Sunday, May 31, 2009

Going For the Green, and Keeping It

There was an ad in the paper today for Bell's, a hoity-toity nursery where snooty people get their begonias. We rushed out to get ours, or maybe they were petunias, but they were sold out of the cheap ones, if they'd ever had them. Probably just as well, since I consider buying flowers akin to burying money in the ground, except, if you have a map, you might be able to get your greenbacks back.

You Know Who You Are

So, are you going to click on the link over there and join the Hardly Davidsons on the Tour de Cure or not?!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Man, I Hope He Has Measles

A family moved onto my route recently with a barking dog. They assured me that it was friendly. I never listen to people when they tell me that. As far as I'm concerned, that's like wind chimes, just an irritating noise to let you know that air is moving. One day the dog did get loose, and although he was clearly out of control, he didn't seem particularly aggressive. But today, there was a big orange sign that said "Animal Under Quarantine".

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Day in the Life

I received a package in the mail today from a friend in Seattle. I had stayed with him and his family earlier this month when I was down there. There was a pair of socks that I guess I must have left there. They had given me the socks in the first place, so as I think about it, I'm not sure if they are giving me socks again, or back.
Which is not at all what I meant to be talking about. The package also included The Cyclists Yellow Pages. There was a listing for trail maps of Anchorage that I had never seen before which includes slideshows of various local trails.
Here's the site, and here's the trail I ride the most since it's the closest to our house. Mile 3.67 in the slide show is where we get on from here, about 6 blocks from our house.
Incidentally, today might be known as the Day of the Long Noses. After 2008, the year without a summer, we've had weeks of warm clear days this spring. Today the mosquitos were out, out for blood.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'm Typing as Fast as I Can

A seventy year long study of Harvard students shows that happiness and longevity depend on friendships. My friend was telling me the other day that he only had two friends, and I was thinking "What a braggart."
It's probably just as well that as a misanthrope I'm going to die earlier than I would have. It turns out if I don't, I'm going to have to age without the benefit of a skeleton. According to research I stumbled across looking for the story about those brainy ants, serotonin carries messages back and forth from people's intestines to their skeletons (those voices in your head may, in fact, be coming from your skull). An excess of serotonin (as may happen with the use of SSRI's like Zoloft) tells the skeleton to stop replacing itself with new bone. Which I suppose would be depressing if I wasn't taking Zoloft. Of course, if I wasn't then I wouldn't have to worry about it. My life, brought to you by Catch 22.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Natural Law

Ants are in the news again, for making good decisions with essentially no brains. I've had occasion recently to watch ants, and while they obviously have good publicists, what they need is a lawyer. Their behavior is indistinguishable from iRobot's Roomba. They appear to wander in circles, with strange stops and changes of direction. They're both attracted to filth, and they both inexplicably refuse to enter the bait traps I've set up. The Roomba, at least, doesn't wave its feelers disparagingly at me each time it goes by the trap.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Universally Remote

While I was waiting at a stop sign today, I was thinking about how marvelously complicated the world is. The trees are green here now, which is kind of amazing and how a doctor told us that Karen's, and I suppose everyone's, kidney has six different functions. And the brain itself, wow. How could all this arise spontaneously from nothing? But then I remembered reading recently that the brain was a kludge, just new stuff piled precariously on top of older stuff, so that we have a shark's olfactory lobes mixed with monkey reasoning. I think I read that, and didn't dream it, although I did dream last night that I was adrift inside a piano, but when a dog started barking at us, I realized we were close enough to get to shore, so you can see; the brain is mysterious.
Then I thought, if God didn't create the universe, where did it come from and why does it exist at all, and how could you describe, or even think about a universe in a state of non-existence?
So, anyway, the universe and I are expanding. I can get into my bike clothes only because they're spandex, but they make me look really bad, because, um, they're spandex.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Like Sheep to a Slaughter, Or At Least To An Intricately Planned Heist That Goes Wrong

On Thursday, my bike is going in for a follow-up visit after the accident. It appears it was slightly more scathed than it first appeared. The crank is bent, and a bike mechanic said that the frame might be bent as well. I've been so heavy that I'm afraid that it's not so much bent as swaybacked.

