February 26, 2007

Sarah passed!

The big news (as of Friday) this weekend is that Sarah passed her orals, so she’s now officially a PhD candidate. There was, um, some serious partying. I think I drank about 10 sangrias, and ended up trying to get from Pearl St. back to my house, very drunk, with 2 people (my pal Dave from the UK, who was, of course, also blitzed, and myself) on one bike. Shockingly, we made it, and didn’t even crash, though I was pretty worried a few times when I was sitting on the saddle and Dave was “steering”. We woke up at noon on Saturday and battled raging headaches, then tried to ride at Green Mountain this afternoon. Green Mountain is NOT dried out. We ended up walking through snowdrifts almost as much as we rode our bikes.

Put a new WTB Weirwolf 2.55 tire on Sarah’s bike and she liked it pretty well. I was interested to notice that it’s actually very slightly *smaller* than the Exiwolf, which is ostensibly a 2.3″ tire, and made by the same company. Are the folks at WTB just totally incapable of measuring things, or do they not understand the metric system, or what? I mean, the tire is 56mm wide. That’s about exactly 2.2″. So, ok, call it a 2.3 if you want. Fine. But 2.55? First off, 2.5 doesn’t make any sense, because, well, it’s not that big. But _2.55_?!? That’s hilarious not just because it’s wrong, but because it’s unbelievably precise in its wrongness – what the heck is the extra 5 for? Why not add a few more digits? I tell you, my 2.556 hooks up WAY better than that 2.553 I was running last year… I think the only way to make this kind of measurement more annoying would be to express them as fractions of prime numbers or something.

Best book this week: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Think Dickens meets Neil Stephenson meets Orson Scott Card. Wicked stuff, great writing and characterization and a fantastic and internally consistent universe. The story itself is the weakest aspect of the book, but it’s good enough to let you enjoy everything else.