I hope to get out tonight for a few miles. The weather is a bit iffy, but this might be the only chance I have all week.
I spent all day yesterday at home working to get us high speed computer access. In our area the choices are limited, and it made financial sense to go with a cable provider and drop a second phone line and the AOL service that we have had for years. I was a little worried about the physical part of it because of the “history” of our house, but the cable guy and I were able to find the old connection buried under a flower bed next to the house. Better yet, I had not removed all of the old cable wiring when I gutted the basement, and he was able to splice into the wires and bring the connection right up under our computer, where I had routed the phone lines.
We did run into trouble, however, when he went to load the modem software. After a lot of frustration, I replaced the CD burner and things worked properly. Oddly, the diagnostics on the puter said the drive was working fine. So tonight I have to set up Explorer and link to the existing e-mail accounts, and hopefully things will be good. I knew things were headed in the right direction last night after I set up AOL via broadband and my daughter commented on how much better it was. Her main concern is making sure that she can still Instant Message all of her posse.
The next step is to set things up for wireless so we can use the upstairs puter as well as any laptop that we might buy for my daughter as she approaches college. Supposedly it’s not a hard job. I also want to play around and see if we might have gained access to any cable channels. There are probably filters, but often it is possible to get a basic package. If all we get are the local stations clearly, then its a win as far as I’m concerned, since we rely on an antenna anyway. (Red and I have agreed to never spend money on cable TV).
On a related note, we’re looking at dropping our long distance service and relying on our cell phone plans. We don’t make a lot of long distance calls, and we don’t even come close to using our cell minutes.
The new bike: I have spent nearly $200 on accessories this last week. It’s amazing how little things like lights, pedals, water bottle cages, etc… add up. I did order a basic wireless computer from Nashbar (the only fancy feature is that it is backlit), and I scored a Carradice bag on Ebay. With that bag on the bike, I’m now debating whether or not to mount the Trek rack as a “permanent” appliance or just slap it on when I want to carry extra gear and the panniers. It actually comes down to looks…
That really raises an interesting issue that I’m dealing with. I figure this will be the last and only new bike I’ll ever own, so I want to do it right. But I have to weigh that against what I can afford and what just makes sense. For instance, Big Jim really recommended upgrading the headset to a sealed unit, so I went with a Cane Creek, which are fine units. But there is a part of me that is wrestling: “get a King because it will last forever.” I’ve decided to hold back as best I can, and always keep the option of upgrading available for the future. I figure for the amount of riding that I’m doing, the upgrades will either become obvious, or it won’t matter. Bottom line is that I have comfortable and reliable transportation, and that I enjoy the ride.
I’ll try to check in later with the ride report.