Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sometimes people are SO stupid...

Metering lights... When the light is red, you stop. When the light is green, you go. When nothing is lit up, the meter is OFF and you go. Seems simple enough.

I can only speak for a few on-ramps, but I know that those metering lights turn off at 10 a.m. After that time, wheeee! Anyway, I was running a bit late this morning and hit the on-ramp around 10:30. No metering light, right? Most would think that because, well, IT'S REALITY. About the time the curve of the ramp straightens out, most normal people are accelerating to merge into traffic at the speed limit. There were 2 cars in front of me that were sort of dawdling. A maroon Tercel (or some variation) and the black Mustang convertible in front of me. All of a sudden, the Tercel slams on their brakes at the metering light and the Mustang plows into them. Fortunately for me, I was well aware of my surroundings and able to move around them without having to brake much.

Ummm, who stops for a non-lit metering light? Okay, who in their right mind stops for a non-lit metering light? No, they weren't elderly.

I still feel a bit bad about not stopping to offer to be a witness, but dang. I've always thought that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's was the worst time of year to be on the road, and it seems to hold true every year.

Hold onto your butts. We still have a few weeks till the madness is over...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I am so grateful...

Today has been topsy-turvy. I went to vote this morning. I was on top of the world. Huge smile on my face. Back on track to getting into work on time again, and I'd done my civic duty by voting. I felt the hopefulness the country felt this morning.

Then I got stuck in traffic. Then my phone rang. My cousin was on the phone, telling me that my favorite Uncle, Robert, had passed away early this morning. He had been sick, but my Great-Aunt, Hazel, had been covering for him - he had dementia and they had to put him into a nursing home. I only found this out last Friday. I had no time for any of this to sink in. I got off the phone with my cousin, and called Hazel. As soon as she got on the phone, I burst into tears. I only talked to her for a short while, but continued bawling my eyes out, the rest of the way to work. Fortunately for me, traffic was moving at about 15 mph, so I didn't endanger myself or anyone else. Finally, after trying to work, and failing, I came back home. I rode my bike, which only made my back hurt and didn't make me feel better.

I've been watching the telly, and now that the networks can predict a President elect, I am again, in tears. But these are tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears of relief.

And Christ, I have a headache. Whenever I cry, I sweat. And I get a gnarly headache. It's bad... I seem to be a bit more tearful than normal, which the 2nd glass of wine is probably NOT helping, but wow.

I can't believe my Uncle Robert got out of voting by dying. I guess that's a valid excuse. I'm grateful that I'll be able to go to his funeral on Friday morning in Kansas. And I really hope someone tells the story about when Robert won the County Commissioner seat in the county in Kansas in which he and Hazel live in. They told me this story many, many years ago, and I was so shocked, but amused. It's one of those stories that will stay with me and make me smile for the rest of my life... Robert won the election. Kind of like tonight - by a landslide. He and Hazel were celebrating a bit, and on the way home, Hazel got sick. Out the car window (acccckkkkk!!!). Imagine your Grandma barfing out the car window, and you get the picture. He got them both home and into bed. Sometime in the middle of the night, Robert woke up. Sick as a dog. He knew he was going to throw up, so he jumped out of bed, and ran down the hall to the bathroom. Only he didn't make it. He puked in the hall while running. And then he stepped in it. To add to all that humiliation, he then slipped and fell down - into his own vomit! Gross, but funny as hell. I'll always cherish that story. And even though I'm both sad for him, and elated for our country, it makes me smile.

I will never forget today...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Grow up and vote.

Tonight, I left work early to go to the gym. It was raining lightly, and everything on the radio stations was saying to "drive mellow". Lots of spin-outs and accidents due to the rain. I saw a few driving like morons, as usual. Tailgating and such. You just know that those people wouldn't be able to stop in time in the rain, and I always pray some *sshat like that stays off my tail.

Around Marsh on 101 North, I saw a caravan of automobiles, all with signs, in support of Proposition 8. I have my own feelings on the Proposition, but it's a free country. Tomorrow is election day, and everyone has a right to express their viewpoints. Out of nowhere, a silver BMW comes flying past me on the right, and darts into the caravan. I think, "Jeez, plan ahead... it's raining, can't you think ahead for a few seconds and plan your exit safely?". A few seconds later, the BMW darts out of the caravan towards me, speeds up and then darts back into it. I was so shocked that it hadn't occurred to me exactly what was taking place until a few moments later. The BMW veers out of the caravan and back towards me again. I get a good look at the guy: white, male, late 30's, silver BMW 5-series, 4-door sedan. He speeds up and darts in front of me. Now I'm mad. I lay on the horn and the jerk slams his brakes on. Hi. What the heck is your problem buddy? I probably aggravated the situation by telling him he was "#1", but I'm sure he already knew that. That prompted me to call 911, as I felt like he was endangering a whole lot of people, just because he disagreed with a caravan of people, expressing their rights to free speech.

When I finally got through to the 911 operator, the jerk had darted in and out of 101 and onto the collector distributor lane before the Holly Street exit (I'm well aware of the irony here). I was so shook-up that I was in tears trying to explain to the nice 911-operator exactly what took place. I couldn't get the fool's license number because it all happened so fast and I was unable to follow him with his erratic driving. I was able to explain what had happened and what had so obviously set him off, and a description of him, and the car, but no plate #. I have no clue if he exited at Holly, or darted back onto 101, but it was likely the latter. Both the 911 operator and myself got a good laugh when I had to give her my location and name (no pun intended).

I can't believe I was the only one that called and turned that moron in. And I'm ashamed that I too oppose Proposition 8, not because of what it is or represents or what I believe in, but because that jerk just made everyone who opposes it look like a homicidal maniac to every single supporter in that caravan. Thanks, pal, thanks a lot. It wasn't so much that he was darting in and out in the rain, but he was DIVING. Turning his steering wheel HARD and directly in the path of those cars. Endangering people just because they disagreed with his thinking (and people like myself who weren't even involved). What kind of Neanderthal douche-bag does stuff like that? And I'm not saying that all BMW owners drive like a-holes, but why is it so many of them DO?

It made me start thinking about how polarizing Prop 8 really IS. I mean, think about it. Nobody will win. Regardless of the outcome, nobody really is going to win. If it passes, then there will be another prop in a few more years to re-vote. If it fails, same thing. It will be like a bad penny and keep coming back again and again. And what will it do for *true* voting? Will people try to vote multiple times just to make their point? It's just ugly any way you look at it, unfortunately.

Back to the douche-bag on 101 tonight... Jeez dude. Don't endanger people just because they don't see eye to eye with you. Just grow up, and go vote.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Low key hill climb - Bear Gulch

Cripes. Why I agreed to do a HILL CLIMB, I'll never know. Several weeks ago, before I went on a blissful (and mai tai'd) vacation, I mentioned a couple of these to my coach. Well, I went on vacation and promptly forgot.

