Re: Spare tires

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Silhouette!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:15 AM
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I think I've mentioned here before that divorce is the most effective rapid weight plan I've discovered. That wouldn't be a quick fix for you, though, as you still have to get through the wedding before you could even consider it.

Though several people suggested I looked emaciated and sickly at my low point, I have to admit I rather liked being thin as a rail. It's only about 10-15 pounds from where I'm at now, but the difference is noticeable to me and I would love to drop those extra pounds. Fortunately or unfortunately, I love cheeseburgers and milkshakes more than I love being skinny, so I will likely remain at or above where I am now for the foreseeable future.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:15 AM
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... er.... rapid weight loss plan...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:16 AM
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I was constantly queasy for quite a long while a few months ago and started losing weight. I got down below 130, pretty much to what I consider my ideal weight of 127 (though, I guess if I could wave a magic wand or something I'd like to weigh less, let's say 120). now I'm taking new medicine that has cured the queasiness (yay!) but I have naturally started to gain weight, and am now all the way up to 136 (boo.) the thing is, I can't diet. I can just never resist eating sweets, even though if I just dropped the candy bars I could lose weight easily. on the other hand, I'm perfectly stable at this weight and it's not like I'm hideous or something, so maybe I should just stop worrying about it. ha ha, I say that but the truth is I feel kind of repulsive and I can't wear the new jeans I bought myself as a treat when I was so thin. this is even though I know perfectly well that if I could talk to my depressed, post-partum alcoholic 165 pound self and say I was going to be my current weight I'd have been completely happy! I never diet on purpose or complain about how I look, but the other day my 7-year-old said she was too fat and I was so horrified. has she somehow just intuited that I feel fat all the time? her comment was "nobody likes the way they look." aaarrrrgggghhhh. it's hard to know how to combine the message "are you crazy, you thin person" with "there's nothing wrong with being heavier." obviously the fact that i don't believe this about myself must be leaking out, right?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:20 AM
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You know, before I started posting on Unfogged, I thought I was a good speller.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:20 AM
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It'll drop away when Hawaii weens, right? Why worry about it before that?

Like some third world countries, I require fascism, in my case to either lose weight, or hold even. There was a coup just the other day, those, and procedural liberals seem to have seized the radio station.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:27 AM
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6: Oh, mostly vanity and for sports.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:28 AM
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2-3) I've heard you can simulate this with other high-stress activities.

So H-G doesn't have to wait to get married so she can get divorced, they just need to quit there jobs, sell their house, and move to a new city where they don't know anyone and their prospects aren't great. That'll do the trick.


On the subjects of diet in general, it seems to me that this is an area where the research is almost all problematic (for reasons of scope, self-selection, self-reporting, corporate pressure, etc. just off the top).

On the one hand it seem empirically obvious that many (most?) people don't have a single "set point" so much as a number of possible ones depending on how they live there lives in a broad sense, and these change with age. This is certainly true of me.

On the other hand, it's also clear that a massive industry is highly invested in certain ways of framing things, which don't seem to be particularly useful otherwise.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:34 AM
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*their jobs even. how'd I manage to do that differently four words apart I have no idea.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:35 AM
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I guess I'm pretty much implicitly declaring this a there/their amnesty day, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:36 AM
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Where are you moving, soupie? If it's not classified.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:37 AM
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Given my druthers, I'd drop down to about 185, but that would require making an effort so fuck it. I'm okay with being my current 205; I carry it pretty well. If I really got my rainbow pony wish, though, I'd stay this weight and be 6'3" instead of 6'0".

Oh yeah, and stinking rich too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:37 AM
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Lift very heavy things. Every other method takes time and self-discipline, but lifting very heavy things magically shapes you all nice.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:39 AM
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I think I have a "set point" and I'm right now under it for a variety of stress-related reasons. Yesterday, I really *needed* to eat an entire pizza, a sandwich, twenty cookies, and a giant bowl of pasta. It's like my body was saying "eat now! eat now! for tomorrow...the veldt!"


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:39 AM
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It's like my body was saying "eat now! eat now!"

Jackmormon is preggers!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:40 AM
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13: What about one 11 lb thing, over and over again? As it gradually gets bigger?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:41 AM
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It'll drop away when Hawaii weens, right? Why worry about it before that?

IME, it drops away as you nurse -- as Hawaii's appetite increases, HG should find weight coming off magically. Weening, in contrast, was the stage where I continued to eat as if I were nursing while not squirting all those extra calories back into Rory and put 10 pounds right back on. Nursing was fun -- I was 127 pounds, had ginormous (for me) boobs, and ate everything I saw.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:41 AM
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I just finished a big box of Dots. I'm not sure what impelled me to buy them. When I walked into the store, I intended to buy Swedish Fish, but apparently Dots provided some nutrient I was lacking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:42 AM
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16: I haven't found masturbation to affect my weight at all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:42 AM
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I found that regular exercise helps dampen mood swings for me, with some weight loss/ fitting into old clothes as a byproduct. I also made a conscious effort to take smaller portions unless the food is really good, and basically cut out junk food sweets that way. Retrospectively painless, didn't seem to require that much willpower at the time. Ease depends on how attached one is to oreos or ice-cream sandwiches or whatever, I guess. Finding a couple of different ways to get exercise really helps for me, and getting started doing that was definitely harder than tweaking food intake away from plates of crap pasta.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:42 AM
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I've been on a diet since April and have lost 22-23lbs or so. I have another 20lbs or so to lose. Maybe 25. So far, I've found the first 15-20lbs quite easy to lose, but I've plateaued a bit recently and only lost 2 or 3lbs in the past 3 weeks.*

Currently I'm a little over 200 [well, nearly 10 over 200], target weight about 185-190. In an ideal world I'd overshoot that by a bit and then regain some weight as muscle mass.

Fwiw, those 20lbs or so have made a fairly noticeable difference to how I look. I'm built in a way that means I could be 185lbs and look fairly lean despite not being that tall.

* iirc dsqured and I had a bet last time, and I singularly failed to lose 10kg in 9-10 weeks. Ironically, this time I made it with a couple of weeks to spare.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:44 AM
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Weaning, people! Weaning!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:45 AM
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Where are you moving, soupie? If it's not classified.

Oh, I didn't mean it that way. I might be moving, but it's not clear. It's a strange year for jobs.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:45 AM
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I pretty much quit drinking beer for a couple of weeks last month and quite rapidly lost about 10 pounds, something that 6 months on the elliptical couldn't accomplish. Sort of freaky.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:46 AM
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Jackmormon is preggers!

[Shudder]

I've had to buy a couple of new clothes for the weight loss, actually, and it's not really all that fun to do so since I know full well that these jeans and that bra will be too tight as soon as things settle down a bit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:46 AM
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13:What Megan said. And crunches.

There has to be a book "Resistance Training Using Babies". Maybe you could borrow another baby for flys. I think slow reps are better than fast ones.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:47 AM
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Lift very heavy things. Every other method takes time and self-discipline, but lifting very heavy things magically shapes you all nice.

This isn't actually true. Lifting can change things, but it also takes time and self discipline, and is probably less effective (at this goal) than similar amounts of hard cardio (i.e. using your legs at capacity).

Basically the question 'how do I change the shape of my body' has an easy answer: 'fundamentally change the way you live'. There is some room to move on the range of applicable changes, and there may be some less easy answers that also work.

Most people aren't actually looking for that answer, which is why they are happy to be convinced by answers that look more like 'do this one easy thing', 'eat only stuff in these boxes', 'buy my book'. For the most part though, those range from hopeless to fairly ineffectual, it seems.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:52 AM
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What about one 11 lb thing, over and over again?

No toning! Toning is as time-intensive as cardio and gets equally slow results. Heavy! Heavy enough to be worried about failure. But then the effort part only takes a few seconds.

(Use low weights until your form and control is perfect. Then heavy heavy heavy.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:52 AM
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What about one 11 lb thing, over and over again? As it gradually gets bigger?

It's a good program.

For the expert version, start with a calf.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:54 AM
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28: So you're saying I should put down Hawaiian Punch and start lifting Jammies?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:54 AM
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One of the problems as well is that well-meaning thin(ish) people always give you advice. And they don't have a scooby.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:56 AM
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1. Weening involves listening to that band that did the song about pushing daisies.

2. Molly has claimed that she has one set point for living in Europe and another (obviously higher) one for the US.

3. In the grocery store checkout ailse yesterday I saw the People Magazine cover about Melissa Joan Hart going from a "horrifying" 155lbs down to 113 lbs. Come on! Weighing 155 is not "horrifying," even if you are only 5'2".


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:56 AM
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Soup Biscuit, I think we're getting at different types of self-discipline. For me, continuing to run after 15 minutes takes a lot of self-discipline. Whatever feeling I'm getting from running stays about the same and isn't very interesting. The only thing that keeps me going at such a largely monotonous activity is self-discipline.

Lifting, though, has lots of suspense and bursts. That's interesting, so it doesn't take self-discipline to do the next thing. Maybe getting to the gym takes self-discipline for some, but showing up has always been a trait of mine.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:57 AM
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So what you're saying, Megan, is that carrying ridiculously heavy groceries home over two miles because you're too damn cheap to spend the money on transit is actually a cunning weight-loss plan?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:57 AM
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My arms got steadily bigger as my son did. When he first learned to walk, his evening routine was to walk as far as his little legs could carry him (always downhill) and then demand to be carried home. Once he got over 30 pounds and the walk home go over 8 blocks, I was getting real arm training.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:57 AM
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put down Hawaiian Punch and start lifting Jammies

Yes, exactly.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:57 AM
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OK, I know it's been said, but this is just nuts. This will (almost surely) be the easiest weight you will ever drop in your life. The cliche is "9 months up, 9 months down," but, if HP is any kind of nurser, you'll probably be faster. But trying to rush it to 9 7 6 5 43 months is silly.

That said, if you work to add muscle mass, that won't affect your scale reading immediately, but should speed your metabolism a bit so that the leftover pregnancy fat gets consumed faster, and will also put you in better stead once you do wean (or, rather, once HP starts to get most of her calories elsewhere; the last few comfort nursings/day can go on as long as you like).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:00 AM
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re: 33

Yeah, I find training for sport (by doing that sport)* quite interesting, and weight training I don't do enough of but quite enjoy while I do. Lengthy cardio is just tedious though.

I have friends though who love cardio. People who'll run for hours or cycle because that is fun/interesting for them.

* not so great with my chosen sport since it develops some things very well, and other things not at all. I have awesome fitness in 2 minute bursts**, not so much with things that involve 30 minutes of non-interrupted effort.

** it's always fun to watch super-fit people who aren't used to anaerobic exercise of that sort of intensity turning into mush


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:00 AM
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You're smart, so I'm sure you know this, but go easy on the dieting while you're nursing (to the extent you care about continuing to nurse). Your body's got a lot of natural baby-preservation instincts, but if it thinks there's only food enough for one of you out there on the veldt, there's no question which of you it intends to starve. And then boom, no more milk. And it can be very difficult to get the supply going again.

Honestly, I can't believe you're even thinking about your weight barely one month post-pregnancy. FWIW, a lot of women drop extra pregnancy weight 3-6 months out. (And a lot of women never drop all of it.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:01 AM
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39: Sometimes our veldt-genes can be real assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:02 AM
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my husband recently lost 30 pounds by the simple expedients of ditching beer, eating lots of salads, and working out for like an hour a day. bastard. he looks great, though, so I'm not complaining.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:03 AM
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I think 39 sounded more judgmental than I intended it to. Sorry.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:03 AM
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37: I know. But it really is frustrating to not be pregnant and still not fit into any of your clothes. (Really). I'm stuck wearing a couple shirts and cut-offs that I bought from Goodwill a few weeks ago. (I do not want to acquire a third wardrobe.) (Also I played soccer for the first time recently, and it was a tough pill to swallow. I was much worse than I was when I first started playing as an adult, after a 7 year hiatus from high school.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:04 AM
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and yeah, I agree with 39. it might take 9 months for all the weight to come off gradually, but it took 9 months to get there...hollywood stars who lose all the baby weight after 2 months are freaks who are miserably starving.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:04 AM
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42: Don't mind me. I take a middle ground between Darwin and Creationism. I believe in evolution, but I'm not happy about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:05 AM
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43: what about your maternity clothes? I think many women wear them for a while post-pregnancy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:05 AM
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FWIW, it's literally true that 10 lbs. is all I need to drop - I was 159-165 in HS, which was too thin. I was 169 in college, but I was undermuscled. I think I was 175-180 in my 20s, and that was pretty good. But, starting with the house and the kids and the working at home, I'm up around 190, and it's too much. I think most people would still say I'm skinny, but I've seen my dad (identical body type), and I know that, if I'm not careful, there will be an inexorable slide to ~220, with 30 of it in my gut.

Which is not to say that I'm actively dieting or exercising to lose weight, but I try to control portions, limit snacks, etc. All that stupid shit I didn't have to worry about when I was 25 and had the metabolism of a hummingbird (I must say that the review gig does not help in this matter; I really am obliged to order more food than is normal*, and once it's on the table, well...).

* More than once a server has taken the order and looked at our party dubiously. "Are more of you coming?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:05 AM
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(But no one should take dieting advice from me, because I'm 35-40 pounds underweight.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:07 AM
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46: I didn't need to own any summer clothes, since I was due in April. So it was all pants, (and mostly blouses or sweaters to wear to work), which are way too hot (and formal) now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:08 AM
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35: I've always used a modified "football" hold with my kids - essentially supporting them with my forearm under their torsos, puppet-like. When I do it with Kai, Iris will frequently ask me to lift her on the other side - 42 lbs., 44". Actually, Kai is growing so fat so fast (22 lbs., 10.5 mos.) that my arms aren't quite keeping up - I could hold Iris in that position for an hour when she was that weight, but I think it took her 18 months to reach it. With Kai I need to switch arms every few minutes, and the total hold time is maybe half an hour. Little chunk of a kid, he is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:08 AM
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You people are all nuts. Alameida, 127 pounds is "awesome" but 136 is "all the way up" and "boo"? I hate to say it, people, but thinking 10 or 15 pounds is the difference between "perfect" and "gross" makes you seriously insane (you too, JRoth).


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:10 AM
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You could buy a couple of comfy sack-like cotton dresses! They're more comfortable than anything else in really hot weather, and ones that fit you now will still work fine when you're thinner.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:10 AM
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50: Mind gets really pissed if he can't see around, so I've never gotten away with anything like that. It's always up so that his eyes are level with mine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:10 AM
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MUUMUUS!!!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:11 AM
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51: I'm with you on that, but I'm fairly certain I should exercise and I don't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:11 AM
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I had a possibly more moderate version of m. leblanc's reaction to alameida's comment.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:11 AM
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51: it's a fair cop, guv.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:12 AM
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55: Yes, exercise is great. But for a lot of people, it doesn't have much effect on your weight. There are periods where I exercise unfailingly. I feel awesome: more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, less moody, etc. But it doesn't actually make me lose weight.

On the other hand, when my boyfriend moved away, I dropped 15 pounds in a month, and so did he. It's that "way too lazy to bother with dinner when it's just me" thing. Funny. Kinda like Di Kotimy's divorce diet, without the depression.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:14 AM
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52: ACK! Skin-on-skin! Shudders.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:15 AM
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53: Oh no, they're way the hell up. Picture looking at the palm of your hand in front of your face; that's where the sternum is. The hold goes anywhere from ~35° to ~80°. In fact, one of the reasons I kept doing it with Iris long after she could walk (she's always been a champion walker/runner) was to pick her up to see things - I can hold her up and out so that her head is like 5' off the ground and 3' in front of me (she also has crazy core body strength - until recently, I could hold her at her hips, lower her to pick up something from the floor, and she could raise herself back up to vertical; she could probably do those situps where your legs are up and your body hangs down).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:15 AM
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In fact, one of the reasons I kept doing it with Iris long after she could walk (she's always been a champion walker/runner) was to cop a feel.

Perv.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:16 AM
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59: I forgot you had that particular aversion. Oh well! Sucks to be you. [Emoticon here]


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:17 AM
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I went from 300->240 over the course of about 2 years. Now my body really seems to like 240. I keep losing fat, but I must be adding muscle at almost the exact rate since I have been the same weight +-5 lbs for a year and a half now.

I think my ideal weight would probably be 220-230, but as long as my fitness keeps increasing I am fine with 240.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:17 AM
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Yes, exercise is great. But for a lot of people, it doesn't have much effect on your weight.

But your weight can affect your exercise. Jogging is going fine, but I have completely lost my quick movements. (Which is probably training more than weight gain, except I didn't lose them this much with the 7 year hiatus, during which I just jogged.)(Also, I'm sure neurons are regrowing and reconnecting and relearning about my new body and I should just chill out. But what good is a blogger who is chill about everything?)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:18 AM
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60: I like to keep the butt on my arm. He sometimes decides he want to come down without communicating this to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:19 AM
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Lift very heavy things.

This advice is dangerously misguided and can lead to permanent injury. When all those heavy things are up on high shelves they might fall and break a limb or worse. You have to both lift the heavy things and put them back down again. Failure to observe this simple rule is the number one cause of injuries in the United States.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:19 AM
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(you too, JRoth)

I just don't want my dad's giant gut! (And I'm serious - it's literally 35 pounds all in his gut - he's otherwise slender and even muscular)

Some of it is also leftover from my teen years, when I was Charles Atlas "Before" skinny, but with a 6 pack. My overall body is much better/more attractive/stronger now, but it's hard to give up that youthful self image of having a firm belly.

But you're right, I need to chill about it. But I also need not to eat Hostess cupcakes and chips and a soda between lunch and dinner.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:19 AM
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I like to keep the butt on my arm

Perv.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:20 AM
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I'm in the 10-15 lbs of desired weight loss range as well, but this is after losing 25 pounds that I had gained over the course of a very bad year. I'm now probably down to my college weight, and I am trying to see if I can do better, but it's not really a source of anxiety.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:20 AM
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56: Was I harsh? I didn't mean to be. But I think we all take fluctuations in our weight way too seriously and get so butthurt about it. I mean, how many points in your life have you been unhappy with the way you look, only to look back a couple years later and think "damn, I looked good. Wtf." When I was in high school, I thought I was fat. Looked great. When I was in college, I thought I was fat. Still looked great. When I was in law school, I dropped 20 pounds because I moved to a walking city and I looked great. I gained it back and still looked good. But of course hating my body all the while! Now, I feel like I must look horrible. I guarantee you in 5 years I will look back on pictures from now and think "Christ, I needed to get the fuck over myself....I looked great."

At some point, don't you learn that you're wrong, and just decide to be ok with how you are now, rather than continually being okay with how you looked at time t, only when you get to t + 5?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:20 AM
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66: It would be like living at Home Depot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:20 AM
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I just don't want my dad's giant gut!

That's the spirit! Make one of your own!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:21 AM
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71: Don't try to live at Home Depot. The toilets aren't hooked-up and they get very mad when you use them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:22 AM
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I hate to be a downer about the post-baby weightloss, but I stabilized at a new, significantly higher weight after mine; naturally returning to your pre-baby weight doesn't reliably happen. I've never had the attention span to actually diet in any way more stringent than trying not to split a pint of Ben & Jerry's with Buck every night.

Now, the weight I'm stable at these days doesn't look particularly bad (anyone from here who's ever seen me has seen me at about the same weight), so I'm not seriously wrecked about it, but I'd like to be twenty-five pounds lighter, and keep on vaguely hoping that if I get regular about running, it'll happen spontaneously. (Twentyfive pounds sounds like a lot, but on me it's about a dress-size, so not a huge visual difference.)

It's funny, I don't so much feel fat, as middle-aged; when I didn't have kids, I was a big lean gawky person, and now I'm a big solid stocky person, and it makes me feel older. Of course, I am older than I was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:22 AM
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Oh also I like to blame my belly when I have trouble biking up hills. It's actually true that weight has a huge impact on climbing on a bike (it's so mechanically efficient that, literally, an extra pound has a measurable effect), but of course I'm not quite at a level where that's the only factor holding me back.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:22 AM
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73: Then they shouldn't make them so inviting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:23 AM
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51: FWIW, I don't think the 10-15 pounds is the difference between perfect and gross; I'm perfectly lovely as I am now, I just really kinda liked stick-figure-Di, and the clothes that she owns. (Which, yes, is completely nuts. I know it's nuts. I blame the media.)

58: Hmm. Getting a boyfriend and then sending him away doesn't sound like a half-bad solution.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:24 AM
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I like to keep the butt on my arm

I like to keep the ear on my arm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:24 AM
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76: That's what I'll tell my lawyer to argue: attractive nuissance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:24 AM
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Of course, I am older than I was.

Fucking march of time.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:24 AM
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64: One thing to remember is that all your tendons and such are still loosened -- none of your limbs are as tightly attached as you're used to them being. That's got to severely impact quickness, and that will tighten up naturally over the next few months.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:25 AM
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You're older than you've ever been. And now you're even older. And now you're even older.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:26 AM
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re: 70

Yeah, I get that general point. But some of us are also fairly self-aware and have realistic views of i) where we are, ii) where we ought to be, and iii) how far apart those two things are.

At some point, don't you learn that you're wrong, and just decide to be ok with how you are now

No. Not for everyone.

Speaking for myself, I never had any body anxiety. I thought I looked pretty fucking great all through my teens and twenties. And, looking at pictures, I was right [although my weight fluctuated a lot with no real concern either way]. Then I then gained about 40lbs over my previous high weight and ... it's shit. Simple as. Those 40lbs make a massive difference to what I can physically do, how often I get injured doing sport, how I feel and how susceptible I am to other forms of ill-health, and I look completely different. So no, this is not the time to kick back and accept how I am.

Of course, I completely agree that the pressure, particularly on women, to lose weight is often pernicious, but not everyone is engaged in self-deception when they decide that 'shit, I really need to lose a few lbs'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:27 AM
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77.2: It really is kinda shocking. Eating is such a social activity. When you spend a lot of time with someone, you eat more, since it's something fun to do together. But I can't be arsed to cook a decent dinner for myself, and now I live in a 3rd floor walkup, in a neighborhood with horrible parking, which means stepping out to get food means a lot of stairs, plus driving around and around looking for a spot? Forget it.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:27 AM
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Update to 79: I just wanted to be certain the low-flow model actually worked. So I ate nothing but cheese for two days and then only raisins for the day of my test-run.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:27 AM
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One word, heebie: divorce.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:28 AM
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85: And which model did you end up purchasing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:29 AM
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84: My problem, though, is that when I can't be arsed to cook a decent dinner, I just tear open a bag of Doritos and eat that for dinner. Or Oreos.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:30 AM
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I have completely lost my quick movements.

This is where I confess to a little bit of Schadenfreude. You quick people ran rings around me on the field. I can't turn that fast! My first step doesn't move like yours! I AM trying, but I'm just not that quick. I think some of it was 'cause I wore turfs instead of cleats, for my ankles. But some of it was moving my weight. See, H-G? Now you know how hard I was working.

I heard a very fine rant from a basketball center one time about those pesky, annoying point guards who zing around everywhere. Big people everywhere are jealous of you quick people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:31 AM
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86, see 2.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:31 AM
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87: Strangely enough, they wouldn't let me buy anything and I'm not allowed back. I'll have to go to Lowes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:32 AM
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88: Oh, yeah. This is why I don't purchase snacks. Also because it seems like a waste of money. I mean, Doritos are tasty, but they're not food. If I buy Doritos, I still have to buy food. Same thing with drinks. This is a neverending source of frustration to the people I have lived with. It's all water for me, man.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:33 AM
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I heard a very fine rant from a basketball center one time about those pesky, annoying point guards who zing around everywhere.

The only time in my life I watched much professional basketball was one year in college -- I used to love watching Spud Webb for exactly that reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:34 AM
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Yeah, I dropped a crazy amount of weight (like from 210 to 175 or so in a month and a half) right after my first marriage broke up. And while I looked drawn and sallow (I was more or less subsisting on nothing but coffee, cigarettes, and Altoids), it is still pretty interesting to watch your body change that rapidly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:34 AM
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This thread is making me fucking hungry. Fritos from the vending machine, or hold off for lunch?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:34 AM
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Fritos are awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:35 AM
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re: 94

Yeah, ditto, in similar circumstances. Sallow and drawn looking. I didn't lose quite that much. Went from about 185 to about 155 in about 8 weeks. I used to be 155-160 aged around 19, but I looked nothing like the 155-160 of post-relationship breakdown.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:36 AM
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||

Great business opportunity in Pittsburgh.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:37 AM
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I want six-pack abs in the figurative sense unlike the literal sense I now have; I don't care if I weigh 190 lbs or 140 when I have them. (Current weight unknown, but probably 170-175, which is higher than average for me but not by much.) My exercise regime consists of spending 30 minutes at the gym either right before lunch or at the end of the workday between one and three times a week, and also walking about six blocks with a heavy bag of groceries once or twice a week. I mean to go to the gym more often, but something always comes up, you know how it is...

I've slowly got more reliable about exercising (although this week will be a regression, I legitimately have stuff going on), and the improved stamina and stuff are always nice, but I'm resigned to not seeing significant weight loss because I have no plans to stop drinking beer.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:38 AM
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98: Send in the clowns!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:38 AM
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98: Not bad. From the sound it it, everything involved is right near where I'm already at anyway. I'm getting really sick of typing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:42 AM
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Also, since this is the food/eating/dieting thread, I would like to recommend the intuitive eating philosophy. This website is new-agey, but gives a good overview. I also have broadened it to "intuitive consumption"--w/r/t eating, drinking, smoking, and drugs. I found that when I just decided that I would have exactly as much of whatever my body was craving, that I a) eat the bulk of my food intake earlier rather than later in the day b) eat way more vegetables than I used to c) smoke a cigarette only about once a week d) almost never drink.

It's hard to turn off the social cues, though. I get tired of going out with friends and them asking me why I'm not eating (answer: "don't feel like it"), resisting the automatic impulse to order a beer b/c I happen to be sitting in a bar, and trying to deal with the fact that what I usually want to eat is something delicious that I cook at home, rather than the bland white-people-crap available down here in the loop.

But I feel much, much better. I also have totally eliminated the post-lunch crash from my workday, which is a huge improvement.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:43 AM
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JRoth put it more nicely than I would have/am now doing which was , "Didn't you just have Hawaii, like, this morning?" And you've only got 15 pounds more to lose? You're already a rock star.

As far as getting back into shape, it might be helpful to dissociate that goal from the number on the scale. The number's relevant, but so is the tape measure, or whether your speed and endurance for soccer are back, or how much you can lift. My body really, really likes being +/- 3lbs of my current weight, so the tape measure is my friend for tracking progress.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:43 AM
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Can someone fix the link I botched to hell? That is unsightly.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:43 AM
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I'm about 20 lbs lighter than I was 18 months ago, mainly (I think) because I don't eat much in the evenings anymore, and have been trying to stick to that. I'd like to be 20 lbs lighter -- i.e., about 200 lbs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:50 AM
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88
My problem, though, is that when I can't be arsed to cook a decent dinner, I just tear open a bag of Doritos and eat that for dinner. Or Oreos.

Baby carrots? They're just as much of a by-the-handful food as Doritos. I can't say they work for me - see 99 - but they certainly don't hurt.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:50 AM
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but the other day my 7-year-old said she was too fat and I was so horrified.

Man, do I worry about this. Like most other American women, I've got issues with my weight (set forth in 74 above), and I really worry about (a) Sally developing issues and (b) my issues turning into support for hers. I particularly worry because she's a big brute of a kid, and it's really easy for 'I'm not delicate' to turn into 'I'm fat', in a teenage girl's head.

