Tags: commute

dive, for hire, cyprus, job

Grabbing My Destiny (By the Antennae?)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

The Tick Escapes the Asylum

This afternoon I tendered my resignation. I leave behind a great group of people on the cusp of major to stratospheric success. It was a very hard decision, but my destiny lies elsewhere.

The top half of the page at left isn’t as true as it’s been in the past, making the decision all the more difficult. But the bottom half sings a profound truth.

I was not looking for a new gig. But a few kept landing in my lap that I couldn’t pass up. I’ve accepted the senior developer position at Emmet Labs, an early-stage social platform startup in San Francisco.

There are many reasons this excites me: learning a lot while working on interesting problems in a cool (metaphorical) space surrounded by fascinating (and occasionally famous) people in a dynamic and passion-driven environment. That’s where I thrive!

Obviously there are a lot of other, less exciting emotions tied to the coming and the going, but I feel the need to keep this entry short. Perhaps I’ll catalogue them in a future post.

flip off, bird, angry

Open Letters

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Dear USPS:

Look, I know things are busy for you right now, so you probably won't even hear my cries over the din of all of the mail you're processing, however I have two comments:

  1. "package tracking" != "delivery confirmation!" Please stop trying to confuse the issue
  2. "Express Mail" my fat, pale, hairy ass!

In short, my package should have been here overnight 1 week ago (even giving you the benefit of the doubt). I have no visibility into your process. I just want my damn package!

no love,

Dear Random Cyclist Who Likes to Draft Me on Moffett Park Blvd.:

First off, I am greatly honored by your obvious trust in my abilities, but I have two questions for you as well:

  1. Dude, seriously, what the fuck? That shit is dangerous done with people you know how to anticipate, but a random stranger? Yes, yes, I'm in awe of your mad skillz and your obviously far stronger cojones, but what the hell is wrong with you?
  2. We've done this a few times now, you know I turn left at Borregas, do you not realize that when I look behind me I'm trying to gauge the likelihood of being mauled by a death machine as I enter the lane? Seeing your smiling face blocking my view is not helpful.

In short: thanks, now please back the fuck off!

No Love,
You Don't Even Know My Name

Dear Random Other Cyclist I'd Never Seen Before:

I'm sorry my passing you was such an affront to your machismo that you felt you had to be a complete prick about it. But let's compare:

  1. I passed you, on the left, letting you know I was there, ("On your left")
  2. You passed me, on the right (seriously, are you dense?) with nary a peep, at a stop sign, where you immediately made a left turn across my path!

I nearly ran right into you, asshat! If I'd been aware of what you were about to pull I might have out of spite. I hope your manhood has been vindicated. Now kindly cut that shit out.


California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Again! Again!

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

(holy crap, where did today go?)

I did not do my civic duty this week and remind everyone that today is Bike To Work Day (which, as an acquaintence pointed out, has a better ring to it that "Drive 364 Days Day")

Last year, I said "next time, in Jerusalem Skyline (Blvd)." And I did that (in October, when we returned to Daylight Sanity^WStandard Time).

This time, I rode up to the Panhandle, met some folks, rode through Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach, down The Great Highway, and out to Skyline. From there we rode to Junipero Serra Park, Back to Skyline, down to Cañada Rd, down into Woodside, up Whiskey Hill Rd, over Sand Hill Rd. I turned off at Page Mill, because we were late, when I should have continued to Arrastradero (I forgot where it crossed). From there I joined my normal ride down from Menlo Park (where I get off early for extra milage) at Oregon Expwy & 101 (there's a ped-brige over that leads to the Baylands trails. I basically leave traffic behind right there.

All told: 60 miles. 4 hours. We averaged 15mph, which isn't bad considering all the climbing. I'm not sure how much I did, but since Skyline was involved, it has to be at least a few thousand feet of vertical.

So, 60 is the new 50, and I may ride to Palo Alto this evening (for a total of 70).

Oh, and I forgot sunblock, so I'm a bit pink.

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Break Out the Black Balloons

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

There must be something about Thursdays & 50. This week's fifty is even more exciting (to me, at least) than the last.

I've lost 50 lbs., officially.

Last week I had exactly 3 lbs. to go to reach that goal. I figured the best course of action would be to set myself up this week to make it an easy thing to reach next week. Especially with the 3 day weekend coming up. Instead, somehow I crashed through it losing 3.8! Normally, I'd reserve this kind of thing for my [M]otivation filter, but I'm too excited.

Right about this time last year, I was 50 lbs heavier. I'm also officially off my 5-ish month slump. I am tracking my food again, and holding myself accountable. In the last month, I've lost 10 lbs.

Actually, that last bit has me just a tad concerned. If this pace keeps up (I don't think it will), it'll mean that my body is almost certainly cannibalizing muscle mass to keep up. This is not what I want.

More than likely, though, my sudden jump to 60 miles of cycling/week (105 last week, thanks to my "Bike to Work Day" whim) is the real culprit. It may also be my 5 month hiatus has reset my glycogen stores, so what I'm really losing is mostly water weight. The argument against that is that I recently discovered that I didn't "hold steady" for the last 5 months, as I originally believed. I lost. But the trend was impossible to discern from the sawtooth pattern from which it came until I sat down & looked at the long view. Really, I'll only get alarmed if this pace continues unabated.

