What is a friend?

One of my buddies just got riffed from his company. I know he’ll be fine. He’s one of those kind of people that just make things work. He’s good with people, and knows how all the parts fit together within a big company. More importantly, he’s good people. You can tell he’s got a big heart.

It got me to thinking about the layers and components of friendship. I might have passed 100k people, met 10k, have 1k as friendly acquaintances. How many people are your active friends, vs inactive friends? What level of friendship and trust do you have with them? Some people just shine, or we feel an attachment towards. Where do celebrities fit in here?

Then you get into the obligation factors. Some, you know want or need help all the time. There’s a distance there, because it’s a hassle. Others, you would help out any time because you know it’s just simple, convenient stuff, or the scales will always balance out. Others, you know would never ask for anything, so if they actually needed something, it would be major, and you’d step right up and help.

Then the time factor. This varies by people, both sides, but sometimes, you want to spend time with people, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it’s to *do* something, and sometimes, it’s to do nothing. Maybe a movie, or video games, or sports, or drinks and cards. Or maybe it’s just being in proximity of someone who’s easy to hang around. One person reads, another person works, another person naps.

And then, Family comes into play. Blood relation is one type of family, but then there’s “non-people”, or chosen family, as well.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with this. Just, caffeine, plus recent events got me thinking. By will alone I set my mind in motion.

Orbital Mechanics and Friends

I had a dream that I was on a space station, and our old van was a shuttle. An escape pod failed as we were leaving the station, and my dream went into orbital mechanics ala Kerbal Space Program. On waking, I pondered orbital mechanics, and realized it’s just like people.
Community is like orbital space. Each person is a satellite. Your interests, drives, life and death all define your orbit. Your location is the barycenter of your orbit, the focus of your ellipse.
Along your path, you will pass near other satellites, people. If your orbits are not close, it may be a single encounter. Maybe your orbit lines up repeatedly. Maybe not. Communication tech is better mowadays, and you can talk to someone orbiting Jupiter with a little lag.
But, you only have so much fuel (drive) to change your orbit. And if you aim for someone not on on a very similar path, you almost certainly guarantee that your paths will diverge more widely.
Unless you grab on and become one peice in a new, combined orbit, a risky maneuver. Instead, it’s less disruptive to adjust your orbit on each pass. Move your center when you can, and look for other satellites near you.  
Which satellites seem familiar. Is there a shared mission or purpose. Can you benefit? Are they from a friendly nation, or do you need to be on guard? If they are new and suddenly there, are they a risk for knocking you out of your planned orbit, or dragging you down the gravity well? If you join up, they be too big of a mass or too tightly coupled for you to change your orbit later? Or are they a whole new anchor in space to orbit freely, yet still taking you for a ride?
The best are when you orbit the others who orbit you, or you share closely overlapping orbits. If inclination matches, you meet more often than every orbit.
I have lots of acquaintances in unmatched orbits. *waves*
I have several friends in harmonic matched orbits. Hi Hi Hi Hi Good to see you again.
I have a few people that I try to keep my orbit matched with. I definitely have my own mass and velocity that makes this difficult sometimes, but I appreciate those on similar missions burning their limited fuel to help us stay in sync.

Kids, Family, Life rambles

The question I ask myself pretty often, obviously not as much in the heat of the moment, but in post-reflection, is “What is best for my kids.” This does not mean “What is best for my wishes for my kids.”

There are all sorts of things I want for my kids, and things I want them to do, or want them to want to do. But that does not really matter.

What do my kids want? How will this affect them in 20 years? Does this have any effect on their future ability to be self sufficient and happy? Did I do anything like this as a kid that I can compare? If they are making a mistake, will it harm them? If I make a mistake in judgement, will it hinder them?

Sometimes, I have to be a little more on alert. Maybe some activity seems risky, yet I cannot properly justify preventing that action. Sometimes, the prevention is unenforceable, or enforcement would take huge resources. In those situations, there are frequent discussions of my concerns, their decision factors, and how they’re doing.

Sometimes, it’s just nothing. They were curious, but after discussion, they realize it’s not worth the effort or risk. Other times, they have to continue forward until they tire of the experience. As long as it’s not something that is unrecoverable (risk of death or incarceration), I feel it still needs to be their decision.

How can they learn to make good decisions if they are not allowed to make them? Seeing decisions taken apart and discussed, and making decisions, are how people learn. If I decide for them, and tell them how it will be, they learn no thinking skills – only memorization.

This ramble came about because I have several sets of friends with kids who have divorced. Some of them have maintained a child-focused mentality. They have been polite, and respectful, even to the point of being friendly. Maybe they don’t hang out all the time like when they were together, but they discuss life beyond “here is the school schedule”, and are willing to help each-other be happy because that helps their kids see happiness as an example.

