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2007 (old posts, page 1)

Marathon training: week ending 9/9

Monday: Green Lake inner track
Wednesday: 65th-Roosevelt-50th-Green Lake Way square
Thursday: 65th-Roosevelt-50th-Green Lake Way square
Saturday: Green Lake inner track
Sunday: Green Lake inner track

I now also have a fancy Polar RS200sd to monitor heart rate and distance and as a bonus it uploads it all to the web!

Only includes Sat/Sun

HR/time chart for Sunday's run. The lap distances correspond to landmarks around the lake. Hopefully they get better (or, better still, mean HR drops) over time.

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Road trip USA

Between 7/28 and and 8/7, Amy and I drove some 2590 miles across the northwest, hitting five states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana) and seeing some fabulous scenery, countless wild animals, many small towns and some cowboy hats.

The route, sketched out below, looked something like this:

7/28: Seattle to Boise by way of I-90, I-82 and I-84 clipping through the corner of Oregon 7/29: US 93, US 26, US 20, US 26 to a campground in the Gros Ventre range just south of Jackson 7/30: Short drive north stopping Jackson and on to Colter Bay in the Grand Tetons National Park 7/31: Stayed in Grand Tetons National Park 8/1: Pushed north into Yellowstone National Park 8/2: Stayed in Yellowstone National Park 8/3: Took the East Exit, through Cody and Thermopolis to camp in the Bighorn Mountains, west of Buffalo 8/4: Morning stop in Buffalo and on to Sheridan 8/5: Stayed in Sheridan 8/6: Long drive through Montana, dinner in Missoula and spent the night in Spokane 8/7: Drive home to Seattle

Map image
Summer vacation photos on Flickr


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And relax.

August was quite the month. Back now in Seattle after driving 2600 miles through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, spending five days in New York City, being entirely surprised by a party on my birthday and taking a trip back to the UK with a quick jaunt to N Ireland.

Lots to write about but right now I'm pleased enough to report that Balls of Rubber won a solid victory over the Angry Pirates in kickball tonight.

Oh and here's a picture of just some of the tomatoes that had ripened by the time we got back. To think the little plants that Laura gave me in the cold winter could bear such wonders.


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Almost six years later...

Still on the road in Sheridan, WY (having a great time, too) but this warrants a special post.


Current Status: Notice mailed welcoming the new permanent resident.

On August 2, 2007, we mailed you a notice that we had registered this customer's new permanent resident status. Please follow any instructions on the notice. Your new permanent resident card should be mailed within 60 days following this registration or after you complete any ADIT processing referred to in the welcome notice, whichever is later. If you move before you get your new card call customer service. You can also receive automatic e-mail updates as we process your case. Just follow the link below to register.

In other words, I now have a green card :)

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Rapid reroute

I'm sitting on the 242 bus on my way to work. Most commuter lines in Seattle are now wifi-enabled which makes for an fairly efficient use of the 45 minutes each way. A chance to catch up on the mail of the day without having to stay in the office until late.

What makes today's journey different is that we just missed a turn onto 51st. No big deal if you're in a car but it's somewhat harder to pull a U-turn in an articulated bus. So there's a process for this: call a supervisor, they establish your position and then have a list of reroutes (with large, sweeping turns, presumably) to get you back on track. I'd guess they do the same for road closures, accidents, floods, snow and the all.

Given it's a Friday and on Friday traffic is always light, I'll be at work on time. And tomorrow I'm going on vacation so a little scenic detour in the morning is fine by me.

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Pdanet: Best invention ever?

There are few applications that are indispensable. This may well be one of them.

Quoth the site:

This software allows your Windows computer to go online by connecting to your Windows Mobile Phone through the ActiveSync cable/dock, Bluetooth or InfraRed. If you own a Treo 700w/700wx, Treo 750, Motorola Q, PPC/XV 6700/6800, Samsung I730/I830, T-Mobile MDA, Cingular 8125/8525 Windows Mobile phone with a data plan, PdaNet will make it your high speed wireless Internet Service for your laptop/desktop computer instantly - no extra hardware or setup necessary, no need to kill ActiveSync or perform any tricky hacking to your device. Check out what Treo users say about PdaNet.

(Yes, no wifi on the delightful ride home today

image )

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Presenting data and information

I spent yesterday at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront in an Edward Tufte course titled 'Presenting Data and Information'. The course is taught by Edward Tufte himself and contained some interesting material, from the analysis of the Columbia disaster, to Galileo's sunspots, Euclid's Elements and the SARS spread. It was refreshing to actually take some lecture-based training (as opposed to the the 'unconventional' format that seems to make up the bulk of my recent experience). I didn't leave with a set of techniques to suddenly cast information more effectively, and nor did I expect to, but instead there were a number of provocative discussions that prompted further thought.

Four books are given as part of the class materials and they are truly delightful to browse. Incredible attention to presentation and detail (well, duh) make them compelling reading and as such they have secured a prime location on the coffee table.


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The astute reader will have observed a slight reduction in posting frequency over the last ten months.

Here is the short version for my own records. There may be some gaps.

  • I have a fabulous girlfriend, Amy
  • There is no improvement in my kickball skills
  • My brother Dave came to visit in February and we did some skiing, some touring, some gambling and some eating.
  • I signed up for both MySpace and Facebook and then entirely failed to use either
  • I have the Seattle Times delivered every Sunday and read most of it. Never the rants, always the raves.
  • I took a vacation in Flagstaff, AZ and a trip to the Grand Canyon with my parents. Stunning place.
  • I bought a digital SLR for the aforementioned trip and have been using it frequently ever since.
  • I can now make pumpkin muffins, crusty french bread and pizza dough from raw ingredients.
  • I survived the Great Seattle Wind Storm of 2006.
  • I try to work from home ever other Tuesday. It seems to only work out once a month, but it's good for getting things done.
  • I commute by bus every day. This makes me feel better after having watched An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Amy & I went on a weekend vacation in South Lake Tahoe
  • I bought a house in Seattle's U-District/Roosevelt/Ravenna area ('by Whole Foods' seems most accurate)
  • A house's furnace doesn't just sound impressive, it actually heats the house. If it breaks down, the house cools down too. Try not to discover this in February.
  • I now own my very own lawnmower. Mowing the lawn isn't as much fun when you're not earning pocket money for it.
  • I wish Al Gore would run for president even though I can't vote.
  • I made my first Craigslist purchase - a large, distressed dining table from Munroe
  • I hosted my first Superbowl party, a tradition I hope to continue.
  • I had another set of biometrics taken for my green card as apparently your fingerprints change every 18 months
  • I had another two medical exams for my green card because a chest X-ray isn't sufficient to prove you don't have TB.
  • I still don't have a green card after five and a bit years of waiting.

Other that these things, everything is almost precisely where I left it.

Life is good.