Friday, February 18, 2005

Stupid Car People

Morning weigh-in: 176#, 13% BF

Car still not done, they're still waiting for the cable. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Faulkner Subaru, but you suck. Reminds me of that Frank Zappa song "Flakes."

Rode home yesterday into a steady west wind, felt unusually tired and pissy right from the start -- realized I was bonking, or at least some kind of mini-bonk, so I stopped in Bloomsbury and got a few slices of pizza, felt much better. I got home at 7:00, so even with the wind and the dinner stop, I made good time -- I hammered up Washington Street. I'm worn out though, maybe bad nutritional discipline, or maybe just too much this early in the season, but I was totally whooped when I got home, not up for any more cycle commuting this week. When I saw that today would start at around 13 degrees and be windy I called a friend and bummed a ride. I then had some rice, chick peas & tahini, and was in bed by 9:00. This morning was great, I "slept in" all the way to 6:30 before getting up.

Tonight is K-Jo's 40th birthday party at Which Brew. Should be good, I need a weekend right about now.

One last thing: Funny juxtaposition in the Morning call today, Vioxx maker Merck says it'll be back on the market soon, on the same page as a story about the new law limiting class-action suits. Someone over there has a sense of humor...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The West Wind Hates Me

Morning weigh-in: 177#, 13.5% BF

Rode in to work again today, car still not done. Every day it's the same: weather report is A-OK in the morning or the evening before, I ride in to work and get a call that "the parts are still not in yet" -- they're waiting for a hood latch cable, shouldn't a car dealership just have these in stock all the time? -- and then the weather forecast goes south. Yesterday was supposed to be partly cloudy, but then a storm front blew through (luckily it cleared up before I left for home); today it was supposed to be sunny but now they're calling for snow flurries... Snow, even rain I can deal with, but in each case the new weather forecast also brought a 10-15 mph west wind, in other words a nice headwind for the ride home. Blech! However, every one of my bike commutes is the direct caloric equivalent of a half pound of fat (3 hours at 600 calories/hour), and I'm sure that my metabolism, with a kickstart every 12 hours or so, is burning even more. So it's an evil wind but it's blowing at least some good.

Last night: the Chain Gang meeting was good, and very productive. We had it at Which Brew, where the food and beer were great as always, but it seemed that they were a little overwhelmed by the number of people there on a usually quiet Wednesday night. By the way, Greg H came to the meeting and joined the club.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Been Thinking About Jan Cremer

No morning weigh-in: forgot.

Rode in to work again today, a little colder than yesterday but very pleasant -- I expected the cold & dressed accordingly, of course. Last night I was so tired, I basically had dinner and went to bed, but tonight is the Chain Gang meeting, and we're holding it at Which Brew, so not only do I have to step lively to get home (meeting is at 7:00), I have to be lively for a good while afterwards. My car should be done today, I'm expecting the "your car isready" call as we speak, so I can probably "sleep in" until 6:00 AM or even 7:00 tomorrow...

Not reading: Somewhere in my apartment is a paperback, Jan Cremer Writes Again, second book by the artist Jan Cremer. I found the book in the dirt, walking home from the Englishtown Auction in maybe 1980, started reading it aloud to my friends & decided to keep it. Basically "a Dutch 'Easy Rider' out of Henry Miller," as the back cover says, it's a fairly dirty adventure story of our hero Jan, motorcycling through North Africa & Ibiza, and trying to make a life as an artist in Holland. Until a few years ago I didn't even know that the real artist Jan Cremer even existed. If I find it, I'll probably read it again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Dawn Lap

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 178.5#, 12.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 180#, 11% BF

Bicycled to work today. Had to get up at 5:00 AM to do it, but it was very pleasant. I got to watch the sun come up as I rode in. Tonight I should get my car back, so it'll be back to slothville.

Six Degrees of Bereavement: they buried that boy yesterday. Seems that everywhere I go, someone is talking about it: their son played ball with him, or he was a schoolmate of someone's kid, cousin, friend...

Reading: Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. Great book, and I've always wondered whatever became of the author. Also reading Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave, by Ernest B. Furgurson. This is probably one of the best books on the Civil War I've seen, and the only book that actually makes sense of the Battle of Chancellorsville. Both of these are re-reads.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mr Pinata

Pretty good weekend:

Friday night I walked down to Which Brew, hung out with Stu & Kathy, then other regulars as the evening progressed. Guy was playing solo guitar & singing, went by the name of "Just Plain Don"... Cheesesteak chili, some milk stout, then I went across the street where some other solo singer/guitarist was playing. It was OK too, but I left early.

Saturday was my friend Pete's surprise 50th birthday party, held at Blue Mountain Vineyards. Very cool, I guess that kind of panache comes with being older & wiser... plenty of food, wine (of course), which got into the usual "what are are you a wine snob" kind of thing. Like cat people vs dog people, I land on the beer side of that fence -- besides, beer-bloat makes for good "checks and balances;" I don't know how to drink wine, have to be very careful not to guzzle it and get trashed. Very tasty stuff though, I found a merlot I liked and stuck with it, except when my buddy Dick S, who's not a wine snob but made a living importing and writing about wine, would recommend something. The party itself (quite apart from the wine) was very good. Pete's in the Chain Gang and also in the Wheelmen so there were a lot of bikers around, people I sort of know, got a chance to catch up.

Sunday (aka today) I went on a bike ride. I rode down the towpath with Brian; he turned around at Sand Island but I crossed the river and climbed up to South Mountain, where I rode with Doug, Eric, and Joe & Cindy. We did a shakedown ride for Cindy's new bike, which Joe got her for Valentine's Day. Great ride, but I put in 34 offroad miles by the time I got home... usually the towpath doesn't really count as "offroad," but today, especially in the afternoon when it thawed, it was a soft, energy-sucking mess. Took a nap, walked down to Porters for dinner, and when I'm done here it's early bedtime for me.