Did a century ride (100 miles) with Tim and Jesse on Saturday. Brought a lot of gear with me in my Camelbak, two full waterbottles, toolbag, pump--I was loaded down. That meant I was heavy. Not so good on the uphills, but on the downhills heavier cyclists move faster. On one hill on the way into Enumclaw, I ripped down the hill and hit 46.8 miles per hour, my all-time top speed.
When I'm flying down hills, I think two things. One: if I should get the wobbles, or my front tire catches on something and falls off, I will likely die. Two: this is living!
Three weeks until I have to climb the Alps in France, and I'm just not in the shape I'd like to be. Frustrating. Coulda, shoulda, woulda ridden more miles. Too much work. Blah blah blah. No excuses. Salads for the next three weeks.
During a bike ride of that distance, one encounters many things. A couple hundred manhole covers and sewer grates. About several dozen instances of roadkill. And a few obnoxious hillbillies in their pickup trucks, unwilling to share a few feet of shoulder with fellow human beings on two wheels. To those $#@!%@'s who blast their horns or shout profanities or drive really close or swerve to knock us cyclists off the road, I wish a flat tire in the middle of the desert.

Hello, I'm not home

With the rise of voicemail, I imagine answering machine sales have flattened out. It means that one of the favorite scenes of filmmakers may become an anachromism. That's the scene where one character tries to reach another on the phone to apologize, or to warn them about something, and the person on the other end either refuses to answer the phone, can't get to the phone because they're in mortal danger, or misses the call because they're out. The phone clicks on and you here the voice while the filmmaker displays a closeup of the answering machine.
"Hey, it's me. Pick up if you're there. Please. I have something I have to tell you, so if you're there, it would be great if you'd pick up. [Pause] Okay, I guess you're not there. I just wanted to say that, well, I was wrong yesterday. What I said. I was, I don't know, scared. Listen, I love you. I'm crazy about you. This is killing me..."
"Fred, get out of there now! It was Johnson all along, he erased the tape. Look, I can't explain, just get out now."
[Fred is down on the floor, gagged and bound, lifting his head to stare longingly at the answering machine. All you see is the answering machine tapes spinning lazily.]

en fuego

In creative writing 101, you're taught to avoid metaphors of fire or heat because they're so cliched. "Burning passion." "Fires of inspiration." Stuff like that. One which still seems to slip through the cracks is "eyes like burning coals." I read that twice this weekend. I don't even get that one. Do eyes really look like burning coals? What do burning coals look like? I think of grilling when I think of burning coals, and no one I know has eyes that look like that.
En fuego is okay, though, but only when Dan Patrick uses it.

How to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later

Since Philip Dick is all the rage, here's an interesting essay by the man himself. Written in 1978.