Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fossil Dig

Yesterday K and I got to go on a fossil dig. The dig was part of a class from our local community that K is currently enrolled in. I tagged along because a fossil dig sounded like something really cool to do, and because someone had to gear all the stuff for the pregnant lady.

The dig was way out in one of the most remote parts of the desert about 20 miles northwest of where we live. The creature that is being dug up this site is an ancient miniature camel, that was about the size of a large dog. Apparently our barren desiccated corner of the world use to be home large herds of mini-camels who roamed across a marshy landscape.

The dig site was on the banks of the wash where rushing water from the rare storm cut down into the layer of rock containing the fossils. The whole looks exactly like how you would imagine a site for digging up fossils, except for the 500 kilovolt power lines running directly overhead. The air was filled with a sound that resembled crackling bacon. The rock that the fossils were in was very soft and could mostly just be pulled apart by hand.

Most of the fossils where just fragments and extremely hard to spot, at least for me. K seems to have much better eyes for this sort of thing. Of all the people there, she made the best find of the day, the end of femur bone still articulated with what ever bone the femur attaches to, and whose name I can’t recall. My best find was a toe bone.

It was a pretty good time. The only really negative was the heat, we had a unusually warm day and nearly broke 100. Needless to say, all us of us were pretty wilted by the end of the day. The other thing that is a shame is that we forgot to charge the camera so we have no pictures of the trip. Two weeks from now the class going to fossil on the beach in Mexico. We are not going that trip. A remote isolated beach in the middle of nowhere in Mexico seems like a bad place to take pregnant women.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Fun Than a Barrel Full of Monkeys

K's Halloween costume showed up in the mail today. A Barrel Full of Monkeys. That is so sweet!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Heartbeat

The whole becoming a father started to feel a little more real yesterday. K had her first appointment with the OB. All the news good, everything going exactly they way it should it this point and both her and out child are healthy. We had our assumption of a due date in very early June confirmed.

The really cool part of yesterday though was the sonogram. We got to see the baby's heartbeat, which was so cool. I am kind of blown away by the thought that I know have a child with a beating heart.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Go Rockies

Tomorrow the Colorado Rockies play in the World Series for the first time and I am excited. To describe my self as a big baseball fan would be a lie, I can't not remember the last time a watched a baseball game start to finish devoting my full attention to the game, I enjoy a baseball game the most when it is on in the background while I do other things, this allows me to pay attention during the interesting parts and do other things during the copious dead time that baseball games are so full of.

However back when I was in elementary school/junior high I had a much greater love for baseball and followed closely. It was an exciting for baseball in Colorado, as in 1993, the summer before my 7th grade year the Colorado Rockies played there first year, and I like much of the rest of the state was swept in Rockies fever. One of the fondest memories I have from this era of my life was going to a game during their first month of existence at the old Mile High Stadium. They were beyond bad, but nobody cared and over 70,000 people, an unheard of attendance figure for baseball, packed the stadium.

As the years went by my interest in baseball slowly waned, the Rockies never got good, and I just have never found baseball to be interesting enough to follow that closely unless a team I liked was winning, and for better or worse the Rockies remained my team. Once I left Colorado, the Rockies and baseball fell even further into the background. However with there amazing feat of winning the last 21 out of 22 games which has vaulted them into the World Series, had brought them back into the forefront of my attention. Once again I am excited about the Rockies and baseball, if for no other reason than it reconnects me with the 13 year old version of my self who was so excited about baseball back in the spring of '93.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wrap Up

I took a while but the finally posted the pictures from last weeks marathon, so this good time to wrap the whole experience up. I didn't exactly get the time that I wanted but I still had a hell of a time.

The majority of the course ran along the water front in Long Beach, so the course is very scenic, with the high light being running along side the Queen Mary, which is now permanently moored in Long Beach. Not surprisingly for an event with the word "beach" in its title a good chunk of the race was actually run on a bike trail on the beach, which fit all the classic stereotypes of what a beach in Southern California should look like. I also got a kick out the fire boats which put on a display, as seen in the picture below.

