Saturday, January 27, 2007

Solaris, Brother Ray

Well, I wouldn't call it a wasted day exactly, but I spent the entire day inside, playing with the computer and working my way through all the Achewood archives. There's some good stuff in there, and I still have plenty more to go. I can definitely identify with each of the two main dudes, Ray and Roast Beef, though I think I might be more like Roast Beef than Ray...

Funny though, how talking with the computer is really talking to no one. (I don't mean reading web pages etc, I'm talking about getting the computer to do things, interacting with the computer itself.) There's a computer system Solaris, but there's also a movie -- two, actually -- called Solaris, based on a book of the same name by Stanislaw Lem. In the book/movie, there's a space station orbiting the sentient planet Solaris, which seems to become haunted by the ghosts of the astronauts' fantasies, guilty fears (long-dead wife) etc. The planet had become aware of the researchers, and was in turn experimenting with and trying to communicate with them. I don't know where I'm going with this, but the moral is that extraterrestrials will be so, uh, "alien" to us, that attempted communication with them will be futile, and not worth the trouble; we're better off sticking with people.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well It Felt Like I Was Losing It

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 185#, 9% BF
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 184#, 12% BF

Pants felt loose today when walking in to work; it was pretty gratifying at first, as I thought I was maybe a little trimmer & fitter, but then I realized I forgot my belt... It hasn't shown up in the weigh-in numbers, and frankly it hasn't shown up in the mirror either, but I feel like the weight is starting to come off -- or maybe it is about to, hopefully, maybe, please...

Anyway: Rode the towpath Wednesday night, and this time I wasn't accosted by anyone or anything, not even my imagination, though I did manage to flush two cars parked at different boat launch or access points -- probably teenagers, a little weed or romance in what they thought was a secluded place. Time wasn't especially fast, maybe 1:45 but the trail was soft and there was a headwind going out. Whatever, I still have to get my speed on: guys did a Jacobsburg singlespeed ride the same night, and reports were that it was at a blistering pace. Uh-oh, I'm not the only one on a double-secret training regimen.

After that was Which Brew for dinner, which maybe explains the elevated weight on Thursday morning. Last night was the gym, followed by pork tenderloin with sauerkraut & rice, at home. Kickass meal, but I now have a metric assload of leftover pork to eat before it goes bad.

Tonight is another towpath ride, followed by another trip to Which Brew to see Post Junction; tomorrow hopefully I'll get up in time to do the early yoga class before hitting the gym.

Reading: Still on Against the Day, somewhere around page 400 -- took some time off to read a few other books in between. It's been reminding me of John Dos Passos's USA trilogy; it has the same time frame and concerns, if not same style & structure.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mud Season Is Back

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 13% BF

Yoga last night, then made dinner at home: tuna & wilted greens over pasta. I never did get around to that ride, but I did finally put that new rear tire on the singlespeed. I had a fairly new one on there already, hardly any wear at all but the sidewall had a tear -- doh!! On the plus side, it seems like the new Velociraptors are becoming easier to get onto the Sun rims.

Tonight will be the towpath (or possibly a road ride if the ground is mushy), then maybe leftovers. Meantime, I have one frozen pork tenderloin in the freezer and one thawing in the fridge, and some pork chops plus many other dinner items to be worked through, also sitting in the freezer. Must start cooking again...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Persistence Of Pattern

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 11.5% BF

"Sitting by my window,
Watching the snow
Fall." -- Laurie Anderson

I've been contemplating a late night ride tonight, especially if any of this falling snow sticks. Bust out the singlespeed, and just do a sprint workout. Easton, west of say 6th Street (and once you're up away from the rivers), is like a huge shallow bowl, or maybe a halfpipe: as Northampton rises heading west into Wilson Boro, the side roads to the North and South themselves rise up from Northampton. So what I do is ride back and forth on the side streets, sprinting up away from Northampton, then moving over one block and dropping back down. Traffic lights and stop signs kill my momentum as I cross Northampton again, and then I sprint up the other side of town. I can do that for hours with out getting bored, and that view of nighttime Easton is the one I like best, the one most like my dream-Easton.

The shape isn't perfectly like this of course, and as you get toward 15th Street the North side actually drops down to the valley that holds Bushkill Creek. I sometimes wonder what made the bowl though -- was there a river or creek that shaped it? I don't think that's what it is, but I am used to thinking in terms of downhill and water, sitting as I am on the shelf above the Lehigh and Delaware (and "Bushkill") Valleys. What always amazes me is that the rivers didn't find the valleys to flow through, they were there first, and cut through the mountains (which once were as high as the Himalayas) as they were forced upward. Rock to me seems so persistent, and the course of the river seems ephemeral in comparison, but the simple rules and multiple interactions of moving water give rise to deeper patterns that -- though you can never step into the same river twice -- will be here when everything else is gone. And as above, so below.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday, Monday

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 13.5# BF

Supposedly, today is the most depressing day of the year. Some confluence of weather, incoming Christmas bills and generic Monday-ness I guess. Personally, I feel great...

(Disclaimer: My bills are paid up, Mondays are fine by me, and I love this weather -- I suspect that people who don't are only half alive. So there!)

RIP Papa Denny Doherty. He didn't die on a Monday.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's All Good. No, Really.

Weekend has come and gone...

Friday night was sort of a blowout for me: I went to Which Brew, then to Porters with my friend Kirk. Didn't drink all that much but I was out until 2:00 AM. Needless to say, there was no Saturday yoga.

Saturday: Gym, some chores (got that GRASS to compile, but not to run yet), then met Brian back at Which Brew rfor some dinner. Pleasant surprise, Joe T and his wife were having dinner so I stopped by and said hello. Meantime, Brian got into big conversations with Stu & Cathy before leaving. They (Stu & Cathy) were also leaving at the same time, so I did as well. Early night, though I got home and played with the computer some more before bed.

Today was an early morning group ride at Sals, then lunch in Bethlehem (somewhat new place, where Green Cafe used to be) and back to Sals for some trailwork. We completed one new section of trail, which looked like it would be hard but there were many hands & it went quickly. I took off after that -- I was mucho tired -- but some stuck around and finished another section.

(I couldn't get over, when we were riding, how nice the Sals trails are turning out. There's a bike saying, said usually when something goes wrong, or a ride is unusually tough, or grueling, or disappointing in some way: what you say is "It's all good." I just thought to myself at one point that it really is all good over there. I couldn't say it though, or people would think something was wrong.)

In Other News: I'm an uncle again. No stats, but Caroline Kelly was born early this morning to my brother Kevin and his wife; this is their third and -- Amy swears -- last child. I got the news from my mom who's down there (with my dad) to help out.