Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

End of the World

How long has it been since you've seen this flash animation? Maybe some of you younger folks haven't seen it at all. Oh, the memories.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Email Waves

I get email in waves. It's been really nice getting only one email today (except that I was expecting Beerman to send one and he never did). I have noticed that week days correlate with more new mails. Many of them are junk but a lot of others seem to have something to do with working. I guess all that volume during the week makes me appreciate the sparse communication on the weekends.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pick #221

José Feliciano - "Feliz Navidad"

It's a song that gets gringos to sing along in spanish.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Love Trash

There's a documentary called I Love Trash about 2 dudes who decide not to buy anything for three months (they do spend money on rent and utilities, I think).

I went dumpster diving with a guy named A on campus last weekend, after students had vacated. It was pretty nice and solitary. We weren't hassled. We found some decent stuff. Some of it, like shoes and food, we donated to the homeless shelter (minus the can of Spaghetti-Os that I'm keeping to eat). There was a brand new monopoly set and a big picture frame that holds 4 pix. We scooped up a backpack and some writing implements, storage containers, rags and a towel (which I definitely washed in hot water with bleach and the single serving laundry detergent packet we dug out of the dumpster). There were some ethernet cables and shelving units and now I can't even remember what else we kept.

I was amazed at the amount of recyclable material in the dumpster. We gathered up all the aluminum cans we found and a couple tall kitchen bags worth of plastic bottles along with a couple scraps of glass. We took them to the Garnet & Gold Goes Green recycling bin, figuring that was a good way to give back to the school and the earth.

In fact, it feels really cool to take stuff that was going to be thrown away and find a use for it. Not just a decorative use, but a function (well, maybe except for the picture frame). I will probably eat the Spaghetti-Os later this week as a baby step toward being able to eat other food out of a dumpster. I know that sounds gross, but if you watch the documentary I linked to above, you'll hopefully have your mind changed. I think I'm going to draw the line for now at things that are still in their packaging...like cereal still in the bag inside the box and canned food. Maybe in the future I could expand to produce.

When I was younger, I used to go on walks or bike rides with my family where the objective was to extract recyclable metals from dumpsters, take the home, prep them if needed, and turn in to the scrap yard for extra money. I was fairly embarrassed by doing this as a much more self conscious person than I am today. I thought that it wasn't normal and that my friends didn't do it so that made me weird. Looking back, it was a lesson that we have a lot of waste and that if people care enough about it, then they can clean up after everyone else and be rewarded for it.

Preview of the movie linked to above:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Cycle Comfortably in the Cold

Temperatures have been dropping here in Tally, which has forced me to gear up for the cold. I want to share some tips on how to dress to make the cold as pleasant as possible. The secret is being able to regulate your temperature. Let me go from head to toe:

If it's not too cold out, I tie a handkerchief around my head. First, I fold it into a triangle, then put the big point in the back and tie it like Tupac in front of my forehead. This way, I can easily remove it by pulling on the back of the bandana while cycling. Alternatively, I have an Under Armour skull cap that I can put on and pull over my ears. I push it up over my ears when I heat up. If it's really cold, I have a pasamontañas which is basically a ski mask with only one cycloptic hole for the eyes. It goes down over my neck too.

I also use a handkerchief to tie around my neck. Way better than a scarf. Once again, tie it only loosely so you can remove it once you warm up.

For the upper body, a moisture wicking shirt is the preferred base layer. I either use a long sleeve wicking shirt or a short sleeve one with arm warmers (which can be taken off).

Ideally, on top of the shirt, you will wear a zippered jacket made of polar fleece, covered by a zippered windbreaker. Fleece does not break the wind. This allows you to control your body temperature by adjusting the zipper levels of both jackets.

Cold weather is not the time to go commando. I recommend boxer-briefs or briefs with boxers on top of them. Pants too. No shorts.

As for the feet, a good moisture wicking sock is a great base layer. I've been putting baseball socks (or soccer socks, but they don't work as well since they fall down easier without shin guards) on top of those. When it's really cold, I put another fairly tall sock on the outside. Boots are a must. They keep the wind from ripping straight through your footwear.

I think this is a nearly ideal setup for me. You might find that you need to tweak it a little bit to fit your needs. I also realize that I look even less stylish than usual in this sort of get-up. You may be able to change into better looking clothes when you arrive at your destination. I just stopped caring.

Best of luck.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cigarettes Are Litter Too!

So I've received lots of feedback about a tweet I posted on Wednesday about how I was behind a car at a red light and saw the driver throw a lit cigarette out the window. I went and picked it up, held it up to her window, and when she rolled the window down, I told her that she dropped something. To my surprise, she actually took the cigarette back. I said that she should put it in the ash tray in her car. She was talking on her cell phone for our entire exchange, but took time away from that conversation to engage me. She said something about how I don't look like the police. I told her that if I were a policeman, I would issue a $500 ticket for littering. She said something about me dropping out of FSU to join the police academy or something unintelligible. She also claimed that these cigarettes are biodegradable. Not sure I believe that one...I think it had a filter.

For the record, I don't have a problem with people smoking in their cars (if there are no children in said cars). I do have a problem with people littering. Cigarette butts are litter. Smoldering cancer sticks thrown out of windows can ignite other fuel and cause a fire.

I don't know why people think it's OK to litter with cigarette butts. It seems that even smokers would admonish my behavior if I threw my empty glass bottle by the side of the road. Or an empty energy gel package. Or what about a giant bag of fast-food packaging leftover after consuming greasy goodness? Or if I got a flat on my bike and left the old tube with the hole in it alongside the road. All of it is litter.

I'm not perfect. I have on occasion thrown stuff out of my car window. Sometimes it almost seems like you just about have to do it. However, I pick up way more than I throw down. If everyone had the same ratio of trash picked up to trash disposed as I did, the streets would be as clean as they are in Sweden.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pick #219

Red West - "500 Miles"

It's an old folk song, so I'm not sure I really want to attribute an artist. I can't find a recorded version that's nearly as good as a live version.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bicycle Tallahassee

I was just talking to Micah on the phone and he told me about a bicycle advocacy group in town that I haven't heard of yet. It's called Bicycle Tallahassee and its mission is to get kids hooked on bikes. They are having a fundraiser this Friday from 7-9pm at the Envision Credit Union at 440 N. Monroe. They're showing a movie about someone who bikes from N. to S. Africa. They've got door prizes. The cost is $10/person, $15/couple, or $20/family.

Read more about BT here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stem Captain

Stem Captain makes cool things that you can put on your bicycle's stem cap...picture frame, thermometer, clock, and compass. I think I'm going to get one...maybe I'll wait and ask for one for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pick #215

Josh Ritter - "Bright Smile" from Hello Starling

Collegiate Nationals in Tallahassee?

I was talking with a representative of Visit Tallahassee who told me that he'd been in contact with a representative of USA Triathlon and that the city is interested in putting in a bid to get the 2013 and 2014 USAT Collegiate National Championship triathlon races hosted here in Tally. I was asked if I'd like to be on board...possibly as race director.

I read over the USAT booklet describing what they are looking for in a host city. I think that we have everything it takes here in Tallahassee. If the city gets behind this 100%, then we can have shuttle buses (if needed), closed course, cooperation from permitting agencies, etc. Tally's also ideal due to weather concerns (way warmer here in April than in farther north places). One disadvantage I see is that we are kind of in a corner of the country instead of the center. I guess that doesn't matter much for people who will fly anyway...Berkeley isn't going to drive to Kansas, so why's it matter that they have to fly here?

