Tag Archives: tools

the last paragraph is the informative one

Today I finally changed the tire on my bicycle. You may recall, I got a flat coming home from my last class of the term. I got the bike home on the bus then and haven’t been able to use it to take advantage of Vancouver’s nice weather. So today when it was raining and I’m feeling a little sick, I got that fixed.

Now, I am not a handy man. I haven’t ever changed a tire on a car; I wouldn’t be able to build a fence (I mean I’d be able to build a terrible fence, or a fence from Lego, but a real life “keep the cows where they should be” fence? not gonna happen). But I have changed bike tires before.

Bicycles are the one area where I feel like I can handle the difficulties involved. They’re at a good scale of machinery, and each little bit you do doesn’t have to be replicated again and again. There are only two wheels. My bike only has one brake (and no gears). I can see what everything needs to do and understand the physics involved.
My big problem going into this tire change (the first on my favourite bike I’ve owned) was a lack of tools. I had an allen key multitool thing that had a makeshift wrench for dealing with my brakes (which I’ve used before) but I discovered when I went downstairs, new bike tube in hand, that I had no wrench to get my tire off the frame.

This is the problem of living with other people and being able to scavenge what I need off of them. My roommate does not have a wrench set (and since I don’t have even one wrench I don’t even get the satisfaction of saying “How can you not have wrenches?” like I’m sure many of my friends are thinking right now). I had to go out and find a wrench. When I got to Sears I realized I had no idea what size the nut on my wheel was. I’d just wanted a small adjustable crescent wrench, but those only came in gigantic sets. So I went off to find a bike shop.

At the first bike shop they had a very cool wrench that had a bottle opener on the other side, but $30 was just too much. Eventually I found a double headed wrench that I figured one of the heads would be about the right size…

Oh man. I’m sorry. this is terribly boring. My mom is back from France now, so I feel like I should keep people up to date with the minutiae of my days a bit better.

Anyway. I fixed my bike! And I like my little handful of tools in the picture above. That’s what I’ve got for you today. I’m presenting a paper at a children’s literature conference this weekend and blogged the North Shore Writers Festival last weekend. And I’m checking in on and feeding Jamie’s cat while he’s at Ebertfest. That all would have been much more exciting to write about.

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i am a big fat dynamo

Today I did my taxes, got some more Lego out of storage, bought minor bits of recording equipment, dropped off my Emerald City film to be developed, got new passport pictures taken and purchased inner tubes for my bike (because I got a flat the other day coming home from school). That was all before 4pm and watching baseball (on TV in a bar).

The home opener for the Jays season was spoiled by our exceedingly handsome closer, who was unable to not blow the save. Le sigh. At least Colby Rasmus made an excellent diving catch and hit a triple (which, even though it’s illogical, is a feat I respect way more than a home run, no offense to Mister Bautista), and I watched the game in good company.

One of the things I really enjoyed about our Easter dinner yesterday was one of my friends being a little drunk and really wanting to take us all to a goth night. Her pitch to me was “Goth girls are all hot and they love librarians so you should completely come.” While I agree that goth girls are hot, and that their librarian preferences are probably a bit higher than the general population, I didn’t go to that part of the evening. And it turns out that was just as well, because the bar they ended up at was doing a lesbian night as opposed to goth, which would have hurt my chances for love far more than my lack of ink and paleness.

Remember how I talked about the cherry blossoms being awesome here? This is my fucking bus stop/skytrain station:
where i catch the bus
Spring here is great. I don’t care if you’ve already hit 20 degrees for weeks on end in Winnipeg because the planet is boiling.

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tools of trades

The last couple of nights our evenings have been spent in our back courtyard with Holly playing guitar, trying to remember songs she used to play, and learning ones she wanted to. She’s using Javier’s guitar, and his wonderful capo, which was evidently a present from Carola at some point. It was one of those presents I get the feeling that Carola wasn’t too impressed with – it’s just a bit of plastic – but that Javier and anyone who plays his guitar really appreciates. It’s a really good little tool.

The other tools in use out there to sing Bonnie Raitt songs is the internet, which I enjoy. Monday night Holly was using her laptop till it ran out of battery, but last night it was her phone. My job (which I was a bit lacklustre in) was to touch the phone’s screen every once in a while so it wouldn’t shut down to save power. The phone, of course, didn’t know its screen was being read by someone whose hands were full of guitar. I felt like a piano bench sharing page-turner while read my book.

Over the weekend Holly was working at Masterchef Live, assisting her Chef in a dozen cake-decorating workshops. She got me a free ticket for Sunday so I wandered around. It was like a comic convention or games convention but for food. T-Fal was a big sponsor and there were Chilli sauce vendors and Dr. Oetker’s and organizations that run team-building cooking workshops and vinegar makers and organic farms and even the Australian military was there doing workshops and recruiting.

Holly got to hang out with Adriano Zumbo a bit and she was well-impressed with his regular-person niceness. I got to meet some of the people Holly works with and I’ve heard so much about. They have very French accents.

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