Regina and I moved up to the North Shore of Massachusetts temporarily while Regina studies. It’s a little jarring how quiet the area is and how vocally friendly the people are compared to the city. We’ve visited a local craft whiskey brewery, saw a horse parade, and experienced the “darkest place on earth” while driving back from Umass Amherst. I probably shouldn’t have listened to “The Chamber of Secrets” while driving because it didn’t add to the growing levels of fright. The photos below are from Halibut Point State Park. Regina, Ernie, and I explored the area and went into town for some lobster rolls. All in all, it was a great day. Oddly enough the state park used to be a quarry for granite during it’s hay day. I wonder why it park’s name did not reflect this. The point also looks over Folley Cove which we learned at the brewery is where they smuggled in rum and other spirits during the prohibition. Ernie came too!
A few of us flew to Phoenix, AZ to attend a friend’s wedding and it was a blessing to be a part of their celebration. After the wedding we took a road trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, it was amazing to see! Regina and I then drove to California and took Route 66 for a piece of the drive. I’ve first heard of Route 66 from the movie “Cars” and so it was cool to see it live. Oatman, AZ is very unique with its friendly donkey named, “Flapjack”. Oh yeah. Regina took some of the photos.
I got into biking a few years ago when my buddy Simon helped me get my first bike from the Penn State craigslist! I learned a lot from maintaining my bike. My wife Regina received one an old 3 geared internal Columbia hub bike for free from our friend’s brother who builds bikes for non-profits and friends. Check out his website! To try something new I decided to try and build a single gear bike with minimal funds for Regina. It took about $200 + amazon gift cards and 10 months to buy and find all the parts, new and old from craigslist, amazon, LBS, Ebay, and other bike websites. Pictured below is the Kent 10 spd frame I bought for $20 in Colorado while on a work trip. I shipped it back for more than double the purchase price, but it was still cheaper than anything i could have found in NYC. Photo of the 50cm frame after the removal of the foam grips and chain ring.Prep work done on the frame:
- Clipped off F/R derailers, shifters, and cable housing.
- Removed the old aluminum extension brake levers, brake set (didn’t fit new wheel set), and reflectors.
Drilled holes in the frame to fit new brake set. I ended up switching the front and rear brakes and made it fit the frame. (See Mounting recessed-mounting calipers on older frames)
- Cleaned, degreased, and regreased the fork and 3 piece bottom bracket using degreaser and bike lube. It was pretty nasty.
- Ripped off the old foam handle bar grips.
- Used baking soda and vinegar to remove the ubiquitous rust from the handlebar and frame! The handlebar was particularly covered.
- Replaced the 3 speed chain ring and cranks with a used 46T chain ring and 165mm cranks.
- New wheel set, 16T cog, 16T freewheel, and a blue chain!
- A guy from craigslist sold me a new brake set (to fit new wheels and frame), new brake levers, cable housing, and 2 new tires for $65. He either didn’t know what he was doing or that stuff was HOT. I lean towards the former . This helped tremendously in keeping the costs down.
- Bought pedals from a LBS. The guys from NY’s Waterfront Bicycle shop were cool.
I used an old bike seat I owned. I ended up buying a new white bike seat to match the wheels. $18.50 shipped!
- Found dead bees, 4 of them, in the bottom bracket.
- Learned how to remove rust.
- I learned all about cottered cranks, brake sets, and old frame specs.
- Bike parts aren’t as interchangeable as I thought (at least between the old and new parts)
- Enjoyed the process of building and restoring a lot!
- I would do this again for sure. I’ m on the lookout for another frame to work on.
16T rear cog, Shimano MX 16T Single Speed Freewheel (16T X 3/32-Inch)
46T chain ring 165mm cottered cranks
KMC Z410 Bicycle Chain (1-Speed, 1/2 x 1/8-Inch, 112L, Blue)
50cm Steel Kent Gran Concur 10sp bike frame
Tektro RL570 levers
Tektro RL320 Dual Pivot Calipers
Continental Ultra Sport 700c/23
Wellgo Track Pedals 9/16″
Origin 8 Saddle Pro
1 purple paw sticker
Finished product — Inside.
The cranks/chain ring and frame look new in the photo, but there are a lot of nicks and imperfections present. The original decals and stickers are starting to peel off as well. Maybe one day I’ll repaint the frame following – Mike’s Bikes Part 1 Part 2.
Out in the wild!
A few friends and I hiked to the peak of two mountains (Grays and Torreys) in Rocky Mountain National Park. Both were my first and second 14′ners. Even though my lungs have adjusted to the base altitude, I’ve been in Colorado for 5 weeks, the hike was a lot harder than I thought. Here are the photos!
Regina and I traveled to Washington DC to visit friends of ours. We took a 4.5 hour bus ride on the Boltbus from New York. We had a chance to see the usual sights along with a tour of the capitol building setup by one of our friends. We even had a chance to have a nice chat with Senator Akaka in his office. Enjoy the photos!
My co-workers and I went on a fishing trip together to Croton Falls, NY. I grabbed a day license from the state of New York here. $5 if you are a resident. The trip was redeeming in a way since the last fishing social 15+ years ago was a bust. We caught mostly brown and rainbow trout. Everyone caught at least 4-5 fish. Some even had their catch over for dinner. All in all good day. Thanks to Joe for taking us out and showing us the ropes. Enjoy the photos!
My fellows program on urban theology and ministry took me to the city of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and also the city of murals. We visited Hunting Park, where the future Esperanza Health Center will be breaking ground. We also checked out downtown Philly, the liberty bell, and even stumbled upon a tea party (the other kind of tea party). There’s so much history in Philadelphia. Enjoy the photos!Click for more photos!
