Sunday, October 14, 2012

Exercise, Once and For All

Two Fridays ago, I worked on the spreadsheet of the Roseville fellow until late into the evening, and this past week it dawned on me that he’d never sent me a note of thanks, but I concluded that maybe network guys don’t bother with those niceties (though I do; hmmph), and then that no news was good news.

Wednesday of this week, I got an email asking me to call him so we could “discuss.” Sure enough, he’d found a problem. Since the project had involved pulling data from 13 other workbooks and was an immense effort, my heart sank. We got on the phone and he pointed out what he was looking at, and sure enough, it was wrong, as I could plainly see. But then he looked again, and nope, it was right, as I could also plainly see, the lesson here being that spreadsheets are devious in the extreme.

In the end, it turned out that the stuff from just one of the 13 source workbooks was wrong, because the person who had made them all had assigned the columns differently in that one, which on the one hand was not my mistake, but on the other hand, it would have been good if I’d noticed it. Fortunately, the oddball workbook contained fewer than 10 rows, so the compilation was easily fixed via copying and pasting. What a relief! I could and would have redone the whole thing from scratch, but J. would have killed me for needing to take that time away from our work.

Wednesday evening, David L. from Howie’s and I had dinner at La Santaneca.

On Thursday, Tom and C. and I watched the debate between Biden and Ryan (who does indeed look a little like Eddie Munster) on my iMac. I must agree Biden’s demeanor wasn’t quite professional, but his being so decidedly on the attack made me feel a lot better after the debate between Obama and Romney.

At work on Friday, J. referred to something I might do “several weeks” from now, which was a relief—I guess they’re not firing me. I feel I’ve been behind the curve a lot, which perhaps is true at the start of any new job, but since this is only a four-month job, any time that isn’t productive seems particularly bad.

I had C. over in the evening for pasta puttanesca, and received many extravagant compliments: he couldn’t imagine anyone making anything better, I should open a restaurant, and so forth.

Yesterday I finally did something I’ve meant to do for years: go on a bike ride with Different Spokes, which is an LGBT and friends-of-LGBT cycling club in San Francisco. Tom joined me. We met the group at Peet’s Coffee & Tea on Market St. near Sanchez, about five minutes from our building by bike, which was very convenient—some had BARTed from the East Bay to be there.

The club members were extremely friendly, smiling and introducing themselves. Two men greeted their (male) friend by saying “Oh, good, you’re here! We were starting to think we douched for nothing,” the kind of ribald humor I’d been counting on this group to provide. The listing for the ride said there were 27-mile, 37-mile, and 57-mile options. I was planning to do the shortest. 


We took a scenic route to the Presidio, one that avoided the few steep blocks on Arguello, and we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, down into Sausalito, out of Sausalito, and onto the bike path. The pace was definitely faster than I would kept alone, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t have been there at all on my own. At the end of the bike path, there was a choice between going “the short way” and “over the hill.” I joined the group going over the hill and I believe it to be the case that we passed a good deal of gorgeous scenery, but can’t say for sure, as I was mainly focused on not getting left miles behind the others.

We arrived in Tiburon and stopped for a leisurely lunch at a nice cafĂ© with outdoor seating. One of the group that went the short way was clipped by another cyclist and sent flying. Her bike was a bit askew (Tom fixed it for her), but she herself was fortunately and somewhat miraculously not injured. Cyclists are animals. This fellow knew he hit her—he was yelling at her to get out of the way as he charged down the hill behind her. It seems to me that since he knew he was going to hit her, he should have refrained from doing so, and once he did knock her off her bike and possibly hurt her seriously, he should have stopped to assist, but instead he rode off.

After lunch, we went back to Sausalito and there I could have joined another person in taking the ferry back to town, but vanity caused me to keep on through town, up the hill to the bridge, back across the bridge, through the Presidio, and across San Francisco. “I never have to exercise again after this, right?” I asked Tom, but he didn’t think it worked that way. When we got home, Tom said (upon being asked for the fifth or sixth time that day) that we’d covered 50.21 miles.

That was a nice chunk of exertion, but I think next time I will actually take the ferry back and maybe even go the short way instead of over the hill. That would still be plenty of riding and I’m starting to think this weekend warrior way of doing things is going to cause some sort of injury sooner or later.

By the way, this was Different Spokes’ slow and social monthly ride! Given that, I’m never, ever going on any of their other rides, but I look forward to doing one of these again, which they do the second Saturday of every month.

In the evening, C. and I had dinner at Esperpento.
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