The punch line in Sally Forth today was, "People change, Hil. So do their medications."
Technology tries to keep up, though. When the internet was new, long before Netflix, there was a site that attempted to recommend movies based on your ratings of other movies. No matter what I rated, they always recommended Land Before Time IV. I was fascinated by the specificity of that. I'd never rated, or even seen, LBT 1-3, so why they would assume familiarity with the franchise? Anyway, time's marched on; I'm happily medicated, but Netflix must discern something seething underneath my placid, almost ovine, exterior. They've created a whole category of recommendations for me called Violent Crime Films.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Found and Lost

Yesterday, Karen found her missing bridge. Just a scant four thousand dollars too late to matter. This morning, I noticed (and this might explain why I was dropped from our Fireweed 200 team) that try as I might, I couldn't find my ribs.

Friday, May 15, 2009

He's Not Heavy, He's My Alter Ego

I'm reading a book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It's about an overweight nerd. The author drops a lot of references to overweight nerd literature, and I'm horrified to realize how many of them I recognize.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Schrödinger's Vet Bills

Last night, I was trying to explain the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment to Leah. I got confused and started sputtering a little, especially when I got to the Many Worlds interpretation. All I know is, Schrödinger seems like a really irresponsible pet owner.

Today, Ellie had to go to the vet. She was dehydrated, like some anorexic rock star. She had to have an IV drip approximately $476.00 into her leg. Two weeks ago, Bernie had to have two IV's; they shaved his front legs like a poodle. Yesterday he had his stitches removed, and along with them, any chance of my retiring. I am heavily insured, so I'm starting to feel like Moses. I'll get a glimpse of the promised land, but only the next generation will get to go into my inheritance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do They Call It BlueTooth Because It Makes You Sad?

I got a call from a kind of new age vampire. They didn't kill me, they just sucked all of the serotonin out of my blood.
Anyway, whatever, this morning I'm thinking about those twits on Fox again. From the short, almost unintelligible, inhuman squeals, of the sound bites I hear, they're blaming unions for the state of the economy. Yes, that's right, union members with their CDO's and CDS's and multimillion dollar paychecks.

"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness." When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, Were You Wearing a Helmet?

When people ask me if I was wearing a helmet when I was hit by a car a couple of weeks ago, I've been saying, "Duh".
Today I realized that would probably be my answer either way.
I went out this evening to put my new tires and tubes on my bike. Tomorrow I think I'll walk to work. That'll be easier than carrying the bike the work.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I ran into a former customer of mine recently. She was walking through the neighborhood with a hand held computer with GPS. The Census Bureau had hired her to work in a program to locate every address in America. The job ended earlier than expected because the computer was so much faster than the human workers they hired ten years ago for the last census. I suppose as humans become increasingly irrelevant to the economy, they will eventually just send out robots to count lap tops. Here's what I mean.
Here are a couple of other videos that you are supposed to have seen already "Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something".
Ok, Here it Goes and
Chad Vader

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This Happened to Me, It Really Did

I was at Costco this afternoon. The young lady that was bagging up my groceries was talking to the cashier about training as a pugilist. She said that hitting the heavy bag was good practice, but her trainer told her that it was important to spar with people, too, so she'd know what it felt like to hit a human body.
Just then, she looked up at me and said, "Do you wanna box?"

I'm Back. Did You Miss Me?

I went to Seattle last Friday for a wake for my brother in law on Saturday. We laughed, we cried,we ate too much. I stayed on for a few extra days. I had a good time. I know I did because on the airplane ride home this morning, the button popped off my pants. Apparently, the cabin wasn't the only thing being pressurized.