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Showing posts from 2005

The Last Long Run for '05

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Just completed my last two-hour run for the year. It was a little rough, with me more than once regretting that second glass of cabernet at last night's wonderful holiday party. I've been reading lots of bloggers' annual rundowns on year-end mileage and milestones electronically recorded in logs and journals. I've kept the same record-keeping system since I began road racing in 1992 -- a pocket calendar I either pick up at a Hallmark store or receive in the mail from a charity organization. It ain't sophisticated, but then neither am I. I duly note if I exercised and for how long or how far; I also mention my weekday routes for later comparison. The asterisks represent the onset of "that time of the month" -- a potential PR killer for women like me. I also note trips to help jog my memory and make me feel less guilty about missed opportunities. That's it. By the time W-2 forms arrive in the mail, I'll have misplaced my 2005 race calendar. By

The Week's DMZ Report

Once again, I managed to skate out of serving on a trial yesterday when all three civil cases were settled. So, now I'm back in business and working through my usual scans for interesting security news. My friend Annie R. in North Carolina passed along a Business Week story analyzing the Sony BMG settlement that will provide free downloads and CDs that are "clean" of its prying copyright-enforcement program in exchange for New York dropping what amounted to a national class-action lawsuit. Sony still has to deal with Texas, though, which is pursuing criminal charges for violating its antispyware law. Annie asked what is to be done for those that installed an infected CD on their computer. Sony's issued a rootkit remover tool that had its own problems when first released. I would recommend going with Rootkit Revealer or similar freeware which by now should detect the spyware. Sandy M. in Pennsylvannia sent me a CNN story about the NSA doing something similar to unsus

Watch where you surf these days

It's your trusted computer security reporter here, letting everyone know there's what is known as a zero-day exploit circulating that will automatically download nasty spyware and use your computer to spew out spam (while also looking for you to provide credit card information voluntarily). This one's tricky because there's no "patch" to stop it so it's up to computer users to use common sense to avoid infection. If you get an e-mail, instant message or a pop-up in the corner of your computer telling you you've been infected with spyware DO NOT OPEN THE LINK. That's how they get you. Also, this one can spread merely by you placing your cursor over an infected image on a malicious Web site (one that's been contaminated), so be careful where you browse, especially if you use Internet Explorer or older versions of Firefox. Also, Outlook or the Opera Web browswer. Here's what I just filed before I head off to the Halls of Justice downtown to

Here's What's Going Down in 2006

My weight. I’ve already got a 10-pound head start. But if I’m going to regain any of the running glory of my past, then I’ve got to shed another 15. You will see less of me by mid-year. And you will not see me steer the car into the In-n-Out drive-thru more than once a month. My master’s PR. Okay, that’s too easy considering how much I’ve slowed since turning 40. But running a sub-4-hour finish, given my current track record, will mean shaving more than 30 minutes off my average time for the last four years. And if I do accomplish this feat, I’ll also qualify for the 2007 Boston Marathon. My credit card and debit card use. I’m tired of companies knowing so much about me. I’m going to carry more cash and stick to weekly allowances. This likely will be among the hardest of my goals to achieve, given my bank is 20 feet from my front door and I show up almost daily now on the ATM’s hidden camera. My belongings. We’ve got to downsize at some point, might as well start now by clearing

"Christmas Eve in San Diego"

It's better if you listen along to the free download from Browntide.com. Christmas Eve in San Diego © 2005 Brown Tide Records. All Rights Reserved. Merry Christmas San Diego! I figured San Diego needed a Christmas song To call its own So I wrote this one for y’all . . . It was Christmas Eve In El Cajon And everywhere else San Diegans are known To spend their time Celebrating Christmas In my motel room I was feelin’ alone After a biker bar show In San Anton’ So I grabbed my guitar To make myself less homesick I played a song for Del Mar And folks in OB And people in Alpine And Mission Valley And before you know it I wasn’t feelin’ so down Because I was singin’ To myself And for San Diegans out there Everywhere else About the funny, sunny place We call our hometown CHORUS: I’ve spent holidays In New York and LA And on the road from N’awlins To Chicago Ain’t no place I’d rather be Enjoying Christmas Eve Than back at home In sunny San Diego T

