Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh Bondage! Up Yours!

RIP Poly Styrene, you totally rocked. I think I know what I'll be downloading tonight, my original -- vinyl, when that's all there was? or maybe it was a cassette? -- whatever it was, it's long since worn out and disappeared. Anyway, towpath ride last night with Anne, followed by burgers & beer with Anne. Tonight is the VMB meeting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Golgotha Virus

"Men have an extraordinary, and perhaps fortunate, ability to tune out of their consciousness the most awesome future possibilities. The Roman farmer, ploughing the slopes of Vesuvius, gave no thought to the mountain smoking overhead. Half the twentieth century lived with the  Hydrogen Bomb -- half the twenty-first with the Golgotha virus." -- Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise
So Easter has come and gone...
I had Good Friday off, and had rescheduled the VMB "beginner ride" at Jim Thorpe to Friday morning, but the day was cold and threatened rain, and it was only Anne and myself that went, so instead of doing the Broad Mountain loop (beginner stuff on Jeep roads) we rode the first part of the American Standard singletrack and had a blast. It was a cold day but we warmed up enough to remove jackets etc, then in the last mile or so we were hit with snow flurries.
We went to Easton that night to see the Great White Caps playing at Porters. We met Donna there, and saw many from "the old gang" (actually, from several different "old gangs"): Lee and Dave and Rathi, and Marty, and Danielle and Tara and Tabitha, and Courtney who got many congratulations on her engagement. Plenty of others there too, familiar faces whose histories I kinda-sorta know but not their names -- the place was packed. Later in the evening I noticed it was thinning out; I thought "wow, dinner crowd is leaving," looked at my phone and discovered it was after midnight. Oh well, time to go home.
Saturday morning we slept in for a bit, no surprise. Anne did some baking once we did get up, and I worked some more on the plans for the outdoor masonry oven we're putting in; the afternoon was a trip down to visit my parents for Easter. My brother Chris was there too with his family, as well as my uncle Pat and my sister-in-law's parents. Ham and turkey dinner, cake and coffee, hanging out with the family, and then the evening drive home. My mom gave me some new books for my birthday -- thanks Mom! -- so the evening was spent reading.
Reading: Perdido Street Station, by China MiĆ©ville. Combination steampunk/fantasy, the first of a series set on the same (non-Earth) planet, by the guy who wrote Kraken, which I read and enjoyed last year.
Anyway, Easter Sunday was a trip back to Jim Thorpe, for an early Easter dinner at Anne's mom's house, with a bunch of her brothers and sisters, and their kids and grandkids. Lots of people and lots of fun, but things were pretty much winding down by mid-afternoon, and we were home by 5:00.
The day seemed sunny in Bethlehem before and after our visit, but it was weirdly humid-warm and rainy in Jim Thorpe. When we got back to the sunshine early enough for a ride I ran to get ready, but in the time I took to prepare the bike (slashed rear sidewall needed replacing) the JT weather caught up with us. It was warm enough so I went anyway, and did 10 miles in a steady drizzle followed by another 10 in a raging deluge of a thunderstorm. Crazy fun, actually...
Our usual haunts were closed last night, so we hit the Hotel Bethlehem, which never seems to work for me, but it was there or nothing last night so in we went. Pretty nice for a change -- unless you counted the table of obnoxious child-men, probably business travelers, yelling at the TV -- and the hamburger I got was very good. A better beer selection and it might be a decent place to hang out.
"Language is a virus from outer space." -- William S. Burroughs