Friday, August 31, 2007

Sometimes a Hippo is Just a Hippo

I had a strange dream last night. I don't remember most of it. It was sort of like one of movies where there are several story lines that you follow. They sort of parallel each other, but are actually related (like Love Actually). Anyway, I just remember bits and pieces of most of the stories, but one scene really stuck in my head.

A small child was eaten by a large hippopotamus.

It was a lot like Jaws but without the shark.

So tell me, Dr Freud, what does it all mean?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wonderful World of Webnets

I'm not totally sure I'm all that fond of this game. It seemed like a good idea when I started, but I'm kind of not so into it anymore. Mostly because I realized that the stuff I find online is all really dumb. And half the stuff is on the pages over on the left side of this page anyway. I'm not totally sure, but this may be the last installment. Enjoy.

Why go to college when you can just watch the movies?

I seem to have a fondness for stupid people doing really stupid things. In fact, I'm pretty sure this baby would have given a better answer.

I hate it when my shrink forgets to check with the "Sun God "

G&R's editor goes picks apart Sweet Child O' Mine . It's a little grammar joke. I'm a geek. Sue me.

Finally, Pajiba is setting aside their usual snarkiness and raving about classic movies this week. They start with Double Indemnity which is one of my favorite old flicks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heartbreaking Tale of Unspeakable Woe

I was sort of half listening to Talk of the Nation on my way back to work from lunch this afternoon when I heard this:

A new poll shows that book sales are flat and that one quarter of Americans don't read books at all.

This makes me so very sad, but it doesn't really surprise me. I read an exorbitant amount, I know. It's possible that I read more than all my friends, but I've never really paid much attention. Reading is not a competetive sort of sport. Several of my friends are certainly avid readers; a book geek like me can't survive without a few other book geeks in their life. I also have many friends who never read, or who have been reading the same book for years (meaning they pick it up every few months and read a chapter or two). Other friends never read fiction at all, and while I am glad they are getting their noses into books, I feel like they are really missing out by sticking to biographies, essays and text books.

There is something truly amazing about reading a good novel. There is nothing quite like picking up a book, cracking open the cover, and then losing yourself in a world completely unlike your own. I sometimes get a little too into the book I'm reading, actually. I'll take on certain characteristics of the protagonist, or pick up mannerisms from the characters. I also find myself relating things in life to "a book I read once" several times a day. I tend not to mention it to the people I'm with though because it makes me sound even geekier than I already do.

Not only are the people who don't read missing out on a truly wonderful experience, but they are contributing to the general downfall of out nation's intelligence. Reading does wonders for a persons ability to express ideas, thoughts and feelings. It opens your mind to situations you might have never thought of and experiences you otherwise would never have. I know that Americans have tragically short attention spans these days too and I wouldn't be shocked if reading helped lengthen those as well. It makes sense- it takes much longer to read a story than it does to watch the same story on TV. Especially if said story is well written and detail-rich.

In the words of Jane Austen: The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid

Now, excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall for the illiteracy of my nation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's About Time

Finally, the blog you all have been waiting ages all week for! Let me tell you about riding 111 miles last weekend:

The ULCER route starts at Thanksgiving Point, goes south through Lehi and Provo then veers west around the south-most point of Utah Lake. The last leg of it is north, more or less right along the lake, and then back to the Thanksgiving Point.

There were about 2,000 doing the ride so, as I'm sure you can imagine, the start is a little crowded. Everybody bottle-necks though the starting gates; since we were somewhere near the back of the pack, the start of the ride was very "ready, set, stand around for a while until you can actually move." The first thirty miles or so we bikers completely engulfed the road. I feel sorry for anyone trying to drive anywhere along the route at that point. It was actually a little frustrating riding in such a crowd, it makes it hard to get a good stride. At some point Aaron and I managed to get ahead of Dad and then Aaron got sick of the crowd, took off and left me behind.

Dad caught up to me after a while and then we met up with Aaron at the next rest stop. The three of us stayed together pretty well from then on. Occasionally I would fall behind a little, but the boys were super nice and would wait for me when I did.

