Monday, August 31, 2009

New Life Type Stuff!

So, I have a job, and a place to live. I got both within a week of getting back to Davis, and I'm super stoked on both of them. I'm living in a house with professionals and grad students, which is cool. I have my own room, and a garage that I can store stuff in and make projects.  I got a job with B&L Bikes, as a mechanic.  It's a pretty big change to be working in a really professional shop, but it has certainly been making me a much better wrench.  Having to check other mechanics work, and have them check yours really highlights what you do and don't know.  At this point I'd say I need to work the most on speed across the board, as well as consistency. I have yet to be hit with anything where I was totally lost, but my number of jobs per day is really low. It's also a change to be in a situation where you really only want to do what is on the tag, as you are not getting paid and don't have the time to fix everything on the bike.  At the Bike Coop it was generally OK to futz around on one bike for awhile, fixing most everything, and then negotiating payment afterward. But that's not something you can get away with in a shop, particularly a busy one.

On the super upside, I have my own stand, bench and tools.  Including a truing stand.  Which is about the most awesome thing ever.  It's also really cool to have fat stacks of parts, sales people to deal with customers, and to get paid to do something that I think is pretty enjoyable.  Overall, no real complaints.

It does highlight how much more bank I could make if I had my own shop, which I sort knew with the Coop; but damn, full on shops pull down some bank.  Seriously.

Davis is also flat.  Davis is so flat that I inadvertently took Kristina on a 32 mile bike ride today, and she didn't die.  Overpasses are the largest hills for 20 miles in any direction.  This is bad, because people actually ride bikes here, which means the cops actually ticket bikers. (Of course, it supports an insane amount of bike shops, which provides me with a job.)  There has been a steady increase in traffic (bikes, peds, and cars) as we approach the start of the school year. I can only imagine how nuts the end of September is going to be.

So, I've got a job, and a place, and some free time, kinda. Perhaps there will be real blog posts again soon, and perhaps I'll get the bike trip stuff up soonish.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Aftermath

I've been back from the Bike Coop Tour '09 for a week now, and it's been a trip.  I feel like the tour was decades ago, just because of the amount of stuff I've been trying to cram into my days.  One of those things that I'm cramming into my days is getting the documentation of the tour digitized and presentable, my goal is to have it done by the end of the work week.  But really, 43 days worth of pictures, poorly written journal entries, and memory is a lot of data to work with.

What I can tell you now is how weird it is to be back in the "real world." By the end of the tour, you don't compare the last 40 days to the preceding years of your life, you're just thinking about the tour. But after the tour, making comparisons between how I spent the last 6 weeks, and how I spent this week is unavoidable.

The biggest change is sleeping. I've slept for not enough hours of the night starting in middle school, and really only get enough sleep when I have nothing at all happening in my life, or am sick.  During the tour I was on a relatively regular sleep schedule, going to bed around midnight and waking up at 7-8am.  Now I'm back on my insane sleep schedule, which involved going to bed last night at 3-4am, and waking up at 8am this morning. I may take a nap soon, but won't go to sleep until pretty late tonight. I blame this on A. Electricity, and B. The Internet.  Both of them let me apply for jobs, check up on friends and do other stuff late at night, when I should be sleeping.

My diet has dropped below my normal resting requirements, and far below what I was eating on the tour. I'm doing one meal a day most of the time, and feel fine. I've also only had one beer this week, which is at least a 7-fold reduction in my drinking.  I think I've lost weight this week, but can't be sure.

Then there are the little things, like seeing people around, interacting with a larger number of people each day, and being in one place.  It's a little weird to wake up in the same place, and be doing stuff in the same city area every day. It's actually mildly disorienting, although not necessarily boring, as I still have a lot to learn about the layout of Davis.

It's also nice having music again.