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 January, 2009
I did about 80 miles today on Team Oregon’s Saturday ride. We went out and rode once around the Banana Belt course, which included some hard efforts. I can’t believe how good my legs feel considering I’ve only been back on my bike for a week. That and my endurance is much higher than I expected it to be. There’s already some jump in my legs, so now I just need to do some interval work to get ready for the accelerations common in races and some more long rides to expand my base a bit.
It’s been an enjoyable past two days. Yesterday Cousin Jessie and I headed downtown where we proceeded to do nothing and everything all at the same time. We walked through Chinatown and into the Pearl District. We perused Powell’s Books for a while, and ended up at a shop called Cargo in the Pearl that sells all sorts of rare imported antiques and other various imports. Things such as chairs made from tires.
And brightly painted stools.
We toured the financial district for a while and decided to cross the river to the Lloyd Center area of town. I wished I had my camera (the nice one) with as the lighting on Portland made for the most interesting views of downtown I’ve ever seen. It was a mix of dark storm clouds, blue sky, rainbows, etc.
Downtown Portland was covered in sunlight through a tiny hole in the clouds, while dark clouds loomed in most every direction.
Last night I headed to a meeting for the local cycling team I’m joining. I’ve paid dues to get all the team discounts and such, and I’ll buy a kit as soon as I’m sure I’ll be around to race. For now, it’ll be a good group to ride with. The goal is to be race-ready in a little over a month. Check out the team – teamoregon.org.
At the meeting I randomly ran into Kennett whom I hadn’t seen in a while (from UO). I’m not sure why I didn’t think about the fact that he’d be there, since I knew he was on the team and in the Portland area. It was good to catch up a bit.
Today after some morning job hunting, I headed over to the Mucha household to play some Boggle with Joey’s mom. I’m infamous around there for being the only person to have ever beaten her at Boggle. No wins today, but I did manage to tie twice. Then I was introduced to Quiddler, which is somewhat like a combination of Rummy and Scrabble.
This afternoon I headed out for a ride to take advantage of the sunshine. I headed up Skyline, which I knew was a good sized climb, but I had no idea what exactly to expect. For those familiar with Eugene’s riding, I’d compare it to a mix of Fox Hollow and MacBeth – on steroids. It’s not constantly up, but it just keeps going further and further up as you go, resulting in some amazing views, and snow still on the sides of the road.
You get high enough up on the ridge that you can see into Washington all the way to Mt. Saint Helens and beyond. Looking back at one point, you can see down towards downtown Portland some 15-20 miles away with Mt. Hood directly behind it. The clouds were sitting low today, so it was a little odd to be above them.
Tonight I’ll catch up on last night’s episode of Lost, and then…
This was my remedy for my mood earlier. I created a list of all my skills, experience, and knowledge (that I could think of in an evening) of various degrees and semi-organized it. What I ended up with is a list of things that I would generally consider myself more knowledgeable/experienced in than your average person. The actual level of each may range from simply proficient to expert, but all of them are things that contribute to who I am and could be talking points in an interview. The list could be subcategorized many times more than it is, but that would make it much longer than it already is. It lacks all personal attributes, characteristics, morals, and everything else that creates my personality. Instead, it’s just a list of everything I’ve picked up along the 23 year journey of my life so far that still seems at least somewhat relevant today. For example, I was a really good shot with a Super Soaker way back when, but what good is that today? If you read through it in detail, you’ll probably get a chuckle or two, and probably even learn some things about me you didn’t know. Without further ado,
Actually wait – another comment: it’s interesting how interconnected technology and the internet are to my life. Now, without further ado,
Skills, Knowledge, Experience:
Online experienced with
Html, xml, css literate
General social networking
General web 2.0
Email list maintenance
Software experienced with
RAW Image editing
HDR image creation
Mac OS X
Computer sourcing and building
Cycling – competitive road, recreational MTB
Runner – race experience
Golf – 6 years approx handicap between 10 and 15
Fencing – competitive
Tennis – recreational
XC skiing – recreational
Downhill skiing – recreational
Soccer – recreational
Ultimate Frisbee – recreational
Direct consumer interaction
Grassroots marketing initiatives
Advertising and promotions
Consumer behavior and psychology
PR and paid news
Sports marketing and sponsorship
Marketing life cycle
SEO & SEM
Marketing plan creation
General Business knowledge
Six sigma manufacturing
Annuities and Perpetuities
Time value of money
Business organizations (matrix, etc)
Management versus leadership
Product life cycle
Basic accounting – credits, debits, depreciation, AR/AP
Operations highly knowledgeable of
Shoe/sports apparel manufacturers
Marketing and advertising agencies
Games good at
Publications/Online regularly read
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Oversized vehicle handing
Hauling heavy objects
Other knowledge and proficiencies
Knowledge of many US cities
Animal attack survival
Reading 60-100PPH dependent on reading material
Can read music
Heart rate/threshold training
Calvin and Hobbes
Dog care and training
Networks connected to
UO Cycling team
American Marketing Assn
Honors Business College
Today hasn’t been a particularly good day. I woke up to a bit of a change when I noticed fresh snow outside, and I felt somewhat excited to go drop off a resume and cover letter for a company that I can hopefully make some connections at (They have their own internal cycling team, how sweet is that?). I froze in the frigid weather on the way there and back, but hopefully it will amount to something in the future.
