Friday, October 31, 2008

A new day

OK, yes Rachel, I agree...but asswipe is all I could come up with too... Altho I gave the thief a compliment by saying he/she was an asswipe of the highest caliber. Should have been, you are the lowest asswipe of all, not fit to wipe the ass of the absolute lowest living thing that craps in this vast universe of ours.

There, feel much better now.

Have made my phone call to the BART Police to report the crime. They'll get back to me. Sigh. Didn't expect much could be done in the first place, but had at least hoped to get it all done with one phone call and not drag it out with waiting for someone to call back.

And "we're very busy today" is not encouraging. Guess there's a big crime wave. Not surprising.

Transit riders are an easy target...grab something last minute before the doors close and hop off. Victim is trapped on the train. By the time you call someone, the thief is loooooooooooong gone and so is your stuff.

Those that park at the stations are easy targets as well. Their stuff is left all day. Obviously no one is watching it the entire time, cos things get stolen. Sigh.

Anyway, good news is that I have wonderful friends. Giving me support, listening to me drone on and on about how pissed off I am etc, and also giving me leads on good sources of used bikes. Definitely not going to buy Spencer a brand new bike for him to schlep himself back and forth to the train station - that's just asking to be robbed again.

If we hadn't gotten this really nice bike for free, we would have bought a used bike for him anyway. He is still growing and goodness knows how big he'll end up being. Not going to be buying him an expensive new bike every few years - not as cheap as buying him bigger shoes every few months or longer jeans - not like that's cheap either, but, well, you know what I mean.

I figure for right now, just a basic bike that can get him to BART and back that won't look too attractive to any asswipes trolling for goods. Hopefully, it will be good enough to also go riding about with me on the weekends as well. If not, Spencer and I can work together and save up a bit more after the Holidays are over and buy a second bike for our long weekend rides together.

I figure I can have enough put aside in a month to get him a good used workhorse for commuting.

Now, if I can just stop feeling guilty for having a nice, shiny new bike that I've just sunk a lot of money into... I know, no reason to be that way, but I can't help it. We did chat a bit about it last night cos I just couldn't shake the guilt. But Spencer understands, this is the first really, really, nice bike I've had and it's basically my car, so I had to make the investment to get a really, good reliable bike.

Oh, and now I also need to get over the fear of going anywhere and leaving it locked up. I'm afraid someone's going to take it and that would be just too much. Won't stop riding it tho - on my rides, I go out and come back. I feel OK locking it up out in front of the Safeway, very high traffic area, so anyone with big cable/lock cutters stealing a bike would be quite obvious.

Oh, and no, I won't be leaving it locked up at a BART station any time soon. Not just no, but HELL NO.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Excuse me while I use bad language...

Hey asswipe! Yeah, you...the one that stole my son's bike from the BART station today. You are an asswipe of the highest caliber. You have majorly dented your karma...and you know, I really wish I were around to see when it came back to smack you in the face. 'Cos, you know what? It will. He's a good kid and doesn't deserve what you did to him.

What really upsets me is that you not only stole a thing, you stole something that we'll be missing for a while. Bike rides all round here together, enjoying each other's company and the outdoors, getting exercise, and getting around. That was one half of our transit you asshole.

We don't have a car, so this is how we get around.

I hate you and I hope that when you were riding off on Spencer's bike, that you hit a rock and went flying over the handle bars.

Takes a lot of balls to cut thru two heavy duty bike locks, in broad daylight, and take everything away, including his helmet. ...just watch your back asswipe extreme, 'cos if I ever see you riding around on his bike, know that I will get it back and I don't care how much pain I leave you in when I do take it back.

You just DON'T piss off a Mom who works hard for everything her and her son has...even tho this was a gift...I still spent hard earned money getting it tuned up and awesome for him to ride - and spending extra money on lock up stuff you weren't supposed to be able to cut through - and he loved it and the freedom it gave him. And I loved it for the time we spent together - that's rare between a teen and his Mom. You may have taken away his bike, but you've only delayed us getting back out on the trails and spending that quality time together again.

