A week of stuff -- 07/28/08

A lot of stuff happened in the past week...

I've been trying to get back into shape... that is, in shape for running... and I'm making strides (*grin*) towards that goal but not exactly anything worth writing about... but I do hope to run the CVS Downtown 5k in September. I may (or may not) enter a race or two before then, but I expect that if I do, I would be sort of jogging my way through them... I want to actually run the CVS 5k. I've run that race before, many times actually... including 2006 when I took some pictures... In fact, I think I've only missed it once since I ran my first one back in 2000. It was originally the Harvard-Pilgrim Health 5k (Harvard-Pilgrim Health is an HMO type medical insurance company) and was usually in late October but when they dropped sponsorship, CVS (a large chain of pharmacies that began in Rhode Island and is still headquartered here) took over, moved it to be held in September (better weather), pumped in a lot of support money and prize money, lots of promotion and advertising, filled the entire morning with a huge series of races for kids, and got the race named as the USTAF 5k Championship, and turned a decent-sized local race into a huge regional race that is crowned by major U.S. runners plus a lot of top foreign runners as well. (I have mentioned lots of prize money, right?)

Looking back at my description of the first CVS 5k I ran, I see that I ran it in 25:30 (an 8:12 pace) and I speculated that if I put some effort into training I might be able to beat 24:52 sometime later that fall (i.e., 8 minutes per mile). I'm not sure if I managed to do that or not -- but I doubt it. I ended up going to Oslo to teach a course not too long after that race and although I did get in some early morning running there, it was not exactly real training... and a week or so after getting back from Norway I had to go to Cleveland and I don't think I need to see if I can find my 2000 runner's log to discover that I didn't reach that target. (My personal best for a 5k was at a 6:59 pace but that was back when I was only 49.).

I've managed to knock off a few pounds this month, although I think I'm going to need to get in longer workouts to continue to lose weight. My scheduling has been a bit weird for the past few days because Nancy had her foot surgery on Wednesday. She had a rough night Thursday night and on Friday morning I drove her to the doctor's office. He removed the surgical dressing, said that everything looked fine, and put a new dressing on. The trouble was apparently that her foot had swollen in the days following the surgery and the pain was because the dressing was then too tight. After that she had no more pain, just the usual "discomfort" you would expect, and she seems to be doing well. (On Thursday she will go back to him for the standard post-surgical appointment.) I can tell that she is healing rapidly because I have to keep chasing her out of the kitchen -- she just wants to wash a few dishes or wipe down the counter and I have to tell her to go sit down and put her foot up and read a book.

And I've also put a little bit of time in on some other sites that I do, like the Culture Coalition (I like my line about "Let's party like it's 1943!" -- you have to scroll down a bit to see that) and Kinney Bungalow.

Late Friday afternoon (well, almost early evening) Jill and I drove up to Providence to an "open house" at RISD for their Continuing Education program. (That's the program where I took that Drawing course a couple of years ago and the Digital Design for the Screen course last fall (as well as the landscape design course that Nancy and I took). They have a number of interesting courses in computer animation and digital art, etc. and I thought that she would find them interesting. And I guess I was right because she is interested. (The people running this program -- and the people teaching there as well -- are so very enthusiastic about what they are doing in this program and the courses they are presenting.)

Of course she was somewhat bothered by the fact that every single person we spoke with, when mention was made of her interest in computer game design, assumed that she was a high school student who was interested in their computer game design courses for teenagers. Uh, nope, she's twenty-six. Oops. So naturally, when we stopped on the way home so she could pick up a six-pack of beer to bring to a cookout some friends of hers were holding, the clerk just pushed the six-pack aside and asked to see her proof of age... and I couldn't stop myself from bursting out laughing. She understands intellectually that someday she will be grateful to have a youthful look, but at 26 she is getting tired of having to show ID everytime she wants a beer with a restaurant meal. Anyway, we may even take a course together this fall at RISD. We enjoyed taking a literature course together at CCRI three years ago (Literature of Fantasy and the Imagination).

I had great hopes to get in a run yesterday but we had thunderstorms almost all day long. At one point, as I was driving home from supermarket shopping, I found myself in an absolute cloudburst of rain along with lots and lots of hail -- and not just tiny pieces of ice, there were lots that were at least half an inch in diameter. I thought that at any minute I would see cracks appear across my windshield. And it went on for maybe eight or nine minutes before the hail stopped (although it did slack off a bit during that last minute or so). And the thunderstorms kept coming... just when it would brighten up a bit outside, and another storm would come along.

Today I had an eye doctor's appointment -- with pupil dilation -- so all afternoon I was squinting to read my computer screen. (At least I use a flat panel LCD screen for my work computer -- I couldn't look at my personal machine at all, the CRT monitor just seemed to have a very strong strobe effect. I'm writing this about 7:30 pm and it is now just a mild flicker.)

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