Wednesday evening, I was looking ahead to what I needed to do over the weekend for training (since I did SO much riding in Hawaii - yeah, 3 days on a rented bike with toe clips. I tried to train on vacation, and have you ever tried to sprint with toe clips? I pulled out of them the exact number of sprint attempts: three.). Thursday looked good. Friday good. Saturday: Low key hill climb: Bear Gulch. WHAT? Oh crap. How can I get out of this? It's going to be evil. I distinctly remember (now) thinking it would be a good idea, because it was short (less than 3 miles) and not super steep (6.4% average). But I also remember saying, "I'm not sure if it's a good idea THAT close to returning from vacation.". Clearly, my coach ignored that last sentence. I tried to think of all the excuses, and finally I decided to just go do it. "It's low key! It's not a race! I can do what I want!". But I also decided to park in Woodside and ride up Kings for my warm-up.

Yeah, I said that. Climb Kings for a warm-up. Clearly, I lost my mind on vacation. If someone sees it, please send it home. I sort of need it back...

A co-worker of mine wanted me to join our work team, so I raced (relative term today) with them today. I told her I was slow. I don't think she REALLY believed me.

This morning, I nearly caved and stayed in bed. I was awake before the alarm went off, but then I did a stupid thing: I hit the snooze. Bad, bad! I freaking snoozed for 45 more minutes, which just made me TIRED-ER. I stumbled around the house and made breakfast and got myself together, but not fast enough. I got to Woodside later than I wanted, so my leisurely ride up Kings turned into a faster ride than I was ready for. Drat. It was stinking cold at my car, but the higher I climbed, the warmer it got. I started bemoaning the fact that I wore a vest, arm warmers and long fingered gloves. This would turn out to be a problem later...

(at least I looked okay.... thanks Eric Willis! )

As I was climbing, I noticed that I felt really awful. I'm not much of a climber, but I usually don't feel *that* crappy. Especially since I made the brilliant move to skip power and use my bike with the compact crank (my knees are still thanking me). I was spinning, but my legs were dead. I bet that the deep-tissue massage I got last night didn't help (well, it did, but it didn't), and then the 2 weeks of mai-tai time, and non-riding and "hiking" with my Mom. It's not like I did a ton of high intensity stuff.

Anyway, I made it to the reg area in time, but then we stood around registering, and talking, and trying to get ready to roll out. And then riding down Skyline to the real Bear Gulch, I dropped my chain! Ugh, the curse of the compact crank!!! I had a really hard time putting it back on too (the old up-shift trick did exactly squat). Then another co-worker helped, but now I had grease all over my glove and fingers. And then we descended Bear Gulch. And stood around. When we started, my legs felt exactly like they did when I first started climbing Kings! And I thought, "Why on Earth did I bother with a warm-up?"

The bottom of Bear Gulch is nasty and steep and then barren. The trees give way to completely exposed roads and was it hot! Especially with a vest and full-fingered BLACK gloves on. Oh yeah, those were a stunning idea, if I do say so myself... My computer registered the max temp at: 93. BLEAH! At one point, I was doing about 3 mph, the paper boy, my HR was inching up, I was roasting like a luau pig, and I really thought I was going to barf. I got off my bike and walked... I'm not too proud to admit that, but I really wanted to just lie down and think about life... I was almost moving faster on foot at that point. Forced myself back on the bike and ended up getting back off again later. Jeez. Once I got back into the shade and the pitch mellowed out, I was fine. I rode myself back up to a few that had passed me and I felt pretty comfortable climbing after that point. My HR was high (I wasn't going harder than 80 or 85%), but I've not been doing much climbing or intensity, so I pretty much expected it. I finished much better than I started (if you start at the bottom... nowhere to go but up!) and I can still laugh about walking. It's Low Key for crying out loud! One woman told me, "I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm usually ahead of those 3 up there." Maybe I'm still on Hawaiian time, but I didn't really care who beat me today. I just know that I didn't chicken out, and I finished...

I think I like this low key stuff, but I'm sure not keen to do one again soon! I do now remember telling my coach that I wanted to do the Low Key up Mt. Hamilton on Thanksgiving. I've never been up Hamilton, so I think it will be good. I likely will not feel the same way the night before or the day of, but I'll be glad I did it when I'm done. Just like today...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Laupahoehoe Point and Tsunami Victims Plaque

On April 1, 1946, a tsunami blew into Laupahoehoe Point and swept several small schoolchildren and a few adults out to sea. I'd read about this before, but never got to visit the place where it happened. I knew there was a plaque for them, so I made sure to visit this time. What a powerful place. Just the sight of the plaque brought tears to my eyes. Some as young as 2 years old. Several children from single families. Wiped out. In seconds. It struck at 7 a.m. Really makes you think...
The waves on this side of the island are CRAZY intense. Raw, powerful and really, really scary. There's a story inside my guide book which tells about a barge of brand-new Toyotas crashing near here. An insurance adjuster came to assess the damage, insisted on the helicopter he was riding in land on the barge, a wave came in, swept over the helicopter, tossing it, and killing the adjuster. You don't mess around with the ocean on this side of the island...

Monday, October 13, 2008

More volcano images

First stop yesterday was the end of Highway 130, South of Hilo, on the East side of Hawaii. As we were hiking the approximately one mile out to the overlook to see the lava, you could turn to the right and see the lava coming down the side of the hill, towards the ocean. Luckily, it's jogging West before heading down to the water.

My Mom and I on the edge of the Earth!
Inside Hawaii Volcano National Park, a new steam vent/lava pit has opened up. It's inside the Halema'uma'u crater, which is inside of the Kilauea Caldera (next to the Volcano House hotel and the Jagger Museum). The view during the daytime is impressive enough, but when I looked at the webcam, during the evening (Hawaii time), OMG. It's glowing orange/red with lava inside! Before this vent opened up, you used to be able to drive to the other side and look over the edge of the Caldera, just to the right of the steam and smoke. The eruption of this new vent took out part of the fence, that I've stood at, looking down into the Caldera. CRAZY! The webcam is here. It also looks like we had significantly better weather yesterday than they're having today. Whew!
The view of the smoke/steam from Halema'uma'u from the other side of the Kilauea Iki. The Iki is an amazing hike, but it was not to be on this trip... It's a long trek from one side to the other, but it sure is amazing. The "hill" just to the left of the steam cloud is Pu'u Pua'i, the cinder cone that was built by the eruption of Kilauea Volcano inside the Kilauea Iki crater (in 1959). There is just some really amazing history to go with the Volcano and I'd have loved to have been a geologist here. Truly fascinating stuff.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Looking into the mouth of Hell

I was pretty stoked to find out that the lava was flowing to the East side of the lava fields. This meant that we could DRIVE to it, and then a short hike to a lookout, and voila! Last time I was there, the stuff was flowing to the center of the field and the Park Ranger told me: "Yup, it's a 6.5 hour round-trip hike. Well worth it." F*ck that. This was after doing a hike in the park which lasted just over 2 hours, and got me soaking wet when it rained. I took the plane ride instead, and it was great.

