• Category Archives day by day
  • This is the category closest to just being a plain diary. Places I go, things I do, people I see, what’s happening in my life.

  • The Fever Broke

    Pretty cool today, and rainy too. I’m just hanging out, arguing with people who are wrong on the Internet (Facebook specifically), claiming that pedestrians do not have the right of way at every crosswalk, whether marked or not. FYI: unless there are traffic lights to otherwise control the intersection, pedestrians do have the right of way at every crosswalk (which includes the implied continuations of sidewalks, etc. across and through an intersection), not just the ones that are marked. Now you know — and now so do they, but they won’t believe me…

    Meantime, I got in a few good rides this week, including one “hot lap” on the towpath: pushed the pace on the way out, then did intervals on the way back. I was beat up, but still managed to join Anne, John, Dianna and another rider for a more leisurely, evening towpath ride, followed by burgers & beer al fresco at Brew Works. (Anne and I did a nice rode into Easton the other night, and had a nice beer at Two Rivers.)

    I may take a walk over to Southside for some sort of lunch, where I will also be buying tickets for Southside Film Festival for tonight and tomorrow.


  • Gardener Blues

    Just got in from doing a spot of weeding in the front yard. The garden got away from us this spring, but as our free time slowly ramps back up we’ve been tackling it in bits and pieces. There has been a definite “two steps forward one step back” vibe to our efforts though.

    I’d grown a bunch of seedlings inside, and planted them out front a few weeks ago. Then just last weekend we bought a bunch of flowers (perennials: phlox and coneflowers, plus a few low, ground-cover things) at the nursery, and I planted them where the seedlings had been, because those had all been eaten by birds. We also picked up a box of ladybugs at the nursery, to deal with an aphid problem on our brown-eyed susans. We put the ladybugs out on Sunday night, and spent the week watching them in among the plants — they seemed happy, though I never saw them actually eating any of the aphids — but as of today they all seem to have disappeared. Aphids are doing fine.

    Anyway, the front garden is getting cleaned up (I just harvested our second bumper crop of weeds), and we have moved on to the beds out back, which all need a lot of love. I’m not saying I miss winter, but…

     

     


  • Where Does The Time Go?

    I’m not sure where it’s gone, but here I am all alone… Anne is at a knitting convention; she should be home tomorrow, but I’ve been on my own the past few days.

    So, what have I been up to, this past week and this past month? Lets see:

    Riding: I got out at Jacobsburg yesterday, and I got in a towpath ride the day before — a fairly hot lap too, for me and for this time of year, which I guess is why the ‘Burg was so tiring. Today I helped out with Bike Smart Easton (kid’s biking education program) at Calypso Elementary, but otherwise took it as a rest day, and tomorrow I may ride either Sals or Nox. I’m supposed to help with a Sals trash cleanup tomorrow, so that may influence my decision, one way or another.

    Travel: We just got back from visiting Emmi and Kyle in Durham, where we participated in the March for Science in Raleigh, among many other things, except riding: we did a run the first day we were there, and it was sunny for the march, but otherwise it was a rainy, rainy visit. Plenty of good but heavy food, some bookstores and coffee shops, and some really cool night spots — our typical Durham visit.

    We also did a short trip to Rehoboth Beach about a month ago, just a few days to do some riding and visit Dogfish Head Brewing.

    Reading: I’ve been obsessing over the “Expanse” series, by James S.A. Corey. More on this later but it’s some seriously good space opera, and I’ve read five of the six published books (out of a total of nine planned).

    I’ve also been doing a bit of volunteering at the Canal Museum, and also quite a bit of playing with the mapping software, but those’ll have to be other stories.


  • Brew Day

    Morning weigh-in: 192.0#, 14.0% BF

    (Those are the figures from yesterday morning.)

    We got up this morning at the crack of 10:00 AM  — thanks, Daylight Saving Time! — went for an easy mile run, and then after breakfast we got down to brewing. We’re doing it inside today because it’s just too windy out for the propane burner, so that means we’re stuck brewing for six hours on the stove burners instead of two on our “jet engine” of an outdoor system, but it is a nice day to just hang out.

    NEWS FLASH: Anne and I played a duet together today, for the first time ever! I broke out the cello and we played some of the things from the first Suzuki book. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” that sort of thing — all I could really handle, really… I’ve been resisting this for a while, but a friend came over and played with her the other day, and I realized I was no worse than she was, if not much better, so we gave it a try. Totally fun, but now I have to start practicing again.

    Yesterday was another mellow day at home, with a visit from Ray and Lorraine in the middle of it. We did get out for a walk in the afternoon, over to the Southside where we put in an order for our brewing supplies at Keystone, stopped in for a beer at Bonn Place, and then picked up our supplies on the walk home. Tonight we’ll probably do the usual with John and Donna.


  • Big Breezy Day

    Posted on by Don

    Morning weigh-in: 193.0#, 15.0% BF

    Not sure what happened there with the weight, except that there were several days without real exercise — hey but I did make my steps! — and last night was a night out with John. We did the Brew Works, our usual, where it was quiet, almost empty even when we arrived, but it eventually picked up. Anne and I had eaten a fairly healthy meal at home (lamb with cauliflower, delish) but I had a rye IPA and two glasses of mead, and I think that might be at least partly to blame for those numbers.

    In terms of rides, I just got back from one, down the towpath to Easton and back. It’s a beautiful day and, except for a strong breeze, cycling conditions were ideal. It’s hard to believe we’re expecting two to four inches of snow tomorrow.

