Friday, April 28, 2006
This new flexible work schedule
This new flexible work schedule ain't half bad! I worked 42 hours last week, 33 hours so far this week, and so all I had to do this morning was come in this morning to work the 5-hour FDO/Booster sim and voila -- my week was over at noon! I had lunch with the boy, went for an afternoon run all alone on the trails, and now I'm home watching TV and working on websites. I could get used to this.
This morning's sim was fun and funny. The next shuttle mission has two initialization loads -- high dynamic pressure and low dynamic pressure. This creates enough confusion as it is, but just imagine you are sitting on console for the first run of the morning expecting to see the engines throttle down to 67% (low dynamic pressure value) to match what you have pre-configured in the ARD, but the shuttle simulator only throttle downs to 72% (high dynamic pressure value). And then throttles back up nine seconds too early.
If you're me, at that point you start furiously trying to calculate the change in weight to take out of the ARD (because the ARD thinks you are way heavier than you actually are, to the tune of what you eventually calculate to be ~13,000 pounds) and just as you're beginning to worry, the flight director calls the run off while you're still in first stage and says "let's get the shuttle simulator properly configured, people." And in the back room, where ARD, Targeting, and Abort Support are all girls today, you'd just hear us giggling.
It was one of those mornings.
Last night I stepped on the scale for the first time in a week and let's just say I was not happy with what I saw. Too much eating out and not enough working out! But I'm feeling good about my running this week, and optimistic about getting back on track. I've run three days already and will run again tomorrow.
Mile 1 - 11:21
Mile 2 - 11:32 (w/ 1:00 walking break)
Mile 3 - 10:33
Total - 33:26
It was warmer than I thought out there. And I've been having my standard it's-been-a-while-since-I-ran-and-my-shin-splints-are-back pains. But it will be ok.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
To all my running friends
To all my running friends -- if you still have your copy of the March issue of Inside Texas Running, can you save it for me? Apparently there were three photos somewhere in there that I took (probably of the Park to Park run). I like to save tear sheets that have my stuff on them, and I must have missed the photos because I think I threw my copy away! I was also recently surprised to discover that while I get Inside Texas Running (a HARRA benefit?), I do not receive Runner Triathlete News. I didn't realize that they were different until now, either, so Jon, I haven't been able to read your column! I guess I need to subscribe, eh?
Last night Jose and I had planned to ellipticate, but after noticing the cool air and sunny skies, I told him there was no way I was going to work out inside when there was such great weather outside. So he came along and off we went. Afterward, I have only one thing to say, and it is: Freaking boy. This is exactly the second time he's gone running with me, and if he can run like this from scratch, he's going to be kicking my butt within months. SIGH.
Mile 1 - 11:22
Mile 2 - 12:17 (took a walking break at 1.5 miles)
Mile 3 - 11:00
Total - 34:39
While we were cooling down, Jose asked how much longer it would be before we were running 10:00 miles. SIGH. I informed him that running consistent 10:00 miles has been my dream for oh, like five years. But I bet he'll get there within a few months if he runs consistently.
As for this weekend, I am not doing Bayou Bash because my team (not Striders) sort of fell through, but Debbie and I may do this instead -- a Team-in-Training 5K/10K in Seabrook. I don't even know where I found this link, and can't find any information about it anywhere, so I'm not convinced that there will actually be people there if we show up. Anyone know anything about it?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Congrats to Cassie, who finally
Congrats to Cassie, who finally posted about getting engaged last Friday! (She'd already graced us HRBers with the news.) Yay Cassie and Manny!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
It cooled off today, despite
It cooled off today, despite the fact that I'm not sure it ever actually rained last night. There was thunder and lightning, but this morning my car wasn't wet. A pity -- I'd been looking forward to a good storm.
I have a ton of homework to do in the next week in order to finish two websites by next Tuesday. The first is a portfolio site, and I've made some good progress on. The second is a site for Mrs. G's choir program, so Mrs. G, look for an email from me today! :) I have really given this web design class the short end of the deal, and pretty much ignored it. I hope I don't get a B. That just seems absurd, to get anything less than an A in a class that 1) is easy and 2) is at UHCL.
(Yes. I'm an academic snob. Sad but true.)
Last night after work and class, I headed to BW3s to celebrate George passing his cert sim with the group. The restaurant is located in the same strip mall as Ben & Jerry's, which turned out to be very convenient for taking advantage of free cone day! Mmm. Mint chocolate chunk. I know, it's not the most original flavor, but I just love it.
I was able to go to dinner because my class got out early again. That was nice and all, but I wish I'd known in advance because then I could have gone to the Astros game instead of letting my season ticket go unused! (I also missed last Tuesday because of class, which also ended up letting out early.) Fortunately next week is the last day of the semester, so I won't miss any more baseball games because of class.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Eva is the coolest 8-month-old
Eva is the coolest 8-month-old with a blog that I've ever met. ;)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Around 3:00 yesterday, a few
Around 3:00 yesterday, a few hours in advance of our planned run, Jose emailed me inquiring as to whether I ever ran in pants. "Sometimes," I replied. "when it's really freaking cold." Needless to say, he and his pants stayed inside on the elliptical machine while me and my shorts headed outside to the Gilruth trail for 3 miles.
OH MY GOD WAS IT HOT.
Mile 1 - 10:12
Mile 2 - 10:55
Mile 3 - 10:58
Total - 32:05
At the end, my face was beet red. Very attractive, I must say.
But the biggest news of the day: George passed his cert sim! It was a tough one, and he had to deal with five runs instead of the usual four, and he kicked MAJOR BUTT. Go George!
Monday, April 24, 2006
Tomorrow morning is George's cert
Tomorrow morning is George's cert sim; he'll be trying to certify as an ARD, the same flight control position that I am training for. Once he's certified, I'll be next in line with a self-set goal of certifying by August/September. Anyway, back to George: He's nervous enough already, but on top of it being his ARD final eval, the sim is also scheduled as a Prop final eval and a Booster midpoint eval. Oh man, there are gonna be failures all over the place. I am so excited about watching it. This is going to be the best sim EVER.
I had a great weekend that passed -- WHOOSH -- in a flash. On Friday night, after going through the entire list of movies playing at the Cinemark and feeling pretty apathetic about all of them, Jose and I ended up renting Fever Pitch. Heh. I got him to rent a chick flick, but only because it takes place in Boston and is about the Sox and he could therefore reminisce about living there. It was a cute enough movie, at least until the end when I was disgusted by the memory of Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore on the field at the actual World Series filming a movie. That's just wrong.
