Saturday, February 28, 2009

UPDATAGE

In case you were wondering, I ran the Cotton Row course last Saturday and this.
Both sessions were completed in nominal times and with no physical problems.

Today, it was 48 degrees and drizzly with a nice 10 MPH breeze out of the north-west. (similar to last week)
There were several large travel trailers parked in the parking lot of the VBC when I arrived.
I wondered what was going on.
I parked in my usual handicapped slot and trotted off to do my run.
Single layers on legs and top were sufficient to keep me comfy for the whole jaunt.
Other than a biological emergency (alleviated by a handy portable excretion module at a residential construction site on the course) there were no problems.
My time today was 62 minutes.
Not bad considering I had to stop and tend to my ill-timed "problem".
When I finished and took my usual cool-down walk I saw a sign on the side of one of the trailers that identified the visitors and the event with which they were aligned: the circus is in town.
Whoo hoo.
Another event for me to ignore.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mo Pichas 2

Here are a few more pictures from my Oregon vacation this last Christmas/New Years.



The sun was playing peek-a-boo through the clouds and the changing patches of light and dark were tickling my photographer's eye.
So I took several shots of this area as the clouds and light changed.



The telephoto lens on my camera causes some interesting distortions of distance that can make a scene seem more "dramatic".
I like to play with this phenomenon, and since there is no wasted film with a digital camera.... I can now shoot with abandon.



And one more of the same area with slightly different light/cloud arrangements.



My sister saw this shot first (she has a very good photographer's eye) so, naturally, I had to copy her.
This reminds me of a postcard shot (which many of you are prolly too young to understand what a post card is and what its purpose is, so I will explain: back in the olden days - the early 1900's - not everyone had a camera-phone, or a camera, or could afford film, or knew how to even operate a camera, so businesses located at scenic/tourist places would sell post cards, a 5 x 7 piece of cardboard with a picture of the spot on one side and a place for a address and a short note on the back.).



Some of the rocks along the coast get worn away from the bottom up, by the water.
In some cases, the rock will be cut through completely to the top.
In these rare areas, the surging sea water will trap air in these small tunnels and push it up through the small holes in the top.
When this air is mixed with a little of the water, it causes a spay to blow out the top hole (sort of like a whale does).
Fortunately, the light was just right for me to catch one of these vent holes showing off for the tourists.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oregon Pictures 1

Here are some more pictures from my trip to Oregon last December.
As you can see, I took most of them while we visited the coast after New Years.



This is the view from the beach house as the sun rises above the mountains to our east and hits the water for the first time.



This is the trail that goes down from the parking area to Devil's Churn, which is at Cape Perpetua.
This cliff is about 50 to 75 feet high here.



This is just to prove that I/we were reelee there.



Here I was trying to get an artsy photo of the reflections of Devin and the sky.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Run

I did the Cotton Row course again, Saturday morning.
It was a cool, foggy environment, about 50 degrees.
I debated whether to go bare-legged (as I normally do not get too cold running in 50+ degree weather).
Because of the possibility of wind, I decided to do pants just in case.
The single medium layer on top was just about right.
This combination (plus ear warmer and mesh gloves) proved to be just about right.

My right ankle, left knee and hip were all acting up as I walked around the house getting ready, so I was prepared to abort the party if they did not settle down.
Fortunately, (and amazingly - again!) after a few hundred steps, all joints settled down and whimpered not the rest of the journey.
This still amazes me.

I made the trip in exactly 60 minutes.
I was a little damp from the fog and drizzle but felt fine.

More pikturs coming soon....

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Installation

Let the Royal Chronicles show that I have successfully installed Linux openSUSE 11.1 on this machine.
It took about 30 minutes and everything is working fine.
I decided to buy this version just to provide some financial support to the company that sponsors this product (Novell).

I have been running Linux for over two years now.

IN OTHER NEWS....

Tomorrow (Saturday) is run day.
According to the local prognosticators it seems that I will be running in a nice 42 degree rain.
Lovely.
I look forward to June.
I am also thinking about running in the Cotton Row race this year.
Just for grins.
Stay tuned for a final decision.




This is my high school senior picture.
Back then "senior" meant something different than it does now. :)



This will give you some idea how deep the snow was after I first arrived at my sister's place.
It was about 12 inches deep in some places (like on the birdbath)



This is the only picture I took of everyone during our annual Christmas eve gift exchange ritual.
For some reason we forgot to do the automatic delayed picture of all of us - including mee.



This is Devin and Casey the dog in their usual posture.
Casey was/is very old for a dog and was just recently dispatched to dog heaven in a gentle way.
She was a good dog and will be missed.
I am sure a replacement will be acquired soon to fill the fuzzy void.



This is our beach house that we rent for a few days each Christmas/New Years.
I took this as the sun was rising above the eastern mountains.

More pics to come....
.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

58:20!

That was my time this morning for the Cotton Row course.
Big deal, you say?
Well, in the cosmic scale, you are correct.
It is not such a big deal.

But for me, it was pretty significant.
I have not broken 58 minutes on this course for several years. (in a practice run...)

It was "only" 42 degrees this morning when I went out at 6:00.
I chose a single medium layer for my top and two layers for my legs to help keep my knees happy.
They seem to like being warm these days, more than in times past.
There was a light breeze blowing but it only bothered me for the first half mile or so until I warmed up.

