Friday, May 30, 2008

We arrived today in...

We arrived today in Winston-Salem after a silly(?) and hot ride of about 85 miles, last couple of days we spend at Chapel Hill, working on ____ and so tomorrow we've got another about 80 mile ride to Taylorsville(?). listen

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News Article


News Article
Originally uploaded by Dan Carmody
A little late on the upload, but it made it eventually.

Chapel Hill - 38 miles

Yesterday: Greenville - 78 miles

The last couple of days have been intense. The flat coastal rides have given way to some rolling hills, which haven't been too bad (considering what I've seen in Pittsburgh), but it's been longer and faster than what I've been used to. I've been introduced to pace lines - when a group of riders ride in a tight line, switching off the lead. We move over the terrain at a quick clip, and everyone saves energy by not having to battle the wind themselves for the whole time.

For the moment, though, I have a couple of days to recuperate: we've got two build days here in Chapel Hill, near the UNC campus. It'll be nice to do some work at a build site (that is, after all, what this ride is all about). Friday we move on, working our way across North Carolina, and then onwards into Tennessee.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Belhaven - 36 miles

Today was shorter, but wetter. We had rain accompanying us for the
second day of our trip. It was a little more miserable to start out,
but once we were out on the road it was easy to get into the groove.

Nothing of note happened on the road, and since the ride was so short
we pulled into the overnight spot - Belhaven - before noon. We've been
enjoying the southern hospitality since we arrived.

The people here open up to us in so many ways: showers, food, a place
to sleep. It's great to know there are places like this still out there.

Tonight we've got a BBQ/picnic, a bike safety clinic, and who knows
what else. Tomorrow we ride about 60 miles to Greenville.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Swan Quarter - 66 miles

The first day of riding has ended, and we're staying the night at United Methodist Church in Swan Quarter.
 
Riding sweep was pretty uneventful - nobody broke down or got a flat. It was mostly a leisurely ride with little happening. The ride itself was incredibly flat, and the 66 miles of today's ride was the furthest I've ridden, but it went pretty well.
 
10 miles from the overnight stop Renee (the other sweep rider), Suz (math major from Ithaca college), and I saw Claire, Dan Thomas, and Michelle's bikes by the side of the road, so we pulled off. They had stopped in at the Octagon House to talk to the lady working there. Her name was Annette Gibbs, and it was her job to greet any visitors and tell them the story of the historic house. It was built in 1857 as a simple farm house, and has recently been renovated to be used as a historic site. As far as I could tell the house didn't have many visitors, so she was very eager to tell us what she knew.
 
Our overnight spot, Swan Quarter, is a tiny little town past the mosquito-infested marsh we had had just ridden through. I have no cell service, so I'm currently writing this entry from the town library. Impressive given the size of the town, it's home both to books and a parakeet who breaks the typical library silence with the occasional 'tweet'.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Orientation

Orientation is wrapping up, and we'll soon be on our way to the other
side of the country.

Today we did a shakedown ride - about 22 miles - to the Bodie island
lighthouse. Currently manning the visitors' center is John Gaskill, a
92 year old man whose father was the last principle keeper of the
lighthouse. He described to us how he and his brother had free reign
of the island when they were younger, beachcombing for miles in either
direction.

Tomorrow we set off on our first real ride - a 68 mile jaunt to a
little place called Swan Quarter. I'll be riding sweep, which means I
hang back and make sure that no one is left behind. My day will be
more slow and easy going than everyone else, but also longer.

After today connection will become a little spottier, sand posts may
not ne as frequent. Don't forget that there are always pictures on
Flickr (link to the left).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nag's Head Church


Nag's Head Church
Originally uploaded by Dan Carmody
I've arrived at the church we're staying at tonight.

Are you nervous?

Yes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

"I was on the threshold of great things."

Hail!


Hail!
Originally uploaded by Dan Carmody
If it's hailing when we start the trip, we're going to be in a world
of hurt.

One more day...

I had a little bit of a scare today. I've been playing around with
hacking my iPhone (called jailbreaking, to allow for third party
apps), and I ran into some trouble. My phone kept restarting,
preventing me from accessing anything. All I had was a sleek and well-
designed brick.

Once I got to our hotel, I downloaded the firmware and reset the
thing. It's working fine now (this post was made from it). Will I be
stupid enough to try jailbreaking it again? Maybe.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Gas stop

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Away we go

Graduation was today. It all went by in a flurry of commotion, and now I'm sitting here in a hotel outside Pittsburgh, waiting to move on to the next crazy adventure. I'm writing this post from my new iphone (a kind of graduation present). I'm tired, a little stressed after the events of the past couple of days, already nostalgic for Pittsburgh and CMU, but optimistic about the next couple of months.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Team Caffeine

Yesterday I went for a ride with a group called Team Caffeine (http://www.smokycity.com/teamcaffeine/). They meet at Enrico's Tazza D'Oro, a coffee shop up near Highland Park. It was a pretty chill ride - about 19 miles - that wound through Schenley, Swissvale, and Wilkinsburg. I met a couple of riders from the area; it seems like a pretty cool community.

On Monday I finished my last assignment: a final paper for Quantum Computation. It's not quite as long as it should be (15 pages was the goal). I'm going to post it here, because I think it's really sweet.



The Fate of Quantum Information in a Black Hole

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This is an update on...

This is an update on the fund raising. I finally went in and deposited the big change dollar that I got from my group of friends. They're(?) up(?) totaling about $750. I added the rest of the money that I had. I've finally reached the $4,000 fund raising goal. So I made it. listen

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

"What we leave here is more than this class. It's the whole heritage of youth."

I was just looking through old pictures - Carnegie Mellon people and events over the past four years - and I started getting a little sentimental. It hasn't quite struck me yet that I'll soon be leaving all this and moving on to other things in other places.

Graduation is in a week and a half, and though I'm happy for the things to come, I'm already a little mournful for the things that are passing. Although it sounds a little cheesy to say, these past few years have been pretty formative. I know I'm a different person coming out than I was going in. And when a place is so much a part of your development, it becomes such a big part of who you define yourself to be. Something of myself is going to be left here after I leave. At the same time, I'll be taking a bit of this place with me wherever I go.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Simone de Beauvoir

"Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying."