Yesterday marked my long ride ever, coming in at approximately 139 miles as a part of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. We headed out to the beach (Lincoln City) on Friday evening and stayed in a suite at the Inn at Spanish Head thanks to team president Jim who served as sugar daddy for the evening. [...]
Archive for November, 2008
We’re staying at a Residence Inn again tonight (Marriott) and though I already knew I liked them, tonight has just confirmed that they are my favorite hotel chain out there hands down. They’re designed as a long-term stay hotel, which is absolutely perfect even for short stays with our roadie lifestyle. The rooms are great (all suite-style), they have a good selection of TV stations, free internet, free full breakfast buffet, coffee and hot water for tea always available, and all sorts of other things.
Tonight since checking in, I’ve worked out in a fully equipped fitness center, swam laps in a pool that’s actually long enough to swim laps in, relaxed in a hot tub, had several cups of tea with honey, and surfed the net while watching Comedy Central and eating complimentary in-room popcorn.
If all that’s not enough, you can even rent a fish to keep you company.
So today has pretty much been awesome. After my last post, I headed out. I
- Got to know Ryan from Crocs a little better
- browsed at J.Crew, Gap, and Nordstrom Rack for a while
- Unintentionally wore the perfect conversation-starter: my Oregon beanie. Everyone wanted to talk this upcoming weekend’s civil war game.
- Met a guy named Jeff who talked to me for a while about savethechildren.org
- Headed to Pike Place Market
- Listened to a guy play “Oh, Chrismas Tree” on a saw. Oh, the irony.
- Got to throw a crab!
- Watched the sun set
- Met a one-armed guy named Elvis and gave him my remaining 57 cents in change.
-Browsed books at Elliot Bay Book Company
-Gave directions to a lost couple
- Had a peppermint mocha at the original Starbucks
- Tried out the Blackberry Storm. It’s absolute crap – the touchy-click screen thing feels cheap and the user interface is disappointing at best
-Talked to my parents on the phone. Happy 31st anniversary Mom and Dad!
And to follow all that fun up, I had pretty much the perfect workout in a really nice hotel gym.
- 30 minute run
- 15 minutes stair climb
- 15 minute elliptical
- 15 minute arm/shoulder weights
- 15 minute core workout
- 30 minute lap swim
- 15 minute hot tub soak
I feel good.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Though the Westin Seattle is a nice hotel in general, the best feature of the room by far continues to be the excellent view. I like sitting at the desk doing work just for the view.
Anyway, so far today has been a fairly typical expo set-up day, only with less staffing since it’s just Molly and I from Q now. Lots of rides in freight elevators…
And walking around back rooms in the hotel…
I haven’t had the best day so far… not that there’s anything in particular wrong. I’m just a little sore, cut and bruised from set up. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this afternoon, partly because I don’t have a whole lot going on and I feel like I have already explored much of Seattle in the past. I’m also feeling the fact that the end of the tour is very near, partly because there’s no longer really a team to hang out with, and Molly just took off until Friday with her family. So anyway, all that added up to me being a little downtrodden on the way up the elevator to my room after set-up UNTIL….
I don’t know where/who they came from or why they are in my room, but I found them nicely wrapped sitting on the desk when I came in. Houskeeping hasn’t even gotten to cleaning yet, so it couldn’t be them. They are delicious! And now I feel motivated to go out and do something fun. Yeah, it was probably just hotel hospitality staff doing their job, but don’t ruin the moment! As far as I’m concerned, they showed up magically as a sign that I’m stupid for being down about nothing. Now to go conquer the world!
I took advantage of clouds lighting the skies above Seattle combined with some recent rain to go take some pictures at night. I continue to be impressed by this camera, and I’ve found I really enjoy shooting in the dark. There’s something about the warm colors you get from a slight overexposure that is very satisfying. The first photo is the view from my hotel room. Pretty spiffy.
It was really neat to see Lake Shasta for the first time yesterday. It was not so neat to see just how low it is.
And of course, Mt. Shasta.