I'm looking around town at a few different possible venues. I'm obviously going to see how we could make this happen at the Rez before going on to other places. With the city's backing, I will be able to close roads and get into places that otherwise wouldn't be possible. I won't have to worry about my organization covering the cost of the race. This sounds like it would be a big next step in my race directing career (not that I want to turn race directing into my main source of income).

Of course, if FSU rocks this year's USAT Collegiate Nationals, then we will probably have a way better chance of getting the bid. If this happens, I imagine I'll stay in Tally for a few more years.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Super Glue Band-Aids

A while ago, I wrote about liquid band-aids. I have since started using super glue instead. It started gradually, but I think it was when I started rock climbing and had things ripping open on my hand (and I still wanted to climb) that I began using super glue regularly. Right now it's on 2 different cuts on my left hand.

Super glue burns a little more than the Band Aid brand stuff, but it is way cheaper. It doesn't come with the handy applicator like Band Aid brand, but you can use the spout to spread the liquid glue over the wounded area. Probably not as sanitary as the individually sealed, sterile liquid band-aids, but I don't mind.

If you're a little skeptical, I recommend you try it somewhere. Some areas of your body will appreciate the versatility of the super glue more than others. A cut on your thigh will be happy enough with a regular bandage. A cut that's on a joint (especially knuckles) will be an ideal test spot since regular bandages fail miserably on those locations.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bulking Up By Riding Fixed

I heard that this happens, but didn't expect to notice it on myself. I've found new muscles in my arms, legs, and back since starting to ride a fixed gear. That's the only change I've made in my exercise regime. I'm not swimming more or lifting or climbing more or anything. I think all the growth is attributable to the fixie. I've paid special attention to the muscles I use on a steep climb and they match up with the ones that have grown since I got the Uno. I wonder if I can get even more buff by increasing my ratio.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bodybuilding.com

I got a shirt on Saturday from Micah that says Bodybuilding.com on the front and the back. It lacks sleeves and has a silly design on the front. I'm totally going to rock it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Global Warming's Inconsistent Skeptics

So, I remember last winter when the anti-global-warming crowd was lauding the record cold as evidence against global warming. They obviously pretended they didn't know the difference between climate and weather.

However, with this really hot summer that just passed, I didn't notice anyone in that camp declaring that global warming is out of control because of the high temperatures. Way to be internally inconsistent.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tri the Rez 2010 Recap

Whoa was there a lot to do last week! I had some help from a few special volunteers all week and assistance from many enthusiastic souls on Friday and Saturday. Without them, the event couldn't have happened.

I ran into a couple snags, but nothing major. For one thing, not everything to stuff in the packets came in until Thursday! I got to packet pickup a little later than planned (partly due to there not being any gas in the rental truck and partly due to snoozing for 10 minutes because I stayed up until about 3:30am on Thursday night). At packet pickup, I realized that my list of participants was organized by wave and not alphabetized by last name!!! Luckily I was able to revise and print a new copy at the Rez. Also, I had to call FSU Parking Services because they didn't show up...they lost my request. Another bummer was that I ran out of food at post-race. I didn't have a post-race coordinator this year like I did last year so maybe that's why I didn't get the right quantities of everything. However, I did get Red Elephant Pizza and people who got to eat it loved it. I tried unsuccessfully for a long time to find an announcer and a driver for the sag wagon. Luckily I found people before Saturday.

Everything with course marking and setup went well. I think we had plenty of port-a-potties and parking (although I need to ask around to see). Lots of people picked up their packets on Friday, thus making Saturday morning much easier. Kathy McDaris was there at packet pickup in the morning making everything run smoothly. She is such a great help. I got to watch a little of the race, but wasn't there for the swim start. The race started one minute late, but I guess I can live with that.

Last year's winner defended his title and a member of the FSU tri club got 2nd overall! I saw a lot of returning faces and many first timers. Everyone seems to have had a great time. I hope that they will all come back next year. This year's race saw 247 registrants and 214 finishers...almost double last year's numbers. I hope we can expand a little more next year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Capital City Runners

Capital City Runners is open (grand opening on Oct. 30th)! I went in yesterday and got a new pair of shoes (Saucony Kinvara) and a Timex Ironman watch with a 50 lap memory. I took them both for a run tonight and ran super consistent. I ran a 4 mile out-&-back course in 27:50...13:55 on the way out and 13:55 on the way back! I know I should have broken the shoes in before running but couldn't help myself.

There are some cool, larger-than-life Reebok-branded posters of both Nate Brannen and Kevin Sullivan. They've got a neat setup with a treadmill where they videotape you running to determine if the shoe fits well or not. I've always wondered what it looks like behind me when I'm running and now I got to see!

I would recommend that you go in and check them out. It might be a little more impressive inside if you wait for their grand opening...but don't wait too long because everything's 10% off until October 31st.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Seabreacher X

Check this out: a boat shaped like a dolphin/shark...it does crazy things.

Visit the Seabreacher X's website for a few more details.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Street Racing

I was on my bike ride home tonight when I passed some people outside. One guy was by his car and asked if I wanted to race. I asked "in your car?" and he said that he had a bike. So Ernest and I raced. And I won. He had a mountain bike. Then his friends D and AJ raced and I won them all. I had a slight advantage with a track stand start but they had the advantage with lower gears on the uphill. I think they weren't very good at shifting.

It was so much fun. Left me with a smile on my face for the rest of the night.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Side Effects of Cold Weather

As the temperature has dropped and I've opened my windows, I've noticed a few fun things. The viscosity of liquids like dish & laundry detergent, body wash, and shampoo has increased. Also, I had to re-zero my bathroom scale because the spring had shrunk. Of course, the air pressure in my bike tires (which were around 100psi to start with) dropped. What other fun things will I notice next?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cancer Free Tree

Cancer Free Tree
Read a story about this painting and how it can help raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flooded Ants

Ants take turns on top/breathing. That's how they can survive floods.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tri the Rez Taking Off

Registration for Tri the Rez has shot through the roof! We currently have 187 racers signed up, but not so many volunteers. If you want to volunteer, please email seh09e (at) fsu.edu.

Last year had 140 people signed up. This year, hopefully the reputation and cheaper price induced more people to sign up. I guess they also had more notice this year. It promises to be a great event.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Sign of Fall

Today I was checking the weather forecast and I saw the "feels like" temperature at 91° when the actual temperature was 92°! Whoa.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Moral Code is Out of Date

Found this article on CNN.com. I probably could have guessed that it was written by someone in some way affiliated with Ayn Rand's philosophy. Anyhow, it frames familiar arguments in a new light to make them support an idea that I haven't seen advanced before.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tri the Rez Custom Orders

I've got a sample of the custom Polar water bottle coming early next week. I saw mock-ups of the bottle and the race T-shirts and they look AWESOME. Sponsor logos on water bottle are full-color and look much like the post below (except with the logo for Enterprise Rent-a-Car added in). Maybe soon I'll figure out how to post a pic of the shirts. 111 people registered as of right now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tri the Rez Sponsors




I made this all by myself in Photoshop Elements. Not too bad. Not like it's a difficult project, but if it's gotta get done and nobody else will do it, then it comes down to me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Know Your Rights

I went to a know your rights workshop last week and learned a couple things about dealing with the cops.

1. Never consent to a search. Not of your car, your house, nor your person. Tell them that you do not consent to any searches. They'll make shit up about how you'll get in trouble, but cops are allowed to bullshit you. You aren't allowed to lie to them, but they can lie to you all they want. Most people get in trouble because they let the cops search something that they had a constitutional right to keep private (is this where all those 4th Amendment jokes come from, TBW?).

2. Say you're pulled over and asked to step out of the car. You can ask if you are free to go or if you are being detained. They normally aren't allowed to detain you.

