Jul 21

Life in slower motion

We set out for a bike ride this evening. Nothing serious, just a quick hour through an hour’s worth of neighborhoods. About seven of them, I’d say. Then again, not every stretch of road runs through a tightly grouped neighborhood. I bet if you went door-to-door along today’s route not everyone would think they lived in a neighborhood. They’d wonder why a person in a helmet and funny clothes was knocking on their door. Asking about their neighbors. And sweating all over the place.

I’ve had to swap inner tubes in a few front yards. You get self conscious of that quite quickly. It’s probably the funny clothes.

Anyway, a nice little ride. I was slow, because that is my lot lately. The only solution to that is more riding. The Yankee was faster. There’s a turnaround on the route, and she made it there first, slowed, turned and was coming back the other direction.

I don’t think she was going especially fast, or trying overly hard, she just was fast. Maybe it’s the bike or the gearing, but probably it’s just she’s good at this. Also I’m not riding especially comfortably just now. If I thought about it too much I’d convince myself someone has been tinkering with my bike setup. Which always feels precarious, anyway. I’m like the princess and the pea over here. Change the tires, use different bottles, I can feel it.

And if you’re going this slow you have plenty of time to notice!

Jul 21

Happy usual Monday stuff

I went out for an easy 5K run on Saturday morning. It was pleasant, temperature-wise, if a bit muggy. The sidewalks were empty, the roads were generally quiet and I shuffled along at my own slow pace. Just the way it should be done!

I did see one friend.

If that’s not close enough for you, here’s a better version. Same deer. Same spot. Only got antsy if you made direct eye contact. I was probably about six feet away and it was just my eyes that were bothersome.

My eyes are a pair of my better attributes, too. What does that deer know, anyway?

Soon after, I ran into my lovely bride, who had been off on an early morning bike ride. We did not plan this.

Sometimes we plan things like this, but not in this instance.

Time to check in with the kitties! I know, I know, it’s perhaps your favorite weekly feature.

Here’s Poseidon, who one recent evening took a passing interest to the television. Usually they don’t acknowledge it at all. Poseidon, if anything, is more interested when it is off because he can better catch his reflection on the screen, which is always a dangerous concern, since he must go fight the reflection. But every now and again he jumps up on the little table and marches around the screen, or notices some movement that intrigues him.

This time, he was a space cat.

And he’s got some concerns about how this mission is going.

This crew has a problem.

Phoebe is ready to change the channel.

And here she is, later, up on a little ledge where she does not belong. She seems to be saying, “Can you blame me, really?”


She does not belong on the ledge, and she doesn’t care. There, at least, she is removed from Poseidon’s dramatic cinema recreations. (There’s lots of cat emoting involved, usually.)

Jul 21

Highlighting research

We haven’t done this in a while. Let’s look at some of the things I’ve posted on the ICR Twitter account. The point here is to highlight some of the really cool research coming out of The Media School and, specifically, the Institute for Communication Research.

These studies are all published or appearing at conferences and so on. All of the work is quite brilliant and there’s a little something here for everyone. But check all of these out.

If you play them simultaneously you’ll get an incredible symphony. Give that a try, too.

Jul 21

What’s that in your eye?

Just a bit of a bike ride. I rode really hard to get this clip.

Really hard. I was well behind and I had to work at shutting that down. It was a four-mile chase, I think. At least I was able to look cool when I went by. You don’t see it in the video, but I did. The whole pursuit and catch was pro, on my part.

With so many other things going on around here we haven’t checked in on the cats in a while. Let’s check in on the cats.

Poseidon, as you can see, is stuck in his tunnel in some awkward way.

He does it to himself, clearly. Oh he’ll whine about it, but this is his doing.

Being a cat, however, he is perfectly willing to exercise his “What? That’s exactly what I meant to do, and I don’t know what you’re talking about, anyway.”

Phoebe stares at him in disbelief a lot. We all do.

As ever, she’s content to sit around and pose nicely.

Truthfully, I only take these pictures because you occasionally get these moments where they are wide-eyed in the sunlight. Sometimes they really show off the iris.

Tomorrow we’re going to show off some other things. The cats know what it is, and they are very interested. So do come back and check that out.

Jul 21

Happy Fifth

I once had two tires go flat on my bike in a place where there was no shade for a mile in any direction, so I had to walk a good ways before I could figure out how to address the problem of having two flats and one spare tube. I once rode in a race so hard that I couldn’t walk for an almost disconcerting length of time after it, because, that time, my feet had gone flat in aging shoes. Once, of course, I crashed my bike and had surgery collarbone surgery, several months of hazy memories, two additional surgical consults, a neck exam (to make sure, months later, I hadn’t broken* it) and multiple rounds of physical therapy before I managed to get the pain of it all under control. Another time I got caught out in a sudden thunderstorm that produced hail, which fell hard enough to break my skin. Oh! And there was the time when my ride went too long and after an agonizing 45 minutes of realizing this wasn’t going to work out it got so dark I couldn’t see anything and I found myself pointing the front wheel in a general area where I expected the road to be and, you know, hoped**.

Saturday’s ride, a 47-mile effort where nothing went right, wasn’t as bad as any of those. But it’d go on a longer version of such a list.

At least I saw this cool barn!

And the old grain bin next to it was pretty nice, too.

The city canceled their fireworks this year. But the neighborhood provided quality entertainment once more. As an added bonus, we didn’t even have to leave the yard.

I decided to experiment with a Twitter live stream.

And I learned that for some dark and mystical reason of video compression, the audio doesn’t sound quite right, which is amusing.

The fireworks show they put on last year was incredibly impressive, but they scaled it back this year. Even still …

And if you didn’t get enough colorful things in the sky around you last night, here are some videos I shot of the neighbors last year. They really did go all out. This one is deliberately blurry, evocative of how fireworks hang in our memories.

No kidding, they had four false finales last year. Here’s the third one.

This was, I believe, the big finish.

*This was about why things were still hurting well, well beyond when I should have been healed up. That second specialist, saw me because my mother-in-law worked with him. He saw me over the holidays, listened to all my complaints and said, “Six months? Yeah, that’s not right” and “Let’s look at your neck.” So they went off to fetch the right technicians to do scans to rule out neck trauma and I remember sitting alone in his examination room, incomprehensibly mad, muttering to myself I do NOT have a broken neck. (And I was right! I did not have a broken neck.) What I did have — according to the third surgeon I consulted later the next year — was a good procedure from the first surgeon, who gave me inscrutably bad recovery advice and a lousy therapeutic regimen. So that’s how that particular bike ride went.

**I have a good light for just such an occasion now. And I don’t typically ride that late in a day anymore, anyway.