Wednesday, August 24, 2005

a port

I clicked over to Angela's own blog at work this afternoon and read this and thought it was pretty great piece of writing. I think one of the things I love about journaling/blogging/writing in general is that it's a way into heads that you otherwise wouldn't be able to go in. In these short two years of marriage, I've found that it's not all intellectual and stimulating conversations... sometimes it's just life, but there are those times where something surprises you and the gauze gets pulled back to remind you about what you found so intriguing about your partner in the first place.

In any case, I hope I didn't overhype her words, but I really dug them.

My new coffee shop

I'm not at Gloria Jean's Coffee any more. I'm now working at a coffee shop that was started in Denver and just expanded to Colorado Springs. Peaberry Coffee. I had a half hour plus commute to Gloria Jean's, and am now only 6 1/2-7 miles away from where I work. And with gas prices being what they are, I've begun biking to work. It takes me about half an hour to bike there (mostly downhill) and 40 minutes to bike back (mostly uphill.) Biking there in the mornings is really relaxing and wakes me up. I love it when my shift allows me to bike to work just as the sun is rising. I should bring my camera with and take some pictures someday.
The other day I had to be at Peaberry at 7, which meant leaving at 6:25 (to get there at 6:55 and have time to change into my work clothes.) The sun was still rising. It was high enough to where all the beautiful colors had gone away, but there was still this soft white glow illuminating the city. I found myself wondering how many people were up at that time, and how many of them were high enough to be able to look down at the city and see that. It looked so beautiful and innocent, like one of those little miniature towns that you see set up at Christmas time - but without the snow.
I think I'm going to enjoy my morning rides.

Just one of those mornings...part deux (Ang's story)

The ride to work this morning (left at 4:30am) was going really well. My coffee shop is on Academy, which is one of the main drags through town - thus one of the busiest. Though it's not that busy at 4-something am, I still avoid it. That means I go on a street behind a WalMart, then through the parking lot of the Chapel Hills Mall. After that I go through the parking lot of a major shopping facility that includes Best Buy, Whole Foods, and DSW among other things. From there I ride behind a few more buildings before getting to my coffee shop. This constitutes the last 5-10 minutes of my morning ride. As I was crossing from WalMart to the mall I thought to myself, "Hmm...that's a funny noise. I've never heard my bike make that noise before. Something feels different. I'd better stop." Sure enough, flat tire. I tried to pump it up a bit so I could at least make it to work, but that didn't take.

So I'm about 10 minutes late to work this morning, having to walk my bike the last few miles. Once we get the coffee shop opened and take care of the first small rush of customers (mornings are usually fairly quiet with evenings being busier) I sit down to take a look at my tire. I was pretty proud of myself for getting the wheel off (and later, put back on) properly having never done it before. I pumped air into my tube and tried to look for the leak. As soon as I stopped pumping, the tube went completely flat again, not leaving me any time to search for a leak. I figured, "Huh. That's not good." I found a hole and patched it. I tried again to inflate it, but to no avail. So I figured I'd wait until my co-worker who knows something about bikes came in. I washed my hands and ate a bagel while I talked to another co-worker about his new job loading and unloading supply planes in Antarctica that he leaves for in a month.

Travis, my biking co-worker, comes in at 7. I have him look at the tire, and he says, "Yeah, that looks really worn down." He's got a friend that works at a bike shop, so he text messaged him to see if he was going to stop by today and get some coffee, thinking maybe he could take a look. He might even have a tube he could give me. The bike shop friend said he wasn't going to be able to stop by. It was a nice thought, though. I ate another pastry (an apple-filled croissant) and drank my orange gatorade.
The rest of work went by pretty quickly. I walked behind buildings with my bike, and walk across the parking lot of the major shopping facility. I turn right, and walk down a few buildings to the bike shop. They put on a new tube for me. The guy at the bike shop proceeds to tell me that my tire is really worn down and torn up. I've got a new tube on there and that will get me home, but I should look into a new tire. That would do a lot to prevent future flats.

So I set out on my way home. A little ways into the bike ride, I realize that it's now almost 2:30pm and I haven't eaten anything except my bagel at 6:30 and my apple-filled croissant at 8, so I'm feeling a little weak. "Oh well," I say to myself, "I'm half way home. I'll just take it really easy and stop couple times going up hills, drinking lots of water. Then I can eat when I get home." Shortly after this realization, a huge bright yellow Hummer buzzes past me, barely giving me any room. That scared the bejeezus out of me.

About a mile away from where I live is a strip-mall kind of thing which is home to a Chinese buffet and a sports grill. I never realized how much you can smell the food outside the building before. Oohhh, I'm so hungry.... I made it home and ate my leftover spaghetti from the other night. I then took a shower and crashed for about an hour. I didn't log on to IM or anything, so I think Brian was worried about whether or not I made it home okay. I did. I feel a little better after my nap, but I now realize that Brian's parents will be here on Friday and I have a lot of cleaning to do.

just one of those mornings...