However, some of the couples are constantly at odds. There is distrust, lack of communication (I plan to do this because I am concerned about this), and lack of coordination and agreement in what needs to happen. Maybe kids are excluded from activity with one parent. Maybe discussions occur with the kids that push their judgement of the other parent onto the kids. Some parents have rights with their kids curtailed because of health or income disparity when it really does not matter. These too teach the kids how to behave. They learn to be manipulative, exclusive, and not how to have a partner in life.

It’s not sad to me the sheer number of divorced parents I know, but it is disappointing in how many are so self-important that they do not even see how their actions are affecting their kids.

It takes a village to rear a child, and that village, when at all possible, should include both biological parents as long as they both love the kid. All parts of the family should be on speaking terms, and step-parents or equivalents have to understand that while they have input, and duties, the bio-parents get to set the rules. Persuade them with logic, but not force/guilt/manipulation.

Everyone must be prepared to compromise their own goals as much as possible. If the gap is still just too great, then someone is not putting their child first, most likely all of the parents.

This is especially important as kids get into their mid-teens, because they will be smarter, more driven, and more manipulative to get what they want. It is very easy for a parent to fall into this trap, or even to use the child’s mindset to self-reinforce. “I want this, and the kid wants it, so it must be right.” is not a valid statement.

Anyway, super rambly. This is about an amalgamation of a whole bunch of people who are having both good and bad times with this whole family thing.

I have no solution. Emotions, both surface and deep-seated ones, are what control us. We rationalize, and explain it all, but our animal brains are what control us most of the time. Sometimes, fixing issues means having a discussion with the part of our minds which feels. Maybe we strike up an agreement. Maybe we don’t.

It’s really difficult, as evidenced by people who stay overweight for decades (MEEEE!), or people who struggle with substance abuse for years, or people who struggle with depression for years. Emotions, affect, feelings, etc rule. You cannot command them in words and rational thought. You can only speak to them in feelings. You can re-train them in what you want to feel.

Maybe if we lived for 200 years, we could sort out all of our internal demons. Until then, whether you are having a good time, or a bad time, I hope all things improve. Keep trying to be better. Review what seems important, and whether you’re on the right track. Be compassionate. When you mess up, and it will happen a whole bunch, do not punish yourself or others. Just try to be better. What can you do to trick yourself into being better. How can you set yourself up so that when you fail, you still succeed?

ramble ramble ramble.

If you got to this part, and read everything in the middle, I’m impressed. This was just stream of thought. Actually, I might be worried for your sanity. Take a break. You’ve earned it.

Waking up dream

So lame.  Detailed..  Wasting time making some art pieces with a friend, and got paid half of $1500 in food stamps and gift certs. Was behind a bar for a shady group.  Talking to a friend after while waiting for my wife and kids to pick me up on our way out of town.  My friend had a million dollars hidden in a black bear hidden in a tree.  She could not invest it, because the  she would need a white bear.   Other stuff too, but it’s faded.


I coordinated with Karl and someone named Connor to ride bikes to school together.  We go all sorts of ways and get there.  

I could not work out using anyone’s chain, and did like Karl and just took my front wheel.  Then, I hid my bike under a wooden platform, and worried.

Then, as everyone filtered inside, I realized it was not my school.  How would I coordinate classwork?  Surely there must be a way, but the bell rang.  There is no time for any coordination.

But wait.  I’m not in school anymore.  I step inside, and time accelerates.  Everyone is congregating inside to leave.

I ask Karl why he’s even there, and it’s for the girls.  This seems to be HS and university mixed.  While the implication is not gross / underage, it’s still early 20s not comfortable to me.  

In the dream, there were not really any females.  There were a few guys, and then non-descript students.

Someone asks, and I explain why I wasn’t in class… “I’ll be 40 in October, I’m not in school anymore.”  

Karl tells the others,  “you guys don’t want to know how old I am.”

I ask quietly, “you’ll be 49 this year, right?”

He non-verbally affirms, not really wanting to accept it.

I find Connor’s Engi game pack, but am having a hard time getting his attention to give it to him.

The dream fades into beeps, as the 6:30am iPhone Radar sound goes off…

2014-08-09 DFW Ride Leaderless #2

SUMMARY: Becky borrowed Theresa’s spare helmet due to forgetting hers. Three of us were late. Karl met everyone on Ripy. Ben and I missed both the start and the late-roll times. Ben dropped after 18 miles of catch-up speed. The group lagged where possible, and despite me missing a turn, I joined the group at the Airfield DR bus-stop.

