Sunday, September 30, 2007


So it has now been a few days since I found out that I am going to be father. While that is still tremendously exciting news, the immediate aftermath has been surprisingly anti-climatic. Despite receiving life changing news, life has continued more less in the groove that it has for the past couple of years. The big changes are still over the horizon, the only difference is that we now know for certain when this life changing events will arrive. Suddenly nine months seems like a very long period of time. On the other hand considering how much things are going to change it may not be enough time at all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cometh, The Stork

K is pregnant! I am both happy and and a little overwhelmed. This is going to take a while before it becomes totally real. Very exciting though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Parts of the whole trying to have a baby thing are very fun, others not so much. Definitely in the not so much category is the waiting to see if success has been achieved. This is especially true when there are some signs the success possibly has been had. All this makes so difficult to focus at work. Hopefully there will be resolution soon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Saturday Good, Sunday Bad

The Canal Access Road

For the first time in ages, I had beautiful weather for running this Saturday, when I got for my run it was a wonderful feeling 65 out. During that night it a rained so at dawn when I left for my run, the whole world a pleasant cool damp feel to it. Compared to the scorching heat that I have been running it was pure paradise, and real reminder why I love running.

A Great Day For Running
I ran 20 miles on Saturday, which makes it my second 20 miler this month, now I have only one 20 miler left and my preparation for the Long Beach Marathon will be complete. I am starting to like my chances of setting a personal record this October.

12 Hours Later Blood Was Still Coming Through the Fingernail and the Band-Aid

As great as Saturday was, Sunday just sucked. The Broncos lost ugly which always puts me in a rotten mood. Then last night I absolutely crushed my index finger in the sliding glass patio door. I smashed it hard enough to split the finger nail at its base and send blood spurting out the hole. Then I made the unfortunate discovery that the urgent care center a mile from me closes at 7:00, and so I had to drive 12 miles into town. At least it is not broken, but damn, that hurt more than anything that I have done in years. Typing without using your index finger is a pain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Great Weekend

Saturday night K and I went to see 3:10 to Yuma. We were impressed it was one of the best movies that we have see I a while. Great actions scenes with with an interesting enough plot to make the movie something other than a montage of actions a scenes. I have to say that I was greatly amused by the fact that they made movie with a premise of someone fighting to the death in order to be sent to the town I am living in. The prison (now a state park) referenced throughout the movie is less than I half mile from the theatre we watch the movie in. In the picture below it is the cluster of whitish building on the horizon.

The Levee

For this weeks long training run I decided to run the Colorado & Gila River Levee. Running on top of the levee caused me to flash back to my time in New Orleans. Back when I was graduate student at the University of New Orleans, I would very often spend pass the huge amount of time between my morning and night classes by running on the many levee running through New Orleans. Levee's are the idea place to run, they are flat, separate from traffic, surfaced with easy on the knees gravel, and are usually in a scenic areas.

On the Levee

Interestingly there was a time when the levee that I was running along would have marked the border between the United States and Mexico. Prior to the Gadsden Purchase, which was the addition to the continental United States the Gila River marked the boundary between the US and Mexico. As I was running it was an interesting mental exercise to picture how the area would be today if they Gila River still was the border. The key to long distance running is keeping the mind thinking about something other than how miserable your body is.

A Very Primitive Rest Stop

The run went very well, I knocked out 17 miles with no difficulty. I have little doubt that I will be ready for the Long Beach Marathon this October. I am starting to excited about it because it is now less than a month a way. I have not run in race since the Los Angeles Marathon last March, so the the itch to race is growing.

A Field Being Flood Irrigated
The first signs of fall are finally making there appearance. This morning when I woke up the temperature was below 70 for the first time in about four months, this morning run with the dogs felt wonderful. A further sign of fall was the number of fields I saw on my Sunday run being prepared for the this fall and winters lettuce crop. Soon the roads will be once again chocked with produce trucks.