This time... we drove to it. And hiked. 1 mile each way. Over lava. Damn. That counted as double. I got freaked out a few times when there was hot steam coming out of the cracks in the lava. And one such area was SILVER, instead of black. WTH??? I later learned that it was lava FRESH from AUGUST. Yeah, 2 months ago August. No wonder... There was no one else out, except two girls that we finally caught up with on the edge of the world. I took their picture, they took my Mom's and mine, they gave me some cool advice, and told me to perch on the ledge above and that was that. I stood on this ledge for a long time, watching the delta below. There was a crapload of steam (and sulpher, gross) from the lava hitting the ocean (it was RIGHT THERE). When the clouds moved out of the way, there it was - a shelf with orange lava flowing across it. Every time I saw it, I tried to take a picture. And every time, the steam clouds obscured it. I couldn't see the lava through the view finder, but I could with the naked eye. We played this game for a good 20 minutes and I finally snapped a few pics. In this one, when I zoomed in, I could see the orange (faintly) on the shelf. Thank God. I sure didn't want to hike back out there for more pics!!!

It was cool, definitely. But it was at least 2 hours of hard hiking to get 2 miles, round trip. And with steam all around, and only the forest to go by (for the safe harbor), I got freaked out more than a few times (and checked to make sure the soles of my shoes weren't melting!!!!). I almost aborted the hike due to concerns (and very few markings, and no other souls out there). But in the end, I'm glad we stuck it out (my Mom had a hard time with the hike and the heat coming off of the lava). We got to look out onto new land being created, see lava flowing into the ocean, and I kid you not: it was like staring into the mouth of Hell.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My favorite sign from the Ironman

That just RULES!

Ironman World Championships - Kona

This is a CRAZY event. I've never been able to see it before, but decided to take my Mom on a really nice vacation. To Hawaii. Since I like to come here in October, why not plan it around the Ironman?

We woke up early this morning to drive down the road, park the rental car, then walk to Kailua Harbor, where we saw thousands of people swimming! The scene was insane. We found a spot on the wall to sit and watch and proceeded to wait till the first 3 Pro men finishers came in. The groups all had escorts and the helicopter was hovering over the top 3 (who were a few minutes ahead of the next group!). Camera phone isn't the best action shot - as it was much more impressive than it looks:
We waited for some more to come in, including the first few pro women (I knew when I heard Gina Kehr's name (she's from Redwood City!!! And she placed 9th overall, which is soooo cool)), and then we moved to the first corner to watch them come flying out of the transition area on their TT bikes. Saw some near accidents with people still trying to get shoes fastened, and veering all over and whatnot. We saw a guy get a flat tire about 1/4 mile into the 112 miles! He took a long time to change it, then we all cheered him on. Apparently, he went up the hill, around the corner, had another mechanical - and called it a day. We saw young (20-something) and old (78!!!), and everything in between. Really inspirational. Then we wandered off to find food and chill out for a few hours till they came back from their 112 mile bike race (jeeeesus), so they could transition to do a full marathon. I just can't imagine...

Several hours passed, then the first guys came in, and then out they went to do the marathon. By this time, we'd been outside and in the heat and humidity for SEVEN hours. I shouldn't be whining, because I wasn't swimming, riding forever and then doing a full marathon. It's my OFF SEASON for crying out loud! I'm shot tonight though... It's only 6:30 here in Hawaii, but I swear that I'm going to bed in about an hour.

Today was an impressive showing of athletic endurance, and I'm humbled... In fact, to call it impressive is an injustice. There are no words...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just needed some inspiration!

Blogging sporadically. Been busy doing nothing. Very little riding. I've touched my bike a few times, mostly to move it when I'm vacuuming. A clean house is a... yeah. I miss riding, actually. Guess I'll start up again really soon. Tomorrow, I think.

Anyway, as I was leaving one of the cafe's at work today, I noticed this car... I can't believe I hadn't seen it before (obviously, it's been there AWHILE)! And I thought MY car was dirty! Guess not... The writing on the windshield is pretty funny too.

Just needs a "help me", "wash me" or "free to good home" write-in, and it would be perfect. At least the owner has a good sense of humor: "Batt dead - will move soon"...

Friday, September 12, 2008

White Trash day at lunch and Day 2 of my social experiments

We have these different themed cafe's at work. The one I generally eat at has a Spanish-style tapas menu, which gives me the chance to have a nice green salad, PLUS something else really tasty. I always create a little "bowl" of tasty stuff, usually with a bit of rice or something. The chefs tease me about it and "is it a rice bowl today? or a pasta bowl?" This week has been really confusing. Corn-dogs, garlic fries, lasagne, etc. Today was the kicker. Green bean casserole, buffalo wings, potato skins, little cheeseburgers. It may be obvious to others, but since I'm not much of a football fan, the week's menu items were lost on me. I was laughing, thinking, "Surely this must be White Trash Week in the Spanish cafe!". Nope. All week was in honor of football starting, so the theme was: Tailgate Food. My favorite chef, Jason, was all fired up to see me today. "Have I got a bowl for you!!! We'll get you some potato skins, add a little chili, some cheese and jalapenos! It'll be the best!" Gad, he talked me into it, sans jalapenos. The heartburn-inducing creation is below:
As much as I hate to admit it: it was really good! Not long after I snapped the picture, it was gone. I'll probably regret it later, but a very tasty treat, and unlike anything I ordinarily eat.

The social experiment is something else. Although it does tie in nicely with today's lunch menu. I work with a lot of social retards. I think that a lot of engineers are pretty introverted anyway, and my work environment seems to accept it and expound on it, creating more introverted introverts than any other high tech company I've ever worked for. And I really thought the old-time mainframe programmers I used to work with at Boeing with were the geekiest of the lot. I was soooo wrong. The nerd of 2008 is more socially retarded than anyone I've ever worked with in the 24 years I've been in high-tech. Seriously. I also seem to have a lot of social retards where I live. Won't make eye contact, won't say hi, even if they live across from you. It's crazy. So my social experiment is to start saying "HI" to all of these socially-retarded folks. Even if I don't get answers in return. The experiment part is to see if the more I do it, the more people might be coaxed out of their shells.

I started yesterday with a neighbor. I was out with my dog and stepped out of her way, making direct eye contact and chirped, "Good morning!". I think she greeted me with a quiet grunt, although I'm not really sure about that. I did a bit of it in the lunch line yesterday, but it seemed most folks were in a good mood, and there were only like 3 people in line.

Today was different. There were definitely more folks in line at lunch, and when I was joking with the chefs about the white trash menu and they were flipping it all back at me, it seemed to engage those around me. The people on both sides of me were listening, laughing and asking questions, and even talking to me. CRAZY! Could it really be that simple?

Experiments to continue indefinitely...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm sooo going to have a hard time going to sleep tonight...