3. When pulled over, ask the officer why you were pulled over. I made this mistake when pulled over in Mississippi and waited about 10 minutes before the officer told me why he pulled me over.

4. Shut the fuck up. I talk too much. They'll try to turn your words against you. An example of this is a "compound question" such as: You don't mind if I search your car; you don't have any drugs in there, right? If you answer no, then you don't mind if they search your car, even if you meant that you don't have any drugs. If you answer yes like you mind if they search then you sort of just got trapped into admitting that you have drugs in your car and that allows them to search by giving probable cause.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pick #207

Sleeping Spiders - "Strawberries" from Rock and Roll Master Plan

I think they sound better live than the recordings on the website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Accident on the Uno

I'm OK.

On the way home from the rock gym tonight, I was riding north on Macomb and a car slowed down with his right blinker on. I thought he was waiting for me to pass, but wanted to make sure. I slowed down and was going to ask if I could go because his window was down. I took my eyes off the road and ran into a pipe that was laying in the bike lane. The pipe was angled into the road (does that make sense to my readers? It went from the curb out into the car lane as I rode up on it). I got thrown into the car lane and there was nothing I could do about it. Not being super used to my fixed gear, I didn't react great when the pedals kept turning. I was able to get my left foot out of the Power Grips on my pedals and kind of kicked the car away, but my left bullhorn caught the side view mirror of the car and smashed the mirror and broke off the plastic piece. My left hand got cut up a little bit and is a little swollen from where I hit the car. I managed to keep the bike upright.

The driver pulled over into an adjacent parking lot. I picked up a piece of his plastic piece from the side view along with the pipe that caused the accident. I apologized for running into this guy's car. If he had been an inconsiderate driver, then his car wouldn't have been there in the first place. I felt like it was my fault. The driver didn't do anything to deserve a crashing-into. He said that he is a fellow cyclist and not to worry about it. I offered him a couple dollars for damages and he again declined saying that he know's what it's like to ride.

The bike's handlebars were askew, a bar end plug popped out (I picked it out of the road too), and some of the grip tape on the left side of the handlebars is torn. I had my multitool with me so I fixed the handlebar angle and rode to Erin's. I was a little bit shaken up, but I think I needed to get right back on the bike.

Now I see that there were a few positive things about the accident:
1. It was a very nice motorist who didn't mind me breaking his car
2. It was me and not some inexperienced cyclist who might have gone down or got really hurt and maybe been discouraged from riding
3. I didn't get very hurt, nor did my bike
4. There wasn't traffic coming up too fast from behind...in which case I could have been rear-ended and that would have been b-a-d bad.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Government Ceiling Fan Light Kit Regulation Has Opposite Effect as Intended

Big surprise in the title, huh? The regulation, explained here, was designed to limit the wattage that lights could draw on a ceiling fan light kit. They put an upper bound of 190W on the entire kit. There's some stuff that doesn't make sense, like how it's not a "fan" if it doesn't have a downrod. WTF?

Anyway, the 190W limit is enforced by a device that acts as a dimmer. Somehow, as if that dimmer weren't enough to limit wattage, they decided it would be a good idea to make the bulbs candelabra base too. Why does that matter if the wattage limiting device does its job?

Here are my personal complaints: 1. a light in Jen's room started smoking! I called the company and they said that the wattage limiting device acts as a dimmer (something that isn't mentioned in the installation paperwork or anything included with the fan when you buy it). Most candelabra base CFLs aren't compatible with a dimmer and that's what caused it to almost catch fire (actually, this site says that they won't actually combust).
2. I had to buy new effing light bulbs for the new fan light kits. What of the other spare medium base bulbs I had lying around the house? Or the lights from the old fan. Making me buy new stuff is not energy efficient.
3. Since dimmable, candelabra base CFLs cost about $10 each at Lowe's (compared to about $10 for a 4-pack of medium base, non-dimmable CFLs), I ended up INCREASING THE WATTAGE that the light kit uses! I used to use 52W and now I'm running 4 x 40W incandescents (which also generate heat that I'll have to cool with the A/C)...I have MORE THAN TRIPLED THE WATTAGE CONSUMED BY MY LIGHT KIT DUE TO THE NEW "ENERGY SAVING" REGULATION!
4. It shouldn't have been a surprise that when I was facing the decision of whether to purchase $10 special light bulbs or buy regular incandescent bulbs at 1/8 the cost, I picked the incandescents. And I consider myself to be more pro-energy saving than the average bear.

Urban Uno, Parade of Homes, and Bike-In Movies

I've been riding my KHS Urban Uno for a little over a week now. I like it. It makes me sore a little bit because it makes me use muscles that other bikes don't. I've been able to take it up big hills, but it really sucks having to get it started up a steep hill. I think it will end up making me a better rider. Just today I had the opportunity to test the fenders...they work pretty well.

Yesterday I went to an event called Parade of Homes (3). Basically, it's a big group bike ride (not the fast kind) where you go from one location to another and bands are playing at each location. As you might guess from the name, most of the locations are homes, but it started at Krank It Up. I actually split halfway through the parade to go to another event. I saw a couple good bands and they'll make it to my pick of the week coming up soon.

I've also had an idea, mainly for the triathlon club: bike-in movies. Bring a trainer and your bike and we can set up a projector or something and cycle while watching a movie. Preferably something upbeat and inspirational. For people without trainers, I thought that we could take shifts...ride for 25-30 min, then hop off and eat while someone else takes over that trainer. It would be part workout, part social, part cool thing to do. I don't have a venue for it yet, so if you have a big enough place and think it would be cool to do at your house, let me know.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coasting Uphill

I've seen lots of people on bikes (people who I might hesitate to call cyclists) riding around and coasting up hills. This happens mostly on campus and I have a feeling that they might just be riding from dorm room to classroom, but why would anyone ever coast up a hill? That just makes forward progress even harder. If you want to go easy up a hill, a good even easy pace is better than bursts of power followed by zero effort. You can coast on the way down if you like.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2 Brakes & a Helmet

So I built my KHS Urban Uno up as a 44x15 fixed gear but with a 16t BMX cog in the rear in case I want it. So far it's been treating me pretty well. I think I might lose some street cred with fixed gear kids though because: it's got the coaster on the other side, it has 2 brakes!!!, and I wear a helmet. I guess that makes me not as cool.

I don't think I'll ever remove the brakes, but I have noticed that after riding for a few miles, my instinct to slow down has been to resist the forward motion of the pedals instead of pulling the brake lever. It might get to a point where I don't use the brakes, but I don't think I'll take them off...mainly because I might want to use it as a single speed.

While riding, I found myself reaching for phantom shifters to change gears. Maybe that habit will disappear over time. I think that I shift more than most people on geared bikes. Not being able to drop gears makes me have to recruit more power from my legs when climbing...which I hope will turn me into a better climber when I can switch gears.

I had to take off the stock pedals. I put on Power Grips instead because I wasn't getting much power out of the upstroke on those plastic toe clips. I hate toe clips anyway...but the ones without the straps aren't as bad.

If anyone's thinking about switching to riding fixed, I would offer the following advice: wear a helmet and equip your bike with 2 brakes. You don't have to use them, but you might want to have the option. At least use a front brake because you can stop way faster if you use a front brake in conjunction with a skid stop (I haven't been able to get a good skid stop in yet...but physics will tell you that my previous statement is true).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

KHS Urban Uno

I'm getting a KHS Urban Uno fixed/single speed bike. Brand new. I didn't think I'd get a new bike after I bought my road bike, but working at Damn Good Bikes gives me Damn Good prices (even better than the ones that regular people get) and it's pretty affordable to get a new bike. In fact, it would probably have been more expensive to modify a used bike to get it just how I want.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organic Cucumber, Extra Wrapper

I was at Publix last night and saw an organic cucumber for sale that was individually wrapped. What's going on there? Not that I think that organic is great for the environment (you need way more land to produce the same yield)...but I would think that a company trying to push that image to get consumers to pay more would not want to waste packaging.