Capping off a great weekend, was another nail biting Broncos victory. For the second weekend in a row the Broncos pulled off a victory in manner that I had never seen in 20 years of watching football. The Broncos choked away a big lead and the game went into over time where the Raiders appeared to hit the winning field goal. I saw this, and quickly made for the exit of the bar where I was watching the game, not wanting to hear the Raider fans celebrate. But as I was about to step out the door I noticed that the TV was showing the referee and not the Raiders celebrating. The Broncos had called a time out seconds before the kick, the Raiders would be forced to kick again, a kick they missed. Suddenly the gloom of seeing my favorite team loose to their hated rival, was replaced with the joy of having a second chance. A chance the Broncos capitalized on by driving down the field and kicking the winning field goal. What an ending, you can't find drama like that anywhere else on TV.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I am very excited about this weekend. The agenda is full of very fun things.

Tonight: A party in Mexico with K's former coworkers
Saturday: Another 20 mile run
Sunday: Broncos v. Raiders

Truly I live a good life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Denver 15, Buffalo 14

This Sunday’s last second Broncos win was a great reminder of why I love football. There is nothing better than watching your favorite team pull out a last second victory. No scripted drama is even as remotely compelling. Unlike other thing that you watch on TV the bad guys can and often do win in football. The suspense can not be recreated in scripted drama. People do not gather in bars to watch the latest episode of Law & Order. The surge of elation that I experienced when the ball sailed though the uprights is the drug that keeps me hopelessly addicted to football.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

20 Miles

A Pre-Dawn Start

This morning I finally go.t my 20 mile run in. I got up at 5:00 in order to avoid the worst of the heat. Unfortunately I got a rather slow start and did not actually leave the house until around 6:00. Still, the weather was a relatively pleasant 80 degrees. One new thing for the run was that I was trying a visor, I have never liked how they looked, but I was curious to see if they were any cooler than a regular hat. As it turns out they work great

Following the Tracks

I started the run by following the same route along the railroad tracks as I did last week. Because I started before it got light out, I did not feel comfortable running along the roads and the railroad tracks provide a nice look route that is separate from traffic.

A Burrowing Owl Takes Flight

While running along the tracks I came across one my favorite desert creatures, the burrowing owl. There is just something about the idea of a pocket sized owl that lives under ground the amuses me.

Through the Citrus Groves

It was a very successful run, the 20 miles went by as easy they could. Unfortunately the problems arose when I got home. When I got home I found a note on the door from K, saying that she had gone out looking for me. Apparently she though that I left right at 5:00, and such I was still not home an hour after I should have been. I did have a cell phone with me, but because it just barley charged I had off in order to save power for a situation where I would need it. Unfortunately it was K's cell, so I had no way of calling her and letting her know that I had made it home ok. So she was left to worriedly search for me while in actuality I was at home floating in the pool. I think we need a better system

Friday, September 7, 2007


This weekend I am doing my main training run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday. The Broncos game starts at 10:00 am on Sunday, and there is now way that I am letting anything interfere with my enjoyment of that. Saturday is also forecast to be slightly cooler. The forecast low is 79, this pretty sweet because it has been a while since I have seen the thermometer drop below 80. The route that I have selected is not particularly scenic or interesting, along the frontage road going into town. But it has the major advantage of having places to stop buy things to drink, which means that I won’t have to carry as much water which will be very nice.

The big excitement for this weekend is the start of NFL season. As ever I am optimistic about the Broncos chances this year. I am going to go down and watch the game at a sports bar with some friends, they are Packers fans, but I guess I can forgive for that. But, beer, football, and hot wings, the good life has returned. Now if the weather would just cool off.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Crown Betta

I added to the seconf fish to my little office fish tank, a crown betta. I am really enjoying how he looks. I have always had a fascination for bettas, going back deep into my child. He makes a very nice desktop distraction.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Blueberry Oscar

This weekend K and I went into a pet shop that we rarely go to. While there we noticed a really cool looking fish, it was labeled as a Blueberry Oscar. They were very cool looking, and on impulse we bought for her classroom aquarium, despite the fact we had never heard of this type of oscar before. Though I knew better than to buy a fish without research that type of fish before hand we bought it anyway. When I got home I googled "blueberry oscar" and found out the disturbing truth.

First of all there is no such thing as a blueberry oscar, it is simply an albino oscar that has been dyed blue. Even worse thhe dye process is very bad for the health of the fish and only last for a few months. Most fish that get dyed live short and stunted lives. I feel really bad for supporting such cruel activity out of ignorance. Hopefully K's oscar will beat the odds and live long life as a once again white oscar.

