Thursday, May 26, 2011

New settee and a cool local song

It's pouring here, and I'm lucky I was able to bike home in between the storms. First up, this is a video from our good friends Ty-vicious and Baka, along with Supernova. Very cool song--check it out and keep your ears open for their next show--these guys are going places.

It's awesome, right?

News: We have a new piece of furniture (!!!!)

This is very exciting! I inherited the vast majority of our furniture--and it is beautiful. All antiques, every single piece in my house has a story from my parents, my grandparents, and my great grandparents. I am very lucky to have a nice old house that works well with nice old furniture. I love it...but, I have to admit, it is quite fun to actually pick out and purchase a piece of furniture. We had a room (in our quite small house) that only had one chair in it. It was ridiculous, only one person could sit in the entire room! Silly.

So I needed to find a teeny, tiny couch of sorts, so that we could have a conversation in the room. (and at least sit more than one person ;) Behold the powers of craigslist--here is our brand new hand carved settee (complete with gold strands in the fabric because I love loud and gaudy, always)

Requisite "relaxing" pose, complete with loud, gaudy toenail polish ;)

I love it! Hope it stops raining so we can chill by the pool tomorrow....but if it keeps raining, perhaps I'll relax on the settee.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fixing Victrolas, watching squirrels, Detroit and a video

Here is a mishmash of pictures from my phone that are a bit blurry, a bit dark, but convey what has been going on as of late.

My grandparent's Victrola (circa 1920's) has been broken since the fire and Gustavo decided that he may as well tinker with it and see if he could fix it. He DID fix it! Isn't that amazing?

I love that kid.

We went to Detroit to visit my family. More pictures will be coming, but just had to include this one from a park south of 8 mile. It is important for all of us to give back to our communities and keep them safe and strong.

At work, I had to take some pictures and laugh at this little squirrel, eating his crazy cupcake.

Gustavo has been in Brazil again--here is a video he made for a short song our friend sang:

Hope everyone is enjoying the last days of spring and the start of summer. All the city pools open this weekend--I'm so excited!! Happy Memorial Day and please keep those who are currently deployed in your hearts.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grant Park Farmer's Market and enjoying the outdoors

It definitely feels like summer in Atlanta. Like the kind of day where you might just spend an hour watching lady bugs climb in the clover.

The kind of day where you have a beer and read a book, with a bit of luck. (but don't read this book--its actually quite awful)

Visited our friends--they are building one heck of shed. Check out their back yard, and keep in mind that they live only 3 miles from downtown Atlanta. Wild, huh?

I biked over to the inaugural Sunday for the Grant Park Farmer's Market. It was a zoo, but I managed to score some H&F Bread (sourdough!). This bread is so, so, so good. They have it at at a few of our favorite restaurants here in Atlanta, like the Krog Bar. I also picked up some goat cheese from Decimal Place Farm. Wow, this cheese is great--perfect to spread on toast or put in your salads. I'm glad I got the larger size. I grabbed a bunch of radishes, too. All the goods for a radish sandwich.

Or two :)
Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you fantastic moms out there.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Windsor bicycles, and Timbuk2 Shift Pannier

Hi guys! May is bike month so here are some reviews of my commuter faves.

I've been commuting to work by bicycle for about a month now, and just wanted to shout out at a couple of products that have made things easy. None of the companies mentioned are sponsoring my habit--I paid for everything out of pocket. When I was researching what to purchase, I read a lot of great reviews so I wanted to put mine out there as well.

Windsor Bicycles and (below: on my new bike)

I had been riding a thrifted Schwinn mountain bike from the 80's for about the last 6 years. When I decided to start commuting daily, I took my bike to Atlanta Cycles because 1. It wasn't shifting anymore 2. The rims were bent and 3. The brakes were shot. The guys at the shop were pretty nice and sympathetic...but said it would cost as much to fix that old Schwinn as it would to just buy a new bike. So I decided to start shopping :)

Road bikes are new to me, but for my purposes (four miles each way through dense city traffic) I decided I needed something fast and light weight. After searching through reviews, I decided to go for a chromoly frame track bike for lightness and speed. I chose single speed for efficiency (and after being completely annoyed with my previous bike's shifting issues). The Windsor Clockwork fit all these specifications and shopping through, it came in right under $300 (free shipping too!). Bikesdirect is a great place to get a new bike if you have a few basic tools to put the bike together. Their shipping is fast--the bike arrived in 2 days.

Okay--the random. Windsor Bicycles (click hyperlink for site) is about the least developed commercial website I have seen. My model isn't listed there--actually a few Windsor models on bikesdirect are not listed there. I'm not quite sure what to think. I mean, other than this is an excellent bicycle, likely built by underpaid workers in Taiwan and / or China.

We had the handle bars changed out at our favorite local bike shop, Loose Nuts. (I couldn't get used to the drop bars) and added a lightweight aluminum rack. I've been riding it approximately 30-50 miles a week for the last month, and have to say I'm extremely pleased with the speed and handling of this bike.

Timbuk2 Shift Pannier

At the beginning of April Atlanta weather is pretty nice, but already starting to be too hot to commute in professional clothing. I needed something to tote my clothes, lunch, and other odds and ends. I started out using my backpack, but it made my back super sweaty if I wore it. When I strapped it to the rack, it slipped to the side and took forever to bungee on and off. I rented some REI panniers for a weekend to see if those were a better option. WAY too large for my tiny bike frame--they dragged on the chain and tended to bounce on the bike when I hit bad patches of road. So, I decided to drop the big bucks and get a Timbuk2 bag.

It. Is. Awesome.

It looks rather large in this photo, but remember that I am super short, thus my bike frame is also quite small. (this is why those REI panniers didn't work) The bag easily hooks over the top of the rack, and on the bottom, there is a bungee hook to clip onto the bottom of the rack. So smart! This really reduced the bumping and bouncing on the ride (potholes are an issue here) Their previous version of the pannier / messenger combo (Bullitt) looked too large for my bike and too unstable for Atlanta's bumpy roads. So, even though my Shift pannier bag isn't ORANGE I decided to overlook color for function.

Pretty large space and waterproof. I have work clothes and shoes, purse, u-lock, wet wipes and my lunch in there, if you can believe it. Having it on one side doesn't throw off my balance, and I like the reflective strip to hold your rear blinky.

Here is me in the bathroom at work, blurrily showing off the messenger look. You can see that the bag really isn't that big, and is perfect for my size.