Friday, March 31, 2006

Just be on the safe side.

When I clocked out today, it put me at thrity nine and a half or forty hours. I'll probably put in a solid nine tomorrow. It's been another long week.

I'd planned on doing fifteen miels tomorrow morning with the group but I don't think it's going to happen. After racing Saturday, I came home Sunday and should have rested. Instead I ran five point two miles.

I've done twenty three this week, including tonights run with the Frog. We went pretty slow this evening but my knees still felt a bit funny, like they were starting to hurt again. I'm going to take tomorrow off and probably Sunday too just be on the safe side.

My next race is next Satruday morning. It's a 5k out at the Forest Ecology Preserve. It will be my first race on a trail. I don't think it's particularly hilly or fast but I'm sure it's going to be a blast.

My friends that are going to Boston for the Boston Marathon have fifteen scheduled for that day so, we will probably do another twelve after the race -- if my knees can take it. At this point I'm going to treat them a little gingerly. Another stab at a marathon is in the works and this time I'm going to try to train smarter and not as hard.

I need to listen to my body and do what it tells me rather than running it into the ground as I did in the fall.

Edit:
I turned in my mileage for the twelve hundred mile club. I ran one hundred thirty seven miles and seven tenths this month. After the low mileage of January, I think I'm now up to an average of one hundred a month for the first quarter of the year. Only nine hundred more to go for the goal...

Fifty dollars an hour.

Wednesday before work, I helped my boss begin the process of moving by helping her clean out the basement. We went through sorting things into three piles. Stuff that stays with the house, stuff that goes to the new house, and trash. We took several truckloads of stuff down to the new house before I had to leave for my job at the big box retailer.

I was under the impression that I would get paid ten bucks an hour for the help. I didn't mind it for it was fairly easy if manual work. I ended up working for two hours. She insisted as I was leaving that she pay me. I told her it wasn't nesicary because they do a lot for me. They let the Beagle board at the store for free while I'm out of town and I can count on them if I need anything.
I only told her she didn't have to pay me because I knew she would insist. Of course she did. When she handed me a hundred dollar bill, I did that dance where I insisted it was too much even though I was happy to keep it. She insisted I take it, saying I do a lot for them.

I walked away having made fifty dollars an hour.

When N informed me tonight that they had more stuff to move, I jumped at the chance. I gave her a call letting her know that I'm free tomorrow morning as well as some during the week.

I'm off Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week. Even though they are my days off, I think I'm going to put in some time moving boxes.

If the pay scale is anything like Wednesday, by next week I might have enough to buy a 360 or even a Macbook Pro (probably not but at least I'll be closer than I am today).

In all my racing glory.

The pictures from the Azalea Trail Run were finally posted online. Here I am in all my racing glory.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Top 87 Bad Predictions

I was reading an article on The Top 87 Bad Predictions for the future when I came across this gem.
The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name, others for the sake of mere gain.ยป
Martin Luther, German Reformation leader, Table Talk, 1530s(?).
After reading blogs all day. It somehow seemed appropriate. Blogger, Wordpress I'm looking at you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The ass rape by Ticketmaster

I came this (--) close to buying an Xbox 360 yesterday. We got in six, which is unprecedented. Maybe they are actually trying to get some more into the supply chain as they have been saying for a month now. I ended up not buying it, which is the right decision. But damn, I could almost taste it.

N's brother, N and I are planning on going to see the Alkaline Trio in a few weeks. I should be a good show. I've got a race that morning and then we are doing twelve extra miles after the race. That afternoon, we will go to Atlanta to the show and probably spend the night. That Sunday is my birthday, so get your presents ready to mail.

Speaking of shows, the Alkaline Trio show is seventeen bucks. Once Ticketmaster rapes me with the five dollar and fifty cent surcharge, it's twenty three. I'd wait until the day of the show but I've gotten to Atlanta before only to be told the show has sold out.

I saw on an Atlanta calendar that HIM will be there at the end of the month or sometime in May. I got excited because I've been waiting a while for them to travel from Finland to the Deep South for a show. Then I found out it's twenty seven bucks. On top of that the ass rape by Ticketmaster and we are entering thirty five dollar territory. By the time you throw in gas and possibly a hotel room, your dropping over a hundred bucks. Fuck that. I can get into the Warped Tour for less than that. I think I'll pass.

I talked to J2 about it hoping to get some conformation that twenty seven was outrageous for this type of band. He informed me that that rate is a steal and he paid forty five to see Velvet Revolver. Hmm. I stick to my guns on that one and say it's still a ripoff.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Success and failure, but mostly success.

I'm back from my weekend travels. I have been since last night. It was a good weekend. It was charactarized by success and failure, but mostly success.