This Is Turning Into a Charlie Brown Christmas

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Without fail, this time of year I always get homesick for Kodiak, Alaska. And during this morning's run, I finally figured out why. Those vintage commercials and TV specials now in circulation tend to trigger memories of a place where Christmas lasted a long time. For starters, we'd tape all the holiday specials from RATNET, the Rural Alaska Television Network, and replay them regularly all winter long. My favorite was "A Charlie Brown Christmas." A close second was "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." To help get through those long, dark winters, people kept up their Christmas house lights longer than is custom, like until April. Soon as we'd get home from day care, I'd bundle up the girls, then toddlers, for a winter walk, only instead of a stroller I'd use a plastic sled and pull them along snowy roads to look at the colorful lights. It took years, and a relocation to the Lower 48, for those two kids to realize Christmas lasts only one day

Now, Where Were We...

Did you know yesterday was Bruce Browne Day in San Diego? Yep, our very own mailman was honored at a fete last night for his 18+ years of outstanding service to our little community. He retires Dec. 31. I brought a batch of overcooked brownies and managed to bring home more food than I brought, but not many brownies. They apparently were a hit, which makes me think my neighbors have no taste :-) Some of the village elders at the gathering expressed concern with my early morning running and warned me to be careful out there. This was underscored by my friend Louise, who last week at lunch mentioned I might be a tad foolhardy. Cathy from across the street reminded me to break up my routine so would-be predators won't know my usual pattern. Good advice, all. And I decided to follow it and head out this morning, rather than in the evening as is my usual Tuesday routine. I'm not sure if it was the infusion of hot tea or a residual sugar buzz, but I started out strong and just got

Just Cleaning Out My Cyber Closet

The proliferation of posts having little to do with running continues today with some tidbits that I will try to relate to the subject for an extra challenge. I Was a WorldBook Fan Anyway I hope to help the San Diego Track Club develop its first wiki, which is the generic term used for collaborative software that lets lots of folks chime in on a subject. It’s based on the same concept of the open-source encyclopedia Wikipedia, in which anyone can add and edit an entry. As with all things open source, the ultimate goal is to use a collective brain trust to create a superior product to proprietary works created by fewer contributors. So, I’m immediately drawn to all things wiki right now and that includes this piece from Nature magazine challenging prevailing criticism that Wikipedia’s mass-appeal also makes it less accurate. Well, tell that to Encyclopedia Britannica. Internet Encyclopedias Go Head to Head And the i’s Have It -- as in iPods I’ve mentioned my dismay with all the

An Update on Life After An ID Theft

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Many months ago I promised to periodically post about how the theft of my personal financial information has impacted my life. As I wait for a business meeting to begin, now seems like as good a time as any to make good on that promise. To review: Three times now I've discovered (twice through a letter from the State of California and once in the course of my own reporting on a major retail breach) thieves have made off with my private data. Since this spring, I've had a credit freeze in place which has meant I can't take out any more credit, but neither can anyone else. It's led to some hassles and a lower credit rating, but that's to be expected. Under a credit freeze, any time you use your credit card, a warning's supposed to alert the card processor to take extra precautions. If it's a Sunday, the approval may not ever go through, I've discovered. That usually means either a curious stare or averted eyes from the cashier handling the transaction.

What I Learned Last Week from LISA

First, government loves Gmail. Any of those Web-based, third-party e-mail providers that encourage users to store thousands of old e-mail messages are music to the ears of those surveilling you or your friends. The longer messages are at rest, the more risk of them being seen. Remember that if you want to keep a secret. Along those lines, Internet service providers, e-mail providers and just about anyone offering a forum for your thoughts -- such as those so-called anonymous postings to message boards and chat rooms -- well, they may have already ratted you out. A lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that third-party providers are frequently asked by law enforcement and other agencies to divulge information on certain users under investigation. And they frequently give up the goods because it's far cheaper than a legal challenge. Moreover, few feel compelled to tell a targeted user what they've done. Yahoo is one of the exceptions. Most people in IT already kn

Here you go, Susie...