And now I've got to go and re-do my budget so I can get the money to buy him another. Things will be really, really tight now, 'cos we've got awesome plans for Christmas and need to fit everything in...because I WILL NOT stop living my life because you are an ASSWIPE!

GET A FREAKIN' JOB LIKE THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and ASSWIPE! One more thing... Tomorrow I file the police report, because I DID take down the serial number and I WILL file a report in the hopes that you WILL get caught red handed and get to make new friends in the County Lockup. You SUCK.

OK, rant over. I feel better. Seriously don't know what I would do if I came across someone riding S's bike. But it helps me feel better thinking evil thoughts towards the asswipe.

Time for dinner, then I'm going to go read the book that came today from Knitpicks and the yarn that came along as well. Probably the last yarn I will buy for a LONG time thanks to the asswipe. It's some Swish DK to knit Spencer the Argyle Scarf from "Son of Stitch N Bitch" - to keep his neck warm while he's riding his bike. Ironic, isn't it. Good thing I've got a healthy stash of yarn, fabric, beads, embroidery thread, etc.

And you better believe chocolate is involved in tonight's dessert. We both need some.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bizzzzzzy...

Knitting...check.

Biking...check.

Sewing costume pieces for Spencer...check.

Various chores and other such nasty things...check.

Work, and more work...check.

Making a to-do list for a major purging/organizing project...ummm....working on it.

Got the last basket for the front of Sgt. Puff. It'll take a bit of getting used to it being in front there, but I love it. Pimp My Ride - The Bicycle Edition has finally come to an end I think.

Oh, and TOTALLY loving the Fitness website thingy. I can even add my Push ups for the push up challenge thing I've restarted - cos, yeah, I slacked off when I got sick and then didn't start up again until Monday. Anyway, push ups put a little guy lifting a big dumb bell on the training log calendar. It goes along with the little cycling icon and the occasional walking dude icon. And I can even track my daily pulse, weight, calorie intake, and mood if I want. Think I'll only do that weekly since weighing myself daily is rather counterproductive.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhh....Nature...

...and other um...natural things.

Just got back from another ride. I'm doing quite well on Sgt. Puff. She's smooth and easy. Oh, and the baskets? They are wonderful. My ugly, plastic, reusable Trader Joe's bags fit perfectly in them.

I took off west down the Contra Costa Canal Trail and on the way home stopped at a Safeway that's right off the trail.

8.66 miles today! And I feel great. All the way home, I kept thinking: "why the hell haven't I done this sooner?"

Oh yeah, I wasn't ready. Even last year I wasn't ready. I got Ms. Puffy and when things went the way of not being able to ride her any more, it took me forever to replace her. The time was right now and I'm very glad I did it. I won't tell you it's all fun and games as yet. It still takes me a while to talk myself into getting suited up to go out. Heck, it's still hot out for criminy's sake! But, once I get out, I feel so much better - not including the occasional coughing/sneezing fits - but those will calm down after the first rain. The Bay Area really needs a good dousing of rain - um...just not when Spencer and I are out riding please! Thank You!

Oh. And now for some Nature. Brought to you by a dry summer, a slight wind and some very "regular" dogs. As in they like to crap on the path and their owners don't poop scoop. Sooo against the rules of the trail!

Anyway, my allergies are getting all worked up over all the dust and other natural things floating about in the wind (that would be evidenced by the sneezing/coughing fits). And I did manage to avoid all the doggie bombs, but I swear, I can still smell the more fresher ones that were out baking in the sun. It's just one of those heavy smells that get stuck in your nose for a bit. Blech.

Thank goodness for fenders. Just in case I don't avoid the doggie bombs. hee hee hee

8.66 miles! And here I was thinking I could only go 5 a day. I don't usually know how many miles I ride til I get home and map it out online. What I do go by, is the time...I ride for x amount of minutes, then turn back. First ride, I went 15 minutes, then turned back and came home - 5 or so miles. This time, I felt so good at 15, I decided to extend to 30 - which ended up as over 8.

Knitting and crafting continues.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time for some bike Pics!

Hi everyone!

