Bicycling in a Snowstorm

To reduce my abdominal mass
I Ride icy streets smooth as glass
With snow flakes in my eyes,
I depend on carbide
To make sure I don’t fall on my ass.

Today: 10.5 Miles
February: 41 miles
2007: 99 miles

A New Beginning

bone I us dot com
lazy writing, boring tales
no fun anymore

from absurd inspiration
Erupts glorius Madness

Poetry henceforth!
some haiku renga today
limmericks to come

happy bicycle stories
recounted in silly verse

No more dreary posts
now inspired lunacy
alone on the page

Elven Magic

Last week, we got a bitchin’ snow storm, followed by a nice ice storm. I stayed inside and off the bike for several days, but today, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I got suited up to go for a ride. As I pushed the Diamondback out the back door, I discovered that my back yard had been replaced with a solid sheet of ice about 7 inches thick.

I had a hard time pushing the bike up the hill to street level, and almost fell a few times. I got about 2 miles into my ride when it started snowing so hard I couldn’t see the road anymore.

Snowbike
Snow Bike – Click for big

With shoulders of all the roads covered under four feet of snowbanks, and with visibility pretty crappy, I decided to pack it in.

When I got to the backyard, I decided to tempt the fates and ride down the hill, across the sheet of ice, to the back porch.

I didn’t slip. I didn’t slide. I could even grab the brakes. Those Nokians are magic. I was surprised. These tires are 3 years old, and easily have 1000 miles on them.

I suspect that the Nokian factory is staffed by elves. I don’t see any way a product could be so well made as a Nokian tire without employing elven magic.

Keebler Elf

Today: 3.5 Miles
This week: 3.5 Miles
February: 21.5 miles
2007: 79.5 miles

Sam Harris Returns

I’ve been snowed in for the past two days, so I’m catching up on my reading. I got Letter to a Christian Nation as a Christmas present, and I finally finished it today.

Letter to a Christian Nation
Letter to a Christian Nation

It’s a quick read, only about 90 pages. Harris ruthlessly lays the smack down on all manner of misinformed religiosity. It’s kind of a condensed version of the arguments he laid out in The End of Faith. The really condensed version of the argument is that religious tolerance is a bad thing. People who make outrageous claims about the nature of the universe shouldn’t get a free pass because of political correctness.

There is a lovely discussion on the inaccurate nature of Biblical mathematics:

The Good Book states that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diamter is 3:1 (I Kings 7:23-26 and II Chronicles 4:2-5). […] But the Egyptians and Babylonians both approximated π to a few decimal places several centuries before the oldest books of the Bible were written. The Bible offers us an approximation that is terrible even by the standards of the ancient world.

Good stuff. Harris’ bombastic prose kind of pulls you though the book, and you can easily finish it, cover-to-cover, in a single snow day.

I give Letter to a Christian Nation 5 Jihadis out of 5

5 jihadis out of 5
5 Jihadis out of 5

If you have time for more in-depth heresy, read The End of Faith. It rocks, too.

The Wool Fetish Continues

I’m trying to gradually make my office attire as bicycle-friendly as possible, thereby eliminating my excuses for not riding.

I wanted a white wool t-shirt, so I could wear it under a dress shirt at the office. All the stuff Rivendell sells is black and blue and green, and I don’t think that would look right under a dress shirt. So, I ordered the Thermo Fleece t-shirt from wool-underwear.com (style #211). It’s kind of an anachronistic off-white eggshell color, and the neck hole is really bigger than it needs to be, even for my big pumpkin-head. I think this will work for bicycling, but I’ll probably order the lighter-weight style #shj121 next time.

I’m wearing it around the house today. So far, I’d say it’s a tad scratchier than the stuff Rivendell sells. It does have cooler packaging, however.

Packaging
Click for big

I like the lambs.

The Making of a Boring Story

I first heard of Colin McGinn on a “Faith and Reason” show on PBS. He seemed like a pretty cool dude, and he was plugging his book.

The Making of a Philosopher
The Making of a Philosopher

I put the book on my Amazon wishlist, and I ended up getting it as a Christmas present. It pretends to be an autobiography of McGinn’s academic life. This is a very strange way to write an autobiography, because it leaves out almost all the relevant personal information you would expect from an autobiography. It’s kind of like a book-length resume.

He does introduce the various problems of philosophy in layman-friendly terms, but even for someone with more than a passing interest in philosophy, it gets boring in a hurry.
I give it 2 Jihadis out of 5.

2 Jihadis out of 5
2 Jihadis out of 5