Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day 302 -- Jogger's Progress

Time9 days, 18 hrs, 30 min33:3416:03

It's been a good month. I "only" made 20 days and 108 miles, but then again, last year, I didn't make that many days or that many miles in one month until May. February is a short month, of course, and I took more days off than January, but fewer than December. In any case, I can hardly add to it at this point.

I ran outside this morning. It was more a gesture of defiance than anything else. Another storm was predicted to roll in this afternoon (and, in fact, has rolled in), so there is no running outside in the near future. So even though it was cold, and there were various treacherous spots, I ran outside, just to run outside.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Day 301 -- Sunset

I just thought this was a really cool shot. The colors are simply gorgeous. It's from the sports page of the Riley County Schools page. The school itself is in Riley, which I've already been to, but it covers the community of Leonardville, which I just ran through today.

I ran a quick 5.3 miles today. The first half was really quick motoring along at just over 7:30 minutes per mile. I slowed down a bit in the second half, but still finished at 7:47 per mile for the entire run. My dean, to whom I just revealed the other day my plan to run a marathon, suggested that I not try to start the marathon that fast. Point taken.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Day 300

My 300th day on the road. My first 100 days took 156 calendar days, and my second 100 days took 132 calendar days. My third 100 days also took 132 calendar days. So I'm keeping a steady pace, at least for the last 300 days. In case you are wondering, 132 days from now is July 8, so that can be another goal: make it to Day 400 on or before July 8.

I ran an easy 3.3 miles today. I felt surprisingly good yesterday and today, after my 12 mile run on Saturday. I'm going to try to run all five days this week. We'll see if I can drag myself out of bed every day.

I suppose I should credit the graphic. It's from the movie 300, which doesn't look really appealing to me, but what the heck. A number is a number.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Complement. Kind of.

I gave a talk in the Math Department Colloquium the other day. I'm in charge of scheduling it, and when no one else is available, I often step in and talk about whatever I can think of. The talk went well, and I was gratified to see several of my current and former students there.

In fact, one student came into Modern Algebra the next day, and told me that it was the best lecture she'd been to in a long time. I was pleased as punch, until I thought about that a little bit. Some of the lectures that she was comparing it to were my Modern Algebra lectures.

Oh, well. I choose to interpret that as saying, "Your Modern Algebra lectures are, of course, excellent, but this talk was inspired, even for you." What other explanation could there be?

technorati tag:

Day 299 -- Riley, Kansas

This beautiful collie was snapped just east of Riley, Kansas, by WCM777 (and used, as usual, without permission.)

The weather prognosticators are predicting horrible awfulness tomorrow, so we are preparing to cocoon all day. So I went ahead and ran my long run today. I ran 12 miles, the longest run of this year. I felt good, and I even had the energy to run the last two miles at a slightly faster pace. So I'll probably take tomorrow off, but run on Monday, rather than cross training, because I'm short a day this week. (For the week, I ran 26.1 miles, just short of a marathon.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

I've been tagged! I've been tagged!

This is the first time I've actually been tagged with a meme. It's a hard one, too, because there isn't anything weird about me.

10 Weird Things About Me

  1. I like all my clothing hanging with the shirts facing in the same direction.
  2. I get up at 5:15 am to run around in circles.
  3. I have over 50 ties. I usually wear each one about once a year.
  4. I eat the crust on my sandwich first.
  5. I'd rather do dishes than laundry.
  6. I regularly have dreams where I realize that I'm dreaming, and I dream I wake up, but I'm still dreaming, and pretty soon I realize that I'm dreaming, and I dream I wake up, but I'm still dreaming, etc.
  7. I remember TV ads, but I rarely remember the products. Advertisers hate that.
  8. I visited every state that touches Missouri before I ever visited Missouri.
  9. Once when I was taking notes for a friend in math history class, I took them in mirror image.
  10. I can sing "The Ballad of Doris and Edmund" by Christine Lavin. Just not well.