Man, I feel beat up. I didn't ride yesterday, figuring that I'd make my non-ride days Tuesday and Thursday so I can get home in time to leave for church and my Thursday night ride respectively. Figuring yesterday was a rest day, I thought my muscles would regroup but they didn't. This morning hurt.

Even though I only took a little more than 38minutes of riding to get to work it felt like at least double that. I'm attributing it to the lousy sleep I got last night, I guess. I couldn't sleep early and ended up staying up til midnight. Then, this morning, Ang called to let me know she blew a tire on HER commute to work. I felt bad not really having anything I could do for her. I know there's a spare tube somewhere in the apartment but I couldn't find it anywhere. She made it to work and had a bike-centric coworker coming in at 7, but if he couldn't fix it I told Ang to walk over to the bike shop that's relatively near her coffee shop. I'm sure she'll blog on the experience later, but this post is about 'ME!!!' (just kidding)

Anyway, I just didn't have any energy in my legs this morning. The climbs which are steady but manageable just really burned this morning. It's been a long time since I've felt like I need to stop for a second on a climb while on the way to work. I stopped twice today.

With the tiredness this morning, I also had my other little injury bugging me. I've been getting this pain up my right shoulder blade and into my neck. It feels like I could crack my neck, but it ends up just being really sore. I'm not sure where it came from, but I'm guessing it's exacerbated by my loaded down pack in the morning and then further exacerbated at work. The problem is that there really isn't anything I can do about it at work at least. I'm going to try leaving clothes at work that I can change into and maybe that will lighten my pack enough to not bother me as much. We'll see.

Now where did that stash of ibuprofen at the office go...?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

a preview...

What I've been working on lately

and am still working on.... but at least it's coming together.

Monday, August 22, 2005

site changes

Confessions of a Flabby Ironman has a new poster. I adjusted the membership so that Ang could post directly instead of having to comment. With two people hopefully there'll be that much more blogging. (Or maybe more appropriately, that much more slacking off)

Ang's morning post

I'm pretty fond of my spiffy new backpack. My favorite part is the "deluxe cool padded back for added ventilation." It's got extra padding on the shoulders and low back, which is pretty comfortable. But that leaves the space in between the pads as sort of an air vent that wind can go through as you're riding. And as Brian mentioned, the "reflective accents for added safety." I also just discovered that it's got "two side compression straps to balance load." It's got clips on each side that sqish your backpack together a bit so that if it's not all the way full things fit tighter and don't go sliding around while you're riding. I'm turning into such a bike geek now, geeking out about my new gear and stuff.
Hmm...I should go try on those Cosmos...

and back to Monday...

38 minutes again this morning. It wasn't an exceptionally exciting ride this morning, just the same fairly monotonous terrain. I think my Mountain Bike is just a tad small. Every time I adjust my seat up to the right height, it ends up sliding down a couple inches. It's very odd, and it puts my legs into a position where I'm putting more pressure on my knees.

Ang and I had a bike date on Friday. The summer of my eighth grade year in Jr. High, I had some good friends who would go out riding with me all summer long. Mostly, it was to the dollar theater, but we would ride all over the place. It was the summer the town shrank. Suddenly, being able to get wherever we wanted without our parents, the world was a much more exciting and fun place. After that summer people moved and we went our separate ways, my friend Pouyan developed pretty severe schitzophrenia, Joel went off his own way, Siavash moved to Michigan and I stayed where I was and kept biking, but I missed those times of just tooling around with no particular place to go. I've got it back.

It's so much fun having a second cyclist in the family. As much fun as it was riding around with the guys 'back in the day', it's that much more fun riding around with Angela. I'm really proud of how far she's come this season, and how quickly her attitude about cycling has changed. I was asking her about it the other day and she mentioned that for a long time it was 'my thing' and that she needed to find 'her thing', but that after riding with the club and meeting lots of other people who have very normal shapes and love biking her attitude shifted a bit.

In any case, we wandered down to Movie Trading Company, then over to Sonic for some ice cream, then Barnes & Noble to dig through the stacks and back to WalMart because Ang needed a backpack and I wanted to see how feasible grocery shopping with a bike could be. The answer? You have to be pickier about what you buy, just because you don't have as much room, but it's still very much feasible to pick up a couple items on the way home. We picked Ang up a backpack so that she'd have a better way to transport things to work and back and I think, for $20, it's actually got a couple of cool things that my $60 backpack doesn't have. The major thing I like about it is that it has lots of luminescence built into the stitching. On the way home, it looked like something out of Tron the way it glowed. Now Ang is jonesing for some shoes, but hopefully my spare pair of Cosmos will work out ok for her. I accidentally bought them a little bit small so hopefully they'll fit her just fine.

This morning's weight was 223.5. Who knows how much of that is water weight but I imagine not all of it is. I'd like to at least drop another 10-15 before this wedding I have to go to in October.

Anyway, more webcoding today. I've got quite a bit of work left to do on these sites I have to redevelop in this last part of August. More later, I promise.