Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Book Of The Year

IN a few minutes I'm going out, to ride the towpath to Bethlehem, watch the First Night fireworks and usher along the old and new years right -- with a bike ride. Meantime, this quote I think sums up my internal life this year, or at least lately:

It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. - Charles Darwin

That reminds me very strongly of Isaac Newton and the world view he ushered in, where all the different phenomena of the world could be seen, and demonstrated to be the manifold ramifications of simple, elegant ideas. Add to that a sentiment I saw expressed in the comments to one of Pharyngula's posts: "The essence of science is asking the question 'But how do you know what you know?' " and I think we have 2005 covered. Catch you on the flipside...

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pics, No Pics

I'm baaaack! First came Christmas, then a mini-vacation in Vermont, but now my time off is coming to a close...

Christmas was good, spent it with the family down in Englishtown; I just posted my photos at Flickr. Got some good presents, including a couple of unix reference books, must soon start rummaging in the system again.

Meantime, VT: The camera was not happy with the cold, so there are no pictures from Vermont. Had a good time though: arrived Monday night, dinner, XC skied Tuesday, fell a bunch of times (not used to really steep stuff on XC skis), including once where I got the Stubbed Toe From Hell, think I broke my right big toe. I almost took a picture of it back at the hotel: swollen, major bruising with a red outline at the joint -- almost looked like an x-ray, must have been hematoma or blood leaking out of the damaged place, or whatever. Skied on it the rest of the day but it was killing me. Wednesday I hiked/snowshoe'ed, to um, to give the foot a rest (actually it worked). The weather turned warm and rainy yesterday, so I blew off my last day and came home early. So-so vacation, but hey at least I went.

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.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Full Plate

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 10% BF

I was going to go to the gym last night, but my legs felt tired so I took a rest day, played with the computer & ended up going to bed at midnight anyway. I played with this & that, downloaded some more nonlinear optimization software, also moved photos from the camera card to computer & processed them. I put a few from my North Carolina trip on flickr, but they were experiencing difficulties and the process was taking too long (bedtime! bedtime!), so the rest will have to wait. Tonight, hopefully.

I think it's time for a bike ride, so I'll be skipping the run tonight & taking out the singlespeed. Maybe I'll do some of the towpath, but I mostly plan to just fool around, maybe cruise downtown for a while etc. I have a little work to do on the Turner, must bleed the brake lines & see if I need new seals, I think they're leaking -- that all is supposedly slated for tonight as well, but it also has "not gonna happen" written all over it...

Tomorrow I'll be hitting the gym, and will probably do a run beforehand (I don't want to skimp on the weekly running quota, I'm trying to build my mileage up). Then comes Bill & Jackie's "Christmas Cookie Party" (an afternoon event for me), followed by the Valley Mountain Bikers Christmas Party (WARNING! DANGER! BLOWOUT!) at Greg H's -- I'll be blowing off Joe G's party to do this one, dang.

I may or may not go out tonight; given the stuff I want to do I probably shouldn't, and I've also gone out twice -- on "school nights," no less -- this week, but tonight should be a good night to pass along Christmas greetings, many of my friends should be out & about. However, I've got a huge "third eye" pimple on my forehead (typical cold-weather burn: I've really neglected the humidifier lately, finally turned it on again last night), don't feel especially sociable so maybe I will stay in.

Way back at Beth & Kevin's Chili Party, Kevin broke out his new camera: it's good for photography as well I guess, but its video capabilities were what really impressed me. Smaller than my digital camera, rugged, with a 1-Gigabyte memory card and a remote "helmet cam," the thing was made for cyclists. Kevin is a motorcyclist, so we ended up watching some motocross videos he made on trails in West Virginia. Killer toy, still kind of pricey (approx $400) but it should come down -- wish I could remember the brand and model! Anyway, I'm thinking about getting one eventually, so last night I started messing with the video mode on my camera. Stay tuned...

By the way, things are real busy at work, but I'll be on vacation next week.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oddly Enough, It Never Ends

Morning weigh-in: 184#, 12% BF (aaaargh!!)

Went home last night, made/ate a healthy dinner & played with computer, then ran, played with 'puter some more, and finally went down to Which Brew to catch The Insidious Rays -- unfortunately they seemed to be busy with some shark-jumping project, so I took off, ended up at Taco Bell (sigh). I expect the beer didn't help either...

I Miss Gilda Radner: I'm driving in to work yesterday, county road and the woman in front of me is driving slowly -- well, not slow exactly but slower than I want to go, not the best way to get on my good side. I see she has a bumper sticker, sez: "Well-Beloved Women Seldom Make History." WTF??!? That got me annoyed, thought up some quick counter-examples, angry analysis & deconstruction, then just decided to make like Amanda and say "well, I blame the Patriarchy." Had a great rant set for it, but googled the phrase and found that the bumper sticker really read "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History." Oh. Well, that's very different then. Never mind! (And speaking of smart women bloggers, here's the latest from Chicago, and from New York.)

And one final oddment: You can see those "this is a weapon" shirts/tattoos here. Historical interest only I'm sure, though they're probably still printing them at Piccatinny Arsenal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Odds & Ends #5

Just one more loose end... Here is something about Huntington's disease, a terrible affliction that my cousin Joe suffers from. I found it in Tangled Bank #43 ("tangled bank" -- what a cool quote that comes from!), via Pharyngula of course. Not very close to a cure, but they are starting to understand it.

Odds & Ends #4

This is another graph of the predator-prey relationship, only they are graphed against each other instead of time: the X-axis is prey and the Y-axis the predator.

Odds & Ends #3

This is a graph I made using octave to solve a pair of nonlinear differential equations, namely the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey equations. The prey is the red curve, and the green curve is the predator. You can see the prey population increasing, until the predator population also increases, overhunting the prey and causing a collapse in both populations, until the prey species recovers and the cycle repeats. I chose the parameters (ie reproduction and mortality rates) used to create this somewhat arbitrarily, but this agrees with the ones I've seen for real-world predator-prey relationships.

Odds & Ends #2

This graph shows more samples of curves from the "logistical map," with even higher values for reproduction rate. The population curves start to bounce around pretty nicely as the function gets progressively closer to chaotic behavior, which I didn't actually show.

Odds & Ends #1

This is a shot of some plots I made of that logistic function, the difference equation one found here. I took a few sample curves with different reproduction rates to show the function converging smoothly on different equilibrium levels, and then (as the reproduction rate rose above some threshold) the "equilibrium" becoming more of an oscillation.

Burn Rate

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 11.5% BF

Time seems to be moving pretty quickly this week...

Hit the gym last night, then had dinner at Which Brew. The only one there from the usual Tuesday night crew (other than myself) was Scott; even the bartender was an alternate. Food was salad & hot wings, beer was Sierra Celebration Ale, but things seemed harsh (sometimes that happens in the low-humidity winter: sinuses/throat become very sensitive to irritants, hoppy beers especially), and I ended up taking some wings home. Finished the beer though.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Fox And The Hare

Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 11.5% BF

It took a great deal of willpower I know, but somehow I avoided going to watch the game at Porters. Instead I did laundry, played with the computer, ran, and played with the computer some more: put together a predator-prey model based on those Lotka-Volterra equations, ran it with various parameters -- I wish I could find that Hudson Bay Fur Company hare-lynx population data, try the model on that. Once again, I got some cool graphs which I may post but probably won't...

Speaking of cool graphics, I parked some old screenshots here; I probably will not make a gallery for them, but have a look anyway.

Tonight is more laundry (of course), the gym, and my Tuesday night stop-in at Which Brew.

Oh, the fox and the hare, and the berries and the bear,
And the sun and the bees, and the lichen and the trees...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Football, You Bet!