Postscript: Sadly a few days after writing this post, K's Blueberry oscar died. Hopefuly other will not make my mistake ans support such a cruel actvity

Monday, September 3, 2007

Back on Track, Along the Tracks

The Run Started at the Crack of Dawn

Today was my first successful long run since I messed up my ankle about a month ago. I decided against going for the 20 miles which I had originally considered. Instead I decided on the more modest distance of 14 miles, since this run was successful I will jack it up 20 miles next week. In order to avoid the particularly brutal heat that we have been having lately I got up before dawn to start. Unfortunates because Arizona does not participate in daylight savings time, this required me getting up at 5:00. Also unfortunate is that avoiding the heat this time of year is also a relative term. It was 87 degrees at 5:00 this morning.

One of the Many Gullies Created by Saturdays Storm

On my run I was able to inspect some of the aftermath from Saturday night's violent storm. So how I totally slept through the entire thing but results were impressive. Below is some of the things that the local paper had to stay about it:

...after the weekend storm that ripped through town with hurricane-force winds gusting up to 84 mph...

...The storm dropped 1.79 inches of rain between 12:25 and 2 a.m., according to Accuweather. The area traditionally receives about 3.02 inches of rain annually...

It is to bad that I slept through the entire thing, it would have been cool to see. Impressive to me was the fact that more than 24 hours latter there was still some standing water. I have never seen anything like that around here. The soil, on the mesa at least, is pure sand, plus it was sunny and 115 yesterday, so the fact that there was still any standing water speaks to power of the storm.

Tamarisks and Railroad

I ran along the railroad service road which is one of my favorite places to run. One of the reason I like it is the thick screen of Tamarisks that railroad has planted, this is only predominantly shady runs in the area. The only problem is that Tamarisks are considered an extremely noxious weed. About two miles to the south, a major effort is being made to eradicate them along the river. Yet here, not only has the railroad planted them, they are maintaining them with an extensive irrigation system. That just seems a little messed up

Part of the Irrigation System for the Tamarisks

This weekend is the first of dove hunting season, and the hunters were out in force this morning. I was constantly being startled by the near by blast of shotguns. At times the firing was fast and furious. Fortunately I reached the city limits, where hunting is banned, before long.

One of the Dozens of Smashed Sega Dreamcasts

I came across a truly odd sight. Next to the railroad track I cam across dozens, maybe hundreds of smashed Sega Dreamcasts. The Sega Dreamcast was a failed competitor to the Sony Play Station 2 video game system. Why so many were smashed and strewn along about a quarter mile of track I will never know.

Apparently I Would Have to Wait Until I Got Home to Go for a Swim

The five miles of the run were far less pleasant than the first nine. Not only was the temperature starting to push triple digit, I left the mesa and went down into the valley. Usually this are is lush with crops. However this is one the few times of the year that the fields lay fallow and bear as the harvest of this summers cotton crop has mostly wrapped up, and the planting of the first of the lettuce crop has just barley begun. Add to this all the rain on Saturday night, and I would up running through five miles worth of steaming mudflats. Yuck, definitely not this area at its finest,

Through the Mudflats

It was a great run. I was able to confirm that I am still on track to compete in the Long Beach Marathon. I should be able to get 20 miles in next weekend, especially considering that high are supposed be about 10 degrees cooler than this weekends.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Tortoise Mansion

This week a mention my officemate that my wife had gotten a desert tortoise, he told me that he used to have a tortoise and that he still had a tortoise terrarium setup that we could have we wanted, because he no longer needed it. Today we went over to pick it up. It is virtual tortoise mansion, he gave us a 50 gallon aquarium and the necessary basking light, and a stand. Considering it would have cost us well over $100 to buy all this, it was an extremely generous gift. So now Baby Bowser, the name K's classes picked for the tortoise, has a spacious new home. Much nicer than his old 10 gallon aquarium.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Summer Holds On

It is the 1st of Septemeber, the football season kicked off, it's Labor Day weekend, thing should be moving in autumnal direction. Unfortunately summer has really decided dig in its heals. I doubt that it is actually 128 degrees, that thermometer has always tended to read hot. However that is a high as I have ever seen it go, most likely the real temperature is closer to 120. Another indicator of how hot it is that the pool thermometer is reading 90 degrees. The fact that an unheated 8,000 gallon pool is at 90 degrees says a lot. I can't wait for fall to get here for real