June 28, 2013

For immediate release

For Immediate Release
Friday, June 29, 2013

Jacob J Brings Home Stellar Report Card
Ecstatic teenager allowed to keep electronics; advances to grade 11
Winnipeg, MB - Following a productive second semester in the tenth grade, Jacob J proudly brought home an impressive final report card. By earning grades that ranged from 77 to 97, the Winnipeg high school student successfully completed grade ten and, much to his own delight, prevented the disposal and/or sale of his Xbox, Wii, computer, clock radio, iPod, cellular telephone, television, PVR and Nintendo DS.

"Hooray! I get to keep my electronics," said the ecstatic, video game-addicted teenager. "It would have been a long, dull summer with nothing but a stick and a rock to keep me occupied. What good are thumbs if you can't use them?"

Jacob's second semester grades were the result of hard work, dedication, and a suspiciously "light on the academics" timetable.

On his final report of the 2012/13 school year, Jacob received 97 in drama, 85 in Triple Threat, 79 in Physical Education, and 77 in Spanish. The passing grade in Spanish is particularly impressive because the majority of the students in the combined class had previously taken "EspaƱol" and it was Jacob's first attempt at learning a foreign language.

Jacob's mother had nothing but praise for her brilliant (and unusually tall) son. Upon receiving word of Jacob's grades, the remarkably youthful Rebecca Hadfield let out sigh of relief.

"Academically, the boy takes after me," said Ms. Hadfield. "He can also credit me with his talent, dramatic flair, sophisticated palate, keen wit, sparkling personality, sense of humour and good looks. The red hair, however, remains a mystery."

The summer months will be full of adventure for the freckle-faced 15 year old, who has been accepted into the prestigious Leaders in Training (L.I.T.) program at Manitoba Pioneer Camp. Jacob plans to spend some quality time at home enjoying technology, indoor plumbing and processed foods until his departure for camp in mid-July.

Unless he is eaten by a bear, Jacob will make his triumphant return to Grant Park High School in September.

- 30-


June 25, 2013

New Bike Smell

Ok, so where did we leave off? Right. The bike ride home.

It should be noted at this point that during the entire time my bike was in the shop, I was obsessed with the idea of buying a newer, lighter, shinier bike. I had it narrowed down to exactly two: a Raleigh Sprite and a Brodie something-or-other that, let’s face it, I could NOT afford.

It should also be noted that I live a half-block away from Lifesport Cycle.

So, in the interest of getting to the point, approximately 2 minutes after getting home, I was in Lifesport looking at pretty bikes. After a quick loop around the store and a look at all of my options, the owner casually mentioned that he “might have a Raleigh Sprite in the basement.” Eeeee!

There was one failed attempt to find it, but then it appeared as if by magic… and in pieces, fresh out of the box.

“We can have it ready for you tomorrow.”

“Can you have it ready for me tonight?” (The next day was Bike to Work day and I NEEDED a perfectly functioning – ok, cool – bicycle.)

“No problem… I’ll just get so-and-so here to put it together for you. Come back at 7:30?”


Less than two hours later, I was riding her home (in a torrential rainstorm!) If it hadn’t been raining so hard, I would have taken her around the block around all the blocks. But, the next day, I had the chance to ride her to City Hall (stopping at at least four Bike to Work Day “Pit Stops” along the way) , take her to an after work party at the Forks, and then take her shopping in Osborne Village.

Oh, and her name, by the way, is Norma Jean.


June 24, 2013

Farewell to Holly

With all of the Bike to Work and Commuter Challenge events going on this month, it was absolutely horrible timing for my beloved bike of 7 years, Holly Go- Lightly, to meet her (rather dramatic) demise.

I say dramatic because there is no other way to describe a handlebar stem breaking mid-ride.

All I can say is thank Geebus for my “strong-core, light-on-the-handlebars, weight-in-the-pedals” Spinning technique; without it I would’ve gone down. Fortunately, I was able to stay in control and stop safely.

(This is where the story turns into one of those “choose your own adventures”. If you think that Holly can be saved, keep reading. If you think that she lived a good life, but it’s time for me to move on, come back tomorrow.)
So, after limping my poor bike to work, I did a little research and found out that she could *maybe-possibly* be fixed. I waited until lunchtime and then limped her over to Natural Cycle in the Exchange. After a quick consultation, we decided to give it a try and I left the old girl there with the promise that I would be back in ten days.
Thank goodness for my mountain bike, because it was a LONG ten days.
Now, for those of you who are keeping track of my history with vehicles, you may have noticed a strange trend. Every time I have any sort of incident with my car, I get it fixed…but then end up getting a new car. Apparently, the same holds true for bikes. (Spoiler alert!)
At the end of my loooong ten day wait, I excitedly hurried down to the bike shop after work, picked up my bike… and fell tragically out of love with it. It just wasn’t *right*. The new stem was shorter, the new handlebars were narrower, the grips didn’t fit properly and, worst of all, NO BASKET.
I rode her home, all the while trying to figure out what to do. By the time I made it home, I had a plan. Stay tuned for part II.