First off, let me introduce you to my new bike:

Everyone, this is Drill Sergeant Puffy Blue (Sgt. Puff for short)...



She's got a nice comfy, padded saddle - perfect for cushioning my cushy bum.



And, as of today, one very nicely balanced and perky Rack. (that one's for you Rachel.)




Spencer said she looks like she's armored up now and ready for battle...not quite, still need to get her a front basket.

And, in keeping with Military Tradition, she's even got some really awesome tatts. Check out her ink...




And there you are folks, my dream bicycle. Sgt Puff is Ms Puffy's older and tougher big sis. She's so tough (how tough is she?), I've ridden just under 20 miles on her and I've been riding less than a week. She's a real task master. Oh, and I've lost 3 lbs. already! YAY.

How do I know I've biked this many miles? Do I have a fancy on board computer thingy? No. I use MapMyFitness. It's a bit fiddly at first, but you can map out your route and it'll calculate mileage, calories burned and all sorts of wonderful things. All I have to do is keep track of how long I've been out riding (the stopwatch button on my watch is getting a real workout now) and remember where I've gone. This site will also search and list out favorite local bike trails! I've only just begun to learn what all it can do. Oh, and you can track walking, biking, running, swimming, various sports, etc all on the same site (a few years ago, it used to be just running). My favorite part is the activity calendar thing...you can pull up a calendar and see which days you've done what. So far, I've got a little biker icon on every day since Friday.

Spencer and I did so much riding this weekend, it was a blast. Think what we'll do the next weekend he's here with me is go onto the fitness site and search out one of the shorter bike rides, pack a lunch and head out. Now that I've got my baskets, we can fill those up with food - don't have to worry about having the weight the whole time as Spencer will make sure and eat everything up. He's going through another growth spurt...sigh.

Slowly, but surely, I'm building up my endurance and my energy is improving somewhat. Right now I try to ride a minimum of 5 miles a day. This weekend I did more cos I had Spencer chasing me around and encouraging me to go just a little bit further and faster. Yesterday and today were just short rides to and from the bike shop, but tomorrow, I'm back for a longer ride!

Umm....again

Still no photos of the Bike...but look...over there to the right...

Cool little visitor location map thing...first spotted on Major Knitter's Blog and pretty much all over blogland about now.

You can have a list, or you can have a map. I like the map.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ummmm....

OK, so no photos again today. My excuse today is that the bike is back in the shop.

I got a few bucks unexpectedly (ok, so I knew it was coming, just not when), and I'm having a rack installed on the back. And I bought some folding (collapsible against the bike) baskets to hang on it, oh, and a small basket for the front.

Once I get it back, it'll be all kitted out and then I can take some photos for show and tell. Although with all the baskets, etc on it, you might not be able to see the poor bike. hee hee. Oh, and you know I named it.

In the mean time, know that I've set aside the socks and the suede bag and am working on some very important projects (2 to be exact) that are on a tight deadline. It envolves cotton - lots of cotton. Yarn or fabric I won't say...as you'll see soon enough.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

oh, my aching Bum....

And not cos I've been on the bike all weekend...

Anyway...had fun torturing the wallet and riding all round the area with Spencer. We had so much fun!!!! We even took them on the bus, and then on BART too!!! Unfortunately, no pics of anything yet. We were just too busy today to stop and take any and by the time we got home... Welllll.... we barely made it before I turned into a pumpkin.

Actually, can't see well in the dark without my glasses, and I haven't gotten them back yet from the eye doc's office and the light was fading fast as we pulled into the driveway of our complex. We barely made it home. Too dark now for photos and stuff, so just be patient with me please.

Thanks goodness my guide boy was with me. Just followed him home. hee hee

Anyway, on to why the bum hurts. I kinda sorta had an issue with my bike after a short stop at a corner on the way to Antonella's house. Squeezed too hard on the brakes, slipped off the seat and kinda rammed my bum back into the seat. Should be a nice bruise there tomorrow. Already have small bruises all over my legs. I haven't forgotten how to ride a bike, but I've definitely forgotten how to do it gracefully.

