Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year-End Wrap-up

Posing For Photos
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I'm back. Actually I haven't really been away, just playing too much to have anything to say here. I've been off for over a week for the holiday (going back Tuesday), and living as if it were a week of Saturdays: get up, browse the web, go to the coffee shop, ride through the afternoon, then either Porters or Which Brew for dinner & music. Not a bad life, but it's ending after tomorrow.

Meantime, I have some new photos up on Flickr. Enjoy!

In terms of a year-end wrap-up, I really have nothing to add to what I've been saying all along -- so Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Silent Night

Happy Christmas, war is over.

See you in a few days.

"Whose father, whose son will I be killing tomorrow?"
-- from "Christmas in the Trenches"

A Day In The Light

Under The Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
My plan was to participate in the "Day In The Life Of: Dec 22" Flickr photo pool (post photos from that particular day; the theme being light), but my shots didn't come out too well, and my best "light theme" one, on the right, was taken a minute too late to qualify... Oh well, it was a good day and good evening, and I have about two dozen other photos posted. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Light Upon The Water

Originally uploaded by otarako.
Merry Christmas! Isn't that a cool photo? -- flickr tossed it up as one of the "most interesting photos in the last seven days." I agree!

Meantime, I just thought I'd mention that Against The Day is just getting weirder and weirder...

I did that road ride today, went up along the Delaware ,north on 611, then (eventually) back along Bushkill Drive. Very nice, the water in creek and river had that "really cold water" look, even though the temperature was pretty moderate.


I'm at home right now, waiting to go pick up my car from its oil change. Yesterday I slept in, then ran -- in daylight! -- and rode the towpath (ditto daylight) before going out to do some Christmas shopping. Today is more shopping when the car is ready, to be followed by a trip to the gym. Tonight, third night in a row, is Which Brew. Ahhhh, life is good...

Meantime, I'm playing with the computer.

Sadly, No! A site you should read every day, otherwise you'll miss gems like this, and this. Speaking of "whoops," check this out. I spend a lot of time biting my tongue, to keep from saying "told you so" to a lot of people, but some people I feel deserve at least that much, and a hearty "now that you've done your part to wreck this country and kill thousands, maybe you should STFU now -- and if you weren't such a shit you'd have already hung yourself in shame." But I'm not bitter.

Sun's out, think I'll go for a road ride.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flickr Catch-Up

Doug Down The Hill
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 183.5#, 11.5% BF

I posted my Mahlon shots over at my flickr page. That's a photo of Doug riding down a fairly steep section -- some good riding, but I also like the color juxtapositions, especially that rock on the left.

Anyway, last night at yoga I almost did a headstand -- I was so excited, like a little kid. Not the greatest challenge in the world I know, but there are things going on there, that it never occured to me to be able to attempt, that I know someday I'll be doing. I think that's at least part of why I like it, there are totally new challenges, like the "adventure-bike" days.

Dinner was GoLean Crunch.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Naptime Redux

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 12% BF

Started this a little too diary-like, and it ran over, finished it on Tuesday...

On Friday I picked up a new rear tire at Bike King for the Turner. By the way, I'm going back to the WTB tires, Velociraptor 2.1 in the rear and Motoraptor 2.3 (if I can get it) for the front. (For now the Kinetics is still on the front; it's still too new to think about replacing.) I'm already happy with my decision.

I was too tired physically to want to ride, so I went to Which Brew for an abbreviated Friday night, even though I stayed longer than I expected.

Saturday was yoga, then errands and breakfast, then the gym, then some Christmas shopping and more errands, worked on bike aqnd -- suffice to say I was running around from about 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Saturday night was Fred & Lara's party, and since I was up the street from Joe G I stopped by his Xmas shindig as well. Looonnggggg day...

Sunday was a group ride at Mahlon Dickerson, about a dozen people in all. I felt really good and was riding well (for me, for this time of year) so was happy. Lunch/dinner afterwards was at the Thirsty Moose, then it was home and I slept straight through, from about 5:30 PM until morning.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Morning weigh-in: 185.5#, 9% BF

WEnt to the gym last night, then to the Which Brew "re-gifting party." I ended up with a bottle of wine, which I'll be bringing to Fred & Lara's party tomorrow night. Early night despite everything, but I skipped running this morning -- I was too tired, figure I needed the sleep...

Hitting the towpath tonight, then tomorrow is a busy day.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Healthy Stuff

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, I forget the BF

Last night didn't work out quite as planned: I rode the towpath with Doug & Eric, but we didn't actually finish (late start, slow pace) until almost 11:00, then went out to get some food, ended up at Shruty's after exhausting all other possibilities -- I didn't get home until almost 1:00 AM. Needless to say, I didn't bother getting up early to run this morning. Chili, cheesesteak, two pints o' Guiness and skip the exercise...

By the way, new photos at Flickr.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Echoes? Reflections?

Morning weigh-in: 184#, 10.5% BF

Still nibbling away at Against The Day, up to maybe page 85-90 or so. Just went through some stuff involving the Michelson-Morley experiment, bar-room cabals of aether-enthusiasts growing despondent, waxing philosophical, & speculating on double refraction and alternate identities/realities, as rumors of the experiment's results start seeping out of the lab... Next was stuff about a traveling photographer ("alchemist") and his young daughter, who ends up getting a job in Cripple Creek, where we run into labor agitator and dynamite junkie Webb Traverse blowing up a railroad bridge on the Fourth of July -- that's where I closed the book the other night.

"Echoes" brings to mind "resonances," as in "harkening back to the mystic chords of memory etc," but maybe the more sterile but light-oriented "reflections" will have to do... there is a lot here that I'm picking up: Speculations on the Luminiferous Aether like those on the Soniferous Aether in Gravity's Rainbow and that whole 19th-century vectors-vs-quaternions thing, the father and daughter with missing mother mirrors Zoyd and Prairie in Vineland (ditto the Traverse family thing), and now shades of The Monkey-Wrench Gang.

Anyway, it's tomorrow and I didn't finish this post, so what-EVAH...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There Are No Ghosts, Only Monsters

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 13.5% BF

I was going to say something about Pinochet's death the other day, but better writers beat me to it: here's a little something from Sadly, No!, and here's where Steve Gilliard weighs in (he got that here, also very good -- but notice the trolls in the comments). It's really too bad I don't believe in Hell, now's a time I could use it -- I wonder what Isabel Allende is thinking right now?

Anyway, yoga last night, running this morning, dinner (and breakfast) in between was the last of the GoLean Crunch (aka Crack-In-The-Box, my favorite but extremely gassy cereal) that I bought the other day.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Morning weigh-in: 185#, 10.5% BF

Tough weekend...

Friday night I went to the Long Valley Pub to meet some friends for a holiday dinner. Good place: pretty decent brewpub beers and excellent food, and much closer to where I work than I realized -- I arrived early because of that, and got to check out the bar. The people I met there for dinner were my new friends Joe and Dawn, with a number of their Piccatinny Arsenal co-workers and similar folks, all people they ride with, maybe a dozen all told. (I'd met most of them from Allamuchy this year: Chris, Lenny, Tony and Beth all raced.) Dinner was a Philly cheesesteak wrap, washed down with some of the local Porter, appetizers were some hot wings and calamari -- the only calamari I've ever liked. Conversation was good but a bit confused, I talked mostly with Beth (sitting next to me) and pick up bits and pieces of stuff from further down the table. Big group, lotsa stuff going on.

I left there about 9:00 and was home by 10:00; I was tempted to go to Which Brew for a nightcap but decided to go to bed instead.

Saturday is supposed to be my "selfish day," when I get most of my chores done, but it seems to be turning into an exercise day. I started off with an early morning yoga class, then went to the Coffee Exchange for breakfast before going to the gym.

I've been taking a lot of beginner yoga classes (naturally), but felt that the time was right to start moving up, which is where Saturday comes in: the class is listed as "mixed level," as in intermediate, "previous experience strongly recommended." The last time I took a Saturday class it seemed to be run at a higher level (and pace) than I expected, and though I felt like I was OK and not totally lost there, I was left wondering if there wasn't some level between the beginner levels and this class -- and this Saturday's class fit that bill exactly.

Anyway: yoga, coffee, gym, then I went to take those pictures of the Christopher Columbus statue. They didn't turn out as nicely as I would have liked, but I will post them anyway. Shopping, lunch at the Quadrant, then home and it was time for a nap.

I got up, went out but my Saturday night was pretty abbreviated: corned beef & cabbage dinner at Which Brew, caught one set of the band and I was home by 10:30, to finish my nap...

Sunday was another early morning, and another workout chasing Bob and friends around Allamuchy. I caravanned down with John C after meeting him for breakfast, and the ride (two rides: a "fast group" comprising me, Bob, John, Joe C, Joe G, Cindy, a Brit named Alex and Steve F, and a "slow group" of the people I saw Friday night). About four and a half hours of hard riding, cool but dry and very pleasant, and we were back at the cars. I was whooped once again. Home, another nap, and then I caught the first half of the Cowboys game while eating a steak sandwich w/ Magic Hat #9 at Porters, before going back to bed.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Comedy Gold

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 11% BF

A lot of people are piling onto this lame Christopher Hitchens article, including Amanda Marcotte and Steve Gilliard (check their comments for more goodness), so other than "what they said," all I really have to add is that here in reality, of my three funniest friends, two are women.

