29 October, 2013

Three Things on the Commute

Category: Commuting,Etiquette — Moose @ 9:28 pm

I’ll start this by saying I had a chip on my shoulder this morning the size of Cleveland, owing to a bad night of sleep, but I still think this morning’s commute was a weird one.

I should also add that I usually bike to work (10 minute ride!) and now that it’s cool out, I’ve broken out my bright gold cycling jacket with the reflective patches on it. Hard to miss me in something that bright, especially in full sunlight like there was this morning.

First, I get out onto the cul-de-sac, dodge a car idling in the middle of the road, ride 20 feet, and an old woman on another bike wobbles out of her driveway, heading in the same direction I was, and proceeds to ride 3/4 of the way across the lane to the left. I kind of gave her back a look and proceeded to ride gently past her on her left. She then yells at me (!!) that she ‘wouldn’t know I was there if I didn’t say something!’ I admit I yelled back, telling her to look before she rode out into the road (see “chip” above).

Second, got to the stop light at the end of the cul-de-sac, red light, so I stopped and waited for the green to go across. Couple walking down the street walks up to the corner, looks up at the cross-walk light as it turns into a red hand (i.e., “don’t cross”) and then they proceeded to walk in front of me. I went behind them and yelled, “Thanks for following the cross walk light!” (see “chip” above).

Third, I get across the intersection into another cul-de-sac, where at the end I’ll pop across a driveway and down onto the road on the other side. Get to the end of the cul-de-sac, watch a truck pull out directly in front of me, then stop right in front of the driveway I needed to ride up. Had enough room, barely, to get by without hitting his car, but once again yelled, no expletives (miraculously), but I think it was something to the effect of ‘look where you’re going!’

Morons.

Rest of the commute was blessedly quiet, but this was definitely a weird morning.

11 May, 2011

Slowly, Slowly

Category: Club,Commuting,Dating,Exercise,Site,Stress — Moose @ 9:25 pm

The slow building back I wrote about last month is, well, slow. But that’s okay. Having the discipline to slow myself down, go for less distance at a lower heart rate, is paying off. I’m feeling better. I’m (mostly) sleeping better (more on that in a moment). And things are a bit calmer overall.

The course ended up being completely worth the time. It was a ton of information, which I’m still digesting, but again well worth it. Now I just need to finish reading the manual and fill in the quiz so I can finish that last part of the certification process. In the meantime, with the slow down in training, I’m also bailing on my first race. I’m just not ready for it, physically, so I’m aiming for the next one in June, a sprint here in downtown. I’m going to take the day after the May race off, however, as planned, so I can use that as a reading/quiz day and hopefully finish that up. It would be nice to be “Coach Moose” before the end of this year’s newbie program.

Sleep is mostly better, save when I’m sleeping over at the new boy’s place. Yup, seeing a new boy. He works for a local university as a resident director, so lives on campus, plus he has a dog, and no car (where I do have a car), so it’s just easier for me to stay over up there when we stay together. But that’s meant adjusting to a new bed, and a new person in said bed, and learning his/our sleeping patterns. I’m gradually learning it, but man those early mornings are tough. Thankfully the commute from his place in the morning is pretty smooth, so it’s been relatively easy to get up and get down here to SW to work out. When I don’t sleep in a bit, that is. Otherwise it’s going well. We’re taking thing slowly, trying not to rush into anything (though, yes, overnight stays are a part of that).

LJ (which I do still read daily) for some reason completely reset my theme today while I was at work. Found the one I was using and reapplied it, but that was annoying when I looked at my Fiends’ List this evening. Too few entries, and all the wrong colors. No thanks!

26 January, 2011

Better/Snow/Club Stuff

Category: Club,Commuting,DC,Health,Home,Weather,Work — Moose @ 11:33 pm

Definitely feeling much better today. Mood improved, a tad more energy, though still not up for real exercise yet (and I feel like an absolute slug from the lack of exercise. Ugh). But it’s getting there, which is the important part.

Got kicked out of work even before the early dismissal time we got because of the storm here in DC. About half an hour before my 2 hour point da boss called and told us to get the heck outta dodge because the snow was worsening and traffic was starting to turn into a real clusterfuck. I managed to catch a bus, so rode home rather than walking (I was prepared to walk – duck boots and all – but glad for the ride). Traffic was definitely horked, but our driver was pushy and got us through without too much delay. Seeing the news reports from lots of friends without power tonight I am very, very glad I bought close to downtown where the power lines are all buried. And if I do ever buy in an area where the lines aren’t buried, the place had better have a working fireplace and room to stack some wood.

Our newbie program is coming together now, and I think it’s going to be a good one this year, certainly better than last year’s (which I think we let slip some, to be honest). Now that I’ve finally gotten more brain power back I’m putting together some of the training materials to supplement our plan, and liking how it’s coming together. Oh, and I got registered for the USAT coaching class in April, so I’ll be going out for coaching certification then. Not sure how long it’ll take once I take the course and turn in my test to get the results back, but I’m hopeful I’ll get certified and then we’ll have a coach for the newbies finally, like we’ve been adding coaches for the more “advanced” programs we’ve started.

