Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wherefore Art Mine Bicycle?

Today my bike was stolen right out from the parking lot of the shop. I knew I should have put it inside, not because it might get heisted, but because rain was imminent. I loaded a delivery into the van and took it across town to the Capitol Towers apartments. I hadn't been gone for an hour when I returned to find my lock lying on the concrete, cut clean in half. The familiar sight of my bike leaning on the metal exterior piping was replaced with empty emptiness. I loved that bike and it has gotten me to and from work more times than I can count. Too bad some strange scumbag is hugging his crotch on my poor seat and probably can't reach the pedals.  So happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hip hurts today. Must be over doing it. The two jobs thing takes its toll but I am certainly not complaining. Maybe a little. It wouldn't be so bad but there is a lot of disfunction happening right now. The boss and I are staying on top of it, but it is high time for some people to step up their game. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Today the SF Giants have swept the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. The post season was a great deal of fun to watch, being that they fought back from being on the ropes twice to dominate the World Series. Now I'm looking forward to getting the election out of the way. No matter who wins I will be glad when it is all over. Pulling for Obama of course!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Maiden in Wheatland

Thanks to my good friend Gordon I have in my possession two tickets to see Iron Maiden in August, just two weeks before our anticipated Kiss/Motley Crue gig in Walnut Creek. We haven't been to any shows in years but after taking in some Black Keys a month ago the ball has started rolling. Can't wait.
 By the way, have you noticed that heavy metal still rules and gets more props today than in the height of it's popularity?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mt St Helens remembered

I remember what it was now. It was 32 years ago today that Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington state. Many lives were lost, and the surrounding forests were changed into a gray moonscape. I was only nine, but I remember the footage of trees lying like twigs for miles, and rivers of wood and mud jamming up the rivers. My dad used to take me and my cousins to the Toutle River before 1980 and I clearly remember how clean and refreshing that river was before it was erased. Going much farther back I actually have a distant memory from my early childhood of going to the base of St. Helens. I still hold a snapshot in my memory of the winter snow surrounding us and the white mountain loomed over us then. That was all well before there were any genuine signs of awakening. I also recall after the 1980 eruption the story of a quirky old man named Harry Truman (not the president but roughly the same age) who lived in a house that was very close to the base of the volcano. He had numerous cats and was probably a slight bit insane. He refused to leave his home when advised and ended up bonding with St Helens in the most intimate way.  His house was never even found. For several years after it would rain ash from the sky on days when the volcano was spewing. This was common for a while when I lived in Kelso during the fifth grade. I could barely see the top of St Helens from the living room window of our little house. I will always remember the ashes, drizzling down and lightly blanketing the cars and sidewalks like a gray snow.

Don't bother me, I'm on holiday

How long has it been? Not long enough. I'll check back in later.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trail of Darkness

On Sunday I was robbed. A thief took my headlight straight from my handlebars when it was parked. Imagine how thrilling it was to ride home through downtown traffic, at night, with no lamp to show people I exist. Then the bike trail was lit solely by moonlight which was actually just enough to navigate by. When I am plagued by repairs and vandals I will usually upgrade, but this time I did not want to spend $75 on something I already had the night before. Mad Cat cycles across the street had an inferior model for $30 and I had to spend it. Damn, now I have a weaker light and a few 'I told you so's' from the wife and boss. Unbeknownst to me they both claim to have warned me that this would happen. Apparently assholes like to take them. I don't recall any such conversation, but it doesn't matter since now I have downgraded; I miss my old light. It shined so bright. Now, not so much.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We're All Hungry; So Let's Eat

