I called up TimeWarner today about my cable modem service. I’ve had it for a couple of years now and wanted to see if there was a better deal I should be on to save a few dollars. Turns out I was able to upgrade my service at no cost and get a 4x increase in download bandwidth. Yeah! So now I’ve got 3 mbps down and 768 kbps up.
I was doubly impressed that they had this done and in place in about an hour. I was able to do some speed tests to verify it, plus it actually feels a lot more zippy.
Here is the scene…
You’re sitting in your car watching the rain drops steadily hit the windshield. It looks cold and is obviously quite wet out there. You’ve been up for a couple of hours now, even though it’s only 8 a.m. right now, and to top it off it’s a weekend. You look up through the sunroof on the car and see the bikes that you put on the roof rack the night before mocking you as they drip with water. The car is telling you it’s a little over 50 degrees out. It really is cold. Is this actually the end of June? Man, Minnesota is a downer at times.
You scan through the radio stations for a while trying to get some read of the weather. If only you had an Internet connection in your car! Doppler radar surely would give you the answers your looking for. Of course, if you weren’t a wimp you would simply walk out in that rain, get your bike down and scoff at the world for thinking twice about riding and getting a little wet. However, last you checked you weren’t wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France nor were you putting food on the table by winning bike races. No, you are just an average Joe, weekend warrior out for his fix of adventure.
You spend a few minutes cursing the weatherman. 70 degrees and sunny? I mean really. How can you be that far off. Sure, 60 degrees and cloudy would be no problem. Wouldn’t fault the weather services in anyway. But 50 degrees and raining? That is a far, far cry from 70 degrees and sunny. How do these people stay employed? But, given the summer you’ve been having so far it seems that it’s time to build an arc and don’t forget your fleece because the sun just isn’t gracing your presence.
You get outside and just feel it. Yeah, this is no good. Here is where you have a real battle. You may actually leave. Really, why are you here after all? You don’t have to do this. Just go home. But you drove for over an hour to get here. And really, how can you just leave. So, after a lot of internal debate you decide that the war stories are worth the suffering and get on your bike and start to pedal.
If you’ve ridden a bike for a few years, you’ve been through this scene (you maybe didn’t drive away, Tammy and I did this morning though!). We were excited to go do a new ride that leaves out of St. Joseph, MN called the Tour of Saints. It is billed as a very nice “fun” ride with great food stops and wonderful roads. However, the weather was miserable. The ride offers both a 35 and 50 miles option. We embarked on the 50 miler but the weather turned it into a 35 miler. Given the weather forecast we didn’t come geared up for an entire day of riding in the rain which only combined to make matters even worse. I rode for a long time just dreaming of the cache of gear at home that would make this ride fine. Booties, leg warmers, full-fingered gloves. All just sitting there in a nice dry bin at home doing me absolutely no good here. Tammy gets the absolute trooper award since she did the entire thing in her sandals with nothing more than a soaked pair of DeFeet socks.
After riding a few miles we finally got warmed up and it got a little less miserable. We bypassed the first food stop at 12 miles, that’s too soon anyway in favor of the stop at 29 miles. In hindsight we should have simply rolled all the way to the finish, it was only 6 more miles but Tammy really wanted to warm up a bit so we stopped. The food stop was nothing to get excited about but we did get to sit inside for a bit. Here is the thing though, when we walked back outside it felt 20 degrees colder. And getting going again on the bike was incredibly frigid. I hammered up a few hills just to get some body heat going.
Among the more amazing sights today though we saw a guy riding in blue jeans. In the rain! Riding in blue jeans! That’s insane!
As several riders veered off for the extra 15 miles we sprinted into town to get out of our wet clothes and go get some hot food. It was miserable. But as suspected, the war story was worth it. :-)
Anybody that has talked to me about music recently knows that I’ve been working on a huge project to move all of our music to a home media server in MP3 format. A couple of months ago I completed ripping and tagging all of our CDs to the recently built Teraserver (home server with a total of 1.4 terabytes of disk). That was a huge milestone as it involved going through nearly 1,000 CDs.
However, still in front of me was my (relatively small) collection of records — good ole’ vinyl. Well I just completed ripping, splitting into tracks and tagging all my vinyl as well to the media server so I have now completed my project. :-)
We did the Minnetonka Summer Festival 8k run this morning. This is the first time we have done this run (two years ago we did the 2 mile fun run that is part of this event). The course was fairly hilly and challenging but an enjoyable run nonetheless.
The pancake breakfast afterwards was a bit cheesey but very good and exceptionally cheap.
Today was the opening day for Fahrenheit 9/11 (there was an early opening in New York on Wednesday). Tammy and I have been planning on seeing this since we first heard of it and were excited to finally take in the movie.
First of all, you know that the movie you are going to is not just “some random film” when on your drive home you see a person with a bed sheet that has “Fahrenheit 9/11” written on it draping it over a freeway overpass. This is a charged movie that takes some very serious political stances.
Secondly, I am fully aware that Michael Moore is as left as they come. If you turn the dial all the way left, push until the dial breaks, and then keep going left you may get to Michael Moore eventually. However, even with this fact this is still a very good film.
Put simply for anyone that may not want to read a lot — you need to see this movie. Really, I’m not saying you should see it, I’m saying you need to see it. If you pay $1 in taxes. If you care at all about our troops. If you care about our country in any way. You simply have to see this movie.
There, I got that out of the way. I wont try to give a review of the movie, there are plenty of places that will give you that. I can tell you that the film is heart touching and made me incredibly pissed at the same time. All of Michael Moore’s movies are a wake-up call, but this is a totally different level. Watching George W. sit in a Florida school room after knowing that the World Trade Towers were hit 5 minutes earlier for a PR visit is enough to make a person ill.
I do want to take a moment to thank George W. though for one thing and that is waking both Tammy and I up. After seeing what can happen we will both take note to be more active and see what we can do to further the causes of groups that we approve of and simultaneously limit the actions of the “Bush Dynasty” and their cohorts.
Occasionally people clap at the end of a movie. This film nearly got a standing ovation. I was smiling with a grin from ear-to-ear as I left the theater though and saw that the showing after ours had sold out, as did ours, and there was a line of people down to the lobby waiting to see Fahrenheit 9/11. I hope you all see it. I hope everyone sees it.
If you are curious it is a Live Strong wristband. This is part of the Wear Yellow fundraising campaign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation to raise money for cancer research. As many of you know I’m a fan of professional cycling, and as almost any US fan of american cycling I’m also a fan of Lance Armstrong.
It’s amazing to me how hostile some drivers are to people on bicycles. This article in the Star Tribune highlights another recent hit & run. It just makes me sick.
You can help, even if you don’t ride a bicycle. If you see someone driving aggressively against a cycling you can report the unsafe driving over the web to the police. Also, you can support local advocacy groups for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Our power, which is horrible and goes out on a regular basis blipped today. This was a very short blip. Some devices didn’t reset. The UPS on all the system that have them kicked in and more sensitive systems did reset.
I’m logging this mainly for my own purposes with XcelEnergy.
We went and saw Dodgeball tonight and I have to admit that while it’s a pretty stupid movie it is really funny. Don’t go expected any type of intellectual expeience, this is chewing gum for the brain, but fine chewing gum it is.