Ref: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203467275935868

Steve helped with routing/navigating because I had no real clue. We dropped Becky off at Corporate and FM2499. We met Mark’s group at the end of Enzo’s, and refilled fluids/foods.

Ref: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154430050355627

At Briarhill and FM407, I got a flat. Rather than hold everyone up EVEN MORE, I suggested they roll on. I was only a mile from home anyway. As they rolled, I found out they were going to TCBY, but I still headed home anyway. I was totally beat.

My split averages don’t seem that fast, but I had a lot of high speed during the chase. Also, the heat was really kicking my butt. Hard to keep enough salt. I was dizzy at the bus stop, and even after a pause, I never really caught a second wind.

I learned that if I offer a suggested route, that makes me the de-facto route master. I’m *not* a good navigator, mostly because I just don’t have the miles to have all of these places memorized.

52.5mi Distance
3:31:37 Moving Time
1,686ft Elevation (?)
225 Extreme Suffer Score
200W Weighted Avg Power
2,109kJ Total Work
237 Training Load
77% Intensity
Personal Records
City Trail Briarhill to 2499 (#13) – 2:31 – 20.2m/h (29.5 max) – 279W (max 674)
Grapevine Dam “DAMN” (#514) – 7:17 – 17.4m/h (27.5m/h max) – 247W ***
Dam South (#479) – 8:56 – 17.7m/h (27.5 max), 255W (774 max) ***
Texan Train Sprint to Shell Station (#203) – 16.2m/h (19.7 max) – 139W (429 max) ***
West DFW sprint (#294) – 19.3m/h (25.5 max) – 183W (607 max) ###
161 FR – Beltline to railroad overpass (#93) – 32.5m/h (38.5 max) – 175W (1082 max) $$$
*** I delayed on these for following rider(s)
### I was depleted here and having trouble
$$$ Karl got over 40mph here. Impressive!

Another interesting record, my 3rd best on this segment, “161 Toll Booth Sprint”. I averaged 25.2, peaked at 38mph, but I averaged 30 watts. Can we say downhill? :) This was only #168. #1 is 38.9mph. My current cassette stops at 12T on 50T front. My 9-speed is now 11T on 53T, but no power meter. We’ll see what I do there, but probably I’ll move my PM cranks over to the 9-speed until I can convert it to 10-speed.

Distance: 52.46 mi
Time: 3:28:01
Avg Speed: 15.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,686 ft
Calories: 3,182 C
Avg Temperature: 97.8 °F
Time: 3:28:01
Moving Time: 3:26:39
Elapsed Time: 5:09:19
Avg Speed: 15.1 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 15.2 mph
Max Speed: 38.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,686 ft
Elevation Loss: 1,713 ft
Min Elevation: 431 ft
Max Elevation: 617 ft
Heart Rate
Avg HR: 154 bpm
Max HR: 182 bpm
Zones% of Maxbpm
Avg Power: 173 W
Max Power: 1,082 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 233 W
Normalized Power (NP): 227 W
Intensity Factor (IF): 0.875
Training Stress Score (TSS): 263.7
FTP Setting: 259 W
Work: 2,144 kJ
Avg Bike Cadence: 79 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 116 rpm
Avg Temperature: 97.8 °F
Min Temperature: 86.0 °F
Max Temperature: 111.2 °F
Temperature: 82°
Feels like: 86°
Wind: 9 mph SSW
Humidity: 66%

2014-08-02 Twisted Alliance Ride

Today’s ride was planned to be 70 miles.  Riders included Mike, Steve & Theresa, Jim and Kathy, Becky, Karl, Glenn, Amanda and me.  From Highland Village, we took Old Justin instead of Crawford Ranch, and ended up 15 mins and 5 miles behind schedule.  From Robson Ranch, we shimmied over to FM165 and took it down behind Alliance Airport, across to old-town Roanoke, with Lunch at Twisted Root.

Group Picture:

Bikes Leaning on Bikes:

Glenn was cramping up, so he sagged back with 50 miles logged.  The rest of us For the ride back, we took 377 instead of Dove/Grapevine for a faster return. Maladies for riders included a couple dropped chains, 1 slow tire leak, some leg cramps, and two people with lower GI issues.  BUT, no one needed new shorts, and everyone survived.

ps, The weather was very nice. It did warm up, but we had lots of cool breeze throughout the morning.

It was a pretty good ride, even if Sharon wasn’t with us. (See photoshopped evidence below!)