So Susie tapped me and four others to partake in a fun, get-to-know-you blog activity. She -- and you who read this -- may live to regret it, but here it goes. First, the rules: Write 5 random facts about yourself, and then list the names of 5 people whom you in turn infect. Also, leave a post to these people letting them know they have been infected. Now, my own answers: 1. I was born with a double uvula. That’s the appendage that hangs from the back of the throat. 2. I have never had a cup of coffee. 3. Nor have I ever lived in the same house for more than five years. I was born in upstate New York, grew up all over the East Coast (PA, OH, CT, RI, MA, MD, SC, VA…) and until now moved about the country courtesy of the Coast Guard. The two places I miss most are North Carolina and Alaska. 4. I put myself through college working summers at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. During my first year, I brought in more than $1 million in about four months selling general admission ticke

So Long to Lazy Sundays

My ideal Sunday starts before the sun’s up. I’m well-rested, caffeinated and eager to turn on my mp3 player as I head out the door before dawn for my long run. If I’m lucky, it’ll be chilly enough that I can see my breath. I’ll return two, sometimes even three hours later, with the Sunday papers in my sweaty arms. As a new pot of tea brews, I’ll get back into my pajamas and stretch. This sounds gross, I know, but it really helps the chafe marks heal before I hit the shower. I’ll eat a well-earned breakfast with lots of bread (my dietary weakness) and start in on the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Los Angeles Times while soaking in the early morning sun beaming through the solarium. Throughout the day I’ll read -- newspapers, magazines, books and blogs. Mid-afternoon, I’ll do my best Food Network TV chef imitation and whip up a nice meal that we eat at the dining room table. Together. I’m only a little embarrassed to say that sometimes -- not often, mind you -- I’ll still be in my fl

More on Why You Should Be Wary of CDs

I'm on my way to Usenix's LISA conference for the next two days. Before I leave, I wanted to pass along the latest from a number of CD producers, including Sony BMG, showing that other copyright-protected discs also put your computer -- and all the data you have on it -- in jeapordy. Haven't had a chance to really read up on it, so here's what Princeton University professor Ed Felten has to say. Meantime, I confided in some of you that I've had some health issues since this summer and I'm happy to report that the results of yesterday's colonoscopy are very good. Nothing that begins with a 'c.' As others have mentioned to me, the prep was worse than the procedure, with the exception that I had some IV issues (and a very bruised hand this morning) and awoke too early -- as the scope was in its final stages. Good thing I have a high threshold for pain.

Drink Up, People

I just don't know if I believe this one. Moderate Drinking May Lower Obesity Risk And I am most certainly not advocating alcohol consumption, let alone as a diet aid, especially to any of you reading this that are underaged and still under my maternal influence. :-)

The Streets of San Francisco

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By the time I slipped into my running tights at 6 this morning, I’d been stood up, chewed out and hassled by some homeless guy. I was kinda crabby. I woke at 4:30 yesterday morning so I could get in my two-hour run before heading to the airport to catch a flight to San Francisco. While waiting on the BART platform, I called my co-worker and discovered she wasn’t expecting me for a few more hours. So I could have slept in, not rushed and taken a later flight. Then, on my way out of a downtown train station, my ticket didn’t work and an agent essentially accused me of turnstile jumping. At my age. And with all my bags. Really. I had three hours to kill until check-in at the spectacular Harbour Court Hotel along the Embarcadero, and I decided some food might get me out of my funk. Food writer Amy T. over at California Eating had given me several recommendations at the Ferry Building, which I later learned from a street vendor was completely renovated years after the ’89 earthquake dest