I played soccer on Saturday morning for the first time in a month, and my poor legs and knees paid the price. They hurt for the rest of the weekend. :( And my team lost, as usual... I spent the afternoon at the mall with the boy, getting new glasses (that look sort of weird in that photo), exploring the art store, and eating Cinnabon, before meeting up with Matt and Stephanie for a star party at the Haak Vineyard.
The star party was really fun! It was hosted by the vineyard and the JSC Astronomical Society, and Stephanie found out about it during a random check of the vineyard's website to see what events were coming up. It was the perfect opportunity for Jose to get out his telescope as well, and the four of us had a great time. (We all made the amusing observation that Jose was the youngest person with a telescope by far.) They were selling wine, of course, which we enjoyed while looking at Saturn, the Orion Nebula, Betelguese, Sirius, Mars, the Sombrero Galaxy, the Whirlpool Galaxy, and (when it finally rose) Jupiter. One guy had a really fancy telescope where all he had to do was type in the object, and it whirred and spun until it pointed right at it -- very cool. By contrast, with Jose's telescope, we had to hunt and peck. I did have one shining moment, though, when Matt and Jose couldn't find Mars and I was able to say "duh, it's right there" and point the telescope right to it.
At the beginning of the evening, there were a few hundred people there. By the end of the night, Matt, Stephanie, Jose and I had become the hard-core astronomy buffs -- we were there even longer than some of the astronomy club people.
I must mention that Becca was supposed to come along, but backed out because she is lame. I also couldn't help but think about how much my dad would have loved the star party! Most of my knowledge of the constellations comes from him in the first place.
Yesterday was no less busy, with a trip to play Laser Tag and eat Coldstone ice cream in celebration of Gavin's 30th birthday. I totally suck at Laser Tag, but it was fun to trash talk the little kids, especially the devil child in the second game that kept following me around. She hit me 11 times, but I got her 18 times! Ahahaha. Take that, devil child!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Yesterday I worked 12 hours.
Yesterday I worked 12 hours. I was scheduled for the 6:00-10:00 ascent sim, and it was all part of my brilliant plan to come in at 9:30 and work all day, 12 hours, which after today would put me at 44 hours for the week. Perfect for the 9/80 schedule.
Last night as I was driving home, thinking about how long a day it had been but consoling myself with the thought that I would be taking next Friday off, I realized that wait -- I'm scheduled to work the sim next Friday! So at the least, I have to be here for 5 hours! On my Friday off! Suck!
Since there was no longer any real reason for me to work a full 8 hours today, I slept in, dozing through a nice morning thunderstorm, and didn't get to work until after 10:00. It was lovely.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
From Astros.com: Real (funny) Men
Real (funny) Men of Genius: One of the highlights of Tuesday's game occurred prior to the top of the seventh inning, when the Real Men of Genius guys -- singer Pete Stacker and voiceover lyricist Dave Bickler -- recorded a new commercial on the field.
The "song" focused on the train that runs on the tracks above the outfield at Minute Maid Park, and its conductor, Bobby Vasquez.
The lyrics, with Stacker's musical interjections in parenthesis:
Bud Light presents Real Men of Genius
Today, we salute Mr. Houston Astro train conductor guy
Go ahead everybody, wave at him ... he thinks he's a real conductor
(In his bib overalls)
Wait a minute, those are not giant pumpkins. Those are enormous oranges. At least two hundred large glasses each.
Every time there's a home team homer, he drives the same three hundred feet, end to end, non-stop
(How does he do it?)
So crack open a nice cold Bud Light and toast the train conductor, for the National League Champion Houston Astros.
(Stand up and cheer for your champions)
Bud Light beer, Anheuser-Busch, Houston, Texas
I met Bobby the train conductor in the press dining room before Game 3 of the World Series last year. He was very funny, and said he stumbled into the job after interning for the team. He is, or was, a freelance writer in real life. The best part was that he told me he'd had to change his cell phone answering message to say "Hi, this is Bobby. No, I can't get you tickets."
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
In high school, I drove
In high school, I drove a beat-up 1986 Pontiac Parisienne station wagon with a rear-facing third seat, fake wood grain on the sides, and the foamy ceiling fabric that fell in. It got 10 miles to the gallon, and the gas gauge didn't work, so the only way I could tell that it was time to fill up was by using the trip odometer. When that odometer hit 200 miles, it was time to refuel. One night my dad was driving and it hit 200; I told him to immediately pull over and get gas. "Oh, we'll make it home," he said. I didn't believe him. At 205 miles, the car began to sputter, and we coasted into a nearby gas station with me singing "I told you so" the whole way.
My next car was a 1997 Nissan Sentra that I drove for seven years. It was my college car, and took me from Charlotte to Atlanta to Houston to California, and everywhere in between. That car saw the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf, and many of the states in between. It got 25-30 miles to the gallon and I could go at least 40 miles even after the gas light came on. I completely freaked my mom out once when we were driving from Houston to Charlotte; the gas light came on, we drove a little farther, and when I got off to get gas, the station was miles away. We never found it, and had to get back on the highway to go one more exit. My mom was so worried that we'd run out of gas that she still tells the story today.
(You know where this is going, right?)
My third car, bought two years ago next Sunday, is a Nissan Xterra. It gets crappy mileage, 15-16 miles to the gallon in town. The gas light comes on later than it did in my Sentra, and means I've got 20-30 miles to go before the situation becomes dire. I went to class last night and meant to stop on the way home, but I didn't because I thought there might be cheaper gas in League City and I was headed that way. Then I forgot to check. Then I didn't get gas this morning. And I went out to run errands at lunch. And as I drove back on-site, my car sputtered. Just for a moment, and I thought I had imagined it. I drove another half mile. I pulled into the parking lot sputtering and as I pulled into the spot, I ran out of gas. I freaking RAN OUT OF GAS.
I am an idiot.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Last night's game was proof
Last night's game was proof that you have to play all 27 outs before you can be sure of the outcome of a baseball game. Despite a solid outing from Taylor Buchholz in his first major league start, the Astros went down 6-3 after Qualls came in and walked a guy, hit a guy, and gave up a three-run homer. Preston Wilson struck out five -- count 'em, FIVE -- times. I figured they were done for the night. Done, that is, until the 5-run bottom of the 7th capped by Jason Lane's 3-run homer!
It is probably a bad sign that my first thought upon seeing his ball land in the Crawford Boxes was not "hooray, Astros are ahead" but rather "crap, I didn't put him in my fantasy lineup tonight." But ah, when I got home, I discovered that I had put him in my lineup. 1 HR, 3 RBI, woot.
The win puts the Astros at 9-4 on the season so far, quite a change from last year when at this point they were sub-.500 and about to go into a tailspin. (Then again, considering the trip to the World Series, there is absolutely nothing I would change about last year except to maybe win a WS game.)
I saw Edwin and his two adorable girls briefly. He needed to borrow a camera battery to take pictures of his cuties. They sound like quite a handful though, and Edwin looked a little frazzled as they left after the top of the 7th inning. ;) Yep, they left right before the Astros came back! Aw.
The only downside is that an 8-7 win means 15 runs scored, which means getting home late, which means going to bed even later, which means sleepy Sarah.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Happy Belated Easter to one
Happy Belated Easter to one and all. I spent a lovely holiday with James, Jayleen, Becca, Cari, Debbie, Jason, and Karina. I didn't realize it until yesterday, but James is quite the cook. We needed at least 20 people to even have a hope of eating everything that he made!! It was all so delicious though; I left his apartment after 6 straight hours of eating, or so it felt like. I was stuffed. In addition to the normal fare of veggies and avocado ranch dip, cheese and crackers, and deviled eggs there was foccacia bread, at least 20 homemade baguettes (yes, 20, I'm not kidding), make-your-own-pizza with homemade dough, burritos, margaritas, and two different kinds of chocolate truffle souffle -- with vanilla ice cream on the side -- for dessert. Oh, I'm getting hungry again just thinking about all the awesome food James made.
One of my favorite stories about Easter this year, though, is the new tradition I learned about, and let me just say: I can't believe I've spent 28 years without finding out about or taking part in this because it sounds awesome. For Mexican families in Texas, Easter involves draining eggs of their filling, refilling them with confetti, wrapping them in tissue paper, and then smashing them on people's heads. Seriously. How have I never gotten to do this?? Easter gives you free reign to smash eggs on people's heads! What could be more fun? A Google search turns up a lot of hits for these things, called cascarones, and there are some people that make really cool cascarones that look like sharks and whales and frog princes. They take some time to make, so apparently people start stockpiling them in January! This is by far the coolest holiday tradition I have ever heard of, and I am rather disappointed that Jose forgot to bring me back a cascaron from Corpus. The bum.
I looked for the alligator yesterday morning, under the premise that since the first time I saw him was on Thanksgiving, maybe he's a fan of spending the holidays near my apartment. Alas, if he was around, he was laying low.
I did a reasonably good job of accomplishing everything on my list this weekend. The only thing I didn't make any headway on was taking a bunch of clothes I don't wear to Goodwill. But I took my car in for its 15,000 mile service (oil filter, air filter, rotate the tires, state inspection) and got it washed so it shines, I cleaned off a good portion of my Tivo by finally watching the shows, I washed clothes, I vaccuumed...I even got a pedicure! In short, I was Suzy Homemaker for the weekend and am now feeling much better about the state of my apartment. I know you were all worried about it.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
I got up bright and
I got up bright and early this morning for the Resurrection Run 5K in Nassau Bay. At <5 minutes away, it's the closest race to my apartment and I've run it each year since I moved here full-time. As I was getting to my car around 7:40, my cell phone rang. "Who the heck is calling me this early?" I wondered. Of course it was none other than Jon, who said he was standing there with Waverly and Joe and Edwin and they all wanted to make sure I hadn't overslept!
Ha, ha. I swear, Jon is never going to let me live down last summer, when I overslept not once but twice and missed both the Lunar Rendezvous Run and Maribelle's. ;)
I got there about 10 minutes before race start and chatted with the four HRBers, as well as my friends Sean and Amy. Oh! I even saw a guy there wearing the t-shirt from the Yuri's Night race two weeks ago, which made me all kinds of excited.
My goal for this race was ~11:00 miles, or anything under 34:00. Edwin and Joe are much too fast for me, but I was hoping to keep Jon in my sights for at least a mile or so. Jon, however, took off like a shot from the start line! Whoa! His red shirt got farther and farther away as I decided to just head out and see what happened. I know the course pretty well, and as the first mile marker neared I felt pretty worn out.
Oh, that's why I feel so tired!! I blame Jon for my fast first mile. ;) The first marker is near an open bit around the lake, and I could see him up ahead. I knew that if I'd run a 9:58 mile, he had to have done sub-9:00. Whew! I resolved to keep it steady for the second mile and despite being tired, told myself that I would not walk until I hit the Mile 2 marker.
Where was that marker? I was getting so tired! I wanted to walk so bad! But finally I saw it up ahead.
Oh, that's why I'm still feeling like crap. I really pushed myself through that second mile! I walked for a minute here as I drank some water and let my heart rate calm down just a bit. "I still have 14 minutes to make it 1.1 miles to meet my 34:00 goal. Nooooo problem!" I thought. I started to run again. Then walked for 30 seconds. Then ran a little more. Then walked for 30 seconds. Boy was I tired!
Finally I turned onto the final road, with less than half a mile to go, and I decided to see if I could beat 33:00 instead. I hit the mile 3 marker just before turning into the parking lot.
My walking hadn't done too much damage, probably because I picked up the pace for ~30 seconds each time I prepared to walk! I covered the last 0.1 miles in 1:04, pushing myself to the finish line but feeling like I just had nothing left to push. As I crossed the line, the clock read 32:04, but my watch (which reflected the time I crossed the start line, even though my chip apparently did not record that correctly) read 31:41!
I beat 32:00 with a 31:41, which Jon pointed out after the race is my 2nd best Resurrection Run result (of four years). I laughed and told Jon that I didn't even know that, and that he was amazing. He'd just been looking at past race results last night, as it turned out, and informed me that my best Resurrection Run was 30:something. He was right, of course, as I discovered when I looked it up myself.
