Gas station without pumps

2017 May 31

Twenty-third weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:19
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, this being the 22nd since I started in January 2015.

I had a gradual rebound after my concerted effort to lose weight, and I’ve not been able to get back to where I was when I declared my diet a success.

My weight is leveling off, around 163 pounds, but not really dropping as I’d like.

My goal for Spring quarter was to get my weight back down to 158 lbs, another 5-pound loss, which is not possible in the remaining 2 weeks, as I have not even been able to hold steady at a my mid-March weight, much less lose.

My exercise for May 2017 was about 5.35 miles a day of bicycling, but exercise does not have much effect on weight (except at the extremes of no exercise and endurance racing).

2017 April 30

Twenty-second weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:20
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, this being the 22nd since I started in January 2015.

Although I had a few days in my target range in the middle of March, my weight spiked after that and has not come back down.

 

The longer-term trend is a bit disheartening, because it suggests that even if I'm fairly diligent about my current diet, I'm likely to be back where I started within four years.

The longer-term trend is a bit disheartening, because it suggests that even if I’m fairly diligent about my current diet, I’m likely to be back where I started within four years.

The weight spike at the beginning of April was the result of my trip to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I ate too much and exercised too little on the trip.  I don’t think that this is what people have in mind when they say that “travel is broadening.”

My goal for Spring quarter is still to get my weight back down to 158 lbs, another 6-pound loss, which seems a bit unlikely in the remaining 6 weeks, as I have not even been able to hold steady at a my mid-March weight, much less lose.

My exercise for March and April 2017 was about 4.58 miles a day of bicycling, with a slightly higher pace going up hill than I usually use, though probably not enough difference to constitute more exercise, just somewhat faster exercise.

2017 March 1

Twenty-first weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:01
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, this being the 21st since I started in January 2015.  I did not report at the end of January 2017, in part because I was embarrassed about not having dropped the excess holiday weight during the month, despite fairly strict adherence to my raw-fruit-and-vegetable-lunch diet. February has been a bit better:

I still want to lose another 4–5 pounds to get myself back into the middle of my self-imposed target range.

I still want to lose another 4–5 pounds to get myself back into the middle of my self-imposed target range.

 

I did drop back into my target range for a few days at the end of February, in part due to a bad cold that reduced my appetite for a week or more.

I did drop back into my target range for a few days at the end of February, in part due to a bad cold that reduced my appetite for a week or more.

My goal for this quarter was to get my weight back down to 158 lbs, another 4-pound loss, which seems a bit unlikely in the remaining month, as my rate of loss has been only about a pound a month, not a pound a week (as it was when I started the diet in January 2015).

I can’t report precisely on my exercise for the past month, as my bike computer’s battery failed yesterday, and I lost the mileage information when I replaced the battery.  I have been bicycling to campus 5 days a week though, plus occasional weekend errands, so I’ve probably been averaging about 35 miles a week (5 miles a day).

2016 December 31

Twentieth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:52
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, this being the 20th since I started in January 2015.  This has not been a good year for maintaining my weight:

My weight has trended up by over 5 lbs this year, and it is currently 5 lbs above the top of my self-imposed "ideal" range.

My weight has trended up by over 5 lbs this year, and it is currently 5 lbs above the top of my self-imposed “ideal” range.

My weight only stayed in my desired range for about 6 months at the end of my diet.

My weight only stayed in my desired range for about 6 months at the end of my diet.

Because of the problems with my bicycle seat plus a week-long trip to Boulder to visit my Dad, I don’t have good records of exercise for the past few months—I think it was less than normal, because fall quarter I only went to campus 3 days a week.  I’ll be back to daily commuting for the next few months, though. I’ll have to find some more reliable form of exercise during summer and fall of 2017, as the beginning of summer seems to have been when my weight jumped the most.

My goal for this quarter is to get my weight back down to 158, an 8-pound loss that will take me most of the quarter to achieve, assuming I can stick to the strict diet as I did two years ago.

2016 October 24

Bike seat fixed

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 18:47
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This past weekend, I fixed my bike seat (see Broken bike seat and Flexible adhesives).

The idea of the fix was simple: to insert at 15mm diameter aluminum rod (6061 alloy, tempered to T6) that spans the break and the high-stress point on the other side of the clamp, which is also scored and likely to fracture, and glue it in place.

