Annas Weblog

Environmental education – Part 1
July 30, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Environment, Fun | Tags: , ,

Today: the wood spider

Thanks to Daan.

Reunion 2008
July 27, 2008, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Friends

There comes a time when people that haven’t seen each other in a while … have to meet again which basically means: reunion of Parks Ontario staff 2000/01 … and special guests of course. This time we met in the far north because some people (and not maybe a couple of people) had to pass their boating license in the need of many happy nautic miles.

After a looooong drive …

… we finally arrived and started right away to keep up with each others lifes: Some people showed a sneak preview of their recent movies, some showed photos from their recent worldtours, some told of their new jobs and cars and some others handed out newspaper articles that they had written.

After a great dinner we went for a walk and visited the most famous tourist attraction in town …

… lateron we fell dead to bed to wake up at 7:00 on saturday morning. After the drive to Kiel certain people got dropped off to go sightseeing and shoeshopping and others passed their boating license. In the afternoon we joined each other again at the beach to have a couple of beers and enjoy the sun, the sand, the seagulls and the ugly naked guy… .

After a short recovery and a couple of more beers we went out for mexican food and cocktails. What a great weekend guys! Thanks so much! See you all next year! And keep your 2010s Septembers free, neat and tidy!

The bike project – part 5
July 24, 2008, 9:43 am
Filed under: Bike Project | Tags: ,


the gear wheel cassette is done. Finally!

… and for some mysterious reason, I am an official ad-driver for the local underground sport: bike polo:

To put it with Alanis’ words: “Who would have figured?”


The bike project – part 4
July 22, 2008, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Bike Project | Tags: ,

The fork project

Well, well, well … where to start? Originally I thought it can’t be that hard to stick newspaper to the fork and make it last by varnish. Well, that proved to be wrong: After I stuck the newspaper on it, I got told that the varnish would macerate the paper. So I bought transparent film (for school books) and “sealed” the newspaper from any kind of moisture. That was hard, especially around edges and holes (e.g. low rider screws). However, I went back to my automotive paint shop and the two kindest Russians I have ever met. Many thanks to these guys! They explained me everything about the right varnish and needed accelerators (or hardeners). So I started to paint clear varnish on the layer of transparent film recognizing that in some spots the film did not fully cover the fork. Wherever there was only a tiny crack, the newspaper underneath turned grey. Wherever the film was not a hundred percent touching the newspaper, little bubbles built up underneath. However there was no way to change it. So I just went on with the varnishing process for 4 times (=4 layers). This took 2 days. I always went back and forth between work and paint shop in my lunch break, painted my fork, chatted with the Russians and went home to continue working.

When we recognized that there had to be another way, the Russians started to develop ideas and we tested them. This is why I bought another fork today (it’s only 10 Euros) and the next one is gonna be perfect for sure!

However, after we were done with the varnishing process, the owner of the automotive paint shop didn’t charge me anything and even asked me to come back which was really, really nice.

I took my fork and rebuilt my bike and here we go:

For the parts of the bike: If you don’t count the single screws, shims and grommets and take the single functional parts as an entire “thing” (e.g. brakes = 4 – making 2×2 brake entities with break shoes), you still come out at 109 parts. For the wheels every single spoke was counted (because the bike would work with one spoke less and there is the option of way less spokes) which makes one wheel already have 37 parts.

Am I counting raisins? – well, yes.

Am I nuts? – you choose.

What kind of investment would I need to go single speed? (prices in Euro)

2 race bike wheels (used) = 65,00 (wheel rim Mavic, hub Shimano) – you may get it for less

2 mantles (new) = 25,80 (Schwalbe Lugano) – you may buy them used for less

2 tubes (new) = 11,80 (Continental)

2 pairs of mini v-brake calipers (new) = 19,80 (Tectro) – good for this price (imo)

2 brake levers (new) = 10,00 (Vanguard) E-bay

1 headset (new) = 25,90 (Tecora) – good for this price (imo)

1 stem (slightly used) = 5,00 (3T) – pah! what a deal! 🙂 – retail price: 49,90

1 chain (new) = 12,00 (KMC Kool) – you can get a chain for way less … but not a KOOL chain

1 chain ring = 9,00 (Shimano)

1 halflink = 2,90

1 fork (used) = 10,00 (Stevens) – what a deal, too!

11 spacers rear, 4 spacers Ahead = about 10,00 (ask for old cassettes at your local bike store and take the ones with allen key holes, tip the bike shop owner and give him a smile and you’re fine with less than that)

1 seatpost (new) = 7,50 (GID) E-bay

1 saddle (used) = 1,50 (E-bay)

1 handlebar (used) = ??

SUM=206,20 Euro. Cost estimate of the bike shop to fully fix it: 470,00. Saved: 263,80

Schnee von gestern?
July 20, 2008, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Weird things | Tags:

The bike project – part 3
July 19, 2008, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Bike Project | Tags: ,

After all the other parts arrived yesterday via Hermes, DPD and German post (I love when my plans come together), today was the day of action. The biggest helper in the world arrived with two tool boxes and we started to take my old bike apart. Taking things apart is something I’m good at. Putting things back together: not so much.

This is what I needed this guys’ tremendous experience for (thank you, thank you, thank you!):

Someone else thought the whole action to be rather boring:

And here is the outcome of today’s work:

The little ahead tower needs to disappear later … once I found out in which positions my hands need to be. Oh, and of course the KOOL chain is lacking but that will be fixed soon. Other than that: I just love it!

What do you say?

The bike project – part 2
July 16, 2008, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Bike Project | Tags: ,

After my brand new and nearly unused wheels arrived…

… I started to think about designing my fork. The original plan was to glue newspaper on it and let it have varnished at the automotive paint shop around the corner because they have the kind of UV- and scratch resistant varnish I would want to have. I called the painter who liked the idea and asked me to stop by which made me all happy and motivated and that’s why I started right away with the design-process:

Arriving at the painter’s shop the guy went “Yeah, well this won’t work.” I thought “Alright, why did you not mention THAT EALIER?” and asked him a “Why?” that could have sounded slightly impatiented. He then explained veeery patiently why his varnish would macerate the paper. Basically the black ink of the other side would come though and make it all blurry. We both agreed that this would certainly not look nice. So he recommended to take the paper all off again (…well it was barely a job of 3 hours…), take a page of the newspaper, go to some car-sticker service and ask them to copy the paper on a foil which then can be glued on to the fork.

Or I could ask at a stationary shop for binder film, pull that over and come back but then it still would look stupid. I might have to sleep that over again.

Jesus, all the decisions these days!