Today did not turn out to be a Star Wars experience, but that's okay. I worked at the warehouse and we stayed fairly busy with orders. We must have built fourteen skids by the end of the day, yet everything went smoothly and without any head-butting. Gordon played his guitar some more, and Will and I were occupied with fans and filters. I tried a local Mexican take-out joint that has  been in West Sacramento for years. I forget the name now, but they are at the corner of West Capitol and Harbor. This place was alright with their gooey cheese and greasy beef. Somehow they outlasted a Jimboy's Tacos that had parked next to them for years where a Wienerschnitzel now stands. But enough about junk food. The point is that the little guy can hold out against the bigger giants as long as there is a solid foundation built on something truly good, like a gooey cheesy burrito.
In other news, our Twitter page for the new Sherwin-Williams store is really taking off. In just a few short weeks we have racked up almost seventy followers, which is almost as many as I've acquired in two years. Not a bad start. Even if most of our followers aren't painters, the identity of the store is still being propagated through the web. I have found that the page must be checked frequently as new followers latch on by the day, some of whom send messages that need responses. I actually went canvasing on Tuesday for a short while around the Broadway side of the neighborhood. Anything to plug the store since gallons are moving slow right now. On the up side, there are a thousand places to eat around there; I don't know if I'll ever be able to try them all. So far the Cafe Capricho, Mr. Pickles sandwiches, and Safeway have been my main stops. Safeway kicks down a great deal on Chinese food. $5.49 gets you a plate of fried rice, chow mein, and three heaping scoops of your favorite style entree. It's a good thing I'm cycling to work and back or I would probably be a rolling chub-a-dub by now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bike, Fender, Star Wars

Riding the bike is getting easier by the day. It was rough at first and I am still trying to nail down the best route through the downtown grid. It is a fairly smooth ride until I end up near the freeway overpass. Then the fastest and most bike friendly path is subjective depending on the time, day and moment. My legs are coming back again. I hadn't ridden seriously since last July, but my speed is improving. A better seat would probably be a good idea though, since I never seem to be fully comfortable sitting on what feels like a baseball bat.
The days at the store have been very slow. We have met some interesting people and filled a few orders, but we haven't seen anything resembling a busy day. Hopefully that will turn around once we get a real sign on the building. I noticed looking at it from across the street that it didn't have a noticeable "this is a paint store" appearance. Besides the blue banners at the top of the windows, there's not much to visibly alert passers by that we are there. Soon enough I'm sure we'll have something more iconic outside.
Tomorrow and Thursday I'll be working at the warehouse. I haven't been there as much lately because I have worked full forty hour weeks at the store for about the last six weeks. This is the first week in a while that I've been put back on part time hours, so I am a little more available for my second job. Last Friday I dropped in there unexpectedly and sold my old Fender four by ten half stack to Gordon. Most of that day was spent twanging on the house Stratocaster. I was extremely rusty, but after a half hour I started to get some of the old chops back. It felt good to open up the volume on that amp in a room that could take the rumble. We're kicking around the idea of seeing The Phantom Menace in 3D tomorrow. It's been out for a few weeks now and I want to catch it while it's still in theaters. Either way, there is a lot going on in the next few days. Hopefully light sabers will be included.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Back In The Saddle Seat

I finally took my bike in for a tune-up since I am going to be two-wheeling to and from work from now on. I cashed in on a great deal through Groupon. A full works revamp for $37 with a coupon from Rex Cycles on E Street in downtown Sacramento. They did a fantastic job and I had it back in two days post drop-off. On top of the usual tweaks and tightens they upgraded me into some sturdier metal foot pedals. My main gear cable was replaced, as were my brake pads. I also purchased a cable lock so I can park it outside. Of course I couldn't wait to take it for a spin as soon as I brought it home, so I took to the new route bound for the store. Taking my time about it, thirty minutes was all it took. I'm sure I could make it faster than that on an early morning with less traffic, if I were really trying to get there quickly. Nice to know it's about the same time as driving to Rocklin in a car. The savings on gas however is like a raise, or at least a better daily lunch. Gas is headed back to four dollars a gallon again, and I'm dropping out of the motor scene at the perfect time. If not for my warehouse job, I wouldn't need a vehicle at all. I mapped it out, and there is no way I'm riding to Industrial Avenue. That's way too ambitious and there's no good way to get there. At least I am able to minimize my dependence on gas for the most part.

