Bike Trip- Missouri to New Hampshire “Bench Test”

If you are a busy individual read only the bolded text.

On Thursday I was looking up how much an Amtrak ticket from Missouri to New Hampshire would cost to visit my friends.  138 dollars. One way.  36 hours.  Quickly, I plugged the route into Google maps and noticed that the trip was only 1300 miles.  I decided that 138 dollars was quite a ridiculous.  Then I noticed that Google maps had a bike mode…

I needed to know if I had the juice to bike 100 miles a day for 13 days.  Bear in mind that I do not even own a bike and the longest bike trip was to 4.5 miles to a lake with the water-ski people and 4.5 miles back (9 miles).

What I needed was some sort of small scale experiment.  I asked my bud Hogan Sills, biking aficionado, if he could get me a bike from one of the Purdue bike club people.   He agreed to vouch for me.  Friday rolls around and Hogan tells me that someone wants let me borrow a bike.  I show up at the Bike Haus to clam my bike.  I learned that Hogan did not vouch for me.  I gathered that the bike people were told something like this, “ya… this guy wants to ride 100 miles tomorrow, he’s really out of shape and either quit after 30 miles or destroy your bike.”

I received “the pink bike” which at first inspection seemed nicer than anything I expected to get.  I prepared a back pack full of trail mix and water and set out at the crack of 8:30am Saturday morning.

I got lost on campus, missed the first turn, and ended up at the Purdue airport.  I back tracked to IN-26.  My butt hurts already.  At this point it started to rain.  I could have easily made it back to my place to get a rain jacket.  I figured that the rain would stop soon.  My first mistake.

At 11:30am it finally stopped raining, my cotton button-up shirt and synthetic blue pants were soaked.  At this point two people had asked me if I “needed a ride someplace.”  My sunglasses were broken from a previous rock climbing trip and needed to be duct taped to my face.  The rain adversely affected the duct tape and my glasses kept falling off.  I take a break, eat a soggy bagel and press on to Independence, IN.

In Independence I see this really neat car… motorcycle… thing.  It was like a VW Bug rear ended a motorcycle with cartoon physics and they melded together.  Here’s a picture.

The owner of this unique transportation device saw me standing in his front lawn taking pictures of his stuff.  He shouted, “What are you doin’!  From behind his screen door.  We ended up talking for a half hour about his Kawasaki-bug.  The conversation ended abruptly when he walked back inside.  I guess that meant I was supposed to get off of his lawn.

Not too far past Independence, IN I get to a poorly paved road called Possum Hollow.  It is apparently reserved for slow disabled children.  All fast disabled children must play somewhere else. On in the slow disabled child area there lives a vicious dog that bit me in the pants.  I did have an alluring strip of shiny silver duct tape on my ankle though so I was asking for it.  Being a very slow bikesman I did not attempt to outrun the dog.  I got off my bike and yelled at it.  It was undeterred.  Next, I did not punch it but instead I kind of fist pushed it in the face.  It then left be alone.  I thought about trying to get a picture of it but then came to my senses.

I get off of the badly paved road and out of the disabled slow children area and onto a nice paved road.  I immediately get a flat tire.  I checked my severely zoomed out Google maps printout and figured that Independence and Attica were the 2 closest places that would have bike tires.  I chose Attica, IN.  Attica was at least 7 miles away.

Along the way I realized that I did not really need a new tire, I just needed something to keep the rims off the ground.  I collected rubber straps off the side of the road that I hoped I could secure to the rims to form a makeshift tire if Attica did not pan out.

I finally make it to Attica after 2 0r 3 hours of walking.

I see some off-brand big box store called a Pamida and push my bike through the automatic doors and park it in the sporting goods section.  I realized that all of the bike products in the store were not made to be compatible with the pink bike.  I guess that the pink bike must have been made in Europe or some other weird country.  The bike tires, bike pumps, and fix-a-flat kits were all incompatible with my stupid pink bike.

 

First, I need a way to inflate the tire.  After much trial and error I found that wrapping tape around the tire nozzle and pressure fitting it to the standard mountain bike pump was the best way to get at least some air into the tire.  Next, I needed to fix the hole.  I found a mountain bike patch kit that was made to handle maybe half the psi’s that the pink bike requires to keep the rims off the ground.  I tried two patches and they both blew off immediately.  I got a grill cleaning tool from the Home and Garden section to abrade the rubber and create a better surface for the patch to adhere to.  It worked.  The tire held air!