We've had some talks about this, because her best friend is a little chubby, and she's been judgmental about the friend's eating habits. Which is kind of good, because it gave me a chance to tromp on her hard about (a) what someone else eats is none of your business, (b) your friend looks fine, and her weight is none of your business (c) anyone worrying about a nine-year old's weight is insane, without making it directly about her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:54 AM
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106: Hummus and pita chips is easy, healthy (I think) and tastes better than carrots.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:55 AM
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I've always been skinny to the point of not liking how I look. Starting around age 30, I gained 10 pounds, mostly around the middle -- you can look at my dad and see a strong genetic propensity for storing fat in the belly. So then I was skinny and fat. A couple years ago I started working out semi-seriously and looked better, though without much weight fluctuation. Last fall I lost about 10 pounds, I think because I was dating a guy who didn't drink much and doesn't eat gluten or dairy. Since then I've only gained back a few pounds and am finally at age 35 kinda liking how my body looks. I'd like to gain more weight but lose the remaining fat around the middle; don't know how to do the former, but the latter I could probably do by quitting beer for a month.

I don't know if any of this makes a difference for how I look to other people, but there's a sketch of my body neurosis.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:56 AM
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Nuts are a good substitute snack for chips. They're still fatty, but they're more filling and higher in protein, and to me, they taste better.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:00 AM
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I recommend loss of kidney function. I lost 30 or so pounds and became fashionably thin in the years I was too sick to eat much. Also developed an awesome greenish complexion. The weight came back after the transplant. I blame my wife, since it was HER kidney that permits me to eat again.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:01 AM
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I'm admitting this here because I feel there are few more anonymous places to say it for the first time:

I'm mildly unhappy about the weight I am, and that mild unhappiness is actually more upsetting to me than my actual weight.

See, I went for most of my life not caring what my weight was, and then when I realised I was 262 pounds I decided "No, t his is too much" and began a gentle and workable program of eating a bit less, exercising a bit more, and losing weight gradually: over 4 years I lost about a pound or two a month (on average: some months it was less) until I was down to 205 pounds, and much fitter, and felt perfectly comfortable.

Only then my job changed under me and required a lot less walking and I had a lot less time for gym/swimming, and now, five years on from the time when I weighed 205 pounds, I now weigh 231 pounds... and the curse of it, I've lost the completely insouscient attitude to my weight I used to have. Now I care. Now I'd like to be back at 205 pounds.

Only I know perfectly well that the only way to do it is to get back to the rigorous habits I maintained for four years of calorie counting and swimming three times a week and leaving for appointments an hour early so I can walk there, and the reason I let those slip is that they'd got boring and they took up so much time.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:01 AM
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My parents have significant food neuroses, which I inherited to some degree. Then in therapy, although we never dealt with food and eating directly, my relationship w/ food became basically healthy as a by-product of the rest of the work.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:02 AM
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111: Apparently, she can ask for it back if you divorce. So, it's back to #2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:03 AM
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Heebie, you'll lose the weight as a result of nursing. Seriously. You JUST had the baby. Give yourself at LEAST six fucking months before you start paying any attention to this weight shit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:05 AM
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I blame my wife, since it was HER kidney that permits me to eat again.

They undermine you at every turn, don't they?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:05 AM
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113: Wow, did you give your therapist a bonus?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:06 AM
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I really don't mean to bitch overmuch about the weight. More just chronicalling the stage I happen to be at.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:07 AM
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112: I know what you mean; most of what bothers me about my weight is the fact that my weight bothers me. I think I look fine, and while I'd probably be a better athlete and more energetic if I were lighter, I still wouldn't be much of an athlete, and I have plenty of energy for the stuff I do now. (That is something I do really notice about jogging -- running regularly makes a huge difference in terms of what climbing stairs is like. When I haven't been running, subway stairs are annoying; when I have been, they're imperceptible as an obstacle.) But I've still got that "You should really drop that 25 pounds" or "Once you've dropped that 25 pounds" nagging in the back of my head, and it makes me feel neurotic and dysfunctional.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:07 AM
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they'd got boring and they took up so much time

Heavy heavy weights. Fast! Not boring!

I am being boring, though. I'll stop.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:09 AM
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119: Most lawyers I've known that live in cities are either neurotic or completely lacking in self-awareness so I wouldn't worry about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:10 AM
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(c) anyone worrying about a nine-year old's weight is insane,

I'm sure this si true in the case of Sally's friend, but it's not really true generally. Evidence seems to be that kids in this country are getting bigger and bigger younger and younger, and that it's got significant lifelong health consequences.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:10 AM
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Also, lifting Punch is not "toning." It's exercise, and it'll continue to be exercise, especially as you carry her around. Seriously. By six months after PK's birth, I weighed fucking 117. I haven't weighed that little since I was in high school.

My base weight as an adult is about 140. I'm okay with this, although I wish to god I had better "core strength" b/c of posture/poochy belly issues. This is something I actually intend to tackle (really, any day now) b/c I don't want to end up a sedentary old lady.

At my heaviest, I weighed 155/160. I was in great physical shape, though, muscularity- and stamina-wise. I look at pictures from back then and am surprised (and a bit bothered) by how heavy I look, but at the time I wasn't the least bit worried about it.

I'll admit that I really liked being back down to around 120 after PK's birth. I stayed there for five or six years, although I think part of it was depression for the last couple years. OTOH, if I hadn't gotten depressed and had stayed active, I'd have stayed more fit (again, toting a heavy baby and using public transit is a pretty damn good fitness plan ime, especially if you add in yoga and running about with the kid as it gets older), which would have been preferable to just quitting exercise and eating as my mood slid. Now I have to climb back into getting up off my butt more regularly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:12 AM
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It might. We don't know what the consequences will be yet, if only because the kids are still kids. We suspect that they won't be good. But I think it's also relevant that worrying about a nine-year-old's weight in the form such worrying is likely to take is not well correlated with getting the nine-year-old to have healthy attitudes towards food and body image and exercising.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:13 AM
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122: It's still insane. At nine, kids haven't even hit puberty yet, mostly: who knows what'll happen with their growth spurt?

Obviously a child that is inactive and extremely heavy and eats a bunch of junk food, you want to change those things. But if a kid eats healthy food and is active, and still tends to be chunky, then no, I think worrying about it is just wrong absent any actual health problem like diabetes or whatever. And it's far more likely to *cause* problems than to solve them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:15 AM
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39 yo male, 5'11, 175 here, two months into a diet to get me from 185 down to goal of 165.

Before my current relationship I didn't know about good food and weighed about 135-140. I wasn't weighing myself on any regular basis but probably peaked at 190-195. If I were more muscular 175 would probably be an ideal weight, but my body image established in my early 20s has me as a skinny motherfucker, so I'd like to get closer to that (without returning to my former unhealthy scrawn).

My diet mostly consists of small adjustments to my usual eating habits. Glancing at the nutrition information on packaged snacks and shying away from the high fat choices (popchips! 4g of fat a bag! score!), eating either the naan or the rice but not both, trying to get a salad in a couple of lunches a week, avoiding cheesy goodness, that sort of thing.

Exercise is pretty limited. My daily commute involves either 30 minutes of walking or a short drive, and I go for the drive too often.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:15 AM
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122: This isn't really false, but it's truer on a population level than for an individual. And if you are the parent of a genuinely fat kid, while that might be something it's worth taking action to change, the sort of worrying about it you should be doing is trying to figure out why your lifestyle doesn't allow them to be active and how to fix that and what's wrong with your grocery-shopping habits, rather than putting any direct pressure on the kid about their weight.

And patterns of growth are so individualized that barring extreme cases, it's hard to tell if a kid is chubbier than they should be. Mine grow like accordions -- they both get broader until they look like cinder blocks, and then sprout up and get lanky, and then the cycle repeats. I think I did the same thing myself as a kid -- I remember wearing a skirt from fourth grade through senior year of high school. It got a lot shorter, but it fit about the same around for eight years or so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:16 AM
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Megan is right in 120 that weight-training doesn't have to take a lot of time.*

* says the hypocrite who hasn't done any for several months ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:17 AM
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That is true! It also doesn't need to be heavy weights; do eighty body weight squats in 10 minutes and you'll feel it....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:19 AM
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120: Actually, you're just driving me into fits of trainer-envy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:20 AM
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I felt quite pleased, someone put up a vid on youtube of a fight from the most recent competition [a couple of weeks back] and I look a lot slimmer than I did in the previous comp. Also, not moving like a total dork once the first round nerves out of the way.

Losing weight -- it works!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:22 AM
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Maybe deliverying seltzer water would keep me in shape.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:23 AM
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I know! I wish I could get you hooked up with someone, since you sound interested and likely strong. We could send each other pictures of ourselves kissing our biceps.

Was that Crossfit gym not convenient for you?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:24 AM
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It's exercise, and it'll continue to be exercise, especially as you carry her around

So true. I'm a lot less fit than I was pre-fatherhood, but I still have upper body strength. Kids get heavier as they grow, remember, and even after they're toddlers they like to be picked up and carried and tossed up.

Twins are useful in this respect, because the weight is both doubled and equalized (like when you've got one each arm). Mine are about 50 pounds apiece now, and they still like me to walk with them one on each shoulder. That'll continue to be good weight training until my clavicles snap.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:24 AM
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Or you could move here and workout with me and my trainer! I know it is west of the Hudson, but that seems like a small price to pay.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:25 AM
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133: Not really. If I really wanted to, I could make it work, but it'd be really time consuming.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:25 AM
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Booo! When will they make the transporter beams? When?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:27 AM
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131: This comment useless without a link.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:30 AM
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If anybody ever makes transporter beams, I'm going to see if they can just transport my fat to a jar or something. Or maybe have them transport me and leave the arterial plaque behind to hit the floor with a gentle 'splud' that means I don't need Lipitor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:31 AM
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If you search for my name, not reversed, you'll find it. First round is pretty woeful -- lots of air kicks and crappy extension on them, shite movement -- after that, better. I lose, of course.*

* he's highly ranked internationally and has been teaching the sport longer than I've been doing it...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:33 AM
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re: 138

On youtube, I mean.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:33 AM
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ttaM, wow! You have impressive flexibility.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:38 AM
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Sure do. As someone with such cripplingly short hamstrings that I can't touch my toes, I am consumed with envy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:41 AM
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I like the low kicks in savate.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:43 AM
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It also looks like he probably had a couple inches reach on you. I thought that you looked pretty good.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:44 AM
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re: 145

Yeah, he's a good few inches taller, and a lot better. I am more flexible that that vid shows, I think. I'd been judging until 5 minutes or so before that so was a bit cold [but thanks re: 142!].

re: 144

Yeah, they are cool, and useful, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:46 AM
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Yeah, your opponent was made out of legs.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:46 AM
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But if a kid eats healthy food and is active, and still tends to be chunky, then no, I think worrying about it is just wrong absent any actual health problem like diabetes or whatever.

Sure, of course. And 127 is right too. I guess I should clarify that I don't really make sense it thinks about activity levels and healthy eating for anybody instead of weight. But there's as much reason to worry about those two things for a nine-year-old as there is for an adult. And If those two things are where they should be, no one should be worrying about anyone's weight. I thought LB meant that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:49 AM
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I'm not sure what happened there.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:54 AM
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I guess I should clarify that I don't really make sense

to

I'm not sure what happened there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:55 AM
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Yeah, activity levels and healthy eating are the key thing. Worrying excessively about kid's weight does seem crazy except to the extent that it serves as a proxy for the other two. In lots of individual kids that correlation is broken, for the reasons everyone has already given.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:58 AM
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But to substantively respond to 148, there is a child/adult difference. First, it's much harder to tell if a kid really is overweight in any damaging sense, rather than just growing. Second, if an adult wants to control their weight in service of some esthetic or athletic goal, beyond just eating reasonably and being active, that might be (in our society probably is, just by the numbers) misguided or neurotic, but it's their call. Loading that pressure on a kid, though, is a bad thing to do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:58 AM
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Does the fact that I've been re-reading the article JRoth linked to in 98 mean I should start looking for another line of work or is it just ordinary middle-aged 'I should have done something else'? I'm leaning toward the latter, but it's hard not to think that I live in the right area, have capital on the scale described in the article, and a vehicle that could would work for deliveries.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:59 AM
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And they're growing! Unless you know the kid very well, it's hard to tell whether (e.g.) the kid is overeating because of poor eating habits or because her body is thinking about growing six inches in next two months.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:00 AM
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I haven't read the thread, but I just wanted to chime in that I saw a study which showed that Swedish post-partum women who took probiotics lost belly fat significantly faster than those who didn't. I don't know that total weight loss was affected, but the most dangerous tyoe in terms of cardiovascular health was.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:02 AM
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"Probiotics"? Is that yogurt with live bacteria, or something more complicated?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:04 AM
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Also, on the exercise front. I used to really like ashtanga yoga, but I hurt my nerve doing it, and I need to get some more strength before I can get back in to it. The thing that I find really difficult about a lot of sports--especially ball ones, but running too (even ones where you're not constantly exercising like softball) is that I get light-headed pretty easily.

My doctor said to stay hydrated and to eat enough. Any other suggestions. Do sports drinks/ electrolyte whhatever help?

(I want to lose 5-10 pounds.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:06 AM
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I'm stunned by 156. I thought LB was crunchier than that. Probiotics.

I don't disagree with 152; I think you might have misinterpreted 148 (which, admittedly, was inartful).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:10 AM
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Mine grow like accordions -- they both get broader until they look like cinder blocks, and then sprout up and get lanky, and then the cycle repeats.

Damn, I use that same analogy figure of speech. Kid is currently eating like a horse, shooting up rapidly, and quite lanky. Possibly he's at the end of the accordion phase now, but we'll see.

As for me...stepped on the scale yesterday at Dr's office and confirmed that my weight crept up from really not what I want to holy shit territory over the months of unpleasantness late last year and early this year. Exercise is now back on track, but I really have to get better at ignoring all the junk food everyone brings into my office.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:13 AM
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It amazes me how precisely so many of you seem to know your weight, now and at other times in your lives. I don't own and have never owned a scale. I don't really see the point. Either my clothes fit the same or they don't.

I know more or less what my weight is only when I see my doctor, but I never remember what it was the last time, or whether I was wearing shoes then or whatever.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:13 AM
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Nah. I like crunchy people, and I approve generally of crunchiness, but I am not genuinely crunchy myself in most respects. Dietary stuff particularly tends to leave me stifling an uneducated impulse to mutter coughbullshitcough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:14 AM
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160: I probably would even if I weren't neurotic about it -- I have a (differently neurotic) fascination with quantifiable stuff. Ludicrous as it is, I find the Wii Fit's weird little balance tests fascinating for the same reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:16 AM
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My doctor said to stay hydrated and to eat enough. Any other suggestions. Do sports drinks/ electrolyte whhatever help?

I'd say that staying hydrated and eating enough should about cover it. I'm prone to light-headedness (low blood pressure) but it's really bad when I haven't eaten enough and have been standing for a prolonged period. A couple of months ago I was standing for over an hour on an almost empty stomach during this hair modeling thing, and my vision blacked out and my knees went. The hair dudes knew exactly what was going on and produced a chocolate bar for me to eat.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:16 AM
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163: Are you sure that wasn't just because you locked your knees. A kid went down during a Christmas concert at my school and that's what the music teacher blamed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:20 AM
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My weight has dropped about 15 pounds from its peak two or three years ago. I thought I would have a six-pack at this weight, but I don't. Talking about weight brings out the most narcissistic and depressive parts of me, so I really hate the topic.

I pretty much expect to gain about one pound a year until I hit late old age, and I'm trying my best to make peace with that reality. Weight scares me primarily as it relates to aging, which is something that I don't relish but again, am trying to accept with grace and humor.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:21 AM
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I don't *think* I locked my knees. That is a common reason for fainting, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:30 AM
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I could stand to lose some weight (and the exercise that would come along with a concerted effort would probably be beneficial), but I'm pretty sure that would also cause me to drop a dress size, as I'm hovering on the margins, and I can't afford to buy new clothes. So, I'm using that as my excuse for being lazy. Although, over the course of grad school (yay, stress), I dropped the 35-40 lbs I put on in college and shifted only one dress size. I've the fortunate or unfortunate ability to pack on weight without looking like it (though I notice health issues).

Also, I'm betting I'm a bit like Sally - I was large framed but not actually "fat" - and I remain so. I am a solidly built person - I am never going to be lithe. And despite the concerted efforts of my mother, I still developed a very strange body complex in my teenage years (but I think due to those very same efforts I've become much more comfortable about things in my 20s). So, um, not sure exactly what I mean to say, but good luck, LizardBreath, and I think that if you keep encouraging her to be active in sports and the like she'll be better off than I was.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:31 AM
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Oh, I meant to say that I was large framed but not actually "fat" as a child.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:33 AM
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160: I spent about 18 years not knowing how much I weighed, but my wife recently bought a scale in order to track her diet progress, so I'm regularly weighing in now. I use an iPhone app called Weightbot to track my weight - it's nice in that it shows moving-average weight graphs, so you can avoid freaking out about day-to-day fluctuations, which are substantial, and focus on the longer term progress.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:34 AM
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160: I don't own a set of scales, but I do check my weight every month or so at the gym. I tell myself that this is because the how-many-calories-you-just-burned counters are only accurate if you input about the right weight, but mostly I think I'm just feeding my neurosis.

As I said upthread: Most of what bothers me about the last 15 kilos is that it bothers me. I spent years much heavier than this without it bothering me at all.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:34 AM
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JM is a hair model? What?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:35 AM
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Anyone can be a hair model, neb.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:39 AM
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157
My doctor said to stay hydrated and to eat enough. Any other suggestions. Do sports drinks/ electrolyte whhatever help?

IANAExpert, but my understanding is that they help insofar as they are made up of water and sugars. If you prefer the flavor of Gatorade to that of orange, apple or some other kind of fruit juice, then go for it; just be aware that the flavor is probably the only thing you're paying extra for.

169
an iPhone app called Weightbot

Wait, what? How's that work?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:41 AM
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Don't sell yourself short.

Does it pay? When did this begin?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:41 AM
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172: I BEG TO DIFFER


Posted by: OPINIONATED BALD GUY | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:42 AM
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157.4: Just stand on your iPhone and it will come-up automatically.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:42 AM
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172: Me, f'rex. Fucking weird experience, that was.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:43 AM
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I was a model for a hairdressing competition once. Got a free bottle of gin (and a haircut) out of the deal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:50 AM
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174.--It depends. In the fainting incident, no, but I did get a much-needed free haircut out of it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:51 AM
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178: That must have been a challenge. Did you go into the competition with the mullet?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:52 AM
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re: 160

I know for a few key periods in my life when it changed rapidly. I could probably tell you roughly what it was at 17 [125lbs], at about 19/20 [150], 23 or 24 [175], but then not again till I hit about 30/31 [dropping from about 185 to 155 then back up to about 220 in around 2 years]. In between times, I didn't have a clue. My weight oscillated around in between times but I was happy enough at any/all of them so never bothered to find out.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:59 AM
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I was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic in March. As soon as that happened, I a) dramatically lowered my carbohydrate intake and b) started working out 3-5 times a week (both cardio and weights). So far I've gone from 224-228 lbs. to (this morning) 201, and like ttaM the weight I've lost makes a pretty dramatic difference in the way I look. The weight loss doesn't seem to be stopping, either; I'm guessing that the way it's going, I'll probably end up at 185 or so.

The awesome thing is, while I'm watching my carbs, I'm not otherwise dieting in any way. Thank god for testosterone.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:00 PM
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Heh. This was many years post-mullet. I was told I have "good points" (at the temples and widow's peak), though I don't know what that means in terms of cutting it. Also, having very thick hair seems to be a plus for these things.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:01 PM
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178: You got booze? I didn't even get a decent haircut out of it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:04 PM
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182: "The weight loss doesn't seem to be stopping"

Is your blood sugar under control now? I knew someone whose blood sugar wasn't controlled well enough at first, even after the diabetes diagnosis, and the weight stayed down until the blood sugar was brought under control. The only way to bring it under control was through insulin shots.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:05 PM
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185: Dunno. I go back for another blood glucose test on Monday, so I should find out pretty soon. I'm on medication for the diabetes (not insulin, though), and from the tests I had back in March the disease hasn't progressed very far, so hopefully I'm okay.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:11 PM
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I am dealing with some of these issues. I was relatively non-athletic as a kid, got into much better cardio-vascular shape in college (thanks Ultimate Frisbee), but never developed any strength-training routine.

I kept up a good amount of aerobic activity through most of my 20s (with cycles of being in and out of shape), added on a few pounds, but mostly stayed the same. Then, at 29 I shifted jobs, had a year and half of a truly nasty workload, lost most of my exercise habits and, even when work backed off never got back into my old routines.

I do bike regularly which helps, but I definitely feel like my body has deteriorated in the last three years and am trying, for the first time in my life, to develop a regular gym habit to get stronger.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:16 PM
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Everyone's case is different, and I hate the people that give unsolicited, non-expert medical advice online. Hope you're not annoyed. Have you gotten one of those home blood glucose monitors so you can track it more regularly?


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:18 PM
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It's actually true that weight has a huge impact on climbing on a bike (it's so mechanically efficient that, literally, an extra pound has a measurable effect), but of course I'm not quite at a level where that's the only factor holding me back.

This is so true. Weight makes a tremendous difference on the bike.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:19 PM
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to develop a regular gym habit to get stronger

I said I was going to stop, but I'll add one more thing. Reading through this thread, one of my impressions was that y'all should have much higher expectations for how strong you could get. Like, double or triple. You may not want to do that kind of regime, which, whatever. But I'm getting the vague sense that your ideas about how strong you could be are much lower than what your body could do.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:26 PM
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I agree with Megan. People seriously underestimate their ability to challenge themselves.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:36 PM
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I'm kind of prejudiced against gym-built strength. Somehow muscles developed by doing stuff outside seem more valid/less vain than muscles developed by lifting weights in the gym. Maybe one of my few remaining vestiges of country boy chauvinism or something.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:36 PM
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190,191: No worse than any other endeavor. I enjoy getting stronger, but were a distance runner to mock my slow pace and say I should have higher expectations for my progress in speed, I'd probably not be inclined to take them all that seriously. If it's a hobby, great, but the level of strength one needs to be fit doesn't require us all to be competitive weightlifters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:38 PM
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190: I'm pretty aware that I could probably be very, very strong but I have no real desire to be so - or need. I can help my friends move and do everything in my daily life that I want to; since I don't actually like the ripped gym look I see no other real reason to spend hours at something I find boring. I'm more worried about my cardiovascular health, as opposed to strength. (But I think I'm an outlier in the sense that I'm already stronger than most women I know).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:38 PM
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Megan did you have a link to Stumptuous on your old website? I am trying to remember where I first saw it. It seems to be a pretty good website for women oriented fitness that includes lifting heavy things.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:39 PM
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I don't get 190. I mean, I found the comment which it quotes, but I don't see where Megan (addressing this in the third person just because she says she's leaving) gets her impression that people here are setting our sights low and should be aiming higher. Do we, and even if so, so what?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:40 PM
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but were a distance runner to mock my slow pace and say I should have higher expectations for my progress in speed, I'd probably not be inclined to take them all that seriously

My point (and I think Megan's) is that you can, if you want, go a lot faster and harder than you think you can.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:45 PM
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LB and I have linked stumptuous many times. It's a very good resource.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:45 PM
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192 - I hear that. I'd prefer muscles built by work that achieved something. But I haven't given myself an appropriate project for that kind of work. I don't really want to.

Cala - I don't know this for sure, but I bet most people have a better read on their potential speed than they do on their potential strength. I bet they could at least guess that really really fast for a regular person is a sub-five mile. But I bet they'd guess a really impressive strength level off by fifty to a couple hundred lbs.

Yeah, I read Krista as often as she posts.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:46 PM
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Oh, I meant I'd stop being boring. (And I should leave to swim.)

Do we, and even if so, so what?

So nothing if you don't care and your life is good. But if you get into the idea that you'd like to be strong, it is worth knowing that your body could be way stronger than you probably expect.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:50 PM
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I'm with 192. The body improvement I alluded to earlier began when I started working maintenance at a golf course during college summers. Since then maintained by construction and, now, home improvement. It's funny, because I'm wiry, I never bulk up, but the 2 month kitchen redo made quite visible improvements around the shoulders, but 4 months later it had vanished.

Sorry that's a bit of a runon.

And Moby should totally take over the seltzer business.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:52 PM
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But I'm getting the vague sense that your ideas about how strong you could be are much lower than what your body could do.

Probably true but, seriously, tell me this again next year.

For right now, I'm just happy if I go to the gym three times a week, without worrying too much about the actual workout.

It's a completely new element that I'm trying to introduce to my life, so at this point I care most about building habits.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:52 PM
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(Also, I particularly like for women to set their sights high. It is a whole lot easier to move in the world when your body gets stronger.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:54 PM
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I miss being able to heft multiple 90 lb sacks of grain with ease. But that's mostly because when I was young I thought the way to impress men was with my lifting prowess.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:57 PM
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IT IS!!! IT IS HOW TO IMPRESS MEN!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:58 PM
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In my current life, they're going to have to be content with watching me carrying books, then.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 12:59 PM
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LIFT MORE BOOKS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED MAN | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:02 PM
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I'm not actually sure what I want to weigh now. I know it's less than the 220 I do weigh, and I know it's more than the 165-170 I weighed in college because I'm carrying more muscle across the shoulders (sadly atrophied at the moment, but at least I'm now back in the boat more often), but I don't know whether it's 175 or 185. But just getting south of 200 again would be a huge improvement.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:04 PM
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I am Not Prince Hamlet.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:07 PM
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That's IANPH, will.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:09 PM
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watching me carrying books

The archives tell me that the porn librarian thing is deprecated, Parenthetical.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:12 PM
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211: By whom?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:13 PM
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Probiotics are found in natural-type yogurts, but you can also by supplement pills which tend to consist of mostly lactobacillus and acidophilus.

They can be worth taking after you've had a course of antibiotics.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:15 PM
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I have friends though who love cardio. People who'll run for hours or cycle because that is fun/interesting for them.

I don't necessarily love cardio for cardio's sake but I do love the slice of time it creates. I can sit on an exercise bike and "ride" off a couple hundred calories and keep my heart rate in exactly my target area for my age and watch an episode or two of whatever anime I've got on my iPhone at the moment and that is awesome.

The big thing for me was making myself start going. Rah had told me for a long time that he was pretty sure that if I'd go to the gym then I'd work out because, as he pointed out, once I was in a gym I'd feel pretty ridiculous not working out. This turned out to be very true.

I can't even think about my target zone. My ideal physique is something I will never have with this body no matter how much work I do, unless I start getting my skeleton replaced with that of someone whose frame is narrower and then go from there. Fat I can burn off, assuming I keep working out regularly and somehow learn to forget that cheese exists. I'll never look like what I think of when I think "hot guy," however. The main attraction to me is that I might be healthier for going to the gym and that I feel better and sleep better after a workout.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:20 PM
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I'll never look like what I think of when I think "hot guy,"

Sweaty guy, however, you could achieve easily.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:25 PM
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Sweaty guy, however, you could achieve easily.

Just sitting around, in fact.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:28 PM
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Sweaty guy, however, you could achieve easily.

As I say far too often, a high-performance machine needs a high-performance cooling system.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:29 PM
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I'm in my second week of the sixth week of that 100 pushups thing, which means I'm doing way more pushups than I ever thought possible. It's cool to have dramatically improved at something physical -- I can now do more pushups without breaking a sweat than I could do with maximum effort when I started.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:29 PM
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a high-performance cooling system

My favorite exercise bike at the gym has a little vent built into the display so that cool air blows on my face the whole time. It makes me feel like royalty, like my exercise routine is too dignified and important to be demeaned by mere sweat. It's magnificent.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:31 PM
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I'm in my second week of the sixth week of that 100 pushups thing

I keep seeing this referenced and I think I'm finally going to give it a try. Do you find a particular time of day better for doing the routine? Any, I dunno, warnings?


