Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cold, colder, coldest

NC cooled off this last week. I rode into work on Monday on what turned out to be the coldest day so far of Autumn. Brisk wasn't the word for it. At about seven miles into the ride I realized I could no longer feel my feet properly. I set off in the dark at the moment (until the clocks go back), so I never even saw the frost on the ground till I was nearly at work.

I also rode in on Thursday and Friday. I'd prepared better for the cold weather so it wasn't quite as bad, or as cold. And I managed to get over 75 miles in bike commuting miles in this week ... over 1,500 since March 17th.

Unrelated, but I ate lunch with my ex-boss at the company's expense this week, and had a milk chocolate creme brulee for dessert. I was full before starting, but there was no way to not eat all of this. It was ohmigod good. I was so full at the end that I couldn't even manage a second cup of coffee. It was at Maggiano's. If you ever get a chance to eat it, don't pass it up.

Friday, October 21, 2005

rolling along

The back wheel on my bike is fixed and I rode into work today for the first time in about three weeks. I didn't realize how much I'd missed it until I swung my leg over the crossbar last night setting up.

It was a dark start. The light I have on the front is barely adequete. I guess it means the cars can pick me out, but it's not great for picking up road hazards. Somehow that just adds to the excitement of the ride.

And 86F yesterday, 80F+ today. Can't wait till my ride home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Thanks for the congratulations on my becoming a US citizen. Don't worry, I still put my socks on one at a time - the day after my ceremony I tried putting them on both at once and that was hard.

Sancho - yes they do still ask if you're a member of the communist party, and of course I said no. What's the big deal anyway ? I thought Ronnie had taken care of the Commie threat ?! Of course with my naturalization certificate in hand I went straight round to Commie HQ and signed up. The only real complaint was the tattooing of the Red Star onto my butt, but sitting is as easy as it ever was now.

The weather is starting to cool in the mornings now - in fact, it's sweater time in a morning. This being NC though, on the way out this afternoon it will be 80F+. I'm intending to ride in tomorrow AM - dressing appropriately for the ride in will be different from the ride home.

The back bike wheel is being rebuilt by James, my bike mechanic. Eight miles into my last ride I heard a brief musical ping as the third spoke in three months gave way. James suggested a complete rebuild, which costs $60. That means I need to ride in twice a week for the next five weeks to break even. I like this kind of math, it allows me to feel like I'm getting some payback from my expenditure.

Hmm, should my bike have a name ? So far, with the red and white frame, black and yellow wheels and blue and black saddle the best name that's been suggested is Mutt.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A big day for me

Today I became an American citizen. My oath ceremony was in Charlotte which meant a 6:30am start. Laura came with me. We got there in good time, in order that we could sit around for another 1.5 hours waiting for the wheels of government bureaucracy to gradually turn - man, when I retire I want a government job.

Eventually we started. There was a video with stirring images and passionate patriotic American music - I have to say, it brought out the cynic in me. I like where I live, but it did feel a little cheesy. The main act was good though. He was the director of the center and was leading the pledge ceremony. He not only had a good easy style and was funny, but he also gave out a ton of great information to help people get their families in as permanent residents or US citizens. We then said the pledge (the under God bit rankled I'm afraid) and get our certificates of naturalization. That was actually quite cool - Laura was a little more emotional than me about it, but I enjoyed the moment. Then we got to see a message by none other than Geroge W, one of the big reasons for me to become a citizen in the first place. I'm looking forward to negating a Republican vote.

Now where did I leave that application form for the Communist party ... ?