One of the the things that I will remember most of about this race is actually the drive to the race. The night before the race K and I stayed with her father and grandmother in Santa Monica. Because she is a Southern California native and has one of the best sense of direction of anyone I have ever met, we decided it would be best if K drove us down to Long Beach. Apparently her pregnancy has robbed her her once vaunted sense of direction because we made the wrong turn and wound up about 20 miles north of where we should have been before we realized we were lost. I did manage to make it the start line about three minutes before the gun went off, however because I was at the back the huge number of people in the race it was another 10 minutes before the crowed thinned out enough to allow we to actually cross the starting line.

A lot of the last half of the marathon was run through a residential area. In couple of places younger kids had set up there own water stands, something that really made me smile. It also brought some really old memories, when I was about five there was a short-lived marathon that's course ran directly along the field behind the house we were living in at the time. I have hazy memories of standing on the balcony with my parents and watching all the runners go by. I remember peppering my parents with question about what where these people and doing and why would they want to run so far.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Tortoise

Recently K got another baby deserter tortoise from the state fish and game department. This one is even younger and smaller than her first one, eventually it will grow to the size of dinner plate, but for now it easily fits within the palm of my hand. Her students has decided to name this tortoise Yoshi, in keeping with Super Mario themed names that have selected for her tortoises. However Yoshi is more commonly now by the nickname of “stupid.” This nickname is result of the nearly daily occurrence of Yoshi being found in the water dish, turned upside down. In the wild natural secretion would not be kind to Yoshi.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Post Race Analysis

Above is chart showing the my minute/mile pace for each mile of yesterday's Long Beach Marathon, the data was obtained from my GPS unit. I finished with a time of 4:24, far from my goal of 3:55. As can be seen in the above graph I gradually slowed down for almost the entire race. In the 10 previous marathons I run, I have never had such a long gradual decline in speed.

The last marathon that I ran before this one, in Los Angeles, in March followed the typical pattern, I able to hold a relatively stable pace until about mile 20 when I hit the wall and my pace drops dramatically.

I guess all this goes to show, some times you start a race and you can immediately tell that "you got it" that day, and some day you know that it is just not going be your day. Yesterday was the later.

All this aside I still had a great time. When they make the pictures available I will write a post about the fun parts of the race, of which there was many.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back From Long Beach

Just got back from Long Beach, it was fun trip, the marathon was fun, but sadly my time absolutely sucked, I was about 25 minutes slower than I had planned on. Oh well, more details later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fired Up

It is now only a few days until I run the Long Beach Marathon, and I am starting to get so excited. I always love the days leading up to a marathon. I love the anticipation that comes with almost doing something that you have spent months thinking about. I also love it because I get make an absolute glutton of my self. My goal right now is to cram as many calories down throat as possible in preparation for Sunday's race, which will burn off 3,000 calories in a few hours. This morning breakfast, 3 pork chops, 3 eggs, and yogurt. For lunch 2 packs of ramen noodles. Mmmmm, sweet gluttony.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Last Run Before Long Beach

At the McPhaul Bridge

It is now less than a week until I run the Long Beach Marathon, so having today off for Columbus Day I put in my last training run, a leisurely 13 miler. So I decided to run up to one, one of the more bizarre local landmarks, the McPhaul Bridge.


The McPhaul Bridge is a suspension bridge that has been abandoned for decades. In its time it was no doubt an impressive structure, it was designed by the person who designed the Golden Gate Bridge. Now it stands decaying in the middle of nowhere the highway it once carried long since rerouted, and the river it spanned long since run dry.

The Gila Rive Has Long Since Run Dry

I am really excited about this Sunday's marathon. I think that I have a real chance for a PR. Also with a baby on thee way it is hard to say when I will have the time or money for a marathon. So it should be fun this weekend.

On the Bridge

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Looking Good

I am very pleased with how my little office desktop fish tank has tuned out. It is amazing that has only taken me about five weeks to get it to this point. It is really a soothing thing to have on my desk at work.