Friday, June 12, 2009

Whale of a good time

We saw the whale in Marina del Rey last night. If you missed the news story, there's a whale hanging out in the harbor. He doesn't appear to be injured (last time I checked) but he is just resting and on vacation before he swims elsewhere. Lauren, Ryan and I packed a picnic dinner and went last night at sunset. The whale was cavorting around and I got some half-assed photos of him, which are not good enough to post. If we go back and see him again, I will attempt better ones.

The funny thing? Lauren was actually disappointed because she thought all whales were like Shamu and would do flips in the air. Still fun, though, for the rest of us.

Oh, here's how we got there: We went down Washington, made a left on Pacific to where it curved around and there was metered parking. Then we parked and walked to the end of the bike path. Along the way, people were encouraging us, "the whale is out! We just saw him!" and when we got to the end, he was off to the left.

Some important, some trivial

Some important life or death stuff is going on right now, but I don't feel like writing about it. (Other than to say, things are looking ok, not bad as could have been.) So on to the trivial: I'm irritated with Discover Card. They keep calling me whenever I do anything remotely interesting with my card. They then freeze the account until I contact them. Last night my big "suspicious activity" was that I went to Vons AND Albertsons in the same night. And big spender that I am, there was one charge for something like $65 and another for $15. They knew I cheated on Ralphs and Trader Joe's ?

Anyway, for this, I had to call them and give them all of my life story, and my alibi, and finally they released my card power back into my hands. Another time they got upset about the card when I dared to travel outside of West Los Angeles, and got a snack at O'Hare airport. The funny thing is, I'd been on a trip and none of the trip spending triggered it, only the O'Hare ice cream on the way home.

/end rant.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Good thing I don't believe in spanking...

...because today at Ralph's (supermarket), Lauren unsnapped my V-neck shirt and shouted out "people want to see your breasts!".

Luckily, one step down in the embarrassment realm, all the other shoppers got to see was my bra. And my red face. Lauren calls my bra "breasts", as in "hey, nice yellow breasts!" when she plucks a bra from the laundry pile.

LuLu before the haircut


This is just some silliness, from mid-May. I used to pile Lauren's hair on top of her head, and say her name was now LuLu. Now with the shorter haircut, she won't be able to do it again for awhile. She wouldn't wear her hair that way outside of the house as LuLu because "I look RIDICULOUS!"
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

BIKES: A Cliffhanger

I thought had I had posted about this but I guess not. The night before Valentine's Day, while Ryan and I were out to dinner from approx. 6-8:00 p.m., our bikes were stolen out of our garage. :( We had two Cannondale mountain bikes, one with a nice Ibert seat on it. The thieves ripped off the ibert seat first and left half of it on the floor of my garage, right in my parking space. We almost ran over it when we came home, so that was our rude awakening that we had been robbed.

I filed a police report and after mulling it over, decided to file a condo insurance claim for the bikes. We have a $500 deductible so it was kind of a tossup. Would we want to just look for two used bikes under $500? But by the time I priced out all of the components and upgrades I'd put in, it came to about $1900 in bike value, so we decided to do the claim.

Anyway, we have 1 year to buy everything, submit receipts and get reimbursed. I found a Burley bike trailer on sale at a store in San Diego and bought that. It's currently in my parents' garage waiting for us to buy bikes to tow it. The ibert seat was great, but Lauren had just about outgrown it when it was stolen anyway, so we needed a new way to transport her. The Burley cost more than twice what the Ibert seat cost (and we got it on sale at rock-bottom discount at a closeout store) so we will only be reimbursed for the $85 that the Ibert is worth.

I really liked my bike, had it since college, and throughout the years, upgraded the seat, added better road wheels, better kickstand, water bottle holder, and got it tuned regularly. It was a hybrid and at first I used it more on trails for fun, then later when it was pretty much paved roads, I changed the kind of tires.

Ryan, however, never liked his bike much. It was (to me)really comfortable, but it didn't shift all that well, and once the chain even came off while riding. But it had a very comfortable suspension and seemed more stable because it had the mountain bike tires, so I used to ride it with the Ibert seat. Worked for me.

Anyway, we have been pricing out bikes and trying to each find bikes we would love to ride, that are not too pricey, yet use up all of the allowance the insurance company is giving us. Ryan found a Specialized Rockhopper he liked, similar to a bike he had stolen from him in college. I have been testing and not loving the new Cannondales, which are no longer made in the USA.

I just want something super lightweight because I do a lot lifting of the bike up stairs, over the bike path barriers, onto a Hollywood Rack, etc. So light is my main concern. Light=expensive. :(

Anyway, a twist in the story came yesterday when my neighbor, who is active in our Neighborhood Watch, emailed me that our Senior Lead Officer got word of a house nearby which "another agency raided" (DEA? Immigration? Not sure) which had a bunch of stolen bikes, including some Cannondales. We are supposed to contact this one officer with our serial numbers or any identifying markings on the bikes. I have been trying to call him but LAPD is laughably inefficient and the other officers just say he is "out", they cannot take a message, he doesn't have voicemail and they don't know his email address. I can just try calling tomorrow.

I want to know right now if these are my bikes! And I have a message in to my insurance agent with some questions for him. If they are my bikes, what do I have to do as far as the insurance goes? Can I cancel the whole insurance claim? Will it still show up as a strike against me as far as not getting y rates raised? And if the bikes are damaged or not in as good of condition and I don't even want them back, then what? Keep in mind, these were always garaged, oiled, etc. Does the insurance company take them or do I get them back AND new bikes?

Anyway, stay tuned to see the answers to my first-ever blog cliffhanger!