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Sunday! Bicycles and stuff. - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
Sunday! Bicycles and stuff.
What a glorious day! Today was truly the first beautiful day of Spring, and Omaha and I spent it appropriately: after cleaning up the front yard and driveway, we started fixing our bicycles. Mine was in remarkably good shape, and after changing the tires to city-wides and greasing up the chain, Kouryou-chan and I went on a few quick rides: up to the park, out of the subdivision and into the greenbelt, and finally back through the greenbelt and down to the grocery to pick up some milk. I also picked up a $3 wedge of Maytag Blue, the first popular blu cheese made in America. I discovered that it's perfectly possible to ride a bicycle wearing a kilt. I also discovered, contrary to my physical therapists' assertions, that it is perfectly possible for my knee to keep working, hurt like hell, and complain about bicycling rather than walking.

After I got home I made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone. I used the blu in mine, and it was an interesting experiment. I'll have to try with other cheeses in the future. (QFC, the local grocer, touts that they have "250 different kinds of cheese." I've been to one of jaylake's cheese tasting parties. That man is a cheese god, and QFC's got nothin'.)

I hacked a little on Tina's website, hooking up her flickr account, when the little girl next door who's Kouryou-chan's age asked me if I could fix her bicycle. I supposed I could, so I went outside and pumped up her tires, tightened her chain, and tore off the old and somewhat mangled training wheels that were still on it. Hey, she has a bike again, and Kouryou-chan has a riding partner.

lisakit called and begged me to visit her for half an hour to pound the pain out of her back. Our hiking trip yesterday had taken more out of her than she anticipated, and I obliged, giving her a solid backrub with some massage oils she had in the house. Then Omaha came over to Lisa's house for their bi-weekly D&D game, and I headed out to run some errands.

My first stop was the Great Wall Mall. They still sell 20lb. bags of rice there, and I picked up two, which was the buyer's limit. It wasn't my favorite brand (Niko-Niko), but I've used this kind before and it's fine.

Omaha and I were commisserating about how Uwajimaya has become so commercial. It used to be this cool Asian grocery store with a Japanese bookstore hidden in its attic, and you had to be "in the know" to know how to get to the bookstore. Now, the bookstore is a huge multi-ethnic, gaijin-pandering Barnes & Noble with the biggest damn anime section you ever saw, and the grocery now has wide, comfortable aisles and comforting lighting.

The Great Wall Mall is what Uwajimaya used to be. It's an indoor micromall with a grocery store, "99 Ranch Grocery", in the back. It feels like old-school Waji's, with tiny, narrow aisles, random layouts, bright harsh lighting, and a constant crowd. The mall itself has three DVD places (Hong Kong chinese, Korean, Vietnamese), two comic book stores (one sells American comics to Asians, the other sells manga), a ton of video games scattered through the main floor, a Morning Glory, five Asian restaurants, a Chinese herb store, a weird robo-massage place, and even weirder, a place that sells one thing: toilets from the future. More on that tomorrow.

After buying the rice, I went over to the hardware store and bought a new "never flat" wheel for the wheelbarrow. I got home, fixed the wheelbarrow, put away Omaha's bicycle, then did four loads of laundry, mopped both the kitchen and dining room floor, took out the trash and recycling, cooked dinner for myself and Kouryou-chan (who spent most of the day with the neighbor's kids after we were done riding), emptied the dishwasher, wrote four blog entries and sorted through about two hundred photographs, fed and watered the cat, did my own nightly exercises... and now Omaha has come home and it's bedtime. My hands hurt; I've used them too much today.

But still, riding a bicycle with Kouryou-chan was very, very cool. It's the first time I've had a chance to do it since she mastered the art of riding without trainers. We'll be doing much more of that for the next six months.

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solarbird From: solarbird Date: May 5th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't get me wrong; I liked the old Uwajimaya building better, as a building, too. But Kinokuniya pretty much is a Barnes and Noble equivalent in Japan, and always has been. Kinoduniya Shinjuku, for example, is a massive bookstore, seven stories tall. (Or was that Shinjuku South? Foo. One is 7F, the other is 5F. They're both huge.) And they're noted for their foreign-books selection, in Japan. So in the relocation, it became more like the home stores, not less.
lisakit From: lisakit Date: May 5th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you sooo much for the back rub. It helped immensely!

So today my calves are burning. Bleh.

Good grief. I was wiped all day yesterday just because of a little hiking and look how much you got done. I feel like such a wimp. ;p
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