I read a few biking blogs, mostly for inspiration, but I haven’t seen a surge in commentary on how much fun it is to ride in the snow. Maybe I’m just weird. I’m so glad that I finally broke my week long sabbatical from riding my bike. However, all of my girl parts are cold.

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New Shoes

I gave up on that paper for the night, then took the slicks off of my bike and put the semi-knobbies on. Apparently I have no concept of time, since as I finished putting the unbent front fender back on my bike I found myself sitting and staring at it. So. Yeah. It’s almost 5am. At least I made some money tonight. Don’t ask.

I am seriously going to bike to work tomorrow. I mean it.

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Apparently, I rock.

This was on my closet door after the zombie pub crawl.

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How Was the Bike Ride?

Riding keeps you warm, except for certain parts: any pasty white flesh that gets exposed to the wind and your nuts, which, upon a two degree drop in temperature, will retract back into your body. I thought that I was having an asthma attack until I got inside and felt my nuts drop back out of my throat. As my claws melted I regretted not grabbing any of my ten pairs of gloves. I’m not sure how I’m going to solve the hat issue - maybe I will try a bandana or putting tape over the holes in my helmet. I just don’t want to be bandana guy. He’s not me. Really.

I did not fix my walkin’ around camera. I am sorely tempted to buy a brand new camera. I’ve got the shakes from camera withdrawl.

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Will Fix Computer For Beer

This weekend was strange. My bike rendered me mostly unwilling to walk around, so I didn’t make it to the MIA at all. I didn’t really leave the house except for some light shopping for stuff.

If you’re the dating type, you might check out OKCupid. That site has soaked up some of my undirected-free-play hours when I have been too zombified to do anything useful but too awake to crawl into bed. I went there after googling someone from, that place from where my summer dating leads came. It has a very different approach to matching potential mates that involves an MMPI-style series of user-submitted questions.

Monday night Jeremy and Marsha came around for their usual reasons. Jeremy took a minute to calm my fears about random and possibly imaginary clicks that I have been hearing while riding my bike. Give me some more time on the bike and reading Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and I’ll be able to talk to him in the appropriate bike language.

Tonight I went to my mom’s house because her husband needed help putting together his big black monster box.
AMD 64 Dual Core 3800+ 2 gigs of ram, ATI x800 pro
Yes, I’m jealous of that thing. It’s an monolith stuffed with computing power. So I’m a nerd. I don’t care.

Oh yeah, I think that I fixed the little camera again.

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Summit Oatmeal Stout

Would a post merely cataloging the women on whom I have near crushes be interesting? How about if I refer to them by humorous nicknames like the Fox, Woman In My Art Class, Radio K Listener,Woman With Boyfriend Who Nonetheless Gives Me That Vibe, and Cute Woman Who Paul Does Not Think Is All That Cute? Oops, I think that I left out Cute Woman With Cute Sister, Neither of Whom Would Likely Date Me And I Doubt That Any Of Us Would Be Happy If We Did.

Actually, that amused me. I wish that I had more to write about besides the crawl of the semester and the status of the television shows to which I am addicted. Yesterday I got a ride to school and back from Lisa because I am lazy with a capital Z. Today I’m back on the bike because I can’t seem to punish my legs enough. I don’t know how endurance riders do it — four miles of hard biking wipes me out.

Speaking of bikes, I want a speedometer, and I think that I will budget for one. I need to get some lube for my bike chain. Also, I might convert from a backback to panniers. My experiment with not carrying all of my schoolbooks has been working okay, so maybe I don’t need a giant rucksack full of all the comforts of home.

I still want a helper robot to follow me around campus. Maybe that is how I will finish out this lecture, just doodling my killer robot. HELPER robot. I mean helper. Ahem. Forget I said anything.

Oops, I forgot to mention that drinking stout on Thursday nights is wonderful, but the burgers at Stub and Herbs are way too expensive. Oh well.

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Exercise is Hard

My legs feel like raw meat. No, they feel like carne asada, pounded into oblivion. On the other hand, Lisa and Stan keep saying that I am noticably losing weight. What they don’t know is that I ran over a gypsy woman with my bike and her husband cursed me with a single word: “THINNER!”

I really should pack a camera again soon.

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Pray For Rain

Art 1101W runs until 10pm on Wednesday. That’s four hours of trying to stay awake in a dark room while a smooth-voiced professor talks quietly about art. Like most of my classes, it’s a fight for consciousness. Nothing against the class, but I could have the art book in the bathroom for a week and get all the way through it. Actually, that’s not a bad idea.

During the seventh inning stretch of the class it started pouring. If you live here in Mineapolis you probably heard or saw the impressive thunderstorm that stopped by to knock down trees and power lines. As class ended I called home to inquire about a ride, but the rain seemed to stop, so I threw caution to the wind and jumped on my bike. Riding at night on wet streets lends a special feeling to the commute. Spray from my front tire leapt into the beam of my headlight as a continuous fountain.

