Picnic Day 2014

Today I went to UC Davis’ one hundredth Picnic Day celebration. I’ll just be doing a few pictures or today’s post.

Picnic Day is basically a county fair that takes place on a college campus.

First there was a couple of speeches and then a parade!

There were about seven Deloreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
There were about seven DeLoreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
A Wells Fargo carriage pulled by a four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A Wells Fargo stagecoach pulled by four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.

After the Parade my wife and I went to see the Disc Dogs competition. The dogs have to catch a bunch of frisbees in one minute and bring them back to their master. The dogs get more points for more frisbees and if the frisbees are thrown further.

A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.

After lunch we went to see a cool local rock band, Crow Canyon! The three members, Riley, Nathan, and Drew, are in high school. You can check out their music at http://www.crowcanyonband.com/. They have free music samples!

My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.

We went to a small petting zoo set up by the stables. We got to pet some young cows, sheep, and goats.

Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.

And I also got some new pictures for the blog in general of horses and CORRALS.

That’s it for now!

-Mister Ed

Bike Tire Problems

My old bike tire is behind the new one.
My old bike tire is behind the new one.

I finally figured out why my bike was getting flat tires so often. There was a hole in the tire itself instead of the tubes I put in them.

I grew up in a town where bikes were used all the time to get places. I then went to college in a town that encourages bikes to the point that the town logo is a bike. There’s even a bike museum downtown.

My point is, maybe everyone is not as aware of how bikes work as I am.

Bike wheels have three basic parts, the wheel, the tire, and the tube.

The wheel is the metal part with all the spokes on it that attaches to the bike frame at the center. If there’s something wrong with my bike wheel, I take it to my dad to fix it. Every other Saturday my dad repairs bikes for a charity, The Silicon Valley Bike Exchange.

The tire is the rubber wall that incases the tube. The tire is the part of your bike that actually touches the ground.

The tube sits between the tire and the wheel. It’s also made of much thinner rubber than the tire.

The tube inflates and presses against the tire wall, giving it a firm shape that still yields to bumps and debris in the road. This allows a bike to ride over the various cracks in the road without giving the rider awful saddle sores.

When you get a flat it is usually because of a hole in the tube. The tube is essentially a balloon, so it can pop if treated to roughly. Thorns are a good way to rupture a tube. I have a road bike, so hopping curbs will also cause problems for me.

Over the past three weeks or so I have replaced my bike’s front tube four or five times. One of them popped while it was just sitting outside my house. Another as I was replacing it. Another popped on the first ride I took it on.

I eventually decided to sit down, inflate a tire, and then watch it to see what caused it to pop spontaneously.

As I waited I noticed the tube beginning to swell out of a hole in the side wall of the tire. A one centimeter bubble formed on the outside of the tire and then popped.

So now I knew what the problem was! My old tire had rubber for the section that contacts the ground, but the sidewalls were made from interlaced thread instead.

These threads had slowly come undone until a hole formed that was big enough for the tube to blow out through. Without the tire keeping pressure on the tube, it exploded like an overinflated balloon.

You can see the frayed threads around the hole in the picture above.

Finally realizing what the problem was, I got a new tire and replaced that along with the burst tube.

My bike is all fine now and I’m taking it to work instead of the bus.

That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Good and Bad

I had a strange amount of ups and downs today.

I started off by trying to install some child locks on our bathroom cabinets. Our new cat has been trying to sneak in and we think it’d be best if she doesn’t have access to all the toilet paper at once or all the chemicals that could hurt her under the sink.

Child locks come in two parts, the part you have to push to open it and the part the pushy part inserts into to keep the door locks. I’d glued the holdy part onto the cabinets on Monday.

I checked the glue today and was a bit rough in handling one of the holdy parts. It popped off in my hand. I sighed and reglued it on.

I glued on the pushy part and found it was very difficult to align it correctly with the holdy part. Fearing that I did it wrong, I only glued in one of the pushy parts today to see how it looks tomorrow.

After that frustration I went out to fix the flat in my bike. The flat had happened on Friday and I got new tubes on Monday.

I put the first tube in and it immediately popped. Figuring they can occasionally be duds, I pulled it out and put a second one in. It seemed fine and I biked off to work. It popped just before I got onto campus. I sighed and walked the rest of the way to my job.

I figured I was too pissed off to immediately get to work at lab, so I decided to make a quick appointment with an optometrist in town.

The optometrist informed me that I needed to know the exact amount of coverage my health insurance gave me for vision before I could get an appointment. On to calling the health insurance company then!

I called my health insurance and was put on hold (typical). I waited and zoned out not listening to the recorded message. Then the message said, “Goodbye,” and it hung up. I have no clue what led up to it saying goodbye, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the usual hold music.

I called again and avoided the previous menu options that had resulted in the robot disconnecting me. I ended up waiting an hour on hold before I got to talk to a human person.

The whole time it faked me out by switching up which robot voices were telling me about the health insurance website. Each time the voice changed I thought I had finally reached a real person only to have my hopes destroyed.

I eventually got the health insurance and the optometrist appointment set up.

After that my day improved. I stained some worms to see if they turn blue over the next two days. I checked some injected worms to see if the DNA I injected into them had successfully integrated into their genomes. IT HAD! WOOHOO!

I called my wife to come pick up my bike during the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to walk it home. She came by and put it in the car and reminded me why I love her.

At the end of the day my wife came home with two cupcakes for me.

A good day in the end despite the rocky start! 🙂

-Mister Ed