Thursday, January 13, 2005

Injuries abound

Looks like the injuries are piling up on the broomball team. I started it off last week by bruising a rib (or pulling a rib muscle, or something) last Friday. My rib kept me off the ice for Tuesday nights double header, but our team suffered even more devastating injuries that night ... our fearless leader dislocated (then relocated) his shoulder, another guy torqued a knee, and another guy bruised a rib (yep - another rib injury). At this rate, one of us will surely die by season's end. That's assuming we have enough players to finish the season.

So anyway, my rib hurt a little on Saturday, and probably wasn't helped much when I carried that futon frame 6 blocks from the old apartment. The antics Sunday night had me laughing WAY too hard, and I think that aggravated it too. By mid week I was starting to feel OK ... then I went to spinning class, and I could feel it getting aggravated again, but we were in the middle of a 45 minute hill, and damned if I wasn't going to stick it out for the whole class. So I wrapped my chest in an ace bandage at home afterwards, in hopes of cradling it a little, but I don't know that it helped. Today, it's bothering me quite a bit. I think I set myself back a few days by doing that spin class. Stupid stupid stupid.

Observant people at work would notice that something's wrong with me - rather than opening doors by hand, I'm using the handicapped button to open them, something I NEVER do. There are only a few people at my workplace with physical disabilities requiring them to use the button - but TONS of other able-bodied people use the buttons anyway - just out of laziness, best as I can tell. Just how lazy does a person have to get before opening a door - for yourself - becomes too immense a task?!? I mean, when does that button begin to look enticing? And just how incredibly lazy have we as a species become?!? Why don't more people scoff at those button?

So, I'm a bit of a hypocrite today, but I really want to minimize stress on this rib in any way possible. Also trying to minimize laughing, sneezing, or coughing. Ugh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The bus rocks my world

I'm a bit of an alternative transportation nut, as evidenced by many of my posts here - I own a little Honda, but I'd much rather walk, ride my bike (or kickbike for shorter trips around my neighborhood, < 2 miles or so), or ride the bus - I ride the bus to work almost every day, and various other places as well (downtown, campus, etc.)

Why do I love the bus, you ask???

1) It's super convenient - I literally have door-to-door service from home to work and back again.

2) It's much less stressful than driving - I often read or even catch some zzz's on the bus, and I'm usually pretty good at waking up before my stop (not always though - sometimes I sleep through my stop and wake up somewhere further down the line and end up either walking home or waiting for another bus running back in the opposite direction.)

3) When I'm on the bus, there's one less single passenger vehicle polluting and clogging up the roadways

4) you get to overhear (occasionally interesting) conversations. My favorites are cell phone conversations when the person is using codewords in hopes that others won't ascertain the real topic of their conversation. Like the guy who was bitching to a friend about his ex-girlfriend and the STD she gave him. Note to that guy: simply referring to an STD as "the gift" is NOT sufficient to keep people from knowing that your genitals are polluted. Get a clue, dude.

5) you get to see some pretty funny stuff. Story: Since the routes through south/southwest Minneapolis were restructured in December, the frequency of buses that could get me to work has decreased, and the remaining ones can be pretty packed. By the time the bus reaches my place, it's pretty full, and I often end up sitting up front near the driver. So one day, I'm sitting up front, and across from me sits a hispanic woman, with two seats open next to her on her right. The bus stops, and two middle aged, overweight women (OWW1 and OWW2) board. The less overweight of the two (OWW1) takes the open seat furthest from the hispanic woman, leaving about *half* an open seat between the two of them. OWW2 looks around for an open seat, then I hear her mutter, "I'll just squeeze in here" and starts moving to squeeze between OWW1 and the hispanic woman. In that split second, the hispanic woman realizes what's about to happen, and she bolts - I mean rockets - out of her seat to the back of the bus. You should have seen the look of fear on her face. FEAR. I had all I could do to stifle my laughter.

