i had a wicked birthday yesterday, watched the bou…

i had a wicked birthday yesterday, watched the boulder backroads marathon and drove way the heck out into the mountains and stood on top of hte continental divide. i was feeling extra mature, being a year older and all, so i resisted the urge to pee on each side. the wind was blowing pretty hard anyhow, so i don’t know if it would have, well, forget about it.

but today, today was a day of great excitement. a local car dealership is having a sale: buy one, get one free. no joke. you buy an isuzu rodeo or trooper, and you get a free kia. it doesn’t actually make much sense when you think about it, but it sure is an interesting way to sell cars.

pounding away at the job thing doesn’t seem to get…

pounding away at the job thing doesn’t seem to get me any closer; yesterday i thought seriously about a paper route. it’s not that I have not had any job offers at all. I just feel like I have more to offer humanity than manually retyping some large database. I’m holding out, and trying to stay busy. My latest attempts include reading The Man in the Iron Mask, studying for the GRE, and learning to write programs for my PalmPilot. But the trouble is that I don’t actually know what I am looking to do. What about law school? Would that be interesting or a good use of time? I am pretty sure I don’t want to be a computer programmer for the rest of my life, so that narrows my possible lifetime career goals by an infinitesimally small amount.

So I am sitting inside a dilemma. A large one, to be sure, since the more I explore its interior the less I am sure what it is. It is, at least, not one of those places that you have to worry about getting too complacent in, and never managing to get out of. Sure it is spacious but it is neither cheerful nor comfortable.

as the car saga is entering day 22, news appears o…

as the car saga is entering day 22, news appears on the horizon. they say it’s ready. i thought about going right on over to pick it up, but didn’t. here’s why:

since i am unemployed, i have a lot of free time. so today, after i finished follow-up phone calls with the latest twelve victims of my resume (all unproductive), i took my bike out and went exploring. what i had in mind was about twelve or fifteen miles, tooling around the lower reaches of two canyons that go up from boulder.

so i started riding uphill. it was twenty minutes past one, i had a full bottle of water, and life was pretty much grand. the hill was steep but manageable and i was riding hard. then when i was just about ready to stop riding uphill, it became more steep and a bit less manageable. it was steep enough that they had to have switchbacks, and it was pretty intense, especially for an outofshaper like myself, but the views were great and i knew i would be cutting across to boulder canyon road and going back downhill into town.

at two oclock two things happened simultaneously: i ran out of water and the pavement ended. pavement, you know, can only stick to roads up to a certain steepness. those short stretches of 20+ percent grade that you see at mount washington and all, well i can’t explain them but they are short and they don’t count. in any case i was pretty darned tired by the time i got to this bit. and it was all stutter bumps, the kind cars make when they brake hard on dirt roads, and the kind that are just death to ride over. but i was not about to give up, not when i was this close to the turnoff to boulder canyon and a nice, sedate, paved downhill! no, there would be no walking today. i did finally give in to the urge to ride on the left side of the road where the dirt was a little less loose and my back tire didn’t spin out so much. and i kept riding uphill.

at two thirty i began to feel quite parched. my tongue, which had been sticking to the roof of my mouth on account of the dry air, started sticking pretty far back in my throat. it felt like it was swelling up but i was probably imagining it. i mean, tongues don’t swell up, right? anyways i KNEW i was coming to that turnoff soon, i must have read the map wrong. and then, at three, i knew something was terribly wrong when i rode through a town with eleven buildings and was chased by four dogs. dog sprints, and i knew i still had strength. but not much. that took a lot out. by now i was weaving all over the road, turning over my smallest gear at a pitifully low cadence, but comforted by the thought that i wasn’t carrying any extra weight in my water bottle. finally, at twenty past three, after i had been riding uphill basically maxed out for two solid hours, i reached the (paved!) road that runs between nederland and ward.