Race Review: Mainly Masters 10k

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Fiesta Island is an interesting section of the Mission Bay recreational complex. Lacking any amenities other than portable toilets and not boasting the nicest scenery, it still attracts a lot of locals to its laidback sandy shores and dog-friendly beaches. Sure it can heat up like a furnace in the spring and summer, but it’s flat and circular and this morning it drew about 120 runners for the annual Mainly Masters 10k. Like most San Diego Track Club events, this one’s inexpensive (always a plus this time of year) and low-key. I had a tiny conniption when I checked my e-mail at 5 a.m. and discovered I was slated to do synch sheets at the finish line. But by the time I arrived about an hour later the Volunteer Coordinator had realized his error and I worked the registration table instead. This was an easy assignment, given the event is divided into two races – one for those 39 and under at 7:30 a.m. and one for those 40 and up at 8. So I had plenty of time to do my club duty and still

The price of convenience: Your privacy

I'm going out on a limb and suggesting a majority of my faithful blog readers aren't daily viewers of PBS's News Hour and missed a recent segment with two former journalists who've written books on Google. So, in the spirit of promoting widespread paranoia, I direct you to the transcript of an interview with David Vise and John Battelle . And for the time-pressed and ADD sufferers, here's something to send a chill down your spine: DAVID VISE: I think one of the most important things for all of your viewers to be aware of is that every time they do an Internet search on Google, Google saves it on its computers. Every time, if they happen to use e-mail on Google through what's called G-mail or Google mail, all of those get saved indefinitely as well. Think about for a moment billions and billions of searches being saved and being matched to your Internet address. Federal government investigators operating under the Patriot Act could get access to that kind of i

More Revelations From Running on the Edge

It took last week's track-centric Turkey Trot for me to realize when my plan or my digestive system veers off-course, I flake. Last night's discovery may prove more positive. I've only been doing speedwork on a bona fide track for the past couple of years, since joining the San Diego Track Club's annual marathon training program for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Prior, I used measured bikepaths or quarter-mile street blocks when I was so inclined. Last night was, according to our coach, the hardest workout of the year. 6 x 1 mile repeats with a 400m recovery jog in between. Those of us running this Saturday's Mainly Masters 10k were spared the final mile and instead continued to jog until it was time for our series of 100-yard strides, followed by core-strengthening exercises. I stayed in Lane 5, which was wider than Lanes 1-4, of course. It's the outermost lane for the Intermediate Group to use. As running buddy Mark and I rounded the final lap for t

'Border Bargains,' My Butt

Sorry, but I just stumbled upon this Expedia listing reposted by MSN and must say that if San Diego is a shopping mecca, I'm Paris Hilton. Top Cities for Holiday Shopping Maybe I'm just a tad sensitive now that the holiday hemmorhaging has started. I'm looking forward to a workout tonight at the track, if only to either spare or spread my annual funk to all who draw near. I need an endorphin rush in the worst way.

Pumping (Up) Iron

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I convinced the family to forgo Black Friday for a hike along the Iron Mountain trail. This is a natural treasure just beyond the city of Poway and not far from my suburb. For those interested, go to the end of Poway Road and turn right on Rt. 67 or go to the end of Scripps Poway Parkway and turn left on Rt. 67. Look for the cars parked on the road near the trailhead. We ended up getting a late start due to a serious lack of water pressure in the house after we got back from Thanksgiving in "The OC," my parents' place in Orange County. It was sunny and warm Friday morning but quite manageable by the time we lined up along the road with at least a dozen other cars and set out around 9:30. Make no mistake, this well-groomed trail requires a lot of careful maneuvering around boulders, rocks and pulverized pebbles constantly undermining your footing. And it's a fairly steep climb, upping heart rates in an instant. We saw all different ages and body types trekking u

Now this makes sense

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You Are The Stuffing You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together. People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why. What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