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:36 PM
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second week of the sixth week

Repeatedly going back through wormholes to redo the second (or is it sixth?) week is cheating.

Also, could I borrow your wormhole?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:46 PM
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I think I've mentioned here before that divorce is the most effective rapid weight plan I've discovered.

I found this to be true, and also this corollary: swiftly and happily remarrying very effectively cancels it out and then some.

I'm only overweight in the hysterical-American sense--slender of build plus little bit of tum--but since I've never had any great fluctuations in weight but have just gradually begun to bulge and sag, my experience for the past eight years or so has been I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life.

The hundred push-ups reactivated my deskwork RSIs, but they did tighten me up pretty quickly. Am now starting 200 situps.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:48 PM
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Any, I dunno, warnings?

I'll elaborate -- I had terrible pain in my forearms that I brought under control with a blend of yoga, physical therapy, ergonomic equipment, and Time Out, plus a smattering of acupuncture and massage. After I got to week 3 of the pushups, I was feeling tighter in the abs and more defined in the biceps, but my forearms began to feel like there were fallen powerlines dancing inside them. Given my experience, I decided not to work through the pain. I tried a second time on fingertips, but it was no different.

I asked a friend in the Naval Reserve if he could do one hundred pushups, and he said, "No, not in under a minute anyway." Grumble.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 1:52 PM
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re: 182

Yeah, ditto re: watching carbs but otherwise not obsessively dieting. I try not to eat enormously huge meals, but other than that, I just don't eat much in the way of sugary carbs and white flour/pasta/rice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:01 PM
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I asked a friend in the Naval Reserve if he could do one hundred pushups, and he said, "No, not in under a minute anyway." Grumble.

Yeah, but taking away the time requirement makes things really easy.

I'm pretty sure I have done one hundred pushups.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:05 PM
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192: I tend to expect that muscles built doing something are more likely to be helpful doing something else, than muscles built lifting weights (that is, if you want someone to help you move, you're better off with someone used to slinging sacks of grain around or kayaking or something than with a comparable looking weightlifter.) But it's a time thing -- I can get to a gym, but I can't get to the woods, or a farm, or wherever it is that there are heavy things that need lifting.

Something I've realized about myself and that annoys me is that I have enough time and energy in a week to lift weights or run (with using the rowing machine counting as alternative running), but not both. When I start one, I stop the other. Right now I'm running and not lifting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:06 PM
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The hundred push-ups reactivated my deskwork RSIs, but they did tighten me up pretty quickly. Am now starting 200 situps.

Heh, the hundred push-ups thing seems a pretty stiff target to me, because push-ups are something I've always been terrible at, even when much much fitter. I don't think I've ever been able to do more than 20 or 30 in a single set.

The situps thing, though, doens't seem like an especially freaky target. When your abs are in good condition you can just pretty much keep going with situps, no? I could certainly do huge numbers of them at one time (again, not now).

It's interesting what different people's bodies find difficult and what they find easy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:06 PM
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192, 226: there's no mystery to that; slinging sacks of grain and kayaking use core muscles extensively, which you isolate out when you're using machines or a bench or whatever. Unless you also work on core strength, you're going to have relatively less of it for visible muscle mass if you're just lifting weights (even if you do weight training that's core strength oriented -- the balance is off). Possibly pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:11 PM
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The situps thing, though, doens't seem like an especially freaky target. When your abs are in good condition you can just pretty much keep going with situps, no?

On first consideration, fuck off, fighter monkey.

On second...I'm not entirely sure that I'm doing them right. It gets harder as I go, but that's mostly because I think I'm doing the breathing wrong. The site advises exhaling on the way up to 35 degrees and waiting for at least a second. This is not the way I instinctively do situps.

Also, it strongly cautions against using your hands to lift your neck. But if I hold them somewhere else, I get neck strain from not holding up my neck. Very confusing. Mostly I suck at exercise, and I should fix my bike chain already.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:11 PM
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226: The nice thing about some programs and free weights is that they train movements rather than specific muscles.

227: I'm the same way with push-ups and sit-ups. Push-ups are very challenging. Sit-ups are just what abs do.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:13 PM
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re: 229

Generally the advice is to tuck the chin in towards the chest to avoid straining the neck, and keep the hands away, yeah.

Pausing at the top, and so on is a way of making them harder. You are stopping at the point where the muscle is under maximum strain, so yeah, it's not going to be as easy as jerking up and then dropping back.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:14 PM
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muscles built doing something

When I was a dairy boy, I had really awesome milking muscles. Cherry-size bulges where my wrist met my forearms.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:16 PM
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I don't particularly want to lose weight, but I'd like to be a bit more trim. I was underweight as a kid and am still a perfectly normal weight, but I'm getting a beer belly.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:18 PM
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226, 228: Yeah, I don't really mean to dis the gym, I just have never liked going there and can get as fit as I have any realistic chance of getting by running and kayaking (although I still covet an erg). And like Sifu suggests, I'm a very unimpressive weightlifter but I can move heavy shit around like crazy. It's different when the goal is to efficiently make something happen.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:18 PM
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232: I think those are cysts.

Whenever I try to do situps I have horrible back pain for days afterward. Obviously I am not doing them right. Maybe someday I can afford a trainer, or find friends who exercise, or something.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:19 PM
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232: "milking" s/b "wanking"


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:20 PM
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When I was a dairy boy, I had really awesome milking muscles. Cherry-size bulges where my wrist met my forearms.

But Apostropher said he didn't loose any weight by masturbating! He must have been doing it wrong.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:20 PM
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re: 235

There are lots of alternatives to the situp that target the same muscles more efficiently anyway.

For example, various forms of crunches including swiss-ball crunches. Or doing planks, or swiss-ball planks. And there are loads of variations on the basic 'plank' movement. All of those take some of the strain off the back and neck, and they prevent the hip-flexors from doing all the work [which, if you want a 6-pack is not what you want].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:25 PM
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I tend to expect that muscles built doing something are more likely to be helpful doing something else, than muscles built lifting weights (that is, if you want someone to help you move, you're better off with someone used to slinging sacks of grain around or kayaking or something than with a comparable looking weightlifter.)

To the extent that this is true, it's because a lot of strength doesn't come from increases in muscle mass but from the adaptation of your neural pathways to various physical movements and types of exertion (i.e., you are stronger when your nervous systems recruits more of your muscle fibers to perform some movement). If you are exerting yourself in ways that are less specialized than a one or two joint movement (i.e., a standard weighlifting movement), then your strength gains are going generalize to different types of activity more readily.

That said, someone who did nothing but jerk and clean all day (pick that fruit as you wish) is going to be plenty of help moving.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:25 PM
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239 s/b "nervous system" singular.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:28 PM
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As for myself, I've lately ditched the carbs close to entirely (at lesat, the flour/rice/sugar/beer kind. Wine is in.) but I find (party because I don't have a scale) that I'm better at focusing on non-purely-weight-related goals. So I'm biking as many miles as I can possible manage. Nearly broke 500 for May, although June will probably not get close to that total.

It helps that I have a friend I'm competing against, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:30 PM
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Uh, "partly" because I don't have a scale. I guess you can party because I don't have a scale if you want.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:30 PM
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I tried a second time on fingertips, but it was no different.

I find push-ups on dumbbells more comfortable than push-ups on the ground. (Use large enough dumbbells that they won't roll, under the shoulders and parallel to your body. Put your hands on the handles so you don't have to bend back your wrists against the ground.) Then some hateful trainer is likely to suggest that you do alternating rows with them, or jumps between push-ups. But the push-up part is better.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:30 PM
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239 is probably a better explanation than mine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:32 PM
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Have gotten back into fencing this spring/summer, after not doing it this millennium. Burning calories, but not particularly affecting my shape.

Kid tossing/general schlepping is good exercise, but really good aerobic activity is pulling them behind a bicycle (in a trailer, of course) on rolling country roads. Nothing like forty or sixty extra pounds behind your bike to make you work the uphill slopes...


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:35 PM
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243: death to burpees.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:35 PM
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re: 246

There's a variation on the burpee called the 'bastard'. The name is appropriate.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:38 PM
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The nice thing about some programs and free weights is that they train movements rather than specific muscles.

Yeah, the weightlifting I've been doing is all exercises my physical therapist gave me to deal with neck/shoulder issues, and since PTs tend to go in for "functional" exercises it's doing a great job of building general strength rather than isolating individual muscles. (And while I'm generally a fan of free weights, you can do an awful lot with a functional trainer like this.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:39 PM
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246: Ouch. There's an exercise that makes me feel clumsy and bumbling (not that I've done them since I rowed crew).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:39 PM
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I would be an unhappy monkey if I cut out pasta and rice from my diet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:41 PM
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Hate burpees.

What is the bastard?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:41 PM
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that I have enough time and energy in a week to lift weights or run (with using the rowing machine counting as alternative running), but not both.

Me too, exactly. The times when I've been lifting weights, I've totally loved it. But I get cranky if I don't go running or something equivalently cardio. And doing both makes the workout SO LONG.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:43 PM
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It's not possible to run some days and lift others?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:44 PM
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Kid assisted pushups are the way to go. Seat the child on your shoulders for extra pounds.

Alternate with clap-between-rep pushups for 120-second bursts of upper body exercise for those hard-to-get-the-gym weeks.

Push mowers are good too.

Oh, and swimming. I've been meaning to work on my form-- I wonder, is there a way to find swimming videos?

Why does no gym ever have enough benches? Or chin-up bars, or the handles for leg lifts against the wall-- I just want rudimentary equipment that doesn't have anyone parked on it. I don't care about nautilus machines-- neither does anyone else, bc THOSE ARE ALMOST ALL EMPTY. But the basic equipment would have queues, except that the gym etiquette is that you don't queue. Fucking muscle dweebs with checklists. Lift some weight and get out of the way.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:45 PM
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It would cut severely into my laziness, yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:46 PM
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I wish that somehow I could make running less boring, because I like it otherwise. I am neither fast nor possessed of stamina, mental or physical, but I like the feeble workout I do. But ten minutes in, I am already saying "Bored now!"

I wonder if the mild physical therapy I have just started for my crotchety upper back will make my posture any better. That would be nice. I just saw a picture of myself (seated) in which it is AWFUL.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:46 PM
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re: 251

It's a burpee with a jump or star jump in it. I think some people do standard burpees as a 'bastard' anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxrFducMgYQ

Like that, although I've done with star jumps rather than the straight jump at the end.*

* for small values of done, in the distant past. We did them in a karate class I used to go to, and in boxing class.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:46 PM
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Oh, I thought burpees had a jump.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:47 PM
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I wonder, is there a way to find swimming videos?

Rarely is it so appropriate to say, "read the archives."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:47 PM
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re: 258

I've seen them as a squat, then thrust, then push-up, then squat back up. Then if you do a star-jump coming back up, instead of a squat, that's a bastard.

But I'll bet there's loads of terminological variations on the same basic thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:48 PM
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The pushup thing takes about 15 minutes, three times a week. (I usually do them at the gym, first thing, then work on other muscle groups and then cardio.) I miss days now and then and generally don't progress very quickly, but I'm now on the final "week" and the goal is in sight. My wrists hurt a tiny bit sometimes, but they did before from computer work all day, so I'm not worrying about it.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:49 PM
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Oh, I thought burpees had a jump.

I have always done them with a jump.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:50 PM
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Oh. That's what I thought was a standard burpee and the usual object of my fear and hate. I've seen people combine them with box jumps. I have no interest in doing this.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:52 PM
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Speaking of reducing: a day or day and a half of furlough a month is plausible, but three days is kind of nuts. With the increase in health premiums state employees here are already absorbing, that's a 15%+ pay cut. How's that supposed to work for the lower-paid folks?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:52 PM
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I hate going to the gym with a passion. So much extra cruft time in the coming and going and changing and BLARG! Then there are all those other people and it smells like gym and the thing you want to use is never free. And then, the idea of spending enough time there to do 15 minutes of pushups, some lifting, and some cardio, and then do it AGAIN and AGAIN every couple of days is enough to make me want to turn into a gelatinous cube and be done with it.

I'm very sensible and healthy minded, as you can see.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:52 PM
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But ten minutes in, I am already saying "Bored now!"

Podcasts. I'm not a big music listener, but I can kill a pleasant half hour listening to something talky on the 'radio' while I run. Although I need to (a) fix or replace my iPod and (b) get some recommendations for more, better podcasts. I listen to TAL, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and Leonard Lopate (who are both NY NPR talky people, I'm not sure if they're played nationally but I don't think so), and if I can find something interesting on Bloggingheads -- I kind of hate the ones with actual bloggers I read talking about politics, but the ones where some random academic is droning on about their research are nice.

253: It would be if I were reliable about working out daily. But I'm not, given that I work out in my lunch hour, so I only manage it on days when I've got enough time for it. And then if I get to work out two days a week, trying to figure out which I should do more, lift or run, is curiously defeating. So I settle into one or the other.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:53 PM
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I don't begin to understand people who can listen to This American Life while running. I tried it the other day, and this story came on where Dan Savage was talking about the death of his mother, and he got a little choked up, and then I got a little choked up, and then I nearly choked. Only music -- and exciting music, at that -- for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:55 PM
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Podcasts

I chat with Snark instead. I love talking to Snark and never get bored when we walk and talk, but running makes it boringer, somehow. (Why not just go home and chat there? Better! Less boring!) If later on (say, after we reproduce) we have to run separately, I'll try it, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:55 PM
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I've never done burpees with a jump. That would suck more than regular burpees.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:55 PM
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You're furloughed too? Or are you commenting on my situation?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:56 PM
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Extra bonus for getting up and running in the morning before the sun comes up and burns the dew off: my neighborhood smells really nice. All sorts of flowering stuff.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:56 PM
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running makes it boringer, somehow

You're out of breath, so talking's an effort, so you don't say anything interesting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:56 PM
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265: yeah I hate gyms. I like bike riding because it's so anti-social. Plus, you can actually get somewhere. Hey, look, I'm way far away from my house! Neat! Not hey, look, it's been twenty-five minutes that I've been rowing and staring at (alternately) people's asses walking by and CNN!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:57 PM
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I hate going to the gym with a passion.

I hear you. But I'm vain enough that I was finally able to make it into a habit. I've also gotten to really enjoy the endorphin high after I finish.

Also, AGAIN and AGAIN is pretty much most things in life, right?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:59 PM
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267 is totally a problem for me, nearly every time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:59 PM
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Also, AGAIN and AGAIN is pretty much most things in life, right?

Hey, keep it down. Some of us are trying to avoid suicide here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:59 PM
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Also, AGAIN and AGAIN is pretty much most things in life, right?

Fact.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 2:59 PM
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Hey, look, I'm way far away from my house!

Which has the bonus workout of having to get back to your house.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:00 PM
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275: I am cold and soulless. TAL is powerless to slow me down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:00 PM
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278: yeah, exactly. And if it's almost, dark, so much the better, because I'll have to hurry!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:01 PM
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270: Not yet, but the governor just announced that she's ordering three furlough days a month for all the state employees she controls starting July 1 and reducing the budget allocations of the departments whose employees she doesn't control directly to push them to do the same thing. Not sure yet how much it's a negotiating tactic and how much it's the real plan, but if cuts on that scale are necessary it's hard to see how it can really work by furloughs alone. Are you folks getting cut back by that much? I can see 5-10%, but beyond that I'm afraid the impact is going to be just about as bad as being laid off for a whole lot of people, many more than would be hit by actual layoffs.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:02 PM
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That Dan Savage mom thing had me holding back tears at the gym a few weeks ago. I was sweating enough, though, that maybe I should have just gone for it. It's all saltwater.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:03 PM
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I also really, really don't like being passed by people wearing colorful bicycle jerseys. I have a real complex about being just as fast as them despite the fact that I'm wearing a t-shirt. That helps me go fast, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:03 PM
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282: I was trying to run uphill, and seriously, have you ever gotten a bit of a lump in your throat while running uphill in 70 degree heat? It totally sucks! I felt like I'd swallowed a baseball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:03 PM
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267: And yet the death of Dan Savage's mother in a car bombing, depicted on CNN, would deter nobody from running while staring at it!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:04 PM
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Two days a month so far (which I dearly love). Predictions of a third day, which would start to feel nippy. Still, thanks to a low mortgage, that is still the range where I'd rather have my time than money.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:04 PM
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So much extra cruft time in the coming and going and changing and BLARG!

This is me. My solution was to find a gym I could run to and from. It is crappy, but a brief run, some weights, and another brief run is perfect. I had to lower my expectations for a gym to do this, but something is better than nothing. I bike to work some days I don't gym, that would increase the effective radius too.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:05 PM
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The Dan Savage thing was rough. The bit about her cracking a joke when they told her she was going to die? I was listening to it running, though, and don't remember it being a problem. I do run pretty slow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:06 PM
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I hate going to the gym with a passion.

This is probably my saving grace: I actually really really like going to the gym. Sure, getting on the elliptical for 45 minutes at a shot can get a little tedious, but goddamn I love lifting weights. Stress: gone! Plus, instant and concrete feedback; I love the feeling of watching myself lift more weight than I ever have before.

It probably helps that I shell out a lot of money to go to a very nice gym, so the locker rooms are generally pleasant and there are plenty of machines and benches and weights. Also, the clientele is generally more athletic than at other gyms I've been to, so at least in the weight room there are usually people doing some pretty amazing things. (I think the most impressive was the guy standing on an exercise ball about 8" in diameter, with a smaller ball balanced on his head, doing biceps curls.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:06 PM
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265 is pretty much how I feel about the gym, too.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:07 PM
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I've been riding my bike more and thinking again about biking to work, and then I see this, on a route I took just this weekend.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:07 PM
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286: Yeah, if it happens here it's probably a plus for me in work/life terms, although I have a feeling our furlough days will be honored mostly in the breach--the work isn't getting furloughed. Not so much for the secretaries and janitors and groundskeepers and such.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:07 PM
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I think the most impressive was the guy standing on an exercise ball about 8" in diameter, with a smaller ball balanced on his head,

First, that's not a gym, that's a circus. Second, that wasn't a guy, it was a seal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:07 PM
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291: that's because cyclists have no respect for the law, Bave. If they'd only get off the road things like this wouldn't happen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:08 PM
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being passed by people wearing colorful bicycle jerseys

This is like old home week. Me too, tolerable only with old guys with excellent calves on delicate fast-looking road bikes. Why do rear spokes on the freewheel side always go first?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:09 PM
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293: I *did* get a whiff of something that smelled like herring when he walked past...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:10 PM
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295: around here they're all old guys with excellent calves on delicate fast-looking road bikes. Well, except for the triathletes. You want to have some fun? Pick up a triathlete's wheel. Ooh, they do not like that.

Actually my current goal -- when somebody like that passes me -- is to hang back enough that I'm not picking up any draft and then stay with them. (a) It's better exercise for me, and (b) hopefully it makes them feel bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:11 PM
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292 is exactly right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:11 PM
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||
Life Magazine does its best to make its readers break the "no masturbating to dead people" rule.
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:14 PM
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299 -- So young...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:20 PM
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299: I really want to read the "There is a Case for Interplanetary Saucers" article listed on the cover image.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:24 PM
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You want to have some fun? Pick up a triathlete's wheel. Ooh, they do not like that.

I hate, hate, hate when someone decides to hang on my shoulder when I'm running. I'm out here to get some exercise and have some time to myself, not to be your fucking rabbit.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:26 PM
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302: I don't think anybody likes it. I've actually struggled with wtf you're supposed to when you're road biking and there's somebody that -- if you push a little -- you're likely to pass, but not be able to keep a lead on, but who -- if you don't push -- you will end up stuck behind at less than full power. Like, I don't want to be in a big paceline, it's not a race, I want to be alone, too. Yet, here we are.

I assume this is not quite as much of an issue running, but I don't really know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:30 PM
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301: you can! It's actually quite a famous article, largely responsible for starting the whole UFO thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:31 PM
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302: Run directly at a light pole and dodge at the last minute. Clang! Problem solved.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:33 PM
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One time I was climbing the hill into town on my way into work. Not out recreational cycling: a fat, sweaty guy going up the hill fast because he's running late for a meeting.

Some prick on a racing bike sat on my back wheel all the way up the hill and then 10 metres from the top skipped out and shot away from me. I was mildly annoyed [understatement].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:33 PM
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304 cont'd: or actually, this appears to be the whole article, and is on a somewhat less woozy site.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:34 PM
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303: Take the next right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:34 PM
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308: I suppose I could, but I usually have a route that I'm following, and I'm totally a creature of habit when I'm going for long rides. I like doing the same 30 miles or whatever over and over again, and hate turning off into the unknown. Weird, I know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:36 PM
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309 cont'd: and actually, the reason I run into so many (relatively) fast road cyclists is that this is (coastal) route is (1) a great ride, (2) doesn't have a ton of detours, and is (3) well-supplied with bike lanes. I don't really feel like veering off into the unknown and ending up on a freeway on-ramp or climbing a large mountain. I'd rather just go flat-out on the route I know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:38 PM
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You want to have some fun? Pick up a triathlete's wheel. Ooh, they do not like that.

They're too slow for that.


Posted by: roadie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:41 PM
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303: I've had the same issue running, but not often. Mostly I try to pick up the pace enough to put a good gap on before I go back to the pace I was running, but on occasion I end up with someone stuck to my shoulder. It helps to do most of my running early in the morning in a neighborhood where the majority of people out that early are well past 60.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:42 PM
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I was just being annoying -- obviously you don't want to take a random turn and get lost. What I'd actually do, if I didn't think I could pass and keep clear ahead, is purposefully drop back. You don't have to slow down much, or for terribly long, to give someone a lead that's hard to make up. And if you do find yourself catching them again, that's a signal that you're probably enough faster that you should pass.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:42 PM
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I miss cycling.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:43 PM
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Since Dan Savage keeps coming up (that was a pretty intense segment), his regular podcast should be an excellent gym-time filler. And there's something like 60 hours of back episodes to listen to.

I've made a deal to go back to the gym this week after avoiding it for about nine months while vaguely worrying about my back. At this point I'm just worrying about worrying about my back, and should go in and just check in occasionally that it's still good.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:45 PM
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313: eh, I mean, that's what I do, but it's still a pain -- especially if you're on the same road for 20 or 30 miles, you're going to run into each other. Which is not to mention that a lot of people -- if they think they're going to get passed, will speed up.

When I move back east I will at least have a riding partner, so we can draft off each other and collaborate on being unfriendly to everybody else. Plus, I won't be living in the elderly hypercompetitive road bicyclist capital of the world.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:45 PM
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304: Thanks!


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:45 PM
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Run directly at a light pole and dodge at the last minute. Clang!

Baby joggers really should come with large yellow stickers that say "WARNING! DO NOT RUN UP ALONGSIDE STROLLER TO CHECK ON BABY WHILE WEARING A HAT THAT BLOCKS YOUR VISION OF THE ROAD SIGN IN FRONT OF YOU." Or so I've heard.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:48 PM
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314: why not spend a lovely day furlough-cycling?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:49 PM
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319: Insufficient life insurance. It's nuts around here.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:50 PM
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I miss having a life where there were places I wanted to get to that were thirty miles of decent road away. Bikes would be such excellent transportation if I wasn't scared of traffic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:51 PM
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321: the thing to remember is that traffic is more afraid of you than you are of it.

I guess that goes to 320, too.

Also, it's a lie.

But seriously, if you are aware of your surroundings and willing to give cars the right of away when they manifestly don't have it, and also willing to break the law, then it's not so dangerous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:55 PM
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Also, LB, your city is spending millions and millions of dollars to make you more comfortable riding a bicycle around. Do you want to make your city feel bad?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:56 PM
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I also really, really don't like being passed by people wearing colorful bicycle jerseys. I have a real complex about being just as fast as them despite the fact that I'm wearing a t-shirt. That helps me go fast, too.

Ditto.

It's a good thing it was raining so hard and was so cold when I did the wine country 100k, because it gave me a good excuse for dropping out 50k in (I was underdressed for the weather), because otherwise my commitment to not getting passed by anyone with clipless pedals, which was basically everyone, would surely have resulted in my being unable to finish.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:57 PM
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307: 304 cont'd: or actually, this appears to be the whole article, and is on a somewhat less woozy site.

The link in 304 is more entertaining, though. I like the bit about the "certified UFO field investigator" who says Marilyn Monroe was murdered to keep her from revealing UFO secrets.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:58 PM
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But seriously, if you are aware of your surroundings and willing to give cars the right of away when they manifestly don't have it, and also willing to break the law, then it's not so dangerous.

Compared to what?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 3:59 PM
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Wrestling alligators.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:00 PM
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Bowling with pin-less grenades.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:01 PM
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326: well, lots of things. Motorcycle riding. Dressage. Rocketry.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:01 PM
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I'm sympathetic to bicycles as a mode of transportation in general, but now that warm weather seems to have encouraged people to take to riding bikes in the evening while wearing dark clothing with no lights or reflectors, my sympathy is getting stretched a bit thin.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:01 PM
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Oops. 328 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:01 PM
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324: hey, I have clipless pedals. I'm not a neanderthal over here.

On the other hand I have crappy, ancient, vans-looking clipless shoes held together with tape, so maybe it's less obvious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:02 PM
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It's that warm weather has encouraged that, essear, so much as that warm weather has enabled people to be encouraged by their persistent (beharrlich) toolishness to do that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:02 PM
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Ok, by people with clipless pedals and head-to-toe sleek-looking bicycling outfits, inclusive of jerseys.

Also, drop bars (though I am beginning to be sympathetic to the drop bar cause I still have straight bars).

I'll be god-damned if I let one of those people show me up!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:03 PM
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I didn't know you had a lawn, nosflow.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:05 PM
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Must be because of all those damn kids who keep tramping on it!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:07 PM
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Drop bars are very useful. Also, they predate straight bars. So really what you're saying is that you hate the past.

I actually said jerseys rather than "spandex" because I recently got some of those shorts with the padded ass and, lemme tell ya, way comfy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:08 PM
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I'm still confused about this "rabbit" thing with runners; do people actually, like draft off of each other? Like tuck in behind somebody's shoulder and use them as a windblock? That seems smelly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:09 PM
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329: Eh, yes but. Not as safe as running or kayaking, and I've been hit while running on the sidewalk and had a couple of near-misses in crosswalks. Too many drivers around here really are shockingly oblivious.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:09 PM
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make me want to turn into a gelatinous cube and be done with it. digest the entire facility


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:09 PM
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Yeah the padded shorts are good.

And I never actually said I like the past or hate the past; that was Josh's imposition.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:10 PM
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I remain somewhat in awe of a relative of mine who has commuted by bike from near downtown Brooklyn to Midtown for the past 15 years or so. All four seasons. However, it has left him so embittered about drivers (and New York drivers in particular) that I do everything possible to not be in a car with him in the city. Anything that stops short of nearly ramming offenders (i.e. every other car on the road) is met with scorn and derision.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:12 PM
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339: kayaking doesn't seem that safe. You have to deal with sharks, and eskimos.

342: yeah it'll do that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:13 PM
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I actually said jerseys rather than "spandex" because I recently got some of those shorts with the padded ass and, lemme tell ya, way comfy.

The jerseys are affectation for many riders, but the shorts really a very functional, and far more comfortable for long rides.

