Sunday, December 30, 2007


Well, another week bites the dust. The damage?

S: 22700yds
B: 10h05min
R: 6h45min

Total: 22h31min

Pretty good week, especially considering the fact that it included Christmas AND a trip to LA and back. The running is going well but then again, I havent had to do anything hard yet, so maybe I'm just complacent.

It was nice to get to bike outside and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather here in Orlando. It was nice only having one job for a few days... Also, LA is way too dry and humidity (especially at the end of December) is awesome.

In other news, tomorrow I leave for Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl to watch UVA take on Texas Tech. Go HOOS! I'm going up there with the McEwans, so it should be a good time.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Currently hanging out in the LA airport, killing lots of time before I get to take the redeye back to Orlando. This is the problem with flying from the west coast to the east coast... if you cant catch the 3:30 or so flight, you have to wait until 10:30. Apparently the airports dont want planes landing at 2 or 3 AM. So of course we got done with the plating right around 3:30, making it impossible for me to make the early flight but leaving wayyyyy too much time before the later flight.

Result: me overpaying for internet in the airport so that I can update the blog...

In other news tomorrow, after landing at 6:15AM, I have a date some very fast HS swimmers at the outdoor 50m pool at Lake Highland at 8AM for 2h. Needless to say, it might be a bloodbath.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This morning started out with a 7:00AM flight out of Orlando to LA to watch some more plating. At least Delta now has DirectTV in some of their newer planes which does help the time pass during the 5.5h plane ride.

When I finally got to my hotel, it was tempting to just crash but I got out the door for a v. windy 1.5h run. I got lost in the dark a couple of times but all in all it was nice to get out and stretch the legs a bit. Then I had dinner at a little Mexican restaurant across the street from my hotel and it had to be one of the greasiest meals I've had in a while. The freshly made chips were saturated with oil and the side of zucchini and corn was literally swimming in butter. At least I got the chicken which was a harmless boneless, skinless breast.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Well, Orlando has been fun but tomorrow morning its off to LA for three days to make sure the plating of the bolts doesnt get effed up.

In other news, I got stuck out in the rain today on the bike. Luckily it was 70F so the cold wasnt really a problem and it was for the most part pretty fun, except of course for the 10 or so minutes when it was raining so hard I couldnt really see...

It sure has been nice riding outside in warm weather the last few days. No trainer OR winter clothing has been wonderful. If only I were a little faster I could retire from my day job and move to San Diego......

Monday, December 24, 2007

A nice dinner then bowling

So last night I had dinner with Mimi last night at Dexter's in Winter Park which was quite delicious. Anyway, Mimi and I were talking about all our friends (well her friends) who were getting married when Mimi said, "Marriage isnt for finding someone you can live with, but for finding someone you cant live without." Nice quote.

From there, I joined David, Braden, Nick, and Brian for some quarter mania bowling. $14 to get in then 25 cent games and more importantly, beer. Needless to say, the conversation there was a bit lighter. Oh, and after Braden took the first game, he got his ass handed to him as I was like butter and won the next 3 in a row. Fun times.

Dec17-23 training log

S: 24900 yds
B: 7h40min
R: 6h
Total: 19h55min

Not a bad week of training, especially considering it included 3 flights. Of course if I wouldve known I was only going to be 5min from 20h, I wouldve tacked on another few minutes to one my rides to pad the stats ;)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Another windy bike ride in the Rocket City

So after a nice 5500yds in the pool this morning, its time for another windy bike ride. At least it wont be as cold as it was last Sunday. Unfortunately though my riding buddy, Matt, had to go earlier today so I'll be on my own for this one. At least I'll be heading home to Orlando tonight so at least I have that to look foward to.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today was another two run Thursday. For some reason Paulo has gotten on this two runs a day kick which means today I got to run 1h20min in the morning and 50min in the afternoon. Thats 2h10min for the day for all you math majors out there. I was thinking that I couldnt remembered the last time I ran that much in one day, but then I realized it was when I was suffering through the run in Hawaii. Of course, I'm not sure if a 3:20 marathon is considered running...

