Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pet Peeve of the day: Powerless

I’ve told you the only thing less reliable than the power at my house is Microsoft’s Hotmail, so I recently installed 9-volt batteries into both of my alarm clocks in the event of a power failure. This morning, I had to use them, and the alarms did indeed wake.

That’s when I groggily noticed the problem: both clocks’ digital faces were blank. A quick check of their functions revealed that everything worked except the clock. How ridiculous is that? The stereo worked. The alarm – presuming you’d set it before the power loss – worked fine. Clearly the time was known, otherwise it couldn’t have sounded the alarm. So why can’t they show me the time? Both of these things are from different manufacturers. I know that a few LEDs don’t take much of any power. Certainly they take less than the beeping alarm and blaring stereo at full volume.

What kind of stupid standard is this? What kind of idiot engineer says “I know what we’ll do!”

Number two: My abdominal muscles

They are pathetic. As a bike racer, I get an absurd amount of cardiovascular exercise. My quadriceps and calves get mercilessly hammered upon, and the rest of my lower body, plus my back, suffer similarly. You’d be surprised at how much riding a road bike uses your arms, too, especially when you’re standing up out of the saddle or going hard up a big hill. Sure, you won’t end up with silly, “decorative” muscle- and-fitness-magazine-type arms, but they’ll get used.

The odd muscle group out in all of this is your abs. Leaned over, tucked in an aerodynamic position, you could totally relax your abdominal muscles and nothing would change. Now, I’m supposed to do all of these boring exercises (read: stuff that isn’t riding a bicycle) to “strengthen my core” and become “more balanced.”

Yeah, whatever.

Except this week, I actually started doing them. This highlighted for the first time just how useless my abs are in relation to everything else. Ever tried Pistol Squats? I mentioned them before. They’re supposed to be pretty hard, but I can handle them. But, regular, boring old leg-lifts? You know, palms and back flat on the floor, legs straight and feet together, picking your legs up and letting them down? I can’t do twenty in sequence. That’s pretty silly. I suppose this is why, despite weighing less than ten stone at six feet tall, my belly doesn’t have a pack of anything.


  • At 7:55 PM , Blogger ryan said...

    In the interests of full disclosure, I almost hit enter on a search for "metal bokken" before realizing my error.

    Who was the main character in Good Will Hunting again?


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