In 2005 (when the race was on my birthday!) I ran 33:24. 2004 was my kick-butt year, coming off the excellent training I'd done for my first two half marathons, and I ran 30:30 according to my running log. In 2003, my first Resurrection Run, I ran 32:17.
I wanna run another sub-30:00 5K. I've only done it twice, both in December 2003 just before my first half marathon. I want to do it again in 2006.
Friday, April 14, 2006
cause the sun is shining / and this road is winding /
through the prettiest country from georgia to tennessee
Last night I took Jose running. Keith, he has no 10K time at the moment because I don't think he's ever run a 10K, but give me time. ;) We did 2 miles with a few walking breaks, all while keeping our eyes peeled for the alligator that was spotted on the jogging trail here at work. What is up with the animals?? When I drove away from Gilruth, I saw the grounds guys crowded around what appeared to be another snake located not on but near the softball fields.
Anyway, as we ran I told Jose that I'd written about him on my blog. "What did you say?" he asked, so I told him. (He reads this only occasionally, I think. For the record, I didn't and wouldn't ever write anything here that I hadn't already told him. So yes, he knows I'm a cynic/skeptic/pessimist/fatalist.) He was either pleased or worried, I'm not sure which, to find out that he generated more comments than any blog entry I've ever written before. Seventeen! (EDIT: Twenty!) People: whoa. Settle.
I haven't been in my apartment (except to sleep) for more than about an hour since I got back from Charlotte and it is an absolute wreck. However, my distraction is going home for Easter so I have arranged weekend dates with the other men in my life: Mr. Tivo, who is holding a couple weeks worth of shows; Mr. Vacuum, who needs to clean my floor; Mr. Goodwill, who needs to take a lot of my old clothes away; and Mr. Washer and Mr. Dryer, who need to clean the clothes I still wear.
Basically, I've decided that between running the Resurrection Run tomorrow morning (if you're running it too, leave a comment and let me know so I can look for you!) and going over to James's for Easter dinner on Sunday, the weekend will be spent spring cleaning. And the fun has already begun! Last night I had a spare hour to spend with Mr. Grocery Store, a handsome devil that I had been avoiding since -- I kid you not -- mid-February. Guess how much I spent. No, really, guess.
$190. I spent freaking $190 at the grocery store. This should convey exactly how empty my cupboards were. Two months without going to the grocery store will do that. And suddenly, I realize where these extra 3-4 pounds have come from. I've been eating out basically every day for two months.
I am absurd.
There is no one at work today. It's the second Friday of the first pay period where we could work 9/80s. I took Monday off, so I am here. It is quiet, and empty.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
tell me am I right to think / that there could be nothing better
I have been blogging, in one form or another and with varying success, since 1998. (One day I will get all my archives in one place. For now, this only goes back to August 2003. I know, I suck.) When I began, no one read it and I wrote whatever I wanted. In the early years, when I realized that my friends had begun to read things, I occasionally wrote pointed remarks if I was angry or upset, knowing full well that the person they were meant for would read it -- talk about being passive-agressive! This is something I do not recommend.
Despite all my mistakes, I have kept blogging because I enjoy it. I'm even in a running club for bloggers, which seems crazy to me and yet I love it. (Though my blog has never really been about running. It's about my life, and running is just a part of that.) Two of the Houston Running Bloggers have hung up their keyboards in the past couple days; they are tired of sharing, and maybe just tired of blogging. I read the words of others who say they feel pressure to blog, and can understand why people quit. I've never felt that way. I like blogging because it's fun, because it's a way to let those who live far away keep up with what I'm doing, because it's a way to record my thoughts, and because I can type way faster than I can write in a diary by hand!
If people read it, that's fine. If they don't, that's fine too.
There are rules, of course, to blogging. In my mind, there are three biggies:
+ Don't write anything that you wouldn't want anyone to read. As a sub-rule, don't write anything that you wouldn't want even one specific person to read, because it's guaranteed that the one person you don't want to read it will find it.
+ Don't write about work. I am fully aware that I break this one more often than I should.
+ Don't write about your love life. For a while, this one was really not a problem since my love life was pretty boring. Lately though, it's undergone a definite improvement. (And right now, what you're reading, is the only time that I even remotely intend to give this topic any discussion for at least the near future.)
I met a guy, his name is Jose, we've been dating for a few months. I'm a cynic/skeptic/pessimist/fatalist -- choose your adjective -- about these things, and for a while it took every bone in my body and every bit of willpower I could muster to resist the instinct to run. Who knows where it's going or what the future holds, but right now I like him and things are good. Really good.
I decided to officially mention him here for two reasons. First of all, it is starting to feel strange to not mention him. But really, I just wanted to share the following two lovely photos that Becca took with my camera up at the Flying Saucer last night at Yuri's Night. I am going to show this whenever someone asks me what Jose looks like:
And he can show this one:
Aren't we both just so attractive?
P.S. I reserve the right to delete any comments I don't like.
P.P.S. I also reserve the right to delete this entry entirely.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Shuttle: Cheers to 25 years
Shuttle: Cheers to 25 years
Veteran space reporter lists strangest astronaut, best Elvis impersonator
by Todd Halvorson
CAPE CANAVERAL - Columbia blasted off 25 years ago today on NASA's first space shuttle mission. Seems like a good time to roll out my own personal list of shuttle program superlatives. And the winners are:
Best shuttle mission: STS-49 in May 1992. Three spacewalking astronauts grabbed an 8,960-pound satellite with gloved hands after two failed attempts to snare it with a $7 million capture bar. First flight of Challenger replacement orbiter Endeavour. First drag chute landing.
Loneliest astronaut: Pierre Thuot, on the end of Endeavour's robot arm during that same flight, watching the stranded satellite tumble away from the shuttle after tapping it too hard, for the second time in two days, with the capture bar.
Best shuttle bar: The Outpost near Johnson Space Center in Houston. A shrine to shuttle astronauts.
Most recognizable shuttle astronaut: John Glenn. Runner-up: Sally Ride.
Best shuttle crew: STS-27 in December 1988. Set to fly a classified military mission, Robert "Hoot" Gibson and his crew wore black masks to a preflight press conference. Asked by reporters about their top- secret payload, Gibson said: "We could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you."
Best answer in an astronaut candidate job interview: Bill Shepherd, first commander of the International Space Station. The U.S. Navy SEAL was asked what he does best: "Kill people with a knife."
