Caught in the act

Sometimes in the afternoon I take a coffee break with my friends, which usually lasts 15-20 minutes. I haven’t gone in a while because I’ve been in so many meetings, so I was glad for the break today. We got talking, though, and were in the caf for 40 minutes.

When I got up to leave, I realized my manager was sitting at nearby table having a meeting, probably watching me slacking off the whole time.



I went to take a nap last night and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off in the morning, 10 hours later.

Today I’m bringing my old Panasonic CD player to work to give to Ben for him to use at his church. I’ll miss it… it served me well for many years, a lot of walks in the woods in Washington State were powered by that player. But with the age of digital music and the iPod upon us, I don’t even listen to CDs any more. So time for it to go.

I’m also bringing my Sony 5-Disc DVD player to work, to sell to Scott for $30. I could get more for it online, but I’m too lazy to eBay it.

I Survived!

I did the 30-mile bike ride Saturday, and I did not die.

The ride was in two parts, 15 miles to the parking lot by a soccer field, where we rested for 45 minutes or so, and then met up with people riding a century (100 mile) ride and rode the last 15 miles along with them.

The first half wasn’t too bad, though the heat was oppressive and inescapable. It was around 90º, with hot breezes. It was kind of tough, but I made it through ok.

At the rest stop, there was not really any cool place. There was some shade, but the breeze was still hot. There was a soccer field, where you could lie in the hot grass.

Bill’s family drove to the soccer field and brought snacks and water. I refilled my camelpack and ate chips to replenish salt and grapes because they were cool and sweet.

While we were waiting, a van pulled into the parking lot. It was marked as a Microsoft Live Local truck, and had an array of cameras on the roof. Microsoft and Google are both driving vehicles like this around, competing to make street-level panoramas. This bearded guy hops out of the van, goes around to the back, and thumps around for a while. Then after a while, he gets back in the driver’s seat and does donuts for a while. Then he tinkers some more and does some more donuts. Finally as we are getting ready to head out, he drives off.

Maybe he was calibrating the GPS, or maybe he was rebooting because his van had the blue screen of death.

Ben, who had done a few miles prior to the century, and thus was hitting 100 miles as he pulled into the parking lot, proceeded to set up a bike with a half-bike strapped to it for his daughter Lily to ride, and an enclosed carrier strapped to that for his son Matthew to ride in.

So not only did he ride 115 miles, he did the last 15 with 100 pounds of kids strapped to him. I mentioned Harrison Bergeron, but no one else had read it.

The second half of the ride was much harder. Although it had cooled down a few degrees and the breeze was no longer hotter than the rest of the air, the terrain was hillier. Also, the cool breeze, while nice, meant we were biking into the wind, making it that much harder. There were two spots where the hill was so steep I had to walk to bike a bit. I didn’t feel too bad, since a couple other people did the same. Had I known the second hill I walked up was only a few hundred feet from the end, I might have used the last of my energy and powered up it.

But I made it to the end, where there was a BBQ and I had a veggie burger, a hotdog, and a couple beers.

Next time, it better be a shorter ride, or a cooler day, I barely made it through this one. During the last half I had serious doubts about finishing, and considered giving up. Especially since it seemed to be uphill most of the way.

But I made it through, and seem none the worse for wear, though my ass is a little sore. I can see the benefits of padded bike shorts, but I’m not into the whole “spandex super-hero biker” look.

30-Mile Ride

I’m kinda nervous, I’m doing a 30-mile bike ride tomorrow, the most I’ve done before is around 10 or 12 miles.

Ben was reminding me today that I’m going to be at a disadvantage, since everyone else is in better shape and rides regularly.

I’m pretty sure I can handle 30 miles, but it’s not going to be any fun if I’m struggling to keep up the whole time.

It’s too bad I don’t have any friends who are casual bikers… seems they are either hardcore, or don’t ride at all. Every once and a while Ben does an easy ride with his family, and those are fun, but even then it’s hard to get anyone to go with me.

Oh, well. I guess I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Worst case, I guess I give up halfway, and have someone come pick me up on the side of the road. That would suck, though.


Gadgets Up For Grabs

I’m still going through stuff, but here are some items so far that I am offering:

Discman-style portable CD player – FREE!

Sony NW-E3 digtal audio player – FREE!

Sony 5-disc DVD player – only $30!

17″ CTX monitor (CRT) – FREE!

Orioles Baseball cap (brand new) – FREE!

Marlins sweatshirt (brand new) – FREE!

Banker-style black sun visor (brand new) – FREE!

Car Visor CD holder (brand new) – FREE!

Small CD wallet – FREE!

50x CD-ROM drive – FREE!

Any of that interest you?

Slide Scanning

I scanned a couple slides from the pile Judy gave me.
I’m still trying to decide if I want to use the scanner’s ICE setting, which removes a lot of dust and scratches, but can also introduce artifacts.

Here’s one of the slides I scanned (my brother and me), I did some manual cleanup on it to remove dust and dirt from the image.

p.s. No killing people. Really now, I mean it this time.

Keyboard Cleaning

I don’t know if you remember, but a while back I cleaned my home keyboard and posted the gross pictures of what I found inside.

Well, now I’ve done the same for the keyboard I’ve been using at work for the past 6 years.

Here’s a sample:



If you dare see what was *inside* the keyboard, you can view all the photos.

Not for the faint of heart.