25 March 2011

Ode to the Construction Worker

So I work in a construction zone. My building is literally surrounded by new dorms going up.There is mud and dirt everywhere. My car is constantly gross. My shoes are constantly gross. The carpet in my office is constantly gross.

And yet the buildings keep going up. There are four dorms going up right now by my count. I thought they would only do two, but out of nowhere two more popped up out of the ground like daisies.

I work in what used to be a cafeteria. Well, the actual cafeteria part is still a cafeteria, the rest of it was re-purposed into an office. It works. There are industrial grates up everywhere that hold the wires up to the ceiling. I kind of like it. But I take my lunches in the cafeteria (we euphemistically call it "the atrium"). There is great natural light and I get to sit in a booth by the window. I get lunch and a show as I watch the workers build these massive dorms.

Over the past few months I've been so impressed by these men (I have not seen any women as of yet, so I'll stick with masculine pronouns and referents). They come to work every day. Come rain, come shine. Come snow, come freezing. And those buildings keep going up. Today it was sleeting and they were still out there working. Granted, their numbers were few, but still, they were out there in their boots and jeans, sloshing around in the mud. I'm sure they were cold and miserable. I'm sure some of them hated their job at that moment. But they were there.

And they're always nice to me when we're standing in line at the Creamery. So here's a thank you to those workers. I'm glad that I've been able to observe a different world and learn to really respect some unsung heroes.

14 March 2011

One More Rave

I just thought I would help you see the difference Stella makes in my life:

decreased surface area = decreased friction
decreased friction = increased velocity
increased velocity = decreased force necessary to maintain normal velocity
decreased force = decreased exhaustion
decreased exhaustion = one happy Laura

Physics can work in my favor sometimes. More on this later.

A Big, Warm Welcome to My New Addition: Stella

If you would recall my post of last year I had a rough time on a mere 20 mile ride. This, in bike world, is nothing at all. But I was pooped. Really. I cursed my heavy, thick tired bike (though dear to my heart, it is). I told myself that this would never happen again and that I would get a lighter, more distance apt bicycle this year.

Well I did.

And I named her Stella.

She's beautiful.

Want to see her? Here she is!

I really love her. A lot.

She rides like a dream.

I commuted to work today on my bike and it was a dream compared to the former commute that I had. The gigantic hills (yes, there are two on my way to work, my 10-minute commute) were a piece of cake compared to the former ride that I had, where I had to often admit defeat, dismount, and shamefully walk my bike up the hills. Shamefully I ride no more.

I love that the weather is nicer and that I can ride my bike and that I live close enough to work that I can ride. It makes all the difference.

And now my poor roommates, friends, and coworkers no longer have to hear about me talk about which bike I'm going to ride. I no longer have to go from shop to shop, trying out different bikes. I no longer have to go to online forums for wisdom and bike know-how. I can figure it out myself (with the help of nice friends and helpful pamphlets.

I love the outdoors.