Sunday, July 30, 2017

Atwoodfest 2017!


I took these pictures yesterday, we had a lot of fun but there was a lot of people - even though there are several local festivals happening this weekend.  There were tons of vendors for food and ware, and music is always in the background.  It's always a good time.  The weather was beautiful, sunny and very warm but not overly hot.  We just got back from a nephew's first birthday party otherwise we'd probably be there again today.  Just as well, we're probably better off resting for the rest of the day.  After this post I think I need to let my cameras cool off for a few weeks.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Bike Ride

20170727_111711I took Thursday off this week to get a few things done and I was also hoping to get a bike ride in.  I did get a few things done in the morning, but not as much as I planned.  But I also did get a bike ride in, even more than I planned.  This time I did go into it thinking I would post about it, you may blame Delcatto for encouraging my behavior by commenting on the last bike post!

That last post about my ride took a quite some time to put together, so this is more of a picture blogpost, or amateur photojournalism, but I'll caption the pictures for a sort of running story for some context.  Less writing is what I'm aiming for this time.  I don't think I'll do this again because I pulled over quite often to take pictures and, while there are some good ones, that just isn't what riding is about.  It became tedious so eventually I just stopped taking pictures, but still plenty to share.

Lots of pictures after the break.  Enjoy!

Apparently Google recognized that I took 3 pictures from the same spot and stitched them together for me.  Cool.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dear Madison (Food Place)

I wrote and sent this last night:

26 July 2017

(Food Place),

We have been very good customers for a long time, I know you have access to my orders to see this.  Tonight we placed an order that included the Cookies and Cream ice cream, and we are very disappointed.

Well after enjoying our (Food Place Item) and (Food Place Item), we went to have some of that ice cream. At that time we noticed there was no plastic safety seal and when we opened it we saw several large spoonfuls missing, and it had frost on it like it had since been in the freezer for some time.

When I called to let you know, I was first given the option of a 6 dollar credit or replacement.  I chose the credit.  After a few moments of silence I was told I would be given a 3 dollar credit.  I disagreed.  I was again given the option of replacement so obviously chose it to be redelivered.

A few minutes after that call I missed a call from the same person requesting the one that was delivered be returned.  By now his disbelieving tone was very obvious.  I called back but he deftly didn't care to listen, I gave up, the replacement ice cream was on it's way.

And shortly, the replacement was delivered.  No problems there, the delivery driver was awesome, most all of them are.  He seemed confused about taking the other one back, so I explained.  It was only later I noticed that the replacement ice cream was Chocolate, definitely not the flavor I originally ordered.  Not that they would know, but I do not care for Chocolate ice cream.

In a situation where a mistake or defective product has to be replaced and the replacement is also incorrect, well, that would be gross incompetence or, I suspect, purposeful negligence.  I'm not innocent, we should better inspect what we get on delivery - even though we've found you trustworthy for years.  Our bad.  But your people don't have to be defensive, suspicious and spiteful when their mistakes or tampered products are pointed out.

We love your food and would like to keep it that way.

(They have my contact and account information from the form I completed to send this.)

I was out on my bike today when I received a call.  I pulled over and listened to the message, it was the manager of the food place above.  Several hours later (post coming soon on the time otherwise spent here) I returned his call.   Without going into detail, we have a 20 dollar credit coming and an apology.  The manager may have over-shared when talking to me, and I told him that we totally understood.   An employee 'buys' ice cream but doesn't set it aside so the delivery driver grabs it innocently.  A manager trainee reacts like he shouldn't, then tried to kind of cover his tracks.  I don't want anyone to lose their job, and I told this manager that it was more insulting than offensive.  We are long time customers, and he could see and appreciate that.  So, all's well that ends well.

I had composed this exact feedback to them here before pasting into their corporate contact page.  I was ready to call them out.  My talk with this manager was good and he had gotten this message about my email first thing today, he said.  He was actually nice, even likable, and kissed my ass well.  What it comes down to is we have an apology and a credit toward the next order or two.  I'm happy enough!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Road Trip, Bicycle Style

My wife had things to do during the day today so it was up to me to keep myself busy.  After staying up late and jamming to concerts on YouTube last night, I had to be up before 9 to receive the grocery delivery.  Ordering groceries online and getting them delivered for free is just sooo easy and convenient, I don't think I'll ever go to a grocery store again other than for a few odds and ends.  We've been doing this for over a year now.  If you spend a hundred dollars it's free delivery, and my wife usually takes her father to the store during the week so if anything is out of stock on the delivery order she usually can pick it up then.  But this is off the topic...

After the groceries were put away and several small chores completed, I set out on my bicycle.  I didn't pay attention to the time, but it was sometime before 11 this a.m.  I had an idea of what and where I wanted to go but no set plans, and when getting on the bike it is nice to have a destination in mind.  Last night I considered heading downtown to the capitol square, probably a 20 minute ride for an experienced bicyclist, but what was I going to do when I got there?  Setting out earlier in the morning I could have hit Madison's large farmer's market on the square around the capitol building, but otherwise I didn't have a real destination there.
I wound up riding on the bike path down behind Olbrich Botanical Gardens, another place to stop and visit - but not this day, then down along lake Monona where there is the Olbrich Park Biergarten, a beer garden that just opened this summer in this city park.  It's bigger than I thought it would be, the fenced in area, and I stopped at the end of the parking lot (before a huge puddle) and had to take two pictures to get the length of it.  This looks like it will be a future destination for us, easily.

20170722_114023From here I worked my way up (hill!) and around the top of the lake over to the Atwood area and stopped for a rest break at the Harmony Bar and Grill, one of our favorite local establishments.  Here, I considered following the bike path down the isthmus to the capitol, but instead I headed back on the bike path northeast towards home.  I was still making it up as I went along, however.

20170722_124547When I got back on the streets I veered west and headed toward Dexter's Pub but first I had to cross East Washington Avenue, a very busy street running into town northeast to southwest, toward the capitol, of course, the center of Madison on the center of the isthmus.  Probably why it keeps getting mentioned now.  My wife fears ever crossing this road on foot or bike as there's usually at least one pedestrian death a year on the street.  When I came upon it I had the green light so was able to ride straight across in my bike lane easily.   From there it's just a few easy blocks to the pub.  They had a great Rodenbach on tap; expensive ($9.50 for 10 ounces), but one of the best beers I've tasted.  From Belgium, it's one of the original Flanders red or red/brown sour ales.  We enjoy a bottle of Duchess De Bourgogne every Friday evening.

20170722_124722While here I considered my next moves.  I wasn't quite ready to go home yet, so I went north just a bit more then headed back east, to go over the pedestrian/bicycle bridge across the aforementioned East Washington Avenue.  I hadn't been across it yet, and it was built just before we moved into the neighborhood.  I figured I would have to stop and walk my bike up, but the grade was slight enough that even out-of-shape-me was able to make it all the way up in first gear.  From here it's just a short jaunt down the path to the street we live on, recognizable by the street painting at the corner.  (I hope the neighborhood group repaints it this year - see prior link - I'll plan to help out this time.  I wrote about it when it happened here.)

20170722_125028Coming down on the east side of the bridge is Starkweather Creek, looking very full after all the recent rain.  Still, very picturesque.  By this time it was well past the lunch hour and I was ready to head towards food.  I didn't feel like ending my ride yet so I rode past the end of our street, to another bridge, and turned northeast toward another of our favorite bar and grills, Brother's Three.  This was pretty much the end of my journey.  I was hot, super sweaty, hungry and needed a rest.

I hung out for some time and chatted with the staff, letting my sweat dry and my body temperature regulate.  They know us well here as we are frequent visitors.  I had a drink and cooled down and after a while my wife showed up to meet me (I had texted her) before she went to check on a cat for friends that are on vacation.   I stayed and had some food before taking the short bike ride home and mowing the lawn, now that it was dried out some from the rain we had the day before.  After that I took a bunch of pictures for the garden blog, go take a look here!

