Thursday, May 27, 2004

I can quit any time I want...

Who am I kidding; of course I can't. At least now I've discovered the smaller, "grab-bag" size of my new favorite junk food, so my binges are a little smaller. I'm not sure what makes them so tasty; perhaps it's the blue cheese.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Trail Note: Bike to Work Day

I participated in Bike to Work Day on Friday. Since I didn't think that I could manage the ride to and home from work all in one day, I actually started my bike-to-work-day on Thursday. I drove in on Thursday with my bike, gear, cycling clothes, shower stuff, and Friday work clothes in tow, and biked home Thursday night. This way I could bike in Friday morning without having to carry my clothes for work on my back, and be able to drive home that night.

My normal commute via car is ~ 28 miles one way. Since I don't have a bike computer, I'm not sure exactly what the distance is cycling, but I knew that it would be a longer via bike, since the off-highway route would be a little less direct. Fortunately, I had a companion on this ride, a co-worker also training for the Courage Classic who lives in downtown Seattle. This was a good thing, as there are several times I would have made wrong turns on the ride, making it an even longer adventure. I also felt much safer, particularly when riding through a less than upscale neighborhood south of the city. The ride home took me ~ 2 hrs 45 minutes: mostly flat until I got to Safeco Field, at which point I rode uphill through the city, and then up QA hill to the house. It took almost 3 hours to ride in on Friday, partly because we were a little tired from Thursday, and partially because we faced a headwind the entire ride.

It was a great ride. It was so fun to be out with the bike stations (giveaways) and other cyclists. We never saw Jeff's dream of hundreds of bicycles, crowding cars off the road, but I certainly saw dozens that morning, most of whom were extremely friendly.

All in all, not something that I'd do every day, or even every week, but I'll bike home again a few more times this summer. Next time, however, I'll make sure not to ride in when I have a morning meeting...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Trail Note

So it seems that there are friendlier runners on my usual neighborhood route in the morning than in the evening. I went for my first run this week this morning before work. I'm finding that I'm running less and less now that I'm starting to bike a little more. I did that last year, and want to prevent doing that this year. I can fall very quickly out of running shape, and nothing else allows me to eat as much without gaining weight (I don't lose weight, I just can snack freely without gaining if I'm running..)
Is the Devil Wearing Mittens Right Now?

I actually agree with the Bush administration on an issue. Um, there's a reason that it's called the Strategic Petrolium Reserve.

Maybe people could deal with the high oil prices by driving less, or trading in their SUV's, or carpooling, or biking to work...

Monday, May 17, 2004

But will you buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?

I was well beyond farklempt as I drove home listening to Robert Siegel's coverage of some gay couples' marriages in Massachusetts today. Tears ran down my cheeks as I heard stories of couples who could finally legally recognize their life-long partnerships and have all of the legal, financial, and social benefits that come with marriage.

But where does that leave domestic partnership (well, other than a potential compromise agreement, or for those who live in the 49 other states)? For some in Massachusetts, gay and straight, who have been dependent on partnership benefits for years, they might now be out of luck as some insurance providers are no longer going to provide domestic partnership benefits. After all, there is now no reason why they can't get married. If you really needed those benefits, wouldn't you make that trip to the courthouse and make an honest man or woman out of your partner? In a world where anyone can marry regardless of sexual orientation, is there still a need for domestic partnership?

I can see why there could be a difference. One could establish financial interdependence without wanting to make a life-long committment. Some object to the misogynist history of marriage where women were considered property, others have issue with the religious connotation. Others just don't want to tie themselves down till death do us part, or don't want the bother or expense. Should these people get insurance benefits? Legal benefits? Tax benefits? Next-of-kin status?

Okay. That's it; no clever (or not so clever) closing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

All it takes is one lawsuit to learn the true meaning of "every precaution"

Last week Jeff discovered a British import store and picked up some curry (several varieties of the spice w/ recipe), digestives, and chutney. The digestives went pretty fast (I'd forgotten just how good they are), and Jeff cooked up the curry with chicken for our Monday night dinner.

As I was liberally spooning the lovely apricot chutney onto my curry last night, Jeff found the warning label: despite taking every precaution, there may be traces of apricot stones in the chutney; take care as you eat (or something to that effect.) I did indeed find several bits of apricot pit in my chutney last night, and again in my leftovers today, which leads me to wonder if they really did take every precaution.

