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Wednesdays were Wonderful

And we still remember. Here the excitement of weekdays past lives on.

Monday, the 23rd of March, 2009

Nothing to report from the previous Wednesday the 18th, because your Webmaster was out getting kultchah! Yes that’s right, real culture, hearing the Brandenburg Concertos at the Granada Theatre, played with period instruments by actually living modern people. One of Desa’s students — nay, scholars — was competing in the Optimists Orators Contest, so she was also absent. Could anything have happened at Nite Grooves? There may be stories. There may have been a cake for Sterling.

But... a good crop of Groovers and Santa Barbara movers made it up to Lake San Antonio for a good time over the weekend. There was rumor of rain but we really lucked out: only some sprinkling over Saturday night. Almost everyone made it around the lake. (One big tire blowout.) Kyle pushed through three flat tires, Stacy went all the way around without clip-ins, Chris Latham rode extra... all the way to Jolon Road again and then back. Was that all? Why no.. there’s a run to do. Even though it’s along the scenic lakeside it seems crazy... until we soak our legs in the chilly water to get the total experience. Shannon hiked the race trail and made Jiffy Pop for us!

There was some real gourmet food going around too, with wine, and dare I mention the Irish whiskey? It was truly amazing to awake to clear skies and a cadre of crazies who actually wanted to go for a morning run. Craig outdid us all by riding the loop again with Cory. Kyle did so much I can’t remember what. Nobody snored too loudly and we didn’t get attacked by feral pigs.

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Thursday, the 12th of March

Lots of Groovers, too numerous to mention, assembled at Hazards for the monthly meeting of the SB Tri Club. One of the topics was the Wildflower Campout, scheduled for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of this month. To the right there is a map (click for larger version) of the campsites there. I figure we’ll want to be down in the Lynch campground area. Once you’re down there it isn’t too hard to find each other.. in the light. After dark it’s a little more tricky. If you have Verizon cell coverage, you can probably connect; AT&T is sketchier.

Various people will be heading out on Friday afternoon. Saturday is traditionally the long ride around the lake, followed by as much running as you can handle after that. Sunday, it’s up to your discretion. Hard-cores will show their stuff. Wimps will sleep in.

Perhaps we could use the SB Tri Club Facebook page to post info about who is going when and where. There also is an old-fashioned message board at the entrance to the Lake San Antonio South Shore Campground, where early arrivers can put up info. Let’s get some phone-tag started at least, so we know who’s bringing what.


Wednesday, the 11th of March

It was light out when we started — and when we finished too! Daylight Saving Time has turned Nite Grooves into almost Day Grooves. We met Michelle, who was pointed toward us by Joe Sullivan. She works with some engineering project at SBCC, so she is just a hop, step and a jump away from our jumping-off point. We had a great turnout and the cold brisk wind kept us all from slacking off. Sarah arrived late but caught up like a jet-ski plowing through a flock of ducks. Running by the pier we saw a whale! Well, the back of a whale.

In fact we had such a big turnout that it split into factions. Warming down, we thought we had a quorum, with Brian, Sam, Andrew, Craig, Michelle, Josh, Karen, and others deciding on The Neighborhood. Said participants dispersed pursuant to regrouping on the other side of the tracks. But somehow a Rump Parliament formed with the intent to go to the Brew Co Lounge. How could this be? It’s those over-achievers who have to run more and more. If they think they need more exercise we should make them swim in the cold Pacific. That would shrink their agendas... or something.

Andrew headed over to the Neighborhood to persuade them to move the party, but succumbed to the Stockholm syndrome and stayed. We then texted the rebels to take photos to prove they were having as much fun as us. We are awaiting the results.

We heard from Sam about Type A and Type B guys and dating strategies, and basically gossiped about the people who weren’t there. Oh yes, that means you. We had to talk Brian down from his own story about eating a few too many mushrooms. Stacy predicts that the gendarmes will be in force for the Grateful Dead show in LA in May. We will see if the 60s are still alive.