I then learned that it is almost impossible to get the tube and tire back on the wheel after you take them off.  There must be some trick to it that I don’t know about.  A pair of pliers and screw driver from the hardware section and about 20 min of struggling got the tire back on.  I walked the bike to the checkout aisle and told the lady that I broke a screwdriver and used a patch kit.  She charged me 5 dollars.  Now it is 3:30pm and I am 30 miles from Purdue.

The tire holds for maybe 20 miles before it blows out again.  It is only 5:00pm and I figure that I can walk the rest of the way back to Purdue along IN-26 before 9:00pm.

At 7:30pm John the Landscaper asked if I was going to Purdue.  I wrote down his license plate number and had a text to 9-11 ready to go… just in case.  He turned out to be cool and dropped me off at Wiley Dining Court.

Then I ate at Jimmy Johns and went to a party.  I got tired and left at 12:30am.  The next day I felt a little sore but not too bad.

I learned that is certainly physically possible for me to ride 100 miles a day.  It is possible to ride from Missouri to New Hampshire in 13 days.  If I get lucky and no one hires me I will definitely attempt this journey in May.

Cheeseburger Cozie

Inspired by dontevenreply.com and 27bslash6.com I bother the people who have plenty of time on their hands, a knitting forum.

What I said

On my way to work in the morning, before I drop my children off at the mall, I like to buy a cheeseburger from my favorite fast food place so that I can smell its deliciousness all the way to work. But, by the time I get to the office the cheeseburger has become lukewarm! I was wondering if anyone had any advice about the best insulating yarn and weave pattern. Preferably something porous so that it can capture the cheeseburger smell.

Regards,
Brian O’Blivion

What They Said

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

Wool? felted? Its a good idea :)

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

Well, I suppose cotton would soak up the burger grease and acquire a pleasant scent without shedding all over your breakfast…

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

You’d want something that would hold in the heat but absorb moisture so the steam doesn’t make your cheeseburger soggy. I vote for cotton in some kind of waffle textured stitch.

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

Bob, you have a strong resemblance to Jane Fonda in the ‘60’s. Amazing. Taking those hormones again?

Here’s a nice waffle stitch, a favorite of mine. :

I would try cotton worsted on a #8 or 9. You want some porosity to let out the steam. You can button or zipper the side of the cylinder like a tiny sweater.

This is not crazy. The original cozy is for teapots. Since joining Rav, I’ve seen soda glass cozies, coffee cup cozies, you-name-it. It’s a product of saving scraps and being a compulsive knitter.

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

so let me understand..it’s morning..you’re on the way to work..
( ♪ the sun so hot, I froze to death ♪ )
The kids are going to the mall….. not to school?
If the cheeseburger is for lunch, it’s going to be much less than lukewarm by then.
If it’s for breakfast, why not just go ahead and eat it while it’s hot and tasty… and still smells good?

Rather than have soggy buns..(very uncomfortable)….. I might try this ….link text

or invent cheeseburger aftershave or air freshener….maybe scratch-n-sniff cheeseburger pics ……
it could mean cheeseburger aroma anytime you want.
Your slogan could be ‘Let O’Blivion’s cheeseburger take you away’

reply to BrianOblivion’s post

Brian, has your wife gotten out of the basement? And are you a fan of Bob’s Burgers by any chance?

Thread Deleted

I thought a cheeseburger cozie was completely ridiculous and would be immediately found out.  Apparently cheeseburger cozies are a legitimate knitting project… Who knew?

GET UR WIFE OUT OF THE BASEMENT!

Inspired by dontevenreply.com and 27bslash6.com I bother the people who have plenty of time on their hands, a knitting forum.

What I said

Hello,

My Beatrix and I have been happily married for 19 years. We live in a 50+ year old ranch style “fixer upper”. Yesterday, the 23, my wife was walking to to the bathroom when she suddenly fell through the floor and down to the basement. The wall-to-wall shag carpeting obscured the water damage beneath it. She hurt her leg and is unable to make her way up the stairs. It has been raining pretty steadily and there is a significant amount of standing water in the basement. I cannot afford the expensive clothing and blankets that keep people warm even when wet. I was wondering if anyone could suggest a knitting project that I could undertake to make her something to keep her warm even when wet. Remember, I am a complete beginner!

Note: I have no insurance and cannot pay anyone to help my wife out of the basement. Besides, she insists upon “making it out on her own”.

