Thursday, January 31, 2008

Today's Album

"Indifferent to Everything", by Levenhookia.

You were hoping that I was over it, weren't you?

Day 536 -- Jogger's Progress

Time19 days, 8 hrs, 56 min

I did get up and run today. It helps me fight my cold. It really does. It loosens up the congestion and gives me some energy. The problem is that the cold fights back. Obviously, I don't have the wind that I usually do. And my legs were pretty rubbery. So five miles, which is usually an easy jaunt for me, was a real struggle. But by golly, I finished!

Overall, January was not bad. It was a damn sight better than December. I'm not yet on a pace for 2008 miles in 2008. I need to average 167 miles a month. But my marathon training hasn't really ramped up, yet, so I still think that I can do it. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Man, I just can't quit!

This Band Rocks!

The latest album by Concord Mass, which is titled "Not Crazy Enough to be True," is not true. I don't know whether it's crazy enough, or not. I'm really getting into this phony album cover thing. If you didn't follow the links below, the way it works is: a) You pick a random Wikipedia page for your band's name, b) you pick a random quote, the last four words of which are to be your album's title, and c) you pick a random image for cover art. It doesn't always work (I had a band called the 1903 Oregon Ducks Football Team, which, while not impossible, seemed unlikely to me) but it works often enough to be funny. I believe that any of the three that I've posted could be real cover art for real bands. Follow the links in the "Frank Poole" post to see some more awesome covers. (And yes, I did cheat on the "last four words" thing. For Frank Poole, I cut it off at three words. For Concord Mass, I extended it to six (although "Enough to be True" isn't totally out of the question, and "Crazy Enough to be True" works just as well. (Lots of parenths in this sentence, aren't there?)))

In unrelated news, I took today off from running. I was scheduled to do three, but I decided to sleep in, to try to shake this cold. Anyway, it was nasty windy and cold this morning, and I didn't feel like going out long enough even to scrape the ice off the car.

Two Little Joggers went to school today, and two stayed home. The doctor has prescribed a cough medicine with codeine, which is keeping them pretty mellow. I, personally, am just hoping to make it through the week. Five more lectures! If this post is a bit silly, blame the germs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 534 and 535 -- Narman

I got so busy making my album cover yesterday that I didn't get around to posting my mileage. I did an easy 3 yesterday, and today I did four 800 meter intervals. With a warm-up and a couple of laps between each interval, I got in about five miles today.

To celebrate, I've created the cover art for the new album "A Very Poor Doorstop," by the grunge band Narman.

In other news, the Jogger family is sick. All of us. It isn't much fun. Both boys stayed home from school today. The first Little Jogger came home feeling punk, and she poured herself into bed. Mrs. J and the oldest and newest Little Jogger are basically getting over their colds. And I'm feeling one coming on. I hope that I have a voice tomorrow. It's pretty rough around here, right now.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Recommended listening

I just picked up the latest Frank Poole album, Performing Brave Actions, and I have to say that it is the best thing I've listened to in a long, long time.

For the real story behind this album cover, go here or here

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Day 533 - Outside

I ran outside today. I don't know that it was quite warm enough for that, but it was a good deal warmer than it has been. For the last week or so, we've had highs in the single digits, and lows well below zero. So when it got up to the mid thirties today, I took off for a run.

It was hard work. There is still a lot of snow on the ground, and I couldn't entirely avoid it. Running in snow is hard, because you have to shorten your stride and be very careful how you plant your feet. Plus there were hills, and it was pretty cold. And I ran pretty far the last three days in a row. Which pretty much sums up my list of excuses why I only made 6.8 miles today, when I meant to go more like 10. It was still a good workout, and I'm ready to leap into the new week tomorrow.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Day 531 and 532 -- Ruby Lake

Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge is some ways south of where I'm running right now, but there isn't much around, so I thought I would pop down for a visit. This very nice picture is from Stan White Photography.

I ran 5.3 miles yesterday, but didn't get a chance to blog it. I ran 6 more today. Today's run started out a little fast, but I couldn't maintain the pace. Each mile was slower except the last, which was slightly faster than the fifth.