Last night I went to the movies with Rachel. I’m not staying with them this time around in Eugene. Instead, I’m staying at the Red Lion Hotel – the one that was right on the way to the grocery store from my apartment. Anyway, I thought the truck in the foggy lit parking lot was worth a picture. When I parked, it was surrounded by cars. When I came back, it was looking a little lonely. And cold.
Then we dropped off the truck and went to Dough Co, a Eugene late night staple. Their calzones and cookies can always be relied upon for some delicious nourishment.
Today, instead of seeing anyone or doing anything, I’ve stayed in. I left the hotel briefly for some Hawaiian Time for lunch (scrumptious!), and then again at dinner for a brief stroll to Borders and Cafe Yummm (toothsome!), but other than that it’s been a day at the hotel. Sounds lazy huh? WRONG! I applied for 4 more jobs, updated my iPhone software, found several more jobs to apply for, followed up on two jobs I’ve already applied for, listened to some new music, worked out, and blogged!
My computer screen has looked like this much of the day.
I definitely agree with my mom that far too many of these applications require you to send a resume and cover letter and then also an application that basically includes a good chunk of the stuff found in the resume and cover letter. Just look at the resume! I’ve put far more time into that than into your application. Mine is really attractive looking anyway. Much more so than your clunky online application that tries and miserably fails to extract information from my resume.
Yesterday after arriving in Flagstaff I met up with my brother at NAU. He’s busier than I’ve ever seen him, which is a good thing – fraternity, school, dorm life… We went for some supper at Red Lobster. Tuesday shrimp special. Yes, there’s totally a creepy oversized hand thing going on here.
After dinner he had a last-minute fraternity meeting come up, so I went back to the hotel for a bit and then re-met up with him at his dorm and proceeded to hang out and catch up and meet various friends until well past midnight. On one hand, I miss dorm life. On the other, the insanity of the dorms and never getting anything done isn’t particularly appealing at this point.
My brother continues to be hilarious in his own quirky way. His nickname is “Smooth” and he had some great stories (“I’m sorry, Taco Tuesday ends at 11.” “But it’s still Tuesday!”). He proudly posted his restraining order against a certain ex on his room door. Long story.
After catching some shut-eye, I set out around the Eastern edge of the Grand Canyon to get to St. George. Along the way, I spent time enjoying the amazing views and utilizing my camera.
I took the time to explore the area at Lees Ferry, the Northern end of the Grand Canyon just past the Glen Canyon Dam holding back Lake Powell.
The canyon is much smaller here, but it’s really interesting to see the bright green Colorado River in a small canyon, knowing how quickly that small canyon turns into a massive one just miles downriver. (It’s not a small canyon per se, but scale-wise it has a long ways to go to become “grand” worthy.)
The Vermillion Cliffs were also intriguing. It looks like there’s a ton to explore in that area when I’ve got time in the future.
The oddest part of the day was starting at 4000 feet after leaving the canyon area and driving up into a national forest (don’t you usually drive down to find more vegetation?) at 7000+ feet. Here’s a view on the way up looking back towards the cliffs and the beginning of the canyon.
The road for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon branches off in the forest – I was severely tempted to drive to the North Rim, but was a little concerned about running low on diesel and being able to find a good station, given our recent experience with bad diesel.
After driving through the Kaibab National Forest, you descend right back down into rocky desert.
Tonight has been low-key hanging out with my parents. They saw the truck, I saw the changes in the landscaping, and we had sherbert.
And since the post topic is family, I should mention that our (middle-aged) puppy Pepper whom I miss dearly is living it up with his newly adopted family in Alaska. Clamming, tent camping, rolling in smelly things… I’m jealous.
Seriously… what could be better than getting wet and rolling around in the mud?
Here we have the early stages of a convergent boundary with a subduction zone. As the figure illustrates, one plate of flooring is beginning to move underneath the other, resulting in an uplifting of the “mantle” flooring. Luckily, there is no volcanism involved or Nate’s feet would be toast.
In figure 2 one can see a divergent boundary. This active rift zone is the root cause of much of the other tectonic floor shifting going on in the 20′ by 20′ known as Crocgaea.
In figure 3 we have a great example of a right-lateral strike-slip flooring fault.
