Words cannot express how tempting it was to have this for breakfast this morning.


Regrettably, sensible heads prevailed.  Thankfully, I now have three dozen mint chocolate chip cookies in which to drown my sorrows.

Over Hill, Over Dale (Who’s Dale?)

Today marked the second annual Run on the Wild Side 5K  Race.  One of our friends, Marissa, works out at Lake Meyer and started it up last year.  It’s a great course – all trails, beautiful scenery (most of the course overlooks the lake), and, oh yeah, some kick ass hills.

Steph and I ran it last year and both placed 2nd in our age group.  I was 4th overall.  That was in a smaller field though.  This year, they had almost double the entries so it was more challenging.  We’ve also had three days of straight rain which made the course muddy and the grass slick.  Just the way we runners like it.

We rose to the challenge though 🙂

I won my age division.  Probably a top ten finish, though I won’t know until the full results are released next week.  Steph wasn’t too bad either.  She got 3rd in her age group.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that statistically, she did better than me.  There were more women in her age group than in mine.

On another note – all of my student workers come back on Tuesday.  The week after that, every student at Luther returns.  That means its going to get hectic.  Big time.  I have to admit I’m feeling a little stress over that.  Not really because of work.  No, we’re pretty well prepped for that.  My stress comes because this all happens right before Viable Paradise. I know from past years, by the time I get home from work, my brain wants to shut down.  This will certainly have an adverse effect on my ability to write (apparently my brain likes to have input into that process).  I’m hoping that the other folks on the VP mailing list start making noise about the approaching date and that perks me right up again.

*crosses fingers*

A Mess of Scribbles

My brain is trying to kill me.

The proof – Saturday morning, my brain convinced me to run 5 mile hill workout that included Ridge Road.  It suggested this because I needed to get in shape for an upcoming race with plenty of hills and I had run the route back in college without any problem.  Now, I’m an Eastern Iowa boy, so I’m not unfamiliar with hills (it’s the rest of the state that’s flat) but there’s a big difference between a 20 year old college runner in his prime and a 35 year old distance runner.  Let me tell you, 7 minute pace up that hill just about killed me.

Not content with a near death experience, this morning my brain woke me up and said “Hey, you can do 9 miles!”  It had apparently forgotten yesterday’s adventure.  Apparently, so did I since I went and did it.  Dehydration is not my friend.

On the positive side of things, Steph and I got to do some archery shooting today.  One of our friends works out at Lake Meyer and they had an open archery day to show off their new equipment.  Only a few other people showed up (it was hot and humid), but it was a good time.  I got to fire off maybe a hundred arrows or so.  Also got more than a few shots dead center.

Writing wise – I’ve edited nine complete chapters of Genie Memories.  There was some stuff I just had to get done and tightened up.  Chalk it up to my personality.  Soon I’ll be able to do some new stuff and I’ve already got the next four chapters planned out.  Things start getting good.

Now it’s late and I must go to bed.  So I leave you with what I guess is a cat’s version of heaven – a Bag…in a Box.


Top Minds Agree – Hugo Rocks

Two of the instructors at Viable Paradise won Hugo Awards* this past weekend – John Scalzi and Elizabeth Bear. Add to that Patrick Nielsen Hayden who won it back in 2007 and there will be three Hugo winners at VP. That is like, way cool.

* The Hugo is Science-Fiction and Fantasy’s top award. Past winners include J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, and Aurthr Clarke. In layman’s terms – it’s like being taught basketball by Michael Jordan.

Mother Nature Finally Looks at the Calendar

The long weekend is over and I for one am going to file an injunction against Mother Nature.

All summer long, the weather has actually been pleasant.  It’s been in the 60s to 70s, low humidity.  It made being outside very enjoyable.  Then comes this weekend.  Steph and I went to an eco-fair out in Oregon, Illinois.  She was doing a presentation for Seed Savers and didn’t want to spend all that time alone, so I went as willing help.  We also manned a table, gave out free seeds, and catalogs for SSE.  A lot of people went to Steph’s presentation and raved about it so that’s good.

And wouldn’t you know it – Mother Nature decided it was time for mid-90s, high humidity, and periodic thunderstorms.  Made the seventeen hours we spent sitting on uncomfortable chairs pretty miserable.

Still, that gave me plenty of time to finish reading Burning the Ice.  Good book with a good plot.  It took me a bit to get started (I think I re-read the first chapter a couple of times) because there were a lot of terms thrown out that I wasn’t familiar with.  Once I got the hang of it though, it went quick.  Mixon knows what she’s talking about and it was hard to put down after a while.  I’ll definitely talk to her at Viable Paradise.

Little writing done, lots of editing/plotting done.  That’s nice.  I got a chance to hit a bookstore and picked up a couple of books. Thunder of Time by James David and Black and White by Jackie Kessler/Caitlin Kittredge.

The cover of Black and White caught my eye but it was also Jackie’s name.  I recognized it from somewhere.  When I got home, I figured out that she and I chatted once a long time ago on the Absolute Write forum boards.  So that was pretty cool.  I’m only ten chapters in but so far I’m enjoying it.  If the posts and such that I’ve read from Jackie online are any indication, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

Still Ticking

I’m not quite dead yet … despite all efforts to change that.

August marks the beginning of the busy time of year for me.  From about now until mid-September, I’ll be running around like a well-composed chicken with his head cut off.  Anyone who believes that summer is a great time to be in the education field obviously has never worked in the education field.  A partial list of what I’ve got to get done before August 29th when students arrive:

Training Materials, Implement Print Accounting System, Coordinate major lab move, Coordinate move of Help Desk Call Center, Coordinate move and merging of Reference Desk & Walk-Up Desk, Implement Simple-Help Remote Support.

So yeah, I’m a bit busy.

Despite all this, I’ve managed to be somewhat productive. Got two chapters complete, one of which is going to need some serious revision but that’s for a later day.  I sat down and read Jumper by Steven Gould, one of the instructions at Viable Paradise.  Good book. I’ll say that even though I only watched about 10 minutes of the film on which it was based, I think the book is far better.  A lot more introspective and a lot less flashy special effects.  I picked up two other books – Elizabeth Bear’s Carnival and Laura Mixon’s Burning the Ice.  Both are instructors at Viable as well.

I’ll be reading Burning the Ice this weekend.  As for Carnival, I tried to read it.  Honestly, I really tried but I couldn’t get past 50 pages.  It was well written, had great description, but there was something about it that kept me from picking it up and finishing it.  Hopefully Elizabeth can forgive me when I meet her in two months.