Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sat, Feb 13

Planned to ride Diablo today, but arrived in Danville without arm- and legwarmers, so the quest ended at South Gate. The temperature was actually pleasant but didn't want to risk getting cold later, and then even more so racing downhills at 30mph. So it was a short venture today, and I was able to spend more time plucking weed in the afternoon. Sunday is supposed to be an even nicer day; the car's thermometer already read '73F' around noon today here in downtown. I might get away without the extra clothing tomorrow.

This evening, the battle between the Olympics coverage from Vancouver on NBC, and the Chinese New Year Show on KTSF from Beijing. While Beijing is 16 hours ahead, Vancouver is in the same timezone as San Francisco. I can understand that the CNY show is taped, but why the heck is the Olympics coverage not LIVE ?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sun, Feb 7

It's the time of year, when a certain nation assembles in front of big-screen TV's in homes and bars, in order to drink cheap beer and eat Doritos and chicken wings, to watch a 6-hour spectacle, where half of the time is spent on something called "Pre-Game show". It's the same time of year where it is OK to fall asleep on someone's sofa before sunset; and the same time when 40-year old's use the half-time break to throw a football in the backyard like 50 pounds and 20 years earlier, and when 20 minutes later, people arrive at the ER, hyper-ventilating, with torn ACL's because they went "deep".
During this hour-long spectacle, millions of dollars are spent on silly commercials mostly featuring geckos and watery substances, and men in suits and ties attempt to analyze each move in the game to the tiniest detail ("The torn shoe laces cost them the game"). The actual game technically only lasts 60 minutes, but it is stretched out over like three to four hours due to insertion of replays from eight different angles, players shown walking around unbuckling their helmets, slow-motion of players getting whacked, more commercials, and due to "I'm tired, I've been on the field for 48 seconds" breaks or timeouts in order to discuss dinner plans. Actual plays only last about 5 1/2 seconds, when players dribble around trying to confuse the opponent, while one guy tries to throw an oval ball to one of his team mates, without getting overrun by 350-pound humans wearing 35 pounds of padding and kitchen towels at their hip. A play ends when someone gets buried under four to five bodies of the opposing team, or fails to catch the ball (try round balls for a change!). The game usually ends with a bunch of people emptying a large water dispenser filled with Gatorade over some poor dude with giant headphones. Not sure why they don't show the Super Bowl on the Comedy Channel.

Anyway, my expectation today was that roads are deserted as usual on Sundays like this. For some odd reason though, it was pretty busy on the roads, either due to people having forgotten that Super Bowl is today, or that people were running late buying last minute essentials (read: cheap beer). The weather was not as sunny as the weatherman said, so while I was happy with the exercise, I wasn't with the cool wind and dark clouds today; even Mount Diablo didn't look inviting, and a fellow cyclist said that is was freezing coming down. For me, 35 miles, with the mandatory stop at Peets. Now, time for a nap.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tue, Feb 2

Today's Groundhog day, and apparently there are six more weeks of winter ahead. Since this tradition is not common here in the West, I hope that only the East continues to suffer from snow and ice, har har. The weather was rather nice last Sunday, sunny and temperatures closing in on 60F. The fifth ride of the year and last ride in January added 45 miles to my annual total of 156 miles; it's been always slow at the beginning of a year. I still haven't thought about any cycling goals for this year, but I think I'll take it easier than last year, while just trying to maintain the same fitness and fun level.

A fun story, first brought to my attention by Diablo Scott, is the attempt of some dude to rename Mount Diablo to Mount Ronald Reagan:

Mijares, a devout Christian, says he believes the word "Diablo" — Spanish for "devil" — is "derogatory and profane," according to the federal board report. Mijares was unavailable for comment Thursday.
In 2005, he attempted to change the name to Mount Reagan, but the board, citing its Commemorative Naming Policy, told him the late president needed to be dead for at least five years before receiving such an honor.

Well, good luck with that request.