December 2005

8 Dec 2005 [link to here]
coffee networking

Thirty years ago, what odds would you have given that thirty years hence, it would be common for people to bring computers to a coffee shop? Sometimes it seems a little antisocial, but I've found that nothing sparks conversation in a coffee shop like a flaky network. Suddenly all the people with laptops start talking to each other (to see whether everyone else is having trouble).

31 Dec 2005 [link to here]
training wheel

I've been unicycling a lot lately to get ready for my upcoming trip and it's taught me a couple things. One is that I can significantly improve my physical condition with just a few weeks of hard work. That was a pleasant surprise, though I plateaued sooner than I was hoping.

Another is that three months is too long for me to prepare for something. It's not that I'm ready for the trip with time to spare. I'm not and I won't be. It's that the physical effort involved in a hard day's ride is nothing compared to the emotional wringer of making myself do it, day after day for months. I was enthusiastic for the first six weeks or so, but I've long since spent that.

Other things come up, the weather turns foul, or worse, the forecast says the weather will be foul, but at the end of the day it turns out I could have been out there riding and I'm left feeling like a chump as another day goes by. Or I'm just too tired, or I still hurt from the ride two days ago and I stew about what that bodes. Or I just want to take a break and do something else, but the unrelenting pressure of "I could and should be doing more than I'm doing right now" is exhausting. If I were simply trying to better myself it wouldn't be a big deal, but I have a deadline and it's proving difficult to improve quickly enough to meet it.

Getting the gear sorted out at the same time has also been a bit of a nightmare.

People ask me how I'm enjoying my vacation, but I feel like my vacation will start once the tour is over. I won't know until then whether I'd ever want to do another unicycle tour, but I do know that I never want to train like this again.