Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I post today from the desk of my internship. I am now working full time for the first time in over a 2 years! Sure, I've divided my time up between two jobs, but it still counts as full time as far as I'm concerned. I'm now working on the East Coast Greenway as part of my work at the Clean Air Council. Oddly enough, I'm working for the direct replacement of my former supervisor's wife. Chris Linn was my supervisor whilst working at DVRPC last year in school, and his wife, Emily, was one of the first planning people I met here in Philly. I interviewed for much the same position as this three years ago when looking for summer work. Crazy.

It's also great to finally be able to use some of the networking I did over this past year. We're meeting next week with I guy I had an informational interview with last fall. I am continually amazed by exactly how small Philadelphia is. I guess that explains why I haven't been able to find a job in planning yet, everyone already knows everyone else. I am now trying to bust my way into the network at last.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The miracle of smoke. I was able to transform the fuzzy skins of my spanish chorizo into a delightful amber rind, all with the simple application of a bit of smoke in the ol' air duct-cum-smoker that I set up in the back. Give it another five days or so and we'll be in business with some tasty sausages!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Well, some days are good, other days are bad. Tuesday was a bad day for me. The morning started off ok, I often do a workout with guys from the bike club at 6:30 on Tuesdays. I got out to the workout ok, then the rain came. Thinking that I was going to be a tough guy and ride through it, I opted to continue on until about 8 or so when God's own thunder and lightning rolled out along with some of the strongest rain I'd seen in a while. Shitty that I had my cell phone in my pocket the whole time. I arrived home thoroughly soaked, cell phone on the fritz, to the sound of Jennifer in the basement with the shop vac. That of course means that the basement was aquatic by that time. Fortunately the rain was over by that point and we only had to bail 50 gallons of water instead of 100. We've had worse.

Of course at this point, while we were mucking around in the basement, I noticed that not only were the sopresatta that I'd been making starting to sprout mold, they had been gnawed on by mice! Those carnivorous little bastards! They didn't get to all of it, thank god, because that would have been about $40 worth of meat and ingredients down the tubes. The mold I ended up washing off to no ill effect, but needless to say, I was pissed.

Then I checked my email as I had been eagerly awaiting to hear back from the most recent job that I applied for. I heard back. I didn't get it. As much as I had tried to keep myself from getting excited about a job that was not yet (and never to be) mine, I couldn't help it. After the second interview, I was sure that I was going to be picked. As far as I know the girl who was my competition was another former Macalester student, and also a recent Penn grad. She had been interning at the office, which was an advantage to her, but the flip side is that I know from personal experience in dealing with her, that she is annoying as hell. Advantage me. As far as I know, the only person who has ever called me "annoying as hell" is Jennifer, and those are extenuating circumstances.

Alas, it was not to be. I am pretty fucking sick of this economy, or whatever it is that is conspiring to rob me of my chosen employment. Ennui ensues. I honestly don't know what I should do next. I guess I'll try to volunteer someplace and get some "work experience". How on earth one is supposed to get work experience if no one will hire you is beyond me, but so it goes. At least people are still interested in bamboo bikes.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A brief report on the darker side of amateur bike racing---

Here's the answer to the main question: Donnell is doing OK and has
plans to race Cargas.

He went down with about 5 to go in the slightly sketchy off camber
corner 2 at Bethlehem today. There must have been extra gravity there
because exactly one lap later, and despite the fact that everyone was
yelling "NEUTRAL LAP" other jerks decided to crash, in exactly the
same spot.
Against Donnell's request, I opted not to do the 1-2-3 and followed
him to the emergency room of St Luke's hospital.
Donnell and I spent the following 4 hours in the emergency room
thinking about exactly what he had done to invoke the crash gods, and
we came to no good conclusions. He probably crossed the same Gypsy
who has hexed Tyler's wheels with perpetual flats.

As far as his injuries go, D is pretty banged up and in a good deal of
pain, but it should be mostly temporary. He did not end up breaking
his collarbone, but merely separated his "AC Ligament", the C of which
is Clavicle, and the A I have no idea. This extends his streak of
never actually having broken a bone, despite his best attempts. This
sort of ligament separation is the type that they just let heal
naturally-- it will probably never be back to 100%, but the ligament
doesn't do much anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem unless he takes
up professional rock climbing or something. The doctor said that
recovery should be between 4 to 6 weeks, but I predict that D will be
on his bike again by next week. As a spectator to the whole thing, I
was pretty surprised by Donnell's toughness, he was a rock through
what looked like a lot of pain. He certainly made some funny noises
when they scrubbed the road rash, but he is one tough dude. We made
it home by about 8 this evening. The car ride was eased by a drug
coctail consisting of 2 shots morphine, 1 Percoset, 1 Valium and 2
pints Guinness. When we arrived at his house, his kid Avery assured
me once again that his daddy was the best bike racer, but that he
really liked my pink bike. "Daddy's white bike is faster though."

The most interesting aspects of his injury were those left by the
helmet; he has a mark on his right cheek where the strap gave him
rugburn in the crash, and he totally abraded the top of his left ear.
I am confident that the helmet was a key factor in us being able to
drive home tonight, without it and I don't even want to speculate how
ugly it could have been.