Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Harry and Jean are visiting for a few days this week. Fortunately, Jennifer's hell of dissertation proposal madness has mostly passed. She meets her committee on Thursday to go over the details and get the final OK on her proposal. Hopefully that will be a huge load of stress off of her plate. The REAL news though is that we're going to Alaska next week. Crazy to think about, but we're headed to Anchorage and then points beyond on to try our mettle in the Alaskan wilderness. Probably every place in Alaska is going to be more spectacular than any place I've been since Vancouver, so it should be a good trip. I'll be sure to take a heap of pictures of awesome nature.
As I posted earlier, it's been a crap year on (well, mostly off) the bike for me and that's caused me to do a lot of thinking about why I love this sport. I ended up happening to ride along MLK at about 7:15 last night when a fast moving group of skinny people on expensive bikes simultaneously overtook me and damned if I didn't feel the need to hop onto the back of the group. I was 'testing' my latest bamboo creation, and more importantly testing my knee to see if it is indeed back on the mend after 7+ months of mild but debilitating pain. Within seconds of settling into a teammaate's slipstream at the back of the group, I remembered exactly what I'd been missing all this time; the sense of heightened living that comes from going as fast as you can under your own power. The ebb and flow of the pack around you, the extra senses that you seem to develop to tell you exactly how far you need to be, how much gap you need to make up. All of that. It is that 'extra gear' that competition and heavy exertion put onto your consciousness that makes this effort worthwhile. Winning is great, it gives a bit of external validation to what we do, however brief and fleeting. It can't be the sum goal though, because if it is, you're totally missing the point. I don't think I'm missing the point, but I have been missing cycling. Welcome back, little by little.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Favorite sentence of the week: - The plural of 'anectdote' is not 'data', it's anecdotes. -

Saturday, July 07, 2012


For the last 6 years, Jennifer has bemoaned the ugliness of the front of our house. This summer we finally got around to doing something about it. Some fake lintels and some tastefully-chosen paints are all that it took to make an ugly house into a passably unobtrusive one.

The lower half went easily enough but we waited nearly a month to find a ladder on Craigslist that would reach the roofline. A 40' ladder was ours for $75, but we had to help get it off of the seller's roof. This turned out to be an endeavor since getting a ladder off of a roof with someone else's know-it-all father is even worse than getting it off the roof with one's own--at least you can yell back at your own dad.