Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ice Station Zebra

Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 182#, 10% BF
Blood Pressure (Wednesday): 156/78, 59 BPM

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 184.5#, 5% BF
Blood Pressure (Thursday): 140/93, 52 BPM

Well, last day of summer...

So I went to the doctor yesterday after work, and my blood pressure there (where blood pressures are traditionally higher due to doctor-visit stress) was 130/80, pretty close to normal. Talking about it with the nurse, she told me that those home sphygmomanometer thingies are notoriously inaccurate. Oh well, that might explain the slow and steady rise, as my little toy gets progressively further out of calibration... The doctor came in, saw my cold/sinus problem and went to town -- I got two prescriptions before I got his attention back to the physical and my blood pressure. He really didn't need to do much for that, the nurse basically set me up with a prescription for a bunch of diagnostic blood/urine/stool tests. I'll probably go to Quest or something nearly next week.

After that I went to the Chain Gang meeting at Doug & Lori's place. Good meeting, people were there I haven't seen in a while: Judy was back with tales of London, and Brian had some stories as well, except it was Canada in his case. Pizza dinner, good beer but the hops were bothering me (so were the dog allergies) and my cold seemed to intensify. I left early -- or at least, not long after the meeting proper ended; I stayed really just long enough to have Cindy gave me the lowdown on the different tests I'd been prescribed.

Listening: In case the title from yesterday's pirate post didn't clue you in, I've been jamming to Stan Ridgeway lately. Today I was listening to the song "I Wanna Be A Boss," and thinking about how the song goes from "my life sucks, it sure would be better if I were rich," to the wildest fantasies:

And everyone will know me
I'll be more famous than Howard Hughes
I'll grow a long beard and watch
Ice Station Zebra in the nude

And grow my nails like Fu-Manchu
Keep a row of specimen jars
Get other people to work for me -- ?well
Maybe I'll buy the planet Mars, and
Build an amusement park up there
Better than old Walt's place
You'll have to be a millionaire to go
We'll smoke cigars and lounge in lace
Talk the talk of businessmen
And bosses that we are
So here's to me -- the drinks are free
'Cause I just bought this bar
For some reason (maybe just associations on the word "ice"), this reminded me of "The Iceman Cometh," and the pathetic dreams of the losers in the bar. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Which Brew.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Out On The Water, Where The Sailing Men All Go

Joe Phase Three
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Arrgh matey, I almost forgot it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! So avast me beauties and feast your eyes, for I've uploaded an Imperial arseload o' new photos... Aye, there be shots o' lubbers at Allamuchy and bilge rats at the BASH, and some photos o' my home port as well. Enjoy, me hearties!

Shaggy Dog Stories

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 9.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 145/85, 67 BPM

Yep, colonized -- I have a sinus infection, probably got it because my nose has been traumatized by so much ragweed. The dogs this weekend didn't help: plenty of dogs, all friendly (hey, we had the food, of course they were friendly), and I couldn't resist giving a pat on the head here and there, lotsa allergens in my life, nasal tissues raw & swollen, easy avenue for germ attack...

Speaking of dogs: Saw Joe G at the Bash, and he now has a dog, a husky/shepherd mix, maybe 11 months old, female. It was originally his sister's, but she wasn't active enough for this kind of dog and it started developing behavioral problems so she gave the dog to Joe. He's pretty active of course, ditto with the free time thing, and can (and has) put a lot of effort into un-doing the psychic damage. Her name, by the way, is Riley.

On the Saturday group ride, we met up with a dude who brought his dog along. Don't remember the real name, but I called it "Downhill Dog" for the way it shredded the trail -- the owner said he (the dog) was a little bored since there were no jumps or drop-offs on the trail. Later that evening, the dog was as whooped as I was, and spent most of the evening and next day hanging out, much to the consternation of the energetic and-not-to-be-trusted-off-leash-thus-not trail-ready Riley. (Yet another dog, with a lot of energy, spent a lot of time walking up to people, then dropping a stick at their feet and then staring meaningfully until the stick was thrown. I was victim of this guy for about a half hour while waiting for my shower.) Strangely enough, "Downhill Dog" was also a rescue dog, having been found lost, wandering and hungry by its current owner.

Two more dogs: these were like dachshunds, only they had long silky hair almost like collies (they were still that dachshund-brown color). Totally fearless, they'd charge up barking at the other dogs, spent a lot of time being held and cooed at by the girls, and were the most successful at mooching food (I saw them drinking spilled beer too). The owner said he got one later, but the first had belonged to his ex-wife who, claiming that it had become "vicious" after the divorce, brought it to the vet to be put down. The vet, who knew the score, told her he killed it and then gave it to the husband. I asked him what kind of breed they were, and he said "long-haired dachshund." But of course!

That dog's not so shaggy...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another Set Of Photos

Thinking About Candy
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I'm still not caught up, but I just uploaded a bunch from the family reunion in July.

The Bash Was A Smash!

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 12.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 139/84, 67 BPM (spike maybe due to salty pizza, or incipient cold)

Shout Out: Happy Birthday, Mom!

A very quick recap: the RCST Bash was an unqualified success, and even the weather cooperated eventually. I dawdled on Friday because the weather was discouraging, arrived at a little before 6:00 and set up my chili for the contest. Back to the campsite to set up my tent, then back up to the registration area for the contest and the microbrew swap. I brought about 10 Weyerbacher IPA's, traded them for various other local brews (most of which I knew), and put a few back while I checked out the competition. Each chili was different from the next, and all were good -- I didn't win, but can say that all my chili got eaten.

After that came the first ride of the Bash. There was supposed to be an organized group night ride, but the only ones who actually rode were Greg H and me. After a ton of chili and a few beers, the initial climb out of camp was brutal, but the ride itself was fantastic. It was also a confidence booster to ride unfamiliar trails in the dark, and finding we could navigate just fine by map. Ten miles, two hours and back to camp for some hard-core socializing.

Saturday morning was rough, but it was also time for the event's main group rides. Me, Greg, Rich, Beth & Kevin -- in other words, all of our party except Joe -- plus another 20 Bash'ers, opted to do the "drive to the top of the mountain," intermediate-level ride. This was awesome, about 22 miles long and it managed to hit just about every good trail. We were exhausted by the end, but it was worth it.

Saturday night was the big party. BBQ chicken dinner, couple kegs of Troeggs, and a band, toss about 120 tired bikers in the mix and shake well...

The only group event planned for Sunday was the "King and Queen of Rock's Ridge" contest, but rather than watch or participate (or hang about the camp), Beth and Kevin and I (plus Dave L) decided to check out what we could of the trails we hadn't seen yet. Not quite as long as the day before, maybe six miles (and the trails were also a bit easier), but very nice, especially since it was the nicest weather of the weekend.

Back to camp, pack up and hang out, then we all took off for home. (I took US209 through Tamaqua then down 309 & 443 to Lehighton and came home via 248, which took me rather far out of my way, and on country roads to boot, but I-78 was a construction disaster: it took me 4 hours to do an hour-and-a-half drive on the way in, so the two-and-a-half-hour scenic route home probably saved me a at least a little bit of time.) Got home, unpacked, and then I just vegged out on the porch for a while before bed.