Saturday, July 15, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Hate Mail to Barnes and Noble
I sat down with my laptop to do a ton of work at Barnes and Noble on Sunday morning, assuming that they had free wireless internet (this is 2006, right?), only to be confronted with a "please pay ATT Wireless $3.95 for two hours" page. I can go to my local ice skating rink and get free wireless, so why would such a progressive bookstore be asking for such a steep rate? I was very irritated, especially because I had dragged a 1.5 year old in there with me and all my crap to do some work. I bitched about it at work and found that lots of people knew about this and NOBODY liked it. Of course, the only way to initiate change is to let people know. Here's a copy of my complaint form to B&N. Wake up!
"I was very disappointed to find out that your store in College Station, TX charges for wireless internet. I lugged my child and laptop in there for coffee and to buy a magazine and get some work done when I found out that it costs almost 4 dollars for two hours of access. I (and everyone else) am already paying for internet at home and I'm not going to pay more, especially when I can get it for free at almost every other business I go to. I packed up my child and laptop and went to Coffee Station instead and spent my money there. I also was telling people at work and in my neighborhood about this situation and they said that even DAIRY QUEEN has free wireless internet. Please quit charging for it so that I may go back to your store and spend my money while doing my work and not feel like I'm getting ripped off. You'll attract far more customers that way than charging for it."
I feel bad for airing my complaint to everybody, but it was very annoying to drive there, drag everything in, then have to do it all over again to go to a place with coffee and free internet. Let's hope they open up their access and quit charging for what's free everywhere else and losing business over it. I know it'll change someday soon anyway, but the sooner the better.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Dinner with the Triathlete Family
Join me, Emily, and Kai for dinner as I try to hold the house down and record a podcast at the same time. (Click Here to Listen!)
The infamous Triborg 5000 starts off the show with his recommendation on pre-race fine dining, followed by audio from IronJay describing what sounds to be a terrible injury from racing. But, that's not even the beginning. I also play "He is Lance" and is dedicated to the listener who, much like Emily, has a huge crush on Mr. Armstrong. Giggles!
I've also got a high quality recording from Jumpy doing the Batavia Triathlon along with some friends. I picked out Chuck Norris's Beard in that group and then Jumpy interviews the race winner. Next, I've included audio from Scott and his review of the Skyline-Harlem Criterium in Harlem, NY. Lastly, I've got Jetpack's first attempt at recording himself and I have to say it's pretty good. It's got bits of him trying to transition from bike to run and also of his mother fretting over his safety. I think we've all been there!
Intermingled in all that audio I talk about a variety of subjects. I blab about weight loss, alleycat racing, and so much more. One of the subjects is sunscreen, and you gotta check out this video from 20/20. It features one of my pet peeves, the inability to pause or rewind, so here's the goods: You want sunscreens with one of the following ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or parsol 1789... but try to use products with the first two. Avobenzone degrades very quickly, but you can look for a stabilizer (for the avobenzone) called "helioplex" available in just these two products - Aveeno continuous Protection sunblock lotion and Neutrogena Age Shield. There's one ingredient the rest of the civilized world is using that isn't available in the U.S.A called Mexoryl, but we're either too good or too stupid to use it safely in the States. Damned dirty UVA rays!
Hold on a moment, I'd like to have a technical segment here. I've been watching the releases of MP3 players forever and a very good one has just come out. Getting one of the highest reviews possible from CNET, the Creative Zen V will be on shelves probably in mid July. It's one of the few players I'd recommend for triathletes that performs on par (actually better) than the iPod Nano. 1, 2, and 4 gig models will be available and they are all flash-based, so you can really beat the suckers up and they'll keep rockin'. They are small and lightweight, so they're perfect for running and biking and don't get in the way when traveling or just carrying along with you during the day. I'm saving up for one right now. (Prices range from $119 to $229.) With and OLED screen and the ability to play video, FM radio, record line-in, and record memos, this baby has the Nano beat on price and functions. The only detractor is that it currently won't function as an external drive. That could change with a firmware update, so we'll see how that pans out. Check out a full review here.
Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast to find out what "sebaka" means and how I found out.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Injury and Prevention (of the Lower Leg)
Hey, Tri-studs! Coach Adam joins us for another phone chat session podcast, but this time he brings along "Eskimo" who works for Biomotion; a company that analyzes injury through motion analysis. We have a variety of other guests on the line as well and the show runs a very informative hour and a half long. Click here to listen.
Another famous friend who pops in is the Tri-Geek Kahuna. Hear him talk about his calf injury and discover some ideas about how to treat his problem. You can always hear more of his own podcast show at Tri-Geek Dreams.
Audio has been piling in, including lots of stuff from listeners and even music samples from my own family, so I've Also, we should welcome Cara and Elizabeth back from their trip abroad. Hear some funny details of their experiences by checking out intransitduo.com
Friday, June 16, 2006
Join me for a scorching bike ride as I play "Pent Up" by CBA, some voice
mails, hold an initial review of the Adeo, and then go running with the
one and only Jetpack.
Listen to the Podcast here!
I first heard CBA's "Pent Up" at the tail end of a Slashdot Review
podcast a couple weeks ago. I was very impressed with the tune's
Zen-like sounds and depth, especially the asian flute and buddhist monk
chants. You can download this song yourself at garageband.com
Voicemails include one from a listener in Chicago and a second one from
Jetpack saying he might come visit.
