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Hamumu Journal
Stationary Blog08:41 PM -- Wed March 11, 2009

Between Twitter and Behind The Dumb, I struggle to find a place for blogging... but here's something too long for Twitter and too inane to squeeze into Behind The Dumb (imagine that)!

I'm reading the new Stephen King short story collection Just After Sunset, and there's a story in there called Stationary Bike. It's about a guy who learns his cholesterol is too high, so he gets a stationary bike and rides every day. Obviously, that gets weird and I would be a spoiltron if I told you how (a pretty dumb story, to be honest). But what interests me is what he did with his bike. I immediately latched onto this idea. He gets a road map and marks the road from one place to another, and each day as he bikes, he marks off the distance he went, creating a virtual bike trip of sorts.

Okay, maybe that's only nifty to me, but I've always had this fantasy of walking or riding a bike right up the entire California coast. It's not something I'll ever do, and I know that, but the idea of it is very compelling. We don't have a stationary bike, but we do have one of those elliptical thingies (sort of equivalent to cross-country skiing, I guess). I'm checking out Google Maps and seeing about building an incentive map. It'd be fun to know where I had gotten to. It's sort of like Wii Fit - a little something to give you a goal, and push you onward a little bit.

And might I add, it's really hard to get Google Maps to take the route you want. I want to go up the coast, not just along freeways! There was one road it just really didn't like, and the points I set would make it head miles up the road, then backtrack and go around before heading miles back down the road again to get to my next point. And then if you mess around with your points too much, it forgets what all the points mean, and completely freaks out. But it's hard to complain... it truly is an utterly mind-boggling piece of software, especially for free!
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