Year: 2002

Squirrel intruder

Seeing a squirrel indoors provokes an intense cognitive-dissonance moment. Squirrels are supposed to be outside critters. I just realized that today.

There had been a scratching noise in the attic-apparently some kind of critter had gotten in there somehow, and couldn’t get out. I went up to see, but it immediately became quiet as soon as it heard me. I left the attic trapdoor and ladder down, so that it would have a chance to climb down. It did, thus the squirrel. I propped open the door and convinced it to leave, which it was happy to do once it figured out the window was impassable.

Dating in NYC

Apparenty, dating in New York is weirder than I ever imagined. Men from Manhattan cross into Brooklyn to find cool, arty chicks. Women from Manhattan cross into Brooklyn to find cool, arty guys.

360 northbound

Rode 360 northbound today, solo. Beautiful warm day. Hard to believe the winter Olympics are going on. Saw plenty of riders out on the road, stopped by Nelo’s shop, where there was a rep from Nimble showing off some impossibly lightweight wheels with carbon rims. He had one unlaced rim and invited me to sit on it. I did, and it didn’t seem to flex at all. Pretty amazing. Now all I need to do is rob a bank…

When I got home, the 5,000-meter speedskating event was going on. Those guys were averaging about 30 mph. I have a hard time doing that on my bike on level ground. Pretty amazing.

jackanape jigger

Ok, now I’m just being silly. The googlewhack du jour: jackanape jigger. Score: 7,073,100. I actually thought it would score lower, but this suggests a variant of the game: alliterative googlewhacks.

What’s incredible is that prolegomena delicatessen actually returns 13 hits. I mean, seriously!

Googlewhacking

Googlewhacking is a new game where you try to find a pair of ordinary words that appear together on only one web page, as revealed through a Google search. This is a little like trying to find an actor with a Bacon Number of 5.

Your score is the number of hits for each word individually, multiplied together. My contribution: zoroastrian vicuna. My score: 388,600,000.

Hazards of dating

Sometimes life is funny. In December, I went on a couple of dates with a woman, Susan. Nothing earthshaking, but it seemed promising, at least from my perspective. We met at a neighborhood coffee shop, Spider House, despite the fact that she was loyal, she said, to a different neighborhood coffee shop, Little City.

January came and went with no communication from her except something like “I’ve been really busy, I’ll let you know when I’m available.” I decided this was probably one of those “I’m trying to blow you off with out being mean about it” lines, but wasn’t certain.

Tonight I stopped by Spider House to have a cup of coffee and read a bit, and I felt wry amusement to see Susan there, apparently on a date. I tried to avoid being seen–no point in making things awkward for her.

Anyhow, I’m pretty certain now. I don’t mind being blown off, I’d just rather people be more honest about it.

e-mail finally spat out

How weird. I just got a copy of an e-mail that I received about a year ago. Must have been caught in the metaphorical throat of some mailserver somewhere that just got metaphorically Heimliched.

Buda ride, verbal altercation

Rode to Buda with DuShun and Caesar today. 43 miles. Beautiful day–warm, sunny, clear. But a stiff wind out of the south, which we cursed loudly on the way down, and enjoyed quietly on the way back. At times we wound it up to 30 mph on the flats, which felt great.

The ride was excellent, but was somewhat marred when we were getting back into town and a motorist heatedly berated us for not keeping to the bike lane (which was heavy with gravel, debris, and parked cars), and other imagined violations. I countered (not heatedly) that we hadn’t done anything wrong (I know the law on this), and if he didn’t know that, he shouldn’t be allowed to drive. This riled him even more–he got out of his truck and threatened me, but didn’t actually hit me. We continued with a lively exchange of views. Dushun stepped in at this point and goaded him just a bit. He apparently felt exposed, and decided to retreat to the safety of his truck to yell at us some more. I suggested that if he were really that angry at us, he should have just run us over. At that point, the quality of his insults took a nosedive: he retreated to the old ad-hominem standbys of saying nasty things about our parentage, sexuality, and in DuShun’s case, color. We had to laugh. DuShun asked his 10-year-old son “Are you proud of your dad?”. The son realized his father was being ridiculous. When the light turned green again (he had been holding up traffic through a couple of cycles of the lights), he drove off.

Once we got through the intersection, Caesar (who had ridden across at some point) was talking to a woman who was about to call it in to the cops. We told her not to bother, but once we got back to DuShun’s place, we did.

On-bike hallucinations

So I’ve discovered that riding a bike when sleepy can have a hallucinatory quality. This has happened to me twice now. The other night I was riding home from a Ghandaia show (which was great as usual), and it happened again. It seems that exertion is a key factor. Anyhow, my vision would play tricks on me–light sources (street lights, car headlights) would have a little bit of a trail, which would fluctuate between yellow and pink. Weird. Not necessarily unpleasant, but probably not ideal to experience when riding on a street.

Firedancers get in free

A local bar has a night where firedancers can get in free, on the assumption they’ll provide some free entertainment, and I went last night. While I have mixed feelings (to put it mildly) about this “perform for free” thing, most of the people there were other fire-folks or their friends, so it had more the feeling of a community gathering. Got in one good burn and one pretty good burn myself.

Town ride

On a crisp and slightly chilly day, did an in-town ride with Caesar. 23 miles. Fun.

Perfect day for riding

What a day. Perfect weather–upper sixties, little wind, and the air was so clear I almost thought my vision was improved. Needless to say, I took this opportunity to go for a ride. Went down to Buda with Caesar. 45 miles.

Gosford Park

Saw Gosford Park today. Good movie. Like other Robert Altman movies, it involves a lot of really good actors all talking at the same time. In this one, many of them were speaking in accents that I had a little trouble with, and the relationships between the characters were occasionally mystifying, but in the end, the main points came through quite clearly. Ornate plot, ornate settings, lots of layers, and a few interesting twists and turns. Joe-Bob says “Check it out.”

Auditory obliviousness

I’ve heard it said that a mother of a newborn has olfactory immunity to the smell of her baby’s shit. I think dog owners must enjoy a similar acoustic immunity. Two of my neighbors have dogs that like to howl or bark. A lot. When one gets going, that starts the other, on and on in a vicious cycle. If I go outside and holler “Cleo, shut up!” Cleo’s people will notice that and bring her inside. But Cleo’s much louder howling? That they don’t notice.