Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Morning Routine

Warning: This post is kinda long. You might want to break it up into different readings...

Just in case, on the off chance, anyone was wondering, "Just what exactly does Dan do every morning?"
Well I'll tell you.

First off, my alarm does a great job of abruptly jolting me from any kind of pleasant dream I may have been having. (Even mediocre dreams are better than this pathetic lonely life I lead)

Depending on the day, it's either Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" or Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone" that rings from my alarm and does the deed of killing Dan's slumber time.

After anywhere from 2 to 175 snooze button's later, I drag myself out of my queen size bed. (despite the significantly larger size of the bed, I've spent the previous 26 years of my existence cramped up on sleeping areas ranging in size from a twin to a futon to a couch; needless to say I only use approximately 24% of the total surface area of the queen bed as I sleep curled up in the fetal position)

Now, depending on exactly how many snoozes were utilized, I typically pack up everything I will need for school into my fatty 2000 cubic inches messenger bag. It is made by Chrome bags and is the sturdiest thing ever made. I would recommend one to everyone. Go here to see how spiffy they are.

My first class is either at 8:00 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or 9:00 on Mon, Wed, Fri. This is why I have two distinct ringtones.

In the confusion and haze of the early hour, I can never remember what day it is. So to make it easier for my pre-conscious mind to figure out when exactly I have to get up, I have a system:

Kelly Clarkson is the Musical White Female, (she rings on Mon, Wed, Fri) and Beyonce is Too Thin, (Tues, Thurs). In this way I already know what's ahead before I'm even conscious enough to realize I'm trying to roll out of bed into the wall...

So on a typical Monday, I try to get up at 7:30. This gives me time to get all my clothes packed in my bag for school, eat a nutritious breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, shower, shave, and sit around and complain about work/school with my roommate and discuss how much better life would be if everyone just rode bikes around instead of going to work.

I leave for class at 8:30, which gives me 15 minutes for the 3.7 mile bike ride to work and 15 minutes to change once I get there. This, however, is all theoretical. In reality it goes like this:

7:30:00 Kelly begins her 1st love serenade to me

7:30:01 I hit snooze for the 1st time

7:30:09 I'm asleep again already, dreaming of punching Kelly in the kidney much the same way I did to my alarm 8 seconds earlier

7:39:00 Round 2 of alarm singing

7:39:01 Round 2 of snooze button bashing

7:39:09 Round 2 of snooze sleep

The above outlined cycle repeats itself approximately 6-7 more times until I realize it is 8:30; the time I should be leaving for class. I gather together what I can in a rush, fit as many egg sandwiches I can in ziploc bags, throw on some warm clothes for the commute, and rush out the door.

I typically get a text a few minutes after 9:00 as I am usually halfway through my commute from a certain concerned classmate wondering where I am. There are only 4 people in my first class, so it's hard to inconspicuously slip in late...but you can't hate me for trying.

Now, here is the real reason I even started this post. Everyday as I walk into my office, the first thing I do is move the garbage can over and put my bike against the wall. This may seem insignificant to anyone reading this, but I have to move the garbage can EVERYDAY.

Every morning I come in and the garbage can is right there. However, that spot doesn't work for me.
So I move it to here. But every morning I come in and it has moved back to its original spot.

That means that at some point after I leave for the night, someone is moving it back. Now I have my suspicions, and I don't want to jump to any rash conclusions, but I am almost certain it is either a small tribe of miniature gnomes that live under the empty desk, or the nighttime custodial crew.

Either way, the only thing I can think of each morning as I have to move the garbage can back to where I left it when I left is: "Why?"

Now if it is in fact the mischievous gnomes, then it makes sense. Their entire existence is based upon annoying me. Well, gnomes, keep it up. You're fulfilling the purpose of your existence very well.

On the other hand, if it is the nighttime custodial I can't help but wonder why. Not that I (in my completely finite comprehension of the universe) could ever understand something as mysterious as why the custodial crew moves my trash can from where I put it everyday, I have tried.

I would think that the people who use an office day in and day out would know where they like their trash receptacles, but, apparently, custodial knows something I do not, and that is why they move my trash every night. And here are the best possible reasons I could come up with:

1) That garbage can "belongs" against the wall. It is its home. By me moving it away from its home, I am disrupting the very home-life social circle it contributes to.

