Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ms. Cranky Pants gets up early

On the surface last week was a normal week. My nights were full of nightmares, though, mostly starring former colleagues. Every morning I woke up at 6:30am. Cranky. Ah, Pacific Daylight Time!

This is the issue with time-shifting. Triggered by time-zone travel, routine changes like 7am business meetings, and spring and fall time changes. Jet lag, with or without the trip.

On the plus side it means today I was up early enough to volunteer with Bike Exchange. It's a program to fix up donated bikes for people who need them. They have a really nice workshop with good tools, complete with volunteer mechanics to help you learn the ropes. I might have made a few of those people miserable with questions... and slowly my bike-fixing skills are getting better.

It's hard to beat $3 for a couple of slices of pizza for lunch. Bring your own water bottle. Simple pleasures.

Used bikes have an incredible number of problems. When you roll a bike over to the stand you never really know what will reveal itself. A day with Bike Exchange becomes a problem-solving derby, one after another. Don't spend too long on one because there's a huge stack of bikes that need fixing. There is time pressure. My brain learns new patterns and tools. It translates verbal instructions into spatial reality.

Today it was everything from tightening a kickstand to replacing a center-pull brake cable to truing a wheel (with help). I dread the truing stand because it's so easy to make the issue worse. One day I spent 4 hours creating a bigger problem, then undoing it.

I'm not the only one who is intensely frustrated at times. At the end of the session another volunteer stood next to the bike she'd been working on and said "This is a really nice bike. Too bad I hate it so much!"

No doubt it's a good mental workout because I get home and fall down and sleep like a dead person for 3 hours. Every time. It's a ritual now. Winter's coming, so today Bella insisted on diving under the covers and sleeping next to me. She's more than just a kitty, she's a little heater too...

(Meant to bring my camera and post a picture here. Of course, forgot the camera. Photos coming soon...)

1 comment :

  1. :) One of these days, I am going to get out there and do this. It sounds so rewarding, so frustrating, and so fun.