50ish recent tracks, mostly picked by my phone. Some of these played while I was riding in the wind and couldn’t actually hear them, but I assume they were embedded in my brain subconsciously.
Marijuana – Cibo Matto
Don’t Call Me Billy (Demo) – Elliott Smith
Instrumental – Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson
Wish – Wyatt Smith
Chango – Ozomatli
Save It Pretty Mama – Louis Armstrong
Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder
Lowell, MA – Death Cab For Cutie
Do It Again – Hysterics
Stand! – Sly & The Family Stone
Severe Tire Damage Theme – They Might Be Giants
Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
S-E-X-X-Y – They Might Be Giants
Tug of Love – Dennis Wilson
I Desire – Devo
Murder Of Crows – Jamie T
Anything – TOPS
Could You Drive Me Home – Preparation 500
I’ll See You in My Dreams – Django Reinhardt
Life Is Still Sweet – White Hassle
Hyacinth Blues – The Constantines
Temptation Waits – Garbage
polaroid smmr – Detective Deckard
Little Boxes (dirty version) – Kris Gruen
Mind Fuck – The Soft
Centerfold – The J. Geils Band
I’m In Great Shape – Brian Wilson
Runnin’ With the Devil (Van Halen cover) – The Vatican Cellars
Pump-Rama – Killer Pussy
He’s a Mighty Good Leader – Beck
Regrets – Ben Folds Five
I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever) – Stevie Wonder
Go West – Liz Phair
My Guitar – Nader & the Trees
Jalousie – Esquivel
A Horse with No Name (America) – Larrikin Love
Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) – Nouvelle Vague
Tonight You Belong to Me – Trashcan Sinatras
Happiness – Callum Pitt
Le temps – Mha
Evil – Howlin’ Wolf
Modesty Plays [Extended Version] – Sparks
Witch Doctor – David Seville
Sky So Blue – Hot Flash Heat Wave
Seven Seas – Echo and the Bunnymen
Ballad – HAMJAM
Love Me Two Times – The Doors
Today I tell the tale of my greatest rival, my nemesis, my one true foe: Daniel Quinn. Who is Daniel Quinn? I JUST TOLD YOU HE IS MY FOE. MY MORTAL ENEMY, FOR CORN SAKE.
But if you want to know why he’s my foe…
About a year ago I started a project: to ride on every single street in the San Fernando Valley. It fell by the wayside, mostly because of bad weather and laziness, but also because it was hard to figure out exactly where the streets of the Valley ended.
But recently I found wandrer.earth, a site uses your ride data from Strava to figure out exactly what roads you have ridden and how much progress you have made. I signed up, went to my map, and saw this:
Look at that magic! A beautiful map showing all of my carefully planned trips to precisely cover every single street. And now I had a number: 18.66 percent. Only 81.34 percent left.
Then I saw the link to the leaderboard. I had to know if I was on top. I clicked the link.
I was number TWO. Who was number one?
And adding insult to injury, look at his map. JUST LOOK AT IT.
HE’S NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIT EVERY ROAD. He just rides so much that he’s picked up tons of streets ON A WHIM.
He is the most dangerous kind of mortal enemy:
the one who doesn’t know he is a mortal enemy.
I will crush him. CRUSH HIM.
In the Valley. Eventually. I hope. Everywhere else he will destroy me. See how most of my rides are straight lines, and how his are all bendy? That’s because he rides the hills. A lot. He could probably knock out the Valley in a week if he tried.
So I must work silently to destroy him. And then, when my task is done, I shall gloat on his Strava page about conquering him, destroying him, humiliating him!
And he will say “Who are you?”
Sort of like this:
How are you? Fine, I hope. I am fine.
I’m sorry I haven’t written for a couple of months. I was really busy or something.
So much has happened since my last note. The most significant thing is that I saw Cats. This was my favorite song.
I also lost more weight. Most it from my beard.
I also got a new bike. It looks like this one, but red.
I made a little more progress on my project to ride every street in the San Fernando Valley.
