Monthly Archives: February 2012

This will be the weirdest post for (perhaps every) February

I learned today that it’s “traditionally acceptable” for women to ask men to marry them during a leap year. Clearly, with my egalitarian ideals I have heretofore missed out on untold opportunities to ask men to marry me. (well, at least 8 opportunities. I’m just 34 years old.) I also learned that it’s traditional in Denmark to compensate the spurned lady with 12 pairs of gloves if you reject her.

Tonight Mike and I had A Big Talk.

Me: so it’s leap year. will you….?

Mike: Funny you should ask, I just found a big box of gloves.

Me: GOOD. it will help you to STAUNCH THE BLEEDING.

(we do love each other very much. clearly. and on that big day, we’re totally giving this song a prominent position in all festivities:)

Here concludes the Fuzzygalore 29 in 29 challenge! I think it went rather well, what do you think?

Day 27: eating in the car. #29in29 I can't believe the challenge is almost done! # tired tired tired tired tired tired tired tired. #tired # Ladies, please all go read this and then negotiate the PANTS off of … Continue reading

Online Eyeglasses

I’ve been shopping around for online eyeglasses, and have plummeted down the Warby Parker rabbit hole. I also ordered three pairs for about $40 from Zenni Optical. They just shipped, and should arrive this week.

I have worn hard lenses (rigid gas permeable) since I was 19 years old, in college, wearing my soft lenses for two years straight and for 20 hours a day. Remember when insurance companies would only buy you one pair of lenses – glasses OR soft contacts – every two years? I had a problem with protein deposits and my corneas became slightly misshapen, and I was put into RGP lenses by an eye doctor who affirmed I was too irresponsible to care for soft lenses.

The thing is, RGP lenses corrected my eyes AMAZINGLY. I had the clearest and most wonderful vision with them! I could wear them all day and most of the night! And I didn’t have to get new ones unless the old ones broke – in the last 15 years I’ve only had 4 pairs of lenses! and now I’m wearing soft lenses and they make my eyes itch after about 15 hours, and they aren’t as sharply corrective, and they are so very wasteful. I miss my hard lenses. So I am compensating with lots of pretty glasses, for those days when I just can’t get these big soft pieces of plastic into my eyes.

For reference, these are my old glasses:


I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. There’s only one day left! #29in29

Eating in the car


I try not to eat in the car, but when I leave work (early) at 4pm and drive to three hours of meetings, well, sometimes you have to eat an apple and a handful of almonds for fortification.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Day 25: thirteen for dinner. #29in29 # Day 26: my sorta cold weather gear. #29in29 # Powered by Twitter Tools

My sorta-cold weather gear


After getting to ride in to work last week in high-30s/low-40s, I thought maybe a post about my sorta-cold weather gear would be interesting. This is a terrible photo, but it shows my Fieldsheer Lena jacket and my Tourmaster Quest pants.

The jacket is water resistant and has a quilted liner, and it cinches nicely around the arms and the waist. I got it particularly because the arms are super long – and I am super tall. I have an inch or so at the bottom of the sleeves in extra fabric, which is such huge luxury on a motorcycle. However, last week I realized that perhaps as a function of me being so tall: the bottom of the jacket lets in a draft that hits me right on the belly button. I think I need an insulating cummerbund to keep my stomach warm.

The Quest pants were a deep discount purchase when I needed a pair of new pants last spring (after the bottom of my previous pants split. Embarrassing!). They have an integrated waterproof liner,  so they are generally too warm in any kind of heat. If I wear them at work any longer than necessary once I get to the office, my legs get sweaty and clammy. They work fairly well in the cold to keep the wind off of my legs.

Under these two things I generally wear wool long underwear. I have Icebreaker leggings and some other wool gear from sierra trading post. I wear a long sleeved light weight wool shirt and a thin-but-warm Icebreaker sweater on top.

I also wear a turtle fur neckwarmer (which I’ve had since middle school – over 12 years ago!), and have a wool balaclava but haven’t worn it yet.