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 12% BF

Sunday of last weekend, as I was getting ready to leave for the Nesquehoning ride, my neighbor saw me and we got to talking. His daughter, 7th grade or so, is now playing clarinet so well she's in the high school band. The family therefore goes to all the football games, and he told me about the game the day before, when Wilson was down by maybe 9 points but won it in the last two minutes, which meant that they advanced to the state championship game. (Liberty High also advanced to the state championship, but in a bigger division.) Both those games were this past Saturday, and both lost -- Wilson to undefeated South Park, who came from behind to win at the end. Live by the sword, die by the sword...

So anyway, back to last weekend: We stopped to regroup on the ride, also to check out some stripmine reclamation, and one of the guys started going "Woo-hoo, Wilson! My alma mater's going to the championship!" and I was all like "Go Wilson! Down by nine points, two minutes to go and they pulled it off, what a game." Came out smelling like a red-blooded all-American rose.

Caught some MNF at Porter's last week, was able to talk intelligently about the Eagles debacle the next day at work. Saturday of this weekend I ran into a friend at the Quadrant (bookstore/coffeeshop), we shared a table, since the place is cramped, and discussed local HS sports rivalries. Yesterday was my brother's surprise 40th birthday party, the Giants-Eagles game was on, and I was all "hey you see those guys get stomped last week? Yeah, well, you're right, friggin' Giants could still blow it" -- and they almost did.

If this keeps up I'll have to buy some golf clubs.

Other highlights from the weekend just past:

Friday was the Chain Gang Christmas dinner, very nice affair at Everybody's Cafe in Stroudsburg -- we had a cozy room to ourselves, with awesome buffet-style dinner and our own private (cash) bar with bartender. Pretty swank!

Saturday was gym etc, then I was off to Gary & Gina's Christmas party. Was only going to stay a short while, but left around 2:00 AM, spent most of the time gabbing with old racer buddies Joe G and Gary.

Sunday was another mellow morning (rest day, plus more predator-prey population modeling), then my brother's party in the afternoon.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Going Back To Bitburg (I Don't Think So)

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 9% BF

Nothing much going on: worked overtime last night, hit the gym and then went home & fooled around with octave. Amazing how powerful that is, how easy to use to do some crazy-complicated things, and it's free...

Snowstorm this morning thought the sun is out now. Was a half hour late to work, mainly because of stupid truckers and bad roads. Place was empty, at lest in the early part of the day. Tonight is the Chain Gang Christmas dinner.

Today in history: It was the start of the Nuremburg War Crimes trials for Nazi medical experimenters. Hmmmm... international tribunals for crimes against humanity, now that there is a very dangerous precedent -- luckily, history's written by the winners, right?

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Morning weigh-in: 183#, 12% BF (I hate you, cheap food night!)

Still more John Lennon sightings in the Morning Call; all center around Trexler Park & the Lehigh Parkway, so I guess that means the Easton connection is a dead issue (sorry Doug). Twenty five years ago today, I can still remember the shock of it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 8% BF

Nothing much to say here. Worked late, hit the gym on the way home, and had dinner at Which Brew. I try to make it to Which Brew every Tuesday, and actually I think I've been pretty successful at it but last night may have been a mistake: I forgot that tonight is Mug Club Night, and so I'll be back there again tonight, after working late again, and running of course...

Anniversary: everyone's talking about Pearl Harbor, but I think I'll also menton that today is also the day in 1965 when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches "agreed to disagree" rather than just excommunicating each other, like they'd been doing since about the time of the Norman Conquest.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Winter Wonderland (Blood in the Streets Remix)

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 179#, 12.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 180#, 12% BF

Catching up:

Friday Night I was supposed to ride with the Cycle FunAttic crew but they bailed, and as I was trying out my new (lightweight) tights and found them a little inadequate for the chilly wind, I cut my own ride short. Walked to Which Brew, had a bowl of that Italian chili and a lemon tart, caught a set of the jazz band playing (good, but heavy on the "fake book" standards); it was an early night. More computer follies, both before and after my evening activities. The name of the new game is octave.

Saturday was the gym, some errands, then out to Beth & Kevin's for their chili contest. I felt kind of bad, Beth went all-out as usual (prize packs, unbelievable food spread, backyard bonfire), and hardly anyone showed up -- she had prizes to 4th place, and there were only three contestants. I promised to make a chili for next year, better get learning...

Sunday was "the big ride in Nesquehoning," aka "the snow ride." About two inches had fallen across the whole Lehigh Valley overnight, our first real accumulation of the season. Roads were crazy as I tried to get up to Jim Thorpe: People were driving really slow, then I did a nice 200-yard ABS skid downhill to a red light -- after that I drove slow myself! Saw a serious accident on a curve on Route 248. Red stuff all over the snowy road, probably just some kind of automotive brake/tranny fluid but it sure looked like blood...

The ride itself was fantastic, beautiful scenery & killer trails that I'd never even seen before. Lot of guys there, a dozen riders showed up -- what's up with big groups and nasty weather lately? Pretty good bunch too, most were better than me, & there were some semi-celebrity hotshots in the mix. Hard going in the snow, but not really as hard as I expected, and we followed some ATV tracks on the way back to make time. Did I mention the beautiful scenery?

Yesterday: work (overtime), laundry, run, blah blah. Ditto today except I'll probably hit the gym.

Anniversary: today marks the 2nd anniversary of Mike K's passing. Gone but not forgotten, just thought I'd make a note of it.

Reading: The Recognitions, by William Gaddis. Actually seems easier the 2nd time around.

Friday, December 02, 2005

This Shirt Is A Weapon

Oops, no morning weigh-in...

Got the car last night, then went to physical therapy. Looks like that's winding down, not much more they can do for me... Home, computer, got an email that Art was in the house making some custom chili, so it was down to Which Brew for dinner. Nice night, nice crowd and really good "Italian chili" but I was back home pretty early. Late bedtime anyway, played with the computer until past midnight.

Bring back the crypto wars: So, I see that some researchers have succeeded in making a quantum byte, a major step towards the mythical quantum computer. Oh well, so much for computer security, that'll put a major hole through RSA and pretty much all current encryption schemes.

Once upon a time (early nineties), "hard encryption" was illegal to export from the USA: the technology was deemed a weapon and restricted for purposes of national security -- too bad it was laughably easy to implement, and everyone on Earth interested in the subject knew how to do it. Dudes used to make tee shirts in protest, with simple shell scripts implementing RSA and "this shirt is a weapon" written on them -- I've even seen a tattoo -- and photograph themselves overseas.

Now technological advances are threatening to undermine almost all "hard encryption," and I can't help but notice that this particular cutting-edge research did not happen in the USA. I also noticed that the cure for cancer will not be developed in the USA either, at least not if it depends on the work of the leading researchers, who are decamping to Singapore's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Well, once the Third World is rich and we're poor, I sure hope they'll let bygones be bygones, and practice enlightened drug-pricing policies.

Speaking of drugs and the Third World, here's some good news: I see that the "triple-drug method" has been found to be as effective in managing AIDS in poor countries as it is in rich ones. It's a start...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Onset Of Chaos

Morning weigh-in: 180#, 14.5% BF

Got home last night, checked on car: almost but still not quite ready, should be done today. Went home, played with computer, cooked dinner: stir-fry of (boiled) tempeh in onions, ginger, thai chilies and broccoli -- I really must go shopping, I'm just tossing junk in a frying pan. Tasted good though.

It was pretty late after that, but I went out for a run anyway, two miles in a little over twenty minutes. I think the "evening run" concept is a pretty good way to go, much easier to accomplish than the morning version.

