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Diary
By ad hoc (Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:21:23 AM EST) cycling, books, market research, reach out and touch someone, food (all tags)
I'm reading Tono-Bungay by HG Wells and even though he's one of my favorite authors, I'm having trouble getting into this one.


Want an extra "optical inch"? (warning: Flash audio)

Great weekend. First century of the year and I'm nowhere near as sore as I expected. I'm quite tired, though, but mostly due to getting up at 4:00 am to be there at the start. In spite of that, I started 15 or 20 minutes late, so did most of the ride by my lonesome. I did ride for a bit with a woman named Linda from Australia doing her first century, but she pulled ahead on a downhill and I think she missed a turn because I didn't see her for the rest of the day and I would have run into her at the rest stop that came shortly after the turn. One guy at mile 18 taco'd a wheel, so his day ended early. That's one of the problems with wheels with few spokes, they don't really withstand lateral forces well.

Anyway, it was a slow ride, averaging only slightly over 15 mph, but it was the first of the year with a steady 15 mph headwind most of the day and (insert random other excuse here).

This ride was in Portsmouth which is about a hour or so from here, so I got to listen to two hours of XM Radio's old time radio station which was cool. Suspense, X-Minus 1, Gunsmoke, Murder at Midnight and one or two others. Stopped at Kelly's Roast Beef on the way home which I probably shouldn't have done since it's way too much food. Good day, though.

But, as I say, it was a picture postcard beautiful day. Cool and windy, but not a cloud in the sky. Saturday, I'd bought a new Headsweats® cap, but forget to wear it. That, combined with a haircut early last week, resulted in a sunburned head in the pattern of Bell® Ghisallo helmet vents.


I had the strangest phone call last night. Someone named "Pasqual" (or however it's spelled in Quebecois) called me from Montreal.

"This might seem like a strange call," says he.
"...," says I
"I'd like to bring my girlfriend to Boston for a nice weekend, but I don't want to get sucked into all the touristy stuff, so I'd like to know if you can tell me anywhere to stay and go."

Interesting way to do research. Since I work at home alone and it can be a little isolating, I'll talk to just about anyone who telephones provided you're not trying to sell me something. We talked for about a half hour. He's 22 and wants to spend about $500 CDN for the weekend. I'm not quite sure what a "weekend" is (one night? Two? Three?). He said I was about the fifth person he'd called and was the only one either at home or that would talk to him.

I told him he should probably stay in Back Bay and not downtown as it's mostly a financial district and dead at night. I told him to stay at either Copley Plaza or the Charlesmark, or if he wanted to go to a bit more touristy area, Omni Parker House.

He asked for a nice bar to go to, so I had to query a bit about what he meant by "bar." That's when I found out he was 22. His gf likes dance clubs, so I said to head for Lansdowne Street (particularly Avalon / Axis) and go wherever looked interesting. There are drinking spots in Quincy Market that seem popular, but they're just for drinking, there's not much dancing or anything else there, IIRC. But then, I can't really remember the last time I was in a straight club, so I could be way off the mark. I do know Lansdowne can be fun, though.

I hope he has fun. I wonder if he'll come out the other end of that weekend with wife-to-be.


This morning I went to a focus group at a nearby marketing research company. Well, not a group, really, as there was only me. Some thing about trying to decide on a layout for Fidelity's new retirement research offering or some such thing. Basically, "which set of charts and graphs look best?" Anyway, there was some not bad coffee and they gave me a crisp Benjamin plus a less crisp Ulysses for the hour, so it's all good.

What struck me, though, was the magazines in the waiting room: Martha Stewart Living, Time, Good Housekeeping, The Sporting News, and Current Colorectal Reports. I didn't have time to read any.


The paper has two articles of interest about my neighborhood this morning.


Attention Toronto infidels: zipcar is heading your way.

At Trader Joe's yesterday, I bought a box of the British sensation, Weetabix¹. I say, that's a jolly scrummy box of nutritious cereal. A smashing bit of all right, eh wot? Goes soggy a might quick, though.

¹ Made in Canada


Yesterday, I also sent my begging letter for the pledge ride in July. Last year I raised $5,000. I doubt I can do that well again, but here's hoping. I set my goal at $3,000. I need $1,500 minimum to ride.