A Change in the Weather: Got up this morning and, though it's usually quiet at 6:00 AM, it seemed especially silent outside and my first instinct was to look out through the blinds. Snow! Not much, maybe a quarter inch accumulation, but it was enough to turn even the grass white. My run was freezing, it was ten degrees and windy out there.

Winter Harvest: This time of year has always been pretty tough around here (work), with the physical stress of the first cold weather combined with the emotional stress of the holidays; one or two of my co-workers passes away every year around this time. It's not always by surprise, in the sense of someone healthy getting hit by a bus or something, but even if the person was not in the best of health it's never really expected. This morning I came in heard that Gene C passed away last night. He was older and had once been very overweight, but he'd manage to lose quite a bit over the last year or so. Still, he had heart problems, and he'd recently had some procedure done, so maybe it was getting worse -- he was here working yesterday though. Nice guy, easy-going and very savvy, influential here and trusted by our customers. Very sad.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bike. Beans. Bed.

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 13% BF

Worked late last night, got home & did some chores & then went for a towpath ride at about 8:45. Real easy pace on the singlespeed, got home around 10:45 and microwaved a can of black beans for dinner, then went to bed.

Got up this morning, ran, and now I'm back at work -- lunch is a turkey sub from the place up the street, the other half slated for dinner since I'll be here late again -- hitting the gym on the way home. Time flies...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Now I'm Somebody

If you go to this webpage about Christopher Columbus monuments, you can find this page about the statue in Easton. Picture look familiar? That's because I took it! Used with my permission of course... the guy found it on Flickr & asked me if he could use it. Of course I said yes, and will be getting him some better shots if I can. Stay tuned...

Awww, Meatloaf Again?

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 11% BF

(Comments should now be working OK...)

Did chores and went to yoga last night, then did more stuff at home, then had dinner at Which Brew -- this time I was right, they did have meatloaf, with mashed potatoes and corn. Meatloaf sandwich, actually, and while I'm not usually a big fan of meatloaf this was really good. Washed it down with a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout.

No run this morning: tonight is a towpath ride. It's gonna be cold.

I don't usually talk about much more than myself, and usually make a point to avoid politics but that's not true of all bloggers -- here's one person's fiery explanation of why she blogs. Go read it! A-and here is a little something else that's interesting, in the same vein but a little more shameful.

What child is this? I saw a review about The Road the other day, that the little boy represents a sort of Christ figure. Hmmm, I can see it...

"Our hearts were singing,
It felt like Christmas time"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wot, No Meatloaf?

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 12.5% BF

So last night I went to yoga, then came home & wrote the rant that was my last post, then went down to Which Brew for Mug Club night (where I apparently missed Brian by a few minutes), and continued my rant there...

For some reason, I thought that they had a meatloaf special, but it was just an unsubstantiated rumor so I had a cheeseburger instead, plus a Weyerbacher Winter Ale.

Got up this morning & ran; tonight is more yoga.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow Squall

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 13% BF

First snowfall for the season this morning, a squall that blew through around 10:00 AM. No accumulation, just wind and flurries for about fifteen minutes and it's been pretty clear ever since.

Had a pretty good weekend, with one exception...

Skipped the towpath ride Friday night (that's not the exception), rain and especially lightning gave me the excuse for an unscheduled rest day. Went to Which Brew, caught Post Junction but I left early and was in bed by say 11:00.

Saturday I got up early and went to 8:00 AM "mixed level" ("some previous experience strongly recommended") yoga class, which was a quantum leap up, in pace and intensity, from the beginner classes I'd been taking. I knew what to do (for the most part -- I skipped the headstands), or could fake it by watching my neighbors, but this class was way more of a workout than any I'd done yet. It felt great, actually, and the experiment was such a success that I'll probably be incorporating this class into my Saturday routine.

After that was breakfast at the coffee shop, then the gym, where I felt I did well despite the earlier workout, then chores and a nap. I met friends for dinner at Cactus Blue (awesome time) then went to Which Brew. Awesome time there too, and Joe G showed up and we were actually having a pretty good time -- until he decided to pick a fight with another friend. Shit mist sprayed over the whole evening, nice move wacko.

Saw him the next morning at the Sunday trailwork session at Sals (he was hiking with his dog, not there to help of course) and was all like "whatever." Yeah, "whatever" back at ya, thank God I don't have to deal with him on a regular basis anymore, or be the one who has to apologize for him...

Good solid day of trail maintenance though, we got a lot done, then went for a nice ride (hard, and I was dogging it), and I went home to another nap.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thine Alabaster Resonances

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 13.5% BF

Been easing my way into Against the Day; last night I got up to about page 46. I'm completely absorbed, but the going is slow because there's so much going on and I don't want to miss anything... I read parts that seem to be echoes of Mason & Dixon, and Vineland and Gravity's Rainbow (Wikipedia's front page had an article about The Crystal Palace the other day); other things remind me of my own dreams, especially my dream-Easton landscapes; and last night there was an appearance by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, visiting the Chicago Worlds Fair -- shades of V and "Under the Rose" as bodyguards try to prevent his murder -- and looking to "hunt" Hungarian stockyard workers. (I remember visiting Franz Ferdinand's residence at Konopiste, and seeing the thousands of deer antlers and boar tusks mounted on little plaques, like Little League trophies of appreciation, covering every wall. Live by the sword, die by the sword...) It's like he's talking directly to me.

Anyway: worked late last night, then went to the gym, where things are going really well by the way, then home & some reading before an early bedtime. Tonight will be another towpath ride on the singlespeed, then off to catch Post Junction playing at Which Brew.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bird. Dog.

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 12.5% BF

Rode last night, did the towpath on the singlespeed. I met up with Joe G and Bob R (Rob likewise ss'ing it) and Joe's dog Riley. They'd started from Sand Island, got to Riverside Park and turned around there, and I caught up with them just past the Bethlehem Boat Club. They were moving rather slowly (in fact they were stopped when I found them) because of the dog -- dogs are much faster than bikes on real singletrack, but the towpath puts them at a relative disadvantage and you have to take it easy on them. But, that's the kind of ride I was looking to do...

Like I said, when I ran into them they were stopped and giving Riley a breather, and we sat in the dark for a while, BS'ing and watching the river. While we were there a crane (or maybe a heron, one of those kind of birds) landed by the riverbank, on a downed tree trunk over the water. It was situated very dramatically, standing on one leg in silhouette against the light of the river, framed by the dark woods all around, and we stood watching until it noticed us and flew away. Pretty cool.

We took off from there, had a few more wildlife incidents (deer in the canal) and when we got to Sand Island we hung out and watched an enormous flock of crows fly around from tree to tree. Also very cool. I left them there, interacting with more deer on the way back (they were a little less shy now that the dog was gone), and hit the hay almost as soon as I got home.

This morning I got up early and ran, and tonight is the gym.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back For More Abuse (In Three Parts)

Me again. It looks like just I'll have to get used to this new ugly look for my blog...

Went to yoga last night, pleasant surprise when I saw Art there. I also saw Megan, who took the same class, but I didn't recognize her until she got right up in my face (I don't wear glasses in class). As usual, after it was over I was pretty glad I went, though I had reservations beforehand because of nose/ear/stuffiness issues.

After that I went home, changed, and went to Which Brew for dinner.

UPDATE: Fiddling with the new Blogger setup, I think I found a look I can live with for now, and now I just need to get comments up & running again and I should be golden.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just Testing The Waters

Posing Outside The Pillbox
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I switched to Blogger Beta today, which trashed my layout (without the graphics it looks horrible), but may allow me to post photos directly from flickr again. We'll see in about a minute...

By the way, this is a shot from the Black Friday ride. We stopped to explore the old pillboxes and I got a shot of Dawn and Joe.

I / I See Light / Without Anger

Morning weigh-in: 183.5#, 13% BF

Into the beginning of Against the Day, and I'm already pretty absorbed... (I may have to re-read Vineland, maybe re-evaluate/rehabilitate its status in the Pynchon pantheon; there are rhetorical and thematic, and also character, continuities between these two which all of a sudden make Vineland look a lot better.) Anyway, a central motif in Against the Day will apparently be light: light and dark, electricity and electromagnetism, I'm liking it already.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Strawberry Salton Seas Forever

Morning weigh-in: 185#, 9% BF

Fucking charming. I just finished reading this, and now I read this.

Meantime, I saw that "Borat" movie Saturday night. Too funny, I thought I was going to die I was laughing so hard... Hard gym workout in the morning, and I was feeling tired and still a little sick so I went home (straight to bed after the movie. Sunday I/we took advantage of the nice weather, and rode up in Tamaqua.

Friday, November 24, 2006

"Oh, boy!" cried Darby Suckling...

What to do? I got home from the Thanksgiving visit, planning to go out tonight and found my Amazon order -- it's not one, but two books, which I now realize I should never buy more than one book at a time, to avoid trying to read them together... Anyway, I'm about 35 pages into The Road and it's already broken my heart, and I'm a page into Against the Day, which is where I got the quote for this post's title.