So on the second run of the day today I got the incredibly original, "Run, Forest, Run!" from the redneck in a truck. I actually hadnt heard this one in quite a while, so that was entertaining. However, it made me wonder if people yell this to joggers as well... I mean, does this guy yell, "Run, Forest, Run!!" to the overweight old guy putting along? Or does it have to be a skinny white guy actually running? Hmmm.... Something to think about on my next run.
Good news for the Dolphins! It looks like Bill Parcells will be taking over as "VP of Football Operations" for Miami. Basically this means he'll be making all the personel decisions for the franchise.

IMHO this is great. Sure he cant sit still and therefore will only be there for a few years, but the guy knows how to pick talent. Look how well Dallas is doing this year with all of his players? Sure, coaching is important but I dont care if you have Vince Lombardi on the sideline, you are not going to win with Cleo Lemon at QB and Jesse Chatman at running back.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ahh, the Criminoles....

Poor Bobby. He and JoePa should really just call a truce and both retire before one or the other dies.

I need to swim more....

Its never good when you do a 400 "for time" at a slower pace than when you had to do 6x400 with 15sec rest during the summer. Oh well, looks like its time to get my ass in gear and pump up the volume in the pool!

Monday, December 17, 2007

After driving around the Brevard Community College parking lot for about 10 minutes, I finally stumbled upon the Cocoa YMCA and its outdoor pool. After explaining to the nice lady at the desk why I should be allowed to use their pool, I was let in.

"Finally," I thought.

"So would you like me to show you around?" the attendant asked. "What would you like to use?"

"Oh, just point me to the pool," I responded.

"Sorry, our pool is closed."


So after thinking about heading back to the hotel and running from there, I decided to just run from the Y. I was glad I did but it probably wasnt the best area of town to run. Lets just say I had a few things yelled at me that his mother probably wouldnt have approved of...

In other news... here is a pic of the SRB bolt. I had to carry this piece down from Huntsville so we could section it. Check out that coating! Nice and uniform!!

In case you care, on the left is some nice martensitic 4340 steel and that middle stripe is the electroless Ni coating. This is what I (am supposed to) care about.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The ride sucked.

But who cares, the Dolphins won!!! Story here.
Forecast for 4h ride today: 35F with 20-30mph winds gusting to 40. Should be a blast. All in all, winter here has been pretty mild thusfar so I guess I cant complain too much.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


NOTE: The following couple of paragraphs will reveal how much of a dork I am and therefore if you are reading this as a slightly more normal person, you may want to just skip this entry altogether...

Ever wonder how the solid rocket boosters on the space shuttle magically fall away from the external tank (the big orange tank) and orbiter once they are done burning? Well, they have these bolts, 8 for each booster, which are stuffed with pyrotechnics (dynamite) and are blown up when the time comes. Now this is a tricky business because the bolts have to be strong enough to hold the boosters onto the external tank but weak enough to break when the explosives go. Therefore, it is imperative that the bolts and their electroless nickel plating are within very tight dimensional tolerances.

So what does this have to do with me? Well, recently the company's plant that does the electroless Ni plating burned down, meaning their new place had to be certified. Guess who's job that is? So we recently ran some test bolts through at the new plant and now have to make sure the coating is up to spec. The only problem is that NASA needs the bolts quickly because with the bolts, the shuttle doesnt fly. So.... tomorrow I get to carry some pieces of the bolts down to KSC so we can look at the coating. Then, if we give the go ahead, they'll start plating the production hardware in LA. So even thought the travel kind of sucks sometimes, its cool that I get to make decisions on things that actually matter (like whether or not the shuttle launches). Well, I think that was enough rhetorical questions for about a week, dont you?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report

This is awesome. Its about time baseball players are exposed for the frauds that they are. Did anyone really doubt Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were on the juice? And guys that you've never heard of coming out of nowhere to hit 50 home runs in a season? Hopefully this will help clean up the sport, but sadly something tells me baseball will set up another weak testing policy, say its policing itself, and the illegal performance enhancement will continue. Its really ashame that endurance sports (track and cycling) get such a bad rap for actually trying to clean up their respective sports while the NBA, MLB, and NFL seem to get a free pass.