Good grief.

Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I've got my jammies on, my new swedish wedgie shoes on (wallet is still wincing from that trip to Ross), and the pizza is ready to come out of the oven.

Time to relax with the boy, eat pizza and knit. I've got a knit deadline coming up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just your normal, average, biking Chic

Spencer says I look like a dork - braids hanging out of my helmet and pink padded gloves...

I don't care. I can still keep up with him and we're having fun.

I rode 1.5 miles yesterday at lunch, and Spencer and I did 8.72 miles all totalled today.

Told him if he keeps calling me a dork, I'll gonna bust out the padded spandex bike shorts.

Wouldn't be caught dead in them at this stage in my life, but hey, he doesn't need to know that. And, yes, I actually did have some - I've done my share of long training rides and bike-a-thons (MS 150 anyone?) - but I gave them away a long time ago. Only thing I saved was the pink padded riding gloves. They're cool!!!

Oh, and we're back on our saddles again tomorrow. We're riding over to BART to meet up with Antonella for some more wallet torture, I mean shopping. Can't wait!!!

Now if you'll excuse me, I may have survived the ride today, but I'm tired. Time to chill and maybe take a power nap.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oooh! Oooh! OOoh!!!!!

Finished the knitting bit of the Suede Knitting Bag.

The Firemen fabric arrived yesterday...hubba...hubba...

Survived another round of eye doc tests and new cool glasses should be ready next week.

Bought "The Bike" last night.

Would love to show you all everything, but I'm too busy riding round on it. Or thinking of where I want to ride round on it.

Hee hee...

Will take photos of it all this weekend and catch you all up on stuff on Sunday, I hope.

Ooh, and I've decided to turn the Suede knitting handbag into a Suede knitting messenger bag...of sorts. Kinda. We'll see how that works out. Whatever I decide, I've definitely got enough suede yarn left to make both versions if I want - and then some. Only used just over two balls for the knitted part of the bag! That's almost 9 balls left. Sigh.

Tomorrow morning, Spencer and I are off biking to our favorite coffee shop...Peet's. It's just way too far to walk to it, but now that we've got the bikes...it'll be a nice outing for coffee/hot cocoa and scones.

In the afternoon, we are biking over to Kohl's - BIG SALE AT KOHL'S. Spencer needs some jeans and I need some clothes for biking round town. Ooooh!! And we'll hit Rubio's for either lunch or dinner - depending on where we go.

Somehow I think my wallet is going to start taking hits again now that I'm more mobile. At least I'll be in shape while I'm complaining about being broke. hee hee hee

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can we get a "Just Right?"

ok...so I decide to cast on for the bag to break up the sock knitting....

Lion Suede is a different gauge than Berroco Suede, so I do a swatch in the stitch pattern, do some calcumacating and voila! I have a number of stitches to cast on.

Cast on and happily knit away.....get it about 5inches long and step back a bit to check out my handiwork. GAH. It looks a bit small. Out comes the measuring tape. Um....5 inches too small. GAHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Rrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiippppppppppp....

Next night...another swatch is done...more calcumacating is performed...I come up with another number....hmmmm...I think to myself...I think I did something wrong. I don't think it'll be big enough. So I measure the swatch again, calcumacate again...oooh...I must have made an error...I'll need MORE stitches.

Cast on and happily knit away...get it about 5inches along, step back and admire my calcumacating abilities. OOOH. Wait a minute...this looks a bit too big. Out comes the measuring tape. Um...10 inches too big.

Sigh. Now comes the pleading and begging bit.... I measured wrong, right? If I measure again and again and maybe even again, I'll get the measurements I was going for in the first place, right? Right? RIGHT?

Ummm....WRONG...and that would be NO. Away goes the knitting.

Next night...OK...I can fix this...reduce stitches down to a resonable size? ...only have about 7 more inches of knitting to do....I'll need to decrease about 50 or so stitches. Good grief, it'll look ridiculous by the time I'm done.

