Biography

personal history
corby's picture

The Most Expensive Bike Flat Repair Ever!

My freebie (thanks Kymber) bike had a rear flat. After a very messy attempt to use a can of Fix-A-Flat on it ("Warning: Do not attempt to use on bicycle tires." said the can.) I took it by Blue Wheel Bikes to get repaired. Quoted cost over the phone: $9.50. Standing there as the owner (?) fixed something else, I asked if there was any way to fix my bike's broken shifter for less than the value of the bike. Since the value of the bike was apparently about $10, the answer was no. 

Still, planning to get it repaired, I look around at the bikes.

"Do you ever deal in anything used?" I ask innocently.
"We do take trade ins, and it happens I have something now that would fit you."
"Funny you should mention it, because I don't even know what size bike I should be looking for." 

See, I thought maybe I needed a 17 or 18 inch frame. Nope. The owner rolled out a 21" frame mountain bike. Biggest I've ever seen. So after a test drive, I'm now the owner of the best bike I've ever had and the only bike that has fit me since I was 13 or so. I actually have to put my toe out to touch the ground from the seat. I'm not hunched up between the seat and the handlebar.

Blue wheel even swapped my old, still new-ish front tire for the older, worn down to nubs front tire on the new bike. 

With the fenders and the new lock, it only exceeded my vague budget by a bit and less than forty times the $9.50 flat repair quote.
Plus I got the silly looking fenders added, so I can finally ride my bike to work in the rain without getting mud splashed.
 As I was gathering up my stuff to go, the owner said "Most profitable flat repair I've done all day!"
I don't know anything about bike brands, but for those who care it is an "entry level" brand and model, a 21" Gary Fisher Genesis Mountain bike, two years old. And green! Not exactly heraldic green though. The oddest thing is that as big as this bike is, there's not room inside the frame to attach the lock mounting bracket. The tubes on the aluminum frame are too big for the bracket, at least anywhere that the lock will fit.
   
So now I just need to get it registered with the Charlottesville police (in case it gets stolen) and dig up some Apple stickers to completely nerd-ify it. Already added my last Tom Bihn sticker to the rear fender.
It occurs to me that this bike may be a bit theft resistant, just because many thieves won't be able to ride it. Their feet won't reach!

Technorati Tags: ,

corby's picture

How to Distribute the Quest for Venus?

I find myself puzzled about how to open up the text of the Quest for Venus (so named by Minerva/Roisin, the quest formerly known as Coronation Quest) so those who might want to run it can see how we did it.

On the one hand, I am a big Creative Commons, Share-Alike kinda guy. Note that everything on this site of mine is CC licensed. Sharing the quest with everyone is my ultimate goal. It was one of the points in moving it off of the technically inferior, locked up yahoo group where the planning started.

On the other hand, I don't want to make it impossible for some crazy masochist in another kingdom to take this work and use it to actually run the quest for his kingdom. If it is wide-open available on the web, then there's no way to make sure the potential questers aren't already familiar with what is required for the quest.

Of course, no re-running of the Quest for Venus will be the same, if only because no other site will have all the same amenities and layout. Nor would the personalities involved as staff be the same. But it is hard for me to imagine any quest team reading the 50 pages we have here and still being able to compete fairly in another running of the Quest for Venus. It is a mystery, after all.

So how should I put it out? Merely as an example, rather than as source material, or held more closely so only potential organizers can access it?

Technorati Tags: ,

corby's picture

I Think I Need One of These

From One Horse Shy

Technorati Tags:

corby's picture

And I wondered why people looked at me funny

Pluto before court

Pluto before Court,
originally uploaded by jenthies.

Wandering around before court, I kept getting odd looks.

Now I understand why!

After 3 solid weeks of heavy typing in preparation for the quest, I'm trying to take it easy for a few days to rest my wrist. But I will compile a full report and an effusive letter of thanks to all very soon!

corby's picture

Corby's Flickr Slideshow

Brought to you by Flickr!

Technorati Tags: ,

corby's picture

Turning the Corner on Practice

Last night's practice at the Dells had nineteen people at it. Nineteen! Twelve of them were students or somehow associated with the University. Five students armored up and I couldn't track the number of students fighting rapier.

That's extraordinary. We've come a long way since Philip and I started wandering from spot to spot around Grounds, trying to figure out where to practice and how to interest students.

