Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day 514 -- Jogger's Progress

Time18 days, 13 hrs, 35 min
10 days, 4 hrs, 41 min

The gym will be closed tomorrow, and it's still nowhere near nice enough to run outside, so today is my last day of the year. I couldn't decide whether to run six or eight, so I ran seven. I could easily have run more. I still had energy left at the end.

So, it was a good year, even if December was a light month. I did 175 more miles than in 2006. Interestingly, I ran the exact same number of days -- 257 in 2006 and 257 in 2007. I ran all the way from Civil Bend, Missouri, to somewhere west of West Wendover, Nevada. Of course, I ran my first marathon.

I did miss a couple of goals. I didn't lose any weight, even with all those miles. And as I wrote a couple of days ago, I didn't quite make my goal of never missing more than two days of running.

And what's up for next year? Well, I let my friends on one of my message boards talk me into setting a goal of 2008 miles in 2008. That's going to be a stretch. It's a full 25% more than this year. But what the heck? It wouldn't be a goal if it were easy.

I'm planning to train for three marathons. I'm already registered for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in May. Then I'll immediately start training for the Community First Fox Cities Marathon, which runs through Appleton, Kimberly, Combined Locks, Darboy, Menasha, and Neenah, up in East-Central Wisconsin. Then I'll immediately start training for the Zoom Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon in Northfield, Minnesota, in January 2009. That last one is a maybe. The field is limited to 40 runners, because, well, it's an indoor marathon. So I might not get in.

I'll also make my initial goal for JogAmericaBlog: San Francisco. I'm maybe 600 miles out, now, so I should be there this spring. And then what? I'm thinking of running up the west coast to Oregon. Every good runner should make it to Eugene, Oregon, one of the hotbeds of running in the 60's and 70's.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 513 -- West Wendover, NV

Apparently, the best thing that West Wendover, Nevada, has going for it is that it is the closest town in Nevada to Salt Lake City. So, if you live in Salt Lake City, and you have to urge to go to the casino, this is where you have to go. This is the Peppermill Hotel and Casino in West Wendover.

I ran a quick four miles at noon today. I hope to get back tomorrow, and then that will be it for the year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 512 -- At Long Last, Nevada

Five whole days off from running. That's my longest break in the last two years! We're back in my hometown, so I went to the gym this morning and ran for almost an hour. It felt really, really good.

I've also, as you can see, crossed over the border into Nevada. This isn't the right Welcome to Nevada sign. The one on Interstate 80, where I am now, probably looks exactly the same, but the terrain is different. I'm more up in the mountains than this photo suggests.

Illness continues to haunt the Jogger household. Mrs. Jogger has a bad sore throat, and, on top of that, got sick to her stomach on Wednesday night. The medium Little Jogger continues to wake up at night with a stuffy nose. The first Little Jogger also has a sore throat, although that seems to be on the mend. I have a stuffy nose, myself, but I'm not complaining, because I'm not as bad off as some.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Almost, but not quite

At the end of last year, I set a goal to go all of 2007 without taking more than two days off from running. And I made it up I even made it after the marathon. I ran again on Wednesday, after the Sunday marathon. But the cold weather got me. I could have run on Sunday, since the gym was open, but I didn't. Yesterday, we packed up and drove down to Grandma Joggers, and it's just too cold, and there's too much snow on the ground, to run outside. And there's no gym open around here. So, I came up a week short on that goal.

As you can see, I did get some exercise today, on Grandma's Nordic Track. It was OK, but boring. I don't know why running for 35 minutes is less boring than Nordic Tracking for 35 minutes, but it is.

We've had a good Christmas, overall. Lots of great presents, lots of great food, and not too much fighting. Mrs. Jogger has a cold which is stuffing up her sinuses, so she hasn't been really happy. But we've tried to keep the kids occupied, and I think that she's feeling a little better now.

I probably won't run tomorrow, but we'll be going home on Thursday, and I'll try to get to the gym, then. In the meantime, I'm just trying to decompress a little.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas, or whatever you happen to be celebrating this year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 511 -- Wendover, Utah

This should be my last stop in Utah, so my last chance to visit Lynn's Utah, City-by-City page. This is the Wendover City Building, which also seems to house some of the Toelle County government. The County Seat of Toelle County is Toelle, which is clear across the county (and it's a huge one.) So they apparently have some government functions at this end of the county.

Contrary to my plan to run twice yesterday, I didn't even run once. The medium Little Jogger was up in the night, so I turned off my alarm and slept in. Then Mrs. Jogger and I went out for lunch, to celebrate our last day of freedom. But, I did manage to run five miles at noon today.

Today is the first day of vacation for the kids, and they are already fighting. Not that they don't fight during the school week, either. Anyway, I still have grading to do, so I'm not on vacation, yet.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day 510 -- Bonneville Salt Flats


I had a brilliant idea today. I slept in, then went running at noon. After all, I didn't have any time commitments, and I figured that would give me energy for the afternoon. And it worked. For the afternoon. I was dragging all morning. Tomorrow, I may have to run twice.


