Friday, October 14, 2005

Running update

Now that things are more settled with the house I've been trying to get back into the running groove. Last week I went running once, and this week I managed to go four times. Yes, even with the snow. The gym near my work has a jogging track, so I went there on Monday and Wednesday for my workout. I kind of like running at the gym as I can push myself a little more and not have to worry about running out of gas 6 miles from home. Also, on Saturday I went for a nice hour long run around our neighborhood. Of course it was gorgeous that day, and by today (Friday) the great weather has returned. So I decided to head out for a run today at lunch. So, four runs, probably about 20 miles, this week is a good starting point for my winter training. If I don't get into it now, it will be even harder to go out the door when it's cold and snowy out. The marathon in June is looming large in my mind, and although I won't start training in earnest for it until February, I should be consistently at 20-30 miles per week by then. Gotta start somewhere!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Trip to Home Depot

Well as I mentioned in my last post I had to mow the lawn this weekend. That required me having to buy a lawn mower, which apparently is not such an easy task this late in the season. I drove up to our local Home Depot hoping to buy a little electric mower that would easily handle our relatively small lawn. The week before we had been there and they had had a discount on fully assembled mowers, which we had no room for at the time. I thought nothing of it and assumed that they would keep a stock of mowers on hand at all times. So imagine my surprise when I asked someone if they had any lawn mowers (after looking unsuccessfully for about 5 minutes), to hear that they only had two. "Only two styles to pick from?" I asked. "No, just two lawn mowers." was the response. Ugh. So, not wanting to have to drive halfway across the city to find a mower I went out to look at them. Luckily there was a nice 4.5 HP Briggs and Stratton mower there that I approved of and, due to its clearance nature, it was only $70. So I decided to go for it, and I picked up a snow shovel while I was at it. Always be prepared I figure. So after a quick trip to the gas station to buy gas, I returned home with my purchases. Unfortunately the lawn mower did not come with any instructions so I kind of had to wing it. After I had put in oil and gas, and made several pulls on the starter it was evident that winging it was not going to work. But a few google searches later I had the instruction manual for the Briggs and Stratton engine that gave me the secret. Apparently their attempt to prevent people from chopping off fingers and toes had thwarted me from starting the mower at all. So after activating the safety bar, a single pull got me up and running. I picked the right day to mow the lawn too, as by the time Sunday night rolled around it was clear that the other item I had purchased would come in handy as well. By the time the snow ended yesterday we accumulated more than 16 inches. It was the wet heavy stuff too. Oh well, it's a lot easier to shovel when you know that it will all be gone in a couple of days, I'll probably be mowing the lawn again this weekend.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday, finally!

This week has been quite hectic for me and I am glad it is winding down now. At the beginning of the month I volunteered to give a talk for our Biomolecular Structure Program. At the time I had no idea what my schedule was going to be like, but I was interested enough to go out on a limb and say that I would do it. Originally the date was set to be the 28th of September, but fortunately it was moved to October 5. As all of our housing problems went down, the fact that I had to give a talk always was dwelling in the back of my mind, but there was nothing I could do about it. When we finally closed last Wednesday I breathed a sigh of relief and then realized that I now had only a week to prepare. But I figured I could make it. Then Thursday and Friday went by and so many things had to be dealt with at work that the talk got pushed aside. Oh well, I thought, I'll just work on it on the weekend. Well the weekend went by with chores and shopping, and still no talk. Ugh! Thankfully Monday and Tuesday were relatively quiet on the job front so I was able to dedicate two solid days to making the slides and practicing. When Wednesday came I was back in the groove and gave a good presentation. It wasn't one of my best talks (I caught myself using the word "basically" way too much) but it was pretty good and it seemed to engage most of the audience. I think the hardest thing to get over when giving a scientific talk is the fact that someone will always be drifting off during the talk. It doesn't seem to matter how good your talk is, some people just aren't interested and can't keep awake. That's my expereince at least. I did manage to keep the important people awake though and had some great questions at the end (that's always the best way to gauge if your talk hit home or not). I'm glad to have it over now though, and as this Friday winds down I'm really looking forward to relaxing this weekend. Sure, I have the lawn to mow, but that will not deter me from enjoying myself. Plus, I get to have pancakes tomorrow, and take Elijah to see the local fire station!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Relax? Who has time for that?

Well the weekend is over already, and it seemed like it was never there. There were so many things to do and buy for the house that we hardly spent any time there at all. Saturday we had a consultation with ADT to get our security system up and running again. Then it was off to Cherry Creek to get some new drinking glasses. This was something we had been putting off for a while, waiting for the move. We had lunch there then drove back, hitting the grocery store on the way home to get food. By the time we got back I just had time to vacuum before it was time to make dinner. Our dinner was great, roast chicken on the grill on a bed of potatos and onions. It's always good to have an entree that makes it's own side dish. We bought a nice bottle of wine to go with it and I was able to enjoy a glass of that with dinner. We decided to watch the Return of the King but by 9:30 we were too tired to finish it. Sunday we were up and out the door for church and off to our local mega outlet type store for more shopping. We hit Petco to get food for the cat, Bed Bath and Beyond for all sorts of house stuff, and Home Depot for new locks and other hardware items. By the time we got back from all that it was afternoon, and there was just time to eat and put all the locks on the doors before we were out the door again for a walk down Smoky Hill to the Safeway. Pizza dinner, and then we were in bed again by 9:30. Crazy! But the busy days were well worth the sacrifice as now I feel like the urgent chores have been done so that when I get home from work during the week I don't have a billion more things to do. Today I hope to go for a run for the first time in two weeks. Our neighborhood is on a huge hill, so I'm expecting to get my butt kicked.