James Pearl Thinks Blogging is Dead

JDurk

Well-Known Member
There was some storms in the area late afternoon yesterday. Might want to check in with Henry's bike shop. They have a traffic light in the window for conditions.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
As I stand here waiting for the train at summit because I need to transfer because NJ Transit cancelled my direct train AGAIN and this commute (which I've been doing now for 12 years) is really wearing on me lately...

Do you ever get tired of the flying out to different places for work and spending so much time on a plane and away from your family?

On the one hand, you get to see different cities and try different coffee places and ride bikes on company time and all that... But on the other hand, if you're away for two days, that's basically 48 hours you're at work. Plus I can't imagine Newark airport is any better than NJ Transit.
 

Santapez

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I've always found our drinking culture a bit odd. Every event everywhere needs beer with it to be any good? Why? I've been straightedge my entire life and don't see the point of any of it.
I was remarking to Norm a month or so ago that sometimes you don't even realize how deep it is if you don't drink. I met up with a client for work at an Irish Pub where he knows the bartender as he goes so much. So mid work-day he's 3 glasses in by the end of our lunch meeting. Meanwhile the bar is filled with people coming in solo at 11 am, ordering a cocktail or two and then getting back in their car. Lots of groups of workers at the bar/tables ordering food and having beers. It's like finding out about the furry subculture you never knew existed before.

Saturday me and @MissJR went to Grub Hut in Manville for lunch. Large family came by, I assumed from out of state. They were panicking that no alcohol is served and were having trouble with the fact that the place is BYOB. Liquor store was too far of a walk from the restaurant, but then they realized they had a cooler of beer in the car and that's OK to bring into the restaurant. They were full on panic when they first learned the restaurant didn't sell alcohol.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Various Things I Write After 10pm: Wednesday Edition

I woke up at 5:15 and showered and made espresso and tea and oatmeal and got dressed in whatever order. I am pretty much able to go without a belt now which translates to: I can button my pants again. WOO HOO!

I drive to Delaware and at 7:30am my phone announces, "Welcome to Delaware." This is not something anyone should ever hear so early in the day. For the first time I have started listening to the Spotify Daily Mix options and I have to say that I actually like them. A lot of this is stuff that I already listen to but some of it is new. I also line up a podcast guest but it will be by phone. And it will only be part of the show. This will happen on Thursday. I went with the NICA theme again since this is the last race.

I get to the hospital and find my way to the lobby, and as I wait I try the espresso shop in the corner and it's actually good. I am surprised.

Work is a circus but mostly tame compared to other go-lives.

As the day progresses and it seems I will not be able to get out in time, I text D and ask her what my curfew is. She says the same time as her last night, which leaves me a lot of room for error as she got home at 11:30. I hope I'm not here that long.

After work (and I'm sorry @JDurk, but Henry can blow me because I am riding) I hit up White Clay. As I have said before, I gladly pay the $8 ($10 actually, keep my $2) because these trails keep getting better. Again, I just ride and when I get to an intersection I pick the direction that looks the most fun. Today the trails are spot-greasy but in all, way better than most of the ones up here. I have to say I really do love this park and I wish it were closer. As I am nearly done I run across @J-Dro (holy shit, I looked for @mtbdawgjeff, when did you change that? Did I change that?) and we talk briefly. We did try to link up for the ride but being that we had the kids tonight I had to try and get back home in a reasonable time.

After the ride I hit up Little Goat Roasting Company for a double espresso and a road coffee and then I am off. The espresso was very good. It's right around the corner from Iron Hill Brewery which is good post-race eats for those who do Iron Hill. I get home before 8:00 and manage to eat dinner with the family.

The Joy Question

"Do you ever get tired of the flying out to different places for work and spending so much time on a plane and away from your family? On the one hand, you get to see different cities and try different coffee places and ride bikes on company time and all that... But on the other hand, if you're away for two days, that's basically 48 hours you're at work. Plus I can't imagine Newark airport is any better than NJ Transit."
First I will say that the airport things don't really bother me that much. It is 100% out of my control so I let it go and deal with it. I have my "travel process" as it were, so if I am at the terminal for 3 hours or 3 minutes, it doesn't bother me too much either way. I deal with whatever life deals me. I enjoy the actual plane time much less than the terminal. I don't like being hemmed into those seats. But it is what it is. I’m also inherently untrusting of a mass of steel so far from the ground.

So on the other things you ask, I have thought about how best to answer this on & off today and I think there are a lot of ways to look at this.

In a sense I feel that what I am doing right now is a Work Hard/Play Hard lifestyle. I am doing my very best to live the F out of life these days. Within the context of the trips I go on, I think that makes obvious sense. Meaning this: If I have to go to Austin, I might as well enjoy it, right? Or like today, I am 2.9 miles from White Clay. So why not go? I don't think that is anything novel or crazy. I think a lot of people do that but I am sort of explaining the Play Hard part of the equation here.