Maybe there's a disconnect between "eating healthy" and "helping the environment." I imagine that the two are correlated though.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fuck FSU Student Financial Services

I just went to the university center to pay my tuition bill in person to avoid a $7.00 online convenience fee. If you click a link for more details about the convenience fee, you get this:
The convenience fee is non-refundable after your transaction is completed. If this fee is not acceptable, click CANCEL and/or use another payment method such as mail, in-person or drop box. (Please do not send cash in the mail.).

I decided to use the "in-person" method. I got to the payment office and while standing in line I see that they have signs up saying that they don't take credit cards there. I didn't have $817 in cash and I don't have that much in my checking account (nor do I carry checks with me). You have to pay online and pay the $7.00 online convenience fee if you want to use a credit card. It should be called a $7.00 credit card convenience fee. I was infuriated. It actually took effort to keep my cool. I had gone all the way over to the corner of campus and stood in line only to come back to my office and pay the bill online with the $7 fee.

I've always paid online before. The fee used to be $5. I heard that the lines aren't bad over at the payment office so I thought I'd give it a shot this time. Fuck them all. Not the employees, but the higher-ups. There's no reason they can't put credit card swipers in their office.

Pick #204

Howie Day - "Collide" from Stop All the World Now

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy with Triathlon

I've been busy with triathlon stuff. A little of the ole swim, bike, run (but without the swim), but mostly paperwork and BS for the sports clubs office. We've got to get recognized as an organization on campus and there are workshops and whatnot. I've also been the liaison to the Florida Collegiate Triathlon Conference talking about the coming year. We just had an officer meeting to try to plan on things to do for our membership. Races and social events and all kinds of stuff. Not to mention that I just registered for USAT Age Group Nationals today.

Triathlon Club at FSU's first meeting is on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 6:30pm in Union 311C.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Brought my Bags Before it was Cool.

As I was walking in to Publix a couple weeks ago, I realized that I started bringing my own canvas bags to the store before it became popular. I kind of felt like a trend setter. Maybe so many people saw this cool dude doing a cool thing and it started to catch on. More likely the transition to seeing so many people bringing their own bags is due to marketing efforts on the part of Publix and other stores encouraging their customers to bring bags with them. Also, I don't think that Publix or Wal-Mart used to sell bags at their stores.

I'm glad to see this bag thing turned into a thing that people do. I hope it's not a trend. A change that's here to stay would be preferable. Hopefully the next thing that everyone will copy me on is riding their bikes a lot.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Saved a Stamp

I dropped my utility bill payment off at the Renaissance Building. There's a sweet box outside that you can put your payment inside. I was riding past there anyway. I think I might start doing that regularly. It also keeps one envelope from circulating around the postal system. I guess I pay most of my other bills online so they don't have that same concern. Your Own Utilities has you pay online through Western Union and there's something like a 5% service charge. I'm not into that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dryer Sheets for Doggies

Did you know that you can rub a dryer sheet on a dog to make it less worried about an approaching storm? Abbey doesn't like storms very much and usually hides somewhere when it's thundering (or even when the storm is approaching). My mom heard that you can rub dryer sheets like Bounce on dogs and it does something to take away the static electricity which is what causes the dogs to freak out in the first place.

It worked really well. Abbey still followed me around a little bit, but she was visibly more relaxed than she normally is during a storm.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Brown's Sunset

I thought this was pretty appropriate as we left Brown in what will be his final resting place (before the scrap yard).

There was also a really cool view I had of the sunset reflected off the driver side view mirror and I was looking through the open passenger window...camera wouldn't see what I saw though so you don't get to share that image.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

VFF Running on the Beach

I went running on the beach in my Five Fingers yesterday. I ran for 18 minutes and wasn't sore at all immediately after nor the next day. I normally get sore after running for about 12 minutes in them. I don't think that this lack of soreness was due to an improvement in my conditioning but rather in the beach surface. I was running down where the waves break on the shore, so I was ankle deep in water or on damp sand. It definitely had nice shock absorption properties. Also, the air right at the ocean seems a little cooler than it is inland.

Even though I have the KSO (Keep Stuff Out) model, lots of sand got in my shoes. It all fell into the toe holes and I felt a weird pressure on all my toes. I emptied a crapload of sand out of my shoes when I was leaving the beach. I emptied more after I got home and took the shoes off for good, even more after the shoes had dried in the sun, and apparently my mom got a bunch of sand out of them this morning. I didn't have any sort of skin irritation/blistering even with all that sand in my shoes. I would like to run barefoot on the beach, but I'm scared of cutting my feet on sharp rocks/shells (or soda cans).

I would definitely do this on a regular basis if I lived near the coast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DIY Bike Lanes

Here is an awesome writeup about some cyclists who take the matter of making bike lanes into their own hands. I think this would be super cool to do on Thomasville road. The article is a little bit long, but high quality.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jersey Shore?

I decided to watch an episode of Jersey Shore so I wouldn't be so out of the loop. I've heard lots of references to it and had never seen even a 5 minute clip. I almost had to force myself to get through the episode. I'm not sure what everyone loves about this show. Anyone want to enlighten me?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Nice Saturday Down South

I got up at 6am on Saturday to get up and go diving down in Lake Worth with my dad and his friend Danny. We launched the boat around 9am and I've never seen a calmer inlet (maybe one just as calm). The ocean was as flat as a back yard pool except when boats cast their wakes.

My dad and I went on the first dive. Visibility was probably 30-40 feet. We caught a couple lobsters. I think this was the first time that I caught an egg bearing female (so I had to throw her back). As we were swimming, 2 remoras started following us. Later, Danny told us that they probably wanted to latch on and hitch a ride! I tried to chase them away and I was actually able hit one with my tickle stick. I've never had a fish let me hit them with my tickle stick. Fish seem to swim out of the way and not let me hit them with a tickle stick. Letting me hit them kinda made me think that these remoras were bad ass fish. It took us a while to shake them. Both of us hit them and we were pretty aggressive toward the fish.

When I went to surface on the first dive, I wasn't able to let air out of my BC, so I stayed down for a little bit. Let me mention that I was using Danny's regulator which does not have a BC inflator...so I had to inflate it by mouth. Apparently oral inflation isn't the only reason that the BC took on water, but I had lots of water in my BC. I tried sucking it out...breathe from the regulator, transfer my mouth to the BC inflator/deflator and suck out the water, spit out the water, and breathe again. I was finally able to get some air to come out of my deflator (probably had about 400psi left at about 60 feet at the time). I made a reasonably slow ascent but started having to suck really hard to get my air at about 20 feet. My dad was right there and I could have used his air if mine had run out...he surfaced with 1000psi left in his tank. In fact, my dad always has more air than I do when we come up.

I realized yesterday why I always burn through air faster than the other people I dive with. I used to think it was because I breathe continuously while others might hold their breath. I thought that I should be more efficient and therefore burn less air. But I realized that I'm an oxygen burning machine. I have a VO2 max of 77. I burn more oxygen at rest than anyone else in the room. My body has a high metabolism and a high resting metabolism and a great ability to burn oxygen which is a good thing on land but limits my time below the surface.

