Gardening on the Glitter Estates

At my house in Pittsburgh, the Glitter Estates, we walked into quite a project. A majority of the topsoil had been removed and all we were left with was clay and mud. There were no plants just one muddy yard.

We got to work quickly first developing a plan of action:
Glitter Gardens Blueprint

Not to much later we laid out all the parts and began getting soil and planting our crops.

We revise our plan a little realizing that we can’t and shouldn’t use the 2x4s on the larger bed opting to use tree logs instead. Me and two of my roommates got to work and went to the woods to chop us some logs. We prepared ourselves by dressing exactly the same and looking menacing:

We quickly realize that chopping up logs and dragging them up hill to the car isn’t nearly as easy as it first seemed. All we had to chop the logs was a little axe and a small saw.

But our teamwork helped us persevere:

And after 5 hours of good hard work we were all exhausted but my car was full of wood:

After a good few days off we positioned the logs and filled up some of the beds with more soil. While it certainly won’t be finished in time for a whole lot of gardening it is going to be a great looking back yard when we’re done and the garden is going to look super awesome next year.


My New Home

I successfully made the move to Pittsburgh. Despite one roommate backing out I also moved into a house. The house is in Garfield on a nice block. The streets are clean, the houses look pretty good, and there is a nice yard with shrubbery right next to us.

I’ve moved into my room, which is expansive. I’m going to need some more furniture because there is so much more space than my last room. I’m currently only living with one person. She lives in the attic with her dog, a beagle/setter mix. Her dog is super nice, and very calm.

We are going to have 3 more roommates join us. Two of them are going to move in around the middle of the month. They are a couple and both are, as my roommate put it, “into metaphysical stuff.” One of them reads Taro cards in addition to working at Trader Joes. The other one is a pedals a bike-taxi and works at a bike shop as a bike builder.

We still have to find the last person, I’m not sure who we are gonna find. Right now I’m the only guy, so maybe we’ll look for another guy, or maybe it’ll just stay that way. But I should stop being rude and let you in the house; come on in.

Oh quiet! That’s Inky, he’s friendly. He just has a loud bark.

So this is the living room. The weird glass table came with the place. I currently have all of my bike stuff in here, but now that I’m almost done cleaning up my room I can start cleaning up my shit in the rest of the house.

This is the dining room. The new roommates have tables so it won’t be empty for long. I was also thinking of storing bikes in here permanently. I obviously would have to make a holder of some sort for them if chose to do that.

Here’s the kitchen. It’s a good-sized kitchen, gas stove, good amount of countertops and cabinets.

And you can see in the room behind the refrigerator there is hookups for a washer and dryer. I’m going to try to convince the landlord to get us those. If not maybe we’ll all pitch in and buy one. Especially considering the rent is going to be just over $200 for all of us when everyone moves in.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. That is the backyard. It’s a project. My roommate really wants to plant a good-sized garden back there. The landlord has already said that there is plans for a fence to go in, I’m hoping he will take out the tires and wood before he does that.


The bathroom is right at the top of the stairs.

Now for the main attraction, my room! I’ve still got to clean it up a bit. I’ve got the basics of my organization system down, now I just need to put in place the final touches. My computer isn’t going to stay there, it’s just where I get the best internet access right now. Yep, free internet! That’s how I’m blogging this post right now. It’s pretty good too. It works best at night, but I can still get it sometimes during the day. I’m also looking for some furniture if you have any extra. maybe a desk or something.

There are two more rooms on the left. Those are the open rooms.

And finally my roommates room, the attic. Which is still kind of a mess. She doesn’t have much stuff at all, so the bed frame in the middle of the room and stuff strewn everywhere is probably just to fill this huge room. It’s about 28 feet long.

We’ll I’m gonna have to see you out, because I gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow is my first real day at my new job at Trek of Pittsburgh! I’m starting out as a service writer, the person who fixes flats and checks in bikes but I’m pretty certain I’ll be back just doing mechanic work soon. It’s nice too, my work is just over a mile away so I can easily bike to work, and can almost walk there.

Winter Solstice And NYC

The longest night of the year, December 20th. Sunset in NYC was at 4:35 pm, sunrise was at 7:16 pm, 14 hours and 41 minutes of darkness. With the winter solstice, and possible day of the end of the world (end of Mayan calendar) happening at 7:12 am.

Here’s a play by play of how we survived the last night:
4:30 – Caught up with Cider, Malibu joined us around 6
7:00 – Dinner
7:30 – More conversing
8:30 – Malibu tried to go to sleep
9:00 – Bananagrams!
10:15 – More desires to sleep
10:30 – Hot chocolate for all!
10:45 – Youtube, Memes, Gifs, and more youtube
2:15 – Attempted sleep
2:45 – Pushups Malibu/Cider/Yeti 1.) 17/15/21 2.)25/20/26 3.) 30/14/27
3:15 – Hummus and vegetable meal
3:30 – Watched “Girls” from the maker of Tiny Furniture
3:50 – Watched Kumare, an excellent movie
5:30 – Played Malibu’s game, Cosmic Wimpout
6:00 – Final struggle with sleep
6:30 – We finally left the house despite the rain, to go to the edge of the Hudson

A delicious dinner made by Cider

Malibu’s gift to Cider, beeswax candles, helped keep us up all night

Malibu was the dominator throughout the night

How we spend most of the night

10 minutes before the apocalypse, still keeping up positive spirits

I wasn’t nearly as happy just before the apocalypse

The end looked imminent

Lessons learned:
-lack of light causes extreme tiredness
-Youtube isn’t an enjoyable way to stay up, but it does work (mainly because of the lighting)
-Not going outside drives you crazy!