Hat tip to Mrs. Jogger, who somehow managed to think of a lot more weird things than I did. In fact, she listed a lot of perfrectly normal stuff that she claimed was weird.

Let's see, I'm not sure there's anyone for me to tag who hasn't already played. So if you're reading this, and you have a blog, and you haven't played, and you want to, well....Tag! You're it!

Day 298 was yesterday

Yesterday was such a spectacularly busy day that I didn't even have time to blog. Oh, I guess I had time, after we finally got the Little Joggers into bed at 8:00, but at that point I didn't have the energy. I caught up on my e-mail, read a few of my favorite blogs, watched Grey's Anatomy, and went to bed.

This morning, I didn't run, because I knew that things were going to be chaotic here. The two girls each had science projects due, which they had to make finishing touches on, and the first Little Jogger had to go to school early for Swing Singers. So I stayed home to try to direct traffic. I paid for it during the day, because I didn't have my customary energy. I was pretty much in a fog all day.

But now it's the weekend. I won't try to do anything today. I've got some grading to do tomorrow, and I hope to run both Saturday and Sunday. We'll see. After a few days of mild weather, winter is promising to return with a vengeance today.

This photo, by the way, is of me at Tuttle Creek Lake with a physicist named Beth Gouvea. She is here (or was, in 1995) visiting her colleague Gary Wysin at K-State.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day 297 -- Sunset Zoo

One more stop before I leave Manhattan: Sunset Zoo. I love zoos. The Little Joggers love them, too. This one seems particularly cheap -- $4 for adults. I'm not really sure how big it is. As you can see below, I was able to get really close to some of the animals.

I ran outside again today. It was slightly colder than yesterday, and slightly windier. I ran slightly faster, and significantly further, so it was quite a workout. I think I made the last mile on sheer stubbornness. But I did make it, and I feel pretty good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 296 -- K-State

While I'm in Manhattan, I decided I'd better visit the Kansas State Math Department. Unless I've misread the page, this is Sir Randolph Bacon III of Williams College, the keynote speaker at last year's awards banquet. He is, apparently, a knot theorist. The first Little Jogger, looking over my shoulder, thinks that this guy looks pretty silly.

I ran outside today. First time in a long time. It has finally warmed up a little bit, and this morning there was basically no wind, so four miles outside was no big deal. In fact, it was downright pleasurable. Now it's going to be hard to get me back indoors.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ask me how my day went.

Don't ask.

I actually caught myself, in the middle of a meeting, grateful that the Provost's office has live plants. At least when I was breathing out carbon dioxide I was benifitting something.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Day 295 -- Manhattan

Ooops. Wrong Manhattan.

There, that's better. This, of course, is the statue of Johnny Kaw, the Pioneer Kansas Wheat Farmer. This 30-foot statue was erected in 1966 in the Manhattan city park. Apparently, Kansas was just kind of jealous of other states having mythical heroes like Paul Bunyan, so they just made up Johnny Kaw.

I ran 11 miles today, my longest run of the year. In fact, my last 11 mile run was December 17, two months and one day ago. I really feel pretty good, although I think that my legs will be feeling it tomorrow. But it was worth it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Day 294 -- Wabaunsee

The Beecher Bible and Rifle Church in Wabaunsee is so named because the founding members used "Beecher's Bibles" -- that is, rifles -- to combat slavery in the mid nineteenth century. More of the story can be found here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Birthday

From Jimmy Johnson (the Arlo and Janis cartoonist, not the football commentator, the musician, nor even the NASCAR driver, who spells his first name "J-I-M-M-I-E") comes this little tidbit. The most common birthday in the US is October 5. My birthday. Also Parminder Nagra, Kate Winslet, Grant Hill, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Michael Andretti, Bernie Mac, Bob Geldof, Barry Switzer, Vaclav Havel, Ray Kroc, and Chester Alan Arthur. Okay, some of those people aren't U.S. citizens.

