• 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.

  • Bad-Ass Brewing

    Morning weigh-in: 189.5#, 14.5% BF

    Anne asked me to use that title… We brewed yesterday, and since we brewed outside, and it still gets dark early, and we got a late start, we ended up brewing “into the night” last night. Not that deep into the night, we were done by 8:30 but the steam rising into the dark from our brew pot was pretty damn cool.

    We’re making an oatmeal stout, one we’ve made before, a clone of  “Navish’s Oatmeal Stout” from that Best of Brew Your Own compendium. I’d never even heard of this particular beer outside our recipe, so I don’t know how true to the original it really is, but we loved it when we made it last year for Christmas. We strayed this time from the recipe as written though, mainly by not following instructions closely enough — our oats went into the mash rather than the boil, oops — and we also deliberately hopped it up a bit more than the original recipe. The wort tasted great (if a bit hoppy, oops), and though the original gravity was only 1.022 (indicating to me either a lack of sugar, thus likely a low final alcohol content, or a mis-calibrated hydrometer), the beer is actively, happily fermenting  away just a few feet from me right now.

  • Sunday Morning

    Morning weigh-in: 190.5#, 14.5%

    It’s chilly again, and rainy out to boot, so I’m just chilling at home. Anne is playing violin with one of her concert friends, and later we’ll be brewing beer, but right now I’m enjoying my lethargy.

    We did a short ride yesterday, with our friend Shari W, going over to Southside where we picked up our brewing supplies, grabbed some take-out at Tulum, and then went over to Bonn Place for a long, liquid, late lunch. Allie was working behind the bar, and Erin popped in for a bit — we have mutual friends, and she lives in the neighborhood so that’s her hangout — and eventually Shari’s husband Rick joined us, so it was a good convivial afternoon. But I discovered once again, the hard way once again, that I am not much of a day drinker: when we got home all I wanted was to go to bed even though it was like 6:00. Two beers — maybe three? Party animal!

    We made a roast beef for dinner, and stayed up long enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour.


  • I’m Just Here For The Weigh-In

    Morning weigh-in: 189.5#, 15.5% BF

    Solid trainer workout last night, followed by a pretty sparse dinner, and there you have it. I’m heading out in a few minutes to take a photo of the last bike-parking art installation over on Southside, which will finish up the Bethlehem bike-parking map project… Soon I’ll be heading back to my old projects — Lehigh Valley routing engine, LANTA bus stops and routes for OpenStreetMap, etc, and we may have a new project (3D  terrain models made from layers of CNC laser-cut plywood), but for now I’m sort of “on vacation.”

    Anyway and in other words, not much going on.


  • All Caught Up!

    Morning weigh-in: 190.5#, 14.0% BF

    Well I’ve been so busy (sooooo busy!) that I haven’t had time or inclination for blogging. I got that CAT/NCC mapping project done, with nine routes  in total mapped: two from Easton, two from Nazareth and five from Bethlehem. There were a few other things on the agenda as well, which made even my exercise commitments difficult — I still get in my yoga, but there were a few days where I was basically doing a “50 push-up challenge,” to say nothing of the trainer workouts… But I did get in today’s trainer ride, and my push-ups are all done, so now I’m ahead of the game for the evening — which is good because Anne’s ukulele band is practicing here tonight, starting in an hour: workouts were “now or never” when I did them a few minutes ago.

    Anyway, here are a few pictures from this Saturday’s Women’s March on Philadelphia.

  • Too Much Pork For Just One Fork

    Morning weigh-in: 192.5#, 14.0% BF

    Whoops! That’s been up like that for a day or so now — we’ve been eating pulled pork, more puled pork and leftover pork for the last few days too, so I see a pattern. I did get in a trainer workout Tuesday night, but I also found myself struggling, pushing harder than I thought necessary to get my heart rate up — morning yoga/weights/push-ups seem harder over the last few days too. Natural slump? Over-training? I plan to just work through it.

    I went to the allergist yesterday. It was good to see her, get updates on my allergy sensitivities — not much has changed — and get some good advice (and medication) for dealing with my eczema. We’ll see how the new regimen works out.

    Meantime, I’ve been working on some Maps for CAT. Here’s a sample; it’s a work in progress but I feel pretty good about it. I actually used my routing program to do the directions — with a little bit of human editing!

    Bicycle route map: Nazareth to NCC
    Cycling route: Nazareth to NCC

  • Passing Through

    Morning weigh-in: 190.0#, 13.0% BF

    Another night out at Brew Works, this time with Anne and Donna (and without the burger). No trainer workout either, though I’m still faithfully doing my yoga and my push-ups. They come in handy when I feel chilly: rather than turning the heat up in the house, I turn up my own heat…

    It’s pretty damn cold out again, by the way, though there is no snow. I may do a towpath ride in a minute, or I may hop on the trainer. We’ll see.


