Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Happy Median

In my opinion it's best to avoid extremes. And despite that, I'm about to haul off on a rant, so apparently I don't practice what I preach. Anyway. I don't actually mind driving in the snow. I grew up driving in the snow on slick roads. The plus side to growing up in a really small town is that you learn to drive on slick roads that aren't full of people. What I don't like is driving in snow with other people. It drives me nuts because the extremist drivers end up screwing things up. On one hand, you have the idiot in an SUV that doesn't seem to have a basic handle on common-sense, much less a grasp of basic applied physics. They don't realize that the ability to get an object moving is an entirely different set of issues than getting that same object to stop. On ice. So, since their 4WD gets them moving well in the snow and ice they seem to forget that stopping that huge weight isn't quite as easy. How does that slow me down? These are the self-same idiots that go barreling into a traffic, lock up the brakes, do some reckless swerving with the brakes locked up, and get into an accident. That accident then chokes down traffic and I end up waiting. Forever. Then you have the idiots who are so freaked out by the possibility of sliding that they meander down flat, straight, open roads at 10 m.p.h. They only want to travel at speeds where they can lock up the brakes and still skid to a stop in 15 feet. These people are the ones who usually get hit by the speeders. Like yin and yang combining to drag all traffic to a standstill. Even if they're fortunate to avoid a collision with the other extreme, I still end up stuck behind them somehow to crawl to whereever I'm going. If you're that freaked out by the snow, you should probably get a doctor to write you a note (hopefully before it snows) indicating that you can't drive in the snow. When it snows you can send the note to work and take the day off. Or maybe I'll just take the day off next time it snows so I don't have to deal with them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Call for Info

I love to ride bikes, but don't like doing so when it's bitter cold outside or while it's snowing - both of which tend to happen in the winter here in Utah. In years past, I snowshoed in the winter on the bad days, but haven't done so in a while. I'd like to remedy this, but don't want to waste time driving up AF Canyon until the snow is deep enough to bother. So, have any of you been up there since the last snow? If so, is it deep enough yet?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Special Needs

Last night I attended my first master's swim class at the AF Rec Center. I figured it was a cheap way to get some coaching - which would hopefully keep me motivated and help improve my form. After all, it's only 25 bucks per month - you read right - per month. The tri-geek in me has justified much larger outlays that even at their best had questionable benefits. So, I finally dragged myself to the pool, overcoming my self-consciousness and just getting to it. There were three groups swimming - a group of collegiate level swimmers (I know because one of the girls just finished at BYU, where she was on the team), a group of intermediates, and all the rest. At first, the coach put me in the slow lane. Where I belonged. After we warmed up he moved me to the middle lane. At first, I thought it was because he thought I was fast enough to hang with them. Not so much. He put me there because there was no chance of me screwing up the swim order with the other two swimmers in my lane, especially since we were only swimming fifties. 30 of them. Hard. It was awful. I felt like that guy who showed up to a group road ride on a mountain bike. You know the guy. And like the fellow on fat tires with a flapping T-shirt and a bottle of root beer in his cage, I suffered mightily just to keep up. I made all the splits within the times, but not without pain. And then, to keep things interesting, after 2000+ yards of high effort swimming (not fast, just painful), we did a 100 yard test swim. Nice. One of the guys there wearing baggy board shorts swam the same time I did. He complimented me on a nice job and then asked why, since I was the new guy, I decided to start the class. I told him that the swim is my weakest portion and the one I could really only get better at with some help. After asking with amazement if I did triathlons, he commented that I was doing pretty well, for a first timer. Yeah, thanks. Now I'm getting my ass kicked by the guy on the mountain bike as well. The next step is to get humbled by an old guy on an adult-sized trike. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Favorite Jonboy Quotes

If you read this blog, there's a decent chance you know Jon. And if you know Jon, you know he's a lot of fun to be around. He and I seem to be on the same wave length and I really laugh at his sense of humor, which can be biting at times. One of my favorite stories Jon tells is of a trip he made to Costco. Jon may have some corrections in the comments, but here's how I remember it. Costco, despite all its progressiveness, did not provide bike racks. I don't know if they still do, Chad will have to weigh in on that. But at the time, they didn't. So, when Jon stopped by on his bike to pick up some things in bulk, he had to lock his bike somewhere. He locked his bike to a shopping cart in the parking lot and started to make his way in. He'd scarcely made it a few feet when the shopping cart attendant threw his bike in the shopping cart and started to take it into the building. As he hauled Jon's bike off, he began muttering about how stupid cyclists were, etc. Jon, not one to take that lying down, responded. I forget everything he said, but the gem was the question, "Cart pushing, what is that - a four year program?" I still chuckle when I think about that. Jon told me that story just before we started a ride along the ridge up AF Canyon. As we were descending toward the PineHollow/Timpanooke intersection, I heard Jon behind me. His story came to mind, and I started chuckling. It was enough to break my concentration, which made me blow a turn and I ended up out in the weeds. Another time was after we'd finished up RAWROD a couple of years ago. We were waiting to be seated at one of the pizza joints in Moab. Delena was wearing a tuc. A portly, ruddy-faced fellow wearing pajamas walked by and commented, "Nice hat!" to Delena. Without pause and at the same time both Jon and I answered back, "Nice pajamas." He looked back at us, stunned that we'd comment on his choice to wear red flannel pajamas to dinner. The nerve.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Twilight Musings

Friday night, I took one for the team and went to Twilight with Cindy. I was braced for bad. I wasn't braced for that. But, I dug deep and gutted it out. After the first hour, I was numb to the constant closeups and never-ending wistful looks. I even got used to the clumsy, choppy, awkward dialogue. People always say that the books are always better than the movies. That has to be the case in this, because I have a tough time imagining the movie being any worse. I've read a few passages of the books - enough to quickly see that Stephanie Myer is no Elmore Leonard. But still. Even bad books often make at least watchable movies. The thing is, the women in the audience knew it was bad. But they were so in love with the idea of the movie, they let it slide. Women often shake their heads in disgust with men and their action films. Before, the garbage romance novels didn't make it to the big screen and Jane Austen had been elevated to classic status. Both kept me from having anything useful in response. Now, now I have Twilight. At least it wasn't a complete waste. I take that back.