After yesterday's "Confidential" post, I arrived at work this morning to find an e-mail from this student, apologizing for his earlier e-mail. So, either (a) this student is one of the three people who read my blog yesterday, or (b) he talked to one of the three people who read my blog yesterday, or (c) it's just coincidence. If it's (a) or (b), don't worry about it, student. I was just venting. It looks like you did well on the final, but I haven't tallied final grades, yet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confidential to the student who is repeating the course for a better grade, and who is pretty bright, but hasn't worked that hard all semester:

Don't e-mail me after the final to tell me what grade you "need". It only pisses me off.

Day 509 -- Even More Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, in case you didn't know, is really popular with the speed record crowds, because it's basically a big old patch of flat. Here's the JCB DieselMax on the Salt Flats, waiting to attempt a land-speed record.

And here's the crew celebrating that record, 350 mph. I ran with them for a while, but then they pulled away from me.

I ran 4.6 miles this morning. I went out to do four, but I was pretty sore, so I ran extra. If that makes sense to you, you must be a runner.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 508 -- More Salt Flats

Not much out here between the Knolls and West Wendover, Nevada. So, more Salt Flat photos. After screwing up the shadows, yesterday, I took the opportunity to mess with the reflection today. It's not perfect, but it makes a decent first impression.

I ran 10 miles today. I didn't run all weekend, and tomorrow I have an early exam, so I tried to go ahead and get a good run in today. It felt good. Ten miles on our little indoor track is 75 laps, which does kind of drag on you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snow Day!

OK, it can't really be a snow day, because it's Saturday. But I did take two of the Little Joggers sledding this morning. The medium Little Jogger has been sick, so no sledding for him, and the littlest Little Jogger just decided not to go. So that left me, the two girls, and the next door neighbor. It was fun, but cold.

(This sledding hill is actually in Holland, Michigan, but it looks a lot like our snow hill.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 507 -- Salt Flats

I'm not quite to the Salt Flats, yet, but there ain't much out here to pose in front of. And I found this cool photo of some sign out here. (I know, I know, the Jogger needs a shadow, but I didn't have the patience.)

I ran another five miles this morning. I wanted to go longer, but I had to get home to take the first Little Jogger to Swing Choir. I need to start planning my long runs for days when she doesn't have any reason to go in early. If there are any.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 506 -- More Knolls

From Utah Outdoor Activities, this is a photo of the "endless riding possibilities, with the mud flats in the background" at the Knolls. I figure if it's that big, it will take me a day or two to run past it. I did a 5.3 mile tempo run this morning. It felt pretty good (after taking yesterday off.)

It's that little lull at the end of the semester. Tomorrow is the last day of the semester, and finals start on Monday. My finals are actually on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm collecting papers tomorrow in the History of Math course, so, fortunately, I won't go through the weekend with nothing to grade.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quote of the week

For this week, and half of next.
Now the President is walking around telling everyone he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, well, DNA is a bitch.

From Will Durst

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mrs. J

I shouldn't let the occasion go by without noting the natal anniversary of my darling wife. As always, I take the occasion to reflect on just how lucky I am to have met her, and to have her in my life. We've been married for 20 years now, and she doesn't show any sign of being tired of me. Which is awfully good news, because I love her more every day. Happy Birthday, kiddo! Love Never Faileth!

Days 503, 504, and 505

I have never before posted three days worth of mileage at once. I've been busy.

How busy? Let me walk you through the last four days. Saturday morning, I slept in just a little, then got up and started grading. Mid-morning, I went to the office to write the Calculus exam and work on my notes for the History class on Monday. Early afternoon, more grading. Most of the second half of the afternoon was taken up with one of the first Little Jogger's Girl Scout activities, which was fun, but too long. I spent Saturday evening proof-reading the exam and working out the answers.

Sunday, I got up and graded until time to get ready for church. After church, more grading, while watching the Packers game. By 4:00, I was going nutso, so I went to the gym for a six mile run. That got me to supper time. After supper, more grading.

Monday morning, I got up and did another four miles at the gym. I went to the office and spent most of the morning helping panicked Calc students. Class at 11, then lunch, then class from 1 - 3. A slight break at 3 (update the exam and run off copies) and a meeting at 4. After supper, I gave the calculus exam. It didn't go on quite as long as the last one, so I got home by 9:30, and dropped into bed.

This morning, another four miles, then off to school to give make-up exams to the Calc students who couldn't make it last night, while beginning to grade the exams I had. Class from 1-3, another short break, and another meeting. I've spent the early part of this evening grading.

So, sorry I didn't get anything posted.

This motorcycle is soaring over The Knolls. You can buy a copy (presumably without the Jogger) at

Friday, December 07, 2007

Day 502 -- Scenic Utah

Western Utah, much like western Colorado, has towns that are few and far between. It's twenty miles to the next town west of Low. So I Googled "Scenic Utah," and this is what I got. Nowhere near where I am, I expect. But beggars can't be choosers.