Figure 4 presents a striking visual of the effects of a continental collision convergent boundary. The simultaneous uplift of both flooring plates results in a pleasant little hill we’ll call Mt. Crocmore.
Figure 5 shows further development of the divergent boundary responsible for all the hubbub. Here we nearly have two separate continents. This large trench could give the Grand Canyon a run for its money if it were to scale. Don’t get confused though – the Grand Canyon was created by water, not foot traffic and stiff carpet.
In figure 6 we have complete and utter chaos, with multiple floor plates doing whatever they please with no particular order or scientific theory. I think this might be something like how mountain ranges form. There would be two peaks here with a nice little pass through the middle.
Maybe a river would run through it.
It would also be the logical place to build an interstate freeway.
And in the winter it would probably snow, since they’re mountains and all.
And since you’ve got an interstate and mountains, obviously a resort and ski area and golf course and reservoir would pop up.
Ok. I’m done.
So, some catching up…
The expo. The expo was held in the Alamodome, which was by far the largest venue for a Rock and Roll event. It was necessary, however, as 30,000 people signed up for the race. The expo was absolutely packed, especially on Saturday.
There was a long line for our survey (at one point it wrapped around two sides of our booth), and several times there were so many people in the Crocs area you could barely move. We had some record-breaking numbers this weekend, and overall from a work standpoint it was a good event.
Saturday night we headed out for our final team dinner. We walked along the riverwalk for a while, which reminds me a bit of New Orleans Bourbon Street, only with a canal down the middle and a little more tame.
I also walked over to the Tower of the Americas, which is basically a less intesting knock-off space needle. It even has a revolving restaurant at the top.
We got to the Italian restaurant, where we proceeded to have great food and horrid service. We sat waiting for our table, which sat open for a half hour before we were seated. Then we waited for 10 minutes before we were brought water. Another 15 minutes elapsed before our drink orders arrived. The appetizers and salads took long enough that we worried the entrees would arrive before them. And we asked for more bread three times before getting it. Finally, Molly and Lyndsay ordered a pork tenderloin to split, and they were brought a steak. Granted, a really good steak. All the food was great. The service was just so dismal it was almost comical.
I got an entry into the half-marathon Sunday morning, so Molly (who was also running) and I met at 6:30 to go catch a shuttle to the start line for the 7:30 start. The race organizers hadn’t planned for the shuttle demand correctly, and we weren’t able to board a shuttle until 7:10. We got to the start area at 7:30, and we figured the race had been postponed because there were still many people who were on shuttles behind us. Wrong. I found out the elite wave had just started and I was in corral #1. I proceeded to run the length of 32 corrals to get to corral 1 as the runners left. Good warm-up. With my heart rate at 195 from racing down to the starting line, I got off to a faster start than I probably should have, but overall I ran a very steady race.
My goal time was 1:35:00 after having run a 1:39 in Philadelphia with very little training. I averaged a 7:08 pace after 5K, 7:02 after 10 Miles, and 7:06 overall, resulting in a finishing time of 1:33:03. Success!
The training paid off not only in getting faster, but also in recovery. I wasn’t as sore yesterday or today in comparison with after Philadelphia. Still hobbling around a bit, but if I wasn’t it would mean I didn’t run hard enough.
After the race we packed up our finish line set-up and said goodbye to Lyndsay who flew out to go home before starting her job for the coming winter months at a ski shop.
Then we drove north to Dallas where we got to see the new apartment of Nate and Whitney (his girlfriend). He started work today, so it was an extremely fast turnaround between jobs for him. We said our goodbyes, and this morning Molly and I got started on a long 650 mile drive to Albaquerque, New Mexico. About 300 miles in, my truck started to lose acceleration like it has done many times before, and after several more incidents we were worried that we wouldn’t be making it without some repiars. We put some new fuel in the truck and tried to get it going on the road again. Sure enough, we made it the last 200 miles on new diesel fuel without incident. At this point we’re thinking/hoping we got a bad tank of fuel from a station in Texas.
Assuming the truck decides to cooperate tomorrow, we’ll go to Flagstaff, where I’ll get to see my brother for the first time since August!