Jerseys are pretty useful when you're riding 500+ miles a week, mind, and you can even get ones in plain colors. I can't imagine doing a 2000 mile ride with t-shirts...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:13 PM
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What, in fact, are they useful for?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:14 PM
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324 made me grin and want to give ben a cookie.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:15 PM
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344: oh, honestly, I'm probably going to get some sooner or later. The pockets in the back are very handy. I'm all about the plain colors, though. I can't decide if the wool ones are an embarrassing affectation or a laudable rejection of pointlessly high-tech roadie culture.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:15 PM
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343.1: The one close shark encounter I had, the shark seemed at least as freaked out by the whole thing as I was, and Eskimos seldom venture this far south.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:16 PM
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Ah, the pockets in the back. But it must be more than that?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:17 PM
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346 made me grin and then feel condescended to.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:17 PM
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I've often wondered about the bike shorts. Why not pad the seat instead of your shorts? If you ever get off the bike, the shorts with ass-pads look a bit silly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:17 PM
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Oh, they weren't condescending cookies, but cookies of admiration.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:18 PM
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- handy pockets in the right place
- longer at back than front, so you don't choose between sunburnt back and bunching at front
- they breath way better than cotton
- on a multi-day trip, they wash and dry very fast
- much sturdier than cotton or whatever (also matters on multiday)

so if you start off with some other shirt that breathes well etc. and start to tweak it to be "perfect" for cycling, you'll end up with a jersey, pretty much.

the adds etc. is just wankery though, if you aren't actually being sponsored to wear them


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:19 PM
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I forgot 'form fitting so they don't flap for hours'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:20 PM
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Y'all are martians to me, except Sir Kraab.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:21 PM
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303, 338: if you push a little -- you're likely to pass, but not be able to keep a lead on, but who -- if you don't push -- you will end up stuck behind at less than full power.

This can get quite (literally) touchy in lap swimming and you need to circle. Nothing worse than getting a little "tap tap tap" on your feet, but it can be easy to do it yourself if you are not careful. Rec swimming it can be generally avoided, but back in the day I saw it lead to fisticuffs during workouts on several occasions (usually when there was some other tension/competitveness going among the combatants as well).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:22 PM
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the shark seemed at least as freaked out by the whole thing as I was

There's nothing like watching a shark, abashed, backing sheepishly away from an unexpected encounter. Mostly because the trying to swim backwards does weird things to their gills.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:23 PM
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lap swimming when you need to circle
(Due to crowding)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:23 PM
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Or because there's blood in the water. Wait, that's sharks again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:24 PM
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Also the zipper for ventilation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:25 PM
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Let's just say 360 to 359.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:25 PM
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the downside is, of course, they look pretty stupid.

longest unbroken (meaning, ride every day) touring leg I've ridden was a bit under 2000 miles, and rotating through jerseys and shorts was very comfortable there. Otherwise, I wouldn't have any (not sure I still doo)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:26 PM
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a shark, abashed, backing sheepishly away from an unexpected encounter

Nah, full speed ahead for deeper water via the shortest route. Which unfortunately ran right below my ass. Which was very tightly puckered for the next mile or so.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:27 PM
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They (you know, THEY) make plenty of biking shorts that are appropriately baggy but also padded in the ass. In fact, most mountain biking shorts are made like that. There is, in other words, no excuse at all for wearing tight spandex shorts while biking.

As for wool versus spandex jerseys, just stick with t-shirts. Sure the extra pockets are nice. But really, do you want to be that guy?

(Most of the above does not apply to people who are either racing or doing multi-day/multi-stage rides.)


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:28 PM
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351: I don't really know the answer to that, except that padded bike seats are thought to be counterproductive because the padding is often in the wrong place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:30 PM
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Unless I missed something, I still don't see why you can't put the padding on the bike's seat instead of the rider's shorts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:30 PM
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I'm still confused about this "rabbit" thing with runners; do people actually, like draft off of each other? Like tuck in behind somebody's shoulder and use them as a windblock?

Nah, it's more that having something/someone to chase allows people to push themselves harder than they would otherwise. Just like greyhounds at a track with a mechanical rabbit.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:30 PM
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They (you know, THEY) make plenty of biking shorts that are appropriately baggy but also padded in the ass. In fact, most mountain biking shorts are made like that. There is, in other words, no excuse at all for wearing tight spandex shorts while biking.

Yeah, that's what I have.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:31 PM
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The weight thing seems to be mostly over in the thread, but I'll just say this: It turns out that if once you are past age 30 you gain an average of about 1/8 of an ounce per day, by the time you are "mature" you will have turned from a triathlete (admittedly, a large-muscled and large-boned one) to someone whose activities are beginning to be annoyingly limited by their weight (amply aided by age). I have no effective strategy to share on how to avoid this happening, but don't let it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:32 PM
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366: The padding on the shorts isn't really there for softness, but to avoid chafing, I think. That won't work on the seat.

You don't actually want much padding, you want a seat that fits well for long rides.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:33 PM
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There is, in other words, no excuse at all for wearing tight spandex shorts while biking

Baggies flap annoyingly in the wind when you're on a long ride, plus they tend to bind a bit more than straight bike shorts do. Plus, if you're wearing baggies people are always trying to score weed off you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:33 PM
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and what ari/sifu said about the skin tight ones. If you don't really have a need for it, why would you?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:34 PM
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they tend to bind a bit more than straight bike shorts do.

This is also true (okay, I have one of each).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:35 PM
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Thanks mysterious 370.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:35 PM
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Much worse than looking like a douche on a bike is worrying too much about looking like a douche on a bike.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:40 PM
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- handy pockets in the right place

But for what? Your EZ Pass?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:42 PM
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375: I'm not remotely convinced, and here's why.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:45 PM
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376: food!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:46 PM
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Also phone, cash, ID.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:46 PM
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378: But it'd get all sweaty!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:47 PM
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380: some people are fond of using plastic bags to put food in, but I guess if you don't roll that way and prefer to mash the uncontained sandwich into your pocket, yes, sweat would be a problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:48 PM
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377: Christ, those are hideous. Why don't they just make one that says "I'm with stupid," with an arrow pointed at the rider's face?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:49 PM
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382: gotta love this one, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:52 PM
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I see I've come late to the party.

I've probably lost anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds since I started triathlon. Was at my 5th reunion this summer and people were all up on me like "I wasn't sure it was you" and "Hey, look at the AIDS patient." Funny thing is, I'm still 10# above race weight.

Also, never understood why triathletes/bikers are bothered by someone holding their wheel. It's not like the workout gets any harder. You put out the same power, and you go the same distance. I can understand in a group ride/race why it's an issue, but if you're out training for something you need to do solo anyhow...


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 4:56 PM
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What does "holding their wheel" mean here?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:00 PM
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383: For certain values of 'love', I suppose.

Also, never understood why triathletes/bikers are bothered by someone holding their wheel

Personal space. Pass me or back the fuck off, person behind me! Not unrelated to how I feel about having my lunch sitting on the small of my back.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:01 PM
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But it'd get all sweaty!

Clementines come with natural sweat protection and tons of electrolytes!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:03 PM
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Holding doesn't literally mean holding, does it? Riding very close to? That's annoying as fuck, don't do that!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:03 PM
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385: drafting. Like so, although just with two people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:04 PM
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That would be really annoying.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:06 PM
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385: biking right up behind a biker and drafting off them. Cuts the effort by something ridiculous, like 50% or more (depending on the number of cyclists and the speed)


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:06 PM
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Also, never understood why triathletes/bikers are bothered by someone holding their wheel.

I can understand why it bugs triathletes. When your bike control sucks, anyone getting that close to you is going to seem threatening...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:07 PM
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392: Indirect slam at the bike handling of triathletes. I'd take offense, but I can't handle my bike for shit.


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:08 PM
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392: I suppose I'm far to easygoing. I'm sure that'll change when somebody hits me.


Posted by: tweedledopey | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:09 PM
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393/394: I kid, I kid. It's not like triathletes have any particular incentive to learn really good control.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:10 PM
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Y'all are martians to me, except Sir Kraab.

About that story in 301 . . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:11 PM
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It actually doesn't really bother me that much, and up until recently I thought that people picking up each other's wheels and having fun little impromptu pacelines was the way to go, and a good time for everybody. This was before I learned that everybody else on a road bike is a douche.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:11 PM
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This competition with the jersey-wearers and clipless-pedal people thing makes me really bad I'm a girl. I mostly just think they look like tools and feel superior for wearing normal clothes rather than having to have Special Gear to ride a goddamn bicycle.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:11 PM
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Clementines come with natural sweat protection

But you have to peel them, which is tricky to do while you're riding. Look, if you need sustenance, just fill your water bottles with margaritas before you head out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:11 PM
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I have to confess that I wear douchey running clothes when I go running, even though it is often just for a half hour run around my neighborhood or through the cemetery. I don't like to flap.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:12 PM
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392-395: that was the point of my original comment, actually; I imagine (some) triathletes get annoyed by it because it (riding in a paceline) is not a skill they're interested in acquiring or maintaining. Plus when you're down in the aerobars it's tough to do anything but ride in a straight line anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:13 PM
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But you have to peel them, which is tricky to do while you're riding.

PROTIP: stop riding when you want to peel your clementine.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:14 PM
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When your bike control sucks, anyone getting that close to you is going to seem threatening...


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:14 PM
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OT, but less boring:

Wedding announcements we'd like to see in the Times . . .

Catherine Doyle married Alfred Park on Sunday evening at the Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton.
The bride, 26, graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown. The groom, 34, graduated summa cum laude from Brown. The bride's father, Eugene Doyle, graduated egregia cum laude from the University of Washington and his mother, Kate Doyle, graduated double platinum cum laude from Wayne State.
Her grandfather graduated the harder they cum laude from Texas A&M. Her uncle graduated cumma cumma cumma cumma cumma chameleon laude from the University of Colorado.
The bride's brother, Lewis Doyle, graduated pre-cum laude from the University of Stockholm.
The groom's father, Bruce, graduated cumfortably numb laude from Cal State Fullerton. The best man graduated cumpire strikes back laude from the College of Outer Space. The best man's grandfather graduated viagra cum laude from Hofstra.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:15 PM
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I mostly just think they look like tools and feel superior for wearing normal clothes rather than having to have Special Gear to ride a goddamn bicycle.

Nice to see some things never change, B.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:15 PM
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346 to 402.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:17 PM
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400: I wear douchey running clothes, too! I don't like things that stick to me. Regular tshirts are right out.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:18 PM
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Also, never understood why triathletes/bikers are bothered by someone holding their wheel.

I was hit once by an idiot on his tribars who couldn't stop when needed. That's enough to turn you off anyone you don't know drafting.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:21 PM
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404: Zach was robbed!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:22 PM
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This was before I learned that everybody else on a road bike is a douche.

True. This is why I had countermeasures -- tacks, oil, smoke bombs -- installed on my road bike. Also, women are allowed to wear "douchey" clothes when they run or bike. Everyone knows this.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:24 PM
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I miss Zach.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:25 PM
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Further to 408, I can see why many triatheletes, as opposed to roadies, get annoyed by it.

First off, they don't do it themselves to race, so swapping off isn't practice. Secondly, most tri's aren't very fast, so if someone is drafting them, there's a good chance they aren't very good at drafting either. Roadies will have an easier time just dropping anyone who doesn't have a good form, at least.

I never raced, and never cared to pace unless it was to fight a nasty headwind.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:29 PM
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and feel superior for wearing normal clothes rather than having to have Special Gear to ride a goddamn bicycle.

this though? seems equivalently toolish to me.

Maybe I'm just not that invested in what other people wear.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:31 PM
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women are allowed to wear "douchey" clothes sundresses when they run or bike. Everyone knows this.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:31 PM
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There was a second part to 403, where I was basically complaining that PK's bike control is worse than mine and I damn well do fear it when he rides too close to me, the little idiot.

women are allowed to wear "douchey" clothes when they run or bike.

Sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:31 PM
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413: At least I keep my thoughts to myself. Except here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:32 PM
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oh, and now i see 412 is pretty much pwned. never mind.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:32 PM
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Though from the link Sifu gave women's cycling jerseys are significantly less douchey.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:32 PM
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So 412 has me going back to my dilemma above: I'm not interested in drafting off people, but I definitely go faster when I'm chasing after somebody. I figure, if I'm ten or fifteen feet or more back, what do they care? And yet seemingly this annoys NPH when running. What to do? Psychically tell those people I'm not drafting off of to shut up? I guess so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:34 PM
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411: Me too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:34 PM
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I figure, if I'm ten or fifteen feet or more back, what do they care?

Yeah, they shouldn't care. To get a really good draft, you've got to be within inches.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:37 PM
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That's what she said.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:39 PM
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Sexist.

Please to share with us more of your thoughts on transgendered cyclists, b. What can they wear, I wonder?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:39 PM
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Hmm, I haven't found a steady weight since high school. College was too full of swings, followed by slow balloons punctuated with dramatic drops.

Right now I'm fighting to get some downwards movement. Call it 10 lbs down to the mid 160s and I'll be happy. Of course, that will entail getting into better physical condition, and will likely take for fucking ever.

Getting older sucks.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:45 PM
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414 is exactly right.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:45 PM
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397: This was before I learned that everybody else on a road bike is a douche.

Universally true as demonstrated by 70% of subsequent comments.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:55 PM
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423: Nothing. Otherwise how would you be able to properly examine their genitalia and determine their "real" gender?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:57 PM
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377: I'm not remotely convinced ...

And it was such a compelling argument, too.

... and here's why.

Ohmigod! An activity has some examples of unflattering clothing associated with it. QED.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 5:58 PM
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If you want to draft, ask. I was very annoyed at RAGBRAI to find I'd been riding for 10 miles into a strong headwind with a 20+ person line behind me. If someone had said something I wouldn't have towed those bastards quite as far. It was great when I dropped back to the end of the line. Wheee!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:00 PM
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An activity has some examples of unflattering clothing associated with it. QED.

Well, okay, sure, but if we exclude downhill skiing in the '80s, what (non-professional) athletic activity has worse (as in, works as hard or harder to uglier effect) gear? I mean, road biking's right up there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:00 PM
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430: Snuggie bowling?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:03 PM
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Female athletes of course wear these clothes, made by a company started by some friends of my father.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:03 PM
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427: I've linked to this in a comment over at your blog, okay?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:05 PM
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Actually, I'm a bit reassured when a cyclist on the road in front of me is wearing bike clothes. It may be a false assurance, but I like to think if somebody bought all of the gear, they are less likely to have an accident or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:07 PM
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425 reminds me:

||
"I found it."
"What did you find, Eeyore?"
"A house girlfriend for owl nosflow."

She works at the sake joint around the corner, and she's in a band called Y L/a Ba/mba (be forewarned that the photos on their myspace page don't capture her consummate cuteness). But she's totally charming—and gamine, though taller than most women to whom the word is typically applied. You'd love her, nosflow!
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:11 PM
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I like to dress up in fancy bike gear and then get in major accidents on purpose—just to fuck with people like MH.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:13 PM
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I'll be there before you can say Jack Robinson.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:16 PM
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I am trying to be more careful around cyclists now. They put in a few bike lines on roads I drive. I stopped driving on them as soon as somebody told me what they were.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:16 PM
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438: haha. That puts you in rare company!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:17 PM
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Well, I've been known to cheat into the bike line if somebody is turning left and blocking the driving lane. But I look in the mirror and over my shoulder first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:18 PM
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gamine, though taller than most women to whom the word is typically applied

Subverting the hipster paradigm!

Recently a metalhead friend of mine convinced me to go to an Opeth show. Him, sizing up the crowd at the venue: "these people don't all look like metal fans. And what's with all the super-tall dudes with the super-petite girlfriends?" Me: "um, you've never been around indie rock types before, have you?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:24 PM
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Since they seem to have chosen which roads should have bike lanes by doing an exhaustive study to identify all the roads with a lane wide enough that it could be divided into a bike lane and a car lane simply by painting a line, it's no wonder I never see any bikes in the bike lanes. Somehow it seems wrong to have the bike lane between the driving lane and the parking lane.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:28 PM
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442: It does look like that's what they did. However, if you look at the map from http://bike-pgh.org/ it looks like a comprehensively planned system. They keep adding lanes, but Bike Pittsburgh is either optimistic or nearly all of the on-street bike routes are unmarked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:34 PM
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442: that's how they do it everywhere. Agreed, it isn't great, but we cyclists take what we can get.

443: usually those routes are kind of a fantasy; it's something along the lines of "here's where we think you can ride without getting killed", although it's legal to ride on any street (except highways) and you could get killed wherever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:41 PM
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Incidentally, there are some places that put the bike lanes on the other side of the parked cars, protected by a barrier. This, however, sucks as much if not more, because they immediately get colonized by people unloading stuff from their car, joggers, and people walking 8 abreast on the sidewalk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:43 PM
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Pens-Wings 2-2 after the first. Skating is great exercise if you can skate hard for 30 minutes at a time. And the skates add a bit of weight training.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:52 PM
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173: "an iPhone app called Weightbot"

Wait, what? How's that work?

You have to manually transfer the weight from the scale to the phone (but it's a slick slider interface to do it). But the app on the phone datestamps the weigh-in, plots the graph, shows you how far to your goal weight you are, etc.

You'd need some kind of Bluetooth-enabled scale to completely automate it.

(I saw today, at REI, a stand of the sort used to temporarily turn your bicycle into a stationary bike rig. It was USB-equipped.)


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:58 PM
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173: "an iPhone app called Weightbot"

Wait, what? How's that work?

You have to manually transfer the weight from the scale to the phone (but it's a slick slider interface to do it). But the app on the phone datestamps the weigh-in, plots the graph, shows you how far to your goal weight you are, etc.

You'd need some kind of Bluetooth-enabled scale to completely automate it.

(I saw today, at REI, a stand of the sort used to temporarily turn your bicycle into a stationary bike rig. It was USB-equipped.)


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 6:58 PM
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a stand of the sort used to temporarily turn your bicycle into a stationary bike rig

Rollers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:03 PM
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There are all kinds of crazy web enabled upload-your-crap things for cyclists and runners and whatnot. I use mapmyride.com, which isn't bad for keeping track of everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:04 PM
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In about 20 years, there will be a USB "I've fallen and I can't get up" device.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:08 PM
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433: Yeah, why the hell not. Let's turn it into the all-offended, all-the-time blog.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:08 PM
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424: Getting older sucks.

Bless you for the "older" rather than choosing to say "old."

I'm lucky enough that my body still responds tremendously to exercise of any sort: walk 4 miles 3 days per week? Reshape your body, lose weight! Work out (weight training) 2 days a week? The same. Combine the two? Absolutely lose weight and reshape. I think this must be very lucky. Now I need to pick up that schedule again.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:10 PM
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I just bought a bike today, and I'm kind of pleased with it. I had no idea I would have to worry about what to wear...

I think I won't worry, though. I don't aspire to become a cyclist, I just want to be able to go for bike rides.

Heebie, this thread has since moved on, but I have to agree with a couple of commenters above that it's too early to worry about losing the last 15 pounds. If you're nursing, there's a good chance your body won't let go of the last 5-10 pounds anyway (you know, just in case there's a famine), not until your child has weaned. And if you're still exclusively breastfeeding, dieting might mess with your milk supply (or it might not, but it's definitely a possibility).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:27 PM
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454.1: you don't. If you do, you'll know, because your crotch will be numb and your shirt will feel like you're wearing a bedsheet straight out of the washer. But then you'll be riding fast for hours at a time many days a week, and won't dwell on spending $50 to look kinds goofy. I mean, I did, but you won't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:38 PM
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Have you transitioned to the suburbs yet, MC? That's been my impression of the house move you and your family have planned, though I could be misunderstanding. I had the idea it was NY to NJ, or Connecticut, but again, I'm a little unclear on it, so I don't want to offend by uttering that word "suburbs," if indeed it's offensive in the first place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:39 PM
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I use pimpmylog.com


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:43 PM
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Rollers.

If you couldn't (easily) fall over, it was a stand, not rollers.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:45 PM
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Just watch me fall over.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:49 PM
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459: If you put it on youtube, sure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:51 PM
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essesar, how was it? Did it kick ass?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:51 PM
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456: We've moving in three weeks. And obviously I should have waited to buy a bike (yet another thing to now move), but it was just what I was looking for and the price was right, so.

We're basically moving to the suburbs. But it's a real little town, dating back to the 1850s, about 35 minutes from New York (in NJ). I would not want to live in a post-WWII suburban/exurban place without a town centre and etc, and this place doesn't feel like that (or so I tell myself). But it's effectively moving to the suburbs. It's okay, Parsimon! you can say "suburbs" without offending me (in fact, I used to be quite snooty about the suburbs, but I'm over it).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 7:54 PM
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462: Okay! The real little town with a town(e) centre and so on sounds charming. Maybe they have a nice bookstore. You can ride your bike. Sounds good. Good luck with it all; moving sucks, but hey, during the summer so your boy child can adjust before the next school year.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:00 PM
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in fact, I used to be quite snooty about the suburbs, but I'm over it

good thing too. In mere weeks, you'll be one of 'them'.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:03 PM
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good thing too. In mere weeks, you'll be one of 'them'

You can live in the suburbs without becoming one of 'them'.

... Right?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:17 PM
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462: New Jersey--most underrated state in the country.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:18 PM
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465: I'm not sure it works that way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:20 PM
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In mere weeks, you'll be one of 'them'.

I know. The house, the car, the dog ... hey, does anyone have a good recipe for a three-bean salad? I may need to bring something to the 4th of July picnic.

Parsimon, this place does have a nice little independent bookstore that I can bike or walk to. I only hope it can stay open.

One thing I'm not going to miss about our current place: looking out the kitchen window to see the landlord's father (who can never remember my name, so he just calls me Laydee, I kid you not) answering nature's call by the side of an old shed in the side yard. Um, hello, but you're well within viewing distance, not that anyone's enjoying the view, which is the opposite of scenic.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:23 PM
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465: It's alright to keep telling yourself that if it helps, Di.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:28 PM
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hey, does anyone have a good recipe for a three-bean salad?

No, but there are plenty of receipts -- fuck, recipes -- for black bean & corn salads, with chopped/minced red peppers, maybe green peppers, red onions, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. You are really going to have to expand the surburban horizons, city girl. Woman. That is. Anyway, they'll totally love it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:30 PM
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468: I'm sure if you look around, you can find public urination in NJ. Just don't try to pump your own gas or scary men with squeegees yell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:32 PM
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462:

Bergen County?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:33 PM
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472: Essex County.

It took me a while, actually (because I'm not too quick on the uptake about this stuff), to figure out that NJ doesn't have self-service gas stations. I kept thinking, "Wow, what a throwback. This station doesn't let you pump your own gas." NJ also seems to have a somewhat idiosyncratic definition of "U-turn" (get off the road you are on at the nearest "All Turns" sign, turn left onto another road, now turn left again to get back onto the original road in the opposite direction: that's a U-turn).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:43 PM
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NJ also seems to have a somewhat idiosyncratic definition of "U-turn" (get off the road you are on at the nearest "All Turns" sign, turn left onto another road, now turn left again to get back onto the original road in the opposite direction: that's a U-turn).

It also has lots of places where you can only turn left by turning right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:49 PM
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I use mapmyride.com, which isn't bad for keeping track of everything.

I played around with mapmyrun.com for a while, until I discovered that the distances it was giving were significantly off.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:50 PM
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You can live in the suburbs without becoming...
but why would you resist?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 8:52 PM
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but why would you resist?

Why indeed? I'm hoping to co-star in a reality TV show ("Real Canadian Ex-Pats of New Jersey" or something like that) within the next year or so. I guess I need to grow my nails, and to learn to cry on cue before a camera.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:24 PM
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473, 474: I guess Vermont is the same as NJ with respect to U-turns, then. Using mapquest to navigate DC, it took me at least half a dozen tries to figure out that where the directions said "take a u-turn" it didn't mean "look for a sharp left" and it definitely didn't mean "back into a driveway or side street and come out the other way," it actually meant "you're on a street with three lanes in each direction, trust us, if you cut your wheels as far to the left as you can then you will find yourself on the same road, just going in the opposite direction."


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:25 PM
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Resistance is futile.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:27 PM
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I'm kind of behind, but I have to get to bed:

If you sweat at all, t-shirts for biking SUCK. So fuck off all y'all with your "I'm not THAT guy" BS. THAT guy doesn't like riding a bike with 5 lbs. of sweat clinging to his back.

Also, riding with crap in my shorts pockets is uncomfortable; riding with crap in my jersey pockets is quite comfortable.

Also, having loose shorts with sewn-in chamois is, IMO, stupid. You can put shorts on over the spandex, folks.

That said, for the most part I ride in solid color jerseys, and wear spandex w/o overshorts only for training rides. Around town I just wear whatever, with chamois under the shorts for rides over a few miles (I have found that, if I'm careless about riding w/o padding several times in a week, it takes awhile to recover). Being underpadded for climbs sucks. Padded briefs are nice - not bulky, but ass-saving.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:32 PM
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Futility is resistant.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:33 PM
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470: sesame oil is nice here as well.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:37 PM
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480: I totally sweat more than you, and I wear t-shirts biking. Why? Because I'm hardcore! Also because I don't own any jerseys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:38 PM
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It also has lots of places where you can only turn left by turning right.

Called jug handles.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:42 PM
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Also because I don't own any jerseys.

If you own a new jersey, you can't pump your own gas.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:42 PM
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When I want to do a u-turn in my new jersey I take a right into the guy whose wheel I'm on, then take a left into traffic, then take another left into a jogger.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:45 PM
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What did Tweety wear, boy? What did Tweety wear?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:50 PM
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487: (That song is much worse than I remembered.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 9:58 PM
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Wikipedia provides us with a helpful map of all the states that outlaw self-service gas stations. 'Cause there's a lot of them, you know, and we need a map to help us visualize the interesting geographical patterns.

I first became aware of the notion of mandated full-service while on a childhood trip to visit the Oregon relatives. My parents pulled the rental car into a gas station and explained to my sister and me that in "liberal" (or some such epithet) Oregon, you weren't allowed to pump your own gas for reasons of job creation. I didn't know about NJ's similar law until I met a Jersey native my first year of college, who conjectured that self-service was outlawed there for safety reasons. What the hell? I thought. If pumping gas is so dangerous, now come everyone but Oregonians and New Jerseyians (is that even the right demonym?) can manage it just fine? I sure couldn't recall seeing any articles in the Strib growing up about tragic gas-pumping deaths. But sure enough, Wikipedia states that safety concerns are indeed a common justification for self-service bans.

New Jersey banned self-service gasoline in 1949 after lobbying by service station owners. Proponents of the ban cite safety and jobs as reasons to keep the ban.[8] Likewise, the Oregon statute banning self-service gasoline lists seventeen different justifications, including the inflammability of gas, the risk of crime from customers leaving their car, the toxic fumes emitted by gasoline, and the jobs created by requiring mini service.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 10:57 PM
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There are a couple of complete dumbasses in our general neck of the woods who think that 5:30 in the evening, surrounded by rush hour traffic, is just the perfect time to get dolled up in eight yards of logo-laden spandex and a hat like a UFO and go riding around on two-lane roads when there are streets with bike lanes just right over fucking there, like two streets away. They both just coast along while head-on near-misses happen right next to them every ten seconds, looking for all the world like gay NASCAR on a holiday.

This morning I watched a cyclist on campus ride off the sidewalk and to within a foot or two of a beer truck that had just spent 30 seconds carefully angling itself for a tight turn. The guy had all the time in the world to notice the beer truck that was already in the crosswalk and clearly trying to get some movement going and when he nearly got crushed he did this swerve-and-correct move and tried to make it look like he meant to get off the sidewalk, halfway across the street and then turn and take off at top speed through the middle of morning traffic. Gah. They make me feel sorry for the greater number of perfectly sane people I see biking along in the bike lanes, unmolested. I imagine I am not the only driver who sees enough stupid shit that he eventually stops paying any attention to bikes at all.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:10 PM
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This morning I watched a cyclist on campus

There's your problem.

a beer truck

It's a wonder the cyclist wasn't lynched.