Good Thanksgiving visit: Mom & Dad, Uncle Pat, Chris & Tara & not-so-young Christopher, and Tara's parents, a full table for the turkey dinner. A little birthday cake for Uncle Pat afterwards, and I was as stuffed as that bird... Stayed up into the wee hours & watched "Jaws" with my parents.

Today was a singlespeed ride at Huber Woods and Hartshorne Parks (near Red Bank, NJ, ie near where I grew up), where I was joined by my friends, new club members Joe and Dawn. They're from up near Allamuchy, but have been wanting to check these trails out. Happy to oblige, and it was nice to ride there with someone for a change, almost like showing the place off.

I think I will go out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Woodland Hijinks

Sals Trailwork: Rich and Spanky
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
By the way, we did trailwork at Sals on Sunday. Pretty big crew: besides me there was Doug, Dave, Bob R, Bernie, Spanky, Joey V, and Greg & Judy. We were basically prepping a new trail, which didn't need much more than rake-and-ride (a little benchcutting here & there), and got a good chunk of the trail done.

Towards the end of it we saw a bunch of ATV'ers riding illegally in the area, and someone got ticked off enought to call the police. As we were waiting for something to happen (two of us went to meet the cops at a nearby parking lot), the ATV's basically rode right up to us, ruining the trail as they went -- we accosted them as they were bushwacking, before they got to our new stuff, and Joe managed to keep the situation defused but we basically made them back out and leave, and also found out where they parked their trailers. Well, we relayed this info to the guys hanging with the cops, who dispatched a squad car and busted these dudes just as they fgot back to their cars. Some were from Jersey (like they told us they all were) but a few were locals. It should have been a $300 fine each, but they all got off with a warning.

Ack Ack A Dack

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 11.5% BF

Got a call the other day from my high school friend Mike B, telling that another HS friend, Steve Spodak, was in the hospital. Congestive heart failure, difficulty breathing, diabetes -- if you saw Steve or know him, you really wouldn't be surprised: he's always been pretty heavy, and sort of out of control with the food/drink issues (among many other things).

Apparently, he was hanging with yet another old friend (Bob N, who is now, amazingly, a radiologist), and Bob happened to notice the breathing & made him get it checked out, which is what landed Steve in the hospital. I talked to Mike after he visited; it sounds like Steve is kind of in denial about his health problems, since he was trying to get someone to bring him a cheeseburger from the cafeteria, or at least a Coke from the vending machine. Hmmm, sounds so familiar...

Got a Spodak on my back,
It's a Spodak attack!

Reading: Just finished rereading Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Just in time too, since I got an email from Amazon, saying they just shipped Pynchon's new (woo-hoo!) Against the Day and McCarthy's new The Road. They should both be here by the weekend.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Now It Can Be Told

After The Party
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I stayed home from work yesterday, stayed in most of today too, waiting for the Verizon repairman. (I've had no landline -- no incoming calls, no dialtone on my regular phone -- for a little more than a week.) I made an appointment for the repairman to come out, earliest possible day was Friday and I'd have to be home when he showed up, sometime between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. I waited until 4:00 before calling to ask what the story was, and found out they'd cancelled the visit because they ran some kind of test an surmised that the line was OK... Um, thanks for letting me sit around all day waiting, and no it still doesn't work.

They apologized, said someone would be here today -- I insisted it had to be after 2:00, I wasn't sitting around all day again -- and today I got a call at 1:30 saying their workload was too big and they'd have to come another day. I almost bit the woman's head off, let her know just how I felt about that, and sure enough a repairman was here at 4:00. Wires in the house are fine, wires to the house are fine, but at the interface box outside, all the wires have been cut -- not ripped or broken, professionally de-installed.

Turns out, my neighbor had switched to RCN phone service (I found this out later), and RCN sent out some assclown to make the change, which he apparently did by cutting all the connections, then re-connecting my neighbor's line, leaving me disconnected. All's well that ends well, and I thanked the Verizon repairman for helping out, but am now preparing to let RCN know exactly what kind of dipshits I now know them to be.

Long story, short pier: I didn't have internet access at home for a week, now it's back and I have my latest pictures, from both the chili ride and the McSorley's bus trip, posted on Flickr.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Take A Deep Breath, Feels Like You're Choking

Morning weigh-in: 185.5#, 12.5% BF

Chores, yoga, then tuna & wilted greens aglio e olio over fettucine. I can't stop eating that stuff when I make it.

No run this morning, I'm taking it as a rest day (it's also the Chain Gang meeting). Tomorrow is the gym, Friday is the towpath, Saturday is the gym and maybe yoga beforehand (early, but it's a "mixed" rather than "beginner" class), and Sunday will be another ride.

Good news and bad news: I've been using the neti pot regularly, and sinuses finally opened up yesterday morning, so I've been happy that they now can drain -- but of course I'm not all that happy with that whole draining experience. Terrible time breathing in yoga last night, took some antihistamine/decongestant/antitussive before bed. Mmmmm, codeine... shiny purple candy-like syrup...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gutterball Knock You Out

Morning weigh-in: 184#, 11.5% BF

Fighting my way out of one rut and into another...

Dinner last night was great; that bean and tomato stew turned out to be totally awesome, and very filling. I had a little before yoga then a full plate when I got home. Good thing I like it, because I have a lot left over.

Anyway, pre-dinner then yoga: pretty nice once again, and it was good because it felt like a real workout -- I also felt like I "got it" with a few poses, but of course that didn't last... Saw Violetta there as well, nice surprise, also Lara from Which Brew, who takes the bellydancing class after my class.

Went to bed early (head cold, uh-oh looks like sinus), got up and ran again this morning. Again, just a mile, and did it at a 14-minute pace again, but that's where I'm supposed to be right now.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Missive From The Land Of Boring

No morning weigh-in...

So this weekend: Friday night was an easy singlespeed ride on the towpath, mostly just sit & spin, then some yoga to loosen up and dinner at Which Brew. Ginger-carrot soup, nachos, Weyerbacher Winter Ale. Saturday: hard workout at the gym, followed by a nap; nitelife was Which Brew again, where I ran into Doug & Lori (they were there Friday too), Eric & Kris, and their friends whose names escape me... I ate an enormous amount of food, I was starving.

Sunday was my "re-dedication" ride: a nice easy road ride, but it was supposed to rain and I was going to ride in the rain, like signing my name in blood or something, to push home to myself that I'm serious about training -- and this time, I mean it! (Once upon a time, about ten years ago or so, it wouldn't have even been an issue. Sigh.) It never actually rained while I was riding, but I'm not sure if that was a bad thing or a good thing.

I got home, did some chores, and then did something I swore I'd never do: I went grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon. I needed to buy food (by dinnertime) if I was going to be eating at home like I wanted, so off I went to the supermarket. It wasn't too bad, though the supermarket was way crowded, like bumper-to bumper with the shopping carts. Bought a bunch of meat & veggies etc, actually just enough for the meals I have planned for the week, then came home & cooked tempeh-veggie stir-fry for dinner.

The Big News: I went to the PPRAC '07 kickoff meeting last night, and signed up for next year's Perimeter Ride, so yes I'm doing it again this summer and I'll be going a-begging for cash pretty soon. You have been warned...

Ran this morning, one mile at very slow (14 minute) pace, then made tonight's crock-pot dinner: tomato-bean stew. One from the recipe book, we'll see how it works out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

"P" Is For "Prostaglandin"

Mornign weigh-in: 186#, 12% BF

I think that's the name of the chemical, maybe a hormone, that muscles produce when they're rebuilding themselves. It helps to absorb or assimilate protein or something, but it's also the stuff that makes muscles ache the day after they've been exercised -- it keeps you from abusing them again until they're fully rested & restored. I think I've got some in my legs right now, great workout last night...

(By the way, that's why you shouldn't take Advil for muscle aches if you're working out: it blocks the prostaglandin, so the muscles don't hurt but they also don't regenerate, and you've wasted your workout effort.)

After that I went to Which Brew, but had dinner ( the last of the chili) at home beforehand. Tonight will probably be similar to yesterday, except there's an easy ride on the agenda.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November Sun

Morning Weigh-in: 184.5#, 12.5% BF

I noticed this the other day: that thin white November daylight is back. (I was going to mention it then, but then it became cloudy & rainy for a few days.) The light won't really turn golden again except maybe at dawn or dusk, until around New Years, and before that the rivers have to turn gray-green first. Silverlight express, time for some road rides?

Worked late last night, then got a call last night on the way home: my friend Greg's car had broken down, he was at the car dealer and needed a ride from there to his house. Happy to do it -- picking him up was on my way home, his wife was out of town & couldn't rescue him, and he & she were the ones who regularly took me shopping when my ankle wouldn't let me drive -- but that meant skipping the gym. No problemo, I had a backup plan...

Instead of the gym, I went for a run, then did some yoga to recover & loosen back up. I haven't tried to run since about July (when I had some bad experiences, leg wasn't fully ready), so I took it real easy, just did a mile and it took me 14 minutes to do it. I felt pretty good, though there were twinges in the ankle -- mostly on the tibia side, and mostly the little "balance muscles," so no worries, I hope. I was a little surprised by the yoga though, how much of a difference I could see (and especially feel) last night.

