Thursday, August 28, 2008

Speaking of 'cross....

I'm going to kick off my season September 27 & 28 at Jonathon Page's Planet Bike Cross Cup in Sun Prairie, WI. Looks like the competition is going to be good and they've made the women's payout equal to the men's. If you're in the area and want to go, let me know. The vic seats 4 real comfy like. I think it's going to be a good time.

Why the posting infrequency?

Work has really picked up. One of the colleges I support has tripled the number of online courses they're offering and since my job is to help design, develop and deliver these courses, my workload and taken a leap as well. So, tween that, time on the bike and settling into the new abode, there's little left over for dinking around on the Internet.

What's up next?

GATEWAY CUP
, baby, which has doubled its women's purse. PLUS, it's TEAM REV's home turf, so gonna take my A game. If you aren't going, you better have a good excuse 'cuz these crits are fun with big crowds and full fields.

In other news....
Got on the mtn bike Tuesday night with the TNMWR crew. Twas a blast. I forgot how fun zipping along smooth, flat, twisty single-track was. Don't know how Kevin got this pic, but he's a creative fellow with a new camera.

Looking forward to 'cross.... got a whiff of it the other morning. The air was a bit chill and I was riding the bike round the house on the grass, and in my mind a voice says, "Oh, yeah....here it comes." I'm thinking of disconnecting the doorbell and replacing it with a cowbell.

I'm switching phone carriers... goodbye Alltel, you shoulda treated me better. I'm sure Sprint will turn out to be the same way, but they've got their phone's java-enabled, their billing is way more straightforward, the online chat support is great, and the web interface to one's account blows Allhell out of the water. Phone reviews on the way... 'cuz you now I'm always looking for the perfect mobile telecommunications device.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Driving to a trailhead or using the recreational parking lots?

If you find yourself driving to go ride your bike, make sure you lock all your goodies in the trunk before you head out. According the "The Chief's Corner," there have been instances recently of thieves busting out windows and helping themselves at trailheads. Makes sense though. If someone parks there, it's probably going to be an hour before the return and if it's after work, their wallet and maybe laptop will all be inside.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cyclocross Magazine has big new calendar

Check it out and get your events listed. This looks great. Newly launched and already has 400+ events.
http://cxmagazine.com/national-cyclocross-calendar-races-clinics

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Carrie!

Carrie Cash is celebrating her birthday today. Stop by the Team Rev forum and wish her well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Senior Olympics and The Tour of KC

Being upstaged was never so fun as this weekend. Mom rode my TT set up to a Senior Olympics qualification in all three cycling events available to her - the 5K and 10K time trials and the 20K road race.   In fact, being unaccustomed to a road race situation and having raised my seat a tad, the TT bike was so comfortable that she rode it for the road race and just stayed out of the pack where she went on to "pick off a couple of old guys" despite her positioning.

Mom, aka Nancy Brown, will represent Nebraska next year in San Francisco.  By then she'll be so much faster, I predict 3 more gold medals on the mantel.

In other news, Tour of KC was sort of a wash for me. I woke up Friday morning with that little tell-tale tickle in my throat and itchy eyes and contemplated not going, but too many plans were already in place. We arrived in KC and I raced with the men's 3s Friday evening. It went OK. I should have perhaps worked harder to hold my position in the final two laps, but I had entered to mainly just practice hanging in the pack and really didn't feel like risking life and limb when things heat up at the end.

Unfortunately, Saturday morning brought congestion so bad in my ears I could barely walk straight. I find I get a leftward list when my ears plug up. I took some meds and was feeling better, so signed up to race with the men's 3 again. I thought I could do OK because of the hill. Two laps into the race, however, I checked out. No air, no power, no point in tearing up my lungs. As it turned out, the meds were 4 hour and I really hadn't checked that. Perhaps if I'd taken another, I would have been ok. Who knows?

Sunday went better. Although tired and stuffy, I was hooked up on some good allergy relief meds and was able to race the women's event. I spent a lot of effort on attacks in hopes of getting away, but the field wasn't having it and I didn't feel quite up to the sustained power it takes to really hit hard and hold it for a while. Ended up fourth. Congratulations to Amanda Miller, who rode a smart race and won the event. Teammate Carrie Cash won the Saturday's race and was second to Amanda on Sunday.