After surfacing on my first dive, I had a little headache so Danny took the next dive with my dad instead of me. They went on a not-so-scenic dive because Danny had them drop off over a big sandy patch...oops. I was feeling better when they surfaced after I ate and drank a little. I took my dad's equipment for the next dive. His BC is a little big on me and it's not designed to hold weight (like the other one I was wearing). But his weight belt is too big on me, so I put weight in the pockets of his BC. On my initial descent, I lost 8 pounds of weight when the BC pocket came open and they almost fell on Danny's head. I had to surface and ask my dad for spare weight out of the boat. Danny recovered my weight and I had to put some in the catch bag to keep from being super dense.

Danny and I caught a couple more lobsters, but all 3 of us totaled only 8 on the day (limit would be 24). During my last dive, I saw the BIGGEST sea turtle I've ever seen. His head was probably the size of my head. He was napping on the sea floor and woke up when we approached. He swam around lazily and I touched his shell. I've never touched one before. He was probably 6 feet from head to rear legs. Totally cool.

I had a nice ascent with great decompression. Danny was coming up with me, but at 30 feet he told me to surface and he went back down! I got a headache again which is rather uncharacteristic. I tried to go swimming on the surface while waiting for Danny to come up, but my headache got worse as I swam.

After getting back, we went to my dad's mom's house and took her out for dinner. Then we stopped by the house of one of my dad's classmates who was having a 50th birthday party. I was exhausted and passed out a little on the ride back home. I slept 11 hours last night and I'm still a little tired. Working with Dillon on Friday and yesterday's trip were taxing but a very good time.

The Cost of Raising Kids

Kids cost a crapload of money to raise. According to an article on MSN which calculates the cost of children only up until their 18th birthday, each child can run a family anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000. So at a minimum, having a child will cost you an average of $6,944 per year. I guess that's only $578/month...at the margin it's not such a minimal figure.

However, looking at the calculation of the costs, about a third of it is for housing. I guess they impute the cost of having an additional room in the house/apartment for the child. You sure don't have to outlay an additional $2,000 per year "for" the kid, but you might end up moving to a bigger place or one with a yard, etc. because of the kid.

I think this is something they should teach in sex ed classes. On top of abstinence, condom use, other forms of contraception, stuff, stuff, stuff, and all the junk you could buy if you don't have a kid.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't have kids...that's sure not sustainable (or in a way it is). It would just be interesting to put little price tags in people's mind when they make a decision about whether they want one or not.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Speaking in Tongues

I heard some douchebag on the radio talking about Jesus and blabbering nonsensical syllables and thinking it was OK because he was speaking in tongues. Aside from being asinine, I have one more problem with "speaking in tongues:" nobody knows what you're saying!! The original goal of speaking in tongues was during the Pentecost when Jesus's apostles spoke the word of God and everyone COULD understand what they were saying. (See Acts 2:1-12).

I don't know what good mimicking baby talk does when goofballs are trying to preach, but there must be some sort of audience that this appeals to. I want to know: does anyone understand this gibberish? Is it considered some sort of gift to invent ways of putting sound together that don't have an interpretation to the listener? What if I said oohgawadio? WTF?



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Multilingual Labels

I think it's really nice to have more than one language on packaging. For instance, I might recognize the words "mise en garde" or "achtung" in a place where they mattered. I know that I can use "douche integral" on my hair and body. I that I can recognize that "en prime" means something akin to bonus.

Maybe with more and consistent exposure to multilingual labeling, we could all pick up nearly substantial portions of other languages without putting in much effort.

Monday, August 9, 2010

VFF Training

I've started to incorporate Vibram Five Fingers into my running training regimen a little more partly because I want to develop muscles that those shoes target in order to have a strong 8k cross country race at the end of the month.

The VFFs have been killing me. I'm only running about a mile in them at a time and I get really sore. I think what I should do is run a mile in them every day, no matter how sore I am and after about a week it will go away. The truth is that I haven't been running every day. It's no longer abnormal for me to log under 20 miles per week. Isn't that crazy? I don't know what's changed. Maybe my motivation. I think one thing that's kinda cool about the VFFs is that I can get in a little workout in a short amount of time. I'd be happy running 10 minutes in the VFFs whereas I wouldn't normally lace up my Sauconys for fewer than 4 miles.

I hope to get some cross training benefit out of the VFFs, strengthening muscles that are not normally developed by running.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1,000 Awesome Things

Sarah Mac's blog told me to check out 1,000 Awesome Things, a blog that posts one new awesome thing every day. I guess it'll stop in a couple years.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sharkwater

SHARKWATER

I saw an amazing documentary called Sharkwater. There is an online pledge campaign to get people to make it known that they are opposed to shark finning and the astronomical numbers of sharks being killed each year for only their fins.

This film was very moving. I recoiled at the sight of fishermen cutting off the fins of sharks and throwing the rest of the bodies back into the water where the sharks can't swim so they sink to the bottom and suffocate while being eaten alive by other fish. The waste of not eating/using the entire shark is a pretty big issue, but the inhumanity of doing such a thing to a creature is nearly unimaginable to me.

It is difficult to get people to want to protect sharks. We're scared of them. In the movie, they show how gentle sharks can be. My favorite scene shows Rob Stewart hugging a shark. They are on the sandy sea floor and a shark is motionless, embraced by Rob. They stay this way for about 20 or 30 seconds before the shark calmly swims off. Rob shows us that sharks are not vicious creatures. In fact, soda vending machines kill more people each year than sharks do.

If you don't already love sharks, you should watch this film. If you have Netflix, you can get it on DVD. Otherwise bootleg it if you have to.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

People for Bikes

People for Bikes is a bicycle special interest group. I guess if you can't get rid of special interest groups all together, then you might as well get behind ones that match up with your special interests.

Also, cycling generates a lot of positive externalities (or maybe it eliminates a lot of negative externalities). As such, the free market provides less than the socially optimal level of cycling. Everyone could be better off if the government provides infrastructure and/or education that makes cycling more feasible.

Bikes take way less space to park. They make people more active and could play a large part in the fight against obesity and health problems (that won't have to be taken care of by government funded health programs). Cyclists reduce congestion for cars. They're not burning fossil fuels so they don't create that sort of pollution.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hammer Nutrition Discount

If you want anything from Hammer Nutrition, first time customers can get 15% off by going to http://www.hammernutrition.com/affiliates/148194/. I also get a little kickback from the referral.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clean Bottle

Some guy invented a water bottle that unscrews at the top and the bottom to make for easy cleaning. Why hasn't anyone done this before? Have they tried and failed? Such a simple idea. It feels like money left on the table.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sharing Toothbrushes is Gross

Why is it so gross to share a toothbrush? Even with someone who routinely has other sorts of oral contact with you? You can share nail clippers or hair brushes...I'd even put on someone's dirty socks before using their toothbrush. It's not the same with a hair brush. Not thermometers (as long as they get wiped off). I know there has to be something that makes toothbrushes different, but I can't put my finger on it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Drafts Everywhere

I got to the bike rack at school today and there was a SE Draft parked on the rack. Same color as mine. 52cm (mine's 56) and had the same handlebars as mine had before I replaced them. I actually had this thought run through my mind: did I leave that bike at school? (As if that's even possible).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New (to Me) SE Draft


I still need to do some work on this bike, but since I got it I have:
removed the BMX cog only to find out that the hub is set up to accept 2 coaster cogs and no fixed gear. Ick. I gotta get a new rear wheel. I took off the original handlebars and brakes/cables. I put on the bullhorns that Conrad gave me, internally routed the brake cables (through the handlebars, not the frame), put on the bar end brakes, added a water bottle, put on the tireflys, and wrapped the handlebars. I still want to get better pedals, which kinda means I need to ditch the 1-piece crank (which would allow me to get a better gearing)...but that entails new bottom bracket and new crank arms too. All of a sudden this bike I bought for $130 isn't going to be quite so cheap.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blood Ninja

If you want to read a hilarious account of someone messing with people while having cyber-sex, you should check out Blood Ninja. Thanks to TBW for reminding me of this comedic genius.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why All Sins Are Equal in the Eyes of God

Humans feel like there are degrees of sin. We tell ourselves that telling a white lie is not as bad as committing murder. Let me confirm that I feel this way. Not only I feel this way; in fact, this site does a good job backing my conjecture with scripture. I haven't taken a survey but I imagine that "most people" would agree with me.