Thirty-two thousand generations in the blink of an eye: So anyway, I got home from the run, and decided to play around with some more population dynamics stuff, specifically, this form of the logistic equation. I am less than enamored of that particular equation; I have my reasons which I'll maybe get into someday (really, it's just that it's not as emotionally satisfying as some other forms), but this one does have the advantage of being easy to play with, and it does exhibit fractal and chaotic behavior. Mmm, buzzwords... math buzzwords...

Since it's pretty simple, I set up a Gnumeric spreadsheet, a thousand iterations for each of thirty two different values of the reproduction rate, from 0.125 to 4. Copy, paste, blink -- and it was done! The calculation is admittedly pretty lightweight, but I expected at least a second or two for crunching. The results were pretty much what you'd expect from the article; I'll probably graph a few samples and post them tonight.

Other stuff for tonight: get the car, surrender the rental car, go to physical therapy, hit the gym; I'll be leaving work a little early to get it all in. Next week starts overtime.

Meantime, I see that Wikipedia is in a little hot water...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Requiem For A World

Morning weigh-in: 180#, 14% BF

I ran across this interesting but somewhat incoherent paper the other day while musing about Olduvai Gorge, and in that paper I found the following quote:

"The human species, considered in broad perspective, as a unit including its
economic and industrial accessories, has swiftly and radically changed its
character during the epoch in which our life has been laid. In this sense we are
far removed from equilibrium — a fact that is of the highest practical
significance, since it implies that a period of adjustment to equilibrium
conditions lies before us, and he would be an extreme optimist who should expect
that such adjustment can be reached without labor and travail. … While such
sudden decline might, from a detached standpoint, appear as in accord with the
eternal equities, since previous gains would in cold terms balance the losses,
yet it would be felt as a superlative catastrophe. Our descendants, if such as
this should be their fate, will see poor compensation for their ills and in fact
that we did live in abundance and luxury." -- Alfred Lotka
Looks like there may be a misprint or two in there, but you get the idea... Anyway, I looked up Alfred Lotka and came across this set of differential equations for predator-prey population relationships, and this one for interspecies competition. Bingo! This may be just what I've been looking for, for quite some time; more on this later...

Back in the real world: I went to Which Brew last night, did my "Drinking Liberally" thing. Saw Scott U, Karl, Fred & Lara, Ed, Megan, and Kirk, as well as Carrie & K-Jo behind the bar. Apple butternut squash soup, hot wings, Allagash White & an Aviator Red, yummy. Cool conversation with Kirk on nutrition & how tofu may not be that good for you after all, and then another one with Lara on her work, the debauchery I missed by leaving the Halloween Party early, and boobs. I love that place.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Warm and Wet

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 14% BF

Tell me how you really feel: Weird weather last few days, drizzly and unseasonably warm. I was in CVS last night, waiting to pay for my stuff, and the checkout dork made a faux-pas joke about Bush and global warming to the woman in front of me (I would have agreed with the concept & the sentiment, but it wasn't the correct time or place -- and the comment, like the dude, was pure dork); the guy behind me said sotto voce to his daughter and me "if this is global warming I'll take it!" Ah, ha ha ha, good one you stupid fsck! You'll take it, eh? Because you're a lazy &^%$# who can't take winter -- you'll take global warming, and you'll pay for it with what, and what will you have left over to leave your daughter? Or do you figure that there will always be brown people far away to foot the bill for your golf-cart lifestyle, people in say Iraq and New Orleans? Complacent, smug, stupid, parasitic -- the more I think about this guy the more burned I get.

Anyway, rant over. Hit the gym last night after dinner, leg workout plus a few other things, then finished laundry, shopping spree at CVS (light bulbs, deodorant, shampoo, salt), then caught the third quarter at Porter's, which is apparently now dog-friendly, while the clothes dried.

Some fun stuff from the Internets: here's Olduvai George (via Pharyngula), and here's Elementropy (via Sadly, No!) -- now that there is certified coffee-out-my-nose funny.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Went out last night; did the pedestrian thing over to Which Brew, where my friend Heath (brother of Hans, husband of Margarita) was DJ'ing. Got an early start because the plan was to have dinner there and I didn't want to reenact Friday's crowded debacle... but, when I got there, the only ones in the place (other than bartenders Katrina and Jen) were Pete, myself and Ed, the place was a ghost town. Heath came in, seemed cool with the situation and started playing anyway, and by about 9:30 the place was satisfactorily crowded. I didn't stay too late, but left after dinner and a bit of conversation (Ed, Margarita, Heath -- who was broadcasting from his iPod and didn't need to physically be on stage to DJ). Probably home by 11:00.

That was too bad because I didn't have anything planned for this morning except sleeping in, but I popped awake fully rested about 8:00 AM, not early really, but much much earlier than planned. Played with the computer, had a few phone conversations and then went out to get coffee. Ran into Judy the Soupmaker at the Quadrant. (Don't know her real last name; she makes soup & bread, sells it to local restaurants including the Quadrant & Which Brew, which is how I know her.) Anyway, she came in, shared my table because the place was super crowded, and we had a good conversation -- she got an earful, which I don't think she expected since she's never encountered the "caffeinated version of Don." Also saw a very smartly dressed Cosmia there as she walked out, but she didn't seem to see me...

I went from there down to Performance Bicycle, south of Quakertown near the Montgomery Mall, my big errand for the day. I wasn't as impressed with the store as the people who recommended it seem to be -- it's just a medium-sized bike store in a stripmall, far as I could see. Picked up new biking shoes, a new Camelbak and some tights, then hit the Whole Foods store in the same stripmall for some fresh veggies.

Dinner (tempeh stir-fry, with all those fresh veggies including Thai chilies -- hot!), laundry and a little internetting, and my long weekend is complete.

And did those feet, in ancient time... Had a phone conversation with Doug this morning, about recent rumors that John Lennon used to frequent the Lehigh Valley, specifically some un-named park, possibly Allentown possibly Easton, and bring his son Sean (a preschooler at the time) to play there. This was something Doug's grandfather used to do with him when he was the same age, at about the same time period, so he was very interested in trying to guess where -- Hackett? Bushkill Park? Probably no way of ever knowing...

By the way, the light the past few days has been that silvery-white November sunshine.

UPDATE: Check this out. Ribbit! Ribbit!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Do You Know What I Know?

It's the weekend, there's no morning weigh-in on the weekend!

Oh, The Embarrassment: I had Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Brian's mom's house. Big group, Brian's sister and her family, some friends & relatives, etc. Anyway, dinner gets going, and I ate something wrong, got mega-whacked with food allergies (something cooked with peanut oil?): my throat swelled up, couldn't swallow, almost couldn't breathe -- I ended up puking in the kitchen sink. Brian's asking me "dude, you need to go to the hospital?" and I'm like "uh, maybe..." I recovered in time for dessert, but they'll be talking about me for the next 20 years. (Brian's poor mom didn't know what to do, or what to think. I told him as we left "Well, I think I made a good impression!") First time I've ever been hungry on Thanksgiving night... Seriously, that was my worst food incident in more than a decade, I think I'll be getting an epi-pen to carry with me from now on.

Other Stuff: Ride! Ride! Ride! (and Walk): Wednesday night I hit the gym for a leg workout, then walked down to Which Brew. Fantastic night: great crowd, lotsa honeys and the band was rocking. Doug & Lori and also Eric & Kris stopped in after dinner at Porters. Thursday morning was a pre-turkey ride at Jacobsburg, with a light dusting of snow on the ground. Singlespeed ride, but I also rode to/from the 'burg, so I got probably in a 40-mile ride on the singlespeed. Later that evening... (see above).

