Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My daughter's new bike

I got my daughter a new bike today.  She had been riding a Trek Mystic with 16-inch wheels, which we got a few years ago and knew she had totally outgrown... 

But when she and I went to the local bike store, they told us she was already too big for 20-inch wheels too!  So she skipped an entire size of bike.  In fact, she was almost big enough for full-sized women's bikes with 26-inch wheels.

Her new ride is a Trek Mt. Track 220 with 24-inch wheels, 21 speeds, hand brakes, front shock absorbers and an aluminum frame, which Trek markets as a bike for the 9-12 age group.  (Yes, she just turned... eight.)

We had been looking at the MT220 with a purple "girls" frame, but unfortunately the bike store sold the only one they had.  She was sad for a little bit, but then remembered that she is a tomboy, and decided that a black bike with a "boys" frame was certainly cooler and better than no new bike at all.

(I pointed out afterward that her mom's bike is also black with an aluminum "boys" frame and 21 speeds and all that... but the new bike is the first and only bike in our whole household with front shock absorbers!)

So after riding it up and down the driveway a little bit to get used to the size, she's been flaunting it at all the neighborhood boys whose bikes are smaller or less fully featured.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yum, fresh bananas

When my daughter and I got back to Hilo on Sunday night, it was dark, but Monday morning we looked out the kitchen window and noticed that at least some of the bananas were ripe.  We were busy with other errands yesterday, but this morning we went out back with a machete.

The "dwarf" gene in our dwarf apple banana plants doesn't seem to be holding up very well - these bananas were too high for me to reach.  So I used the machete to chop and saw a big notch in the plant's stem, until it slowly toppled over.  Then I chopped off the overripe, rotten, damaged or otherwise undesirable ones, cut the ripe or not-yet-ripe ones off and put them in a bucket to bring inside and wash.

After getting rid of the ones we definitely didn't want, we were left with... 4 dozen bananas!  About a half-dozen of those were already ripe; the rest were green and will ripen over the coming days.  So I don't expect to have to shop for bananas for a while.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Even world travel has its downsides

Among people I know, there are a lot of perceived pros and cons of traveling all over the world.  Pros, for the most part.  People think it must be neat to get to see far-away places and meet people from all over.  Of course, I have to explain that since I'm most likely working like crazy most of the time, I don't really get to see all those places...

And then there are the cons.  All that flying! (I don't mind.)  Jet lag! (I don't mind.)  Time away from home! (Okay, I mind that a little.)

The last few days, though, a more personal downside has cropped up, as I've felt a little under the weather.  Stomach a little jumpy, some allergies, a cough, a bit of a fever at times, kinda tired...

Now, three years ago, when I'd never been out of the US, I would write this off as some random generic little harmless virus and basically just "ride it out."

But having been to Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda in the last several months... I look at my mild symptoms and know that they could be the beginning of dengue fever, diphtheria, hepatitis A or B, malaria, rift valley fever, tuberculosis, typhoid, or yellow fever... most of which I haven't been vaccinated against (because there are no vaccines).

So I get to go over to a doctor (paying full price of course, since this being America, none of my jobs give me health insurance) and have them figure out just which nasty things I do or don't have.  And if I do have anything nasty, maybe I'll get a prescription for some powerful antibiotics (and pay full price for that, too.)

All because I don't have the good sense to stay at home in my nice little town that isn't overrun with all manner of tropical infectious diseases.

This, to me, is the biggest downside yet to all the travel.

Why I'm leaving Twitter.

I've stuck it out and continued participating on Twitter while Elon Musk has run it into the ground, made it progressively more inhospit...