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My Archives: August 2002

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Biking did not go so great yesterday. I got kinda a late start and it was pretty cold out. I also couldn't help but notice that it looked like rain was imminent. I parked my car in the parking lot to the bike path and broke out my nifty new hand pump.

I bought this little portable hand pump for my bike so that if I forgot to pump up my tires before I leave the house I could do it right before I hop on the trail. A brilliant plan. I unscrewed the cap for the tire and attached the pump to immediately hear all of the air in my tire drain out nearly instantaneously. No amount of reattachment or enthusiastic pumping would do anything to inflate the tire in the slightest bit. Could it be that I was simply too stupid to know how to use this rather ordinary bike pump. Could very well be.

Disgusted I reached for my shorts to cover up my horrendous spandex covered ass. I guessed that I would have to drive to the nearest bike shop and buy an easier moron level bicycle pump. Then I shut the back door to my car. Damn! My keys were in the car. And the back door was now locked. No problem, I thought. I have a spare key. Can you guess where the spare key was? Just guess. I'll give you three guesses. Nope. Uh uh. Yup! In the car. Wonderful.

I stood there for a couple of minutes just walking around checking all the doors a few times (always a sign of grave desperation). No luck. So now I had to formulate a plan. The way I saw it I had two options: 1.) Call AAA and just hope to god that their computers are too stupid to realize that I never paid them my membership fees and that my membership officially ended four months earlier, or 2.) Bust my back window with a rock.

I then decided to try the first option before the very expensive second option. Normally I am quick to complain about cell phones and people with them but I was quickly grateful that every living man woman and child now owns a cell phone. I asked the first guy I saw if he had a cell phone and, sure enough, he did. I called AAA, crossed my finger and... they bought it! They totally didn't even realize that I'm not a member any more. What are the odds of that?

So I exchanged all of the necessary information with the woman on the other end and then sat on a wall freezing my ass off for the next hour and a half. I even had to eat all of my cycling food so by the time all was said and done it was 5:30 I was cold and hungry and in no shape for a bike ride. Damn.

I leave for Cape Cod tonight but Weatherbug says it's going to rain for the next couple of days. Damn you, cruel fate.

Posted by chefelf @ 11:51 AM EST [Link]

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Weird things are happening to me. I've spent the last month doing a lot of cycling. For someone like me who is generally inactive to spend 5 out of 7 days of the week on a bike is pretty amazing. There is this strange thing going on in my abdomen. Under the 1/2 inch thick layer of flab is a strange hard substance (dare I say "muscle") that seems to be developing. The thing is it's really hard like rock.

Normally I'll do some weird things during the summer (i.e. playing softball, kayaking, rock climbing) but I'll only do each thing once and will shrug it off as a weird one time thing. Now I feel like biking all the time. Even when I'm tired I want to bike. I end up biking close to 100 miles a week and treating it like a full time job mostly because I lack a full time job. People that are close to me are wondering what the hell is up with me and quite frankly so am I.

Being on the bike is really soothing for some reason. I've spent a great deal of time biking all over northern Rhode Island and I feel like I have a much better sense of where I'm from because of it. There are places within a few miles of my house that I've seen a million times from a car but I've never really seen them before. You just don't get a very good sense of the area you live just driving through it on a car. Now I'm behind the streets on paths, coasting through the woods and for the first time in my life getting a true sense of my surroundings. No I truly know what Providence looks like. I can scarcely imagine a better way to see an area than on a bike.

I go to Cape Cod this weekend in my annual trip to visit a friend. My bike is coming with me and I'm doing all the trails. I may go to Montreal next week and, if so, the bike comes too.

When I was young I laughed at the thirtysomethings who had rediscovered biking and jogging and the like. I thought that they were nothing more than ridiculous fools who were kidding themselves. Now that I'm looking at it from this end I see it completely differently. In what has been a kinda bleak summer this has been a really rewarding experience and has certainly opened my eyes to a lot of things I've been ignorant to in the past.

I'm sorry that this wasn't at all funny. I let you all down.

Posted by chefelf @ 01:08 PM EST [Link]

Wednesday, August 7, 2002

I seem to have come down with a terrible sickness. It's the type of sickness that leaves me lying on the couch with my laptop watching TechTV. Some may argue that I spend most of my time engaging in such activities when I'm well. To those people I say: "Touche!"

When watching TechTV for an entire day one must be prepared to watch the same show over and over and over again until you can literally recite entire lines of dialogue from memory. As we speak I'm watching "The Tech of Military Diving" for the third time.

When watching a TV channel with such limited programming one must also be prepared to see the same commercial over and over as well. The commercial du jour is one of those Radio Shack commercials with Teri Hatcher and Howie Long. I must confess that I've never thought too much of these commercials in the past but the latest installment has left me spellbound and speechless.

The commercial is quite artfully done. Teri and Howie are facing each other with laptop computers so that it looks like they are engaged in a game of Battleship. When the camera revolves around the table one of their heads will block the shot for a moment causing the other to turn into a 10 year old. Here their comic banter turns serious as we get a glimpse into their respective childhoods.

They are both busy at work making insulting caricatures of the other and printing them out. It is here that we realize the children inside them are responsible for these insulting images and that we're just seeing inside of their minds. When the camera spins one last time they turn into adults and Howie shows his picture to Teri. It turns out that he doesn't show Teri the scathing affront his inner child had cooked up but rather a simple page that says, "Happy Birthday, Teri."

When Teri sees this her expression becomes noticeably more serious as she becomes more attuned to the gravity of the situation. "Well let's see yours?" Howie says. Teri is quick to crumple up the portrait of Howie she had made. Her expression shows an awkward flattery that can only occur when someone realizes for the first time that someone else is in love with them. Howie loves Teri. Clearly she is amazed that she is only now realizing this. What's more is that Teri seems to be wondering if perhaps she has loved Howie all along as well.

The commercial ends like a season of Friends. I am now stuck wondering what's going to happen between the two of them with some anonymous Enya song playing in my head. For the first time ever I care about those two crazy kids. I care about them more than I've ever cared about anything. Please, Radio Shack, don't make me wait too long to find out how it all unfolds!

Posted by chefelf @ 06:52 PM EST [Link]

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