Thursday, July 31, 2008

the Bike Trailer

A couple of days ago I mentioned biking around with the boys in a bike trailer. I didn't include any pictures in that post so I thought I might right now. We were out yesterday on our (almost) weekly trip to Java Train. I like most of the features of this trailer, except the cloth topper. It attaches to the back of the thing with Velcro, which isn't quite sufficient for the amount of tension it requires. I'm going to bolt it on one of these days. I like how Libby bungied a milk crate to the frame of the trailer. It serves well as a trunk!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Nest on the Porch

I love having a porch. It's the overlapping of indoors and outdoors, public and private, personal and community. Libby recently rearranged ours and feels even more living room like than our actual living room.

Gibbie's favorite thing to do on the porch is make a nest out of pillows and blankets (but mostly pillows). He'll spend a long time contentedly being a little bird going in and out of his nest.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Zero Driving Days

After Gibbie and I finished fixing the car as shown in the previous post, our family didn't drive again for six days. We biked everywhere. This was extremely gratifying and probably one of the longest stretches of Zero Driving Days we've had.

Since I bike to both of my jobs, weekdays are easy Zero Driving Days. The weekend is the challenge. So far we've successfully biked to church only once. It's uphill most of the way and we need to leave home early enough to give me plenty of time to be early. (I can't be late for church if I'm supposed to play the opening hymn!)

We pull the kids in our Cannondale trailer which Libby has equipped with a milk crate "trunk" for our stuff. We can trade off who pulls the kids for the different legs of our travel in a given day. Unlike driving in the car, we can split off in different directions whenever we want to and both have a vehicle.

I'd say the biggest drawback is how hard it is to hold a conversation while traveling like this. We often read in the car, which is of course completely impossible on bikes. Thus our current book Paradise Lost is not going quite as quickly as others have, but ah well.

All this and I haven't mentioned gas prices... but I guess that's obvious.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Car Boy

Things break, you know. Cars, phones, CPU fans, our neighbor's wireless router (which is why we haven't posted in a long time) all break. Good thing I usually enjoy fixing stuff.

Yesterday I was out with Gibbie and our car started running very poorly. It hesitated and stalled whenever I was pulling away from an intersection. Gibbie was disappointed that we had to go home, so I asked him if he'd like to help me fix the car. He was very excited about that idea.I grew up around car-fixing. I can remember the little stool that my dad would let me sit on and watch him work in the garage. I thought that Gibbie would be a little too young yet, but this 3 year old was both interested and helpful. He could even hand me some tools. Because he can't read, he couldn't differentiate between an 8mm or a 10mm wrench, but he could understand the instructions "hand me the smallest screwdriver with a yellow handle." I have to admit it was pretty great to have my son already handing me tools. He also insisted on personally inspecting each spark plug.

Here we are looking at the offending distributer rotor. The rotor and cap were more worn than any I'd ever seen. No wonder things were running so badly.

What started out as let-down turned into a pretty great experience for Gibbie and I.