Thursday, August 30, 2007

A new lease of life

For the past four weeks or so my trusty old bike has been below par. However, £100 on repairs later, and it’s as if I have a new bike to play with!

I bought it from a friend (not a good start you might think!), but it was heart over head. Both us hail from Edinburgh, and the bike is from the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (although it was just a 'shop' when I was last there...). So I was won over by the discreet ‘edinburgh bicycle’ logo on the frame, a nice reminder of my roots, and fairly distinctive down here in Bristol.

I am no mechanic, and my mechanical steed bore seven years of labour with the minimum of maintenance done on her. I have shared some memorable moments with her; most notable perhaps when I had her stolen, and had to steal her back. As time took it’s inevitable toll, the teeth on the front chainset (the cogs where you pedal) had worn down to such an extent that the chain was slipping when I pushed down too hard. Which made it slightly tricky to move off quickly at junctions: push down and - slip - nothing!

A day in a repair shop and I have replaced almost all of the transmission - new chainset, rear cassette, and chain - plus new gear and brake cables. My tires are also inflated to the correct pressure - no more dragging around the roads for me - and the gears change sweeter than I’ve ever known. Now, if only I had the legs and lungs to go with it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

shiny metal objects

one of the joys of surfing the internet is that you can stumble across minature worlds you previously didn't know were in existence.  the danger is that you become so engrossed that you can't leave that world... before you think this is getting weird take a second to remind yourself of the title of this post - shiny metal objects.  

so, passing through the wardrobe of the gadgeteer, took me to the narnia of edc reviews (edc stands for every day carry btw) and the holy grail of the atwood prybaby.  this is just the tip of the edc iceberg, which is linked to other icebergs, each with their own strange, yet fascinating, take on what's really important in life. 

so if you too are wholly devoted to custom-made knives, tools, sheaths, etc. you might want to visit the amusingly named moore cutlery. and if your devotion borders on obession, perhaps the ever so slightly alarming t.a.d. gear is more your cup of tea.

so, does anyone have a prybaby i can try out?
crossing the bar

we're off to
salcombe for a week's holiday this saturday. a new acquaintance of mine mentioned this tennyson poem in passing and i looked it up just now. i like it.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

with friends like these...

on tuesday we received a postcard from seven friends of ours, comprising three separate families we know. each family wrote a message (some managed two), and one family's correspondent didn't even bother with writing anything, but did some colouring instead.

is there a better feeling than that of knowing your good friends are also good friends?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

fed up of facebook?

mind how you go with this one - those more easily offended may wish to just stay on the digg page, as there's a gentle nod towards toilet humour through the link.

Monday, August 20, 2007

odd ads

there is an advert around bristol at the moment (noticeably on bus stop shelters) for shower gel of some sort. it features someone enjoying themselves as they're splashed with water and segments of limes. which is odd, not only because limes can hurt, but also because the shower gel is supposed to be scented with lemongrass.

they do taste/smell different, right?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

does your left hand know what your right is doing?

we're dipping our toes in the freecycle waters.  our ikea t.v. table (or t.v. storage 'solution' according to the manufacturers) has been loafing in the general-dumping ground that doubles as our study, and mrs hope has had enough.  since we moved the t.v. to the cellar last winter, the table has been taking up a large area of floor space, gathering lots of dust, and doing nothing more useful than being somewhere to put our cheeseplant.  

our message will hopefully appear on the bristol group's message boards shortly.

if it works out, we also have a t.v., DVD player, and VCR player sitting quietly in the cellar...

Friday, August 03, 2007

call me a glutton then...

so we're off to bude for a few days of holiday, and we're staying in ... yep, you guessed it: a tent!

see you in a few days' time.  (you can call me on my new phone though... i did mention i had a new phone, didn't i?)

industrious inactivity (cont.)

and today it was my turn to be busily unproductive as my new phone arrived and, in true gadget-loving-boy-style, i invested*/wasted** large amounts of time getting used to it*/fiddling with it**.

* my version of events
** mrs hope's version of events

Thursday, August 02, 2007

industrious inaction

my quest for a mobile phone continues.  having selected a handset suitable for my needs, which my advisor approved of (a nokia 6300 as it turns out), i then hit the market looking for a cheap deal.

taking my own advice, i aimed for an independent dealer of good repute, who could not only set me up with the right contract, but whose enticing 'free offers' weren't hedged with too onerous conditions.  i ended up with dialaphone; although i'm not getting a completely free deal, the deal i chose offered a reasonable amount of cashback with no 'turn around seven times, touch your nose if there's a full moon, send in your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th bills' hoops to jump through.

not that it went smoothly of course.  as i contentedly meandered through the slick online sales process, i was unable to print out the terms and conditions of my contract.  and it wasn't because i used safari 3 beta as my browser; i had actually switched to using camino because safari hadn't let me complete any text boxes initially!

senses appropriately sharpened, i then spotted some fine print on the final 'confirm your order page' regarding my precious cashback.  apparently it would take the form of amazon vouchers... err, not exactly what i wanted at all, or had been advertised along the way.

fortunately a phone call to their sales team sorted me out, although i did have to plump for a slightly different deal.  however as the royal mail continues on its course of industrial action, my phone remains in 'dispatched' limbo: apparently somewhere in transit from dialaphone to me, and frustratingly out of reach of any tracking system.