Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall Rides, Fall Down, Computer on the Fritz

Crisp fall ride out to the Locks, across the bridge, and out to Golden Gardens. It was a sunny afternoon ride after a couple of days of classes plus a Monday workout at the Learning Factory gym. I've been on the go since the previous week with the trip to Ohio, Sunday in Tacoma, no bike time, run down, eating poorly, and grrrrrrr........

So after dinner, a quick and intense headache led to me to lie down, and lights out for 10+ hours, and I'm a new man.

At the end of the Tuesday ride, the bike computer was on the fritz still, despite new batteries. Coupled with a pressing need to exchange fluids, a stop at Counterbalance on the BGT was warranted. They shimmied up the sensor, while talking bikes and business, and sent me on my way.

Three days later, back on the bike to the Learning Factory, fine commute with RPD, but the #*!$%&! thing still doesn't work. Time to activate the warranty!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What We Saw in Tacoma

Tacoma's Cheney Stadium became Obama-Biden Stadium today. As Joe told us, if it were Cheney Stadium, we wouldn't be able to find it because it would be in an undisclosed location. Max and I got to shake hands with the future VP!

A large crowd of over 11,000
, and as diverse a crowd as you could find in the Pacific NW, listened to Biden, Gregoire, Murray and other Democrat politicos.

Cincinnati Cuisine

So this is where we ate while in Cincinnati. Ribs. Chicken. Sides included an large salad with excellent 'Blue Cheese' dressing. Volcano sundaes offered for dessert, but no takers.

The Montgomery Inn is decorated with sports memoribilia, with an emphasis on signed baseballs, and given the location, special homage to the Big Red Machine.

While some claim these to be The Greatest Ribs in the U.S., other noted authorities have differing opinions about where it is best to dine. At this point, I don't have enough information to reach a definitive conclusion, so research must continue.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert, so we were directed to Graeter's for ice cream. Again, additional investigation is warranted, for scientific purposes.

Finally, our hosts insisted that our culinary expedition continue at lunch, and served us Skyline Chili Dogs. Interesting. The chili tastes somewhat sweet, seasoned with cinnamon, chocolate and cumin. The sausage represented something of a disappoinment, especially when compared with what is generally considered to be the apex of this gourmet specialty. Experts agree. While Pink's uses Hoffy's dogs, they are not still not in the same league as those that must meet more stringent standards. And, some might argue that those are not in the same class as the famous Dodger Dog, which are the eastern-most in quality, and the western-most in flavor.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Got to the 'Businessman's Hotel' on the outskirts of Cincinnati last night. This place is out in the burbs, surrounded by strip malls, chain restaurants (shuttle driver, 'There's a Cracker Barrel, a Waffle House.....') and big box stores. Generica.

After a fast food burrito, I settled in for email and online teaching, plus to watch the ALCS. The Rays (what kind of a baseball team is that?) had a 5-0 lead, and then stretched it to 7-0. Called home, talked to C and M, who commiserated with me about the game. Conversation drifted to what he had to accomplish for school the next day.

Then Pedroia's single. Then Big Papi's homer. Then Drew's blast. I called back and ordered Max from the basement to do something important, like watch the Comeback. As Ron writes, Posnanski's account is terrific.

Other fantastic finishes
include from Dodgers '59, 'Big bouncer, over the mound, over second base. Up with it, Mantilla. Throws low and wild! Hodges scores! We go to Chicago!'

In October 1988, C and I arranged a date at a fine local Italian restaurant in honor of our anniversary. While waiting at the tavern across the street, the A's were mowing down the hopelessly overmatched Dodgers in Game One of the World Series. A fine meal, including antipasti, insalate miste, pasta, pane, no doubt dessert, and vino. (I could do that then, with the best of 'em.) Got back in the car, and "I don't believe what I just saw!"

I still have the VHS tape of the game and Gibson's homerun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Rides of the Week

As fall sets in, there were a couple of rides this week, the normal commute on a sunny but chilly Friday, and a loop on the weekend. The Learning Factory trip was routine, up for the annual schedule discussion (Last year's schedule worked. Let's do it again.) and all-important department meeting held at an appropriate venue. Return trip via Honey Bear Bakery at LFP was marked by neglecting to retrieve my sunglasses after dropping them to the ground, BGT to VR, and then return two hours later to find them. Consider that I'm not $80 poorer as a result, and call it a victory.

Artistic highlight of the weekend was going to the Cinerama to see the digitally-restored version of The Godfather, Coppola's masterpiece and one of the greatest movies ever made. Even though I've watched it many, many times, the hospital scene and dinner at Louie's in the Bronx still produces chills.

Sunday's ride with CAL and her friend Chris took us over the Magnolia Bluff, through Myrtle Edwards and downtown, over I-90 and then up Leschi. Good folks to ride with, although I drop like a rock on the hill climbs.

Bike computer
rides 1325 miles YTD, but that measure can't really be trusted, as the wireless sensors seem to drop out frequently, and sometimes mph = zero when I know that I'm going forward. Let's see if a battery change improves performance.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kitsap Color Classic

The KCC starts at the Edmonds Ferry Dock with the voyage across the Sound to Kingston (WA, not Jamaica). This year, I rode from the Little House on VR down to the start, most of which is my normal commute route with a side trip down 104 and along Roslynn Sumners Way into downtown (such as it is) Edmonds.

We took the route to Poulsbo which passes through Port Gamble, past the Hood Canal Bridge, and through rural Kitsap.

The first and only food stop (bagels, pb & j, assorted fruit, munchies and fresh water) was located about 20 miles out at Liberty Bay Park on King Harald V St. in Poulsbo. After the first true October storm on Saturday, the sun and dry pavement were welcome.

Lots of animals on this trip, including dogs resting in the street, horses, cows, goats, llamas, as well as these guys on the road back into Kingston.

The bike computer didn't function on the first leg of the trip, but a quick adjustment at the Edmonds Ferry Dock got it working, and I logged 36 miles from start to finish. Considering that the route to the Learning Factory is about 13.5, 14 miles from VR to the Dock is reasonable, so we'll call it 50 miles today, and crossing 1240 miles YTD on the Bleriot. The weather made the new fenders not important, but no rubbing on the tires, no chattering and no notice of the additional weight meant that they weren't noticed, either. I'll be riding in the rain soon enough.

More photos here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bike Commuter Bailout?

How did this get there?

And, what else was included?

Commentary by the good folks at This American Life....

Now and Then

Phil Lesh continues to make interesting music. The latest free download compares now with then and then.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Friday, October 3, 2008