< Blah | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
G'day | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I haven't gone to a focus group in over a year by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:30:17 AM EST
they called me last week, but Mrs. Ha and I hadn't done any recreational traveling by ourselves involving hotel stays in quite some time, and I didn't feel like lying about it.


Recreational traveling by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:47:48 AM EST
however by martingale (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed May 10, 2006 at 12:54:08 AM EST
it often seems to involve Whoa! Tell!
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
I can only quote Fr. Guido Sarducci by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed May 10, 2006 at 04:40:15 AM EST
"You never really know a man until you've been camping with him."
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
Weetabix by Improbus (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:37:23 AM EST
Ah yes, Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer would use that to add texture to the blood he drank.  Bloody good show, eh, what?



If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, the meal was cooked a long time ago. --- Oma Desala
Weet-a-bix by cam (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:41:35 AM EST
We used to have them with margarine and vegemite on them for afternoon tea when I was a kid. And a glass of milk to offset the dryness.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

So far it's been by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:44:25 AM EST
fruit and soy milk.

Will advise upon further research.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Do you have any vegemite? by cam (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:11:35 AM EST
Some can be arranged to make its way to Boston. Another way of eatning Weetbix is to cover them in milk, then douse them in sugar. They are tasteless dry lumps otherwise.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
I've seen it in some stores by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:18:23 AM EST
I'd have to look at the label to see if I could eat it though. It's not listed on ND.

Ah here it is. Yes, I can eat that. Is it any good?
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Any good? by cam (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:53:42 AM EST
Any good? I am definately sending you some. A big jar of the stuff that will last a year or so.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
Weetabix by hulver (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:42:24 AM EST
Microwave it (with milk) for that extra special bowl filling gloopiness.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
I refer the honorable gentleman by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:45:40 AM EST
You should have warned me by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue May 09, 2006 at 02:32:49 PM EST
Weetabix, when left in the microwave too long, will burn.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
mmm, Weetabix... (n/t) by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:50:13 AM EST


I should point out to all those who will want one by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:55:28 AM EST
this is my trademark "#1 all over" haircut courtesy of Hector of Sienna's barbershop.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
RE's: by miker2 (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue May 09, 2006 at 10:59:13 AM EST
That link was posted, shockingly enough, on a triathlon forum a few days ago.  The video is quite funny.  The 'optical inch' line had me rolling. I thought most guys just used beard trimmers for such groundskeeping?

Headsweats visors rock.  I have a couple of them that I got as freebies as they're popular with the trigeek set.

I got really bad sunburn on my scalp last year at Eagleman.  Wore my headsweats visor on the "where's the shade" run course.  Not. Fun.

You going to get an XM now?


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
No XM for me by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:04:54 AM EST
I get all the old time radio I'm after off USENET. That's the only station I'd be interested in and they tend to go in blocks. Like four hours of westerns, or a crimefighting afternoon, or something. I'd like a little more variety than that. That said, there's something to be said for having someone else program the playlist. But there's always Live365 for when I'm at home.

I only rent a car about five times a year, so it's really not worth it.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Er.... by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:13:29 AM EST
This guy was just randomly calling phone numbers in the Boston area????? Did he also ask you what times you're not home and where you keep your valuables at?

Also, uh, er, well, bro, what the hell happened to your hair?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

I suppose so by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:20:23 AM EST
We'll see if, at the end of the month, I have a squillion dollar collect call from Botswana on my phone bill.

I re the other: link. That's how I keep it cut. Maintenance free.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
I should also say by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue May 09, 2006 at 11:22:26 AM EST
it wasn't entirely at random. He asked for me by name when I answered the phone. He must have have been hunting on the intarwab somehow, but I don't know how. My number's in the white pages, but not on the web in any way that I can think of.

Well, one way, but I doubt that's it. My phone number is in the WHOIS registry for some of the websites I run, but I doubt that's the connection.

I guess I should go buy a lottery ticket, eh?
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
I discovered Weetabix in 1977 in Yorkshire by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue May 09, 2006 at 05:49:16 PM EST
When I was on vacation there with the parents.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

You never told *me* about it. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue May 09, 2006 at 06:34:30 PM EST
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