Friday I led a group ride from Genesis, starting first with Breakfast at Coffee Works on the way. There were five of us who rode to Bethlehem, but another fifteen were waiting at Sand Island, and we all went to ride at Sals. Awesome ride there, then came the ride back to Easton -- only three of us left for this -- and then back home, another 40 miles. Naptime, shower, then I went out again, hoofing it down to Which Brew. Crowded again, but I didn't like either the crowd or the band quite as much, left almost immediately. I stopped in at Porters on the way home, but stuck my head in and saw that if anything it was even more crowded and annoying, turned right around and continued home.

Today was the gym, leg workout again, and following a little bike repair I'll be heading to Which Brew -- again on foot, I kind of like walking through town on a cold night -- to see my friend Heath do his "DJ Heath" thing. I think I'll skip riding tomorrow, maybe do a short hike up in the Poconos.

Reading, Hearing: I'm re-reading Elmer Gantry, not sure why because it's kind of boring (Arrowsmith was way better), but the beginning is pretty good, and has one of the best opening sentences ever: "Elmer Gantry was drunk." I'll just read until it's no longer fun, I already know how it turns out... I just got to the part where he gets love-bombed at a revival meeting, singing all those religious songs, and converts, strange parallels to all the Xmas music now blasting everywhere. Said the little lamb to the mighty king...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another County Heard From

Morning weigh-in: 179.5#, 11.5% BF

Here's another blog I like: Mimi Smartypants. I sometimes feel like I know her and her family, almost like For better or For Worse (the comic strip), always happy to stop by and see what's going on... until I read this post. Now I just feel dirty.

Well, hitting the gym tonight, then seeing the Foolz at Which Brew. Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving ride, followed by turkey dinner with my good friend Brian's family. (He'd heard I was solo and graciously invited me, saying "now you can see my family at its most dysfunctional." Thanks Brian, and readers: stay tuned!) Friday will be my Black Friday ride, which I'm leading for Genesis Bicycles, and the weekend is still a long way away.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! By the way, here's an article about one of my heroes.

-- Linky McLinkerson

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I've Got Something To Say

And that is, that this guy makes me laugh. Out loud.

Adding A Little Color To The Play-By-Play

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 11% BF (stupid Taco Bell!)

Not much to say, was going to add some affect to the previous post, which seemed somewhat flat emotionally. Instead, I'll just say: I was very glad (relieved, more like) to get back to the gym, and I've been messing around with the tar program lately, among other things. Didn't seem like the kind of thing you could delve into, but it's pretty deep if you want it to be...

Dropped off the car last night, then hit physical therapy, then home to eat healthy (baked stuffed tofu, saurkraut & a big salad) and finish the laundry -- then came the midnight chalupas, dang...

Monday, November 21, 2005

And It Was Good

Morning weigh-in: 177#, 12.5% BF

Fairly mellow weekend, to wit:

Friday night I walked downtown to Which Brew, had a small dinner plus some Allagash white, good time but I was home by midnight -- considering my pedestrian status, I must have left pretty early even though the band (Midnight Shift) was rocking.

Saturday started with the car-rental rigamarole (actually it started with some very-early-morning computer tomfoolery), then came the gym, Nature's Way, and Genesis Bicycles, and then I went down to my parents for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Pretty nice, saw my brother & his family, as well as Mom & Dad & my uncle Pat. The drive home was the Carnival of Stupid though, many, many idiots out on the roads, doing foolish and dangerous things.

Sunday was a ride at Allamuchy: me, Brian, Bob, Greg, and Bob's friend Jim. We went about 14 miles, took about four hours all told, serious technical trails. Karen skipped out of studying long enough to get in a short ride of her own; she met us at the trailhead to join us for lunch. Once I got home, it was time for the typical "Sunday Nap And Laundry" regimen.

Friday, November 18, 2005

In The Clutch

Morning weigh-in: 178#, 11.5% BF

Clutch seems like it's been been slipping on the Subaru lately, and last night on the way home it was unmistakeable and pretty severe. Scary drive home too, plenty o' hills between here & there, as well as everywhere else around here... Anyway, will bring it in on Tuesday. Got a ride in this morning, will rent a car tomorrow morning to get me through the next few days.

Meantime, check this out: videos of the last living Tasmanian Tigers. Kind of sad (link via Pharyngula).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hail To The Chief, Baby

Morning weigh-in: 178.5#, 5.5% BF

Well, I'm now the President of the Chain Gang, as of last night's election. My campaign speech was "well, it's not like I want to be president, it's that I no longer not want to be president," and with that I was swept into power. So what will the theme be for my administration, my major policy initiatives, what I hope for as a legacy? Uh....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cheese! Cheeeeeeese!

Morning weigh-in: 179#, 13% BF

Skipped the weights yesterday, legs still felt a bit whooped. Played on the computer instead, then went to Which Brew for dinner; I had a "mini-me" salad (tomatoes & sliced mozzerella on a bed of greens) and a white pizza (ricotta, mozzerella, et cetera), washed down with a coupla Number Nines. Saw Scott and Pete (of course, of course), Megan & her dad, and Joe M, and also Fred & Lara. I think I prefer Tuesday nights there to any other, even if it's low-key and an early night.

Anyway, tonight is the Chain Gang meeting at Brian's house: pizza on the menu.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Creepiest. Ride. Ever.

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 11.5% BF

Went out for a ride along the towpath last night, didn't get started until about 9:00 and managed to thoroughly scare the shit out of myself, with the help of some little urchins and a few wild animals...

Going along the sewerline right-of-way from Iron Street to the start of Riverside Park, you go under the 25th Street Bridge, just after passing the orphanage, or boys home or whatever. About two years ago the orphanage built an annex across from the park and paved the path, and the kids use it to get from one facility to another. Well last night a few of them must have seen me coming, hid by the bridge and jumped out -- "Boo!" -- just as I went past. Friggin' miscreants, like I don't have enough to worry about with real hoodlums, I nearly jumped out of my skin... I'll admit it was pretty funny though, I laughed too, once I got myself a little further down the trail.

Anyway, rode to Sand Island, expecting to see those "real hoodlums" near the b'ball court, but it was quiet and an unmarked cop was parked at the Ice House. Turn around and head home, and by the way I saw more wildlife on this ride (out and back) than I did in all North Carolina, but on the way home I seems that the critters were deliberately messing with me. Crashing in the woods all around, eyes peering at me in the dark, then all of a sudden I hear a a faint but terrible screaming off to my left (at the time I thought it was birds or cats, but now I think something may have killed a rabbit). It made the hair stand up all over my body, and added a few MPH to my average, just as I was hitting the only bumpy part of the ride... Bam Bam Bam, and the battery for my new $400 lighting system pops off and bounces away into the dark. I really, really didn't want to stop, but I was sure not leaving it there. Took about 5 minutes to find, another five to reconnect, all while critters (deer, most likely) were moving around by the canal, like trying to sneak away, and accidentally crashing into/through the underbrush.

Got out of Dodge ASAP after that, ran into many more critters: rabbits, feral cats near the old dump, and one little mouse scurrying along the Palmer bike path. Full moon, I tell ya.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I Yam What I Yam

Took this test, not sure if these results really represent me, maybe should have read the questions more carefully... too late to fix it now though, time for a ride!


You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.

You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.

Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

That Old Familiar Ache

Morning weigh-in: 179#, 13.5% BF

Got the bike back Friday, rode Friday night on the towpath, very tough -- I felt like I was pushing as hard as I could, but my pace was waaaay slow. Didn't actually leave the house until 8:45 (dinner, chores), rode until 10:50, ridiculous amount of time for me. After that was a trip to Which Brew.