We got away about five thrity and have an uneventful drive down. We got to N's Mom's house and got settled in. I did a few chores for her that she wasn't able to do and then was ready to go to bed. Even though I've probably been up and down her stairs at least a hundred times, for some reason I misjudged a step, kicking the aptly named kick plate with my bare toe. I ended up sprawled on the atop the stairs muttering curses. Once I'd walked off the pain, I realized that I'd peeled back almost a quarter of my large toenail.

As I laid down to sleep, I pretty much assumed that it was going to negativly affect my performance the next morning. It throbbed and even the pressure of the quilt made it hurt worse.

As a runner, you are supposed to set three goals for yourself headed into a race. The first goal is your ultimate goal that you don't say outloud for fear of looking like a fool if you don't reach it. The second goal is your more realistic goal and the third is your goal if things don't go exactly right on race day -- a time you'd settle for.

My ultimate goal and goal at the begining of the year was to break forty minutes in the 10k. My realistic, 'i'd be satisfied' goal was sub forty one minutes. I figured I'd probably come in between forty and forty one. I didn't know if I was in good enough shape to break forty.

As I've said before, the Azalea Trail Run is one of the premier 10k's in the country, attracting a very elite field.
The course is flat and extremely fast. In ATR 2001, Joseph Kimani of Kenya came within two seconds of setting a new world record in the men's open division in 27:41, and then in ATR '01 Abraham Chebii and Thomas Nyariki ran the 3rd and 4th fastest times ever in a 10K, finishing in 27:26 and 27:30, respectively! In ATR '94, the current world record for men masters (28:56) was set by Martin Mondragon of Mexico and in ATR '99 John Campbell of New Zealand established a world's best time for male grandmasters (over 50) of 31:02. So if you're aiming for a world record or merely a personal best, or if you just want to treat yourself to the visual pleasures along the course and throughout the city, come run with us.
Here is this mornings news story about the race.

The morning of the race, the Frog and I got up at five thirty to get ready and drive across town to the race site. We got there in plenty of time and found the location of our packet pick up. We pre-registered online three weeks ago and one of the critical portions of the entry form is Tshirt size. I'm a Medium. I always request a medium shirt. A medium will fit me. A small will not. A large will not.

When we got there, they informed us that they didn't recieve any smalls and had already given all the mediums away. It was a large or XL. Fuck that. I paid for a medium, I want a medium. This event is in it's twenty ninth year. It regularly attracts three thousand entrants. People follow a bell curve. Follow the trends from the pre-registered runners. Have the right fucking shirt when I show up.

I walked away with a large. I was pissed. Yeah I know it's a tshirt but with lots of Kenyans there I was unlikely to win an award, the fucking tshirt was my award. I wanted a medium just as I'd requested. It wasn't like I was late showing up. It wasn't like I registered late.

Moving on.

We warmed up for a mile and a half and then headed to the start. The frog and I wound away through the throng to near the front. Positioning in a race like that is critical, you can't start too far back or all the traffic will affect your time. You don't want to start too far forward so you can get the advantage of passing all the slower runners. We started about five deep.

The Frog was sick all week. He even took two days off work. I didn't know how well he was going to run. To hit forty minutes, I needed six twenty seven miles. I wanted to run pretty flat on that for the six mile duration.

Things felt good the first half to three quarters mile. I was a little concerned that my breathing was becoming rapid too soon, but still felt good. I tried to compare my breathing to those around me to gauge my fitness to theirs.

As we raced down oak lined Governement Street, we crossed the first mile in six twelve. I felt strong but was concerned that it was a little fast. I slowed a bit but didn't want to give up too much ground.

I dropped the Frog about a mile and a half. Being sick all week and not running since Sunday had taken it's toll. He was spent.

I hooked up with two runners who passed me on the left. I sat in just behind them and wanted to pace off them. We crossed mile two in a slower yet managable pace. By mile three the throng was getting thin and I was settled into a groove, feeling good we crossed mile three in six twenty six.

Mile four dropped in six twenty four. Pace was steady and under target. I felt good and was suprising myself. The runner I was with seemed to be continuing on strongly. We crossed mile five still under pace.

I knew then that I could bring it home under forty. I still felt good but didn't want to flare out. I picked it up just a step. Mile six flew by and I headed home. I entered the Male open shoot trailing another fellow by twenty yards. I wanted to reel him in. He spotted me behind and picked it up. I sprinted home, almost catching him. I crossed the tape in thrity nine twenty one.

I suprised the hell out of myself. I really didn't know if I would break forty, but I did. One of my other goals was top ten in my age group. I figured I could do it by looking at past results. Even though I perfomed so well, I came in eleventh in my age group. My time would have given me an award in 2005, 2004, 2003. There is some satisfaction in that but the fact that tenth place finished just a few seconds ahead of me irks me. Still, even though I failed at that goal, I feel I accomplished a lot. I'm satisfied.

