Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Winter Tan (or a muddy adventure on cougar mountain)


Can I say that again? OY!

Well, it isn't a trail run if there isn't any blood right? 

J went out with me to Cougar and turned green just as we turned onto Cougar Mtn Way. Almost there. What is it with this mountain, the drive, and this dog? Yep, she blorped onto the towels on the back seat. I actually pulled over to comfort her. Dogs are so gross too. She tried to eat it again. Ick! Ick! Ick!

So, that meant that I spent the first few minutes at Cougar cleaning towels off by dragging them in the grass and submerging them in puddles (it helped only a little). 

As I was doing this a guy came in from his run, covered in mud and muck. He looked pretty tired too. He asked how far I was going and I told him I was shooting for 8. My plan was to combine some of the AR routes with the SRC course to come up with something. Once geared up I trotted off. There was a very slight drizzle but it was pretty nice up there. Not a lot of wind, although it was obvious that there had been a wind storm or two up there recently as there were downed branches everywhere. Pretty muddy too right from the outset and footing was dicey in places. 

I wasn't hammering at all, just trotting along, both of us getting nicely and happily dirty. Ran up towards Coyote Creek and then up Lost Beagle before heading down on Anti-Aircraft to Tibbets Marsh and Creek. Took the Tibbets Creek trail down towards the erratic. Things were fine. Lots of things to go over. Pretty slippery and I was thinking that I would have to be a bit careful of my footing. Then, at about 2.71 (you can see it on the map) I stepped on a rock that was under some leaves and in the mud, the mud surrounding it shifted down and my right ankle rolled. I said something like "Oh No!" and sat down on the trail for a time. I could feel that some of the tendons on the top of my foot had been stretched out. I've done this before but this time it really felt bad and I wondered if I had broken something or torn something. So, I sat there and then got up, reversed direction and trotted/walked up the hill. I knew that if I got back to the Tibbets Marsh area I could catch a trail up to the road if needed. Things got progressively better as I went along although I was also pretty gingerly with it. By the time I got to the road I was thinking I'd be alright and so continued on with my plan. The ankle is/was sore but not swelling and I was able to get to the car, put a very, very muddy dog into the back seat, and head out. 

It was pretty nice to be out there by myself sort of reliving the races during the summer. Nicer also to know that I knew where I was and what I could do to get myself out of trouble if I needed to. Note to self: Two more things to add to my pack though,  ace bandage and temporary ice packs in case there isn't a handy stream of snow melt handy.

As I was unable to find a big body of water for J to swim in, and thus clean herself off, I decided to go straight to Rub-A-Dub Dog for an industrial strength scrubbing. The place was packed when I got in there and I had to wait. The attendant took one look at us and asked which of us needed a bath worse, J was covered in mud all the way up onto her back. My shoes were caked in mud and there was dirt all and up and down my legs (the photos I took of my "winter tan line" do not do this justice). She was not happy with this turn of affairs but submitted nicely and now we have a lavender-smelling poofy dog lying on the bed in the living room rather than the mud-caked stink monster than ended the run (Oh wait, that is me! :-P )

Ah, what an adventure. :-)

And where was the blood? I noticed a thin trickle of blood coming down from a scrape on my right knee. Hard to discern under all that filth. 


OK, now I have to go work. :-/

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Musings on a "Friday" Night

It gets dark early. Good for movie double-features. 

You might be asking, "Friday Night"? What are you talking about? It is Wednesday.

Yep, you're right. It is Wednesday night but, really, given the Thanksgiving Holiday tomorrow, can't we just admit that it is, for all intents and purposes, Friday? 

It is that time of the quarter where I, along with my students and colleagues, am generally brain fried. So here, in lieu of sustained thought, are some random moments. It is all I can manage:


Got fenders put on my bike this afternoon. Doesn't it look nice? Very Seattle, yes?

Take a mean-assed cyclocross bike and put fenders on it. Aren't I man enough to take all the spray on my face and up my back? 

Apparently not . . .

Immediate changes in riding characteristics too. The fenders catch the wind in strange ways and the added asymmetrical weight reduces overall maneuverability. Not sure I like that aspect.

Bombing through puddles is another matter . . .


"Sex In The City" is just NOT a good movie. I am as manipulable as they come but even I had had enough of the maudlin trials of  "The Girls". They, and the film, just seemed tired. And why is it that all these films have to have some sort of redeemer character, who also happens to be black (Jennifer Hudson), to provide hope, advice, and wisdom? Why? Why? Why?

"In Bruges", on the other hand, is a wicked, darkly funny, and well-acted ensemble piece. 


Student: "Dear Officer, I would like to know more about the Honors program. Hope can know more information from you . . .  Hope can hear from you soon!"
Me: "Thank you for your inquiry. All Learning Factory Students are are welcome to apply if they meet program requirements and have strong letters of recommendation that indicate an ability to successfully complete Honors level work . . . blah, blah, blah!"
Me [thinking]: Umm, there is something missing here . . .


How do you help cut a Learning Factory operating budget? 
  • how about having faculty clean the bathrooms? [talk about fecal matter]
  • how about faculty volunteering for leave and taking roughly a sixth of their salary in exchange for a year's working sabbatical? [not all of us have the financial wherewithal to do that, eh, but thanks for the suggestion]
  • how about not talking speculatively about what might happen (insert a sarcastic tone here especially when there has been little leadership or organized conversation on these matters)
Alright, time for the day to end. 

A bright cold morning in the mountains awaits on the morrow . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

RIFfing on RIF-ing.

Happy, Happy Joy Joy!

28B.50.873 Reduction in force of tenured or probationary faculty members due to financial emergency--Conditions--Procedure--Rights.

Pretty odd to see this displayed in a budget meeting. 

We are in for an interesting ride. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grey Skies are Gonna Clear Up!

Nothing so forlorn as a pep band trying to rally student spirit for the following day's football game (UW v. UCLA) and finding that they actually outnumber the people who have turned out, half of whom drifted in after watching the UW Opera Program's production of  Haydn's "il mondo della luna" (a very goofy story, goofily staged, and promisingly (and, yes, goofily) cast). We were among that crowd and certainly enjoyed their antics, quick though they may have been. 

Given the dismal state of the Husky's season such optimism was refreshing to see. 

Can they pull of a win tomorrow against UCLA? 

We've turned a corner in this country? Think again.

Obama has more threats than other presidents-elect

Go figure. 

So, riddle me this? How can a hanging noose ever be a "joke"?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

RIP Tuba Man

"Seattle's most visible, beloved and melodic sports fan -- Tuba Man -- is dead." Murdered. . . 

Who the F***K DOES THIS!?

I never met him, but I always enjoyed his musical stylings outside the Opera House. 

Mr. McMichael, Seattle is a poorer place today. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Buried in the Bailout: The Bicycle Commuter Act

Starting next year, employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups, or other support for bicycle commuting, can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income!

Now, how do we do this?

Will the Markets Predict Correctly?