That's no so bad

I was feeling pretty bad about how slow I just ran (see the post from like five minutes ago) until I realized that at this time in 2006 that's how slow I ran a 5K, and now I can sustain that pace for much longer than 3.2 miles, and if I'm only running 3.2 miles, I can go faster.

I'm feeling a little nervous because my dad is coming up and he's going to see me run a 5K in a couple of weeks. I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to do better than I did in the milk run, but also feeling like I'm not going to improve from three weeks ago nearly as much as I did from one year ago. We'll see.

Miss me?

I meant to run this morning. But then I forgot to set my alarm so I ran tonight. I ran 4.8 miles in the slow as hell times 56:30 or 11:45 miles. Apparently, I haven't run like this in a while. I also think I haven't run at night in a while. Who turned the sun on?

I'm doing so so with the whole "getting up early" thing. Monday morning I was still sleeping off a migraine. Tuesday was wildly successful. This morning, again, forgot the alarm. I'm optimistic about tomorrow though. If I get up early and go to the Y (because there's about zero chance I'll want to run tomorrow) then I can be at work early which has the added benefit of I get to leave work early.

I'm thinking I need a new hobby or something. Maybe I should play my guitar again. Because I get home from work and I don't have a whole lot to do. Right now I'm re-reading Harry Potter And the Order of the Phoenix. I've wanted to re-read it ever since I saw the movie. I'm glad I did it in that order though, otherwise all the little discrepancies would have driven me up a wall. I've also thought about taking up drawing. If I get really ambitious I could paint my bedroom. It really does need to be done soon, before the heat gets turned on.

I always think each home improvement project is going to be simpler than the last. I hold up the hallway, which may or may not have been an improvement over the bathroom as an example. I sort of fear the bedroom anyways because I have a lot of stuff in there and I don't exactly know where to move it. That almost has to be a one day job, where I wake up, move everything, eat, paint a coat, eat, paint the next coat, eat, and then move everything back. Although all the the difficulties in each project were not things I foresaw. I'm a little scared to think what could go wrong in there.


Milk Run 2007

I ran in the Milk Run this morning. I took off about 3:00 from last year's time. I ran about a 33:15, I'll know for sure when the put the results up tonight. That's about a 10:30 mile.

I started out a little faster than I normally run. I think last year I started off too slow. And then the race route climbs. And climbs. And climbs beyond what is really normal for any race, especially in a place as flat as the twin cities. Mercifully the two mile mark is about the same place as the top of the climb. The last mile is basically down hill. I was really pleased when I got to the two mile mark at 22:00. That's two 11:00 miles, which is really fast considering who little I'd trained and the terrain. I was relieved when I could turn on the gas a bit for the down hill part. I was relieved I had anything left.

My original goal had been to finish in 32:00 which would have been perfect 10:00 miles. After remembering how bad I got about doing any exercise, I was really happy with how the day turned out. I'm still thinking about the Bolder Dash. Not sure whether to focus on improving the 5k time or to try a 10K. I'll have to figure out how late I can register and decide then.

I walked around the fair for a little while after the race. Over-stimulation may be the key word. Crowd may be another good word. I really liked walking around the fair when it first opened. I think that's the best time to go probably. Even the bathrooms are still fine that early in the morning. No one is cranky because it's too early to be either hot or tired. I toured the Eco-building, always a favorite, and went into the green friendly remodeling spaces. It was neat to see that I do have some decent options for green materials when I remodel my condo. Although I wasn't wild about the cork floor. They had granite and bamboo counter-tops that were really cool. Do they make flooring out of granite as well? I got a card for a place that's really close to where I live. I'll try to go over one night and check it out. I think I need to at least scope it out before I bring my Dad over. I need to be prepared for any possible criticisms he will have. Can't walk in blind so to speak.

And then I had Chipotle for lunch. Partly because I was hungry but also because I have very little food in my house and I have zero desire to go grocery shopping on a Sunday with everyone else (who didn't go to the fair today). I have some edamame. Mmmmm, yum!

This is my 701st post!


I found this picture of a sign on a Flickr group.

