26 April, 2007

This Entry is for S.D.

Category: Biking,Exercise,Motivation,Weather — Moose @ 2:15 pm

Hadn’t slept well, was awake from 1 to 2 or so, so when I woke up (the second time) this morning to the clock telling me it was five after 6, I was starting the day off with a bit of a mood. I was supposed to be at Hains Point for a ride in 25 minutes, and it takes me not quite ten to get there. Yikes!

I threw on bike clothes, sucked down as much water as I could, checked the temperature (52F), threw on arm warmers, and was still not out the door until almost 6:30.

Rode over to the Point, regretting that I’d not thrown on a light jacket or vest as well (legs and arms were fine, torso a bit chilly). 6:36, they were well gone, so started to go around the opposite direction to find ’em.

Found the fast people, saw no slow folks (I’m not able to keep up with the faster riders. Yet.), but turned around and started going in the correct direction. Turned the corner to do a small loop, but as I got back toward the turn off I was going against the wind finally and it was just too much. I turned the corner and headed back home. Total time out, about 21 minutes, far short of the usual hour and a quarter.

Got in, stripped off the bike clothes, threw myself in the shower and hopped out into a chilly apartment. Threw on a robe, checked the clock, saw that I had time, and made a pot of coffee to sip there at home before work. Checked up on some club business, got that done, enjoyed the coffee thoroughly and eventually got ready to get to work.

Some days exercise just doesn’t work, and that’s perfectly fine. The coffee was good, and I’ll get in a better ride when more prepared and rested on Sunday.

25 April, 2007

2007 Food and Friends Ride

Category: Biking,Charity — Moose @ 9:00 pm

To date I have avoided doing charity sporting events, but this year I have committed to ride in the 2007 TEAM Food & Friends cycling weekend, July 12-15th.

Food & Friends is a nonprofit organization that prepares, packages and delivers more than 3,000 meals a day, free of charge, to clients throughout the DC metropolitan area. One of the main reasons I signed up for this was that while Food & Friends began as a service to deliver meals to people with HIV/AIDS, and that’s still a central part of their mission, over the years they’ve been able to expand that service to include men, women and children who face a variety of illnesses such as breast and prostate cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses. That mission is critical to support providing three meals a day to more than 1,300 people, six days a week.

Please support my efforts to raise $1900 by making a tax-deductible donation today. Every penny raised goes directly to help the clients of Food & Friends.

If you can help in any amount, I’d be very grateful, and I know that the clients which Food & Friends serves will be as well. If you do donate, please let me know, since I won’t necessarily know the real names of folks who read this. Thank you.

24 April, 2007

Notes from the Morning Ride

Category: Biking,Geek,Weather,Wierd — Moose @ 7:27 am

I got hit by a bird when we first started up. Two birds were either fighting or fucking, but in any case they came swooping down in the road, not looking where they were going, and one of them smacked me. Never before have I felt like Fabio. No blood, no scratch, thankfully.

You can tell it’s spring pollen season when you look down and your tire is a lovely shade of light yellow. Ick.

Despite the bird incident it was a good ride. Overcast, cool, mid-60s. The rain that looked threatening never happened, so it was smooth sailing. Got dropped, as I expected, but no worries there, I just got in a good ride, keeping the cadence up and attempting to keep the heart rate at a decent level. Was a tad high, but it’ll get better as the season progresses.

23 April, 2007

It’s Started

So, I’ve finally started training for this triathlon season. Sort of.

Ran this morning, since I didn’t get in a single run this weekend. Didn’t sleep well Thursday or Friday nights, so was too wiped. Friday it was the asshole downstairs neighbors and their incense again. I left a very ugly email for management about not getting that fixed yet. They of course did not come into the apartment today to do anything to the remaining hole in the wall that’s letting this crap in. Someone’s getting an ugly phone call tomorrow.

