The Water Drinking Contest

I was recently reminded of a humorous experience from 2003, the water drinking contest.

Water drinking contest

My friends Brett & John argued about who could drink a liter of water the fastest. There’s really only one way to settle such an argument. Brett won the contest by a small amount. Then he made the unfortunate decision to quickly repeat the contest against me. He beat me, then immediately ran to the bathroom to vomit. That was the night we learned the human stomach does not hold two liters of water.

The Easy Hooker

We noticed a small wet spot in our ceiling a couple weeks ago when it was raining frequently. I assumed the gutters were clogged with leaves, as something similar happened last year. A few days later we noticed the spot again, except this time the spot was worse and this time it wasn’t raining.

After a quick resurvey of our house I realized I miscalculated earlier and the wet spot in the ceiling was not far away from our upstairs toilet. Crap. Literally. Fortunately, there was nothing wrong with toilet itself. The supply line was leaking very slowly, so I closed the valve. I went to the store and bought a new supply line, and, after several days of putting it off, I finally installed it today. The toilet is back up and running.

In the process of fixing the toilet I went to the garage to grab some teflon tape. There I noticed I actually already had a toilet supply line. I suppose I wasted a trip to the store. But, as I had a difficult time explaining to Melissa earlier, this supply line wasn’t to be used. It was a souvenir. Yes, a souvenir.

I believe it was my third summer working at ASP in southwest Virginia. I purchased many toilet supply lines that summer at the local hardware store. These supply lines were particularly hilarious due to the product name and packaging. Behold, the “Easy Hooker”

Easy Hooker front
Easy Hooker back

I bought one at the end of the summer so I’d always have a funny memory to laugh about. This supply line has stayed with me through numerous moves to new apartments and houses. It’s never been used, but it came awfully close today…

The Photo of the Day

A few weeks ago, I started a project where I take (at least) one photo every day and post it to my Flickr account. The idea is simply to practice with the goal of becoming a better photographer.

My Photo of the Day site is here. The most recent photo should always appear on the left side of my blog. If you’re interested in following along, add this feed to your RSS reader (Google Reader, Apple Mail, Safari, etc.). I’m also taking part in a Flickr group called Photo A Day 2009, where (starting yesterday), hundreds of other people are doing something similar.

Here are a few of the most recent photos of the day:

Little cones


Light painting




The Christmas Decorations

We spent some time putting up Christmas decorations tonight. I took the opportunity to use the remote timer I built last year for my old camera to shoot a time lapse movie of the process, which I included below. If you pay close attention you can see where we dropped (and broke) one of the ornaments, then swept it up a short while later.

Rob & Meli decorating the Christmas tree

Rob & Melissa in front of tree

Rob & Meli in front of the Christmas tree

Homer Claus

Homer Claus

Pink nightmare/deranged Easter bunny

Pink nightmare/deranged Easter bunny

Hung with care

Stockings uncle Brad crocheted for us

The Leaves

At our old house we had one tree in the yard, and it was only a couple years old. So we never had to deal with raking leaves at all. When we moved to our current house last year we were a little overwhelmed by the shear quantity of leaves that fell in our yard from the numerous mature trees. We basically just left them there all winter (which didn’t turn out so well come spring). This year we’ve at least been trying to rake them up, but it’s slow going. I raked the side yard for an hour and a half today and my back and sides are now aching. I have a feeling I might not be able to move tomorrow. We’ll see.

Back yard leaves

back yard

Side yard leaves

side yard

The Nighttime

I went out in the pitch black dark with my camera & tripod to take some photos. As it was completely dark, I wasn’t always entirely sure what would be in the photos. I had to play around with the camera settings to get A) something to show up at all, and B) to get the content in focus.

Arboretum at night
30 second exposure, notice the stars in the sky

Trees at Arboretum at night

Row of trees at Arboretum at night

University President's house

Orchard & Vermont


The Bike Friday

Five weeks ago I placed my order for a custom handmade Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. Today the waiting ended. The Bike Friday was delivered around noon to a very excited Melissa. I had to wait until I got home around 7:30 pm to play with it, but it was worth the wait. It arrived packed up in it’s suitcase. It took only a couple minutes to assemble–it packs much more easily than my old Dahon. I was riding it up and down the street in no time at all.

Bike Friday in suitcase

Bike Friday in suitcase

Unpacking Bike Friday

Partially assembled Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

Fully assembled Bike Friday Pocket Rocket on work stand in bike hole

Rob test riding new Pocket Rocket

Rob test riding new Pocket Rocket

Custom built for Ragfield by Green Gear Cycling, Eugene OR

Wow, it is sweet. The bike weighs 23 lbs, rather than the 33 lbs of the Dahon. Folding bikes do look a little strange, but this one does not feel strange. It rides just like any other road bike. The gearing is similar to that of other road bikes despite the smaller wheels due to the Shimano Capreo cassette & hub. The cassette goes all the way down to a 9 tooth cog, rather than the traditional 12 or 11 tooth cog on road bikes with larger wheels.

I will probably take it on a long ride tomorrow, but so far I’m very pleased with the Bike Friday.

The Bike Hole

(Simpsons episode 2F21)

Homer: Hmm. I wonder why he’s so eager to go to the garage?
Moe: The “garage”? Hey fellas, the “garage”! Well, ooh la di da, Mr. French Man.
Homer: Well what do you call it?
Moe: A car hole!

Since watching this episode of the Simpsons (The Springfield Connection) I have frequently referred to our garage as a car hole. It wasn’t until more recently that I realized our car is seriously outnumbered by bikes, and under the circumstances it would be more accurate to call it a bike hole.

Anyway, I spent most of the day Saturday cleaning the bike hole (including unpacking a few boxes that have been sitting in the middle of the floor since we moved in last August).