I Kinda Liked Being a Dark Horse

Last night was the 16th annual San Diego Track Club Turkey Trot at Balboa Stadium. It’s a little different than your usually run in that [a] it’s at night; [b] it’s free; and [c] it’s as much a game as it is a race. Essentially, everyone writes down their name and predicted time. We then run 2 miles around the track sans watches and with no indication other than the first 400 of our pace. On the final lap, runners move into lane 9 and as they cross the finish they look up at a digital race clock facing away from the track and silently note their time. I noticed by the time the clipboard came my way, everyone was rounding numbers. 17:00. 18:10. 16:40. 13:30…. Days earlier, for no particular reason, the time 18:47 popped into my head. That boiled down to 9:23 per minute. I could definitely work with that, giving myself extra seconds for starting in the back and for sticking to a middle lane (rather than migrating to the shorter, crowded Lanes 1 & 2 like most others). Schools are

Is Walk the New Jog?

I decided to do penance for skipping Pilates today and walk, rather than drive, to the library. It was a typical San Diego Saturday, with cloudless blue skies and moderate temps. At one point, I passed a guy about my age going in the opposite direction. “Nice day for jogging, isn’t it?” he said as we crossed paths. “Sure is,” I responded. Here’s the thing: Neither of us was jogging. There’s a distinction between the pace of a jogger and a runner, and, so I thought, between a walker and a jogger. But after spending part of the past week engrossed in online discussions on the charity scandal, thanks to a comment posted by Donald in the Carmel Valley , I’m beginning to wonder. As Donald mentioned, the debate got ugly. Fair criticism of tactics used to help the slowest marathoners make the cut-off quickly devolved into foul-mouthed diatribes on fat people in competitive races. For some bizarre reason, the more immature commentators lump them all as charity runners. These rants are nothin

It Must Have Been the W[h]ine

So this is what happens when you work among the professionally paranoid: You’re on the phone, about to speak, when your laptop’s screensaver kicks in and you notice the message is changed. It’s now a bunch of symbols that translate into I LOVE YOU! You should think: Shucks . Instead you say: " Shit .” You announce to everyone on the phone your machine’s been hacked and you need to go figure out how and by whom. You run anti-spyware, anti-virus and any other anti-malware software you can find while conducting a cursory dig through computer files only to discover the culprit isn’t in the machine. It’s a few feet away laughing at you. You way overreact to what at least one party considers a clever spousal communication. And that’s when you say to yourself, I've gotta run . I ended up leaving 14 hours after I said I would, at 5 this morning. My back was (and still is) sore from Tuesday’s track workout. It cramped while I was two-thirds into the workout of 4 x 600s. Actually,

More bad news for Sony -- and you

The depths of deception and dysfunction in the Sony DRM protection scheme grow. The latest is a discovery by researchers at Princeton University that the software Sony is now offering to uninstall the hacking tool it never should have been allowed to use creates a huge security hole that outstrips the damage done originally. [See SearchSecurity's story on this for some details.] Between 500,000 and 3 million CDs had this technology in circulation before Sony finally pulled the plug and began recalling the titles. The class-action lawsuit based out of Los Angeles, and other legal landmines this company can't stop stepping on, no doubt contribute to how much this ends up costing the company and, ultimately, CD buyers. In case your morning coffee or tea didn't give you enough of a jolt, here's a snippet from Ed Felten's Freedom to Tinker blog that is credited with bringing the latest security lapse to light: The consequences of the flaw are severe. It allows any w

Are Charities Cheating?

I just finished reading the latest featured story on MarathonGuide.com shedding light on a questionable tactic by charities to ensure all their folks earn a marathon medal by bussing slower runners/walkers to cut off points. It's based on the Marine Corp Marathon organizers asking a group of Canadian women to return their medals after learning they fell short of running all 26.2 miles. Their organizer in explaining her reasons said this is employed by other charities, including Team in Training. This disturbs me on several levels. Is this really standard procedure? And if it is, how must it feel to be caught in the crosshairs. I'm trying to sort if deep down those that earn a medal this way feel their individual victory is somehow tarnished, or if in realizing others 'win' this way it's justified. I've always supported friends running for a cause and I've had many uplifting moments running alongside charity runners on a course. The exception, ironically,

Are You Gellin’?

