week 24...
cleared for takeoff

Waiting By The Phone

We had this space saved for a sweet photo of two Penninger recumbent tricycles, expertly assembled, road worthy, packed up and fully loaded. Heck, we would have been happy to drop in a photo of a couple of boxes with a Penninger return address on them.

However, the boxes arrived promptly at the moment when all government operations shut down for two days: 7:00 Saturday morning. With our means of transportation locked in a holding cell for the next two days, this space was up for grabs.

So, I guess we can talk about our solar panel or something.
no sun of mine...
Let me fill you in on the story of the solar panel so far: We found a solar panel online (I won't mention the brand-name, since I'm about to trash it to my adoring fans and I'd rather not have the Mold-A-Rama incident happen all over again), which claimed to be both portable and powerful enough to power a laptop in the middle of nowhere. What a deal!

So we bought it for $350, and had it shipped to Australia. Shipping, importation and duty brought the price up a hefty bit, but that was okay, since this would solve all of our problems! Hooray!

Except it didn't work. We plugged in the laptop, and, as Lt. Worf would say, "No response, Captain." We wrote back to the dude and asked advice. He said instead of using our versatile AC Adapter, which is good up to 115V, go buy the IBM one specific to the computer. So we did.

It didn't work either. So we asked him again, we also asked the manufacturer, the distributor, IBM, and just for kicks, some newsgroups.

Turns out, NOBODY knew how to make this solar panel (*Perfect for notebooks!*) work with this computer. No one on the entire Internet. At this point, David suggested we turn to the Australian solution for any electronic problem:

Dick Smith is the Radio Shack of Australia (except here they don't snicker when girls try to ask technical questions). We brought in everything we owned that either required, stored or transferred power, in the hope that Dick could find a solution.

And he did. 45 minutes, 120 dollars, four new gadgets and a soldering iron later, we emerged with an answer. The answer. We hold the power of the sun in our hands, and lucky for you, we use our powers for good...

(If you're looking for a more detailed solution, click here.)
meet someone sticky
This is Talina and Sam, two talented cast members of the enormous cast of "Sticky", a free performance art show playing during the Brisbane Festival. We'd tell you more about it, but we'd rather let the experts fill you in...
What is "Sticky"? It's a spectacular outdoor event, composed mostly of fire and sticky tape. More tape than fire, I'd say.

I noticed that. Who came up with it? It's a show that's played all over the world, but I think it was started in the UK by Improbable Theatre. I don't think it's been to Canada yet.

How did you get involved? When it was coming to Australia, they essentially put out an all-call to anyone who wanted to get involved. We're just volunteers for the Brisbane show, then I guess when they move on they have another cast waiting. There's about 20 permanent crew and 20 volunteers.

I'll Never Tal:
Name: Talina McKenzie
Age: 19
From: Brisbane
When she's not Sticky: Student, Creative Writing
Some of Sam:
Name: Sam Galloway
Age: 22
From: Brisbane
When he's not Sticky: Student, Performing Arts
How many of the props are reused? When they arrived to Australia they built some of the bigger parts from scratch, like the cogs, the fly costume, the dome, the wings and the clock. These parts will travel all around Australia, but the rest is pretty much rebuilt each show.

Any trade secrets? Actually, just one... it's not all sticky tape. Some bits are reinforced with wire, and some is bubble wrap.

How many rolls of tape do you go through in a show? No idea. Best I can do is "hundreds".

Do you ever take any tape home at the end of the night? It's not like they'd miss it. Never thought of it, really. I just might.

where's w?
Don't stop once you've found Wally... there's an extra special treat this week! The second challenge: find George W. Bush's Presidential Belt Buckle! W-W-W-Wheee!

Don't get too caught up in W to look for Wally!

why are we being sponsored?
click here to see what we're up to!

day of rest Pizzas Eaten:Bike Location:Sugar Grove Today's Weather:
The boys are knackered. They're buggered. They're stuffed. They're cactused. They're flabbergasted. No, not flabbergasted, that's not right. It sounds about right though, doesn't it? Or something like schlumped. That'd be a good word, because that's all they're doing today: schlumping around.
  If they're this tired after nine days on their bikes, how tired are we going to be after nine months? Let's not think about that while we're busy schlumping.

Trike Update: The trikes are nestled snug in their boxes waiting for their morning flight. Four boxes of fun, ready to go.

"Did you see me dive into that hot pizza? Did you hear me in the middle of the night on the toilet?"
- Simon.
kilo for kilo Cost to ship UPS:$2400 Cost to ship Team Air:$574 Today's Weather:
We've run into a bit of a sniggle with the trikes. We (the collective we: Mr. Penninger, Kevin and myself) all thought that shipping would be a breeze: Mr. P. would call UPS and the trikes would arrive at our doorstep in a couple of wags of a lamb's tail.
  Well, this lamb ain't waggin'. Not to the tune of $15.30/kilo anyway (coincidentally enough, about the same per-kilo price as a fine lamb roast). We're dealing with 156 kilograms, roughly $2400. It might be cheaper for us to fly to Illinois to pick them up ourselves.
  DHL, the 'cheaper' option in international shipping, was willing to charge a mere $14.10/kilo. A bargain compared to UPS, but still more expensive than king prawns. We needed something that wouldn't drain our bank account but would still be able to get the trikes here before we're too old to ride them.
   In the final hour, a solution presented itself: ship them freight with Team Air, the red capsicum of freight handling! Their rate was only $5/kg. Sweet, crisp and juicy.

