Friday, October 11, 2013


Back when I use to teach LSAT (law school admission test) prep classes, we liked to play around with courtroom words like, "Objection!"  "Irrelevant!"  "Sustained!"  "Overruled!"

I never really thought about what "sustained" meant. It was just the judge's way of saying, "yeah, okay, I agree with ya".  So I guess that goes with it's broader meaning - to support and maintain.

This week, I got an e-mail from the Office of Sustainability at the university.  Seems they were the sponsor of the Bike Jam that kicked off a few weeks ago.  They do things to help the university (and beyond) be environmentally friendly.

I just remembered Bike Jam kickoff day.  I arrived on campus and there were some friendly booths set up with some freebies - water bottles, trail maps, and the like.  There was food.  There were signs advertising "Free Bike Parking Today!"  Bicycle parking is always free, they just wanted to make a dig at the horrendous commuter parking situation.

I registered, got some freebies, parked my bike for free.

Anyways, Bike Jam apparently came to a close.  The e-mail said I came in third (squeee!).  Come get a prize!

So yesterday, I went to the Office of Sustainability in all my third place glory to get my prize.  It was.......  drum roll......  a cute Patagonia Chacabuco backpack!  There was even some stuff in it.


Well, I bicycle to campus (Remember?... Bike Jam?... Third place?)  .  I wear a backpack.  I only have one back.

"No problem", said the nice Officer of Sustainability.  "We'll hold on to it for you, pick it up anytime".

Don't get me wrong.  It really is a sweet prize and I appreciate the whole Bike Jam and sustainability efforts, but I found it ironic that my bicycle commuting hampered my efforts to accept my bicycle commuting prize.

Back home, I texted Wolfgang and told him the situation and asked, "You think you want it?"  He just needed to walk over to the building and pick it up.  I'd tell them I was sending him as my agent.

No need to twist his arm.  He picked it up and texted me pics once it was back in the dorm.

My thought process in offering it first to Wolfgang went something like this:

-Chaco has two or three backpacks, one that we just got him for his birthday.  Plus, he tends to shy away from "granola" brands like Patagonia.  Plus, he scarfed up our ex-camera the second he heard we got a new one.  

-Meego still lives here with Magnum and me.  He already has access to the cornucopia of good stuff, plus we regularly provide his small zoo with mice and crickets to eat.

-Wolfgang it was.  

Dilemma solved.  I wonder what he'll do with the yogurt cookbook?


Marcy said...

Congrats on the prize! I love winning anything, even if I can't use it myself. I'm envious that you can commute by bike. I face a traffic jam every day.

Abby said...

Yeah, I was just tickled that I'd won, didn't really matter the prize. It's a nice daypack, though, but I don't need one.
I really REALLY hate traffic jams!

Guano said...

Cool prize, irony notwithstanding. Congrats and well-deserved recognition; I'm sure you're a great example for all those campus commuting whipper-snappers!

Abby said...

Hey, speaking of whipper-snappers... I eventually met the master of the fold up electro-bike. It's this young hipster dude! I imagined it was a grey bearded professor who needed electro-help up the hills. Kids these days.

Riot Kitty said...

Whoa. You could fit a small zoo in that backpack, come to think of it.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your win! Biking to school seems to be paying off nicely - even if the prize didn't go directly to you.
What IS that thing in the top left of the pic, though? I can't figure it out for the life of me. Perhaps if I had your new and improved glasses to look through?

terri said...

Well hey! That's a really nice little prize! Although, seeing the backpack in relation to Wolfgang's hand makes me realize how really little it is. Still, it's cool and it's always fun to be a winner! Congrats!

Abby said...

There's a thought - along with a "small zoo" cookbook?

Abby said...

I THINK that thing is a plastic food container of some sort? I don't know why it's shaped like a guitar, but that's what my laser vision glasses are telling me.

Abby said...

Y'know, it's funny that it looks so small in the photo. It's actually a pretty standard sized backpack, and Wolfgang has pretty standard sized hands. But if it was as small as it looks here, I probably could've stuffed it in my own backpack or wore it on my head.

Practical Parsimony said...

I love to win even if there is no prize.

Anita said...

I hope you gave yourself a well deserved pat on the back!

And why are prizes always the same?Pplastic water bottles, backpacks, recycle tote bags, Frisbees, hot/cold bottles, pens, pencils, etc. Not that I'm ungrateful, but...

The best freebie I've gotten is a very small gadget that can easily assemble into 2 sizes of screwdrivers and 2 sizes of Phillips Head screwdrivers.

What's your next quest?