A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Aug 24, 2008

Running Update

It's been quite a while since I've provided an update on my running situation so I thought I'd bring those interested up to speed.  As you may recall I started doing the cool running Couch to 5k program at the first of the year.  I completed that program and then went on to do the Hal Higdon Spring Training program, which prepares you to run a 10K.

I'm happy to report that I completed the HHST program and decided to go ahead and keep going with the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme program, which continues to the spring training program to a full marathon.  Today I completed week 14, which culminates with a 7 mile run.  The 7 miles went fine and although my thighs are plenty tired and sore tonight I didn't really have any problems energy-wise or with any kind of pain in my body during or after the run.  Again, this is the farthest distance I've ever run in my life, which is pretty neat.  I'm going to be bummed when I have to stop saying that.

I started riding my bike to work a few weeks ago and I think that the bike riding has actually helped me with the running.  Since I started I've cut my three-mile run by about 2 minutes.  It also helps because the ride adds about 550 calories to my daily calorie burn, so I'm hoping it will help me lose my tummy.  Up to this point it seems like my body has had no trouble adapting to the running while holding on to the stomach.

When I started running I worried the most about my ability to keep my breath, but surprisingly that's the last issue I have to worry about now.  I can run just about as far as I want to without worrying to much about my breathing.  The biggest limiting factor to how fast I can go is really my muscles.

Aug 17, 2008

Colorado Vacation - Phase Two

After the tent trailer debacle Jen and I decided that we weren't quite ready to give up on our Colorado vacation just yet.  We got home and with a little advice from my sister-in-law we booked ourselves four tickets to Colorado on priceline.com.  We got back to Oregon at 5:30 in the morning one day and left for Colorado at 8:00am  the next day.  My folks let me borrow a car so we pretty much got into town, went to my folk's house to say hi and pick up the car and headed out for camping.

We were camping in Buffalo Creek, which is in Pike National Forest, about two and a half hours southwest of Denver.  It was a great tent camping area, and kind of on the rustic side, with no water save for a spigot that served the entire camp.

We were camping with my brother and his wife, Kacie, and my three nieces Bethany 9, Brynlee 2, and Katie, who is 1.  Here's a picture of Brynlee and Bethany with Andrew and Brianna:


Brynlee is at a great age and I had a great time getting to know her better. 

One of the nights at the camp I made a fire in the pit and she was hanging out with me.  She wanted to help so I asked her to find me little sticks and told her if she gave them to me I would throw them in the fire.  Over and over she'd say "Here, Uncle Dave. I have one.  Here, put it in the fire!  Put it in there!" and I would take the stick and throw it in the fire.  Sometimes she'd pick up something that wasn't a stick and I'd say "There's something wrong here." and she'd say "Oh!  That's a rock." and throw the rock on the ground disgusted.   One time I was waiting after she gave me the stick, just holding it in my hand and she goes "Throw it in there, Uncle Dave!  The fire loves it!  Go ahead!"

Another cute thing she does is whenever she is trying to get a grown up to do something she says "It's good!".  Since we got back from Colorado I've been doing the same thing to Jen whenever I'm trying to talk her into something.  "Go ahead, Jen, it's good!"

Katie was also just as sweet as she could be.  For those that aren't familiar with this part of Colorado it's super dry in terms of very low humidity and pretty dusty, not dissimilar from eastern Oregon.  The whole week we would clean the kids with baby wipes and just about the time we finished with the second kid the first kid would be just as dirty as when we'd started.  We were all covered in dirt for most of the time.

We did a fair amount of hiking while we were there.  We went up to Crystal Lake during one of the days and had a great walk around the lakes there.

The day after our Crystal Lake hike we went with one of our neighboring campers on our first geocache.  It was a great one because it was situated out in a burn area that was remote enough to be a fun, somewhat challenging hike, but wasn't so difficult that the kids couldn't have a good time too.

Andrew was one of the first up to the geocache and was super excited to show the box when we found it.


The view from the location was incredible and really let you appreciate the effects of a forest fire.


It was a great trip and we had some really special memories of our families together.

Aug 16, 2008

Colorado Vacation - Phase One

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been very busy at work since I got back from vacation, so all other activity has slowed, but we're getting things back on track and I can finally catch up on the blog.  I have *a lot* to catch up on so let's get right down to it.

The Agenda

In July we took a two week vacation to Colorado.  The original plan was to drive with our tent camper through eastern Oregon to Idaho, where we would stay for the night at a place called Three Island Crossing State Park.  We were then going to continue on to Strawberry Reservoir in Utah for two days and then meet my brother to go camping at a remote place in Colorado called Buffalo Creek, which is in the Pike National Forest.  We were then going to hit Willard Bay Utah on the way back and bring it on home.

The Trip with the tent trailer

We had a great, albeit long drive to Idaho the first day.  We listened to an entire audiobook "The Teacher's Funeral" by Richard Peck (which is great, by the way) in order to pass the time.  The kids did a great job and we were very excited to make it to Three Mile Crossing.  The park was nice, but there were a ton of mosquitos, which kind of makes sense because the states park people obviously water the lawns a lot and it's likely the only source of moisture for a good ways for many of the insects.  Thank god we had bug spray so it wasn't too big an issue.

If you notice in the picture we had a bit of an issue with the tent trailer because the bed there is kind of falling off of the rails.  We worked around it though and the kids slept where the dining table folds down.

The next day we headed out.  Jen got some time behind the wheel so that she could get some experience pulling the tent trailer, and she did a great job.

Unfortunately we had an issue just as we were approaching the Utah border.  The brakes on the tent trailer seized up and caused us some problems.  We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  Jen was a little excited that she got to use the caution triangles she had purchased for the trip.


We had the tent trailer towed to Burley, Idaho.  The guy there said he couldn't figure out what had caused the brakes to seize, so all he could do is disable them for use. Given that we were scheduled to go over the Rocky Mountains and we had the kids with us we decided it wasn't worth the risk and headed back home.  We got back to Portland at 5:30 the next morning.

Not to be deterred we made a new plan, and like a phoenix from the ashes our vacation rose again... more to come soon.

Aug 2, 2008

World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
My buddy Ken gave me this book to read and although I was skeptical of reading a book about Zombies, I was pleasantly surprised by how readable and interesting this book is. Honestly, this book is far better than anything covering Zombies has the right to be.

The book examines the social, cultural, political, and military consequences of a return from the dead. The Zombies in the book are classic Zombies, like they move real slow and they have their arms out in front of them, they're dumb and don't have any reasoning ability, and they're super-strong.

Told as a series of interviews with survivors of the Zombie wars, the author uses this interesting device to tell vignettes in different voices, which makes the book much more exciting.

The good news is that although the book basically covers a post-apocalyptic world, it doesn't get depressing. This is a fine line to walk when attempting to be deadly serious about the rise of the undead.

And for anyone at all familiar with zombies, there's some great satire available at funny or die... Zombie American

View all my reviews.