The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Rest and Relaxation 

I got a call Wed. morning from my friend Nicole. She was heading up to Devil's Lake Friday for some biking, hiking, swimming, and general relaxation, and did I want to go? It was like reading my mind. Work has been extremely busy, as management still thinks we're going to get everything done (which is actually possible) and stable (ha ha ha ha) by the end of next week. Of course I knew at the time that we were going to have to be putting Rusty down too... so I was in need of a diversion. I went to the project leader and said "I need to take off Friday", no discussion, I need this. I met her at a park and ride Friday morning, she tossed her bike on my trunk rack, and we started the 2 hour drive... in the rain. I swear to God I have never been so disappointed in my life, I needed this to be a good day so badly. As we started to get closer, we would constantly look at the sky for any break, anything. We would point west, and say it's looking lighter over there, but then it would pour. Then, as if by a miracle, we turned north on U.S. 12 and we saw blue sky, and breaking clouds. We got to Devil's Lake and it was absolutely gorgeous.

Next month we're both doing the triathlon there, and so we first drove the bike route to see how it was. Last year the roads were pretty bad, but they promised that they would be repaving them. Well, one section of tower road is in awful shape, so much so that it would be suicidal to have a bike race on it. Pot hole city. I really didn't even want to drive it. But we rode as much of it as we could on our bikes. The bike course has some very tall hills, which last year I had to walk up some of them, which was very disappointing. Friday I climbed every one on my bike, and pretty well at that. I really have come a long way, and it gave me such incredible confidence to know that I'll be in good shape for the race in September (as long as they do in fact repave those roads).

When we got back to the park area next to the lake, we had lunch in the sun. There was a cute little dog at the next table which I couldn't stop petting, who was just desperate for some of the cherries that we had. Then we went swimming in the cool water, and just relaxed in the sun. It was like refilling my cup. Reluctantly we left around 3:30 as Nicole had to be somewhere at 6, but that didn't matter. It had been enough.

Nicole and I have been very good friends for about 5 years now, despite our diametrically opposed political beliefs. In fact, its only been in the last 2 years that we could really even have a civilized discussion about politics. Before that, we'd end up in a tirade talking about very galvanizing topics. Interestingly enough, we probably agree on more things than we realize. However, when we disagree, we disagree so profoundly, that we almost feel that if I believe one thing, she must feel the opposite (and she thinks the same thing). It's hilarious when we start talking about something (gay marriage for instance) and find that we agree. It probably doesn't help that we're both incredibly competitive, and both have very strong convictions. We also have a very deep respect for each other, which is why we have remained such good friends for so long. The point to this whole oratory is that on the car ride home we started talking about Bush and Kerry. We had some pretty heavy discussions, but it was very good. We didn't sway each other (that's impossible), but it was good to be able to articulate our beliefs, if for no other reason than to force ourselves to defend them against someone who thinks the opposite. Obviously she wants Kerry to win, but she confessed that she's sure that Bush will. Not to break from our normal form, I said that I wasn't so sure that Bush would win, despite the fact that I wanted him to. What can I say, we have a hard time agreeing on anything. You should see us try to order a pizza.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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