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Wednesday, the 4th of March

Despite the lengthening days, it still helps to have a nite-lite to keep the monsters away, as well as to navigate around Desa’s neighborhood. Andrea’s friend Luis joined us and fit right in. Nancy, Seth, and a few other familiar faces rejoined us too... once a Groover always one. Cool weather but no wind, ideal for running fast which everyone did. Again Matt and Ricky did a pre-run, and Michael (and others?) did extra post-run. The basic run was quite sufficient for most. Liz ran into a bat (or was it the other way around?) along the bird refuge. (Liz’s sonar must not have been working.) Heather arrived late but gets points for also running in the morning. Kelly ran with Ty — two legs good, four legs better. Making six in all — clearly best of all.

Sterling and Kelly made the kind offer of their house for the post-run festivities, and at least 20 people showed up — and had plenty of room. All sorts of second-rate provisions were promised: soggy pasta, sucky pizza, shoddy wine... but it must not have shown up, so we got the good stuff instead. Nancy brought some excellent wine, as well as her friend Laura, who does so many sports we triathletes seem anemic. Why limit herself, she says. Desa was absent... she & Billy had other plans. Probably stamp-collecting or something.

Their cat Box was surprisingly friendly, considering the large and noisy contingent. We learned he is King of the neighborhood. They leave an upper-story window open, leading once to a catfight between Box and a neighboring one — underneath the bed! That must have been dramatic for all parties. Hope it didn’t end like the clip here. Seth and Andrew played guitar and plunked away bravely (but, mercifully briefly) at the piano. We weighed the advantages (scant) and shortcomings (frigid water) of early-season triathlons. Josh was the outright winner at UCSB last year; now he has to decide whether to defend. Even if he doesn’t, probably his time will stand. Then next year he can lower it.

Finally, a bit of history, a Blast from the Past. The photo below doesn’t show a squadron of Charlie’s Angels but a high-school softball team including one of our own Groovers. See if you can identify who it is and which one.

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Wednesday, the 25th of February

Good conditions, a little on the cool side, but with the sun still peeking out as we gather for the run. Headlamps? Well by the time we got to East Beach they were necessary. Chris Latham showed up for what she said was the second time. (Somehow we must have missed the first.) And set a solid pace, pulling along some runners who would otherwise have slowed down after the turnaround. Our four-legged friend Ty(rant) made it clear that if he could ride a bike he’d be a fearsome triathlete. (We assume he can dog-paddle.) Sarah and Amy started out slow and accelerated -- a famous race tactic to demoralize your opponents. Sarah, Matt, and Desa did the “dessert” run, adding a little at the end. Taj went for the double, but bonked both times! Good on him. The only way to find your limits is to crash into them. Kelly K the tireless (not a bike joke) pulled Duncan in to the finish.

Then off to the ever-reliable BrewCo Lounge, where you get good fast service and always have a big-enough table. People who didn’t run but love a good time, like Stacy G, Kelly L, and Jayna J, showed up to brighten the atmosphere. Are we not the coolest group around? Sterling held strong on the philosophical position that escaping moral hazard is immoral. (Is it really true that helmets make cyclists take more risks?) Then we got down to serious political talk, and Godwin's Law was invoked. This clip from the Daily Show reveals others taking the same tack.

It took a while for the conversation to veer around to a topic where consensus is easier, but Brian got it around to body types. Andrew agreed to patronize the Turkish Bath that Kelly L is going to start in Santa Barbara. He’s hoping there’s an opium den next door. Desa, Amy, Jayna, and Sarah had some girl talk, probably about cars and sports. What else would women talk about?

Who is going to the SLO Lake Lopez Triathlon? It is the weekend after the USCB Tri, which all good Groovers should attend, either racing or helping, in memory of our dear Kendra, who was a Desa-in-training. No camping at the UCSB race, of course, but definitely at Lake Lopez.

