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JimPhelps, Life in Madison

Past two weeks in review

I returned from the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference two weeks ago. I came home to Ena home sick with a cold. I came down with the same virus on Sunday after my return. I have been sick ever since. I’m in week 2 of this thing. The last week was the week of “is this cold still hanging on?!?” Thursday and Friday were absolutely gorgeous weather-wise. Fall is in full swing so I decided that I would ride my bike into work regardless of the cold. So I coughed and needed to carry a ton of tissue, I am going to ride my bike in… PERIOD.

While I’m on this rant: I find driving in very annoying. It takes me 5 to 10 minutes longer to drive to work that to ride to work.

>On the plus side of driving: You can carry stuff in that is hard to carry on your bicycle (like 4 12-packs of mineral water – that would really suck to carry on your bike). When you get in, you don’t need to change clothes and your not sweaty. You only have to think about one set of clothes in the morning – the ones you will wear at work not the ones you will ride in and the ones you will wear at work.

> On the minus side: other drivers who think that they “really need to get to place X regardless of traffic conditions or the fact that there is another car in the place that they are attempting to move into. The fact that you have to buy gas usually when you don’t really want to stop and fill the car up. Stress just builds up when you drive – there is no place for it to go.

>On the plus side of biking: Stress gets released as exercise. You get to see the world and smell the world and feel the world. You sense the seasons changing and that there are more than four seasons something like 12 or 8 – I’ll have to write about that sometime. It is faster. It doesn’t use gas. You get a work-out on the way in and the way home. Cycle-time is a great time to get your brain in gear or wind down. It is an excuse to buy gear like jerseys, gore-tex jackets, computers, cool lights.

> On the minus side of biking: You have to get dressed in gear, pack clothes for work, get undressed from gear, get dressed in work clothes, work, then reverse the process. You don’t arrive at work in “ready to go” state – you arrive in “all geared up and somewhat sweaty need to cool down, clean up and change clothes” state. You can’t carry as much stuff.

It is much better to ride to work. I hope to ride up to December 1st. There are people here who cycle year around – I’m not kidding. 24 below zero and there are bikes on the road. Eight inches of new snow and there are bike tracks on the road before the plows. And these are homeless, don’t have a car people – they do this by choice. I’m not that gnarly. I may make it to December 15th. We’ll see.

Back to the main thread of this post.

So I get sick on Sunday. I have to give a presentation on Tuesday afternoon at the Wisconsin SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) Summit. I spent most of the rest of that week running into work for critical meetings in the morning then running back home to sleep and try to recover from this cold.

In other news: I’m playing a new game (for me) – Tropico 2 – Pirates Cove. This is a simulation game (sim) where you are pirate and you try to run and island and grow a pirate economy. It is pretty fun. It has sucked up hours of my evening. One night – the night we switched from Daylight Savings as a matter of fact – I stayed up until 12:30AM playing. I looked at the clock – it was 9:30PM. I thought, “I’ll play for a while”. Next thing you know, it is after midnight.

So that’s been my last two weeks. Sick. Work. Finally back on my bike. Playing a new computer game. What else is there?

– Jim

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About jimphelps

Chair, ITANA Enterprise Architect, Sr. IT Architect; UW-Madison

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