Saturday I ran some errands, hit Coffee Works, then went to the gym of the first time in a while. Did a leg workout: seemed I was only in the gym doing my thing for a short time, but it exhausted me (of what little energy I had) for the rest of the weekend. Forgot about that, happens every time with leg workouts. Hamstrings, the only part of my legs that aren't conditioned by cycling, are still sore/tight.

Saturday night was the George Hrab show, preceded by dinner at the Tally-Ho & followed by drinks at the Station House. Good times, but the evening was later than I intended (though it seemed to be ending prematurely), as I had to get up early. Slept like the dead.

Sunday I got up early & exhausted (damn leg workout) and went to the Deer Park trailwork session. We were supposed to build bridges/walkways, but the park didn't show up with the wood so instead we did a ride... buncha fast guys plus me, ouchie. Came home, napped during laundry, then cleaned the house. And now it's today!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Autumn Of Our Discontent

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 12% BF

Things, and people, seem out-of-sorts lately, and I'm not just saying that because I'm wearing old-man stretch-pants today...

A Play

ASPIRING JUVENILE DELINQUENT: Uh-oh, here comes Old Man Stretchpants!
OLD MAN STRETCHPANTS: Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!

...local scenes just seem to be coming apart.

Anyway, dropped off the Turner yesterday after work to get new pivots installed. The last time I did it, it was a total pain in the butt, so this time I brought it in to Bike King -- and Ron was halfway done with the job before I even left. I guess that's the difference between a professional and an amateur... I left the bike there instead of waiting though, because I had to race from Clinton to Wind Gap for physical therapy. Get there, typical circus (in the fun sense as well as the crazy chaos sense), then home to check the 'puter before going to Which Brew for dinner. First time there since the Halloween Party, pretty cool but I still got that "end of an era" feeling there as well.

Well, tonight I'll hit the towpath, tomorrow I'll go to the gym & then to the George Hrab record release party/concert (at the Ice House, dinner beforehand at Brew Works), Sunday I'll do some trail maintenance, it'll be just like old times.

UPDATE: Le Bobo smackdown, yo.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Odds & Ends

Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 178.5#, 9% BF
Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 179.5#, 12.5% BF

RIP Ken Whalen: Dude in my high school class, tough-guy athlete -- baseball, maybe? and "tough guy" in the "flannel-shirt crowd rather than Izods" sense) -- decent guy though I don't think we ever exchanged more than two words even back in school. Nodding acquaintance, I'd see him at the Yorktowne Inn on occasion, last time being probably 10 years ago. He was driving on the GS Parkway the other day, another car hit his pickup and both crashed: he was ejected from his pickup and died at the hospital. My friend "Henry" (Kevin) called and told me; his mother worked with Ken. Here is an article about the crash.

It's kind of funny, I was just thinking the other day that I was in the lucky "not many people I know are dying" years, too old for teenage misadventure and not yet seeing the effects of age.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fighting Through The Blockage

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 177.5#, 10.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 179#, 87% BF (uh-oh)

I've got a lot to say about Nantahala I'm sure, but right now nothing's coming so I'll just keep to the normal routine, talk about my day... Not much to say there either: physical therapy was canceled yesterday (they had staff shortages), so I went straight home and played with the computer, then caught 2nd & 3rd quarters at Porters. Tonight I'll be cooking/eating in, then riding the towpath.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Back In The Valley

I'm back. Great time, more on that later...First thing I did when I got home was check my email -- how pathetic is that? (Don't answer!) Good night.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Weekend's Over, Vacation Starts

Morning weigh-in: 176.5#, 11% BF

A quick recap of this rather eventful past weekend:

Friday night was my Halloween night ride, with Mary, Rob & Sarah, and Roger. This, frankly, was a disappointment --none of the people I was hoping to come showed up, and the riders who were there (with the exception of Rob and Sarah) were not up for much anyway... I was also hoping to maybe stop in at a pub or two, like the very strange Fuglees, but (with the possible exception of Roger, who I don't know) everyone on the ride were vegans and teetotalers, very clean-living. Oh well. I went out afterward, caught some blues at Which Brew.

Saturday I brought my car in for an oil change at Revelation, then walked downtown to Coffee Works. On the way home I window shopped, stopped in to Utopia. Haven't been there in years, but it's still the same: bongs, bizarre knives/swords and incense up front, really nice furniture in the back.

Saturday night was the Which Brew Halloween Party. I went as a baby on its mother's back, but my costume wasn't as funny or convenient (or well-made) as it appeared on the box. So, out came the inflatble parts and the party roared on. Greg & Judy, Joe & Cindy, Doug & Lori, Eric and myself from the Chain Gang were there, and I saw plenty of other people -- basically, everyone who hangs out at Which Brew was there. Good time, but we didn't have a designated driver or a rented van this year, so things were a little more constrained. I was probably home (even after a visit to Taco Hell) by 1:00.

Sunday was the Lehigh Alumni Ride, alumni as in "veterans of the Lehigh trails," not university alumni. We were to meet at noon at South Mountain Park, but I showed up at 11:00 because I forgot to "fall back" with the clocks, so I retreated into Bethlehem, hung out at a coffee shop for another hour... Huge turnout, great ride with BBQ afterward. The infamous Bernie was there, guy who built the trail system up there way back when (he had help), and who is just now recovering from a broken neck and punctured lung suffered in a crash back in summer. One tough customer...

I posted pictures last night on Flickr, you can find the Halloween shots here and the Alumni Ride shots here. There's also a few from the Halloween ride posted. Check 'em out.

I'll be gone for the rest of the week, riding down in NC, leaving tonight for a mid-morning arrival hopefully. More on this after it happens, tune in next week...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy Scotchtoberfest!

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 9% BF

Busy evening yesterday: home to change, then to Wind Gap for physical therapy. Grabbed some Subway on the way home, ate, did chores, 'puter, then went for a ride around 10:00 last night. Short one, just a loop around the bikepath, trying out the bike and lights etc. Anxious few minutes getting all my winter nightriding stuff together & functioning, which is why the ride started so late. Back by 11:20, I played with computer some more & went to bed at 1:00 AM.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Finally, Going Riding!

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 8% BF

Went out and got my Halloween costume last night, what a friggin' nightmare but now it's over and done. No clues or spoilers, you'll have to wait for the Halloween party (or to see pictures here) to find out what it is... I was there (at the Party Store in Phillipsburg) from a little after 7:00 until about 9:00, so I blew off riding last night to play with the computer and finish Never Mind the Pollacks. Dinner was a meatball sub from the deli up the street.

I'm taking next week off. Today at lunch I booked several days at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in western North Carolina; car goes into the shop Friday/Saturday to get ready (oil change).

Tonight I have physical therapy, then I will hit the towpath, make sure new lights, chain/ring/cassette and cables/housing are all good before Friday night's ride, and Saturday's, and Sunday's, and next week's...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Getting My Act Together

Morning weigh-in: 177#, 12% BF

I put the new middle ring on the Turner last night, also greased the pivots (I think I'll need a new pivot kit, as well as replacement bearing inserts for the shock); did that while laundry was washing, then hit Which Brew for dinner while it was drying. Moussaka, washed down with Magic Hat Number 9.

Jump on it: For some reason I also decided to restart my web server last night, then I see today that Apache just now reached 50 million website users -- I wonder if it was me? Probably not, no one else can see my server.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just Waiting for FitzMas

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 10.5% BF

Nothing much to say here, busy playing with computer & photos last night, instead of doing laundry/bike/housework, as you know...

(Re)Reading: Never Mind the Pollacks by Neal Pollack. Laugh-out-loud funny.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Some Photos From "Close The Loop" Day

I posted a bunch of photos from Sunday's trailwork at Sals, you can check them out here.Enjoy!