I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I will write more soon.
P.S. Maybe the world is ending?
I took some pictures at the Women’s March on Saturday.
This is from Marvel Team-Up #74, where Spider-Man teamed up with the 1978 cast of Saturday Night Live.
Or one license twice, depending on how you look at it.
I always try to put my actual weight on my driver license. The top one is what I weighed five years ago – 235 pounds. After that, my weight gradually crept up to the second license, and then beyond. I peaked at just under 270. I thought 235 was bad, but 270 was a whole new world of doughiness.
My weight stayed in the 265-270 range until about nine weeks ago, when I finally decided to really do something about it. The method doesn’t matter, but the progress does:
Losing the weight has been great, but I’m more happy about the invisible benefits than my appearance. I can do things like ride my bike up hills without stopping. My resting heart rate has dropped by 15bpm. My apnea dropped to “really loud snoring” – not great for Katherine’s sleep, but good for mine.
I’m not done yet – you wouldn’t believe how far I’d need to go to officially move out of the “overweight” range – but it’s pleasant for my weight on my license to be too high instead of too low.
…and yes, it’s “driver license,” not “driver’s license.” At least it is in California.
There are about nine hours left in my 2019.
It’s ending on a good note. Katherine is as awesome as ever. I still have the best damn job I could imagine, and a group of co-workers I actually like to hang out with. And I’m about 25 pounds lighter than I was last year. All good.
The world decided to give me a gift today: perfect bike weather. Sunny and warm, but not hot. And a second gift: almost no traffic. I had my highest ever average speed for a longer ride. Another good note.
I don’t care for the whole New Year’s resolutions thing. It’s a high pressure recipe for discouragement. Instead, I’m going to try and keep doing what I try doing all year: adjust and improve as I go. I don’t expect to get it all right, and that’s fine. Whether you’re making a resolution tomorrow or not, I hope you give yourself permission to fail and learn.
2020 is here. I hope it’s great for you.
Now: 50 recent songs, mostly picked by my phone, including the best song of the ride.
Feral Cat Tribe – Tenement
My Three Sons – Elvis Costello And The Imposters
Tu m’as encore crevé un cheval – Arlt
This was in the last 50 songs as well. Why? Because Apple uses a crappy music randomizer. Thousands of songs on my phone, and this one comes up again right away.
Part III – Crumb
I Wish You Would – The Yardbirds
Vaporize – Broken Bells
Who Cares? (take 4) – Cannonball Adderley With Bill Evans
Longer Boats – Cat Stevens
Coney Island Baby – Tom Waits
Schn in rosa und rot (Pretty in Pink – Psychedelic Furs) – Le anin
Dio – Tenacious D
Easy Read – Trashcan Sinatras
Baby Plays Around – Elvis Costello
Jump Boys – The Undertones
Cross-Eyed Tammy – The Dickies
Fool – Cat Power
Crazy People – Luna
Until Death – Scout Niblett
A New Wave – Sleater-Kinney
Take It Easy, Greasy – Snooky Pryor
Porno Music – Freaks and Geeks
Straight Edge – Minor Threat
Most Precarious – Blues Traveler
She Wolf – Shakira
Get In On It – Antoine Diligent
Think It Over – Buddy Holly
Hot – The Regrettes
Haunted – Broken Down Golf Cart
Tu Mirada y Mi Voz – Susana Baca
Motherless Children – Eric Clapton
Big House – Young Fresh Fellows
Sky Phenomenon – Jens Lekman
I Feel Speed – Love And Rockets
Muddy Waters – LP
White Babies – Liz Phair
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John
I’m a Wicked One – The Hives
Neighborhood #1 Tunnels – Arcade Fire
Dereclict – Beck
Key Largo – Arbes
Loosy Lucy – The Steeples
Everyone Can See – yungatita
The Girl I Knew Somewhere – The Monkees
Daylight Til Dawn – All Night Radio
Stars on Your Nose – Indoorsy
Tal Uno – Barrie
And here’s today’s ride.
No way! Even more candles!