New music added

Ok, it’s not really “new” music, since it was recorded 5-10 years ago, and it’s not really “added”, since it’s been out there for while, but this is the official announcement. I’ve added some Music to the Fun Stuff page. It’s a bunch of recordings made by groups I’ve been in. None of them are going to win a Grammy, but they were all a good time to record.

Breadcrumb trail

Tonight I added a “Breadcrumb Trail” to most of my pages. If you’re not familiar with that term, it basically means a list of what pages you’ve visited. In this case, it shows the title of the page you’re on along with its parent page, its parent’s parent page, and so forth. The point is to help you know where you are, how you got there, and how to get back.

I’m using the Breadcrumb Nav XT plugin, after spending a good portion of the evening trying write my own.

Play around in the “Fun Stuff” area (for example) and you’ll see what the breadcrumb trail looks like. I’d like your feedback for improvements, or if it’s worthless, I’ll get rid of it.

Homebuilt recumbent bike

About 5 years ago I built a recumbent bicycle using parts of old bikes (and lots of internet research!) I had a write-up about it on an old website of mine, and today, when you search for my name, you still find the old website first in the search results. I want to retire the old site, and since the write-up on the recumbent was one of the few things anyone read there, I’ve moved it to here under the Fun Stuff tab.

I re-resolve…

Like most, I made some New Year’s resolutions this year. Also like most, I’ve not done too well at keeping them. One problem, other than my complete lack of willpower, is that I didn’t really tell anyone about them. Perhaps public accountability can make up for my lack of motivation, so here are my reaffirmed resolutions

Number one, I want to lose some weight. My goal is to lose twenty pounds by the end of the year. We’ve been doing pretty good at going to the gym lately, so hopefully that along with reducing my caloric intake will at least get me started.

Number two, I want to be a better friend. I know this is a lot more “touchy-feely” than what I’ve posted in the past, but I want to commit to this. I can’t really say I’ve made a true “friend” since probably 1999. Sure, I’ve met some folks I have a great time talking with, but unfortunately I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve spent time with them outside of work. As to my friends from my college years, I don’t talk to or see most of them very often. I regret both situations. My goal is to improve my worth as a friend by being more giving and more concerned for others, and the hope is that strengthened relationships will follow as a result.

Finally, I’d like to spent as much time as possible with my family, meaning both my wife/son family and my parents/grandparents/siblings family. For the former, one thing I plan to do is camp at least one weekend a month all season. When camping, there’s no choice but to spend time together! For the latter, I’m going to make a concerted effort to visit them more often.

Well, having written these out, I’ve realized I don’t really have a great plan for keeping these goals. If these were for work, they wouldn’t pass muster (not specific, not measurable, etc.), However, at this point, it’s the best I can come up with.

New bike

Since we got a new truck, Dusty and I were trying to figure out the best way to take our bikes with us when going camping this year. It turns out carrying my 8ft long homebuilt recumbent in a 5.5ft bed while maintaining the ability to hook up the trailer is going to require either a big chunk of change or a little ingenuity. I’m hoping the latter works out.

Since we have one nice bike and the other is a piece of junk from Toys R’ Us, we decided to see what it would cost to find a new decent mountain bike. A new bike would be easier to transport, since you could actually take the front wheel off and clamp it in the truck… After visiting a couple of bike shops here in town, we were somewhat dissatisfied at what even the entry-level ones run.

When we got home, Dusty started checking a few online places to see what used recumbents were selling for. We both like recumbents, and Dusty covets my homebuilt when we ride together. We knew that new ones were VERY expensive (about 3-4 times as expensive as an equivalent upright), but as it turns out they’re very expensive on the used market as well.

However, there was one exception… Dusty brought up Craigslist for the surrounding areas and found an ad for a Sun EZ Speedster CX, new-in-box, for a very, very nice price. Let’s just say it was about 60% off of the prices for the same bike around here or online, and in the ballpark of the mountain bikes we were looking at. On Saturday we hustled down to the St. Louis area where Sam from St. Louis Recumbents had one all set up for me, and we took it home. It’s a nice bike which has been discontinued (which I’m not concerned about). It’s a little on the heavy side, which is OK, because it’s way easier for me to drop 5 pounds than to afford buying a bike that weights 5 pounds less! Here’s a stock photo (I’m too lazy to take a picture):

Sun EZ Speedster CX

Hopefully we’ll have a little more of that unseasonably warm weather pretty soon so I can get out and ride a bit without wearing a snowmobiling suit.

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