Unfortunately another deluge hit just after I crossed Broadway. I slipped into shelter at the EZ Stop. Stan picked me up from there, but the rain seemed to let up as soon as I got my bike into the back of the station wagon. The drive up Johnson was eerie. Traffic was absent and the shops slept in silent blankets of darkness. Our headlights seemed to disappear and buildings slid away into fuzzy blackness as we swept by. One of the branches of one of the elm trees bearing an orange “X” on our street was blocking the entire width of Ulysses. At least the power was on by the time I got home.

My beer at the Nomad was a little disappointing. The bartender carded me with a serious look in his eye, but my Beamish was pulled hurriedly. Only a handful of patrons stood amidst the bar stools. No music was cued up, or the music was too quiet. I couldn’t quite get settled, so I drank up and headed to the deli to pick up my gyro. I got a shocked look when I responded that yes, indeed, I did want all the hot sauce that was offered, but it was worth it because that gyro was spectacular. My bike and I shared some of the cucumber sauce. It’s a good thing that it rained, because I didn’t quite get all of the sauce wiped off of the bike before parking it.

Tonight Zach and I went to Stub and Herbs. He had a beer and and I had an Summit Oatmeal Stout and the flavorless pasta special. We managed to talk for a bit about the Whittier project. I think that I am going to have to bust out some prototype code for restaurant location management and mapping to get the ball rolling. Imagine Google Local but more specialized: neighborhood (and/or city) specific, with hand-tagged data, and with a focus on restaurants and bars.

Before I get to work on another web project I have to work on homework and some sort of Gallery stuff. At work I will be making a new site that blends text posts with image, video, and sound management. I think. Maybe.

P.S.: I wrote this entire post in class, and I have answered so many of the teacher’s questions that he called me a kiss up, despite the fact that I have been mostly ignoring the teacher for two hours. Did he not notice the laptop on which I have been furiously typing?

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I told you

You see, once classes started, I have had less time to write for you, and the homework has barely even started.

Today it took me 16 minutes to bike to work, which is an average speed of 14.65mph. Hooray! A coworker asked if I had biked to work through the rain. When I get home Noah declares *you’re wet.* In any case, that’s about half the time that it took me to drive to the day lots and then walk to work, about five or ten minutes longer than it takes to get dropped off, and about six hours less than riding the bus. Actually I think that the bus ride is between twenty and thirty minutes. Never mind.

Okay, I did finally get my ITlabs wireless set up (again) (I think), so there is a stronger chance that I will have access while in the EE/CSci building.

Tonight: Beamish at the Nomad followed by a gyro, then glorious, spectacular, wondrous Art 1001W. We have been split into three groups in that class, and I have apparently been placed in the “misfits and non-art-majors” group. I wonder what fresh horrors await for me today — perhaps another lecture on the difference between hard and soft lines. Oh yeah, when I get home I ride the Lost train for another x hours, where x > (any sane person should spend watching a show from ABC — well, besides Monk). Then, sleep.

Aren’t you glad that you asked?

Shoot! Paul! Are you sick? Are you up for something on the west bank before our evening classes? We don’t have to go to the Nomad.

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Are You Okay?

The other day Melody asked me over AIM (yahoo? I dunno which instant messaging protocol, it doesn’t matter, I say AIM like Kleenex now) if I was okay. She said that I seemed down.

Okay, now, after the lot of you stop laughing because she had to ask if I was down, here’s the weird part: I wasn’t. I was busy working or looking on ebay for stuff that I don’t bid on because I don’t need it but isn’t it nice to know that I could buy a ceramic monkey statue if I wanted one and whew I just killed an hour without making my brain do any heavy lifting. So, what is important about someone asking me if I’m okay? I dunno, she’s one of the few people to have asked it right. When I am actually feeling like crap (which, believe it or not, happens) I always want someone to ask in the pointed, tenacious way that she did. Good luck trying to get that exact phrasing and attitude correct. The wrong approach will likely just annoy the shit out of me.

I’ve been happy with the whole school thing this semester. My classes are filling the usual pattern:

  • CSci 2021: super easy
  • CSci 4041: interesting
  • Math: I don’t really know what is going on and I’m having a hard time caring
  • Art: the biggest challenge is staying awake through four hours of soothing oration

I’ve even been enjoying the torment of exercise in bicycle form. My Surly is comfortable and fast. I can pick it up with one hand without even a grunt. It hurts like hell to ride up Johnson and my ass hurts when I get on the bike in the morning.

Goddamnit, I like my boss’s blog better than mine: The domain of Xopl. This should not come to a surprise to those persons who regularly visit my junk drawer of a web site. I could have gone for booze with him tonight, but I don’t want to worry about not being able to catch a bus back from the useful parts of Minneapolis at bar close.

I wonder if anyone is home. I need a drink. Maybe I should bike to Grumpys.

billa-billa-billa, pretty eyes.

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