There have been times when I’ve been tempted to strap my Forerunner 405 to the cat to see just how much he moves each day. Then I realize, Garmin GPS is only accurate to about 3 meters. I think I need something more accurate.
Month: May 2009
Fleet of Foot
Yesterday, I headed up to Luther to do a speed workout on the track. I always dread track work when I’m preparing for it, but once I do it, I actually like it. Speed is good. In this case, I did ladders – 200/400/600/800/600/400/200 at 5K pace (roughly 6:30 per mile). While running, I noticed large gaps, like five or six feet long, of the track just missing. Went home and told Steph “I hope they repair that track soon. It’s bad.”
Well, good thing I got in the work out yesterday because the track is no more. The tractor on the left tears into the surface with its blade to create a flap, then grabs the flap and peels it away. It was doing sections probably 20 – 30 foot long at a time. The little Bobcat seemed to be doing the fine touch work (around the edges, near the steeplechase pit, etc). The big tractors on the right just drops its blade and peels everything away. It was rather slow and only on that one section that I saw. Still, I’m guessing the entire surface will be off in the next hour or so (once they finish removing the stuff for graduation).
I’m very much looking forward to the new track. The current one was put down just before I enrolled as a student. That was back in 1997. Twelve years is a long time for a surface.
Time to Plunder and Pillage
Norway Week continues for me here.
One of my students, Brett, went to Norway for a J-Term trip this year. During that time, I watched his fish and remarkably didn’t kill it. In gratitude, Brett bought me a present and delivered it to me yesterday. It’s a wonderful little Viking ship.
Okay, so maybe it’s a bit too small to down the Mississippi and do some plundering, but there’s a chance I could get away with wearing a viking hat.
Uff Da, Ole and Sven! Break out da lutefiske!
This seems to be the week of Norway for me. The Simpson’s on Sunday night had a story revolving around immigrants who sounded and acted awfully Norwegian. Being that we live in a town founded by Norwegian immigrants and having experience with folks like that, it was a lot of fun to watch.
And now this – Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout. Sounds like a very interesting book that I’ll have to pick up. I remember in grade school reading a ton about the mythology of the Norse Gods. Ragnorak was always a cool part of it and it looks like this book is going to play with it.
The Moose Is Dead
I haven’t been dead, just on the verge. Been sick the past week. In keeping with the media induced hysteria, I named it the Moose Flu. That’s because it made me sound like a moose and feel like one got loose in my house and trampled me. My co-workers got a kick out of that and I’m pleased that my illness, suffering, and resulting delusions provide them with comedy relief. That probably falls in the “Duties as Assigned” part of my job description.
I had no desire to do anything this week. No writing, no running, nothing. All I did was what I had to do – help Steph finish off the porch, prepare for a Help Desk party at the house, have the party, clean up from the party, prepare for the last week of the school year, mow the lawn. Yeah, just the sort of relaxing stuff you should be doing while sick.
After a week, I think I’ve shaken it. Go me.
Bullwinkle can bite my ass.
Channeling Tim Taylor
Today, Steph surprised me with an early birthday present – a Makita 18V Cordless Drill. Woohoo! Yeah, so I enjoyed it 🙂 I’ve needed a drill for quite a while and kept saying “I should buy a nice one” every time I got a few extra bucks. The last few drills I’ve owned have been cheap, 12 volts that lasted about as long as it took to charge the battery. I just ended up borrowing my father-in-law’s whenever I needed one. With all the house improvements we’ve done lately, that’s started being every other weekend.
No more! I have expanded my collection of power tools! Mwhahaha!
Okay, there might have been an ulterior motive. Getting the drill meant I got to finish this project:
This is Steph’s Garden Stuff Bench. I started building it about a week and a half ago, using the bench she’d made for the porch as a blueprint. This one is slightly bigger and deeper. With the exception of the green fabric, the handles, and a few metal braces, the entire thing is made out of wood we’ve had left over from other projects. The sides come from 1×4 used in framing out the porch. The paneling is leftover from the porch ceiling. Even the base is old cedar posts used from the fence built back in Cedar Rapids. And the drill fastened the last bits together – the handles to make lifting it easier.
Between the bench and the work we’ve done on the porch, the house is looking down right respectable.
Bo-Staff Diddly and Kama-Kama-Chameleon
Thursday night is typically Tae Kwon Do/Jujitsu sparring night. That’s the night us guys get to beat the hell out of each other without any interference from wives (I should note – they don’t give us much sympathy). Tonight was different because my sparring partner didn’t show up. My instructor (Jim) was feeling a bit unwell in his knees and hips. So he invited me outside with his son (Conner, 14) to learn how to play with the Bo Staff.
The Bo staff is, as its name implies, a long wooden staff. It is an extremely simple, but effective weapon. The popular story is that the art of Bo Staff fighting originated in Okinawa after weapons had been banned by the Emperor. This may or may not be true, nonetheless, Jim and Conner taught me some basic moves. Toward the end, we were moving pretty quick and coming up with different attacks and defenses. It was quite fun and I could see the practical use of the staff. In self-defense, a rake or hoe or even a broom could be a weapon.
In the course of the lesson, I mentioned another weapon I was interested in called the Kama. This too originated from Asia as a tool for cutting rice. Well, right about then, I learned that Conner had been on a Kama Demonstration team. He had two sets that he brought out – a demonstration set (flashy) and a fighting set (pointy). We transitioned from Bo Staff to Kama, a much more dangerous weapon. For me, it was also more natural. I’ve had over twenty years experience with juggling including club work and some of that translated into the Kama. It didn’t take me long to learn some the basic spins and blocks. A lot of that also takes from Tae Kwon Do.
By the end of the night, we were mixing the two – attacking with the Bo Staff and defend with the Kama. So sweet.
I learn the coolest stuff.