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00:15 Thursday 18 September 2014
22:54 Wednesday 17 September 2014
Almost two and a half years ago in March 2012, and largely with the aid of a tax rebate, I purchased my first full suspension mountain bike: a Canyon Nerve XC 7.0.
I knew very little about full suspension mountain bikes, and so opted for what I hoped to be the best value for money. I spent just over £1300 GBP on a bike I had not test ridden nor ever even seen. I liked how it looked in the photographs and set the desktop background on my PC with a picture I spent too long staring at every day for two and a half weeks until it finnaly arrived all the way from Germany.
I felt completely bewildered when presented with the box. The suspension was completely airless and fully compressed. The peddles were not on. The handlebars were only attached by the gear and brake cables, and I didn't know how much air to put in the front or the rear shocks. My old bike I'd take to pieces in the blink of an eye, I'd never felt so apprehensive in front of a bicycle.
Then for the first few months I worried it would get stolen if I was seen out and about on it. I was scared of riding it incase something broke, too much dirt got in somewhere and eroded something. Too scared of having to replace this or that expensive part I couldn't afford to, having spent so much on the bike in the first place. When I brushed my hand over the annodized alluminium frame I perceived, from the hollow sound it made, that the frame was too insubstantial for the type of riding I wanted to be doing (when I had the time and money to travel to the type of locations where that type of riding was available that is).
So it was a few months before I really felt comfortable on it, and could enjoy riding it without these worries in the back of my mind.
So, over the past two and half years (almost), here is a list of parts I've replaced:
* Handlebars - - upgrade - wider + flatter - improved rider handling. * Stem - - upgrade - shorter - improved rider handling. * Wheels - - irrepairable damage to rear + upgrade to UST rims, sealed bearings in hubs, etc. * Tires - - upgrade for UST rims - improved performance (potentially tougher or lighter, but not both) * Rear shock bushings - - worn parts + upgrade for improved component performance and durability * Rear seatstay bearings (QR end) x 4 - - replacement of overly worn/rusted parts + upgrade for improved component performance and durability * Main radial pivot bearing (by BB) - - replacement of overly worn/rusted part, which seemed IMO, due to missing o-ring (returned to Canyon for work, and charged for) * Gear cables - - normal wear & tear replacement * Brake pads - - normal wear & tear replacement * Hydraulic Dropper Seat Post - - upgrade - improved rider handling over trail obstacles.
Seatstay Helicoil Damage
I've ridden this bike in all weathers, Summer, Winter, sun, rain, snow, mist, fog, drizzle. I've ridden it on the best trails Kent has to offer, as well as the bridleways and farm tracks in my area. It's been to the Surrey hills, and in Wales, to Brechfa Forest, Afan Forest, and Brenin Forest. Most recently it endured a six hour race around Stanmer park in Brighton (solo, eight laps, 5:57, 24th in male solo under forty).
It has certainly been a learning experience for me, this bike. I chose to carry out maintenance on the it. I purchased the right tools to do it in most cases. Made some DIY adaptions for bearing replacement. Almost ruined the rear seatstay trying to push a pair of bearings out without realizing there was a lip between them both.
Today I orderd some more new bearings - which I should probably have replaced at the time I replaced the others a few months ago earlier this year...
Currently I am in the process of replacing the main pivot arm bearings (which have now arrived), but am currently trying to decide what to do over a damaged HeliCoil in the seatstay, see image. This I believe came about through acidental over-tightening of the bolt which pulled the Helicoil slightly away from its intended position.
22:51 Monday 15 September 2014
Look at my toys!
Today I went to the allotment after work to pick some chilli pods from the numerous chilli plants I have growing, in the greenhouse dedicated to chillis (along with a couple of marigolds, chives, scented geranium, mint, and a pair of neglected tomato plants).
I ate one of the pods, a rather pale pod, I'm unsure exactly the variety it is, especially without looking through my seed packs, but I'm fairly certain it is at least a Capsicum Baccatum - you can see it in the image on the right). I wasn't expecting it to be particularly hot, at least not as hot as the Lemon Drops (or Aji Lemon), and it wasn't to begin with, but toward the top it felt unexpectedly hotter.
I sweated rather a lot as usual, it literally rolls off my face. I thought about what we were told on the curry cooking course I spent a couple of hours at yesterday, that chilli peppers are the reason why Thai people have such good skin. I recalled a mens health article about how to make yourself more handsome recommending to avoid sweating as much as possible and to deep clean and moisturise and all that guff.