Hands are the hard part. I have a pair of Rev-It Unix H2O gloves which are more warm than any other gloves I own, but still not warm enough. After about 25 or 30 minutes my fingers get cold and tingly, and my commute is 1 hour long. These gloves are womens’ sized, too, and they’re awfully tight – I’m not sure if I’d be able to get a liner in with my hands.

Tomorrow it’s going to be a beautiful day, but about 27 degF when I leave for work and I have a meeting late at night, so I wouldn’t be heading back home until long after dark. I just don’t think I’ve got the ability to do this on the motorcycle. Sadly! Long term, I plan to get some hippo hands and heated grips – but that just wasn’t in the cards for us this month.

What’s your cold weather kit? do you have a temperature threshold?

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Thirteen for dinner


We went up in the capital district for my Nieces 5th birthday party, and then we all went up to my dads house for big family dinner. My dad is out of town but we made ourselves at home. The little kids had a super time – all six of them! They are currently sacked out in a giant sleepover. It’s pretty great.

This is a tremendous piece: Save The Cooper Union without losing its identity # Temporary kitty has this annoying habit of walking away from our skritches and then meowing pathetically. He is SUCH an emo teen. # Day 24: … Continue reading

Surprise Snow


We woke up today to a surprise 3ish inches of snow. It was beautiful! But a HUGE surprise after our last couple of 50 degF days.


I was working at home anyway because of a car maintenance appt. Temporary Kitty tried to help me out.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Day 22: Riding to Working February! #29in29 # Powered by Twitter Tools

Big Sky New Jersey


I was out at a job site today and snapped this photo. I couldn’t see at all because of the sun, but I still managed a striking photo. the sky was incredible!

I work in environmental remediation, and this site is contaminated by lots of bad stuff. We are in the process of implementing a remedy to control the risk to humans and the surrounding ecology. It won’t be cleaned up, but it will be maintained and controlled.

I know a lot if people get pretty depressed when they find out about environmental contamination. I’m by nature an optimist, but even considering that, I’m not upset by these old messy industrial sites. I mean, look at that photo: it may have impaired function, but generally, nature perseveres. That’s a wonderful thing to know.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Riding to work in February!

Guess what: I rode into work today!


Doesn’t it look like my sweet DRZ-400 is descending from heaven to take me to work? What a lovely chariot. I wasn’t sure that it would start, actually – I haven’t drained the gas or put in stabil or put the battery on a trickle charger, but it was a new battery last year and it stayed strong enough for the minute and a half of cranking the ignition that was require before the engine blew out the varnish from the carb jet (what I assume it’s doing) and started with a bang and a backfire. Yay!

It WAS pretty cold – the temperature when I left the house at 7:30 was 38 degF but when I arrived home at 7PM it was a balmy 45 degF. (I’m planning another post where I talk about what I wear when I ride in sub-40 degF temps.)During the day it got up to 54 deg F! Sadly I was sitting at my desk and not riding in circles over hill and dale. My fingers got tingly on the way in and on the way home I stopped for gas and warmed up while picking an engine treatment to add to the tank – I’m not sure if it will work, but I got a fuel injector and carb cleaner and chugged the whole bottle (treats up to a 21-gallon tank!) into my little 4-gallon motorcycle and merrily rode home.

(NOTE TO SELF: don’t leave your fancy cold weather gloves out in the motorcycle hat box during the day when it’s cold. They will be cold when you put them on. Cold Cold Cold.)

I figure – I haven’t ridden since… oh shoot, December? November even? and the motorcycle started up. So if it can manage to last for 3 months and still start I should be fine until early April. IF I MUST. fingers crossed for some warm days and dry roads in the future!

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29


Day 21: reading ride reports! #29in29 # Powered by Twitter Tools

What I’m reading right now – ride reports

I just discovered this great ride report on ADVRider. I really love the way he’s tracking all the information. So far I’ve reached nearly the end of Africa

On our journey so far we have covered nearly 11,000 miles, 18 US states, and 9 countries. Not too shabby for two little Taiwanese underbones. After 93 days on the road, our average daily cost is 62 USD total (not per person). This does not include air freight, air fares to Africa, and health insurance, but it does include every other expense incurred on the trip.