downhill into ward i came across a guy who claimed knowledge of a spring just up the road. we stopped there and i drank two bottles full of water and filled up again before we left, for a glorious twisting paved descent almost all the way back in to town. there was still the matter of a mile long climb to deal with but i didn’t have to walk.

the only positive thing about this afternoon from a fitness (and, admittedly, style) perspective is that i never got off to walk, and i never stopped in the middle of a climb. all other rules were flagrantly violated. but that’s my day in a (large) nutshell. my hour of exploring on my bike took me three and a half hours and over 4000 feet of climbing in my first bike ride in five weeks.

the views, though, the views were fabulous.

i had the chance to drive to Kansas City, Missouri…

i had the chance to drive to Kansas City, Missouri this past weekend, by far the highlight of this past week. the most direct route takes you straight through Kansas. i had always thought kansas was very corn-intensive, but that turned out not to be the case at all. near the border town of Kanorado I passed a sign proclaiming Kansas to be “The Wheat State”, and indeed the main sights I saw were wheat and wilted sunflowers. not quite as majestic as hundreds of square miles of bright yellow sunflowers blowing in the breeze, but an interesting sight. maybe they were waiting to harvest the seeds? the trip raised a number of questions that i have still not been able to find answers to. any help would be appreciated:

1. how much does a seagull weigh?

2. how far away is the horizon, seen from the eye level of, say, a 5’10” person?

3. are there oil wells in Kansas?

i have an idea for how one might go about weighing a seagull but i think it will have to wait for another time.

in the meantime my car is in teh process of getting fixed. i wish i knew something about cars, so i could at least check under the hood and sahke my head knowingly, but my car knowledge is pretty much limited to refilling the wiper fluid. even that is not always a certain proposition.

this is completely unreal. i spent virtually the …

this is completely unreal. i spent virtually the entire day glued to the tv, watching things unfold in new york. except for a brief foray to the blood bank, where there was a FIVE HOUR wait to give blood. they said to come back another day.

my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the people on those planes, and the people of new york and wahington, and everyone else who’s more than a little shaken tonight.

the air up there yesterday i went hiking with my …

the air up there

yesterday i went hiking with my friend Lili, who has lived out here long enough to be a local. i was really itching for a chance to try out my new hiking boots, and we chose a shortish hike up a nearby mountain, mount aurora. anyway, we drove maybe forty five minutes northwest of town to the trailhead, and after a quick detour up the wrong trail we got ourselves sorted out and started going uphill. way, way uphill. it was unimaginably gorgeous, but it was also really, really hard. we stopped for lunch maybe 30 minutes short of the top, and when we started again, i just couldn’t keep going. i wimped out completely. i mean, it was sort of cold, and really windy, but mostly there was just no air at all. that said, the views from the place we stopped for lunch were pretty spectacular. i don’t have any actual pictures because my camera died a few weeks ago, but maybe soon.

hooboy, sometimes progress twice a day! i finally…

hooboy, sometimes progress twice a day! i finally went back to the car place to get my car, which was leaking gas as i suspected. so i need a new gas tank, which they said would cost $400 new just for parts, or i could look for a used one. which leaves me in a quandary – should i even look for a used gas tank? would such a thing be safe? should i sell the car? it seems like it loses a little les than a gallon a day just being parked, so i know i have to do something pretty soon, or it will run out of gas sitting there in the driveway.

i’m taking a day of furniture-building, hoping tha…

i’m taking a day of furniture-building, hoping that some of my job search efforts from yesterday will pan out. found some great shelves at Target for ten bucks, which is great, they look like wood and everything, and i picked up a bath mat which i’m psyched about. the place looks more and more like a home everyday. right now there is a thunderstorm blowing through, which is just spectacular what with the lightning bolts on the mountains and all. the best part, though, is the birds. i guess the birds don’t have enough sense to stay in a tree or wherever it is birds go in a storm, because the wind is gusting up over 50 mph and these poor birds are getting blown all the heck over the place.

Every day is an adventure