Of course, I bought the new chainring I need for the bike, so I should be putting that on (as well as re-greasing the pivots), and I have laundry that needs doing, and then there's the issue of dinner (as in, not eaten or even cooked) -- thus I sat down at the computer when I got home, been fiddling here ever since.

Reporting In From Weekend Duty

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 12% BF (weight-gain weekend)

Friday night: I went on the Haunted Tour of Easton. Pretty cool, got to check out that "cemetery in the basement" in a local church; most of the rest of the tour was stories of hangings, Civil War history stuff, and goth-style vampires running around spouting "Diamond Dogs" quotes (I kid you not). Worked for me! Right after that I went over to Which Brew, where most of the volunteer cast, and a good chunk of the tour-goers, had already assembled. The Skulldiggers were playing, Heath and Hans were there as well as Mike & Carole, Brian came out, and they had Red Nectar on tap...

Saturday was sort of my selfish day, only different. Coffee Works was closed, so I went to the Quadrant, waited there for a call from Joe G: his girlfriend had grabbed some tickets to the Lehigh Valley Brewfest at the State Theater, and we'd be going to the noon-3:00 PM session. This was quite the beer snob's heaven, all sorts of local breweries with samples of their best beers... they filled up two floors at the State Theater, awesome scene -- though I ran into a friend at the Quadrant, who was going to the 5:00 session and he commented that the early one would be all the "sniff the brew and guess the hops" types, all the partiers would be at the later session with him. He was pretty much right, but I had plans for the evening.

Saturday night was Greg and Judy's "Island Party." They, with Eric & Kris, submitted a short video and won a sailing vacation, got filmed for a promotional movie; this was the premiere for their friends of that movie. Cool film, great party.

Sunday was "Close The Loop Day" at Sals: we finished the main trails there and marked them, so now there are several loops that can be ridden... then we rode them. Still finding issues on the bike, leftovers from All-A-Muchy that I must deal with.

Friday, October 21, 2005

...And Come Full Circle

Busy evening yesterday. I had physical therapy at 6:00 in Wind Gap, but on the way I stopped in at Curt's Cyclery & bought a new chain, a cassette, and new cables with housings, as well as a bar-mount HID light (expensive, but I really needed a new light). Then off to PT, where my arm was manipulated ("like flossing with the nerves" -- strange how the bike and hand problems are so similar), then home to check the email before installing all the new stuff, and finally stopping at Which Brew.

Tonight is the Easton Halloween Spooky Walk. Actually it's happening both tonight and tomorrow night, and I went out of my way to get a ticket for tomorrow night before realizing I had a previous engagement: Greg & Judy are having an "Island Party" to debut the promotional sailing video they were in. That's Saturday night, and so was my ticket, so I had to exchange it for a Friday at WB, nexus of all things Halloween in Easton. Good jazz trio playing, and some guy had an art/photo exhibit going on in the other room, pretty neat. Got into a conversation w/ young Pete about surfing...

But I did get the bike back up and running. Funny thing, I can remember when Shimano changed their derailleur springs to thwart the new Grip-Shift shifter technology, and Grip-Shift came out with those GoreTex-covered cables, maybe 10 years ago now. They worked unbelievably well, smooth shifting, like nothing you've ever used before -- for about two weeks. Once it gunked up or developed a little wear, it became the worst shifter cable you ever had. Moved to generic cable (mediocre performance, but the performance wouldn't degrade and you could clean/lube it to bring it back) and shimano shifters... now here I am 10 years later, using incredibly good Shimano cables that degrade within weeks, so much for progress.

Fourth Horseman Update: Neat science about the upcoming armageddon.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Back To Square One

Morning weigh-in: 176.5#, 9% BF

Last night was the Chain Gang meeting at Which Brew (who I still like, but I think they dropped the ball, service & food-wise last night). Good meeting, though.

The Money Pit: OK, I need new cable and housing for the rear derailleur, also a new chain and probably a new cassette. I'll pick it up tonight hopefully, also pick up a new handlebar-mount lighting system, slap it all on & be ready to ride tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Scopes Smackdown

Morning weigh-in: 176#, 8%

Nothing to say, really. Worked a little on the bike last night, cleaned/lubed, discovered problems with rear derailleur cable, must fiddle with it some more or, or... replace it yet again? Meantime, here is a little more about our homegrown monkey trial.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Big Time

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 12.5% BF

Looks like we made the big time: a mention in the NY Times via the (far superior) Clusterfuck Nation, and a little something something about Lehigh's own Prof. Michael Behe in the Morning Call. Lucky thing they're building that ballfield where the high-tech company used to be, and the gambling casinos where the heavy steel industry used to be, or there wouldn't be any jobs for all the new crowds... And speaking of gambling, I hear that the extra tax on stupid people Powerball Lottery is up to like $340 million.

In my world: Physical therapy last night -- ultrasound, stretching and some anti-slouch exercises. I hope that they're actually therapeutic and not some caprice of my slouch-Nazi therapist... Tonight I look at the bike, get it ready for some night rides.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Self Portrait

Lego me -- I did this a while ago, just remembered to post it now. You can build your own here. Can't remember where I saw this, kudos to some blogger...

UPDATE: Found it. Thank you, Culture Cat! I should have known it was part of the whole "needs meme" thang.

Weekend Report

No morning weigh-in (oops, not expecting/avoiding bad news, just forgot)

Friday I was going to go to the Pocono cinema to see Grizzly Man, but got out of work just at the tipping point of "too late to drive up there and be on time." I did some stuff at home, then went out to WB instead. A good night, but nothing exceptional.

Saturday was my "selfish day" sans workout (doctor's orders): bank, Coffee Works, then over to the Garlic Festival before getting a haircut. It was a nice day (finally!) so I worked on the bike and did a short ride, tried to wake up the legs for Sunday while doing some more recon & planning for the Halloween ride. Ran into my friend Scott from work, who was tooling around by Riverside Park. He was trying to find the guys who were marking the course for Sunday's adventure race, looking to help out.

Saturday night I went out to Allentown, met a bunch of friends (Doug & Lori, Greg & Judy, Brian, Eric & Janna, Debbie, and Eric & Kris, big table) at Lobaido's for dinner. Turns out it was Eric R's birthday. He kept it a secret though from the people he invited (like me), so didn't get many presents. The place is BYO, so I brought a bottle of Eco Domiani chianti; most others brought something as well. Still not a big wine fan, but there were a few I liked. Dinner of course, was awesome, I just wish I had room for the legendary homemade ice cream afterward...

Sunday was the All-A-Muchy 50k race at Allamuchy, put on by my friends Bob & Karen. Excellent day, and I did pretty good though my friends Greg and Joe did much better, coming in 11th & 22nd respectively. I did manage to get one good prize though: fell over at one point, landed THWACK! right on a rock with my knee, directly on an almost-healed scab. Spent the rest of the race with a rivulet of blood... Got home about 4:30, went to bed and didn't get up until this morning.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Speaking Secret Alphabets

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 175.5#, 7.5% BF (NFL)
(No Friday weigh-in)

Reading: Graves's The White Goddess. Tree-alphabets, stone-age religious secrets hidden in medieval poetry... speaking of arcane knowledge...

Regex: Sed vs Perl: Found the source of my problem playing with sed: the syntax for regular expressions in sed and grep (and probably awk) is different from the regular expression syntax I learned for perl. I've been having problems with sed errors, and I've been been busting out my perl reference manual and just getting myself more confused. (I also think that the syntax doesn't quite match what I think the man pages are telling me.) What I thought was a common (and easily discoverable) building block is turning out to be splintered, and quite arcane indeed -- luckily, google and wikipedia came through.

