Friday, February 15, 2008

ARNOLD We Have Ice Forming On The Wings

Morning weigh-in: 155#, 10.5% BF
Return of the Rorqual Maru: Haven't been reading much lately, but I was thinking again about another of my childhood sci-fi faves, The Godwhale, probably the best book I read as a child. In some ways a very spooky story, it was basically about the death of the seas -- the destruction of all nonhuman life, except for the robot farms that feed the worldwide Hive of genetically modified super/sub-human "nebishes" -- and the gradual return of life, as seen through the eyes of an ancient robot harvesting ship and her allies (the small, savage bands of unmodified humans, and a few rebel nebishes). One more book that made me see things the way I do now.
Anyway, yoga last night, a really good vinyasa class with my old svaroopa teacher Debbie (she complimented me on my improvements, but then asked me why she hasn't seen me in her classes, sigh), then home, laundry, and out to the supermarket; dinner was pasta & tuna with wilted greens.
Saw another multi-vehicle accident on the way in this morning, same spot: the westbound portion of US22 at Cemetery Curve seems to be the buzz place for crashes this week. One new feature in my car is a thermometer, and I noticed this morning that the temperature was hovering right around freezing, not the best time to be speeding into those partially-flooded S-turns...
Tonight is the towpath, then I'll probably eat out. Tomorrow is yoga, the gym and maybe a road ride in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stringer, Alien

Morning weigh-in: 166.5#, 8% BF (hmmmm, a little bit o' suppression?)
The meeting last night was pretty good, big turnout and a lot of ideas got thrown around, mostly about trail maintenance/advocacy. Apparently Blue Mountain may want to put in some downhill biking infrastructure, and also some XC trails -- essentially build their way to a 4-season business model over the next few years, and the VMB may have some sort of role to play. That could be big, and as long as they don't ruin my quiet Monday nights skiing up there (or my summer rides over the mountain on those quiet mountain roads), I'm cool. Meantime, there was some talk about trail situations at Ralph Stover, coordinating with the rock climbers and the park. That also sounds good, but it's a little out of our jurisdiction, and I worry that we'd be spreading ourselves too thin. Hopefully, the guys down there will be able to organize themselves to handle this.
Meanwhile, the venue: Wegman's was an alright place for the meeting, plenty of room even for the large turnout. I grabbed some dinner from the "Asian Wokkery" buffet or whatever, a couple of dumplings and some veggie lo mein. Pretty weird to walk downstairs and be back in a supermarket, though I'd been through that plenty of times before, back in the Howard Dean Meetup days.  If the VMB had meetings there on a regular basis I don't think anybody would object, despite the lack of alcohol.
Dyson, I still dream of Vhiesshu: Been thinking about a book I used to have, sci-fi, called The World Is Round. I wonder whatever happened to it -- I probably sold it years ago. I've been seeing connections with Pynchon's V, especially "She Hangs On The Western Wall."
Hit the gym last night. Tonight I'll probably go to yoga (if I can make the early start), otherwise I'll do a singlespeed hill-sprint workout around town. Dinner: pork tenderloin?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Guilt And Its Expiation

Morning weigh-in: 168.5#, 9.5% BF
Pretty good party last night, or rather "dinner," since it was a bit early in the evening and things revolved mainly around the food. Things actually were a bit subdued, but it was a school night after all, and there were a few no-shows due to the lousy weather conditions. (Speaking of which, the Pennsylvania I once knew is gone: once upon a time even the little old ladies would be barrelling through a foot of snow at 65 mph with now problem, but the driving, at least on the rush hour trip to Allentown, was as bad -- alternately chickenshit and hyper-competitive -- as it would be in NJ. The return trip, with worse road/weather conditions, was actually easier: there were fewer cars on the road overall, but the impriovement was mainly because the commuters were all home, and all the timid/stupid drivers were busy staying off the roads -- the average driver quality was much higher.)
Anyway, the dinner: we took Linda completely by surprise. She suspected nothing, and in fact had been ragging on Rich because he'd done nothing special for her birthday, and we got to do the whole "Surprise!" thing when she walked into the room. Priceless! The dinner itself was very nice, awesome group appetizers (prosciutto & mozzarella, et cetera), and I had the chicken piccata. Some days I just love capers. By the way, I do remember Carmine's, one of those quaint little hole-in-the-wall BYO places in Allentown that I used to occasionally visit back in the day.
Cake, coffee, and the night ended fairly early after that. I was home before 10:00. I took some photos, and posted them last night before bed; you know what to do.
I was not happy with what I saw on the scale this morning, especially since I'll be going out again tonight for the VMB meeting (an upstairs meeting room at Wegman's, we'll see how it works out). I'm going to hit the gym on my way home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