One thing that can really throw off your groove when doing a ride like this is wind. More specifically, a head wind. That's exactly what we turned south into about 50 miles out. Around Utah Lake the wind can get pretty strong (10 or 15 mph) and it really sucks all the energy out of a person. To make things even more fun, around mile 56 the biggest hill (around 3 miles uphill. yuck) of the ride popped up. We were still riding into the wind. That may have been the only part of the ride that I absolutely did not enjoy.

60 miles is the distance that I tend to run out of energy. Without fail, even on the training rides, around 55 or 60 miles I just crash. The ULCER was no exception. Fortunately it was right about that time that we turned west, so the wind was coming from the side. That didn't really make the it any easier to ride, but the turn meant that the lunch stop (read: really long nice rest) was just 8 mile away. 8 miles is nothing, right.

Aaron said he was about to pass out by the time we got to lunch. The food was good- they had stuff to build your own sandwich: a couple cold cuts, cheese, rolls, sandwich veggies. And lots of chips, cookies, crackers, granola bars, candies, and fruit. Anything a hungry and tired biker could want was there. They even had a Coke truck with soft drinks. I think drinking soda at that point would have killed me. There was also a shuttle at that point for people who decided that they couldn't make it the final 40 miles. Lunch was a very happy occasion.

After lunch Dad got slimed. We rode a block or two and his tire exploded for no obvious reason. He had slime in his tire (green goop stuff that will plug up small punctures so you don't get so many flats) that got all over everything. When he took the tire off to there was a good three inch gash in the tube - not exactly something you can patch. So he put a new tube on, pumped it up, and then we were off again. We had about 5 miles with the yucky wind still to go.

A strong tail wind is as good as a head wind is bad. Once we finally turned north we had the wind at our backs for the last 40 miles. That combined with the fresh energy from lunch made the last leg of the ride extremely possible. The west side of Utah Lake is very sparse vegetation wise and has a lot of little rolling hills. After already riding 70 miles, hills are not fun at all so having the wind pushing us along a little bit was really helpful.

All in all it took 9 1/2 hours to do the whole thing. By the end of the ride there were very few body parts that didn't hurt. My feet felt like I had been standing on them all day. I butt was numb from being on a bike seat all day. My arms and my hands and my shoulders and my back just ached. My right leg and both arms were sunburned. I was totally wiped out. Despite being exhausted for a good portion, I really enjoyed myself though the entire ride (with the small exception of the hill, perhaps). Besides that I was (and still am) really proud of myself for finishing. 111 miles is no small feat. Go me! Kudos to Aaron as well. It was also his first century, so he and I both kick major ass for finishing. Oh, and Dad. It was his second century of the summer, that's hardcore.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wild World of Wombats

I really will blog about the ULCER. I promise. Probably this weekend. I simply haven't had much time this week. I was in New York without internet for a while and since then... I just haven't managed to sit and write anything. In the mean time (mostly last week), I have collected a few links for the "Tales from the Wonderful World of Web" thing I started two weeks ago. By the way, it's not going to be weekly. It's going to be however often I feel like doing it. So there.

I bang my head against the desk for the stupidity of people . Seriously, if you're going to go out of your way to be an assbutt, at least check for cameras first.

Hear that? That the sound of me making $$monies$$. I already did step one, check it out: Liquid That Will Make You Think You Have Energy For a Little While .... It may need some work.

Coffee Jello Eew.

This site amuses me endlessly. Well, not just by itself. If you follow these simple instructions though, it suddenly is super-fun:
1. Pick a phrase to translate. ("I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts")
2. Translate it into Japanese. (私はココナッツの美しい束を持っている)
3. Take that (私はココナッツの美しい束を持っている) and translate it back to English. ("I have the bundle where the coconut is beautiful")
You try now!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bikes

I just finished (an hour ago. Started at 7, finished at 5. I have since come home and showered).

All 111 miles.

I'm exhausted, but really proud of myself.