20 September, 2010

Catch Up

Category: Commuting,Dating,Music,Triathlon — Moose @ 8:25 pm

Still working on my race report from Ironman Louisville. I did finish, in 16 hours, 20 minutes, 3 seconds. I can honestly say that was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done to date. And one of these days I’ll get the race report done and posted.

The boy broke things off two weeks ago, in the middle of dealing with the post-race blues. Not that there’s ever an easy time for such things.

Been listening to a ton of country music since I went out to Louisville, and enjoying it quite a bit. There’s a fairly good country music station on the radio, those few times I drive. Otherwise now it’s what I have on iTunes. Or find through Shazam. Which isn’t so bad. Even been walking to work so I can listen to some music (as opposed to bicycling in).

7 April, 2010

Stupid/Prevention/Plans

Biked up for errands this morning (dentist, picking up glasses, etc.), and there was a serious amount of stupid on the trail in Rock Creek. No helmet, helmet on but unbuckled (doesn’t do much good if it flies off your head when you fly off the bike…), people running on the left side of the trail, etc. Most annoying. Kinda makes you want to get “Trail Rules” signs like they have on other trails in the area.

Why is it that you say “I’m a triathlete” and suddenly you become all intimidating to some people?

I really, really wanted aero bars on my single speed bike this morning while down around East Potomac Park. File under “you know you’re a triathlete if…” you want aero bars on all your bikes. The instinct to get down on the bars while on a straight, flat stretch was pretty strong. Good sign that training on the tri bike is going well. Or at least has become second nature.

No A/C yet in the building, so while I wait for the cable guy to come by and slap a cablecard into the new TiVo it’s kinda warm. We’ll have it in two weeks once they transition the system over from heat, and I’m semi-okay with this because the new general manager here at the cult co-op is having his guys come by and do a comprehensive sweep and check of all the convectors in each individual unit to ensure they’re working, clean, lubed, etc. First time it’s been described that way (past just the usual “we’re changing the filters”), so I’m okay with delaying to ensure all the equipment is working at peak efficiency, or at least at a better clip than the norm. Having vacuumed off my own units, I have seen how nasty they can get, so I can only imagine what some of them look like. It’s nice to have a proactive manager for once; he’s been big on getting in to do preventative maintenance, which is much appreciated here.

Had plans with a friend to do some gaming, but he got called in to do more on a research project he’s leading at school, so no go there. A nap sounds like a good alternative. With the lack of A/C and temps in the 90s the past few days sleep has been elusive. Lots of tossing and turning and odd dreams, including some disturbingly vivid erotic ones. Waking up at 2 am with an almost painfully raging hard-on from one of those is not conducive to a lot of rest.

I’ve been indulging a crush, which has been fun. I feel like I can begin dating again, that I’m ready for that, with the result that I’ve been keeping my eyes open and my flirt meter at “medium high”. But I also feel like I’m looking more with an eye to finding something more than just casual. As always, nothing is set in stone, but we’ll see where the path leads.

22 October, 2009

A Good Way to Spend a Thursday Evening

Category: Club,Commuting,Dating,Knitting — Moose @ 10:33 pm

The club held a seminar on IM training and what not this evening. It was well attended (that it was at a bar, with a private room, helped I’m sure), and was very useful. Little reminders of things I’ve read, confirmation of other things, and some new info. I know I’m going to be doing a lot more posting to our web site with questions this next year as things come up, but it was good to be reminded that I have this incredible resource there, with a great community to turn to when I need ’em.

Was going to bike up there, but decided I didn’t want to deal with Porter Street on my fixie, so I took Metro instead and got in a bunch more knitting on this latest sock. It’s funny, it was pooling pretty randomly when I was doing the little bit of stockinette stitch at the ankle, but since I started a k2p1 rib after a couple inches it’s now doing a very wide spiral up the leg. I guess that little bit of extra yarn made the difference in pooling versus spiraling. The toe, sole increases and the heel all striped up nicely, but I think I’m just slightly off when I’m at the mid-foot and ankle diameters. Weird. Next batch with this particular brand of yarn (Blue Moon’s Socks that Rock) will probably need to be smaller or larger needles (more likely smaller). Not that the pooling didn’t look good, but it’s not as nice as the natural stripes that are supposed to come out of it.

Got to talk to a couple of girls on the way home who were curious about the knitting. That was fun.

Chatted with Mike when I got home. Going to plot out tomorrow morning’s run, lay out my gear, and get my butt to bed now.

12 July, 2009

Notes on the New Bike

Category: Biking,Commuting,Exercise,Friends,Geek — Moose @ 9:50 pm

First, I’m loving not having to shift gears. You just get on and start pedaling – no worrying about whether you left it in the right gear, whether it’ll be too loose or too tight to get going, you just go. If there’s a hill, it’s harder to pedal, if it’s downhill, it’s easier. Simple.

