Stephen Thrasher, Comet Smasher

Parting shot

Thursday, November 30, 2006 by Stephen

Two nights ago, I was bitten by an ant between my fingers while I was sleeping. Quite painful. The bite developed into a pustule, and if anyone wants a picture, I'd be happy to help. My mattress sits directly on the floor, and this is not my first ant bite while sleeping. However, I hope this is that last of the ant battle as the weather turns cold. Texas fire ants are nasty.

As the weather has cooled, I've used my apartment air conditioner less. When I got home yesterday, my living room smelled a little damp, so I pulled out a Glade Plug-in refill. The scent is "Clean Linen", a new one for me, but it actually smells like Flintstones vitamins.

A cold front comes in today, and some rain should come with it. Usually I ride my bicycle in the rain, but I took it in to get a spoke fixed and get a tune-up.
Do I ride the motorcycle, risking rain with no rain jacket, and having to come home before dark, or do I walk? I'll take the motorcycle.


My life and hard times

Monday, November 27, 2006 by Stephen

I went to the gym after work today. I didn't feel like going because it was dark and raining and I was on a bicycle, but I have more energy now that I went. Ever since my thesis, I haven't been going to the gym, though I went for a solid year before that. The marathon did a number on my knees in April, which started the end of my gym-going.

I saw an article a month ago saying that cherry juice decreases soreness from muscle-damaging activities like going to the gym. So I picked up some unsweetened, organic cherry juice, the only kind available, despite expense, and then I didn't go to the gym but once for three weeks (MA motorcycle permit = home before dark). I was saving it for when I did go back, but I discovered that granola and cherry juice is a rather good combination one day when I ran out of milk, so it's almost gone now.

The woman behind me at lunch today looked at my bill and exclaimed that $7.50 was too much for lunch. Then she got a cappuccino from the Starbucks stand. My rationale for not bringing lunch: coworkers don't do it, and I want to eat with them when they go out; I save money from other ways, like not having a car (not as true anymore, with the motorcycle); I don't get to store that often to buy food (no car). I'm sure I could overcome these, but I've become so accustomed to the ease of eating out.

When my neighbor turns his mindless bass-heavy music up so that I can't think, should I pound on his wall or go and ask him to stop? Positive side: I now know the chords to "The Reason is You" by Hoobastank.

I spent Thanksgiving in Florida with grandparents, dad, younger bro, older bro and fam, Rachel, and Aunt Debbie the paramedic/deputy. It was the first time I saw the grandparents' yard since hurricane Ivan, and it was pretty barren. It was also the first time I had the privilege to be around kids for an extended period of time, and I don't know if I'm patient enough for it. When it was obvious that I had trouble with the constant testing of everyone's patience, my relatives shared horror stories about my early days.

The Thanksgiving flights had filled up early, and the remaining ones were expensive, so I hitched a ride back to Houston with my boss. The hotel was cheaper than the return ticket, especially considering Thanksgiving prices. We're both taking an astrodynamics class, and we worked on homework during the ride. The final project is to find a four-burn orbit to tour the four outer planets (which doesn't include Pluto).

My license with motorcycle endorsement is on its way to my Massachusetts address. When I get it, I can ride at night. Then, to solve the grocery problem, I could make a motorcycle trunk out of a Rubbermaid container.