Thursday, March 24, 2005


Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 11.5% BF

So Tuesday night I went down to Which Brew, and the place was packed, a very unusual situation lately. I had dinner and talked to a few people, then when things thinned out I moved down the bar, sat closer to my usual Tuesday night homies, yo. Theresa was there too -- she's not a Tuesday regular -- and she seemed pretty bummed out so we got to talking. Next thing I know I'm giving her a big comforting hug -- strictly Platonic of course -- and there in my arms she tells me she'd been sick, and so she went to the doctor, and she has mono. Gaaaahhhh!!!

I played it cool, but when I got home I washed my mouth/nose/face/hands...

More paranoia: Got home yesterday, was thinking about encryption and security. I've been playing with ssh the last few weeks -- it's how I get a shell connection to the Super Dimensional Fortress from home anyway, but "secure shell" ain't the half of what it can do. I created another account (a separate, but very short sweet & painless, Linux voyage) on my machine, ssh'ed into it and displayed some photos via X-forwarding.

Digression: X is the window control system for unix, and it's "network transparent": there is no real difference between a program running on your CPU & displaying its windows on your screen, and running the program on some other machine while it displays on your screen. The problem with this (other than "what's the point?") is that the transmission isn't secure while traveling between machines, but ssh will "piggyback" the X connection over a secure channel. (It can also do the same with internet ports.)

Anyway, I got the X-forwarding to work between accounts on my single machine, but that's not the same as tunneling across a network... I have to find a unix machine where I can run an X-client program and forward it to my display (SDF will do this, but I have to upgrade my account, from a one-time payment of $36 for my current membership level to a $36/year level, just to try an experiment), or find a machine with ssh and an X server, and connect to my home machine from there...

I am also getting back into my exploration of encryption in general, playing with GPG.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Hell Yeah!

Got home in time to ride the towpath in the daylight (didn't need lights until the Sand Island turnaround), river was exactly the right color -- colors, as it reflected the sunset as well as being the perfect shade of gray-green and silver. On the way back, the waxing gibbous moon shone real purty on the rapids & waterfall.

Currently doing laundry. That is all.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Weekend Wrap-up

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 182.5#, 13% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 179#, 14.5% BF

NOTE: started this post on Monday, finished it on Tuesday.

Friday I went for a road ride, which didn't work out too well: I was supposed to meet a club member at Genesis Bicycles, but he never showed. So, I hung out for a bit, and as I was about to leave Mary M, my friend who works there, told me that Scott the guy who lived near me but moved to Nazareth, more than likely rode to Easton and was taking a yoga class, probably would be up for some company on the ride home. I headed over to Easton Yoga, sure enough his bike's there but the class doesn't end until 8:00 PM (it was only 7:00), no way I was standing on 6th & Northampton for an hour... left a message on his cell, kept riding but the wind was knocked out of my sails and I ended it early. Got home, got a message from Scott: he was now at Porters, or maybe he would be at Which Brew. I went downtown, more missed connections: he wasn't at WB and when I got to Porters I asked the bartender who said scott just left...

Digression #1: Talking to Mary, she invited me on the Genesis "Tour de Turtle" ride and Easter egg hunt at Jacobsburg Sunday. I was like, "are you sure it's a good idea to ride there right now, with the trail conditions as they are?" Trail conditions right now being wet, soft and sloppy, ie easily damaged by bicycles.
Her response was along the lines of "it's just little old me, how much damage could I possibly do?" Well Mary, every little bit hurts, but you also just told me it's not just little old you, it's a shop-sponsored group ride. How come the whole rider community in the Valley is talking about trail maintenance and avoiding damage right now, and Genesis cluelessly (and it's a willful cluelessness) decides to ride the most sensitive area around? At this point in her riding career, she really ought to know better, but that store has always had an insular culture.

So anyway, Saturday I go to the gym, then do some errands, then I have a bit of a picnic: I grab Mason & Dixon and some food from Nature's Way, head up to Riverside Park. I see a bunch of what must be Cub scouts hiking, and also a pretty big father-son bike outing, which stops to regroup right next to me. Pretty cool.
Joe G had a St Patty's Day party Saturday night. I had some fun there, saw Gary & Gina, also Joe's brother Jon (now a pro downhill racer, the dude's amazing); also Joe's sister, which I didn't even know he had. Got some good "growing up with my brothers" stories. I got tired and went home pretty early though, was in bed by midnight.

Digression #2 (in which the news comes home to roost): I'm only a casual observer of the puppet show, but I do at least know about the unending media circuses around Scott Peterson, who begat Michael Jackson, who begat the baseball steroids hearings... who begat Terri Schiavo. This one I've been following for a while, and now it's hatched into the foulest circus of all.

Digression 2.1: Just for the record, if I ever end up like Terri Schiavo I want to be allowed to die. I'm not fucking kidding.

Anyway, I was reading about the case on Saturday morning and, like it usually does, it reminded me of my grandfather. Later in the day I ran into a friend, whose grandfather had been sick and deteriorating for quite a while. Last time I saw her she told me that, since he refused dialysis, he had to get some kind of shot to keep his kidneys functioning, and he'd reached the point where the family decided it was time to stop the shots and let him pass on. This Saturday she told me that he'd died at home, in his sleep, a few days before.

She also told me about her cousin. I didn't know this but she -- the cousin -- had had spina bifida, and complications from the treatment had left her somewhat "slow" (thirty something, acts like a sixteen-year-old). Anyway, a few years ago her cousin had married (with the family's slight disapproval) some Canadian truck driver, and they now had a 4-year-old son. Turns out, the father had been sexually molesting the boy; they just busted him. He already confessed, and was pretty matter-of-fact about it according to my friend. She was on her way, after talking to me, to go visit her cousin, and I did not envy her.

Anyway, deja vu to see those same issues walking past me as well as appearing on the big screen. I have to say though, that the whole Terri Schiavo thing has got me very upset, like Abu Ghraib all over again. I expect some Elian Gonzales / Ruby Ridge incident before this whole thing is over.

So anyway, Sunday morning I get up to the ringing of the phone: it's Doug, canceling the trail maintenance, so I sleep in until about 10:00, play with computer for awhile and finally emerge from my cave about noon. Brunch at the Quadrant, returned home for more fiddling with the 'puter (delving into the mysteries of openSSH). I felt headachey, so I tried a nap and then, when that didn't work I took some Advil and went for a Sunday drive, north of Bethlehem until I hit 248, then 209 theough the Poconos and home via Rt 33.

Monday I blew off all exercise (despite my plans), ditto chores, to play more with the computer, so this morning I got up early and went for a run. I may do a short bike ride tonight.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Pynchon Community

El Peligroso would be proud...Pynchon Community