Friday, October 29, 2010

Once Burned, Twice Shy

Good time at the gym last night, I did a full body workout including legs. I didn't feel particularly strong or energetic, but still I fairly flew through the workout. The lower reps & higher weights are starting to pay off, and my strength seems to be coming back, though my fitness (despite the running) is still in the middle of its annual Fall meltdown. (Time to set up the trainer in the basement?)
I met Anne at Porters after that, grabbed dinner and BS'ed with a few friends we bumped into there. Ribeye steak sandwich, Founder's Breakfast Stout, some good conversation, and we were home by 11:30, not too bad.
More crows on the way in this morning, and like yesterday, another major backup on the highway -- this time I saw all the brake lights in the distance and got off at the next exit. Even if it took longer I didn't care,  I didn't feel like sitting in traffic again, and when I got to my usual exit I got a glimpse of the interstate looking like a parking lot, so I think my gamble paid off.
Tonight is the CAT Halloween ride.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Return Of The Son Of Corvus Redux

Today marks -- for me -- the official return of the crows to Bethlehem. They flock by the millions along the Lehigh, from about now through maybe January. I've been expecting them, and I'd heard from Deb and Anne that they were already back, and I even saw a few crows flying around yesterday, but it was on my drive in this morning that I saw (and heard) them in full force for the first time this year, in the trees along the riverbank. Just in time for Halloween!
Eldritch: It was foggy this morning, fairly creepy with the now-mostly-bare trees dripping in the dark, and the crows calling (almost) invisibly in the misty early morning, and there I was listening to The Hazards Of Love on the way in, with an image in my mind of waking in the night, and seeing your dead children, the ones you murdered, standing around your bed, singing.
What else: Got my kilt last night. Utilikilts "Workman" model, chocolate (ie brown) colorway. I put it on, it looked good and felt really comfortable, and I was tired so I blew off yoga and worked on the laptop in my new kilt. Did a little playing with my new winter project, some old work-related program involving FORTRAN, which is kind of painful but fun in a sort of archaeological way, and upgraded the system (again).
Doug and Lori came over later, and we adjusted the brakes on his new cyclocross bike. Cantilever brakes, they needed to be set toe-in, but the job wasn't nearly as difficult/frustrating as we were expecting, and we got to hang out for a while afterward with beer and popcorn.
I ran in the kilt this morning -- it's the base for what I'll be wearing in Sunday's Halloween 5k, so it had better be comfortable running gear (and it was). Tonight I'll be hitting the gym, and will follow that with a stop at Porter's.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 13.5% BF
Well, I was going to go to yoga last night, but the weather looked like it would hold out and I decided to do a towpath ride, and so that rain the blew in around 6:00 last  night was basically my fault. No ride, oh well, instead I did a little more reading (Gibson's new Zero History -- verdict so far: meh), downloaded a bunch of old J. Geils Band, and uploaded my pictures from Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day. Dinner was more chili.
Takes One To Know One: Nice takedown of Richard "You Don't Need Math -- I'm An Idiot And I Have A Great Job!" Cohen. Schmuck.
Ran this morning, going to the gym tonight. I may skip Two Brew Tuesday, gotta watch my figure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Overused And Subdued

It was another good, but another hectic, weekend...
I had off on Friday, so Anne and I hit the Allentown Farmer's Market (which is sort of like a PA Dutch version of the original Englishtown auction building, the one that burned down years ago, and the place is always good for people watching), then we used the rest of the day to brew beer -- that is to say, she brewed beer and I occasionally washed something or helped with the heavy lifting. There's a lot of downtime involved, waiting for water to heat up or cool down, so I got in a trip to the hardware store, picked up one more missing piece for our infrastructure  -- our new heat exchanger coil hooks up to an outdoor hose connection, so I got an adapter from the kitchen tap to the coil, and now we can cool the boiled wort in minutes without lifting it off the stove -- and I also got a haircut. (Hair and beard are much shorter than usual, but I've been informed by a reliable source -- the one that counts -- that it looks good.)
Friday night was the monthly Heels on Wheels ride and pub crawl. Smaller crowd than usual, maybe the smallest since the beginning, and I was the only guy. We started at the Brew Works, rode over to The Bookstore but couldn't get in, hit Your Welcome and JP McGrady's (a beer in each and a little Led Zeppelin on the jukebox), then we finished the night with a late dinner back at Brew Works.
Saturday was Philly with the Porter's Pub bus trip. I got a crock pot of chili going, and we got in a couple of other errands in the morning, then we were out the door around noon, and made the bus in time this time. There were a few people on the trip that I knew at least partly (Larry, his brother and sister-in-law), but it was mostly strangers. We had no set itinerary, just a map with some suggestions near Rittenhouse Square, and we were all basically on our own, but when we arrived we basically all poured off the bus and into the nearest/first place on the list -- The Black Sheep. Awesome place, very much like a traditional Irish pub, or at least my idea of one, and they had Chimay on tap...
One and done, then we went with Larry over to Nodding Head Brew Pub. Another awesome place, in a very different way: it was almost like a scene from one of my dreams of Easton or whatever, or maybe something from the Matrix like when they were climbing around "inside the wet wall," and their beer was excellent. Everyone else was at a place next door, and that's where K-Jo caught up with everyone, so we stopped in and said hi -- but we were hungry, so Anne and I went and got some serious comfort food at The Good Dog, and then we went a little further afield, a little sightseeing  on South Street. We caught up with the crew at the famous Monk's Cafe, and then it was time to head home. Back at Porters at a pretty decent hour, maybe 10:30 and the place was jumping, but we just went home.
(Every place we went, was great, especially Nodding Head and the Black Sheep, and they're all high on my list for a return trip.)
Sunday was more puttering around the house, working on the bikes, occasionally checking on the chili and listening to the plop-plop of the beer brewing as the CO2 escaped through the little water seals; Anne also made sauerkraut, so we now have one more thing bubbling away in the kitchen. We took off around 2:00 and rode Jacobsburg, which was really nice, despite the presence of a whole lot of horses, and their droppings. The place was packed, we actually got the last parking space in the main lot, but other than the equestrians, and maybe one or two other bikers, we had the trails pretty much to ourselves. Ten miles, mellow pace, and it really was beautiful out there.
We had some people over to help us eat chili, the usual crew (Debbie, Donna, Liz). Everyone seemed a little tired, and we just sort of hung out and BS'ed. Next weekend is another hectic blowout, then I think everyone is going to want to lay low until the holidays.