Yes, it's true: I have officially gone deaf. How do I know? Well, today I saw something. It was the same thing I saw yesterday: a motorcycle. "But you see motorcycles all the time, Al," you're surely thinking; in fact, here in California there seem to be many more motorcyclists than most places I've been. But what's unusual is that I didn't hear them first.
My first thought upon seeing these bikes and hearing that they were quieter than most of the cars on the road was that they must have mufflers on them. But everyone knows that it's impossible to ride a motorcycle without putting straight pipes on it. Nobody in their right mind would ride a motorcycle for reasons such as low price, good fuel economy and (at least in California) the right to ride between or beside lanes of traffic in traffic jams or at stoplights. All motorcyclists ride for the sole purpose of removing the mufflers and blatting by my apartment at 1AM. Therefore, I'm sad to say, it is certain that my hearing is completely lost.
In unrelated news, I just ran speedwork for the first time in the great state of California. I figured that the high school near my apartment must have a track, and it did, but it was a dirt track and jogging an test lap around it in 80 seconds proved that it was not a full quarter-mile around (it's not that 80s are hard, they're just not quite that easy). So I went over to the college, and couldn't find a track there either, but they had a little park with a jogging path around it and a sign giving its distance as 0.43 miles. Which meant that for my mile interval workout I'd have to do about two laps plus a bit more than a 200 to log a full mile. What I wound up, I'd estimate, was slightly more than a mile and slightly less than 2.5 laps (which would be 1.09 miles). Close enough. Averaged 5:47.25 for four. Woo. My guess is that if I was running actual miles it would have been about 5:25, but I have no idea how accurate their course measurement is, and it really doesn't matter that much. I just like geeking around with numbers while I run. I'll have to run about 5:38-per-mile to run a 35-minute 10k, so I'll have to get used to running that type of fast pace for longer than a mile at a time... next week (or the weekend)! In which maybe I'll find a track.