Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Notes from DNC Night Number One

- Thank goodness I have something to fill the void left by the conclusion of the tour 
- Can we vote for Clinton again?
- How does one get to be an official convention blogger?
- Did Ben Affleck really get more TV coverage than Jimmy Carter?
- The news networks should follow OLN's broadcast example:  show extended coverage at 9 pm Eastern / 6 pm Pacific and repeat at 9 pm Pacific

Monday, July 26, 2004

Weekend Highlights

Watching Lance complete his domination of the tour
Swimming in Lake Washington
Learning to play Lord of the Rings Risk in the heart of the Capital Hill Block Party
Running around Lake Union - 7 miles;  good pace, slight knee pain
Discovering a (new to me) tasty brunch spot
Eating delicious Coho salmon - masterfully rubbed and grilled by Jeff
Watching beautiful Colorado scenery in American Flyers

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Thank you, Anonymous Donor!

A very belated thank you goes out to the person who donated to my Courage Classic donation page on 7/14;  I hadn't received an email notice, so just saw this for the first time today.

Thank you!! It means a lot to those kids! 

For anyone else still interested in donating, only 3 weeks left until the Courage Classic.  I think that I'm just about ready physically, but we still have a little ways to go to raise the minimum that Jeff will need to ride. 

Reminder, the Courage Classic is a fundraising ride created to support the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.  This endowment will ensure that no child in need of treatment for abuse will go untreated due to lack of funds (in the Tacoma, Washington area).

You can sponsor me (and/or Jeff) by clicking on the link to left that states "Please sponsor me for the Courage Classic."

"Do it for the Kids!"

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Keep an eye on that spell check...

..I almost sent an email saying that I'd be infested to know what kind of operator stats we'd be able to pull from a certain data source.
In case you can't get Devil with a Blue Dress On out of your head

I guess I went to school 14 years too late.

Thanks, Jeff, for sharing the news

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Travel Travails
I returned this weekend from a week-long trip to Virginia.  The trip content was great:  the work part was very productive;  I had a fun dinner with team members;  I saw an old high school friend for the first time in years and met her charming little girl;  I had a really nice visit with my parents and grandmother;  I got a little sun;  I had some really good runs - the most running milage I've logged in a week in a very long time.
What wasn't so great were my travel details. 
On past trips, I've taken the direct red eye flight from Seattle to D.C. and then driven the 2.5 hour trip to Richmond (work day) or Nomini (weekend day).  I take the red eye so that I don't waste an entire day traveling, and then find myself awake past midnight every night of the trip as I slowly transition from pacfic to eastern time.  Since I've been doing this every couple of months for the last year or two, I have accumulated a lot of frequent flier miles and am familiar with all pertinent travel details:  which gate I leave from and the nearest place to get snacks;  the exact gate I arrive into and the location of the Starbucks with the shortest line; how /where to get my rental car; what time to leave for the airport (traffic on the roads and in the airport)... the list goes on.
This time, I went with the slightly cheaper corporate preferred airline option into Richmond with a connection in Chicago.  At least I was booked to travel through Chicago.  Due to some bad weather, however, I never actually saw O'Hare airport.  Instead I was delayed 8 hours on the trip out, flying the day trip through Dallas, and was delayed 5 hours on the return trip, also through DFW.  The thing about being stuck in the Richmond airport is that you just don't have many options.   At least I wasn't traving with a baby or to Beruit (like other fellow passengers);  my needs were pretty simple.
Yes, simple needs, like a hotel room that hasn't been flooded out.  Note to self:  next time I enter a hotel room that smells a little odd, do not pass go, do not unpack and then drive far away to see a friend returning at 11 pm only to notice that the room still smells odd, but get ready for bed anyway hoping that the room with be fine until I discover that the carpet next to the window and A.C. is soaked and realize that I really should probably be in a dry room that doesn't smell odd and now I have to pack everything up again and change rooms wandering the hotel in my t-shirt, boxers, tivas, and retainer hoping that I won't run into anyone.  Yeah, I should just change rooms at 5:30 pm when I'm in professional clothing and nothing is falling out of my suitcase.
It's good to be home.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Tour de Moo

Picture and caption from Kate

Thursday, July 08, 2004

It is about the bike?