The moment I saw the sign, I thought, "I know that sign. I've been there too". After a short interlude where I updated the drivers on my computer so the scanner would function properly, I have digital proof.

Unconscious Mutterings

I haven't done this in a while, so I thought it would be fun.
1. Uneven :: pavement, cement
2. Wonder :: Natalie Merchant
3. Spider :: man, tobey maguire
4. Emma :: emma thompson, wasn't that a book by jane austen?
5. Swing:: low sweet chariot, coming....
6. Orbit :: outer space
7. Flirt :: that would be fun
8. Donation :: charity, people who go to church give more
9. Veil :: Harry Potter when Sirius Black dies
10. Atmosphere :: earth, ocean


Painting woes

It all started weeks ago when I saw this great commercial for painters tape, which made me believe it was possible to paint more than one color on my wall. And then I went to Ikea and was further encouraged to decorate my wall. Some internet research led me to believe the best option would be to paint stripes on the wall in my entryway. Kelly came over, helped me pick out colors and off I went. The first coat went on nicely.
I started measuring lines with my cool painters level. I didn't even get super OCD about the whole thing which is really quite something. I got the lines measured and started taping the walls. That's where the trouble began.

Kelly came over yesterday to help me paint some. Luckily I didn't tape the entire entryway. Because when I tried to pull up the tape from the flat finish paint, this is what happened:

This is what it looks like where there was no tape. It's a really subtle effect, just adds some interest to the entryway, which is the first thing people see and kind of boring. It's also a small enough space that I could get away with this.

I spent part of today touching up the parts where the paint had peeled off. From far away it looks, sort of ok.

Close up, it's still sad. I haven't been successful at internet research about how to cover up peeling paint, especially in a way that evens out the texture. Any search of peeling paint just takes me to more information than anyone ever needed about lead. I think I need to stop and let the paint dry for a while and work on my next move.

This has all got to be fixed by September 12 because my Dad is coming to visit the next day.


exercise accountability: day one

I did get up and run this morning. I can't believe how easy it was once I got over the initial, "oh crap" of it all. My Mom kind of freaked out when I told her I hadn't exercised in a week and am running a race Sunday morning. Interestingly, I'm not freaking out. I ran 2.5 miles today. Normally I would have run further but I had to stop running due to intestinal distress. Honest, it wasn't because I was tired.

The things I forgot about running:
1. I cannot believe how hungry I was all day. I did not have enough food. I'm thinking Chipotle tomorrow. I'm also beginning to understand why I could eat Chipotle so often.
2. It's weird to come home at the end of the day and not have to exercise. Something about that makes me feel like I'm cheating.
3. It takes a while to dry my hair in the morning. Now that my hair is short there are different stresses about getting the hair ready for the day. Who else gets super hot after blow drying and then trying to straighten their hair. I don't like to get all sticky doing that. Honestly, I just took a shower to avoid that feeling.

I think Kelly might come over and help me paint tomorrow night. How excited am I? I haven't finished taping the entry way yet, but I have a shorter work day tomorrow so I might come home and do that. It's almost done! Exciting!


the exercise accountability program

I've created the "Liz Melcher Exercise Accountability Program". The secret: friends who will shame me if I don't exercise. We'll see if that can pull me out of bed tomorrow morning in time to exercise before my 8:30 meeting. I did go to the Y tonight. I did the rowing machine and lifted weights. I'll run tomorrow morning.

A few things I found today:
1. 14 Foods That Lower Cholesterol. You know who you are and why I'm posting this.
2. This is funny because I know where it happened.
3. All I can say to this one is "me too!!".


Done with the day

I'm done for the day. Although I just looked over at my hallway which still needs some taping. It was a long day. And now I can hear my neighbors talking. Can someone make them be quiet?

I got my hair cut tonight. Every really long hard day should end with a scalp massage and a good hair cut. How relaxing. She took off a little more than I expected. It still can get into a pony tail, barely. I told her to leave enough for an up-do.

And yes, my buzzer does look gross. What's even funnier is I have no idea how I'm going to reattach the plate to the wall because I pulled off most of the glue with the plate. Blech.