Best crew nicknames: STS-69 in September 1995. Known as Dog Crew II, the group included the late Dave "Red Dog" Walker, Ken "Cujo" Cockrell, Jim "Dog Face" Voss, Jim "Pluto" Newman and Michael "Underdog" Gernhardt. The crew wore an alternate mission patch that featured a bulldog peering out of a doghouse shaped like a shuttle. They ate their preflight breakfast from dog bowls. Runner-up: Jean- Francois "Billy-Bob" Clervoy.
Best crew walkout: STS-44 Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. For a launch-day dress rehearsal one day after Halloween in 1991, commander Fred Gregory and his crew wore hairless skullcaps as they departed quarters. It was a tribute to bald crewmate Story Musgrave.
Strangest shuttle astronaut: Story Musgrave. Runner-up: Rick Sturckow.
Smartest-and-bravest shuttle astronaut: Mir crash survivor Michael Foale.
Sickest astronaut: "Barfin' " Jake Garn. The U.S. senator from Utah suffered a notorious bout with space adaptation syndrome on his 1985 flilght. Runner-up: J.O. Creighton, who fell ill before STS-36, delaying the February 1990 launch.
Luckiest astronaut: Dan Bursch, the only astronaut to survive two perilous shuttle launch pad aborts (on STS-51 in 1993 and STS-68 in 1994).
Tallest astronaut: 6-foot-4 Jim Wetherbee.
Shortest astronaut: 5-foot Nancy Currie.
Biggest shuttle flier: Russian cosmonaut Valery Ryumin.
Best "astro-couple": Robert "Hoot" Gibson and Rhea Seddon. Runners-up: Mark Lee and Jan Davis, who became the first married couple to fly together in space on STS-47 in 1992.
Coolest spacewalk: STS-41B in 1984. Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart tested Buck Rogers jet backpacks known as manned maneuvering units.
Greatest spacewalking achievement: STS-61 in December 1993. An unprecedented five consecutive days of spacewalks were performed to repair the myopic Hubble Space Telescope and outfit the observatory with new science instruments and equipment.
Scariest launch pad abort: STS-41D in 1984. A fuel valve triggered an engine shutdown four seconds before a planned launch, leading to a propellant leak and a fire with six astronauts aboard.
Scariest launch since the 1986 Challenger disaster: STS-93 in 1999. An electrical short crashed two engine computers five seconds after launch, leaving the crew one failure away from a risky emergency landing attempt. Runner-up: STS-114 in 2005. In a haunting reminder of the 2003 Columbia accident, a one-pound piece of external tank foam insulation broke free two minutes after launch, barely missing the shuttle's right wing as the ship climbed toward orbit.
Best bullet-dodger: Astronaut Mike Mullane. The first case of solid rocket booster O-ring "blow-by" (which later doomed Challenger) was recorded on his first flight, STS-41D in 1984. The most serious shuttle heat shield damage prior to the Columbia accident was tallied on his second, STS-27 in 1988.
The dreaded do-over award: STS-73 in 1995. The flight was scrubbed six times before blasting off. Three earlier missions (STS-61C, STS-35 and STS-36) each were delayed five times.
Most likely to be sent back to crew quarters: Astronaut Steve Hawley. He endured 11 launch scrubs prior to his five space flights.
Best all-astronaut rock 'n' roll band: Max Q.
Worst all-astronaut rock 'n' roll band: Max Q.
Best Elvis impersonator: Max Q lead singer Carl Walz.
Best sticks: Max Q drummer Jim Wetherbee.
Best stick: STS-49 Mission Commander Dan Brandenstein. On the 1992 flight, Brandenstein squeezed enough gas out of Endeavour's tanks to pull off a third rendezvous with a wayward spacecraft after his crew failed to snare it during two initial attempts. Mission planners had only budgeted enough propellant for two tries.
Best beer fund: STS-49. Brandenstein's crew was fined during training for each uttered curse word. As things got hairy during the mission, he reminded his crew over open communications loops: "The Eagle Is Listening."
Best crew patch: STS-71 in 1995. Famed aviation and space artist Robert McCall designed the patch, which depicted Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir converging before a rising sun. The sun symbolized the dawn of a new era in space flight.
Best post-landing picture: STS-43 in 1991. A supermarket tabloid published a doctored photo showing an alien exiting the shuttle with the astronaut crew.
Most mysterious shuttle manager: George Abbey, former director of Flight Crew Operations. His process for selecting astronaut crews:
Best shuttle-era Kennedy Space Center director: Forrest McCartney, who led KSC through the tumultuous post-Challenger recovery. McCartney was loved and respected on the fourth floor of KSC headquarters and the shop floor. Runner-up: Jay Honeycutt. A great manager and a really nice guy, he also understood the media's role in "telling the NASA story."
Best shuttle launch director: Bob "Part-the-Clouds" Sieck. A former Air Force meteorologist, Sieck's expertise in weather systems and forecasting came in handy. Unflappable, the iceman also was the very picture of grace under pressure.
Most accomplished KSC manager: John J. "Tip" Talone Jr. Talone was flow director for Discovery during the post-Challenger recovery and oversaw the manufacture and delivery of replacement orbiter Endeavour. Talone directed ground testing and processing for International Space Station components before taking on his most recent challenge: heading the effort to convert KSC back into a moonport.
Most likely to be an astronaut: Stephanie Stilson, who oversaw ground processing of Discovery for last year's first post-Columbia flight.
Best International Space Station construction crew: The STS-98 astronauts, who delivered the U.S. Destiny science lab to the ISS in February 2001.
Best 2-for-1 deal: STS-83 in 1997. One mission. Two launches. Two landings. Led by Jim Halsell, the crew cut short a science mission because of a failed fuel cell. NASA launched the crew again in less than three months so their mission (reconstituted as STS-94) could be completed.
Best space taxi driver: STS-71 Commander Robert "Hoot" Gibson. He ferried two Russian cosmonauts to the Mir station and returned to Earth with U.S. astronaut Norman Thagard and two other cosmonauts in 1995.
Best shuttle homeboy: "Booster" Bill Nelson. A native of Brevard County, Nelson's grandparents homesteaded on land where NASA eventually built the Shuttle Landing Facility. The politician-in-space flew aboard Columbia the mission before the Challenger accident.
Best shuttle homegirl: Kay Hire, the first KSC engineer to be selected as an astronaut. She flew on STS-90, a neuroscience mission, in April 1998.