Regrads,
Brian

What She Said

GET UR WIFE OUT OF THE BASEMENT!
Sent at 1:54 AM March 24, 2011

I have carpal tunnel and wear a wrist brace, so my typing is not very good. I am an RN (registered nurse) in the USAm Texas. Damp and wet is not good. Get help to move her to a dry warm area. Then knit an afghan or even a scarf (most beginners start with a simple scarf). She may need to see a Dr, too. Medical care is most important. And, also you do not know if she broke a hip or leg or something. And, you dont want her in pain and/or dying or pneumonia. Keep in touch w/me, I will be happy to help in your beginning knitting efforts. Loretta Acosta / xanax on Ravelry.

What I Said

re: GET UR WIFE OUT OF THE BASEMENT!
Sent at 11:15 AM March 24, 2011

Dear Daisy,

Thank you for your concern for me and my temporarily trapped wife. She is a physical therapist and says she is fine. Rest assured that nothing is broken and her life is in no danger. My wife is a rather “big boned” woman and cannot safely be assisted up the basement steps.

You will be happy to know that I have removed the gutters from my house and braided my yarn together to form a rope. I built, with the help of some neighborhood kids, a contraption that I thought would be able to lift her out through the hole in our bedroom. Unfortunately my maths were wrong and she fell back into the standing water in the basement. Although it was not a total loss, she can now lean against the remains of the improvised winch and get a few hours of sleep.

She says she should be well enough to make another attempt in a couple of days. She is as large as she is stubborn! :)

I looked up pictures of an “afghan” and “scarf” they did not seem to be waterproof. Is there some kind of spray or space age materials or special knit style that I could make/buy to make the? afghanies? waterproof?

regards,
Brian

No Response…

 

Here’s Another Response I got…

wife
Sent at 12:09 AM March 24, 2011

Shouldn’t she see a doctor? Insurance or not, if something is broken internally she could die of infection. She just fell 8-10 feet… I think a life is so much more important than making a blanket.

Top Ten Weirdest Songs

Well, maybe these aren’t the top 10 weirdest songs, and maybe most people wouldn’t even consider them to be music… This is actually a list of my favorite songs to listen to. Other people tell me they are weird.

Background: I do not really like music. I own no ipod and have only 73 songs on my computer, all of them weird. Most of these weird songs made this list because they are so bad they are good. Also, I seem to have a thing for the 80′s.

I did not consider songs without music videos. I do not understand why anyone would ever make a song without a music video. It’s a vital component. Bonus points go to weird songs that transcend what they were created to be. I like weird songs that hilarious for reasons that are not intended by their creators.

10. Taco, “Puttin on the Ritz”

My favorite part is how it should have ended about halfway through but it just keeps going.

9. Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams”

This one makes the list by virtue of glacier sunglasses alone. Glacier sunglasses are cool. I need them. But cannot justify buying 100 dollar sunglasses.

8. Men Without Hats, “Safety Dance”

Weird song because this is not the type of music video that I expected.

7. Mighty Boosh, “Eels”

If you haven’t heard of the Mighty Boosh, watch an episode immediately. Do not watch the first season.

6. Opra?, Cleopatra 2525

Believe it or not but this is an actual show. I originally thought that this was a parody of something. The show is about a stripper who goes in for a boob job and wakes up in the year 2525. She then kill robots and mutants with lasers or her famine wiles. Seriously. Oh ya, and it sounds like Opra’s singing this.

5. RRTD, “Heavy Metal Madness”

I really wish they were not booed off stage…

4. Spock’s “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”

Perfect example of a transcendent weird song. You can tell that they wanted to make a funny video, I am sure they did not expect it to still be funny 20+ years later. Fun fact: there was talk of making a Lord of the Rings Trilogy move featuring Leonard Nimoy as Aragorn.

3. Tim Curry “On Halloween”

Anything can happen on halloween… Another transcendent weird song. I like to imagine the creators of this sitting around and speculating about how the audience will think this weird song is soo cooool. Has anyone seen my tambourine?

2. Zladko, “Elektronik Supersonik”

This one’s great because there are people that think this is real. ”Zlad” sells fake guidebooks about terrible places to travel to, such as Molvania.

1. Tim and Eric, “Come Over”

Born This Way Explained by an Engineer Part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, read part 1 first

Ok, so last Born this way explained post I made it to the space vagina part…

 

First of all, before we move on, there are a few things I forgot to mention about the first 30 seconds or so of the video, in the previous post…

I know I’ve seen this before… Can’t remember where (Help!)

 

Something I missed in the first pass, outfit she is wearing is reminiscent of Egyptian god Osiris.  Her bee hive haridoo, crook and flail in her hands, eyeball chin(Pharaoh’s beard), and 2 servants make it clear that Lady Gaga is trying to impersonate the Egyptian god of rebirth.  I guess she ran out of Judeo-Christian imagery.

