump over the back fence just yet. Just in case they do escape/get lost during this process we bought collars for them today, both leopard(?) print in different shades. For some reason all of the collars came with little bells attached, which I thought we would have to remove, but was hoping to leave for a day to amuse myself. That definitely did *not* work out. Penny in particular freaked out about the “toy” which she could not reach.

Where's the toy??

I can hear it but can't reach it. Ahhhhhhh.

We waited a couple minutes to see if she’d calm down then Peter used a pair of wire cutters to clip off the bell when she didn’t.


Once the bell was removed neither cat seemed to mind the collar much, though we had to make sure that they were tight enough because otherwise the cats could get their lower jaws in them, which would be a horrible way to be stuck for the day. Hopefully the proper sizing precludes them getting snagged on things as well.

Settling into the new collar.

Collar, what collar?

I feel a little weird putting collars on them. I mean, I know it is necessary, but now they seem more like things and less like little people. Ironically, we’re putting collars on them so that they can go outside, which I think allows them to be more like cats and less like animated stuffed animals. So I guess it’s a trade off.

Comotose kitties, preparing for night-time shenanigans.

August 21, 2008

Devin <B cube

Filed under: Work — maryparadox @ 8:21 pm

Devin got back from Japan on Monday and a group from work went to pick him up from the airport. We went to lunch (Mexican, apparently not available in Japan) then back to the office to surprise Devin with his cube. It was pretty awesome, he was excited and even did a little happy-dance.

The finishing touchs: Mr. Matthias Curlique Moustachio III cheering Devin's return and a newly internally-lit calistoga-ball.

Atom and Rufus surveying their handiwork.

Devin and Mr. Moustachio.

We spent the majority of the day messing around checking out the toys Devin brought back from Japan.

Adam spending rare minutes pretending to work.

Mr. Moustachio's new home, now that Devin needs his chair.

My Folks Think I Work On Computers, Please Don't Tell Them I Play Piano In A Cheap Whore House.

Brick Pillar Phase 2

Filed under: House, Kitties — maryparadox @ 7:50 pm

On Saturday Peter took out the second portion of the brick pillar that bisect our house.

What the pillar looked like before

What the pillar looked like before.

I went to run some errands and by the time I got home Peter was more than half done.

This time around we remembered to cover the stove and stow all the pots and pans.

It disturbes me that he can make this face. What if it gets stuck that way?

Tools of the trade: chisel.

Tools of the trade: hammer.

This was a very dirty job. Our back yard is again filled with bricks and bags of mortar.

And now.

I only got around to vacuuming and mopping up the dust last night. I put a board over the hole and used a bunch of packing tape to hold it in place. I really don’t want to deal with the nightmare of kitty-stuck-between-floors. Speaking of kitties, here’s the obligatory kitty picture of the day:

Look for the blur in between the laundry basket and Peter, that is Penny attacking Hunter.

August 20, 2008

iPhone Huzzah!

Filed under: Idiot — maryparadox @ 8:12 pm

Get this, Apple GAVE ME a new iPhone!!! Just like that! I handed it to the “genius”, he tried to turn in on, failed, deemed it broken, and gave me another one. I may have failed to mention I dropped it into the toilet. Whatever, new new NEW I tell you!! Huzzah!

August 15, 2008

Par-tay Woot!

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 10:19 pm

So, with the death of my iphone there are only a couple of images from the house warming party. Here are the highlights, I will add any others that I find on random digital cameras.

Obligatory explanation of holes in floor and ceiling

Obligatory explanation of holes in floor and ceiling

Me hamming it up

Me hamming it up

A study of Peter's map of San Francisco with pins for local haunts

A study of Peter's map of San Francisco with pins for local haunts

Chris and Brian hanging out in the back yard

Chris and Brian hanging out in the back yard

Proof that Vince and Martha were actually in from New York!

Proof that Vince and Martha were actually in from New York!

Peter, Brian, and Sandwich

Peter, Brian, and Sandwich

Me attempting to mix drinks

Me attempting to mix drinks

It looks like people are having a good time

It looks like people are having a good time

Of course the only decent picture of me in my dress has to include this guys crotch

Of course the only decent picture of me in my dress has to include this guys crotch

The inside party

The inside party

Mom grilling the neighbor about his remodel

Mom grilling the neighbor about his remodel

"So you're almost here, right?"