I spend every day sweating these days. When I cycle to work in the morning I sweat. I will probably have something containing chilli in my lunchbox which will cause me to sweat. Sometimes I might cycle to the local supermarket on my lunch break, which will cause me to sweat. Then I cycle home from work, usually off road, as fast as I can, looking for the thrill of speed and the power of riding my bike as if nothing can stop me. Rough terrain, rutted farm tracks downhill and then up the other side, the occasional drop, off a couple of steps or other small jump... That's usually when I am the sweatiest, but then maybe a snack such as cheese on toast with a chopped chilli between bread and cheese. Will drench me in sweat all over again.
So apparently this is all healthy. I try to be so. I started doing push ups as I no longer work in a physically active job, am sat down all day in front of a computer, and didn't want to experience back problems caused by muscular weakness there; and because I thought the proportions of my upper body should match those of my lower body; and some of the more demanding trails I ride down from time to time require upper body strength to handle the bike properly;
So yes I decided to create a list of 'hot links' about chilli peppers... I made some chilli bread yesterday evening. It is not only edible, but quite nice, especially with tuna mayonaise. Here's the links:
hot links The HJ8 Total Eclipse Space Chili "Since the mid 1980\u2032s, China has been sending recoverable satellites into space on a 5-day orbit around Earth. Each trip, approximately 5000 seeds are sent along and are exposed to the zero gravity and cosmic radiation, then returned." http://www.chilipeppermadness.com/blog/2014/06/21/the-hj8-total-eclipse-space-chili/#.VBc-vOKVvlk How to grow chili peppers "Are you growing chillies or chilis? Nevermind the different spellings, there are even more shapes, sizes and colours!" http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-chillies.html The Apocalypse Pepper "I once ate something called the apocalypse pepper. It grows in very small amounts in the Amazon basin, and the natives who live in the region have no word for it in their language. They just use their word for death." http://www.metafilter.com/80754/Ghost-Pepper#2523088 Can you imagine a world without salsa? Or Tabasco sauce, harissa, sriracha, paprika or chili powder? "I asked myself that question after I found a 700-year-old recipe for one of my favorite foods, merguez\u2014North Africa\u2019s beloved lamb sausage that is positively crimson with chiles." http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201402/chiles.global.warming.htm Hot - Craig Arnold http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40733859?uid=3738032&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104168185521 Spicy Chilli Bread "My husband ,Nick, loves hot spicy food. He wants chilli with everything, and this bread is hot, hot, hot!" (Easy recipe, even for a bread making newb like me. I used a pair of fresh scotch bonnets in mine, no powder or flakes - jwm) http://www.norahsleep.com/spicy-chilli-bread/ Jay's Ghost Scorpion x Carolina Reaper Pod Test Today I'm back in the hot-seat after a bit of a break from testing! First up is a great looking cross from Jon, Jay's Ghost Scorpion x Carolina Reaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TluJYP5MANI&list=UU-jnwlAyZ_duwsb6B2ld8TA The Health Benefits of Chili Peppers "Chili peppers are extremely healthy for you, and should be included in your regular diet. Here's why." http://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-health-benefits.html#.VBdUWOKVvlk
22:31 Friday 12 September 2014
I've been living this past week or so. Just staying alive, without threat of death close by. I've been doing things too. Also, I have seen why telescopic sandals eat bread waves.
