Friday, June 11, 2010

Full House

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 172#, 11% BF
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 172.5#, 10% BF
Did another "Steady Effort Power Intervals" workout last night, this time on the towpath -- things went way better in the "controlled environment" department than they did at Sals the other day. Bonus: on the way back I ran into Doug , and we got to ride and chat.
Dinner at home, chicken stir-fry, with Anne, and Ben, and Emmi and her college friend Jen. Jen and Emmi (and Emmi's dog) are staying at Emmi's dad's place, but that's close by, and we have Ben until he goes back to school next week. Things are very hectic right now, but it's a good, fun kind of hectic. Speaking of hectic: we went out last night to Brew Works, and ran into Doug & Lori, Donna with Erin & Rick, Deb & Kevin, Rob, etc etc... I was totally exhausted when we got home.
Meantime, I see that they're still mapping the Mountains of Madness. Tread lightly, fellas!
Tonight is the Heels on Wheels pub crawl.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 176#, 11% BF (uh oh)
Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 173#, 11.5% BF
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Gym Monday night, then I came home and downloaded a few new albums & ripped a few old CD's. Dinner at home: bacon-potato-spinach fritatas and some ginger beer, while playing with the computer and the other gizmos, and hanging with Anne.
Media Time: One CD I ripped was my old favorite, Fu Manchu's King of the Road. I got it in 2000 or thereabouts -- I remember listening to it at the 2000 24 Hours of Snowshoe --  so it must have come out some time before that, like back in the stone age, before DVD's/videos and MP3's -- or at least that's I always assumed. I knew that there were a few "bonus" MP3 tracks, which magically appeared when I first played the CD in my new car, but last night was the first time I ever put the disk into a computer, and I found a bunch of videos to go along with the music. How cool is that?
So I'm checking out the one particular music video, and it reminded me of one of my favorite teen movies, Over the Edge (which isn't too surprising: there's a song "Over the Edge" on the album), and the video, which was actually for a different song, looked like a 3-minute homage to the movie, plus concert footage. That gets me thinking: a little googling, and I find out that the movie was based on actual events that happened in 1974, to the kids at this middle school, in Foster City, CA (which reminds me quite a bit of Fangoso Lagoons). I'm not surprised that it's reality-based, I liked the movie for its realistic take on early teen life in the still-developing suburbs.
A bunch of us were talking the other day about "Blue Velvet," probably because of Dennis Hopper, and I was the only one who said I didn't really like the movie all that much. I guess I'm belatedly defending my position here, but what really bothered me was that whole "our hero discovers the seamy underside of his wholesome apple-pie town" thing -- there were plenty of creepy psychos like Frank back in my own "Over the Edge" years, they were the ones who sold drugs (wholesale, ie in bulk) to schoolkids; the only difference between Frank, and David the ex-football player in "Dazed and Confused," my other favorite teen movie, is about 5 years, and the least believable character in the movie was Jeffrey, back from college, or maybe from living under a rock.
Reading: Speaking of Pynchon, I just started on Inherent Vice, the next on my to-do list of Christmas/birthday books; it seems to be in the Crying of Lot 49 or Vineland mold, maybe even a cross between the two, a 60's-era California detective story. Pretty good so far.
Last night was "steady effort power intervals" at Sals, followed by Two Brew Tuesday. The ride was OK, but as I expected, actual trails are much less suitable to heart rate-based interval training than, say, the controlled environment of the towpath. But, I was heartened to see I that rode better and faster there than previous efforts: typically the "warmup" ride from home to the bottom lot on Constitution takes 31 minutes, and even though I dialed it back a few times, I did it yesterday in 28. I've suspected for a while that most of my recent problems in the technical stuff were actually fitness rather than skill issues, but even so, I was more than a bit worried that since so much of my training was on either the road or the towpath, I was afraid I might have been busting my ass only to be going backward. (I also went up the short climb on Public Rd at 9.5 mph rather than 7.5 mph, with the same level of perceived effort, so I can see that things are starting to work. But that's road.) Things took a wrong turn when I got a flat tire, knocking me off my schedule (running late already, since I started late), and I ended up racing the last of the sunlight to get out of the woods.
Home, shower... I caught up with the crew (Anne with Emmi, Donna with Erin & Rick, Rob, Larry, Debbie & Kevin, and Mike) over at Brew Works. Good times, but it was a later night than I planned.
 And Ben's coming home today -- I got the dates wrong. Anne and I swapped cars for the day; she's going to pick him up at JFK. He's been gone a year, hard to believe.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Swan Singer Blues: Should I Wear My Trousers Rolled?

Morning weigh-in: 174.5#, 11% BF
Good weekend, third three-day weekend in a row...
Friday was beautiful, if warm, and I got in a decent training ride on the towpath before at-home chores and road-trip errands overtook us (we hit the dry cleaner, and Dan's Camera City, and Bike Line, and the Allentown Farmer's Market, all in one fell swoop); later in the evening we went over to Greg & Judy's for a nice BBQ. Us, Eric & Kris, Mike K, and Eric & Janna, a crowd I sort of lost touch with this summer so it was really nice to see them all. Early night though.
Saturday was Bobby's fourth annual, and final, McSorley's bus trip, though since it was a much smaller crowd we were in a big rented van instead of a bus. (Bob's about to give up beer, and in fact all carbonated beverages, for medical reasons; this trip was his swan song and last hurrah.) Me and Anne, plus the usual gang: Bob, Ryan & Janelle, Lee, Perry, Lou, Bob's son Brian and a friend of his, and Luke who I met for the first time on the trip, and another of Bob's friends as the designated driver. We got into the city around noon, hit McSorley's for a few hours, then escaped to the Hop Devil Grille for a while. Dinner was at a sort of Scottish pub (the St Andrew?), and we stopped at a place in Little Italy (Ferarra's?) for espresso and cannolis on the way home. Technically, I guess that this was an early night too, we were home before midnight, but we'd been going strong since morning... Awesome time. (Photos posted, knock yourselves out!)
Sunday was a mellow day, but it had its moments. We went to Meeting in the morning, something I'd never done before, though I had been to a Christmas pageant once. (Quaker meetings are pretty unique: mostly, everyone just sits in silent meditation, though people are occasionally inspired to say something.) Pretty cool, and though I don't think I'll be calling myself a Quaker anytime soon, if Anne wants to go again I'd be up for it. Blue Sky breakfast with Donna, then we hung out at home, watching the rain come pouring down -- it got really nice after that, so I snuck in a decent 2-hour road ride before sunset. Got home, found out that Emmi was on her way home, and "about an hour from Bethlehem." Well! That was a really nice surprise, she was able to get away a little early. Dinner with her, then she went over to her dad's and we hit Brew Works with Donna.
(By the way, Ben comes home tomorrow.)
I have to call the optician, I have two pairs of glasses on order and I expected to hear something this weekend. Bifocals. I grow old.