Anyway, ran this morning, swam this evening. Pool was mega-crowded. One of the few times I’ve had to circle swim at the Y, which always throws off the pacing of a workout for me. The other two folks in the lane were a tad slower than I was, but not too far off. Gave me some time to rest before heading back out. Was an okay swim.

Plan is to get up and bike with the club in the morning, provided it’s not raining.

Should definitely sleep well tonight.

Still have to write up the race report from the previous weekend. Oh, and I signed up for a 10k in two weeks. Because I’m insane. And didn’t have a race in May yet. Though I have a friend looking for a 5k in the area because he’s never done a running race and I said I’d do one with him.

What else? Work was nuts today. We had field counsel in from all over the country and I got to meet some of them in person finally. Otherwise I was buried in my office writing up stuff to go the uber-boss to tell him why we don’t think we have a legal problem with someone another BGA claims is a legal problem. Whee. That and trying to pry more information out of yet another BGA. At least they’re paying me well now.

Mixed messages and missed texts ended up scuttling Saturday plans, so was relatively good and quiet Saturday evening. Biked with my newbies Sunday. Made plans for dinner with a friend on Thursday. The same missed connection from Saturday seems to be missing making plans for this week as well. Oh well, his loss. Plans made for this upcoming Saturday to go to, of all things, an amusement park. Only riding the rollercoasters if they’re not too big. As Bug can attest to, I’m not a big fan. Should be a trip.

My sunglasses broke this morning; ear piece came off. Thankfully I have an eyedoctor appointment on Monday (along with the dentist – double whammy), so I’ll be able to either fix these or order a new set. Also have to get new regular lenses, I’m sure. The ones I have now must not have gotten the scratch-proof coating, they’re all scratched to heck and it’s beyond annoying when around any sort of brightish light. Look forward to being able to read the TiVo screen from my reading chair again. How much we want to bet I’m down another quarter of a diopter again this year?

Otherwise, kicking up the training for my first sprint race the first weekend of June, and settling back into a routine. While includes crashing at not quite 10 pm. Oy.

Oh, and on the removal of The Awakening from Hains Point? Let ’em have it. Maybe fewer tour busses will travel down there now while we’re trying to bike and run.

16 April, 2007

Visiting Home

Category: Family — Moose @ 1:31 am

Going back to where you grew up is not necessarily the easiest thing to do.

I’ve considered myself lucky in that ‘home’ is a short trip away (even if traffic is occasionally harsh), but not so close that my family can drop in unannounced. I’ve enjoyed that slight distance as I work out for myself how I interact with my immediate family, and frankly right at the moment I find it a bit far away.

I’m encouraging my elder (soon to be eldest) niece to take up athletics in a way I never did in school. Her birthday present this year (she turned 10 last month) was a triathlon race entry fee and a good pair of running shoes from Uncle Moose. She’s got my feet, poor dear. Overpronator (like my father, her grandfather, as well as her Uncle), so stability shoes were in order. They were less than I expected to pay (being used to adult, male prices), so a good top and shorts and socks were in order, too. I wish I could be down there to train with her, to encourage her more. Hell, she’s even willing to try tofu now, something her step mother had managed to poison her away from just a couple years ago. She really looks up to me, and it’s hard to leave knowing that.

I don’t have any other children in my life. Her baby sister is just that, a baby (turned 1 this past month), and the other niece isn’t due until June (at which point the elder niece becomes the eldest niece).

My parents are, thankfullly, taking a bit more interest in their health. They were great as race support yesterday, and do talk about the walking they’re doing, and more stuff at the Y down there now. I want them around, selfishly, and am glad they’re looking out a bit more for themselves now. I wish they’d done more earlier, but any little bit helps.

We went to brunch this morning with one of mom’s fellow teachers. She and I went to see Evita together, as well as Cats, while I was still in Jr high and high school. As she put it this morning, “When your mother told me about your lifestyle I said, ‘Duh, we went to musical theather together.'” Too funny. She hadn’t really met my Dad until Mom’s retirement, at which point she introduced herself by saying, “Hi, I used to date your son.” She’s a self-described ‘bobble-head’ now, thanks to a sick new wing of the junior high where Mom used to work. It caused some neurological problems that has her looking like she has parkinson’s, though that’s not the case. It was both hard to see her, as well as good to see her. She was a very good friend, and despite the bobbing, she’s doing well.

