Monday, February 23, 2009

"Owning things" is the new "having fun."

Amy and I bought this place 3.5 years ago. I quickly found out how easy demolition is. We ripped out tons of dropped ceilings, carpeting, wood paneling, 2 walls and some other stuff.

I quickly found out how hard, expensive, time consuming, and knowledge based fixing things is. I also came to realize how many people are really good at doing things and are really nice and amazing people who love to help friends.

I literally would have NEVER EVER EVER gotten this done without the help of a few great people. Not that it is done, but it is really close.

Peter (aka 9er the whiner) did so much work for us it is unreal. He did all of this even after I didnt listen to him about taking the house down
to studs. This forced him to get really dusty a lot. What a good person.
Brody and I did our best hanging the drywall together.
Ed and Turner installed the floors. If anybody wants info on buying floors, contact me for his info. They are sick. 16" wide pine in 17' spans. Crazy unique. He is in the Pittsburgh area and I imagine it is a good deal on flooring. Turner was on xmas break and spent 12 hour days putting this stuff in around riding. Long days. He stayed at our house for like 3 days straight.

And the finishing touches were done by Amy's friend Matt. Matt is the type of dude that gets totally into a project and sees it until it is done to perfection. I am the exact opposite. He knows it, but deals with it.

Now some pictures. The "before" shots are after all the demo work and stuff. I will post the pics of when we bought the place, when it was a totally gross grandma looking house.

For like 2 years this room was separated by a narrow hallway and had no light (see the front door, it was that wide minus wood paneling on both sides. There was also a wall coming down the stairs (which are crazy steep cause of the high ceilings) which made it look even steeper and more narrow. That is gone as you can see from the last pic. For a few years this room stored lots of scrap materials, lots of plaster chunks and junk. I would come home from a snowy ride and lift my bike on top of it (it was like a 3 foot pile) and just roll it into the middle of the room.
Babik said it best... "from punk to pink"
Whatever, my mortgage is still 300/month.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The only thing worse than riding the trainer...

Is flatting on the trainer. It has happened to me twice this winter. I have ridden the trainer like eight times. I finally realized why. All of my tubes have patches on them. All of them except the tubulars do. Everything else is a training wheel. That means the tube gets a patch when I flat. Patches apparently melt when my heart rate hits like 170 for the 20th minute.

True dedication would be fixing my flat tire in my attic while pouring sweat all over the place. This has only happened once of the two flats. When will winter end?

Honestly though, all of the crap weather might actually make me faster. No seriously. I am riding less junk rides and more focused rides. Yesterday for instance, was a 45 degree rainy day. If it were 60 and sunny, I would have gone out for four hours and just had a nice ride. Instead, due to the crap rain, I did 10 minute hill repeats until I couldnt do them anymore and just rode home. Is one better than the other? Probably. Which one, I really dont know. Im hoping its whatever I am doing.

I have a powertap coming. Power measuring devices are the mirror of mediocrity. The powertap will give me an accurate reading of how average I actually am. I am very excited for this.

I havent eaten peanut butter in 3 weeks. I was up to 2 pounds per week and wanted to test myself. This is like fasting for normal people, or withdrawing from heroin for junkies. The first week was the hardest. I would open the jar in the kitchen and just smell it. God I miss it.

Here is a good article in the New York Times about stair climbing. A few weeks ago I was at the Cathedral of Learning doing the stairs. I was going at a steady pace, nothing crazy fast and I passed an obese couple walking up the stairs maybe 5 times. It was a single time up for them. This means they took about 30 - 40 minutes for a single time up.

I wanted to talk to them and see what they were up to, but it would have been kind of weird. I didnt want them to think I was looking down on them or anything. They both easily weighed 300+ pounds. Part of me wanted to tell them how much I respect what they are doing and how it makes me so happy to see people trying to make a change for the better. Instead I said hello.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Money Perspective.

When I was a bike messenger one of the best runs to get was from a non profit who sent grant proposals to all of the rich people in town. As a messenger, I would get to pick up maybe 20 - 30 packages all from a single location. This is what an entire day would occasionally be. This was awesome financially and for the riding, as a lot of the wealthy people who lived in the city lived where I made 7-10 dollars per package.

One of the "in town" drops was to PNC CEO James Rohr. We delivered to him all the time. He was in 1 PNC. The routine there was to dial the extension, and hopefully be told to leave the package in the room with the phone, otherwise you had to sit and wait for somebody to come down and sign for it. Man did they take their freaking time to come down too.

Anyway, one time I dialed the 5 digit extension which I had memorized and somehow ended up talking to Jim Rohr. I said something along the lines of "Oh wow, I dont think that I should be talking to you, some lines must have crossed... anyway there is a package downstairs in the glass room for you." He seemed nice enough and thanked me and said goodbye. I will estimate that this took 1 minute of his time.

I had read earlier in that week that he received a 29,000,000 dollar yearly bonus that week.

Lets assume he worked everyday that year.

That means he made 79452.05 dollars every day.
Assuming he is putting in 10 hour days.
That means he made 7945.20 dollars per hour.
And for that minute I spoke with him, what was his bonus? This is per minute. You have probably just wasted a minute of probably your workday reading this far.

Anyway, HIS BONUS for that minute was 132 dollars.

What a world.