Monday, February 11, 2008

Another day, another grueling workout

Yesterday was a classic strength training day for me. Heavier than usual actually, since I was signing up for the HHH, aka the Horribly Hilly Hundred. In fact, I’m not sure I have to even do the ride anymore, considering the workout I’ve already gotten. The HHH is one of those insane things that we pay good money to do, instead of spending it on sensible things like ice cream and sundresses. A 100 or 200K bike ride through the steep, soul-destroying hills of southern WI. “Fun”!

So after waking up early and limbering up with some thumb circles and a series of “jazz hands” to get the blood circulating, I carbed up with a Mountain Dew and my new perfect food, a corndog, i.e. a self-contained unit of triathlon nutrition in a perfect golden bundle, and sat down at my computer. All systems go, everything is in place. Waiting for 10AM, so that I can quickly get this registration over with and get to my daily Road-to-Kona visualization exercise.


What the…??? All hell breaks loose, as if a hive of angry bees has attacked the central node. Error page. Error page. Is it my computer? My connection? Doubtful. I can’t even get onto at all. Shit! I keep trying…..


Cell phone rings. It’s Deanna.

Deanna: Did you get in? I got to the payment page and then it booted me off.
Tasha: You actually got to the rumored-but-rarely-seen registration page? I still haven’t even been able to log into This is ridiculous.
D: Yeah, I got on right away, had no problems until I submitted payment.
T: Well, you were spoiled by early success then, because I seriously have yet to get beyond the first page where you log into
D: I don’t know what to do – I have no idea if I’m actually registered!
T: Try thinking Viking thoughts. Arrrrrg and yo ho ho!
D: That's a pirate, you moron.
T: Oh.

I keep trying. After multiple tries, I keep getting a bit closer, then get the error page. I then discover that the event is in my cart, so at least I know I can just go back to the cart rather than the initial login page.


Deanna calls again.

D: I don’t think I’m in – I haven’t gotten a confirmation.
T: You’re still ahead of me. I’ve just managed to get to the payment page for the first time. Woo.
D: I have to go to work! What shoul….
T: AHHHHHHH!! Oh, sorry. I hit the payment key and got the damn error page.
D: That’s okay. So far I don’t know anyone who’s gotten in – everyone is saying the same thing.
T: How can there be so many nutballs signing up for this thing? Who ARE these people??
D: I have no frickin…..
T: AHHHHHHH! Sorry! It happened again!

And so on. This madness continues, I keep shrieking in Deanna’s ear, and when the dust settles, it looks like I’ll be riding my 200K with the maybe two other people from the Tri Club who got in, and 998 computer geeks who also scored. On the bright side, they should be easy to eliminate. Oh sure, this supposedly isn’t a race, but really, if you’re not knocking people out of the way whenever you have a chance, then what’s the point of it all?

But before I go off to do useful things, I pen a letter to, aka the assclowns who have just helped suck away my entire morning.


I apologize in advance for bothering you with my meek entreaties, perhaps pulling some of you away from your hourly cup of tea or snack. After all, who am I, the lowly and enfeebled paying customer, to come between you and your daily ruminations and activities, which apparently do not involve maintaining a system that actually lets people sign up for races? In spite of my presumption, I would ask that you consider my modest proposal: that in order to facilitate event registration in the future, you could use some of that fee we pay you to spring for a few extra bananas for the dedicated and hard-working monkeys frantically handling sign-up via abacus and stone tablet.

This seems to be the only plausible explanation as to why registration should take 1-3+ hours and involve so much frustration. We are not downloading the entire history of Russian literature set to interpretive dance; we’re trying to sign up for a damn bike ride. Perhaps you could upgrade from the vacuum tube technology
you’re currently using in your Motorola 6800? Just a suggestion.


I feel much better. Now I’m off to “Speed Racer” my bike, by adding sharp blades that will shoot out from Ginger at the touch of a button, thus slicing my opponents’ back wheel into shreds. Hey, they don’t refer to the HHH as “Biking like a Viking” for nothing…..

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