I finished eleventh of eighty three in my age group. I finished ninety second of two thousand seven hundred and ninety three. I'd say that's pretty damn good.

It was a great race. I had a blast. If at all possible, I'll be back next year and I'll get the right tshirt.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A girl from Chicago and nakedness.

Another long week comes to a close. We didn't get out of work until one thirty last night. I'm headed back now. I asked my boss when he wanted me back. He said eight hours after we leave. That means nine thirty. A whole extra hour of sleep than I had planned to get until he kept us so late. Thanks buddy!

As soon as I can walk out of my two thirty meeting, I'm off to the race. I've been looking forward to this one for some time. I think mostly because it's an out of town race and there are a lot of great runners among the 2800 registered. My finish goal is top ten in my age group. With the time goal that I'm hoping to run, I think it will put me in good position for a top ten finish. I ran a 10k here in town a few weeks ago coming in at 41:42. It was hillier than this one will be and I felt like I still had some to give as I crossed the finish line. The ultimate goal is sub 40:00 but I think a more realistic goal is sub 41:00. That's 6:27 and 6:37 respectivly. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

J2 has been engaging in some lewd spring breakish debauchery lately. It involves a girl from Chicago and nakedness. I'll write about that sometime as well. Oh, the life of a sailor boy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Powerbook Hard Drive Swap

Despite what this asshole says, it is entirely possible to pull a laptop off of a table by tripping on the cord. N found this out the hard way a while back when one of her dogs tripped on the power cord. The Powerbook was pulled to the ground and received a sizeable dent in the corner. If only she'd had a MagSafe.


It was a pretty good shock to the Powerbooks innards as you might expect. Several weeks after the incident, the hard drive started acting up. Serious crunching sounds as well as never ending Spinning Beach Balls of Death. I sent the Powerbook to Apple hoping to have it covered under the Apple Care that I bought. I pretty much figured they would trace the hard drive failure to the massive dent in the case and not want to cover it as accidental damage not covered under the extended warranty. Sure enough, that's what happened. The would however fix it for a mere four hundred and thirty dollars. No thanks, I'll do it myself.

N was left with essentially a bricked Powerbook with no way to replace it. (She's waiting on the inevitable announcement of a widescreen iBook aka MacBook or a twelve inch MacBook Pro.) Looking for hard drive replacement guides for the 12 inch 867 Powerbook, I found this one. It looked like something I could accomplish.

I looked into getting a replacement Hitatchi Travelstar to replace the broken hard drive. The campus computer store couldn't order me the Hitatchi for some reason so I settled for a 60 GB Western Digital Scorpio drive. Any 2.5 inch ATA drive that is less than 9.5 mm or .37 inches tall will work. Formatting takes place as you install the OS so most drives will be Mac compatible.

The smallest phillips screw driver that I could find was still way too big for the tiny case screws and internal screws of the Powerbook. I shopped around until I found a set that would work at Radio Shack. The included 1.4 mm screw driver in this set worked perfect for most screws. Some on the hard drive itself were a bit bigger and required a larger screw driver but this set worked perfectly and was fairly cheap.

Note: The pictures further down are pretty graphic Powerbook pr0n. Some are downright disturbing. Marit, you might want to shield your eyes.

The article that I used as a guide in replacing N's hard drive in her Powerbook G4 867 mhz rev A did a pretty good job in outlining the process. There were a few things that I found that he skipped and a few tips that I wanted to point out. This description of the process should be viewed as a supplement to Stefan Horns article entitled PowerBook G4 12in Hard Drive Swap.

Difficulty: This really was a pretty difficult repair and should only be attempted by those who have extensive computer repair experience. I was a bit nervous going in but I have done a lot of computer work and understand the innards of computers and how to not damage them. This will void your Apple warranty. It will void your Apple Care extended warranty.

One tip before we get started. You will be dealing with a large number of very small screws. I find it helps me keep organized if I label a sheet of paper with the location of each screw or set of screws as I remove them. For the logic board screws, I drew a schematic with their relative locations. Do it, it helps and will save you lots of trouble later.

Start by removing the battery. Then remove the four screws on each corner of the memory access plate on the bottom of the Powerbook. Remove the RAM Chip by unclipping the silver clips on each side. It will pop up then you can pull it out easily.

On one side of the RAM chip, you will see a fairly large black screw. Unscrew it and set it aside, labeling it on a sheet of paper. Next up are the three screws on the wall of the battery bay. These are tiny screws, so make sure not to lose them.

