Archive for the ‘Tampa’ Category

"My New/Used Ride"

Introducing ...."(haven't thought of a name yet)"

Today I’m introduced into the “bike community” 🙂 Yaaay!

I’ve been on a hunt for a used bike, although I’d love a new one but with the budget I had to spend, it had to be used. I’ve never been much of a bicyclist other than a child and I have to say. This has been a very good learning experience. My purpose to initially decide to buy a bike was to save money. Times are hard, as for many, and a couple of hundred dollars is what I’ll be saving utilizing my bike instead of my car. Plus, its good for the environment.

I bought, let’s just call him “Trekki” for now, at a pawn shop. Value Pawn that’s located on Gandy Blvd in Tampa. It was surprisingly an excellent experience. I’ve never really gone to pawn shops other than when I was looking for an amp for my guitar and heard I could find them reasonable there, but after watching that PawnShop show on t.v., I was a little apprehensive. I was greeted immediately and saw the bikes available. This little bad girl was all by her lonesome (next to a Cannondale I’d LOVE to have). Robert, my sales guy who later to me know was the manager, approached me. He smiled brightly and had a nice tone (good salesman I say and why he’s MANAGER *wink*wink). I looked it over then explained I was shopping and was going to look over some other bikes, which I did and wasn’t as impressed as I was with this one.

I returned a couple hours later, ready to test drive “Trekki”. After giving my DL, I took him outside and pedaled around the parking lot. The positives; Gears shifted smoothly, although had some difficulty in some gears, but overall was nice. Brakes stopped on a dime, VERY nice. Tires (mismatched, rear is a replacement) are in decent condition and I seemed to sit comfortably on it feeling in control of the bike. Quick release wheels. No rust.  SOLD. Now the negs; The SRAM gears need some tuning and grip replaced, handlebars need new grips, new crankshaft (although it rides good for now, just noticed some teeth bent which isn’t good for the chain), new cable, new chain, more comfortable seat and better pedals. It’s like a car needing its 100,000 mile tune-up.  Some little extra perks it has which to me saves  me money from having to buy; the rear rack, mini air pump, bottle holder (although standard on this model) and a mirror.

So how much did this badboy cost me – $80 buck-er-roos. It was marked 120 but like the outside side says..”Let’s make a deal” and Robert did after I showed him some of the work that this bike needed. I got the extended plan which if in 6 months I’m not happy I can take it back. Wow I thought. How awesomemer can it get. 🙂

So I take “Trekki” home and eagerly grab my lock chain I bought 2 months again for this moment, grabbed a bottle of water, my glasses, mouth piece (I like my teeth, lol) and bag. I was out like lighting. My first stop. The Westshore Mall 3 miles from my place.

Westshore Plaza Mall, Tampa FL

My first stop

There’s a couple of things I never really paid attention to as I will now….Bike Racks to park my bike! Where the heck are the bike racks I rode around to find. Finally I asked a little ol security guy and he escorted me to them. Nice fellow. Well after a stroll and some rest at the mall, not to mention to buy my  HALO Reach. 🙂

After some nice chill time, I decided to head back. A couple of other things I am now aware of being of this new “community”.

  1. People REALLY don’t pay attention to you nor realize the stop line is 20ft BACK
  2. People like to yell out of their cars like crazies at you with mumble jumble that you REALLY can’t hear nor understand
  3. Comfy seat is a MUST on a bike
  4. Gloves are not a bad idea to prevent blisters and provide better grip
  5. AND Definitely need handlebar adjusted to a comfortable position. I’m sure as I continue on this new voyage I’ll find other “new lessons”

I have to say. I LOVED to wind blowing in my hair. Being able to notice all the little things you can’t appreciate while being in a car, like the smile of flowers or sewage (blah), pretty houses and landscape, little squirrels and lizards on your path, the sun giving you some love, being healthy and not having to wait in traffic (only at redlights unless it’s safe to cross) 😉

And there you have it. Thanks.

Much Love, Peace & Hair Grease – dz

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I have to say, to be in this business and not have your computer is like a construction worker with no tools, a truck driver without a truck, a football player without a footbal, it’s just plain sucks! So when my PC gets the hiccups or decides to crash, contact a virus from its permiscuity of surfing the net, its not a good day in the life of Desiree.