I ran 5.3 miles this morning. I wanted to run longer, but the first Little Jogger had to go in early for Swing Singers, and with Mrs. J not feeling well, I had to do the delivery. I don't know if I'll get to run this weekend. Oh, well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Day 501 -- Low, Utah

Over the almost two years that I've been doing this, I've noticed that a certain kind of town name is problematic. Names like Dale, Indiana, or Miller, Missouri, where the name of the town is a reasonably common word or name, tend to be hard to Google. You get people named Miller who lived in Missouri or visited Missouri or saw "Missouri Breaks". You get web pages that show a dale somewhere in Indiana, or people named Dale who worked on a Harrison Ford movie. But you don't get images of Dale, Indiana, or Miller, Missouri.

And so I find myself in Low, Utah. Knowing that I was in for such a problem, I decided to embrace it. Here is a picture that someone posted on Picasa Web Albums, of low octane gas in Utah. God knows why they posted such a picture. But here it is.

Illness continues to haunt the Jogger household. The littlest Little Jogger was up in the night, and he's never up in the night. Normally, he's sound asleep from the minute his head hits the pillow until up to 30 minutes after he gets out of bed the next morning. The medium Little Jogger is the one who has trouble sleeping, and so, not to be outdone, he was up in the night, too. The medium Little Jogger made it to school today, but the littlest Little Jogger didn't. And, worst of all, Mrs. Jogger is starting to feel it. If Mrs. Jogger gets sick, look out. She's the only thing that keeps the household from total anarchy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 500!

Mike Hudson, at, uploaded this cool 500 graphic. If you can't see the 500, try taking a step back from your computer screen. (If you can't see the Jogger, try taking a step forward.) I don't really get what "seriocomic" means, but he's got lots of cool images. Check him out.

Day 500 was actually yesterday, but I didn't get on-line at all yesterday. I seem to have caught a little of the bug that the Little Joggers had. I came home at 3:00 with a headache that would fell a rhino, and a stomach that wasn't quite sure what it was going to do. I dropped into bed and basically stayed there all night. Today I am much better. My stomach is even almost back to normal.

I did skip my run this morning, scuttling my goal of running every morning this week. But I consider deathly illness a legitimate excuse. If I feel OK, I'll run tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A link to a laugh

From StyleyGeek, because this is the World Wide Web, dammit, so sometimes you just have to link to something.

Day 499 -- Delle, Utah

From Dave Winer's 2003 cross-country trip.

As predicted, no running this weekend. We got hit with a winter storm on Saturday. It started with heavy snow, then warmed up to sleet and freezing rain. Not running weather. Sunday was clear, but the roads were still icy, and I didn't get to the gym. I did run four miles at the gym this morning, and I've set a goal to get to the gym five days this week.

The Little Joggers have been sick. The newest and oldest Little Jogger has a sore throat and a nasty cough. She almost never gets sick, which we attribute to her hearty Ukrainian blood lines. But she missed school last Thursday, and still doesn't sound good. The littlest Little Jogger threw up on Saturday, the medium Little Jogger threw up on Sunday, and the first Little Jogger threw up today (at school). So it hasn't really been a fun weekend, to tell the truth. But the first two are pretty much back to normal (as normal as they get, anyway), so we're hoping that everyone will be fine by tomorrow. Unless it hits Mrs. J or me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 498 -- Jogger's Progress

Time18 days, 0 hrs, 12 min
9 days, 15 hrs, 18 min

November was a pretty good month, overall. Twenty-two days was the same as October, but I managed to make 30 more miles! A couple of long runs helped with that. I did eight miles today, because they are projecting a snowstorm for tomorrow, so I may not get to run at all this weekend. We'll see.

In other running news, I signed up today for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Today was the first day of registration, and I couldn't wait. I'm excited about it! I won't start really training until January, but it's nice to be on the schedule.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 497 -- Balloon

OK, I couldn't find any good local photos that I liked, so I just Googled "Utah," and found this pretty picture of a balloon over Mount Timpanogos, courtesy of National Geographic. Mount Timpanogos isn't too awfully far from here. It's in the Wasatch range, over by Provo, somewhat south and east of where I'm virtually running.

Day 497 was actually yesterday, but I never found time to blog. But then I slept in this morning, so I don't have to post two days in a row. I can just post Day 497, and you'll never know that it's a day late....

Tonight, the Packers are playing the Cowboys in a special Thursday night game. But, alas, the game is on the NFL network, which we don't get. I thought about going out to a bar, but the bars are going to be packed, because almost nobody gets the NFL network. It's not even an option with our cable package. So this will be the first game of the season that I don't see even a little bit of. It's a big game, too, since the Packers and the Cowboys have the best record in the NFC, so the winner will be on track to get the highest seed in the playoffs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 496 -- Stansbury Island

Stansbury Island is in the Great Salt Lake, just north of where I'm running now. This terrific picture was taken by Ray Boren, and can be found (sans Jogger) at

I ran five miles this morning. I did a "tempo run" -- 10 laps slow, 10 laps faster, 10 laps pretty fast, and 10 laps back to medium speed. It felt good, and my overall speed for the five miles was pretty snappy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 495 -- Grantsville

The students at Grantsville High School won an Ag Day Contest with this display, "American Agriculture Feeds the World." People who went to high school anyplace in the upper midwest will recognize the Future Farmers of America (FFA) jacket. I definitely saw many of those when I was in high school.