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A funny thing’s happened since I barfed my way to a DNF in Long Beach a month ago. I’ve been unable to consume Gatorade or Gu. Just the thought of either makes my stomach churn. So, in the weeks since that disastrous day I’ve gone Old School, relying on just water during my standard two-hour weekend long runs. I eat a potassium-rich banana beforehand and suck on a couple of wintergreen-flavored Lifesavers when it’s time to bring the blood sugar back up. If I return from my run especially sweaty, I’ll make a cup of Gookinaid HydraLyte, the low-calorie electrolyte replacement drink they serve at our track workouts. It’s gentle on the digestive system. Within minutes of downing a glass of Gook, I’m easing into post-run stretches and contemplating how I’ll spend the remainder of my day. I’m never sore and have energy to spare. This, if you recall from past posts, is a sharp contrast to the crappy runs that plagued me during my summer marathon training. For some time I’ve wondered abo

More on the Sony Scandal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's listed some of the CD titles that include the Sony rootkit that you can't remove without a tremendous amount of trouble. It also provides information (including photos) of how to tell if other CDs published by Sony BMG Music install the spyware. Some of the CDs that you probably now wish you'd never played on your computer: Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia) Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic) Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia) Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia) Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia) Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia) Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia) The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia) Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia) Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic) Amerie, Touch (Columbia) Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic) Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy) Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy) Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy) The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activi

Casting Ballots Among the Cast Iron

While I'm trying to convince myself to head out to the track tonight despite gloomy weather and a bloated belly, let me tell you about Election Day here. I've mentioned before that we don't vote in community centers, fire stations, schools or churches. We vote in our neighbor's garage. For a couple of years, we voted in a cul de sac. Then it shifted last spring to a house up for rent. While I was there, a civic-minded couple cast their ballots and then asked if the owner was giving house tours. By the way, the FOR RENT sign was gone the next day. This time the precinct moved to a home well known and well marked because the owners are addicted to lawn ornaments. Statues, benches, glass balls, flags, gnomes...you name it and it's out there. Here's the thing: there's no lawn. Just a few tufts of plants and a lot of rocks and dirt. I admit I'm fascinated with this house, whose inhabitants not only fail to conform to neighborhood norms but flaunt their in

The College Kid in Palo Alto

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Elise sent along some snapshots of her road trip to Stanford University last weekend, where she and members of the SSU dance team (including San Diegan and team captain Taryn, featured on the right) cheered basketball players from the stands, a small pocket of blue in a sea of red.

No Music to My Ear, Or Anyone Else's

First the Run. Another decent weekend on my feet. I finally got to wear my new purple Dri-fit, long-sleeved shirt when I discovered it was 47 degrees at 5:30 on Saturday morning. Hooray. The cool air helped propel me through a 5-mile loop with lots of hills. I wanted to keep running, but I also wanted to do Pilates in an hour and so I cut it short. This morning I was prepared for equally stellar running weather but, alas, it was at least 10 degrees warmer. Which is still cool enough to thoroughly enjoy my usual Sunday two-hour trip around my suburb. I just sort of made up the course as I went along. Zigging here and zagging there. Checking out different neighborhoods. Taking in a gorgeous sunrise. Again, the hills were no problem. And again I stopped only because I had somewhere else to be in an hour. Now to the DMZ. In all the Hokie hype, I failed to mention a significant IT security story from last week that involves some seriously shady dealings by Sony. In order to protect the

Win Some, Lose Some

But why o why did it have to be this one?! I do not wish to relive the last four hours of torturous television viewing and can only imagine the pall hanging over 'Vicksburg' right now. Momentum lost. Faith, to be restored.

