Thursday, September 13, 2007

Almost Forgot

An Anniversary: Today is the day we all learned a valuable lesson -- if you find glowing blue metal in an abandoned hospital, don't eat it! Also, Ad Decimum but that's old news.

That Reminds Me: What radiation story would be complete without the Kidd, Of, Speeeeed!

The Cramps, "Can your Pussy Do The Dog?" (Sorry Mom, but you did once buy me the album.) Now it's Johnny Cash, "Big River." Told you I was moving on.

Outta Here: Hit the gym after work, short (10 mi) fast (20+ mph avg) warmup ride beforehand. That felt good. Now I'm heading downtown (after Neko Case stops singing) for some dinner, and tomorrow I'm off to the BASH, three days of a mini Mountain Bike Weekend. My blues seem to have evaporated...

Ou Sont Les Fafblogs D'antan?

Morning weigh-in: 172#, 10% BF

Saw something at the Washington Monthly asking "What are the funniest blogs you read?" My own top five:

(Funniest political blogs, anyway. YMMV, as always.) These were all well represented in comments over there, along with most of my honorable mentions, but someone mentioned the one I forgot about, good old Fafblog, once the best there was and a blogroll to die for, now gone the way of the Whiskey Bar. Wonder what ever happened to those guys...

Listening: Basically just finished my Sex Pistols retrospective, found that only a few of the songs seemed to hold up to my memories/expectations -- the songs actually seem slower now than they did back then, and way more hokey. Time to move on.

UPDATE: Fafblog? Yes, Fafblog! Oops, forgot to put the link in, but I fixed the shit out of that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Morning weigh-in: 170.5#, 12% BF (so close I can almost taste it)
Been kind of uptight lately, snappish and not very able to assimilate disquieting news -- sorry about the phone conversation last night Mom, though once it's stripped of the editorial tone I'll still stand by what I said -- having trouble sleeping, absolutely no appetite...
Don't know what the root problem is, but I know I've been unconsciously trying a few, ah, ad-hoc solutions. Last week I hit WB (ditto Porters) a little more than I should have; this week I've avoided that particular good decision but chose one only a little better: I couldn't sleep last night so I went out riding the singlespeed. My usual sprint workout, back and forth the numbered streets, sprinting up and coasting down (stopping or jumping onto the curb at every street or sign of a car, since I'm invisible sans lights -- that's part of the game), working my way downtown and back a few times. The first hour was a little crazy, then around 11:00 the traffic quieted down and it was just me and my breath and legs. Sprint, coast, sprint, coast... Good workout, especially if I'm physically up for sprinting, but the "can't sleep --> go riding --> burn out" is how I screwed myself up last year. Like I said, it's better than sitting in a bar, but only marginally so.
Got to bed around midnight, slept OK. Got up this morning, early, and ran.
Now How Much Would You Pay? Anyway, what else I did: stopped in to Bike King, bought some derailleur cables and, purely on impulse, a new rear XTR derailleur. Not the newest one, but one of the older ones I like (though the most recent XTR's look pretty sweet). It was last one he had like that; the product line was discontinued years ago. The cables were also XTR (sheesh, $40 cables?), so  all together I paid about $160 for the both of them. Put them on last night, the Turner shifts like a dream now. That bike could really use some TLC, but then so could the singlespeed, as I discovered last night. Squeak! Squeak!
Tonight is yoga.
"Give me a dozen such heartbreaks, if that would help me lose a couple of pounds." -- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Under The Banner Of Heaven

Morning weigh-in: 171.5#, 8% BF (WTF? must be a hydration issue -- but I do like that weight)
Playing Footsie: Slept in this morning, played hookey from work to go to the doctor's office. Ankle surgeon, final visit one year later, and I got a clean bill of health -- with the usual ticking-time-bomb disclaimer: "You do realize that the infection may return at any time..." What-eva, I think I'm good and the hardware is permanent as far as I'm concerned.
Remembrance: Pat Driscoll, Dean Eberling. Just thought I'd say a few names out loud. And here's some Sadly,No! caught in a reprise of being serious. (As for public ceremonies, well, here's a little rudeness.) Funny, I was dehydrated that day too, snuck out of work early and rode the towpath to clear my head -- it was actually a beautiful day, "nine-eleven weather" as the New Yorkers call it now. Went to give blood, me and half the Lehigh Valley, two AM before it was my turn and the nurse couldn't find my veins.
Meantime, today's the anniversary of another faith-based mass murder.
In other news, I hear that Into The Wild is being made into a movie.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Borderline They Call Hazel

