Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Isobel, the Aftermath

I was in Virginia last Thursday through yesterday for work with a weekend visit with my parents, and so had a chance to see the remants of Isobel. While most people had their power back by the time I left on Monday, everyone was still telling their tales of the storm. I was impressed at how philosophical everyone was about it. Everyone finished their story with "well, it's not too bad; everyone is safe, and a lot of people were hit worse than I was." I was impressed; I can't go a day without a shower, and a week without power? Forget about it. But I guess the human spirit is resiliant.

My parents had a large tree go down at their house in Fairfax (see picture) and their dock in Nomini is in very bad shape. I spent a lot of Saturday hauling debris washed in from the storm surge and pieces of a fallen cedar tree to the burn pile. I also went for a swim off of the dock with my dad to rescue one of the oyster floats trapped between the newly contoured dock and the pilings. All in all, not too bad. After all, a lot of folks had it much worse...

There is no substitute

"Poor- Ish"

Liscence plate sighted on the back of a Porsche Carrera over the weekend.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

A Sunday Story

How it All Began

Sent to me from Grampa

Friday, September 19, 2003

Photo from last weekend's Oregon trip: Jeff, Paulo (my parent's dog), Tricia, and Carl (my dad) on Manzanita Beach. UPDATE: my site is back up!
It's a (not as) Bad (as we feared) Day

This morning while trying to locate local coverage of Isobel's aftermath, I was simultaniously following Kris' link to the new REM video. It was a surreal experience watching Michael Stipe and the gang reporting on extreme weather while looking at the real extreme weather that my parents, friends, and co-workers recently experienced.

My parents are fine, although without power and water in Fairfax, and running on the generator in Montross. I hope everyone else made it through the stormy night alright.


Some of you may have noticed that my site has been down since Sunday: the site host is 'under new management,' and the new management has apparently not figured out much about hosting. (Their main page is here; clicking any support-related link yields this...) I'm hoping that they get their act together & that I don't have to switch hosts, especially since the last SQL backup I downloaded appears to be incomplete. #@#&!@ In the meantime, I'll be posting here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Picking Up Sticks

I was on the phone with my new interim manager (who is in Richmond VA) today, informing him about what I do, when he interrupted me: "You know what's headed our way right now, arriving on Thursday."

"Yes," I replied (having been following the story since my parents first told me about it on our Sunday phone call).

"Well, there's a guy outside of my office picking up sticks right now. Not big sticks all over the sidewalk or anything, but picking little twigs out of the mulch. I think he's going to have a lot more sticks to worry about in a couple of days."

"Maybe he's practicing," was my none-too-clever response.

To all of you on the East Coast preparing for Isobel right now, my thoughts are with you. I'm flying in Saturday morning to spend the weekend with my parents on the Northern Neck then working in Richmond next week. I guess I should start practicing picking up sticks.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

In Remembrance

On September 11th I want to be sure to remember how lucky I am to be alive, to have family and close friends, and to live in a free society. I also want to remember how easy it is to lose all of these things. I also want to always question what is more important: life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness (we seem to have been making choices between these things over the last 2 years).

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Giggle for a Food Geek

Watching Sara (executive chef of Gourmet Magazine) on the Food Network try to explain (as she awkwardly tried herself) how to get refridgerated biscuit dough out of the cardboard tube. She has just learned about this amazing product and couldn't stop raving about how many potential uses there could be for the stuff. Tee hee.
Luxury Lite

Today was the first running of the 1/2 marathon club after work today. I took a couple of people on a slow, 3 mile "orientation run" through the trails behind our building. My office is located in the shadow of a major lumber / paper company, and this company has miles of wooded trails that make for beautiful pre-, mid-, or post-work runs. Since few at work have discovered this, I had a chance to show them off today.

The weather changed from summer to fall on Sunday, and today was another coolish (temps in the 60's) misty day. This was perfect weather for running, but I got chilled on the 40 minute drive home in my running clothes, despite the heated defrosted air.

I'm too cheap to have a hot tub, and too lazy to clean my tub enough for a bath, so instead I took a hot shower and did something crazy. I drank some cold beer in the shower. It's not quite as convenient to sip as in a hot tub or bath, and I didn't really take more than a few sips, but the sensation of the cold beer with the hot water was pretty great.

Yeah, fall!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Did you ever have one of those days..

Where you wake up with a fully developed sty in one eye...
Spill coffee down your leg...
Aren't invited to a meeting to discuss the plan to resolve this issue you're supposed to be resolving...

...and it's not even 8:30 am. I'm ready to go home.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

It's fall, it's Sunday, it's the USA, that means it's time for...


I'm not personally the biggest football fan. I went to a school where the football season was just passing time until basketball season began; I live in a town known for their baseball team; I never played football; and I don't really have that much respect for a sport that appears to be based on overweight men tackling each other. All that being said, I love football season. I guess the primary reason is that it means that it's autumn, which is my hands-down favorite season. And like all things special about fall, it's about family and tradition. No, no one in my family played football, but on Sunday afternoons in the fall, the TV and radios all over the house were tuned in to the NFL. My dad is a die-hard Redskins fan (good game, guys!!), and flies the flag (literally) every time they play. When I lived alone, I never turned on a football game. Now that I have a red-blooded male housemate, the home TV is once again tuned in to football on Sunday afternoons. This is a good thing.