But that also entails the Work Hard part of it, which the job demands right now. To be fair, the job doesn't necessarily demand it. It may be more fair to say that I get the most out of this job by working hard at it. I have earned my way into a position right now that allows me to have a metric shit-ton of freedom and absolutely nobody questions it, because I am really reliable, and I bust my ass at it, and make some sacrifices for it. On that note, tomorrow I am going to disappear for 3 hours to drive to Sean's and do a podcast. Nobody will question that I am gone.

But this also means that when someone is needed on-site, if it makes sense for it to be me, I'll do it. That's why I went today, because they were going live with something and my boss was going to fly out. This makes no sense, so I rolled it up into a drive-work-bike-drive trip. This earns me a TON of leeway. Likewise, the St. Louis trip is squarely on me because I ran the implementation, so I volunteered to go for that one. I will say this - I 100% do not want to go on that one because that org is a pig fuck. So for that trip, I will do my best to make the best of a moderately-blah situation. I will likely try to go biking.

Also, we get unlimited vacation with this job and if I "do the needful" as such, I think I will get less shit for taking days off when I need/want to.

Other trips it really depends. The 2 Chicago trips were a waste earlier this year. I like my boss, and he always lets me stay at his house. I enjoy the family and his kids and they always buy me great meals and he has an awesome Napresso coffee machine and I have his garage code. So it's like I am more than welcome to go there and stay (as is D, as she has spent time with them too). But those previous 2 Chicago trips ended up being a dog & pony show for the acquisition which was a bit of a waste of time. The trip next week was my doing. We need to fix some problems and I am sick of weeks going by and none of us actually getting things done. So I pushed to make it happen because it will make all of our future lives easier.

I think for me, the worst time is night time. I'm just not used to sleeping in a King bed by myself, and I dislike that aspect of it. When I'm done for the day, it's just lonely. That's why I often find a coffee shop and work, because being more productive on the flight or on the trip as a whole allows me to come back from it and fuck off more. While I'm at work during the day, I can be at home or in Minnesota. Really it makes no difference. But night time is not really that great.

But I also know that this has been a sort of rocket explosion of travel, which is mostly new for me. Will this continue? Maybe it will. And if it does, I may start to need to turn down some of these trips to keep my sanity, or insist that D come with me sometimes. On that note I can easily see this job coming to an unceremonious end any time in the next year. So while I am here I'll enjoy what it gives me, and try to maximize my Work Hard/Play Hard potential. I would also be lying if I didn't say that Career Growth did not come into play. Right now, my boss is shooting up the ladder of impact (not necessarily the corporate ladder, big difference IMO) and he is taking me with him. I'll also add that I have never enjoyed working with someone as much as him before. Having a boss/coworker that makes the job enjoyable is invaluable. I need to preserve that because I would be an idiot not to.

Finally, and I am probably deluding myself with this thought, I do hope that at some level the kids see this whole Work Hard/Play Hard thing that we have going on and get something out of it. I do think at some level they are a little envious of all the travel I've been doing. And I think they are always interested in finding out what we did on the weekends that we don't have them. I remember the first time they realized that we often go away when they're not here and D making fun of them, asking if they thought we just sat on the couch and waited for them to come back. In all reality, I think that maybe they assumed we really did that. Anyway, I hope in some small way they look up to what we do and think that there is some reward for the hard work. But I am also a realist.

Take any or all of that and put it in a blender if you want. All of this is a mix of incoherent things that I thought about during the day. I cannot turn this into anything but a mixup of sentences. So I am sure someone can take 2 things from 2 different paragraphs and point out that I am contradicting myself. Have at it, since I am sure the inner workings of my brain are often in conflict with itself. So on that note it would be fitting.

Anyway @MissJR - I hope that made some sense. In a sense this is looking at it from a glass-half-full perspective. I don’t think it makes any sense to look at it half-empty.
 

Mitch

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Best part was about kids and what they thought you were doing when they were away. Very insightful.
Also would have been nice to know the light on at Henry's, just for the record, or not.....
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
Oddly enough I take on the same mindset about airports. What I can’t control isn’t worth taking up space in my head.

My boss is an absolute mess when he travels. You’d think he’d put something together that helps him flow through TSA but my man has shit flying out of his pockets, literally every time I’ve been with him. I glide through TSA like an Elemental at this point.

On seeing other cities: Phoenix, LA, Portland, Dallas, Chicago and Miami. That’s my list ytd. Only 3 out of the 6 was I actually able to chisel out personal time.
 

MissJR

not in the mood for your shenanigans
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I think part of my question stemmed from my own exhaustion. I've been sleeping like sh!t, my job often gets repetitive (I mean, really, how many times can you argue with a designer that they built their ad to the wrong size?), Etc and then on top of it NJ Transit is cancelling my trains left and right.