Next, remove the F1, F2, F11, and F12 keys by gently prying them up and unclipping them from the board with a small flat screw driver. One side hooks on a clip while the other side has two small knobs that clip into holders. Underneath these keys you will find two more small screws.
The screw under N's F11 key was hidden by a sticker, but it is there. Next, remove the Hex screws found at the top left and right corner of the Powerbooks casing. Using the screw driver, remove the four screws on the rear of the case and the two on each side. The small screws from one side are longer than the other, make a note of their position.

Once you have removed all of the case screws described above, you are ready to remove the keyboard. It flips forward towards you. Be careful because there is a ribbon connected to a pin connector on the logic board. A piece of foil covers the connection. Carefully remove the foil and set it aside. I used the small screw driver to help me pry the connector off the pins.

Once you have the keyboard removed, set it aside

You will notice two more pieces of foil tape that live just under the keyboard Carefully remove these and set them aside. Underneath you will see three more ribbon cables/wires. Pull them out carefully. If you mess this part up, you've bricked your Powerbook or created a costly repair. These steps are a bit like playing Operation. The connectors and pins are set pretty deep and you need a decent pair of needlenose pliers to get to them. Remember as you try to remove these, don't rock back and forth too much and pull by the connector, not the wires/ribbons.

Now you are ready to remove the only obstruction between you and the real guts of the machine, the aluminum plate. There are roughly ten screws which vary in length. Make sure you label which is which.

After removing them, you are ready to pull the plate off. There are plastic clips that keep it in place all around the edges of the machine. I undid them by sliding my fingernail in between the plastic trim and the metal case all the way around. Be careful, it would be easy to break these clips. Now the metal plate is free. Set it aside.

Now, unplug the ribbon cable connecting the hard drive to the logic board. I had a bit of trouble but just work it and rock it a bit. It will slowly dislodge. Now you can remove the two screws labeled here and free the defective/old hard drive from it's home.

Remove the rubber bumpers and the metal bracket along with the ribbon cable from your old hard drive and replace them all on the new hard drive.

Install the hard drive in the reverse way of that which you removed it. The hard part is over and now all you have to do is reassemble the Powerbook in the reverse order from how you disassembled it. Easy!

When you get the Powerbook reassembled you are ready for the moment of truth. Turn it on to find out if you have been successful. I immediately installed 10.4 Tiger. Initially the computer won't recognize the new drive but in the installer the menu bar up top is active and you can get to disk utilities to format the drive in the Mac journaled file system. Then install Tiger or whatever cat you may be working with at this point and enjoy your newly repaired/upgraded Powerbook.

--

For the Googlebot: Powerbook G4 hard drive swap 12 inch 867 mhz rev A

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'm a blanket people.

The other day N went through an exercise on her blog where she took all the good parts from guys she's gotten 'complicated' with and put them together to form her perfect guy.

She talked about how one of her guys it courteous and opens doors and always makes sure shes comfortable. Another guy she likes for the way they sleep together and his cuddlyness. Another guy has just the sense of humor that she likes. Still another she likes for his intellect and the way he's really smart but not over the top or condesending. Another guy she likes because he is a good lover and very sexy. She would put her perfect guy into this guys body.

I got security. Apparently that's the best part of me. In her words there are no secrets, we get along, and I'm familar. Also, she thinks that I'll do anything for her to help her.

All that about me is true. I'd do anything for her. When I first read that post, I came away a bit sad. You know what it makes me sound like? A blanket. I'm a blanket people. I don't know how I feel about that.

I saw her that night when we cooked dinner. I asked her if she thought of me as a blanket. She said she didn't but asked if I was disappointed in what she wrote. Of course I was but would never admit it. She informed me that she thought I got the best writeup. I'm not sure if I believe that or if that's just what she wanted me to think.

Your thoughts?

the gravity of the situation.

As is custom at my job, I needed to be in at five to get all the street dates (new movies and music) set before the store opens at eight. I usually try to get in a bit early just to get set up so we don't waste a bunch of time when my specialist gets there at five (or just after).

We also had a visit from the stupid field merchandiser bitch. She's an idiot and although she understands how things should be displayed and merchandised, she is clueless when it comes to technology. Hearing her speak of Blu Ray or HD DVDs makes me want to shoot myself. Moving on. Things needed to be kosher and in tip top shape for her arrival.

I set my alarm for three forty five so I could be at work by four thirty to prep for the street dating action. I got to bed in plenty of time to get a solid five and a half hours of sleep. Not enough but it's the best I could do.

The last thing I can remember from last night was waking up at one forty five to a hellatious storm. It was a big one, thunder, lightining, high winds, the works. Rolling back over I figured I had a few more hours to sleep.

The next thing I knew I woke up, opened my eyes to see light filling my room. I though, hmm, that's strange. I rolled over, still in a sleepy haze to look at the clock. When I saw that it registered seven fifty four, the gravity of the situation didn't exactly hit me. I thought, 'something's not right. hmm. Oh Holy Shit!'