I work for a profit-based enterprise; I can understand it not being cost effective to really filter out every bit of apricot pit, perhaps requiring excess labor or pit-finding machines, or excessive wastage of apricot fruit. I can understand that these precautions would be excessive, and not worth the time or money. But were they taken? Obviously not. If there were really taking every precaution, then how come I have 3 apricot bits on the napkin alongside my plate? Pits I can take, just please don't lie to me about taking every precaution.
Ack! (Random notes)

Blogger's changed its look! I'm totally disoriented.

Last night, for the first time in my second year of playing softball (post high school), we played and didn't lose the game. We didn't win, but we didn't lose (tied, and had to stop because it was too dark), and I had 2 nice hits.

I'm actually reading a book (Good in Bed), and enjoying it (it is good to read in bed). Not surprisingly, the author has a weblog that I'll have to check out.

I thought I'd finally sign up for the Danskin Women's Triathalon this year (inspired by Kristen) and the Seattle race is 1) already sold out and 2) the same weekend as the Courage Classic. I feel a little better that there are 2 reasons I can't go; I'd feel upset if I'd just waited too long to sign up.

And I had a good bike ride in Port Townsend on Saturday: 44.6 hilly miles on the road bike. I'm loving that bike!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Trail Note: Cycle style

Sunday was the first ride on my road bike with the new triple chain ring in place. Jeff replaced my original front gear (2 rings) with one that had a third, smaller gear in place. This was to make my bike easier for riding hills. I have been riding my mountain bike all spring, which is great for off-road riding and has low gears which are good for getting up steep hills, but is heavy and slow. I really want to ride the road bike for the Classic.

The replacement wasn't quite as simple as I had expected, as it was also necessary to buy new derailers for the new gear configuration. We (okay, Jeff) finally finished up the project Sunday morning, so we went for a ride that afternoon.

We rode northeast through the University on the Burke Gilman trail over to the Lake Washington loop to Seward Park. We then headed west and north up to Capital Hill (where I had softball practice). It was a great ride to enjoy the speed of the road bike on some flat streches along the lake (we got into a 20 mph groove for a little while) and test the new gearing on some challenging hills as we approached Cap Hill from the east. While the hills were tough, the bike was great!

Now I'm ready to start adding some milage. The longest ride I've done this year has been in the mid-30 mile range. I'll need to feel comfortable doing at least 60 hilly miles before August, and would like to get up to a century ride (100 miles) before the summer is done. This weekend: the Rhody Ride.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Subconscious Symbolism

So how to interpret the presence of Martha Stewart in a dream? Apparently in my subconscious she has a beautiful singing voice and does a mean Seinfeld impression. Who knew?

Monday, May 03, 2004

"It's May, It's May, the Lusty Month of May"...

We had several options of activities to choose from on this beautiful first Saturday in May:

1) Ride up to the U-district and watch the festivities associated with the Opening Day of the Seattle boating season
2) Go to the races
3) Go to Safeco Field to ralley for or protest against the sanctity of marriage
4) Sit around and do a lot of nothing

While we strongly considered option # 4, we opted for #2. While #1 would have been a terrific choice, it's one that I'd done the last 2 years, and thought that we should try something a little bit different. We never seriously considered #3.

My horoscope on Saturday (which, by the way, I only read about once every month or so) specifically stated that I should not gamble or even shop on 5/1/04, as money would slip though my fingers. While this did not deter me from going to the track, cash in hand, I did set strict limits as to how much I would wager throughout the day.

We arrived at Emerald Downs right as the first local race was beginning. I've biked and driven past this track many times, but this is the first time I'd actually gone inside. It's a nice little track (not Saratoga, but not unpleasant). Most people were pretty casual, with the exception of a few amazing hats (I got a photo, but have to finish up the disposable camera before knowing how it turned out).

Fortunately my friend had gotten there early and snagged some good tables, so we had a terrific base to contemplate our betting strategies, cheer on the races on the final stretch, and watch the horses parade to the stable post-race. I have a very technical strategy for selecting my ponies: the name and the odds. This strategy was not very successful in the local races, so I changed it slightly for my Derby selections. For this, I wagered on the favorite to place, and my favorite (femist choice based on the female trainer) to show. This strategy paid off, to the tune of covering my losses for the earlier races and offseting the cost of one tasty beer.

While this will not be a regular weekend event for me, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon.