back from a great weekend in crested butte, co. sitting at my desk, staring at the work i should be doing, and opting to post to this blog instead.
c.b. was unbelievable... i got to do the type of riding i've always imagined colorado to be known best for: winding single-track through aspen forests and alpine meadows, screaming descents and seemingly never-ending climbs. visions of the maroon bells mountains and elk mountains surrounded us in dizzying panoramas from sunrise to sunset. alpine meadows of black-eyed susans and fireweed added some warmth to the saturated palate of verdant green and sky blue... such a contrast from the adobe and ochre tones of the front-range. about 80 miles on trails and dirt-roads in 72 hours.
after a weekend like that, tuesday feels like monday, and i know that this week is going to go by very fast. chris and i are moving to the new house next monday which is going to be a hassle. i have a lot of work to get done before the start of the new semester, and i have the impression that is going to start a lot sooner than i'd like.
anyway, back to work now. more posts when i get some pics. random fact: since i started tracking visits to this site some months ago, activethrust has received more than 2300 views from hundreds of people on five continents. thanks all!
i'm heading off early tomorrow morning to go mountain biking and camping this weekend with some other folks from boulder... for epic rides, good times, and hopefully some hi-jinx in crested butte.
my bike is runnin' smooth, i've got a spare helmet, my gear is already in the car and i predict a somewhat sleepless night due to the anticipation of it all. it's been ages since i actually pitched my tent to camp somewhere... it's about time i broke it out and made use of it. i haven't even really been out to explore the rockies to any respectable degree yet either, so it's high time i went on an adventure like this. yes, i'm bringing cameras (3) so hopefully there will be decent pics upon my return.
it's also the first time i will have driven my car on a trip of more than a hundred miles... i don't foresee any problems, but fingers crossed! full report when i get back.
this is freaking cool. "Valence" (and i only capitalize it because it is a proprietary name in this case) is a fascinating tool for visualizing vast quantities of data and the organization of relationships within data. think space-age 3d visualization that is self-organizing, self-optimizing, and dynamic. i highly recommend a tour of ben fry's website... he (as the system's creator) has a much better and more detailed explanation of how this works, as well as a 'real-time' example of this thing in motion. i immediately started thinking about how this could be applied to visualizing spatial or temporal relations in earth-processes in order to assess potential hazard or interesting trends in tectonic organization. death to spread-sheets and data-bases!
today finds me grinding out vectors on cross-sections. most likely, this has already been done, but the work is tightly locked away somewhere in the chinese petroleum corporations fire-walled computers in miaoli, taiwan. and so, i get to do it all over again. below is a pic of my work space... this is the most organized it's been in weeks (the pic is taken with my new camera-phone!). it's scorching hot outside, which makes working in my air-conditioned office a bit of a blessing. i even came into work on sunday, just to escape the record highs.
unexpectedly, my abdominals are sore today from doing repeated back-flips off an embankment on boulder creek yesterday. i left work a bit early to go swim in the creek and cool off a little. the embankment was really just a concrete wall, some 5-6 feet above the water, which pales a little in comparison to the slate waterfalls i'm used to jumping off of in upstate ny... but the water was cool and clear which is what really matters i guess. I had lots of fun either way!
it's hot! it's supposed to be 98 today. it was 93 yesterday. yesterday (and every wednesday) was (of course) short track mtb racing at the research park. since it was so bloody hot, and i wasn't feeling like giving myself heat-stroke, i opted to attack the course with my cameras and see if i couldn't improve upon my previous efforts.
below are a few shots, which are infinitely better than the last ones. the effect of speed is acheived by a panning shot at a 60th of a second at close range to the subject. basically i stood perilously close to racers as they carved through a tight turn and followed their arc with my camera as i released the shutter. enjoy!
ugh... still waiting to hear back from landlord about getting the new house. hopefully things will be tied up this evening, but who knows.
i've been really tired recently, not quite sure why. maybe it's just a lack of motivation because i have been extremely sloth-like recently. race this afternoon, but ti's supposed to be about 95 degrees, so i may just try shooting pictures again... i have no interest in giving myself a heat-stroke. as i'm writing this (at 11am) i'm planning on heading into the office, but first to the coffee shop for some much needed coffee.
in case you haven't seen these, check out the new adidas adicolor films. they are basically free-form studies on one of 7 colors (well 5, plus black and white), each one done by a different production crew or director. for the last couple of years, adidas has been pushing the involvement of independent film in their advertising (which is awesome).
in this case, the adicolor shorts are very different from one another, ranging from whimsical cartoons to suicidal noir. below is a screen-shot of 'pink', which has been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere.. if you go the the page, you can access the other shorts by clicking on the colors to the left.
ah... i finally got my film developed from the short track races. unfortunately, the combination of high-grain film, overcast skies and no polarizing filter gave me some lackluster pics. below i've posted the few i tried to save. again, short track racing is the off-road version of a criterium race on the road, and the track often doubles back so that riders are passing very close to each other heading in opposite directions.
first, a short quote that says a lot about the positions of modern governments on 'fixing' today's problems:
"solving the problem of traffic by building more roads is like loosening your belt to solve the problem of obesity." (the suzuki foundation)
the title, "last week" is in reference to the fact that i've been meaning to post a lot of things recently, but just haven't gotten around to it. mid-summer-lull i guess, or more to the point, "mid-summer-lull-laziness". so... in the past week, i've had several friends come to visit. in fact, everyone came at once, so space was tight in our apartment to say the least. greg even spent one night sleeping on the porch. in a related (sort of) string of thought, chris and i have been seeking new shelter. we've found a couple of new grad students who were looking for basically the same things as us, which in a nutshell is a big, cool house with wood floors, a back yard, and hopefully (hopefully!!) a gas range. that last thing is nearly impossible to find in houses out here, at least ones that go for around two thousand a month. anyway, that search continues. i also took photos at last weeks short-track mtb race, and will be taking the rolls in to get developed today. oh yeah.. i finally got paid!! i haven't bought beer for quite a while... that's on my "to-do" list for this afternoon. hmmm... in other 'news', i'm in the process of building / restoring (it's more like gutting, but close enough) an old (mid-80's) steel lugged road bike. these are things you can pick up in dumpsters or yard-sales for around ten dollars. the ultimate goal will be a beautiful-in-its-simplicity single speed, fixed gear town-bike. "fixies" are great; the bike is essentially a track bike. a ride that's boiled down into a bicycle's most basic components: frame, wheels, chain, seat, handlebars. that's it! no brakes, no gears, no free-wheeling hubs, nothing to clutter the simple form of two wheeled transportation. i fully intend to put a "one less car" sticker on the frame... i've found myself resenting my car more and more in recent months; it uses gas, creates carbon-monoxide, it's a pain to park, it's basically one more THING that demands my attention and money. don't get me wrong... i love my audi. i like the sound of the 2.8 liter v6 as it approaches six thousand rpm when i accelerate, i like the heated leather seats and i like the fact that i can drive it when looking at new houses, where the symbolism of driving a nice car immediately imparts a certain aire of financial responsibility, hopefully improving the home-owner's view of me as a desirable tennant. that may be total bs though... who knows.