You might say I'm pretty stupid for not managing allergies better, but they're pretty new to me and I just wasn't on top of it.  Been studying up though so watch out come Gateway Cup the weekend after next. They've doubled the women's payout and Team Rev will be riding hard for its share.  :)

In other news, I'm making progress sorting through my stuff and have cleared several boxes. Hope to have most of it tucked away by weekend's end. I was telling Marc about my stuff challenges and he popped me a link to the ever funny George Carlin "Stuff" skit.  Give it a view and have a grin yourself.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stuff


There's nothing like moving in the heat and with 3 flights of steps to make one painfully aware of one's stuff. Over the last couple of years, I thought I had been fairly rigorous in stuff reduction, but trip after trip I found myself coming to dislike many of my possessions and as I put things away in the new place, the garbage continues to fill and with each item I feel a little bit lighter, a little more at ease. Paul Graham postulates we are constantly taking account of our surroundings to make a cognitive map and when there's clutter, it makes it that much harder to do, and we find it exhausting. So when you feel depressed or tired, look around, maybe it's simply being in an over-stuffed environment. Graham's got a good quick to read essay. Check it out.

Give Paul Graham's essay a read.

"I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can't afford a front yard full of old cars...."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Past and future

Today, when one home might have six phone lines, it's hard to imagine six homes on one line. But 70 years ago, most people had party lines. In the Bell System, 36% of residential customers were on two-party lines, and 27% were on four-party lines.

In the late 19th century, the Bell System had used the cheaper (and less profitable) lines to get more Americans hooked on what company executives called "the telephone habit."

The ultimate goal was to move customers on to more expensive private lines. Accordingly, "the object of this (multiparty) service will not be accomplished unless the service is unsatisfactory," Bell chief engineer Joseph Davis said in 1899. "It therefore requires that enough subscribers be placed on a line to make them dissatisfied and desirous of a better service."

I daresay this strategy remains a mainstay of telecommunications companies. I noticed recently Alltel has begun a special charge if you want to use your phone as a modem. Not that long ago, I noticed I was unable to connect my Nokia to the web via my phone, which had previously worked flawlessly. I'm not an idiot. I knew I'd been disabled and called tech support to at least see if they'd admit it. They didn't.

Alltel must have figured they weren't selling enough "smart phones"with their super pricey smart phone plans so long as folks were learning to make use of their cheap unlimited mobile web access. The indirect evidence supporting my hypothesis is the recent "new service" offered by Alltel which is... drumroll please ... using your phone as a modem.

In contrast, Sprint seemed to have anticipated this eventuality and from the getgo charged by kb transferred, which may well have hurt their sales of web access, but seems a little more savvy now that other companies like Alltel are cranking up the prices. I guess I'll have to check how many kb I use in a month and compare the price.


Companies think we're dumb. You want other evidence? Make a payment to a credit card company or even on your student loan and see if they want you to pay the "service fee." If you ever get this, raise a little hell and they'll back off and not charge it. I suspect if not illegal, it's close enough that no one will push the issue, they'll "waive" it right away, at least that's been my experience so far.

Grrr. No wonder people go off the grid. For more about telephone history, stop by privateline.com.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

So much....

What a weekend.

Moving
My boys and I, along with the help of a couple of friends managed to get everything moved. Up and down the stairs in the heat. I haven't been so exhausted since I don't know when. Now my little house is filled to the brim with boxes, which is stressful in its own right, but at least I can work on it easier.

Birthdays
I share my birthday with my now seven-year-old niece and Saturday was her big party. Since there isn't a holiday in August, the family throws a big to do on her birthday. Kids and grown-ups everywhere, but it's lots of fun.

Sadness
A friend of mine at the university lost his wife when she turned in front of a truck. We were alerted to this Sunday and it was a tragedy. My friend just finished his PhD last week, I think, and was still recovering from brain surgery when this happened. It was a devestating blow to him and to everyone who knew her. 

On a lighter note
Carrie and Chris made the Gateway Cup flyer/artwork/site front.... Check out this picture - Carrie's showing her sprint teeth.