OK...think...think...think... OOOH. I know! Since I can't calcumacate worth shit, I'll measure out how much bag I really need and count up the stitches. Need a multiple of 3 for the stitch pattern... Oooh...lookee! 135 stitches. Perfect.

BIG, HEAVY, SIGH...RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPP

Yesterday morning as my hair was cooking (I colored it.) - Happily cast on 135 stitches (first attempt was 102 stitches, second was 180 stitches, yeah, I know, you think I would have at least been suspicious), start knitting away....first pattern row....I'm 3 stitches short. Gah...it's not a multiple of 3...it's a multiple of 6! DORK ALERT! Knit the last few stitches plain.

Heave a HUGE sigh and go rinse out the color from my hair.

Rinse...rinse...rinse...I REFUSE TO RIP IT BACK AGAIN AND CAST ON AGAIN!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHH

Oooh...Look...no grey hairs!

Ok...feel better. Anywho....add 3 stitches in the plain knit row that is next...next pattern row...perfect! YAY!

Last night....Knit, knit, knitting away...get to about 5inches (for the 3rd time), step back and go...OOOOH...this looks just about right. Out comes the measuring tape...just a wee bit shy of 20 inches. 20 inches is perfect, but what I've got is perfectly close enough for me.

Later tonight, I will knit some more on Honey's socks and then continue to knit on my perfect bag. hee hee. Funny part is...remember when I said I did those calculations again and thought...hmmm...don't think that's big enough I'll add more?

Yeah...it's the same number I ended up with...

First one was too small...second one was too big...last one is juuuuuuuust riiiiiiiight... I feel like freakin' Goldilocks.

Lessons learned? Plenty...

Don't calcumacate past 10pm.

Don't try to calcumacate with grey hairs...they really mess up your brain.

Don't doubt yourself.

Use yarn that's a similar weight in the first place, then you won't have to go thru any calcumacations at all!

Better yet, have someone else do it for you!!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The easy way out...



Your Attention Span is Medium




Your attention span is just about average.

You may think that you have a short attention span...

But being distracted is something most people struggle with.



The most important thing is that you're aware that your mind wanders.

If you find yourself daydreaming, you can usually snap out of it.

It may be tough to concentrate at times, but you can do it... if you want to!




Ooh...look...more YARN!




Remember the other post when I said I stuffed my cart full of yarn? Well it was these 11 balls of Lion Suede in the Olive color. Have always wanted something made out of this and this is my fav color. And at that price, how could I resist (for those of you who don't have eagle eyes, it's marked at $1.50 per ball)? So...I...um...bought every Olive ball they had...

And I plan on making this. Cos a girl can't have too many bags...and a knitter can't have too many knitting bags. It's a win-win for me I think. YAY!

If I have some left over, well, I'll just have to make...oh, I don't know...another bag!

I win again!!!!

Edited to add: When Honey read the post, we began discussing my ideas about how I was going to line my knitting tote and put in inside pockets, and I'll have to go fabric stash diving and see what I can come up with, etc, and he said: Why don't you line it with some more of that Firemen fabric?

Guess what I'll be ordering soon.

Shopping! And Firemen!

I WIN!!! AGAIN!! wooooooohoooooo!!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Time for a Stash Flash





Starting at the left:
From my last trip to see the Honey - Sirdar "Country Style" acrylic blend in rust, green and greyish browny sort of color to make Spencer another stripey ear flap hat. He, along with some opinions from Honey, picked out the colors. They had to make sure they were all "manly".

Hank in the middle is Claudia Hand Painted in the "John B." colorway, purchased at Imagiknit at the last Sock Club gathering - for socks - short ones...I only bought one. I can get a pair of ankle socks out of one hank of this yarn - just a plain ordinary ankle sock - toe up of course. Ooh, I did come home with something else, but I can't show it here in case the person it's intended for actually reads my blog. And I can't tell you what I'm going to make with it, cos that'll be a dead give-away as to who it's for...

Top Right: Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line, color 4251 bought on the trip and KnitPicks Essential "Shoreline Twist" just recently delivered to my front door. The Kaffee Fassett Regia will become a pair of socks for Spencer, and the Essential Twist will be a pair of socks for Honey. Both will be the Earl Grey Pattern by Yarn Harlot, which is the pattern selected for the Sock Club's latest knit-a-long. There are 2 balls of each, just didn't put them in the photo.