Trike Update: Three, two, one... Takeoff! Trikes take flight!
David: "She says I'm like nobody else she's ever met."
Kevin: "So you're saying most guys she knows are smarter and better looking?"
september 11th
  At a time like this, with all the media and all the tributes and all the stories of hope and terror and courage, it's easy to find yourself locked in front of the television for the day. Don't do this. It was hard enough the first time.
  Aimee and I plan to spend September 11th each year getting together with friends talking about our experiences while volunteering at Ground Zero, and spreading the word that in a time of sorrow and anger, so many beautiful lights shone through the cloud smoke. Those lights were the firefighters, the NYPD, Red Cross, Salvation Army, the staff of the Spirit of New York, and especially, all of the "renegade volunteers" like us, affiliated with no group, defying authority for a chance to do good. In the wake of one man's terrible agenda, the selfless goodness of so many brave and caring people was able to glow.
  Remember, discuss, mourn, do what you must... but don't spend the day alone. You have friends. Let them know you're all right, today more than ever.

Stay safe.

To read about our experiences as volunteers at
the World Trade Center, visit Roadtrip USA: Ground Zero.
wiggum? Happy Birthday, dear...Mom Bike Location:Tokyo Today's Weather:

This mug reminds me of Dean's kitchen.

Trike Update: They're enjoying a better flight plan than we did on our flight to Australia. Hope they're enjoying Tokyo.

"I just about said, 'Oh, what're ya wingeing about now ya sour-faced prick?' when I realized it wasn't him."
- David.
dickwad Battery:$49 Regulator:$45Socket Ends:$3 Today's Weather:
You've got to appreciate a guy like David (not the David we're living with, and not the David who went on the bike ride with David, but the David who works for Dick Smith at the mall that David drove us to today), who can deal with a couple of crazy Canucks who walk in out of the blue, dump a pile of plugs and converters and adapters and solar pieces on his counter and say, "make it happen". Near the end, this keener was ripping open packets and chewing the ends off wires to make our system work. David, you brought the sunshine back into our lives. We shall always remember you and your Dick Smith.

Trike Update: After a nice teriyaki glaze, the trikes are on the final leg of the trip. We're hoping to pick them up tomorrow morning.

"That's who Shakira reminds me of... my imaginary Saskia!"
- Aimee.
i'm sticky Bike Location:Brisbane Freight Office:Closed Today's Weather:
I'm Sticky! I'm Sticky! You're not Sticky, this is the real Sticky!
  What do you get when you combine hundreds of rolls of sticky tape, forty hardhats, a dozen flimsy cogwheels, a crane, a dramatic soundtrack and a round of roman candles? You get the best outdoor performance we've seen this year! (Next to the diving pigs, of course.)
  If we were given these same items to work with, we'd get something resembling a giant, sticky, rolling plastic ball which would soon grow so big that it would acquire sentience, take control of its own destiny and roll down a really really big hill, collecting screaming performers and eventually setting fire to the majority of Brisbane. It would be dramatic, and probably entertaining in a Jerry Bruckheimer sort of way, but probably not good PR for the Brisbane Festival. The kids sure would love it, though.

Trike Update: Proximity sensors indicate that the trikes are within 45 minutes drive of our location, being held hostage by three different acronyms and a federal decontamination unit. No hope of retrieval. Awaiting further orders.

"You may be brilliant, but you're not stupid."
- Aimee.
solderday Chicken Schnitzels:On TV Tonight:Mis. to Mars Today's Weather:
Pop quiz: with no warning, how many people would you be able to round up who not only own a soldering iron, but are proficient and energetic solderers? Now, how many do you know that live in Australia? Now, can we have their number?
  Actually, in the end, we purchased our own soldering iron and did the best we could. I'd say we did all right for ourselves. Only ended up melting one thing by mistake: that's at least an 8/10.

Trike Update: They're arriving tomorrow, says Optimistic Aim. I'll bet Tuesday, says Realistic Kev.

"No chicken for me thanks, I'm saving room for Doritos."
- David.
winge: (v.) to whine or snivel, usually about something insignificant. Pronounced "winj".
Quit your wingeing, the water's not that cold.

Join our mailing list!  
Enter your email address into the box above to get updates from us!
I can charge
clearly now
the rain is gone

proudly sponsored by:

Check out our American roadtrip at roadtrip.beimers.com!

© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. It's a... jellyfish!