Monday, March 01, 2010

Decision Tree

I'm trying really hard not to let this blog tumble down a long slide into an aging-parents, hot-flashes-keep-me-up-all-night, work-is-depressing-because-of-budget-problems diatribe, but some days it's really hard. I mean, really...I can't sleep, 30 kids in a class, people losing their jobs, no pay raise this year or next, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

However, off in the distance is a flickering bulb that I turn and look toward every now and again: this year and next, our perk for not getting a raise is that we can cash in a sick day if we spend it on...fitness equipment.

Imagine.

F i t n e s s equipment.

Just thinking it sends me to my happy place.

So all sorts of bicycles are rolling round the miniture velodrome that is my brain: a single speed mtb, a Pugsley, a full-on touring bicycle. But, these rides would each cost a pile of sick days. One day buys me a bottom-end hybrid at a garage sale as long as I can find one on Sunday when everything is half off. And yes, I can add my own $$ toward something more expensive, but I've got my limits.

Any bicycle would go a long way toward keeping me level-headed in the midst of the insanity, but the sanity that I've been pining away for is that which is attained in the midst of a day-to-day grind, in the midst of commuting and errand-running. I've decided I want something that can take a rear rack (I'm tired of the backpack), but that's still a sprite on the 25 mile round trip commute, as long as it's something that can lock up outside the grocery store, yet it's gotta have decent components, but not cost a ton, and it needs to look good, but be something that I don't really care about....

Can you see my conundrum?

- Baggie

19 comments:

Doozyanner said...

OB, does it apply only to sick leave days from this year and next, or could you cash in your total accumulated sick leave days? (I've never heard of a clause like this before!) And is there any fine print about buying fitness equipment that you would enjoy using? I ask, only because in our district we are given 2 personal days. But--those days are not to be used for pleasure. (I just spent one of my days--and not on anything fun. No sir. It was a serious day of catching up with my son. We never smiled once.) Good luck with your conundrum.

The Old Bag said...

Doozy, we can cash-in one sick day this year for fitness purchases before June 30. Same next year. So, it's a decent amount, but it's not a ton when it comes to buying a bicycle -- it makes a nice dent, though. (I don't know if they realize that for me, this means Santa IS real!)

Like you, I've been in districts where we were supposed to use our personal days for things we "couldn't normally take care of" outside work--meaning "not for fun" -- but personal days are personal. None-o-their business!

The Old Bag said...

Oh, and lots of restrictions: no running shoes, no recreational activities (dancing lessons, bowling, curling memberships), no kayaks (!), no bicycle components....

brother yam said...

Find a good used bike -- I just bought a used Long Haul Trucker from Jim at HCHQ. Maybe a bit price, but if you scan Craig's List, you can find a diamond in the rough.

brother yam said...

price == pricey

How the Birkie go?

Snakebite said...

Hey, we're doing an eight day, unsupported, from Spearfish to Sioux Falls starting the last week in July. Put some slicks or semi so on the stumpjumper, borrow a trailer, grab Dancer, and join the ride.

It's something to look forward to, to train for, and would kill all your worries.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Isn't working for a school district the bomb? Like one that is sitting in your living room about to go off when the next truck rumbles by too hard? Which wire to cut? In the meantime you're expected to carry out your job, your life, your "other duties as assigned" as if the bomb really weren't there? And all the while the politicians are kissing the corporations wallets and selling us out. And don't even think of having fun! (Am I bitter? Yes indeed. Nevada is way worse than one could imagine when it comes to schools.)

WV - morib, short for moribund, the mentality of politicians.

The Old Bag said...

Brother, I didn't do the Birkie -- not into ski racing. We just do a point-to-point on the Birkie trail now and again over the years. I love the trail, but it's a killer! Turned out we headed to MI instead of WI this winter so the Birkie trail will have to wait another year.

The Old Bag said...

'Bite -- we're actually talking about the Black Hills next summer, but more of a camp for a couple days and ride, camp and ride, repeat.

I like the trailer idea!

The Old Bag said...

Badger -- da bomb, indeed, my brother.

You so nailed it. Minnesota used to be at the top of the education game...until we and the nation were overrun by the political right -- wouldn't want an educated populace, you know.

rlove2bike said...

I too had thought you were doing the Birkie this year. It sounds as if you are not ruling it out for in the future, right? New bicycles do wonder for the soul I think. I guess when I think about it, no matter what a person is into, new stuff whether new or used, keeps the interest up. We wish you good luck...sounds as you have it figured out.

C. P. said...

Stop by the Hub Co-op on Minnehaha. Great place with just your needs and budget in mind. Be sure and let us know what your sick days buys you.

Anonymous said...

Hi there teacher! Love your blog philosophy except Haikus. I think your San Lorenzo (Betty?) needs some celeste company. I've got a well maintained (thanks to Hiawatha & OneOnOne) classic Bianchi Grizzly up for grabs right here in the Park. Check my recent MORC classifieds and craigslist ads. We can deal. Thanks. -Tom (Kevin's Rasputin's Stout supplier, yep!).

gomerpilot@comcast.net

Bluenoser said...

Man when I get sick I can't go anywheres near my bike let alone buy one. But I do like the idea.

-B

The Old Bag said...

CP -- been there looking, already!

gomerpilot -- thanks, but I've already got a mtb (although a Bianchi is hard to beat!)

Bluenoser -- and you call yourself a cyclist?!?

Snakebite said...

Baggie - Our group is leaving Spearfish the morning of 7/25, first overnight in Hill City.

Depending on your schedule we might be able to meet up for riding and / or beer drinking.

The Old Bag said...

Hey, thanks for the heads' up -- got it on the calendar and will see if how plans come together! It would be fun to join up for a bit.

Bluenoser said...

OB I have a high degree of what they call sickness. I throw up and throw up. And finally I wretch so hard that I throw up my bike seat... then I know I can't ride any more...

I know, I'm no cyclist.

-B

The Old Bag said...

Oh man...throwing up bike seats. Esophagus of iron!

I'm a little concerned for how that bike seat ended up in there in the first place!