I'm feeling a little like defending the other two (if you want to get in a ride on a weekday and you work a normal job, and you don't want to ride in the middle of the night, you kinda have to be riding at 5:30), but eh. They can handle their fabulous selves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:17 PM
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I saw a cyclist cut down a street going the wrong way, then turn left, without even slowing down, against a red light, across four lanes of traffic, into the contraflow bus lane that nobody but buses is allowed to drive in, at around 7 PM. Maybe he was filming a stunt for a movie. I've seen him around since then, but his doom seems certain.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:24 PM
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I've seen cyclists do all sorts of stupid shit, but drivers still have them beat by many orders of magnitude.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:29 PM
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489: Self-serve gas has been a hot topic recently.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:29 PM
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Which is to say that the relevant generalization is "people suck," not "cyclists suck."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:30 PM
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In the interest of equal time, the other day I was riding down a hill (in the bike lane) at about 35 miles an hour. At the end of the block, the road splits into left hand lane, bike lane, and then two turn lanes, which go onto the freeway. This means that at a certain point cars have to cross the bike lane to get into the turn lanes. This, since you're you know, changing lanes, means that bikes have the right of way. The speed limit on the road is 50, but people go quite a bit faster than that. So as I was getting to this split, I saw a black SUV bearing down on me. My options were to slam on the brakes and stop outright, or ride as fast as I could, hoping that he would see me and slow down 10 or 15 mph (he was going at least 60) so as to safely pass behind me into the turn lanes.

Predictably, he took the third, or "I'm in a car!" strategy: he accelerated past me and cut me off, coming extremely close to either hitting me or running me off the road or both, then leaned on the horn. Haha, thanks Mr. Black SUV guy! I'll try to be more careful when I have the right of way and you're an asshole!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:31 PM
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495: Some people are suicidal, others are homicidal, is what it basically comes down to.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:32 PM
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494: I see. That's what I get for not reading closely for a couple months.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-09 11:34 PM
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if you want to get in a ride on a weekday and you work a normal job, and you don't want to ride in the middle of the night, you kinda have to be riding at 5:30

I wholeheartedly agree that there are few other times when they could ride or surely they wouldn't ride then. However, much safer places - safer for everyone! - are just a block or two away and they opt for major arteries through areas that weren't designed for the population growth they've seen in recent years. When our neighborhood biking/running club is out in the evening right after work that's no big deal to anyone because nobody (well, almost nobody) is doing 60 through my neighborhood. If they were out on a state highway it would be a different matter.

That said, I think NPH's observation is quite right. I'm without a doubt the idiot driver at least some of the time.

Of course, thinking about this has reminded me that when I was in jr. high and my sister and I would go out riding we would always and immediately head for the main roads against our mother's instructions to stick to the one boring two-mile loop of dirt road she felt was safe.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 6:55 AM
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frist


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:15 AM
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Whatever do you mean, dear boy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:31 AM
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On topic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:32 AM
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New Jersey--most underrated state in the country.

Sssh. The rep helps keep the riffraff out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:44 AM
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502: Heterosexist.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:48 AM
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I had an ankle operation 10 weeks ago and on Saturday rode my bicycle outside for the first time since the op. Bliss. Wobbly, but bliss. For the past few weeks I've been using the bicycle as a stationary bike indoors, attached to a "trainer" purchased from REI with my rebate. I'm not sure whether "rollers" are a subset of "trainers" but, like almost everything else in the velosphere, there are numerous incredibly important subcategories of trainers/rollers/stands.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:49 AM
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Called jug handles.

I love jug handles!

Also, those concrete barriers used for medians are called Jersey barriers (no matter what state you're in), having been designed in Hoboken.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:53 AM
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I call drinking malt liquor from a bottle in a paper bag a "Jersey picnic".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:58 AM
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are called Jersey barriers (no matter what state you're in)

Except a bunch of places that call them other things (I've run into k-rails, tall walls, pens. barriers (??), dividers, traffic dividers, etc.)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:59 AM
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I hate bike lanes with a passion. Accidents are most likely at intersections and during turns. Bike lanes provide a false sense of safety in low-hazard situations (fear from the rear) while funneling people into dangerous spots where the bike lane suddenly disappears. They also tend to collect crap like small pebbles, bits of metal, and sand, all of which have the potential to cause the rider to either fall or have to maneuver to stay upright, potentially forcing them into the traffic lane.

Bike lanes also reinforce the false impression the cyclists are second class road users, some category other than "vehicle." As long as cyclists are perceived as second class road users they are at risk from drivers who expect them to yield when the cyclist is actually the one with right of way.

The solution? Wide curb lanes, reinforcement of the fact that cyclists are legitimate road users (via public service announcements and the like), education of cyclists as to both safe cycling skills and their rights as vehicle operators on the public roads, and serious, well publicized punishments for people who hit cyclists through negligence. Jail time, not just points on the driver's licence.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:00 AM
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Nothing solves a problem quicker than public service announcements and education and jail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:02 AM
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506: Me too! Left turns straight from highways bollix everything up. I will now go eat a hard roll.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:03 AM
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504: Jesurgislac, everyone knows that women are nuturers. Lesbians never have to put up with crap from their partners. It's like you've never even listened to a Holly Near song.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:03 AM
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Except a bunch of places that call them other things

They're properly called Jersey barriers. I can't help it that everyone else is ignorant.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:07 AM
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Oh, hey, this is the perfect place for my weird bike experience story. So I was riding along about 10pm with a friend on a two-lanes-plus-parking-lane-per-side-of-the-street road near my house. There was light traffic. We were riding side by side in the right-hand lane (which is legal here--two bikes can have a lane. I don't usually do this except where car traffic is light and I'm not taking up the only available lane, though) Then this bike dude--this punk bike dude, with big red stars tattooed on his elbows--bikes by and yells at us for taking up too much space in traffic. A punk rock amateur bike cop! The world turned upsidedown. We did not heckle him, even though we made rude remarks amongst ourselves after he'd gone.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:15 AM
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They're properly called Jersey barriers.

Upon googling, It seems that's only true of one shape (why yes, I am procrastinating, why do you ask?). So I suspect the different names may correlate to that also.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:19 AM
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||

Usage question. If a person is spotted on a university campus with a gun, but the gun has not been used, should the emergency message that goes out by cell phone, text message, and email say "Gunman on campus", or "Person with gun on campus"?

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:22 AM
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(Especially given that, an hour later, the new message that goes out says "There was no gunman", despite the previous message saying "This is a real emergency.")


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:23 AM
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given 517, it seems the message should have been "report of person with gun on campus"


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:24 AM
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A punk rock amateur bike cop! The world turned upsidedown.

My niece was on subway a couple summers ago and a NYC police officer, in his short-sleeved summer uniform, was holding on to one of the center poles and revealing a beefy bicep and a large Ⓐ there tattooed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:24 AM
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Yeah, my impression was that one does not become a "gunman" just by carrying a gun. Oh well. I suppose it's better they err on the side of over-cautious emergency messages rather than none at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:27 AM
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"Gunnish man"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:28 AM
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"Gnuish man" Depending on facial traits or dyslexia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:29 AM
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But not gunsel, which means something entirely different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:29 AM
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was holding on to one of the center poles and revealing a beefy bicep

Now that's a gunman.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:30 AM
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This is regarding Princeton, yes? I just got an ABC breaking news e-mail about it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:31 AM
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"Gun chez man on campus"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:31 AM
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523: Thank you for the new word. Now I know what to pair with the most recent usage of "cougar".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:32 AM
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525: Yes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:32 AM
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510: The alternative people are promoting is to funnel naive riders into dangerous situations with a false sense of security. The problem is one of behavior and knowledge, not engineering.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:35 AM
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507. Moby don't live in that New York City no more.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:39 AM
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529: Yes, but behavior and knowledge change very slowly. The odds of a driver being hurt in a crash with a cyclists are extremely small. For any individual driver the odds of hitting a cyclist are also small (at least around here, cyclists are infrequent). The odds of getting hurt by another car are relatively large and that's what drivers are going to be most concerned with on most streets.

I'm guessing that getting drivers to pay attention is more easily done by keeping the cyclists relatively concentrated so that drivers can learn when to expect them. When I see that bike lane to the side (now that they are marked with stenciled bikes), I'm more alert to cyclists in general.

Sure, legally cyclists have every right to ride down any street. But, if cyclists were frequently riding slower than traffic on streets where the cars cannot pass, I'm guessing that legal right would be curtailed rather than safety improved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:50 AM
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Oddly enough, I'm with Moby Hick. Bike lanes are useful as a way to say to drivers "hey, stupid, there's bikes on the road!", even given that bicyclists get along fine without them -- and shouldn't feel any pressure to remain restricted to them. Think of them as a giant, city-wide educational campaign in the medium of striping paint.

Also, just practically and anecdotally, the places I've ridden with more bike lanes drivers have been marginally more respectful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:17 AM
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531.last - Yes, this is the best objection to my preferred approach. It's also an objection to bike lanes (as implemented everywhere I've seen them) because bike lanes merely move the locus of conflict from straight line travel into intersections, while encouraging people who do not know how to properly navigate an intersection in the presence of cars to ride the bike lane directly into trouble. Education can help, but it needs to be education of both cyclists and drivers.

532.first: Good point, but painted road education can also be achieved with bike silhouettes directly in the roadway. Bike lanes can be made to work, but it requires focus on intersections (there are a variety of ways to do this, most of them bad), not straight line travel.

There are good traffic engineering approaches to improve cycling safety and convenience. I particularly like Stop signs that are Yield signs for bikes, f'rex. I'm just a little touchy about bicycle advocacy as painted stripe fetishism.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:32 AM
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Oh, it's not the whole story. But given the copious amounts of shit on the end of the stick historically given to cyclists in this country, anything that says "these people have a right to a slice of the road, and the state is willing to spend money to make you aware of that fact" is a positive. I agree that bike lanes at intersections are sub-optimal in all kinds of ways, but you have to start somewhere. At least planners are considering the problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:35 AM
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533: I agree about the intersection problem, though I have no idea how to fix it in most cases. The lane they added on my usual route home comes to an end just before an interestion (with a stoplight) because they need the space for a left-turn lane. Of course, any cyclist wanting to turn left has to leave the bike lane regardless.

And, regardless of the efforts of cycling advocates, I'm fairly certain the reason this bike lane was installed was because the street was a funny width. Some drivers treated it as two-lanes in each direction while some treated it as one. The bike lane solved this conflict.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:42 AM
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They have left-turn bike lanes here, which are decidedly non-optimal (you have to cross traffic lanes, which are often moving very quickly, to get there), but then again they also have intersections with e.g. a right-turn only lane, a straight-or-left lane, and a left-turn lane, and you know what? If you're on a bike, those suck way worse. I have no idea how you'd make them better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:44 AM
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I live in such a bike-friendly utopia (eh, well, sort of) that what's been annoying me the most lately is runners who colonize the bike lanes. Inevitably they're going the wrong way, inevitably there's a sidewalk -- either on that side of the street or the other -- and inevitably they seem convinced that I should go on the outside of them (and thus into traffic) when I pass. Out of the way, fuckers!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:49 AM
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One nice thing about bike lanes is that they tend to be on routes with lighter traffic, which can be good for the new cyclist for obvious reasons.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:53 AM
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runners who colonize the bike lanes.

Agggh! Assholes. I like to imagine they are the same people who ride their bikes on the sidewalk.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:53 AM
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And pee in the sink.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:54 AM
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How are bikes supposed to turn left in traffic? Take the center of a traffic lane and be a car through the turn? In my limited biking in traffic experience, I've mostly resorted to stopping on the roadside and waiting until nothing was coming in either direction to sneak across the road.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:54 AM
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Take the center of a traffic lane and be a car through the turn?

Yep. Don't forget to signal!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:55 AM
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going the wrong way

Which wrong way do you mean? Going against traffic? Because that's right for pedestrians. Or do you mean that they're wrongly going with traffic?

But they're wrong for being in a bike lane, anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:56 AM
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I like to imagine they are the same people who ride their bikes on the sidewalk.

We've been through this but it makes me insane. For the record, I am not very good with direction(s), so if you come blasting up behind me and shriek "On your left!" in my ear, I am very likely to move to the left.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:56 AM
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Speaking of biking problems, I saw this last week and thought it was the neatest bike-thing ever.

http://nullspace2.blogspot.com/2009/05/you-think-biking-up-that-hill-is-hard.html


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:57 AM
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Pedestrians are supposed to walk against traffic? On the sidewalk? How come?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:58 AM
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Fuck signalling. Signalling is dangerous. I avoid being "a car" through the turn as much as I can; for every second a driver has to go slower because of you, your chance of enraging them enough that they do something crazy and dangerous increased about fifty-fold. So I try to hang in the right hand shoulder of the turn lane and get out to what would be the "bike turn lane" if there was one (thus leaving room for the car to pass) as soon as possible.

I do actually signal sometimes, but non-canonically. Taking your hand off the handlebar when you're trying to accelerate to beat traffic is not safe at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:59 AM
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543: going against traffic in the bike lane.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:00 AM
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546: No, if they have a reason to walk in the road (no sidewalks or something) they're supposed to go against the direction of traffic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:01 AM
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Bicyclists do that too, which annoys the fuck out of me. Especially because, as I said, they always seem to assume I should be passing them on the traffic side, which means I have to swerve into the traffic that I can't see because it's behind me. Fuckers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:01 AM
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I do actually signal sometimes, but non-canonically. Taking your hand off the handlebar when you're trying to accelerate to beat traffic is not safe at all.

That's fair. But I believe in signaling when you're about to do the thing, if not when you're doing it. I realize sometimes there may not be a quiet moment in there, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:03 AM
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551: I do my very best to make my intentions clear, including signalling before starting to change lanes, if that's possible and safe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:04 AM
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Clearly getting around town is way too fraught and stressful no matter how it's done, and so we should all just stay home.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:05 AM
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So I try to hang in the right hand shoulder of the turn lane and get out to what would be the "bike turn lane" if there was one (thus leaving room for the car to pass) as soon as possible.

I'm having trouble visualizing this. I figure that you started out on the righthand shoulder of the road, or at least in the right half of the right lane of traffic. "Right hand shoulder of the turn lane" sounds like you're on the white line between the turn lane and the straight-or-left lane. And then the "bike turn lane" means the left side of the turn lane? Or the right side of the turn lane?

This is the kind of thing that keeps me off my bike -- I really can't figure out what the safest way of doing all sorts of perfectly reasonable things, like making a turn, would be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:05 AM
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Most of the time I feel much safer if I can go fast enough that cars don't have to slow down for me, than if I can signal to cars that I would prefer them to slow down for me.

I do wish drivers would use their signals consistently, though. I promise, if you signal that you're turning right I won't ride up along your right side!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:06 AM
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554: I try and stay basically on the right-hand side of whatever lane I'm in, unless that's going to leave me exposed and I need to take the full lane. So making a left turn at a light, I'll try and leave enough room so that a car can pull in next to me, and then when we go, I'll make my turn as wide as possible so the car's not stuck behind me. It's tough to describe, but pretty easy to understand in practice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:08 AM
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I should not that this is non-canonical. If you look up instructions on riding in traffic, they'll tell you to take the lane. I've just learned that the less time you're impeding a car's progress, the less likely you are to inspire homicidal rage.

I also tend to pull up past the crosswalk and slightly into the intersection so I can get more of a jump -- again, trying to get out of the way of cars at the light as quickly as possible.

Another tip: everybody knows that stopping at stop signs on a bicycle is ridiculous. However, just blowing the stop sign -- even if you slow down -- is pretty dangerous. Instead, try to cross at the same time as a car, so they can act as a "blocker" for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:13 AM
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So, a little before the left turn, you change lanes from the far right side of the road to the right side of the left-most lane, and try to give a car space to make the left turn remaining next to you on your left throughout the process. If I've got it right.

I'd still have trouble figuring how to manage a left in a road with two lanes that might be turning left. I suppose you just go for it and hope the car on your right doesn't run you down from behind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:15 AM
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I am more of a take the lane for turns type rider, but I am probably riding in less and slower traffic overall than Tweety. Also our biking infrastructure consists of one 5 block stretch of road with sharrows.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:19 AM
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558: if there's not a dedicated left-turn lane, you have to take over the right-most lane from which you can turn left until you've successfully made your turn. This would be a time to really clearly signal your intentions, and hopefully ride reasonably quickly so you're not keeping people waiting too long.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:21 AM
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One last note before I bike to school: a lot of this depends on the speed limits of the roads you're talking about. If you're on local roads with 25mph speed limits, just take the lane. If you're on a thoroughfare with 45mph speed limits, or whatever, then you have to think harder about people accelerating hard behind you, and you're also more likely to see dedicated turn lanes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:29 AM
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I just kind of stand in the bike seat and make a point of flexing the buttock appropriate to the turn direction.

How does stretchy synthetic fabric help with sweat, by the way? You still sweat, right? Where does it go? Are those clingy jerseys made of some fabulous wicking fabric?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:35 AM
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If you're on local roads with 25mph speed limits, just take the lane.

Agreed. In most circumstances I can take a lane without annoying anyone too much.

Instead, try to cross at the same time as a car, so they can act as a "blocker" for you.

This scares me because I worry that cars will watch the "blocker", and not see me.

Are you suggesting following a car through the intersection, or riding beside a car? Neither seems ideal to me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:40 AM
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It's important to bear in mind that if you act as an inferior road user you'll be much more likely to be treated as an inferior by people in cars. Taking the lane is perfectly legal and, in the unlikely event of a collision you are much more likely to end up on the hood than under the tires.

People who get homicidally angry at bicycles should be shot, IMO. Absent proper legal action, the increased risk of heart attack due to blood pressure spikes will have to do.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:43 AM
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"People who get homicidally angry at bicycles should be shot, IMO."

Now I know what the pocket on the jersey is for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:46 AM
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562.2 I have no idea which synethics are best a wicking sweat, but cotton would have to be about the worst. There's a reason they make towels out of it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:48 AM
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Are those clingy jerseys made of some fabulous wicking fabric?

Yes, exactly. Plus they generally breathe a bit better than cotton, so you don't sweat quite as much to begin with.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:48 AM
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It's important to bear in mind that if you act as an inferior road user you'll be much more likely to be treated as an inferior by people in cars.

There's on other important general principle that's worth mentioning.

The best thing you can do is behave in a way that is intelligible and predictable to drivers. In any situation in which you don't feel like you can comfortably be on the right-hand side of the lane and allow drivers room to pass it is better to confidently take some space and let drivers adjust to you then it is to weave in and out of the lane (I have to admit I got caught in a situation a couple days ago where I was wavering on the edge of the lane and I felt like an idiot -- I should have just planted myself in the lane).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:50 AM
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The best thing you can do is behave in a way that is intelligible and predictable to drivers.

This is true of any driving. Rule #1: do not surprise the other drivers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:54 AM
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As an occasional side-walk bicyclist, I will say that I bike on the sidewalk when the streets are too scary (and that's fairly scary....I'm a competent city rider) if I only have to go a couple of blocks. I do slow down when passing people.

Perversely, my worst recent bike accident was caused by swerving out into the street and hitting something because I decided that I didn't want to pass the family with small child on the sidewalk because it would be scary and inconvenient for them. So I rode out into the street and completely face-planted. Luckily was not hit but bent up my glasses.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:54 AM
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565: I know a guy (who is quite likely one of the old guys with huge calves Sifu complains about) who used to ride with a huge revolver strapped to his left hip were everyone could see it. Claims he got a huge berth when wearing it and nearly none when not. This was in the 1960s in CA, before Ronald Reagan flipped out about the Black Panthers and betrayed his stated principles in the name of protecting white wimminz from the Scary Black Dudes.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:59 AM
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569: But this contradicts the rule, "No matter what, expect the unexpected. And whenever possible BE the unexpected"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 12:04 PM
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570 Probably the scariest thing that ever happened to me on a bicycle was a near-accident, rather than an actual accident. I've had several accidents, but none with this potential ....

It was sort of like your situation. I'm riding in city traffic on a mountain bike, clipping along at maybe 20mph with the cars. A pedestrian steps out in front of me and I've got cars to my left, so I hop the bike up on the sidewalk to avoid. Disaster averted! I coast along the sidewalk (which was fairly clear) and check over my left shoulder for a break in traffic to get back into the lane. I get my break and ride back off the sidewalk --- where the mild impact of the bump shears off my handlebars at the post, on the right side.

So consider this: I'm moving into traffic at speed, wobbling like mad from the unexpected shift on the bars, and my rear brake is on the dangling end the right bar, which I somehow still have in my right hands

I think it would have been hopeless if I hadn't been using clip pedals, but with them I had three points of purchase on the bike, and managed to turn back to the sidewalk without hitting anything.

I still have no idea how I managed that. I had a few choice words for the shop that had sold me the bars, later.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 12:07 PM
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573: Eeeek. Luckily the worst sudden bike-disintegration problem I've had recently was when I hit a pothole and about seven spokes on my back wheel broke at once. Equally luckily, about 75% of the bicycling I do is local, so I just walked the bike about a mile to my destination, then lazily left it there for a week rather than walk it up to the bike shop another mile onwards. I've gotten another old bike fixed up and after today and I'll have a spare.

Did the people who sold you the bars have anything to say for themselves?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:28 PM
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So this is probably late, but I was thinking about it, and I should probably emphasize that my traffic biking theories are somewhat idiosyncratic. What togolosh says is much more the standard line about how to do it. My strategy is based on treating every driver as potentially homicidal as well as blind, rather than asserting that drivers should not be homicidal, true though that might be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:36 PM
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Conversations like this do not inspire me to get out on the streets of NY at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:39 PM
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Did the people who sold you the bars have anything to say for themselves?

They were apologetic, to say the least. There was a tubing flaw visible from the inside, and I had been riding pretty hard the previous weekend ... some combination of that.

Would have been a colorful way to die.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:40 PM
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576: Yes, about a hundred comments ago, I decided to never ride a bike on anything but a bike trail or the most lightly travelled residential streets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:42 PM
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There was a tubing flaw visible from the inside, and I had been riding pretty hard the previous weekend ... some combination of that.

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDAM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:44 PM
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576, 578: yeah, I was thinking that might also be the case. But it's really not bad! You just have to be aware! Most drivers are actually perfectly pleasant!

Find some less-travelled streets and practice some and you'll gain confidence. It's gotta be safer than a bike trail -- at least there's no rollerbladers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:45 PM
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Man, now I feel bad. I should come to NY with my bike and take you out on a ride, LB.

Really, people much, much (1) stupider and (2) less coordinated than you ride around NYC all the time. As long as you avoid them, you'll be golden!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:46 PM
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579: DON'T MESS WITH MY COPYRIGHT, GRANNY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PONTIAC GRAND-AM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:47 PM
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580: We have a huge bike trail that starts less than a mile from my house. That's where I'll ride once my son gets big enough that he won't stay in the parking lot of the school next door. No cars and it goes for miles, mostly right along the river.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:49 PM
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at least there's no rollerbladers

Sure there are. Not many, but some.

I'm just being wistful, rather than really planning to start riding a bike in the city -- my commute's thirteen miles, which would be too long on reasonable roads, much less through city streets. (Most of it I could do on a bike trail, but as I said, it's too long.)

The conversations about how it's safe as long as you're successfully keeping up with the speed of traffic, but can still dodge unexpected doors/pedestrians/whatever, just make city biking sound absolutely suicidal to anyone who's not already very skilled.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:50 PM
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578: But then you've got to watch out for little kids playing kickball in the street, escaped puppies running across the trail, and poisonous snakes lurking behind tire-shredding rocks.

Otto was right back in 553: we should all just stay home.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:51 PM
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If I ever get to feeling bad enough about driving to find an alternative, I'll go back to the bus. Those crash, but nobody in the bus ever seems to get hurt very badly. And, usually the disgusting sweaty smell is from somebody else.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:52 PM
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584 gets it exactly right. I'm imagining some sort of process by which I would eventually be able to bike from one part of the city to another if I spend several years practicing on small neighborhood streets. But then I wouldn't get any practice going fast, so some sort of flight-simulator type thing would also be necessary.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:53 PM
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You don't have to keep up with the speed of traffic; that's impossible! You just have to be aware enough of traffic that you can get out of the way with reasonable alacrity if somebody's being an asshole. Combine that with being visible, and you're fine.

I dunno. I'm obviously not in a great position to say "it's easy for a beginner!" because I've been biking in traffic for close to 20 years, but really, it's not so bad. A lot of it is psychological (both in not being afraid, and in paying attention to the psychology of drivers). I bet you could put together a route for your commute that would be almost entirely side streets and bike lanes. Thirteen miles is totally doable, and a month of doing that and you'd be in awesome shape and feel great. Is there a shower at your office, or nearby? If so, I'd totally go for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:55 PM
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Like, in my experience the trajectory of bike commuter attitudes goes something like:

"Well, I'm proud of myself for doing that, although I got really sweaty" -> "Hey, this actually isn't so bad" -> "Huh, this is pretty great, I get to work energized from the ride and get a built-in workout" -> "Goddamit, it's annoying dealing with cars all the time" -> "Argh, drivers are such fucking dangerous morons." -> "You should try biking to work, it's awesome!"

It really is a good way to get around, though. Not terrifying!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:57 PM
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You don't have to keep up with the speed of traffic; that's impossible!

It's entirely possible in some (urban) settings, but it's hardly necessary. It is a nice situation though, because if you're just moving along with them they a) know you're there and b) aren't trying to get around you.

Some people do get wound up when you pass them, though.

A much worse state is when you're traveling the same average speed block to block, but at very different instantaneous rates.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:58 PM
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588: Now I feel like a slacker because my ride would be less than five miles (assuming a circuitous route to pick safer streets). I can walk it in a bit over an hour (fastest way home on snow days).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:58 PM
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590: I was generalizing. In NYC, in fact, I'm sure it's often possible to go quite a bit faster than traffic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 1:59 PM
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588: Come to think of it, it probably would be doable -- I'm essentially going the length of Manhattan, and there's a bike path all down the west side.

If I talk myself into trying this, I blame you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:01 PM
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573: Fucking hell.

I rode an old Worksman as a messenger, and the chain came off once as I was riding hard, standing on the pedals. Off-balance, totally crashed, but miraculously didn't fall into traffic. Somehow the EMS guys managed to find it funny, the fuckers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:02 PM
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In NYC, in fact, I'm sure it's often possible to go quite a bit faster than traffic.

Certainly. This is true of all the urban centers I've ridden in, but not always a good idea.

Besides, in real city center, you've often got a population of couriers who've managed to turn the entire driving population against you by doing assholish things on their bikes, as well as a population of cabbies who view you as a natural enemy or something. So best to tread a little carefully.

Outside of pretty urban areas though, keeping up with cars (without drafting) is usually hopeless. Chasing buses is more attainable.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:02 PM
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588: Come to think of it, it probably would be doable -- I'm essentially going the length of Manhattan, and there's a bike path all down the west side.

A bike path which is in at least one stretch shared with pedestrians, due to construction closing off the usual pedestrian path. (I guess it wasn't a very long stretch, but I was stuck the other day walking behind slow people and unable to get around them due to bikes flying past on my left.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:03 PM
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573: Fucking hell.

Yeah. As you can imaging, I sat on the sidewalk shaking for a while before I could go anywhere. It was pretty hairy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:04 PM
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593: dude I would be so excited if you talked yourself into trying it. Go for it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:04 PM
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God, drafting off of busses is sooooo fun. Uh, not for you to try, LB. That's advanced level.

I was doing a little of it on my way to school, though. So great!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:06 PM
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If I talk myself into trying this, I blame you.

If it helps, LB, I used to do 15 miles or so commute and found it nice. There was a crazy guy at the same place who did more than 30 (2+ hours on his bike, every day) but we all agreed he was a bit daft. Then again, I kept doing that 15 miles in the snow, so I probably was, too. But on nice days, it was actually nice.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:07 PM
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If it helps, LB, I used to do 15 miles or so commute and found it nice.