I came back and spent much of the rest of the morning and afternoon submitting my resume to several other job sites I hadn’t yet, submitted an application for a couple of retail positions, and then checked the news. December unemployment info is out, and it’s bad. Highest unemployment numbers the country has seen in decades. 9.0% in Oregon last month before the Intel cuts. I’d guess it’ll be 10% or higher for January.
For the first time since I started job hunting, I got really down over how lame being unemployed is. I’m not even that concerned about job pay or benefits as long as it’s enough to get by on. Right now, I want something constructive to do that ideally uses my college degree that I still have a ways to go on paying off. I’d take an unpaid position at a company for several months to prove I’m a valuable asset if it meant good experience and would lead to an actual job.
I’m staying busy enough, but right now my constant state of flux doesn’t allow me to feel at all settled. I don’t know whether to build a new social network here since I don’t know if I’ll be around long. I just paid dues for a local cycling team, but I’m not sure if I’ll actually be around to race with them. Then again, if I remain unemployed this could be my best training and racing year ever. I dunno.
The cold, wet, dreary Oregon winter day outside fit the mood pretty well.
Oh well. I suppose bad days are a necessary evil. They stand out in stark contrast to my normal very positive self and if anything motivate me to do something to fix whatever is wrong. I just need to figure out what else I can be doing.
Tomorrow I pick myself up and dust myself off and keep going.
They have a confused identity
Part restricting and part free.
Often covered by pants,
Ideally free of ants,
Boxer briefs are just right for me.
Seriously, look at that thing, it’s beautiful:
The perfect balance of white space and text. Just enough color to catch the eye. Bold in all the right places. Enough action-oriented bullet points to take down a one ton grizzly. No fat – all meat. Revised and edited so many times any spelling and grammatical errors fled in terror. Power words. A constant state of flux – never the same on any two days or for any two jobs. It probably even glows in the dark!
If I were someone in HR, I would hire me based on that resume alone.
Last Wednesday while taking Harry (the dog) for a run, something odd and out of place caught my attention as we ran past the backyard of a house in the neighborhood. I backtracked a few steps only to see an owl staring straight back at me in a tree perhaps 15-20 feet away. I froze for a few seconds trying to process exactly what I was seeing, before cautiously walking back out of sight and immediately bolting the two minutes back towards the house and my camera. It was one of those I NEED this photo type of moments. I raced back hoping it hadn’t moved from its perch. It seemed relatively content just sitting there, so other than the squirrel that didn’t like its tree being taken over and was being vocal about it, I figured there was a decent chance it wouldn’t move.
I got back, and this was the scene.
The red circle is approximately where the owl was perched, and the blue squared is how much of the frame it would have filled with my 300mm lens.
I thought it may not have gone too far, so I searched around and actually found it in the same tree, just much higher up and behind plenty of branches in relative darkness. This made focusing and getting a decent exposure a pain.
I did manage to find one clear angle at it (other than the dense foliage in the way).
So as best I can figure out, it’s a barred owl. Which mostly makes sense. Searching online, it’s the only one that looks similar, but it’s primarily a more eastern owl that has only recently started expanding its range into Oregon and Washington. Do you concur, parents?
It was very close to being a dream photo opportunity, but I just missed it. I run by there fairly often, so I’m going to have to keep my eyes open.
What should I blog about?
Give me a subject, and I will write it.
Oh, and my trip to Eugene followed by two days of riding my bike back to Portland was fun.
This is going to sound a little odd, but as Obama prepares to be sworn in as president some eight hours from now, I worry that the country is making too big a deal out of the inauguration. While the event is certainly historic and exciting, the media frenzy and commercialization surrounding the event seems a bit much.
When I attended Clinton’s 2nd inauguration, it was a big deal in my life. That entire trip to DC/New York/Philadelphia as a 5th grader is still very fresh in my memory. The inauguration, however, is not one of the most memorable moments. Granted, 5th graders aren’t usually terribly excited by speeches and can think of things more fun to do than standing around for hours in cold weather – but I’m glad I was there and would certainly appreciate it more were it today.
This time around, everyone seems to feel the needs to get in on the day. Every major TV station is not only covering the event live, but most have hours and hours of “pregame” where they’ll undoubtedly repeat the same thing over ten times trying to fill airtime. It’s a little early in the morning to be playing drinking games, but I’m sure you’d be well on your way if you simply drank every time you heard the word “historic” uttered. Yes this event will be historic. I hope Obama gives a moving speach tomorrow that will be remembered among the great presidential speeches. The problem is that history usually runs its own course on its own time, and in this case everyone is forcing this to be a part of history. It’s still what it’s always been – a swearing in, some formalities, and a parade, followed by DC letting its hair down for a night of partying. Don’t spoil the moment by making too big a deal of it.
I’m extremely happy for the countless African Americans who have waited for this day their entire lives. I’m happy for every Obama supporter who finally gets to see an extremely long election process come to fruition. I’m happy for our new president. I could do without 14,000 hours of TV coverage for an hour long event. I laugh at the 2800 different Obama t-shirts and 288 bottles of Obama wine (even though it’s from Oregon). I shake my head in disbelief at the Obamarella and Obama bedside lights.
Who knows, maybe the massive amount of money being spent in relation to the inauguration will accidently give the economy the kick in the pants it desperately needs.
As for me, I’ll be wearing my Obama underwear and “Yes we can” slippers first thing tomorrow morning while I eat my Obama-shaped pancakes watching picture-in-picture-in-picture MSNBC/CNN/ABC coverage on all new inauguration news that has broken in the last 6 hours prior to the event. Then I might actually go back to being sane while I watch the actual event.