After sleeping for 4 hours we woke up, bumped around the house, talked to Majesty and then we went on a bike ride to NYC. The ride totaled 24 miles.

We started in Dobbs Ferry, quickly making it to a bike path. The path was excellent and scenic, it brought us through Yonkers and finally into the Bronx. When we entered the Bronx the trail ended and was a muddy path. We had to walk at times, especially when we got closer to the city. Cider and I began to get paranoid, worried that there might be someone else out there. The last few miles were stressful but finally we got out of the path and made it to a road in the Bronx.

Our energy wained but we pushed on. It was exhausting to see that we were on block 200, needing to go all the way to 42nd. Towards the end we were hardly able to pedal, pedaling just enough so we would keep going forward. The four hours of sleep certainly didn’t help either.

We finally made it to Grand Central, tired, hungry and ready for bed.

My final day in NYC we hung out with Juju, but not before some fun:

We broke down on the side of the Saw Hill Parkway. We got towed back to a mechanic a couple blocks from the house and then Juju just decided to visit us instead. I joined her, her brother and her brothers friends for a showing of the Hobbit for Juju’s brother birthday. Afterwards Cider and Malibu joined us for food, drinks and stand up comedy. Most of the people were horrible, but it led for an interesting end to our very interesting weekend.

Saturday Ride to Work

My 15 mile journey begins bight and early just after 8:00 am.

After leaving my house I ride down a nice street that has a canopy of trees above at most points.

For a few minutes I experience the chaos of lots of traffic at the bottle neck between West Philly and Center Philadelphia. Luckily it only last for a couple of minutes and my reward is great.

The reward I get is to take a long break from the traffic as I ride a peaceful and tranquil closed off road, open only to bikes on Saturday from 6 am to 5pm (on other days I experience a bike path paralleling East River Drive seen below). This leg of the trip is about 3 to 4 miles.

For a short stretch I go onto a bike path.

Then I ride about a mile uphill on a narrow road, probably one of the least enjoyable part of my ride.

Then I enter very wooded areas, including the bridge pictured which when on it you can only see a valley of trees that you are crossing over.

While these rolling hills look like I’m in the middle of nowhere, you can’t see the houses tucked just off the road on both sides. While it’s a beautiful ride I’m right next to houses the entire time.

This is a little town I cross through, Mt. Airy. It’s a quaint little neighborhood. It looks to have a lot of culture and a good community. The town has an interesting history the black communities members doing a good job resisting the panic selling of their houses that was instilled in the black community in the 1950-60s. This leaves Mt Airy with a 60-30 ratio of blacks to whites.

Then I ride through a less densely treed area for a few miles before getting to the last little town before making it to Glenside.

This is not as nice as the last town center. I couldn’t take a photo that encapsulated the area, so I leave you with this one. All the windows are barred on this Saturday morning. The place has a bunch of lock stores and cash advanced and most of the people I’ve seen are either Black or Asian. While Philadelphia is diverse it is the 7th most segregated city, with 67% of people having to move before there is no segregation. This is one of those areas that all the black people have been reallocated to.

Finally I climb a not so steep hill before entering Glenside. The road is a divided highway with entrances to an interstate. Lucy for me there is a large shoulder on the road that I ride on, and there’s always the treat at the end of the hill where I get to fly down a hill into Glenside.

I’ve managed to go 47 mph down this hill. It’s a nice start to a long rolling downhill for most of the way to the shop, one that I regularly maintain a speed above 25 mph.

Finally I enter Keswick Village seen below and go up less than a block on the left to work.

Pictures: My Place

I’ve been meaning to get around to this for a while a long while. Here are some pictures from the place I’m living in Philly. I would have posted more but my camera conveniently broke in the process of taking more pictures for you.

My bed! I got it from a coworker’s roommate

The shelving in the closet was built by me.

This is one half of our living room, we are a bike-tastic household. I build the bike rack on the left, and yes that is my recumbent trike hanging from the ceiling.

More to come soon as I get a new camera.

Casbah mini reunion

Stay tune for updates and pictures of our mini-reunion.

There should be some up soon, until then enjoy your weekend.

The first two are us deciding which is a better piece of art for the mantle piece area of the cabin. The original painting of a mountain landscape or the TJ Max picture of trees at sunset.

Conclusion, Yeti, Malibu, Savages, the majority, for the original art below: