California Dreamin’

Updates may have been few and far between, crew… but life keeps on living, and what a wild ride it is! The Moose and I (or as the fella calls us, in faux Russian accent, “Moose and Gurl”) are in Oakland, chasing love and adventure, while my friend holds down the fort back at the Alewyfe Inn. Don’t worry, we won’t stay gone forever (probably)… but we’re enjoying the warmth and sunshine (though there’s a freakish amount of both in Chicago this season- no snow to speak of this winter, and daffodils blooming in early March? Global weirding for sure).

Current projects include kitting out the Bay-Area bike, a vintage Miyata 610 I picked up on CL… have new brake hoods, cables & housing, velox plugs, and interrupter levers en route from Velo Orange, a rack on the way from REI, and some cork tape too. I’m usually partial to the brown leather and gum-hoods look, but am going black leather & hoods (eventually) with dark army green tape to go with the dusky metallic blue and silver paint scheme- her paint is pretty rough, and someone rattle-can “fixed” the fork, but par for the course for a city bike, and I won’t cry when I inevitably add to the patina. Saving up for steel fenders and a Brooks Flight, hopefully, but probably first a taller stem before all the other front-end goodies can go on there.

Finally got the stem-bolt un-stuck last night (thanks to lots of penetrating oil and a little help from Bearpaws… although I swear I loosened it, and if I had a proper 6mm wrench with some leverage instead of a multi-tool, I could have gotten it on my own… still was glad to stop swearing at the thing and get on with it) to find that the bars are already pretty much maxed out on height… they’re at least now level with the saddle, but I’d like a bit more of an upright position for city riding (and old bones). Jury is out whether I’ll sell her eventually, ship her back to the midwest if/when we head back that way, or maybe, possibly, ride her home? She’s a little lightweight for hauling a Cycletote full of Moose-dog cross-country, I suspect, but will be a fine light commuter or long-weekend warrior.

Oh yeah, I finally got that Cycletote I’ve been wanting (although it’s back in Chicago)- found a used (discontinued Medium-sized) one in Minnesota on Ebay that the owner was willing to ship, for a very reasonable price! Need to make some tweaks to the soft-goods- add some velcro and make some other modifications, as it was set up as a special-needs trailer, not a dog model, and the parts don’t perfectly line up. The folks at Cycletote were fantastic though with advice on retrofitting it, and even had a tow-hitch specially made for the Peugeot, as its seat-post is a smaller diameter than any of their stock hitches. Highly recommend their products- yes, they’re expensive, but they’re well-made, a pleasure to tow, and the company is a pleasure to do business with.

My laptop died on the flight here (or at least, the screen did) so I’m now on my third refurb Thinkpad in 10 years… and this time, I did the Linux (Ubuntu) dual-boot install myself. The hardest part was getting over my fear of breaking something… otherwise it was pretty straight-forward! Have been doing a lot of online coding classes, so look for some improvements around here coming soon!  Have been signing up for meetups with Women who Code and Girl Develop It in SF and Oakland… hopefully make some local friends and learn new stuff!  The job-hunt continues out here, and also looking into bootcamps… so many options… but I think it’s going to be a great year!

Oh, and of course… the food here.  Is.  Amazing.  We’ve gone out for obligatory Mission burritos, but mostly have been eating in, because that’s what you do when you’re a chef and trying to save money, and there’s a great Mexican grocery store down the street!  Did a test run this weekend of some menu items for the upcoming Donation Dinner (the west coast version of supper club, coming soon) and I think we have some winners.  We’re subletting a fantastic loft for the next few months, and it’s just begging to host a fabulous dinner party (or five).  Pozole, tamales… and of course, Anti-Trump tacos (and let’s not forget… Nasty Woman Nachos?)… stay tuned for more details!

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