I leapt out of bed. Literally. I was out the door in seven minutes flat. I arrived at work three hours and ten minutes late. I got several looks but no reprimand. I don't know if they even really cared. The street dates got done without me, and the visit was good, the sales floor was green.

Awesome. I stayed late and went without lunch today. It was a long day. I'm off tomorrow which is stellar. I have to go renew my license at the courthouse. I also need to pick the scooter up at the shop. I got the tire fixed and a new brake pad put on today. Mundane stuff in comparison.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Not near enough me time.

Back to work for me. It seems all I've been doing lately is work, run, sleep, eat. Not near enough me time.

With that, I'll leave you with this little nugget from a dark corner of the internets. I laughed my ass off. I'm sure you will know which one I mean.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A surgical operation

Work was killer again this week. Hence my absence. I got to work about two ten yesterday afternoon and didn't leave until two thirty this morning. As of this morning when I left, I had clocked forty three and a half hours. I have a full shift tomorrow afternoon/evening so it's pretty likely that I'm going to hit the fifty hour mark again this week. I think I'll buy myself something nice and possibly shiny for my efforts.

I picked up my paycheck today and got some payoff for my hard work. My paycheck was nearly a thousand dollars. Only forty five short. I've never gotten a paycheck that big so it was nice to be rewarded for all my efforts.

I don't think I'm racing in the morning. I'm just going to do the long run before the race then volunteer at the start/finish line and try to help out. I'm trying to save my legs for the 10k next weekend. With the 9.4 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, I'll hit forty for this week. Something I haven't done yet this year. I don't want to over do it and get hurt again.

I just finished working on N's Powerbook. I replaced the failing hard drive. It was a surgical operation that was executed with the precision and ease of a professional. Tiger (10.4) is installing now. I'm sure she'll be happy to get it back when I can get it all set up for her. I'm planning a write up about the hard drive removal/install procedure. Hopefully it will come in handy for someone one day. The guide I found online was good but didn't explain everything in the detail I would have liked going into the operation blind. Hopefully I can expand and improve on that guide a little bit.

Until I can get that done, I'm out.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Striking distance

This morning was the 5k at the airport. I didn't go into it with many expectations. I generally place in the top ten or close to the top ten in most local races. That's what I was expecting in this race. This race was unique in that it wasn't in town but was out at the airport. It was neat getting to see the entire race course as I surveyed the vast expanse of open area around me. We raced down the (now completed, old satellite photo) 5,300 foot runway, turned onto the taxiway, looped back onto the runway and finished with a half mile straightaway down the taxiway.

My PR in a 5k is 18:16 set at a notoriously fast point to point course about forty minutes from here. I ran 19:05 in December and I was hoping to break the ninteen minute barrier this morning. I needed 6:07 per mile.

The Frog and I warmed up with the one mile kiddie race. We could have taken them all by a solid two minutes but we figured that wouldn't exactly be politically correct. Rather than run through the finish, we ran to a hanger near his car and then picked up my knee brace from my bag.

I didn't exactly eat well Friday night. N and I went to Sonic for Orange Creme Slush's. I ended up getting a foot long chili cheese coney and an order of chili cheese tots with a Coke. Not exactly healthy racing food. At the start, I felt alright but I just wasn't hyped up and ready to lay it on the line.

At the start it took me a few hundred yards to find my groove and ease into my pace. The Frog is a bit faster than me and I know I can't keep up with him. I've come to accept this and I dont' try to hang with him at the start anymore, it just isn't a good racing strategy for me. I let him slide away ahead of me as a guy in an orange shirt jumped way out ahead.

There are always a number of people who go out really fast that you know aren't in racing shape and will fade rather quickly. I knew I didn't have to pay too much attention to most of them, and it's fairly easy to tell who they are.

I decided to slide in behind some guys I was confident would pose a threat later in the race. It was my objective to sit in behind them, keeping them within striking distance until just after two miles.

About half a mile into the race I felt the tell tale loosening in my left shoe. Thinking back to our warmup, I'd told the Frog to make sure I double knotted my shoes when we got back to the start. He did but I suddenly realized that I'd only done the right shoe. In between shoes, I'd gotten distracted with talking and forgotten to double knot and tuck my left shoe. Now I was paying the price, again.

I veered to the left and looked behind me to know that I wasn't going to impede anyone. I reached down and tied my shoe. By the time I was back on my way, I'd lost a good fifteen to twenty seconds. I attempted to come out and make up a decent amount of time quickly.

I passed the one mile mark at 6:37. Roughly thirty seconds slower than I wanted. Ok, so breaking nineteen was now out of the question. I just needed to regain contact with the pair I was originally trailing. I spent the majority of the second mile pursuing and slowly trying to reel the pair back in.