I ran an easy four miles today, inside at the gym. It was fine. I could have gone outside, but I didn't want to. I think I'll try to get to the gym again tomorrow. We'll see how I'm feeling.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Days 493 and 494 -- Tooele Army Depot

Better watch myself around here. I'm running somewhere near Tooele Army Depot, which seems to do some "neutralization" of atomic waste. I say "seems to," because it's kind of hard to get through the General Atomics web page. Here's a typical quote: "Under a cooperative effort between GA, Tooele Army Depot (TEAD), the Defense Ammunition Center (DAC), Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), and the Joint Munitions Command, a Hydrolysis Production Prototype Plant (HPPP) was constructed at TEAD. This GA technology provides TEAD the ability to demil obsolete aluminum-bodied Cartridge Actuated Devices (CADs) in an environmentally friendly manner." OK. Wev.

I took Thursday off, as planned. I ran both Friday and Saturday, in fairly cold weather. Friday was late morning, about 10:00, and Saturday was early, about 6:00, but both were about 24 degrees (F). I'm glad I didn't try to run early Friday, because it was something like 15 overnight. Both runs were about 5 miles, and I felt pretty good about them. I really am addicted to running. I couldn't possibly have made it through the weekend without it.

It was a fun weekend. I took the kids and went down to visit Grandma Jogger. Mrs. J stayed here, because she had to work at the gallery. The kids were awfully well behaved. The boys got noisy at times, but they didn't fight too badly at all. We had some fun. The oldest and newest Little Jogger and I even went to a home football team for my alma mater, which is in the Division III playoffs. They won pretty easily. I enjoyed the game, but I'm out of practice in watching football without instant replay and super slo-mo and digital first-down lines.

Now it's back to work. Three more weeks of class, and then finals. I hope that the students are ready to work hard, because we will have to.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 492 -- Rowley Junction

Robert Klein Gallery has a nice photo of Highway 196, outside of Rowley Junction, Utah. The photo was taken by Jeff Brouws. I think it has a kind of a lonely grandeur. At least it did, before I entered the scene.

I went to the gym this morning, and did an easy four miles. I was kind of feeling my age, so I definitely didn't try to push the pace. But overall it was a good run.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'm going to load into the van with the Little Joggers and drive down to Grandma Jogger's house. We'll stay for two or three days. Mrs. Jogger is staying here, because she has to work at the Gallery on both Saturday and Sunday. I'm taking running clothes, in case the weather is good enough to run, but I'm not planning to take the laptop, so I might not blog for a couple of days. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 491 -- Burmester

About 10 miles west of Salt Lake City is the town of Burmester, Utah. Well, maybe it's a town. Lynn has it on her list of "named locations." She says, "In some cases, these locations may just be areas of a town/city with a distinct name, a named industrial site, a railroad stop or may just be a point of interest." So, anyway, here it is.

I ran five miles this morning. It wasn't too bad out, but the weather is turning nasty now. It's a cold drizzle out right now. So I probably won't get to run outside tomorrow. And the gym will be closed for the next four days (and I'll be out of town, weather permitting) so I need to get my miles in today and tomorrow, if I can.

Monday, November 19, 2007

This blog's reading level

cash advance

You think that's great? Check out Addy N.'s.

Day 490 -- Temple

I probably shouldn't leave Salt Lake City without visiting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormons. Here's their temple in Salt Lake City. It's a lovely building. Its six-spire design is suggestive of Gothic and other classical styles but unique, distinctive, and symbolic. Well, at least according to the web site.

I ran an easy 3.5 miles today. The first mile and a half, I ran with a friend of mine who lives over a block. I often see him in the morning, but usually we aren't going in the same direction. But today we were, and it was fun having someone to talk to. We talked about the Packers, and University politics, and kids, and all kinds of stuff. Then he turned off, and I ran two more miles, creaking and groaning the whole way.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 489 -- Salt Lake City

Another state capitol, so another chance to visit Frank. Frank, apparently never having heard of Photoshop, has visited all the state capitols in person and taken his photo in front of each one.

I ran a half marathon this morning, 13.1 miles. It wasn't terribly fast, but I felt pretty good about it. I wasn't struggling too badly at the end at all. In fact, I felt like I could have done more. Not that I did, or anything.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What a Week!

It's been a busy week, especially in the evenings. One or both of us has been out every night this week.

Monday it was conferences at the Middle School. We had to meet 6 teachers and talk to each of them about both girls. (Make that 7. They have different math teachers.) Mostly the messages were the same. The oldest and newest Little Jogger is smart but doesn't apply herself. She needs to stop chatting and pay attention. The first Little Jogger is smart but too hard on herself. She needs to stop getting frustrated over little setbacks.

Tuesday was the evening exam. So far, from what I've graded, the student who took almost four hours did pretty good. So at least I didn't stay up that late for an F.

Wednesday was my evening off. Mrs. Jogger had to work at the Gallery, which was having a special mid-week event. I stayed home and fantasized about being childless.