However, I've been told ever since I remember that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. This must be because he does not commit any sins. Therefore they are all equally bad to him. Some humans may think that murder is unacceptable but lying is because those same people have told lies but not committed murder. We need to rank the severity of our misconduct in a way that justifies our behavior. God does not.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Are Not So Smart

Admittedly, I found this link through www.economistsdoitwithmodels.com...but looks like a cool blog... You Are Not So Smart.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gorillas Are Big!


Saw this pic on chrisblattman.com. Who wants to volunteer for that job? (They're relocating the big guy).


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pick #195

Alphaville - "Forever Young"

I guess that Jay-Z song "Young Forever" has brought this song forward from the back of my mind.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Compostable" Sun Chips Bags

I've had 3 different Sun Chips bags in my compost pile for at least 8 weeks. They are showing no sign of decay. It's been pretty hot. The food waste that went into the pile around the same time is almost completely decayed. I'm not so sure that the average person can compost their Sun Chips bag...I guess I'll wait to buy more until I see some more break down of those bags.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Police Misconduct and Public Accountability

This article on The Freeman enumerates why we should hold police accountable for their actions. It reveals some surprising protections afforded to cops when they are accused of misconduct (even if that accusation is accompanied by video evidence).

What the article omits is how citizens can demand a transition to a more transparent handling of officers who have committed misconduct.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jazzy, Rainy Days

We've had some rainy days recently and I've felt like they're a good time to listen to jazz, especially when I'm in my office at school. I have no idea why, but it feel appropriate.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Takin' Me a Whiskey Trip

I may of said that we shouldn't grow corn because it's a stupid crop. I guess I can let a little corn slide for the production of whiskey. I'm not really a whiskey connoisseur but if I ever get to that point, it may be fun to go on a distillery tour...I mean from town to town seeing regional differences in style and learning about how these nuances translate into a different form of the drink. Who wants to come along?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Damn Good Bikes

My friend Micah is opening up a new bike shop in town called Damn Good Bikes. The grand opening will be Saturday, June 19. Crazy discounts. New KHS bikes and all kinds of used ones.

I've been helping Micah transition from the Green Bicycle Project to DGB. The new shop is way bigger, air conditioned, visible from the street (located at 652 B Capital Circle NE Tallahassee, Florida 32301...right across from the Women's Prison and next to the Sprint Store on the West side of the street).

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Sound of Keys

When I was younger I could tell that my mom was nearby if I heard the sound of her keys jingling. No other key chain made that noise. I don't know exactly what the difference is in different key chains. I guess different keys make different noises and it's really unlikely for two people to have the same combination of keys and key chain(s). It's just amazing to me that you can tell the difference in the noise one set of keys makes over another.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Papyrus

I was helping Erin prep for a class she was teaching at art camp about ancient Egypt. The students were going to make papyrus. However, since they're kids they couldn't do the entire process. Enter prep. Here's how the process works:

You cut a stalk of papyrus grass out of the ground and remove the top because the leaves and seeds get in your way. Next you strip off the outer green layer (kind of like the grass equivalent of bark). Then you expose the grass equivalent of wood on the inside. You cut this woody stuff into strips that are as thin as your knife allows. Next the thin sheets are laid side by side in 2 layers; one of the layers is horizontal and the other is vertical. The modern way of making the paper involves putting the 2 layers between newspaper and laying a heavy book on top. I'm sure the ancients were able to find heavy things to lay on top, but I don't know what they used instead of newspaper...I'm guessing cotton.

Anyway, at the end of this process I was thinking...HOW did someone come up with this idea? Was there prize money for the first person to invent paper? I mean, it's far from obvious that this grass can be written on. I wonder if the paper making technology built on some other form of technology. Maybe the grass was used in another application and one day someone chopped a piece with a knife then the piece dried and there was a eureka moment. I doubt the discovery process is documented. It's kind of fun to come up with your own scenarios when you don't know. I have one more idea:

Maybe Egyptians tried to eat the grass. They peeled it and it didn't cook up right as the entire stalk. Someone had the idea that they could cut it into thin strips to make it cook better. Some of it didn't get cooked, was laying on a plate and someone stacked all the dirty dishes on top of it. The dishwasher discovered the paper the next day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fjord Flower

Look closely and see the water and the snow capped mountains in the background.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Swedish Fish

I have not seen any Swedish Fish candy in Sweden. Kinda makes me wonder how they got their name.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Surströmming

I had some really smelly fish today called surströmming. It had to be opened outside and it is about as pungent as Wikipedia describes it. The first bite was part of a tapa-like dish...I had a piece of hard bread with a slice of a special potato on it topped with red onion and the fish. It really wasn't that bad, so I decided to try a bite of the fish straight up. Not so bad. I had a couple more bites before calling it quits. I did not finish the entire fillet.

Hours later, I still get that strong taste in my mouth when I burp. All in all, I am glad I tried it. Call it a cultural experience, or perhaps a character building one.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Food Out the Window

Have you ever been driving (or riding along in) a car and had something like an apple core or banana peel that you needed to get rid of? Think about throwing it out the window? Decide it's OK because the litter is biodegradable? I used to think so. Fortunately, I learned that animals come to scavenge your scraps and thus put themselves in harm's way and get used to going to the roadway to look for food. This behavior is bad for animals and motorists.

On another note, I also learned that throwing gum out the car window is also a bad idea. Birds can eat it and it can mess up their insides or make them unable to chew...it kinda gets stuck in their mouth sometimes (if what I hear is true, that is).

The best thing to do is hold on to your trash until you stop the car and find a proper trash can.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zamzar

Zamzar.com is a cool website that will convert files from one file format to another. I've used it to get text out of .pdf files and it's definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem


Favorite parts:
"In the long-run we're all dead."
-"In the long-run, my friend, it's your theory that's dead"
Broken window fallacy.
"We're all Keynesians now."
Keynes "ignores human action and motivation."
"Real savings come first if you want to invest."
"mal-investments wreck the economy."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hace mucho tiempo

No he escrito en español desde hace mucho tiempo. Ya sé que el lector regular de mi blog pensara que voy a decirles algo personal o jugoso (perdón, RAE). Al contrario, sólo quiero teclar en castellano para practicar y recordarme que no es tan difícil y debo hacerlo con más frecuencia.

No imagino que vaya a encontrar muchos hispanohablantes en Sverige (Suecia). Será un día más feliz si este pasa.

Buenas noches.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Not All-or-Nothing

I've come to realize recently that certain choices don't have to be all-or-nothing. I was reading that the reason people decide to stop doing something is because the number 0 has salience whereas other numbers seem arbitrary (e.g. # of cigarettes smoked in a day). There were times in my life when I had resolved not to shop at Wal-Mart or eat at McDonalds. I was nearly distraught after having to grab a bite to eat at the golden arches on a road trip with my family due to my brother's inflexibility. To be honest, it tastes pretty good when you eat it infrequently.