22:00 Wednesday 10 September 2014
here you are then, just words in a sentence, fitting improperly grid pocket solder flux, just words tipped out of a bucket cod pencil dish, look it collapsed on the carpet like pocked farm wit, sod the darned sock collapse ethernet thread irq socket connect switchback gnar. you don't know what the heraldry you are. look it up on feather imp lactose integer flood light carousel just murks in a dungeon, like scents in a tent peg, flags on a rented keg, and pots played by a quartet steroid, like the queen of the burnt hot cross bun cornflour apocolypse. yes, you like turds in the past tense, not in the present sense, of destruction, the quenching of Hirst via aquifiying pacifiers. so here there is your proof, the roof of your aloof posture of foof, suck bled tooth. the proof is this, my my my waving of the clans of curdled milk tambourine playing felons pasting craddle snatched bipartite peddlers into imprecision. farting blurs the line between reality and creative testimony. it's not good, this proof, it proves nothing but that your opinion is the correct one for you to plantain. i've lost my words, sitting quietly, voice held back as always for there is someone whose voice is more important than mine. can you guess whose voice it might be? tick tock tick tock, here is the attention you require. my sir. philanthropic my sir. technical dilation of crane flies importing botox through the underground ventricles of civilisation on the brink of collapse. dire warnings perhaps. but steady on my cravings for horse meat never existed hello kind sir why you eat chalk fried type two? cramp in the ether regarding john's take home pay, i'd say, increment by one. i've got a soft spot for you. it's in my brain. you keep press-rotating creature. it's aloft. squidgy pissing obsolesence, right off, falling from above straight down to the button hole of still water odometer creosote fled dangling oblong mantissa. i'm not waking sense here. i yet you didn't quess hat. am i right? am i right winged? am i too right winged for dour pastebin? am i too right red painted letter box for your door step? mantissa overflow. am i too law stop for your letter box? fledgling mantissa overflow to the power of excellence in grammar. your doorstop killed my spirit, my love of life. am i too right winged for our cavalier platitudes? am e-cigarrete pencil dash rind questioning sellotape tropic rigidity amongst suave letter combs of the ordinary tan line pigeon drone pestilence an e-cigarette amongst a dash of lemon droppings blind tempest author of tressel tables manager bloom of forceps ratboy ratboy quick led LED lie detect ping apple goat big pipe for your suckle dome.
23:11 Tuesday 9 September 2014
Spicy Vegetable Chilli Pasties.
These are loosely based on Jamie Oliver Spicy Lamb Pasties. His recipe doesn't specify how much chilli to use. I grow chillis and they're soon to be coming out my ears so I used about ten. Two Scotch Bonnet types (an unknown variety from a plant I overwintered - from a 'Tropical Heat' mixed seed packet), two or three Aji Lemon (also from an overwintered plant), two or three Golden Cayenne, three or four Cayenne (from a three or four year old plant living in my parents porch on top of their tumbledryer), one unidentified tough skinned dark green bell-like pepper, and probably some others.
Then I didn't use lamb either. Or chickpeas. Substituted turnip, carrot, and parsnip for the lamb and chickpeas. And then added another chilli or two. Doubled the garlic. Added some fennel seeds along with the mustard seeds. Out of olive oil so used vegetable oil. Sprinkle of ground black pepper. A couple of sticks of celery. And cauliflower broken up into small florets.
Added two teaspoons of turmeric to the pastry flour to add a touch of colour and flavour. Didn't completely match the combined weight of lamb and chickpeas with substituted vegetables, but still there seemed to be too much filling. Was braver with the amount of filling I used per pastie this time, so only enough for another pastie left over so perhaps might make it into an omellete for breakfast if I get up in time.
Didn't bother with the tomatoes, or ginger (not a big fan of ginger in savoury foods), nor the fenugreek seeds.
So here follows the recipe which, more or less, will reproduce what I made this evening:
Spicy Vegetable Chilli Pasties - Serves 8 For pastry: 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 250g unsalted butter, chilled 2 teaspoons turmeric pinch of salt 150ml water Weigh out flour and place in large mixing bowl, add salt and turmeric and mix together thoroughly. I don't bother sifting it but if you know better by all means do. Add butter (or healthier substitute) and mix together. Add water and mix some more but don't overwork it - if you know what I mean (I don't). Refrigerate during preparation of filling. For filling: 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp fennel seeds 2 clove of garlic, finely chopped 10 Chillis, finely chopped 450g of turnip, swede, parsnip, carrot, celery, diced 0.5cm. 10 curry leaves 1 large onion, finely diced 1/3rd head of cauliflower, broken into very small florets Salt + ground black pepper to taste Heat oil in frying pan and fry mustard and fennel seeds to release flavour and remove from heat before mustard seeds start popping all over the kitchen and let cool and place in large mixing bowl. Mix together all ingredients. Preheat oven to 180 C. Divide chilled pastry into eight portions. Roll out flat around 3 - 4mm at a guess. Add filling to each and brush egg around edge of pastry and pull the two halves together in the middle and squeeze with fingers and thumb to make edges stick together. Make a steam hole or two with knife each side of crimped edge. Repeat. Put on greased baking tray or something they won't stick to. Put in oven for twenty five minutes or until cooked.
A page detailing new stuff and other random noise.
The journal is a general place for writing about what I am doing, or for making more official announcements concerning the things I do. It's also a place where I can write freely about my ideas, or just play with words and language.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.
this page last updated:29th April 2013 jwm-art.net (C) 2003 - 2014 James W. Morris