I am long over due for a vacation.

And I guess I was comparing my daily commute to what I perceived yours as being "mine x ten" but it's not. I guess I wouldn't mind the travel and work hard part if I got the play hard part too... I'm not getting the play hard reward over here right now which is probably what's mostly zapping my energy.

Sigh.

I have some trips coming up. Maybe I'll go get a pedicure at lunch later. It's always nice looking down and seeing pretty toes.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
@MissJR - I have made it pretty clear to the people I work with that the travel stuff is passable in the context that I WFH. Since we have no office, it's not an issue. But if I had to go into NYC every day I wouldn't be ok with this. Can you imagine having to go on a 3 day trip Mon-Wed then wake up Thursday to go into NYC? In the words of many a millennial: Yeah, um no.

I got 17 PRs at White Clay on Wednesday.

Yesterday was insane. I said that nobody would give a fug if I took a huge chunk of day to podcast. While it was true, the neediness was at an all-time high yesterday. I managed to get on the Zwift at 7:30pm and immediately climbed the back side of Watopia. I beat my PR by 5 minutes and had the best active time up the hill in the game, so I got the polka-dot jersey.

I finished work at 11:30 last night so I was not motivated to blog. Here is my insanity from yesterday. These times are approximate. No clocks were harmed in the making of this post:

7:00: Wake up. Espresso, tea, oatmeal, pack lunches, clean kitchen. See family off.
7:45: Cancel 8:00 meeting. What was I thinking on Tuesday making a promise that 8:00am Thursday? I knew I was gonna be gone all day Wednesday.
8:00: Work on Delaware bugs for 90 minutes
9:30: 90 minute demo/Q&A call with Minnesota. Drive north.
11:00: Sit in coffee shop in Denville and take the daily check-in call with these junk resources
11:45: Call with the Seattle PM who is in a total panic because his developers have somehow f'ed up the system. Every Work Order is being duplicated on entry.
12:00: Fix above problem
12:15: Get to Podcast Alley. Drink espresso(s). Eat a few cookies.
12:30: Start podcast
1:55: End podcast
1:56: More espresso, pee. Poach nacho chips.
2:05: Drive directly to school to get the 2 older ones plus 1 friend of Julia
2:45: Get kids, go home
3:15: Start on Delaware again
++++950 interruptions in here (see the book: Having Children and What That Entails, by Ben Franklin)
4:30: Leave with Zac to get Simon
5:15: Drop Zac off at CR ballfields for NICA practice
5:30: Back home with Simon, Julia + 1 friend. Start dinner. More Delaware.
6:00: Feed children, more Delaware
6:25: Drop Simon at soccer
6:45: Back home, get Julia +1 to bring the +1 home
7:20: Back home
7:30: Start Zwift, get KOM, watch Eureka until Ecoxgear speaker dies. Finish ride in silence.
8:30: End Zwift
9:00: Ice cream reward. Note that there was no actual lunch nor dinner in the above. I did have oatmeal for breakfast.
9:30: Sit in Julia's room and finish Delaware
10:00: Work on management/company issues/questions for 90 minutes
11:30: The End
 

MadisonDan

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Great job on the spotted jersey.... great to see progress... Was some of that effort just sheer work frustration being channeled into the pedals? I've had that a few times, but the commute home on NJTranShis usually sucks it all out of me by the time I get home... :shrug:
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
This is the first year my son started riding to baseball games/practices by himself (he loves it). The coach called me on my cellphone as if there was a problem. He is nine now. Time to change the narrative up a bit.
How far does he ride?

My son is 11 now, field is 1.2 miles from home, bike path all the way there, but has to cross one busy road and an active rail line. I wont let him go himself yet
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
How far does he ride?

My son is 11 now, field is 1.2 miles from home, bike path all the way there, but has to cross one busy road and an active rail line. I wont let him go himself yet
About the same. I established the route for him so we know where he will be. Went over potential negatives like a fall, stranger asking questions, etc etc. Also injected some common sense as well. A lot more than my mother did for me when I started walking to school at seven.

They are smarter than we know but not as smart as us yet. So the trust factor had to established thru a serious of test before the wife checked off on it. Test he didn't know were test. If you know what I mean.
 

