Chin up, Jazzy

The Boo was quite taken with Jazzy, though she was less enamored of him. Photo: Herself

The Boo was quite taken with Jazzy, though she was less enamored of him. Photo: Herself

We had visitors for Valentine’s Day: Dave, Megan and Jazzy the Japanese Chin, bound for her new home in Arizona.

Dave and Megan were Jazzy’s “foster parents” until her adoption, which coincided nicely with a road trip they already had in the works. Megan is a volunteer with Colorado Japanese Chin Rescue, a fine organization wholeheartedly supported by Herself, and when they called to inquire about lodging possibilities en route we invited them to dine and spend the night at Rancho Pendejo.

Lovely people, and a lovely Chin, too, though Jazzy is very nervous around strangers, particularly men; someone was not kind to her in her previous life, and it shows.

Happily, that’s all behind her, and we wish her well as she begins a new life with her new person. Mister Boo certainly found her entrancing.

And we thank Dave and Megan for showing up with a sack full of sidewalk softener. That’s been known to open a door or two in my experience.

Meanwhile, if you happen to be in the Greater Denver Metropolitan Clusterplex this morning, swing on by the Colorado Custom and Vintage Bicycle Expo and say howdy to my man Mark Nobilette. I was riding one of his bikes just yesterday, and it’s a beaut’, just like everything else that comes out of his shop.


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26 Responses to “Chin up, Jazzy”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Wish we could see Mr. Nobilette’s work, but we are where Jazzy is heading. Hope she does well. Time to stir the chicken chili.

  2. Libby Says:

    What a lovely weekend at your Ranch. Jazzy looks adorable. Great photo.

    “Sidewalk softener” was rendered as “pet safe ice melt” in my seriously snow-and-ice addled brain the first time I read this post.

  3. Jon Paulos Says:

    Yeah, nice photo. Mr. Boo being diplomatic. Better the Boo than the Field Marshal, whose diplomatic efforts I think would probably involve unsheathing the claws.

    I admit to being a bit slow. Sidewalk softener?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Field Marshal, strictly for reasons of national security, always manages to secret himself in the Turkenbunker whenever we are invaded. He comes out shortly after everyone has departed and declares victory, awards himself a few medals and a promotion or three.

      As regards “sidewalk softener,” it also goes by the names grog, brain eraser, tonsil polish, hooch, John Barleycorn, sauce, to wit — drinkin’ likker.

      • psobrien Says:

        Ah,that explains it. Thanks for asking Jon.
        We are exploring the UCI channel on YouTube.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Well, we were able to watch the highlights (52 minutes or so) of the 2014 UCI mountain bike world championships. And the highlights of the 2014 road world championships, about the same length, is available in the US. There are other short clips, 4-5 minutes, of the finishes of some races. But, all the other full content, especially CX and track events, is blocked in the good ole US of A. Overall, since we are an all Apple household, we are really enjoying the Apple TV. I put a free remote app on the iPad which allows use of the keyboard for searching on youtube and Vimeo. Otherwise the supplied remote control works just fine. PBS and the Smithsonian channel have some really good shows, with most PBS content usually showing up on line a day or two after it airs. After 3 months of no cable TV bills, it has paid for itself.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Pat, glad to hear the ATV is working for you. We’ve been using a Mac Mini for the same purpose, which is a bit of overkill, but also means there’s a spare Mac around in case of emergency. Just ’cause you’re paranoid, etc.

        Speaking of new Macs, how’s the iMac working for you? I’ve been thinking of doing a clean install of Yosemite on this 2009 model, but the hardware is a little long in the tooth, and my experience “upgrading” from Snow Leopard to Mavericks was unpleasant and remains so.

        Anyway, buying a new one is starting to sound smart, if pricey. Also, I made the mistake of playing with one of the 27-inch models at the Apple Store the other day. Slobbered all over my shoes, I did.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        That 27 inch is the bee’s knees for sure. I suppose a man that earns his living on a ‘puter could justify it, right? But then how could the vet afford that new pickup truck? Anyway, I’m liking this new iMac (2.7 Ghz with 8Gb of ram) just fine. Display is better and speed on every app, especially Safari, is noticeably faster. Yosemite takes some getting used to after running Mavericks; you’re right about them making it look more like iPad. You can swipe to the dashboard instead of a key stroke which is handy. Mouse still eats 2 AA batteries a month, but keyboard is still going with 6 weeks on those OEM batteries, also 2 AA. The wireless keyboard did away with the USB ports on the ends. I just ran a short USB extension cable from the back to use for the cameras and iPad and iPod. They did away with the built in DVD/CD drive, so you would have to use the USB SuperDrive you already have. Since I got $250 for the 2008 model in trade at Simutek, I bought there. Had I bought from the Apple store, I think I would have got the 16Gb of memory. But, I am satisfied that 8 will do for the next few years, with my usage, since Yosemite only require a minimum of 3Gb to run.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Thanks for the rundown, Pat. I never should have walked into the damn’ Apple Store, with all the cool toys spread out for a big kid to play with. It’s always bad for the wallet.

        I’m tired of running two monitors, so I thought “27-incher” right off. But I usually have a bazillion things going on at once — Word, Photoshop, a couple of browsers, yadda yadda yadda — and so I’d probably go straight to either 16 GB or the full 32 GB of memory. You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much memory. Good news is, it’s reasonably priced at Other World Computing, and with the 27-incher it’s an easy plug-and-play install.

        Meanwhile, which nitwit at Cupertino thought that making the iMac thin was worth moving the SD card slot to the back of the machine? I thought it was already extra dumb to have all the other ports back there, but at least my ’09 model had the SD card on the right side for easy access. Thin is an obsession with these people.