Thursday was a special congregational meeting. We have had a lot of division in our church since we got our new pastor a year ago. So the Bishop came down from Madison and conducted a special meeting. It was OK. Some feelings got aired and some apologies were offered. But we more or less ignored the major problem, which is that the pastor doesn't have the skills necessary to lead a congregation this size. Of course, that's being taken care of, as it is rapidly becoming a much smaller congregation.

Friday was the annual Hmong Thanksgiving dinner at the University. That's always a lot of fun. They usually have some sort of cultural program. This year, it was different generations of music, from the traditional to very modern stuff. The food was good, but there weren't a lot of vegetarian choices.

So today, I'm home with a stack of grading. The kids have places to go, so we'll be running them around. There may actually be a two-hour period this morning when my fantasy will come true!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Days 487 and 488 -- Wasatch-Cache National Forest

I'm out of shape. After taking Wednesday off, I went to the gym yesterday to run 6 miles. Six miles with no hills and no wind should have been easy. Wasn't. I made it, though. Then I slept in this morning, but I came home a little early and did four miles this afternoon. I'm feeling OK, but old. Sorry, not much in a mood to blog today. I'll try to get back on the stick tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 486 -- Summit Park

Here I am at the weather observation station in Summit Park. It's a bit chilly around here. Although frankly, I kind of doubt it's quite this snowy on November 13.

Day 486 was actually yesterday. I got up and ran four miles in what was pretty good weather for November. I was pretty tired, so I was already thinking during the run that I would take today off. And after being up late last night, I had no trouble sleeping in this morning.

And why was I up late last night, you ask? I was giving an evening exam. My usual exam period is 6 - 9 pm, but I don't expect my students to take three hours. Most come at 6 and are done by 7:30 or 8. Some come later. So they can start at 7 and usually they are done by 9. But last night, one student took from 6 all the way to 10. Another student started later, but also stayed until 10. I think that it actually hurt that there were two of them. Each one could say, "Well, as long as that guy is here, I'm not really keeping Professor Jogger late."

The four hour student probably did actually use the time. I know this guy -- he comes in for help a lot -- and he does take a lot of time. Unlike many math students, he can sometimes spot his own mistakes and correct them. So I imagine that he improved his score between 9 and 10. The other student probably didn't. He hasn't been coming to class regularly, and he hasn't been doing the homework, and consequently he didn't know what he was doing. No amount of extra time on the exam was going to change that. But since I didn't want to kick the first student out, I didn't kick the other out, either.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 485 -- Kimball Junction

I visited the Rocky Mountain Roads web site quite a bit in western Wyoming and eastern Colorado, but I haven't hit them lately. I think it has to do with the Interstates. I just popped back onto I-80, after spending a lot of time running on lesser roads. Anyway, this is the exit from I-80 to Kimball Junction, which is about where I am after almost five more miles this morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day 484 -- World Run Day

Happy World Run Day! World Run Day is the brainchild of Bill McDermott. This year, there are over 2000 participants around the world, including a certain Jogger in SW Wisconsin (or central Utah, depending on how you want to count me.) I ran 10 miles this morning. I was pretty tired at the end. The last mile was pretty much sheer will power. But I made it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day 483 -- Jordanelle State Park

When I was a wee slip of a lad, not yet a Jogger at all, my father used to go off to Isle Royale National Park camping. He'd come back with grainy black-and-white photos, and he'd always claim that there was a moose in them. "See that rock? There's a moose behind it....Just before I took this photo, the moose wandered out of the frame." So, this one is for you, Dad.

These moose live in Jordanelle State Park, in the Heber Valley.

I ran just three miles this morning. Mrs. Jogger had to get out early, so I had to be home and showered to get the kids out the door. But it was a good three miles, and I'm feeling OK this evening. I'm ready for a weekend. More than ready.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Classroom visitation

We're all busy visiting each other's classrooms at my university, as part of the peer review process. Both of my classes have been visited, and I have visited two other professors' classes. I've been thinking a little about the peer review process.

The first class that I visited was the Discrete Math class of one of my younger colleagues. I've visited his class before, and I expected this one to be good. I wasn't disappointed. It started out fine. I'm making little notes to myself about what I observed, and mentally sorting them for relevance. My philosophy of peer observation is that I don't want to comment on anything that is (a) a reasonable choice, even if not the one that I would have made, (b) peculiar to the particular lesson that I happened to see, or (c) out of the instructor's control. In other words, I'm trying to limit myself to reasonably constructive criticism. Anyway, after about half the class, he started in on a complicated proof of an important theorem. I knew this was going to be tough, and I was simply amazed at how well he pulled it off. He walked the students carefully through it, explained his thinking as he went along, got them to contribute key ideas, dealt with the inevitable side tracks, and just generally did it so much better than I have ever done it that I was amazed. I knew he was good, but this visit convinced me that he is fantastic.

