The fun never ends in my garage, I tell you.

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March 3, 2003

ok, this is the cutest thing ever.
Pictures taken from http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/okuchanwinds/others/race/index.htm.

Paul and Carla -- that'll be your kid in a few years, right?

the bike is reassembled!
Mark, who is on his way to earning the coveted "I spend my whole life in carolyn's garage" award, came over again on Saturday, and we managed to get the SVS chain and sprockets almost all the way done. I'd gone to Hayward Honda/Suzuki earlier that morning to pick up the new rear sprocket mounting bolts, nuts, and washers, so by the time Mark came over, the rear wheel was pretty much reassembled.

We started out the day in true carolyn fashion: we got the entire wheel re-attached and then noticed a spacer we'd forgotten to put back in. This happened not once, not twice, but three separate times. Only we could reach this enviable level of utter retardation.

After the rear wheel was finally back on (with all of its component parts this time), we went to attach the new chain, only to realize that the DID chain was way too long. We had a mysterious chain tool, loaned to me by my co-worker Justin, but both of us were starting to get mental images of being there all night with it.

We called a local dealership and asked if we could bring the new chain in and have it cut to size. This was fine by the service guy who talked to Mark, so we hopped in the car and drove the chain over. The service guy (whose name I never actually caught) was really cool, and let us come in the back into the work area so we could see how he used the tools. He cut the chain down for us, and was pretty reluctant to take any payment for the work. After a short round of wink-wink-nudge-nudge charades, it was determined that we did not, in fact, have any herbal inventory for barter, and so we ended up just giving him $20 and calling it all even.

Upon returning home, we discovered that the chain was still two links too long. Peter showed up just as Mark and I were taking turns convincing each other not to stick our heads in the oven. We decided to shove the chain problem off on Peter and go get lunch. By the time we returned from lunch, Peter had Dremeled off one link for practice, and was ready to try the chain tool. Fortunately, it succeeded. We used Peter's method for removing the second link, and peace was restored to the land.

We got the chain installed; I just did a short write-up of this here, so I won't talk about it more now.

since i have copious free time...
...I decided to sign up for the 2003 North America Grand Tour: Historical Landmarks and Sites. The AMA sponsors these tours every year; they're more or less a photographic scavenger hunt. The gist of this year's is that you ride around to various historical landmarks and photograph your bike and your laminated entry badge with the historical marker. You have to get visit 50 such landmarks between March 1 and October 31, and at least one must be outside of your home state.

There are a surprising amount of historical landmarks in my area of California -- between Silicon Valley and the Spanish missions, a lot of history happened here, I suppose. Mark and I both wanted to go riding on Sunday, so we decided to find a couple of the local landmarks and knock a couple off the list.

We started off with Rancho La Purisima Concepcion, the home of Juana Briones de Miranda. It used to be a sprawling adobe, but the addition of new wings and years of development in the neighborhood have left it looking more or less like just another house on the street. Due to pending litigation, the adobe is gated off and inaccessible to the public.

Mark and I were originally pretty confused about why this old house was a historical landmark, so here's the 10-second summary on Why We Care About Juana Brione de Miranda's house:

During the early 1800s, Spain populated areas of California with Mexican settler families to validate their claim to the land. Juana's family was one such family; her father, in particular, was an influential soldier and a founding member of Villa de Branciforte (now Santa Cruz).

In 1833, Juana and her husband, Apolinario Miranda, lived in what's now the Presidio area of San Francisco. She helped deserters by hiding them at her brother's ranch in the East Bay until the deserters' ships left the Bay. As the number of sailing ships into the Bay increased, Juana decided to move closer to the port to sell food to the ships' crews, and she became the first resident of what's now North Beach.

Juana received permission to purchase the Rancho La Purisima Concepcion in 1844. Covering over 4000 acres, it stood in the current towns of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto. After receiving a divorce from Apolinario Miranda due to spousal abuse, she moved full-time to the ranch. When California became the 31st state in 1850, the United States confirmed Juana's ownership of the ranch, where she lived until five years before she died in 1889.

More info here.

This is starting to get long, so I'll continue the story in the next entry. :)