Home > Personal > Send Bureaucrats, Bicycles, and Beer

Send Bureaucrats, Bicycles, and Beer

I took a half day off of work, yesterday, as I didn’t feel like sitting in the office staring at the rain all day. I had things to do that I had been putting off for a couple of weeks. Jenne was up in Milwaukee, attending her mother’s retirement luncheon (I remain shocked that she’s actually, finally retiring), so it was just me for the afternoon.

After a leisurely lunch at home, first stop for the afternoon was the McHenry County Clerk’s office. After three years, I’m still used to Marion County, Iowa, where all the government offices you needed were in the small courthouse in the center of Knoxville. In McHenry County, the Clerk’s office is NOT in the County Government Building, with the imposing security guards and metal detectors, but rather in the County Administration Building, which is down the street and around the corner. Once I found the office, the Clerk herself signed my business license paperwork, I handed over the $5 fee, and was given more paperwork in return. One of those pieces of paper was a public notice which has to be run in a local newspaper for three weeks. This led me to the Woodstock Independant, where I put down an $85 (urrk) fee for the three week run. At least they mail the Clerk’s office confirmation for me. Sometime next month, I’ll get an official business license from the county for Maple Avenue Preserves.

Speaking of the jam business, we’re still taking tiny steps forward with it. We’ve looked at two kitchens, both of which turned out to be unsuitable for different reasons, despite willingness by the owners to rent to us. We have a couple more possibilities I need to follow up on this week. This remains our largest hurdle right now. Second largest hurdle will be county and state Health Department permits, but I can’t do those until I have a space to permit. I have some domain names purchased and I’m squatting on a Twitter name, but there’s nothing there, so no point in linking them, yet. Jenne’s working on some logo and label designs, and still playing with recipes. Not sure if we’ll be operating by strawberry season, but there’s still time.

After the newspaper, I hit Outdoor Recreation to pick up a bike helmet. Yes, I’ve been riding without a helmet. Now I’ll ride with a helmet, despite my grumblings. The owner of the bike shop apparently has one of those memories for faces, he remembered me and what bike I bought as soon as I walked in. I like him, and his store. I walked out with a reasonably-priced bike helmet ten minutes later.

According to my DailyMile profile, I’ve ridden 116 miles on the bike already. I can do a 12 mile ride without feeling too wiped out; my longest so far is about 14 miles. On a good day without nasty headwinds, I could probably do over 20 with some effort. I’m no speed demon; a 14mph average speed is pretty good for me, and I stop three or four times over the 12 miles to catch my breath.  But it’s fun, I feel good (if a bit wobbly-kneed) after rides, and between the biking and the elliptical workouts over the past few months, I’m actually losing weight. I started the year somewhere around 190 (didn’t actually have a scale until late February, when I weighed in at 185), and I’m down to 180, now. My pants are fitting looser, and I’m down to the last notch on my belt.

So I can say I’m pretty pleased with my bike purchase. Now if I can just keep up some semblance of weekly riding when I’m working my busy spring schedule…I may actually start biking to and from work a few days a week. That’ll amuse my coworkers. If the weather clears up this weekend, I will probably try for a 20 mile ride to prove to myself that I can do it.

After the bicycle store, it was a quick set of three more stops. Armanetti Liquors’ new store to get a couple packs  of beer (yeah, I still buy some despite homebrewing)–Great Lakes Brewing’s Doppelrock, and Tyranena’s Headless Man Amber Alt. Starbucks in downtown for a latte; I had intended to sit down and read the copy of the Independent I had picked up, but it was pretty busy, and had even worse seating arrangements than the location in McHenry I usually end up at. Finally, Jewel for a couple grocery items. I got home a little after 5pm, just in time to meet Jenne as she got back from Milwaukee.

A fun and productive afternoon off, despite 33 degree temperatures and rain. The day was capped off by a surprising Blackhawks victory over the Canucks. I’ll take it!

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