getting ready for big bear

getting ready for big bear
as most things in life this weekend really snuck up on me
so... here I am getting ready for big bear

this morning before work I took a few minutes to fix my single speed
had not ridden the surly karate monkey since the 12 hours of lodi farms
there was an issue with the chain being too short after the power link snapped free on my second to last lap
things were too tight to ride... worked in a pinch to get me through the race... but was so tight it felt like a fixed gear
at first there was hesitation that I lacked a replacement chain
turns out I had a replacement chain
then after that it was just slacking

so this morning when the babysitter showed up a few minutes early I snuck into the basement while my older son slept and my younger son played with his baby sitter's grand daughter

there was not much to do
after all it is a single speed
what is their really to do
I replaced the chain and checked the wheels spinning through the brakes
a few turns of the pads on the disc in the front
a few turns of athe adijustment screws on the v-brakes in the back
then onto the bike for a spin to work and then later after work
before leaving work I raised the saddle a tad
the post work ride involved a quick sample of some urban dirt
the bike seemed fine
the bike seemed fine
the bike seemed fine especially since the single speed is a back up bike for this weekend's 24 hour relay event

the geared bike was tunned in the evening
really just needed to be cleaned and lubed
not much needed to be touched
spaced on the Pedros bike specific degreaser and used the old stand by, Simple Green
will ride it into work tomorrow for a test of how things are working
feeling confident that things are as they should be
have not ridden the geared surly karate monkey since I rode out to Cabin John and back the other day
rode out on the road rather than the canal.... a good loop but not the serious dirt capitol endurance loop
actually the last ride was at Gambril
either way... the bike worked then
the bike should work now

both bikes have some noise issues....
the thudbuster seat posts on each bike are squeaking
sounds like I am being swarmed by a thousand hungry mice
well.... I am used to the sound of swarming hungry mice
so I am not worried about it
but this will certainly be aggravating to the racers around me this weekend
especially the flat bar roadies

before I tunned the bike I had made a quick trip to an area box store strip mall to gather some random supplies

there was no list... just some random supplies
had been hanging with the boys in some pre-bedtime activities
lisa subbed in for the the final settling after I let the boys blow some steam by running wild

the box store mall required a trip out of the city
once across the river there are multiple box store options
unsure what I was buying the car made more sense than the bike
as the backpack would not carry as much as I may impulsively buy
a power inverter for the element and the aerobed for this weekend of camping was top priority on my mental list
I felt confident that if one store did not have everything I needed than the next store down the line would suit my needs

I meandered gathering various goods
tempted by this
tempted by that
tempted by everything
the parting words from my wife echoed in my ears
"don't go crazy"
at costco the other day I think I may have gone a little crazy
costco can do that to me if I am not careful
the walkie talkies may be vital
while some of that other stuff ... the diapers the toilet paper and such... that stuff is over the top

as a father of two it is important to be concious of spending
actually as an anybody being concious of spending is a good idea
right now we as a family are trying to be more concious of our spending
we need to be more concious of our spending
so I let those words go right on my list
right on my mental list....
in parenthesis above my priority one... a power converter

knowing my weakness I tried to avoid socks and underwear
sometimes I think I have too many pairs of socks and too many pairs of underwear
so I moved past and tried to focus on priority one before my mental list got scrambled
there is always the chance that my mental list will get erased
at times my good intentions while shopping turn into a classic Jack and the Bean Stalk experience
well... not so much a giant and some gold.... but coming home with magic beans
so... on my way to the power converter I slowed for tents
not for tents
but more for car camping pop up screen types of things

I looked at the models
I looked at the prices
I looked at the stocked shelves
then I let the words echo in my head.... "don't go crazy"

I picked up on bag holding the tarp with posts
I looked at the price of each
measured 25 bucks versus a hundred bucks
the words remained in my head
"don't go crazy"
I nearly walked away with nothing
then the thought of enhancing my kids experience while camping this weekend made me thing that a hundred bucks rather than 25 made perfect sense

so I loaded up with a hundred dollar screened in tent type of thing
from the camping area I moved to the auto area
there was no passage of time before I found the power inverters
there were choices!
I knew nothing of the needs
I knew nothing of the choices
I knew I should have called Redlack about this
Redlack knows about this sort of stuff
he had a microwave running off his car at Lodi Farms

