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Thailand & Cambodia 2055

Originally uploaded by there2roam

During one of our last excursions in Chiang Mai we journeyed to a village cooperative supporting several indigineous tribes from the area, and of course I couldn’t get together with a local family for a brief and very enjoyable gong ‘n drum jam.

Photo by Susan, who’s far better than I am in getting her thousands of trip pix up onto Flickr.

Busting out the vacuum for some long overdue cleaning yesterday morning, I pulled back a drape and stuck the nozzle into a dark area behind the pantry. Thinking the mass in the corner was a mess of pet hair I quickly realized the thing clinging to the tip of the nozzle wasn’t the mother of all dustbunnies, but instead an alligator lizard desperately trying to hold on.

Scrambling to hit the power button I was too late. In it went with a THLOOP!

Susan heard me yell out and came to investigate. Pulling the attachment off I scanned the container to see if it had gone all the way in, but instead as I was wondering what the hell to do next, out the creature plopped onto the kitchen floor, thankfully intact (at least as far as I could tell) — and alive.

So I quickly covered it with a large mixing bowl and grabbed my cam to duly document the encounter before removing it for a little R&R in the tortoise pen, where at some point later it had made its escape.

Last year about this time as Susan and I were planning on Thanksgiving in Death Valley — part of which involved me fulfilling a long-delayed plan to mountain bike from Ubehebe Crater to the Racetrack Playa — I was shopping for bike-mountable HD or near-HD cams upon which to immortalize the journey.

I narrowed it down to a couple of makes, and was leaning towards the Go Pro Hero, but ultimately couldn’t force myself to part with the required $300… and it was just as well because bad weather ended up with me wisely postponing the endeavor, which I ended up doing the following April — or at least the 14-mile uphill part of it (but still HD cameraless as I remained hesitant of the pricetag).

Fast forward to last weekend while at Costco and out of the corner of my eye I spied a Go Pro Hero cam package for substantially less than $200, and while it wasn’t the full 1080 HD model, it was the 960. Pleeeeenty enough definition for me. The ultimate selling point was that the unit has a built-in timelapse function. And you aaaaaaall know how much I am loving of the timelapse.

So I bought it and then side-ordered the handlebar mount so I wouldn’t have to look like SuperDuperDork with the thing mounted to my helmet. That accessory arrived yesterday and if all goes well with the work I’ve got to get done today, I expect I’ll take the bike out for a spin around the hood this afternoon and see if the thing’s worth keeping or returning.

Thought you might like to reflect on this piano-key perspective I was surprised to discover in the living room this morning (click for the bigger picture):

It’s not every day that the haphazard pile of foliage that is our Russian tortoise Buster’s grub inspires me to grab a cam and capture it, but then again it’s not every meal that it falls into such a display of symmetry and color:

After typically tumbling the foodstuffs into Buster’s pen, I was particularly struck at how the quartet of purple-y snail vine blossoms ended up arranged in an arc around the hibiscus bloom.

One of the benefits of getting out of the house and on the road early to get to an 8 a.m. flu shot appointment is having a few minutes extra to extend my commute along Ballona Creek to Centinela Avenue where I could de-bike, count coots in the water and grab a seat to watch that little bit of world go by — and on such a beautiful day, too:

Sharp eyes might wonder where Le Noir might be. Indeed, I’m back on good and dependable Ol’ Yeller — again — because Tuesday night Le Noir developed a mysterious and disconcerting cla-thack noise emanating repetitively from somewhere along the cranks/bottom bracket. This was coupled to some weird handling issues developing with the front fork and so I had to make the decision to leave her at Orange 20 in the capable hands of Jim C. to resolve and repair.

As if that’s not frustrating enough, on the ride in to work yesterday morning on Ol’ Yeller against my better judgment I decided to stop and fiddle with the funked up front derailleur (a contraption that I never fail to screw up further whenever I touch one). Sure enough by the time I was done messing around turning the trim screws and trying (and failing) to tighten the cable the derailleur wouldn’t move the chain onto the big ring much less get out of the way to allow me move it along the different gears of the rear cassette, so I was forced to basically single-speed it on the mid-ring the remaining 14 miles in.

That may not seem like a big deal, but when one’s legs are accustomed to pedaling a chain around a 53-tooth front/16-tooth rear gear set, being reduced to the much smaller 42/18 often left me over-spinning like Dorothy’s nasty Toto-taking neighbor.

At the other end of the day I dreaded rolling all the way home like that so I busted out the multi-tool and eventually lucked into solving the problem. It certainly wasn’t skill that brought about such a satisfying resolution. Just me twisting and turning and dismantling and reattaching things until it worked again. Yay.

Even better, this morning. I lowered the seat a quarter inch, and dropped the adjustable stem a notch, while rotating the bars upward just a smidgen, and for the first time since I had to haul her out of hibernation following my slow-speed collision with the double-parked minivan on Le Noir last month, she feels almost dialed in. Almost.

Anyway, we enjoyed a few minutes of relaxation, while I admired the morning and even gave a few bits of dog kibble (that I carry now in case I happen upon a hungry stray) to the gang of pigeons who stopped by to say hey.

Then it was on to work.

So because I knowz you can’t get enough of my timelapsificationz, here’s the Youtuber of this morning’s trip into work along the route I call the “right angle” owing as it mainly follows Hoover south and then Jefferson east, as opposed to any of the “staircase” treks I make across town via 4th Street and Venice:

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