And, in the grand scheme, this is a good problem to have.

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

The Conversations I Looked Forward to Having This Morning

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

(as they played out in my head)

"I rode my bike to work this morning."

"Umm, don't you always do that?"

"No, let me restate: I rode. my bike. to work. this morning."

(further hints for the still clueless): "No train was involved. 50 miles door-to-door")


Now, if I could just get Homer Simpson singing Black Sabbath out of my head. "I. Am. Ironman. NANA-NANA-NANA-NA-NA-NUH-NA!" It was only 50 miles. At a group pace.

Edit: Hahahahahahahahahahaha! I earned half-again my Points™®© allowance in Activity Points™®©. Southwestern Eggrolls, anyone? ;-`)

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.6)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

The commute hasn't been as nice to me this week. In general the bike cars have been full when they arrive at 22nd St. I also realized this week that the new style (which I thought were great) bike cars HALVE the space for bikes. When the weather was crappy they were running two bike cars on the baby bullets I was taking. Now that it's gotten nice and everybody & their brother is riding their bike (and the gas prices continue to to climb above $3/gal.) there is only one. I know this is a coincidence, but it's rather aggavating.

The culmination of this state of affairs was yesterday when I missed TWO back-to-back baby bullets! (8:04 & 8:16). The next train didn't stop at 22nd St., and the train following (which I got on) that didn't stop at either Mountain View or Sunnyvale! (I briefly contemplated riding in from Santa Clara, but I was already over an HOUR behind where I started)

After that fiasco, I have very begrudgingly decided to give up my ~3 minute, barrel-down-the-hill morning commute, and ride to 4th & King. (I'll still get off @ 22nd St. in the evening). That commute was one of the reasons I looked at living on Potrero Hill. But our house is still awesome, and the view is still crazy. I'm glad we didn't compromise. It's just annoying to get up earlier to ride longer for a train that leaves earlier. But it's much more likely to guarantee me a spot.

This morning I left at 7:30 to give me plenty of time to test ride my newly configured touring bike (another post coming later) and make the 7:59 departure early enough that wouldn't be blocked. I arrived at 7:40, and the doors weren't open yet for the 7:59. No other bikes around. Perfect. As they were closing the doors on the 7:43 (a limited local), I noticed it arrived at Mountain View a just few minutes earlier than the 7:59. I snuck on, and am now arriving California Avenue. I've debated getting off at San Antonio, to ride on the Baylands trails. (My old commute to work!)

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.5)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

A few days ago I noticed that my rear tire was flat as I left to catch the train home. As it turned out, it wasn't the kind of thing that a new tube or a patch would fix. I've had these tires for many years, I've repaired more minor issues, and I've probably put at least few hundred miles on them. It's time to retire them. I don't have spare tires, and for some reason I've put off ordering more since this happened.

So for the past few days I've been riding my mountain bike to work. There are definite advantages to doing that: my trip down to the train in the morning is even more of a joy, since I don't have to dodge the various cracks & small holes in the pavement, and can just bomb down the hill. AND I finally rode home to my door the day before yesterday. Lower gearing ratio was key there. Yes, I have a triple on my road (touring) bike. It's not low enough. I'm lame. This should not be news.

But on the far end, the ride to work is much more annoying. I'm constantly upshifting, or trying to. "What, that can't be it?!?" My cruising speed feels anemic and pushing to my top speed feels like a joke!

On the plus side, in the last day or so I think I finally broke through the next fitness plateau. It might be the mountain bike vs. the road bike, but I think the first day of riding the mountain bike was just as much of a struggle as the previous days on the road bike. Today and yesterday, it was much, MUCH easier.

Another bonus: with my new schedule, I just got home. But that's a post for another time.

California, bike, Los Angeles, AIDSride

Commute (pt.4)

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

Not so good this morning. I missed not one, but two trains looking for my %$#@%$ing shoes. This is why I hate cleaning up. The next train didn't stop at 22nd St, so I booked it to 4th & King. I made it with plenty of time, so at least that was good.

A bunch of bikes got on with me, carried by too-cool-for-it-all hipsters (Including one who could very well be Jen Besemer's doppelgänger except that she's, you know, outside). I asked them all where they were going. Need I say? Palo Alto. So it also goes without saying that they took up 4 different racks (half of the total), in spite of going less than half the distance this train is travelling. And the doppelgänger gave me the "oh, puhleeze" look when I suggested she double up with one of the other two.

Sure enough, the crowd that arrives just before the train leaves just got here, and they're forced to move bikes around in the back because the 4 up front are for Palo Alto. GRN. Situational awareness, people! It's NOT THAT HARD! (yes, yes, kettle, meet pot. So if I'm complaining about it, it has to be bad.)

And yes, for those who were about to ask, I HAVE had breakfast already.

Update: Doppelgänger is now having a very loud cellphone conversation. The voice is wrong. But maybe it'd get closer if I shoved that phone up her ASS!