 

Osiris god of Rebirth

Re-Birthing Gaga

Crook and Flail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, Lady Gaga starts talking about the evil that is also born into the world.  We see a dark, evil Gaga pull a WWII looking machine gun out of her obviously copious vagina.  Lady Gaga is positioned on the top of a virus with an ultrasound looking backdrop, you know, giving birth to evil of course.

 

Virus Giving Birth in an Ultrasound

Virus Giving Birth in an Ultrasound

Ultrasound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is pretty much it for the 2 min. 30 sec. intro portion of the video.  I am sure there was a lot that I missed a lot…

The intro as a whole reminds me a lot of The Fellowship of the Ring intro, the part where the elf lady is talking about the rings of power corrupting people. I would post a video, but alas, it seems to be the one thing that is not on youtube.

Then comes lots of dancing.  I am sure that there is meaning in most of Lady Gaga’s dancing and gesturing but I honestly do not want to research every single one.  Skip to 5:30 in the video for my favorite.  Lady Gaga flips the fourth wall the bird and sings, “Baby you were born this way.” Meaning obvious.  The Born This Way should be played in health class to explain where babies come from.

 

During this part she is singing, “Baby you were born this way”

Then there is more dancing…

She does some Michael Jackson and Madonna stuff and…

 

Madonna

Michael Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it is over!

 

skeleton bubble

Obscure Movie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way: Explained and Analyzed by an Engineer Part 1

Lady Gaga is almost definitely qualifies as an interesting person of the future.  She has united a legion of monsters under her banner.  This Whore of Babylon loves to play with the symbols and imagery of other artists and cultures.  Her latest video, Born This Way, does not disappoint in any way.  When I started this blog I never thought that I would be writing something as inane as promoting a pop star’s latest video.  But I am.  If you knew me or read most of my stuff you would know how special this makes Stephanie.

The overarching meaning of the video and song lyrics to Born This Way are about promoting not hate of all humans, this is obvious.  What is interesting is how Gaga does this, what symbols she uses, what films and concepts she is referencing, why she usually does not wear pants (wait this one is obvious too). Anyway that’s what this post is about.

Video starts off with a silhouette of a unicorn in an inverted triangle.  This is an obvious reference to the popular flash game from adult swim, Robot Unicorn Attack.  Anyone can see that there is no possible way that this is a coincidence.

But seriously folks, I don’t understand the unicorn this was a hilarious joke… that probably caused a lot of humans to hit the back button.  Oh well.   I’d appreciate unicorn theories and theories about other parts of the video that I do not understand in comments section.

Gaga’s Unicorn

Adult Swim’s Unicorn Based Video Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the unicorn and triangle we see Gaga, she has a face on the back of hear head (no idea) and she is trapped in a crystal floating through space.  This one I am pretty sure about.  It’s a superman reference!  In Superman II, the people of Krypton imprisoned criminals inside of crystals.  Compare!

 

 


Gaga’s Space Crystal Prison

Phantom Zone (Superman II)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, Gaga’s birthing chair is covered in Krypton looking crystals and is remarkably similar to the little pod that superman rode to earth in Superman the movie.  Watch the movie clip, the feel of it is very similar to the first 3 minutes of Born This Way.

 

 

Birthing Crystal Chair

 

 

 

 

Behind Gaga, the stars form the constellation of a giant space vagina.  There can be no argument.  It is a space vagina.

 

Road-trip Video Summaries

Tightly Edited Accounts of Our Budget Road-trip Travel Experience

Days 1 and 2

From Missouri to Badlands National Park

Highlights

  • Crazy lady in a “Corn Palace” (must see to believe)
  • Flying my UAV over a canyon (FPV non-functional for entire trip :(
  • Getting lost (surprisingly fun bonding experience)

Day 3-5

Badlands to Mount Rushmore to Salt Lake City Utah

Highlights

  • Almost getting stranded on a mountain top
  • “the cowman”
  • Stupid and disappointing Mt. Rushmore
  • Kate laughing like a crazy person

Day 5-6

Antelope Island to Bonneville Salt flats to sketch Great Basin campsite

Highlights

  • Eating heavy metal infused eggs
  • The Great Walmart Fiasco
  • Bonneville Salt flats minivan speed challenge
  • Unlimited amounts of Horchata
  • Cowman explained
  • Lots of inside jokes no internet people will understand

Day 7-8

Great Basin to Zion National Park to California

Highlights

  • Evil Squirrels
  • Jurassic Park theme song
  • Kate gets cranky
  • “Coral Pink” sand dunes
  • Successful breakfast creation
  • Slack-lining
  • Zion National Park Experience