Monday, July 09, 2007

Happiness is a Fan and a Sun Ray 1...

... OR how I learned to swim to work on a bike.

I brought this little fan to work last week. It was my wife's desk fan at our old apartment, but we have a ceiling fan in the data center office now, so she doesn't really need it anymore. Since it's getting warm and humid in the mornings, I decided it would be put to better use on my desk at work. This morning is the first time I've come to truly appreciate the value of a little, weak, quiet fan. The SunRay was just in the background of the fan, so I framed it in the picture. It's the computer terminal that I use to get much of my work done every day. If you're a geek and don't know what a SunRay is, think of it as a WinTerm or MSTSC hardware client for Solaris. If that doesn't make any sense to you, then it's just a small computer and I'll leave it at that.

I don't know what the humidity was this morning, but it was so moist that the air felt super-saturated. Sweating was doing no good, but I couldn't tell if the water on me was perspiration, or condensation. I'd bet the dew point was high enough that I could actually get condensation on my skin. It was that humid. I felt like I was swimming to work, between my sweat and the humid air.

No one was around to ride with me this morning. I took it solo, and aside from the heat and humidity, it was a nice ride in. I took this photo of the little Wyandotte county ghetto I ride through every day. It's a pleasant enough neighborhood, but it always feels like someplace I wouldn't want to be after dark. I'm not sure why. I'm not willing to find out, though.

Then, I snapped this pic of the industrialized area right before you leave Kansas. This is a nice, flat stretch of 45 MPH road that varies between two lanes with a really wide outer lane (enough room for parking, bicycle traffic outside the door zone, and car traffic) or three lanes without parking. 30 MPH on this stretch of road is no problem, and it's one of my favorite parts of the journey to work. You see lots of friendly people out in the morning. In the rush hours, it serves as an arterial for getting to and from I-35, so my afternoon ride though this section can be intimidating at times. In the morning, I roll through early enough to miss the heavy traffic.

As I made my final approach to the heart of downtown, I glanced down to see what my gearing situation looked like. As I did, I was greeted with a face full of warm, fresh-squeezed helmet juice. Fortunately for me, I regularly rinse my helmet out, so this wasn't carrying any pre-fermented human sweat broth with it. It was just recently-extracted sweat. I'm not sure where it was hiding, but there was quite a bit of it that materialized seemingly out of nowhere.

I stopped for coffee as usual. This half-hour or so allows me to cool down a bit and dry off while checking my personal e-mail before work. Even with all that, I was still sweaty when I made my final approach to the office. Needless to say, my pre-work clean-up ritual was a little more thorough this morning, including a sink shower that was a bit more extensive than usual. I don't know if I mentioned this, but I finally found a locking restroom close to my office. This makes getting ready to work a little easier. You can't exactly peel your sweaty shirt off and start soaping up your armpits in a communal restroom.

12 comments:

Frogman said...

There's a paint company in the building on the right side of your ghetto pic. We rebuilt some of the brick work under the window right by the front/corner door. I think that area is "Rosedale". I heard there's some decent BBQ around there.

Warren T said...

Yep, it was a drencher this morning. Just think of all the toxins we're sweating out though...

Eric said...

Dude, Rosedale is fine. It's working class, but far from ghetto. If anything it would be barrio, but even that would be an exaggeration. I even know a couple of bike commuters that live there, north of of the drive-in.

Don't be intimidated just because it's not all beige like your suburb :)

Chuong said...

You know how I deal with the humidity? I ride slooooow. Real slow. No sweat or nothing and I sweat buckets when its hot.

A Midnight Rider said...

We are all adjusting to the humidity aren't we? I'm with choung and slow down a lot.

I really like that industrial area picture, and enjoy that type of area I ride though around here.

Noah said...

I was slightly joking about the "not wanting to find out" part of town. I've walked around in worse areas, like where my sister-in-law lives.

Eric, funny you should mention the drive-in. I noticed it for the first time ever today on my way to work. I've ridden past it god-knows how many times, but it's not blatantly obvious from Southwest Boulevard, with all the trees.

Just another one of those new things that you notice when you slow down a bit, get outside the metal box-on-wheels, and ride.

Fritz said...

Mmm, coffee.

Newer SunRays work with Windows, also, using RDP and Windows Terminal Services.

jdoublep said...

what a vividly sweaty post. i need a shower.

Phip Schapker said...

I had the same initial response when I came to the block where you took your first picture. Looks can be deceiving however. I ride there at night frequently and it is definitely not a bad area... it's just old and worn down a bit like the rest of Kansas City, Kansas. The woman who cuts my hair actually lives in a house just a little bit to the left of that picture.

Tim O said...

I was ok with this post except for the Sun Ray 1 mention....OMG those have been around for years!! Is that surplus stuff that needed a home, or is Sun still selling those things?

Noah said...

It's just what we use to get a graphical solaris desktop environment. I know they're old, but the system they connect to is fresh and peppy, so these old SunRays work fine.

Apertome said...

You described exactly how I felt on my way to work today ... unsure how much was condensation and how much was sweat.

The real test of a neighborhood is to go there at night. I learned that the hard way with an apartment I lived in. It seemed like a nice neighborhood during the day when toured the building, but once moved in, I saw how it was a night ... wow, what a difference!

What is the obsession with always having the newest computer hardware? Every computer I use is several years old, and works just fine. And I'm a developer by day, digital imaging/audio/occasional video guy by night, not just a Web/e-mail/Word kind of guy.

I say if it works, use it!

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