Tonight is the gym, followed by (maybe) a weeknight out. I can always blame laundry...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Bunch Of Crows Perched On A Dead Deer In The Rain

Morning weigh-in: 184#, 11.5% BF

...That's what I saw on the way in to work this morning. It was off the side of the road and looked like a new kill; the crows weren't feeding so much as just standing around yelling at each other, and the hide still looked intact. I doubt if that's their usual food, maybe they lack the ability to tear open a deer carcass on their own.

Anyway, that's your image for the day. For other images take a look at this. My friend Joe was on the Chili Ride and has quite a bit of GPS/mapping savvy, and he made a map of that ride with links to photos. (Look on the map for camera icons & click them -- they're more visible in the aerial photo than in the topo. Since most photos were taken at one of two spots, they all overlap on the map, so he included thumbnail links under the map as well.) I have about 40 shots of my own, both the Chili Ride and also the McSorley's trip, which I'll upload probably tonight.

So, how was the weekend, anyway? Um, good, good... I was up to 186 pounds on Monday morning...

The Chili Ride was great, maybe 20 people total in two groups. I was in the "fast group" with host Kevin, "Stevesquatch," Rich B and Joe, among others. I was near the back for most of the ride, especially at the beginning, but was holding my own by the end so I was happy. Later, at the party, my chili didn't win but I was still happy: beer and a bonfire, chili and desserts, life is good.

The trip to McSorley's was likewise awesome. We got on the bus at 10:30 or so, w/ bagels, Irish coffee & mimosas on the trip in; spent several hours at McSorley's before going to some Chinese restaurant (the only downer on the trip -- I'm not big on Chinese food) in Chinatown. A quick stop for cannoli's and espresso, and home by about 10:00. A great day, even if it wasn't the healthiest.

Monday was ashtanga yoga, then Which Brew for Mug Club night, and last night was voting followed by svaroopa yoga, and tonight is the gym.

Friday, November 03, 2006

It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built The Ark

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 185#, 13.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 183.5#, 14.5% BF

Good workout in the gym yesterday, not spectacular but very satisfying; I felt like I really hit my target areas (uh, basically everything) hard, and I am starting to see improvement as well. I busted out my good old Cyclist's Training Bible the other day -- that's where this post's title comes from, an inspirational quote to start the chapter on periodization -- and I see that I am doing all the right things right now, to be on track for next summer. All except having fun -- I don't think you're supposed to do that while training, but I'm going on a fun ride tomorrow, too bad.

Home, where more laundry waited to be dried, so out to Which Brew for dinner but kept it reasonable: beer is usually my worst culprit for weight gain, but I only had one mug last night, and balanced it with a salad. Quiet night in there even if it was the Day of the Dead, just a few people at the bar, mostly bartenders on their night off. Nice people, but their conversation was much younger, and more female, than I could relate to (movies I've heard of but didn't bother to see, Madonna vs Debbie Gibson vs Paula Abdul etc), so I just hung out and ate with my mouth shut, so to speak.

Tonight is the towpath, then I have to make chili for tomorrow: it's Beth's 11th Annual Chili Ride and Cook-Off, and I am gunning for at least an honorable mention. Sunday is the bus trip to McSorley's.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fifty Bucks, Fifty Minutes

Morning weigh-in: 185#, 13% BF

Trick-or-Treat went from 6:00 to 8:00 last night, but I ran out of candy ($50 worth, and discounted, so I got even more for my money) before 7:00. Total madhouse, I never saw that many kids. It looked like a parade going by.

Laundry for the Trick-or-Treat time, Which Brew while it dried: chili and a Rogue Dead Guy for dinner. Many there were in costume again. Talk was of the big bus trip this Sunday, to McSorley's in NYC -- and of course I'm going, signed up and paid last week. The evening's TMI award went to Theresa for her graphic description of menopause, with Gary, glassy-eyed and green-about-the-gills, serving as her conversational foil. Good times...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Haunted Nazi Hayride

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 13% BF

Good night at yoga last night. I won't be at the Svaroopa class tonight -- Trick or Treat, $50 in candy might last me the two hours -- so I did the beginner Ashtanga class. For the first time it felt like an actual workout, actually got warm & sweaty at times, and I also felt like I "got it" on a lot of poses and movements, finally understood at least what I'm supposed to be doing in them. Getting there, making progress...

Listening: On the ride home from work I was jamming to WPRB, which seemed to be on fire. One song (maybe called "Dirty Wing?") caught my ear: throwaway song but the refrain was catchy:

I hear you got another stigmata,
I hear you got another stig-maaaa-taaa...

"I hate Illinois Nazis:" For some reason this reminded me of riding in to work a few weeks ago, and getting behind some farm vehicle, a hay wagon with swastika bumper stickers. Behind it at a red light, before my morning coffee, it took me a minute for the fact of a swastika bumper sticker to penetrate my consciousness -- huh? WTF but sure enough, it said "New Jersey Nazi," and he had another one that said "I Believe In Private Property -- What do you believe in?"

Note to self: no fender-benders, no confrontations, this guy had the vibe that says "armed lunatic," but I couldn't help musing, "well, what do I believe in?" Oh, I don't know, maybe the essential evil of Nazism? O-or the stupidity of espousing propertarianism and a political philosophy with "socialism" in its name? (OK, in practice they're not that far apart. By the way, I'm wondering: are NJ farmers subsidized?)

Anyway, when the blacks and Jews come from Trenton for his daughters, er, taxes, they'll find him with "a rifle in one hand, the Bible in the other and a copy of the Constitution in his back pocket," so don't blame him when the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

OK, rant over, but that reminded me of the asshole dad from Night of the Living Dead, which is today's featured article on Wikipedia. Hmmm, wonder why... Ruithidh an taigeis fhein le bruthaich -- oooh, fun size!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Big Breezy Day

Which Witch?
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Pretty fun weekend, highlight being the big Halloween party at Which Brew (photo is of Lori P with WB owner Kelly-Jo). I went as a pirate; Doug went as "me." Not going to mention who else was there since, well, who wasn't? Awesome night...

Today was emergency trail maintenance at Sals, lucky break that daylight savings ended but it was stll hard to get up this morning. We had to build "choke points" on the trails to keep out ATV's, which means piling up rocks and logs to block the trail, leaving only enough room for a bike to be able to get through. The piles have to be pretty big or the ATV's can get over them, and they have to be made of fairly heavy rocks and logs or they'll get moved -- that translates into some fairly hard work. We brought bikes for afterward but no one rode, we were whooped.

Incredibly windy day, kind of scary watching the trees whip around, which got worse when Eric decided to cut down a few dead ones...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Spitting In A Wishing Well

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 9% BF

Not much posting lately; Blogger's been acting up again...

Listening: The Pixies, Last Splash. Joni Mitchell, Song to a Seagull.

Reading: Big If, The Big U, and Neuromancer.

Exercising: None, unless you count Yoga on Tuesday.

Voyaging: I've been playing with that guile some more, decided to upgrade to the latest version. Got the compressed file from the ftp site & unpacked it, found that it needed later versions of other packages ("big number" library, libtool) that what I had. Got those, unpacked & installed them, then installed the new guile. A few glitches here & there (always with the voyage of discovery), but now it's up & running. The tutorial I'm following is now outdated though...

Doing: Not much. I've been in a funk lately, low energy levels, which hit rock bottom last night: I worked late, my brain was fried and (when I went out) I just didn't feel like putting out the mental effort of dealing with like, social interaction, even though I wanted to be around other people... Real problem is, I'm burning the candle at both ends: work, extra work, go home and play with the computer, and usually there's a ride in there somewhere or a trip to the gym, then I head downtown to check out the local music scene. If there's time afterward, I go shopping. Maybe "too much" is a more accurate answer? Even more accurate would be "vapor-lock," as each thing blocks al the others.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hey Now

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 13.5% BF

Some catching up: I didn't say anything about this yet, but it looks like my friend/acquaintance Jay is doing much better -- he had bacterial meningitis (super-serious) and was admitted to the hospital last week with acute septic shock. Intensive care, induced coma and life support, they gave him like a 50-50 chance to survive the next few days. That was last week, and he's apparently made an almost miraculous recovery since. He's not out of the woods, or even out of intensive care yet, but it looks like he's going to be OK. You can read more about it here.

Anyway, the weekend...

I met Doug and Lori for diner Friday night at Which Brew, after blowing off my evening towpath ride (I'd rather ride in rain than wind, and it was windy). Nice dinner, cool conversation, and we sat in the front table by the window, a first for me. I also saw a few people from the Haunted Tour, and they talked me into going to the Saturday night show.

Saturday was a "non-gym day" (Dawn's sister is due soon, and the baby shower was yesterday) so I went to yoga. Another beginner class, pretty soon I'll have to start taking the mixed level ones. When I feel I'm ready... After that was breakfast at the Coffee Exchange, then I went to help with some PPRAC fundraising with Eric & Kris, Brian, Doug & Lori, and Eric's niece & her friend. The usual Wal-Mart scene, only it was much busier than I've seen it -- we were dealing with Saturday crowds rather than our usual Sunday scene.