Technically, there was lots of exercise this week

Technically, there was lots of exercise this week, even though none of it came in a normal way. I painted my entire entryway, including my closet, this weekend. I don't know why the closet is important, but it seems well worth mentioning because it was such a pain to empty it.

First, there was taping. This is my entryway. Altogether there are four doors, an accordion door closet, and two doorways with no doors. (You know, the kinds that are designed not to have a door.) And then there was the inside of the closet. I'm choosing not to think about that.

I took off all the light fixtures and the smoke alarm cover. And then I got to the cover for my buzzer to let guests into the building. There were no screws holding the plate to the wall. (I rolled my eyes and thought in my head: this is going to be like the razor blades all over again.) I had a totally OCD moment where I wanted to clean some of the crap out of the back there, but then I had visions of electrocution and reigned myself in.

Luckily I have an awesome friend named Amanda who came and took me to the Olive Garden last night. We found it after not being able to find it and winding up somewhere else once recently. (Note to me: It's at France Ave, not Lyndale.) After dinner we went to Southdale during a downpour where Amanda used her mojo to get us an awesome parking spot in the garage. We shopped for a little while. I had to get a fleece because my jacket was wet from running to get the car at Olive Garden. That's right. It's the middle of August and I just used the words "fleece" and "jacket" to describe my outfit. I love Minnesota. We also saw Harry Potter 5 at the movies which I highly enjoyed except the ending didn't feel very well ended. I've decided the best way to see the movies is not to read the book beforehand. That can only lead to pain and aggravation. It was cool to see some of the characters because I know what happens to them in future books. Esepcially Lupin and Tonks (::sigh::) and Kreacher.

After I got home I sheet rocked the holes I (and those before me) had created in the wall. The holes from me were from hanging things. Any unexplained holes I don't want explained.

That's when my hall closet threw up on my bedroom. Thanks. After I dealt with the mess, I headed for bed.

This morning after a trip to my local Ace Hardware (who are wonderful), the painting got started.

Thank you to Amanda for stressing the importance of a drop cloth. You were right and I totally wouldn't have thought it was a big deal without your input.

After several long hours, I got the first coat entirely done. And it looks really... pink. Kelly, I blame this on you. It's much pinker in person. But I like it. I'm happy to have color in any room in my house. I didn't have enough for a second coat, though some parts of the wall will get a second coat in the semi-gloss. I have enough to do touch-ups on the other parts that need it.

The clean up process was interesting. I got pain all over me. Again, Amanda thanks for recommending the drop cloth. Otherwise my carpet probably would have looked the same way.

I can't wait to get painting on the semi-gloss stripes. (I really can't wait to have this project completed either.) I think it's going to look great (yes, even in pink). All the pictures I had hanging in there have black frames which will really pop on that color wall. It'll be a great entryway.


I ran yesterday, what will I do today

I ran last night. Good to know I still can. I ran 4 miles at 11:05 miles which is slower than I want to run the milk run (I'm shooting for 10:00 miles) but not horrible considering I hadn't run in about 10 days. Maybe I'll do the 8 Minute Butt video that whooped me last time. It was such a pretty night last night that I just took around Lake Nokomis after the run. It's equally nice today but getting cloudy and gloomy in anticipation of the rain that's supposedly coming.

I think Monday will be a busy day at work, especially given the slowness of today. I think there are about 6 case files in a holding pattern that will get dropped on my desk. Can they just give me the files? No. We have to wait for my supervisor to get back in town. To pick up the files and bring them to my office. Hope nothing too serious needed to be done on any of them.

I bought Sleeping with the Past off iTunes last night. I love this album. I seriously forgot how good it is. Healing Hands is such a good song.


Is this cat upsidedown?

Ok, check out this picture and then tell me that cat is not upside down.

I was so tired today (possibly from a crappy lunch) that I didn't go to the gym. Instead I did three of the "8 Minute" videos, 8 Minute Buns which is really difficult but totally good for the bum, 8 Minute Abs which was easier than I remember but anything is easy compared to that 8 Minute Buns, and 8 Minute Arms. At first I was worried that I only had 3lb weights, but by the end I was glad they weren't heavier. And I did my laundry.