Morning weigh-in: 172.5#, 12% BF
One Other Reconnection: Saturday morning I was running around doing errands on a very tight time budget, so needless to say there were all sorts of delays thrown in my path. One delay was OK though: I saw my riding buddy & former neighbor Mike B outside his old house. He looked OK if a bit haggard -- he had the stooped posture & body language I associate with a medical beat-down, and the realization that you're not just mortal but frail -- but told me he was basically out of the woods. In other words, he's cancer free, and had in fact been so since June. Unfortunately, he had two more treatments, to make extra-double-sure it was in remission, and the second treatment wiped out his immune system; he spent most of August in the hospital. But he's back, the last PICC line comes out Friday, and he'll be riding Saturday.
We joked about "Lance Armstrong syndrome" and about how Dona, who once told me "you have no idea what fatigue is until you've been through this," came back as a monster rider. Mike laughed and said that hills he's suffered on don't seem so bad now in retrospect.
A History, A Pattern: Wikipedia sez that today is the 110th anniversary of the Lattimer Massacre, the killing of a bunch of striking immigrant mine workers by sherriff's deputies near Hazelton. I guess the nuts don't fall too far from the tree up there, but luckily their latest great idea was shot down, pending appeal of course...
Tonight is yoga, then Mug Club night, and I'm curiously reluctant to go... Tomorrow (if it doesn't rain) is a road ride, then the VMB meeting. This weekend is the BASH, and I personally could use a weekend in the woods about now, rain or no rain.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Beth Opens Presents

Beth Opens Presents
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Put a bunch of photos up on flickr, mostly of the baby shower but a few recent mellow rides as well. Enjoy!

Steer Toward The Sound Of The Guns

Another high speed weekend, like I'd been shot out of a cannon...

Hit WB & Porters on Friday. Post Junction was playing at Which Brew, and was a little disappointed at not seeing some people I'd hoped would be there, but did see Joe & Cindy with Eric & Janna, which was very pleasant, and also very much of a surprise. They were getting ready to leave about when I got there (early AM road ride for Joe & Eric, while I did a towpath ride after work & arrived late), so we only hung for a few minutes but it was nice.

More Un-Missed Connections: It was hot inside so I went out on the deck, and sat with Stu & Cathy who I hadn't seen in like a month -- I was thinking of sending an "Is Everything OK?" email. Turns out they'd been up in Canada & upstate NY on a road trip, as well as doing one or two other vacationey things. Good to see them, even if they looked pretty much the same.

At the same table were Jeff & Tracy, another couple I hadn't seen in a while (embarrassing fact: they're my neighbors, I can see them any time I make the effort). Tracy dropped a news bomb: "I'm pregnant!" Things is moving along, they even sold their car and got a family-style SUV...

Joe M was also hanging out, but another guy showed up: a friend who shall remain nameless but whose recent conversations have become tedious and disturbing (obsessive, delusional, concerning a girl he likes), which left a bad taste in my mouth right at the end of a pleasant evening. Went across the street -- I know he doesn't like it there, but real reason was because WB closes early & they don't -- got another beer to help wash the taste out. Not really my crowd, but there were a few people I knew. (I could talk more about this night, maybe I will later.)

Doily, And More Doily: The next day I skipped morning yoga, but hit the gym. I saw Janna again as she was leaving (she teaches spinning there). Good workout, yadda yadda, numbers were good even if I didn't feel especially strong -- legs are doing well, I expect I'll be able to start hitting them hard when the season ends -- I am already jonesing for leg workouts. I got some good gift ideas from Dawn S ("go to the mall, get a gift card") for the "co-ed baby shower" I'd be going to later in the day.

Anyway, on the way to the mall I had lunch at a new place in P'burg that a friend recommended, sort of tea-and-sandwiches place. Very nice but very estrogen, which I guess got me ready for what was coming...

That afternoon was Beth & Kevin's "co-ed baby shower." First one I ever went to, and hopefully it'll be the last -- the people were nice, it's just that that party format is really annoying. Luckily it was actually just a barbecue for most of the day, and they didn't do the whole shower thing until the end. I dropped back and punted, got them a gift card, but some people had really nice gifts. (Their daughter Charlee was 2 months premature, so there was a lot of specialized "preemie-sized" clothes.)

The party ended soon after the gifts were done, and I went back to Easton, to a friend's 40th birthday party. Low key, but lots of good food & company. Bed by midnight, maybe 11:00.

Sunday: Trail maintenance at Allamuchy, fixing damage from the race, then I rode towpath/Sals. Saw Dave J from the PPRAC ride at Sals, but we were both leaving by then. My bionic weather foot tells me rain's coming, and from what I saw the trails (at Sals, Allamuchy, and even Jim Thorpe) could sure use it.

Things I Missed: There was a lot of stuff going on this weekend, including the P'burg Criterium & a collegiate MTB race at Lehigh on Saturday, and the Hellertown Hill Climb & a road race (through the Allentown Brew Works, for one lap at least) in Allentown. I caught part of the Hill Climb from the towpath, but it's not the same since the stopped letting people hit each other with beer bottles...