God's Eye

Morning weigh-in: 167.5#, 9.5% BF
Interesting visual on the way in to work this morning: left of the sun was a sort of smooth pearllite cloudiness, like "here comes the snow" clouds, while to the right was a bunch of cirrus clouds, except that the cirrus stuff formed a sort of asymmetric fractal spiral, centered on the sun and spilling off to the right. Very neat, glad I saw it, left me feeling very mellow & peaceful.
Monday Night Ski Dork Club: Anyway, I got my winter look back. Dinner last night was a can o'beans and a bag o'salad, then I went up to Blue Mountain. I got there at 7:00, and got in 13 runs total. It was freezing out -- 11 degrees at the top of the hill -- and the place was a ghost town, but I kept bumping into this dude from Philly on the lifts, so we hooked up and skied together the rest of the night. Pretty cool guy, younger, some kind of microbiologist and originally from Hong Kong; he was better and quicker than me, especially on the steeper slopes, and I was kind of pushing just a bit past my comfort zone trying to keep up. Pretty neat, we hit just about every open trail including the terrain park -- he knew a couple of shortcuts to the quad lift. (Neither of us tried any of the jumps though.) We spent a lot of time on Racer's Edge and the Challenger, then we hit Main Street for my last run. Last I him saw he was working his way over to the other side of the mountain, since he parked at the top of the hill (not sure why anyone does that) and had to use the lifts to get back to his car.
I guess great minds think alike, since that's the second Monday night where I ran into "my people" there, and like the Pottsville guys the other time, and myself, this dude said he's a Monday night regular.
Loose Ends: Finishing off Mr. Leonard Pierce's visit to CPAC, here are Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and the exciting conclusion, Chapter Thirteen. Brought to you by Sadly, No! where I go every day for better health -- and so should you!
Tonight is a surprise 50th birthday party for a friend's girlfriend, at Carmine's in Allentown. Never been there that I remember. I may make it an early evening because of the bad weather supposedly coming our way.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

Some vacation ideas:
Moab UT: April (1 week, already booked)
Asheville NC: April (4 day weekend, already booked)
Laughlintown PA: May (Memorial Day Weekend, planned)
Big Bear WV: June (3 days, 24 Hour race)
Elk River WV: June (planning stages)
Northeast Kingdom VT: July (planning stages)
State College PA: July (2 days, Wilderness 101)
Allamuchy NJ: (3 days, 24 Hour race)
Rattling Creek PA: September (RCST Bash)
Man I am so jonesing for a ride right now.

Spending Money Like A Drunken Sailor

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 10.5% BF
On Saturday at least it felt like I was hemorrhaging funds... and between yoga, the gym, the massage and finally a haircut, it was more like a "spa day," and in fact more selfish ("self-ish?") than the usual selfish day, which is really just all about the chores. Yoga's free (or rather, already paid for), ditto the gym (except for personal trainer fees -- Dawn's a friend, but I pay her to hang out with me on Saturdays), the haircut was reasonable and I had a coupon for the massage, but it sure seemed like I was burning through cash...
To recap: Friday was Which Brew after a towpath ride with Larry -- for some reason we really cruised, a painlessly fast pace, pretty gratifying. (I saw him later at the WB, where Heath & Hans, and also Taylor were hanging, and they swamped him with bike talk/advice when he mentioned the ride.) The Skulldiggers were playing, and I had a mesclin/apple salad with pork tenderloin medallions. I was hanging with Heath & Hans, and I was going to follow those guys to Porters but my better judgement got a hold of me -- found out later that the band I wanted to see there Saturday night actually played Friday. Oh well, you can't be everywhere.
Daytime Saturday you know about; Saturday evening was dinner at WB again, but an early night, just food and socializing for a bit. That massage actually wore me out, and I was home in bed by 10:30.
I woke up Sunday feeling sore like I'd been racing, or maybe playing football or something, more fallout from that massage. I decided to sort of take it easy, and rode South Mountain Park (aka Lehigh) via the towpath. Breakfast at the Quadrant on the way out, prevailing westerlies on the towpath, late lunch in Bethlehem, at the revamped Blue Sky while the snow squall blew through, and a nice tail wind for the ride home. After that came laundry, where I discovered all the money I thought I'd spent, stuffed into various pockets... Dinner was Porters, where I am now about three beers away from my new mug.
Tonight I'm hitting the slopes. I have a free pass.