69.2mi Distance
4:32:26 Moving Time
2,635ft Elevation (?)
141 Tough Suffer Score
20 Points in the Red

201W Weighted Avg Power
2,638kJ Total Work
303 Training Load
78% Intensity

Heart Rate Analysis
Z1 Endurance < 106 20:30 8% Z2 Moderate 106 - 141 2:57:42 65% Z3 Tempo 141 - 158 1:02:16 23% Z4 Threshold 158 - 175 11:53 4% Z5 Anaerobic > 175 5s 0%

Power Zone Distribution
Z1 Active Recovery 1 - 142 W 2:01:20 45%
Z2 Endurance 143 - 194 W 45:33 17%
Z3 Tempo 195 - 233 W 29:22 11%
Z4 Threshold 234 - 271 W 23:50 9%
Z5 VO2Max 272 - 310 W 17:19 6%
Z6 Anaerobic 311 - 388 W 17:23 6%
Z7 Neuromuscular 389+ W 16:28 6%

Distance: 69.20 mi
Time: 4:30:45
Avg Speed: 15.3 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,635 ft
Calories: 2,984 C
Avg Temperature: 89.8 °F

Time: 4:30:45
Moving Time: 4:29:55
Elapsed Time: 6:21:50
Avg Speed: 15.3 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 15.4 mph
Max Speed: 33.2 mph

Elevation Gain: 2,635 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,621 ft
Min Elevation: 385 ft
Max Elevation: 698 ft

Avg HR: 130 bpm
Max HR: 176 bpm

Avg Power: 167 W
Max Power: 1,054 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 209 W
Normalized Power (NP): 227 W
Intensity Factor (IF): 0.878
Training Stress Score (TSS): 345.7
FTP Setting: 259 W
Work: 2,703 kJ

Avg Bike Cadence: 76 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 116 rpm

Avg Temperature: 89.8 °F
Min Temperature: 75.2 °F
Max Temperature: 102.2 °F
KDFW Temperature: 73°
Feels like: 73°
Wind: 7 mph NNE
Humidity: 83%


Rough Day

I think I like riding bikes most because there are no customer demands when I’m riding my bike. No taking calls in the middle of the road. Just me, some friends, a beautiful machine, and personal challenge.

At least for a few hours, I can pretend everything is awesome.

2014-06-14 Twisted Ride

Rode to Twisted Root with Sharon Haney, Amanda Taylor, Kathy and Jim Burmeister, Desiree Lua, Nadia Morales, Josh Davis (me), and Carol & Boyd. 30 miles into the wind, 20 miles back. Lunch in the middle. The ladies got a booty photo in front of the “Get your buns in here” sign. Got a photo of a nasty looking wound on Desiree’s leg that has been growing for 3 weeks. Maybe a spider bite. Lots of suggestions to see a doctor. Nadia was moving kind of slow but really wanted to complete the ride. Charles swept in the car. Some people picked up some farmer’s market goods in Roanoke, and that also went with Charles. Kind of sad that Desiree’s moving to Germany for work, but I bet she’ll have a good time. She spoke German as her second language from age 4-16, so should be able to pick it back up. Had a good time talking with Amanda, a new addition to the group, and one of the workers at Cadence.

Watts are off, because wind + Strava. Will be fixed in a few weeks.

Distance: 51.53 mi
Calories: 2,656 C

Time: 3:14:43
Moving Time: 3:13:48
Elapsed Time: 5:23:22

Avg Speed: 15.9 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 16.0 mph
Max Speed: 34.1 mph

Elevation Gain: 2,165 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,119 ft
Min Elevation: 531 ft
Max Elevation: 725 ft

Avg HR: 144 bpm 80%
Max HR: 178 bpm 98%

Avg Power: 258 W
Max Power: 1,300 W
Max Avg Power (20 min): 304 W

Avg Bike Cadence: 79 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 128 rpm

Avg Temperature: 78.6 °F
Min Temperature: 68.8 °F
Max Temperature: 92.2 °F


2014-04-17 New China

This was just a quick ride on the Nashbar CX I built last year to see if being more upright would have as much effect on my back.

No edits. I’m tired and lazy. Temps are 10F high, and power isn’t calculated.

Distance: 4.04 mi
Time: 22:26
Avg Speed: 10.8 mph
Elevation Gain: 167 ft
Calories: 206 C
Avg Temperature: 72.6 °F
Time: 22:26
Moving Time: 22:15
Elapsed Time: 1:23:24
Avg Speed: 10.8 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 10.9 mph
Max Speed: 24.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 167 ft
Elevation Loss: 164 ft
Min Elevation: 565 ft
Max Elevation: 612 ft
Heart Rate
Avg HR: 124 bpm
Max HR: 164 bpm
Zones% of Maxbpm
Avg Bike Cadence: 69 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 92 rpm
Avg Temperature: 72.6 °F
Min Temperature: 66.2 °F
Max Temperature: 84.2 °F