Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Is The Magic Number...

Once is an occurrence, twice is a coincidence, and the third time is a pattern. So hopefully I have made a pattern for myself of going for a road bike ride on occasional mornings. Of course, it took me as many weeks (as rides) to establish this iffy pattern, and there are a few things about the pattern that I would like to tweak a bit. For instance, I've been trying to get out of the house around the seven o'clock hour, but due to circumstances each time, I don't actually leave until 8:30 or quarter to 9:00! Which means one thing. Hot. Ride. Home.

The circumstances yesterday were due to a flat tire. Being the handy-dandy* gal that I am, I whipped out the pump, patch kit, and tire irons and fixed said pesky hole. Not well enough though, unfortunately, 'cause the $#% tire still didn't hold air for more than a minute and a half. But being the determined creature that I am, I found the other patched spare and performed the operation yet again and was finally on the road.

Speaking of road, did I mention that I have to ride a quarter mile on the dirt/gravel road on my skinny tired road bike before getting to actual pavement. I guess it is no surprise that I've been getting flats. All this is better than the first ride of this baby pattern, where my chain fell off, my foot got stuck in the pedal and I fell over and did this to my knee.

Auspicious start, eh? Good thing it was only a flesh wound!

Speaking of patterns, we have also been busy installing our IKEA laminate flooring. Anyone who claims that this is easy is full of, well, big awkward pieces of fiberboard laminate flooring that don't really want to click together and stay together. Moving on, there was one very exciting outcome of the entire flooring adventure. I've found that it is the perfect way to describe a chaotic dynamical system. Cough, GEEK, cough.

See, you start with whole boards, laying them across one side of the room, "snapping" them together as you go. Then you get to the end of the room where a whole board won't fit. So you get out your handy-dandy* table saw and chew through the last board like ants through cat food. Then your board chunk fits in and you take the remainder to start the next row. Then you proceed to fill in with however many full boards will fit until you are, again, at the end of the room. Only now, the oh so simple IKEA cartoon picture directions throw you for an unexpected loop. Now you have to make sure that the end board is NOT LESS THAN 15 inches long. Huh? It, of course, is. It is only about 4 inches long.

So in order to have known this in advance of laying an entire row of incorrect laminate flooring, you would have to work out Chaos. Mathematically meaning that you have some formula of how many boards you need to cross the room, then take the remainder from that row add it to the next row, THEN apply it to the same formula, figure out that remainder, and again, and again. ITS CHAOS! Literally. I got really excited about this and wanted to write a computer program to figure it all out for me. And I still may, but it will have nothing to do with how the floor comes out, 'cause its a Double Wide, so I just cheated and used the 4 inch chunk. Whatever. Its better than 20 year old brown stickerball studded carpet. But WOW, how cool what that whole chaos seminar! Again, with the living on the fast paced edge of society. Wheee!

*word of the day.


dad said...

Well it sure is handy dandy to have a dau versed in such items as chaos theory. That sounds like my last job, and I forgot that you could have helped me figure it all out! How handy dandy that would have been.
The knee however does not look handy or dandy, where did the purple come from? Are you bleeding purple? that is most strange, I bleed red, and it gets redder as it hardens but never purple!
Of course if you ever move the trailer (DON'T) the handy floor will pop up and be all in an irregular pile when you finishing moving it. Perhaps chaos theory would be able to tell you where the piles would be???

Kathleen said...

thanks for the icky picture!
man oh man...that is even worse than when the shorties show me their loose teeth...
i would love to see your computer program when you are done! could make some moo-la off of that!