Sunday, May 30, 2010

Smell Doppler?

Along the Mt Vernon trail, north of National Airport, there is a bank of port-a-potties. Normally, port-a-potties are a temporary solution, but these crappers have been in the same location for as long as I remember. It doesn't take long for a port-a-potty in DC to get fouled up....sometimes I think they drop them off at events full of poo. So, to keep these in tolerable condition, I'm sure the shitsucker is at this location on a very frequent basis.
Everyday, I pass this wall of crappers. In the morning, I usually smell nothing. On the ride home, I catch a whiff of poo that nearly knocks me off the bike. What is unusual to me is the point at which I smell the poo. I'd expect to detect the smell just before passing the crappers, and holding that smell until just a few feet after passing them. Instead, I detect the smell about 50ft after I pass the wall of crap. I've been trying to understand this phenomenon, and have came up with a couple of explanations. The simplest explanation is that the winds are blowing the stench, but this seems to happen on days that are not windy. So, it's not that simple. This got me to thinking that there may be a sort of "smell Doppler" effect that can explain the existence of an odor vector. See the diagram below.
If there is indeed a smell Doppler effect, the odor vector would vary based upon my speed. I may need to test this on future rides. By detecting the variations due to speed, I may be able to calculate an escape velocity....the speed at which I'd need to travel to not detect the odor. I don't know if breaking the "Smell Barrier" will be achievable by bicycle, but I hope to be the first.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

neighborly neighbors

ahhh, got to love a suburban neighborhood full of disgruntled bureaucrats.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Singing Fred

Today marks the return of the "Singing Fred".  The last time I saw him was back in September, so obviously he's a fairweather rider.  Today he was wearing a button-down shirt avec bowtie and slacks.  As I was cruising down Commonwealtha Ave following a car, I hear him singing (Opera as opposed to Journey), and approaching me.  I slow for the upcoming intersection behind a line of 5 cars, who are all turning right at a busy intersection.  Douchebag, decides to go up the right hand side and ignore the 4-way stop, nearly causing an accident.  I'd like to just cruise in to work, since I didn't feel up to riding hard, nor did I want to hear any more opera singer as I got near the Fred.  But, when someone does something dangerous on the road, I do like to hammer it past them and prove the point that their wreckless riding is getting them nowhere...occasionally I want to say something like, "hey, your wreckless move does nothing to endear car drivers to cyclists"...but it usually comes out as "hey, jackass, stupid move."  Since Fred was singing, I thought a high speed pass, narrowly missing him without any sort of "on your left" would suffice.  Back in September, Singing Fred gave me no indication that he was passing, other than that I heard "Don't Stop Believin" as he approached.  So, after a quick acceleration, I was about 10 yards behind Fred as we hit the Route 1 underpass.  He got louder and louder with his rendition of  The Marriage of Figaro.  We hit some congestion, and he wrecklessly passed a cluster of runners and cyclists.  As we got on the MVT, I hit the gas, closely passed him and left Singing Fred behind.  I had to ride a little faster than I wanted, since Singing Fred does spin the hybrid at max speed. He also has the propensity to be a wheelsucker, so I had to accelerate quickly as I passed. Luckily I didn't hear another note.  Unfortunately, I arrived at work a little sweatier than I had planned.
With Spring in full swing, the trail is getting somewhat dangerous...rollerbladers, unicyclists, texting riders, military members taking PT tests, people with headphones that can't hear anyone else around them, Team Radioshack jerseys, Trail Time Trialists, and other heros that come out when the weather's good.  Fairweather riders are taking over.  Most are tolerable, but the awful singing is not.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

9 Worst Beers?

Esquire recently published a list of the nine worst beers on Earth.

Sonya claims to love the Bud & Clamato, I on the otherhand couldn't stomach it. Truly the foulest stuff ever. If I couldn't stand a decent mass-market brew (Bud Heavy, aka the King in a Can) mixed with tomato juice, clam juice and lime, there's no way I could handle light piss beer mixed with tomato juice, clam juice and lime.

7-11's Game Day light looks like pure class in a can. I see they have the ever popular "Ice" version as well as your standard light. If I invite you over to my house, and you're bringing beer, make it a Game Day.

Rock Ice looks like the standard beer you'd buy in a country not known for beer...Korea's Cass, Thailand's Singha and Turkey's Efes come to mind. This stuff is "Ice" to boot...I thought Ice beers died off in the 90s with Zima? I'm getting a headache just looking at this one.

If I ever make it to Canada, the first beer I'm trying is Sleeman Clear. Any beer described as "Clear" has got to be good. Plus, it's modeled here next to a Thomas the Tank Engine's not Thomas, Percy, Gordon or one of the cool trains. It's some loser yellow train, I guess to show us that the color of beer is an even lighter yellow.

