Monday, September 27, 2010

Living in a Hair Dryer

Last week, I felt grossly behind schedule on blog reading as I was at JavaOne in San Francisco gettin' some lernin'. Massive conference of techie programmers. Mostly dudes so I stuck out, per usual. It was like constant eyeballs darting to any of the females. I was able to run on the hotel treadmills so I didn't fall off that wage. The weather was pleasantly in the 60s and I came back to oppressive heat this weekend.

Which rolled into today.

At 9:30am it was 100 degrees. It is hotter in San Diego than in Palm Springs, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Ridiculously hot. Mind-boggling-ly hot. Now, I've lived in the Inland Empire (20+ miles inland in a valley) where it was regularly 105 in the summer, but it blows my mind that we're 2 miles from the ocean and it's 104. Only 10-15 miles inland, not in a valley, it's 115. At lunch I saw a crazy chick running on the street. Running at high noon and 104 degrees. Masochist. I don't have enough self-loathing to run in this kind of heat outside.

Speaking of running, I have less than a week until the Camarillo Half. I decided, on Friday, to run a 5k this past weekend and see if I have improved my time. Not unexpectedly, I managed to find another race with issues. They had plenty of portas and even hand washing stations. But the course was a quarter mile short. That is just egregious. 2.86 miles rather than 3.1. I am still peeved. I would have had a post-high-school PR and, in fact, only have been 10 seconds or so off my high school 5K time. Had I kept running through to 3.1 at 7:45 which I could have easily done for another 400 meters, I would have been between 23:40 and 23:45. Pffft. My average pace was 7:36. About 30 seconds per mile faster than the last 5K. So, I'm happy about that, but still annoyed about plunking down $30 to not even have the race be within .1 miles of the expected length. FAIL.

I have also been feverishly working on a new avenue to achieving acute carpal tunnel syndrome. Crochet. I finished a cowl neck thingy which is really cute. When the weather tempers I will take a pic and show you. Right now, I wouldn't put it on if you paid me in high quality cashmere yarn, it's so damn hot. I, also, took apart my granny afghan because I was seriously delusional and ignoring reality. I spread the whole thing out on the bed and it was like 12+ feet long. I am not exaggerating. Even if I flipped it around, that is just massive. It was taking me one hour or more to complete a row. Now I've got it around 6 feet wide and one row takes maybe 20 minutes. In it's current state:


My sewing machine is currently in the shop so the chair is on hold as the next parts require sewing. The damn thing just stopped working properly - apparently the timing was off because it wouldn't sew more than 3-5 stitches at a time before getting stuck. I broke several needles so I cried "Uncle" and took it in. $98.50 to tune it up - hopefully it comes back sceaming a nasty stitch. I had to think about it because at that cost I can buy a cheap new Singer or Brother. I reasoned that fixing up my Necchi, a $500 machine, would be a better investment than getting a cheapo machine. If it craps out in a year I may be whistling (bitching) a different tune.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Hate Thinking of Titles

I have a case of I don't know what to blog about and I'm too lazy to take pictures and upload them.

I blame it on having a crappy phone (January will be 3 years with the same phone) that takes crappy pictures as my barrier of entry into actually writing a post. Since I feel the need to have pics with posts.

So here I am with a photo-less post. Whatever.

I have made no progress on my chair and it's a long story as to why, but the short of it is that my dogs got into a crazy tangle of collars (because they love to grab each other's collars while rough-housing outside) resulting in Nikki getting dragged around by her jaw/lower teeth yelping/screaming while Louie got choked. With my hand in her mouth to try to free them, she, one some point in the chaos, bit down on my thumb. So I've had a puncture wound in the center of my right thumb since Labor Day that just healed in the last couple days. I got a tetanus shot (it had been 16 years, so I thought it was a good idea) and I was stupid enough to say how I got the cut at urgent care. Then they *had* to report it, and she got quarantined by the SPCA until today, etc. It's been "fun."

Word of wisdom to dog owners: if you have a minor accidental bite (mine was 4mm - that small, not even half a centimeter - only needed a band-aid), don't ever say it was your dog. Just say it was a nail or something, or some random, nameless, ownerless dog and you need a tetanus shot. Really.

What irks me about all this is she really did not bite me - she was reacting to the pain of getting ripped around by the jaw as Louie jumped around from getting choked, all with my hand in her mouth trying to undo the twist that had her jaw, and hold them both still. I am surprised I escaped with such a small thing. Yet, she has a "record" now. I am so annoyed with myself for being so naive and telling the stupid truth.

Ok, so that was probably not the short version. Can you tell I'm still annoyed? Annoyed. This type of overreaction from animal control just causes people to not report the big stuff when they should. And you know I am totally on that bandwagon now. I would have to be bitten by a random rabid dog roaming the streets and require stitches to admit it to any authority that the wound was in fact, caused by a canine.

On the running front, I have decided to do the Camarillo Half as a training run for the Long Beach Half. I know that's weird and sort of minimizes the importance of the race day, doing a half as training for another half. But I have to do 13 miles that weekend anyway, and it's a cheap-ish race, so I figured why not acquire more race bling and then take a little side trip to Santa Barbara. I plan to test out a strategy of starting out the first half in the low 9's and seeing if I can finish the second half faster than the first. I am on a roll of personal training records the past few weeks - my last two long runs were 10 miles at 8:59 and 11 miles at 8:56. My last 10 mile attempt in January was a 10:21 pace. Honestly, I will be kinda bummed if I don't break 2 hours (9:09 pace) even if it's just a training race.

The other thing that has me obsessed as of late is crocheting. I got craft envy over this afghan/throw and remembered that I can totally crochet and used to do it all the time. I was an 8-year-old crocheting fool. At the moment, I am maybe 20% through a big throw since I totally over-chained my first row. It's like 6+ feet long so while I was thinking that would be the width part, now it's going to be length-wise. Otherwise I will go broke buying Super Saver Red Heart yarn if I don't flip it around. It'll be a king-sized afghan which is overkill, to the max. Accents of Granny? Good. King-sized granny afghan? A little much. At least when I'm sitting in front of the TV with Huz I will be doing something productive rather than feeling slovenly.