I opened my mailbox when I got home tonight (after meeting Jill Kintner, no less) and found my pre-sale Metallica tickets and their new CD in my mailbox. Yesssssssssss!

If I were really smart, I'd get up early and listen to it, but oh no. I'm listening to it now (it's really good) and figuring I can crank out the last car review that's been due before I get another car to review in a couple of weeks (the MINI Clubman).

BTW, Jill Kintner is very sweet. I only wish I could have ridden with the nice group of people that rode Saratoga Gap tonight. Looking forward to that ride report!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My little angel

Snoring away under my desk...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There are no words...

Our President, at the Olympics. Lovely representation...

Friday, August 1, 2008

What NOT to wear to the company picnic

I took a full-sized picture of this, but I sort of want to protect the innocent (even if my eyes will never be the same). She did fidget with her bottoms for a bit, but clearly more fidgeting was in order...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We have TWO butt gasket bandits!

I was sort of glad to have caught the one last week, but on Friday, I caught a 2nd one. God. Both women have kids. And homes. And husbands. And the 2nd one, even has a cook, so I presume she thinks that someone should just pick up after her.

Wrong idea, sistah!

Anyway, with some input from some nice people who left comments, I'm doing the following: I've created a funny checklist, which I'm going to hang up in each stall. It's printed and all official, and not hand-written (since my hand-writing sucks). And this way, if someone gets pissy and tries to take them down, I'm just a button click away from printing 1 more for each stall.

I tried to be realistic, cover ALL the bases and still have a sense of humor about it, so that it can be fun to learn. Jeez. Now if that doesn't work, the founder's admin is going to help me out and the both of us are going to go talk to both of these butt gasket bandits.

Here's the note, in case someone else needs a copy for their own work-place bathrooms (note: here at work, they hang up official notices in the bathrooms called "Testing on the Toilet". Since I'm not interested in working while I'm taking care of bizness, I pretty much ignore them. But I lifted the title for my own signage):

Before you walk out of the stall, do the following:

1) IF the toilet an Auto-flush toilet, did it flush?
good, proceed to step 2
push the button and flush it
surely you remember how to flush a normal toilet. do it.

2) Did everything get flushed?
good, proceed to step 3
go back to step 1

3) Is your seat liner still on the toilet seat?
for God's sake, push it into the toilet bowl and go back to step 1
good, proceed to step 4

4) One last check of the seat, did you leave any drops of "bodily fluids" behind?
Does your Mother work here?
don't burden your Mother! you're old enough to clean up after yourself
wipe off the seat
Do you see a full-time attendant in the bathroom who'll clean up after you?
clearly, you're lost and in the wrong building
wipe off the seat
all of the women of 1055 Joaquin thank you - you may now exit

Monday, July 14, 2008

Busted! But now what?

For the past few months, some twit at work (or maybe I should say twat? It's more fitting...) has been leaving seat liners (aka: butt gaskets) on the toilet seats. Not making sure the auto flush toilet flushes all their junk away. And the lamest infraction: walking away from the handicapped stall leaving both the butt gasket AND their junk behind. Hi, the handicapped stall is the ONE toilet in our bathroom without a heated seat, or the auto-flush. And I really thought I worked with smart people. I guess smart does not translate to: neat or tidy or un-lazy.

Anyway, I've been DYING to catch this woman. DYING. Curiosity has been killing me and I've made so many trips to the bathroom, just hoping to catch this twit. Alas, she has always eluded me.

This afternoon, I rolled up into the bathroom to find TWO stalls, already occupied with the used butt gaskets on the seats. NASTY! I'd lost all hope. However, when I decided to use the bathroom later this evening before heading home. Someone was in the far right stall. Nobody in the other 4, and no used seat liners. So I used my favorite stall and noticed that the other person waited till the toilet flushed, then washed their hands. In the middle of washing their hands, I was done and walked out of the stall. I didn't really make eye contact with her, but as I was reaching for the paper towel after she'd already walked out the door, there it was! The used butt gasket left behind. UGH, not only did the b*tch leave it behind, but she left a smear of blood on it. That's so revolting, I just can't even believe it. And the offender? OMG, someone I'd never imagined! She's an engineer! She's got 2 kids! And a husband! And probably the most disgusting house in Silicon Valley. Jesus. Bleah, bleah, bleah, bleah, bleah! I'm just grateful that I never have to work on projects with her, but Christ.

Now what do I do? Do I confront her and bust her out? Do I start leaving butt gaskets on her chair? Do I send out a company-wide email (jk)? I can tell you one thing: I'm going to think twice about touching any surface without a paper towel or tissue in hand while at work. Even though she DID wash her hands, that's really, really disgusting...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Johan Bruyneel

Came to work yesterday to give a book talk. I bought the book on Monday night so he'd have something to sign, and started reading it yesterday morning...

The talk was interesting. Inspiring, actually. He's very real, very funny and as all team directors have interesting stories, he certainly has his share. We all got to ask him questions, which was the bulk of the talk, and I was really impressed to see him wearing his LiveStrong band. I have always worn mine, and even though folks sometimes give me grief about it, I still feel very strongly about it's message (it's my good-luck charm).

Some of the people at the talk yesterday clearly weren't cycling fanatics. Someone asked him if they'd known that Astana would not be invited to the Tour de France, would they have had different goals for the Tour of Italy (Giro). I had to bite my lip. I think winning the Giro with not much notice was pretty spectacular, but that's just me.

This has been a most excellent week. The Tour has been fun. I found a link to the Vaughter's f-bomb incident here. I've had stellar training rides (crushing 6 of my 8 peak power records), even in the heat, and I got to meet Johan Bruyneel. I even got this most excellent souvenir:

Monday, July 7, 2008

I never thought I'd love a badger...

Until today...

Damn! I was watching today's stage LIVE this morning and I almost dropped my cup of coffee! The protester was a total surprise, but I had NO idea Bernard Hinault could still move so fast.

That made my entire week...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aiiieeee, the apocalypse is coming!

Just kidding. But it sure seems like it with the smoky sky and the sun. OMFG. I had to stop on my way home and take a picture of it, because it was so surreal looking.

To add to the mystique, and surely this must be another "sign", I hit EVERY SINGLE TRAFFIC LIGHT GREEN on my way home. I drove home via Woodside Road. Road of a thousand stop lights. And anyone that knows me knows I am a red-light magnet (my "gift" to the group ride). It was crazy. Not only did I hit 'em all green on Woodside (has anyone ever hit them all green?) from Woodside Town Hall all the way to 101, I hit the 3 traffic lights GREEN in Foster City. I probably should have bought a lotto ticket, but I was sweaty and cold and just wanted to come home.

