Yeah, not for me

Rode in my first critical mass last night, for all of about a block. Stayed late last night, and wanted the full mileage for the week vs taking the late route home. Zipped down the path, got off at Fullerton and turned to head down to Webster. Made the turn onto Webster, saw a line of bikers heading north up Clark.


Critical mass is no-where on my radar, and now I know that's with good reason. I've been out and seen rides before, but never actually had my way blocked by one. I was even on a bike, and there was no way I could get directly through. This was in addition to the two doofuses arguing with the guy in a car at the light who was getting pissed.

At least I had the option of going with the flow. Turned north with the crowd, made my way left and turned west the wrong way into Belden. Good enough for me. Laughed maniacally as I turned south back to Webster, even with the hassles. That block+ was more than enough for me to confirm that I never have to actually go on a full mass ride.

Current beer-scale: 4.2


"Go on then, if you think you're hard enough."

A scenic morning hid a brutal ride in this morning, a never-ending battle against a stiff headwind. Despite the nagging allergy feelings that come with the season change inching forward, I was in a pretty good mood until someone I had passed decided to creak back up to me, wheezing all the way.

I understand the temptation to draft off someone on a day like today. Hell, I did it myself earlier in the week when I got passed on the right and it pissed me off. I latched on and didn't let go. But something about it struck me as annoying this morning so off I went. Maybe it was the idea of someone speeding up only to stop right on my wheel, maybe it was wondering why they had picked me when I was just minding my own business. Whatever reason, it wasn't happening this morning.

In hindsight, it might not have been the best idea. The day has settled in, and I have no idea how to make it to 5:00. It will get here sooner or later, it always does.

Current beer-scale: 1.8-actually managed to have a beer last night, that might do for a while.


I can think of worse places to take a software training than gorgeous new buildings made of glass directly on the lakefront.
Of course, with so much construction up in Rogers Park, one might wonder why so many people seem to be against expanding the lakefront path straight through to Evanston. Just add the expansion to the big tear-down-build-ups going on already.

I'll take a bike ride to RoPo any day of the week over a train or car ride. It's fantastic on a day like today, even when there's a guy flashing ass-crack in front of you.

Thankfully the guy in black up there was sitting back to have some water after furiously passing me on the north side. I had passed him a few minutes earlier, and apparently it enraged him enough to catch up. And as he caught up, bending over his bars was enough to pull his shirt up and reveal at least 5 inches of cyclist crack. Fantastic.

Still, even with some guy's butt out, it was beautiful this morning.
Current beer-scale: 2.3--I can at least think of beer w/o feeling nauseous.


chumming the waters

How appropriate, so close to the end of shark week.
It's been a long week so far, with two late meetings to stay through. And since I'm taking an absent day with no vacation to use yet but pre-new job travel plans already lined up, late meetings meant a chance to make up missed hours via showing up at the normal time and gritting through a few full days. Let's just say my caffeine intake has increased lately.

I can't complain about working after being out of job for so long; besides, the meetings themselves were fun and worth having. The fact that I was running one of the meetings vs simply attending, and doing the opening welcome to the second, made things much easier to deal with. But I'm damn tired today, and two nights of riding home at dusk through the neighborhood put me slightly on edge.

Just like the hours closest to dawn and dusk are dangerous for swimmers near sharks, dusk seems to be a dangerous time for cyclists. Breezing through the neighborhood at night seems to be a little easier than during the dinner rush hours. Maybe the darkness just makes it easier to ignore all the dangers that present themselves visibly while there's still some sun out. Something to think about as the days get shorter I guess.

Current beer-scale: 6.8 & climbing as travel plans come nearer.


screw the routine

Sometimes I feel like I'm on the far end of something, having made it through an extended unemployment to find a challenging new job where I'm well compensated. Four weeks in and I'm glad it's Friday but would be fine if it wasn't. I just wish my legs weren't so tired at the end of the week.

Having made a big change starting a new job, smaller shake-ups to the routine feel way easier to deal with. So thank goodness for the Air & Water show, a weekend I usually revile but thanks to taking a different route to work this morning I'm a little more "meh" on. It was too hot to speed down the path this morning anyway.

I did enjoy getting another interview call this week. Apparently, Chicago Park District works even slower than universities do since I haven't applied to anything in over a month, and my last park application is probably from about 10 weeks ago. Something I might have been interested in and good at--something I was probably very interested in when I actually applied. Things worked out differently though, and I can't complain. Turning them down wasn't the best part though. Just knowing that the application actually made it through the system was reassuring.

Current beer-scale: 9.8, converted from a remarkably high rye whiskey score.


One Year Later

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of hearing I would no longer have a job. I don't know what you do to celebrate such things, but I was so busy at my new job I didn't have time to consider the question in the first place.

That made for a pretty rough start to the year, and even though I'm employed now I have to admit I won't be sad to see this year in the rear view. I'm in a better place and I'll leave it at that.

Current beer-scale: 6.1


"Being a bastard works."

I might not agree with all of Spider Jerusalem's pearls of wisdom, but there is truth in most of them.
I just finished "Tales of Human Waste," the last tpb I had left in the Transmetropolitan series and I am sad. There's no more new Spider to read, no more rants on the state of things or how much hate is out there. Other than the ones in my head of course.

If you haven't read them but have a soft spot for a gonzo Hunter S. Thompson from the future, do yourself a favor and check them out. Hilarious, heart-wrenching, antagonistic, unbelievable, and ultimately redeeming. A fantastic collected work of fiction.

Current beer-scale: 4.3


dripping dry

Yeah, rain rides are fun. I should at least put on the rear clip-on fender though, b/c I'm nasty soaked for the second straight day.

Current beer-scale: 5.1


I managed to make it into work in one piece this morning, even thought ahead and put my work clothes in a separate bag so they stayed dry. Of course, I nearly dumped a pot of coffee on myself once I was dressed. Good times.

I remembered why I liked biking in the rain this morning.
There were a handful of other people out, and one guy even said good morning. Even covered in grime and rain it was a good start to the day, but I can't shake this nagging cloud in the back of my mind. I don't know why. It's been there since last night. Maybe I should have had another beer.

Current beer-scale: 3.8


Nice view

Took the wife to the south side last weekend as part of our continued anniversary/having jobs celebration. This was partly to balance all the Cubs games I've dragged her to in the past two years, but also b/c even though they're in first place it's still easier to get last minute tickets to Sox games.
Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, even with the obnoxious tweens behind us that undoubtedly will grow up to be truly obnoxious adult fans. Too bad we didn't really see any action, and no one could come up with a better taunt for Athletics centerfielder Coco Crisp than "Hey Coco, you suck!"

Current beer-scale: 5.7