I found the rod I need at McMaster-Carr, with specifications of 15±0.23 mm diameter.  I thought it was slightly undersized at 14.7mm, measuring with my calipers, but my calipers are not so precise that I can be sure of that measurement.  Measuring with my micrometer gave 14.82±0.01mm, which is within spec.  I could have gotten a more precisely specified aluminum rod for an extra $10, but I did not think that it was worth the extra price—I may come to regret that, as the aluminum rod fits loosely, not snugly inside the tubing.  I cut the rod to length with a hacksaw (using oil to lubricate the blade) and ground the sharp edges down with a wet wheel, then sanded the rod both to round the ends and to remove most of the oxide coating and provide a rough surface for the epoxy. The rounded ends are to reduce the stress raisers at the ends of the rods, as that is now where the tubing should flex the most.

Aluminum rod: cut, ground, and sanded. The mark indicates where the break in the tubing should be.  The rod extends about 15mm past either end of where the clamp holds the tubing.  I would have extended it further, but I was worried about bending the aluminum tubing too far to open up the bike seat frame enough to get over the end of the tubing.

Aluminum rod: cut, ground, and sanded. The mark indicates where the break in the tubing should be. The rod extends about 15mm past either end of where the clamp holds the tubing. I would have extended it further, but I was worried about bending the aluminum tubing too far to open up the bike seat frame enough to get over the end of the tubing.

I sanded the inside of the tubing on the broken bike seat and the fractured ends to promote adhesion, and I cleaned both the rod and the tubing with rubbing alcohol.

In the comments on Broken bike seat, gflint suggested a silicone adhesive, but I ended up using a flexible epoxy, TotalBoat FlexEpox, that is designed for repairing boats.  It is supposed to adhere well to aluminum, have high tensile and flexural strength, and a very slow set time, plus it is fairly cheap at $18 for about 30 times more epoxy than I needed.

I mixed up tiny amounts of the epoxy in old cough-syrup measuring cups:

The cough-syrup cups did not make precision measurement of the resin and hardener easy, as both were quite viscous—I hope I got close to equal quantities. I suppose I should have gotten out the centigram scale and mixed by weight—that would probably have given a more precise ratio.

The cough-syrup cups did not make precision measurement of the resin and hardener easy, as both were quite viscous—I hope I got close to equal quantities. I suppose I should have gotten out the centigram scale and mixed by weight—that would probably have given a more precise ratio.

For the first gluing on Saturday, I coated both the inside of the tubing and the rod with the epoxy and inserted it to the desired depth. I wiped off excess (there was a lot that oozed out) with a paper towel wet with rubbing alcohol, and clamped the rod in place simple by letting the other part of the tubing press against the rod sideways. I used a little scrap of paper towel between the rod and the outside of the tubing to keep them from getting glued together:

The rod glued and clamped in place, with paper towel to keep the rod from sticking to the outside of the other part of the tubing.

The rod glued and clamped in place, with paper towel to keep the rod from sticking to the outside of the other part of the tubing.

On Sunday, I mixed more epoxy and coated the inside of the other piece of tubing and the piece of the aluminum rod sticking out, then lined up the tubing and let it close back together:

Excess glue squeezed out of the joint.

Excess glue squeezed out of the joint.

I clamped the joint together by wrapping bungee cords around the frame of the seat, and wiped off the excess glue with a paper towel moistened with rubbing alcohol:

The bungee cords provided a fairly large clamping force, but no more glue oozed out when it was added, so the springiness of the frame alone may have been sufficient.

The bungee cords provided a fairly large clamping force, but no more glue oozed out when it was added, so the springiness of the frame alone may have been sufficient.

On Monday, I worked on the clamp on the bike.

I rounded the edges of the clamp to reduce the stress raising that had led to the first failure—the edges had been quite sharp.

I rounded the edges of the clamp to reduce the stress raising that had led to the first failure—the edges had been quite sharp.

In addition to rounding the edges to reduce the stress raising, I also offset the seat by a few millimeters from where it had been, so that the glued joint is now slightly inside the clamp.

Before replacing the seat, I noticed that there was a bad rust spot behind the clamp, so I took the clamp apart to look at the frame:

The frame was quite rusty behind and inside the clamp.

The frame was quite rusty behind and inside the clamp.

I was going to sand the rust spots, prime with metal primer, and repaint the spots, but my metal primer was no longer any good, so I just did some light sanding and coated all the rusty spots with oil. I will have to buy some more metal primer and repaint in a couple of weeks when I next have time to work on the bike.

I put the bike seat back in the clamp and replaced the mesh seat, which had been washed to remove the road grime.

I plan to let the epoxy cure for another day before riding the bike (they claim a 7–10-hour cure time, 24 hours for high load, but I’ll go a little longer, as it is going to rain tomorrow anyway).

I’m hopeful that this fix, which cost under $50, will let the bike seat be usable for the next 15 years.

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