"So you're almost here, right?"

Evening comes on slowely

Evening comes on slowely

My power of persuasion, mom should take the bricks and everyone should help load them into the truck!

Through my powers of persuasion I get mom to take the bricks and everyone to help load them into the truck!

Yay, no more bricks, yay!!

Yay, no more bricks, yay!!

The late crowd

The late crowd

August 14, 2008

Iphone->Toilet. Head->Desk

Filed under: Idiot — maryparadox @ 4:54 pm

So I was planning a nice post about the new sweater I’m trying to design, and I had even taken pictures already… when I dropped my iphone in the toilet. <groan> No need to go into details, but I will say I blame women’s fashion and it’s small or lacking pockets.

I tried turning the phone off but it just kept rebooting, with the screen looking add and dim. I wanted to open it up to dry out the inside so I looked on the internet for someone who could show me how, and found these step by step instructions. I managed to get the case open with a minimum of damage and have left it at home to air dry. I’m hoping it will work again once there isn’t water shorting any circuits, but I probably won’t be that lucky. I know they give you some sort of discount an a replacement iphone if you damaged yours, but I also wonder if I can get it covered under warrantee (possibly neglecting to mention the whole toilet part).

I guess this was inevitable considering that I managed to get my phone stolen twice before I got this one. *Something* bad had to happen.

August 13, 2008

Reminiscent of That Hot Pink Sweater My Grandma Gave Me When I Was Eight

Filed under: Rachel's Wardrobe Remix — maryparadox @ 4:00 am

This outfit is either snazzy or totally ridiculous, or both

Will I be embarrassed when I see this picture in twenty years? I bought this dress off of, which is a web site where artists can sell their artwork direct to the public. This dress was custom made for me for only $60!! It is reversible, so can be this over-the-top hot pink, or understated black, and fits perfectly. Here’s the link just in case I’ve convinced you that you want one too.

When I read a magazine I rip it up as I go along and cut out all the images I like (assuming I own it). Some images I use for collages, or used to, they are really piling up now, and some images I paste into a sort-of fashion notebook (I can’t believe I’m admitting to this).

A page from my "fashion notebook"

Today is the first time I’ve found myself wearing an outfit so clearly inspired by my notebook. I’m not sure if that is a good thing, since that means I bought all of these clothes since/because I saw this image in a magazine! *Shudder*

The girl on the left is actually wearing a purple dress and fushia tights, the inspiration for my outfit

Everything and the bathroom sink

Filed under: Kitties, Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 3:59 am

Peter and Kevin on the way to breakfast

Sunday after the party we went out to breakfast with our friend Kevin, then Peter spent most of the day in bed, which is a sure sign that he is sick (though I’m not ruling out some sort of party-induced illness). Luckily he had the cats keeping him company.


He woke up briefly mid day to wash the dishes from the party (woot woot).

Am I lucky or what?

Then he took another nap after which we went shopping for bathroom sinks and doors at Building REsources, a salvage yard in San Francisco. I love salvage yards, they’re full of neat old crap and are usually prettier up with plants and sculpture.

If we ever decide to replace our claw-foot tub

Unfortunately the corner sink they had wasn’t small enough and the only correctly sized pre-hung door was slightly wonky.

Beautiful, but too big

Hundreds of doors, but to no avail

Monday after work we went to a local plumbing store called LP Decorative Plumbing. The guy we talked to there was very helpful and pulled out a dozen catlogs to show us different options — even photocopying the ones we liked! Then we went home and I obsessively shopped on the Internet for more sinks.

So many sinks, so little time

I can’t say I found anything I was really in love with. I drew out the dimensions of the bathroom in tape on our dining room floor and then added in the different sink dimensions.

Not a dead body

Our options are limited because the size is so small — 30″ x 73″. I dreamed of having a little corner sink, with an undermount porcelain bowl, marble counter, and small cabinet underneath. There is just room, but it seems that no one makes such a thing. Instead we have to pick between a wide, shallow, wall mount sink (the pipes will show), a small pedistal sink (no counter space), or make something custom (lots of work and money, also might not even be possible).

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