I just got an email from a friend asking could she tell me something about this guy. Either it's going to be something really bad so I won't be interested or he's gay. She's in Japan and has limited access to the internet right now. I wish she'd right back. Nothing can be as bad as anything I'm imagining. (I really don't think it's the gay thing. It just would have come up before now, given the context of our conversations.)

I have to go in to work early tomorrow, just like Tuesday. But Tuesday I worked long so I can leave early on Friday. What could be better? (Olive Garden. Amanda, Kelly, I'm talking to you.)

Just something to leave you with this chandalier is made entirely from tampons.


Nothing exciting happened to me today

Nothing exciting happened to me today. Mildly interesting were all the non-functioning traffic lights I had to contend with.

The true excitement was last night. After I blogged, it started to rain. I went in to take a shower. I was rinsing shampoo and conditioner and when I opened my eyes again... It was still dark. I thought, "ok, I'm done in here" and went to go look out the window at the lighting, which was unreal by the way. I've never seen that much before. And then I started thinking "ok, I've got all these flashlights (because I'm a caver and I used to be a bat biologist) but none of them have batteries in them". It turns out I have a little mirror to pluck my eyebrows and that has a battery powered light around it, which was enough to find the lighter to light some candles. And then I remembered have another flashlight two of them actually that do have batteries.

Once I had that taken care of, I went on to my next concern: flooding. I live on low ground. There's a pumping station a block away, that pumps water out of the sewers. In times of heavy rain (or maybe no electricity) the pump turns off. Mercifully, I kept one of my paper phone books and it had the Minneapolis sewer emergency number for nights and weekends. It was almost midnight. Seemed like a perfect time to call. And that's when I heard "you have reached the Minneapolis Sewer Emergency line, please leave a message". My condo is about to flood! But they must have received it because shortly after that the flooding went down. When the pump goes on it takes about five minutes for the courtyard (flooded about a foot deep in the middle) to empty to what's a normal amount of water for a storm.

While I was monitoring the flood progress, I used my little head light and read some Harry Potter. Then I went to bed. And woke up early. And worked a longer than normal day. And then I exercised. The eliptical kicked my butt. I made (my take on) Salmon picatta for dinner, with the other half of the Salmon. Time to eat. Yum.


the "mayotini"

Just so we're clear, there has never been, nor will there ever be a time when this drink is acceptable. I didn't even see this on digg. How bad does something have to be before even digg won't touch it?

However, the marketing on these things finally made me buy them and they are good. That's not regular but dark chocolate on the outside. What more does a girl need?

Food. I'm still hungry.

Sorry I couldn't think of a better title

It was a slow day at the office. I was a bit bored by the end of the day. I did go to the Y after work. Everyone knew there was absolutely no chance of me going before work. I did the eliptical and then lifted weights. Lesson learned: it is not possible to run after lifting weights. Don't worry, I only went about two steps before I figured that out. I was just cooling down anyways so I walked.

And then I went to the grocery store and that's where my troubles began. $102 later, I figured out just how much trouble. I bought a lot of stuff I don't usually buy, tupperware, mints and gum for work, floss and toothpaste (what, that's not stuff you buy every time unless 15 people are using the same tube) Pepsi, and then I got a nice piece of Salmon. I had to buy the more expensive salmon just on principal because the cheaper salmon was a) caught near Chile and b) bad for the environment. I learned that from a gift my friend Amanda got me. The salmon was good by the way.

I think maybe I'll try going to the Y in the morning one day this week. Friday looks good. Then next week maybe two days and so on. Anything's better than last week when there just wasn't any exercise.