I could name more, I just couldn't spell them...


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day 530 -- Elko

Last year, I made it to mid-December before I took three days off in a row. This year, I made it to mid-January. The flu just got me. I was feeling OK by Tuesday afternoon. My headache was better (if not quite gone) and my fever was down. But I was still exhausted, and I just couldn't drag myself out of bed Wednesday morning.

I did make it to the gym finally this morning, and did six miles. It felt OK. My energy was down, of course, but I wasn't totally spent at the end of the six, and I'll take that.

This bowling alley in Elko, Nevada, is pictured on Rudy Rucker's Blog. Rucker is an author, of whom I've heard, but I don't think I've ever read any of his stuff. He's got a novel called Mathematicians In Love, which sounds like my kind of book. Follow the link for an interesting view of the bowling alley sign.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No running today

I got hit with a dose of the flu yesterday. It came on in the early evening, with chills and fever and a headache and general body aches. I went to bed early, but couldn't sleep, so it was a rough night. I felt OK when I got up, but not up to a run. I stayed home for half the morning, and wandered in to teach my classes. On Tuesday and Thursday, I only have two classes, both in the afternoon. I'm feeling OK now, but tiring out quickly. I think it will be another early bed for me, and hopefully a better night's sleep.


I took two of the Little Joggers and one of their friends out sledding yesterday. There's a sledding hill a few blocks from our house. They could walk it, but that takes energy and time that they could spend on the sledding hill, so I took them. I was going to sit in the van and watch and bring them home a few minutes before they froze solid.

However, there was a lost person there. I noticed him when I pulled up, noting that he didn't seem really sure of where he was going, and he sure wasn't. He asked me how close he was to Wal-Mart. He had come from campus, where he is a new student, starting this semester. Wal-Mart is a couple of miles east of campus, and he was maybe 3/4 of a mile north. So basically the only thing that I could have told him was to turn around, walk back to where you came from, make a left, and keep walking. In the cold and snow.

So, I gave him a lift. I told the Little Joggers that I'd be right back, and I drove him out to Wal-Mart and then back to campus. I honestly don't think he could have made it on foot, even if I could have given him good directions.

He was impressed, and offered to give me money, but I said I was just upholding our town's reputation for being a nice little town. He seemed relieved. I don't think he had a lot of money to be throwing around.

So that was my good deed for yesterday.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No Joy in Mudville

The Packers lost last night. The Giants are going to the Super Bowl. I must say, I'm disappointed. Yes, they got further than anyone could have predicted at the beginning of the season. Yes, they are a young team (except for the old man at quarterback), so they should be good again next year. Yes, if they'd gone to the Super Bowl, they were likely to lose to the Patriots. But I still wanted them to win.

I wish good luck to the Giants. They'll need it.

[The photo, from the AP, was stolen without permission from the Sports Illustrated web site.]

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Day 529 -- More Elburz...but not much more

Elburz is also listed at Nevada Ghost Towns. I can't find the population of Elburz, but I did find (on Wikipedia) that the population of Elko county is only 45,000, spread over an area of 17,203 square miles, for a population density of only 3 people per square mile. So, I guess it's no surprise that Elburz isn't exactly a metropolis. (On a side note, Elko County does have a ghost town called Metropolis, somewhat north of where I ran through, so I missed it.)

I did go to the gym today to do 3 miles on the treadmill. I'm glad that I got the exercise, but the treadmill is just not the same as actually running. Your arms are flapping and your legs are moving, but you aren't actually moving your body, so it's not the same kind of exercise. Nonetheless, I'm counting it as progress on my journey.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A slight political gap

Via Addy N., with whom I seem to agree politically, although I hasten to point out that she's 4% more Huckabee than I am:

94% Dennis Kucinich
93% Mike Gravel
83% Joe Biden
83% Chris Dodd
81% Barack Obama
80% John Edwards
78% Hillary Clinton
71% Bill Richardson
33% Rudy Giuliani
26% Ron Paul
20% John McCain
14% Mike Huckabee
13% Mitt Romney
11% Tom Tancredo
5% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Friday, January 18, 2008