I sure hope these fires get under control, sooner rather than later. It's so sad...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why I hate to ride my bike in Burlingame

Our sponsor shop is in Burlingame (Summit Bikes). Periodically, I'll ride from home over to see them. As it's been hot, I'm trying to ride in the heat to acclimate, so I headed over yesterday around 11:30. While riding along the gutter line on California Avenue (4-lane road) a car came within inches of me with their mirror. I was a bit miffed and raised up my hand like "what the hell?", especially since the other lane was completely devoid of cars. Well, unfortunately for both of us, the car hit the light red at the next intersection. I rolled up, not looking for a confrontation, but wanting to just say, "hey, you got really close to me, please be careful.". Oh, that's so NOT what I got... Me: "Hey, do you know how close you got to me back there?". Psycho woman driver: "It's YOUR fault. You swerved out in front of me!". Me: "Umm, no I didn't. All I'm saying..." PWD: "IT'S YOUR FAULT. YOU SWERVED IN FRONT OF ME! HAVE A NICE DAY! HAVE A NICE DAY!!!" Me, "Look, lady, do you understand..." PWD: "HAVE A NICE DAY! HAVE A NICE DAY!" The more I tried to say, the more she interrupted me. I should have known that on a day close to 100, with all her windows rolled down, that her brain was probably pooched from the heat, and that trying to reason with a psycho is a moot point. Sort of like, jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, etc. I was so shook up that someone could have such little regard for another's safety that I just yelled at her (over her still screaming at me), "Nice, well, it's obvious that you're a psycho. Have a nice day!" and rolled forward.

In hindsight, so many things come to mind. Like, if I really wanted to get hit, I'd not mess around with a car, and I'd go and "swerve" in front of a bus. Or does it not imply the motorist isn't morally obligated to avoid hitting a cyclist, even if the cyclist swerves a bit? For the record, I didn't even twitch. I can ride a line without wavering for a very long time. Then there's always the stuff you think of saying hours after the fact. Like, "It's nice the mental institution lets you out for the weekend, but you really SHOULD go back before someone gets hurt.". That would have been a fun comeback. But likely, the way she was acting, she probably did it on purpose, and then was mortified to hit the light and then, on top of that, be confronted. Well, if you endanger me, and I can catch you, I WILL confront you. I don't regret confronting her, but I regret that it kind of consumed me for the day and that's such a waste.

Not more than 45 minutes later, after stopping at Summit to get COLD water and visit, I headed back towards home. Checking out the course for the Burlingame Crit next Sunday. On my second pass, as I was getting ready to get out of the madness of downtown, some asshat in front of me (I was a safe 4-5 bike lengths away, but we were doing close to 20), decides to SLAM on his brakes to let a pedestrian cross (not in a crosswalk). Holy sh*t. I slammed on the brakes and missed slamming into his bumper by about 1/2 inch. God, I was furious. And you know what? HE NEVER EVEN SAW ME. The pedestrian did, but not the motorist. Wow... I decided that I couldn't get out of there fast enough and there was a huge blockage at the next intersection, so I stopped (full stop) and then proceeded through the 2 cars blocking the entire intersection, only to be nearly pegged by someone turning right. I hit the brakes again, they let me go (I have no idea if that was my fault or not - I was pretty shook up by then). I got out of there as fast as I could, in tears.

I have had more "near death" experiences in Burlingame than I ever have in San Francisco, Los Gatos, Redwood City, South City or Foster City. All places I consider to be more dangerous than Burlingame. But I've been proven wrong again and again.

All I can say is that I felt safer than I have in ages on the bike path yesterday. And my SRAM Red brakes work REALLY well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Holy sh*t!

I've been trying to break 1000 watts since I started training with power last fall. I got close a few weeks ago with 994 watts, but this is all during training. I haven't felt good enough to actually sprint in a RACE, so it's kind of a moot point. Tonight, I'm out on a pre-race ride with a former teammate (Kim P), just messing about. Did a few efforts and asked her if she wanted to go do a couple of sprints on Runnymeade (my favorite place to do sprints). She was game and so off we went. The first one was a bit shaky, but I still pulled out 909 watts. Okay, good, but I can do better. The next one was way better. I could tell because I felt like I was going to pull my shoes out of the pedals! Kim got a better wattage reading that time too, so when I checked my max, all I could do was scream. I just kept whooping/screaming and almost crying and when she caught up to me all I could blurt out was "Holy shit. I did it. I broke 1000 watts!!!!!!". Kim was hilarious. "This is great! I've never seen you this happy!".

I had to take a picture of it, just in case. And I have no idea how the hell I'm going to sleep tonight, because I'm SO amped up. And to think I did it on Friday the 13th, of all days. Wow. Must be still wound up about the butt gasket business! JK.

So I'm not a jerk, my co-workers are just lazy slobs

This time, I taped it to the top of the mirror, since all of the big paper clips have mysteriously gone missing. The worst part, in using the long piece of tape to grab the butt gasket off the toilet, the end of the butt gasket dipped into the toilet. EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Too bad the picture didn't come out better...

If I can catch this person, I think the funnier thing would be not to confront them, but to silently put a butt gasket on their desk chair. This was suggested by a co-worker and I think it would be awesome!

I'm on a mission now...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sometimes I can be a jerk

A funny jerk, mind you. But a jerk. I have this pet peeve at work: women who don't bother to see if the auto-flush toilet actually flushes their junk down the toilet, women who drip all things unholy on the toilet seat and then leave it for some unlucky bloke, and women who leave the butt gasket on the toilet seat. Jesus. I work at Google for crissakes. Some of the brightest minds work here. Supposedly. Yet these women (I've been trying to catch the culprits for months, because I can shame them like no other... and I've been bleakly disappointed to not catch a one of them) expect someone else to clean up after them.

A few months ago, someone left a butt gasket on the toilet. Incensed, I went and got a sticky note and a red Sharpie and left a note, with a brand-new butt gasket taped to the mirror. "You left this behind. I thought you might want it." I ran out of the bathroom trying not to laugh. A few hours later I went back in and it was gone. Bummer.

Earlier today, I went in, and there was a butt gasket left on my favorite heated toilet seat. UGGGGH! So I used a different stall. Tonight, when I went into the bathroom to change for my ride, there it was. The used butt gasket was back in my favorite stall. Even though I had to use the "big stall" to change in and go to the bathroom - I couldn't help it. I found myself digging through my backpack for a Sharpie and scrap of paper. I left a note: "Please take this with you next time. Nobody wants to sit on a USED seat liner. Gross!!". The cleaning staff leaves a couple of gigantic paper clips in the bathroom to use to prop the door open, so I grabbed one and used it to grab the butt gasket off the toilet. I then grabbed the note and somehow got part of the butt gasket in the sink, setting off the automatic water faucet, which washed away part of the used butt gasket. By this time, I was almost crying from stifling the laughter. Using the end of the clip, I attached the entire thing to the tampon dispenser, took a picture, changed my clothes and got the hell out of there before I got an aneurysm from holding back the laughter...

