Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Well yesterday was the big day. Samantha went off to Kindergarten. She seemed pretty well unfazed by the whole thing, though I was freaking out. You just can't help but worried about your kids when they take steps like this. You just want them to always be safe and happy and unstressed. I think she had a real good day but you could tell when we picked her up that it had been a long day full of new things. A bit overwhelming perhaps. It just breaks my heart knowing that she's growing up so quickly. Maybe one more kid? I don't know. I just don't know.

Actually did some biking this weekend. Took the Retrotec over to China Camp in San Rafael and was reminded once again about how much I love mountain biking. If I had any sense I'd make more of an effort to ride more. But there always seems to be something in the way or something that I allow to get in my way. It's funny because mountain biking is how my wife and I met but now it's so hard to ride together, but as Samantha gets bigger hopefully that will change. Maybe Sam will be into biking and come with. Who knows.

The DFL cross races start this evening. Probably one of the most casual and most fun race series that was ever put on. $5 to enter but free if you wear a dress (hence its pun on cross-race). I always try to make a cyclocross race or two during the fall, they're fun, great work out and usually (usually) a bit more relaxed than the ultra weeny summer race season. Sometimes I miss the days of the Nor Cal Single Speed race series. There were some amazing riders in those races (I can recall such pros as Daryll Price and Travis Brown coming out to race) and a great core group of men and women who were competitive but loved the camaraderie more than the competition, that loved a hard race but loved the beer and BBQ afterward just as much. Those were the silly days of my youth when I would happily ride a 45mile race on my single speed, smoke just about everyone riding geared bikes and then party into the night. But now I'm fighting a gut and spending what seems like a lifetime each day behind a computer monitor. I think I'm whining. I better shut up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sometimes you've just got to let injuries heal properly. I, however, am very bad at doing this. About 2 weeks ago I mildly separated my shoulder playing basketball. It wasn't that bad, really. I felt it come out a bit (maybe the muscle was torn) and I kind of shrugged my shoulder and fell back into place. But clearly I had done some ligature and/or muscular damage. I've been trying to be really good about just staying off it but I've tried to play hoops once in the last 2 weeks and probably will again tonight. It's just certain positions that give me some discomfort. I just have such a hard time being sedentary. It makes me crazy and grumpy. I should just ride my bike more when I can't play hoops, but. It's not so much the near term I worry about with these injuries it 's the long term. Will I one day pay for all these sprained ankles and jammed fingers with an atrociously arthritic limp and fingers that look like they have marbles for joints? Probably. But the die has been cast already so what are you gonna do. I should probably take up yoga or something else that encourages stretching and the general limberness of the body but really that's about as likely as me becoming a pastry chef.

Nice to see old W eating some crow on the whole "Swift Boat veterans for truth" deal. It just seems impossible to me that W could win again. But then I remember that I live in the bay area and it's not the bookends of the country that we worry about it's the middle. I read an interesting book review yesterday talking essentially about what a good job the right has done with creating wedge issues that portray the democrats as woefully out of step with the rest of the country. Not talking about economic issues here but culturla ones: abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc. The sad truth is that in places like Kansas the right has essentially plundered that state with their economic policies, family farms have been destroyed, employment is terrible, industry deregulation has polluted the state, urban centers have been abandoned. You'd think people would be pissed about this, but instead the right has successfully kept people voting for them by making them believe strongly in the wedge issues and not giving much thought to the economic policies that come along with electing the right. Interesting stuff.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I like this letter to the editor very much click here

Monday, August 23, 2004

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that I think I found another music writing gig. There's a website called Junk Media that publishes alot of short reviews and feature type articles about bands and they've asked my to review the new record by a band called The Faint and interview them. I'll have to interview them on the phone, I hope they're not a bunch of wise ass kids or I'll have to kick someone's ass. We'll see how it goes.
I often feel like I have to apologize when it's been so long since I last posted. Though I don't really know who I'm apologizing to. It's not like there are thousands of hungry fans patiently waiting for the next word the drips out my head. I've been hard at work the past week creating a new rate structure for the company. We're raising rates with an Oct. 1 start date but we're also changing the zone structure. We traditionally have had SF divided into 5 zones with a rate that corresponds to each zone. We're changing that zone structure to 6 zones, changing the sizes of some the zones, etc. The tricky thing about all this is that the computer system looks into a complex database of street names and addresses to compute the price for a delivery. In changing the zones we have to go in and change the basic premise on which the computer makes its calculation. Let's say the computer formerly recognized that the 400 block of Fillmore was in zone 3 and therefore meant the price of a bike delivery was X dollars. Now we've got to adjust the database so that the computer knows that the segment of fillmore st that is 400 is now in zone 4 and now must price at X dollars. All this nonsense is based on a series of about 60 geographic zones from which the pricing zones are derived. If you want to change the prices you have to carve the geo zones to fit your pricing zones and this involves dumping everything into Excel and making many small (sometimes large) often tedious adjustments to these zones. That's what I've been doing for the last week. Boring.

