I'll Take "Potpourri" for $800, Alex

1) Driving out here in the beginning of August gave me a better understanding of the proportionality of the US. And now that I'm in a different part of it, I underwent an exercise to give me an idea as to where I am based on how far away I am from where I was. Here are some places that are as far away from Boulder as Richboro (i.e. about 1,600 as-the-crow-flies miles):
  • Utica, NY
  • Ottawa, ON, CAN
  • the northeast tip of Polar Bear Provincial Park, ON, CAN
  • Yellowknife, NT, CAN (base of operations in the show Ice Road Truckers)
  • Terrace, BC, CAN
  • Metlakatla, AK (which is near the infamous Bridge to Nowhere)
  • Acapulco, MEX
  • Cancun, MEX
  • Jupiter, FL

2) With the new surroundings comes a new weather event: Chinook winds. Rather than try to explain it myself, I'll refer you to what the contributors to Wikipedia have to say about Chinook (or foehn) winds. What I can tell you, though, is that this is no slight breeze. I mentioned in an earlier post about the somewhat common mid- to late-afternoon shower. More often than not, you can see them forming off in the distance. Some, however, seem to stall out and never make it over the mountains. When they do you can witness the eastward advancement of the clouds seemingly stop and then "pile up" as if hitting a wall. The wind that ensues from this change of events is amazing, and usually comes on quite rapidly. We don't have an anemometer, but neighbors have told us it is not unheard of for winds to go from slight breezes to 80 mpg within the span of several minutes.

3) I've been amazed over these last several weeks about how careless some people in and around Boulder are when they are on their bikes. I think every ride I've been on I've seen people that aren't wearing helmets and some that are wearing headphones for their MP3 players. What's just as striking are the moms and dads riding without a helmet while going out for a ride with their kid(s). Do they think their skull is harder? (Thankfully, I haven't seen too many kids riding without helmets.) The large majority of people, of course, due take the proper precautions and exercise prudence. But given how widespread cycling is around here, a lot of people know the risks involved. As such, I would have expected to see fewer people who purposefully stack the deck against themselves.

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