after some enie menie minie mo.... I made my selection
from the power inverter I was in the lawn and garden area
temptation was running high
the grabbing of the screened in travel porch had me weak to temptation
tiki lamps or citronelle candles?
what about that picnic table?
would I need either?
would I need it all?
what about enhancing the kids experience?
there were some inexpensive long and tall citronelle tiki candles
one shot disposable
that should do the trick

fought the impulse to buy any dvds that I may not ever find the time to watch
grabbed some febreeze
grabbed two types of febreeze
grabbed some gatorade and some other serious junk food
then onto the cashier with the shortest line
I had moved through the store with the speed and effieciency of a cheap hundred dollar game show from the seventies

my stuff was rung up
my card was run
my cart was packed and I was headed to the door
then I thought of the cost and the estimate in my head
I had wanted to stay below two hundred
with the fifty dollar power converter along with the hundred dollar tent thing left that hope as highly unlikely

after some friendly small talk and the loading of my cart I started to exit the store
as I pushed the cart I scanned the receipt for my final talley
how could my bill be around one fifty?
the tent did not get rung up

now I am not a bad man
but I walked
tried to keep my smile small
but I walked
no rationalization
just kept walking
felt like the ATM machine had just given me an extra twenty and I did not feel like I needed to stand in line to talk to the branch manager
sure as a parent I need to lead by example...

but I am human
simply flawed

let me finish this drink and get some sleep
it is late

I told my wife about the tent and the final bill
she got a laugh and told me she would not tell
I asked her not to tell dean
she laughed even harder
as a parent I need to be sure that I set a good example for my children

yet I still do not think I need to call the branch manager about this one

more rationalization goes rambling through my head
I think I will enjoy this tent more this way
chances are I will grin each time I use it


Anonymous said...

You should have paid for the tent....bad karma my friend....maybe you should consider a better paying day job?

Anonymous said...

Nah, just whistle and walk off into the sunset...

gwadzilla said...

I believe in KARMA
and this little gift may come close to balancing the scale on refused returns and errors at the register that went in their favor...

I am rationalizing it

I would like a better paying job

but even if I were as rich as Don Trump...
I think I still would have walked away

Anonymous said...

You turn your morals on and off when it suits you. Typical biker.

Graham said...

I applaud your honesty. I think 99% would walk away just like you did. Maybe not if you noticed the error at the time the total was read aloud, but certainly after the transaction and while on your way out. I doubt those that have been to Costco before would ever consider wading back through the chaos only to stand in another line to correct Costco's screw up. Don't forget that they made the mistake and that the correction of that mistake costs you in the form of time. I don't think that's a rationalization. It's the risk that a business has when they develop an imperfect system for checking out and returning their products. This is not a theft...not even deception.

gwadzilla said...

I have the tent
I think I will enjoy that tent more knowing that it was a gift from the gods

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the tent. Someone could lose their job for your $20 gain.
Get a job that allows you to drop a $30 on the shoppers desk and yell...charge me for the tent and keep the rest for lunch! Just keep your high moral ground speeches on your blog to a minimum!

Anonymous said...

Twenty years ago a crew of prisoners on work release heaved dozens of stones through my tent that was pitched in a remote Sierra Nevada valley.

You just got the tent I lost.

There, you're cleared.


iconoclasst said...

Let it go, Gwadzy...Fate rolled the dice and they happened to come up in your favor.

And, considering that the child chained to the sewing machine in the windowless factory in China wasn't paid anything for stitching the thing together, it's a wash.

Not to mention, you needed that extra cash to help offset the $140 you paid Granny Gear to race Big Bear. ;)

Speaking of which, good luck at the race. It was a good experience last year

camps said...

good luck, what clydes? vets?

Trump sure would've walked

that karma may cost you a flat or two, or a chain

i may tell Dean one day, maybe he'll laugh

doesn't that Element have the tent option?

Anonymous said...

Who ever this is that keeps blasting bikers should stay off this blog! We all know that bikers are the purest in morals! We always break at stop signs and wait form lights just like cars. We just never grew up and are still riding stupid two wheeled junk piles. We normally also skate and leave our families for whole weekends for stupuid races that mean nothing! We are with you theif!

gwadzilla said...

more fuel to the flame

drinking my coffee and getting ready for big bear
still have not packed
well... still have not finished packing
but last night sleeping seemed as important as anything
now coffee and blogging seem just as important

flats and broken chains?
I already experienced both of those
a flat in my first race of the season
a broken chain in the next race...
just another day on the bike?

cargo mike said...

good luck at the bear man