How long did that take you? My current commute takes about an hour on the subway -- I'm wondering how much time I'd gain or lose.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:08 PM
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I would imagine it would take you about an hour and a half at first, but if you got more used to it, I bet it'd take right around an hour, if not less.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:11 PM
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God, drafting off of busses is sooooo fun.

I once sat shotgun in a car helping a guy in training figure out his bike for a fast paceline and downhill. We had a quiet section of highway so when he was warm we decided to see if he could top out his gearing .... he hit a bit under 140km/h on the flat, pretty impressive.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:11 PM
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I've had a set of panniers lock into the rear wheel, and flip me over in a vertical 180 in front of oncoming traffic. Nothing hit me but was mildly concussed and felt sick for ages. I've also had car doors opened on me twice, once sending me over the door.

I rode into a tennis net that someone had left strung across the road [it was during Wimbledon and lots of people were going tennis crazy]. If I recall he got smacked with his racket [it was a kid I knew from school]. That left a scar that I still have.

The most recent crash, I went round a corner to find a pedestrian standing stock-still in the bike lane. I dropped the bike to avoid him. Result: torn shoulder muscle, badly bruised ribs and a lot of road-rash.

I've never had any bike disintegration incidents, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:11 PM
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I'd totally bike to work (for a few weeks before being killed in traffic) if I could figure out the ancillary logistics of it. There are showers at my work, but how to you get professional clothes to work? In a backpack? Don't they get wrinkled? And I assume I'd need to take a complete toiletry set as well, and a towel, and then leave all that sitting around in the backpack in my office all day? That seems like it would get stinky pretty quickly. (I know: laundry. But I'm not about to do that every day, or buy seven sets of bike-appropriate clothing.) It just seems like a logistical nightmare.

This is also why I don't work out at the gym in my building (and, as a result, don't work out at all).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:14 PM
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How long did that take you?

At the time I was pretty fit, and it took me about 45 min door to door. Your 13 would be quite do-able in under an hour, but probably not at first.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:14 PM
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I rode my bike in Chicago (which is no New York, but certainly larger, busier and fuller of mean drivers than Minneapolis) and it was pretty doable. I was more careful and knew my routes a little better, didn't do so much idle rambling, but I went for a lot of good long rides. I don't know as how I could regularly do a commute much over ten miles round trip (which is what my biggest commute ever was) just because I'm usually irritable and hungry after work and just want to sit around and be irate, thus I bus longer distances.

But winter riding, hells yeah! Over the snow! Into the snow! Even when I had an absolutely lovely ride yesterday I was still missing winter riding.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:15 PM
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605: they have bike-mounted garment bags, like this or this. You could also leave some stuff (like the suit) in the office if you have someplace to put it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:19 PM
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605.2 doesn't fly. Work out after work! Shower at home! Eat noodles!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:20 PM
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There are showers at my work, but how to you get professional clothes to work? In a backpack? Don't they get wrinkled?

There are a few ways around this. I knew one guy who would drive in on Monday with a weeks worth of clothes, & take the previous weeks home. The rest of the week he rode an hour or so in. Of course that assumes you've got somewhere to store it.

If you get a set of panniers which are squarish and you can easily keep a change of clothes in without messing them up. Some are even built for it. Much better for your back than cycling with a backpack.

You can wear the same clothes to ride home in if you aren't really hammering along and getting sweaty. If you are, a change of bike clothes is pretty small and doesn't matter if it's squished. Where to leave the sweaty ones while you work is location dependent, I'd guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:21 PM
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605: wait, you have a gym in your building? I bet you could get a locker there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:22 PM
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You can wear the same clothes to ride home in if you aren't really hammering along and getting sweaty. Of course you can anyway, but might choose not to.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:23 PM
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Oh, and what 611 said.

luxury!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:23 PM
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As an addendum to 610, if you get dorky, moisture-wicking cycling clothes they'll handle repeated wearing a lot better than a t-shirt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:23 PM
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605: Days I don't have court, I can show up at work pretty wrinkled -- putting work clothes in a pannier wouldn't be a problem at all. And I have a gym to shower at, that has its own towels. Beyond soap, what are toiletries? A comb?

Slovenliness does open a lot of possibilities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:24 PM
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You are all making me feel like a slacker. My commute is about 3.5 miles each way.

I ride a mountain bike set up as a commuter (rigid fork, slick tires), which I like because the more upright position makes it much easier to look around at intersections. It takes about 20 minutes door-to-door, not pushing myself very hard.

For a while I had a 7 mile commute (with a big hill), and that was a lot more exercise. When I was doing that commute (again, on a mountain bike) I was in the best shape of my life, but I was definitely more worn out at the end of a work day + commute then I am now.

Also:

573: Fucking hell.

My reaction exactly. Stories like that scare the crap out of me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:26 PM
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615: a lot of people (people who are far, far less sweaty than I am, admittedly) just wear their work clothes on their bike; as long as you have fenders it works fine.

I used to do that (I was working at a tech company where I could be as grubby as I pleased, plus I was like 20) but, uh, it was probably kind of gross.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:27 PM
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I think that'd violate work standards. While, as a lady, I glow rather than sweating, after even moderate exercise I glow pretty damn brightly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:29 PM
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Ooh I have a scary non-accident bike story! T'other day (a couple months ago) I was taking a right turn from a downhill onto a street with a bike lane but with a 50mph speed limit. I was going pretty fast, so I was leaned pretty far into the turn. I feathered my front brake a little bit, and my front tire skidded out. I recovered, but only by straightening out and flying across both (traffic) lanes of the 50mph road. Luckily there wasn't any traffic. And then I got new tires. The end.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:30 PM
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618: yeah if you get at all sweaty showering and changing is probably the way to go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:31 PM
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I'm barely changing out of my pajamas most days.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:31 PM
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You're playing soccer and jogging, dude. And you had a baby not long ago. Slack must be cut, in generous amounts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:36 PM
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Although it might make sense for you to bike to the living room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:37 PM
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Unicycles are much more practical for indoor use.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:38 PM
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615: A lot of people like to use deodorant. Sissies.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:40 PM
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after even moderate exercise I glow pretty damn brightly.

I went through a phase where I didn't sweat at all. Like, I could sit in a sauna on the verge of heat stroke and not break a sweat. Seems like that must not have been good as a general matter, but it did conveniently eliminate all of these concerns about showing up to work sweaty.

Dude, I'm 10 years post-partum and I still have plenty of days like this.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:45 PM
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625: that, and also plus shaving shit, unless I'm going to shower and shave at home before leaving and then shower again when I get to work. (And then again when I get home from work!)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:45 PM
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Huh. Heebie's line about barely getting out of pajamas was supposed to be in there before my last sentence.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:46 PM
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Just wax, Brock. You'll stay baby-soft much longer.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:47 PM
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You shave when you get home from work?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:47 PM
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I'm not actually a member of the gym in my building. (But I would be, if I could figure out the ancillary logistics of exercising at work!)

Everything suggested so far sounds wildly implausible. Meaning: way, way too much effort.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:51 PM
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630: no, but if I ride a bike home I'll probably show up all sweaty, right?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:52 PM
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Meaning: way, way too much effort.

It's way too much effort to put your work clothes in a bag designed to keep them un-rumpled on the ride???


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:53 PM
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627: Huh. In your shoes, I'd shave but not shower at home in the morning, shower at work, and then hang around all evening being sweaty unless there was a special occasion requiring cleanliness. But I'm lacking in fastidiousness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:54 PM
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I'm not going to try and spin it like biking to work is less effort. I mean, you have to pedal, that's more effort right there. It's just a nice way to commute. Cheaper and less annoying than a car (and occasionally faster), and much less personal-space-invasion than taking public transportation. I'd rather get to work kinda sweaty and have to shower than I would spend 45 minutes jammed in with 400 other people in an inadequately air-conditioned subway car.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:54 PM
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Now I'm wondering where I'd leave a bike all day at work. Locking it to a lamppost would probably be impractical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:56 PM
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635 is just a disaster, grammatically.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:56 PM
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636: eh, why? If it's locked properly with a good lock (or two) it should be fine. Or you could bring it into the office.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:57 PM
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In showering both before and after work, Brock transcends class.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:57 PM
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My reaction exactly. Stories like that scare the crap out of me.

I actually wondered about that aspect of telling you lot.

I spend enough time on bikes at that stage in my life that I was bound to have some stories, and it really was a freak thing that my bar broke. I've never heard of that happening to anyone else (outside of actual impacts with things). I don't think anyone should take it as a cautionary tale against cycling in general, at all. It's very safe overall.

Besides I've had far scarier things happen on motorcycles and walked away from them....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:57 PM
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Also, if your building has a garage, they may well have bike parking there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:57 PM
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I also suspect I'd get a lot less reading done on a bike than I do on the subway.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:57 PM
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re: 616

Ditto, my commute is about 3 miles, and I don't cycle it often at all. More so now that the weather is nicer, and my knee injury subsiding, but I didn't cycle once during the winter. Definitely a fair weather lazy cyclist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:58 PM
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642 is almost certainly true, unless you take to the rather questionable tactic of listening to audiobooks.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 2:58 PM
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Besides I've had far scarier things happen on motorcycles and walked away from them....

Not sure what happened there, but this was supposed to end:

... but that was at least as much a product of 10's of thousands of miles put in, some on pretty marginal bikes (which I riding in order to see what was wrong with them)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:09 PM
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erm 100's , not 10's.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:10 PM
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I've had a set of panniers lock into the rear wheel, and flip me over in a vertical 180 in front of oncoming traffic.

Wait, you managed to endo by locking the *rear* wheel? How'd you manage that?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:12 PM
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647: I assume by riding backwards at the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:16 PM
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621 said in good humor, for the record. (Since then, HP peed on me twice, both my fault. ah well.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:16 PM
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clearly time for those high performance moisture wicking pj's, heebie.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:19 PM
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I must say that while at times I envy what I imagine to be the average income of the average professional Unfogger, this one thread is showing me the advantage of being secretary to scientists. Bike to work, wear weird hippie shoes, don't shave your legs, have a moderately wacky haircut and stretched earlobes...and still have health insurance! I don't worry about being sweaty at work, since as long as I'm bathing regularly a little sweat won't make me stinky enough to cause concern and I get here early enough that I sort of...er...dry out before the researchers arrive.

Also--weirdly, since it's exactly what all the kee-razy vegan blogs say will happen--becoming mostly vegan has in fact made me less stinky when I sweat, thus making biking to work even simpler. I find this vaguely depressing, because what if it means that the vegan blogs are right about other things as well?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:19 PM
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Or some jammies!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:20 PM
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I find this vaguely depressing, because what if it means that the vegan blogs are right about other things as well?

Think of the bees! My god, why won't anyone think of the bees?!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:20 PM
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My commute, when defined most narrowly (from the front door of my building to the first university building I enter), is about 610 feet. It's harder to get an accurate measure of the full commute (front door to office door), as I am unsure of the relationship of the roof features that I can see via Google's satellite maps to the location of various places within the buildings, but when giving it my best shot I get a grand total of ~1514 feet.

Just thought I'd share.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:22 PM
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I find this vaguely depressing, because what if it means that the vegan blogs are right about other things as well?

You're worried about the almonds, again?



Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:22 PM
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651: I don't blame you being envious. My income as a college student would make anybody envious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:22 PM
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[Blinks wonderingly at thread.]

I think, LB, that you're thinking in terms of a racing bike, whereas NickS said

617: I ride a mountain bike set up as a commuter (rigid fork, slick tires), which I like because the more upright position makes it much easier to look around at intersections. It takes about 20 minutes door-to-door, not pushing myself very hard.

Which would be more my idea of what would work for you. It's NYC, but you've got a bike trail for a decent part of the way, so rather than treat it as racing situation, it seems like it would be better to handle it as an urban offroad situation. So you'd want a bike that you'd would ride as a someone would ride a Vespa, rather than like Lance Armstrong. Then you've got brakes, and the Fred Flintstone-style foot operation.

I'm speaking here from my experience as a kid in elementary school (and later), when I typically rode a kid Huffy one-speed about 5-6 miles (one way) to 10-12 miles (both ways) every day all year around. That was lots of residential streets, some alleys, some grassy parts, plus bouts with three-lane main urban streets. Obviously, they gots the advanced douche-friendly technology these days, so you oughta be able to swing some actual gears!

max
['Do they have fold-up mountain bikes?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:22 PM
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651: The tech industry says hi.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:23 PM
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it seems like it would be better to handle it as an urban offroad situation

The idea that this exists is a fallacy. Road bikes do fine on crappy pavement. Yay skinny tires!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:24 PM
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655: I actually tell other vegans about the almonds pretty regularly now. Also about the blueberries. Also about the bees. Most of them don't know! And everyone pretty much contrives to forget after I bring it up. (As do I--almonds are one emergency convenience store food (the other being Swedish Fish) that's vegan, so I do eat them regularly). I also tell people about how the production of Earth Balance Buttery Spread contributes to the murder of pygmy elephants (pygmy elephants!) but I still buy it, even though all the best vegans suggest a switch to coconut butter.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:24 PM
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Road bikes do fine on crappy pavement. Yay skinny tires!

Particularly with touring wheels.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:25 PM
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658: Hi right back atcha, tech industry! I bet you-all give better parties, too.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:26 PM
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I bet you-all give better parties, too.

Tech industry party quality approaches a bimodal distribution.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:27 PM
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So you'd want a bike that you'd would ride as a someone would ride a Vespa, rather than like Lance Armstrong. Then you've got brakes, and the Fred Flintstone-style foot operation.

I should also comment on this: if you've got a bike that's set up so you can put your foot down Fred Flinstone style, your seat is way too low.

And Lance Armstrong's bike has brakes.

The more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if Max's experience riding a Huffy to elementary school actually qualifies him as a useful source of expert advice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:28 PM
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I had an unpleasant incident with a vegan on a message board about 7 years ago.

Why are there so few people who are "vegan" except for eating fish? There are plenty of "vegetarians except-for-fish" ("pescatarians," I believe?), but almost no vegans. That doesn't make even a tiny bit of sense.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:29 PM
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Why are there so few people who are "vegan" except for eating fish?

How does that even make sense? "vegan" means no except-fors, for one thing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:34 PM
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parve-atarians?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:34 PM
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665: I guess I always thought of it as sort of unidimensional (anything, anything but cute baby calves, anything but fish, no animals, no animal products) so I'm not suprised to see few-vegans-but-for-fish.

But, your way could make sense. Axis 1 could be mammal to bird to other and Axis 2 could be eating the animal or eating the animal products that don't require killing the animal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:37 PM
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666: well drop the label, then, if it makes you uncomfortable. It was only meant to simplify the question. "Persons who eat no meat except for seafood, and eat no dairy or eggs" works as well, it's just a bit more cumbersome.

I don't actually expect anyone to answer this, mind you. It's one of the eternal mysteries.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:38 PM
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I should also comment on this: if you've got a bike that's set up so you can put your foot down Fred Flinstone style, your seat is way too low.

True, unless you're talking about "girls" frames I suppose.

Nobody was suggesting LB ride a fixee. Where did the brakes thing come from?

Drop bar, 10spd style frames (but without the frame geometry or weight of an actual racing bike) are really pretty comfortable, much more than an upright on longer rides. On shorter distances, I can see preferring something upright, particularly with Netherlands style riding.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:38 PM
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665: By the time you're a vegan, you're pretty much at "killing anything at all in the animal kingdom for food is wrong"...people might waver about the bees because we presume that insects don't have too much consciousness but something as large and obviously its own creature as a fish is just going to be off the table, so to speak. Also, the deaths of bees are indirect so we don't feel as bad about them...It's not as though we're directly eating bees. (Stingy!) I make no claim that this is a consistent way to think.

But I'd be very surprised to see someone who was vegan except for killing fish to eat. I could imagine someone being vegan except for locally-sourced really-free-range eggs, since one could argue that the chickens were basically living a genuinely happy life (like if I got eggs from a friend who had some chickens and I knew how the chickens were treated).

Also, the culture of veganism wouldn't permit--vegans are clannish (I'm quite serious about this--I met some really nice people at an International Vegan Day potluck last winter...). You don't encounter too many freelance vegans if one were vegan-but-ate-fish...hm, even among the nice, gentle vegans I know one would hear about it.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:39 PM
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Oh it wasn't making me uncomfortable, I just couldn't make sense of what constraints you actually mean, so thanks for clarifying.

I believe I've met someone with exactly this diet (very lactose intolerant, doesn't like eggs) fwiw. I can't really see a ethical argument based on animal treatment/rights leading you there, which is how many (most?) vegans end up there and a much smaller percentage of vegetarians.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:41 PM
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Are any vegans so hardcore that they disapprove of nursing? It would be fun to troll the parenting websites with that shtick.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:43 PM
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I add that the standard vegan POV is "you're not entitled to exploit any creature for food, whether you're talking about killing and eating them or simply keeping them alive to milk/take eggs from...creatures are entitled to their own lives without human interference". Also standard is the idea that eating milk and eggs indirectly results in the deaths of cows and chickens both because of the conditions in factory farms and because milk and egg production encourages the production of "extra" cows and chickens which are then killed. It's difficult to imagine a milk-production system at anything but the smallest and most parochial level which wouldn't be pretty horrible for most of the cows.

I believe we've established before that perfect morality in this regard is impossible. (This is what I tell myself when I fall off the wagon and have a slice of pizza)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:45 PM
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673: I've seen that sort of thing tried (also: oral sex), and they (rightfully) get really annoyed. To answer the question: if there's meaningful consent, it's okay. (And if we enslaved women like cows, that would be wrong.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:46 PM
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672: The ethical argument would be simple: some animals are too much like us to be eaten and some aren't. It isn't that different (in form) from a meat-eater who won't eat a chimp but will eat a cow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:46 PM
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I could imagine a coherent ethical position that would allow fish/game but nothing farmed; drawing a distinction between predation (okay!) and domestication (uncool), by saying that you could kill animals for food, but not interfere with them while living. That'd be vegan but for fish/game. But this is an ethical position that no one actually seems to hold.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:47 PM
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I can't really see a ethical argument based on animal treatment/rights leading you there

Hurting more developed mammals and birds is bad, but more primitive fish (and, presumably, insects) is okay?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:48 PM
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And if we enslaved women like cows, that would be wrong.

But Judge Kozinski would be amused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:48 PM
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I've seen that sort of thing tried (also: oral sex),

I've seen oral sex tried, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:48 PM
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673: That would be hilarious, but I suspect not. We vegans presume that you're able to give consent to nurse both in the obvious sense and in the sense that your consent is not overdetermined by social forces. But don't let that stop your trolling! ("Your child will be much healthier on a diet of non-exploitative organic soy milk! Stop colonizing your own body!)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:48 PM
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Are any vegans so hardcore that they disapprove of nursing?

That also doesn't make sense.

As I understand it veganism is strictly about rejecting the exploitation of animals (for food or otherwise) to the degree that it's possible. The movement grew out of rejecting the inconsistencies members saw in "vegetarianism" as practiced. There are various relaxations of this principle, some due to impracticality and some more a choice .. but at some point you pretty much have to call yourself something else I'd say. It's easy to disagree with the principles, but I don't think that you can disagree that it is, in fact, principled.

Nursing doesn't come into it anywhere afaics.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:49 PM
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I could imagine a coherent ethical position that would allow fish/game but nothing farmed

I could imagine the opposite, also.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:49 PM
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675 was misleading: I've seen trolling of vegan websites tried on those grounds, and vegans get annoyed. I haven't seen people troll parents on that basis.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:50 PM
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predation (okay!) and domestication (uncool)...But this is an ethical position that no one actually seems to hold.

Ted Nugent could be said to be close to this position.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:50 PM
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676/677/678: ok, I think you can probably make something like this work.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:52 PM
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Ted Nugent could be said to be close tothis position. batshit insane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:53 PM
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660: Swedish Fish are vegan? Huh. I always assume anything gelatiny is made of hooves and such.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:53 PM
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Don't try to put me off Swedish Fish. I'd eat them if they were made from pig bladders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:54 PM
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But this is an ethical position that no one actually seems to hold.

This describes Becks's uncle pretty well, IIRC. Won't eat any meat he hasn't personally hunted/caught.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:55 PM
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See, I think the standard vegan practices are more cultural than anything else--if you're already in a mileu where you're going to become vegan in this country you're pretty well within one of a few left subcultures (not all white and middle class, to my considerable surprise). Vegan culture is moralistic and micro-managing, also places a lot of emphasis on shared food. (Lot of regularly scheduled vegan potlucks in this town) The thing is, if you're like me (lazy and a bit sloppy) being in a food subculture that's very fussy is good--I eat both better and tastier food than I did a year ago and I'm a much better cook.

Of course, vegan culture has to be fussy, because it's tricky to be vegan in the US unless you're really committed to cooking all of your own food--it's sad how many otherwise suitable things have whey as their twentieth ingredient. (Goodbye delicious Quorn!) And it's possible to find vegans who are a little moralistic and fussy but aren't assholes about it....People like that pretty much tend to be my favorite people, because I have a spaniel-ish tendency to respond well to moral authority.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:55 PM
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Oh, Brock was asking about Swedish fish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:55 PM
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I always assume anything gelatiny is made of hooves and such.

Agar-agar (from a seaweed, or family of such I forget which) is a pretty useful gelatin substitute, and used a lot in industrial food production. You can get it in powder form for your own stuff too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:56 PM
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you're able to give consent to nurse

But is the baby able to give informed consent to eat animal products when nothing else is offered? I think not.

New marketing niche for formula makers!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:56 PM
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680: I saw that movie too! Not much of a plot, but at least it had a happy ending.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:58 PM
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Swedish Fish (evocative slogan "A Friend You Can Eat") are indeed vegan. They contain carnauba wax and mineral oil rather than gelatin. They are also very widely distributed in Minneapolis--both the yuppie convenience store near my volunteer stuff and the down-at-heel convenience store in my low-income neighborhood stock them.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 3:58 PM
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vegan...really committed to cooking

Max Weber's claim in Ancient Judaism is that a variety of purity laws as enforced in the middle ages served to prevent intermarriage and dilution of core beliefs. How do vegan-nonvegan romances do wrt purity rules?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:00 PM
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And this extract from the Wikipedia entry on Swedish Fish really does make Sweden sound like an anti-authoritarian utopia. Any type of winegums they desire!

In Sweden huge amounts of winegum candies are sold every year[2], in all kinds of shapes in shops and supermarkets, where everybody is serving oneself, purchasing any type of winegums and candies they desire, placing the assorted candies in small paperbags available in the shops. Common shapes are rats, flowers, coins, boats, guns, elephants, cars and also fish[3] The fish shape of the Swedish Fish is just one of the many other candy shapes[4].

In Sweden, the Swedish Fish candy is marketed under the name "Fish"[5] , literally "pale colored fishes". The fishes in Sweden are much paler in color translucent and, the yellow being nearly cream colored, (with the exception of the black fish, which is not translucent). The taste also differs slightly, the Swedish version being less sweet but more fruit-flavored, especially the yellow one, which is more tangy. The green fish, is not lime flavored, the green candy color in Scandinavia is usually associated with apple or pear flavor rather than lime. They are slightly thicker, have the text "Malaco" instead of "Swedish" embossed, and stick less to the teeth.[original research?]

There is also a Swedish Fish "Aqua Life" chain, with the yellow being a starfish, green being a whale, purple being a puffer fish, the orange being a Seahorse, and the blue being a dolphin.[original research?] In Swedish Fish Aqua Life, purple is a grape flavor, yellow is lemon flavored, orange is orange flavored, green is lime flavored, and blue is blue raspberry flavored. Black Swedish Fish are also available in Scandinavia and selected retailers around the world with a salmiak flavor. This salty type is called Salt Sill, or "salted herring".[6]


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:01 PM
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Waxy chewy candy tends to be vegan; gummy chewy candy not so much. Most -- but not all! -- Haribo stuff is right out. (Fruity Pasta is go!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:01 PM
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691: In my experience, there is also a lot of regional variation too, and correlation with particular subcultures that doesn't hold everywhere.

I think as a movement/whatever it's still too young to be effectively pinned down. It started in what, mid 40's? Early 50s? Recent anyway. Recent enough that I don't know how clearly it can be defined.

I'm suspect the anarcho-punk-vegans have a different take on it from the original middle/upper class british lot, etc.

Of course it's hardly a new idea, per se. but being your typical NA vegan doesn't have the sort of historical framework that being a Jain does, or whatever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:02 PM
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re: 647

The rear wheel locked, the back wheel sort of skidded out from under me and I went over the handlebars in a pretty dramatic fashion. The bike itself didn't flip. I don't know if I over-compensated at the second the bike locked, or did something stupid, but the bike basically stopped, slid at an angle, but I didn't stop, and got dumped pretty harshly over the bars -- I hit my head really hard, in that way that leaves you with waves nausea.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:04 PM
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A lot of things have pectin rather than gelatin. Japanese gummies especially. Or tapioca starch!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:04 PM
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701. ouch. no fun.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:05 PM
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Which reminds me, my current bike [mountain bike, with fixed forks] has crappy off-road tires on it, which make it feel like mush and it constantly feels like something is 'rubbing' when riding.

Commuting definitely benefits from hybrid tires, or 'road' tires even on a mountain bike.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:08 PM
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700: Jains get cheese but no root vegetables, IIRC. Seems like a fair enough trade to me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:08 PM
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697: Well, there are various urban legends about vegans who won't date non-vegans, but I've never met a person like this. The thing is, all the vegans and vegetarians I know are left wing. Most of my friends are of the wrong generation and demographic to be into the meat-is-okay-if-it's-local thing (skews either older-yuppie or younger-hipster) and that, combined with mass left-wing-itude, means that one's dating pool is always-already at least vegetarian. So I don't encounter a lot of meat-eaters. However a meat-eating computer programmer friend of mine will be moving into my house pretty soon....we're going to have to have some discussions about not using my cast iron pan.

Would I date someone who regularly ate meat (as opposed to "a slice of turkey at the holidays so as not to upset the folks")? It's unlikely that I'd encounter a DFH of my generation and habits who wasn't vegetarian or vegan. I'd feel weird about it, honestly, because it would make me wonder about the rest of their politics--not so much the thing itself as the various cultural baggage. Those meat-eaters I know tend to be just as happy with vegetarian food as with meat, too, so they blend in fairly well--they bring vegetarian food to events, they don't complain because the potluck is meatless, etc. I expect their houses are full of bacon, though.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:09 PM
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Looking at the comments, I apparently have a strong desire to do no work today.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:09 PM
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Commuting definitely benefits from hybrid tires, or 'road' tires even on a mountain bike.

Definitely.

If I wasn't clear earlier, I very much like my mountain bike as a commuter -- though if I were starting from scratch I might go with a cyclocross bike. You lose some efficiency, compared to a road bike, but not that much and it's very very comfortable


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:12 PM
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Those meat-eaters I know tend to be just as happy with vegetarian food as with meat, too,

I suspect there is a pretty large population like this now, of the gets-along-well-with-vegetarians, type. Many who were probably vegetarian for a while. (vegan-till-graduation!)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:12 PM
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I should get one of those Segway things. My commute is well within the range. I wonder if you can use them in the bike lane though.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:13 PM
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It's unlikely that I'd encounter a DFH of my generation and habits who wasn't vegetarian or vegan.

How true is this cross-race? My (vague) sense is that people of color are less likely to be vegetarian/vegan.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:14 PM
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Gob Bluth would.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:14 PM
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Jains get cheese but no root vegetables, IIRC. Seems like a fair enough trade to me.

