Friday, February 11, 2005

Only This Much Fun Please

Morning weigh-in: 179#, 12% BF

Car went in the shop last night: oil change & lube, a few minor repairs, & to see if/why it's leaking/burning oil. I didn't arrange for a ride to work today, figuring on maybe bike-commuting on the Iguana. My plan was to use the bike to get home from the dealer, do that as a sort of shakedown cruise for the commute. Things looked pretty grim in terms of time though (I have to leave the house by 6:00 AM, thus wake at 5:00, thus as early bedtime as possible when I bike to work), so I called a friend, left a message to beg for ride. Since I got no answer, I followed through on the rest of the plan, got the bike ready and packed my panniers for the morning, then left for the dealership a little after 10:00 PM.

Weather forecasts were for possible light flurries, but lots of wind overnight & into today -- & they weren't kidding about the wind! Strong enough to have the flags all stick straight out, but it was fairly steady & always from the North. My ride went north for only a mile or so, then cut east, paralleling US22 on back roads all the way to Easton, so I lucked out -- I hate riding into the wind, and this breeze was pretty strong. I was worried about my situation at first, but partway home a little voice said "admit it: you're enjoying this!" I was home by 11:30.

My friend had called me back, leaving a message that he'd be glad to give me a ride -- woo hoo! Another bullet dodged, though except for the early wakeup, I probably would have enjoyed the morning ride too.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Death In The Family

Morning weigh-in: 179.5#, 13.5% BF

Good workout last night at Brian's: me Brian and Greg on the trainers; sprints, intervals, amazing how hot and sweaty you can get in a cold basement... After that it was laundry night, and I went to Which Brew for dinner while the stuff dried -- but they were closed. I had a backup plan though, & walked over to Porter's for a cheeseseak and a Lancaster IPA.

One of the things I don't like about Porter's is the fact that their bar is small, it doesn't take many people to fill it. If you show up to eat alone, sitting at a table for four in a mostly-empty room can be pretty lame -- especially when there's a lively crowd scene at the bar (not ten feet away). So anyway, I ate pretty quickly (good cheesesteak), then got up and found a few people I knew. My garrulous friend Scott was there, told me what had happened across the street.

Which Brew is very much a family establishment: K-Jo has her sisters as occasional waitresses, her cousin Maura is one of the main bartenders, and Maura's sister sometimes helps out; also, her parents are fairly regular patrons. Others work there of course, but this sets the general tone. Apparently, a cousin, a young guy I never met but who sometimes helps out on Saturdays, was having some kind of leg surgery and there were complications... from what Scott told me -- he was over there -- they got a phone call at WB that he'd passed away, maybe about 8:30 or so, and everyone was so upset (& also had to deal with family emergency) that they closed early. Tragic. I gathered from what Scott told me that the guy was hardly more than a teenager. It'll probably be pretty grim over there for a while.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Morning weigh-in: 178#, 14% BF

This is a shot of my breakfast at Coffee Works, our first stop on the Chili Ride. Right now it's the most popular of my photos on Flickr.

I decided to skip the gym yesterday, instead went for a hike at Merrill Creek, and then I uploaded my Chili Fest photos. After that I blew off laundry & shopping to play some more with the computer.

Ran this morning, riding the trainer with Brian & Greg tonight.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

New Leaf, Slowly Turning

Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 12.5% BF

I skipped the spin class last night, instead took the singlespeed down the towpath/bike path. Only an hour ride (, then went to Mug Club Night at Which Brew, had dinner with Brian. I was home & in bed by 10:00; morning was a pretty easy wake-up at 6:30 for a change. If this keeps up I'll be able to start running again... Tonight is the gym, followed by laundry. I usually hit WB while the laundry dries, but I think I'll do a little food shopping instead. Meantime, the house is still clean.

Monday, February 07, 2005

You Shall Know Us By Our Stained Shirts

Morning weigh-in: 179#, 15% BF

I spent the weekend sort of battling a cold, still on the edge of it & I don't know which way the tipping point is going to go... stayed in Friday night, blew off the gym on Saturday -- spent the day w/ housework, even though it was beautiful outside. Living room, kitchen & bathroom are pretty much up to code now, and the enforced rest did me a world of good.

Between the sinus situation and the medicine I was taking for it, I didn't have much of an appetite. I don't even remember eating dinner Friday night (probably just went straight to bed), and breakfast was all I ate on Saturday, until I suddenly got very hungry about 10:00, decided to go out after all. I went to Which Brew, grabbed a cheesesteak and a Lancaster Milk Stout. I checked out the band (Illinois Slim) talked to Stu and Cathy, & saw Ed there as well, but didn't make it "a night out," went home to bed pretty quickly.

All this sets the stage for...

The Superbowl of Chili: yesterday was Superbowl Sunday, which meant it was also the 10th Annual "Superbowl of Chili" at Pearly Baker's Ale House. I've been to all of them since the beginning. How it works is, the back dining room at Pearly Baker's is emptied of the regular tables, and long tables are set up against all the walls; about 30 different local restaurants and pubs (some caterers as well) bring their chilis. There is a panel of judges for the main competition, and also a "people's choice" award. A five-dollar donation to charity gets you in, and you get to sample all the chili -- tiny little samples, but after 30 of them you're stuffed -- and vote on your favorites. It's a mob scene; outside of Heritage Day it's the biggest deal in Easton every year.

My/our participation has evolved into something of a ritual: some outdoor activity beforehand, then the Chili Contest, head next door to Mother's (much lesscrowded) to regroup, then a walk up the street to Porters to end the day. This year we started from my place and did an MTB-on-road ride, dropped downtown to Coffee Works for breakfast, rode around near the library and Easton Cemetery, then took the (snowy and difficult) trail along the Bushkill to 13th Street and back home. "We" in this case was myself, Brian, Eric and Doug & Lori -- Lori also volunteered to be designated driver, after she saw us in action last year... The ride was very good, up until we hit the snow, then it was difficult but doable (barely). We spent a little more time than we should have with this phase of the day, and arrived waaaay late to Pearly Baker's: usually we get there around 11:00, an hour before the start, and get a spot on line inside the bar. This time things had already started by the time we got there, and we were waiting down the block; warm weather was a lucky break but it was quite a while before we got to eat any chili. The bar was crowded, and inside "the chili room" was total chaos as usual, lots of people & great chili -- bumping into people, juggling a cup of beer, pencil and score sheet, Doug and I got matching chili stains on our shirts but we managed to get most of it in our mouths. Saw a few familiar faces, but not as many as I expected, no Pete H or Dick S... of course, we didn't spend much time in Pearly B's after the chili, so maybe I just didn't see them. Mother's, Porters, home, early bedtime & I missed the Superbowl for the umpteenth time in a row...