For the first time in about four weeks, I drove to work today. I started riding my bike last month, and am greatly enjoying it. It’s about four miles each way, takes 15-20 minutes to get to work, 20-30 minutes to get home (slightly uphill and usually in a strong headwind), and I get a good workout. According to my bike computer, in the last month I’ve riden over 165 miles, averaging just under 13 miles an hour while on my bike, with an all time top speed of 36.5 miles per hour (there’s a downhill on Market Street that’s a great rush at this speed).
Today however, I feel like a lump of lard for driving, and to add insult to injury, it took over 35 minutes to drive to work, park, and walk to my office. A usual drive to work takes about 20 minutes, which is about the same as a bike ride, so I’m only averaging 13 miles an hour in my car, which seems unbelievable and downright pathetic.
Tomorrow, I’m back on my bike.
I was watching the gymnastics olympic trials today and had the sudden realization of why I’m not a big fan of gymnastics or figure skating. They are sports judged almost entirely by focusing on faults. There’s judges dissecting every move, analyzing every step in an effort to see what was done wrong. When you listen to commentators, they say things like “that hop is going to cost him” “her legs aren’t perfectly together during her flip” a lot more than they say “great move.” The fault finding goes on and on, as the camera follows and interviews athletes that miss qualifying by fractions of points, or single mistakes during routines. It’s all about putting mistakes under microscopes and it gets old real quick.
When the olympics get televised next month, I hope NBC gives other sports more time, instead of focusing so much on gymnastics like they did in 1996.
I’ve wasted most of today dealing with the first half of a DSL install. I won’t go into the details, because bitching about DSL install problems is about as interesting as talking about the weather, but I’ll just say that I can’t stand incompetence. Phone companies that get too big become incompetent and in a normal economy other companies should be able to swoop in and steal the market from these lumbering dinosaurs. But that doesn’t seem to happen now, does it?
The Eggers piece linked below is causing a lot of discussion among many of my peers, but everyone seems to have a different interpretation of it. For what it’s worth, what I liked best about the article was the lambasting of the “keeping it real” and “sellout” addendum at the end. Judging and keeping tabs on who or what is cool and who is a sellout is a tremendous waste of time. I don’t see it as a blasting of all critics and criticism at all. I don’t think I was very clear before.
Weezer is one of my favorite bands, and one of my favorite songs by them is only in dreams (link won’t work as of 8/18 as the waferbaby crew works out server problems). The description posted there meshes well with how I think of the song, except during the long instrumental leading to the crescendo, I always thought it was weezer’s sense of humor paying homage to arena rock stars like KISS. The pounding, speeding drum and wailing duel guitars make me think of smoke machines, lighting effects, and pyrotechnics.
The X games started today, and I hope to catch some of the action this week and next. Hopefully it won’t be too crowded.
This interview with Dave Eggers is possibly the best rant I’ve ever read. Sit down and read it all, or at least just the addendum near the end.
Dave talking about criticism:
“It’s born of boredom, lassitude. Too cowardly to address problems of substance where such problems actually are, we claw at those close to us. We point to our neighbor, in the khakis and sweater, and cry foul. It’s ridiculous. We find enemies among our peers because we know them better, and their proximity and familiarity means we don’t have to get off the couch to dismantle them.“
Hmm… maybe I don’t need a Tivo after all: Snapstream looks like it can interface with my video card and tape shows to my hard drive without any problem. Of course, I have to watch the shows on my monitor, instead of the TV, but it’s much cheaper.
Gadget lust reaches a new high: Circuit City is selling 14 hr TiVos for $99 after rebate (and remember they’re built on hackable linux).
Must. Resist. Urge. To. Purchase.
Growing up in California, I have distinct memories of taking family trips every year up and down the state, and passing quite a number of attractions along the way. There’s a small handful of places I always wanted to go (like Hearst Castle, Huntington Library, the Redwoods of the northern coast), and as I’ve grown up, I’ve gone out of my way to visit these places I never had the chance to as a kid. On Saturday, I was driving through San Jose with Kay, and we were leisurely looking for mall, but then we saw a sign. Winchester Mystery House next exit. I said something about always begging my parents to stop and they never would. Kay echoed those thoughts and said she always wanted to see it, regardless of how cheesy she knew it would be.
So we stopped, and took the tour. I was happy to knock another roadside attraction off my list because to be honest, the place was an enormous letdown. In billboards and advertisements, the place is positioned as some sort of mystical, slightly haunted house, but I think the only mystery to the house is why anyone would want to perserve a crazy widow’s bad experiments with architecture. The house is a monstrosity of bad choices and bad taste.