I did a decent job. I was patient and bided my time, not wanting to exert too much effort to catch them only to bonk before the finish. I crossed mile two in 13:17. I was still in good position and feeling strong.

Right at the turn onto the taxiway I was able to make a move. I passed the two with ease. That put me in fifth, up from seventh. They didn't seem to make a move to press on me. I set my sites on the next man in line.

He knew I was on him. He kept looking back, checking on me. I should have taken it as a clue that he was almost spent but I didn't. My pace had quickend heading into the homestreach but I wasn't at a sprint yet.

When I caught him, I could tell he increased his stride rate to try and match me. I listened to his breathing and knew he was closer to the threashold than I was. His breathing was labored and quick.

Setting my sights now on third place with about third of a mile left, I asked him, 'Do you think we can reel him in?' Third place was a solid thirty yards ahead of us. My partner said sure. We quickened. Not ten seconds later when it became clear to me that I could and would catch third, I muttered, "Oh yeah, we've got him.' My partner said, 'You might.'

I knew he was cooked. I plowed on, digging deep. I passed third with just over a tenth left. It was as if he was standing still. He couldn't match me coming in. I finished super strong.

I ran a good race. One that builds. Not one that comes out strong and flames out at the end. It's something that's taken me a while to learn but it's definitely the most successful tactic for me. It's worked well two weeks in a row. Whether it be strategy, endurance or talent, I seem to have more to draw from at the end than most people.

I finished third of one hundred seven. My finishing time was 20:02 not what I was hoping but I'll take it. Considering the shoelace incident at the begining of the race. I did pick off four runners though in the last six tenths. I rose like a phoenix from seventh to third in a matter of minutes. I'm really proud of that accomplishment.

Next weekend I have the Kappa Delta Shamrock Run. Over two hundred co-eds running because they have to. That should be nice to watch.

The week after is the next real race, a world class race that has nearly seen world records recently. The Azalea Trail 10k in Mobile. The Frog and I are registered, hopefully more will be going with us.

As for now, I have to work off this drunkeness so I can run seventeen training miles tomorrow. Goodnight and good luck.

I have commited alcohol abuse.

It is said that admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I'm sure you have all heard this anecdote. Well, it's time for me to admit that I have a problem. I have commited alcohol abuse.

This evening after haning out with N for the better part of the afternoon, I went to Kroger to pick up some brews. Since my finanacial standing hasn't allowed me to become a beer snob even though I am one at heart, I chose to make my purchase decision based on a price/ounce comparison of the different offerings of Coor's Light. As usual, I ended up purchasing the eighteen pack of sixteen ounce cans.

I got home, unloaded the truck and was ready to get my drink on. After shoving the case of beer into the fridge for a few minutes to get closer to optimal temperature, I was ready to dig in. Normally, I just rip the top open and dig in but my OCD kicked in and I decided to cut it neatly since I had a razorblade from work handy.

I keep a safety razor in my pocket at work to help with breaking down boxes over the course of the day. I cut three sides and was pleased with my progress. I went to the forth side and after sliding the blade about a quarter of the way through the cardboard, I heard a hiss and saw liquid gold flowing and frothing freely from a silver bullet can.

I thought to myself, 'this can't be happening.' It was. I quickly plugged the hole with my thumb, opened the top and began to guzzle. I downed that sixteen ouncer much quicker than I wanted to. After drying out my box o beer, I was ready to finish my cutting and get my brews back into the fridge for the remainder of the chilling process.

I initiated my final cut when I heard another hiss, 'Oh fuck no, this cant' be happening again.' It was. I did it again. I tried plugging the hole again. I guzzled the next beer quicker than I wanted to and much quicker than I wanted to have two in my system. After all, we have seventeen miles scheduled for tomorrow morning at eight am. I can't drink too much tonight.

By this point, I'd learned my lesson and aI directed the dangerous end of the blade away from my precious holdings. No more beer was harmed.

I've learned my lesson. Next time I'll rip with my blunt hand rather than trying to be cute an fancy with my razor. It's not worth the loss.

Friday, March 10, 2006

A new way to identify my corpse.

After my Mom wakes up from passing out I think I'll tell her, 'At least you have a new way to identify my corpse if something bad happens to me.' That seems like a good plan.

I was waffling back and forth about whether I wanted to do it. I wanted to do it but I felt like I needed someones permission, someone to say 'this isn't a bad idea, it's ok'. I tried to get that from N but she didn't feel good yesterday and was pretty ill.

I finally decided to go and do it. I got in and we started the prep work. We got his drawing to an appropriate size (even though it still came out a bit bigger than I was wanting). He put it into the transfer machine and it came out.

After some more prep work and a cigarette for him we went back to the tattoo room. He shaved and cleaned my leg/ankle. Then he put the transfer on. I wasn't really happy with how he put it on so we tried it again, adjusting the placement and angle just a bit.

