Showing posts from January, 2008

(Mis)adventures in cycling

Just did a 2 hour lap of UNCW's trails and met my Clear Run ramp nemesis again. Since I got away from our last encounter with (only) a bruised butt, it was time to try again! Especially also since Wendy went off it a couple of times like nobody's business. I must say, the first time I went over the handlebars I did a beeootifooo forward roll and landed on my feet. I can't remember much of the second endo except that I landed in a pile of soft pine straw and got up unscathed. Then Wendy borrowed my bike and cleared the ramp a couple more times, so I have nothing and no-one to blame but myself. Oooh, just noticed a scratch on my left forearm...

Briefly considered jumping off a couple more times, but my bruises from last week (yup, esp the butt) were killing me, so I'll live to bike another day. Then towards the end of the ride we found a small ramp over some rotting logs. Oooh-er! Went over 3-4 times and stayed on my bike each time! for the Clear Run one!

To TD…

Philip Pullman on environmentalism

I am extremely fond of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (the movie does the story no justice, though the visuals were pretty darned good), so it's refreshing to read about his take on the environmental state of the world today.

Philip Pullman: new brand of environmentalism


Wendy takes on the UNCW ramp

Ride report - UNCW 18 Jan 2008

We started out at 3.30pm today, shrugging off sweaters and shivering slightly in the chill air. Still, despite the mostly overcast skies, the sun peeked out occasionally and the ground was dry and fast. Wendy took the lead as she rode here most recently, and it is easy to get lost in here. As we approached the 'Clear Run' ramp, Wendy went over like a seasoned fearless pro, and I thought,"What the hell, I don't need to dive till May." So I acclerated and went up the ramp before rational thought could kick in. Felt the exhilarating split second of air-time, and then the front wheel landed hard (I think), and before I knew it, I landed (hard, oh %$#%$@%) on the ground on my butt. Douglas Adams was right about flying being easy. It's the landing that's difficult. It was then a distinct pong assaulted my senses. Did I just run over fresh dog poo??? On both wheels, my fork and my down tube no less!!! ARRGGGHHHH I guess the silver lining is that I didn't LAN…

Singapore's reefs get a mention in Antarctica

One of my course mates, M, works on penguins, and was stationed on a cruise ship over our winter break. Aside from chasing penguins by day, he was the resident biologist for the Antarctic tourists, and met a couple from Singapore, who I think, work for one of the big oil companies in Singapore. They got to talking about coral reefs and voiced the common refrain that there are no reefs in Singapore. And M said that they had to check out BWV, that we do a lot of conservation work, bring people out to see reefs and all that. Except that he forgot the full name of Blue Water Volunteers, and could only remember our programme names like ReefFriends and ReefWalk. Still, a guy studying in Wilmington, advocating Singapore's reefs to a Singaporean couple in Antarctica. I think that's pretty neat!

LA Aikikai

One of the things I love about aikido is that I can visit a dojo in whatever strange new city and practise there with little fuss. Well, I'm sure that works with other martial arts as well (challenging the seniors in a new dojo to a sparring session?), but I've always felt welcome and had a really good time in all of my visits. It's kind of my perk whenever I travel. Some may say that you can't gain much from only one or two visits, but I'm keeping O Sensei's advice in mind, to touch 10000 hands to get a feel of the technique, and besides, it's interesting to me to see how different instructors interpret the various techniques. And it's fun lah, I get antsy after no aikido for sometime anyway.

So I have been kinda grumpy the past 2 days (for various reasons), and was contemplating not going for training and watching Wicked instead. The grumpiness was compounded by me waking up this morning with a head full of green snot, and having to blow copious amount…