Which reminds me, Mom and Dad have adopted Save The Ta-Tas as their motto now. They spotted a shirt while down in Florida this past winter and had to get some of the merchandise (including stickers which are all over their cars now). Mom’s a breast cancer survivor for not quite a decade now, so is an appropriate thing to show (she loves her “My Ta-Tas are Survivors” shirt).

We did chat some about the family history as well. I thought just 2 of her 3 brothers had had prostate cancer, as well as her father, but it seems all three have had it. The third had normal PSA results, but mentioned the family thing to his doctor and sure enough, the digital exam showed cancer as well. So my early screening isn’t such a bad thing. Now if I can continue to stave off the hair loss on Mom’s side I’ll be happy (though if it shows up, the rest is gone – it’s all or nothing; I’m not doing a comb-over).

The younger niece is, unfortunately, too young yet to remember Uncle Moose. Over this next year things will cement, at which point the spoiling will begin, but I have a bit of a reprieve until language starts in earnest. She knows ‘nose’ and ‘ears’ and the difference between her own and someone else’s, but she’s not got language quite down yet. Soon, I’m sure, at which point more spoiling will become part of the order of things. Hopefully she’ll be as athletic as her big sister is (and her parents are not), which will make spoiling easy.

14 April, 2007

Brief Report

Category: Racing — Moose @ 10:49 am

The race went well, 2:15:07 chip time (I was expecting 2:20, and this was a PR from my previous 2:58). Will do up a full report once I get home and can download the HRM info, but wanted to get something up quickly. Now, it’s off to hunt down lunch!

13 April, 2007

Six Hours, or Why I Don’t Drive More Often/Races

Category: Commuting,Exercise,Racing,Running,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:09 pm

The drive from DC to Chesapeake (Great Bridge, specifically), usually takes somewhere around 4 hours, give or take a bit, depending on wind speed, police presence, etc. Today it took 6 hours.

Six. Hours.

There had been some sort of accident north of Richmond, so it took me four hours to get to Richmond itself. When we passed the spot where the accident had occurred, of course there was no sign of the accident itself, we were simply experiencing the aftermath of the original slow down, which is probably still inflicting itself upon the poor fools stuck driving on I-95 this evening.

The worst was the constant signs from the Ever-helpful folks at VDOT who told us “Accident X Miles Ahead; Expect Major Delays; Consider Alternate Routes”. The alternate route I considered was an expanded and decent rail system that would actually get me all the way down into Chesapeake, but alas, that is not to be. It would have been a bit more helpful if, say, they’d had VDOT or VSP officials out waiving folks along to keep them moving past the accident site and avoided the slow down entirely, but of course, that would be useful. Or if they’d actually suggested what some alternate routes might be, instead of leaving us with no idea how to hop off and get around the mess on the highway.

(I did call my parents and asked for alternate routes, but the one would have had me incredibly out of the way and the other only intersected with the highway where the accident site was, making it not terribly useful)

Now I remember why I don’t drive. I’m sorely tempted next time, even though it will add to the overall time of the trip, to take the train down to the Peninsula and rent a car there rather than have to drive all the way down and up on 95 again. Gah.

I was a tad worried this morning about the race tomorrow, my ankle started to bother me after all the walking yesterday, but it appears to be fine this evening. The 6 hours of rest in the car helped it, no doubt. Crashed out in the motor home this time so I have a real bed on which to sleep before the race tomorrow. Phone’s set to play reveille at 5 am, we’re getting to the race site at 7. 1,500 racers are registered. It’s a flat out and back, so should be good. Looking forward to dropping back down to shorter distances for the immediate future after this, too. I’ll be back up there in September for this fall’s big race, but in the meantime I want some time down to focus on biking.