And I thought Lance was suffering from media overexposed here; I can't imagine what it's like in Plano or Austin TX right now. I'm not sick of it, but since all we're watching these days is the tour on OLN, all we see are ads with Lance, interviews with Lance, interviews with Lance's coach, commentary about Lance, pictures of Lance's girlfriend, and, occasionally, we see Lance riding in some European bike race.

For those who haven't tuned in to the OLN coverage, there are very few commercials making the rotation on the station and about 90% have Lance in them. (The others are either for LL Bean products or AOL, the later of which drive Jeff screaming out of the room). My favorite is the Nike one with Lance riding and the nifty music in the background, a close second to the ones with Jason Lee going spastic about cyclism.

Link via new Austin resident, Kristen.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Trail Note Part II

So we went on the second of our long weekend back-to-back bike rides this morning. Jeff and I met our friend Chris at the Freemont Starbucks where I sampled the new light caramel Frapp as we checked out the map and planned our route. (The light Frappuccino wasn't too bad, by the way; it tasted pretty similar to the original, although Chris - a frappuccino connoisseur - said that he can definitely taste the difference).

We rode west through Ballard and then turned north as we followed the west coast of Seattle (the Puget Sound to our west). We turned in at Golden Gardens park, and wound our way up through pretty neighborhoods with amazing views of the sound and the still snow-capped Olympic Mountains. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and clear and warm, but not too hot. We continued winding our way north until we hit 145th st N, and took that east to Sand Point Way, which we followed south until we hit Magnuson Park, where the Cascade Bicycle Club was hosting a viewing of stage 2 of the Tour. After the show (I dozed off just a few times) we biked the rest of the way home, finishing of course with our fun hill.

The ride totaled about 27 miles with over 1600 ft of elevation gain and climbs of 10 - 13% (our street) grade. Not a bad ride!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Trail Note

We went on a Cascade Club ride this morning: the loop around Lake Washington. The weather was cloudy and cool (low 60's) when we left the house at 8:15, but the day gradually warmed up and the sky cleared up a little after noon. Jeff's odometer clicked 57 miles for the day, with an average speed of 14 mph. Considering the hills we climbed, not too bad.

The ride was well led, with one leader at the front, one in the middle of the pack (we started with over 30 riders), and one "sweeper." They were great about keeping us together (lots of lights; very easy to string out a group) and keeping up a good pace. The stops were timed well for me as well: 5 - 10 minute breaks every 20 miles or so, to refill water bottles, use the ladies, eat a little something, and stretch and rest, without getting too cold or bored.

Unfortunately, we had a few bad spots. The rider just in front of Jeff as we were on the NW side of the lake on the Burke Gillman trail fell, and possibly broke his collar bone. We were riding back just enough to be able to easily avoid him, and luckily no one else went down. On the East Side we rode by a car accident - the car was in the ditch next to the road with 2 apparently unhurt passengers out of the car, while the driver was still belted in. I often think about how we risk our safety every time we get on the road, whether on bike or in car and how we have to forget that danger so that we can carry on and not just hole up in our homes.

So, after my longest ride since last summer, I finished feeling pretty beaten up: sore neck and back, slightly saddle sore, leaden legs, and tired overall. Other than a little laundry and weeding, I've spent most of the afternoon on the couch. I'm planning on a 2 hour ride tomorrow; hopefully I'll have enough left for a good ride. I have a lot of training to do before the Courage Classic!

Now, on to brats and beer and fireworks! Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 02, 2004

The Cyclism Is Upon Us

If you haven't been watching OLN constantly for the last few weeks, you might not be aware that we are now less than 24 hours away from the beginning of the Tour de France, where Lance Armstrong is favored to win his 6th straight tour.

Since I have been watching, I'm pretty excited. Live race coverage starts at 6 am pacific tomorrow morning. After that, weekend ride # 1 will be on Sunday: a 50-something miler around Lake Washington with the Cascade Bicycle Club. Weekend ride # 2 will be on Monday morning, concluding at Sand Point where the CBC will be having a viewing party for stage 2 of the tour. Now the only question is whether I'll try to get up early and then be late for work each day of the next few weeks to watch live morning coverage, or will I have the patience (and risk the spoilers) to wait to watch evening expanded coverage.