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Saturday, January 31, 2009

More running!

It was a chilly 42*F when I headed out, so I wore a long-sleeve compression shirt under a t-shirt. I know all you Northerners are laughing at me calling 42 cold, but at my current slow pace, I don't generate enough heat, so I need a bit of help.

I managed to keep an even pace. The first mile was 12 mpm including about 3 min of fast walking to warm up. Overall average was close to 11:30 mpm. This was my longest run so far in 09 and I felt great the whole time other than a bit of an upset stomach.

The total for the week of 12.75 which is, I'm pretty sure, my best week in over 6 months. Woo Hoo! I feel a 15 mile week coming up soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More good news!

Hear me Roar!: Good news!

In addition to being good news for Amanda, it is good news for all of us to know that there are so many men and women putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

So, Jarrod, thank you for your service and glad you are home safe and sound. That thanks also goes out to the rest of our armed forces.

Terrific Tuesday

Have you ever lost your wallet or purse? I think most of us have at one time or another. If so, you know the sick-to-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling that hits you when you realize it is missing.

The flip side of losing your wallet is finding it again. Or finding something else. It feels great to find something of value. Finding 25 cents while I was out on a run one day brightened my day. Finding a coupon for a favorite restaurant can make someone happy.

With that incredibly long, but hopefully not too boring lead-in, today's news story is about a movement to help more people feel the good feeling of finding something.

Burger King is dropping real wallets in Chicago and Orlando with real money and real gift certificates in them to brighten people’s lives and make things better for people...

More recently, some other folks have taken this idea and run with it. Nina Hershberger and Daiv Russell have launched a Pay It Forward campaign. Instead of real wallets, which would be a bit more expensive, their plan is using paper wallets. They will provide people with 50 free paper wallets, just for the asking for people that will pass them out as they see fit with the addition of something of value. The item of value can be anything of your choice, whether that is gift certificates, cash or something else is up to you. Check it out and think about whether this is something you could participate in to help spread some good news around.

What do you think about this? A good idea or should helping others be done in other ways? If you do plan on doing this, please leave a comment here. You can also chat about it over on Twitter where you can say "hi" to me as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Double Digits!!!

I finally made it to double-digit mileage this week (with a 1-time adjustment from Mon-Sun to Sun-Sat for this week only). 12 miles!!! This morning was a 4 miler which is a new record for 2009, so that was a great way to start the weekend.

Lets see if we can keep this up next week.

Wish me luck! No, really, wish me luck here in the comments or drop me a note on Twitter, it really helps.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is strange

I logged in to a bill paying site I have used for several years and got this message:

Please note that you will only see this message once and must take immediate action on it.

We take great care to keep your personal information secure. As part of these ongoing efforts, we are notifying you that the computer you use for online bill payment may have been exposed to software that puts the security of your computer's contents at risk. This letter will help you determine if your computer is actually infected and advise you how to fix the problem and protect yourself against future risk.

The malicious software affects some but not all customers who accessed online bill payment on Tuesday, December 2, 2008. For a limited period of time, some customers were redirected from the authentic bill payment service to another site that may have installed malicious software. Your computer may be infected if all of the following are true:

* You attempted to access online bill payment between 12:30 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. Eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, and
* You were using a computer with the Windows operating system, and
* You reached a blank screen rather than the usual bill payment screen when you attempted to navigate to online bill payment, and
* After reaching the blank screen, your computer's virus protection program did not tell you via pop-up or other messaging that malicious software was detected and quarantined.

If all four of the conditions above are true, your computer may be infected. We have partnered with McAfee, .... Please contact us ... for further instructions. We will also offer you both advice and free services that can help you mitigate any risk you may face as a result of this incident or other everyday exposures you may encounter. ...

We value your business and your trust, and we apologize for any inconvenience this recent incident has caused.


I am not sure exactly what day or time I logged in, but there is no way I remember what time I logged in or what messages I received. I guess I will give them a call tomorrow and see what is up. I guess I should assume I got hit and get the fix.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Running and stuff

I really started this blog to monologue about my running and have a place to put my race reports for future review. Thus, now that I have started running a bit more regularly, I am going to start logging my runs here. I also log them on BeginnerTriathlete.com (I am CactusTriathlete there) and that feeds my Twitter-stream. But to my loyal blog readers, I will keep the most interesting (interesting being relative, sometimes a run is just a boring run) stuff here.

I ran a total of 3.1 miles in a shade under 34 minutes for an avg pace of 10:52 mpm. Miles 2 & 3 were a tad faster than the first and I ran the whole way with no walk breaks. I feel like I could have gone a few more miles (but not too much further tonight). Effort was moderate and I went without water (trying to avoid water for anything under 1 hour until the temps start to climb back up.

Thanks for dropping by and may your runs be fast and feel easy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

While this is going out Wednesday, I am calling it Terrific Tuesday because of when I heard and found these items.

Item #1.
My mom called. Biopsy results are in. Not Cancer. GREAT NEWS!!!

Item #2.
A friend on Twitter sent a link to this video. That prompted me to dig a bit more to find out about this guy and found his site here. If anyone has a reason to be bitter, Nick would be it, but he is not. You will fall down, but you don't need to stay down. Keep trying and never give up!

Now, your turn. Share something good that has happened to you recently. Or something that you read that made you feel good. Or tell me this stuff makes you sick (though if that is the case, I highly doubt you have even read this far). Hey, that is why the comments are there and I just made it easier than ever to post a comment. As long as I don't start getting a ton of spam, I will leave these looser settings, so if you want to post a motivational message about your discount pharmacy, please don't, as I will just delete it. Anything other than spam is welcome.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tech Coolness

A friend just passed this link on to me. Besides the expected low price, this laptop looks like it would meet the needs of upwards of 90% (my guess) of home computer users. Based on only this one post, as long as the drivers for printing are available, my suspicion is that this machine has the potential to be a best-seller. The prototype they are showing looks like something Fisher-Price would make (that is a compliment in my book) and would be pretty reliable which would make it a great addition to any household with kids or new computer users.