I may have had the realization about the all-or-nothing idea when thinking about my meat consumption. I know that eating meat is very resource intensive. I also know that there's no way I'll make it through life without consuming a tasty burger or chicken every now and again (I think once a week would be the bare minimum I could tolerate). Not eating meat is better for the Earth than not driving your car. But you don't have to give up all the meat in your diet. You could just cut it back gradually. Every pound of pork passed by is a step in the right direction. But I love bacon. I also find (this may be surprising to those who don't know about diminishing marginal utility) that the less often I eat bacon, the tastier it is.

Let's say you have a problem with time spent on Facebook. You could delete your account. Or go for a week without it. Maybe a more sensible approach would be to limit your daily time on the site. Or maybe you think you drive too much. You don't have to trade in your Buick for a bicycle...just start making little trips on the bike instead of driving. I hope that you'll start to fall in love with cycling and gradually displace more car trips, but it'd be dumb to encourage anyone to go cold turkey on the car.

On the other side of the coin, say you want to start working out. You don't have to hit the gym 7 days a week. Maybe start a running routine at a reasonable rate. Don't try to pack in 50 miles/week right off the bat. You can gradually phase into good things and out of bad ones. Then you can stop phasing in/out when you find the balance that works well for you. The process will be more comfortable and each step in the right direction is a good step.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Footbike, Laughter Ensues

I don't know why, but this cross between skateboarding and cycling makes me laugh. Audibly.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Capitalist Pig

Someone called me a capitalist tonight with the intent of using it as a derogatory term. She stormed off and left, but I remained and chuckled to myself. Sure I believe that the market system is good for many things. I am not naive enough to believe that it works all the time. Remember that chapter in your econ principles book about market failures? Ya, that. I'll gladly take verbal rap for being a capitalist. I think it's along the same lines as someone calling me a "Christian." That's not offensive. I'm glad that's part of my being. I'll embrace it. I hope you can feel better about yourself after faux-degrading me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cold Shower Season

As the weather warms up, there comes a time when you can go exercise (or mow the yard or something) and get so hot that you actually keep sweating after taking a shower. I believe these are referred to as "after-sweats." It's kinda crappy to get out of the shower and begin to perspire. One way you can attempt to keep the after-sweats at bay is to rinse in cold water. It also helps not to wash in really hot water.

Just like a hot shower feels really good in the cold of winter, I actually look forward to turning the knob to the right a little bit more than normal after I finish a summer run. There's something refreshing about a cold shower. And even if the whole thing's not cold, a nice cold finish is still a treat.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TV v. Reality

What you see on TV isn't real. Probably even if it's the news. My parents taught me from a very young age that there's a difference between what goes on in the world around you and what you see on the tube. That may be one reason I liked scary movies as a kid. Even though they make you jump or think about the boogey man, I knew that it was all staged. Unfortunately, I don't think many parents teach their children about the fictional aspect of TV/movies.

When this concept really hit me was after Borat came out. People really thought that he crapped on the street in NYC and that a horse fell over at the rodeo and that Pamela Anderson was kidnapped by him. WTF?? Of course not! It's a MOVIE.

Everything you see on TV is made up. Did you know that the Fresh Prince was not filmed in an actual house?! And "reality TV" is scripted. It's all fake.

Well, maybe not everything you see on TV is absolutely made up. I understand that documentaries can show real stuff, but you're only seeing one side of the story if you watch only one documentary on a topic. Kinda like if you just watch Fox News. The idea of these productions is to showcase one side of an issue...and there's nothing wrong with that. You've just got to realize that what comes on the stupid box isn't the gospel.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bike & Build Encounter

I was at Micah's shop yesterday when this girl came in talking something about bikes. Said she cycled from coast to coast last summer (Actually, she said from North Carolina to somewhere I don't remember, probably San Diego). She had previously mentioned having a Giant road bike with sentimental value. I asked her if she had done Bike & Build and she responded in the affirmative. Pretty cool. Talked to her about it for a little bit. I said it was crappy that I'm too old for it. She said I should be a leader. I thought you needed to have B&B experience but she told me otherwise. She said that there was someone on her trip who was 26 and was not a leader, so maybe I could swing something. She also purports to be amigos with some people higher up in the organization.

I've since been in email contact with her. I found out that there's too much work involved with being a leader while trying to finish my dissertation. Maybe I could bring my experience as a bike mechanic to the table or something else to encourage them to let me in. I've thought about it and that would be the perfect way to end my scholastic career and let me transition to the real world. It would be one last summer of incredible-ness before hitting the 9-5 or whatever I'll do.

I've always felt like I'd like to give something back since I've been given so much. Over the past year I've been able to volunteer a lot more, probably due to participation in Golden Key (knowing what's going on is half the battle). One service project will never make up for my debt to society, but this would be a nice gesture and a big down payment. I'll be sure to keep you posted on any progress.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bike Polo

I played bike polo for the first time on Friday after Critical Mass. It's interesting. I crashed a couple times. I guess that's why some people have polo-specific bikes (so you don't mess up your everyday bike). I might try to rescue an old bike that's falling apart in my parents' yard and it could get turned into a polo bike. I don't know how often I'll play, but probably more often if I had a good bike for it.

The basic rules (as I understand them) are:
1. don't put your foot down on the ground or you have to go out of bounds at center court and touch the boundary before you can touch the ball again
2. to score a goal, you have to use the skinny (circular) end of a croquet-mallet shaped mallet.
It helps if you've got to have pretty good control of your bike on top of hand-eye coordination and the ability to look at your surroundings while handling a ball on the ground.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bike & Build

Shell sent me a cool link to a totally awesome project called Bike & Build. It's a summer project where participants cycle across the country, stopping to build houses with Habitat for Humanity or comparable organizations. I perused their website and it looks totally sweet, but when I clicked over to the application page I noticed that I'm TOO OLD to apply. I guess I wouldn't be able to do it this summer anyway. And maybe it's best to put an age limit on it to keep creepers from scaring away the girls and to avoid injury/heal faster in case of injury.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spreadable PB

Bread and Roses has been selling peanut butter made by people pedaling a modified bike to grind up peanuts. That's right, just 2 ingredients: peanuts & manpower. It tastes alright, but it's a little hard to spread on my sandwich.

I just bought a jar of it yesterday (at $1.89/lb, it's pretty cheap...compare to this 3 pack of 40oz Peter Pan @ $2.30/lb). I decided that Peter Pan has more than one ingredient (cottonseed oil, salt, sugar, something else) so I'll have more than one ingredient. I have tried adding sugar in the past and that didn't work too well. Today I added peanut oil, which makes it spread nicely, honey to sweeten it a little, and salt to do its thing. Result: yummy and spreadable and cheap.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Triathlon Banner


Designed by Javi's friend.

I'm not really big on the swim, bike, run icons, but it would look a little empty without them. Plus, if you do the work to design it, you get it how you want. I really like the use of Chief Osceola's face to make an O and I always dig a spear.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bike Nerd Info

Man, there's a lot of excellent bike info on Sheldon Brown's website. Good for reference if you don't have a copy of Zinn sitting right next to you. Clear explanations and pretty pictures. I feel like I'll probably be spending a lot of time here learning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some Good Things Must End

Today was the last day of my month long membership to the Tallahassee Rock Gym. I had an alright day on the rocks...I finished the mushroom route twice in a row, something I've never done before. There were also plenty of challenges that I felt like I could master if I kept working. I've seen amazing progress since I first started climbing and I'm very glad I have had this opportunity.

Now I might go every so often on Wednesdays (when it's only $3.50 to boulder), but I'm going to shift to a couple other athletic activities: long bike rides to destinations like Panama City and Dothan, AL, swimming in the olympic size FSU outdoor pool, and off-road "barefoot" running in my Five Fingers.