Went camping this week in the sierras. Specifically a section of the Stanislaus National Forest. Beautiful country just north of a little town called Arnold. A very chilly river ran close to the campsite which was quite refreshing given the 90degree weather. There was a rope swing and lots of good people and too much beer. Samantha even went swimming in the river so you know it wasn't too cold. I've got a great little video of my wife going off a rope swing into the river that I'll try to post a link to as soon as I get it off the camera. Good stuff. We didn't take our bikes which is too bad because there was lots of really good remote riding out there. Next time for sure. It had been a while since I last camped, I like my luxuries (like a nice place where I can crap) so I've never been completely sold on the whole camping idea, and had forgotten how dirty you get. Despite swimming in the river it seemed near impossible to keep Samantha from looking like a 1920's applachian child of coal mining parents who were waiting for the arrival of electricity and indoor plumbing. But that's part of camping and why I can't go for longer than 2 1/2 days at a time. Unless of course you camp like my wife's parents who haul a studio apartment with all the conveniences behind their truck.

In news of my Golden State Warriors it looks like they've finally found a decent sign and trade deal for Eric Dampier. We'll ship him off to Dallas and get a couple of draft picks and players in return. It's a great deal for the Warriors. In the past the Warriors would've let Dampier go for small soda and a bag of chips and then thanked the team we were trading with by allowing them to kick us in the nuts twice. This is much better. I've got hope for this year, could the 10 year playoff drought end?? Hmmm, could be....

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

In absolutely brilliant news I have learned that my good friend, vice presidential running mate, hardy soul and all around good egg Mike Fitzgerald has been blessed with his first child. It's a boy named Owen, which confirms my long held belief that Mike was joking when he told me that he would name his male child Phineas. It's a relief, I'm sure, to little Owen if no one else. Who would've thought that years ago when Mike and I would sit in the Palace smoking pot and writing crude jokes on our walls in black magic marker that we would eventually turn out to be responsible parents. I think we both would've shat ourselves laughing if someone had tried to convince us.

Work is settling down a bit. It's strange not having Lance around. He was a good guy, though I don't miss the Grateful Dead and Steve Kimok music. We're getting ready to raise our rates for the first time in 4 years. It seems crazy that it's been that long since we adjusted our pricing. I bet there isn't a retail establishment in the US that hasn't changed their pricing during that time. So we're due. However it doesn't take the edge off thinking about how clients will react. I'm fairly certain that we'll lose a small portion of our clientele in raising our rates. It's inevitable. I'm also confident that we'll be able to get new customers at the new rates to replace those who fall by the wayside. It's still stressful. I'm sure we'll be hearing from our largest and most valuable clients. Hopefully they'll be placated.

In other competely random news I absolutely love my new bike. The Retrotec rocks!! I put a new Marzocchi shock on it and went for a great group ride this Sunday. Fun, fun, fun, It had been a while since I rode with friends. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it. I laughed hard enough to fall of my bike a few times. My friend Dominc was riding a cross bike which had a rack on the back. I insisted (in lew of making fun of him for the entire ride) that he carry a log on his rack. He found a suitable downed tree, strapped it on and actually did the entire ride with the thing on his bike. Very impressive and hilarious if you're riding behind him. Good stuff.

I'm really disappointed in the US men's basketball team. I'm not disappointed in the players. They are without a doubt playing as hard as they can and doing everything within their abilities to win. However the composition of the team as selected by USA basketball is terrible. I know that many top flight players didn't want to play in the Olympics because of health or security reasons. However this doesn't excuse the players selected. Let's face it USA Basketball is a marketing arm of the NBA. It has little to do with fielding a proper team comprised of players that would play well togehter and bring a skill set to the court that would best enable the team to win. The current team has no true shooters. There's no one that can consistently knock down a 3 pointer or even an 18 footer. We're currently a team of athletes that are used to making swooping drives to the basket, dunking and generally flying over everyone. This doesn't work in international basketball. In I-ball you're allowed to clog the lane, campout, throw elbows, generally create a human wall in the middle. That prevents the US players from doing what they do best and forces them to do what they're worst at: shoot the ball from the outside. I think this USA team will be hard pressed to medal in these olympics. I'll be rooting for them the entire time but this year could be the wake up call to USA Basketball that they need to field a team with chemistry and balance, not a team made up of the NBA's next wave of stars.

Friday, August 06, 2004

At last a moment to blog. It's been a while. Things have been hectic at work what with firing people and trying to save us from financial ruin and all. I think all will be well. It will take some time but by the end of this year if not earlier things will be back on track. We're well on the way to raising our rates which takes a bit of doing because everyone and their mother has something to say about it and how it should be done. But in the end the owners will decide the best way to increase prices. This will help our cash flow a bit but it does translate into a higher workers comp premium so it's most likely offset a bit, but it will increase the pay of the employees and that should offset our asking them to pay all their health and dental premium. Hopefull it'll all work out. Now we just need to come up with a marketing scheme. I hate sales absolutely hate it. I'm not cut of the salesman cloth. But I've decided that I'm committed to this business for a while longer so I'm going to put the game face on and go do it. My other options were selling my share or just walking, which actually was inticing since the stress was making me crazy and had serious repercussions on quality of life.

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