The other thing I was doing tonight was playing on the internet as always and I found a boatload of things I'd like to share:
1. How To Lucid Dream, something I've always wanted to know.
2. How Many Faces Do You See In This Picture? This is for one of you who might get bored at work. The image is hosted at blogger so you should be good.
3. Many people asked me if I was going to get an iPhone. Besides liking the phone I've got, this is living proof that AT&T is ridiculous. 300 pages? In a box?
4. How to Pick a Lock. This is just useful.
5. How to Speak Japanese. First this was for Kao, who just went to Japan to teach English, also for Amanda as a "thank you" for Happy Feet so you can remember anything you've forgotten.
6. Top 10 Money Drains. Coffee I'm guilty of, but not that often, not even once a week anymore. Mmmmm coffee. 2-6 I don't do, or rarely. Kelly's wedding will be my first manicure. How excited am I? Weekly lunched out I am much improved. I used to eat at Chipotle every day. I went down to once a week with hardly any struggle at all. Haven't cut it out yet though. Not planning too either.
7. Corn Fritters. How good do these look?
8. The Clever Hanger Trick for closet organizing. Who can spot the problem I have with this? Yes, that's right. I can't have hangers facing every which way. It would quite simply kill me.
9. A Post about Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, truly a fantastic cave. Is it wrong that I already knew who Steven Bishop was?
10. Kelly's next crochet project.
11. Finally, read this story and then tell me how many people thought, "that totally could have been me".


My "Day of Rest"

I think I've mentioned before how I enjoy using Sunday as "my day of rest". Since I didn't really exercise yesterday I did walk around Lake Nokomis this morning and it was gorgeous. It was so nice out I couldn't really justify exercising indoors. I will try to go tomorrow morning.

For a large part of the day I've been watching the Style Network. Kelly, don't pass out. I watched Clean House and decided that I needed to get strict instructions from my parents on what they want done with their belongings if they pass into my care. Specifically, we have a bunch of old quilts from Mom's family and paintings from Dad. I think if they tell me to get rid of them, I could, but I would have a really hard time doing so without their permission.

And then I started watching How Do I Look? The two of you, don't get any ideas. Two things about that show. I really like the host, Finola Hughes. She's gorgeous, and unlike many other hosts, she's nice to the people who are getting a makeover. Also, she has a nice way of letting silence hang in a conversation to emphasize an idea in a really poignant way instead of filling the silence with words to go for the cheap laugh. (The social worker in me is drawn to this. It's classy.) Second thing I decided is that for nice clothes, I really do have some things that make me look like a girl. Not many, but some. But I don't have a whole lot of casual clothes that flatter my body, especially jeans which I prefer maybe too big and droopy. (Again, don't get any ideas.)

I think one time I confessed that my biggest fear was that Amanda and Kelly were going to sign me up for one of those makeover shows. The good news is I haven't seen either one of them with a video camera, ever, so I feel safe for the moment. And I try to bring Kelly shopping with me so I am open to at least some form of help.

In the home design department, I'm getting in my head to a place where I can visualize myself actually painting the entry way. Is there something I need to wait for or I can I just start this project? I feel like the taping alone will take a night, and that's before the stripes get taped. Today I plan on listening to a podcast of Car Talk and going through old school papers in an effort to declutter my life. I was inspired by Clean House. There are people in my family whose homes have looked something like that one in my lifetime. Not my close family. Well, I think my Grandma's house was almost that bad. There were bigger paths cleared. You can see why I'm constantly fighting the junk monster.


I so badly need to exercise

I meant to go to the Y today. And then I meant to walk around Lake Nokomis. Neither thing actually happened. I did take a short walk and snapped some pictures of the pretty flowers in my neighborhood. I was going to go all the way around the lake but faced some distress shortly into my walk and so decided to cut it short. I will try to go to the Y tomorrow, even just to ride the bike and lift weights on the scary "core balls". Those things are wild.

I also had an epiphany. No one knows why it took me this long. I'm so tired because the new job is wearing me out, and I need to accomodate that right now in my life. I usually get to work around 9:00 and I can exercise before I go in. I can work out from 7-8 and leave straight from the Y. I haven't because I haven't wanted to pack my breakfast in the heat but then I realized I can leave milk or yogurt in the fridge at work. I think I'll try that and see how it goes.