11 April, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Category: Commentary,DC,Queer,Satire,Weather — Moose @ 9:29 pm

(This was typed on my Treo earlier this evening – just getting home to post it)

Spring is here, even if it’s not.

The temperatures outside have been hovering in the 30s to 50s for the past week. Snow was seen the Saturday before Easter. Flowers are having problems staying up and in bloom. However, despite all this, I know it’s Spring. Because my default fall-back waiting-for-someone-after-I’ve-just-gotten-my-hair-cut 17th Street bar, 30 Degrees, is busy on a Wednesday at 7:30.

The gays are out in force, they’re chatting away, looking stylish in either work drag (suit) or gay boy drag (jeans, sporty shirt), and drinking like the fish we are. If there were a clearer sign that warmer weather is on its way and that bad swimsuits and tank tops are just around the corner, I’m not sure what it would be.

The array of obsure yet terribly fashionable jeans alone is staggering. Patterns on pockets and pants legs which are hardly ever on display outside of you-have-to-be-introduced-by-someone-in-the-know dark shops are peeking out from under belts which betray the designer hopes of their wearers only in the subtle (or not so subtle) buckles. Boys are comparing power phone Blackberry and/or Treo cases and the latest models, and discussuons of who’s going where for which holidays and the summer months when DC decamps to Delaware in such numbers that Rehoboth and Dewey might as well be referred to as Washington in exile echo off the walls. The social pecking order is being established, and men are found desirable or lacking in the flash of a device or the dropping of a name.

Fancy drinks flow freely, like sap rising in the cherry trees around the Mall, and the definitive sign of Spring has come: the gay boys are out to mate.

10 April, 2007

Shopping and Tourism

Category: DC,Friends,Leisure,Racing,Running,Stuff,Tourists,Weather — Moose @ 7:05 am

Shopping, shopping and more shopping.

D’s in town from Brisbane and the first thing he wanted to do was shop. The US dollar is very weak currently compared to the Australian dollar, so everything is relatively inexpensive when compared to home for him. I believe my favorite quote was, “It’s like going to Bangladesh!” Thanks for the monetary and tax policies, Mr. President.

Did get in some proper touristy stuff on Sunday with a visit to the Corcoran Gallery’s Modernism exhibit. If you get a chance to go, I highly recommend it, it was well done. We dragged Tod and Doug out with us and then zipped to a late lunch after. But cold, so very cold this weekend. Easter is not supposed to be colder than Christmas in this hemisphere. Not to mention the brief snow Saturday morning. Brr!

Last day at work this week for me today. More touristy stuff and shopping with D the next two days, then I’m off for my half marathon on Saturday down near my parents. I offered to do a 5k with a friend who’s not done one before when I get back, so looks like I’m adding to my race schedule, though a 5k isn’t going to kill me. And it would be good to have a benchmark prior to my next Sprint triathlon the first weekend in June.

6 April, 2007

Long Night/Tourist Season

Category: Food,Friends,Weather — Moose @ 4:03 pm

A friend of mine is flying in from Australia today, for a week of work and playing tourist. He was supposed to be landing right about now at IAD (Dulles), but because of delays out of home port he’s now re-routed through DFW to DCA (National). Flying into DCA instead of the dreadful IAD is always a better thing, but now he’s going to be landing at quarter after midnight. Ugh. At least Metro is open at that hour, so now I’ll meet him and we’ll head into town rather than the embassy having to pick him up from IAD.

Alternative dinner plans have been secured in the meanwhile, so no sushi tonight as planned, but that can happen tomorrow just as easily.

Playing tourist tomorrow might be a trip; they’re predicting snow to begin here after midnight, somewhere in the nature of 1-3 inches, depending on the forecaster. Wasn’t expecting to turn the major Xian holidays on their heads, what with Easter being colder than this past Christmas (we don’t live in the Southern hemisphere, after all), but these things do happen on rare occasions I suppose. Hopefully it’ll keep all but the most dedicated tourists inside and off the streets.