Friday, January 25, 2008

Can't Tell The Players Without A Program

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 8.5% BF (dehydration?)
Alterna-workout nite at the gym, then I hit Which Brew for dinner and some bluegrass. I was physically very hungry but had no appetite (a very weird feeling), and I eventually ordered fish & chips, which I don't often have but they did hit the spot last night.
By way of background: Saw friend and blog-reader Mike at the WB, who made the tactical error of asking me about some of the obsessions that he read about here, and got stuck listening to my 200-word-a-minute rants for the next hour or so as I emptied my head into his ear... So sorry about that Mike, and here's a quick Wikipedia tour of what I was babbling about, starting with the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey and interspecies competition equations, moving on through the logistical function, carrying capacity and Hubbert's Peak, and finishing with good old Belisarius. You down with OCD? Yeah you know me...
Meantime, the other obsession: Hitting the towpath tonight, maybe with Larry, maybe also with Mike B. Tomorrow morning is yoga so I want to make it an early night.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cyprian Latewood

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 9.5% BF
Been thinking about Against the Day lately, may pick it up again soon, give it a second read. Not much else to say: worked late, then went to yoga last night, 7-layer burritos for dinner. Read, read, computer (posted a few more pics from Sunday), bedtime. Tonight is the gym, then probably Which Brew for Bluegrass Night.
By the way, today in 1984 the first Macs went on sale. I had one, and I still have that computer (with upgrades that made it essentially a "Mac Plus") in one of my closets. Eight friggin megahertz, 128K RAM, no hard drive, the thing was awesome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Democracy Inaction

Morning weigh-in: 167.5#, 7.5% BF
Well, that was like shooting fish in a barrel, except that the fish didn't actually show up: The Salisbury Twp meeting last night was "a preliminary meeting for public input" about the planned development of, of... what was the name of that park again? Apparently the park in its entirety will be called Lehigh Mountain Park, though a certain portion is now known as Walking Purchase Park, or Riverside Park, or something... Lots of mountain bikers were there, as well as many many residents and a few other interested parties, like a guy who does bird inventories along the river, peeps like that. The project manager, a landscape architect from some engineering firm seemed like a pretty good guy (everyone seemed pretty nice), and things went rather well.
The meeting started with an overview of the geological, ecological, and historical/archaeological features of the park, then some presentation of current recreational activities, and then the architect talked about what he thinks should be done to move things forward. (His main proposal: make the park more "park-like," with identifiable boundaries, plus parking areas and information kiosks, picnic and camping and yes, ATV areas.) Finally, there was the public input part.
Apparently, the rumor that ATV's would be allowed at the park had spread, because all of the public commenters, especially residents, were there to denounce it. All were vehemently opposed, and strongly voiced their opinions that enforcement of existing laws against ATV use (as well as against littering/dumping, vandalism, and drug use) needed to be a top priority.  I think that the architect was taken aback a bit, and said that his (initial and preliminary) proposal, to allow some ATV use at the park, was based on a survey of current use (like they would decriminalize the trash dumping and crack use, based on a survey of current park use). No one had anything good to say about the ATV's, no advocates showed up to defend themselves -- not surprising really, considering that it would basically be an admission of criminal activity -- and I think that a message was received and duly noted. We'll see where it goes from here.
A couple of the VMB'ers hit the Bethlehem Brew Works afterward for dinner. Doug, Spanky, Joe G, Lucas, E-Rock, Jim D, it was a pretty big crew. I was starving, had a cheese steak, slipping is crash's law but tonight it's back to yoga and the routine (hopefully).
Rest In Peace: Heath Ledger, cut down in his prime, as was skier Billy Poole. The good die young.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Deep Blue Mountain