That would be especially good because I have to be ready for the milk run soon. By the way, to those of you who agreed to come with me and cheer (and then see the fair) that day, the milk run starts at 7:45. If we get there around 7:30 that'll give me enough time to stretch and warm up (and you enough time to find prime seats). How much do you love me right at this moment?

While you contemplate the Milk Run, enjoy these lovely pictures. I think the ones with the bees are cool.

PS. These are little orange berries from a tree in the yard. Bonus points to anyone who can properly identify the tree for me. The berries are slightly smaller than blueberries.


Mmmm... Pho

I just had pho tonight with Amanda and Kelly. Mmmmm. I love that stuff. It always feels healthy to me. I wonder if it is. (As a special gift to Kelly, Questions to Ask Before You Get Married, even though you probably have talked about these, I was just thinking of you.)

We did a minor amount of interior decoration for Kelly afterwards. Amanda taught me the proper technique to drill a screw into the wall. I never really knew it. I was just good and making big holes. No comments.

I still need to exercise. I think I'll run tomorrow night. I have to be at work much earlier than I'd prefer. I think exercise in the morning is out. I remember when I wasn't this tired.


Is it really still Tuesday?

I can't believe it's Tuesday still. It feels like I've done much too much work to not be farther in the week.

From Ten on Tuesdays
Ten Things You Will NEVER Do Again:
1. Height related things: Once when I was 5 Mom thought I would enjoy walking up a few floors of the (pretend) Eiffel Tower at King's Island and I freaked out. I was not into the how high that was. I just wanted down and my mom, who's not afraid of heights, did not understand.
2. Eat a raw tomato. It has happened before. I'd not like to repeat the experience.
3. Grad school. I have two friends who are going to go to grad school. One will be married. I always thought it would be nice to be in grad school and be married. I thought then, just once, I would be able to study and someone else would cook me dinner. I always thought that would have been wonderful.
4. Check luggage. I may do it again, I'm not opposed, but I try really hard not to have to check on luggage. Ever. It's removed so many hassles for me when I travel, especially when I fly out of Minneapolis because I can use the secret "Carry On Only" Security Check Point, and when I fly out of Cincinnati because I don't have to wait in that monster line.
5. Live with my parents. One can only hope. I always joke that I'm just waiting for the first sign of dribble on their chins to put them away in some retirement home. And I'm not ashed of it. If my parents really needed help I'd move home. After talking with Mom last night I was reminded why I won't live in that house again. Think no air conditioning. And Cincinnati is fairly far south. About the same as St. Louis. It's hot. They have one permanent window unit and several window units that they can take in and out (but never bother to put them in). It's my idea of hell.
6. Live in Mt. Adams (Cincinnati), Uptown (Minneapolis), or any other similarly situated neighborhood where finding a parking spot is about as likely as the US pulling out of Iraq.
7. I have a fear of Duluth in the winter. It's the hills. It's a sickness. (I really thought more of these would be related to heights and food.)

Apparently I'm not really ready to swear off too much stuff. Hmmm. Just grad school. We'll wait a while to go back and get a PhD.

Mmmmm.... beer

I had a beer tonight with dinner. Maybe because it was Leinie's or maybe it was because it's summer and I walked 10 blocks to get there, but the beer I had with dinner was so good. I haven't had beer in... it's been so long I actually can't remember. I know my Aunt Joanie tried to get me drunk when I was in Florida, there may have been beer there. We should check the march archives because I'm fairly sure that if I was intoxicated there's a sloshed blog post some where as evidence. I had dinner with someone I hadn't seen in a long time. It was nice. We went to Matt's which has Juicy Lucys but I'm not big on burgers anymore so I just had a grilled cheese.

It's also National Night Out so I walked by a whole bunch of block parties. That was cool. I don't know that I normally would have walked there, but I knew everyone would be out on the streets tonight so it would be fine. I hung out with some of my neighbors and met some people I didn't know. That was cool too.

Obviously I didn't exercise this morning. My plan is to get up early an exercise so I can earn the pho I plan on eating tomorrow night with Kelly (and possibly Amanda). I was just too sore from the 5 mile run on Monday. I think I'll go to the Y tomorrow. I want to run a little and lift weights. We'll see. I'm really tired. Maybe I'll go to sleep soon.