Yeah, something like that, although there are many variations. But my point was that having a constrained diet as a jain, or an orthodox jew, or whatever may look odd to the outside but has a long history and dialogue behind it, and an established community spanning many generations, so there is a certain stability. Not so for vegans.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:15 PM
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re: 706

Here in the UK, left-politics wouldn't be particularly correlated with being vegan or veggie, at all, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:17 PM
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Speaking of established community eating patterns, for some time I've been thinking of going back to the Catholic 'no meat on Fridays' rule. I eat too much meat and, technically, if you eat meat on Friday you're supposed to do another pennance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:17 PM
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Here in the UK, left-politics wouldn't be particularly correlated with being vegan or veggie, at all, I think.

Yes, there is a different history.

Still, I think Frowner is pretty much talking about an identifiable subset. There is a "DFH" or whatever you want to call it subculture, which correlates strongly with both lefty politics and vegetarinism.

On the other hand, there is a segment of leftish politics coming out of the union movement which correlates with working class and probably anticor. with vegetarianism. It's much weaker here than in the UK though, and more fragmented.

I suspect that many in both these subsets of left-ish US politics don't really think of each other as coming from similar places.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:22 PM
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I wouldn't say the majority of left-wing people I know are vegan, but 100% of vegan people I know are left-wing. The idea of meat-eating not being part of the "culture wars" sounds almost incomprehensible.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:23 PM
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I've been thinking of going back to the Catholic 'no meat on Fridays' rule.

IIRC the figures, If the entire country did this, or even better tues+friday, the environmental impact as replacing every car with a prius.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:24 PM
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I expect their houses are full of bacon, though.

For no reason, this is reminding me of my favorite wrestling costume from the early days of Kaiju Big Battel at Fort Thunder. It was a tag team fighting as "The Bacon Brothers." One was labeled, "Francis;" the other, "Kevin." Both of them had raw bacon stapled to their otherwise generic costumes. The bacon on Francis was splayed expressionistically, and the bacon on Kevin was frozen with a label on the top of the shirt that said "Chilled to 6 Degrees."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:24 PM
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711: Good point. The anarchists of color that I know tend to be vegetarian/vegan, but I wouldn't be surprised if lots of radicals of color had a different approach to food. OTOH, there are some specifically POC groups that are vegan or vegetarian....there's a radical indigenous/latin@ organization here that does a lot of stuff around food. (I can't remember their name but I see folks around all the time--they do some traditional dance plus work on environmental/racial justice issues) IIRC, they talk about the harm done to native communities through the diet that came with colonization and tie a lot of their food politics back to foods traditional to pre-Columbian societies.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:25 PM
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718: Maybe I'll write the bishop. Does it still work given that fish isn't 'meat' for this?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:26 PM
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Does it still work given that fish isn't 'meat' for this?

To a lesser extent, yes. More problematic if farmed fish isn't excluded, but aiui most of the big problems with fish consumption come from unsustainable fisheries, not from production impact.

After all, for wild stocks we aren't expending fossil fuels to grow them or their food, although a certain amount is used in harvesting and processing. Farmed fish have higher impact (in many ways) but it's nothing like CAFO production.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:29 PM
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re: 716

Yeah, I think that's right. I know the subset you (and I suspect she) are talking about.

I was a vegan for a good while, but that's because my parents are/were old-school DFHs.

I suspect that many in both these subsets of left-ish US politics don't really think of each other as coming from similar places.

Quite. I know on which side my general sympathies lie ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:30 PM
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On the other hand, there is a segment of leftish politics coming out of the union movement which correlates with working class and probably anticor. with vegetarianism. It's much weaker here than in the UK though, and more fragmented.

I suspect that many in both these subsets of left-ish US politics don't really think of each other as coming from similar places.

True, but not as true as you'd think. A lot of older anarchists and long-term activists end up in union jobs (not unlike me!); a lot of non-anarchist activists have, in my experience, plenty of interest in DFW/anarcho-punk ways. In my recent activism, I've been really surprised by how much common ground you can develop with people if you have a radical political position, stick to your guns and aren't a self-righteous jerk about it. There's a lot more overlap and solidarity on the ground than when people are just talking about their politics in the abstract.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:31 PM
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DFW

Dirty Fucking Whippie?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:32 PM
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726

Dirty Foster Wallace


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:34 PM
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There's a lot more overlap and solidarity on the ground than when people are just talking about their politics in the abstract.

Absolutely, in the miniscule percentage of population that is actually activist about these things, rather than the large groups that have a rough affiliation that colors they way they look at the world.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:37 PM
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DFW/anarcho-punk

you haven't seen an anarcho-punk till you've seen a texas anarcho-punk who doesn't live in austin, i guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:38 PM
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Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex, home of the real radicals. Just ask bob.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:38 PM
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In Chicago there were not a few radical/lefty African-American groups that were pretty strictly vegan (some for religious reasons, some in order to more closely hew to an "African" diet).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:39 PM
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730: Yeah. I wonder how much population variation there really is, and how much of it is just minority of a minority of a .. . stuff.

At some point 'But I don't know any anarcho-syndicalist-vegan-inuit-surfer-wheat-farmers' isn't actually informative.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:43 PM
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And now I'm going to bike home to cook delicious vegan dinner! (That is, unless the visiting actors have left enough tofu scramble for me.) Then I shall kill spam on the minor radical news site whose collective I joined this year, work on my cartoon mini-posters about anti-oppression practice ("Courtesy Cat Remembers Margin and Mainstream!" "Helpful Goat Steps Up, Steps Back!" "Busy Squirrel Takes The Time To Work Out Problems!"), bake tasty vegan breakfast items for the actors, read something improving and go to bed. If I could fit in some dumpster diving I'd have the perfect evening.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:44 PM
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'But I don't know any anarcho-syndicalist-vegan-inuit-surfer-wheat-farmers'

Those guys are nuts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:47 PM
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And now I'm going to bike home to cook delicious vegan dinner! [...] Then I shall kill spam

You lefty hypocrites disgust me.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:48 PM
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More problematic if farmed fish isn't excluded

But not too problematic -- I'm not finding a good reference quickly, and my memory might be wrong, but I thought that farmed fish and chicken were comparable in terms of climate impact (both about a factor of 10 better than beef).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:49 PM
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735: right, that's why I said it still works, just not quite as well. I dont have all the numbers at hand either, but the tall poles are beef production (particularly finishing), corn inputs to CAFOs, large scale hog outfits. Not that the others are good from this perspective, but there are some easier targets.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:52 PM
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I ate a big hamburger yesterday, but I felt guilty about it. That counts, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:57 PM
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'But I don't know any anarcho-syndicalist-vegan-inuit-surfer-wheat-farmers'

A politically acceptable diet derives from a mandate of the masses not from some farcical aquatic subgroup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 4:57 PM
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that's why I said it still works, just not quite as well.

It still works, you just need messier Priuses.

I would have typed Prii, but I thought it would have obscured the joke.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:00 PM
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739: I would have typed Prii

Murder your precii.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:09 PM
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I heard this weekend that the plural "syllabi" is technically wrong, and it is supposed to be "syllabuses". I think this is ridiculii.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:13 PM
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Maybe for dinner I'll steam some broccoluses.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:14 PM
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743

A single pus can be approximated by 22/7.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:15 PM
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744

Hey! Is this really why the plural of "I" is "us"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:16 PM
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As soon as I hit post, I wished I'd been less earnest in 744 and could pass it off as a joke. HA HA KIDDING IN 744.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:17 PM
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746

The plural of genus is genera. Camus was a single camera.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:19 PM
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747

My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:22 PM
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745: Yeah, there are both plii and minii to playing it too straight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:22 PM
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749

Now I'm getting fliistered.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:24 PM
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750

Boy does that sound dirty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:24 PM
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751

Like flirting meets fisting meets blisters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:25 PM
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752

Their our too "twos" in this sentence. (Not to be confused with "tu-tii").


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:26 PM
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753

Are you talking about the Hutiis and the Tutsuses?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:28 PM
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754

751: "We've got blisters in our anii."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:28 PM
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755

We've got blisters in our anii,
Tearstains in our hats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:32 PM
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I suspect there is a pretty large population like this now, of the gets-along-well-with-vegetarians, type

This describes almost everyone I know who isn't a vegetarian. Not having meat for one meal just isn't a big deal, and it makes ordering or making food for groups so much easier.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 5:38 PM
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This describes almost everyone I know who isn't a vegetarian. Not having meat for one meal just isn't a big deal

That may (still) be a coastal liberal thing. "Coastal" to be understood liberally. I still know a fair number of people who really have to work to have and enjoy, much less provide, a vegetarian meal.

My aunt up in NH has been absolutely great in recent months in her careful provision of vegetarian-friendly meals when I'm up there. I appreciate it -- I know she has to put on her thinking cap for this. She despises beans, so we may be forever destined for variations on omelettes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 6:00 PM
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['Do they have fold-up mountain bikes?']

They do.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 6:02 PM
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759

Clearly somewhere between comment 740 and 748 I had contact with Polynesians.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 6:14 PM
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760

AND WE'RE PRETTY PISSED ABOUT THAT.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SYPHILITIC POLYNESIAN | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:24 PM
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761

So.

If a person were considering renting a small house to vacationing types of people, on, say, a weekly basis, for money, what would a person need to include in that house by way of furnishings and provisions?

I've considered making this an Ask the Mineshaft question, and perhaps I should, but the time involved in attending to any resulting thread is daunting.

Provisionally, there's this: of course there need to be beds, and furniture. Presumably there should also be things like linens (bath towels, kitchen towels, sheets and blankets). Presumably also dishes of the obvious sorts, and that part's fine. I can also provide a stereo system and satellite tv. But just how ... decorated ... should such a place be? How much charmingness? Because I've got lots of charmingness.

Have many of you rented a vacation type of place (not a condo, but a cottage) for, say, a week, for skiing, or for lakeside soul-freeing? Do you expect it to look like a hotel suite? You want new and clean soap bars?

Should there be a vacuum cleaner and a broom? Since you're going be making a mess while you're there, you know. While you're there, are you going to use the miniature washer and dryer? Because the place runs on a well, and you can't be using up the water willy-nilly. Do vacationing renters like to actually cooperate with the place they're renting, or do they want it to be like a hotel?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:31 PM
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762

No plank canoes for chancres!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:31 PM
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763

Key elements include a Remington print, board games with missing pieces, and an oddly shaped centerpiece that may or may not be intended to look like a duck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:39 PM
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764

While you're there, are you going to use the miniature washer and dryer?

Yes.

When I've stayed in such places -- more on working trips than on vacations, though some of those too -- I've always been happy when they had on hand the things that are expensive/inconvenient to purchase if one is only using tiny quantities. So laundry detergent, spices (at least basic ones) in the kitchen, that sort of thing. Things that, if they were not present, I would buy more than I could use during my visit and leave behind when I left anyway. (So maybe you don't have to provide them, just wait for the first renter to leave them behind!) Though maybe if the primary way people would reach this place is driving rather than flying, they would be more likely to bring such things with them if desired. Soap doesn't matter so much, because I always pack soap when traveling, and it's trivially cheap anyway. Charm, I don't care so much about; one doesn't visit a place to stay indoors and enjoy the charm, right? (Maybe some do. I dunno.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:40 PM
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765

Key elements include a Remington print, board games with missing pieces, and an oddly shaped centerpiece that may or may not be intended to look like a duck.

And a mildly "off" nephew who unexpectedly shows up to mow the lawn one day without telling anyone what he's doing or who he is, in my experience.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:42 PM
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766

763: We rented a condo for skiing. I think there was a broom, dishes, linens, etc. We brought our own soaps and whatnot. I would go light on the charmingness, but leaving what you've already got probably won't hurt. But guests might get drunk and mock your tchotchkies. (Obviously, I'd move anything I was attached to.) The place we stayed at didn't look particularly homey, but I think it was rented for much of the season. Think beige and a bit of 'western'.

We cleaned-up well, but I'm fairly sure there was a service that came in and cleaned between occupants. I'd definitely give verbal instructions on using a the water and then leave posted instructions behind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:45 PM
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767

Or you could be like the one such place that I rented most long-term, and include signs everywhere saying things like "UNPLUG WHEN NOT IN USE" and "PLEASE TURN OUT LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING" and "DO NOT USE MORE THAN 1/8 CUP OF DETERGENT" and "PLEASE CONSERVE WATER".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:48 PM
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768

'Cause that was charming.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:49 PM
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769

761: IME vacation rentals aren't as well-stocked as hotels, and renters understand that there may be restrictions like not being able to run the washer and dryer whenever.

Things I'd expect: basic furniture, linens, towels, dishes and dish soap, basic cleaning supplies (IOW, broom and pan, not necessarily a vacuum cleaner). Anything more than that I would regard as a very pleasant surprise.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:49 PM
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770

If you want to go all-out hotel, get really scratchy TP and bolt the TV down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:50 PM
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771

767: Or everyone's favorite: MEN! PLEASE SIT WHEN YOU PEE!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:51 PM
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772

767, 771:

MY HOUSE MY RULES!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:54 PM
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773

||

I am currently sorting through my 4 milk crates of various cables decided which ones are worth shipping the whole way across the country. If there's a better way to bring out my "well, I could have a use for that someday" pack-rat side, I don't want to know about it.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:55 PM
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774

Or everyone's favorite: MEN! PLEASE SIT WHEN YOU PEE!

Has the more traditional "We aim to please. You aim too, please" gone out of style?

If there are carpets, a vacuum is essential. Instructions for the satellite TV and anything else that has more than an on/off button, or if the on/off button is hard to find. If there are location specific activities expected (e.g. snow will be tracked into skiing condos, beach houses get sand) then supplies appropriate to those. Never have the necessary adapter cables.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:57 PM
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775

773: Last time I moved, I found myself with a bag full of computer cables that didn't seem to belong to any computer I still own (and I hoard old computers long after I can keep up any pretense that they might be useful), plus a bunch of mysterious AC adapters. What I couldn't find was anything to connect my DVD player to my TV.

(Wow, I'm procrastinatey today. I think I need a vacation.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 7:58 PM
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776

I think I need a vacation.)

You can beta-test parsimon's quaint rustic lodge nook!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:00 PM
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777

775: I'm having this running internal monologue along the lines of "Okay throw this out this is the eighth midi cable and you only have three things that use MIDI." "Well, I know, but what if I got six other things that used MIDI?" "Then you could buy a goddamn cable!" "Well, yeah, but it's here... I think I'll hang on to it. I'm throwing enough away." "Goddamn you aaaargh!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:02 PM
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778

Jumping from just this:

766: Think beige and a bit of 'western'.

I think not. This is a lakeside cottage in New England. No, I am not going to put cheesy paintings, or prints, of birch trees on the walls.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:07 PM
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778: The instructions were what to think of to get a mental picture of where I stayed, not for your decorations. We were in Colorado.

I've never been to New England (unless you count one brunch in Stamford), so I don't really know what people expect there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:11 PM
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780

777: A few years ago I used a move as an excuse to clear out my collection of old computer stuff. Nothing really exotic, but included a functional sparc II (a friend latex'ed half her dissertation on it) with an ungodly weight of 20" CRT, a couple of dual pentium workstations with SCSI and raid arrays, but smallish disk and memory, a probably working xenix machine that would run 8 serial terminals by I didn't have any .... that sort of stuff plus boxes and boxes of parts and a few old printers.

I was living in one for the few areas with I high enough density of CS undergrads that it took all of 12 hours I think from posting "come and get it" until the last cable and dot matrix printer wandered off. Only took that long because some of the stuff was too heavy to move by bicycle, I expect.

It freaked me out a bit but I moved with one laptop, one workstation, and a couple of spare drives, that's it. I've never missed any of the old stuff. Of course, shortly after moving someone dumped a 50 node cluster on my lap, but that's a different story.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:14 PM
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781

Sifu, listen to Sifu. He always has the right idea.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:15 PM
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782

For lakeside nooks, a BBQ is vital. And a boat. If you need one of those RF computer-to-TV adapters that connect via 300 ohm twin lead, I've got several.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:16 PM
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783

Or you could be like the one such place that I rented most long-term, and include signs everywhere saying things like "UNPLUG WHEN NOT IN USE" and "PLEASE TURN OUT LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING" and "DO NOT USE MORE THAN 1/8 CUP OF DETERGENT" and "PLEASE CONSERVE WATER".

Yeah, if I had my druthers, it'd kind of be like that, but I don't think I can expect that of people.

Quaint charming rustic cabin is the idea. I put a picture of the stone fireplace (replaced/inserted with a pellet stove now) on the unfogged flickr group a while ago, but damn it takes a long time to find the picture.

I think this just would not work for vacationers, though I think they're crazy. They'd probably just fuck up the pellet stove in the winter, or try to take 4 showers, plus run the dishwasher, plus do two loads of laundry, plus have a hottub in the evening, all in one day. That's totally not going to work with the water supply.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:17 PM
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784

criminy. boat


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:19 PM
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785

but I don't think I can expect that of people.

Just put everything on timers in a locked closet, and print a schedule they can follow along. Then you don't need any signs.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:22 PM
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786

You'd also need a special insurance policy, both for liability and damage to the property, and a local agent who could come over and fix things promptly


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:22 PM
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787

If you want to cut down on the showers, just glue a black plastic dome to the ceiling in the bathroom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:24 PM
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788

They'd probably just fuck up the pellet stove in the winter

Pellet stove? Yeah, you definitely can't rent this place to just any random typical vacationers. However! you could potentially target the growing niche market of "eco-tourists." Lack of hot water could even be a bonus, as it would add to the eco-ambiance.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:25 PM
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789

I'd thought that pellet stoves were supposed to be pretty much automatic compared to any wood burning heat system. I never seen one, but people with them seemed happy as they didn't want to pay for heating oil and the pellet stove ran on a thermostat and had a hopper, so you didn't need to tend it much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:29 PM
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790

Posting photos of the interior as-is should generate self-selecting renters. We've rented places, my aunt rents out her upstairs to thrifty vacationers. Utilitarian hardware, clear and friendly usage directions, and a local cleaning service seem like the key points.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:31 PM
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791

Would you have friends that would go for some kind of timeshare arrangement? That way you wouldn't have new people in all the time and the people that where using it would be people that you trust not to screw things up.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:33 PM
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792

786: and a local agent who could come over and fix things promptly

This is probably a better source to get info on local market and expectations than here (assuming you have enough connections in the area to find a trustworthy one).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:36 PM
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793

parsimon, my sister rents out her house in N. Carolina through a site that gives a lot of details. You might look at some of the houses in your area and see what kind of things people list.

(Please note some of the features of my sister's place: olive oil! mountain lions! spelunking! condiments!)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:40 PM
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794

793.2: Spare tires! Silhouettes!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:42 PM
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795

But guests mightwill get drunk and mock your tchotchkies.

Fixed, if I can generalize from my Lake Tahoe cabin rental experiences. Mostly it was just that one place that waaayyy overdid the family photos. It's OK to leave some wallspace blank, you know?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:43 PM
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796

I've never been to New England . . . so I don't really know what people expect there.

Fresh fish and brusque yet ultimately warm-hearted people.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:43 PM
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797

793: There's a note on the fridge: "Feed the mountain lions one (1) package of the meat each day. If they get jumpy, put them in the cave."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:43 PM
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793: Not to harsh your sister's mountain lion buzz, but mountain lions are sadly no longer found in the NC mountains. Last one in that area killed Kentucky in the 1930s. Maybe they are captive? (Your link is not working.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:48 PM
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799

olive oil!

Oh, right! That's an important one that should have gone with "spices" in my 764.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:48 PM
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800

758: ['Do they have fold-up mountain bikes?']
They do.

Oh, ho! Now that's what I had in mind. If I had 13 miles to go, switching back and forth between bike/bus/tube would make it pretty easier to bike most of the way without having to run an incessant gauntlet of taxis.

773: I am currently sorting through my 4 milk crates of various cables decided which ones are worth shipping the whole way across the country.

Only four. That's not much. And also, buk biscuit should die for not giving me his sparc II.

761: But just how ... decorated ... should such a place be? How much charmingness? Because I've got lots of charmingness.

Hanging charmingness on the walls, nothing else, I think. Too much trouble.

You want new and clean soap bars?

I think I would leave a box of soap and detergents and the like, but now towels or linens and specify 'bring your own bed gear'. Or just leave some cheap seats and whatnot in the closet. That's kind of the way they do that sort of thing in state parks.

Should there be a vacuum cleaner and a broom? Since you're going be making a mess while you're there, you know. While you're there, are you going to use the miniature washer and dryer? Because the place runs on a well, and you can't be using up the water willy-nilly.

Broom, dust pan, and an old vacuum cleaner.

Do vacationing renters like to actually cooperate with the place they're renting, or do they want it to be like a hotel?

If you make clear the specifics, I don't think you'd have a problem with that. Hrmm. 'Camp cabins'. Except you've got a bed and stuff. Might want to just remove the washer.

max
['So a bed, some old chairs and tables, some charm, plus a shower and not much else.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:49 PM
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801

Last one in that area killed Kentucky in the 1930s.

Kentucky is dead? Oh noes!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:49 PM
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802

And if you can stock your cabin with Olive Oyl, even better!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:49 PM
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803

Oops.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:50 PM
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804

All of these latest comments are along the lines I'm thinking: right now, we're probably going to rent to a friend of the family whom we trust to be able to understand the infrastructure of the place, if you will. The water supply and so on. That will be year-round, though, which is what I'd eventually like to get away from, since I'd like to actually be able to spend time there myself sometimes.

We probably have to upgrade the septic system. That's money. But if we do that, and go for an eco-friendly demographic, we might be able to transition to part-time renters (for more money, hate to say it, but that's important, as the property taxes are getting pretty high). It's also just a really pretty place, and I think anyone would be nuts not to like it, except for the stuff about having to pay attention.

Once we get a handle on the basic finances, we'll think about a property manager who could actually come in and clean the place up in between these hypothetical vacation-type renters.

As for the pellet stove, it craps out sometimes, that's all, needs a new spark plug or needs to be rebooted or something. And you have to feed it regularly. Not much more so than a fireplace, and indeed the potential liability is about the same. I just don't trust random people to work responsibly with fire.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:52 PM
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805

803: "All the modern conveniences." Every last one of them!

But really, looks nice. What does "Alternative Lifestyle" mean, and why is it in an alternative typeface?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 8:55 PM
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806

795: But guests might will get drunk and mock your tchotchkies.

All I'd like to leave on the mantle would be the indian head thing, here. I dare anyone to call it a tchotchkie!

Yeah, there's a bunch of other stuff in that picture that's already half-gone. And I want the indian head thing.

800: Max, I think you're getting the wrong idea of the nature of the house. It's not a cabin with cots and army blankets. It's fully loaded, just stressed about the water.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:04 PM
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807

Okay. Down to one bin of cables. For now.

780: I accidentally failed to move most of my obsolete computers a couple years ago. Now it's mostly synths and various audio cables. If anybody has 15 mics and wants to mic a band, lemme know, you can come over to my house.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:04 PM
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808

Be sure to leave enough cattle to feed the giant alligators in the lake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:06 PM
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809

And also, buk biscuit should die for not giving me his sparc II

It went to a good home.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:06 PM
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810

If I came back and this thread was still chugging away at the nth iteration of Unfogged-cyclists-vs.-drivers I was going to freak out on you people. Instead it appears to be about vacation rentals which is weird but fine, I guess.

Today was Iris' last at Waldorf. Then the class went to a park and played with wooden boats (that they had made, of course) in a little creek that had salamanders and robins' eggshells and a dead groundhog. I'm going to miss that place.

Carry on.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:07 PM
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811

793: Sir Kraab, that link seems insufficient. I was all set to check out whatever rental site your sister was using.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:08 PM
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812

Now it's mostly synths and various audio cables.

Yeah, that stuff builds up. Two (3?) moves ago I found out that I'd dragged a large box of patch cables across the continent and none of them worked. Apparently I'd been using it to dump dubious cables in for a while, and forgotten.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:08 PM
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813

805: "Alternative Lifestyle" means that teh gays don't need to pretend they're staying in separate bedrooms.

Speaking of which, New Hampshire just legalized gay marriage. Really, this is getting so hackneyed.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:08 PM
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814

parsi, the corrected link is at 803.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:09 PM
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815

I'm going to miss that place.

Not sure what's happening to the creek, but they'd probably let you take the dead groundhog home as a memento.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:10 PM
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816

Now I'm thinking it would be great fun to rent out a place and leave disturbing, cryptic notes behind everywhere. ("Feel free to read any of the books, but under no circumstances open the journal on the bottom shelf." "Help yourself to vegetables from the garden, but please do not dig near the southeast corner." "Should you hear three sharp knocks at the back door, call 911 and be prepared to use the shotgun over the fireplace.")


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:11 PM
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817

806: The indian head thing might be good to leave, actually. It might make the guests feel like they are being watched over and, therefore, behave.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:13 PM
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818

816: A discreet "REDRUM" here and there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:15 PM
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819

814: Oh, okay.

810.2: JRoth, the vacation rental subthread is exactly about playing with wooden boats, picking wild blueberries, observing ducks and little duck babies, as well as chipmunks, and watching the stars. Also the smell of pine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:18 PM
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820

Don't you miss Scatman Crothers sometimes? I do.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:21 PM
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821

820: Yes. seeing him go up that mountain in the Sno-cat always saddens me. I also liked his turn in Cuckoo's Nest.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:27 PM
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822

820: We had him taxidermed. He sits over the fireplace. Feel free to come over and visit him.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:27 PM
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823

Sorry, fireplace s/b pellet stove. And you're welcome too, JP.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:29 PM
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824

You people are without soul. My grandmother found that indian head thing in the woods in the area some 25 years ago. It is bronze. It is very heavy. I polished it for her and we put it there above the fireplace mantle.

If I must take it away for safekeeping, I imagine I will.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:40 PM
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825

No more masturbating to Koko Taylor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:42 PM
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826

Tan me hide when death comes
Tan me hide when death comes
So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde,
And Ringo's got it on his drums!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:45 PM
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827

Umm, 826 -> 822


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:46 PM
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828

825: Damn.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:46 PM
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829

How do vegan-nonvegan romances do wrt purity rules?

I'm sure I've told this before, but when I was a freshman I went on a date with a guy who, it turned out, was vegetarian. No problem at all, in my book. He ordered some veggie bready thing that looked delicious and I ordered a sandwich with meat which was also quite good and as we took our second or third bites he said, with a look of pained superiority, "How's your burnt flesh?" I can't remember whether I said something smart-ass in reply or whether I just wanted to do so, but I can tell you that I felt humiliated sitting in the little hipster bookstore-cafe where we'd met.

That doesn't mean I dislike vegetarians, though, or have some weird thing about cheerleading for meat. I often order vegetarian when eating out because I'll trust a stranger's vegetables before I'll trust their meat. (I also order a lot of low-hanging fruit.) Also, if I can get good veggies instead of sauteed chicken chunks then I'll enjoy the vegetables a lot more pretty much any day. I realized the other day that it's not at all uncommon for me to only have meat at lunch anymore, and only because I usually take a cold cut sandwich with me to work. If I go 36 or 48 hours without eating meat, though, I start to get cravings and I do relish a medium rare steak in a way that probably isn't wholly moral.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:52 PM
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830

We had him taxidermed. He sits over the fireplace.

With the axe in his torso? Because that would be a real conversation starter, if a little macabre.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 9:53 PM
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831

"How's your burnt flesh?"

"The grafts still hurt and the bandages won't come off for another week or two yet, but this delicious sandwich helps a little."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:00 PM
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832

831: I think this whole thread is best viewed as a meandering setup for that one line.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:34 PM
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833

829: The thing is, I wonder whether, for every vegetarian one meets who exhibits that kind of superior attitude, there's an equally superior meat-eater. You'd have to ask a vegetarian: do we, or they, receive hostility from meat-eaters, when they're not receiving downright incomprehension? Sure.

