Thursday, November 11, 2010

so, what about the bikes and the books?

Recent updates have included the border collies and other topics, but what about the first two topics that are in the name of this blog? Well, don't worry, for books and bikes are still very big parts of our lives! We are both still commuting via motorcycle, although we are prepared with the two all-wheel-drive vehicles should the dire predictions of a very cold and snowy winter come true. And we are both still going through books, especially now that Chris has discovered his love for audiobooks which he listens to while commuting and doing chores around the house.

My bike just turned 25,000 miles a few weeks ago, and had its last major service at 24k miles...except for replacing the belt on the belt drive, which will be done this weekend. I put that off until after the Can-Am trip, as the 24k service was expensive enough without adding in that replacement cost as well! As of today, I've worked 195 days this year and ridden to work 180 of them, with 3 days unrideable due to weather and 4 days unrideable due to the bike being in the shop. So out of 188 possible days I could ride, I've ridden a total of 180 for a percentage of 95.7% - pretty awesome! Just about each one of the 8 days that I didn't ride was for a reason like taking the dogs to the vet, or bringing things to work to be shipped (EJS lights, anyone?). The former reason doesn't apply anymore, unfortunately, as dogs are not even allowed on my work campus anymore (not even in your own car), so if they have to go to the vet I either have to miss most of a day of work or have Chris drive to work and trade me the car/dog for my bike when it's time for their appointment.

Chris' bike is just over 32,000 miles and is currently in the shop for not only the 32k service but also because his speedometer assembly died last week, meaning neither the speedometer nor the odometer are working properly. Other than shop time, he's ridden nearly as much as I have, although now that he has his own office at work and since dogs are welcome, he may end up driving more often so he can take Jadzia to work with him. She's quite a good office dog, as it turns out, happily greeting people or snoozing in her bed under his desk, and she's excellent at guarding his office against prankers when he's away for a meeting.

On the books side of the equation, I joined the website GoodReads back in April, and am really enjoying its features quite a bit. Every book I've tried to find has been in their catalog, and with the combination of lists and custom lists available, I've found great utility in keeping track of books I've read, books I want to read, books that we've done for our book club, and so on. Of course I'm positive I haven't entered in every book that I've ever read, but I've currently got 605 books in my "read" category with another 31 in my "to-read" category. You can see what books are in your friends' lists, including seeing how you both rated the same book, write reviews, update on your reading progress, and so on. If nothing else, I'm loving it for the "to-read" list that works both online and via my iPhone app, so that if I see something interesting I can just toss it onto my list and pick it up later. So far I've read 47 books since April 1, when I joined the site, although I have read quite a few completely trashy novels that I don't put on the list. ;)

Chris doesn't find the time to sit down and read like I do, and he also does not read at the crazy speed I am able to, so he's recently found that he loves audio books since he can listen to them while riding/driving or doing other things around the house. He's gone through more than a basic Audible subscription in the past few months, and even found a neat sci-fi/fantasy book club online that he joins in every month by getting the book via Audible. This has worked out well since he can listen to a book, tell me about it, and I can read it quickly enough that we can discuss it soon thereafter. Yay!

I wonder how many more books we will go through before the end of the year...

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