Saturday night was the Haunted Tour of Easton. This was similar to last year's tour, absent the 2005 highlight (a visit to Easton's catacombs -- I shit you not, we have an underground cemetery) but for some reason the vibe was way more fun. I went to Which Brew for dinner afterward (Ryan Carr's band playing, birthday party for the publisher of The Elucidator, Tarot card readings at the window table), then over to Porters, where the Haunted Tour peeps eventually trickled in after their cast party. Needless to say, it became a late night, good thing I walked...

Sunday was a Jim Thorpe ride. Pretty good, though some trails had been damaged by quads, and some destroyed by bulldozers, since the last time I was there more than a year ago. (Once upon a time I probably rode those trails twice a month.) I skipped the post-ride libations, because my parents (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!) were at the Water Gap checking out the foliage, and we met for dinner at Everybody's Cafe in Stroudsburg (two thumbs up for food and atmosphere). Very cool, and I was surprised by how well my plans came together.

Anyway, today is probably a rest day or the gym, maybe some yoga-at-home -- tomorrow is that Svaroopa class, and the girl always asks me if I've been practicing. Wednesday is the "Salisbury Summit," a meeting of local clubs to talk about the Sals trails.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday I Got Friday On My Mind

Posts aren't showing up correctly, Blogger's buggered, oh well...

Killer workout last night, added legs and really went for the burn -- I am now in "strength-building mode," with fewer reps and higher weights -- and it was most satisfying. Dinner was Which Brew, followed by a visit to open-mic night at Porters.

Had a good conversation with Andy S at Which Brew, mostly about books. I think I'll be getting the new Cormac McCarthy novel The Road; he (among many others) say it's one of the best books of the year.

Not sure what tonight will entail (probably staying in, to tell the truth), but tomorrow is PPRAC fund-raising at Wal-Mart, possibly preceded by early morning yoga, and Sunday will probably be a ride at Jim Thorpe.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Woke Up This Morning, And My Boots Were Full Of Blood

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 9% BF

So, that ear infection...

For a few days there my ear was bleeding. (Gaaa! Bleeeeeding!!!) I think it was just a pimple or something, I checked as soon as I saw it and I could hear just fine, but it was scary to see at first... Strangely enough, the ear problem seems to have gone away.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Look Back In Exhaustion

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 13.5% BF

Well, that was tough! I didn't have much of a race season, but what season I had ended yesterday with the 2nd annual All-A-Muchy race. About 30 miles of technical, rocky singletrack, maybe 5000 feet of climbing, took me a little over 6 hours to finish -- I came in 93rd overall (of 124 starters), which is probably 80th in the open men's division. I was whooped...

It was a great day though, chilly (especially before the sun came up) and breezy, but the trails were dry -- they were in fantastic condition, actually -- and it was nice & sunny for most of the day. Perfect day for riding, an absolute blast.

The rest of the weekend: Friday I walked to Which Brew, then did Porters on the way home (Post Junction in the house), as well as... somewhere else... Great night, I felt the need for a blowout and I sure had one.

Saturday was morning yoga, then over to the Coffee Exchange for breakfast. Laundry, chores, and bike prep took up the rest of the day. Dinner was pizza; bedtime was 7:30.

Sunday's bedtime was also around 7:30, but I am still tired. Rest day today, then "active rest" with a Svaroopa yoga class tomorrow, Chain Gang meeting Wednesday, and either ride or gym Thursday, and whichever one I don't do Thursday I'll get to on Friday. That's the plan, anyway.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dream King Redux

Tuesday's ride was great (for me, others had many mechanicals), and I came home & passed out; Wednesday was laundry and dinner at Which Brew and no problems sleeping; and last night was the gym, then back to WB for dinner. Sleeping like a log...

I think my problem is another inner-ear infection: lotsa pressure in there, and my vertigo problems were back for a while -- maybe that was the source of the feverishness, an actual fever. When I go for my physical I will have that looked into, maybe get a referral for an ENT guy & get this dealt with once and for all. (Neat stuff on ears here.) This will probably be sometime next week, since all the tests I needed should be done.

Listening: Been in a 90's alterna-women retrospective lately, listened to Tori Amos and now Bjork. Next up will be -- PJ Harvey? Listening to women in the car anyway, in the house it's been men: I've been getting into Gregorian chant. I have a couple of CD's, and I think I'm starting to freak my neighbors out.

Playing: I've started to teach myself Lisp, or at least the rudiments.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Morning weigh-in: 182#, 6.5% BF (WTF?)

I don't know if I actually get feverish, and maybe it's toxins & byproducts leaking from the muscles but sometimes, after a really hard ride, my body acts like it has a fever, and one of the biggest signs of fever for me is restless crazy-dream sleep. Sunday night was like that, and ended with a real horror involving rotting mollusks and crabs.

I mostly forgot about it until dinner last night, when it came flooding back to me in the middle of leftover hot wings, and it caused me to spit out -- practically vomit -- what I was eating. I switched to sandwiches after that...

I got into the computer after dinner, and the next thing I know it was maybe 11:00 and time for bed, but when I went to bed I started with the crazy dreams again, woke up and was then convinced that something -- intruder in the house? a haunting? -- something evil was going on. It was crazy, I was really spooked: searched the apartment twice, lay in bed listening to odd sounds until I fell asleep again. One random house sound was just like the creepy Bartok "tap tap tap" from The Shining...

Linux Voyager, Boatbuilder Edition: What I was playing with was the GNU tools for automating the software-building process. Things like make and autoconf, which are amazingly powerful, but surprisingly easy to use. Then I got into a tutorial for guile I found online, which had some graphics programs built in -- unfortunately, I couldn't get the graphics parts to work, and I still have no idea why.

I won't find out tonight though, because I'm joining Greg H & Eric for a night ride at Sals. We're riding the new trail we built (among other things), which has been nicknamed the "Black Angel trail" because someone put a porcelain doll (about half the size of a child, with a black porcelain face and dressed like for a first communion) watching over one of the tougher sections. It's creepy enough in the daytime, I sure hope my lights don't fail while I'm passing her...

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Tao Of Poo

Poo! Boo! Heh heh heh... Well that's over with, everything's coming up roses and I can eat red meat again.


Rode Friday night on the towpath, but turned around before I got to Sand Island: I got spooked between Freemansburg and the BOC plant when saw a set of glowing predator eyes, low to the ground but bigger than a cat, watching me from the other side of the canal -- just as I came across a torn-apart & half-eaten squirrel on the trail. Coyote? Bobcat? Whatever, I was out of there. When I got home I went to Which Brew for dinner, but it was an early night, no Porters afterward.

Saturday was the gym, and then I met Greg M, Eric and Doug at Sals for some trailwork. Heavy lifting, and we got to to see Eric blow his shoulder out again, maybe 20 yards away from the place he ripped his rotator cuff last time. Since it was Eric's 40th birthday, or close to it, Doug and Lori took him out to dinner at Porters, and I came along to help. It was "Kilt Night" over there by the way, show up in a kilt and get a free Guinness.

I stopped at WB after that, where I ran into Shannon, a girl I knew from my earliest days in Easton. It was her "night off;" she and her husband Eric (different Eric), after nine years of trying and in vitro fertility stuff, now have one-year-old twins, and she just opened her own restaurant so she has almost no time/energy to spare. It was nice to see her out, but I don't expect to see too much of her in the near future, unless I visit her restaurant.

At one point in the evening I looked up and saw Arnie in a tux (just got back from the big Bicycling Hall of Fame dinner,where he met Greg LeMond -- he was practically walking on air), and Andrew in blue hair and a black leather kilt. Only in America, and usually not even there...

Sunday I blew off the Gap Gallop, and rode the towpath and Sals, tried the new stuff we built. Nice, but way hard. I was toast when I got home, but it might have been nutritional un-wisdom that did me in. I was so tired I went to dinner at Porter's again, got the exact same thing as Saturday (chicken w/ sun-dried tomatoes, olives and artichokes, plus rice) while I caught parts of the Eagles & Steelers games -- it is Pennsylvania, after all.

And now for your sermon:

Those who speak don't know shit,
Those who know don't say shit.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fast Week

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 10.% BF

Hit the gym last night, then did laundry and had dinner at Which Brew (then Porters) while it dried -- yes my new dryer is still broken. It probably just needs a new heater element, but old habits, especially bad ones, die hard and revive pretty easy, and I've been in no rush to fix the damn thing.

Tonight will be the towpath, maybe Sals but probably not (wet & easily damaged trails); tomorrow is coffee/chores/errands/gym, then over to Sals for trailwork; and Sunday may be the Gap Gallop, especially if no better offroad offer presents itself. This will probably be my last chance for an organized century ride this year -- my first season without at least one century since maybe 1998 -- but few of my friends seem interested, and next weekend is the All-A-Muchy 50k race & I may opt for more offroad practice, so we'll see.

I had to fast for that blood test earlier in the week, and now I've been avoiding red meat for a few days & also eating a lot more "bulking" foods. Two words: stool sample. I haven't begun, er, "harvesting" yet, but I sure am looking forward to it, and will let y'all know how it comes out...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Republican Apocalypse

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 9.5% BF

Oh my, what a news week! Apocalypse, that means "unveiling," right?

