Oh! Hello… still there?

Shit, it’s August already? Not that there’s been a summer yet with all the rain. And not that I mind, either. I’m definitely not a sit-in-the-sun or beach kinda person. Makes me an uncomfortable lobster.

Absolutely nothing has been happening, so I have nothing to write about. I’ve got plenty of bitching to do though, so hang on.

The only fun thing we’ve done recently was an abbreviated try at orienteering. There is a local club that publishes maps of various area parks. Coincidentally, the bird club picnic was being held at one of those parks so I got the map and a compass (the wrong kind), then a second compass (the right kind).

We’d planned to go to the park early and spend a few hours hiking before the picnic started after noon. As luck would have it, it was pouring. Fortunately, it cleared up later in the day and we were able to hit a few map marks before going home.

The most annoying thing that happened recently was this:

On a rare non-rainy day, we dragged our bikes out of the basement and pumped up the tires. By the time we got to the park two blocks away, my front tire was nearly flat and I realized the kickstand was rubbing on the rear tire. Mel’s derailleur was messed up and she couldn’t shift gears. We walked the bikes home.

We figured out that the misaligned kickstand and messed up derailleur was caused by somebody knocking our bikes over in the basement. Probably the air duct cleaner guys or the furnace install guys. Assholes.

Time for a trip to the bike store. Not wanting to lay the bikes on top of each other in the back of the SUV, Mel suggested we assemble the tow-hitch bike rack that I’d bought at Dick’s a few months ago. We opened the box, got out the instructions and quickly realized there was a critical piece of hardware missing.

So, we loaded the bikes and the box with bike rack in the back of the Santa Fe. We dropped the bikes at the bike store, exchanged the bike rack at Dick’s and then went to our favorite barbecue restaurant for lunch. A plate of pulled pork, black-eyed peas, greens and coleslaw can really go long way towards melting one’s annoyance.

Two days later I attempted to assemble the new bick rack to go pick up the repaired bikes. Imagine my utter digust and annoyance upon discovering it was missing the same fucking part. I drove to the bike shop with the parts to see if they perchance had the hardware I was missing. No dice. But, they sold me a very nice bike rack and I returned the other one to Dick’s.

We’d had little odometer units installed on the bikes when they were at the shop. This was so that we could see how far we haven’t been able to ride these bikes. Of course, one of them – the one on MY bike – doesn’t work. Arrrgggh.

Now, I must ask this question: Have you noticed that you spend more time returning and/or repairing the items you buy than you used to? Absolutely, I say. It’s not just this recent episode I’ve experienced that makes me believe this. Thinking back over the last five years, I’d have to say that I’ve spent ALOT of time on the phone and in stores trying to get post-purchase satisfaction for one reason or another. Is everything made so cheaply these days? Do service companies really just not give a shit? It’s enough to drive you insane. Mel says the only solution is to own nothing.

Lastly, a weight loss update. I’ve been stuck at about 35 pounds. Mel’s been stuck too. It’s okay though, we know that it’s natural to slow down, especially if you haven’t really been exercising. And all our attempts at outdoor exercise that doesn’t involve standard dog-walking have been stymied by rain or faulty equipment. Nonetheless, we don’t plan to give up. :p

Confidential to the person who found me using the phrase “spanking black women” — What’s your problem? Can’t you spank caucasian or latina women? How about asians? Really. How about some equal opportunity spanking? Some might enjoy it.


  1. I’m supposing that pulled pork episode wouldn’t help boost you past 35 pounds, either!! 😉

    Yes, I’ve been noticing more and more that items are either having to be returned because they’re defective, broken or missing parts -and- that things brought in for repair or maintenance are having to be returned for the same problem at least one time more than the initial visit. Did that make any sense?! Ugh.

    My Santa Fe [LOVE IT] suddenly lost A/C. In Florida, you melt without it. Opening windows does nothing other than blow your melting body parts out onto the street. The A/C was covered under warranty, but I had to take it back *twice* before they figured out the evaporator needed to be replaced. Now, my glasses fog when I get out. 🙂

  2. ESOC: Equal Spanking Opportunity Commission! That’s what we need! I can just see it now: "The ESOC released figures today that black women are being spanked more than asians, latinas, and whites. The ESOC recommends a fair and balanced spanking opportunity for all women, regardless of race or religion."


  3. My trainer suggests working out extra hard, like an insane person on crack, when I reach a plateau.
    I don’t listen to him.
    Then he suggested alternating days with simple carbs and complex carbs. I didn’t listen.
    Then he suggested 1,200 calories per day.
    Not listening.
    The only way I can break a plateau is to order something from Land’s End or J Crew that doesn’t >quite< fit.

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