It's going to be kinda crappy watching my calluses disappear slowly and even worse trying to build them back up in the fall when I start climbing again with the FSU club. It will be nice to have a break, though and come back with renewed gusto. Just like everything good, you need a little time without it to remind you that you like it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tell Your Parents I Said Hi

Observation I made tonight: "Tell your parents I said hi" has a very different connotation than "Tell your mom I said hi."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pick #185

Coldplay - "Amsterdam" the final track on A Rush of Blood to the Head

or as TBW would call it, (and I paraphrase) "A Dutch capital by a British Rock Band"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Critical Mass for April

Go here to RSVP/ get details about critical mass this month. It will be a fun time. A bunch of cyclists just show up at Klemen Plaza at 5pm on the last Friday of the month to go on a bike ride. This month's theme is "SUMMER WOOT!!! BATHING SUITS AND GOGGLES!" Apparently there will be swimming afterward, so bring a towel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Burned

So, Jennifer was making dinner tonight for her old roommates (and me). We had pinchos, which are basically kabobs undone and served over yellow rice if I understand it right. Her friend was grilling the kabobs which were on metal skewers. I took some to put inside because the first batch was done. I put the first 2 (with wooden handles) down, then I grabbed the bare and very hot metal with my right thumb and index finger thusly burning them. I've got a cool little circular depression of burnt skin. It's not too bad because you can still see the fingerprint underneath. It's not blistering or anything. But what a rookie mistake!

Otavalo Fence

man it was weird looking outside that day. Like I was in a photoshopped setting or something.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Race to a Red Light

I've noticed recently that I am getting better at climbing. I think I'm getting stronger all around because of climbing. All this improvement has come since getting a membership to the Tallahassee Rock Gym. Unfortunately, my membership expires on April 20th and I don't think I should get another one at least until I return from Sweden. I bet I'll lose a lot of the skills I've acquired. Probably the strength too. But somehow I imagine it will come back faster the second time, like a foreign language or math...but I'll have to rebuild the calluses from scratch.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conversación con Carlos

Hoy cuando llegué a FSU, entré Bellamy con una "buenas tardes" a Carlos. Fue una mañana hermosa para afuera.

Carlos dijo: "Va a llover."
Respondí: "Ay! Se me quedó mi chaqueta de la lluvia...¿a que hora va a empezar?"
Carlos: "Cuando salgas"

Me reí.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

on Pluto

Neil DeGrasse Tyson talks about Pluto losing its classification as a planet.


about an hour and 3 minutes into it, he talks about how the world won't end in 2012.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Critical Mass Incident, Orlando

I guess there were no tickets or video cameras involved in Tallahassee, but this reminded me of the cop telling us to get in the bike lane. This is absolutely crazy. Cyclists aren't causing harm.

See an article that goes with this video here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Water in my Gas

Today I discovered that 2 of the 4 gas cans I have are somehow ridden with holes (well, they each have one hole in them). It looks like some bug ate through the plastic. This allowed water to get in the gas and it won't work in my mower. I don't really know how to best dispose of it. I think I'm going to set it on fire...maybe after pouring it on a cinder block. Maybe I'll see if someone wants to use it to start a bonfire or something.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Alley Cat

I did my first ever alley cat race today. The one I posted about on Thursday. It was a good time. I didn't have a date, but I rode over there with Long (who had done Red Hills in the morning). There was supposed to be a pool of single people that they'd pair up, but it turned out to be non-existent...so I rode with Long. I was on my mountain bike and he was on his time trial bike and he still had a hard time keeping up with me. I always thought that I wouldn't stand a chance to win an alley cat, but I have since changed my mind after doing some calculations. We came in 40 minutes behind the leader (which sounds like a lot, but there was plenty of room for improvement...especially if we cut out the back tracking).

After the race there was a cool setup at Bread & Roses. Vegan chili which totally hit the spot...I should have brought food with me. I got to show off my new headlight/taillight set. I'm definitely happy with it.

I'm going to try to head to bed early (I got up at 4am to help with Red Hills and I took a 2 hour nap after Red Hills) and sleep in. I'm actually trying to kick a little illness (I actually thought racing today might help with that). Wake up and it'll be Easter. I'm skipping the service, but I'll read the resurrection passages that is the standard at Easter services. I'll celebrate the end of lent by saying Hallelujah and eating some ice cream.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Red Hills Alternative

If you didn't get into Red Hills, you can still do a race this weekend. Here is a description of a race (copied from an email).


This weekend is the Tallentine 3 Sadie Hawkins Bike Race/Spring Fling! The event is sponsored by Krank It Up. The details are as follows:
  • Everyone will race in couples.
  • Formal attire is required.
  • At least one person in the couple must be wearing a dress.
  • Entry fee is $10. Proceeds will go to benefit the bicycle shop.
  • There will be a dance after with a DJ, food, drink and a prom picture setup AT BREAD AND ROSES! Registration is at 3pm in kleman plaze downtown. The race will begin at 4pm.
These races are always a blast, so make sure to come out and support our local non-profit bike shop!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Fruit Only Diet?

Dean Karnazes writes an entry in his blog about a guy who won a marathon and has a weird diet. Dude just eats fruits (occasionally some veggies). Sounds pretty crazy, but dude's getting good results athletically. Read it and be surprised.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tri the Rez 2010 Registration Now Open!

Go to IMAthlete.com and search for Tri the Rez...mine is the only race that shows up. $50 for early registration...where can you find a tri cheaper than that??!!

The first 5 people who use the discount code 6362M8KN3O will get $5 off their registration...I just want to see if anyone's being pointed to register from my blog :).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegetarian Streak

I've been a vegetarian for 3 or 4 consecutive days now (unless boiling my quinoa in chicken broth disqualifies that statement for you personally). I didn't do it entirely on purpose. It sort of happened that I made some chicken last weekend and had some leftovers in the days following then there just wasn't meat in the house. It's been kinda cool, but 2 nights ago I went a little hungry because I couldn't find anything to satisfy me.

Last night I made a really cool dish. Vegetarian tacos. For the "meat," I used textured vegetable protein (TVP) and refried beans. It turned out really good. And filling. That was cool considering it's the first time I cooked TVP.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Krankin' It Up

I went to a new volunteers meeting yesterday at Krank It Up and I went in tonight to get some training and see where stuff is in the shop/familiarize myself with shop policies. It's pretty cool. They've got some really neat tools. I'm looking forward to getting to use some. I used the crank puller today for the first time. I also got a lesson on bottom brackets. How cool.

In order to become a full mechanic, you have to build a bike up from scratch...nothing but the frame. I'm looking forward to that challenge. I need to learn a little more about the hub/axle/wheel setup and headsets before I take that on, but Micah's taught me well over at the Green Bicycle Project and I feel pretty confident.

I'm not "switching" my volunteerism. I'm hoping to expand it. I'll still try to help out at GBP on Saturdays and add KIU on Thursdays.

One thing that's always annoyed me about KIU is the weird and not reliable hours. I think I'm going to try to volunteer on Thursdays to combat that sort of idiosyncrasy in hours.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Anti-Social Running Groups

On my way out of school today, I saw a pack of 6 Delta Delta Delta sisters jogging together. I thought that it was kind of funny that they were all wearing sorority t-shirts but it was kind of cool to see them all running...until I noticed that everyone was wearing headphones listening to their own iPods. How crazy is that? I've never been running with a group of people with headphones in. Isn't the point of group running to socialize? Maybe it is for me but they use the group to stay motivated or something. I promise not to do that.