Got home last night, was so tired I went to bed around 8:00, slept through to morning. Nothing else to report, not even a dream...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Well That Explains It

Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 13.5% BF

Had a fasting blood test this morning. Rode last night after dinner, then basically went to bed. I didn't realize that "fasting" does not mean "no water either," but I was supposed to drink all I wanted... Three needles and two phlebotomists later, they say I'm dehydrated and my veins have shrunk so they have to use "the butterfly," ie the needle they use on infants. Long and short of it is, mission accomplished, but that explains what happened to me on 9-11.

I left work early that day like everybody else here, and then did a ride on the towpath to calm down. When I got home I felt an overwhelming need to "do something," so I went down to Miller Blood Center to give blood. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea; the place was packed and I waited about five hours (well after midnight) before my turn came. The nurse was understandably frazzled and couldn't find my veins on either arm, and though I got stuck I left without giving blood. The worst I ever felt about 9-11 was on the ride home that night.

For years afterward, whenever I needed to give blood or get an IV, I warned the technicians to be extra careful, since I had "very small veins." They'd chuckle indulgently and say "OK, Mr. Kelly..." and there'd of course be no problem. Until today that is, when the truth finally came out.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Talk, It Turned To Tater Tots

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 11.5% BF

Hit the gym last night, then went to WB for dinner. Plenty of talk there, as well as at work lately, about food -- a common theme being stuff like mac & cheese, tater tots and hamburger helper.

Tonight is a towpath/Sals ride, not sure what'll happen after that, but I know it'll involve food.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You Down With HDR? Yeah In My Car

Oak Tree Sun
Originally uploaded by worldwidewandering.
Morning weigh-in: 179.5#, 14.5% BF

I remember Laurie Anderson saying something in a seminar once about the function or purpose of art. Her example was someone who made paintings of diners, for instance. You go to the show and see the paintings, and for a while you see and notice diners everywhere you look. The art helps open your eyes, and helps you become more aware of things in the world around you.

Anyway, I've been getting into photos I find on Flickr lately, which use a relatively new technique called HDR photography. It seems to be the vogue right now, especially among Europeans (I sure don't know how to do it). The gist is, you take several pictures at different exposure levels, and combine them digitally to allow for greater lighting ranges than you can get ordinarily. That's the idea anyway; maybe it's an aftereffect but the photos also seem to have an almost hallucinatory clarity. Either way, many of my current favorites are now HDR photos.

Coming home last night, I happened to be driving into the sunset, and I realized that the lighting was similar to a lot of those HDR shots, and the light-and-dark-drenched view was closer to HDR than to ordinary photo views, which seemed to be how I saw the world until that point. Just sayin'...

You down with ADD? Yeah, you know -- oh look! A baby wolf! SWERVE! CRASH!

UPDATE: Edited for spelling & clarity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oh Well, Time To Eat The Donuts

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 13% BF (That's more like it.)

Yoga last night. Didn't feel quite as good as other times, in fact I felt a little -- pissy, not sure what was going on. Maybe I just have to get back into the loop.

Went out afterward, laundry & dinner at Which Brew (duh): bowl of chili and a plate of garlic-chipotle hot wings, washed down with some Troeggs Oatmeal Stout. Came in to work this morning, got my $2.00 donut -- Monday Night Football pool winner buys donuts for all the losers. Keeping my weight up isn't so hard...

Tonight is a towpath ride, maybe on the singlespeed, followed by food shopping.

Great minds think alike: Witness Billmon, Amanda and Roy. What they said.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Drowning In Blood

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 14% BF

Wow, what a drop in weight. Rode last night, pretty quick towpath ride, then went to bed without eating dinner. I like those numbers (and I'm supposed to be training for All-A-Muchy anyway) so I think I'll watch what I eat for the next few -- days? weeks? hours? All I have to do, apparently, is never eat again. Sigh.

I never got around to it, but the title of yesterday's post is from Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain." I was feeling depressed about torture, habeus corpus and the possibility of a US first strike (maybe even a tactical nuclear first strike, nothing's off the table) on Iran, and was going to talk about that. Oh well, the moment is lost, but I still can't get my head around how the monstrous has become normal, and how we became the monsters. (Strangely enough, I've been having many dreams involving monsters lately.)

Anyway, rode last night like I said, and Sunday was a nice social ride at Jacobsburg with Doug & Lori, Joe & Cindy, Brian, some kid Mike and that Dirt Devil dude Marc. Brian and Joe were both on 29" singlespeeds, shout-out to the trend watchers...

Tonight is yoga, then maybe I'll do the Drinking Liberally thing at Which Brew. Or maybe not (see above). I don't mind stealing bread... but I'm going hungry.

Monday, September 25, 2006

At The Water's Edge, In My Dream

I worked a little late Friday, dealing with a small emergency on one of the other jobs, a little overtime special. Home, a quick bite (leftovers) then I sat and digested as my lights charged; I went out riding around 9:00. I only did about 16-17 miles, turning around at the bridge at Freemansburg, but it took me an hour and a half, I was totally sucking wind (literally: lungs were wheezy & full of fluid) and I got a calf cramp. Hey, I got in my ride though. Dinner was a bowl of chili at Which Brew, followed by a trip to see Post Junction at Porters -- it was a late night.

Saturday was the gym, where Dawn told me her dad had a mini-stroke. Just what I need to hear... Very active guy too, he was lucky it wasn't worse, though Dawn said he was crabbing about missing archery season.

Still kind of tired & sick, I went home after the gym and took it easy (ie, did laundry & napped) for a good portion of the rest of the day, until Doug called and mentioned how much he'd like, on a Saturday afternoon like that, to sit in a bar and eat wings. We didn't actually follow through on it right away -- I went back to sleep -- but later, after picking up my drycleaning, the seed came to fruition and I went to Which Brew, probably the earliest I've ever been there. I called Doug back, told him where I was, what was on tap and what was on the menu, and they came on down. After an early dinner, we left and met up with Eric & Janna, Judy, and Kris at Celtic Fest. Never been there, not sure I'll go back, it really was just so-so. Despite all the things going on, it was an early night.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ice Station Zebra

Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 182#, 10% BF
Blood Pressure (Wednesday): 156/78, 59 BPM

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 184.5#, 5% BF
Blood Pressure (Thursday): 140/93, 52 BPM

Well, last day of summer...

So I went to the doctor yesterday after work, and my blood pressure there (where blood pressures are traditionally higher due to doctor-visit stress) was 130/80, pretty close to normal. Talking about it with the nurse, she told me that those home sphygmomanometer thingies are notoriously inaccurate. Oh well, that might explain the slow and steady rise, as my little toy gets progressively further out of calibration... The doctor came in, saw my cold/sinus problem and went to town -- I got two prescriptions before I got his attention back to the physical and my blood pressure. He really didn't need to do much for that, the nurse basically set me up with a prescription for a bunch of diagnostic blood/urine/stool tests. I'll probably go to Quest or something nearly next week.

After that I went to the Chain Gang meeting at Doug & Lori's place. Good meeting, people were there I haven't seen in a while: Judy was back with tales of London, and Brian had some stories as well, except it was Canada in his case. Pizza dinner, good beer but the hops were bothering me (so were the dog allergies) and my cold seemed to intensify. I left early -- or at least, not long after the meeting proper ended; I stayed really just long enough to have Cindy gave me the lowdown on the different tests I'd been prescribed.

Listening: In case the title from yesterday's pirate post didn't clue you in, I've been jamming to Stan Ridgeway lately. Today I was listening to the song "I Wanna Be A Boss," and thinking about how the song goes from "my life sucks, it sure would be better if I were rich," to the wildest fantasies:

And everyone will know me
I'll be more famous than Howard Hughes
I'll grow a long beard and watch
Ice Station Zebra in the nude

And grow my nails like Fu-Manchu
Keep a row of specimen jars
Get other people to work for me -- ?well
Maybe I'll buy the planet Mars, and
Build an amusement park up there
Better than old Walt's place
You'll have to be a millionaire to go
We'll smoke cigars and lounge in lace
Talk the talk of businessmen
And bosses that we are
So here's to me -- the drinks are free
'Cause I just bought this bar
For some reason (maybe just associations on the word "ice"), this reminded me of "The Iceman Cometh," and the pathetic dreams of the losers in the bar. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Which Brew.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Out On The Water, Where The Sailing Men All Go

Joe Phase Three
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Arrgh matey, I almost forgot it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! So avast me beauties and feast your eyes, for I've uploaded an Imperial arseload o' new photos... Aye, there be shots o' lubbers at Allamuchy and bilge rats at the BASH, and some photos o' my home port as well. Enjoy, me hearties!

Shaggy Dog Stories

Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 9.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 145/85, 67 BPM

Yep, colonized -- I have a sinus infection, probably got it because my nose has been traumatized by so much ragweed. The dogs this weekend didn't help: plenty of dogs, all friendly (hey, we had the food, of course they were friendly), and I couldn't resist giving a pat on the head here and there, lotsa allergens in my life, nasal tissues raw & swollen, easy avenue for germ attack...