And then after staying in one place for a few days trying to arrange shipping, the Africa stats:

Africa: 7 countries in 57 days. 4843 USD in daily expenses = 85 USD per day. 485 liters (128 gallons) of petrol for 5600 miles = 88 mpg

I really love finding all this information. It’s a good baseline when I start my own dreaming. Transportation from Africa to India:

Transportation wrapup. Our flights on Oman Air from Dar Es Salaam to Mumbai were 455 USD each. The air freight cost for our 320kg was 3.96 USD per kilo, for a total of 1367 USD (including 10 USD air waybill prep and 80 USD in dangerous goods fees). We also paid 300 USD for our “deluxe” crate and freight forwarder fee.

So what’s the photo about? That’s my hat box, which has revolutionized my motorcycle commuting. Highly recommended, if you’ve got places to go, people to see, and weather to ride through.

Day 18: Mardi Gras! (a day late) and Day 19: Octopus! #29in29 # Day 20: the most things on my plate #29in29 # Powered by Twitter Tools

The most things on my plate

Tonight I made a dry spicy pumpkin dish from my India cookbook. It was delicious! I also made rancho gordo beans and we reheated rice and collards from last night.

We were away all weekend and ate out nearly every meal. It was so tempting to say: let’s head out and get some dinner! But after spending money on meals for 2 days it made more sense to cook at home.

The fact the I was working from home just adds to the no-brainerness of this decision.

Contributing factors may include the part where we didn’t actually get dressed today.


I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29


I’m working on Mike’s xmas gift. (um, yes. Christmas 2011.) Normally I make Mike and the little dudes xmas hats, but this year I wanted to do something a little special for him, and asked him to pick out a mitten pattern from my ravelry favorites. Clearly, he made the best and most obvious choice and picked the Octopus Mittens.


Normally I’m a terribly slow and inconsistent knitter, but these mittens are so rewarding to knit. Between the variation of the orange yarn and the neat pattern, I can’t wait to work on them and see what happens next. This photo is from this morning, and I managed to finish knitting the hand and half of the thumb in the car on my way home from Pittsburgh (oh Mike is awesome for driving) – I can’t wait to cast off and see how it looks all put together. Of course, I will still have to knit Mitten #2, but I am hopeful that it will be almost as exciting as the first one was!

Now, I know some of my new blog/twitter friends are knitters – show yourselves!

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Mardi Gras!

It’s a little early this year, but I had a great time at the 9th Annual Sharuchallard Mardi Gras party with the old Pittsburgh Gang. Mike and I drove out on Friday night and stayed with Kelly – we got to play with Erik in the morning and he showed me all his stuff, and then I bought bulk maple syrup and lots of good soap from the Pittsburgh Food Co-Op before heading over to Greenfield for the party.

Jesse and Aurora had bottled beer at the Copper Kettle Brewery near their home, where you can stop by, mix up some beer for a couple of hours, let it ferment at the brewery, and return in 2 weeks to bottle the beer. What a cool idea, right? There’s an article about it here.

Mike blew me away with his “To Kill a Mockingbird” shirt, based on the anniversary edition book cover. When he gets a post up on his blog I’ll link to it directly. And as for Kelly and I – the theme was “A Novel Approach.” Kelly was a tour book for Hawaii, and I was the lady on the cover of this book.  No one could guess, I didn’t even make them try. There are very few people in the 30s to 40s set who have read as many Mary Stewart books as I have, I bet.

I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

“@YouMotorcycle: BLOG'd #29in29 Week 2 Favorites –” nice recap! # I told @mikegrundy: I know we'll never break up, but if we do, I'm taking these mittens back. #hadtobesaid # Powered by Twitter Tools

Day 17: go west! #29in29 # “@FriendsofCooper: 155 years ago today: NYC passes a charter allowing for Cooper Union #FriendsofCooper # Y'all, read this + always wear yr gear: even when hurt you're LESS hurt. “@HellForLeather: Full story … Continue reading