11/30/10

time saved

Holy piss did it get cold today!

Riding a crappy bike, I'm not too worried about where I lock up this winter. Since I was the only person headed downtown on a bike while I was going in this morning, I thought there might be room on the rack right in front of my building. I was right, but there was only one side open vs both.


The guard gave me shit as I walked in too. "Oh, I didn't think you were still riding." No guy, I wear the bike helmet I always have with me on the train too. At least being right by the door will save me some walk time this evening. Shit it's going to be cold.

Current beer-scale: 5.8

11/29/10

Two turkey hilights & bitching about headwinds

Woof.

We put our tree up post-thanksgiving as is our tradition, and afterwards I had a chance to "fine-tune" frankenbike for this week. Quotes b/c there's nothing fine about it. But the tires felt a little slushy and needed some air, and since I had toe-clips going unused they got tossed on the worst bike in the city. Just in time to struggle through a totally craptastic headwind on the way in this morning. If it stays breezy it might be time to switch to the cutting-thru-the-neighborhood route instead of the path. Shortcuts are smart. But there's nothing like going back to work after a few days off with elements that seem dead set on keeping you from getting there.

And what a few days off they were. ND beat USC, the Bears beat Philly and M. Vick got hit a few times, and I figured out that I could use my mother-in-law's laptop to put the NFL network broadcast on the big screen to cap off Thursday.


The dog was less than impressed, but she was exhausted from getting so much attention over the course of the day.


I don't blame her. The holidays are fun, but damn can they be draining.

Current beer-scale: 8.2

11/24/10

wow

Yesterday was my 300th post. Today I'm waiting for the metra to take me to Wheaton w/a pie on my lap. For all their convenience I still hate the train. Too bad I couldn't find any rye to pick up on my way to the station.

Ah the holidays.

And here's five seconds of the start of the train ride, b/c any longer makes you want to blow your brains out.

video

Current beer-scale: 8.6

11/23/10

Today put me over 900 miles since July

But who gives a shit b/c it was 35 degrees colder over a 24-hour period. Damn.

I need a smaller cog so I'm not hopelessly spinning to try and keep a decent pace. Although I might feel differently when the weather really changes. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

There's a new ND story in the paper that makes me sick to my stomach. Add that to my sinuses punching me in the brain today and having a few days off soon is starting to sound really great. I am disappoint.

Current beer-scale: 9.4 & Tuesdays suck

11/22/10

Remember that time I got hit by lightning?

We laughed and laughed...

I've ridden in some ridiculous shit before. Chicago can get difficult and I try not to complain too much b/c I'm the one choosing to get on a bike instead of a train. Today was one of those days, where a light rain turned into a complete downpour and I kept going anyway. At one point by the lake lightning hit so close I saw a red flash along with the white. The accompanying thunder was so loud I thought it was cracking right over me. Good times. Still better than snow.


WGN had the temperature at 61 degrees when I got out of bed this morning so I was riding no matter what conditions were like. I had been thinking about switching to Frankenbike for a while now and the light rain pushed me over the edge. It's in surprisingly ride-able shape these days. I put some fixation session 23's on for winter hoping they would have enough tread even though they're real skinny. The gearing is a little suspect; bigger than a stock single speed but not even close to as big a ratio as I usually ride on the pilot. Which is good, b/c stopping is always a good idea and even taking it easy I felt like I was spinning away the entire ride. I forgot to put toe-clips on this weekend, how do you just 'forget' something like that? Definitely something to fix in the next day or two. As long as I get through the next day or two.

Thank god this is a short week. Bring on turkey and a few days off.

Current beer-scale: 3.9

11/19/10

Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Okay, getting a little cold out there. Might be time to bring the beard back. To hell with having a job and needing to look professional.


Ah, the weekend. Late ND game and no Bears, but plenty of beer and a nice open couch with my name all over it.

Current beer-scale: 5.1

11/18/10

another one bites the dust

The Borders across the street from my office is going out of business; when I noticed the "everything must go" signs up last night on my way home I almost stopped and locked up the bike outside to go in and take a look. I waited until this afternoon to head over, and I understand why they're going out of business.

As a grad fellow I spent my lunch break at that same Borders every day. I read the entire "Preacher" series, along with a few others. When I was finishing my Masters, instead of buying a $75 style guide, I grabbed a store copy and basically edited my thesis on the floor. I now own most of the books I read for free back then (except the style guide, graduate school is damn ridiculous) so don't judge me too harshly. I didn't get them all at that Borders though, and why the hell would I. I went in looking for three things today: "The Monster at the End of this Book" for a friend who just had her first kid, the latest Christopher Moore vampire book, and Venture Bros season 4.1. The Seasame St. book wasn't in stock, Moore was hardcover only for $25, and Venture Bros was under glass. No one was around to open it up for me, so the hardcover got left behind and out I walked.

I'm not above buying a hardcover b/c I can't wait for the paperback. I'm impulsive that way and it doesn't bother me. I could undoubtedly find it online for cheaper though, and could certainly find Venture Bros for less than however much Borders was charging. And I would instantly know how much someone was charging online too (it's on amazon for $17.99, down from $23.98). It's just too bad to see a monster chain that killed a lot of smaller local shops but had some positives going for it succumb to the weight of the holes in its own business plan. People will always buy books, movies, and music in some form, but more and more often it won't be at places like Borders.