I've got extensive experience with the Fruity NAs. I also have extensive experience drinking shitty light beer. But, the Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Rasbperry looks like it could be the foulest of the would be what Oprah would drink if Oprah drank beer. Ignoring the Oprah factor, I don't think I could try this one, as Fruity NAs will bring up some bad this one.

Camo High Gravity Lager is more of a Malt Liquor, which is in a category of its own. Although I loved the theory of a 40oz in my younger days, I never could pull it off. The theory was great, go buy 1 high alcohol content brew for a couple of bucks, put it in a brown paper bag to be discreet, and get F'd up. What's wrong with that? Plus, all the gangsta rappers were doing it back in the day, and they were just flat out cool. In reality, I could only handle 40s of Bud...but I could never finish off the swill at the bottom. It just got too warm for me. Malt Liquor sucks...and I could put just about any malt liquor on this list. Esquire just got lazy and couldn't name 9 shitty beers.

MGD 64...the low carb/low calorie beer craze boggles my mind, just like Diet Coke. If you're going to kill the flavor, why bother?

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic...apparently I thought this one wasn't all that bad. I have had some bad experiences with Cranberry Lambics of late. Blue and Gray's Cranberry Lambic was a red and cloudy mess full of cranberry chunks and super sour. It was foul, and far worse than Sam Adams' offering.

Olde English 800...aka the eightball. Once again, Esquire got lazy and had to mention another malt liquor. OE is one of the kings of malt liquor, right up there with Colt .45....even gets a mention from Eazy E in his classic "Boyz n the Hood"

Beer's I would've included:
-Natural Light
-Natty Ice
-Milwaukee's Best
-Milwaukee's Best Ice
-Duckrabbit Milk Stout
-Any gluten free beer

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Retiring My Jersey

After nearly 3 years of use, it's time for me to retire my HACC Jersey. The jersey has seen a lot of miles...rides on 3 Hawaiian Islands, races in Hawaii, DC, Maryland, and commutes to Arlington.
The decisive moment came yesterday in the locker room at Ft Belvoir. It was a cool commute, and I hardly sweat on my way in to work. In the morning, I hung it up in a locker. After a full day of class, I came back to the gym to change. When I opened up the locker, it released a vile stench that cleared the room. I could barely breathe as I struggled to put on the jersey. Over the past 6 months, I noticed that the jersey was holding an increasingly stronger stench, but it was usually noticeable after a more intense sweat-inducing ride. Yesterday's easy ride awakened some old stink cells that singed my nose hairs. I'd been denying the stench for awhile, but I can't do it any longer...
The sweat fossils that are awakened by new sweat do induce great memories, such as the climb up Haleakala. I enjoy the memories, but can't deal with the accompanying stench.
A stinky jersey does have its advantages--
1) In a group ride, I wouldn't have to do any work up front, since no one would want to follow the stink cloud.
2) In a race, no one would chase me if I started a break, for fear of choking on the stink cloud.
It's only May, and I can barely handle the stench. I could only imagine what it would be like to wear it during a hot July DC ride. I could probably clear out a city block.
So, I think it's time to say goodbye.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jack Daniel

Visited the Jack Daniel's Distillery last week. Due to "high security", I was only able to smuggle out this picture of the highly sensitive operation in Lynchburg, TN.

Our tour guide was very proud of the "high security" and Jack Daniel's Distillery...she managed to repeat herself quite frequently on the rules imposed by high security, especially in the wake of the moron car bomber in Times Square.

We were allowed to take pictures outside, but were not allowed to do so with cell phones. Presumably, they did not want Near-Real-Time imagery of the highly sensitive Lincoln County Process to be disseminated all over the interwebs. Such time sensitive information would give the enemies at Al Qaeda and Jim Beam valuable insights on this sensitive operation.

Pictures with regular cameras are OK, but can't be taken indoors, where all the action happens. A high-resolution photo of a fermenting tank, may give Al Qaeda or Jim Beam details on the special strain of yeast used by Jack Daniels. Beam has been known to perform forensics and a DNA-level analysis of many yeast strains, then send their agents back to the distillery back with specially crafted anti-yeast compounds to create a massive yeast infection, thus resulting in the downfall of many a whiskey. One well-known victim of Beam's espionage is Jeremiah Weed. Weed used to be the smoothest blend of whiskey, now it's the most vile alcohol known to man and is only drank by fighter pilots who really don't know any better.

The tour was nice. I learned a lot about Jack. The tour guide was great, continually repeating herself, so all the information sunk in. Unfortunately, no sipping is allowed in the dry County of Moore. We did get to inhale some of the fumes from the Lincoln County Processer...very potent. It burned my throat for the rest of the day.