The 500 Posts

This is my 500th post, for what it's worth. It's worth at least an excuse to do something silly. Sorry the Photoshopping is a little amaturish. I don't really have time to do much better.

Incidentally, the Wikipedia page on The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins contains the following: "Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow." Fortunately, I didn't read below that, because I didn't want anyone to spoil the ending of this kid's book for me.

Day 293 -- Belvue, Kansas

Here I am in Belvue, Kansas. This is me standing in front of the John C. Case General Store with Herman Henningson, some time around 1920. The Belvue web page has some nice old photos, but they don't format very well on my computer. They are all overlapping.

I ran three miles today, at a comfortable pace.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 292 -- St. Marys

St Marys, Kansas seems to lack an apostrophe. I've skimmed through their official history page, but I can't seem to find out why. Or should I say, "Ive skimmed through their official history page, but I cant seem to find out why"? They also don't have much choice for area photos. So I decided to visit the Chamber of Commerce building. Maybe they can point me to the local printing shop, where I can pick up an apostrophe.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How's your vocabulary?

I couldn't resist this blogthing:

Your Vocabulary Score: A+

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Day 291 -- Somewhere in Kansas

I'm away from my home computer right now, so no picture, and I'm not even really sure where I am. Three miles or so west of Silver Lake, I guess. I didn't run yesterday, and in fact, I didn't even cross train, which is what I'm supposed to do on Monday. I've been tired lately, so I just took the day off. Then today I ran a light three miles.

It has been a hell of a long day, and not over, yet. I had to be in at 7:30 to give a Calc exam to a student who couldn't make it to the evening exam. I got stuff organized in the morning, then had class at 10 and 11. Those were Calc classes, so we basically just reviewed for the exam. An hour for lunch, then my three hour leadership class. A meeting at 4, and then the exam started at 5. It's now 6:10, and only a handful of students have left. In fact, they are still trickling in. I have an open exam period, so they can arrive when they are free and stay as long as they need, within reason. So I'll be here for at least another hour or two.

Fortunately, I'm giving the exam in a computer-equipped room. I could be grading right now, but I'm not. There will be enough of that to do tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Day 290 -- Silver Lake

According to Randy Linderman, this shop is home to Floyd the Barber. Shades of Mayberry!

I ran six miles today. This is a "step back" week, so my long run was only six miles, after nine last week. But it was plenty hard enough, actually.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Day 289 -- Bobo's Drive-In

To tell the truth, I'm a little past Topeka by now, but past Topeka, there's a whole lot of nothing special. So before I left the area, I thought I'd stop in at Bobo's Drive-In. I found their burger's touted on, which is worth a link just for the name. This guy knows his hamburgers, and he gave it a generally good review, although he suggested that there wasn't enough meat in the single. Next time you stop at Bobo's, make it a double.

I cut myself a little short today. I was supposed to run five miles, but I only ran 4.3. It's no big deal. I'm more tired than I should be, and I just didn't want to overdo it. Tomorrow is an off day, and then Sunday should be a not-too-long long run.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Day 288 -- More Topeka

Isn't this a beautiful church? It is Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka. The whole thing was burned to the ground in an arson fire in 1975, but they rebuilt it, and it's simply beautiful, if I do say so.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Day 287 -- State Capitol

I'm passing north of Topeka, but close enough that I think I can stand another visit with Frank, whom I have met before in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Frank has visited the state capitols the old fashioned way, so I always know where to look for a picture of the capitol building. Next capitol on my list? Probably Denver.

I ran five miles today, and during the last two, my quads were complaining. One thing about biking for cross-training is that it doesn't really give your quadriceps muscles a break. But overall I felt good. My endurance is good and my lungs and heart are good for five miles at a brisk (if not spectacular) pace. With work, my legs will get stronger.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The chair of our department will finish the last year of her second three-year term next year, and people are starting to talk about the next chair. I don't know if it's an official rule that the chair only serves two terms, or if it's simply a merciful tradition. In any case, she's a great chair and I, personally, would love to have her stay on, but I don't blame her for wanting to go back to just teaching.

