Monday, September 17, 2007

Life - Offseason, Upcoming Wedding

Things have been slow on my front here in Simsbury. The weather took a dramatic turn downwards (last night it was about 40 degrees F) and made for some chilly nights and a touch of a scratchy throat. The days are still moderately warm - about 70 each day, 80s in a couple days - so my body is a bit confused. Come to think of it, this is how it is out West in February.

No wonder I usually get sick out there.

Anyway, with a new town, distance from friends and family, and me not knowing too much of the area, we did some exploring, driving around, dropping into people's houses.

Yes, other people's houses.

Okay, I'll 'fess up. After we picked up the blue car (essentially to wipe the rust off the rotors as it's been sitting for a few weeks), we drove around and went to open houses (i.e. houses for sale where you can just drop in at certain scheduled hours). We stopped at virtually all the houses for which we saw signs, except for one that we realized was priced in the millions and not the hundreds of thousands.

Nothing really grabbed our attention although a few houses seemed really nice. Unfortunately, "nice" doesn't mean it had what we wanted, it simply meant the house was really nice. It's like me looking at a really nice 61 cm bike. Really nice, fine, but I need something about 10 cm shorter. Likewise, we found nice houses with no basement, no yard, or not enough garage space. One house, a "stop on a lark" house, was pretty big (about 4000 square feet), complete with a home gym, enormous kitchen, tiled inground pool, all sorts of fancy things including an intercom, and even a sauna.

It was also about 50% over our budget.

But the agent wouldn't let us know that - she firmly stated that she'll give us the paperwork (various papers describing the property) after the walk through. So we suffered through a walk through of a somewhat aging big house. Finally we got the papers - and the asking price on the house.

Granted, it wasn't as bad as we thought, but it was still way high.

I was trying to think of a way to politely end our charade when I heard the future missus tell the anxious agent, "Well, it seems like a really nice house but it's a bit small for our needs. We were really thinking of a four bedroom, not a three bedroom."

Cheeky, eh?

We felt bad about that so the future missus called our agent (who knew that house's agent) and mentioned that we'd dropped by in case the house agent started making noise about a couple looking at houses larger than 4000 square feet.

We had stopped at other houses. At one the agent left a note on the door - "Please look around, if you have any questions call me." It was scrawled in something resembling a 2nd grader's handwriting using perhaps a nail polish brush. It was no cheap house either, but it was on a very busy street. I can't imagine this helped sell the house.

I realized that there are a lot of odd houses out there. I suppose it's the way they age, a fashion thing. If I dressed up in Miami Vice stuff people would look at me oddly - but 20 years ago, I'd have been "cool". The same goes for these houses.

After house shopping we went to a somewhat local shop named Benidorm. I wanted to check out a few things including the World Championship Jersey there. I also figured they'd sell Sidi shoe parts - my turn buckle thing fell apart (the spring metal "pin" partially fell out, I lost the buckle part, and then the rest of the turn part fell off). I ordered one and watched as the guy behind the counter filled out a "special order form".

I used to have them just like it.

Good to know things still work the way they used to work.

While we were waiting at the counter I looked around for the Jersey. Lo and behold it was next to my head!

I read the pictures describing the Jersey (won by Jan Bolland in a TTT). The Worlds were held in Benidorm, Spain.

Ah, so that's where the weird name came from.

The Sidi things will be in at some point, which is fine. I have other shoes and I should probably make sure they're set up for the Look Keos I have since, if I actually start riding outside in inclement weather, it'll be nice to have three or more usable sets of Sidis. Right now I have one set (the turn buckle ones). I have one set (Zetas) which has a cracked cleat (over-zealous ham fisted mechanic... a.k.a. moi) and one set (Genius 5s) with my old SPD-R cleats on them (but otherwise in perfect shape). I'll mount some extra cleats on the G5s, put new uncracked cleats on the Zetas, and then I'll have three sets of shoes. This way I can ride in the rain and not obsess over drying out the shoes in time for the next ride.

Before we left, I asked for a couple catalogs - Cannondale's and Felt's. Normally I don't do such a thing since catalogs are typically in short supply and sometimes expensive. But I felt the need to catch up on Cannondale (they're local to the Bethel Spring Series) and Benidorm had a sub 15 pound Cannondale Super Six hanging just inside the front door to the shop. Felt is a different story - they sponsor Slipstream (a team that gives me better feelings than most others), the pictures of the Felts in Road Bike Action make the bike completely undesirable, but when I saw the bikes in person, well, they were cool. So I asked for a Felt catalog.

They have this interesting full suspension link thing which is supposed to counteract rear suspension bobbing. It's intriguing enough that I might have to go test ride a bike.

In the meantime, I've been doing some other stuff for my bikes. I went on eBay and picked up some crit bars (an extra - now I have one extra). If any more pop up, I'll probably buy the next one or two I see. Being soft, normal aluminum, these don't crack very easily and I expect them to last a while. I'll probably explore some new bars too so that when the world's supply of crit bars dries up, I'll be able to use something else.

I also picked up a track bar so my Riggio (or whatever my track bike ends up being) will have a proper track bar, not a left over Modolo forearm-bruising anatomic bar.

If I get my track act together, I'll eventually get proper wheels for the thing too.

I've been exploring getting fit in other ways too. The future missus and I walk regularly and on the days I feel a bit antsy, I'll actually run for a bit (a mile is a full "bit" in my dictionary). Today my shins are a bit sore but I ran to try and keep my heart rate up, not to try and preserve my legs. The problem is my heart rate doesn't go up easily so I have to run kind of hard to raise it. My non-running legs don't enjoy that too much so I'll have to stick to walking for a bit.

Finally we have one very big event coming up. My birthday.


Okay, that's coming up too, but the big event is our wedding. We've been working out some of the details on that, finalizing things, and trying to make sure it'll run without a hitch. A lot of thought and planning is narrowing down to the early October date.

And now that I mention it, my birthday is coming up also, on this upcoming Sunday. The future missus is planning a get together for Saturday so that should be fun.

In the meantime I'll be doing my off season "general fitness" type things, getting my gear in gear, and looking at the Cannondale and Felt catalogs I picked up at Benidorm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think you want the marriage to go off with one hitch. Ba-dum-crash! Thank you very much.

Sorry--couldn't resist. I'm so ashamed right now.