Friday, September 22, 2006

A Giant bike purchase...

I have been commuting to work by bike since August 18th or so... since my bike got here from the movers. However, my bike, a 2000 Cannondale R800, isn't ideally suited for commuting. Aside from its race-oriented riding position and steering geometry (which I like), it lacks eyelets for fender and rack mounting and lacks clearance for fenders.

It is supposed to rain here a lot in the winter. Last week, we had quite a bit of rain, and the Cannondale didn't deal with it too well. It splashed a nasty road-grit emulsion all over my feet and shins. And my drivetrain and, worst of all, rims. With wet rims, stopping at the bottom of the steep hill on my route was a bit scarier than I'd like.

So here's a bike that's a bit more ideal for commuting. A 2003 Giant OCR Touring. If you're not bike-savvy, Taiwan-based Giant is one of the largest bike manufacturers, and makes tons of bikes for other brands. I picked it up used from a local Craigslist seller.

This bike has all the features that I was hoping for in a good commuter bike. Plenty of clearance and fittings for a rack and fenders, road geometry, and... disc brakes.

Disc brakes are supposed to be a really good choice for use in bad weather. They're supposed to work great in the rain. Oddly, mine don't seem to work great at all. I'm hoping that they just need new pads; the ones they have are pretty worn.

The bike came with super-heavy-duty racks in front and back made by a company in California called Old Man Mountain. The racks (I've already taken the front rack off) are unusual in that they attach at the bike's axle, rather than to threaded eyelets on the frame. I think they're really overkill for my kind of commuting, so I'm thinking I'll take them off and put my little cheapie Nashbar rack on instead.

The brakes are Avid BB7 mechanical (cable-operated) discs.

One thing that is the most peculiar about this bike is its headset. It's an integrated headset, but it's not threadless. Very unique. Here it has some kind of adapter to allow the use of a threadless (Salsa Moto Ace) stem.

Also included were two LED headlights. They are on a little mount that bolts into the fork in the hole where a sidepull brake would bolt in.

Jake tries out the integrated shift/brake levers.

Farm Tots

Today we went to "Farm Tots" - a program at a local farm for kids under 5. Jacob, of course, loved it!

One of the activities was to go to the flower garden and pick a flower. While we there in the garden Jacob found a log - WOW!
He had to have it - a true boy, I guess. Flower, Log - decisions, decisions! He came home with both, but the flower came home only b/c Mommy carried it - Jacob hauled that log with him the rest of the morning and then to the car.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


A smiley Stan enjoys the exersaucer!

Laura visits Seattle

Laura, Becky's sister, visited over Labor Day weekend. Here we are having lunch at Ray's Boathouse. The restaurant had a deck overlooking Puget Sound. It was a beautiful day. While we had lunch we watched boats come and go and had a view of the mountains in the distance.

Visiting with the Hartman's

Our friends the Hartman's just happened to be vacationing in Seattle when they got our group email, so they contacted us and we got together at the KidsQuest Children's Museum. You can see their son, Premier (two weeks older than Jacob), next to Jean, and Todd is holding their new baby Ransom. We wish them many blessings as they move to Missouri, and look forward to visiting them more frequently when we return to St. Louis.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is the tallest waterfall in the U.S. Stan decided to nap on the long steep hike down to the bottom of the falls.

Jacob's first taste of ice cream

In back of the Residence Inn where we stayed was a long row of wild blackberry bushes with tons of juicy ripe blackberries. We picked enough to make a cobbler, and this is Jacob finishing off his cobbler and ice cream. Jacob had been allergic to dairy, but mercifully when we had him restested in July the tests showed he is no longer. Yay!

Our house in Washington

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Krispy Kreme

I was afraid that we would have difficulty finding a parking place at Mt. Rainier, so we tried to leave fairly early. We actually didn't get out of the house until eight or so. We got to the parking lot at Paradise (shown above) at about eleven. There were still a few spots left, but it was full when we left.

On the way to Rainier, we stopped at a Krispy Kreme in Kent (I think) and Laura bought us some doughnuts, which was nice.

Us at Mount Rainier

Still figuring this whole blog thing out, but anyway...
here's us in front of Mount Rainier - sorry you can't see Stan - he's in the sling Brian is carrying. Laura was with us here at Mount Rainier; she took this pic.

Friday, September 08, 2006

We are in Seattle!


We have started this blog to show off our pictures and let our friends know what's going on with us up here in Seattle.

Here is a picture we took last weekend on a trip to Mount Rainier. It's like a postcard, huh?