Sometimes my work enables me to travel. It’s good for me to get away from the city as it gives me a more complete picture of this country and it’s diversity. My work had a conference in Panama City Beach, Florida where we interacted with college students on spring break and others in the area about faith and life. People were very open to conversing on the subject. It was a good time. Beach life has its perks but in the end, i think i prefer the city. Also, check below for a 30 sec stop motion video I made. Enjoy the video and photos to follow!
I saw LeCrae at the US Campus staff conference. His lyrics are pretty solid and the music is catchy. Check him out on YouTube. He has a great story and I’m glad someone like him is producing music. Enjoy the pictures!
(Does anyone remember that old Power Rangers knock off ‘VR troopers’? I think it starred one of the Lawrence brothers)
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the use of my friend’s lens, the 18-200mm 3.5 VR. I’ve appreciated the depth of field that this lens can produce, the ability to zoom so far away, and the VR ‘Vibration Reduction’ has helped in low lighting situations. Here are some of the pictures of the past weekend.
To view more pictures: Click here
Congrats to Faye and Jason! San Diego has nice beaches and huge bugs.
my teeth and gums hurt
oral surgeon took my dough
campbell’s chunky soup
I have to wait until next year to take out the left side wisdom teeth, #16 and #17 i think, because I didn’t have enough dental insurance to cover both. Who knew oral surgeon’s charge so much! I’ve been drinking meat, soup, and smoothies since the extraction. NOT looking forward #16 and #17.
Regina and I moved the piano into our new apartment. (We didn’t physcially move it, but hired people who did) Elaine, Regina’s old roommate, had been gracious to keep the piano in her apartment until we had time/resources to move it. With the addition of the piano, we can offically call our home an asian one. =P
The piano was a gift from a friend of ours who recently got married and moved to San Francisco. He didn’t want to take it with him so he gave it to Regina and me. Thanks Taylor Harris!
“Chopsticks” here we come! (Regina can actually play the piano)
Thanks to Jenn Buell for sharing!
A short film by Blu: an ambiguous animation painted on public walls.
Made in Buenos Aires and in Baden
I especially like how the “characters” interact with its surroundings. Wall art is a pretty big thing in Argentina. Enjoy!
I got these for my birthday from Regina.
I’ve been using them for about 3 weeks now and I can honestly give my thumbs up to them. They are much easier on my wrists. There’s a $20 version and a $40 version. The more expensive one is better made.
I met Rachel on a summer project in Wildwood 2004. She’s a cool chic.
Awesome wedding. It was also good to meet some of Regina’s friends from Brown and Providence.
Sophia, Hansen, Regina and ventured away from the reception to a nearby dock. We saw a dude crabbing.
Regina also showed me around some eateries of Providence including Spike’s Junkyard Dogs. It was one of the best dogs i’ve ever had. I had the bacon cheddar dog with spike’s mustard. We also visited Brown, where Regina did her undergraduate studies.
Regina found Cousin Itt, bagged it, and sent it off to locks of love!
Trader Joe’s in Queens!
Regina and I traveled to her parent’s house for an early mother’s day surprise. Crabcakes w/ lemon vinaigrette over baby greens.
Ernie was there too … I must say the Pei Family has one of the cutest dogs on the planet.
Once a year my staff team has an appreciation day. This year we traveled to Wading River, NY for a time of fellowship, celebration, and encouragement.
Wading River also happens to have an aquarium. This is the first time since JHS that i’ve visited an aquarium.
These pictures are of some of the wonderful people i work with.
It’s pretty hot in Louisiana!
New Orleans was a great time. From crawfish and gumbo to the French Quarter and Uptown, NO has a lot of food, culture, and jazz to offer. It also has a lot of volunteer work to offer as well. Some parts of NO have been completely restored while others resemble ghost towns.
Some stats from UMSLDR:
- Unemployment is around 50%
- Slidell, a town on the north of New Orleans have been 85% restored
- New Orleans proper is around 10% restored.
- Suicide rate has tripled.
- Takes UMSLDR $25,000 on average to restore a home.
- UMSLDR has a 90 day goal to restore a home but it usually takes longer (depends on amount of volunteers)
- Habitat rebuilds homes around $95,000
- In some areas, the flood levels reached as high as 12 feet.
The Lower Ninth Ward was hit the hardest. The houses that had some hope of being restored were left, the others were demolished and cleared away. Most of the foundations of the homes were left.
Google Map of the location of the pictures above:
View Larger Map
We worked on two houses. The first house needed side paneling finished on the remaining two sides. In addition, the 2nd floor of the house needed to be gutted (removing sheet rock, insulation, debris, nails, etc). This house belonged to a woman named Pam. The trailer you see outside the house belongs to her and she’s been living in it since 2005. She lives alone and spends most of her day working and taking care of her 90 year old mother. The next steps to restore her home is rewiring, plumbing, and sheet rock. Parts of the roof need work as well.
We never met the owner of the second home. They are relocated elsewhere and are waiting to return. This house was at the beginning stages of restoration (needed to be gutted and sprayed and washed of mold). It got pretty hot in those marshmallow suits. We found a dead bird in one of the rooms.
The spray painted X shape on the house was a common sight. Each of the quadrants indicated various information such as: date inspected, team inspected by, and body count. Another common sight were FEMA trailers in front of destroyed houses.
We also saw a lot of New Orleans. Here are some pictures from our excursions.
New Orleans needs more help! I can help you out if you are interested in going.