Day 528 -- Elburz, Nevada

Just down the road from Halleck is Elburz, Nevada, and, thanks to, I have a photo of the very exit I would take to get there. It's funny how this web site comes up every once in a while. I've been on I-80 for the last 200+ miles, so they should have come up every time I Google a town, but they don't. I'm sure that they are always on there somewhere, but I don't usually get far enough down the list to see them. I attended a talk at the Joint Math Meetings on the math behind search engines, but I didn't understand it enough to be able to tell why the different towns get different results.

I ran 10 miles today. This is the fifth day of my 18 week training plan, and I'm already off schedule. The problem is that the indoor track is closed the next three days. There is a track meet tomorrow, a boys basketball tournament on Sunday, and the whole gym is closed on Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. And we're expecting highs in the single digits the next few days, so don't even talk to me about running outdoors. So I did my weekend long run today. I might be able to slip in for a half hour on the treadmill one of the next two days, but I didn't think I could do a long run on the treadmill.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day 527 -- Anyone for a Drink?

This bar in on permanent exhibit at the Northeast Nevada Museum & Historical Society. The museum is in Elko (which I will visit soon), but the bar comes from Halleck. According to the web site:
In the early 1880s, the bar was part of a saloon in Halleck, a rough and tumble railroad town that also served as headquarters of several large ranches. The combination of ranch hands and railroad workers was a volatile one, and the saloon was the site of many brawls, knifings, and even a few murders. Business gradually went downhill and by the 1950s, the saloon was closed. The beautiful bar and back-bar was left in the abandoned building until it was rescued by two local ranchers, the late Norman and Art Glaser, and Chach Evans, a local attorney. Art Glaser and his wife, Marianne, restored the fine fixture to its former glory and the Glazers' and Evans donated it to the museum on condition that a party be held each year and a bottle of Beefeater Gin be served over the bar. This has come to be known as the Halleck Bar Party, and has been held every year since. An open bar and hors d’oeuvres are part of the celebration.

This clearly calls for a drink.

Six miles today. I ran out of energy before I ran out of track. But I finished my scheduled six, so I'm not complaining.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 526 -- Fort Halleck

I'm a few miles down the road from Halleck, Nevada. This is a farm near Fort Halleck, which I picked up at a Nevada Historical Markers page. Is Fort Halleck near Halleck? I don't know, and frankly, I'm too lazy to find out right now.

I ran an easy 3 miles today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day 525 -- More Deeth

This is a Dungeons and Dragons character named Deeth. He's for sale at Super Toy Archive Collectible Store. Jogger not included.

I am doing some "speed work" in training for this marathon. I put it in scare quotes because what's speedy for me is, well, not so speedy for a real runner. I ran 800 meter intervals (separated by slower jogs) in about 4 minutes each. That's approximately 8 minute miles, which is a gentle jog for a lot of runners. But hey, it was a good workout for me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 524 -- Ghost Town

Deeth has a page at Nevada Ghost Towns. It seems to be down to about 20 people, which I guess qualifies it for Ghost Town status.

Today, I kicked off my quest for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. It's 18 weeks away. You might note that I'm raising money for charity, at the same time. You can click on the fund raising button to the right, or go to my Fund Raising page. I ran an easy 3 miles this morning, which was about all I was up to, after 10 miles yesterday. I clearly have a long way to go before I'm ready for another marathon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Day 523 -- Deeth, Nevada

According to the Elko County Rose Garden site, Deeth, Nevada, at one time contained "contained two large general merchandise stores, 2 hotels, a dance hall, 5 saloons, an opera house, a slaughter house, a red light district, a creamery, a school, a newspaper, a garage, blacksmith shop, livery stable, post office, jail and 42 dwellings, 25 of which were fine homes." My impression is that most of that is gone, now. Here I am on the north approach to Deeth.

