Big Moon, Babies and a Rejection of DST

Did you see the size of that moon?

So I called my brother on the telephone expecting to chat; his wife was expecting their third child soon and I wanted to catch up a bit. Rich tells me that he’s on the way home after looking for an accessory for the baby’s bassinet since he’s rolling around…
I wasn’t sure if I heard him correctly, but I did. His wife delivered Kaleb a couple of days before and he put photos up on his “facebook wall”… Didn’t I see them, he asked? No.
I see the value in facebook now; if I hadn’t signed up I might not have found out about the newborn until Christmas.

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In all seriousness- Congratulations Nicole and Richard (parents) and Jorden and Jayden (sisters)! I love you all!

In other news- I refuse to set my time pieces ahead.
I have three manually-set clocks and I’m fed up with this big government and it’s demand to redefine the range of daylight. Is this what my tax dollars are paying for?
Ok; I’ll probably reset my clocks today, no worries.
btw- The shop is open 2-7pm today.

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Plants are starting to grow.

When I first opened Yojimbo’s Garage, in the late 90’s and early 00’s, I took photographs of most of the customers who bought bikes from the shop. At some point I stopped, switched over to digital… And was just thinking about how thousands of customers and friends have passed through the doors in the last few years and how I hadn’t documented much with the camera.
Well, here are a few recent visitors:

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UPDATE:  I forgot to mention the Gapers Block Crits
Every day all week- sanctioned criterium racing on Chicago’s South Side (Calumet Park), excellent opportunity for juniors, women and beginner and sandbagger men ūüėČ

Onions, Worms and Wheels

How about that weather?

Meanwhile in the shop’s basement, the small garden has been working a bit…

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I wanted to show some friends my onions which were ready for harvest. ¬†I wasn’t sure if these were garlic or onions since they sprouted from my compost, but after digging them up all things were revealed.

Not only were the green onions healthy but the soil was too with redworms thriving in quantities I hadn’t seen in potted plants previously. ¬†Also- the expanding onion roots had started a couple new bulbs (which I’ll replant).

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The shop’s four day schedule is keeping me busy on the professional front. ¬†I’ve been building a lot of wheels and a few bikes as some customers are taking advantage of the sale prices on inventory… ¬†I’m still trying to reduce my overstock and am discounting colored rims more starting this month.

Some models of bikes are available in a range of sizes (Fuji Obey, Duratec T9, Blue TR250, SE Premium Ale, various road bikes, etc) while others are down to one left, such as this Dolan Arc DF3:

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Gratuitous bike video?  Kudos for a bit of cycle-choreography.

(two times, thanks Robyn)

Wednesday Shamisen and Chiditarod Alert!

Theme music for the week.

A favorite jamin’ shamisen piece with taiko back up.¬†¬†
Listen. Close your eyes.
You’re standing at the intersection¬†of Hubbard and Wolcott this Saturday. It’s high noon and 150 tribes have assembled, each represented by five people and one shopping cart. Costumes, embellishments and high spirits abound. At once sound erupts, the race starts and 750 souls begin a journey through the Jungle, gathering a bounty for the Chicago Anti-hunger Federation.

Chiditarod is 5 March at noon. Registration is closed but they’re still looking for volunteers (fun!) and the start is the best spectator spot (show up early).

Other news? ¬†The shop is busy (closed until Friday) and a little bit of green is showing itself…

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Two Things Before Spring; Seed Exchange, Bikes Ready

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Specimens of both can be seen in this photo.  

You might be thinking about the seeds which you hope to help germinate soon. ¬†Maybe your mind keeps gravitating to favorite roads you enjoy riding during the Spring budding season…

Last year, some friends and I started keeping seeds in the bike shop and exchanging freely; a number of us we’re leaving seeds or taking a few home to add to our gardens… ¬†I offered seeds to many unaware customers who seemed delighted to take a chance at raising their own vegetables, flowers,¬†melons, herbs or what not.

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This year we’re repeating the effort and seeds are available. ¬†Feel free to take part in this project while visiting the shop- ask to see what’s available or bring seeds of your own to leave for distribution. ¬†Currently I have varieties of¬†tomatoes, corn, peas, green beans, eggplant,¬†watermelon,¬†cantaloupe, pumpkin, okra, spinach, collards, kale, cilantro, basil, catnip, sunflower and other¬†miscellany.

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The¬†mammoth¬†sunflowers (8-12 feet tall) are a favorite and can grow to full height in 3 months. These proved to be hardy last season, planted an inch below the soil with a little vermicompost and watered twice each week if rain wasn’t cooperating. ¬†Once they reached a few inches in height, they grew quickly benefiting from full sun and sufficient water. ¬†I’ve had a few heads drying in the shop over the Winter and seeds are ready for¬†dispersal¬†(while they last).

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Road bikes might not be predominant in the shop (relative to track bikes) but they’re here in great numbers,¬†equipped¬†with Sram, Shimano, Campagnolo or as a partial builds or frameset only. ¬†Over 30 road bikes are in stock and about a third are full carbon…
Full carbon frames range $700-2000; completes starting at $1500 including sales tax.  Alloy/carbon, full aluminum and chromoly road frames and bikes are available too, all are on sale.