2) There is some unwritten (or written in a very obscure place like the janitors closet) law that wherever a janitor puts something is where it is "meant" to be and I am challenging their authority as a steward of that building by deciding myself where that can should go.

3) The can is covering a hole in the wall leading to a Fraggle village. (Go here to see what a Fraggle is) (Go here to see them on YouTube)

4) The rotation of the earth speeds up at night just enough so that the garbage can can't keep up and slides back up against the wall. (I'll test this one by putting velcro on the bottom of the trash can this week)

5) I am just going senile in my old age and move it back myself each night as I leave....(Nawwww....)

Anyway, the point of this whole post is why does my garbage can get put back to the same place every night after I move it???

I am planning further testing to determine the limits of this mysterious nighttime relocation. I actually hid the can under the empty desk tonight as I left.

Tomorrow, I am going to put it all the way across the room next to the one by the door. I'll mark it with a sticker to see if the same one gets put back by the wall.

I'm even planning a night where I put it in a completely different room. I am determined to see just how determined this janitor is to making sure there is a garbage can against my wall.

Next week I am going to start throwing away the exact same things everyday in an attempt to confuse said janitor into wondering if he/she is experiencing dejavu, or just going crazy.

(Yeah, and its not going to be normal things, it'll be totally obscure items like old bike parts, tree branches, the same book, the same picture of me with Hillary Clinton, and the same hair brush, everyday)

(Don't ask where I am going to get 5 of each of those things to throw away day after day, but I will, and it will be amusing, this janitor is going to flip his lid)

Anyway, I'm off. I have some research to do...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Super Powers

I have a confession to make. I, Daniel Nelson, have super powers.

After years of attempting to conceal them, I have made the bold decision to come out of the phone booth (yes, that was a lame attempt at a joke. Don't worry, mature humor is NOT one of my super powers)

This may come as a shock to most of you, but to those of you who know me well, this may be no surprise.

Now, I realize that by going public with this I may only be putting those close to me in danger, but I am prepared to face any consequences that come with my enemies finding out about my super powers.

So here they are, in order of coolness, my super powers:


Yes, believe it or not I can actually turn invisible. I have the ability to be completely unseen. While I have absolutely no control over which moments this happens, I am absolutely positive that there are times I am completely unseen to the natural world.

Case and point. Last week as I rode my bike through Payson, UT, I was almost hit by no less than 84 cars in a single 3 mile stretch. The only explanation for this is that light photons MUST have been passing through my physical body instead of reflecting off, preventing any of the drivers from actually seeing me.

But alas, I have no control over this ability. (Trust me, if I did, I'd spend my time doing much more amusing things than writing about it on a blog) It comes with no warning, and oddly enough, pretty much only when I am on my bike around cars.

Feet in Mouth-ability

Now this one's a real doozy. I can figuratively (not literally, that would be disgusting) fit BOTH my feet in my mouth, at the same time. Yes, it's true. I have the ability to not only say things in public that are moderately embarrassing, but more often than not I do not stop there, I keep going and get the other foot in my mouth, AT THE SAME TIME!

You might imagine this would be slightly socially awkward for me, and, well, yeah, it is.

Statements like:

"Hey, I didn't know you were pregnant"

Followed by comments like:

"Oh, you're not. Well maybe you should get back into that exercise program you were on. Sears has stair steppers on sale this weekend..."

Are pretty much what do it for me. You'd think I'd learn by now. But I don't.


This, perhaps, is actually my strongest power. No matter what it is I have to, or should be doing, I can manage a way to rationalize out of it to do something more amusing. (If I could only control that invisibility thing I don't think I'd ever get anything done...)

For example, right now at this moment, I should be studying for a test I have this afternoon, but no, I am writing a blog on how good I am at not studying for tests I have in the afternoons.

Ironic, I know. Sad, but true.

I can literally find almost ANYTHING to do instead of work that needs to get done. My room gets insanely clean during finals week, because even cleaning my room is more appealing than studying for finals. (If you saw my room any other time you would wonder if "clean" was a status even achievable by such the mess it gets to be)

I can recall nights spent making diet coke and mentos rockets in parking lots, as opposed to studying, rigorous YouTube critiquing instead of reading for class, or wrapping and re-wrapping handlebar tape on my bike while I should have been writing a talk for church. Yup, bone-a-fide procrastinator here.

