June 9, 2007

Roxie’s Swim for Life

The other day, I took the dogs for a run on my bike down the dirt roads out back. They went swimming in one of the stream crossings but the current was a little stronger than usual. All of a sudden I couldn't see Roxie. I dove down onto the pipe/tube that funnels the water under the road. Roxie had gotten sucked in backwards and was swimming against the current. I dropped my bike and ran to the other side of the road to try to coax her to let it shoot her out, but she wasn't having it. She was about 8 feet from where she entered, fighting for her life and trying to keep her head above the water, in the 6 inches of air at the top of the pipe. So I jumped in and started pulling her out. But I had flipflops on and they were starting to float away on me while I lost traction.

I worked my way back up the pipe, dragging her by the collar and grabbing for the end of the pipe. in the commotion if forgot to take my sunglasses off my forehead so they started slipping off. Not a huge concern at this moment, but they were $100 pair of Oakleys. I was about to re-secure them when I looked up and saw Blü, never one to be left out, floating backwards by me. I imagine she got curious and wanted to help, like when we go to dig her toys out from under the couch and she burrows under, trying to help. so I grabbed her and watched the sunglasses plunk in the water.

Now i'm pulling both idiots up the tube, trying to keep my flipflops on my feet and not lose my footing. I was able to shove Blü out of the pipe by pushing her upstream ahead of me and placing enough english on her little bum to scoot her out into an eddy on the side. Roxie in the mean time, probably spent a few brief stints behind me getting dunked by my other hand still clutching her collar and no doubt flailing in the struggle.

I was able reach the end of the pipe now and pull my way out. With the added leverage, I dragged her to shore in a final thrust. I laid there in the water a minute to catch my breath. Roxie of course, climbed to dry land above me and on queue, shook off in my face. I climbed out, and started collecting myself, lamenting the solid run I had had with those Oakleys. As I straddled my bike to head home, soaked to the bone, they both jumped back in the water like it never happened.

June 8, 2007

Introducing: BuyMaxABeer.com

Every once in a while you come across a great idea. The idea can be entrepreneurial, philanthropic, eerily genious, dumbfoundingly obvious, etc. But sometimes they're all that and more. The other day, Max (aka: the guy who sits next to me...aka:my "work-wife") had one such revelation. Max, who by nature is a man of simple pleasures (drinking, rock-climbing, skiing, baking cookies...) decided to try to forgoe his amateur status and take up professional drinking. You've heard of recovering alcoholics being "sponsored" upon joining AA. But have you ever heard of an active alcoholic being sponsored?

I GIVE YOU: www.BuyMaxABeer.com

The concept is mind-numbingly simple. Click on the link above and read Max's mission statement. There's no profit assumed, no alterior motives, no carbon offsets to buy. Just click the button to buy Max a beer with your credit card. The money is transferred to Max's "Slosh Fund" which he will use ONLY to buy beer. No drugs. No sportscars. No hookers. You can even buy Max's friends beer (eh-hem) if you want. That's where the philanthropy comes in.

So check it out. You'll be glad you did. Even if you don't decide to buy one, leave a comment so we know you stopped by. ANd be on the lookout for my friend Ross's spin-off site : www.wrenchforbeer.com where you can solicit his bike mechanic skills and pay him in beer.

June 7, 2007

BMX Bargaining

So I sold my little BMX bike last night. I had bought it for $200 in 1997 for a commuter bike in Boston. I rode it solid for a year or two and almost not once since then. So it had to go. And although $50 seemed like a generous price to me, others contended it was probably worth less.

Anyway, the buyer drove 45 minutes up from Provo at 8:30 at night to buy the bike. He new it was $50 and he still found it necessary to haggle it down. He's a little Japanese guy so he was talking in broken english:

Him:"You take a discount?"
Me: "No, it's fifty bucks. I've got another guy looking at it tomorrow if you don't want it."
Him: "Oh....you take a 45?"
Me: [it's raining and 45°] "If it gets you out of my driveway, sure. It's raining dude. whatever."
Him: [fishing through his wallet] "You have change? I only have a fifty."
Me: "Are you serious? NO! And honestly dude, that's insulting."
Him: "Oh. Sorry. Well I have a four. [along with his 2 twenties and a ten]. You take a fourty-four?"
Me: "Fine. [snatch] Enjoy the bike."

I took the money, turned around and walked in the house while he spent 5 minutes putting the wet bike in the back seat of his car. I didn't even offer to help.

June 2, 2007

Our Yard-Sale

As part of a spring-cleaning effort, Sarah and I decided to have a yard-sale. We discussed it with our friendly neighbors, Nicole and Petie, and Mary and Neil. We planned for weeks and in preparation we placed ads on websites and in newspapers as well as placing signage around the neighborhood. When the big day arrived, we even announced it on the local Saturday morning classifieds radio show in Park City.

The morning started out well. We had a few quick sales, but we were hoping to sell some big ticket items like bikes and skis. Nicole proved to be the day’s most motivated seller, pricing items at pennies on the dollar. As the day wore on, we found ourselves enjoying the laziness of the event, sitting on the front lawn on Mary’s matching lawn furniture set, a steal at $100. We broke into a solid round (or two) of margaritas and watched the world ogle and evaluate our unwanted items. Some classic conversations went something like this:
“How much is this?”
“Ten cents.”

Good times were had by all. And at the end of the day, we tallied and divvied and compared. Nicole and Petie came out on top with $120 sold. Neil and Mary were right behind them with $100. We on the other hand sold $30 worth of unwanted crap. However, factoring in that we also bought $10 worth of Nicole’s stuff, and spent $10 on the newspaper ad, and $10 on signage we actually broke even. And to add insult to injury, we’re expecting the Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization to pick the remaining items up for a charitable donation. Their first available time-slot for pickup was 2 weeks after the yard sale, so our garage is now packed, wall-to-wall with THREE family’s stuff. Ah well.