29 May, 2007

Bye-Bye Baby

It wasn't for sale, but last weekend I sold my chopper.

My friend Jenny had organized a family bike event that was being held in conjunction with a bicycle-themed art exhibition at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon. My friends, Colin, Brian, and I had brought a number of our custom bikes out to the event. We were letting folks try them out, riding around the block.

Halfway through the afternoon, a former teacher of my friend, Teyana, took my chopper out for a spin. When he got back, I asked him what he thought of it. He said, "Wow, it changed my life." Then he asked me how much money I want to sell it to him.

That's nothing new to me, I've had lots of people ask that, so I gave him my standard reply, "It's not really for sale, but I'll sell any of my bikes for a thousand bucks a piece." To my surprise he immediately said, "Sold!" And I could see he was serious.

Wow, nobody had ever called my bluff on that before. Usually the "sticker-shock" brings an end any ideas of buying the chopper, but not for this guy. He really wanted this bike. I found myself in the difficult position of having to decide if I was really willing to part with my baby.

I built this chopper in 1999 and have been riding if for the past seven years. I even boxed it up & flew it down with me to Indiana when I moved there for three years. It measures over eight feet long, and has a completely custom double tear-drop frame and three-foot long forks. The vintage headlamp has been retrofitted with four blue LEDs. The vintage T-shifter links to a three-speed internally geared Shimano hub. I laced the rear wheel with a beautiful three leading, three trailing spoke pattern. It has a 16-inch wheel on the front, and a 26-inch wheel on the rear with a two-inch wide completely slick tire mounted on it.

After much consideration I decided that the offer was too good to pass up, and I sold it. I can always build another one, and that's half the fun anyhow.


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25 May, 2007

Four Score & Zero Um, I mean Two Score & Zero

Today I turned forty.

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02 May, 2007

My Office Space

After five months working at the same desk, I've been moved to a new location in the office. (For those of you who don't know, I'm working as a Geographic Information System technician at an environmental consulting company. GIS is essentially computerized mapping.)

I really liked where I was. I was with my friends, C-Jae and Pierre, who also do GIS work for the company. I had a nice big desk to spread my air photos out, and I had two large monitors for digitizing my maps on. The room had a wall full of large windows providing plenty of daylight. It was terrific!

Here is a photo of me happily working at my old desk. By the way, that's a mirror stereoscope on the desk in front of me. It allows one to view pairs of overlapped aerial photos in 3D! Very cool stuff.

Last week a new employee was hired. She's doing GIS stuff as well, so in order for her to get up to speed, she needs to work with Pierre so he can help her along. I had to give up my desk to her.

I was moved to the far corner of the building, into a windowless room, far from any natural light. Here's a picture of me working on my TPS report in my new location. At least I still have my stapler....

Okay so that's not really my new desk; it's the cabinet next to my desk. I am, however, down to just one monitor (until we get a new power bar, I have nowhere to plug anything else in), and there are no windows to the outside. Fortunately I'm working with my friend Alanna now, and Christina is within ear shot, which is good too. We take little breaks through-out the day and chat a little bit. Christina's computer is connected to the Internet and she is kind enough to give me weather reports from time to time.


"Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?"

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