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Sunday, the 22nd of February

The hash actually took place on the preceding day, Saturday, but details took a day to slowly emerge from the fuzzy, bleary memories of the spent participants. A good set of Groovers, along with other assorted crazies, took part, some under such quaint aliases as “Slimey”, “Tri Me”, “Dainty Daisy”, “Jolly Jumper”, and other suspicious “AKA”s. Sounds like they want to avoid identification by the authorities. We’re not tellin’.

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Saturday, the 21st of February

Groovers shone like crazy diamonds at the Roses en La Playa race this morning. Ricky Ho broke 17 minutes in the 5k for the first time... and there were two people ahead of him still! Nonetheless he was first in his age group. Matt Trost won his age group too. As did Desa Mandarino. But wait... Desa was the first woman over the line! Note that Desa is now a cover-girl at both this site and our friend site SBAA. Wow, not since Bruce Springsteen made Time and Newsweek has there been such a coup! Matt & Ricky... we guess they’re just chopped liver ☹ .

A sizeable contingent of Groovers were out riding their bikes this morning. Originally intending to just do the SB Tri course, they elected to turn aside and accompany Chris Latham up the first two hills toward the lake. The only thing tougher than riding that way... is riding the opposite way from the lake! Your Groover editor recalls grunting like Monica Seles on the way back up.

When we returned, Ricky, Desa, and Matt were just arriving at East Beach to deliver their exciting news and share breakfast. No word on activities after that... probably a well-deserved nap for all. They did have to prepare for the Mardi Gras hash. Les bon temps vont rouler!

Photos here courtesy of friend website Santa Barbara Pix, who have kindly consented (in the past, anyway) to lend their shots to our page. Their quality is really unequalled. No “Photoshopping” necessary — unlike much of the work from our amateur cadre of Groover paparazzi. (Kelly Lane excluded.) Next time you see an SB Pix guy or girl, compliment them. And if you like your pix — pay for them!

And... completely off-topic: jaguars found in the U.S.! We’re not talking bobcats or mountain lions, who are plenty big enough. This is a full-on jag, caught, tagged, and released. Runners, carry projectiles to throw!

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Wednesday, the 18th of February

Shortage of news for this week, due to a shortage of reportage. We are sure something happened, but it stays at Nite Grooves this week. However we have some news of upcoming events, courtesy of Dave in his persona as Slimey the hasher.

One of the traditions of the hash, started by Slimey 14 years ago, is the Anal Mardi Gras Hash. One of the most fun hash events of the year, this annual run includes a great trail, beer, beads, beer and a fun On On to go do some dancin’. More details at including the start location. $15 gets you the run, beer and a light dinner, then we’re off for a night on the town. This hash is a dress up one, Mardi Gras theme, which pretty much means anything. The Groomies would be happy to help dress anyone who is costume challenged. Just let them know and they’ll have you come to the house between now and the hash.
After the hash, Slimey is thinking of starting at Sharkees for their Mardi Gras celebration and then move on to EOS, seems like that place works for us!! See you Saturday at 3 PM at the DMV on Castillo.

Got that? So Laissez les bon temps rouler! (And definitely watch this clip.)

Wednesday, the 11th of February

The cold, dark of night, and all that stuff that mailmen are supposed to be bigger than, did kinda thin the herd this Wednesday, but it did make people run faster. We could see our breath condense as we zipped along the waterfront. Water, the stuff that suffuses our bodies and courses through our veins, evident everywhere. People were equipped with their LED headlamps to show the way. Even dogs had their flashing collars.

We dashed along to the Bird Refuge, with Sarah catching us, just as expected. Desa is for once absent, listening instead to Robin Williams tell jokes that would make a hasher blush. If they even can. Lisa Dunn is the Dark Angel, dressed warmly in black, but with a headlamp.

After the run we headed to the BrewHOUSE, as opposed to the CO, where we were torn between basketball and food. We observed the 200th birthday of both Lincoln and Darwin. Stacy has the gene that lets her curl her tongue in both directions. Is she the epitome of evolution? Well she’ll have to compete with this girl.