One day I was working on my computer vigiously and suddenly I saw the blue screen of death. My heart stopped, my eyes popped open and the clicking stopped. WTF? No not now! I’m so close to being done and I didnt, yeah, you may have guessed it….I didn’t SAVE yet! I’m sure for some you can sympathize where this is going. It was 4PM on a Saturday and the only place I could think of for computers was the worse place I could think of…BEST BUY! Not to say they can not fix or accomadate a problem, my issue is THEY are EXPENSIVE!

Where the heck was I going to find a computer repair at this hour during the weekend. I couldn’t wait till Monday, I had files ready for the printers, web updates and at that time I was going to school, and finals! Talk about stress. I didn’t have access to the internet without having to go to the local print shop and pay for internet time so I did what any other person would do… I GOOGLEd on my phone. 🙂

*Puff* Lists of computer repair, repair, computers, etc and etc. I began the list of calls. Closed, no answer, too expensive, not friendly, wrong store, no longer open and then on the second page second one down I found him. The one I now have on my speed dial, favorites and admirous adore.

Jim “The Computer Guy“. Now thats not really his business name, but that is what I have him under in my phone. His business name is  A Plus Computer Services.

It was like “AHHhhh” the clouds opened and let the sun shine in. He answered the phone on the second ring – this was good. His voice was chiper and polite – 2 goods and he was willing to discuss my computers problem without even mentioning cost until after we finished our discussion – I’m in!  I’m sure you could see the smile from here to Texas. Talk about a life saver. Not only could I drop my computer off at then, 8pm, his prices were very reasonable.

Jim fixed my computer and returned to me first thing the next day. It was amazing how fast the turnover was, not to mention he also gave me some helpful computer advice (free of charge).

I like Jim.  I’ve moved to Tampa and still have made the trips back to Gainesville whenever I have any mishaps with my computer (yeah, he’s that good) as well as boast to all my peers how wonderful he is.

So a toast to you Jim Q.  My Computer Guy. Much success to you and your business. 🙂

yeah, I'm talking to you!

yeah, I'm talking to you!

I’ve been a busy susie lately. I’ve uploaded and launched my first E-Commerce website –
dakotamercantile.com
It was like a first-born to me. I’m a Graphic designer by trade and web developer hobbist, although I am considering switching the two.

I’ve picked up a little gig as webmaster for
micanopychamber.com
and am in 4th gear for SEO the websites I’m working on. Amazing, you can get paid for the little things you don’t even think of.

Everyday is a new learning experience. I’m loving it and …hating it. It seems most of my colleagues are ‘graphic’ designers and most of my recent troubleshooting is regarding web and coding. “the technical” stuff. Good thing there’s the internet 🙂

I’m freelancing, serving at Red Lobster, packing/moving and trying to saviour the last days I have here in Gainesville before I make my move to Tampa. Multi-tasking is def a plus!

I’ve been pulling all-nighters that turned into dayers and all dayers that turned into all-nighters. The cushion on my chair literal is imprinted to my rear and my thoughts are constantly clouded with solutions, software, debugging and a sitemap in my mind of whats next with what.

I have to say..Life is finally getting fun again 😉

Project: Dakota Mercantile – Debugging Flash/Browser Compatibility
                 Micanopy Chamber of Commerce – Photo Gallery
                 Gainesville Parkinson’s Disease – Discussion Forum
Listening: Uh Huh Her
Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop CS4, Internet

Tampa bound

Posted: May 12, 2009 in Dakota Mercantile, FL, Gainesville, Tampa

Its official. I’m moving to Tampa. I pick up my keys the 17th of this month and I’m off to a new adventure. I’m looking forward to meeting other designers and businesses alike and plan to get some networking done once I’m settled in.


Gainesville community has been kind and memorable to me. I’ve met a lot of sincere and great people who have been my clients later friends and vice versa. I graduated from college here and have shared some of the college sports victories and loses.

I will miss this great place but am optimistic of the future.


Working: Client – Dakota Mercantile Gracious Living website : http://www.dakotamercantile.com
Listening: Sigur Ros
Watching: My cats sleep