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And don’t forget about everything happening this weekend.

Last Week of Feb.

 

     

Garycat, 26 Feb '11

 

This week’s calendar is full of events and socials. I’ll list what I know; speak up with other options/invites…

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If you visited Yojimbo’s Garage between 1999 and last year, you might have met Gary- the big, orange shop cat; he was a friend to everyone who walked through the door.
Late last year Gary had some medical problems which caused his health to fail.  After some time with his vet, he was more comfortable returning home.  Gracie and myself were with him when he passed away early on the morning of 10 November.
Gary the cat was born 5 August 1997 at the home of Kevin Tabitz, a customer of the shop, and moved into YG two years later.
A little more information on Gary is on one of the shop’s old web pages.

Pedal Update and Ed Rudolph Warm-up

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photo: Ben Fietz rider: Jeff Perkins track: Ed Rudolph

As an appendix to the previous post– today’s featured photos show the track pedal upgrade in two environments: in use at the track and at home for a closer look.

The first photo is a favorite contribution from Ben (thanks!).  The event is the Keirin and you can see the motorpacer (red motor bike) has just pulled off of the track and onto the apron after bringing the cyclists up to speed; the real action of the race is about to unfold very quickly.  This photo was taken at the Alvoi Cup, a premier weekend of racing at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook.

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photo: Jeff Perkins

Jeff is showing us his Shimano 105 pedal, upgraded also with ceramic bearings, Mikashima Gold Medal toe straps with a Euro-white Lake shoe attached. ¬†More views of¬†Jeff’s pedal & strap set up

As long as I’ve mentioned the velodrome in Northbrook, this is a good time to point out their email list¬†and¬†their facebook page– sign up to be updated on the latest news, for spectators as well as new and experienced racers.

Track Pedal Upgrade and Wed Foo

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Clipless pedals can often be upgraded with¬†auxiliary¬†toeclip strap eyelets, allowing you to use toe straps for extra security. ¬†Some choose this method on the track where a “solid feel” and efficient power transfer during sprints is desired.
I’ve upgraded many pedals this way and you’re welcome to consult me on this option.

The velodrome racing season is right around the corner: Northbrook starts sessions in April, racing in May, Kenosha and Indianapolis follow a similar schedule and we should have a new practice track on the South Side by the Summer.
Make sure to check your equipment and perform any needed maintenance before the season starts.

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Upgrade partially done.

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Added plates, from above.

Unfortunately- I don’t have any photos of the pedals with straps attached handy at this moment.

Photo of John’s strapped set up and Jeff’s 105 upgrade

To make up for my poor execution of photography, here’s a nicely shot and edited video from Fly Bikes. ¬†Tres:

Saint Myrna Pullin di Hippeastrum

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I was on a secret mission in Rockford last week and noticed a friend’s mother had been blooming some amazing flowers in her home. ¬†The bulbs were the size of baseballs, partially exposed above the soil with thick shoots a couple feet long in some cases, which exploded into nice, healthy tropical flowers. ¬†I was stunned and we discussed the flowers and her history with distributing these bulbs amongst her friends for many years.

Myrna referred to these plants as Amaryllis, which is a common misnomer according to Wikipedia.  It looks like Hippeastrum is the South American variety which is easier to bloom and more commercially available in the US, while Amaryllis is the South African genus from the same family Amaryllidaceae.

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“Fresh” out of the bag, after a period of storage/dormancy.¬†

Hippeastrum bulbs can be purchased at garden centers; choosing a large healthy bulb will pay off in the strength of your plant and the number of flowers it produces. ¬†Bulbs don’t usually produce flowers for the first two seasons so it’s good to have patience, however, better garden centers will sell older bulbs that are likely to bloom 6-10 weeks after planting. ¬†Once they are 4 years old they might start producing offspring bulbs that you can share. ¬†A reputable source I can recommend is Van Engelen.

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Roots trimmed a bit, ready for potting.

Two of my sources said to trim the excess roots so I did, a bit, but was a bit nervous and tried not to go too far… ¬†I planted in a mix of 40% potting soil, 40% vermicompost and 20% peat moss. ¬†This has been the mix I use for most applications. ¬†

Looking at the first photo, I’m wondering if I gave enough room to the two bulbs on the right; they’re not supposed to have too much room but… ¬†And will there be adequate drainage for the two in the middle, their roots need to breathe more than many plants? ¬†Any thoughts?

A master gardner in Colorado has this excellent post on raising Hippeastrum/Amaryllis.

Reminder- New Shop Hours

Just a reminder- New shop hours go into effect this week.

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Also- Everything is on sale, 25-65% off, including the Colnago track frame seen above.

In addition, I’ve set up a page on facebook. ¬†I can’t request more friends at the moment but you’re invited to solicit my friendship ūüėČ ¬†http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=543944013

Site Set-up and Design

Two guys helped extensively with this web site; I can’t thank them enough.

Pip Potter is currently spending a year in Kisumu, Kenya helping his wife as she works toward her Phd. and trying to hook up with local mountain bike rides.

John Cline is Chicago based but travels around to work on computer systems, play music and ride on various velodromes.

Pip is #7 in orange.  John is #3 in red.

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