Speaking of dogs: Saw Joe G at the Bash, and he now has a dog, a husky/shepherd mix, maybe 11 months old, female. It was originally his sister's, but she wasn't active enough for this kind of dog and it started developing behavioral problems so she gave the dog to Joe. He's pretty active of course, ditto with the free time thing, and can (and has) put a lot of effort into un-doing the psychic damage. Her name, by the way, is Riley.

On the Saturday group ride, we met up with a dude who brought his dog along. Don't remember the real name, but I called it "Downhill Dog" for the way it shredded the trail -- the owner said he (the dog) was a little bored since there were no jumps or drop-offs on the trail. Later that evening, the dog was as whooped as I was, and spent most of the evening and next day hanging out, much to the consternation of the energetic and-not-to-be-trusted-off-leash-thus-not trail-ready Riley. (Yet another dog, with a lot of energy, spent a lot of time walking up to people, then dropping a stick at their feet and then staring meaningfully until the stick was thrown. I was victim of this guy for about a half hour while waiting for my shower.) Strangely enough, "Downhill Dog" was also a rescue dog, having been found lost, wandering and hungry by its current owner.

Two more dogs: these were like dachshunds, only they had long silky hair almost like collies (they were still that dachshund-brown color). Totally fearless, they'd charge up barking at the other dogs, spent a lot of time being held and cooed at by the girls, and were the most successful at mooching food (I saw them drinking spilled beer too). The owner said he got one later, but the first had belonged to his ex-wife who, claiming that it had become "vicious" after the divorce, brought it to the vet to be put down. The vet, who knew the score, told her he killed it and then gave it to the husband. I asked him what kind of breed they were, and he said "long-haired dachshund." But of course!

That dog's not so shaggy...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another Set Of Photos

Thinking About Candy
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I'm still not caught up, but I just uploaded a bunch from the family reunion in July.

The Bash Was A Smash!

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 12.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 139/84, 67 BPM (spike maybe due to salty pizza, or incipient cold)

Shout Out: Happy Birthday, Mom!

A very quick recap: the RCST Bash was an unqualified success, and even the weather cooperated eventually. I dawdled on Friday because the weather was discouraging, arrived at a little before 6:00 and set up my chili for the contest. Back to the campsite to set up my tent, then back up to the registration area for the contest and the microbrew swap. I brought about 10 Weyerbacher IPA's, traded them for various other local brews (most of which I knew), and put a few back while I checked out the competition. Each chili was different from the next, and all were good -- I didn't win, but can say that all my chili got eaten.

After that came the first ride of the Bash. There was supposed to be an organized group night ride, but the only ones who actually rode were Greg H and me. After a ton of chili and a few beers, the initial climb out of camp was brutal, but the ride itself was fantastic. It was also a confidence booster to ride unfamiliar trails in the dark, and finding we could navigate just fine by map. Ten miles, two hours and back to camp for some hard-core socializing.

Saturday morning was rough, but it was also time for the event's main group rides. Me, Greg, Rich, Beth & Kevin -- in other words, all of our party except Joe -- plus another 20 Bash'ers, opted to do the "drive to the top of the mountain," intermediate-level ride. This was awesome, about 22 miles long and it managed to hit just about every good trail. We were exhausted by the end, but it was worth it.

Saturday night was the big party. BBQ chicken dinner, couple kegs of Troeggs, and a band, toss about 120 tired bikers in the mix and shake well...

The only group event planned for Sunday was the "King and Queen of Rock's Ridge" contest, but rather than watch or participate (or hang about the camp), Beth and Kevin and I (plus Dave L) decided to check out what we could of the trails we hadn't seen yet. Not quite as long as the day before, maybe six miles (and the trails were also a bit easier), but very nice, especially since it was the nicest weather of the weekend.

Back to camp, pack up and hang out, then we all took off for home. (I took US209 through Tamaqua then down 309 & 443 to Lehighton and came home via 248, which took me rather far out of my way, and on country roads to boot, but I-78 was a construction disaster: it took me 4 hours to do an hour-and-a-half drive on the way in, so the two-and-a-half-hour scenic route home probably saved me a at least a little bit of time.) Got home, unpacked, and then I just vegged out on the porch for a while before bed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Colossus Mark Seven

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 6.5% BF (I think scale needs new batteries)
Blood Pressure: 135/80, 57 BPM
(My systolic pressure has dropped 10 points a day over the past two days.)

Meantime: I picked up the bike yesterday, all systems are go, with new pivots & BB cups. Just clean & lube them (Turner & Surly are both going) and I should be good -- must also remember to charge my batteries, since there will be at least one night ride. I still have to do all my packing & prep to do, since the chili has been taking up all my time.

I now have two big batches of my chili -- I have decided to call it "Simple Life Chili" if we need names -- for the contest, and the house reeks of it. There's a whole lot of the stuff, I sure hope people eat it, otherwise I'm committed to the same thing for dinner for at least a month.

Interesting post by Amanda of Pandagon, commenting on this article about hipster/X-Game Xtians. Different focus than my experience (no male-female interaction), but the scene definitely reminds me of Utah, and also of the Mormon missionaries who lived above me on Folk Street.

Oh, and by the way: the title of this post is a bit of a mishmash, between the huge amount of chili I made, some Wolf Mother tune that seems to say "colossal," and also in honor of this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All Better Now

And thank goodness for yoga...

Went to a yoga class on Monday (beginner class, Ashtanga style), which was good, and on Tuesday I took that Svaroopa style class which was very good as well -- it was also packed, I think this class is going to be pretty popular. (Represent: I was the only guy there.) It's actually funny how much you feel like you're walking on clouds when you leave this class...

So anyway: after yoga on Monday I picked up some pivots from Doug, then went to Which Brew for the Mug Club dinner. That crazy boring dude was there again, but I avoided engaging him in real conversation, just exchanged pleasantries and kept myself to myself.

Tuesday before yoga I dropped the Turner off at Bike King, where Ron will replace the pivots for me; he also has bottom bracket replacement bearings, so I'm getting a new set of those as well.

(Looks like my bike woes are being solved in a most timely manner, except one: my mojo Roswell has a broken arm, so I took him off the bike for some R&R; he'll be sitting the RCSS Bash out though I will take him along for good luck. Looks like it's time for a little Shoe Goo first aid...)

Dinner last night was chili plus open-mic bluegrass jams at the WB; ironically enough, it's because I made a crock of chili at home (it's cooking today) that I didn't feel like cooking my own dinner. My chili is destined for the contest at the Bash anyway (I'm making another crock of it tonight/tomorrow).

No weigh-in: several nights eating out have made for discouraging results, and I also forgot my blood pressure meds two days in a row, so that looks scary as well. Don't want to think about the last few days worth of body data. Meantime though, I have taken the first steps in really dealing with this: checkup/physical/consultation with my GP, which I expect will bring about a referral to some kind of specialist.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Oh When The Weasels, Come Closing In...

"The weasels were starting to close in" is how Hunter Thompson described it in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, when his life seemed spinning out of control. I may not be up for the drastic measures he took, but I think it's time for a change of pace. I'm feeling pretty burned out, and though I think the crisis passed on Friday & I'm now recovering from my low point, I've reached the "just had enough" level in some parts of my life...

Friday night I went for a ride on the towpath. I was going to do that and a loop at Sals, but I was suddenly feeling very tired and unenthusiastic. I went out to the bike, and discovered that the bushing in one of the pivots was shot. Uh-oh, those things are hard to get in a hurry, and I'm going on a biking/camping trip this weekend. (I pumped it full of grease, hoped for the best but I'll need to deal with that this week, one more thing to stress me out.) I finally went riding, and found I had nothing in me. Luckily I ran into Joe and Cindy coming the other way; since they had their dog with them they were riding pretty slow, so I turned around and went back to Easton with them. They turned around at the new boat launch, so I said goodbye there and took the Palmer bike path home. Much shorter ride than usual, but I was dragging.

Anyway, I go out to Which Brew for dinner, and get stuck in a conversaton about bikes with an annoying weirdo -- someone ditched the guy on me in order to make his own escape. There's not much in this world I really know, but do know bikes, and biking, and bikers, and I could tell that this dude (even if I hadn't known his flakey background) was both full of shit and more than a bit looney. Worse yet, he was monopolizing my attention, and there were a lot cooler things going on all around me, just out of reach. It was actually my worst experience at Which Brew, and I paid up and went over to Porters.

There I ran into the friend who palmed Crazy Boring Guy off on me. I was like, "Dude, you owe me big time!" I thought I'd get at least a beer out of it, but he was leaving, and I got snookered into another crazy conversation. This was with a friend who'd had maybe more than her share, and I just pray that she doesn't remember what she told me about herself (a chronicle of the differences in her BO when she's healthy vs when she's sick), the next time I see her could be very awkward, this is very much not her normal conversation.

It sounds funny now, but both of these conversations really depressed me at the time. I got a little gun-shy after that, tired of people dumping their shit into my brain, so I just hunkered down at the bar and watched Dave Cahill play his guitar.

Saturday I woke up tired, but went for breakfast, then to the gym (which was excellent thank goodness, even though I was tired) then over to the Phillipsburg Criterium where I was supposed to help out. There didn't seem to be much for me to do there, so I left, went home and took a nap.