The second visit didn't go quite so well. The professor I was observing is about the same level as I am. In fact, she's got one year seniority. Our relationship has always been tepid at best. And I knew from prior experience working with her that she isn't likely to take any advice from me at all. I'm not sure if she never takes advice from anyone, but she certainly doesn't from me. So I knew going into it that it was a waste of time. I wasn't going to see anything so terribly bad that it would be worth writing up to put in her file, and I wasn't going to come up with any helpful suggestions that she would actually take. The class itself was fine. I did come up with a couple of suggestions that I might have passed on to a different colleague, but with this person, I'm not going to bother.

I didn't think that the two days when I was observed went very well. They weren't total disasters, but I just felt kind of off. Only one of the observers has given me feedback, and it was more positive than I felt. I was flattered, but I didn't really feel like it was an accurate reflection of what I'd done.

So, what is the purpose of peer review? Can you learn much about a fellow instructor from sitting in on one class? You could certainly tell if they were terrible, but we don't have any terrible instructors in our department (at least, not as far as I know.) Can we really tell the good from the great? I don't know. I suppose it's better than never having anyone observed in action, but I don't know if we are really generating a clear picture of anyone's strengths and weaknesses from one visit a semester.

Day 482 -- Heber City

Today my post is pretty close in space, but a bit off in time. I'm just about to Heber City, getting fairly close to the outskirts of Salt Lake City. Here's a picture of the Olympic torch coming in to Heber City back in 2002. (Photo stolen from KSL-TV.) Frankly, I'm a bit cold.

As you no doubt guessed, I skipped my run yesterday. I meant to do it, but I couldn't drag myself out of bed. Today I did drag myself out of bed, and did over 7 miles, pretty much in penance. It felt pretty good. I went outside, even though the temperature is getting down towards freezing. My face got a little cold, but other than that, I was bundled up pretty well.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Days 480 and 481 -- Wallsburg

This fine piece of prime rib was raised by Coleman Limousin Ranch, Inc., and bought by Smart Style Limousin of Wallsburg, Utah. (Limousin, according to, is a breed of hardy French beef cattle.) His name is COLE Tank Jr., and he cost $92,000. The cool thing is that Coleman Limousin Ranch has a whole page thanking people for buying their bulls.

I ran four miles yesterday and another four today. Yesterday, I took it easy, but today, I ran a bit faster. In fact, I was a full four minutes faster over the four miles. Both runs were indoors, so there were no hills or anything to worry about.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Day 479 -- Bear

Here's a bear somewhere in Uinta National Forest. Uinta National Forest is all over this part of the state, so no clue whether I'm anywhere close to this guy, but I think that's OK.

I ran a little short of nine miles this morning, my longest run since the marathon. I felt pretty good, actually. It wasn't fast, but I still had energy at the end. My legs are pleasantly tired right now. We'll see how sore I am in the morning.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 478 -- Strawberry Reservoir

Here you see Justin Beus, justifiably proud of the cutthroat trout that he caught at Strawberry Reservoir. Not a whole lot of detail from the Beus family, actually. Just a few pictures. I'm not sure how old Justin is. But it looks like he had fun.

I ran five miles this morning. It was cold, but not too windy, so I was OK after I got warmed up. The glow lasted for most of the morning, but faded away as I got busy. It turned out to be a pretty stressful day, mitigated only by the fact that it was Friday. I brought home some grading, but I have no intention of starting it tonight.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day 477 -- Soldier Summit

Soldier Summit, Utah, is another town listed in It's about 10 miles south of highway 40, somewhere near where I'm running, now. The railway moved in 1930, and that was it for the town. Maybe. says in one place that no one lives here, but in another it says that there are a few current residents. I haven't run into anyone.

I ran four miles this morning. Novembrrrrr has come in with a bang. It was almost 20 degrees cooler this morning than yesterday. But I still ran outside.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 476 -- Jogger's Progress

Time17 days, 4 hrs, 6 min
8 days, 19 hrs, 12 min

Well, October wasn't much of a month. It started out OK. I ran 14 of the first 16 days of the month. But I took seven days off in the second half of the month, including both days both of the last two weekends. I only had one semi-long run, so my mileage per day was low, too.

It's not really a big deal. At my age, I can't train hard all year round anyway. So October, 2007, is a down month for me, and I'm not really planning to ramp it up until January, when I begin training for the marathon again. But I do hope that I can get out a little more often, and put in some longer runs on the weekend.

I did run today, a hard 5.6 miles. It felt good. It was pretty warm, but windy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 475 -- Currant Creek

Going back to the U.S. Geological Survey site, we find this nice picture of Currant Creek, "near Fruitland." How near? Don't know. East or West, North or South? Don't know. But the water is surprisingly warm for this type of year.

I took both weekend days off again. I'm getting lazy. I had planned to take Saturday off, but Sunday I just slept in. Mrs. Jogger and I went to a party on Saturday night, and got home comparatively late. But I ran this morning, and it was good.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day 474 -- The Edge

Before leaving the Fruitland area, I thought that I should visit The Edge. According to the web site,
The Edge Retreat is the ideal setting for your workshops, wedding, family reunions or business retreats. Perched atop a cliff overlooking the Strawberry River, The Edge is known as Utah's most magical retreat.