J-Dro

JORBA: Sourlands
JORBA.ORG
Yeah I'm pretty sure you changed my username like 4 years ago. White Clay rocks. The best place to ride after a long day in the office.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I often consider Friday afternoon the weekend, especially when I stop work and go for an afternoon ride, then don't go back to work. That was the routine this week. I had 2 goals for this weekend:

1. Ride 8 total hours
2. Bring my June total up to 20 hours of saddle time, to hit that 2/day average
  • Friday: 2:57 on the road, 47 miles. I only took 3 bottles and ate nothing. Stupid.
  • Saturday: 2:43 at Stewart, 24 miles. We did the race loop plus an extended loop.
  • Sunday: 2:20 on Zwift. I climbed the Alpe again because it gave me focus. I watched 2 or 3 episodes of Eureka.
Week total: 13:54
June total: 20:06


With this big weekend I am now going out to Chicago and taking 2 days off. It'll give me some time to rest and I'll come back ready to ride again. Of course, finding 2+ hours a day to hit it will be a challenge in itself. But we'll try to make the time. I am sort of thinking to try to keep a 2 hour/day average through the summer, but with work trips plus vacation, that may not be practical. Still, I just said it, so I must think there's some possibility. The KT week is always a big one for saddle time.

The road ride Friday was good, though like I said up there I didn't drink enough or eat anything. So when I was done I was shot. That night the Kubicks came over for dinner. We just sat around and talked, ate sushi, etc. Good night. Also, the morning of Friday I was actually able to work for 3 hours solid. It was a neat feeling to work undisturbed for so long.

Saturday was a great ride with a lot of the team and people on the board. We came in just under 3 hours, and we did most of the good trails. We probably started with 35 people and ended with 9 or 10. After the first lap a lot of people bailed, then we went back out for the second bigger lap. Grabbed lunch after the ride, @Dominique and I went with @UtahJoe (he had no choice, we went up together), @2Julianas, @graveyardman67, and @1sh0t1b33r. We found this Mexican place that was really solid. I will say this though. My gas is lethal today. Holy cow. I pity the fool that has sit sit next to me on this plane.

F00594D9-15E7-44D4-BA28-4CA2C215A44F.jpeg

After that we dropped Utah off, went to Hilltop to collect our road bikes, I bought new road shoes, then we went home and watched the last ever episode of Sense8. Sometimes I get a little sad at these endings, because you start to know the characters and their feelings/emotions. I'm sure that speaks volumes for the acting, especially Wolfgang. Him in particular I am interested in seeing what happens to. I don't think the end was especially amazing but the finale was good, and the series as a whole was great.

This morning, with the rain I decided there was no way I was riding the freshly refreshed road bike in this. I am determined to try and keep some of these bikes in better shape. With the iPad + Zwift-on-Mac setup this is just easy. I am perfectly fine staying inside when the weather outside is not good. I climbed the Alpe and was 7 minutes faster than last time. But I was nowhere near my PR, coming like 9 minutes shy of that.

9E5C97EA-35D2-41D1-93EB-4B3E8AF17506.jpeg

Rest of Sunday was a waiting game, because my flight was delayed already. Do the math: Chicago + Newark + rain in Chicago + rain in Newark = it may be faster to moon walk there. Eventually the plane showed up and I made it.

BAD0CB6C-98D3-45AE-811B-3E77EE39B378.jpeg
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I have very little gas left in the tank. Things of note:

1. Landed and went to boss's house. Went with the whole family to get dinner and we landed at Szechuan. Food was good, but it lacked the over-abundance of the Szechuan peppercorns that I love. I found out that they are apparently technically a berry and not a peppercorn. They're some damn fierce berries. Then we went to get ice cream at a drive through called Andy's or something, took it back to the house, and dialed it down and went to bed.


2. This morning we went to Sparrow, the coffee roaster. It was 1 of the best espressos I have had. I also grabbed a pound of espresso beans.


3. Worked in the office for most of the day. We decided that the 2 kids in the house were more disruptive than the coworkers. I will say as pointless as the last 2 trips were, this one was really productive. 3 of us sat in the office on a video call with Chris in Milwaukee. Got a lot done and before long it was 5:00. This whole effort is a massive project which sort of shapes the future of the product in the company. No pressure.

4. Dinner was this place called Nando's Peri-Peri which is described as "Order-at-the-counter Afro-Portuguese chain serving grilled chicken marinated in spicy pepper sauce." It was a good meal with a decent group of us. Like the bike team, the work team is family-friendly and we were 6 adults and 3 kids. Ice cream after. Boss's kids are all-in with the post-dinner ice cream trips.


5. Went back to the house to work some. Got some non-project things taken care of. Then worked on more project stuff. Lots of good stuff done today. Checked in for the flight home, which is odd because I just got here. Today was just 1 day off the bike and already I feel like I have not ridden in a week. Time is so hard to comprehend some days.

Even though I got 8 hours of sleep last night, I am cooked. Time for bed.
 

rottin'

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
@Norm I ate at the Andy's Frozen Custard in Evanston last month. Place was packed...well, it was a Saturday night. Ate at Boltwood for dinner around the block from it.
 

MadisonDan

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Currently on a business trip that's pretty much the exact opposite.
Flying somewhere with the sole purpose to take client out to dinner/bar then 6am flight back to NYC to go back into the office.