At that point, he got his ink and machines ready and there wasn't any turning back. I wouldn't say it hurt. I have definitely been through much more pain in my life. At first, it's a shock and I had to clench my jaw and squeeze the chair handle with all my might. I read where the first minute is the worst and after a period, you kind of become used to the pain and it isn't so bad. Much like you can walk into a kitchen full of baked goods and it smells great but five minutes later, you can't really smell the baked good anymore.

I found that anecdote to be somewhat true. After a while, it didn't hurt so bad, at least when he was on the meatier parts. When he got close to my ankle bone or the back of my calf where the skin isn't so thick, it really hurt quite a bit. After thirty five minutes or so, he was done with the outline.As I said before, it came out a little bigger than I was anticipating but I think it's still can be hidden with a sock when I need to. When he finished the outline, we took a break. I walked next door to the gas station to get a Mt. Dew and he talked with his family and little boy who'd dropped by for a minute

For the shading, he switched from one needle to a needle with seven tips. So I went from being stabbbed ten times a second to seventy. There were some portions that didn't hurt at all and there were portions where he was going for a deep rich color that hurt like a bitch because the needle was going in so deep. Before I knew it, it was all over and I walked out of there one hundred dollars poorer and bloodier. I'm pleased with it. It leaked juice and ink last night and a good deal this morning after I got up and got moving. I've applied triple antibiotic cream several times now and moved onto lotion. I hope it will heal nicely and quickly. It's kind of uncomfortable and still tender right now. I'm racing tomorrow out at the airport in a 5k. We get to run on the tarmac which should be a blast.
Only a couple of years ago, I was a sedentary fatass. Now I'm a competitive runner. Last weekend I ran a half marathon in about an hour and a half. Something I never thought I'd do or even be able to do. Now I have wings. Running wings. Something to remind me of how I changed my life for the better and became a happier and healthier person.

--

For the Googlebot: runners tattoo wings. runners tattoo. running wings.

Out of touch.

Realizing that my account was going to overdraw if I didn't take quick and decisive action, I trundled into town in the truck to deposit some cash at the ATM. Being nine thirty on a Friday, downtown was starting to come alive with kids looking for a good time and good company.
I rode by campus and admired the buildings lit up in all their glory.

It occured to me just how out of touch I've become with campus and the college life in general. Putting in my time out at the store leaves me with not much more other than time for running, sleeping and a few other activities. It made me quite sad to realize that I live less than five miles and am less than three months out of school but pretty much already totally out of touch with campus. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

I know I'll look back on these days fondly with memories of house parties, fake IDs and general debauchery.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It is done.

It is done, or at least half of it. One running/wing tattoo down. Next up, the left leg. You are only young once right? Full writeup forthcoming. I still haven't recieved all the pictures from this past weekends half marathon. That writeup is still forthcoming too. I promise.

Now, your thoughts on the new permanency? My parents are going to shit their pants.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Calling me Matisyahu.

Some time ago, I think it was right after graduation or Christmas, I decided since I'd probably have to shave my beard when I report to New Jersey in July that I wasn't going to shave it until that point.

My beard is getting pretty impressive. The only problem I've had with my plan so far is that I haven't cut my hair yet either. There are several reasons why. I can do it by myself but the hair on my neck is tricky and I would never get a straight line doing it myself. N has refused to cut my hair for me as she usually does unless I trim my beard along with it. She says I'll look stupid with 1/8 inch hair and an inch and a half beard. She's probably right, but I dont' care.

I'm not trying to win any beauty contests and girls don't pay that much attention to me anyway. The beard is progressing greatly. One of the guys that works for me has even taken to calling me Matisyahu. I'll take it as a compliment even though I'm not a reggae rapping Orthodox Jew. By June, I might be ready to enter the World Beard Championships. The hair is a bit out of control. I needs a trimming.

I'm a low maintenance kind of guy. I haven't combed my hair in years because there has been no need with it as short as it is. Today, I got out of the shower and laid down on the couch to watch Saw II. Normally this isn't a problem.

My hair has reached a length though that if I lay down with wet hair as I did today, I end up with a flat mushed portion on that side of my skull. N wouldn't let me leave the house without a hat when we went to lunch.

I'm getting a haircut tomorrow. The beard is staying as is.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Foiled again.

Even though I'm now making a decent living wage, I still haven't quite gotten caught up from when I was dead broke in the late fall. Consequently, I have a little disposable income with each paycheck, but most of the check is already spoken for by bills once it is deposited into my account.

I spend a lot of time at the store. Last week, I clocked fifty three hours. In some sense, you could easily equate that to fifty three hours of shopping. Our store is massive and being one of the nicer big box retailers, we have some nice stuff. It's pretty much impossible to go through a day without seeing something and saying, 'Damn, I could use that.'