Tonight I'm seeing that movie Grizzly Man. It was playing around here but I missed it; I'll be meeting Bob & Karen, also Joe & Cindy at the Pocono Cinema. Deja vu.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

And Now For Something Completely Waterlogged

Morning weigh-in: 176#, 10.5% BF

It's been raining a lot the last few days not much outdoor life going on. First PA, and now NJ got hit pretty hard. My cold is abating though, so I did do a short ride down along the Bushkill yesterday, maybe five miles of recon: creek wasn't up, and the silt/crap down there wasn't too bad so I'll be incorporating it into my Halloween ride. Saw a fish about 100 yards from shore, flooding must have been intense Saturday night. The Muskenetcong was amazing this morning, waaaay over its banks. Outta here after lunch, first day of physical therapy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Deep, In The Heart, Of Darkest America

Morning weigh-in: 174.5#, 10.5% BF

Interesting encounter with wildlife while on my recent travels: I can now attest that Chicago's O'Hare Airport, in addition to its amazing Corridor of Epilepsy, can also boast of having mice. One mouse anyway: it ran out from along the wall & up to my carry-on bag, then scooted away. But before it left, it looked me in the eye and sang "Yersinia pestis, yeedle deedle deedle daiddle deedle..."

You've already paid for this, listen to my heart beat.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Have Needs Too, You Know

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 8.5% BF

Weekend Report (loose ends): I went out Saturday night, saw The Foolz again, playing at Which Brew this time. I think this show was actually tighter and better than the one Friday at the FunHouse. Pre-show dinner was mozzerella & tomato "mini-me" salad and garlic-lime chili wings. I ended up talking to some couple next to me: they were making a short film, they were there to meet with a potential producer and, while waiting for him to show up, asked me to look over the script. Look for me in the credits, though I'm sure I won't see a dime...

Last night was spent organizing and archiving my digital photos. Everything I have prior to 2005 (incuding all sorts of stuff emailed to me) on one CD, and all my 2005 digital photos to date on another. Piece of cake.

Don Needs: Saw another game over at Pharyngula, Google "[your first name] needs" and list what comes up. Here's mine:

  • Anger Management: DON NEEDS A DATE
  • Reply, Elephant--Don Don needs his love--.
  • Opinions You Should Have - Comment on Uncle Don Needs You
  • RC Groups - Hey TAWG, Don needs one of these!
  • Don needs to recognize that a variable mortgage will usually have a lower rate than a fixed one.
  • Don needs our help
  • Don needs a loan but doesn’t want to cash in his Certificate of Deposit.
  • The Don needs underlings So hey, hey! Kiss that pinky ring!
    Give it to him baby! Uh uh, uh uh! Give it to him baby!
    Uh uh, uh uh! Give it to him baby!
  • Using his wits, Don needs to rescue his buddies who have been kidnapped by the...
  • The DON needs a corps of knowledge workers
  • To do his job Don needs a car, a phone, a computer and a connection between his office and home.
  • Big Don needs an outhouse so we are building one to house one of the two...
  • Don needs more help weaving all these issues together in to a comprehensive work plan
  • Darrell Beaver, a community resident, pops in to see if Don needs anything
  • Don needs our help and support.
  • Plus Don needs a new snow shovel.
Funny because it's true... though it's not as odd/cool as PZ's list, which may be because my name isn't as odd/cool as "PZ."

Reading: Caesar's The Gallic War. Also reread Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian on my recent travels.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bethlehem Steel From The Armory Parking Lot

I took this shot last Sunday, when it was just a little better than today... rode out to Salisbury, met Doug & Rich who were finishing with trail work, took a few photos which I posted over at my flickr page.
Today was a little different: cold, cloudy & wet, no ride, and no photos, but I was up at Sals again (with Doug, Brian, Eric, both Gregs, John E and Dave L) for trailwork. We got a lot done, finished the "dead-end" trail in fact, by finally making the connection to existing stuff.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sister Goldenhair

Back from Utah. Flew out at 5:00 PM or so on Wednesday, transfer in Chicago, landed 10:45 local time in Salt Lake City, then drove until 1:30 AM, which of course is 3:30 AM EDT... Got up, met colleagues at 7:30 & drove to plant, work work work & then drove back to Salt Lake City. Dinner at Red Rock Brewpub, then a 9:00 bedtime -- 7:45 AM flight, Chi-town layover, home by about 6:00 PM yesterday.

Getting from Salt Lake City to Provo was pretty easy, by the way, but Provo to Price was a bit tricky -- I stopped for coffee on the way, verified directions with the kid at the counter, and as I was leaving he goes "good luck going up the canyon, man." I was like "say what?" and he told me it was one of the deadliest roads in the US for 10 years running, just the thing to hear before your midnight drive... But hey I'm from Jersey -- at night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines. You know, sprung from cages on Highway Nine, chrome wheel, fuel injected and steppin' out over the line...

The road was all that though, twisty and steep, but I caught some good tunes which helped me through: singing along to the oldies ("...well I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, sister goldenhair surprise...") first, and then I found an alternative station, out of Provo I think. Jammin through the mountain passes to Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy and 311; the most perfect moment musicale was Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus, it was so Utah it hurt...

Anyway, got home yesterday evening, dinner at Porter's (with Brian, Doug & Lori and Greg & Judy) & a stop in with the crew at Which Brew, then over to the Funhouse with D&L to see the Foolz, also met Spanky there. The Funhouse, be it known, has cleaned and re-tiled its bathroom, not sure if the place'll ever be the same.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Nice Enough

No memory of weighing myself this morning...

Worked on the bike last night, after my visit to the doctor. Fingers are still pretty numb but Doc thinks it isn't too bad -- B vitamins, physical therapy are the new order of the day. I'll be starting PT sometime next week, after getting back from my trip to Utah.

Meantime, the bike: there's a squeaking & creaking, almost drove me nuts on the ride Sunday. I think it was either cranks or the suspension pivots, so I tightened this & lubed that; hopefully it'll be quieter on tonight's ride.

Monday, October 03, 2005

One Tin Soldier Rides Away

Morning weigh-in: 174#, 14% BF

Fourth Horseman: Really cool article about the Black Death and AIDS over at Daily Kos. What's not mentioned though, is the connection between rising standards of living (and population) in the 12th & 13th centuries, and the decisions, worldwide, to squander their built-up wealth and people in a series of wars -- thus making all of Eurasia ripe for the plucking when the pandemic finally came. How many horsemen?

Meantime, rode yesterday, the ride I wrote about. It was quite fun, but the weekend took its toll and now my legs are so tired they're sore...

UPDATE: Thank you, Fafblog!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Halcyon Daze

Beautiful day today. I went to the coffee shop, then the gym, then Nature's Way, then Genesis where I bought a new multitool, which is what caused me to beable to find the one I though I lost... Then I went for a hike at Dunfield Creek. That place sure looks different since I was last there, before the hurricanes of 2004. I miscalculated the amount of daylight I'd have left, and had to run down the mountain to get down before sunset but I made it in time -- good thing because all I had were my prescription sunglasses, I'd have been blind in the dark.

Now I'm off to Which Brew, where I-don't-know-who is playing (I expect the answer is "nobody") but they have Magic Hat Number 9, my all time favorite beer, on tap. Woo Hoo! Think I'll walk down... Tomorrow is a long day in the saddle, riding downtown (coffee shop brunch) then to Sals for a ride plus a little trailwork. The weather should be really nice again tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Beavers Are Moving East

Rode the towpath tonight, abbreviated ride because the wheel I'd had repaired had a flat, tube probably got pinched when it was put back together -- doh!! I happened to notice lots of signs of beaver along the trail, only much further east than I've ever seen them, very near to the Bethlehem Boat Club launch. Now more than ever, don't drink the Lehigh water...

