A simple girl in a complex world

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Drooling Fools, Indeeed, Muhahahah

Stay out of it, Hans!




Wednesday, June 04, 2003


Brian, I'd like to remind you that Jewel rhymes with drool and fool. Jewel - forever after to be known as Jool.


Off-road Road Bike

(Subtitled: "Uh oh.")

Vacation is such a good thing. The alarm rings at 5 a.m. I shun it. My poor spouse, who has opted to take vacation a day later than I, scuttles off to work. I awaken at 7 and begin my day.

I putz, I putter, and then I decide to get real things done (because dish-doing, laundry, and bed making are just normal, everyday chores). I take the bike out and hook it onto the bike rack contraption on my car, and off I go to the trail.

The weather is gorgeous. It feels much more like October than June (which is great when it's not rainy). I set out to do 10 or so miles at the local trail, which is twice around. I figure this will be amazingly easy compared to some of my earlier outings - weekends and holidays. And, indeed, the trail is quite empty. The only thing standing between me and a nice soothing (but sweaty) ride is a healthy, gusty, occasional wind.

Oh, and two innocent, slow-moving, widely spaced Islamic-looking women who decide to span the entire breadth of the trail.

Of course, the point at which they do this is right before the bridge, which is a small incline to cross over the lake itself. I try to be polite and go around, but there's just no room, and I veer off a bit too much to the left, having already braked. Oops, on the grass. Clip out right foot and lean right. Nope. Clip out left foot, and lean left, yep. Brake. Lean HARD left. Gently stop self with tree. Still in one piece; not on ground. Whee. That was fun.

All this within the first two miles? What else does my day hold? What quest awaits?




Monday, June 02, 2003

Tobacco Furor (rant rant info rant)

Today is obviously an ammunition-rich day for tobacco opponents.

First, we have this.

Next, my opinion on smoking. I'm proud of myself that I've abstained from presenting this until now.

1) If this were MY world, it wouldn't exist.
2) It's not allowed in my home, my car, and, if possible, anything I would define as my personal space.
3) When asked a smoking preference at a restaurant, I say "eradication." (No one seems to understand that, btw. So fun).
4) I completely miss the point of smoking. It's supposedly pleasurable. So are very many things in life that do not gradually and continually damage one's own body willingly (and irritate/exacerbate/cause lung disease/etc. in others). Everyday smokers are some pretty jumpy people, too, so I question some common sense about "smoking calms me down" when, in effect, the whole habit is probably what makes you jumpy in the first place. The smell (and residue) are revolting. Out of context (read: the non-smoking world) this all seems very, very strange.

HOWEVER. Currently, smoking is legal, and individual property owners (bars, restaurants, homeowners) dictate whether the activity can be conducted on their owned property. There's the whole big ever-changing debate on the effect of smoking on public health. It's so nebulous, really. Firm X pays for this study, Firm Y for this. They cancel each other out. Who's really to know? Personally, I believe most of the "smoking is bad for x because of y." reports, and, I have physical ramifications from breathing the stuff, so I try to avoid it in all possible circumstances.

A quote from this CNN article is obnoxious, though.

    American Cancer Society CEO John Seffrin called tobacco "the only weapon of mass destruction used against people all over the world."
Sit down, Sir John. Puhleez. Did you gather appropriate mounds of fetid onions to be placed in your immediate vicinity so that your cry and snivel were heard loud enough to grant you this quote? WMD - such a lovely catchphrase. You must be proud to be cliche.

Moving right along to something with a little more protein, we have this article I stumbled across when it was 12 seconds old. Nicotine is some nasty noxious stuff - so this isn't terribly surprising. In short:

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smoking during pregnancy appears to affect a newborn's behavior in ways similar to infants whose mothers used heroin or other illegal drugs, new study findings suggest.

    Smoking between 6 and 7 cigarettes per day -- less than half a pack -- throughout pregnancy was associated with infants that were more excitable, less consolable and more rigid, according to the report published in the journal Pediatrics.
This is funny. So THAT'S what's wrong with Generation X. :)



Sunday, June 01, 2003

So Long, Charter Communications

For the past several years, Brian and I have been cable TV customers, receiving the service mostly for St. Louis Blues hockey coverage, and, more recently, the digital music package which contains a really good Big Band channel.

St. Louis previously sported two major cable companies, AT & T and Charter. Most of the city and the county were serviced by Charter, but the Maryland Heights area where we reside was covered by AT & T. Charter acquired the territory some time ago. Somehow, with Charter, we were grandfathered into a package that contained an obscene number of channels but cost only $40 or so a month. Eventually, this package was raised to the $56.83 a month that we've been paying for about a year now. I actually called to see if we could get our package reduced to only the channels we used, and the customer service representative with whom I spoke laughed and said it would cost more to get what we wanted and that our package was normally priced quite a bit higher.

Well, yesterday, I got the news from Charter that continuing coverage at this level would require a $90 payment from the Noggles to the cable company each month. No way. Brian and I discussed the service and decided to drop it altogether. First, my focus on hockey has diminished for my own after-work pursuits in the athletic direction. So, no longer is there an every-night desire to follow puck and stick across ice on the television. Also, we have a lovely 100 CD changer in the room with the television; we can supply our own varied Big Band music to our hearts' content. So, bye bye cable. Cable TV shouldn't cost more than electricity.

Also, the gym has cable. Hockey game = 3 hours of cardio. Our favorite sports bar has cable = 3 hours of cocktails and fries.

Ah, balance.


Newest Obsession

These. Are. Amazing.

Chocolate Soy Nuts, brought to my home by Genisoy.

In Search of Sit Bones

"Sit Bones" is terminology I had not heard until recently, but it's cyclist nomenclature for the proper way to position oneself on a bicycle in preparation for a lengthy ride. Finding your Sit Bones is supposed to mean riding proves less offensive to one's genitalia.

I gave my Sit Bones a call today, but I got only the answering machine. So, upon returning home, I asked friendly Google for some advice.