I hadn't planned on a blog post about this bike ride today or I would have taken more and better pictures.  Still, I don't do things just to post about them.  Live life first, then share what you want when you want and if you want.  This is why I don't 'do' farcebook, people seem to need to report on their lives too much.  I prefer to think of this blog as my sort of online journal that others can see, and only if they wish.  If you made it this far, thank you.  I very much appreciate you reading.  I do like to write, but this is a lot of words for this instant-gratification society.

Full size versions of almost all the pictures I took today are after the break!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fire Pit, Headlights

DSCF5714We enjoyed another fire pit with friends last night, some we don't get too see very often anymore.  It was nice and relaxing, and cooled enough by sundown that we could actually start the fire.  The yard spray pretreatment kept the mosquitoes mostly at bay and the rain and thunderstorms held off until later in the night.  My wife made snacks and grilled up some hot dogs that we got with our quarter cow and, boy, were they delicious!

DSCF5697My project yesterday was restoring the clarity to our older car's headlights.  There's lots of YouTube videos on the process, I mostly followed this one.  I've been thinking of doing this for years now, but I would just do the temporary fix with toothpaste.  This time I invested the 20 bucks or so in materials and just did the permanent fix.  And I have plenty left over for several more cars, perhaps I can sell the stuff to some poor, dull-yellow-headlighted person.
Overall, they look much better now than they did before.  In the first picture the yellow doesn't seem to nearly come across as it really was, but they are sure cloudy.  Next is during the process, I have the lenses completely sanded and ready for the clear coat.  Last is after the final coat and not yet dry, yet you can see they are much clearer than they were before.  Later today I will wax them and see if they get clearer yet.

DSCF5706I need to start thinking of new projects to keep me busy.  I have all sorts of tools and lots of wood, I can take the time and enjoy the process.  That's really what it's about many times, the process.  I can work at my own pace, listen to music and hang out in the garage - which is one of my favorite things.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Unfortunate Reminder

I found this video on a music site today as just released, a song called 'F***ed Up,' and now I can't get it out of my head since I first watched it earlier this evening.  It describes my feelings at work recently, yes, this is where I'm going with this.  I can't adequately describe the position I'm in at work without going into too much detail to explain.  And it certainly is not the end of the world, for my position, anyway, but other heads should roll and I expect they will eventually.  This is what happens when, um, never mind.  Anyway, ever forward.  This song itself is therapeutic in it's aggression and expression, but right now I'm in a good position to relate to it, also.

Josh Todd and the Conflict - F***ed Up

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ahh, Summer


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Holiday Weekend, Friends

20170702_153103Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone - or Brexit 1776, as I've heard it referred.  I hope you had time off and spent it wisely, or not so wisely, however you prefer.  I managed to get a lot done around the house and yard and still see friends and family.  Some of the big things I managed to get done are power wash the whole house and garage and install a pulley system to store our bikes in the garage.  Plus many, many more little projects and I still had plenty of time to relax, stay up late and listen to music - though I have several new things to listen to yet.  That's one thing about music, there's always more that I haven't heard yet.

Another highlight of this holiday weekend is that I got to visit with my old pal, Mike.  He was in Wisconsin for the weekend from Michigan visiting a former, and now current again, girlfriend.  We drove up to Wisconsin Dells, about the halfway point, to meet them for dinner Sunday night and then hung out by the Wisconsin River and talked over drinks.  She seems to be nice and they seem to be happy together so I hope it goes well for them.  It has been over 20 years since they last dated, and I do remember meeting her back then.  We had a very nice time, I only wish we could do it more often.  We also texted Gary, another old friend, to let him know we were thinking of him.  The three of us did a lot together in our youth.

But as all long weekends go, the end comes and it is back to the work week.  We will be seeing other friends tonight but can't stay very late because we have to get up early.