Stacy dragged Andrew (who was very willing) along to more excitement at Soho, and they danced to Animal Liberation Orchestra. Yeah, let’s liberate all sentient beings! Unless they are already enlightened. The best warm-down for a run is dancing all night, right? Kyle and Shannon were there shakin’ it, as well as Emi from the Tri Club. In fact, the action continued even after the show, which is impressive in Santa Barbara where things wind down earlier than they do in the Big Apple. Some Groovers got to bed about time to get up again.

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Friday, the 6th of February

A good number of Groovers, as well as other SB Tri Club members, converged again at Lizzie’s health club for some swim coaching from Laurie Sigloch. (At least that’s what her last name used to be... if anyone can clue me in on her new last name that would be cool.) We saw Desa, Sara, Matt, Andrew, Lizzie, Dave, Emily, Sandy, Taj, John... probably some more too. Swimming in the rain is so much fun. Even better is the hot tub afterwards. Alas, Andrew’s “real” camera was as much out of juice as he was after the workout. But we got a phone-camera shot of the post-game show. Is there a limit on people in that tub?

Also, there were some broken links in the Feb 3rd entry; they have been fixed. Oops! Geez Andrew, it’s all ones and zeroes — what is there to get wrong?


Wednesday, the 4th of February

A great turnout for a chilly evening. Nice to see Lisa again, we had three walkers with dogs, a runner with dog (or is that a dog with runner?), and even some over-achievers who did the “double”, getting in a solid run before the run. Only a matter of time before those guys start thinking of the Ultraman. Looks like Josh is getting a little too enthusiastic with his fascist salute there.

Out to Dargan’s for dinner, and we got a good long table in the back bar. We talked about Michael Phelps’ mea culpa. Consensus seemed to be cutting him a little slack — but he should learn to bake brownies. He needs his lungs! Somehow the talk about breathing led somebody (could it be Brian?) to the topic of autoerotic asphyxiation. We figure we get enough death-defying thrills just riding down Toro Canyon... and we’re not playing with ourselves either! (At least most of us aren’t.. can’t vouch for Dave G.)

We saw Amy sharing cell phone photos with Sarah. Probably just a pet or something. She shared her great sense of humor with all of us. Taj shared his cell phone games with Emily, who is probably more talented than any of us. Sterling ran, and brought his better half along for dinner. Both of them ride motorcycles, and are shaking off the trauma of seeing a bad cycle-car accident recently. Knock on wood for all of us.

A small contingent kept the groove going by walking down to the new Pinkberry. In a convenient location, you’d think — except it’s right where the Jamba Juice used to be and they apparently didn’t make it. Started in L.A., Pinkberry seems to be a frozen yogurt place with attitude. Sort of yesterday’s idea of tomorrow, like the Jetsons. Not only do they sell three (count ’em and weep, Baskin-Robbins) flavors of frogurt, but also these cute little tchotchkes (that’s טשאַטשקע in Yiddish) at what must be quite a profitable markup. You can see that Andrew, Craig, and Sam all had blueberries in theirs, because they’re up on their polyphenol theory.

After enjoying our yummy and health-promoting dessert, we had to share the experience with Sarah. How many athletes, engineers, teachers, and cell phones does it take to do this? Sarah got pictures, and pictures of pictures. But we couldn’t send the swirly goodness™ through the phone.

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Tuesday, the 3rd of February

More info about the Nite Moves challenger. It's called Reef and Run and you can learn more by following the link. Hmm... if we get so hooked that we have to keep it up off-season, will we meet on Tuesdays and call it “Rough and Fun”? However, looks like they need to use a spell-checker a little more! ☺

And more about the fairy-tale romance of Kevin and Jessica. Of course in this day and age they have a website. We wish them well in their start-up, and look forward to the IPO.

And finally, we thought it was high time for a new cartoon. (See left.) Any creative types out there with a sense of humor? Contribute to Nite Grooves and take a place up there with those talented New Yorker cartoonists!