Sing my praises, minions!

Go me!

Details later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Utah Lake Century Epic Ride

Tomorrow is the big day! The big ride! I'm a little bit nervous. Mostly I'm kind of excited. Last Sunday I rode 85 miles and that went pretty well. It was a really good ride and, even though I was pretty tired by the end of it, I think another 30 miles will be very doable. Especially since we'll actually get to stop and eat lunch somewhere in the middle of it.

We finished on Sunday around 1 so we were pretty hungry by the time we got home. We had, of course, stopped a few times to munch of power bars and the like so we didn't completely run out of energy, but lunch was a very happy event. The nice thing about the ULCER is that it is a supported ride so there will be rest-stops and lunch provided for us.

Well, everybody, wish me luck! I don't know if I'll have time to post about the ride before we head off to New York tomorrow. If not, you'll just have to wait until wednesday because there is no internet where I'm going. I will try to do at least a quick post though, just so my phantom readers will know I didn't die.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Truth Universally Acknowledged

I went to a sneak preview of Becoming Jane last night. As a story by itself, I rather enjoyed it. It was maybe a little sappy and some things were a little incongruous with the time period, but it was a great little romantic story. And James McAvoy has amazing eyes.

As a representation of Ms Austen though, the movie was quite disappointing. There is not, I believe, a huge amount of information about the famous authoress' life and the film is an exaggerated account of a flirtation she had with Mr. Lefroy over one summer. The character of Jane herself is not at all what I would have liked. In the movie she came off as a little insipid and romantic. I personally think of Jane Austen as more of a mix between Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility). Instead she's portrayed as more like Emma, one of the silliest of Asten's protagonists.

I could be wrong about the writer, of course. It just seems a shame to make a woman who was so astute with her social commentaries and who was one of the least romantic writers of the romantic era (this could open a whole new can of worms, but her books are really more about social commentary than they are about romance. In fact, the classical sense of romance, as it applies to the movement, involving rash, emotional, behavior is often disastrous in her novels) should be presented as such a romantic sap.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wonderful World of Web

I'm going to try a new game! Once a week (or so) I'm going to gift you all with a list of links to super cool things I've stumbled across on the interwebs. This is a game (so it's not actually a game, but I'm going to call it that anyway) that a lot of other bloggers play. Am I conforming? Selling out? Eh, maybe. That's ok though, dear reader, because it means I get to bring some extra joy to your life in the form of internet silliness. So, for the first time ever I bring you:

Tales from the Wonderful World of Web:

A question that has plagued us all at some point is finally answered: Which is better: Pirates or Ninjas?

An extremely excellent list of the books my generation is reading. I've read some of them, and the most of the one's I haven't are now on my "to read" list.

Manic makes me happy that I'm not the only one who is a little uptight about grammar.

Sex anyone? 237 reasons to do the deed!

For any who are not already familiar with it, and thus totally missed the allusion in the Pirates/Ninjas thing: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

This is an older post on Impulsive Buy, but it's one of my favorites. It's a sad tale of processed meat. Ladies and gentlemen... Jalapeno Spam

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ridin' My Bicycle

I'm starting to get a little anxious about the ULCER. It's coming up in less than two weeks! I fully intend to do the 111 mile leg, but I'm less sure about it as it gets closer. True, I've been training all summer (maybe not quite as hard as I should have) for it, but I'm not sure 111 miles is something I can really do. That's a long time on a bike.



The longest training ride I've done was 55 miles (it was going to be 60, but I crashed 5 miles from the end and cut it short) which was no small feat. It may have been easier if I had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep the night before. Hmmmm. Anyway, this weekend we (my Dad and my friend Aaron, who are both doing the big ride with me) are going to ride 80 miles. It's the final big training jaunt. It's crunch time people.



I think my ass has been sore all summer.


To make everything more fun, on the 11th, after the ride, my dad, brother and I are catching the red-eye to New York. We're going out there for my grandmother's birthday party and to help her pack - she's moving out to SLC to be closer to us.