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Archive: June 7, 2009

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snow day

Sunday,  06/07/09  10:06 AM

Yesterday I did the ride from hell, honestly the hardest I’ve ever done.  It was the Eastern Sierra Double, which starts in Bishop, CA, and normally goes North from there to Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and Mono Lake, before heading over to the Nevada border at Benton via the Sagehen Summit.  I say normally because this year there was snow forecast for Mono Lake and Sagehen, so instead of sending us North, they sent us South into the White mountains toward Death Valley, up and over Mount Waucoba, a nice little 7,500’ peak.  And guess what?  It snowed!  I have never been so cold.  And the descent down the backside was maximally scary because the road was all icy.  At the bottom my arms just about fell off from braking the whole way down.  Then we had to turn around and climb back up, over 12 miles at 7%.  My legs were not happy with me.  Finally we descended back down in Owens Valley, took a deep breath, and were just halfway through the ride.  The second half featured a little 80 mile out and back up to Benton on the Nevada border into a stiff 20mph headwind.  Brrr and Grrr.  It was horrible.  Anyway I did it – yay me – and now I can brag about it.

Eastern Sierra - route map

The (re)route; start in Bishop [center],
head south over Mount Waucoba (white outline indicates snow at summit),
descend wet scary road into valley (yellow outline),
turn around and ascend again (12 miles at 7%+),
descend back to Owens Valley and up to Bishop [center],
ride up route 6 to Benton (orange outline indicates 20mph headwind),
ascend climb to Benton Hot Springs,
and finally cruise back 40 miles downhill with tailwind (whew).

I have posted a bunch of pictures here if you're interested:

I like to say every bad thing that happens is a good story afterward, this was definitely a bad thing (or at least, a really hard thing), and now that it's over I guess it makes for a good story.  I sure was one happy guy when I finished:

Eastern Sierra - me, done, happy

In chest-beating mode I will note that 150 riders started while only 50 finished, and I did it in a respectable 14:30.  Finishing this ride meant I completed the Planet Ultra Grand Slam (yay me) along with only 9 other riders, and it is also my third double century of the year, which means I've completed the California Triple Crown again.

All these awards are designed to encourage the extreme masochism that these rides require... so why do we do them?  Why do I do them?  Enjoying the exercise and the chance to view amazing scenery is part of it, and hanging out with a little fraternity of fellow riders is another, but I think at core it has to do with the way it makes me feel about myself.  I like knowing I can do these rides, and I carry the knowledge around with me like a little jewel, to be taken out periodically and savored. 

Next up?  The Grand Tour Double, in three weeks, and then in mid July the Death Ride (dum dum dum).  Stay tuned.


Sunday,  06/07/09  10:36 AM

Hi y'all!  A little Sunday morning blogging, still recovering from my snow day yesterday (!), and anticipating a nice sail with Meg in the C-15 a little later, competing in the Westlake Cup.  I am a busy boy.  And tomorrow down to Vista for a few days of work work work, but first,

...the Ole Filter makes a pass...

Kobe fives Trevor in game 1 Thursday night; Lakers won 100-75Congrats to the Lakers, who dominated / blew out / overmatched [and generally made look silly] the Orlando Magic Thursday night.  It was 100-75, and it wasn't that close.  If the Lakers play like that the rest of this series, it's over.  Of course, they have been consistently inconsistent, so chances are they won't play like that the rest of this series, so it's not over.  Yet.

So the Pre is out!  And since I was otherwise occupied yesterday, and since I want one, I called around and the Pre is sold out.  Not one to be had anywhere around L.A. or San Diego.  Will keep trying...  in the meantime, TechCrunch notes a definite advantage of the Pre over an iPhone: push Gmail.  Since I use Exchange this doesn't affect me (both the Pre and the iPhone have push Exchange), but it does seem like a compelling advantage.

Daring Fireball reviews the state of Pre play: Palm Saturday.  "The iPhone was introduced at Macworld Expo on 9 January 2007.  On that day, Palm Inc. was screwed.  Their relevance in the industry had already been slowly draining, and they not only had no available products in the same league as the iPhone, they had no future products in the same league.  For all the mistakes Palm made to get to that point, and they clearly made many, it’s quite possible that they have done everything right since then... they did something few companies, no matter how deeply in trouble, ever do: they recognized that they were screwed and took drastic action. It’s an overused phrase, but in this case it is true: they’ve bet the company."  Regardless of how it ends up, Palm has already won, because they've already become relevant again.  Good for them.

stripes or dots? Too close to call :)Here's an interesting debate: stripes or polka dots?  (With regards to bikinis, that is :)  I think this one is too close to call, but I will monitor with great interest.  I would have to pick Denise Richards over Carmen Electra, stripes or dots or whatever, but YMMV.

In no way related to the previous post: Men married to younger women live longer.  "Now, it could be that guys who do not age as fast are more attractive in their 40s and 50s than guys who age more rapidly.  So they have an advantage over more rapidly aging guys when pursuing younger women.  Then they also live longer for the same reason they were able to get the young woman.  But some readers might want to play it safe and marry a younger woman just on the chance this might help."  Reported purely out of academic interest...

When GM's designs ruled the road, photos from 1925CNet has a great photo gallery from 1925: When GM's designs ruled the road.  How the mighty have fallen...

Looking at these pictures, I'm struck by the fact that aside from Cadillac, there was brand confusion even then...

Little Tykes Cozy CoupeThe top selling car in the U.S. last year?  Why, that's easy... it was the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, of course.  "The Cozy Coupe sold 457,000 units in 2008, topping the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. In the '90s, it outsold both the Accord and Ford Taurus."  Not to mention it has maintained great brand recognition :)


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained