A simple girl in a complex world

Friday, July 04, 2003

These Things I Know...Now

The Giant OCR 3 and I logged some serious road time today, and I learned a few very valuable biking things. I shall enumerate.

1) Riding in extreme heat (97 degrees when we stopped) requires more than 4 liters of water and 1 liter of Gatorade.

2) Rolling hills after 37 miles in said 97 degree heat = hard.

3) Riding on tires with 30 psi pressure is very difficult (as I have been for a while). Riding on tires with 102 psi is a dream and makes one very, very zippy.

4) 45 miles on a hot day requires at least an hour and a half nap and at least a fifteen minute shower.

5) Chiggers might attack if you sit in the grass to stretch. I say might because, well, they didn't. But I was warned.

6) Sleeveless cycling jerseys in aforementioned oppressive heat - coveted.

7) Illinois makes a bicycle map. Oh baby.

I have learned all of these things today. The hard lesson of number one was difficult. I ran out of all liquid with about 4 miles (most of it hilly) to go. This was a bit scary for those four miles, and I slowed the group down quite a bit, but all was well in the end.

MS150 requires 75 mile days, not 45. I sure hope the weather's a wee bit cooler. Plus, I was reminded that we'll have all day, not just from 9:00 until 1:00 or so.



Thursday, July 03, 2003

I'd like Prison for Life for $1400, Please, Alex

Wow. Nobody likes a wife-beater (even an alleged one), but there's extreme, and then there's EXTREME.

While the article does note the action was not Mr. Marquez's first offense, whoop-di-damned-do. Please note the word "possibility" in the first paragraph.

I'd hate to see what they'd have done to him if he'd sneezed.


Ah, So THAT's what it is

CNN today told me about Octopus Giganteus. Tim Blair has identified it more quickly than the Chilean scientists, though.


You Are What You Eat

While this appears to be fabulous news, I would like to remind you of the age-old adage, my title above. BAV1, you are what you eat.

If this microbe can truly decompose toxic waste, what else can/does it do? And how can it be stopped/neutralized/controlled?

Forgive me, for I am not a scientist, though I sometimes play one on my blog, and this was the most interesting thing I had read all day.



Wednesday, July 02, 2003

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine? It's in the backyard and is fed by water and plant food. But, if you've been following the news at all in the last five years, you know that a fair portion of America's foodstuffs, especially produce and soybeans, has been produced with the aid of genetic engineering.

Being such the nutrition fiend, I picked up Eating in the Dark from the local library, and I've been plodding through the book bit by bit over the last few weeks. (Life hasn't left me much time for reading...except blogs, of course).

It's enlightening. St. Louis is, of course, home to Monsanto, one of the companies heavily attacked in this book. Personally, I wish I had read Food, Inc. first, as it is purported to be more fact-oriented and less of a platform for the author's opinion.

I've found a glaring error in Eating in the Dark, and it has clouded the believability of the book. On page 89, it mentions the dioxin mess in Times Beach, Missouri. Anyone who lived in this area at the time and had access to the news remembers it quite vividly. It was a story of the 80s, and the author states the year was 1974. Oops! Electric shock to the fact checkers.

Next on the agenda is Pandora's Picnic Basket, also an item found at Bridgeton Trails Library. The author is a genetic engineer, so this should prove interesting. Eating in the Dark is authored by a journalist.

As you likely already know, the Europeans are not too keen on receiving and consuming genetically engineered food. Well, today, there was a step in what I believe is a positive direction. Labelling.

This food is here to stay. I'd like to see it labelled in the United States for the same reason that I want all of my food labelled - conscious choice. There's a common view that many people will avoid genetically engineered foods if given the choice. Often called Frankenfoods, genetically engineered items have a deep stigma attached, to the point that in 1998 (and many times since and probably before) fields growing genetically modified corn were systematically destroyed by "activists."

Is this stigma appropriate? I'm not sure yet and may never be. I am sure I'll write more on this.



Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Guess They're Still Gonna Play...

The US today took its ball and went home. The game rages on, though, as no 11th hour exemption came down the wires.

I always hated the failure of that tactic when I was six.

Our bluff: called.


A ha! He's a Hurricane

I have the proof. My esteemed spouse, Brian J, is a hurricane.

    Most times we'll have plenty of notice for a hurricane because it will storm in right off the sea. Sometimes, though, it will sneak in wearing a hat and a trench coat. If you see someone in a hat and a trench coat, pull them off and shout, "Aha! A hurricane!" Most of the time, it will actually be some guy and you'll look pretty stupid, but, if one time it actually is a hurricane, people will be like, "Wow! You're smart."


Sunday, June 29, 2003

Tour de Cure

Today I rode Tour de Cure for the St. Louis area with a bevy of my coworkers. There were three mapped routes - 20, 50, and 100 miles - all with full support should something go awry.

The event took place in Illinois, which seems to be an amazingly friendly bike state (trails AND roads) - at least it is in all of the areas in Illinois in which I have ridden.

I was slated to ride 20, thinking it was 25 up until the moment I received the map. The savvy gentlemen from work with whom I rode decided 20 was really too much of a cakewalk, so we proceeded up the 50 mile map until about the 16 mile point, and then we turned around - ride totalling about 32 miles.

I really like this bike thing. The weather was perfect (that is, it was perfect if one does not mind reapplying sunscreen three times) and only mildly windy. The whole experience was quite pleasant except for the lovely man in the pick-up truck who could express himself no better than to flip me off. Thank you, Mr. Asshat (thanks, Rachel, for the term) lazy-brained-finger-wagging imbecile. I wonder how you'd fare on a 32-mile ride. Probably not as well as I.

This was good training for the MS150, which I'll be riding in the Columbia, MO area in early September (6th and 7th, to be exact). If ever there was a time to beg for money for sponsorship, this is it. MS150 is a fairly large event, and it's quite a formadable thing to accomplish for a new cyclist.


Marathon -> Snickers With a Large Price Tag and a Small Nutrition Infusion

I think that pretty much says it all. Show me the nutrition info, and maybe I'll buy one. After all, who doesn't like chocolate, peanuts, and caramel?

Here's the link, courtesy of my friendly hometown newspaper.