I sure hope it's still up in the morning, although I'm afraid to go look!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Birthday Ride

So I'm slow. My birthday was actually on Monday... I went for a nice ride to celebrate. And of all the odd-ball things for me to do, I decided to climb Old La Honda. First time since last fall. I held myself back so I could take in the scenery and try not to worry about how long it was going to take me to get to the top. And I made sure to do it the first part of the ride, so I wouldn't chicken out. I was surprised to make it in a reasonable time. I remember a few summers ago, training my ass off to get a good time on OLH. Seriously. I turned myself inside out to get to the top, and clocked a slower time by 20 seconds! Good to know that my fitness has improved in the past few years!

Oh yeah. When I stopped for water before heading back to the car, I saw a bunch of Harleys parked at Roberts Market in Woodside. As I was standing there, eating and drinking I noticed this sticker on one of the bikes... I almost fell over laughing. Classic!

Some of the other bikes had the "Support your local Hells Angels" stickers, but this was the only one that I saw that had the added tagline: "OR ELSE". Awesome.

I followed my ride with a trip to the store for some mahvelous cheese and had homemade Bruschetta, yummy cheese and wine for birthday dinner. I figured the cheese might be s l i g h t l y better for me than the planned piece of carrot cake. ;o)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wow, I guess I got my wish

That's the last time I gripe about the lack of hot weather. My bad...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WTF is up with the weather?

How can I possibly acclimate to the heat when it's 50-something on my after-work rides? 2 weekends (Madera and the Wente Crit last Sunday) I've puked in my races. Both times it was well into the 90's.

At Madera, it was in the TT and at least I could back off a bit and recover, while only losing a bit of time.

But shoot, Wente? I'm in a crit. How the hell do I back off without getting dropped? Answer: I followed an attack (after puking, mind you), which of course, blew me to smithereens. But hey, I'd rather go down, guns blazin' , than be a puss and just drop out. Yeah, I puked again after that, but whatever. And with the crashfest that ensued, my dropping out of the race was a blessing in disguise. And from the looks of this pic (thanks Garrett!!! Go check out Garrett's photos at:, I was already dehydrated well before the race even started. Nice white mustache. That's what I get for having a super-stressful work-week (I have GOT to win the lottery...).

Back to the weather. My thought, after suffering like a dog on Sunday was to start riding mid-day, to acclimate to the heat. Bloody hell. It's been like 30 degrees cooler ALL WEEK. I haven't bothered riding at lunch, because it's only 60-something degrees. I still need knees and arm warmers in that weather. Maybe I should wear a space suit, or plastic bags or something, but with all the wind, it would be deafening! And I might actually get blown off the road...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sea Otter MTB Race

I had no expectations going into this race. I was pretty fried from Madera last weekend, and after tacking onto the Valley Ride this week and keeping up to my goal intersection. When I did my pre-race ride on Thursday, my legs were seriously protesting. I decided to just "ride" the MTB race this year. Have fun. Not worry about my front brake dragging me down like last year (and making me want to throw my bike down some ravine!).

Sea Otter was the usual madness, but reg was a disaster this year. Took forever because I had to: stand in line to be told to fill out a waiver (even though I pre-reg'd), go stand back in line to get my number and ankle chip, go stand in line to have USA Cycling verify my NORBA license, so I could get a stamp on my voucher (they ridiculously charged all of us $10 for a one-day license), stand in line for my goodie bag (shit, just give me a bottle, I don't need all those damned coupons) and then go stand in line to get my $10 back from the cashier. In a word: LAME.

It was cold and windy and luckily, I brought all kinds of clothes. Ran around to visit some of the vendors and my friends and then back to the car to get ready. Felt like ass during my warm-up, but something happened once we lined up. I got the competitive thing going. As we inched forward, it grew. When we were first in line, I accidentally overshot the start line and everyone was teasing me. Oops. BANG! Off we go. 2 women took off like a shot, and I just steadily rode ahead. As we approached the turn that goes up the first little grunt on the racetrack, we'd pulled the 2 leaders in and were now a tighter group of 6 or so. Then a gap opened and I went around it. We caught some women in the group ahead of us while still on the track, and somehow I got around the leader in our group and was first going into the dirt. Holy crap. As we approached the first sharp turn, there was a woman having trouble in it and she stopped. Now, my room was gone and I'm a bona-fide retard when it comes to sharp hairpins. I biffed and landed on my ass. Ouch. I was embarrassed because I slowed everyone down and quickly moved my carcass. I then was able to make up ground on the climb and was in first again. However, I can't descend well and was asked to move over on the single track descent. Fine by me... Then we hit the conga line. Garrrr. Got around them and onto the next section where my rabbit was in sight. Anyway, I ended up passing again, but was behind some slower folks. Tag, I'm not "it" any more, but I was in 2nd leading into the sandy descent.

I have GOT to learn how to ride that stuff better. I ate it at least 10 times, including the last "dance", where I started to endo, but got my left foot out, left hand out trying to balance self, bike endo's forward, I get right foot out, do a pirouette and end up standing, holding my still downhill-facing bike with my left hand. I have no idea how I did it, but that was at LEAST 10 style points right there. I finally gave up after being passed by several people and just ran it.

I then got discouraged and almost panicky. My breathing was ragged. I was almost panting going uphill. It took about another 15 minutes or so to get myself under control and just start RIDING again. I was riding with a purpose, most definitely, but I needed to focus, just to get my head back into the ride. It worked. I was able to ride another sandy descent, which proved less formidable than the first (thank God), and I rode all the steep little grunts. I was doing great right up to when I dropped my chain and banged my knee on the top tube. Ouch, that hurt! I didn't think to try to shift up, because I was ready to fall over anyway. Got the chain back on, then shifted back down and off we go. I caught a few women on the long uphill grind back to the race track, but I had no idea which group they were in. I did end up walking the last part, because the huge gravel freaked me out! But once onto the track, I threw it into a huge gear and motored through the finish.

We stood huddled around waiting for the results, which were totally screwed up. Apparently, several women missed the one turn, where a yellow sign indicated "10 mile ride go this way" while the red ARROW indicated the race goes left here. Janet LeFleur saw at least 4 women going straight at that junction, which indicates that they cut quite a few miles and time off of their race. The results in several groups showed the screw-up, where women finished (14.7 miles, mind you) in: 32 minutes, 40 minutes, 41 minutes. Yeah, right! Anyway, the officials were scrambling last night trying to get the results straightened out and told us that they wouldn't have them posted OFFICIALLY till the morning (today).

Bummer. I drove home, in a stupor. I was so tired! I didn't know how many passed me on my fumblings on the beach, but I figured it was quite a few, so I guesstimated I'd finished in the top 10. Which is great. I thought there were about 15-20 of us, and it was significantly better, time-wise, for me than last year (I shaved off 25 minutes. Of course, last year I had to stop and try to fix a sticky brake about 30 times, but who's counting?). I was happy with the way I rode and I got a really good training ride in.

