Thursday, April 29, 2004

Anachronistic Auto Association?

I was a member of AAA for about 10 years, starting when I got my drivers liscence on my 16th birthday. I used AAA for their trip tiks, travelers checks, maps, discounts, and for the security of knowing that if I had a problem on the road help wouldn't be too far away.

This was before the world of internet routing, mobile phones, and debit / ATM access everywhere. I also take much fewer solo road trips, now that I'm out of the military and either <30 or > 2000 miles from anyone I might visit.

I just received a promotion to rejoin. I'm thinking about rejoining. And thinking more about not rejoining.

Is it still my parents' auto association? Is AAA a thing of the past?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Trail Note

Sunday, in place of my planned 40 mile bike ride, I went for another jog around the neighborhood. For some reason the sunshine was making me feel very sluggish and lazy. Anyway, as I passed a few people standing outside as I was rounding my first corner, I heard someone chanting "Gary, Gary, Gary." I looked down the street, but didn't see anything unusual. About 1/2 a block later, I noticed someone very familiar looking and sounding getting something out of the back of his car, chatting to another man. How did I know this guy? Someone at work? Someone I'd seen around at the grocery store?

No. It was our governor, Gary Locke. I had a brush with greatness.

Maybe one of these days I'll run into reputed neighbor Dave Matthews (although I don't think that I'd recognize him as easily as Mr. Locke).

Monday, April 26, 2004

Today's outlook: sunny, with an 80% chance of playing hooky and leaving early

Update: It's sad when leaving at 4:30 (after arriving at 7:30) is an early departure. I need a vacation.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Trail Note: The "Hi" Experiment

I went for a jog around my usual neighborhood route last night after work. It was a beautiful evening, still sunny at 7 pm (sunny after a cloudy drizzly week), perfect temp (60 degrees or so), gardens were blooming, and a lot of others were out walking or running.

As it was such a nice time to be out getting a little exercise, I sported a smile throughout the run (despite feeling less than great, still getting over a travel-induced cold). I nodded and said "hi" to the runners and walkers with whom I crossed paths: fellow travelers in this lovely spring. Very few even acknowledged my greeting. I then made it a point to say "hi" or "good evening" to every single person I encountered on this run, along with the smile/nod. I must have greeted 2 - 3 dozen people on that 3.5 mile loop, and only got a handful of smiles, nods, or hello's in return.

I recently spoke with a couple of fellow runners who are Seattle transplants from the South East (from Florida, one went to school in NC) and they commented on how unfriendly people from Seattle are. They're not rude, like one might find in the New York area, but it's true that they're not friendly. No nods or hellos on the sidewalk, no good mornings from the mail man, etc. Having just spent a couple of weeks in Virginia and North Carolina, I can tell the difference.

So, if you're in Seattle running and you pass a sweaty person gasping for hello, please say hello; I could use the encouragement.
Dig Deep: Music Memory Meme

From Kristen:

1. Go to your CD rack/shelf/room.
2. Select the 13th CD from the end of your collection
3. What's the 5th track?
4. List it on your blog, with a story of why you purchased this CD.
5. Link back to me - if you wish.

Susanne Vega, 99.9 F degrees, Blood Sings

I actually selected the 13th CD from the end of my CD collection in jewel cases; I have a dozen or so CMJ CD's after that in folders/sleeves that I didn't count. As I store my CD's alphabetically by artist, Vega was 13th from the end (lots of W's, a few more V's..).

I must have bought this CD in college while building up my CD collection. I received a portable CD player for Christmas '92, which was my junior year in college. I then signed up for Columbia House subscription and bought any CD's that sounded interesting, or were by artists that I liked at some point (or liked a song that I heard) until I hit my committment. I discovered Suzanne Vega a little before the rest of the world did when the song "Luka" hit it big, so I've bought several of her CD's since then. I don't know that this is my favorite (I don't actually remember track 5), but I'm still a fan or her music and of her as an artist.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Every Sponsor is a Hero

First, thanks to those who have sponsored me so far for my upcoming events:

Mom, Dad, and Jeff have helped me meet my goal for the Race for the Cure!
Kris and Danali have gotten me started on raising funds for the Courage Classic.

Thanks to all of you for your generosity!

Now I'm able to have my own fundraising page for the Courage Classic, so you can follow the link to the left (the "please sponsor me" part) and donate funds, or see how my fundraising is going.

Technology is cool; especially when it's for a good cause.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina...

I thought that I was mentally prepared for this 10 year college reunion. I was ready to feel a little out of place, a little intimidated by impressive degrees, accomplishments, and perfect families, and a little old. I prepared for all of the wrong things.

I wasn't expecting the obvious; I was taken off guard by nostalgia.

I had a fantastic time. I caught up with friends Friday afternoon (all of whom had decided to ditch any husbands, fiances, boyfriends, and / or children for a girls weekend), and had a posse to hang with for the remainder of the weekend. I was slightly bemused by the changes in the last 10 years (buildings where parking lots were, very young looking students attached to cell phones), but very surprised at how little the campus and my friends had really changed. I'm a glass half-empty kind of person, and I think I just remembered the uncomfortable parts of college. I wasn't remembering all of the good times and just how much I enjoyed spending time with my classmates. Driving away today back to my parents' house, I was half-wishing that I was just driving home for the summer, and that we'd all be back to start another semester in the fall.

It didn't hurt that it was a picture perfect weekend. The weather was warm and sunny, the dogwoods were blooming as the trees were just budding green, the azealas were just hitting their peak, and the Gardens were incredible.

Perhaps it's all a conspiracy designed to get me to donate more money. It might just work.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Insert Appropriate Out of Office Message Here

I'm halfway through my 2 week trip east, and have a little time alone with my parents' high speed internet connection. Thus far, I've:
- spent a few days working in "the home office"
- had a fun evening in Norfolk with old friends
- built muscles, helping to install cabinets in my parents' kitchen addition
- had a nasty traffic-filled drive in the rain up to NOVA for an awards reception

Still to come:
- more meetings with those I normally know through the phone
- 10 year college reunion
- return to Seattle on Monday!

Hopefully the weather in Durham this weekend will be a little better than the rainy stuff we're getting in VA this week.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Kid of Speed

A website of a woman who rides her motorcycle through the Chernobyl area in the Ukraine.

As a "navy nuke" I had to study Chernobyl, of course, and learn about all the mistakes (from physics to procedure to policy to practice) that led to Chernobyl and what we had learned from them. The stories that we heard were horrendous, and this brings it all back. It's so recent, and yet so long ago. Before the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, but during my life time.

Link from Jason