OK, enough soapboxing.... Of course, I'm probably preaching to the choir anyway...


Last night was trainer hell. Does anyone else despise that that thing? It is especially hard to take when the weather isnt particularly bad outside but the day is just too short to actually get outside in the daylight. Yesterday here in the Rocket City it was in the upper 60s to low 70s but of course it was still dark at 5PM. This makes it quite difficult/impossible to ride outside after work.

In other news, today is the Christmas luncheon for EM30, the department I work in. And yes, here in Alabama it is the CHRISTMAS luncheon, not the HOLIDAY luncheon. Gotta love it. In case you care, I'm bringing a spinach and mixed green salad with walnuts, cranberries, and gorgonzola cheese topped with Ken's Rasberry Walnut Vinagarette dressing. Should be pretty kick ass.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Huntsville Marathon

Sorry for the delay but it was a busy weekend...

Saturday started off with a nice 4k swim in the morning followed by chocolate chip pancakes made with my new grittle. I have got to say, if you are serious about making pancakes, you have to get yourself a griddle. I got this inexpensive yet highly effective Presto Griddle for $20 at Wal-Mart and it is well worth it. Once you get a griddle you will never go back to using a pan again. It warm up quickly, you have great control over the heat, you dont have the edges getting in your way, and most importantly, you can do almost an entire batch in one run!

Now back to the day. Saturday was the Rocket City Marathon here in Huntsville so after the swim I went out to the Spring City Cycling Club's (SCCC) aid station to help hand out water and watered down Gatorade to the runners from 7:30 to 10:30. We got rained on very breifly but other than that it was quite nice for December. I think the runners found it a bit warm as the temperature was in the mid 60s, but I sure wasn't complaining. Its always fun to be on the other side of a race whether helping or cheering.

The leaders just before 5 miles

The leader coming back through around 23.5

A nice shot of our aid station. The course is an out and back and this is after all of the "out" people came through and we had cleaned up and reloaded for the "back" crowd.

When 10:30 rolled around the second shift came and I was relieved. Unfotunately though that meant it was time to go meet my new semi pro cyclist friend for a 4h ride with four 10-20min climbs. Needless to say, I was more than happy to colapse on the couch with dinner and watch Superbad which was quite hilarious. A little Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream for dessert and the day was complete.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thesis Defense

So this is a little overdue, but here are some pics from my weekend in Charlottesville for my MS thesis defense. For those who dont know, I had to move to Huntsville to start my job at NASA's Mashall Space Flight Center before I was able to actually defend my thesis. So, a couple of weeks ago I headed back up there to finish things off. Naturally then the night of the defense called for a bit of a celebration. The night started off with some pizza and brews at the Mellow Mushroom.

It was still (relatively) early after dinner so Wenbo, Brendan and I decided to find somewhere on the corner to get some drinks. On the way we noticed it was karaoke night at Baja Bean and realized we couldnt possibly pass that up.
So into Baja for some pitchers of Dos Equis. Then, what began as a relatively subdued evening

quickly digressed, culminating with Bendan and I screaming out "Dont Stop Believin" in performance which mustve been abhorent to witness.

All in all it was a nice celebration and fun to be back in Charlottesville. Of course the next morning was loads of fun as I got up early for one last swim with Chris and BRO.

Nothing like and hour in the over clorinated AFC pool to get over the beer alcohol consumption from the night before.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Well, here it is... A new blog which will hopefully be at least mildly entertaining and informative enough to keep everyone up to date with current happenings. I'll mainly post about triathlon related adventures, as most would be bored to tears with the details of my day job at the Marshall Space Flight Center here in Huntsville, AL.