Cycling under the influence

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know if something is really a “hot topic” or if it’s just interesting to me and people I know. Like, I was sort of interested in Colorado legalizing marijuana but I didn’t realize this was a national story until we went to Alabama for Thanksgiving and everyone asked us about it.

So, I don’t know if Denver Police enforcing DUI laws for cyclists is actually big news or if I just keep seeing it pop up because I am a Denver cyclist and so it’s something people I know are talking about.

One the one hand, it seems kind of obvious that you shouldn’t drink and bike. I’m always talking about how I have the same rights and responsibilities on my bike as I do in my car. That’s why it drives me crazy when cyclists go the wrong way on a one way street, or on the flip side when a red light won’t ever change for me unless a car pulls up behind me. You shouldn’t drive drunk; you shouldn’t ride your bike drunk.

But on the other hand, would you rather a drunk person get out on the road in a car or on a bike? I’m sure it’s possible to hurt someone while intoxicated on your bike, but my 50 pound cruiser does a lot less damage than my 2,000 pound Civic.

I’ve always felt a little funny about the fact that I will not drive my car with one drop of alcohol in my system, but I’ve definitely ridden my bike home from happy hour. If I had unlimited money, I’d take a cab home. (Actually I’d take an Uber home because I’m obsessed with their car service and it’s the best.)

I’m a stickler and very much a follower of rules, so I suppose it won’t sit well with me to be doing something that is technically illegal, but I probably am not going to start calling a cab to take me less than a mile in my neighborhood if I have my bike.

Also, don’t ever read the comments on any online article about cycling. They will make you hate everyone.

Yay, Christmas!

Yay, Christmas!

I spent a huge chunk of the weekend decorating for Christmas and I am surrounded by sparkly lights and I love it.

Most of my decor has been the same for several years. But! New this year is this tiny project that turned out so well.

We have this half wall next to the staircase that goes downstairs. The half wall has three little shelves on it. Literally since we moved in four years ago I have been saying I want to wallpaper them. And I finally did, and it basically looks amazing.

Before:

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After:

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I measured and cut some pieces of foam board to size (leftover project posters from work) and used some leftover wrapping paper from last year to cover them. It was really annoying to cute the foam board to the right size (I’d recommend poster board but the foam board was free and already in my house) but the rest was super easy.

I love it. I’m not crafty in the slightest, so pardon me while I’m inordinately proud of myself.

Next order of Christmas business is getting our cards ordered. (Not to continue to brag, but our cards are awesome! I spend a ton of time on them every year and I get really pumped to send them out.) I can’t wait for Christmas cards to start coming in, too. I just love seeing all the smiling faces on my fridge. This is all of them from 2011:

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Merry Christmas, y’all.

Things I have to try hard at

I started this post on Friday waiting for our flight out of Birmingham:

There is a man sitting about thirty feet away from me in the airport. He is talking loudly on his cell phone. He just told the person on the line that his friend broke up with a woman after a long relationship.

“Because they were together for fourteen years it was like common law. Yeah. Yeah, he had to pay her like $35,000 for that house they had.”

I just muttered to Chris “I want to punch that guy.”

Earlier today we were talking about fighting our natural inclinations. I try to be a positive person, but my natural state is to be judgmental and sarcastic and snarky. I’m easily irritated. I find myself getting snarly and grumpy over things I shouldn’t.

But we all know people who complain all the time. They’re no fun to be around, and I really don’t want to be like that. So I don’t around griping about loud cell phone guys of the world. And when I do, I at least try to talk about them more in a listen-to-this-funny-story way and less of what-a-frigging-idiot way.

At least a few times every day, though, I have a grumpy thought and then I make a conscious decision not to let that thought out of my mouth.

I’m not 100% sure where I was going with this. Just that I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in my nature vs. how I behave.

I’ve never been someone who loved eating healthy food or who craved exercise. Like, I’m so jealous of people who feel crazy if they don’t run or who really don’t find fast food appealing. My nature is to sit on the couch and eat french fries, but most days I choose to work out and eat (mostly) well.

And I’ve never been a neat freak. My nature is to make a mess and wander away, leaving a trail of clothes, dishes, and mail behind me. But every day I make conscious decisions to put my clothes in the hamper or to put the lid back on the olive oil and put it back in the pantry so that Chris doesn’t find himself wondering if he hitched himself to the wrong star. [1]

Anyways. I guess I’m just wondering if there really are people who are super positive, super healthy, and super tidy without having to make a conscious effort every day.


1. Am I using this phrase correctly? I’m not sure that I am.

Good Day Alabama

We are in Alabama visiting family, and I am sitting in the living room and the TV is on, showing the local news.

I love local news in general for its comedic value and overblown headlines, “What you don’t know about your lawn mower MIGHT surprise you!” But Good Day Alabama is killing me right now. It looks like the station is being run by enthusiastic high school students.

The lady anchor has her glasses, a wad of tissues, her phone, and a few other random things on the table in front of her.

The man anchor just “reported” something about the Mars rover by beginning his sentence “According to a report by NPR…” (Shouldn’t that be…according the NASA?)

Their field reporters, out chatting with people on Black Friday, all seem to just be wearing their own jackets and hoodies. The video looks like maybe it’s being shot on a camera phone based on how wobbly and somewhat blurry it is.

A maybe 14 year old girl just “interviewed” someone about a hospital gift drive.

I’m not making this up: Coming up: One turkey was spared yesterday!Find out who after the break.

And then, what you need to know about inflatable bouncy houses to protect your family! And, we put cell phone radiation shields to the test.

