I really really am having a hard time concentrating at work these days. So much random things on my mind. Like for instance:
- The shape of our country Woah there… this could be a hot button topic. Actually, I am not talking about the current state of politics at all. I am actually thinking about the shape of our states. The ACTUAL SHAPE. A few weeks ago NASA released what I consider to be a beautiful image. The folks at the Woods Hole Research Center, and others, used satellite imaging and ground surveys to create a map of forest biodensity (The National Biomass and Carbon Dataset). What I think is the most amazing is that they broke up the map into 66 distinct ecoregions. These ecoregions are generally created using natural features (mountains, rivers, etc.) as boundaries. The shapes are so much more organic than the shapes of our current states. Imagine if the country had been populated and broken up in a different way, and each of these ecoregions became a state. It would totally change our country, politics, regional economies, population centers… everything! It has consumed a lot of my mental space thinking of this.
- #fridaycoffeeclub I almost went today, but then woke up at 730 and realized that not only did I super-snooze my alarm, but my only bike right now is my fixed-gear beater that has 2 flats and a rusty chain. The LHT is at BicycleSpace right now getting some love. I’ll pick it up tonight.
- Glen Echo 106K Populaire I’m really nervous about this ride because not only is it the first DC Randonneurs ride that I am going to try, but also the course has more elevation gain than I am used to. I want to “do good” on this ride, plus a few other weekend training rides so that I have confidence to start (and finish) the March 17th 200K dubbed the “Wilderness Campaign”.
- Photography. I want to maybe take a class or two this year to get some skills and learn how to use my camera better. But I am also looking for a new one. Shopping for something you care about (camera, new bike, ???) can really suck you in and become an obsession. I have it narrowed down to 3 options. I may impulse shop tonight so I can have it for tomorrows ride.
- Job Things are good, things are bad. When you work as a consultant, you don’t always get to pick the type of work you have. I’ve just found out that I am going to be spending a lot of time in the next few months helping build a highway. Boo. Some potential good news may come from that, but I will wait and see before I say anything. At the same time, I was able to meet and talk with a major developer in Tysons Corner yesterday. I really dislike Tysons, it is a super auto-centric place with absolutely zero charm or character. But after listening to this person, and seeing plans, I realize that people are trying to do the right thing in making it a walkable/livable space. Of course, there are many different players, and all have different visions. But I do think that things will get better (over the next 10-15 years anyways).
- But do I always want to do this? Thats another one that keeps popping up in my head. Parts of me are pulling me towards learning how to become a: farmer, brewer, or bicycle frame builder. I think the concept of crafting something with care and passion is exciting. Certainly I can do all of those things at home, but then they are hobbies, which take up already precious free time. Why not do what you are passionate about for a living (this is not a pity story, I am often passionate about what I currently do).
- 2012 Goals! I succeeded in meeting 2 goals last week. Joining a gym (and the unstated goal of using it) and eating no cookies until Jan 25th. Why was that a goal? No specific reason, I like cookies, they are bad for me… so it was a willpower challenge. Next up is vegetarian for 2 months. I am amending this one for 2 reasons, a) I am trying to get myself to start a higher protein/lower carb diet compared to how I eat now, and b) it will be easier to succeed on that diet by allowing a limited (3-4 meals per week) amount of meat. Also, the gym is hard when you actually try (compared to my old routine of 2-3 easier weight machines followed by 45 min on a stationary bike) My muscles are sore!
So, there you go.