A singular lack of crunch: Last week Coffee Works was closed for repainting, and when I went there Saturday morning the place was completely different. Not just new paint or a new color scheme, it looks like it may have changed owners and it was completely redecorated. Gone was all the homey stuff, and in its place was a bunch of modern, stylish and uncomfortable-looking furniture. This stuff left me really cold; it's not my kind of place anymore at all. Wow.

Saturday night was the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for the 12 O'Muchy race. This was awesome. The promotors (my friends Bob & Karen, and their friends Kris and Karin) took us out to eat someplace in Newton (amazing eclectic place, wish I remembered the name) then back to K&K's place for some homemade dessert. I sort of surprised myself by getting tofu for dinner, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Blueberry pie, some cappuccino and conversation, and my spirits were restored considerably.

I was supposed to go riding this morning at Mahlon with Bob & Karen, as well as Joe & Cindy and a few others, but realized that I'd left my sunglasses (prescription, my riding glasses) in Doug's car, so I had to blow off the ride. Just as well, I was still tired and I would have had to ride the singlespeed. Did some flickr uploading, got some coffee at Cosmic Cup, retrieved my glasses and rode at Jacobsburg.

Now I have to go shopping. The camping event features a chili contest, and I entered so I have to start making several batches this week. (My friend Beth called me the other day, told me she & her husband were going as well even though his wrist might be broken, and then she started trash-talking my chili because she was also a contestant. Bold words, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating...)

Son Of A... More Photos!

Kevin In The Sandbox
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Still cleaning out my backlog of pictures from the summer. These are a few I took of my brother Kevin's kids when they (the kids, but also Kevin and Amy) visited my parents this July. I went down, helped my parents pick them up from the airport, and took these shots the next morning.

That was the July 4th weekend; they stayed the whole week but I went home, then went back again the next weekend for a backyard BBQ before my brother had to fly back. In between was a bunch of riding, but I only took two pictures...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Slip Face

Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 182#, (damn I forget) % BF
Blood Pressure: 136/84, 65 BPM

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 182#, (forgot again) % BF
Blood pressure: 140/84, (wow forgot heartrate too... )

Morning weigh-in (Friday): 181.5%, 10% BF
Blood Pressure: 126/75, 67 BPM

Wow, looks like this week flew by...

Labor Day was my Sals 101 ride. Eleven people showed up including Tom D and Beth McG (the only ones who met me at Genesis), Rob L & Eric as well as John E, and a whole bunch of Dirt Devils out to learn the trail system. Broke my cleat, and there were a few of the usual minor spills and mechanicals you'd expect with a big group, but overall it was a great ride -- Tom D was a hurting puppy (fatigue) by the end though...

Yoga on Tuesday night, more of that new style which is, or at least seems, fairly nondemanding physically; I'd guess it's very conducive to restorative work. There was an older woman in class, maybe in her seventies, who came in on crutches, & took off a removable cast (like an inflatable boot or walking cast, I'd guess) before class. Turns out, she'd had her ankle replaced. Didn't talk to her about it last night, but if she's there next week we'll be getting into some serious ankle talk...

After that was some crap at home, then I didn't feel like cooking so down to Which Brew I went. Pretty nice night, quiet but decent crowd.

Wednesday I hit the gym after work, then fixed my cleat (none of the usual problems with stripping screws, thank goodness), fooled with the computer for a while and then decided (about 11:00, I couldn't sleep) to take the Surley out and just cruise the mean streets of Easton. Downtown, Wilson, over by the cemetery -- the only place I didn't hit was Southside. No lights or helmet: just me, the cops and the criminals -- but I did wear my newly-repaired shoes...

Last night I did a towpath ride when I got home, then went down once again to WB. Good night, as per usual, and this time I resisted temptation and went straight home afterward -- no Taco Hell, no open-mic nite at Porters.

Tonight will be towpath/Sals, lights are charging as we speak, then out to, um...

Bathroom Reader: I've been browsing & skimming that book about medieval civilization again. It's pretty annoying (written in the early sixties by some Catholic college professor, plenty of cringe-worthy stuff, it's like being being trapped in a room with Robert McNamara), but you can follow the general outline through the editorial chaff. The part that caught my interest this time was where the civilization after slowly growing, integrating, blossoming and peaking in the 12th century, collapses pretty quickly not long after the Summa Theologica -- which my author treats like the Medieval Civilization operator's manual -- comes out.

For some reason that slow-growth-sudden-collapse shape got me thinking about my other bathroom companion, the Edward Abbey reader. There was a section in there about dunes in the desert; their characteristic shapes (gradual convex rise on the windward slope, steeper concave drop on the lee, or slip face, side) and how they come to be that way. There's a hill outside of work here, old worn-down Appalachian mountain rather than a dune, but it's the exact same shape and I wonder if forces with similar structure were involved. Now that I think about it, those predator-prey relations follow the same shape...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Apres Le Deluge, Singlespeed Sunday

Easton: 3rd Street Submerged
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
More photos, this time from the flooding in late spring. I was pretty much just back on the bike (PICC line came out days before); I rode downtown on the Turner and joined the thousands gawking at the water, ran into my neighbor and riding buddy Mike B doing the same thing.

Meantime, today turned out nice after all the rain we've had, so I did the same thing again, only different: I took the Surly out for the day this time. I wanted to do a "triple play" -- that is, hit all three coffee shops in town, but my first stop, Coffee Works, was closed for repainting. Doh! OK, "double play." I hit The Quadrant, then went over to Genesis Bikes, then into P'burg to pay a visit to Cycle Funattic, back across the river (high, but luckily no flooding) and down the bike path to the ruins of the old bridge. (Interesting new historical markers about the bridge there.) Went back downtown and finally up College Hill, got an espresso at the Cosmic Cup and headed home. Maybe 10-15 miles total, just toodling along really, but I was out for about five hours. I brought the camera and took some photos, but not many. You'll see them soon enough.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More Pictures!

Dad Opens Birthday Presents
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I dumped another 28 shots into Flickr, check them out by clicking on the one to the right...

This bunch is from the weekend of my Dad's birthday, when I went down to Englishtown for his b'day celebration, then did what was probably my final "tourist walk" in Easton before the PICC line came out. River scenes, Blues Festival, yadda yadda.

The next bunch will be from the recent flooding downtown, and then some shots of Kevin & family's visit and party.

Rainy day, was out late last night and went to the gym this morning, did some errands, played with the computer, think I'll take a nap. I can hear the train whistle blowing, think it's the recreational/tourist train ride one in P'burg: sounds lonely, making me sleepy...

Friday, September 01, 2006

New Photos!

The Pez That Refreshes, Baby!
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
I've been pretty remiss lately in getting my photos onto Flickr, but I just uploaded 38 shots from late May and early June, including the 12 O'Muchy race, some PPRAC fundraising, and yes a trip downtown to visit the Museum of Pez. (I still have about 80 shots from June/July/August, including more touristy Easton hikes, and shots from my brother's visit, so stay tuned, because maybe sometime in the next few days...)

Heading out after this, going down to WB for the evening.

Hausfrau Agonistes

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 10% BF
Blood Pressure: 129/84, 54 BPM

Listening: Gang of Four's Return the Gift, which is a re-recorded set (done maybe last year) of their hits from the eighties. Been mostly digging "Natural's Not In It" and "What We Want's Not What We Get."

Also Listening: I went out last night after a satisfying "benchmark ride" (no digital input or recording equipment, but my time was about 1:28), had dinner at Which Brew, then I went over to Porters for some of the Open Mic Night. Saw a great, but unfortunately anonymous duo: not the best singing going on, but the guitarist was unbelievable. Sure which I caught their name.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Baseball, You Bet!

Morning weigh-in: 182.5, 11.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 126/81, 56 BPM

Reading: Don DeLillo's Underworld. I'm re-reading it, or rather, making a second attempt at finishing it. I can't believe I put it down the first time, it's totally awesome -- but I'm at the begining, maybe it'll bog down and I'll get bored somewhere in the middle this time too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

It Ain't Allamuchy If It Don't Rain

Morning weigh-in: 183#, 10.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 133/75, 51 BPM

Well, I'm back, and only a lttle bit the worse for wear... Good weekend though, and a good race. I did rather well (considering what I wanted to get out of it) with four laps: I felt that I could have easily done more if the plan was to be competitive, but I only rode when it seemed like it would be fun. Thus, no laps in the rain, and I also avoided night laps because there were rumors of rain coming -- and it did come, but very late & then all day Sunday. I did all my riding before dark on Saturday. But the experiment was a success, I felt like I could ride and compete again, and was actually jonesing for more at the end, almost regretting my vows of caution and non-competitiveness. The funny thing was, I felt very strong on the Friday pre-ride and the first few laps; riding (fast) seemed almost effortless until that final lap. A lot like the other day on my benchmark ride, sure hope this a breakthrough and not just peaking...

One good fall at the start of my third lap, where I apparently hit an invisible rock and went sprawling. Knocked my knees up & wrenched the left one a bit, got a nice handlebar-shaped bruise on my upper inner thigh, and was walking like an old man for the rest of the weekend -- the ankle got swollen after a while too, and the other ankle was also bothering me, but I think that was from walking on uneven terranin in sandals all weekend -- but I managed another 20 post-crash miles just the same.