Best liftoff line: Launch Commentator Lisa Malone on STS-95 with John Glenn onboard in 1998. "Booster ignition and lift-off of Discovery with a crew of six astronaut heroes and one American legend."
Best diving catch by a launch commentator: Bruce Buckingham on the initial STS-68 launch attempt in 1994. "Three, two, one, liiiiiiiiiif-Rendundant Set Launch Sequencer abort."
Most star-crossed mission: STS-35 in December 1990. Repeatedly delayed during a six-month period by diabolical fuel leaks. Shuttle toilet broke in orbit.
Weirdest science experiment: STS-58 in 1993, the headless rat mission. A guillotine-like "rodent dispatcher" was used to "fix" rats in orbit as part of a life sciences study.
Worst summer: 1990, also known as the "summer of discontent." Within a period of about 72 hours, NASA announced the Hubble Space Telescope was launched with a misshapen mirror and also grounded its shuttle fleet because of mysterious fuel leaks.
Weirdest launch delay: STS-70 in 1995. Set to launch on the historic 100th U.S. human space flight, the mission was delayed after Yellow Shafted Flicker Woodpeckers drilled dozens of holes in external tank foam insulation. The shuttle was returned to its assembly building for repairs. The mission ultimately became the 101st U.S. human space flight.
Best prelaunch astronaut prayer: "Please, God, don't let me screw up."
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
April 12 is a big
April 12 is a big day in the space world. It's Yuri's Night, of course, so Happy 45th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the First Man in Space! But it's also a big day for NASA, so Happy 25th Anniversary of the First Space Shuttle Launch! I'll be celebrating everything downtown tonight at the Flying Saucer, where the official Houston Yuri's Night party is happening this year.
Every time I get frustrated with my job, I am annoyingly reminded that I can't help myself -- I find spaceflight incredibly cool. This morning I watched a slideshow that someone put together in honor of the shuttle anniversary, and the beautiful images combined with the music gave me goosebumps. Freaking cool spaceflight. Sigh.
I'm feeling good today after two nights of very sound sleep since returning from Charlotte. Last night I crashed at 11:00. 11:00! It was awesome. I actually feel awake today, which is pretty amazing. I should do this more often.
I really don't have much to say today. I've got a laundry list of errands and small tasks that is lying forgotten in my apartment that I plan to catch up on this weekend, but for the rest of this week, I plan to r-e-l-a-x.
Random link of the day: the San Francisco Chronicle is doing a series of articles in advance of the 100th anniversary of the Great Earthquake (April 18, 1906). I have a slight fascination with quakes, and this one in particular, so I'm enjoying the articles and photos.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Recipe for the Perfect Saturday:
Recipe for the Perfect Saturday:
Running a 10K on a lovely green Charlotte course, stopping by the local running store to pick up a new tech tee, shopping with Mom, driving up to Burlington with Mom and David to have Mongolian BBQ with Katie, Joel, and his parents, followed by a round of a fun new game.
Recipe for the Perfect Sunday:
Sleeping till after 11:00, then going to Andrew and Sari's wedding and seeing all your old high school friends -- Cayce and Dave, Jes (sans Don, sadly), Amanda, and Ginger and catching up on life and love.
(Ginger, me, Jes, Sari, Andrew, very pregnant Cayce, and Amanda)
Recipe for the Perfect Monday:
Waking up in Charlotte with your family before flying back to Houston, getting picked up at the airport and taken to lunch by a cute boy, then meeting a girlfriend to enjoy a businessman's special at Minute Maid Park under gorgeous blue skies, and seeing the Astros win 5-4 on a sac fly in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I've always suspected it and
I've always suspected it and now I'm certain: Charlotte is good for my running!
I did the 10K in the Charlotte Race Fest this morning and, following a couple solid months of a lot of activity but not much running, I finished in ~1:08. The results have not been posted yet, and I had some issues with my watch that left me 3-4 minutes off, but my watch read 1:03:57 (average heart rate of 190) as I crossed the finish line so 1:08 should be about right. I definitely beat my 1:12 goal time. :)
The course was lovely because, well, Charlotte is lovely in the spring! (Sometimes I really miss this city.) The weather was gray and overcast, and at the start I was afraid it might thunderstorm -- the clouds were very, very dark. But we only got a few drips, and the clouds kept things pretty cool.
We started about five minutes late (one of many issues that left me feeling a little disgruntled with race management). Mile 1 was mostly downhill, and I spent the first few tenths messing with my watch. Somehow the sound had gotten turned on, and it was beeping along with every beat of my heart. Rather annoying! It took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn it off, so that's the reason for my watch time being 3-4 minutes off the clock.
I cruised through Mile 2 without much trouble, even keeping steady up a long hill. Things fell apart for a while in Mile 3 though, when I was faced with another long hill and took my first couple walking breaks. Mile 4 was flat to downhill and I regained some energy there and really cruised along feeling good. There was no Mile 4 marker, but there was a mile 11 marker for the half marathoners, so I took my split time at 4.1 miles (2.1 remaining). Mile 5 stayed mostly flat, with one quick down and up that I pumped through. Mile 6, however, kicked my butt as we had to climb back up the hill that we'd run down in the first mile. I kept a steady pace for the last 0.2 and crossed the finish line with the clock reading 1:08:xx. Take out the 30-40 seconds of start time and by my best estimate I ran something like a 1:07:45, or just a bit under 11:00 pace. I'm very happy with that result.
Mile 1 -- 7:13 (more like 10:30-11:20 accounting for watch issues)
Mile 2 -- 10:30 (cruisin')
Mile 3 -- 11:37 (stupid hill!)
Mile 4.1 -- 11:15 (1.1 miles, cruisin' again)
Mile 5 -- 10:05 (0.9 miles, still feeling good)
Mile 6 -- 11:25 (another freakin' big hill!)
Last 0.2 -- 1:53
If you're interested in the route (or the elevation change, aka the hills that kicked my butt in miles 3 and 6), I mapped it here. Total elevation change was only ~140 feet from lowest point to highest point, but the hills here are what you'd call "rolling."
As for my issues with race management, they were mostly minor, but made me appreciate how well I think most Houston races are organized:
+ First of all, we started a bit late. Not a huge deal, but hey, I was ready to start at 8:00.