I found out yesterday that I am interested in the job. I didn't know this. But apparently someone else was talking about it, and mentioned to a third party (who mentioned it to me) that only two people were interested, me and Dr. J. I'm not sure exactly how they got that impression.

It's true that I have never ruled it out. Some people simply declare that they don't want to be chair, and that's it. But that seems to me to be poor citizenship, the academic equivalent of trying to weasel out of jury duty. So, last time this came up, I threw my full support to the person who eventually became chair, and said, "Well, maybe. Some day." That's probably the tack I'll take this time around. I won't rule it out, but I'll carefully explain why Dr. J would be better at it than I would.

And she would. The thing that she has (and our current chair has, too) is a certain willingness to be stubborn when that's what's best for the department. I'm a little too quick to appease. Our current chair has been known to go into the Dean's office and express her unhappiness with his decision in no uncertain terms. That would be very hard for me to do.

I also can be organizationally challenged, although I have developed certain habits to overcome this problem. If I were chair, I might sometimes let things slip through the cracks. Hopefully not anything too important.

The plain truth of the matter is that I think my chief talent is in the classroom. Our chair only teaches one course per semester, and spends the rest of the time in paperwork and meetings. Rah. The parts of the job I like the least.

Oh, well, we'll see how it goes. I may have to deal with the job some day, but hopefully not soon.

Day 286 -- Grantville, Kansas

Grantville, Kansas, was subject to a little flooding a couple of years ago, as you can see. This image is from the weather blog at KSHB, a TV station in Kansas City. I can't say that I ever paid much attention to weather blogs, but someone does, I guess.

As scheduled, I biked yesterday and ran an easy three miles today. I feel pretty good, overall. My legs are tired, but not too tired. I won't try to set any speed records tomorrow.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Day 285 -- Perry State Park

I ran nine miles today, passing south of Perry State Park. After six miles yesterday, I really felt that nine miles. Tomorrow will be a good day to not run. I'm scheduled to cross train, and this time, I won't run after.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. Often we have people over to watch the game, but not this year. It would have taken more planning and more energy that we had. So we'll watch the game, and root against the Bears. Well, most of us will. The oldest and newest Little Jogger, despite the very real possibility that she'll be cut out of my will, has decided that she is a Bears fan. How sharper than a serpent's tooth, to have a child that roots for the Bears!

I haven't posted much more than my mileage lately, because I've been fairly busy. As predicted, this is turning out to be a busy semester. Perhaps things will slow down a little, now. We had five candidates in during the first two weeks of class, but that's done for the time being. If we can hire three of them (and there were four that were perfectly acceptable) then we can be done with the hiring process for the year. Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Day 284 -- USD 343

Perry-Lecompton Unified School District 343 is in the process of installing a very nice patio north of the high school and east of the new middle school. I don't really have a feel for its size, so I don't know if I made myself the right scale here.

I missed yesterday, so I ran today. It's the first Saturday that I've run in a while. It's also the first Saturday that Mrs. Jogger hasn't worked in a while. It's freezing cold out, so the kids are stuck indoors. We just sent two of them over to the neighbor's house, so at least things are a little quiet. For now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Day 283 -- Historic Lecompton

Lecompton, Kansas, bills itself as the political birthplace of the American Civil war. Apparently, this is because there was, at one point, a constitution for the state of Kansas, drafted at Lecompton, that would have admitted Kansas to the union as a slave state. When that was overturned, it led to strained relations between the North and South. And we all know how that turned out. I don't know. If my town were the political birthplace of the American Civil War, I'm not sure that I would be proud of it.

I plumb forgot to run the extra 0.9 miles today, so I'm sitting at 1499.1 miles on my journey. Oh, well, I'll go over tomorrow.