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Wednesday, the 28th of January

No threat of rain this time, just a great run in the middle of the week, on a day that the Germans have sensibly named Mittwoch. There was a lot of catching-up and letting-go as the faster runners saw both sides of the slower ones coming and going. These fun-runners are serious!

We agreed to go to the Neighborhood, and got the word out so that non-runners could converge and ask “What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening.” Well that little groovy two-chord rock would have been welcome there, but instead it was a wall-to-wall head-banging of loud noise. Tough to talk. Who knows what was said? Lots of cool people showed, like Desa with her killer outfit. And Stacy, sporting a new foot tat. People were talking about the upcoming Super Bowl — do we care, will we watch, what about the commercials? Apparently this one was too racy for the censors... what do YOU think?

Another buzz was the new competitor to Nite Moves. Apparently it will happen on Tuesdays. Will it get game? And what will we all do on Tuesdays in the winter when it ends? Where will this all end? We could get to be a pretty busy bunch.

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Wednesday, the 21st of January

There was a threat of rain, but a flurry of e-mails using our groovy group e-mail ( helped us reinforce each others’ intentions. And then it didn’t really rain anyway. Walkers showed up, dogs with flashing collars, and everybody recognized each other again. We had a good run, pushed by the drizzle and our own drive.

Dinner at Sharkeez, where Brian was examining peoples’ fingers, and is shown here providing an example. Something about the ratio of lengths, relating to testosterone and manliness. Sounds to me a bit like correlating sunspots with stock prices. Then Dave got into it, looking at our palms and tracing the lines of life and love. But what about the size of your nose? Or your thumb? There are secrets locked in there, but we’ll never tell.

Sam discussed the intense competition for waves going on at Rincon and around the world. We heard a lot about Josh’s new bike... you get a wife, then a bike, then how do you top that? Sterling told us about the obsessive backing-up you have to do when your work depends on bits. How far do you go? We called up his ancestor-poet Goethe and said this is like pursuing immortality, and you can’t get it, except as a reference on a web log. Kelly L didn’t run with us but showed up and shared the experience and blessed us with her smile.

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Wednesday, the 7th of January

A reunion for all Groovers and a surprise party for Desa, who is usually the driving motor for giving parties for others. This time karma came back around for her and showered her with goodies. But first, the run. Not so cold; and plenty of us had spent vacations in frigid climes. Andrew had a new headlamp and didn’t get lost. Desa brought some newbies who we want to integrate into the Groove. Along the way people saw others they knew and waved, confirming our zero-degrees-of-separation Santa Barbara world. Who knew that Andrew’s research topic as a Banana Slug would become so relevant? It was cooold down by the Bird Refuge, something about the fog evaporating or something.

Along with that mist, it seemed that the enthusiasm had evaporated, as Sam and Desa rolled over to Sharkeez and found a pretty slow scene. What’s up with this, are we all over being Groovers? It’s a school night? Lost our momentum from last year because of added holiday “handles”? Well let’s try the Brew Co.

Surprise!!! (And it’s so hard to keep a secret from the Social Secretary.) People were planning out their racing agendas and patting themselves on the back for not losing too much over the holidays. Sarah, Liz, Desa, and Ann Marie had some good girl talk that we will never know about. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we heard some stories from Brian about close encounters that were worthy of a Seinfeld episode. We missed Amy, but rumors abounded. We missed Kelly Knowles, massage therapist to the stars, who herself had a crick in the neck. Desa has just made her first appearance on Facebook, so we expect that soon she will be the Hub of the Social Universe.

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Monday, the 5th of January

Welcome back, all Groovers! This Wednesday we re-acquaint ourselves with the running tradition. (I realize there were a few stalwarts that ran over the holidays. Hats off to you!)

We already have a preliminary post-run plan, which is to meet at Sharkeez. Don’t be shy!

Meanwhile, here are a few photos that have made their way into the inbox here. (That’s webmaster at nitegrooves · org.)

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