Holy shit. Janet just called. She's at Sea Otter this morning. Results are posted. She's in 2nd. I GOT FREAKING THIRD PLACE!!! I can't believe it! I'm totally excited, but also bummed in a way. I'm on the podium (for real this time, not because I was 5th of 5 like last year's circuit race!) at Sea Otter, but there probably won't be a podium ceremony, and no pics. :(

But somehow, that placing justifies all the bumps and bruises that I got yesterday. And it was hard, but it was a total blast!

Monday, March 24, 2008


So how was YOUR Monday?

Mine started off innocent enough. But then I took the dog for a walk. I have some new neighbors. They moved in about 3 weeks ago. They have a dog. A yellow lab. A normally docile creature. Not this one... 2 weeks ago, he was off-leash in the courtyard and he came after Bette. Luckily, I just reached down, picked her up and held her overhead. The owner was yelling for the dog to come. He totally ignored his master and the guy had to come and drag him away. Nice. I said, "WTF? Where's his leash?" "Oh, he's a nice dog." "My ass. Where's his leash?".

This morning... no owner. Just some girl who lives here and insists on trying to be everyone's new best friend. She's now been hanging with the new neighbors and taking the yellow lab for short, windy walks. Except this morning, he was off-leash again. And I didn't see him. And I had an arm-load of mail and magazines from my over-stuffed mailbox. He ran around me, in front of me (effectively cutting me off) and got into Bette's face. I kicked at him to nudge him away whilst trying to pull her back, but he came at her again. Now she's cornered in the bushes and defensive, and I don't blame her. So she jumps at him to push him and he comes unhinged and attacked her. I threw down all my mail, lost my slippers and was screaming and crying and making noises I've never heard come out of my mouth. He had her neck in his mouth and wouldn't let go. I yanked his collar: nothing. I broke and bent fingernails back, yanking at the scruff of his neck: nothing. By this time, the neighbor girls was there, doing something, although I couldn't tell you what. He doesn't listen to his owner, why would he listen to anyone else?

Somehow, Bette got loose and they ended up behind me. I'm on my hands and knees, on the concrete, scrambling to get my dog loose. Around I go, and I wanted to kick him in the
head, or punch him in the head, but with her neck in his jaw... All I could think of was to pry his mouth open. This wasn't working, so I stuck my left index finger into his eye. And I kept pushing, while using my left thumb to pry his upper jaw open, and my right hand to pry his lower jaw open. I got bit, a couple of times, but he let loose and I was able to scoop her up while jumping up and got both of us in the house. I collapsed, sobbing and checking her over. Amazingly, she only has a bit of road rash on her chin. I have road rash on both knees, lacerations on my right index finger, broke half the nails on both hands, and broke off the ring finger nail on my right hand about 2 mm into the quick. I almost passed out when I cleaned it and put hydrogen peroxide on it.

I was so angry that I called the apt office and filed a complaint. I was then urged to go to the urgent care, where they filed a report with the SPCA. If this was the first time, I'd still be pissed, but this dog has come after mine TWICE. In three weeks. Both times, he's been off-leash. No excuse for that. I hope to God this never happens again, but I think if it did, I'd have to choke the attacking dog. Maybe if it didn't have oxygen, it would let go sooner. Christ, I don't know. It was scary as hell and happened SO fast...

The dog is sleeping away. I'm typing like a 3rd grader with the bandaids on my fingers. But here's the damage. It's black and blue around the knuckle and sore as all get-out! The photo is blurry, but it really feels much worse than it looks...

Saturday, March 22, 2008


My new bike... I've been toying with a name for him for a few days. He arrived on St. Patrick's Day, so I was kind of thinking of an Irish theme. Finn MacCool was suggested. Cool name, kind of long. Then I found Niul, which is old Irish for "champion". Aidan was kind of cool, and I think it means "fire". But after riding this bike, damn. Zeus is totally appropriate. This bike is almost a God... I was told that with the white bar tape, I need to be winning some races. Sign me up!

Lots of things on my mind though. Still sad over the deaths of Matt and Kristy. Went by the site where they were killed yesterday, with two teammates. It was overwhelming. I've been off the bike all week, suffering from a bit of depression, horrible allergies, and lethargy. I've not had a training program since January. I've had a few workouts sprinkled in here and there, but I've basically been winging it. My coach has been "out of touch". I know he's busy, but I'm not getting what I need, and it shows in my racing and my riding. It's correctable, but it needs to be corrected sooner, rather than later.

I was so excited to ride Zeus yesterday, that I rode WAY too hard. When I went out to ride today, I was pretty sore. I then ran into three former teammates and rode too hard with them too. By the time the last two of us were headed back up Woodside Road, my legs had been twinging with cramps for about 20 minutes. Well, that was it. My right hamstring seized up, as did my right inner quad. Argh. Curses!!! They cleared pretty quickly (after drinking a ton), but dang. I know better. I rode hard yesterday and didn't hydrate enough. Then I rode hard AGAIN today and didn't hydrate enough. I should have expected as much.

At least I have a cool bike to ride... and I had a better day today shifting with the new SRAM Red stuff. Next time, I should be golden. And I had a really nice ride with Yvonne, Kim and Norma today. It was good to catch up with them. When I got back to the car, who was parked by me? Another former teammate who had moved to CO a few years ago! Another Kim! I was soooo glad to see her! And yesterday's ride with my current teammates, Erin and Angela was stellar. I learned a lot about Angela, and laughed so much that my sides hurt! What's Spanish for "Kitty Killer"? My spirits are improving, and I have my friends to thank!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Trying to make sense of the senseless

After the horrible weekend of cycling tragedies in the Bay Area, I was having trouble being motivated and staying focused yesterday (turn head to view pic till I figure out how the hell to rotate it - sorry!).

To summarize: Sean Smith (Team Oakland) was hit and left for dead Friday morning while commuting to work in Oakland. Thankfully, he's alive. Then the tragedy with Kristi Gough and Matt Peterson on Sunday morning. Then I heard that three Alto Velo riders were descending Skyline near Alice's when a car turned directly in front of them, and this was Sunday afternoon! Thankfully, after a trip to the ER, the three of them are all alive too. The only bright spot was that the man who ran over MaryAnn Levenson was sentenced last Friday and taken into custody directly in front of her. Thank God for that. I don't think the sentence was stiff enough, but at least something was done, and the Levenson's can finally heave a small sigh of relief and get on with their lives.

After reading and re-reading the stupid bit of "journalism" in the Mercury News regarding Sunday's horrible accident, it seemed to me that they glossed over what the cop DID and without actually saying IT, lay blame on the cyclists. I was seething. What the hell happened to reporting the FACTS? I don't care what your opinion is, as a reporter, it's your JOB to report the facts. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but damn. I sat down and wrote a scathing letter to the editor of the Merc News, cc'ing the ass-clown reporter that originally penned the piece. I chewed them out for exactly the above: slanting the story to make it sound like it was the cyclists' fault, and irresponsible journalism. What's happened to innocent until proven guilty? We've become a society of guilty until proven innocent, which is so back-ass-wards, and I blame the media. I threatened to pull my subscription (which I've held for six years) if they didn't accurately report the story.