Monday, February 13, 2012

First Day

Today we opened the new store to the public for the first time. It was very quiet at first. We were rather concerned that we might not get any customers, but by late morning we had some visitors. We didn't rake much on our first day but we did better than some Saturdays and Sundays that I've had in the past. Unfortunately the day was mired in technical difficulties. You could say there was some assembly still required. Still we met some friendly people and we were even the beneficiaries of a welcome basket full of baked goodies from a local coffee house called Coffee Works. They were quite neighborly and they found a customer in me. Overall things turned out alright.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Today was my first day working with JA. Wednesday will be my last. He has been promoted to fill our Rocklin vacancy and is stepping in as I'm stepping out. I'm hoping the whole shakeup isn't too much of a shock for our regulars but change is inevitable and sudden. I saw the new store this morning and it looks ready to me. L was putting away some final items and doing cleanup. She even got locked out of the office but like a true ninja found a way through the ceiling tiles. In Rocklin business was slow but I enjoyed chatting with the new queso grande. Afterward I took a drive to the Applebee's on Arden Way. It was where we were to have a birthday party for Jake who just turned eleven. The wait was two hours and we just couldn't do it. We met the kids at the local Round Table Pizza at Howe and Arden. The dining was okay but I was just too damned tired to do enjoy the food. My niece and nephew had a good time though and that's what it's all about. Tomorrow morning I'm stopping by the new store to drop off one more box of junk and then it's off to Rocklin for my last Sunday there. It will also be my last shift with BB. I will miss her off the wall laugh, and her mother is my favorite customer. Parting with friends is no fun, but it's all for the better. As Monday draws nearer I find it difficult to think of anything else. The only other thing that gets more attention right now is the uninvited wisdom tooth that has decided to erupt in the left side of my jaw.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SWSacramento, Like It

In an effort to draw attention to the new Sherwin-Williams store location in midtown Sacramento I have put together a Facebook page for it. Facebook is the fastest, easiest, and most cost efficient way to reach the public. By posting a Facebook page we have a public stage to announce upcoming events and specials, along with information about our products and tips for do-it-yourselfers. It also gives us a forum where our customers can leave comments and suggestions, which helps to solidify our relationships with clientele. Any time someone clicks Like on the SWSacramento Facebook page, they become able to see updates to our status, and all their friends can see what they have Liked. There is simply no better way to declare our arrival. The store is set to open on February 13th, 2012, and I anticipate a welcome response from Sacramento.
Sherwin-Williams, Sacramento

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Tread

Today was such a rainy day. I woke up in the middle of the night and I could hear the howling wind, as well as the shifty silhouettes of tree branches whipping randomly. I knew business would be slow today, and it was. I  closed the shop without much to take note of except the usual last minute gallons ordered for the next day. The store seems different with my boss and her stuff gone. Plus there is the continuous lack of knowing as it pertains to new management. With all the leaders in Nashville for the week there  is a sense of limbo around the place and no one knows what to expect. Except for me of course. I know exactly what to expect in the coming weeks. There will be no dull moments at the corner of 33rd.
In the meantime I will be getting the bicycle tuned up soon. I found a great deal on Groupon. I purchased a full scale tune-up from a local bike shop near to the route I will be taking to work  for only $37. That should leave room to pick up a new tire with some tread and possible new pedals too. My feet slip constantly on the old ones that I am using now, and they have split apart on the sides. This reminds me that I also need a lock. This is turning out to be expensive after all. Still, it will have to be cheaper than driving to Rocklin four days a week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Folsom and 33rd

Things are looking up. I am transferring from our Rocklin location to the new store at Folsom and 33rd Street. It is an old historic building which was a popular bakery for many years. It appears very old from the outside, but is brand new on the inside. I won't post pictures of the interior since it is unfinished. The whole move is very exciting for me. I've been given an important role in a crucial move for the company. We have been in long need for a store in the downtown/midtown area to bridge the gap between Arden and Elk Grove. I'm looking forward to the challenge of building up a store from scratch. I think it is going to be a great experience. I will also be saving a great deal of money on gas by riding my bike. The route is already planned and is less than five miles from home.
The midtown area is a complete and total switch from the atmosphere of suburban Rocklin. There are people everywhere, on all sides of the building. Businesses are all around on Folsom, and then the streets intersecting are narrow residential passages. The store sits right on the corner, and it takes on unusual dimensions due to the acute angle of the sidewalk. This is part of the building's character, along with a lofty, wide open feel. The floor was being installed when I took a look at it yesterday. The next time I get down there it will be further along, as shipments arrive every day.
L's last day in Rocklin is Friday. From there she will fly out to Nashville for the national annual sales meeting, along with the rest of the managers, sales reps, and higher ups. This is the week every year when all assistant managers are in charge, with no one to bail them out, and no reps to call for help. Somehow we all get through it. When she gets back we will see if I am going to the new store right away to help set up, or if I will continue in Rocklin until my replacement is found.