Monday, September 26, 2011

The Surreal World of San Francisco

I was in San Francisco last week for work. My only exposure to this area previously was from watching Full House with my daughters, and that show, as it turns out, paints a terribly distorted picture. San Francisco is amazing, in its own, bizarre, way. I would have stayed longer if it were practical.

We rented hybrids from one of the stands that caters to tourists. Not my first choice of bicycles but the riding was good. We rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, windy and foggy, down into Sausalito which was warm and sunny.

We rode through the Golden Gate Park where a Tour de Fat bicycle festival was going on.

I have never seen so many bicycles. And every bike was unique.

Very unique.

I was amazed with the food in L.A. the last time I was in California. San Francisco somehow raises the bar. I ordered tea in a Chinese restaurant. They put a dead, dried up flower bud in boiling water. The bud opened up into a bright red flower as it slowly sunk to the bottom of the cup. Apparently the flower was the tea. Maybe I am easily amazed. Regardless, it was excellent.

The tables in San Francisco restaurants tend to be close together so you inadvertently hear other’s conversations. Sitting next to us on our last night was a surfer dude, his beautiful Norwegian wife, and her parents who were apparently visiting from Norway. Half the conversation was in Norwegian but from what I could make out, the parents were asking them to move to Norway. Surfer dude explained why, for numerous reason, San Francisco was the greatest city in the world. While he was explaining how clean the city was, the person I was having dinner with described a homeless transvestite she saw defecating in a flower pot in front of a shop. I suppose San Francisco is difficult to see objectively.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Don't Know Me At All, Maybe

I did a training ride last week, two hours at my aerobic threshold. If I could do more than one training ride a month, I might be on to something. This blog started as a training tool, as if publishing goals and a plan to get there would somehow make it happened. It helped. I am going to try to nudge this blog back in that direction. Later.

Somehow I don’t fully realize real people read my blog. I am taken back when someone introduces themselves at a bike race and say they read my blog. I met Ali B, who I only knew through her blog, at the Log Splitter race last year. She looked at my result then looked at me and said: “You did well, I mean, you don’t suck as much as you imply in your blog.” Or something like that; I was star stuck and not really listening. Things have gone downhill since then and now I really do suck as much as I imply, possibly worse.

After a particularly whiney post about how all my friends have road bikes and I don’t, Bob, who only knows me through my blog, offered me his Giant TT road bike for just a token price. I didn’t take him up on his kind offer but was touched by his generosity

Emilie and I went on a ten hour road trip to Ohio yesterday to deliver Sally to her new home. This provided a good opportunity to really talk to Em. I also used this time to expand her musical horizons. I can’t get her to budge from this horrible Country Music genre so I tried to expose her to good Country Music; difficult to find at best. I like Lyle Lovett, Cowboy Junkies, and Patty Griffin enough. Em wasn’t impressed. I even played Mary Chapin Carpenter who is more mainstream Country but sometimes uses big, three syllable words, like “perilous”. Nope. It left Emilie more convinced that I haven’t a clue. She is only 13 and will figure out on her own that the best music isn’t on the radio. Or maybe I haven’t a clue. I don’t even know anymore.

Mary kindly offered to take Sally. Mary is a clever girl and apparently figured out through my posts that I am not in a great position to take care of a pet. I struggled so hard to find a good home for my Yamaha RD350LC that finding a home for our family dog seemed impossible. I figured out through Mary’s posts that she is a unique dog person and my best option. It is just a trial right now; Sally can be difficult.

Emilie cried when we left Sally at Mary’s. I wanted to make Em feel better. Sushi was the only thing I could think of. After a round of normal Sushi (Shrimp, Tuna, and Salmon), Em suggested we get Sea Urchin. I honestly didn’t know Sea Urchin was eatable. I’m still not convinced it is. Neither of us could eat it but we laughed hard as we tried. That was worth the $6.95. We were still laughing as we walked to my truck in the parking lot. I think everyone will be fine.