I just wanted to give warm Christmas greetings to all my readers. It's 5:00 AM on Christmas morning, I have a low grade sinus infection and can't sleep, so I might as well give made props to my readers. So thanks Mom, and thanks also to that special education kid from down the street who found this site inadvertantly by googling "cats microwave boobs bicycle good squishy". Thanks you two, you are the ones who make it all happen.
But seriously... I hope you all can take advantage of the season to contemplate the good things you have all around you, why you have them, and then give thanks for them, and do some nice things for the people in your life. It's not Thanksgiving today, but neither is the holiday supposed to be CrassCommercialmas Day. It is a day for giving, and for showing love to those in our life who stand by us. This time of year isn't just a Christian religious holiday, though that's a big part of it. Even accepting Christ as a mere historical figure, His message of loving one another is a good recipe for building family and social bonds. He analogized the love we should show to each other to God's love for us, thus arguing we should give to each other unstintingly. It's not a spirit that is limited to Christianity. The Channukah spirit seems to be very much associated with giving, with gifts being given for eight nights. For our Muslim friends who are leaving this week for Mecca to perform the Hajj, which is one pillar of the Muslim faith, another pillar is Zakat, or giving in the spirit of charity. So give, be generous to those around you. Or in the words of a another pair of great philosophers, "be most excellent to one another." I'm not trying to get you all churched up or anything here, just trying to clue you in something it has taken me nearly 40 years to learn. In short, you don't build yourself up and have a better life by always taking from people; you become somebody by giving, even if it's just being generous with your time and attention. I suck at this and have frequently found it pays sometimes to have somebody remind me of that, lest I get lost in a huge pile of gift wrapping paper, bike parts, and credit card bills.
Some other tips on enjoying the season...
- Check out some NFL games, with all the parity in the league there have been tons of great games over the last month, with many playoff races hinging on last second drives and time-expiring field goal and PAT attempts.
- Want some good chow to eat while watching the game? You can't beat a bag of clams, which you can pick up in the Giant or Safeway fish section for $3-$5. Soak 'em in cool water with some corn starch for about three hours before cooking - they eat the corn starch, and this pushes the sand out of their digestive tracts and shells so they aren't 'grainy'. Rinse the clams in more cold water after that. Make some chicken broth, throw it in a large pot with a sliced onion and a bottle of decent beer, throw the clams in, and steam them until they all open up. Leave them in for a minute or two longer. If a clam doesn't open up, throw it out. You can eat the clams out of the shell, and have the rest of it with soup. It goes well with a good Belgian blonde ale, like a Leffe; or a northern German Kolsch or Altbier.
- Ride a fixie. It's a great way to pack on the base miles and if you do some hills, to get some strength training in too.
Finally, for all my racing buddies, I'd like to remind you that it's not me that's too fat, it's you poor buggers who are too skinny.
Yes, I'm an anorexia survivor too. Okay, granted, I never really suffered too badly from it. But I was less rotund for a while there, so I could have been suffering from it. So please, you skinny bastids, get over your anorexia.
After all, it will be much easier for me if you simply agree to get fat, than for me to do all those base miles and intervals that I'll have to do to get skinny and fast.
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! Now pass the clams...