Friday, December 23, 2005


Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 10.5% BF

Reading: Medieval History: The Life and Death of a Civilization, by George F. Cantor. Verdict: awful, so far. It's a 60's-era college textbook; I got it at The Quadrant (coffeeshop & used bookstore), thinking it would be a good way to fill the gaps in my understanding of that time period. I just keep reading and going "that's not right!" or "what historian would say that?" Very Kennedy-era viewpoint -- if I read "rose to leadership" one more time I'm going to toss it out the window. I guess I'll put up with it, absorb the facts & see if my disagreements with the author won't at least sharpen and develop my own opinions.

Meantime, I also picked up Carpenter's Gothic by William Gaddis. Pretty good so far, but I'll probably put it down until I finish The Recognitions -- and that's been on hold until I get through Caesar's Civil Wars, which I finished today. By the way, something I didn't catch with Gaddis the first time around: he's actually pretty funny.

Hurting: I was going to go skiing this morning, but I woke up and my legs were killing me -- I did Janna's annual Christmas 5-Mile Run (or Bike) and Party, and I chose the "run" option. I've been running lately, but that's about double my typical distance. Better get used to it... (Went for a short ride on the singlespeed later in the afternoon, just to open up the legs a little.) I guess I did better than Brian though: he brought his bike for the event, fell on ice and apparently cracked a rib. I didn't stay too long after the run, even though Janna put on an incredible holiday meal, because their dog was really bothering me.

Went to Which Brew to say hi, also goodbye to one of the barmaids who got "a real job" and would be relocating to Philly. It was her last night on the job. Ran into another friend who poured out a tale of woe -- she got married in the summer to a much younger guy (another friend -- uh oh), and was now having serious "buyer's remorse," basically over maturity issues. This could be bad, could become several different kinds of ugly... all I'm looking for is a good time... so I went over to Porters' and then to Taco Bell (damn!).

One last thing: I posted some miscellaneous photos over at flickr.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bottom Dead Center

Well, here it is, the winter solstice, shortest day of the year, the Yule (a word that may have come from the Old Norse for wheel, or not). Didn't do much today, went to a "solstice party" last night and slept in this morning; meantime, car is back in shop (the part I was waiting for came in), so I spent the day geeking out with biomathematical models. Ring out, solstice bells!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Roswell And Me

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 11% BF

Adventure Bike! Rode down the towpath today. Big deal, you say? Well, it was a big deal, very hard going, took about 3 hours to do what I usually do in an hour and a half. Much snow, but a lot of it has been ridden on by ATV's or trucks so it's compressed and rideable. Was supposed to ride with my friend Mary from Genesis, but she had to be home for contractors, couldn't make the ride so it was only me and my pilot Roswell. Lotsa crashes in the ice. Beautiful day though.

About what you'd expect: The verdict is in, judge rules Intellingent Design is religion, not science, and therefore cannot be taught in Pennsylvania public schools (at least, it can't be taught as science). Lehigh University's own Michael Behe testified on behalf of the Intelligent Design crowd, and apparently his testimony is what sank them. Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What a doofus -- and with quality edumacators like that, it's no wonder the Lehigh kids spend all their time drinking...

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Hand vs The Mind

Looks like the mind won this one... I've been avoiding the bike, letting the hand heal and it seems to have gotten quite a bit better over the past week or so, though I've also been gaining weight -- and also going stir-crazy: no bike, no peace of mind, apparently. So anyway, I bled the front brake, did some minor repairs (no need for new seal, looks like) & replaced the fluid -- aka solved the real reason I haven't been riding -- did that yesterday and was good to go for today. There was a little stress on the hand and I feel it now, but I think it was the right call. Gotta watch out though, my mind was the one to benefit from the ride, and my mind, since it gets to call the shots, always seems to win these little head games...

I've been running and going to the gym lately, but I think that they just don't do enough to keep the weight down, especially compared to biking. Stick with what you know works, if you can, so although I'll still be running & lifting I think I'll make sure the biking stays in the mix -- at least until I have to replace it with the XC skis...

I've been thinking about goals and strategies, realistic or otherwise, after running across this guy's blog. He's got a very laudable goal, but I think he might be setting himself up for failure. I remember a saying to the effect that you never really a failure, since you can always get back up, or maybe "it's not the falling but the staying down that marks failure," or something like that. Anyway, that's all well and good, but if you find yourself constantly getting up and falling down you should really check to see that you haven't accidentally tied your shoelaces together. There's also this: "the knee is nearer than the shin," -- that was supposedly a favorite expression of Caesar Augustus, meaning people take care of the things closer to their hearts, or ought to, than they do the other stuff. Healthy is a lifestyle, and if you're serious about it there are things (like diet and exercise) that have to take priority over other things (like working late every night, eating fast food for the convenience, etc); if you don't have time for exercise, or healthy sleep or whatever, you make the time by taking it from other parts of your life. Still, I hope the guy succeeds; I feel for the dude, I'm actually inspired by him and think I'll check in now and then to see how he's doing, keep me motivated for my own weight loss. Now, off to Taco Bell...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Enough With The Pictures Already!

One last set of photos uploaded, and now I'm all caught up. Here are my pictures from my brother's surprise 40th birthday party. Once again, enjoy!

More Picctures!

Gangster Christmas: Me and Greg
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I just posted my photos from the Chain Gang Christmas Party; you can find them here. Enjoy!


Pisgah: Scenic View
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I uploaded the rest of my North Carolina vacation pictures -- or at least, the rest of the ones I planned to upload. You can check them out here.