        Have you ever used rechargeable batteries in the mouse and keyboard? We just burned out an old Duracell charger that would power up four AAs in 15 minutes. Got a lot of use out of that bad boy over the years.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Niwit for sure. My old iMac didn’t have a SD card slot. But those guys are obsessed with thin sides so the slot in the back and no optical drive. I need to get another charger and rechargeable batteries. I had an old Duracell charger that bit the dust. Speaking of that, my 5 year old Airport Express died last week. So off to Best Buy where they were glad to take $95 for a new one. I use it for airplay on a stereo receiver in the studio and eliminate wifi slow spots in there.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    I started reading the review of the Nobilette and thought “wow, whoever wrote that actually calculated the goddarn gear inches!”. Then I saw your John Hancock. Cool.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, K, the punters like them some gear inches. I never paid ’em much attention until I started working with Adventure Cyclist, but it sure does help when you’re evaluating a bike you might be using to climb La Veta Pass with your bedroom and kitchen hanging off the sides. “You want me to climb WHAT in 35.9 gear inches?”

      • khal spencer Says:

        Back in the Precambrian, when I started riding, it was common to have a bike described down to the gear inch table. Of course, that was back when there were five cogs in the back that could be swapped out using chain whips. Nowdays, I think with bike transmissions standardized, we have forgotten nuance and to be sure, the loaded touring market is a small one. But your point is spot on. Climbing La Veta or Coalbank with full front and rear panniers is not the time to be wondering if a store-bought 30×27 low gear on a credit-card tourer is low enough.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        O, the glory days. My first road-racing bike had a six-speed freewheel and downtube shifters. All made of stone and wood, of course.

        It’s amazing what gets passed off as a “touring bike” drivetrain these days, but the product managers are up against it now that Shimano road and mountain groups no longer make the nicey-nice together, even with bar-end shifters.

        I have two Somas — one eight-speed, one nine — that blend road and mountain bits just fine. But to go beyond that you need to get creative, with Microshift bar-cons or maybe a faux-STI setup from Gevenalle.

        The Soma Saga Disc I’ve been riding uses Rivendell Silver shifters with SunXCD derailleurs, and that setup works just fine, too, once you remember how to operate friction shifters. No trouble at all for those of us of (ahem) a certain age.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Since the only touring I have done to date has been overnight trips to motels/hotels, I have to imagine what a fully loaded touring rider would need in gearing. At my age and fitness level, I think that when the Saga needs, or maybe before, a new crankset it will be a standard XT mountain triple, if I can find a 9 speed one. If I see one on sale, I just might upgrade now. I am not worried about spinning out a high gear; I want to make damn sure I have the low one for wall climbing with a load without requiring new surgically implanted knees.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Bicycling, back when it was about bicycling, had a guy named Frank Berto who wrote a lot about gears and touring. He wrote something up about “really low gears” and how to turn them on sustained, loaded climbing without blowing up. IIRC, a 19 gear inch low gear was considered low enough. On a 700c drive train that amounts to about a 24t granny and a 34t rear cog.

        I had a touring Univega Speciallisima that was set up pretty much that way back a long time ago. Half step plus granny in the front (48-44-24) and a 13-34 in the rear. Friction bar end shifters and wide cantis. Cool looking bike, but sadly for me, back then I put too much stock in frame stiffness and back then, I was strong enough to flex that baby a lot. Stupid me. Sold it to a friend who retired and wanted a bike with wide range transmission. So it went to a good home. I think I converted it to a more conventional setup before I sold it to him, with 48-36-24 up front and an 8 speed cassette wheel in back after I spread the rear triangle for the wider axle.

        Now I pretty much duplicated that on the Long Haul Trucker. I don’t want to think about what to fit on that bike when my stock of Shimano 9 speed stuff finally goes belly up.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The Schubert Theorem states that one needs a low end of 20-25 gear inches “for that moment on tour when the hill is two miles long and you’re already tired.”

        Happily, you can still get there with Microshift bar-cons, as on the Novara Mazama, which gives a low end of 26×36 (19.7 GI).

        You can even do a faux-STI thing courtesy of Gevenalle. This is something I’ve been meaning to try.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Using Sheldon Brown’s gear calculator I come up with 117.8 to 21.9 gear inch range for the Saga as now equipped with 26/36/48 chainrings, 11-32 cassette, 172.5mm crank arms, and 700-32 tires. Switching to 22/32/44 mountain chainrings would give me 108.0 to 18.6 gear inch range. I can get a complete Deore mountain 9 speed crankset for $65. I agree that 21.9 is low enough for credit card touring, but looking down and seeing you still still have two more lower gears does wonders for my climbing confidence. Am I just a wimp?

      • khal spencer Says:

        As long as the front derailleur works with the mountain crankset, (and you don’t need a different axle) that seems like a good deal. The other option is swap the 26t for a 24t and the 11-32 for an 11-34. Seems both are cheap dates. Like you, I like to always have a gear lower than the one I think I need in reserve, with any of my bikes. It does instill confidence.

        I couldn’t find a decent 110mm BCD crank for the tandem without blowing major bucks (the 130 setup requires a middle ring of at least 38 or 39t), so I replaced the 11-32 cassette with a 12-36 and a Shadow XT rear derailleur. That setup works fine with the 105 STI shifters/brakes. I did have to splice in some extra chain links (easy with SRAM master links) to ensure I would not blow the system up by accidentally shifting to the large/large combo. Since our tandem riding is “slow down the smell the flowers” I don’t miss the high end gears.

  5. khal spencer Says:

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