Thursday, March 20, 2008

Men and Their Tools

I can't describe to you why it made me so happy, but I bought my first tool yesterday to work on my bike. It's a cable puller and it allows me to adjust the tension of the shifting cables. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my cables were giving me problems. If the tension on the cable is too loose, then when you shift into a lower gear (a bigger chain wheel), the chain wont go. But if the cable it too tight, then it may not allow you to shift down into a higher gear. So right now, I'm getting my hands dirty and trying to find that perfect cable tension. Which leads me to a great story!

I wrote this for the Seattle P-I. It may or may not be published, but I tried. Here it is:

"The Coolness of Firefighters"

It's amazing how the actions of one can affect your feelings towards entire groups of people.

Today I was affected.

Sitting on a small, square patch of grass in front of the fire station on 50th and 11th, I set to work on my road bike; it's been giving me some troubles so I decided right then and there to work on it. As I tinkered away on my knees with my tools beside me, I noticed a firetruck come to a stop at the intersection nearby. Eventually the light flicked to green and the truck rolled slowly past to enter the station. As it passed me, I noticed one of the men look at me and I thought I saw him nod. It brought a smile to my face.

I returned my attention to my needy bicycle but before to long I was interrupted. "Do you have all the tools you need?" I heard a voice say, I looked up to see a one of the firemen standing beside me. "I do have everything I need" I said with a smile, but I almost wish I didn't so that I could accept his generosity! That fireman made my day with one simple question, and he made me proud of all our cities firemen at the same time. I just wanted him to know that I'm thankful for his kindness.


It was hastily written late last night as I see now, though I feel that a lot of my writing comes across that way, especially on blogger, as I rarely take the time to revise and edit.

Anyway, I'm happy to have my new tool. I'm hoping it will be the first in collection of many. There's something very gratifying about getting your hands dirty and working on your own bike. I appreciate Devin putting it together for me, but I hope now that he'll never have to touch it again. I'd like to try and do everything myself.

The other things of note in my life are the Bristol essay and my computer screen. I jumped through the hoops that Bristol University held up for me, and I got to turn in my new essay. I don't know how much detail I spent on it before, but basically the situation was complicated, I got a bad grade, I asked to redo it and they let me. Now it's over, sent in, and all I have to do is focus on the next test for Bristol which is the 26th. Boo.

As for my computer screen. Well, it broke. I don't know how or when exactly. I do know that it was in my backpack (like it had been for my entire trip through Europe) and that it happened in between downtown and home. Both Dan and I have been on the phone with the HP people trying to go through the process of getting it fixed. They told me that I didn't have a warrenty, so I checked with Mom and she said we had a three year agreement. I called back, and gave them the warranty numbers she gave me, but there was no record of it. They tried to get me to pay 700 bucks for it, and I told them I'd call them back. After talking to Dan, he got on the phone and spent God knows how much longer with another service representative before they finally acknowledged out warranty. Now all we need to do is send it in! HA!

Now I should go. It's raining in Seattle but I think I'm going to get wet and ride to the U District. I need to print some stuff off! Oh and anyone who reads this, will you send out good thoughts or prayers for my Mother? She's been sick for far too long now and we all want to see her get better!


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