Friday, August 27, 2010

A new BOB

Today (Fri) is a day off for daddy, except that he's taking care of the baby who happens to be napping at the moment. I should mention how happy I am about the gorgeous weather we've had lately. Sunny and dry enough that I don't have to mow the lawn often.

In biking news, I've been advising our friend Nina on her road bike acquisition plan. She's been riding a nice hybrid for some years and was hoping to enter the glorious world of road bike riding. Also, she wanted to build up a bike from all the parts.

Some time passed, and ebay auctions were not 'won', before we came across a 1988 Bridgestone RB-1 frameset from the i-BOB list (internet Bridgestone Owners Bunch. Fun fact: Bridgestone has not exported bikes to the US since 1994). I had some spare parts in the garage, so last week we started to put it together. Eddie Merckx looks with approval at the lugged steel frame.
Some 3ish hours later, we had a mostly ridable bike: single speed, single brake, too-wide handlebars. I think Nina is gonna like it.
I'm afraid that Clara is developing a bit of a reputation in the church nursery. Last week she took a pacifier out of another baby's mouth to play with it (she doesn't suck on them). You wouldn't know this bully streak by looking at her.
In other news, our church softball team won the men's B church softball league championship. After finishing the regular season 5-5, we were the 8th seed in the tournament. Of the four tournament games we won, three were by 1 run. And we were the visitors for every game, so we had to hold them off during every last bottom inning. High drama for Jill, Clara, and our other 3 fans!

Finally, Jill is venturing closer to work-a-day life. In addition to her normal rating from home job, she'll be teaching a reading class at the Intensive English Institute. The current plan is for me to watch Clara during class (1-2 M-F) for my lunch break. We're excited about this gig.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm writing this post with the a/c off and the windows open. After 2 weeks, the heat has broken. During that time, I would walk outside at 10pm, and it would be hot. I would ride to work in the morning, and it would be very warm.

Clara managed to find entertainments during her more often than usual interior confinement. To her dismay, many of our cabinets are locked, but the pots and pans are accessible.
We played in the garage one night and learned that the floor is very dirty. Note Clara's knees and hands. Soon she will be walking. Sooner, we'll wash the floor.
On Saturday morning we volunteered at Salt and Light, made relatively famous becauseExtreme Makeover rebuilt the leader's home and provided truckloads of goods. I didn't bring my camera, so no photos with the somewhat famous family. S&L gave out hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to families that waited in line for quite some time to get them. Jill and I walked the line handing out cups of water.

After church today, we went to lunch with John and Nancy and a couple law students. Zack is from Fremont and went to Cal. There are hundreds of people that fit this description, but two of them meeting in Urbana rarely happens.

Other than my commute, not much bike riding has been happening. Today I rode to my favorite destination, Homer Lake. Felt soooo nice.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

very hot

This is a rather disjointed post of recent goings on. I blame the heat. Each region must have a unique way to quantify the weather so as to impress outsiders of the misery we endure. For example, in the desert, one could cite the temperature (i.e., Ack, it's 115 degrees!). Here in the midwest, we use the heat index, a complex combination of humidity and temperature (i.e., Please kill me, the heat index is 117! (which it was on Tues and Wed)).

If you haven't stopped by to visit us (or if you live in town), you might wonder what my co-workers look like. Our leader, Massoud, retired last week so we ate lunch together and took a photo. He gave a speech advising us to do work we enjoy with people we like. And make sure that our work and ideas are relevant.
Here's the best picture to date of Clara's lower teeth.
Friend (and fellow Wild Card bike racer) Tom came over for dinner last week to show pics from his recent trip to Malawi. That's in Africa. He went there with 3 others from our church to work at Rafiki Village, an orphanage/school for children that have lost parents due to AIDS. I don't have a feel for the place, but it seems to have an intense blend of hope, joy, and grief. After the orphanage work was finished, Tom did a 6 day hike of Kilimanjaro.
Tonight our friend and budding professional photographer invited us to a park for a photo shoot. Clara was a fine model despite the heat and mosquitoes.
Finally, we've had our second set of Mormon missionaries visit us here. I impressed them by remembering the name of a previous guy. We're impressed by their deep knowledge of the more mysterious passages of Scripture (Paul's mention of 3rd heaven, Jesus preaching the gospel to the dead, etc.). Tomorrow they want to talk about our pre-human life as spirits in heaven. Since that's not of general interest we'll talk about the gospel stories of Jesus' life instead.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Before we get to the newest news, let's rewind the internets and recall a couple big events. First, Jill and I celebrated our 10th anniversary while on vacation. 10 years of love, laughter, and living the dream!

Second, my mom visited right after our vacation. The biggest adventure the gals took was a trip to Arcola, nearby Amish town, where they learned that much stuff is closed on Mondays. They enjoyed the nearby Mexican restaurant nonetheless.
Back to the present: we celebrated Jill's birthday last night. Happy birthday, Jill! We invited some friends over to celebrate with food and a dramatic reading of The Importance of Being Ernest. What's more appropriate than cucumber sandwiches? Thankfully, the farmers' market had cucumbers for ready money.
Jill has been wanting to have gatherings in our garage for some time, so that's where the activities happened. Nancy and Nina anxiously await their next lines.
Maggie dressed for the role of Miss Prism, replete with handbag. We forgot to check for a stain caused by an exploding temperance beverage.
Many thanks to Christine for making the apricot-almond cake. Yummy!