Columbus Day

Vacation. Used to be able to work it (and other holidays like MLK Day, President’s Day, Veteran’s Day), but, this, year, finally, I have to take the vacation on the day, and can’t defer it to another day.


Got up and out at the usual time–just before seven–and went to Nina’s. Had an asparagus and cheese and egg burrito. Quite good. And took my laptop to check out their wireless. Worked great. I synchronized my Palm and the laptop and posted about three posts. Didn’t write anything, though.
Then it was off to my physical therapy appointment. More discussion of proper body mechanics. (I was just slouching forward. Sat up straighter.)
After that, I went to the (relatively) nearby Mills Fleet Farm for some retail therapy. I got four pairs of pants–two jeans and two Dockers. Now I can wear jeans on Fridays. I also fit into 32-inch inseam pants, which goes along with the discussion with the physical therapist about dehydrated disks. I am probably an inch shorter than I once was. Funny that should affect the inseam, though. But maybe it is the lowest lumbar that is affected?
Next was to be a bike ride, but I realized that there were several things wrong with my bike that I wanted the bike shop to look at. The creaking handlebars, the pedal slipping, the squeaky brakes. I left it there for “an hour.” Walked home. Hopped on the lore Nevada, and went over to St. Thomas, hoping to get my computer ID, student ID card, and parking permit worked out. What I eventually found out after about an hour and a half on campus–I wasn’t registered. I ended up talking to this guy Douglas from the technology graduate program and I think that things are back on track.
Back to the bike shop. My bike now has had its 90-day checkup. The handlebars don’t creak, the pedal doesn’t skip, and the brakes don’t squeak. I am at Dunn Brothers by the Lake Street Bridge after having done Manchaca Creek to Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and the Greenway.
At Hiawatha, I got into a group with a young man and young woman on bikes. We crossed the Seward neighborhood together, going east on 26th. High schools students, I think. The young woman was a full featured, rounded-out Irish sort. Strong, I had trouble passing her. Especially note worthy since she was riding a 30 to 40 year-old single speed, kick stand half hanging down and click with every revolution of the left pedal, and loose fenders and a back rack that rattled so badly every time she went over a bump that it sounded like something really bad just happened. And here.
Yesterday, I ended up talking to Norm Coleman for quite awhile at the Grandview Grill. I don’t know–maybe he was tired of the stem cell guy that he was having breakfast with. I started out by showing him the front page of the Sunday New York Times–the top two thirds was a picture and article about a threat on the New York subway; the right third was avian flu pandemic. I said something like see these two things–the terrorist thing is not nearly as important as the threat of the flu pandemic, that my fear is that resources going to the terrorism thing means that resources and focus are diverted from the disease threat. His response was that both are important, that it’s not a zero sum game; one doesn’t necessarily take away from the other. I brought up New Orleans, the Michael Moore, “Dear Mr. President, where are all our National Guard helicopters?” argument. His response to that was that Louisiana got lots of money from the federal government, but may do spend it wisely? Anyhow, we talked for quite awhile. I was definitely surprised.