Morning weigh-in: 166.5#, 7.5% BF
Ran some errands last night, then hit the slopes at Blue Mountain. I go there around 7:15, and got in nine solid runs in just about two hours -- the place was practically empty (except for some racers, terrain park kids, and other hardcore idiots), no lift lines whatsoever. Bitterly cold, low teens, but the sky was beautiful: clear and starry, and an amazing deep blue, with the almost-full moon coming over the mountain. It's been 15 years since I first saw them like that, but there were Orion and Sirius directly in front of me, right where I left them, whenever I took the older lifts.
An OLD SKOOL ski lift conversation:
DONNY DON (pointing): Look, the Dog Star!
DONNY DON (different voice): Are you Sirius? (chuckle chuckle chuckle snort...)
CRAZY JOE MCK: What the hell are you talking about?
(Yeah I slay me, and I've been slaying me for a long long time.)
Anyway, I was planning to stay until they closed at 10:00, but then remembered that I had no clean clothes -- and no dirty ones either, since my clothes had been washed but not dried -- so I left a little early and did an emergency laundry run. Porters while the clothes dried, punching my mug club card (I have less than 20 beers to go now, to get my new mug). I saw K-Jo there, as well as Kateryna & Eamon, and also Cliff; I sort of kept to myself, just passing through but it was nice to see them. Sports on the TV, bartender Scott was still on a high from Sunday's game.
Not sure what I'll be doing for dinner, but I'll be down in Allentown tonight for the Salisbury Township meeting, heading there straight from work. Looks like a battle royale is building over illegal ATV/quad use at Walking Purchase Park, and this meeting might be the opening salvo. Aside from that, I think I'll lay low for a few days: I've got a bit of windburn on the exposed parts of my face right now, and it's making me look like a purplish raccoon.
Reading: Male Fantasies is now the bathroom reader, and Matrix Population Models has been moved to the kitchen.
Listening: I'm back on a Jason and the Scorchers kick. Don't know why.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How 'Bout Them Giants, Eh?

Morning weigh-in: 167#, 9.5% BF
Friday I was in a foul mood (long story, won't be going there right now), went out to have a bit of an "angry party" for myself, though to be honest I had a pretty good time of it despite myself. Which Brew for dinner after my towpath ride, and when I got to WB I found that Greg & Judy had dinner at Porters across the street, and slipped their waitress Courtney -- who told them where she'd be going after work -- a few bucks to buy me a beer... It was the talk of the bar for a bit ("Somebody bought you a beer who wasn't even here!"), then things settled down and we all enjoyed the sounds of DJ Kaos (aka Art), and I knew he would but he did play "Apache," so all was right with the world.
After dinner I went across the street (G & J were long gone) where Eamon bought me a beer -- I didn't exactly drink for free that night but I came close -- and I paid a few back but I owe favors all over the place now -- and so much for being angry and ornery... Post Junction were playing, and they had a few guest singers (people from Stomp who played at the State theater earlier), so their set wasn't the same-old-same-old they'd been stuck in; they're a good band and I'd hate to become tired of them.
Saturday: gym, chores errands yadda yadda, out to WB for dinner again, and to catch the Todd Wolfe project. They were good, but it was an early night for me.
Sunday was a great ride: I hit Sals with Doug, E-Rock and E-Baum, then we went out on foot to document some quad/ATV damage down by the river. I took over 100 photos all told on Sunday, and will post maybe a third of the least boring ones so stay tuned. (Actually, I already put a few up last night.)
Dinner was at Porters, where I caught a very exciting football game. I guess it was the cold and the frozen ball and stiff fingers, but there was a lot more drama going on than I was ready for, almost like a college game -- then I missed the winning FG because I was talking to someone. Whatever, I'll take the win, and meantime: gadzooks, the Giants are in the Superbowl! I wasn't planning to see the game; because of the "Superbowl of Chili" I haven't seen the actual Superbowl in many years and that was my plan for this year too. I guess I'll think of something.
Tonight is the last of my chili, then I'll probably go skiing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What Color Is Infrared?

the creek
Originally uploaded by Razumichin.
Another one I didn't take (and another one of my favorites), but this is more like what I was seeing along that creek.