This, my friends, is why riding the bus rocks my world.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Just another Sunday night

Those who know me know that I generally like to chill out on Sunday nights - relax after what is sometimes a busy weekend and mentally prepare for the week ahead. The plan for tonight was to get burritos w/NQTYD, nonameslob, and CB, and then watch a movie. The burritos happened. The movie didn't, but lots of other weird stuff did. As captured in these photos. NQTYD will blame this all on his caffeine induced anti-stupor but we know better. I'm leaving these photos without captions, because I really think they speak for themselves. I don't know exactly what they're saying, but I think it's good.

(And in case anyone's wondering, yes, that is the infamous Mallet of Deathâ„¢ making an appearance in one or two of these shots. Mallet of Deathâ„¢ appears courtesy of JK aka TP.)

Ice riding

CB fishing around in an ice fisher's hole

CB at one of the forbidden islands on Lake of the Isles

Yours truly on Cedar Lake (you can kind of see hidden beach in the background over my left shoulder [right side of the image]).

This weekend I was heading out to make my weekly bike run to Whole Foods, when I realized that with Lake Calhoun frozen over, I could easily take a shortcut across the lake instead of taking the Midtown Greenway over. The ice conditions were perfect - just enough snow to provide some traction, but at the same time allow you to lock up your brakes and do some fun skidding around if you tried.

CB lives across the lake, so I stopped over and he grabbed his old mountain bike and we headed out onto Calhoun for a little ice riding. We cruised around on Lake Calhoun, under the Lake St bridge (thankfully it was well frozen under there - last year that area was pretty questionable.) Checked out the islands on Isles, then headed to check out the Isles ice rink. I was pretty impressed - they have a huge area cleared of snow, and there were lots of folks out there enjoying the great conditions. Talked briefly with a couple who were ice skating on the uncleared part of the lake - the guy asked if I had ever ridden with studded tires - I said "no, too much labor involved in making a pair, plus the studs wear down quickly on pavement." He told me that he knew some guys who raced motorbikes on the ice, and they made their own studded motorcycle tires - which involved screwing in 1200 sheet metal screws into each tire. Like I said, too much labor! But I suppose, some people knit in the winter, others make studded tires ... to each his own.

Next we road the creek over to Cedar Lake - there are some really pretty nice homes along the creek - in the summer, you can't see them behind all the foliage, but in the winter it's pretty obvious that some folks have some cash stuck in their homes. By the time we got out to cedar, we were getting cold from heading into the wind, so back to Calhoun we went. I mentioned to CB that there's a big pressure ridge jutting from the ice on the east side of the lake, and CB wanted to check that out. Tried to take some photos, but my camera battery died (probably the cold) so I'll have to head out again someday to capture that.

By this point, the wind had really picked up, and we really struggled to get back across that Lake to CB's place. Luckily, the wind was with me on the way back across the Lake when I headed home, so I totally flew - it practically pushed me the whole way.

Fall 2005 New York trip plans? Discuss.

I'm opening this thread so BS, JK, and I can discuss plans for a Fall 2005 trip to New York, New York. If we post our thoughts as comments to this thread, we can keep all our thoughts in one place and avoid all the sifting through emails.

Specifically, I think we should start a list of sites we wish to see, so we can figure out a reasonable trip duration from that.

For my other readers, if you've been to NY and want to recommend some "not-to-be-missed" attractions (especially any that are off the beaten path and therefore likely to be overlooked) feel free!

Dates proposed by Brad:
9/15 to 9/18 (or 9/19)
9/22 to 9/25 (or 9/26)

Search engine hits

So I just recently added a referrer tracker to this blog a few weeks ago. I just noticed that one poor soul stumbled into TheImpossibleThrill while searching for "kickbike Chicago".

Interesting. This means more people have found my blog searching for Chicago than for Minneapolis. I suppose this makes sense, since I rarely need mention my town in these posts - it's just assumed that events take place in Minneapolis unless stated otherwise.

Well, let's see if we can remedy this: Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis.

Maybe that will help.