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Resounding defeats; bicycles

A week ago, S and I played a game of Skype-Scrabble on a game interface he wrote. He lost, so he challenged me to a rematch, which happened last night. Normally, none of this is really cause for comment, but I suffered a resounding defeat. First, he played FRANKED, and then I challenged it and learned that it means to cancel out postage on a piece of mail (at least, according to the OSPD v 5.0). Sometime thereafter, he played JOLTER, which I also challenged and lost. And then even later on, he played CHLORINE, which I didn't challenge, but which was his second bingo of the game. I don't feel especially terrible about losing, given that my final score was higher than my final score from the previous game, but man, that was an interesting time. Apparently OSPD v 5.0 contains 5,000 new words. It still doesn't contain profanity - I checked for you.


Towards the end of May, I am going to give a presentation on randonneuring at one of the local bike shops. In preparation, I've started looking some stuff up, and came across this story by Sheldon Brown's wife, from riding PBP in 1975. What a story. I love her commentary on the French meals in particular, and how she carried a whole roast chicken with her all the way to Brest.

People in this town are really gung-ho about the National Bike Challenge. Hopefully logging my cycling mileage won't become too tedious, sigh. On the other hand, this morning I learned that the route I take along the bike path is actually 3.5 miles long. A bit longer than the one-mile straight-shot route, eh?

Edited to add... It took me a few minutes to remember why I wanted to write about the National Bike Challenge. The reason why is because the site asked me to choose whether I ride primarily for transportation or for recreation. I had to scratch my head over that. Eventually, I chose "transportation," because that's what gets me on the bike every single day, and it came well before the "recreation" part started, I suppose (although this seems to presuppose that riding to get somewhere isn't fun). All miles get logged as either transportation or recreation, too. If I ride my bike out to the start of a brevet, should I log that as a separate ride and call it transportation, I wonder.


( 9 remarks — Remark )
May. 1st, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
"Franked" is legit; franking is one of the many privileges congresscritters have. It's in the OED with other meanings as well, though they're marked "historical" or "archaic".
May. 1st, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
And the Scrabble dictionary agreed, after I challenged S and lost. :-P
May. 1st, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
"Franked" shows up a lot in fiction set in England in the 18th-19th centuries (anything from Austen and Trollop to modern historic fiction), because Members of Parliament could frank letters and thus didn't have to pay postage. Or the letter's recipients didn't have to pay - not sure when the payment onus switched from sender to recipient but it might have been when Trollope was postmaster. So it doesn't feel like an obscure word to me ... until I think about the fact that I never see it *outside* fiction set in a particular country in a particular time period. Or when reading about the history of postal systems, which is not a thing I do often, though Trollope's autobiography was a good read.

I've had occasion to notice before how once you know something, it starts to feel like an obvious thing that everyone should know, and that you've known forever. Even if you learned it as an adult doing something that many other people wouldn't have a reason to do.

May. 1st, 2015 07:23 pm (UTC)
Well, playing Scrabble has certainly taught me more than one new vocabulary word!

A semi-obnoxious element at play here, though, is that it seems that S didn't know what it meant when he played the word. He just looked at it, and figured why not put it out on the board and give it a shot. Lucky bastard. :-D
May. 2nd, 2015 04:29 am (UTC)
NBC just started emailing me this year. Old job made a Big Effort towards it: within-company prizes and stuff. New company allows us a website where we can post our results, but that's about it.
I have a gps unit on my bike so it's not that much of a hassle, but there is the plugging it in and downloading stuff every day or so frustration. But unless you sit down and map it out on bikely or the like, and then set up nbc to auto upload that, it gets tedious doing manual entry every night.

Likewise, there's a difference between commuting, exercise, and recreation?
May. 2nd, 2015 11:14 pm (UTC)
It looks like I can just click "transportation" or "recreation," and then type in the number of miles ridden. I think I did one of those things where I had to actually map things out, and those are ridiculous! My simple odometer is pretty straightforward for just measuring the distance traveled, if I remember to reset it and check it. Back in the day, before my house in Arizona was burgled, I had been logging weekly mileage totals, but for some reason having that laptop stolen made me decide to just give up on the project. The weekly totals were pretty straightforward to manage. It's this every.single.ride business that will get old. I don't even think I'll know how many miles I've ridden this year. Maybe I'll track that again in 2016, but who knows.
May. 3rd, 2015 01:16 am (UTC)
This is the only use case I've found that justifies spending $500 on a Garmin 1000: you can set it up to automatically upload the whole ride wirelessly when you get back home. Nothing to remember.

But man I can buy a lot of bike stuff for that kind of dosh.
May. 2nd, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC)
Franked. Of course. I remember learning about franking. Former presidents have franking privileges. (as does their spouse.) Here is an interesting random fact. When Jackie Kennedy remarried, she lost her franking privilege. (she also lost secret service protection.)
May. 2nd, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
It is so hilarious to learn that so many people have a straightforward association with franking! Go figure. What a game.
( 9 remarks — Remark )

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