Friday, November 5, 2004

Comfort Inventory I

I parked our second vehicle in the garage for the winter. (So what if it's a two-wheeler, and the foyer is where it's propped.)  On Wednesday, I asked my students from the Northeast how late into the year it seems sensible to ride a bicycle to campus.  Turns out they're mostly not bike-riders.  Except the one from Rhode Island.  He said it's considered risky to ride when the temp dips below 25 F. Today, the wind feels like 35 F.  No sense in taking a chance.

Forgot my book of codes at home this morning and so when the 8:30 a.m. bunch showed up at the computer cluster, we were locked out.  Crisis averted, I managed to track down someone who had the six digit magic pass in her digi-memory--a fancy-pants palm pilot. Probably could use one of those.  Of course, I could have called D. back at home except that I also forgot my cell phone, and I still can't remember our new home phone number after the 315 part.  Mind's been busy with other stuff.

In mobile technology woes, my laptop--the unforgivable Sony VGNS150--is off, via shipping carton, to the repair tech.  Sometimes it turns on.  Other times, no.  Shit breaks; I get that.  But the time I've wasted uploading fixes and patches, IMing Sony analysts through two long back-forth-going-nowhere sessions, and shouting numbers into hard-ah-hearing phone bots: agonizing. Timing couldn't be worse.

My favorite eighth-grade hoopster didn't make the cut.  Undersized, I guess, and scrapping with giants.  But I sure was glad to have him on my team for the four games of four on four we won tonight in Flanagan Gymnasium.  Between my high-post living and Ph.'s backdoor cuts, it was a cinch. Grubbing at the lay-up buffet. 

Returned 37 essays and invention portfolios to 105ers this morning.  Phew! Wrote elaborate responses to eighteen of them yesterday.  I would have rewarded myself with a blog entry and a Newcastle Brown.  But I only made it to the Brown.

Tomorrow: nine essays to read on everything from imagistic argument (continuing Handa) and public sphere-civic discourse (ala continuation of Lakoff's Moral Politics) plus one more chapter from Gramsci. And those projects.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at November 5, 2004 9:22 PM to Unspecified

You can ride all year if you're hardcore, even in the NE. See They even have reviews of Nokian studded bike tires for traction on ice.

Posted by: Johndan at November 5, 2004 11:01 PM

I appreciate the link. I haven't figured out whether I'm hardcore or not. Route I ride, I'm on and off (soon-to-be-icy) pavement enough that'd I'd probably need some grab-enhanced tires.

Posted by: Derek at November 6, 2004 6:35 PM

Thanks, Johndan, for the cool link. Some personal rules of thumb from a hardcore rider: you need a mountain bike with big crunchy tires, and you need fenders to keep the road goo off your butt. You need booties over your cycling shoes, and a couple of layerable pairs of sox. You need full-finger gloves; a balaklava; a high-collar insulated cycling jacket; and winter tights. It takes me 5-10 minutes to dress for winter cycling, which I do down to 0� wind chill, though at those temps, a half hour is the max. After that, both you & your water bottle freeze, despite all the gear you're wearing. & about that water bottle: keep one out on the kitchen counter at room temp, so that it won't freeze quite as fast when you hit the road. & about those roads: you can ride just fine in snow and slush, but I wouldn't get on icy roads, even with the biggest-studded tires in the world. But otherwise, I ride. If I didn't, I'd get horrible cabin fever. (Though snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are nice substitutes.) Plus the SAD is a little less heinous if you're getting regular outdoor time, even with the constant cloud cover.
Welcome to the Frozen Northeast, dood.

Posted by: senioritis at November 7, 2004 11:00 AM

re: Balaklava--yummy date-nut pastry? Guess not. This is a wonderfully thorough, if discouraging, guide. Looks like I'll be hoofing it most of the winter. Andy why's this the first I've heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder? I can't find anything about it on the CCR web site.

Posted by: Derek at November 7, 2004 11:28 AM

I have a Sony Clie PEG-S360 (i.e. a Palm) that I am no longer using. I'd be happy to drop it in the mail, if you think it would be useful.

Posted by: George at November 7, 2004 7:27 PM

I've been riding every day since moving to Springfield. Lola drives to KC once per week. I start my SUV on Saturdays to make the dreaded trip to Lowes. Other than that, both stay parked. The benefits are showing up in my health, peace of mind, and pocket book. It appears I'll be able to ride most of the winter; I'll bag it and walk on the really cold days.

I miss KC. But the job is working out well.


Posted by: acline at November 8, 2004 8:16 PM

Thanks for the offer, George. I'll send off an email to work out the details.

We had our first substantial snow today, Andy; I miss a few things about KC. Health, peace of mind, and pocket book--those were the days. ;)

Lots to be said for biking and walking. I'll have to get more creative as the winter piles on its cold-nasty fury. A guy I played ball with last Friday said that among cities of more than 100k people, Syracuse gets the most snow. Good to know the job's going well.

Posted by: Derek at November 8, 2004 9:12 PM

We *should* get S.A.D. on the CCR website. I can send you info on the lightbox I bought second year--every morning I eat peanut butter toast, drink tea, and play Cubis for 20 minutes in front of the blessed sun god idol...

Posted by: Susan at November 11, 2004 7:59 PM

Sunshine--gonna need that. If it's brighter than the flourescents that give my office its warm glow, I definitely need to get more info on the lightbox.

Posted by: Derek at November 12, 2004 4:09 PM