Second, it has a kick stand. I cannot express how awesome that is. For years now the “cool” bikes did not come with kick stands (and probably still don’t). And certainly, if you were using your bike for racing (which I’ve done on each of my other bikes), you didn’t want a kick stand, for practical as well as “cool” reasons. But being able to prop the bike up on its own while I fumble with getting the lock and cable out and in place? Priceless.

The brakes are still a little noisy, especially on a quick stop, but I’m sure that’ll work out as they get worn in.

The other bike store I tried also did not have shoes in my size (grrr!), so it looks like I may have to order some from online. Not my favorite choice, as my feet seem are odd enough that I pretty much always want to try shoes on right in the store to ensure proper fit, without endless back and forth shipping of shoes. Blah. But not having clips on the pedals, while not fatal, was kind of annoying. I wanted the increased power of being able to do the full rotation of the pedal and not just mash down on them; I’m definitely far more comfortable being clipped in as it gives one a better control over pedaling and balance.

Anyway, so far so good. Won’t be able to bike to work tomorrow as I have a long night planned with my friend Drew beginning right after work, but I do look forward to trying it out on the morning and evening commutes.

Reintegrating

For some reason the reintegration back into real life has been a bit difficult. There was the inevitable backup of work at the BGA (“vacation is its own punishment”), breaking things off with someone I’d been dating, adjustment back to east coast time (which means I have to try and fight my normal nature to be a night owl), and just doing the little things like unpacking everything and putting it all away, sorting mail, grocery shopping, etc. Still haven’t done the grocery shopping, so I’ve been subsisting on ever-shrinking supplies of staples from the freezer and cabinet. Not a bad thing, it’s good to clear those out every now and again, but not perhaps the healthiest meals I could be eating.

One thing I’ve been doing to integrate some of our practices from DLOC has been to post “appreciations” over on FaceBook. Just little things to acknowledge those things I’m appreciative of for whatever reason. It does help to make one more mindful of what’s going on in your life, which has made it a useful tool for me.

Past that I’m trying to find my motivation to get back to tri training for my last two races this season, and finish up my commitment with the club’s volunteer work this month. “The Pile” of books has grown since coming back, including some re-reading of classics I feel the need to reexamine in light of the DLOC and SF experiences (The Ethical Slut, the Tao Te Ching/Dao De Jing). I’m about 1/2 an inch from finishing sock #2 on pair #2, and I have another pull ball ready to go on the next set, but the one sock’s been sitting here unloved as I try to work myself back into life.

Picked up another bike yesterday. I wanted something a bit better for zipping around town than my mountain bike (which is a good bike, but not the best for commuting). I went in a slightly different direction, a single gear, and put “campus pedals” on it (clipless on one side, regular pedal platform on the other), so I don’t have to throw on bike shoes just to zip somewhere if I wish to bike out. My goal there is to bike about more to things in town, and sweat be damned. It even came with a kickstand! I feel so retro with a kickstand on a bike – I don’t think I’ve had one of those since high school. With the bike, though, comes the last big purchase for the year, I think. Need to back off and pay off the remnants of vacation and the bike and plan for the end of the year and Giftmas. And to plan for the next body electric workshop next year, of course.

It’s hard to fully describe the changes wrought by DLOC, but I’ll be working on them this year.

20 January, 2009

Security/Dreams

Category: "Security",Commuting,DC,Dreams,Government — Moose @ 3:41 am

Just got the alert from DC EMS (yay push email on a phone right beside your ear on the night stand); the bridges into the city have now been closed. And contrary to what I first thought, I am really and truly trapped in DC now – all of the bridges that could get me out of DC to head south (the direction I’m most likely to go, given that close family all lives south of here) are now closed off. Glad I stocked up on groceries.

A shame it woke me up, I was in the middle of a pretty snarky dream wherein I was verbally getting the best (not that it was difficult) of a pair of camp counselor types. Some of the zingers were quite fun.

15 December, 2008

Can I Have A Do-Over?

Category: Annoyances,Commuting,Food,Health,Sleep,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 9:31 pm

Took a sleep aid last night, and for the first time had a bad reaction to it. Woke up groggy this morning, went in late, and by noon I hadn’t really woken up, despite coffee, so I went home and napped. Oh, and while on the way to work I managed to leave my badge at home, so I returned to get it rather than go through the rigmarole that work inflicts upon you when you forget it. Nothing like walking back and forth to Metro twice. Totally not my day today.

Once I got up, I did go swim this evening, doing a mile once all was said and done. Felt good to get moving again, and I think it worked the last of the stuff out of my system. What a mess. Won’t be using that again any time soon, which is a shame, because it had worked okay before.

On an unrelated note, if clementines were more readily available, I’d eat more fruit on a regular basis. Love those things, was happy to see them at Safeway on the way home from the pool.