Finished my biking goal for 2017

I’ve got an old bike I’m considering rehabing. It’s a cheap old Murray bike from the late 90’s, but the frame is in solid shape. It just needs some new components. On Saturday night I put in some new tubes, and decided to take it out for a spin on Sunday morning to see what else needs to be fixed on it. Since I wasn’t sure how well it would go, I decided to pack both bikes on the rack, just in case.

IMG_1868.jpgMy wife headed out for her run, and I started taking the bike around the Coon Rapids Dam park. Overall, it went well and on the shortlist of things to fix are the shifters, the brakes, and some new tires. It sounds bad, but it’s really not that terrible. The derailleurs seem fine, and the wheels are passable. I might exchange the seat, but that’s just because I’m picky about where my butt sits. I took the bike off-road a bit (it’s a mountain bike), and pleased with how it performed. It wasn’t amazing, but it was solid, which is all I could ask for.

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This also marked the completion of my biking goal that I set early this year of 650 miles. As we got into November, I was concerned that I would be a few miles short, but with some decent weather the past few weekends I’ve been able to get in a bit of mildly cold weather riding. It was also a beautiful morning, with a beautiful sunrise over the river. The air was crisp, but the wind was light. It made for a pleasant hour or so of biking.

Next year I hope to up my goal to closer to 800, and I think if I’m deliberate about it, there’s no reason I can’t make that happen.

A Goober

My brother-in-law and his fiancé have a cat named Goober. We were at their house on Sunday and while sitting around I got a nice profile shot of the Goobster. I decided it looks pretty good in B&W. He’s a bit of a touchy cat, and really likes to use his teeth to play, but when he wants to be sweet and cuddly, he’s adorable.

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The iMac saga has a happy ending

I finally got a message from the Apple Store that my iMac was ready to be picked up. I called them up to find out what they did and how much is cost. Originally, when I started this whole endeavor, I wanted them to replace the video card. First, they told me to wipe my OS which I did, and it didn’t solve the problem. This last time when I brought it in they suggested it might be the mainboard that is the problem. The mainboard was around $500, the video card was $200. I wasn’t willing to spend more than $200 on a 2011 computer, no matter how nice it was.

So I waited for them to do some more diagnostics and see if changing out the video card made a difference. I got a call about a week ago saying that they were going to swap out the video card, but they accidentally broke a part that connected to the entire internal computer frame, so they would need to replace that part and frame as well (at no charge to me). Yet another week later I finally had the computer back in my hands, with a new video card.

The only comment that the tech made to me was that they thought that the temperature sensor on the hard drive was broken because the HDD fan kept kicking on. When I put in my aftermarket SSD, it came with a digital temperature sensor that attached to the hard drive cable and transmitted temperature data from the SSD, since the SSD didn’t have a temp sensor built-in. I figured that the temp sensor had simply failed and ordered a new one with same-day shipping from Amazon (on a Saturday no less). A couple of my memory sticks had failed tests as well, so I ordered those as well.

Saturday night I get the memory installed, and then crack open the case to put in a new temp sensor only to find that Apple had disconnected my after-market temp sensor. That’s the whole reason it wasn’t working. They hadn’t hooked it back up. I re-attached it, put the computer back together and lo and behold, everything works like a dream. There are no graphics artifacts (thanks to the new video card) and the fans are silent. It cost $200 for the new video card, which felt like an OK price to pay for a few more years of life from this old beast.

I’m still sitting on a completely wiped OS, and instead of restoring from Time Machine, I decided to just go with it and start over fresh. It’s allowed me to get rid of a LOT of crap that was just clogging up my drive and frankly, completely un-needed. I’m a little frustrated that it took me weeks to get Apple to fix what I knew was wrong in the first place, but in the end I’m glad it’s fixed, and the saga is thankfully over.

Being sick over the holidays is the worst

I’ve been fighting off illness for a week, and I’m slowly getting better. Every day I’m closer to 100%, and so far I’m about 90% after having spent some time on Wednesday around 40-50%. I’ve still been able to get out and do some of the regular holiday things, including eating way too much. However, because I’ve been not feeling great, I’m not getting any exercise. That means that I’ve packed on a solid 5 lbs in just a few short days.

Hopefully, these will melt away in the not too distant future. It’s nice enough outside that I’ll probably get some walking in this weekend still. I still also need 5 miles to complete my biking goal for the year so I might make that happen as well. Needless to say, being sick over the holidays stinks, and I can’t wait till everything is back to normal.