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...