I am not sure, though, that vegetarians give meat-eaters shit to the same degree that meat-eaters give vegetarians shit. An impossible question, in the end. It's just good to remember that whatever stories meat-eaters remember about being humiliated by vegetarians, there's probably another one about a vegetarian being called a "leaf-eater." I lost a friend over this once. It happens in both directions. Neither position has a claim to being objectively right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:35 PM
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834

832: Then again, maybe not.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:38 PM
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835

833: meat-eaters give vegetarians shit


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:42 PM
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836

835: Totally great, though the shrimp confused me, and the anise mousse sounds disgusting. Plus there are no starches or proteins to speak of in that menu, so it doesn't even make sense.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:50 PM
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837

Plus that guy in that strip should not be slumping his shoulders so badly like that. He needs to do some weight-training, and build his core body strength. The gazpacho isn't going to do him any bit of good at all, so he might as well just have a sloppy-burger.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 10:56 PM
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838

Orange mousse.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:05 PM
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839

It happens in both directions.

By all means. I don't mean to say anything about vegetarians with my story, I just mean to say something about that one guy and the one time I had a food-culture issue come up out of the blue in a romantic context. I know one full-time vegetarian who is married to a meat-eater who largely eats vegetarian because he does a lot of the cooking and that's simpler than trying to cook two different meals but who orders meat when out at restaurants. I know another couple in which one member's vegetarianism has been directly transmitted to the other person. I don't think blanket statements can be made about the romantic implications. The one hardcore vegan I know was in a serious relationship for at least a couple of years with a woman who swore, chain-smoked and wanted her meat to make a pitiful noise when she drove a knife into it and the two of them seemed mostly to be just as happy as they could be.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:10 PM
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840

Orange mousse.

Oh. You know, I read that like three times because anise mousse sounded so weird. It looks on at least one reading like "or anise mousse." I paused briefly to wonder why the guy was ordering an either/or menu option, but hey, it's vegetarians dining with flies.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-09 11:15 PM
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841

Here in the UK, left-politics wouldn't be particularly correlated with being vegan or veggie, at all, I think.

Cf. Orwell and the Fabians.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:08 AM
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842

P: 800: Max, I think you're getting the wrong idea of the nature of the house. It's not a cabin with cots and army blankets. It's fully loaded, just stressed about the water.

I didn't think that, but I was thinking if you were going to rent it out to lots of different people, treating it that way in some senses might be helpful.

max
['Or not.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 2:34 AM
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843

831: Good answer.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 4:01 AM
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844

Personally I think meat and fish are both mostly pretty disgusting.

Though I've tried smoked salmon, by accident - it was in a canape that the servers told me was vegetarian, and after I'd discovered what it was and explained to them that no, fish is NOT vegetarian, I had to admit *silently* that it was also surprisingly delicious. I've never eaten the kind of sausage that smells of garlic and pepper, but I suspect it would also probably be delicious. And I have eaten Szechuan buns deep-fried in pork fat,which I only figured out afterwards when they gave me massive indigestion, but, yes: those too were delicious.

But mostly, the times I've eaten meat or fish by accident, or smelled it, I've just thought *silently* oh, yuck and continued to munch my delicious vegetarian food.

If I were morally consistent I would be vegan, except for free-range organic eggs, but I think about never eating cheese again and I just... can't.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 4:06 AM
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for every vegetarian one meets who exhibits that kind of superior attitude, there's an equally superior meat-eater

I'm sure there's well more than one per, if for no other reason than the relative numbers of carnivores to vegetarians.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 5:13 AM
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I'm not sure the accusations -- earnest flake vs. moral monster -- are really comparable.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 5:15 AM
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Smug flake.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 5:17 AM
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Back to Parsi's house; we've rented simplar places fairly often, and IME they usually have a manual (like, a collection of laminated sheets of paper with things you must and mustn't do, and directions to the nearest grocery store/gas station/restaurant) as well as the aforementioned signs. Yes to basic condiments and cleaning supplies, and I'd think bars of soap would be nice too, but no need to go hotel crazy with individual shampoo or anything.

On the 'don't use the washing machine or the pellet stove ' front, you do have to expect that obedience will be imperfect -- if something really bad would happen if the water got overused, I'd disable, rather than forbidding, the washing machines. If you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 5:44 AM
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I could imagine a coherent ethical position that would allow fish/game but nothing farmed

A bit late, but this position appears to be widespread in the top echelons of the British civil service. Mrs OFE is obliged to socialise with these people on "work social" occasions and has remarked on it frequently. AFAICS it's a coherent position, but one that requires having more money than you know what to do with, so colour me unimpressed.

(Oh, and none of your farmed salmon/trout either. Has to be wild fish.)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:28 AM
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re: 849

Here in Oxford, game is pretty cheap. I've contemplated some milder variation of that -- organic chicken and beef, plus game -- and priced it up. It wouldn't be amazingly expensive. The local posh organic butcher does fancy free-range chicken for only a a quid more than a standard battery supermarket one, and rabbit, etc are cheap anyway.

I doubt it's really a scalable option, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:40 AM
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850: It's a reasonable enough option if you believe meat should be an expensive, once-in-a-while treat.

Few non-vegetarians agree.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:53 AM
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851. I agree with that up to a point. I suppose we eat butcher's meat once or twice a week, fish maybe more often. The older I get, the less I want the stuff. What I'd miss if I went veggie would mainly be canned tuna and smoked mackerel.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:59 AM
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I eat meat fairly regularly at the moment [we go through phases] but I rarely eat large quantities at a sitting.

re: 851

My point was partly that it isn't actually expensive to eat that way. Buying rabbit, say, or some cheaper game birds and a single organic chicken to joint up and spread across two or three meals isn't any more expensive than buying cheap nasty supermarket stuff. Obviously it'd be different if you wanted to eat huge quantities of meat, daily, but I don't think that's really the norm anymore in the UK.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:02 AM
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A similar method used by some friends of mine:
1. Have an allotment.
2. Grow vegetables on it, organically.
3. When squirrels start to eat your vegetables, trap, kill, and eat the squirrels. (which are, by definition, wild and organic).

Delicious. Clean and gut them, let them hang for 24 hours, then casserole them with paprika and button mushrooms.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:19 AM
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It's a reasonable enough option if you believe meat should be an expensive, once-in-a-while treat.

If you switched everyone over to the game model I think meat would be and expensive once in a while treat for the rich. Any one under UMC would probably not be able to afford meat at all and it would be a stretch for the UMC. We have had domesticated livestock for a very long time. Vegetarians obviously still might not have a problem with this, but a lot of other people would.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:24 AM
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853: It can be more expensive in terms of time (to buy) and it does require a certain amount of culinary know-how.

Wasn't that the flaw in those TV programs with Jamie Oliver showing off how much cheaper it was to buy real food and cook it properly than to just get take-away or pre-packed meals from supermarkets? Sure it is... if you've got the money and the time.

Most Brits don't have anywhere to shop but a choice of supermarkets (so I read somewhere) and don't have any idea how to deal with an actual animal corpse if they were to buy one. (We had home economics lessons that involved real cooking at my school: jointing a chicken or a rabbit was not included in the foodprep training. And my school was unusual in making basic cookery a required subject for all the children in the first two years.)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:25 AM
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856: This is right. It's not an insurmountable problem, but eating well inexpensively requires a investment in culinary skills, whether attained by learning from one's mother or dad or friends or a course, and having the time to do so. (Or having the stay-at-home partner who does so, something that often goes unacknowledged.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:33 AM
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854: You should post that on the out-of-context squirrel thread on Obsidian Wings.

855: Raising domesticated animals for meat is just fine with me, providing (a) I don't have to eat any (b) the animals get treated reasonably decently until they're killed, and are killed humanely.

Sheep and goats convert hillside grass into mutton and, er, generic-word-for-goatsflesh. With milk and wool. But, if you kill a sheep or a goat that was bred for milk and wool, the meat won't be (so I've read) nearly as tender and juicy and easy to eat/cook as grain-fed beef from a cow that was bred for eating, not milking. Dairy and beef cows are seperate subspecies now, practically - a cow killed after a lifetime of milking won't be used for humans to eat. (Might go for pet food, I suppose.) If you plan to rear a free-range organic pig, you need to think very carefully about what household food scraps the pig can eat - as well as how you're planning to dispose of all the pigshit.

Rearing animals for meat went over to a factory-like basis decades ago because - regardless of quality of the meat, or environmental consequences, or humane treatment of the animals - the meat cost less to produce, and so could be sold in large quantities much more cheaply. That's where we are now. People take for granted that their supermarket will have large quantities of meat for meat-based meals for sale at a price anyone can afford.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:36 AM
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having the time to do so

True enough. This is the time which, according to the middle reaches of this thread, people now spend working out instead.

856. The point that it's healthier to be rich is one that needs hammering home frequently. It's easy to shop well if your kids are in child care and you have a car to run around the city in. And can afford the premium on free range meat and whole grain bread. If you can get as far as you can walk with a stroller, yes, you probably shop at Netto. Because it's there.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:41 AM
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It's time for cyclicts-and-drivers-versus-JRoth.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:00 AM
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re: 856

Yeah, part of that is true I think. It's certainly easy to eat good quality food on a budget if you are able to invest time, and if you have a certain amount of knowledge.

[Or, what Cala says, basically]

But it is possible to eat cheaply and quickly too, with a little planning and some basic culinary skills. As OFE has point out, in some areas of the country getting the produce is hard to do.

Of course I have a slightly different perspective because we grew up in a very poor area, on state benefits, but ate very good food because, well, because my parents could be arsed to put the effort in. Part of me is very sympathetic to the food-poor -- things really aren't easy for them -- and part of me is not, because, frankly, a lot of them are lazy fucks.

The reality is that many poor people could eat a lot better than they do, without massive time investment, but are at a big disadvantage compared to those who live in affluent areas and have money and free-time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:02 AM
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Poor people like the food they eat. I grew up poor, and I still like the crappy low-budget food that I liked as a kid.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:06 AM
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Totally great, though the shrimp confused me, and the anise mousse sounds disgusting. Plus there are no starches or proteins to speak of in that menu, so it doesn't even make sense.

I'M NOT CONFUSING AT ALL, AND I'M CHOCK FULL OF PROTEIN, EINSTEIN!!!1!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SHRIMP | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:06 AM
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I've actually quite well known for my carbohydrate content.


Posted by: Reasonable Zucchinni | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:07 AM
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Part of me is very sympathetic to the food-poor -- things really aren't easy for them -- and part of me is not, because, frankly, a lot of them are lazy fucks.

In my very limited experience of people in this kind of spot, a big part of it isn't so much laziness, but that the sort of food that I'd think of as better, and is certainly healthier, is perceived as punitive. Beans, soups, wholegrain bread -- if your life sucks, it's hard to turn away from familiar, comfortable food.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:07 AM
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Walt-pwned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:08 AM
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If I really had lots of unanarchist powers and wanted to solve the poverty-and-eating-poorly problem, I'd work on labor reform so that people have more time and are less exhausted and I'd work on any kind of community-building initiative that wasn't egregiously right-wing. An awful lot of cooking stuff is cultural. I'm pretty quick at baking now, for example, and I'm getting to be capable of thinking "hey, I'll be home for four hours on Sunday morning, so I'll bake bread, since it takes me ten minutes to get the bread going and the rest is almost all rising time". That's just habit and know-how. Similarly with cooking a decent dinner.

But it was really hanging around with friends who cook a lot, attending events where folks brought home-made food and reading snobby food threads on Unfogged that brought me to this point. If I had been coming home and staying by myself watching movies--or even reading slightly less close-knit blogs than this one--I wouldn't be cooking nearly this much. Community norms plus access to information are powerful.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:12 AM
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862: Ditto. My Mom was a high school teacher and we lived on campus, so we regularly ate the same food as the boarders (One of my daily chores was going to the kitchen to pick up supper). If you think US school food is bad, you have got to try third world school food. One of the regular menu items was goat vertebrae stew. I loved it, but it's not exactly the kind of thing that nurtures a refined palate.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:13 AM
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third world school food

I still get vaguely nostalgic about the food the teachers were served for tea-break in Samoa. It was ghastly, on some level, but when will I ever again have a canned spaghetti on white-bread sandwich with lots of butter and a hot cup of koko samoa?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:15 AM
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I'm perfectly aware what poor people like [sorry if that sounds snarky]. But things could still be better than they are.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:16 AM
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Community norms plus access to information are powerful.

This was my grad school experience. I had some cooking fundamentals from my mom (really more no fear in the kitchen than any specific skills), but most of the cooking I do now stems from being in grad school, not having the cash to go out, and hanging out with friends who were in the same position.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:16 AM
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I loved it, but it's not exactly the kind of thing that nurtures a refined palate.

Probably better for you than Burger King, though.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:17 AM
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And I just don't support the "poor people engage in X really counterproductive behavior so they must like it and it must be all right/is unchangeable/we should leave it alone" argument. Yeah, one doesn't want to go all false-consciousness, but does this really match up to anyone's lived experience? Or is it just a fantasy about low-income folks? We pretty readily acknowledge that middle class people learn new behaviors, change and gain new tastes (you could even argue that this is what constitutes middle-classitude in the popular imagination). Why should this be different for poor people except for lack of opportunities?

We ate dismal, dismal food when I was little--partly because we didn't have any money and partly because my parents were not at that time particularly good cooks. Even the tasty food (fried smelts!) wasn't that good and as soon as I had any kind of access to other food I never looked back to the canned lima beans and iceberg lettuce of my youth.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:20 AM
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according to the middle reaches of this thread, people now spend working out instead.

Or at least, aspirational exercise beats aspirational cooking when you're actually sitting on your ass.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:22 AM
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when will I ever again have a canned spaghetti on white-bread sandwich

I dunno... boxed mac-and-cheese on white-bread sandwiches were a staple of my youth.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:22 AM
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I think 867 gets it exactly right. In addition to labor reform and community building, I'd also add in cooking and gardening/food raising, taught and practiced starting in elementary school.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:23 AM
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873: This is right, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:29 AM
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I'm getting to be capable of thinking "hey, I'll be home for four hours on Sunday morning, so I'll bake bread, since it takes me ten minutes to get the bread going and the rest is almost all rising time". That's just habit and know-how.

That artisanal bread in 5 minutes a day book? Is spectacular for this. Stir together a batch of bread one night and bake whenever you've got an hour. If you do a fair amount of bread, I'd get it from a library or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:34 AM
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I dunno... boxed mac-and-cheese on white-bread sandwiches were a staple of my youth.

Boxed mac-n-cheese, like White Castle sliders, was one of those treats we begged for but only exceedingly rarely got. As an adult, I find I have no idea what the hell I was thinking.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:40 AM
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Man, I would have killed for Kraft Dinner as a kid. So orange!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:42 AM
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879: In early adulthood, I just loved boxed mac and cheese since we'd very seldom been allowed to have it as children. Even now, I find the idea of boxed mac and cheese attractive, but when I've gone and actually eaten some it's been disappointing. Imaginary box mac-and-cheese makes me hungry.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:44 AM
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Kids have completely unpredictable loves and hates for food. Usually has no bearing on what they'll like as adults unless they're told by authority figures that they won't like something.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:46 AM
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An awful lot of cooking stuff is cultural

I am beginning to think that it is weird that my cooking seems to have arisen without any kind of shared community standards. Like Cala my mom cooked with me some when I was a kid and she always cooked some kind of meal every day, but her cooking didn't and still doesn't rise above the Midwestern staples of hot-dish and meatloaf. Nobody I hang around with now really does much in the way of cooking either.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:50 AM
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No more masturbating to Koko Taylor.

Wait: if you in the middle of masturbating to someone when you hear the news, are you allowed to finish?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:54 AM
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Boxed mac-n-cheese . . . As an adult, I find I have no idea what the hell I was thinking.

I am given to understand (IOW, "they say") tastes literally change as kids become adults. Taste buds change, or something, so that the SpaghettiOs® I loved as a kid now taste sickly sweet to me.

I hope this highly scientific explanation didn't go over your heads.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:56 AM
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Raising domesticated animals for meat is just fine with me, providing (a) I don't have to eat any (b) the animals get treated reasonably decently until they're killed, and are killed humanely.

This is the problem with the "I only eat game" or "fur that's been trapped is better than farm fur" position. Professionals really do know a bit more about killing animals quickly and relatively painlessly. My dad, who grew up in the Yukon, shudders at the thought of trapping because he's come across far too many wild animals---often not the ones intended---caught bleeding out in traps in the backcountry. I'm all for humane farm conditions and professional slaughtering.

I eat meat probably twice a week, partly because I'm poor, partly because I shop at the local co-op where all the meat is humane/grass-fed/kosher and hideously expensive, partly because I learned to cook among vegetarians.

As to macaroni and cheese--my mother made superb homemade mac-n'-cheese, starting with a roux and everything, but as kids we jonesed for the orange stuff. It's possible that we just liked the color.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:00 AM
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As to macaroni and cheese--my mother made superb homemade mac-n'-cheese, starting with a roux and everything, but as kids we jonesed for the orange stuff. It's possible that we just liked the color

Yeah, our house exactly. I am excessively proud though that Rory will only eat my homemade.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:22 AM
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SpaghettiOs® I loved as a kid now taste sickly sweet

I didn't get them as a kid, so I've got no comparison, but the canned pasta meals are disgusting (sickly sweet is exactly correct - tomatoes don't taste like that!). My kids think they're awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:00 AM
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Canned pasta meals are one of my favorite things to eat while stoned. (Or would be, I imagine, if I'd ever done that sort of thing.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:03 AM
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I hated canned pasta as a child, because when I went to birthday parties I would be the only vegetarian, and aside from the cake, most of what there was to eat would be meat - sausage rolls, ham sandwiches, etc. So the kid's mom would heat up a can of pasta for me. Which was awful. But I was supposed to be polite and eat it.

I'm pretty certain it wouldn't make me cry now I'm an adult, but I still never, ever want to eat the stuff again.

Canned red tomato soup, all sweet and wrong-tasting like tomatoes of EVIL, that I like. My mom used to keep cans of it in the store cupboard for the children whenever we looked at the delicious soup she had made for the adults in the party and went "OH YUCK IT'S GOT BITS IN IT I'M NOT EATING THAT".

...or words to that effect.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:17 AM
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890: Huh, you were raised vegetarian? Or decided for yourself very young?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:19 AM
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My mom decided to be a vegetarian (family anecdote varies as to why) about 1960 - anyway, before she met my dad.

Very few people in the UK or Canada took "being a vegetarian" seriously, and my mom says that my dad - who besides being the kind of person who does take people seriously, had spent two years in India - was the first person who did treat her eating choice seriously, checking in restaurants to make sure the soup stock was vegetarian, asking his mother to cook a vegetarian meal for her when he asked her home.

They got married in 1962, and all three of us children were brought up vegetarian - though my brother now eats fish, etc. My nephew was also brought up vegetarian. (He's six foot two and still growing - an alarming testimony to being a third-generation vegetarian.) My dad sort of gradually switched over to being totally vegetarian, as the years went by...


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:32 AM
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I'm all for humane farm conditions and professional slaughtering.

Unfortunately, that's not what we have here. Well, the slaughtering is professional, but not particularly humane. And farm conditions are on average pretty dreadful, although there are definite exceptions.

Somewhere up-thread the issue of the scalability of wild game only or whatever came up, which certainly is a problem, but I think that's a bit of a red herring.

There is no fundamental reason we couldn't move away from CAFO conditions and massive feedlot operations, and towards a better diet with a fairly modest reduction in the (really quite high) consumption of animal proteins while maintaining food as a reasonably small percentage of the cost of living.

The US in particular has so much room to move in this way it's amazing. Starting from among the lowest food costs and highest animal protein consumptions, there is a lot that could be done with no reduction, arguably increase, in standard of living.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:48 AM
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893, yeah, to all of that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:49 AM
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an alarming testimony to being a third-generation vegetarian.

I know a very physically large lifelong vegetarian (for unknown but large numbers of generations, he's Indian), who commented once about his growth spurts during childhood that "the 100s went by in a flash." [meaning having a weight of between 100 and 199 pounds]


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:51 AM
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I knew precisely one vegetarian whilst I was at school, and remember very well how she was treated as some sort of exotic creature - you have my sympathies Jes.

I loved tinned pasta, but haven't eaten it for years. I did try to get my kids to eat it (mainly for camping purposes) but they rejected it.

ttaM or any other Brits, did you see any of Jamie O's recent thing in Rotherham, trying to teach people to cook? Can't remember its name. I'd be interested to see a follow-up to that, to see how much stuck. I don't think he had anywhere near the community-wide success he was hoping for, but he did have one big individual success. Fuck of a lot of effort to change one person's life, but it may have been worth it. (Made me cry, anyway.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:54 AM
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who commented once about his growth spurts during childhood that "the 100s went by in a flash."

I'm probably compressing what must have been at least a couple of years, but I don't think my sister spent much time at all between five and six feet tall.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:55 AM
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892: I don't know how much popular impact it had, but afaics the UK had both a deeper and longer history with this (e.g starting in mid 1800s) . One of the visible effects of this was movements ike Veganism in the US during the 60s recapitulating the discussion in the UK in the 40s.

Most of what I've heard in the US about the development of vegetarian ideals talks about things like the impact of the "Diet for a Small Planet" book (early 70s) but talking to people in the UK about it often turns to things from the 20s or 40s, if not the late 1800s.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:58 AM
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Right. There's that passage in Road to Wigan Pier where Orwell's making fun of what sound like very 1970's American DFH's -- feminism and vegetarianism and macrame.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:00 AM
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Ko9e!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:01 AM
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899:
So I'm obviously no historian but the wierd thing about this is that there was certainly a lot of dietary `activism', if you will, going on in the US in 1800s. William Alcott wrote a book about it, Graham was about the same time (early mid 1800s?) and if you go back a bit you've got stuff like Franklins famous vegetarianism.

I believe some of the religiously seeded side of this came from UK churches spreading to US churches, but I don't know how central it is.

So maybe it's just that the UK veggie/activists I've talked to have a better sense of the history that the US ones, or sampling bias.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:08 AM
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Canned red tomato soup, all sweet and wrong-tasting like tomatoes of EVIL, that I like. My mom used to keep cans of it in the store cupboard for the children whenever we looked at the delicious soup she had made for the adults in the party and went "OH YUCK IT'S GOT BITS IN IT I'M NOT EATING THAT".

Now the trick with canned (condensed) tomato soup is to add the milk very slowly while whisking continuously. Adding the milk too rapidly results in lumpy cream of tomato soup. I learned this upon attempting to make grilled cheese and tomato soup in grad school for a roommate who'd had a very bad day and for whom my defective soup making technique proved the straw that broke the camel's back.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:09 AM
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Ok, this is probably boring so I'll stop, but I looked it up and the Vegetarian Society was formed in the UK in 1847, followed by the American Vegetarian Society in 1850, with obvious close ties between the groups. Assuming the interwebs is it's usual infallible self.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:11 AM
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Now the trick with canned (condensed) tomato soup

Which ends up being hardly at all faster than starting with just (good) tinned tomatoes, which makes the whole exercise a bit odd.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:13 AM
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Which ends up being hardly at all faster than starting with just (good) tinned tomatoes, which makes the whole exercise a bit odd.

Fewer dirty utensils you can't put in a dishwasher. Effort saved: 90 seconds at the sink, but you'd be surprised how many people think like that. Also, if you start with good tinned tomatoes, it just doesn't taste the same (unless you add a cup of sugar, which people don't like having to think about).


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:24 AM
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Also, if you start with good tinned tomatoes, it just doesn't taste the same

True. It tastes way better.

Which may defeat the purpose if you're going for a comfort-food-of-my-childhood thing, but otherwise it's a win.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:26 AM
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906. Agreed. Am now going to make some soup with fresh tomatoes marked down because they're a bit soft, so they might (heaven forfend) taste of something, some fresh basil and a little white wine. That should do the trick.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:31 AM
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fresh tomatoes ..., so they might (heaven forfend) taste of something,

It sometimes seems like there is a law against that here, now.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:33 AM
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I sometimes have good luck with the tomatoes sold on the vine. Not always, but sometimes.

With tomato soup, I think of the condensed variety and freshly made as different soups. Both are nice, in their way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:41 AM
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910

863, 864:

I'M NOT CONFUSING AT ALL, AND I'M CHOCK FULL OF PROTEIN, EINSTEIN!!!1!!

I've actually quite well known for my carbohydrate content.

I meant that there were no grains. Yes, that's what I meant.

On the house rental front, it's clear to me that it's not going to work to rent the place to vacationing types. There's no cellphone access there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:24 PM
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911

Oh man I love Kraft Mac and Cheese. Any shape. Doesn't matter. I still love it. I don't eat it often, but orange Kraft Mac and Cheese with steamed broccoli on the side is my most favorite comfort meal.

I make homemade mac and cheese to take to parties. I consider it a completely different food.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:35 PM
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912

Would like to emphasize that the Kraft mac and cheese and the steamed broccoli ARE NOT TOUCHING.

(Although I am usually a food-mixer.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:36 PM
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913

On the house rental front, it's clear to me that it's not going to work to rent the place to vacationing types.

If you mean you don't want to bother, that makes sense, but as long as you're upfront about no cellphone access, that wouldn't keep me from renting a cabin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:45 PM
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914

fish/game but nothing farmed ... But this is an ethical position that no one actually seems to hold
C.J. Cherryh has one lot of aliens (atevi) who follow this, at least nominally.



Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 12:59 PM
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915

I meant that there were no grains. Yes, that's what I meant.

PERHAPS YOU'VE NEVER BEEN TO A RESTAURANT??? WE SERVE BREAD!!!1!


Posted by: OPINIONATED RESTAURANTE(U)R | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 1:22 PM
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916

as long as you're upfront about no cellphone access, that wouldn't keep me from renting a cabin

Rah and I used to go up to a lake in Virginia for a week every summer with some friends and we all felt that the absolute lack of cell service was a bonus.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 1:40 PM
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917

Yeah, definitely there are people who will think that's a good thing.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 2:36 PM
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918

917: Why, I'd pay extra.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 2:37 PM
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919

917: BREAD WITH A MEAL? OF COURSE! EXCEPT THOSE F&*KING ATKINS MORONS!!

918: NO NEED, IT'S COMPLIMENTARY WITH YOUR MEAL! HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO A RESTAURANT EITHER???


Posted by: OPINIONATED RESTAURANTE(U)R | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 2:58 PM
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920

919.1: Back on the original topic. Out of frustration, that was me for a period of time a few years back. An interesting psychological and physiological experience in many ways, but for me (and surely most others) a stunning exercise in short-term efficacy (not necessarily for the reasons advertised) and longer-term lack of same. (Or what heebie said.)

Per my #369, 1/8 of a fucking ounce per day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 3:49 PM
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921

1/8 of a fucking ounce per day

That's a pretty expensive marijuana habit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 3:53 PM
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922

OH, YEAH? WELL WHAT'S IT GOING TO COST ME TO GET A) GOOD BREAD THAT B) HASN'T BEEN AT SOMEONE ELSE'S TABLE BEFORE I GOT THERE.

DON'T TELL ME YOU DON'T REBREAD, LIAR.


Posted by: OPINIONATED PATRON | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 3:53 PM
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923

That's a pretty expensive marijuana habit.

You think that's bad, try it with coke.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 3:55 PM
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924

I dislike eating/being close with vegans, and not because i really really want to have meat; in fact, the typical vegan meal is more likely to be close to an ideal meal for me taste and health wise (actual ideal being, some kind of shrimp curry i suppose) than the typical ominvore meal. but i absolutly cannot stand the morality-from-purity disposition. i want to be around left-wing types to get away from that kind of thing, not see it morph from sex-and-cannabis into tobacco-and-meat. and i'm more likely to have food with someone than sex (though the coercion isn't as bad overall).


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06- 7-09 9:06 PM
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