I Like the Way This Guy Thinks

Those who know me well know there are three things in this world that make me go ape sh*t: thug-turned-basketball-star Allen Iverson; California's First Couple, Arnold and Maria; and the University of Miami football team. Iverson is a lost cause, far as I'm concerned. Arnold and Maria are finally getting what's due to them; and on Saturday night, Miami's goin' down. My sister sent along a nice column today from The Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen to get everyone pumped up. Not that we needed the extra motivation. Here's a snippet to get all the Gobbler fans going: Remember when folks used to ask what a Hokie was? By now, everybody knows. A Hokie is a guy who plays for the football team that beats yours. Virginia Tech has been a member of the ACC only two seasons, but anybody who cares about ACC football ought to pause - right now - to salute all things Hokie. Consider that the biggest game in college football Saturday will be played not in Austin, T

When You're Here, You're Family

I finally made it back to the track club’s Tuesday night workout after another self-imposed hiatus. I told myself I needed to get back into speedwork. I told myself I needed to do this by the time daylight savings ended and we moved from Balboa Park back to historic Balboa Stadium. I told fellow trackmate Jeanette I’d do this too, so that I couldn’t talk myself out of going again. I had a lot of angst to burn off. So much so that I put in three miles early that morning because the excess energy upon awakening couldn’t wait until 5:30 in the evening to be released. I thought about the wisdom of that quick pre-dawn run when we began the workout: three 1-mile sessions done any way we wanted, so long as they were completed with recovery jogs in under 10 minutes. You could do any combination of laps…1600s, 800s, 400s, etc. I elected to do the full mile and hope there was enough time to recover before we lined up for the next round. I got nervous whenever the coach started yelling into hi

That Navbar Is Annoying, I Know

I've spent the last hour trying to figure out why my Blogger Navbar is suddenly bunched in the upper lefthand corner. Anyone familiar with Blogger have some ideas? I've tried manipulating the template to no avail. Anyone????

Should Be Ringing in My Ears

So I'm on the elliptical trainer at the gym this afternoon. I work out at the Miramar Air Station and thus am typically surrounded by active duty Marines and veterans. I'm sometimes self-conscious of my roundness because everyone there has a hard body. They're fit...semper fit. But today, I'm feelin' alright. I'm coming off a productive weekend. A 7-miler on Saturday morning, followed by an hour of Pilates. On Sunday, infused with an extra hour of sleep, I managed two hours of steady running around the Ranch with no problem (and no Gatorade...but that's for another entry). So there I am with my MP3 player blasting Public Enemy through tiny ear plugs and me pumping my arms faster than my legs when I start to notice the other guys in the gym notice me. I play it cool and look away like I'm working hard, just totally into my workout. I may have even closed my eyes for effect. Occasionally one of them looks at me as I turn over my legs to the beat, trying t

Homecoming Weekend '05

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This was the high school's homecoming weekend. Here are a couple of pictures of Alex's evening. This one's in our backyard before we headed off for pictures at another classmate's house. 
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  Alex and her date, Mike, before everyone left in the limo for dinner and the dance. 

Radio for Runners: Now Hear This

Been getting my New England running fix by listening to Steve Runner's Phedippidations podcasts. Also been meaning to recommend the audiocasts on EnduranceRadio.com . The weekly broadcasts feature accomplished runners, triathletes, cyclists and those who coach endurance athletes. Great tips from those who walk the walk, not just talk. I'm partial to the Oct. 17 edition under the Archives section. It features a conversation with our very own coach, Paul Greer.

Now This Could Be a Real Dust Up

Time for a little fear and paranoia from the security world. I'm a fan of Princeton University computer science professor Ed Felten's blog, Freedom to Tinker. His latest entry on current and future use of RFID tags is pretty simple to understand and scarey to contemplate. Marketed primarily as a way to track inventory, these microscopic tags also can keep tabs on where you go and what you do. Think of the current IBM television commercial where a woman at a desk in the middle of a lone highway stops a Fresno-bound 18-wheeler heading to New Mexico instead. She says she knows the driver's lost because the boxes told her. Every conference session on this technology I've attended in the past two years has been packed, mostly with admins freaked about the security and privacy implications. Felten's discussion will not allay those fears. Not only are RFID tags readying for primetime, but a future incarnation may be dust motes. That's right. You'll have no idea yo