No one knows what my problem is

No one yet knows what my problem is. I'm annoyed nonetheless. I don't know if I'm right, or should let this out of my teeth, or both. But someone who is not the IT person today told me the IT person (whom I think is wrong) noted that I downloaded Firefox and then things got fishy.

First, some one then said I "downloaded Mozilla and removed Internet Explorer" which I think is not possible. I seem to recall a lawsuit.... If it is possible, I have neither the knowledge nor the inclination to actually remove the software.
Second, it was passed along that we get our anti virus updates through internet explorer? Don't those just come through the anti-virus software itself? You don't need a web browser for that.
Third, that the firewall is set up for Internet Explorer. This is the part I know the least about. Isn't the firewall several steps ahead of my own computer and not caring what kind of browser I have?

Sadly, someone told me ahead of time this IT person isn't very ahem knowledgeable. Have I seriously breached security or is this person just wrong?

I guess I'm slow

I ran 5.5 miles this morning. I know, I ran in the morning. The 5.5 miles was really good considering I hadn't run for 4 days. However, I ran it in 12:06 miles. I think really I was running faster than that until I got to the big hill at the end and that really slowed me down. I wish I had stretched after I ran. I needed to do that. Other biological concerns kept me from so doing though.

To facilitate the "getting up early" deal, I put my alarm clock across the room, something I haven't had to do for several years. Oh well. It it works... Right now I need to go buy food. I'm ignoring this need. I also need to do laundry. Don't think I'll be ignoring that.

Also, something I think I now have in common with one of you: I have a co-worker who in the words of one friend "eats my brain". Said co-worker also has a voice that is pitched at the exact frequency that sends chills down my spine. Today she was speaking loudly in the uncomfortable tone saying things that were making it hard for me not to shut my door in a request for privacy. Although, usually I like her and wind up eating with her. I guess I'm slow and grumpy today. I have no idea.


Another game update

An update on the map game mentioned here and here. I got 49 out of 51 (yes, there's only 50 states, but they put DC on the map too), and my average error was two miles. How are the rest of you doing?

I haven't run yet

I know. But now I think I can hear thunder in the background. I think seven miles is too far. I may run a shorter distance today. In the meantime, I've been poking around on the internet.

President Bush visited the bridge site today. Note the picture of the banner. I'm surprised there weren't more. Minnesotans are the most politically active people I've ever met.
A State By State Look at Deficient and Obsolete Bridges. I'm trying to decide if I've been on the one in Hamilton County Ohio that was rated a 3 out of 100. I think if I haven't been on it I've been under it or near it, but not that often.

Just a thought as I leave for now: There's a world toilet organization?

I didn't run today, we'll see how tomorrow goes

I was supposed to run 3 miles today, according to my training schedule. I didn't. We'll see how tomorrow goes. That's supposed to be seven miles. I was too tired this morning to get up and run. It's been rough since the bridge collapsed. I haven't slept too well. No one has really.

It's really interesting to compare the local stories to the national, as I've said so far. MSNBC is running a story about President Bush and his new chance to be comforter. Ironic that his newest chance to be a comfort would come to one of the most liberal cities in the entire country where his approval ratings had to be about the same as my shoe size before this mess. All I could think about was how a presidential motorcade was going to make traffic even worse because they have to close so many roads and (ironically) bridges. The more I started thinking about this, the more I realized that President Bush, or even the First Lady who was here today aren't offering a whole lot of tangible support, other than the "oh, yeah, this is a tragedy". I think that's a dumb thing we expect our leaders to do. President Bush coming doesn't make my life any better. I also really wish it didn't come on the heals of President Bush convincing congress to set fire to the bill of rights.