+ The race was chip-timed, however, there were no timing mats at the start line. They were at the finish line, so I can only assume that the race is sort of chip-timed -- they use the chip to get your finish time, but everyone is given the same starting time. That'll make my official time slow by the 30-40 seconds it took me to reach the starting line.
+ At the second water station (mile marker 3), I actually had to wait in line for a drink. It was quick, a minute at most (and probably not even that), but still not cool to have to stop and stand waiting for the volunteers to fill cups.
+ There was no mile marker 4. There were markers for 5 and 6, so where was 4? I'm certain that I didn't miss it, as those around me were looking for it as well. There was a mile marker 11 (for the half marathon), so I took a split there (which would be 4.1 miles for me).
+ Big hill right before the finish line!!! (Ok, I'm joking on this one, I have no complaints about the course -- Charlotte is just hilly.)
+ At the finish line, there was hardly any water. They had two of the office coolers, you know, the plastic jugs with small cone-shaped cups that only fit a gulp or two of water. I ended up just standing there to refill my cup 5 times. After I left the finish area (where they were taking chips and giving out medals), I spotted two coolers with cups, and went over to get some Gatorade -- but the coolers were empty. And this was at the end of the 10K, with all of the half marathoners still to finish! Only once I got to the post-race tent, a few tenths of a mile away, did I get a good cup of Gatorade. Not having water right at the finish line is inexcusable to me.
+ The post-race party was pretty lame. For $30 (yes, $30 entry fee for the 10K, that's another complaint), they should have had more than water, Gatorade, oranges, bananas, bagels, and doughnuts. But that was all they had.
I'm still glad I ran the race because I liked doing a Charlotte event and I was very happy with my performance, but I definitely learned that we runners have it good in Houston!
Update: My official time from the race website is 1:07:54. So, with the time to get to the start line taken out, probably something like 1:07:30. Woo!
Friday, April 07, 2006
plastic stars in our private galaxy / synthpop stars come and play a show for me
It's the time of year where the weather in Houston is extremely weird. While outside, it seems pleasant enough, but when in my apartment, it's always borderline on whether to open the windows or turn on the A/C. Earlier this week it was A/C time, but last night I thought I might be ok with out. I fell asleep around midnight and tossed and turned until 4 a.m. I couldn't figure out why I was sleeping so badly until I realized that it was hot. On came the A/C, and I got at least a couple hours of decent sleep after that. But as a result of my crappy night, I am feeling crappy today.
We had a softball doubleheader last night with games at 6 and 7. Around the 4th inning of the first game as I was walking out to take my position in left center field, I did a double take and then started hopping around startled because I had just come about two feet from stepping right onto a SNAKE. What is up with me and the crazy animals lately?? First the alligator that lives behind my apartment, and now a big ol' snake in left center field!
Anyway, Sean wondered why I was jumping around and freaking out in left center, so he came over to see the snake, and then the other outfielders came over, and then the infielders, and then the other team, and the umpire, until everyone was looking at the snake. We had a 10-minute snake timeout while we attempted to move the snake along, which only served to piss off Mr. Snake, who then coiled back and started snapping his head menacingly. Finally one of the landscaping guys came over with a hoe and shovel and we helped Mr. Snake off the softball field.
For the rest of the game, after every pitch, I turned around to make sure he wasn't sneaking up on me.
Matt and I did some investigating this morning, and we believe that it was probably a Texas Brown Snake, as it matches that photo most closely. It actually looked a lot like a rattlesnake, but without a rattle. The only discrepancy is that the Brown Snake description says adults only get to about 13 inches long, and the snake last night was more like two feet. "Texas Brown Snakes are completely harmless if encountered, but will readily feign aggressiveness to defend themselves. This usually involves coiling up, raising the head, striking out repeatedly at anything that gets too close and vibrating the tail."
I'm excited to go home to Charlotte for the weekend! (But whatever will J, the figment of my imagination, do without me? Ahahaha.) The main event, of course, is Andrew and Sari's wedding on Sunday, but I'm also looking forward to running a 10K tomorrow morning, getting a haircut, seeing Mom and Dad and Brian and hopefully David, and going up to the hip, happenin' town of Burlington to see Katie and Joel and their apartment.
Update: Upon further discussion and inspection, I have changed my mind and think the snake must have been a Rat Snake.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
On the Houston Running Bloggers
On the Houston Running Bloggers message board, we always have a topic going about what races everyone is doing for the upcoming weekend. I commented that I would be at home in Charlotte and hadn't been able to find a race there on Saturday (granted, I didn't look very hard, just visited the website of my "local" running store in Charlotte and that was it). However, the amazing Jon took my comment to heart and found me a race! SO, Saturday morning I'll be running the 10K in the Charlotte RaceFest!
It starts only a few miles from my house -- next to the mall where I worked for two years -- and the route also passes by my high school. Fun! You may have noticed a dearth of running-related posts lately, and that's because I haven't been doing much running. Therefore my goal for Saturday is 11:30 or better miles, or ~1:12 or better finishing time. What a nice way to kickstart my running again.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Excitement abounds in my life.
Excitement abounds in my life. I say that extremely sarcastically, because the top two items on my thought list this morning are:
+ This 9/80 schedule is going to kill me. I have been at work at 8:00 the past three days, and I'm exhausted because of it. Oddly, the morning seems a lot longer when I have to wait at least three hours for lunch, instead of two. ;)
+ I've spent a solid hour now burning data to DVDs in order to clear enough space on my hard drive to defrag it. Yes, apparently you need 15% of the drive space free to defrag. Which brings up the whole other complaint that our computers are crappy. We get new computers every three years, which would be ok if we got top-of-the-line machines when we're refreshed, but we don't. I get refreshed in August, which means I'm using a computer I got in 2003. It has 256 MB of RAM. 256! And only a 40GB hard drive. When some of my sims can generate 3-4GB of data all on their own, a 40GB hard drive causes a constant headache.
Can you feel the excitement?