I look forward to the continued progress of this product and hope it doesn't languish in development due to the current financial struggles.

What do you think? Would this find it's way into your house? Would it replace some or most of what you do with a laptop? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Almost...

... made it to double digits this week. Just over 8 miles. Nothing record-breaking for me, but a new high for 2009. Maybe next week will be over 10.

Today was a nice 3.15 mile progression run. Each mile was faster than the one before.

That's all. Stay tuned for more running next week (I hope). If you need more before then, feel free to visit my photo blog or head over to Twitter and say "hi".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I ran again last night!

OK, I ran at the gym on Tuesday as well, but last night I went about 2.4 miles. I made a few up and down sprints at the water retention basins for a bit of extra and threw in a short speed interval to give my son a run for his money (he was pacing me on his bike). I only took about a 30 second walk break after the speed interval to get my HR and breathing back under control.

I managed about 5.5 miles last week (1 of those was walking with my lovely wife) and so far this week I am at 3.9 with 4 days to go (my training schedule starts Mondays) so if I get 2 more workouts in and average 1.55 miles each, I will be at 8 for the week. Any walks and I should be able to hit double digits!

And that is on top of getting off to a spectacular start on maintaining my photo blog. My minimum goal there is to have at least 1 photo a week and try to get post every other day as a stretch goal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can't say anything else...

Frankie's blog entry from yesterday is powerful. There is nothing I can add except my own humble thanks to the men and women of our armed forced putting their lives on the line every day to protect my freedom.

Lest the cynical among us (myself included) suspect this is just some political hot air trying to drum up pro-war sympathies, snopes has verified it and lists it as true.

Check it out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Running?!?!?

Remember that? That was one of the main reasons I started blogging here. That and swimming and biking make up triathlon. Since April about the only time running has come up here is me moping about not doing it very much.

Well, this week I ran 3 times. Only a total of 4.5 miles and at a pretty easy pace, but I have to start somewhere. Also, 2 of those runs were followed by a good 30+ minutes of weight training.

Next week, the goal is at least 3 runs and shoot for 6+ miles. Should be a reasonable goal, but keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blog 2008 year in review

In most sports, numbers are used to analyze everything from a baseball batters performance to the percentage of free throws a basketball player makes. In businesses, managers will use numbers to analyze their profitability as well as well as to identify profitable products and markets. I have likewise been trying to balance what I am interested in with what the people that come to my blog like to see.

To that end, earlier this year, I implemented Google Analytics to track statistics on my visitors. Don't worry I do not track any personal information about anyone stopping by here (I don't even think I can) but rather just information about how many people, what part of the country or world where they are logged in. So how did I do for 2008?

1332 Visits
18 countries
41 states
80 posts

I started blogging in May, but started doing it a bit more consistently in July. Also by July, I had gotten most of the kinks worked out of Google Analytics so the numbers above are not complete for the earlier period of my blogging.

The main goal of this blog was initially to have a place to lecture, rant, rave or ramble to no one in particular. That included topics that interest me including photography. When I started my photography blog in December, I knew that would mean that most of the future entries here would not be directly photography related, but that was ok.

It has been fun watching the statistics here. The one I enjoy looking at most is the countries and states visited. I had visitors from 41 states in 2008 and 38 of them were multiple visits. It was also fun to see visitors from all over the world. I hope that some of them find something interesting or entertaining and keep coming back from time to time.

Now here is the audience participation part. If you are reading this, please take a minute and post at least a short comment to let me know where you are.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Darwin Awards are back

The 2008 Darwin Awards are out. You can vote on your favorites here. I'm sure you know that Charles Darwin is known for the theory of evolution which in a short, non-technical, average-joe/jane kind of way says that species will evolve or change over time by the stronger traits becoming more prominent and the weaker, less useful ones being less prominent or disappearing. If you have not heard about the Darwin Awards (named in his honor), their web site explains it this way:

The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of
the human genome by honoring those who
accidentally remove themselves from it...

In other words, they are awards given to people who managed to kill themselves in some spectacularly idiotic way.

My favorite is Run! No, Run Away! It meets the spirit of the Darwin Awards in a wonderful way.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve Report

Last night, we had a family get together for New Year's Eve. My parents made reservations for a hayride and campfire dinner. We met at MacDonald's Ranch right around sunset. My sister was in town for a few days with her son and my brother and his girlfriend/fiancee also came with. My oldest son brought a friend with as well.

friends, horse
Everyone was entranced by the horses and their willingness to come over to the fence and visit. We got everyone together and made our way over to the wagon. We all piled on for horse-drawn wagon for the ride out to our campsite. When we got there and unloaded our stuff the cowboy took off with our wagon and said he would be back at 9 unless we called for an earlier pickup.

The fire was going when we got there, so all we needed to do was add wood when it needed it.

fire, campfire, bonfire

There was a generator running some lights at some of the picnic tables and a couple porta-potties. We sat down to eat and while we were eating, we heard some coyotes howling. We didn't see them, but they sure sounded close. After we ate, we played some games, made smores and visited around the fire.

stars, cactus, saguaro, night, dusk
We enjoyed our evening under the stars and went back to the cars on another horse-drawn wagon and made it back home by 10:30 so we were off the roads before the highest numbers of drunks were on the roads. It was a great time and we had a lot of fun.