And finally, my favorite, the ginormous ball at the bottom right: also bought on the trip - James C. Brett Marble Chunky acrylic, color MC7 (3 big balls - only one shown in photo). It's soft and squishy and I want to make myself this.

Honey took me here (North Wales branch) to drool and purchase yarn. I was in heaven - lots of awesomely soft acrylic as well as regular wooly yarn. Had to stay away from the wooly stuff, but I was all over the rest. hee hee... Talk about a kid in a candy store. I thought I wouldn't be getting anything at all because the exchange rate was so awful. But, the prices at Abakhan are so awesome, I was able to get quite a bit...would have gotten more, but I had a limit as to what I wanted to spend and I can only knit so much anyway.

It's all just so soft and squishy....hee hee. I've had it sitting out on the table since we got back in August. Stopping to pet it and squish it and call it lovey names every so often. Ok, not that ridiculously corny, but I do love it.

Don't know if this is a good thing or not, but I seem to be able to handle Merino sock yarn quite well. Sigh. That, combined with the sock software I have now...well...look out wallet and better make room in the stash. Sigh.

On to 'normal' news... Got a call yesterday afternoon from the bike shop. One nice walk later and Spencer has his bike. He rode it to the train station this morning. I'll have to take the bus there later to pick it up since he'll be over at the Ex's for the next few days and there's no way I'm going to leave that nice bike at the train station for 2 days. Anyway, good excuse to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. It's a beautiful day...and I need the practice for when I get MY pretty bicycle next week!!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Go Chicago White Sox!!!

Yay White Sox...they are still in the race for the World Series...

...as for the Cubs? Like Ozzie says in the article - we don't care about them.


I don't really follow sports as much as I used to, but still cheer on the hometown teams when I pay attention. hee hee.


YAY WHITE SOX!!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

'Cause it's important

The deadline to register in California is Oct 20, 2008.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cutest. Tutorial. Ever.

For any crafter/cat lover out there...this is just way too cute. Too bad my little white kitty wasn't as handy with the scissors and sewing machine....

zannaleeidees

This link goes to the YouTube channel with quite a few tutorials. Must see if you've got some time on your hands. hee hee

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I will have a new friend soon...

Well, Spencer and I went to the bike shop when he got home from school. It was a lovely 20 min stroll with the bike. The bike shop dudes were very helpful and courteous - said the bike just needed a cleaning, a lube and some adjustments. So, we left Spence's bike there for a tune-up and they will also add some fenders. It's going to start raining soon, and well, either you get fenders or you've got that lovely muddy stripe going up your butt and onto your back. And Spencer will be riding every day, so...it definitely had to be done.

While we were there, a very nice young man helped me look at bikes for me - and I found one! Sort of... Now all I need to do is finish saving up the money. Next paycheck, she is M-I-N-E. I still haven't test ridden anything yet, so I'm not even sure it will be my final choice, so I won't show it here just yet. After next paycheck tho, I will have something for you to see.

I'm very excited about getting a comfortable, sturdy bike - and riding it everywhere. Just in time for cooler weather and rainy season. But, I'm not afraid to get wet - and I'm going to have fenders put onto it tho cos I'm just not into the stripey-butt look.

Anyway, so far this bike shop is a keeper. The staff is friendly and knowledgable, and with a younger man (under 20) who was very courteous and respectful - it has promise. Once we get Spencer's bike back, we'll see how good of a job their mechanics did...if we like it, and I buy a bike from them, I'll let you know who they are, if not well, they won't get my recommendation.

I'm really looking forward to getting out and about to even more places than before...I have special plans for next month, but only if I get a bike, so you'll have to wait. hee hee

A Special Anniversary Today

Hello everyone! No, I haven't been sick with this cold/flu now for a year, but it sure as hell feels like it!!!!

One year ago today, I stopped using my car.

Why?