It is absolutely lovely here. And they must attract people. I got a link to them from Salt Lake City, which is a good 70 miles away.

Today was a weird day. I decided last night that since it was cold, and since I have a little sniffle that I got from the Little Joggers, I would run inside. But when I went out, it was actually pretty warm. But I was already on my way to the gym, and I can't change my mind that fast. So, when I got to the gym, I ran 4.3 miles on the outdoor track. This kind of defeats the purpose. It's just as boring as running on the indoor track, but colder. But, that's what I did. So there.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 473 -- Fruitland

Today, I ran through Fruitland, Utah, literally the only town on this road for a good 70 miles or so. So if I have to thrash around to find images for the next couple of weeks, you'll know why. This picture of a store in Fruitland comes from our friend Lynn at Dreambreeze. I may cram in a few more Fruitland pics before I run off too far.

I went to the gym this morning. This was really the first time all fall that the weather has forced me in. I ran inside once before, but that's because I was running at noon on a weekday, and I didn't want to expose my pudgy body to the whole campus. Today, I just opted to come in from the cold. Then the regulars teased me about it, so I'll probably have to run outside tomorrow, just to prove that I can.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 472 -- Too tired to blog, never mind run

I ran 4 miles, plus a little, yesterday. It felt pretty good. Which was good, because I was in for another long day. I had two classes, three meetings, the usual pile of stuff to get through, and then an evening exam. I didn't get home until after 10:00 at night. So I didn't blog last night, and I didn't run this morning. Today was a bit better, but still busy. I need to go back tonight for a pizza party, but at least I won't be home at 10.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day 471 - Tabiona

I'm not very near to Tabiona, but hey, there were some pictures from the Utah Water Science Center. This is the Duchesne River, near Tabiona. There's not a whole lot around here to stand in front of, so today, you get this.

I took two days off this weekend. I didn't really mean to. I planned to take Saturday off, but I meant to get up and go for a longer run on Sunday. Didn't happen. Oh, well. I ran four miles this morning, but it was kind of tough. It's hard to believe that I can run 20 miles, as hard as it's been to run four, lately.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 470 -- Harley Boys

The Harley Boys road through this area some time this past spring.

Yesterday was our Fall Break, so I slept in, then ran at noon. I felt great for the first mile or so. Then I turned around and ran back into the wind, and that slowed me down considerably. It was quite a windy day.

In the afternoon, Mrs. Jogger and I drove up to Madison where I gave a talk to the Math Club from the technical college there. It went pretty well, I thought. We went out for Middle Eastern food -- falafel, hummus, tabbouleh. It was great.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 469 -- Starvation Lake State Park

According to the Utah State Parks web site,
The name "Starvation" has been credited to two legends. One saying that a group of mountain men caught in winter snows survived by stealing a cache of food belonging to local Indians and as a result the Indians starved. The other more often told legend, relates the opposite story of the Indians stealing the trapper's cache of food leaving the trappers to starve. It is, however, very likely that neither legend, even if true, bears reference to the naming of the dam and reservoir.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, cattlemen and homesteaders tried to make a go of it along the banks of the Strawberry River in the area now occupied by the reservoir and dam. Their story is one of hardship, perseverance and facing near starvation in a very hostile and harsh environment. Winters were hard, long and extremely cold. Their cattle and livestock often froze during these winter months, and the short growing season was hindered by flooding, hailstorms, early frosts and other calamities. They nicknamed the area "Starvation" and it was from this reference that the highway bridge, reservoir, dam and state park received their names.

I ran five and a half miles this morning. There was a light rain when I started, but it wasn't cold at all, and it went away fairly quickly. It felt good. After not running yesterday, I had a hard day. I don't know if that's cause-and-effect. But I felt much better after today's run. The healing power of exercise...

Another good line that goes unheard because of Political Correctness

A student who had an appointment this afternoon sent me e-mail to cancel it, saying, "I hate to bow out on you, but I'm in over my head. I'm waist deep in school work and papers and life right now." I so wanted to write back that if she'd get her head out of her ass, that couldn't happen, but I was afraid she'd take it wrong.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Days 467 and 468 -- Duchesne Library

While I am in the vicinity of Duchesne (and with nothing else in particular around), I decided to visit the Duchesne library. According to their website, "The Duchesne County Library is the perfect place for research, studying, and is a great place to spend time with your children." Why do those two things seem to be mutually incompatible?

I didn't post at all, yesterday, because I never turned on my computer in the evening. I just had time to get home, and Mrs. Jogger and I turned around and went out for a meeting of people from our church. A lot of us are a little disgruntled with the state of the church, and we had a meeting to vent and to plan what we can do. We got home around 8, threw the Little Joggers into bed, and continued to vent and to plan.

Today is another busy day. We're going out to see a production of Charlotte's Web, The Musical, starring the First Little Jogger. Well, featuring the First Little Jogger. Special Guest Star. She's the third townsperson from the right, or something like that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day 466 -- Duchesne

Made it today to Duchesne, the county seat of Duchesne County. This is the county building.