What I do not enjoy about televised football: the beer ads. I am a beer fan. I purchase a lot of beer. I also have been known to watch football games on TV. I am not, however, the target audience for beer ads. Fortunately for Coors and Miller, I would not buy their beer regardless of their ads (Bud, on the other hand has ads that might actually cause me to buy one or two). The ads seem to comprise of boorish guys who manage to attract Playboy models based on the beer that they are drinking. Sadly for them, those beers aren't even strong enough to make real guys drunk enough to believe that Playboy models might like them based on their beer choices. I just noticed today that IBM is one of the sponsors of the NFL on CBS. How come IBM doesn't have ads showing regular guys using IBM products and attracting the Swedish Bikini Team? Perhaps IBM is not basing their advertising on beer goggling... Just wondering.

Ah, Those Summer Days of Drinking and Biking, Biking and Drinking....

The photos from our European vacation are still rolling in. This one was taken in Slovakia at a castle on the banks of the Danube, one of the hottest days of the trip. Guess I don't have to mention how good that pilsner tasted.

My comments haven't been up for several days now, and will be down for at least a few more:

Rate Your Music and YACCS are unavailable due to a server failure.

Estimated time for fix: September 9, 7PM EST

At least they have a clearly communicated plan for a fix, and seem to be on track so far:

Action ETA Status
Order parts for new server Wed, Sept. 3 Done
Parts arrive Thu, Sept. 4 Done
Build Server Thu, Sept. 4 Done
Install OS/Software Fri, Sept. 5 Done
Test Server Fri, Sept. 5 - Mon, Sept. 8 In Progress
Ship Server Mon, Sept. 8 waiting
Server arrives Tue, Sept. 9, 5pm EST waiting
Server is installed Tue, Sept. 9, 7pm EST waiting

The Fall Fitness Challenge is ON!

Some of the folks at work who rode the Courage Classic with me (don't forget to sponsor me for next year's CC), have decided that they are ready for a new fitness challenge. Refocusing their energies to running, they have decided to run the Seattle 1/2 Marathon. I ran this race in 2001, and while the half-marathon wasn't too bad, have sworn off ever running the Seattle Marathon (of which the half is an abbreviated course). It is hilly, with the hills coming in the last 5 miles, and it's held the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, when the weather is pretty much guaranteed to be cold and rainy. I'm doubtful that I'll be in town that Sunday (I have training in Virginia the following week), so I was a little lukewarm about the plans.

All that being said, I'm joining them in training for a Half Marathon. It's a terrific running challenge, and a great stepping stone to the full marathon. It's become one of my favorite race distances, in fact. The last 2 years Jeff and I have run in the Vancouver "First Half" half-marathon, which have been a couple of my favorite and best races ever. Training for a half is just about right, too. It gets you in great running form, pushing me to get those regular training runs and weekly long runs in, without all of the time and stress on the body required of the full marathon.

What is great about the Seattle Half is that it's 12 weeks away; plenty of time for someone in decent shape to prepare. Hal Higdon has a 13 week training plan that looks very managable.

I'll be trying to track my training progress on-line and encourage anyone who has wanted to step their running plan up a notch to join in and follow along at home. I'll also be trying to figure out a way to run in the Seattle Half without actually being in Seattle.

Now, it's time to get running! Who's with me?

Friday, September 05, 2003

The Friday Guy

Like most offices these days, we have to badge into the office, and there are contracted security guards watching the process as we enter the building. As we badge in, the security guards can see our information (name, etc) flash up on their screen, which means that they can quickly learn our names, while I have no means (other than the obvious asking them, which I don't do) to know theirs. One of the these security guards (the one who is routinely at the desk in the mornings) is the Friday Guy. Every morning when I come in, we exchange good mornings (he includes my name, I have no idea of his), he asks how I'm doing (answer is always "fine") and when I ask how he is, he comments about the day of the week:
"As good as I can be for a Monday"
"We're one day closer to Friday"
"it's Wednesday; halfway to Friday"
"well, tomorrow's Friday; we're getting close"
"I'm doing great, 'cause it's Friday!"

I never have to worry that I'll forget the day of the week.
Friday Five

1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most? Cleaning bathrooms, I guess.

2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing? I don't mind doing laundry and washing dishes. I like to keep things picked up, but don't like to clean.

3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed? I actually don't clean the house anymore since I have a lovely housemate who doesn't mind doing it. I do like to keep the kitchen clean (I'm a clean-as-you-go cook). When I lived alone it was usually a clean after it's needed system.

4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules? The bed must be made as part of getting ready for the day (usually post-shower but pre-hairdryer). I just find unmade beds distasteful. I don't want to see others in their pajamas and I don't want to see their sheets. I also hate dirty dishes sitting around. I have been known to wash dishes in bachelor friends' apartments.

5. What was the last thing you cleaned? My lunch dishes and coffee mug at work yesterday.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

No Fall Relief

I was really looking forward to autumn, my favorite season, to close a very stressful (work-wise) summer. It's past Labor Day, however, and it's still hot in(figuratively) and out (literally) of the office. I've had lots of ideas for posts, recently, but no spare time to blog. Some missed blog ideas:

- Hawiian names (my name is Kelekia)
- Trail notes (back to running)
- Old friends, old feelings
- National health care blues

I may still get to these topics, but in the meantime, Aloha!