Now I'm not saying that my letter has even been READ yet, as I'm sure the cycling community (and hopefully the community at large) railed on them for that piece of garbage they printed in the paper yesterday. But today, they printed (front page again, mind you) a completely re-written piece. They even added two reporters to the story, which I'm assuming helped the original journalist, since it was clear that the person couldn't write their way out of a paper bag.

I left work early yesterday because I just was so profoundly sad. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to be home. And I certainly didn't want to be on my bike. So I drove to the ocean. The long way. Of course, from Mountain View, the ocean IS the long way. But I needed to clear my head and get some perspective. As I stood and took in the view and wonderful smells, I hoped that this tragedy would be treated delicately, and an investigation would be swift and impartial. And that justice will be served. I decided to go back to something I used to do working in an AIDS Hospice in Seattle. I'm going to plant some things in honor of Kristi and Matt. I'm going to look for a plant or flowering plant which will return year after year. Something beautiful to look at, and that won't fade away at the end of the fall. I'm also going to plant something that will keep on giving. A tomato plant (or 3). I've been wanting to do this for awhile, and now I have the impetus to make it happen.

Call someone you love, and tell them so. Life is short.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our pets (best friends)

I love my dog. Just love her. And because I love her so much, I'm pretty fanatical about keeping her on her leash and in my direct control at all times. Of course, when she was a puppy, she sometimes got out of the yard by squeezing her fat little body under my fence. It obviously freaked me out because I lived on a busy street in Seattle. Once, when I was on vacation, her sitter left their back gate open and she escaped. Luckily, they found her rather quickly, but I'll never forget the phone call when I was told. I was sitting in my rental car, in Hawaii. It was warm, and peaceful and beautiful. And I was so upset that I nearly threw up.

Today, I decided to commute to/from work on my bike. The ride in was miserable. Cold, damp, foggy. I didn't warm up until lunchtime. I figured the ride home would be better. The sun had come out, blue sky, no fog. But it was cold as sh*t. On "Bike Boulevard" in Palo Alto (Bryant St.) I was nearly hit by 2 cars and 2 cyclists (one weaved in front of me, the other rounde the corner on the wrong side of the road - dumbasses.). This was my sign.

As I turned off of Middlefield Road onto Ringwood, it seemed like it would be a nice ride. Light traffic, a slight tailwind. I was running out of daylight, so I was motoring, trying to get back to my car at the Redwood City Caltrain station. Up the road, near a school, I saw a person standing in the bike lane. I thought it was a kid. The figure looked small and childlike, and it was near the school. As I got closer, I saw that the figure was bent down, I assumed messing with their skateboard or scooter, and partially in the road AND the bike lane. I was annoyed. I hoped that I could get around them and not get pegged by a car. As I passed by, I realized what had happened and it both sickened me and broke my heart. The figure was an older women. She was crouched down, trying to turn her small dog over, to possibly get some life back into it. I saw the small, light brown body. The stiff legs. The small pool of blood. And then I heard her sobbing. 2 children were across the street, a little further down, watching.

I was running out of daylight and couldn't stop, although it took everything I had in me to not turn around and go back and try to comfort her. But what could I do? I cried. All the way back to my car. I cried because I was sad for this poor woman, who's best friend had somehow gotten out and into the path of a car. I cried because I realized how lucky I was that nothing ever happened to my dog. All the times she got out of my yard, she was spared. And I cried because I was annoyed at her. How utterly selfish of me. I'm ashamed that I was annoyed, and I hope it makes me more patient with people. You just never know what someone is going through, why they're doing what they're doing at that particular moment in time.

Once I got into my car, I cried some more. And I came home and hugged and hugged and hugged my dog. And I hope all of my friends with pets keep them safe and hold them next to your hearts, because I never want anyone I care about to go through what that poor woman was going through tonight.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Blog Spam

What the hell is the deal with people who spam blog comments? I just got my first one, and someone else had mentioned this in another blog post: can't they even bother to figure out the language the blog is posted in, and spam appropriately?

Lazy spammers suck.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

I've been remiss in adding any blog entries. Jeez. I hadn't realized it's been so long. I hope everyone had a really great holiday season, and best wishes for a healthy, happy 2008!

Updates on:

Work: We moved our offices to the Google MTV campus. Our bathrooms all have washlets (as shown in the last entry), but I've been afraid to use one! Just in case it misses or something.

Paper thief: I put the darned flour-filled paper out I don't know HOW many Saturdays in a row. No bites. But one morning, I was headed out with the flour-filled "bait paper" under one arm, and the dog leash in the other hand and I caught my neighbor as he was starting to head down my sidewalk. He freaked out, jumped and yelled and I was standing there saying, "Jeez, you ok?". It didn't dawn on me until about 10 min later than grown men don't freak out like that unless they're doing something wrong. Interesting... he's someone I'd steer clear of anyway (he screams in his sleep... anyone that has THAT violent of dreams is someone I do not want to encounter in the dark), but I never imagined that he was the paper thief. My paper has not been stolen since September.

Holidays: My usual luck with getting the short-end of the Christmas-weather-stick was absent this year. It usually snows, freezing rains, etc., whenever I visit Eastern WA. Couple of snow flurries this year, but nothing that stuck. The real news came when my flight leaving SFO was delayed for 4 hours, causing me to miss my connecting flight in Seattle, and Alaska Airlines was unable to swing getting me to Eastern WA for TWO DAYS. Luckily I have friends in Seattle and was able to spend a lot of time with my friend, Maria, AND get a lot of flat presents so they'd fit in my luggage. It all worked out great, as I'd wanted to have a 2-day layover in Seattle to see my friends there, and it was just too complicated to book.

Family: Most of my family is great, and I had a lot of fun seeing most of them for the holidays. But I have a step-dad for sale. Real cheap. In fact, I'd probably pay someone to take him off my hands.

Health: Well, it was great till a co-worker came to work sick. I fought it off for awhile, but a much-needed deep-tissue massage brought it out in full force. I was sick with it for 2.5 weeks and off the bike for 2 of those... It has wiped me completely out. I hope it didn't set my training back, but who knows? My HR was been out of control on rides the past few days (only been back on the bike for 5 days). It seems to be dependent on my fatigue and I saw a noticeable gain in HR when I got tired on yesterday's ride. All these years of training and it was only apparent YESTERDAY. I just stopped looking at my HR and rode by perceived effort. My power data was decent, so I think I'm ok.

On today's ride (before the storm), I got a cute pic of a feral cat on the bike path in Foster City. I had to circle back because the cat reminded me of the original cat from: (thanks to Courtenay and a co-worker of mine for pointing me to this cute site). I think I'll title it: THOSE BE MAH FRISKIES!