In mid January, we put out a set in seasonal that featured cool home decor stuff from around the world. There was lots of neat stuff that I could have filled the apartment with if I had wished. I could have decorated an entire apartment from that mini Pier 1 section.

There was a particular lamp that I became enamored with. It would have been perfect to sit by my couch. The only light we have in the living room is the overhead light from the ceiling fan. I hate overhead lighting. I'm more of a lamp, accent lighting kind of guy. Anyway, this lamp would have been perfect.

It was eighty bucks and there wasn't anyway I could or would swing that much for it. All I could do was hope it stuck around until the set went on clearance. Sure enough, the set went to thrity percent off and we still had two. Two weeks later, it went to fifty percent off and we sold one. At fifty percent off it was only forty dollars and I came close to buying it but it was just out of my budget.

I told myself that if it went seventy five percent off, that lamp was mine. So what happens, I come in one morning to find the price change team putting it all to seventy five percent off! My lamp is gone. Fuckers. I found out after some investigation that the lady from recieving/chargeback had plucked it up the night before.

Foiled. And I wanted the lamp so bad. No amount of persuasion would have her give the lamp up.

I've been watching this windbreaker back in the mens clothing section. We actually have a rather nice selection of running gear/active wear by Champion. This windbreaker was no exception.

It was originally twenty five bucks and had gone on clearance to thrity off. Still out of my price range. Then it went to fifty, only twelve forty eight. It was getting close, but I figured, why not wait a few more days and see if it goes to seventy five. I had every intention to buy it.

I went in last night to close and I saw our undercover security guy wearing a very familiar jacket. Fuck. He got to it before me.

Foiled again.

I went back and rummaged around to find another one. Too bad it's a large and I fucking swim in it.

See, being a cheap ass sometimes comes back to bite you in the ass. Is it possible to have too much Lovejoy? In these cases, yes.
--

A race report is upcoming, pending delivery of some pictures.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Six days wasted in shipping.

Getting N's computer worked on by Apple has been such a hassle this time. I called to get a box dispatched on a Sunday. The box was delivered by DHL to the leasing office on Monday but no one elected to tell me until Thursday. Three days wasted.

I shipped the Powerbook off Thursday and Friday Apple let me know they wouldn't replace the hard drive under AppleCare because the computer was dropped. They wanted four hundred and thirty dollars to work on it. No thank you, that's a third of a new MacBook Pro or the eventual Macbook (aka iBook).

They shipped it back FedEx for some bizarre reason. Tuesday FedEx tries to deliver, no dice, I'm at work. Wednesday, they try again. This morning I put a note on the door to deliver to office. FedEx leaves me a note saying someone at my home address has to sign for it. I call FedEx they won't deliver it to the office until they get a release from Apple. I call Apple after ten minutes of explaining, she calls FedEx. Tomorrow, they are supposed to attempt delivery to me and then to the leasing office.

So far there have been six days wasted in shipping. I would go pick the package but but the pickup office is thirty five miles from here, no way I'm driving thrity five miles to pick up a broken Powerbook.

Once I get the computer back then I get to emark on the task of replacing/upgrading it's hard drive. That's going to be an adventure.

Get my legs under me

Since I've been getting to bed early enough (between eight fifteen and eight thirty) going in at four this week hasn't been too bad. I've enjoyed working with my team that I've been assigned to. There has been plenty to entertain us and lots of laughter throughout the day. We are making an art out of making fun of our boss. In a teasing, 'but he's really a good guy' kind of way.

I've got the Auburn Classic Half Marathon on Saturday morning. I'm excited to get out and race a longer race. I'm not going to run too hard, just shooting for a time of an hour and forty minutes. I got in eighteen miles early in the week and am taking today and tomorrow off to try and get my legs under me before the race. N has promised to come and take pictures so I'll probably have some to post over the weekend.

When J2 was here last, we talked about my prospective tattoo. He says I shouldn't do it. Being a Navy Boy, he got one several years ago and even though he says he doesn't regret it, he does say he wouldn't do it again. He says I'll feel the same way or worse as well. That worries me a bit because I do have some part of me that thinks he is right. That's his Navy Boy tattoo on the left.

I've been by the tattoo parlor several times and have been working with an artist to get a design worked up. He finished it last week and I like it alot. I'm going to want it downscaled to eighty five or so percent of it's current size but overall I like what he came up with. N really seems to like it as well as P when I took him by to see it.

I get paid tomorrow but all that money is reserved for bills so, I'll have to wait another two weeks until I'll have enough cash to go by and get some work done on it. This might be the last chance for public comment on it so please let me know what you think. I know I'm not doing it for anyone else but myself but I still like input, so comment away.