I ran 10 miles today, and glad I was that it wasn't 10.1. In fact, I had to stop after about 8.5 and walk a lap. But then I picked it up and ran the last 10 laps, so I got my full 10 miles in. I feel pretty good, overall.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Week 105 -- Joint Math Meetings

It was a pretty good week, all told. I ran four times in San Diego. Sunday morning, it was actually raining while I ran. It started out as a light rain, got heavy for a while, and was pretty much done by the time I was. Monday, it had rained, but didn't rain while I was out. For the first day and a half, the only sun that we saw was on the logo (above.) Tuesday, it was finally clear, but kind of cool. That was the one day that I wished that I had a long sleeve shirt. But then again, a lot of the San Diegans were wearing long sleeves and long pants and gloves and hats, so I was showing my midwestern toughness by running in shorts and a T-shirt. Wednesday was the best day of the four, but I only ran four miles, because I'd pushed it the day before. Finally, I ran today in the gym, six miles. For the week, I ran 27.2 miles, just over a marathon.

The conference was fine. I went to a lot of talks, ranging in length from 10 minutes to 50 minutes. (The more important you are in the grand scheme of things, the longer your talk. I gave a talk that was 15 minutes, well towards the low end of importance.) Of course, there wasn't any relationship between length and quality, but I mostly managed to avoid long bad talks. The other thing that I have found shows little relationship is how good I expect the talk to be and how good it is. Some of the best talks that I went to were ones that I just dropped in on, not expecting much. Some of the ones that I was really looking forward to were pretty bad.

There seemed to be a lot of canceled talks at this meeting. Maybe I was just unlucky in my choice of talks that I tried to go to.

I came back with a list of 25 things to follow up on. If past experience is any guide, some I will follow up on, and some I won't. At least a few will have long-term effects on my teaching, which is the whole point.

I am glad to be home. I missed my family. These things always seem like a good idea when I schedule them, but not so great when I spend five days away. Not that I'm sorry that I went. But I'm glad to be back.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Forecast: Light Blogging Ahead

I'm taking off tomorrow for the Joint Math Meetings in sunny San Diego. (OK, so the forecast is for rainy San Diego. It will still be a lot warmer than it is here.) I'm not taking the laptop, so I don't expect to do much blogging. I'll be scrounging just to check my e-mail. I do plan to run. The hotel where I'm staying is not far from a park that seems to have a lot of fans in the San Diego running community. There's even a group that meets for a morning run on Mondays. Maybe I'll join them. Anyway, I'll get all caught up when I get back.

Day 517 -- Oasis

Oasis, Nevada, is another town that's hard to Google. You get casinos named "The Oasis" and businesses like "Oasis Landscaping" and real, physical oases and all sorts of stuff. But you also get 40 acres for sale at Salt Lake Super Ads. Only $250 an acre. Jogger not included.

I ran six miles today, indoors at the gym. Yesterday's jaunt seems to have taken a lot out of me. I wasn't fast, and I wasn't pretty, but I did finish the six miles.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Day 516 -- COLD!

I was up late last night with a headache and an upset stomach. I'm fine today, but I slept in, so I couldn't run first thing in the morning. The oldest and newest Little Jogger had a check-up at the doctor's office this afternoon, and I had to take her, so I couldn't run in the late afternoon. I was free at noon, but the gym is closed at noon over the break. So....I ran outdoors. In the cold. Twenty degrees, and a brisk wind. Maybe I should have been wearing some of this high-tech fabric.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. At least it was sunny. I wasn't running really fast, because there were lots of icy patches. We haven't had snow recently, but we've had enough that it hasn't all been cleared. The main roads are clear, but there's a reasonable amount of traffic on them at noon. All told, I'd just as soon run indoors tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Day 515 -- Shafter, Nevada

I'm vaguely near Shaftner (Hey, there's not a lot out here!) so I thought I would use this pic of the Nevada Northern Railway as it passes, well, vaguely near Shaftner. I ran five miles today, to kick off the year. 2003 to go. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get off the tracks.