In the mean time, I'm wondering how this will change things. Things can't go back to how they were before Wednesday night. No one here can go over a bridge without thinking about it. It's amazing how many bridges are in the twin cities really. I go over at least five every day just to get to work. It's interesting to hear the tone of the traffic reports on the news. Traffic here has been so bad for a while, that traffic reports used to take the tone of "this really blows, someone needs to fix this", especially regarding another section of 35W south of that bridge. (Ironically, I'll that's eased up quite a bit.) Now the tone of the traffic reports is more like "ok, this is how things are and we're just going to drive together on the roads we do have and work this out". It's kind of nice, a much more civil tone to the whole thing I think.

The Friday Five

1. If you were a fruit, which would you be and why?
Raspberries because I like them the best.
2. If you wake up and smell smoke, and you have to get everybody (pets included) out of the house safely, but you have time to grab one item, what would you grab?
Definitely my clothes.
3. If you were stuck on an island, who would be the one person you would want with you and why?
My friend Chris because he's an Eagle Scout. He's like MacGyver. Give him a ball of twine and a match stick and he can live for two years. Plus he's a friend and I like hanging out with him.
4. If you could change one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?
As Kelly would say, my body is perfect just how it is. It's me after all.
5. If you could spend the day with one famous person, dead or alive, who would you choose?


I am a visionary

I already knew that, but now there's proof:
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Your 4 Quadrant Style Guide

Left-Brain Abstract (Analytic):
Think in terms of facts, details and ordered information.
Left-Brain Concrete (Conclusive):
Think in terms of problems and quick solutions.
Right-Brain Abstract (Synthetic):
Think in terms of large, global concepts and ideas.
Right-Brain Concrete (Interactive): Think in terms of conversation.

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The Visionary

You're the ultimate universal, holistic thinker! Yes, you're a visionary. Everything, including the smallest detail, needs to be synthesized into a framework that answers the question, "How?" Before you begin any project or task, you need to see the big picture. Not one step can be taken until you know how that one step fits into the whole.

Yes, I think that's true.


No one really slept last night

Seems like everyone at work didn't sleep last night. I didn't. I've watched a small amount of news coverage, more and more as they stop playing the video of the bridge falling. The difference between the national coverage and local coverage: one has a soul. I'm just saying. I think both had souls this morning, but as the day went on CNN, AP, all of the national outlets started focusing on whose fault this is. Minnesota hasn't really gone there. They have started looking at other bridges. Since I drive over so many of them, I'm in agreement with that. No one has really even complained about the traffic yet. I didn't go that way but it can't be good. Other difference between local news and everyone else, we don't write garbage like this. That's helpful.


I am OK

I'm leading with the positive. Unless you live under a rock (or in another country, as some of my friends do) you probably know that a rather important bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River today and about 40 cars went into the water with it. They have been and I'm assuming still are for the moment people not to use cell phones because the networks are jammed and they need the lines. I went out with a couple of friends tonight and left my phone in the car. I was really touched when I opened it up and found all the calls I'd missed, and those were just the ones that could get through.

I did call my parents, who hadn't heard the news yet. It happened a bit after 6p here, so everyone in the eastern time zone (read: my parents) had already turned off the news for the evening. They asked me lots of questions. I haven't watched any of the news coverage. I've checked out a couple of the local news websites but the pictures are so horrible I haven't looked at too many.

What was I doing when I found out? Running. What else? I ran 4 miles in 10:59 miles (I'm still a little sore from yesterday). I was running on the track at the Y. As I was leaving I walked by the fitness floor where the weights and treadmills and bikes and things are. All these people were just standing there, gathered around the TVs. People were on ellipticals not moving, on stair masters not climbing, on bikes not pedaling. And people were standing in between the machines, gathered all around. I couldn't see the TV very well, I was in the back, but I didn't stay after I found out what happened. I knew it would upset me to watch more.

I sent a big email tonight to a bunch of people, just saying I was ok and thanks for thinking of me. And I talked to a friend I hadn't talked to in over a year. That was really nice.

And why was I sore from yesterday? First, I ran a little faster for a little longer than my body has gone in quite a while. So that made me sore. Then at the end of it, I did all these lunges on both of my legs. It used muscles I haven't spoken with in quite a while, especially the inner thigh muscles. Who needs a thigh master? These are a really good exercise, I think I'll keep doing them, but not tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my day of rest before the weekend.