  • All Better Now

    Morning weigh-in: 190.5#, 14.5% BF

    Looks like those numbers are back to normal — thanks to a cheeseburger and a couple of beers! Went out solo to Brew Works last night. I ran into Greg H and Laurie  with some of his high school friends, but they showed up not long before I left — it was nice to see them, but I was feeling the beer and the burger, and I was pretty tired. Which is why it was so weird when I woke up around 3:00 or 4:00, and couldn’t go back to sleep. No indigestion, no hangover or anything like that, just toss and turn, and I got up early…

    So now I’m just working on another CAT map project: commuter routes for Northampton Community College students. They want some recommended routes that students, who may not be the strongest or most confident cyclists (at least at first), would be comfortable riding; they are looking for routes from Bethlehem, Easton and Nazareth, and I’m doing multiple routes (easy, more direct, etc). After I/we get the routes hashed out I’ll be looking into how to present them, probably a printed map of some kind.

  • Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone

    Morning weigh-in: 187.0#, 16.5% BF

    Not sure what’s going on there with the weigh-in, but I figure that if you keep hitting them with sledgehammers the walls will eventually come down. Of course, I’d like to think that the “wall” in this case was that logjam in my official weight, but sledgehammers are two-edged swords, so to speak, and this sudden drop in weight could be a sign that I’ve been overdoing things. I got in a short trainer workout last night, that’s two nights in a row, so today will only be the morning yoga and the push-ups and we’ll call that a rest day. No idea what’s going on with the body fat; it’s usually low when I’m dehydrated, maybe this is the opposite.

    Then again, it could all be due to my dinner last night: basically I ate half of a leftover cheese tray and not much else. I was planning to go out to eat, but it was raining so hard and I was tired…

    It’s beautiful and mostly sunny today even if cold, but Anne is in New York, at a knitting convention with her sisters. They left yesterday in the rain, to try and beat the worst of the winter storm which came down last night. She may be home today, or stay through until tomorrow depending on the group consensus. I’ll try to eat right until she gets home.


  • In Memory of Elizabeth Rivera

    Morning weigh-in: 190#, 14.5% BF

    I never knew her name; amongst ourselves we always referred to her as “Little One” because she was so small. Short, tiny even, and with a sweetly smiling, childlike (almost doll-like) face, though her voice had a rough edge and could be filled with anger. She was homeless, but she was always clean and well-dressed, and she was already a fixture when I moved to Bethlehem — sometimes you’d see her hanging in Wired Café, or passing through Brew Works to use the bathroom, or sitting at a little table she’d set up on Broad Street, selling handmade knick-knacks. Local vendors liked her and helped her out a bit.

    She was hit by a car and killed crossing Broad Street this week. (Some more about her here and here.) So sad — it’s a tragedy no matter who was killed, but this just seems worse because I know who she was, and her life seemed so tough.


  • Map Quest, Bitchfest

    Morning weigh-in: 189.5#, 15.5% BF

    I want to sit down with Scott S and a large paper map of the Lehigh Valley, like the folding kind we all kept in our cars before Google Maps came along, so we can sketch out some of the recommended bike routes for my map routing project. So, I need to get a map. I tried the local CVS (no maps), a local gas station (maps of  New Jersey, Philly and Reading — WTF? — but nothing for our area), and the local market (nope). The market was 0 for 2, since I also needed a new battery, one of those coin-shaped ones and they didn’t have those either.

    I also went on Garmin Connect to look for some of my old rides in Jim Thorpe, and I found that their “Explore Activities” feature, which is  basically the search page for activities, was broken. The tech support chat guy went through the usual “have you tried clearing your cookies?” bullshit — no I am not going to clear my cookies, some of them are useful, and the problem is on your server, doofus. It took a while to even get him to know what I was talking about, like giving him URL’s to his own company’s website, and he eventually was able to reproduce the problem, but he had no answer, no timeline for a fix, and he even sort of intimated that the engineers will get around to it when they feel like it.

    Meantime I was looking at the VMB website last week, where I ran into a problem with the calendar. I posted something about it to the forum — no response, Facebook PM’ed the guy who used to run the site — no response. Today I used the website contact form, which sends an email to club leadership — so far, crickets.

    What’s gone wrong with the world?

    So anyway, I did a basement trainer workout last night, then we went out to The Mint. Today was an outdoor ride, out to the community college and back.