Well, so there is my confession. Let it bring what may. I hope it doesn't change your opinion of me. I'm still the same guy I was 15 minutes ago, you just know more about me now. Don't judge. If you do, I'll turn invisible and rob your house...if I ever get around to it.

Friday, March 7, 2008


So just what exactly does 70.3 mean? Well if you don't know, I'll tell you. And to be honest, even after I do tell you, you probably won't care.

70.3 is how many ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight my body can use in a minute. Commonly referred to as VO
2 Max. You may wonder why on earth this has any relevance to anything. To be honest, not a whole lot. To me, it means a few things:

1) I beat Dave. Dave and I are in the Exercise Physiology masters program at school. Dave is smart. We are really good friends, but we like to beat each other at things.
He beat me on the last anatomy test. By a lot. I beat him on a bike test. By a lot. You tell me what's more important in the real game of life....some lousy school test...or how fast you can pedal a stationary bike in a lab. Yeah, I know, I'm tough.

2) I'm 82% of the athlete Lance Armstrong is. My VO2 max came out at 70 ml/kg/min. His was recorded somewhere around 85 ml/kg/min. I figure that means I should be able to beat 82% of the guys he did..right?

Ok maybe not, but in case you were wondering, here are the numbers of some famous folks

Miguel Indurain: 78
(Spanish cyclist, 1st man to win 5 Tour de France titles in a row '91-'95)

Greg Lemond: 93
(First American cyclist to win the Tour in '86, got shot in a hunting accident and missed '87 & '88, only to come back and win in '89 and '90. Personally, I think he would have kicked Lance's ball up and down the French countryside)

Yo Yo Ma: 57
(Yeah, playing the cello like that takes mad metabolic skill)

Rosanne Bar: 3.6
(To be honest I think I may have exaggerated this number by 2 or 3)

Ok, so you get the idea. Anyway, that is all I have to say about that. I gotta get some good rest so I can win against all the guys on the club ride tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Racing Update

A lot of big things have happened in the last few weeks. I'm gonna talk about them now, cause I guess that is what you do on a blog.

A) We went down to Phoenix for the Valley of the Sun Stage race back in February. You can probably tell by the fact that I am just now mentioning it that I didn't win it. I finished mid pack in the Road Race (40th of 88 finishers or so) and a bit worse in the Time Trial (55th??)

I felt ok about my results because I have been riding quite a bit (10-15 hours a week) but have done almost no intensity, (and by "almost no intensity" I really meant "only 3 rides with any kind of speed work") so I didn't feel too bad. It's a long season and there will be plenty of time to ramp up the intensity.

2) I got my USCF upgrade to CAT 2. I was pretty dang excited, (and by "pretty dang excited" I really meant "insanely stoked out of my mind") about the upgrade. It's one step closer to my secret dream of being a pro cyclist.

Its kind of bittersweet, however. As bad as I've wanted to be a semi-pro, now that I've reached the status, I have to start racing/training like one. And to be honest, I'm not as fast in real life as I am in my dreams...

Pretty much I've got my work cut out for me this season, and nothing to lose, so I guess that means its time to rally.

D) We went down to Baker, CA for a race this last weekend and I had my first race as a Cat 2. I got dropped like a sack of bricks. What's worse, is that is was going downhill. Yeah, downhill. Who in the world gets dropped going downhill!!! Yet as we crested the hill and started the descent I just could not get up with the group...it was pretty embarrassing.

3) I think I'm still sick from a month ago. I just don't seem to be able to get rid of this sore throat. It comes back whenever I push it too hard. Maybe it's my wussy side telling me not to ride too hard...I don't know. All I know is that I wish it was warm outside, and that I could ride hard without feeling like my throat was going to burn a hole through my larynx.

G) I wish I didn't know what a larynx was. I have an anatomy test tomorrow and instead of studying for it, I am on here venting. I'm banking on the fact that my professor doesn't read student blogs, so when I go in tomorrow asking for an extension on the test, he won't know its cause I spent the night goofing off on my blog, instead of baking waffles for widows at the shelter like I'll probably tell him...

(just kidding, I go to BYU, abide by the honor code to the fullest, and have never lied)

[ok so the never lie thing might be a lie, but don't worry, I'm not going to lie to my professor, if he asks, I'll outright tell him I was wasting my night away on a blog instead of memorizing lower leg cutaneous innervations]