Two field reporters are in the RV park across from University Mall. A brief segment on how a woman baked chocolate chip cookies in her RV followed by a woman plugging her church and her son in law’s RV rental business. Then two women who are shopping for shoes. The women shopping for shoes were interviewed by a guy named “Jeh Jeh” who was wearing a hoodie that says Washington DC (with the hood UP).

Two Alabama fans, “We’ll talk to Auburn fans. To tell ’em we’re gonna beat ’em.”

I just watched a car dealership where two people pretended to shoot at a man dressed as a turkey with semi automatic rifles. (I searched for the video online but all I could find were some photos from the “shoot.”)

Turkey shoot at Classic Suzuki

And now we’re on to a cooking segment about what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.

I just…bless their hearts. Bless ’em so hard.

Election Day (Eve)

Today I met a real life undecided voter. I had an undecided voter in front of me in a swing state, shouldn’t I…do something? I listened to his concerns about both sides for a while, and then as a follow up I sent him The Economist endorsement. Because I had just read it and I thought it seemed fair and interesting and I like for folks to know I read The Economist.

I filled out my ballot this week and walked it to a drop box on Saturday. After hemming and hawing over some of the propositions and amendments, I ultimately followed the advice of a well-informed friend who I know shares my politics. Usually I’m that friend, but I was pretty lost this year aside from 2A.

The drop box was located outside an Early Voting polling spot, but they weren’t open. In lieu of the obligatory photo of my “I voted” sticker, please accept this photo of a sign outside the polling place.

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I stopped on my run this weekend to take a photo of these two competing balcony signs: Romney on the fourth floor, Obama on the sixth. I wondered whose sign went up first, and if they knew about each other. (I think the entrance to this building is on the other side). I’ve never put a sign for a Presidential candidate in my yard, though I did put up a Yes on 2A sign this year. I’m not sure yard signs have ever changed a mind, I think it’s a little bit more like hanging your college football flag up. It’s more about celebrating your own choice than convincing someone else.

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I’m getting entirely too moderate in my old age. I certainly hope that Obama wins a second term, but I almost feel a little embarrassed to admit that I suspect, if we end up with President Romney, we’ll be just fine.

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On the other hand, if 2A doesn’t pass and our libraries undergo further funding cuts, that might make me threaten to move to Canada.

iPad mini!

I am an unabashed Apple fangirl. I bought an iBook in 2005 and have been an obsessed groupie ever since. I read MacRumors.com every day, and I just did a mental inventory and I think we have owned every iPod model except the Touch and every iPhone model except the 5. I’m typing this on my MacBook Air, Chris works on a MacBook, and our “tv” is an old iMac. (All backed up on a 500 GB TIme Capsule, of course.)

(I was perusing Chris’s old instagrams last week and found this photo. I was like damn I loved that phone. The first gens were amazing and frigging sturdy.)

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Anyways. I patiently followed rumors for the iPad mini all year and had basically decided even before they were officially announced that I would be getting one. I hadn’t been able to justify a full sized iPad because my computer is so portable already (the 11″ MacBook Air). But Chris got a Nexus 7 in August and I’ve been eyeing it jealously.

So I woke up at 1 in the morning to preorder mine when they went on sale. I’ve always wanted to line up with other geeks for a new product, but it’s been a little too busy at work for me to come in late just for a shopping trip. On Friday I hit refresh about 90,000 times on my FedEx tracking, and finally it arrived.

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I love it. It’s already indispensable after only having it for two days. The mint.com iPad app is so friggin snazzy. I feel like a finance genius wizard from the future when I use it.

I’m still getting used to how it fits in my hand. I can hold it in one hand and navigate with the other, holding in both hands in portrait mode seems to work the best. Both hands in landscape is a little awkward because my thumbs can’t reach the center of the screen. I can hold in one hand and scroll with my thumb if I’m just reading (not navigating or typing).

Wish list:

  • Apple, could you put more controls along the bottom where my thumbs are? Like in safari to hit Back or open a new tab, I have to reach up to the top of the screen when I want it to be down where I’m already holding on.
  • I can type pretty well with my thumbs in portrait but in landscape it’s a stretch. I wish they’d do a split keyboard kind of thing. Just kidding. There is a split keyboard. Very cool.
  • The screen is so reflecty and fingerprinty. I think I’m the only one who prefers a matte screen.
  • An easier way to increase the font size on a website. All the text in google reader looks so tiny I’m having a little bit of a hard time.
  • The screen does look pixelated in some apps. Sometimes it’s fine, sometimes text looks a little fuzzy. Not a deal breaker for me.
  • I wish it had a rocker button for volume instead of two separate buttons because I keep finding myself using the wrong one.

But I love…

  • The I-know-that’s-your-thumb-on-the-screen function, so it doesn’t count that as input.
  • I finally have my gmail inbox under control because the gmail app is so lovely.
  • It’s small enough to hang out on my desk and tuck in my coat pocket.
  • Viewing pictures and video on the bigger screen.
  • Getting iMessages on it when I don’t have my phone in front of me.
  • Holy cow, flipbook.
  • The thing is so delightfully small and thin. I’ve grabbed it in the morning before I get out of bed, played with it at the dog park, plugged in my headphones and played music while I was grocery shopping. I can’t imagine doing that with the bigger iPad, and definitely not my laptop.

Basically, swoon.

Hello, Mountain Standard Time! You are a site for sore eyes.

It’s time for my twice-annual rant about Daylight Saving Time. Everyone says it wrong, people use the wrong time zone delineators, I like my “extra” sunshine in the morning. Blah blah blah. I’m just going to be lazy and link to past rants.

I leave one clock on standard time in protest, and it will be right again until March, hooray.

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There are a couple of things you don’t really want to start a conversation with me about because I act like a know it all and I have me some opinions. Daylight Saving Time is one, Common Law Marriage is another.