Curses, Foiled Again!

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 178#, 10% BF
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 175.5#, 7% BF

Went to pick up my wheel last night. I dropped it off the night before, actually expecting the work to be done on the spot but the mechanic/owner wasn't in; when I went to the shop last night (plan: run in & get wheel, run out, rush to Jacobsburg before it gets too close to dark for a worthwhile ride) I find that the service tag left by the counter girl was cryptic, and the mechanic hadn't even started the job, "but I can do it right now for you." Well OK, but he's the only one there and a bunch of people come in, then problems arise during the fix... um, I didn't go riding last night. Very frustrating, should have just done it myself.

So instead I played around with awk, went to bed at midnight & forgot to eat dinner. Interesting tool, at least to me it was last night. Tonight is definitely the towpath, then maybe I'll go out but I'm not really in a party mood, so we'll see.

Meantime, here's more about those magic mice, and here's more about Korean stem cell medicine, and here's one about religion. In the immortal words of Emily Dickenson, slipping is crash's law...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Fun Game for Bookworms

I found this via Pharyngula and Majikthise: the American Library Association has posted its list of the 100 most frequently banned books from 1990-2000. How many have you read? Here's the list; the ones I read are in red bold:

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I got thirteen total, not great but then again they look like "young adult lit," with a bunch of "what is sex?" books thrown in -- in other words, the kind of stuff that:
1.a library would want to carry, and
2. would eventually get challenged by someone.

An Amazing Difference

Morning weigh-in: 178#, 12.5% BF

I got a new rear derailleur and cables/housing last night and put them on the bike, unbelievable how much of an improvement it is. Unfortunately, I found a broken spoke which I'll hopefully get fixed tonight. Went to Which Brew afterward for my usual Tuesday Night visit, and the usual crew were there. The music was pretty bad eighties, so I busted out my Rhino Postpunk Chronicles CD Scared to Dance, and we jammed to the "good eighties" for a little while. No exercise tonight, must finish up the weekend chores/errands that were pushed back by the VT trip.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Morning weigh-in: 179#, 11.5% BF

Ate an entire pepperoni pizza, all but one slice, for dinner last night. Guess what I'll have when I get home tonight? Meantime, I must pick up a new rear derailleur and cables on the way home, start fixing the ol' drivetrain -- other than that it's just laundry nite...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Vermont 50-Miler Photos

Saturday: Ascutney Mountain
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I posted my photos from our road trip to Vermont, you can find them here. This shot was taken on Saturday, the day before the race, by far the better day weather-wise. The sky was so blue-and-gold it looked more like California than New England.

Road Trip Review

Morning weigh-in: 174#, 12.5% BF

Friday: Travel Day. Got to VT at about 2:00 AM.

Saturday: Tourist Day. We got up around 10:00, couldn't get breakfast so we had lunch at the general store, then drove around that part of Vermont, sightseeing. "Sightseeing" in this case meant: going to Woodstock and getting turkish coffee, then going to the Long Trail brewpub, then returning to the hotel for race registration, then going to the Harpoon brewpub, then having dinner in a train station in Windsor. Bedtime was 9:00.

Sunday: Race Day! The weather was mostly cloudy and a lot cooler than I expected. Since we'd have to stage before sunrise in the freezing, foggy dark, & stand around like that for about an hour, we were dressed appropriately (arm/leg warmers, jacket). The layers came off as I warmed up, but went back on as the day cooled...
The course itself was great. The first half reminded me a lot of Blue Marsh, except with hills, while the second half was a mix very hilly dirt roads, and "real" Vermont singletrack, ie hardwood forest, with lotsa roots etc. I felt better on the second half, and I think miles 30-45 were my best -- after that I was just tired and trying to get it done. Finished with a time of 7:21, which gave me 99th place in Sport Vet. I came home with a few bike problems, which gives me something to work on this week.

Sunday was also a travel day; we were home by 10:30 but that was one tough drive. Luckily, I slept through most of it...

UPDATE: Fixed some typos.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Off To Vermont

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 8.5% BF

Did a towpath ride last night, then hit Which Brew (no bands), then over to Porters (open-mic night, but it was lame). Last night was my Friday night: I expected today to be a travel day & took the day off, but we're not leaving until 7:00 or so -- been doing bills, other stuff around the house. Now it's time for prepping the bike, packing etc. VASS VT-50 is on Sunday. B'bye...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Golden Cusp

Morning weigh-in: 176.5#, 7.5% BF (maybe the machine's broke)

Blasting the past: I saw this via Pharyngula....

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Here's mine, from this post written on Jan 4th, 2004:

I'd been to the Black Bread Cafe once or twice before and liked it, and I
think Doug & his wife (or was it Joe & Cindy?) ate there a few times as
well; it's a somewhat upscale place (though "precious" may be a better term)
with really good food.

Anyway, good meeting last night. Tonight I think I'll celebrate the autumnal equinox with a ride.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gimme Gimme Octopus

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 8.5% BF

I got a real kick out of this. Thank you, Sadly, No!

This is funny, and so is this, and this -- face it, these guys are evil geniuses -- but this is cool.

Chain Gang meeting tonight.

UPDATE: I think I'll be going to see this show.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I'm Feeling Much Better Now

Morning weigh-in: 175#, 3.5% BF (WTF?)

Had very little to eat yesterday, just a turkey sub but I did drink lots of water, so I was very surprised by that body fat number -- in reality it's probably 12%-15% but my scale measures electrical resistance in the legs, and I interpret low numbers as a sign of dehydration. I've been trying to get that number up, drinking a lot of water lately.

Meantime, the doctor visit. I already feel better. He put me on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory stuff for my wrist & told me to get a wrist brace, wear it especially while riding (hi Karen!), then got yet another nasal spray to open my blocked eustachian tubes, and antibiotics for whatever germs are living in my ear. Like I might have mentioned, I feel better already.

Reading: Just finished Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and I'm about to start The Kite Runner.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wow, Monday Vortex

Morning weigh-in: 174#, 8.5% BF

Body fluids still low... It's been an eventful weekend, possibly why I'm now sick at home instead of work...

RIP Les Korcsmaros: Les was the guy who crashed the van on the PPRAC ride. He broke his leg and had other, semi-minor injuries requiring surgery, but his weak heart couldn't take it -- they had to close him up, put him in an induced coma, and wait until his condition stabilized to finish the surgery. His condition never did stabilize; he passed away, without ever waking up, on Friday. Goodbye Les, you were alright.

Anyway... the name of the band Thursday night was Odd Mercy. Very good show. No riding or other exercise Thursday or Friday.

Saturday was the gym, then a trip to Englishtown for my mom's birthday. Mom, Dad, my brother Chris & his wife Tara, and their son Chris. Nice dinner, birthday cake.

Sunday I got up late, intending to kick back, but it was so nice I went out on the Turner, got brunch at Coffee Works, went to Genesis to buy tubes & found out that it was "Bike to Brunch Day" at Hugh Moore Park so I went there, then rode to Sals & did a very abbreviated loop. Despite all the food, I felt like I was bonking on the ride home.

After that I got ready and went to Megan's going-away party over at Art's house. Very nice, lots of fun, which became craziness as Megan's college, high school and work girlfriends started getting rowdy... Waterballoon fights, dirty dancing and chickenfights, these people keep me feeling young, but also make me feel old...

Burning the candle at both ends while fighting illness, not a good idea -- I now have that vertigo pretty bad, feels like sinus situation developing as well, going to the doctor in about an hour. Strangely enough, this weekend was packed with about a half dozen other things that I blew off: that RCST Bash, the race at Bear Creek, the Hillier Than Thou road century... mother of all schedule conflicts.