Alright, that's enough of me sermonizing. I'm no economist. Football head-smashing time!

Current beer-scale: 6.9

My competitive side sometimes gets the best of me

I admit, I am a Cat 6 racer in the worst sense. I take it personally when people pass me too close, and grit my teeth with jealousy when I'm slogging through a headwind and see some spandex-clad spazz spinning away in the opposite direction. I despise drafters, and took a perverse pleasure in shaking one off last night and seeing their headlight fade behind me. I like to get home fast, and that means I basically race home.

And really, I don't see much wrong with that. As much as I enjoy the ride I'd much rather be home with the wife and dog. And on days like today it's even worse, with the Bears in the Thursday night game and pizza for dinner plans. Nevermind the fact that fall is actually here and it was below freezing for the morning ride today. I'll go as fast as I can in those conditions. And I should enjoy it while I can b/c earlier reports of possible AM slush had me prepping Frankenbike last night as I grilled dinner outside. Goodbye speed.

Current beer-scale: 7.2

11/15/10

Rather one-sided for a philosophical conversation

You would think someone with pro-life stickers plastered all over their car would be better drivers. At least you'd think they'd pay more attention at stop lights. But no, apparently ever life is sacred unless you're late for work. Then it's every fucker for themselves.

Not that I blame them. I don't give a shit about the people inching along in cars, and I accept the fact they don't give a shit about me. But after nearly getting run down multiple times this morning, the last thanks to said pro-lifer completely running a red light, I'd like to take a bazooka and clear some traffic on the way home tonite. Especially if anyone is pig-headed enough to go all bumper-sticker philosophy on me.

Ultimately this had to happen. Saturday and Sunday were too good to not have some sort of Monday letdown. I didn't think that would mean nearly getting killed though.

Current beer-scale: 9.8

11/12/10

another walkabout

We have tickets to Tosh tonite, so it was another walk to work morning for me. The wife has the day off and offered to drive me, but walking gave us a chance to spend some additional time together. Plus, the dog freaks out when the routine changes at all Mon-Fri, so she was happily spazzing.

We split up after a starbucks trip, the wife having the drag the dog away. It's never fun. It was much crappier this morning vs my last walk, so a peppermint mocha actually quite hit the spot.


I passed farm in the zoo again this morning, which makes me laugh. I used to hate walking there for work but now I walk 5 miles to work seemingly whenever I have the chance. But it really was dreary out.

Anyway, here's to a chance to have dinner somewhere downtown before Tosh tonite. Then finding whiskey to drink at home.

Current beer-scale: 7.1

11/8/10

Too early friends

It was cold in Chicago for a couple of days last week. Cold enough that pumpkin lattes sounded really good and it was maybe time to start actually nailing down Thanksgiving plans. It was the first week of November after all.


Not quite time to put up Christmas lights though, which is starting downtown. Granted, there are millions of lights to put up so I guess it makes sense that things might start this early. ZooLights are already going up I'm sure. But look how gorgeous it still is outside! Let's get to Thanksgiving before we start the Christmas countdown at least. It's going to be 60 degrees for christ' sake (and I can't wait to ride in it!).

Current beer-scale: 8.1

11/7/10

launch initiated


November dog beach trips. What else are you going to do after daylight savings when the dog won't go back to sleep?

Current beer-scale: 4.1

11/5/10

I love riding at night. Even when I get a text from the wife saying the car now has a flat (what kind of fucked up karma did we build up somewhere?), even when it's 30 degrees and I'm trying to navigate through impatient Friday night traffic.

Which is good, b/c that was at 10 after 6 PM, and in another 2 days that'll be 5 PM. Ah, daylight savings. Time for drinks!

Weekend beer-scale: 5.1 and itching for whiskey.

Piece of cake

Wet, windy cake.


Not the best conditions but just about anything would be better than the ride home last night. Crawling into a nasty headwind, if I had stopped pedaling I would have been blown backwards. At least the sun was out this morning. It looked nice.

Yesterday I was in a hurry to get home after getting a text from the wife saying she was giving up on the train and walking home, so the wind was a bit of an obstacle. But I've been in worse situations and had to slog through worse conditions so it really wasn't too bad. Until it started to rain. And hail. That sucked. Plus there was the dead battery in the car to deal with once I got home. We managed to eventually get the car started though, so there were positives.

Tonite I get to take a night ride since I'm staying late to make sure some meetings that are on the schedule actually happen. So it will be a long day, but if the car's still running there might be some Papa Johns in my future. Papa Johns, no ND, Bears-Bills. I can make it. I know I can. Just look at that sun.


Current beer-scale: 6.7

11/4/10

Bikes don't have batteries

I'm thrilled to be working for many reasons, not the least of which is not having to use the car that much. So when we're about to go grocery shopping and the car won't start, it's kind of a surprise. So after work today I get to play with the battery charger. Exactly how I want to spend a few minutes of my Thursday evening. At least it's not cold ou...oh shit.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

11/2/10

11/2/2010

Go vote.

Current beer-scale: 5.2