Start time was 6:10:05.
There were no major physical problems today, although my right foot again wanted to act like it was sprained for no discernible reason.
This outbreak lasted about a minute, like the last episode.
I tried changing my gait to try to take the pressure off the affected area (which I am not sure where exactly that is) but after a short time, it healed itself.
Again.
As usual for nearly all of my running aches and pains.
I still find that amazing.

Anyway, I was astounded and pleased to see my watch when I finished read 7:08:25.

IN OTHER NEWS

Work in the tax office continues.
I am doing better than I expected in my volume of business and "selling" of HRB products.
I am second or third in almost every measure of such things (I still find this amazing...)
And I learn something new from almost every tax return I do.
While I did not look forward to doing this early in the year, now I am thinking that I will do this again next year (assuming all things continue as they are now).

Monday, February 02, 2009

On Politics, Runs, and Work

OBAMA OSHLAMA

As I suspected, the new "historic" president is just another liberal-socialist in blackface.
(And by the way, what is "historic" about this man other than his race? If he were white, his policies would be [and are] nothing new. They are proving to be "historic" in their scope and proportions.)
(And, also, BTW, I have nothing against the man because of his race. It is just that the media, generally, constantly wet themselves because he is the first black President of the United States. Frankly, I find him unremarkable.)

He has two cabinet nominees who owe back taxes so far.
(His nominee for Attorney General feels "constrained" by the US Constitution....)
And these two millionaires contritely express their "embarrassment" and "oversight" at their transgressions to the kangaroo court-style confirmation hearings.
These proceedings are so stupid and perfunctory that they nearly make me sick.
Except that I don't pay much attention to them.
These criminals will be confirmed and put in powerful leadership positions in our government to administer regulations on the rest of us.

The amount of new spending/debt already proposed by this "historic" megalomaniac is so astounding that it is nearly incomprehensible.
He has no idea what he is doing, or the consequences of his actions.
Such wanton spending will ravage the US economy for years to come.

None of your property (or rights) is safe from the reach of this new federal government.
There will be (many already proposed) new taxes of every imaginable kind -
new taxes on gasoline,
new taxes on your home utilities,
new taxes on the horsepower or engine size of your car,
new taxes on how many miles you drive,
new taxes on your "carbon footprint",
new taxes on your home,
new taxes on your real estate property,
new taxes on businesses,
new taxes on your income (if you have one...),
new taxes on your retirement savings (or outright confiscation, as one democrat congressperson has proposed),
new taxes on the things you buy,
and even new taxes on the things you sell.

You might say, we already pay some of these taxes.
True enough.
But get ready to pay more.
Our tax burden will easily increase by 50 percent to 100 percent in the next four years.
And when the unions get their payback in the form of elimination of secret ballot voting for union representation, and union-inflated wages begin to pervade the US business landscape (those that do not collapse from the increased costs, you will see price inflation like you have never seen before.
And with the federal government printing money to "pay" for the massive spending being put into place as I type, your dollar bills will be nearly worthless in four years.
Look for and annual inflation rate of 10 to 20 percent.
(for those of you who were "educated" in government schools, that means your money will lose 10 to 20 percent of its value every year.)
I am predicting a colossal business/financial catastrophe in the next four years that will astound those who know such things.
It has already started.

I am convinced that this is the beginning of the judgment of God on this nation for its sins.
The Babylonians have arrived and they are carrying off all the treasures of our land.
When they are done enacting their "fair" policies, everyone will be poorer.
Everyone.

THE RUN

The journey Saturday morning was surprisingly good.
I again ran the Cotton Row course.
The total transit time for the 6.22 miles was 58 minutes and 25 seconds.
A surprisingly good time.
It was cold but dry.
I managed to dress exactly correctly for the conditions and even though it was about 25 degrees, I was mostly warm (my face, and to a lesser extent, my hands, were cold, as usual) and comfortable.

There were no physical problems, except for one of short duration, but very alarming.
In the middle of mile four, my right ankle began to send out sharp pains, as if bone was grinding against bone.
It felt like I had sprained my ankle even though I was running on a smooth - though downhill - surface.
The pain was so strong that Running Central issued an emergency stop order to allow further analysis and evaluation of the injury.
Runner in me, however, wanted to "work through it", as is his usual method.
He tried to modify his running form to see if the pressure of foot set-down could be modified or shifted enough to minimize the discomfort.
Several alternates were tried and after about sixty seconds the pain went away.
Completely.
Running form returned to normal.
Running Central rescinded the stop order, and the race continued.

Thankfully, there was almost no traffic on Pratt Avenue at the bottom of Bankhead Parkway and I was able to run down the middle of that nice decline with only one interruption.
I especially enjoy that little quarter-mile segment of the course.

I had a strong finish, though not quite a true sprint.
I am pleased and amazed that at age sixty-three (something I often forget) I am able to do this.
I feel blessed.

WORK

I am gaining experience in the tax office.
I have done about eight returns of varying complexity and am learning the details of the company process (such as how to process a payment in the office).
According to a company report, as of last week, I was the top income producer in my office.
I was astounded.
That was a statistical fluke that will not be maintained because there are two other ladies in the office who have much more experience and have many returning clients who will boost their earnings above mine.
Still I am pleased with my overall progress in this new occupation.
.