     


  • I Am Not Your Negro

    Posted on by Don

    Morning weigh-in: 191.0#, 13.5% BF

    We saw I Am Not Your Negro last night, the the documentary about James Baldwin. Unbelievably good — it cut between Baldwin himself in speeches, interviews etc, other documentary footage from various eras (60’s era riots, lynchings, Ferguson) and movie footage, especially of movies from when he was a kid, with a voice-over of his writings (mostly musings from an unfinished project, a tribute to Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King — “three friends who had been murdered” as he put it at one point), read by Samuel L. Jackson. More a “time to face some things you already know but have trouble admitting” story than an eye-opener, the structure, and Baldwin’s own powerful words, made for a very intense movie.

    Highly recommended — go see it.

    Afterward we went to a nearby pub that shall remain nameless, where the food was good and the beer was pretty decent, but it seemed one of those places — there are a number of them in the Valley, on the outskirts of urban areas — where there were noticeably no black people. (Admittedly, there were few people at all in there, and those few were annoying, so maybe I had a sour view of things.) There was also a whiskey ad on the wall, a mocking take on “Black Lives Matter.” Nothing serious, maybe a bit “edgy,” passive-aggressive even, but hey free speech and where’s your sense of humor?

    It could almost have been a scene from the movie, like a substitute for the outtakes from “The Pajama Game,” while the voice-over talks about white apathy and the emptiness of American lives. I guess that’s what great art does to you, it sensitizes you to the things it showed you.

    Anyway, not much else got done yesterday, though I did manage to lose another half pound. No ride today, since I’m going over to volunteer at the Museum, but possibly a road ride tomorrow.


  • Bright New Monday!

    Morning weigh-in: 191.5#, 13.5% BF

    Did a towpath ride yesterday, ended up fighting headwinds again on the way back but it was a beautiful day. I can’t say I ate all that smart or light yesterday, but they were healthy meals at home, so that’s something.

    Today is a rest day: did a few online and IRL chores, and hopefully I will be heading in to help with more Bethlehem Steel drawings this afternoon at the Canal Museum. Breakfast was fruit with cottage cheese, lunch will be something in the same vein.

     


  • Home Sweet Home

    Morning weigh-in: 192.5#, 13.0% BF

    Oh yeah, I’m back to that….

    We are also back from a mini-vacation: several days in Montreal, followed by a few more in Northampton, Massachusetts — a week in total, Wednesday to Wednesday. Our plan was originally to do a little XC skiing somewhere in New England, but in the week before we left it became apparent that the weather would not cooperate, so we aimed further north. Even there, the weather was forecast to be weirdly warm, but we figured we’d find more things to do in a big city if the skiing didn’t pan out.

    And that’s exactly what happened: we visited the Biodome and Insectarium, and the art museum (“Chagall and music”), and sampled the local nightlife, and got in several good long exploratory walks through the city, including a hike up Mont Royal. Northampton was more bookstores and coffee shops, but we did get in a day hike, to the overlooks on Mt. Tom.

    We drove home on Wednesday, and were back into the maelstrom by Thursday. Friday I got in a morning towpath ride, and volunteered again at the Canal Museum, where I’m helping to evaluate old — like, circa 1900’s old — engineering drawings they’d acquired over the years from Bethlehem Steel. Yesterday was housework and food shopping…

    I may go for a ride this afternoon if it warms up, or a hike if it doesn’t.


  • Winterized

    There is still snow on the ground, but what’s been falling, overnight and all day so far, is freezing rain. Things have quieted down since last week’s big move, so today we slept in and are doing indoor hobby things: Anne is sewing upstairs, and I spent the morning getting various QGIS add-ons up and running.

    This is really a story for another post, but I’d had trouble running SAGA through QGIS (when I was doing those online courses), even though I had SAGA running on my laptop. There had been some upgrades since that misadventure, so I gave it another try the last week, but it was still broken. Then I got sucked in: I sat down and read the error logs, realized that QGIS was calling the SAGA routines with outdated command line parameters, and managed to batch fix the QGIS end of it — 250 commands fixed with a simple, multifile search-and-replace, two minutes and I was done. And it worked!

    I got so excited that I SAGA’ed the shit out of a bunch of data, realized I had no current use for the tool, and decided to install and play with a bunch of other processing add-ons, like hydrological (flow and runoff) modeling with TauDEM, satellite image processing using Orfeo, and statistics using R, which I already had installed. TauDEM and Orfeo seemed to work fine, but R didn’t so I spent some time getting that figured out. I think I like the idea of these tools more than actually using them, because I get a lot of satisfaction out of getting them to work.

    Anyway, there will be no outdoor sports activities today, or even outdoors at all given the general nastiness in the air (and slipperiness on the ground). We’ll probably go out to the usual later with John and Donna — we went out to Easton last night with them, but found Two Rivers and Porters both completely  full up, and Black & Blue still closed, so in effect we did the “Beermuda Triangle” without any beer, drove back to Bethlehem, and went instead to the Beef Baron, which was a nice change of pace.


  • Well the Groundhog Was Half Right

    Here we are, February already, and only now dealing with the first big snowfall  of the season… unfortunately, we only got about 5″ on the ground here, though other areas got quite a bit more — Anne’s sister is visiting from Connecticut, and called home to find that they got more than a foot “so far,” along with high winds and thunder. The ground is white here, and we had to shovel the cars out, but that’s really all she wrote. The snow is too shallow, and too wet, to be much good for winter fun. (It was a work day anyway: today was the day we moved Anne’s mom into her new place. Tomorrow will be more of the same, as we move her furniture and set up her apartment.)

    Yesterday was warm and sunny, literally in the sixties, it’s hard to believe the difference from then to now. I put my singlespeed back together yesterday — all it really needed was to have the tires and pedals put back on — then rode around the neighborhood all afternoon.