Thursday, September 25, 2008

The bikes are here

Summer is over, the first day of Autumn was Tuesday, and it does feel like things are changing here. Today’s post from Udge discusses turning on the heater in his flat because it evidently is getting a little too cold over there. Here it also is getting cooler, and we switched over from using the air conditioner to the swamp coolers. Today it’s only supposed to hit 98f (36c, trying to do conversions in my head) and the forecast for the rest of the week shows slowly declining temperatures. It looks like the days of 100 are gone until next June. We will not be turning on our heaters until December or so. Water in our pool is still up at 90f, so evening swims are a little cooler, as the air temp and water temp are about the same. But it means we will probably be floating around in the daytime instead of just at dusk. It will not be too long before the water is too cool for me.

The bike show is running upstairs today, it fills up all four halls upstairs but the downstairs hall is empty. That’s forty thousand people wandering around, and the effect I notice is one of absorption: all of those bodies just suck up the cell phone signals and I have to walk out to the street in order to make a call. My office is down in the basement, under several feet of concrete, so signals are not very good normally anyway. The lobby is filled with spandex and wheels, there are signs posted out front about not chaining bicycles to the railings and black skid marks are all over the sidewalks. It is hard to tell the boys from the girls amongst all these riders; all have muscles and short hair and no makeup, all seem physically fit and provide quite a contrast to the bride’s show of a few weeks ago. Overheard conversations in the halls show they discuss hydraulic vs cable brakes, composite frames vs titanium, and which trail at Red Rock is more challenging. This show looks to be even larger than last year’s was, with the booths crowded together and more people attending. With all the talk of the economy falling it’s nice to see that some people are ignoring the news and just enjoying living.

Last week there was a big computer group here, comparing it to the electronics show in January, and even Comdex, the geek ratio was outrageous. We went down to the food court for lunch and could not find a place to sit: there was one person with a laptop per table, and they were not sharing. Not eating, just using the laptops and tables as working area and keeping us hungry folks from having a sit down. The liquor locker is next to our office, and out in G hall they usually set up the bars which are then rolled out to the show floor. For the geeks last week it was all high end liquor: fancy vodka and scotch. This week it’s all beer, there were thirty keg setups out there yesterday, but not for the cheap stuff, no, most of them were nice beers like Heineken, and very popular was a brew called Fat Tire Ale. I was surprised to find that bikers like beer, what with all the spandex and trim butts. The bartenders started rolling out the carts right after lunch, most of them went into booths rather than open bars, I guess that is a way some vendors get customers to come by; free beer.

Scrolling through my file of links I see that I tied Udge to a comic that he periodically refers to: xkcd. Well, pushing the Prev button sure killed quite a lot of time there. Something you can’t see in the post, but well, my clock does. Today’s seems rather appropriate for me:

As mentioned a few days ago, I picked up Spore last Friday, and my wife is getting rather perturbed at my sitting at the machine again, flying little spaceships among the stars. One of Udge’s readers, Zhoen, put up a video (yes, I know it’s not Monday) that for some reason I rather enjoy this morning. I’ve clicked replay quite a few times now and still like it, the music and the motion of the hands:

Thanks Z, There’s your quiet spot for the day.

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