Friday, July 28, 2006

Bluetooth on the Desktop

I love the Bluetooth capability built in to my car. I get in, it recognizes the phone and everything is handsfree.. perfect!

Why can’t I have the same thing sitting at my desk? I want my computer to recognize my phone and pop up a little message telling me who is calling. Maybe this could be taken a step further and allow me to initiate calls from my computer to my cell phone. I’m sure there are many cool extensions on this idea, but I just want the basics. Why? Simple, I constantly miss calls when I’m listening to music. The only way to get my attention when I’m listening to music is via IM, which isn’t exactly what I want.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I’ve been doing it all wrong…

Eye opening, but not too surprising: This paper essentially argues that bike commuting isn’t as beneficial for the environment as you might think because it increases longevity, and during that time you use more resources than everyone else who ate sat around eating potato chips and dropped dead early. Combine this with Kate’s recent post about how much energy cars really consume and my world is upside down.

It’s pretty clear to me now that I should stop bike commuting, get a Hummer (actually, probably a Scion) and chow down. It is a relief actually. Every time I’m about to head out for a ride I’m faced with the question: should I ride or stay home and eat jelly beans? In my mind, jelly beans are one of the most perfect foods on earth, right up there with peanut butter (no, I’m not a fan of peanut butter jelly beans). The decision is so much easier now! I don’t have to go out and ride for a few hours just to enjoy some fresh beans. I can grab the jar, head over to the couch and call it a day. Hell, since I don’t have air conditioning, I could even take the jelly beans into my huge air conditioned SUV and drive around for the afternoon. This is going to be awesome.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mountain Biking

After almost two years away from the dirt, I finally got the chance to hit the trails last weekend. Boy have I been missing out on some serious fun! Mountain biking is what drew me into this sport, but for some reason I always neglect going back to my roots. I think it comes down to the fact that road biking is simply easier. I can roll out of my garage and get a great ride in. Mountain biking always takes more preparation, as well as a drive.

Anyway, as I said, it was great to get back out on the trail. I went over to Tiger Mountain, which is about 20 minutes from my place. The route there starts with a 3 mile climb up a fire road and then rewards you with a magnificent 3 mile single track descent. This is followed by some more fire road riding and then another few miles of single track to get you back to the parking lot.

Right away I noticed how my skills have changed over the years. I remember how the initial climb used to kill me. In fact, I once wondered if I’d ever be able to make it without stopping. Now I can pull off the climb nonstop without even using my smallest front chainring. On the flipside, my technical skills have definitely deteriorated. I’m more timid on the single track and wasn’t taking the usual risks. It took me a while just to trust the bike’s capability and cruise over roots and small drop-offs.

Let’s hope it isn’t another couple of years before I get out there again..