Jen, Gavin and I went to the Astros game last night and thus saw the second squeaker of the week as they escaped the Marlins 6-5. They scored all 6 runs in the first two innings and then did nothing the rest of the game except hang on by their teeth. Over the three-game series, the Marlins outscored the 'Stros 16-9, yet we left with a 2-1 record. Hey, I'll take it. The stadium was surprising empty -- only 26,000 or so. I saw Jessica again, which marks the second time in four days that I've randomly run into her at a Houston sporting event! First soccer, now baseball. We must be stalking each other. :)
I'm embarassed by Becca and Barbara's comments yesterday that I should let them know what music I'm listening to, especially because Gavin and Jen did not appear to be fans in the car last night. So instead, I'll point you to an internet radio station that Matt told me about last week: Radio Paradise. It's free, and pretty good more of the time.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I thought I was just the guy for you and that we'd never end
I thought we were supposed to be like glue
I thought you were my boyfriend / I thought you were my boyfriend
I've always been one of those people who wanted to know about all the cool independent music before it became popular, but never put in the effort to find it. Turns out that someone I know is quite the little indie music snob. Now I get to listen to cool new music that I've never heard before (and would never otherwise find) and I don't even have to try! Perfect.
It's been a crazy busy week since returning from Tahoe (so what's new), and crazy busy means that I'm in a constant state of being a little bit anxious, a little bit stressed, and a little bit reflective about the current state of my life.
"Courage is saying, 'Maybe what I'm doing isn't working; maybe I should try something else.'" -- Anna Lappe
I'm busy. Too busy. I have things scheduled almost every night. This has been going on for months. Now, add to that the fact that over the past couple months, any free time I've had has been monopolized by, well, something else. (Not that I'm complaining about that part AT ALL, mind you.)
The biggest thing to think about, as usual, is work. I made the big decision not to apply for the fellowship this year -- August would not be a good time to leave, career-wise. I will be certifying this fall (hopefully), and there are some other possibilities that may or may not open up. I am happy enough with the job to forego the possibility of leaving on the fellowship, and yet this week I'm dissatisfied. George is about to certify, so I'm not getting scheduled for any sims. This leaves me frustrated and impatient, and annoyed that I am having to fill all of my time running sims. (Gavin loves running sims. How is it that he loves running sims?)
Also on my mind is my web design class. I'm treating it like a red-headed stepchild and really not putting in the effort it deserves. I've realized that perhaps I did a bit too much of the "resting on my laurels" thing at the beginning of the class, telling myself that I know how to use Dreamweaver, and I know how to design websites. Last night was presentation day for our third project. My own project was 1) unfinished and 2) boring. The design and layout was unoriginal, boxy, and flat. There were a couple really spectacular looking designs, and it made me realize that while I've done a decent job over the years of designing functional websites, I may not be doing a great job of designing visually appealing sites. And if the graphic design class last fall did anything, it has made me notice design a lot more. If I was a bit obsessive before, well, it's even worse now. I need to really challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone for the fourth and final project -- a personal portfolio.
Tonight is Astros game number 2 of 27. I love season tickets.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Opening Day was everything it
Opening Day was everything it should be. Roy Oswalt pitched 8 innings and threw ~90 pitches -- brilliant. The Astros won 1-0 -- brilliant. Lidge closed it out -- brilliant. And once or twice, with the fans waving the 2005 NLCS Champions towels they gave away and yelling loudly, it actually felt like a postseason game instead of Opening Day. If you can't have a moment of the postseason in the first game back after going to the World Series, it just ain't baseball! Brilliant.
Monday, April 03, 2006
On the first day of
On the first day of my new ability to work a 9/80 schedule, the score is:
Comfy bed - 1
Sarah - 0
I got in at 9:00. I'm thinking I probably won't be taking next Friday off. This 9/80 thing will take some adjustment.
Yesterday was a lovely Sunday that passed far too quickly. The day began as all good days should -- with me lying in bed until noon. I got up to eat a bagel (side note: I am going to be eating bagels for at least the next month, as there were four bags left over from the race on Saturday), and was lounging around when I decided it was time to open the blinds. At this point, I shrieked very loudly because THE ALLIGATOR WAS TOTALLY BACK! Like I saw in November. Maybe the very same!
Of course I took pictures again, and Jose was also an eyewitness, so 1) I am not crazy and 2) I am not Photoshopping this thing into my photo. Later, when Jose mentioned that the alligator had disappeared, I looked out and spotted him swimming around menacingly. Eek!
Though if he keeps on hanging out around here, I suppose I'll have to give him a name and start throwing him small animals or something. ;) Ally Gator. You know. Something totally cheesy.
Yesterday afternoon I got to talk to Kent-ola for a while, and then headed over to Gavin and Jen's to work on a slideshow of Patagonia photos that we're presenting tomorrow at lunchtime. Some of our coworkers like to live vicariously through us and our exotic travels, so a slideshow is the least we can do. ;)
Last night I headed out into a perfect April evening to see the first-ever Major League Soccer game in Houston -- the Dynamo vs. the Colorado Rapids. The home team won 5-2 behind Brian Ching's four goals. Wow! It was a lot of fun, despite feeling like I had been thrust into a stadium full of 10-year-olds in soccer uniforms. I even randomly ran into Jessica in the parking lot afterwards. She asked me where my camera was, and I sadly explained that I hadn't brought it because I didn't think they'd let me take it in (like the Toyota Center); of course, once we were there, there was a guy sitting a couple rows over shooting with the exact same setup that I would've brought. Next time I'm taking the big lens!
Tonight: OPENING NIGHT for the Astros! Wooooooo! I've been waiting for today since October!!
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Ah, the weekend. I spent
Ah, the weekend. I spent last night stressing out about this morning's Yuri's Night 5K, which I organized for the third year in a row. The week before the race, I always find myself telling my friends "don't let me do this again next year, don't let me take charge, don't let me commit myself to organizing this race!" But when race day arrives, and especially once the runners have finished and I'm giving out awards, I feel good, and I'm glad that I did it again. I like organizing, and I like being in charge and knowing everything that's going on and being able to answer everyone's questions.
We had 94 runners at final count, which is less than the past two years. There's been a consistent downward trend in the registration, which is directly related to my lack of time this spring (and tangentially related to the glut of races that occur in this area at this time of year). I did a horrible job of getting the word out, and knowing that, I was actually very pleased with 94. I really feel like the ideal size for the race is 150, and if I end up organizing it again next year that will be my goal. That's enough people to make it a decently sized and competitive race, while not overcrowding the trails at Challenger Park.
We're a small, bare bones race, but I think everyone enjoys the course and has fun running it. So that makes me happy. Another year, another successful 5K.