I feel really good about the mix of skills and interests among our students too. Everyone seems enthused but not so into it that they'll end up flunking out. (I've seen that happen before.) Even more important than the number of people putting out effort to get in gear, I see that all these first and second year students are coming together as a social circle and mutual support, which is a positive feedback loop that helps everyone keep going because of the mutual support.

Next year has strong potential to be even better. Finally, finally, we'll have at least two students able to armor up and fight at the Student Activities Fair in the fall. That's been a goal of mine for three years now. Just having Timm in armor standing at the booth made a big difference this past year, so actually being able to get guys armored up and fighting up on the amphitheater stage will be a huge PR boost. Also, instead of having a core group of one grad student and one second year, we'll have a core group of seven or eight second years and a third year. That turns the Students for Creative Anachronism from a tiny idea of a group that requires outside life support into a healthy on-campus organization able to steer its own course.

Kendra deserves a huge measure of thanks for this. Her gentle leadership encouraged the growth of the social activities that help bind these people together.

More pictures of last night's practice are available here.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

corby's picture

Tuesday Practices

Philip and I had a nice little practice yesterday. Markie tried to help a bit, and howled some when she wasn't allowed. Though Philip had just finished a lousy day and that affected some of his fighting, I'm pleased with his improvement overall and the knocking around seemed to help his mental state.

My new polearm proved to be far too light, so I need to add to the head significantly. Better than having to strip it all down, I suppose.

Philip and I have agreed to keep these Tuesdays up for then next month at least, and we are tentatively planning to go to Richmond at least one of those nights. I don't really know how good or reliable the Tuesday Caer Mear practice is any more. Anyone?

corby's picture

Jamestown Pics

  Thjora was down at Jamestown this weekend, shooting calivers and learning how they do interpretation. Her new jack coat was a big hit. Hopefully someone else took pictures of her, 'cause all we have are the pics she took. None with her in them!  And this is the first posting to my LiveJournal mirror.

corby's picture

300 and Gates of Fire

Somehow yesterday I managed to get a lot of work done and make it to a matinee of 300. I helped Eric work on his armor, bought rubber snakes, vinyl balls, whiffle bats, experimented with sculpy bird making, build a very weird polearm and started making a new shield as a gift for someone.

I thought I had read the whole Frank Miller graphic novel years ago when it sat on Aradd's coffee table, but either I'd forgotten most of it or the movie was very different from the original.

Still, I quite enjoyed it. If you like that sort of thing, you'll like this one. It's especially good inspiration for my HeroQuest game.

From an SCA standpoint, I just kept thinking "See, this is why you never want to use two sword in a melee." But if you liked 300 in either version, go read Gates of Fire. I kept thinking of that extraordinary book of historical fiction while watching the movie. Colin introduced me to the book and I've recommended it to many people since then. It still amazes me that the author, Steven Pressman, went from Bagger Vance to Gates of Fire.

Technorati Tags: , ,

corby's picture

The Squires' Friend: Stainless Steel Foldit Folding Cart

I picked up this stainless steel Fold-It cart at Costco sometime around 1995, just after we bought our first house.  It has also been to every Pennsic since then. Susanna and I took it on the first Quest of the Dragon's Egg and Colin and I took it on the second. It has hauled uncountable bags of ice over 12 years. It comes out to the field for almost every battle, practice and tourney at the war. It won't win any A&S competitions and we hide it behind the arming tent so it doesn't detract from the appearance of camp, but it pulls easier than any period wooden cart and it folds small enough that I can jam it into the back of the truck after everything else is packed. That's a lifesaver, because sometimes I forget it until everything else is already loaded!  I have not been gentle with this cart, but repairs to it have been a matter of replacing blown rivets with heavier bolts.  The current model has black wheels, which I suppose is a little better appearance than the electric blue ones on ours.  Oh yeah, it is also quite handy around the yard at home.  Over the years several people have asked me where I got mine. I know Finn and Elizabeth have one, and I see more and more of them at the war every year. Costco doesn't carry them regularly, but you can buy them now on Amazon for about $200. That's right around what I paid for mine in 1995! Get one this year and you'll still have it to pack into your flying car for Pennsic 48 in 2019.

Technorati Tags: ,

Syndicate content