Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Lovely Evening

Morning weigh-in: 185.5#, 15% BF
I met Anne and Donna last night at Nockamixon, me coming from work and them from Bethlehem, and we had an awesome time riding the trails. Anne loves it there, and this was Donna's first time and she really liked it too -- she said it was one of the nicest places she's ridden so far, fun and challenging without being impossible. High praise indeed! It didn't hurt that it was a beautiful night, with the late afternoon sun bouncing off the lake and illuminating the woods...
Summer is winding down though, and right now the place it shows most is in the woods on a late afternoon ride: we started at 6:00, and by 7:30 things were already getting dark under the canopy, even if it wasn't quite twilight elsewhere, so we skipped the last part and took the road back to the cars. Anne says they'll be riding there again in the future, but during the day -- while I'm at work, oh well -- so they'll have time to explore and try things.
Home, where Anne and I were both feeling tired and lazy, so we just kicked back and read awhile before crashing. I'm still in the middle of The Pale King, while Anne finished Mason & Dixon the other day and is now working on The Slap. Funny, we bought both our books in the same bookstore (in Northampton MA) at the same time, so our store-supplied bookmarks are identical -- which, under the right conditions, can be the source of much comedy.
Tonight, if the rain isn't too bad, I'll probably do a run, otherwise I'll hit the gym. Meanwhile, I need to think of a new winter computer project now that the weather's starting to change. Maybe I'll put together a file backup system using my old computer, and maybe some DIY music server?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

These Little Earthquakes

So there I was at work yesterday when the room started shaking -- actually, more a gentle swaying, probably the building's reaction is what I felt -- and the guy across from me and I look at each other and say in unison: "Earthquake?"
And that's just what it was, the Great Virginia Quake of 2011, 5.9 on the Richter Scale or whatever it is they're calling it these days, felt, according to the posted reports of my Facebook friends, from Vermont to North Carolina. Luckily, damage was fairly minor, and I don't think anyone was killed or even hurt, though there were evacuations in Washington and New York. (I've lived on the East Coast my whole life and still managed to experience four earthquakes before this, and yesterday's was the most obvious, possibly because I was on the second floor, and awake. Anne was working in the backyard when I texted her, and she thought I was kidding -- she never felt a thing.)
Anyway, I hit the gym after work, and after the homebound commute's construction craziness -- even Applebutter Road? WTF? -- then walked over to Steel Stacks to meet Anne and catch the Two Man Gentleman Band. I bumped into my friend Lee on the way in, and Donna was there with Anne, and we sat with Doug and Lori, and Doug's parents, and Eric and Kris and some friends of theirs eventually joined us -- we had a pretty big crowd at one point. (Outdoor venue, free show on a beautiful night, the place was packed, and there were many others there that we knew.) Dinner at Brew Works after the show, hanging with Matt and Erin & Rick.
Tonight is Nockamixon after work, riding with Anne and Donna, and then we start our countdown to Hurricane Irene, which now seems like it might miss us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Alvin and The Mysterons

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 189#, 12.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 185#, 13.5% BF
Ouch! That was the result of a fun and rather "nutritionally dense" weekend...
Friday night was another "Heels on Wheels" ride, which was pretty awesome: Anne and myself, Emmi (who drove up from Knoxville and hopped right on a bike), Ben & Jaime, Donna, Erin & Rick, and Brian & Maris, and we were joined occasionally by pedestrian Matt. It was Brian's birthday, Ben & Jaime's only chance for a "Heels on Wheels" ride before heading back to whatever their destination was, and I think that all the girls got especially dolled up for this ride. (The guys? Not so much...) Way fun, we started and finished at Brew Works, and in between we hit Welcome, Molly's, the outdoor concert at Steel Stacks, and the Wooden Match.
Needless to say, the morning after was not quite as awesome, and I believe we all slept in on Saturday, except Ben and Jaime who were gone when we got up. I was going to do a JT ride, but I blew it off to just hang out at home. Saturday night we stayed in and read some more.
Sunday was a trailwork day at Sals for me, helping the crew do a little rock armoring in some of the wet areas, then I came home, and vegged out some more before diving into my bike project: the Turner had a major creaking problem, making noise on every pedal stroke and getting louder over the past week or so. I'm not sure what the exact problem was but I suspected either the suspension pivots or the bottom bracket, so I took off the rear wheel, cranks, shock etc, loosened and lubed the pivots, checked the BB bearings, and put it all back together nice and tight. So far it seems to be working -- I got skunked by a storm Sunday afternoon, but I got out to Sals yesterday and it was great to ride a bike that didn't sound like it was going to collapse any second. I also got to try the new rock armoring we did, and it was pretty sweet.
Listening: I just downloaded the first two Chemical Brothers albums, like from 1995 or so. For some reason -- and this isn't really true of the Chemical Brothers, but one or two of their songs do fall into this category -- I've been really enjoying 90's-era songs with droning or altered vocals, like Placebo's "Pure Morning," or "Setting Sun" by the Chemical Brothers. It's just a real mysterious sound to me, like exploring the abandoned, derelict and possibly haunted alien starship...
Tonight is the gym, then I should be meeting Anne at Steel Stacks to see the Two Man Gentleman Band.