Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Loco Motive

Well, I'm officially trained now. In what, you might ask? Well, in the scoring system to be used during this weekend's 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth mountain bike race. I'l have several volunteer duties on Saturday, and one of them will be to run the scoring system on the computer after dark.

My first duty will come early. I told John B., who is putting on the race, that I'd come and help with registration before the race starts at 11:00 am. Just before the start I'll be heading out on the course with Daniel, Josh, and Elle, or any combination of the above, or possibly by myself, in order to take pictures of the race as it unfolds. That will last until the light starts to fail. Sure, I could continue to take pictures after that, but I think that most of the racers wouldn't appreciate having a flash go off in their eyes as they try to negotiate a technical section of trail. I know I wouldn't.

So anyway, come dusk I will head back in to the scoring area and take over for Jay, who will have manned the system up until then. His plan is to take off to a checkpoint with Tom for a late marshalling shift. I hope to have Elle or Josh or Daniel with me too, so I can have one of them downloading all of the photos so we can see haw we did capturing the daylight hours of the race.

The scoring setup is way too cool. We'll be using barcode readers to automate the process. We'll also have a local wireless hub set up so anyone in the camp area can check the scores in near-real time. And the kicker is, we'll also be posting the results to the web at the same time. Last year I heard we had someone from as far away as Asia checking the scores once in a while.

So I guess I'll be busy, eh? Don't expect a post from me on Saturday. I doubt I'll get back home until well after midnight anyway.

I guess I better remember to take lunch and supper with me, huh? Maybe next year we'll open up concessions...

After my training session with Jay I went over to the Tomato Head to get a sandwich to go for dinner. I had to wait a few minutes for it, so I went back outside to enjoy the evening air. While out there, I watched a couple - probably in their late twenties - walking by. The guy put his hand on a rail at one point and apparently there was something gooey or slimy on the rail, which was of course now on his hand. The girl hadn't noticed this, so he slid around and - I kid you not - dragged his hand through her hair. She would have thought he was just playing with her hair, but he was actually wiping his hand off.

I was in an odd mood all afternoon, and something in me at this point just couldn't let that go. So I walked up to them of course.

Me: Excuse me, but I just have to ask, why exactly did you do that just now? I mean, what were you actually thinking?
Him: (sounding unsure) Huh? Uh, what are you talking about?
Me: That thing you just did with her hair. You know, wiping whatever you just got on your hand off in her hair?
Him: Uh...
Her: What?!? (feels the back of her head) What the...? You [string of expletives]!!! What the [additional expletive] do you think you were you doing?!?
Me: Not to meddle, but that's what I wanted to know.
Him: (directed at me) Hey, [expletive] you!
Me: No thanks, I'm straight.
Her: (to him) Hey! Answer me!
Him: (to her) Hey baby, it's not like that. I didn't do anything.
Her: [Reference to bovine scatology]! There's stuff in my hair!
Him: Hey, I don't know how that got there...
Me: ...and chivalry breathes its last...
Him: (to me) [Same expletive] you!
Me: Again, I'm straight. Perhaps you should develop some better bon mots and witty repartee to spice up your conversational lexicon.*
Him: [Expletive] this! I'm outta here! (Exit, angrily but quickly, stage right)
(Pause as he leaves)
Me: Sorry about all that, Kate, but I figured you should know.
Kate: Well, I'd been thinking about dumping him anyway. I guess this makes it easy, if somewhat abrupt. Thanks, Big Guy. I didn't even see you there, but I'm glad you were around. What is this gunk in my hair, anyway?
Me: Dunno. Looks like it could be some grease or something. So, do you need a ride somewhere?
Kate: No. The silver lining is that I'm the one that drove, so now he has to figure out how to get back to his place across town. (Laughs) I hope he has to walk the whole way in the cold.
Me: That's the spirit. Well, I'm just glad I didn't get shot or something.
Kate: Not to worry. (Shows me the inside of her purse) I got my Concealed Carry Permit last year.
Me: Just what a knight in shining armor needs. A damsel with a sidearm to protect him.
(Close curtain to sound of good natured laughter)

* Man, I really loved saying that.

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