I ran eight miles today, my longest run since the marathon. Having taken it pretty easy for three weeks, I was kind of hoping that eight miles wouldn't be so bad. But it was. I wanted to quit after four miles. I wanted to quit after six miles. I did tough it out, which is good, but I'm tired and sore now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Days 464 and 465 -- Birding

I couldn't resist this wonderful rainbow over Wolf Creek Pass. I don't know exactly where Wolf Creek Pass is, but it's in Duchesne County, so close enough. This photo was taken by Marlene Faord, and is posted on a Utah birding site.

I did run yesterday. For the second Thursday in a row, I slept in, but for the second Thursday in a row, I ran later in the day. I ran three miles in the late morning, right before lunch. And today I got up and ran four more. So that's six days in a row I've run, and I'm taking tomorrow off, and no apologies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Day 463 -- Myton

Myton, Utah, has an entry in, even though they admit that it still has a few residents. They say, "Myton was established in 1905. Befor this time it was an Indian trading post. By 1920 around 700 people lived here. During the depression years the banks failed and arson destroyed a lot of property. By 1930 a big part of the population had moved away." I like the way they posted the picture in black and white. It gives it a much more ghost-towny feel.

I ran five miles this morning, but it doesn't seem to have done much for my mood. I've just been in a crummy mood all day, and I'm not even sure why. I went to a bunch of useless meetings, but what else is new? I had a student show up after taking three weeks off from the History course (and missing an exam and two papers), wanting to know how to get caught up. And I worked hard, and got few rewards. Poor, poor me.

One funny bit. We were standing outside the classroom, and one of my students was chatting with a friend. They were talking about what class was just ending, and what class was beginning, and how is that class anyway? My student was being careful, because he didn't want to say anything really bad with me just standing there, but he managed to put his foot in his mouth, anyway. He said something like, "Well, there are student presentations today, so it should be OK." The implied comparison was not, probably, the most flattering to me. There goes his grade.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Day 462 -- Ioka

Here I am on the farm where Clarence Wall grew up, near Ioka. Unfortunately, his family lost the farm and they moved to Idaho and Montana. But Clarence got to visit again in 2001.

It was much nicer this morning than yesterday. It was a cool 52 degrees, perfect for a four mile run. Tomorrow it threatens to be even colder, perhaps as low as 40. But I'm not complaining. Somebody reminded me that this time last year, it was snowing.

I just remembered something I was going to blog about...I dreamt about running the marathon last night. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran...and then the alarm went off, and I had to get up and run. It was a little weird. But then again, in real life, I only ran four miles, so it wasn't as bad.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Day 461 -- Ballard

Ballard, Utah, according to Lynn, is not listed as an official town in the 2000 Utah State census, which lists only 235 of the 466 cities that she has visited. Nor is it big enough to have its own Zip Code. But it's there, by golly, and today, so am I.

I ran 3 miles this morning, at a steady but not spectacular pace. A cool front came through this afternoon. It was quite warm this morning, but should be nice tomorrow.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Day 460 -- Pelican Lake

Pelican Lake, Utah, is southeast of Fort Duchesne, which I've already run through, so I'm not really near the lake today. But, I found this cool theme for Window Maker on Linux machines. I'm not a Linux guy. One of my friends in the Computer Science department tried to turn me into one, but it didn't take. But if you are a Linux person, feel free to cruise over there and check out the themes.

I ran after church today. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning. I was up in the middle of the night with a bad migraine. I think I ate too much chocolate to celebrate my birthday. So I didn't sleep well, and I stayed in bed in the morning. But by the end of church, I was antsy enough that I went out for a quick 3.5 miles. I hope that will get me through the day.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Jogger

Yes, today is my birthday. Forty-three years down, and who knows how many to go. Fewer than 43, I suspect. A sobering thought.

But, I'm not sober today. I'm in a good mood. It's Friday, and I survived what has been a pretty long week. It's my birthday, and I survived what has been a pretty long year. I've got four smiley and well-behaved kids (I traded the Little Joggers for them last week) and a loving wife. Life is OK.

Grandma Jogger and her housemate are coming in this evening. We are putting off the cake and ice cream until tomorrow afternoon, so we can celebrate with them. However, I might manage to sneak a treat yet tonight, when no one is looking.

Day 459 -- Fort Duchesne

I can see that this gal is going to come in handy over the next couple of months. To quote:
This page represents the documentation for an objective of mine -- to visit EVERY town and city in Utah. Of the 466 Utah towns and cities in Utah,(sometimes not much more than just a named location with a few houses or ranches) I have now visited and taken a picture of ALL of them.

Well, that's a Jogger's dream. Any time I get stuck for a picture, I'll be back here. The only thing that I don't get is why I didn't run across her sooner.

Fort Duchesne doesn't seem to be much. Lynn has taken a picture of a boarded up Post Office. Do they ever actually close post offices? Or is there a new one on the other side of town, next to the Wal-Mart?

I ran three miles this morning. I wasn't sure if I was going to, after running just 14 hours previously. But I had trouble sleeping this morning, so I got up and ran. Anyway, just yesterday I swore that I was never going to skip a day again.