The Adeo is an audio-GPS from Motionlingo and certainly one of the most
interesting gadgets I've seen. I'm still testing it, but I can say that
this is the GPS for you if you listen to MP3s and don't like to have a
bulky GPS on your wrist. I can see lots of variations of this
technology coming in the future. Make sure to listen to the podcast to
hear the Adeo call out information as I'm working out. More review yet
to come! Here's a pic of the unit -
Lastly, Jetpack arrived in town and we went for a 5k run. We recorded it for the podcast and all of us stayed up late talking about triathlon, surviving cancer, and lots more. Jetdriver wants to try to do my next self-supported ironman with me, so I'm going to organize it around his schedule sometime this November.
Emily and I are getting ready to go tubing down the Guadalupe River with her family, so I've gotta cruise. I'll leave you with a funny picture from Jetdriver's visit. He had a "I do my own stunts" shirt that Kai and I had as well!
Monday, June 05, 2006
The only thing the Zentri Army likes to hear more than me being chased by dogs down a lonely Texas highway is the sweet voice of Mrs. Zentri giving me attitude. We sat down and I gave her the reigns to the show. I supplied her with some talking points and how to move the show along, but the rest is pure "Huck". Click here to listen!
Emily is a triathlete, extremely competitive with others, a mom, and also has type 1 diabetes. I really enjoy having her on the show because she brings the female perspective with vigor. "Huck" is training for her first Olympic distance race this July (Ironhead Dallas Triathlon) and may possibly do her first Half IM this fall at Lake Conroe. Being diabetic, nutrition poses a difficult obstacle, but that's all part of the game.
Listen closely and you can hear what it's like living with another competitive personality in the house. If she's not cutting me off, she's accusing me of hogging the show. Emily also gets tired of being refered to as the wife of a triathlete when she is one herself. If you have any personal questions for her, drop her a message at erhodes at rocketmail.com. No belly button piercing recommendations allowed! ;)
Show notes are as follows -
Breast cancer ride PSA
Brett's and Huck's workouts.
Audio from Syd. Also, he'll be sending us audio from biking in the lava
fields in hilo hawaii.
Cav's thread about getting married.
Voicemail about leather running outfit.
Time on Triscoop/computer vs. family.
Belly dancing/tattoos and piercings.
Jumpy's test audio
Race in Grand Prairie-July 16th (olympic). Ironhead Dallas Triathlon
Tetetimetrial interview about Alcatraz coming soon.
2 new suprise sponsors
Big apple classic criterium coming from scott soon.
Friday, June 02, 2006
A very compelling aspect of Zen is the breaking down of something large and looking for its essence in the smaller pieces. Where is the "quality" in a bicycle, for example? Another Zen skill is to take a large task and break it up into smaller bits, and to complete those smaller tasks with your utmost skill to make the large task more enjoyable. A good analogy is that when you have to wash a bunch of dishes and you don't really care to, wash each dish attentively and with care, as if you are washing just that dish and that dish alone. "When you wash dishes, only wash dishes." When you focus, you can find great enjoyment in completing a task well. We can all recall Mr. Miagi telling Daniel-son to repair his fence one paint stroke and one nail hammering at a time and how that helped Daniel grow as a competitor.
When you get tired of training, do you ever step back and just enjoy life for a few days? Take enjoyment in completing mundane tasks with your best effort at focusing? I did and recorded what happened in this podcast.
I first took on a job that I'm not particularly adept at: car repair. My wife's car wasn't starting on a regular basis, so I approached the problem with focused attention. My driveway ended up a mess of tools, cables, and acidic fluids that most of us drink (Coke), but the job was done, and done with an actual bit of beauty if I might say so myself. I have a long history of doing work but not cleaning up after myself, so this is where I applied Zen the most: A job is not done until you put everything away.
Next, I rewrapped my bike's bar-tape. I completed the task diligently and correctly, using electrical tape to finish off the wrapping, just like I should've done the first time. I now look forward to this weekend's ride instead of dreading the ever-shifting bar tape and the hard spots it reveals.
With those two tasks out of the way, I sat down and recorded myself talking to Prof. Erich and later to him and Coach Adam while using VOIP. (You can call me and leave up to a two minute voice mail at 512-CRY-DELI, btw.) With no stress hanging over my head, I captured the sounds of multiple triathletes having fun with no pressures of training. You might say these are the sounds of Triathletes in the Wild. Very silly at times, but quite entertaining. Hang in there til the end and you'll get a big dose of 80's rock trivia.
I also held the first ever Virtual Triathlon in Second Life (S.L.) S.L. is a virtual reality realm that is very cool, but regrettably takes a relatively powerful or modern computer to handle. The members of the Zentri Army that could make it jumped off the end of a yacht, swam around a sailboat, then returned to the marina. We then got on our virtual bikes and raced along an oceanside road, dumping the bikes to finish out the course while running across some high bridges. It was truly bizzare, but there was most definitely some competitive juices flowing. Participants were asking when the next one will be held, so I'm announcing that we'll do another on June 13th. Here's a picture of us at the finish line!
This podcast also includes audio from Moonpie and Tetetimetrial as they called the "Deli-Line" after completing a local tri, a voicemail from a triathlete in Stockholm, Sweden, and audio from Scott as he rode in a 100+ mile fundraiser ride on the East Coast. You guys and gals that send me audio really make my day. I'll say it over and over again; you are what make the show so interesting!
I've gotten some more audio in the inbox, so I gotta cruise and start putting together another podcast. Emily is talking about hosting the next show, which should be a big hit with her fans.
If you're interested in being in the next Virtual Triathlon, shoot me an email at texafornia at gmail.com for details. Strangely enough, you have to train for it, which might be a good way to busy yourself if you have some Down Time of your own.