Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Feeling clever...

... for installing my new car roof rack all by myself.

Feeling less than clever for hitting it with my head when taking out dry cleaning.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Choose your own Chick Lit adventure

Thanks to a fun experiment at the Morning News by Sarah Hepola. Now I can't wait to turn the page and find out if I've been bitten by a rattlesnake.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hurricanes in Florida...

... mudslides and earthquakes in Washington. Apparently Mount St. Helens is rumbling right now and today Pierce county (the one in which Mount Rainier is located) is having a mudslide drill. Just when I was thinking how lucky we were to live in a place without extreme weather.

My thoughts go to you in Florida as you again pick up the pieces left by the most recent storm.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Trail Note: Kirkland Triathlon*

Jeff and I, along with friends Kristen and Rebecca, raced in the Kirkland Triathlon this morning. The distance was 1/2 mile swim / 12 mile bike /3 mile run ( 805 m / 19.3K / 4.8 K for those more metric-minded individuals).

The weather has turned very fall-like the last few weeks: mornings are much darker much later, and it's been rainy with highs in the low 60's and lows around 50 degrees recently. We arrived to pick up our packets at 5:30 for a 7 am start (packet pickup ended at 6, and we were a little nervous about crowds). It was dark (serious night-dark) and raining. Fortunately as the sun rose, the rain stopped, and we were dry for the rest of the morning. The air temp was in the mid-50's when we left the house (it didn't warm up much), colder than the water temperature of Lake Washington, which to my non-wetsuit-clad body felt to be in the mid-60's.

Despite having done very little tri-training, and not having worked out all week (not a deliberate taper, rather the result of a crazy schedule), I felt really good today. I only checked the beginning and the end times, and forgot to watch my watch throughout the checkpoints, so I'm anxiously waiting for the official results. My goal was to finish in under 90 minutes, and I think I finished just under 1:29. What used to be my best leg (the swim) was, I think, my weakest today. I probably finished about halfway through the field (no real idea). I saw very few women on the bike leg, passing about 3 other women, and was only passed by men (those fast ones in the age group that started 5 minutes behind me). I actually felt quite fast on the rather hilly bike portion, passing several men. On the run, I only saw one other woman in my age group: we passed back and forth until we got to the last mile where she took off (she looked very fit and competivite). The two women who did pass me were marked with the "R" on the back of their right leg (mine was marked with my age, 31), so I didn't feel too bad to be passed by members of relay teams. If 3 miles is all they were doing this morning, they should have been running faster than me! I think that I finished the run in 25 or so minutes, which I think is faster than the last 10 K that I ran! I felt remarkably good on the run. Normally my legs feel like blocks of wood on the run portion of a tri; today they still had some spring in them.

I wore my trisuit for the first time (picked up on sale in Vancouver last winter), and it was worth every discounted, favorable-discount-Canadian penny. It provided only the slightest hassel in the rest room, and it was terrific to not have to change or put on shorts, jersey, etc durning the transitions. It was comfy and didn't ride up or bunch or rub or do any of the other annoying and / or sore-inducing things that other thrown-together race ensenbles have done in the past. I don't currently have the tri-body that would look intimidating in the suit (I was a little self conscious about the belly bulge that was probably present as I hunched over my handlebars or the slight jiggle as I ran) but who, other than me, cares anyway?

Jeff had a great race; at least 10 minutes faster than me.

*Note: I may have finally figured out how to spell this word!

Update: Times posted: 1:28:54 for a overall finish of 230th, 9th in my age division. Swim: 16:36, bike: 42:47, run: 24:10. Not as fast as the Seafair tri last summer, but not too bad.
What's Up?

Long time, no posts here, obviously. I've continued to be very busy at work the last few weeks, and this week things really heated up on the community service front. Throw in the houseboat tour, the early morning visitor, a Mariners game, and a triathlon (trail note to follow), and I've had little energy for posting.

I participated in a leadership program last year sponsored by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce designed to broaden the leadership base in the local community. Apparently, about 10 years ago people realized that it was the same dozen or so people participating in every community activity, and if they ever wanted to improve their community and still get some sleep, they would need to take steps to find more people to get involved. So this program was created and I participated last year. One day a month, we learned about various aspects of the community (human services, education, government, economic development, the arts) though site visits, expert panels, and discussion, and we developed our community leadership skills by developing a class project. We knew we wanted to impact youth, and so we created a youth leadership program, very similar in scope and content as the one we were participating in. The program kicked off on Wednesday (at my work site), and was pretty successful. Only 8 more sessions to go! My big months are going to be in November (government day; I teach the leadership portion of the class) and March (economic development; I help plan the agenda).

The program was a great way to learn about the city in which I work, but an even better way to meet some terrific people. This week was the perfect example of the connections I've made. Tuesday, I went on a site visit to see one of the programs for which the community council that I sit on has provided funding, and the program director was a friend of mine from AL. On Friday, my office participated in the United Way Day of Caring, and we worked at the Boys and Girls Club, the director of which was also in my class.

There are programs like this in cities and counties across the country; I highly recommend anyone with a hankering to get more involved to find one. (It's also nice to find one that your company sponsors; this is my favorite thing about my job).

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Next Stop Brad Anderson

In following Brigita's links for the Machinist, I noticed that it is directed by the writer/director/editor of what I think is my favorite movie, Next Stop Wonderland. This site provides some of his commentary about his films, of which I've only seen NSW and Happy Accidents (also enjoyable).

Friday, September 10, 2004

What are you doing on September 11th?

Cause this is what your library is up to. Looks like a good reason to finally visit the new Central Library building.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Salt Lick

Jeff and I made new friends on the Courage Classic.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

RNC Notes

It's been a stressful week for me at work, pulling longer, more intense days than usual. My 30 mile drive home is normally a good time to mentally downshift and transition from work to non-work as I listen to NPR. Not so this week, as it broadcasts live from the Republican National Convention.

The Democrats had official "convention bloggers;" the Republicans have Convention Jockies. I don't know what I find more entertaining, listening to the journalists from NPR try to be objective in their coverage or hearing them try to pretend to take the CJ's seriously. Not entertaining enough to stay tuned for more than snipets of the speeches (alternatingly boring and infuriating), but better than the rush hour ads on the commercial stations.

Update: Kevin from Ghost in the Machine had a brilliant take on Schwarzenegger's speech. Found via Max.