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Software development, running, music & beer

Monthly Archives: June 2008

last place

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last place
last place,
originally uploaded by thespacerace.

It’s been a bad month, especially for the Cleveland Indians. With another loss last night, they moved into last place in the American League Central. How does that happen to a team that was one win away from the World Series? I realize there have been a lot of disappointing performances by players this year, but I really put the blame on the fact that they did nothing in the off season while everyone else around them made moves to improve.

Yet here I am tonight, watching the game as I write this. I need to find some new hobbies….

back to the future

Yesterday at work, I got a new (well, a different) laptop as our company moves off Windows 2000 and onto Windows XP, about 7 years after it was released. Better late than never I suppose. The only bright spot for me was getting a different laptop with a better processor, and more memory and disk space. I went from a big clunky HP that I’d had for 3 years, to a slighly less clunky Dell. The only downside was going from a 15″ to a 14″ display, though I have a 19″ LCD to hook up to at work, so it’s not too big of a deal.

It serves as a good illustration of what it’s like to work at a big company. At my previous job, with an IT department numbering less than a dozen, things were a lot more flexible and we could fairly easily upgrade and try out new things (once they’re proven somewhat stable, obviously). Meanwhile, at a big corporation, things move at a snail’s pace, and there are tons of red tape and processes and committees and meetings about meetings. It can get very frustrating at times when I sit and think about it, so obviously I try not to. Companies of both sizes have their pluses and minuses, which I’ll save for another time, and I don’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon, so I don’t give it much thought. It is just days like this that remind me of that debate.

Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K

Last night, Kristy & I took part in the Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K. I have run it all three years they’ve had it, and this was her second time. I knew we were going to be in for an interesting evening when the baseball game I was watching while waiting to leave was interrupted by the local weatherman due to a tornado warning a few counties over. I looked at the radar and saw most of northwest Ohio was covered in dark greens, yellows and reds. But we had paid our money already, and figured it would end sometime and they would still have the race.

So we ventured out at 5:45, just as the skies were getting very dark. Within a couple of minutes, it started raining. Just as we got on I-480, the wind started whipping around and was blowing my car around worse than I had ever experienced. I had a death grip on the wheel just to try to keep it in my lane. Fortunately that only lasted a few minutes, but was followed up immediately by torrential downpours, the kind of which the fastest setting on your windshield wipers doesn’t do much for. So we ambled along at about 30 mph, trying to avoid all of the cars with their flashers on, and eventually it let up enough to where people realized the world wasn’t ending. We did a drive by of the starting area in Ohio City, and saw people lined up to get their numbers and chips, so we found a parking spot, and reluctantly made our way through the still heavy rain to the starting area and picked up our gear.

We hung out at the starting area, under the cover of the Great Lakes Brewing Company awnings until the rain stopped, around 7:10. They finally started setting up the start/finish lines and had us line up to get things going a little before 7:30. It was at this time, during which I saw another runner with an inhaler, that I realized my dumb ass had forgotten my inhaler. So I quickly realized today would not be my fastest 5K, and might even end up being my slowest. But oh well, there was beer at the end, so at least I had that going for me.

Surprisingly though, I actually felt really good. My time ultimately was really slowed down by the fact that I started the race near the back, and it was really hard to get around people during the twists and turns of mile one. I finished mile one in 7:22, which was my slowest by far of the race. I believe I ran the second mile in right around 7:00 flat, and ended up finishing in 21:24, for an average pace of 7:02/mi. This put me in 8th place out of 42 runners in the men 20-29 category (in my final appearance in this category), and 42nd overall out of the 271 runners who competed. My time was about 50 seconds slower than last year’s race, and 9 second slower than my time from 2 years ago, but I was content. I was just happy to be able to run well without my inhaler. Somedays my body is cool with that, other days it’s not.

Kristy also ran, and beat her time from last year almost by a full minute, so she was very happy. Afterwards, we went back to the car and changed into some slightly less stinky clothes, and headed up to the Bier Markt. We stood around forever waiting to get our 25 cent Labatt Blue draft, but after seeing the keg was empty and there were about 100 people waiting, we ended up just buying beers. I picked up a Bells Oberon, which was the first time I’d had it on draft and surprisingly I did not enjoy it as much as the 6-pack of bottles I had of it last month. I resisted the urge to order one of my new favorite beers, the Gulden Draak (which I had for the first time last weekend on draft at the North End in Hudson and loved), as it’s 10.5% alcohol content might have made it an early night for me. We ended up meeting Kyle and Erika, and a few of their friends and family and hung out for a few hours, between Bier Markt and the Garage Bar, and had a really good time. It was well worth the crap we went through to get there.

A little about me

I was recently tagged by Kyle over at Northcoast Lifestyle, so here are 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about me, which some of you may or may not already know.

1. I am a creature of habit. While I do enjoy things like trying new restaurants, new drinks and new places to travel, if I had my way, I’d work get up and work the same hours every day, do the same workout, eat at the same time, go to bed at the same time, and spend plenty of time at home, relaxing (being the anti-social homebody that I have to fight the strong urge to give into).

2. Although I was raised Methodist, going to church every week throughout my childhood and serving as a youth group leader during college, I now consider myself to be agnostic.

3. With 6 marathons now under my belt, I plan to try to refrain from running more until I get closer to being able to achieve my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon (even if it means waiting until I’m 35 when the qualifying time gives me an extra 5 minutes).

4. Despite always keeping a mid-3.0 GPA throughout high school and college and only getting 1 or 2 Cs, I actually failed Calculus 2 my sophomore year at college. Not my brightest academic moment. I blame my heavy accented (and emotionless) Irish professor.

5. I did not have my first alcoholic beverage until the age of 24, at which point I gave up my straight-edge lifestyle (and it’s mostly bad hardcore music).

6. As a follow-up to #5, while I’m still not much of a regular drinker, I have developed into quite the beer snob, and do my best to avoid to avoid anything from the mega-breweries.

7. After graduating high school, my post-college plan was to move to St. Louis. After graduating college, my post-college plan was to move to Seattle. It is now 7 years after college, and I’m still in Northeast Ohio, but happy.

8. My first post-college job, with Arthur Andersen as an IT consultant, ended with me getting paid for about 6 months, but never working a single day.

9. My high school athletic career feel far short of it’s potential due to my lack of interest. Despite being the best sprinter on the 8th grade track team, I quit because it was boring. Despite finishing 3rd at the conference tournament in 8th grade wrestling, I didn’t wrestle in high school because of a fear of skin diseases and cauliflower ear. And I quit football my senior year because I was too punk rock, and hated the coach.

10. While my dad, the retired engineer, has MacGyver-esque skills to build elaborate contraptions out of minimalist scraps and everyday items, I have inherited none of that. I need detailed instructions to do much of anything more complicated that changing a light bulb. Not a good thing now that I am a new homeowner.

I’m still figuring out who to tag. So watch out.