A Run Seared Into My Memory

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Ever see a natural disaster of, say, a raging wildfire unfolding on TV and people are trying to outrun the flames and you’re thinking, “Why on earth did they wait until now to flee?!” I’m going to tell you why. It’s possible that you might have woken to the smell of smoke and heavy Santa Ana winds at 5 on an especially warm Sunday morning almost exactly two years ago. And when you went outdoors to shut a banging fence door, you saw the huge thunderheads of smoke. But, when the local news media finally hit the airwaves an hour later, the reporters and talking heads and 911 dispatchers told you the fire, though big, is also 14 miles away and burning in the opposite direction. You call your training partner and weigh the air quality. You’re planning a 14-miler and, after consulting husbands, decide to do it. So you head out, commenting numerous times on how acrid the air, and how incredibly beautiful a backdrop the giant plumes of steel gray create against sunwashed hillside homes on

My New York State of Mind

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I wasn’t going to run at all this week, but just in case I made an exception I brought my running gear. And, boy, am I glad I did because the run I had was definitely exceptional. My company does beautifully at picking the perfect locations to host their semi-annual security conferences. This one was at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan, just down the block from Radio City Music Hall and a host of other major tourist attractions. I also could see the edge of Central Park and just knew I had to run there. But finding enough time to change out of my conference clothes and get there and back without notice would not be easy. These conferences are draining, and the days and evenings run long. We start well before 8 and go non-stop until around 6, when everyone goes back to their rooms to get ready for dinner with speakers, vendors or delegates. But this time, because I also was covering it as a reporter, I was let go at 3:30 to file my stories before we all met for dinner at 7. S

A Note of Appreciation

While enroute to New York City today, I spent a lot of time on the plane thinking about the comments you all have left or sent through backchannels since my rotten race. I considered the underwhelming Thank you or an over-the-top You brought me back from the brink . Then there was You’re all wonderful and the more dramatic Because of your encouragement, I am whole again . Just know that when I read those inspirational words -- and, to be honest, I read them more than once -- you each restored another part of the marathoner in me. As it happens, I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the following day and he confirmed I have a stomach virus. I think I surprised him by grinning ear to ear when he gave me the news. I also went to the Long Beach Marathon results page and found this really cool tool that graphically outlines your performance. As you can see (if it’s working properly), my mid-packer status remains in tact and I even managed to finish ahead of half the field of women,

Long Beach Marathon: Some Unfinished Business

This will end sooner, rather than later. And still, it’s a long story. Mom & Dad’s Blessings We ate our pasta dish at my mom and dad’s as expected Saturday afternoon. The noodles and marinara were great, as was the conversation. My parents are deeply religious and promised to pray for me. They even got their friend Vicky, whom I’ve never met, to put in a good word on my behalf. My mom was not well enough to drive up to Long Beach the next day. But they gave me a great send-off (and six ice-cold bottles of Arrowhead water for the trip). We reached the Long Beach Convention Center mid-afternoon and the number, chip and T-shirt pickup went off without a hitch. I bought new socks that I hope keep my feet blister-free in the months ahead. Then we walked around downtown Long Beach before checking in at our motel in time to watch the final quarter of the USC-Notre Dame game, which will go down in history as one of college football’s greatest games (even if the results didn’t go as I’d

Preparations for My Grand Experiment

I didn't get the good night's rest usually required two days before a marathon, but that's ok. This is a "grand experiment" race and I might as well add sleep deprivation to the variables. To recap: For a true change of pace, I opted this time to train for two months, rather than my usual four, and to run only three days a week, rather than my usual four or five. The idea was to spare myself injury, since one of next year's big goals is an ultramarathon and I must run marathons for a full year without injury before starting the training. Of course, the net result tomorrow won't be a PR, either. That goal's for the next marathon, where I'll train under a more traditional schedule. The Family is Whole for a Few Days As I type this in my darkened computer nook, The College Kid is asleep in a nearby bedroom. I'd forgotten to mention that Elise is visiting after a lovelorn SSU freshman from Oceanside invited her to join him on his trip home. We