Well, it pretty much stopped working. My 14yr old Toyota Corolla, a.k.a. Scooter, had finally had enough. There were several things wrong with him, all of which cost lots of money - more money than I could trade/sell him for...

So then the question became, do I fix him or get a new car?

I did neither and donated Scooter to one of my favorite charities. It was the best thing for him, and for me, and it took me waaaay too long to make that decision.

Bottom line, Spencer and I take public transit or walk everywhere we want to go. We are fortunate in that 2 different bus lines stop at the corner by our apartment to take us to many wonderful places - the best of which is the BART station - which in turn connects us to the rest of the Bay Area.

If we have visitors in from out of town, like Mom and Sis, or Honey, I rent a car. When I took the boys to Kublacon, I rented a car. If I ever need a car, I rent it - and it's not very often. The folks at the local rental car company are my buddies.

Several very awesome friends and even the Ex have loaned me their cars when they've gone on vacation. And those same friends, and others, and the Ex have graciously given us rides every now and then.

Once we sort out our bicycle situation, we'll have yet another mode of transport. Spencer's bike needs a tune-up and mine...well, Ms Puffy wasn't cut out to carry my weight (I've gained and it's too much for her to carry me and groceries), so I'm going later to check out some bikes while Spencer turns in his bike for the tune-up. Ms Puffy will be donated to my favorite thrift store where someone smaller will get much more use out of her and not try to kill her with weight.

And you just know mine is going to be tricked out with fenders ( I hate getting muddy stripes up my back when it rains), a back rack, and baskets all around! Cos I plan on taking my new bike everywhere. Just hope I can find one that can handle it.

Do I miss not having a car? Not really. I won't lie and say no all the way, because there have been several times that it would have been so much easier to hop in the car and pop here and there real quick like.

Not having a car though really makes you think. You really have to think about how you are going to get somewhere. Is the trip really necessary? How early do you need to catch the bus - don't forget to factor in if the bus or the train is late! Can you combine a bunch of things into this one trip out? Could you walk? Do you REALLY need that one something...is it important enough to take the bus all this way and take all this time...just for that one little something?

The benefits of not having a car? The obvious ones: no car payment, no insurance payment, no maintenance, no parking fees, no high gas prices, no registration, no smog check. The not so obvious ones: I spend less money since I can't just hop in a car and drive myself to a store because I'm bored, we only buy what we absolutely need because we have to plan our trip and then carry it all home, our carbon footprint is a whole lot smaller now, we get out and walk more. Ummm...that's not to say we don't go crazy and buy stuff we don't need though (i.e. all that yarn I stuffed into my cart today...and the xbox we bought a few weeks back).

Speaking of walking... I found out that within less than 2 miles of my apartment in any direction, is a total of 4 major grocery stores, a zillion restaurants, a post office, a pet store, 3 hardware stores, and so much more, it's incredible. And here, I've been hopping in Scooter and driving to all these places all these years. Sigh.

Speaking of bus rides...I can take the bus in any direction from my apartment and in 10-20 minutes I could be at 3 different BART stations, two local downtown areas, 2 different craft stores, 2 different games stores, movie theatres, our family doctors, a Target, new book stores, used book stores, the car rental place, and the list goes on and on.

I swear, Spencer and I go out more and see more things now than we've ever done before.

And you know the best benefit of not having a car? I get to hang out with... The. Best. Cart. Ever. Made....EVER!

Everyone...meet Dot.



And we won't discuss the very bad things she hears pouring out of my mouth when the bus is late. Yeah, that's a major down side, but not enough to make me go out and pay high gas prices, get a car payment, pay insurance premiums, get the car licensed and registered....or get stuck in traffic.

Will I ever get another car? Yes, eventually - and I do check out cars constantly so that I know what I want when I finally do decide to get motoring again. In the mean time, I've gotten used to using public transit and look forward to tooling around on my new bike when I get it. Oh, and what's really cool? The buses have bike racks and you can take your bike on BART. If I ever get tired, we both can have a ride. hee hee

I heart Dot, my BART EZRider Pass, my bus pass and my Translink card.