January 11th, 2013

biking, exercise (biking)

End of an Era...

Well, it's the end of an era for me. (sigh) And I'm trying not to be really unhappy about it. Today I read in the St. Johns Review (HERE) that Steve Weir has RETIRED -- and sold his family business to Don Richards. I've been going to Weir's Cyclery for so long I can't even remember how many years it's been.

Because of the change of ownership, I can't say for sure that this link will continue to work in the future, but for now you can visit the Weir's Cyclery website -- and read a (very) little bit about Steve Weir HERE. (The above article tells a bit more, happily.)

Gosh, I love Steve! He's an amazing guy. And he sure helped me take good care of my bike over the years...

I was sad when his shop moved from the spot on Lombard that's pretty close to our current house into St. Johns proper (still on Lombard, though). I didn't spend much time in the 'new' location (not that new -- it's been there for years) -- but I used to go to the 'old' shop all the time. They'll be moving again -- and it looks like the new location will be closer to me, again (woo hoo) -- so that's positive! I guess it's currently closed, but it's supposed to re-open again next week.

I've needed to get my bike in to be worked on, so maybe this will motivate me. (I don't think I know Don, but I'm not sure. I might remember him if I saw face-to-face...) Having the shop closer to home might also motivate me -- hopefully!

I hope Steve enjoys his much-deserved retirement! And I hope Weir's Cyclery continues to be around for another 87 years!

More about the rest of my day later...

brr, cold

Friday: Cold Weather, Creating a SmugMug Tutorial and More...

Today was COLD! It was snowing this morning when I got. Okay, not sticking, but still... Currently the nightly news is full of warnings about frozen fog happening as we speak and expected for the morning. Just, yuck! At least the weekend is here, so Marilyn won't be driving in bad and dangerous weather...

I had a busy day, working on festival projects. I spent more than two hours working on a detailed tutorial for using SmugMug, based on the outline from Rich. He's done some good work with SmugMug, by the way. Of course, when it comes to doing tutorials on 'how to' do something, I'm something of an expert. What I learned years ago was how to cover each and every step -- without skipping anything -- while guiding people in print.

This goes back to when I had my own business for a time, as a computer consultant. I was a software consultant -- and my primary job was to go in and learn a given software, then teach it to others. I learned DOS from manuals back when the books barely made sense to the average person, so I've been pretty good at this for decades. After time it just made sense to find ways to write up sets of instructions that were 'user friendly.' Too bad I never tried writing 'how to' books about various subjects! There was demand, but it didn't occur to me that I would have been able to fill a void -- especially back in the 80's and 90's...

I'm digressing! Ignore me!

Anyway, I took Rich's guideline and went to the SmugMug site, logged in and started doing my own EXPANDED version -- very detailed. The goal is to write something up that covers every step, but isn't too wordy! In my experience, people want to be SHOWN how to do something -- they only want a text version as a backup for when they're forced to work alone and can't remember the steps they've had explained face-to-face. Rich will go over the basics in Staff meeting next week -- then he and I will hopefully go one-on-one with anybody who needs or wants help. But my website instructions and the handout we'll give people will also be available.

I always start with a text-only version that I use in conjunction with screencap images to create the web version. We'll probably take the text version and dump it into Word, where we can add the images in (as I did for the website). Anyway, Rich and I talked for nearly two hours today -- and we're going to meet about this next week.

This initial version is for USERS, but not Administrators. So there needs to be a second version done, too, at some point. I'll try and get to that next week... SmugMug is pretty easy to use, actually. The funny thing? It's not that easy to reason out how to LOG IN to the site! You go to their main page and it's all about buying the service! They have two huge buttons in the center of the page, neither of which are for logging in! To log in, you have to go up to the right-hand corner where there's a login link. Now you'd think this would be more prominently placed on the page, wouldn't you? I sure would!

Last night I started reading a book on simplifying life. I've also been reading a different book about organizing your home. Both have information I'm enjoying, considering my goal to pare down on material things and get my house the way I want it! That's also something Rich and I talked about, as he's getting ready to move into a 900 square foot house with another person and dealing with the smaller space. I'll have to get the info on these books to share, but I don't have it with me right now (my Kindle is in another part of the house). Anyway, one of the interesting statistics had to do with what the size of the average house was back in the 1950's compared to today. Again, I'll share some details, too, as I continue reading. I do love the way I'm feeling about this: So ready to part with items I haven't been able to part with in the past.

Today I took time to clean out under my bathroom sink a bit. I threw out some stuff and packed other items up for the Goodwill. I believe I need to try and do this daily, even if I only go through one drawer, or cabinet or whatever. And even if I'm doing an area that I've already done before, because every time I put my hands on, I'm able to get rid of more! This might end up being one of the most important life changes for me this year, who knows? But if it makes life easier, I'm all for it! Yes, there's work involved. But there's something that feels so very good about it.

Marilyn put in another very long day, which included an evening out by invitation of our festival President. I guess the entire Staff -- except for me -- attended! They went to a hockey game and Marilyn got to ride the Fanboni (zamboni) with several festival folks and appear up on the big screen in the venue -- how cool is that? Marilyn went with Angel who did the driving, happily. Anyway, she came home hungry and tired and is currently asleep after having chili for dinner. I've been making some really tasty chili recently, so we're more hooked than ever! Winter is certainly a perfect time of year to have a hot bowl of chili, that's for sure...

While Marilyn was out, I watched the 2006 Queen Latifah movie "Last Holiday" (which I'd never seen before). It wasn't the most amazing film ever, but there's something so enjoyable about movies featuring Queen Latifah! Besides, it was a 'feel good' movie, and there's nothing wrong with that. I've watched a lot of crappy films (especially made-for-TV movies) that had no redeeming qualities at all, so there's a lot to be said for one that deals with good people doing good things -- and being kind to one another. Plus Georgia Byrd not only treats others kindly, but encourages others to do the same. More power to her! I just find joy in Queen Latifah. I really do...

That's pretty much my Friday! How was YOUR day???

(Again, friend June is very upset about her son, Jim Jim. Your continued good thoughts for June and Jim -- and the entire family -- are greatly appreciated. She was crying when I talked to her today -- but still trying to be hopeful, even so... Thanks!)