Sunday, September 6, 2009

'Tis the tubular season

So maybe I missed the first 'cross race of the season in Livermore--but I have my first set of tubular tires stretching on my first set of tubular rims. I'll be out there, eventually.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Two photos

Two photos of my own, 'cuz I like them.

First photo, taken this summer with an in-phone camera:

Little did I know that my in-phone camera seems to want everything to look like a watercolor, sorta smudgey-like. In the end, it's a nice effect, but couldn't it be applied afterward, by choice? The pictures is of the beach at Cosens Bay, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.

Second photo, taken last December in Mexico City with an actual digital camera, and my desktop background photo ever since (be warned, 2-3 MB file size when I uploaded):

The original 640x480 photo was taken hand-held, about 2 feet above my head, macro setting-point-click before the bird turned around, and came out looking quite crude. However, by some magic, when set up as a desktop wallpaper, all sorts of details "appear" as it's stretched, and the photo that you get by clicking through is actually from taking a screenshot of my desktop. The original is this:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Petty office kitchen politics - win?

Work is nice: every Monday, they order a bunch of food and stock the office kitchen, to keep us well-fed and happy (and presumably working). So, with people eating a lot, it implies dirty dishes, which were accumulating in the small and awkward office kitchen sink with depressing regularity. There's a sign posted asking people to wash their dishes, with humor but sad ineffectiveness.

Last week, failing to find a single clean knife with which to spread Nutella for a snack, I decided something had to be done to make a point. Tempering my first instinct to simply throw all the dirty dishes left behind into the dumpster, I boxed them and hid them. (Not too carefully, a couple of knives were recovered by another spreader-seeker.) I also made the point to the few present at the time that any more dirty dishes left in the sink would also be "disappeared".

Results? Upon arriving at work the next morning, and indeed for the past week, I have failed to find a single dirty dish in the sink. Perhaps more of them are collecting on people's desks instead, but I don't have to live with that mess.

I was kindly asked to return the missing dishes this morning, and did so, washing them and putting them away. However, the threat of disappearing dishes has not been revoked. I'm interested to see how long it can last.

PS. Long time, no post. What drove me to it? The alternative activity for the evening is to do my tax return, due in the mail on Wednesday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ahoy, Mexico!

Hopefully I'll have something to say about it. Back in 2009.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Better CX racing through technology

1. The front cantilever brake noodle. Changing the brake cables and housing probably helped too.

2. Ankle protection. I've been scraping the skin off the side of my ankle in CX races for near three months now. Hm, maybe time to do something about it? Bought cheap shinguards, cut off the shin part, kept the ankle protector, and wore it for the race. Bingo, no more scraping.

3. Doping. I don't usually drink coffee or tea, let alone espresso like the pros, so giving me a beverage that recommends limiting intake to no more than three a day is pretty much putting me on the juice. Why this brand? 'Cuz they sponsor CCCX and I can swipe a can or two at the finish line to save for the next weekend; plus, I'm a sucker for any non-alky foodstuff flavored like Irish cream (er, sort-of flavored like Irish cream in this case).

Raced Livermore B and SSA on Saturday and it was fun, fun, fun (the best Bay Area race that no one does!). Raced CCCX B and SSA today and it was fun, fun, fun. Both bikes were working with no stupid mechanicals. I didn't have any major cases of stupid while passing or being passed. I had people to heckle me and cheer me on. My worst injury for the weekend is a set of puncture wounds from the neighbor's tomcat. Okay, the results were modest, I could go faster if I trained and did fewer races, but the weekend is not the time to worry about that.

I think the caffeine had me pretty well perked before and after the races, too, so thank you to all who put up with my inanity. Time to return to regularly scheduled programming...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CX futility index

A measure of achievement for those not fighting for podium spots in cyclocross races:

1. For each given race in a weekend, find your finishing position (number A).

2. For each given race in a weekend, determine how many finishers there were in your category, not counting DNS/DNF (number B).

3. For each given race in a weekend, determine A/B, your race finish ratio (maximum value 1).

4. Total your race finish ratios from the weekend to determine your futility index.

Whoever has the highest total "wins". What they win, I don't know. It's not just a competition about being mediocre, it's about being mediocre over and over again. (A DNF doesn't count because it implies some recognition of futility.)

Needless to say, I don't have any wonderful race results to report from this weekend, though I feel happy to have not destroyed any equipment or suffered any injuries beyond scratches and bruises. I couldn't pull off the "double double", not having enough left to finish a singlespeed race at CCCX after racing twice at Saturday's night race, and so lost a possible full point in my futility index--I'm okay with that. Once the results are up from Pilarcitos, I'll report my numbers...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008