February 23, 2011

Snow is Better than Rain

So, after two full nights in our new (temporary) home in Bellevue, WA, I feel qualified to state that snow is much better than rain.

Snow bounces off of your jacket and you stay dry whereas rain does not bounce and makes you wet.

Snow is quieter than rain but it muffles outside sounds equally well (or perhaps even better?).

Snow is more picturesque than rain, especially when viewed against a streetlight.

Catching snowflakes on your tongue is much more fun than drinking rain.

E and I are very much enjoying our shared introduction to the snow culture as part of life (as opposed to only a ski vacation and freak weather situation). For example, we both now know that snow sticks to idle cars first, then dirt, then grass, then, if it's cold enough, cement/asphalt.

Also, we had a great dinner tonight at Seastar, but we won't be back for dinner. Oh, hell no, it's within walking distance -- next time, we're going to maximize the happy hour for all it's worth!

February 21, 2011


One of E's colleagues took us out to a Vietnamese dinner a couple of weeks ago.

These were half of the leftovers with which we were sent home:

Culturally, it was clear something was going on. The feast to feed 25 when there were 6 of us at the table? No idea what it was, but it was clearly something, culturally. I just tried to make it clear that we were very grateful and that we were enjoying ourselves (and I was -- it was the best Vietnamese meal I've ever had in my life, by an order of magnitude, even if I was stuffed before we were 1/3 through).

Bonus -- the leftovers made for a wonderful lunch and a great seafood soup base for dinner with a friend a few days later.

February 20, 2011

Northward Bound -- the friendliness increases

After a chaotic blitz through pouring rain on our way out of the bay area (car loaded with necessities for 3 months or so), we made it to the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Sacramento for a quick visit with family.

Dinner. Pictures. Catching up. Early sleep.

This morning, the skies were blue, the air was calm (and allergen free, post-rain) and I was able to do one of the best long runs I've done in years, from Lincoln, CA to Newcastle, CA.

This time of year, California is gorgeously green and fertile. The verdant hills were peppered with ewe, llamas, horses, and cows, which, along with the clear blue skies and foliage were a pleasant distraction from the shocking elevation changes (turns out, 10 miles around the San Francisco bay is a little less effort than 10 miles through the Foothills of Tahoe-Donner).

Typical for being out in the country, I found myself waiving hello and thankyou to all the huge pick-up trucks that felt it was necessary to pull to the middle of the road and straddle both lanes at least a mile before they came near me to let me know I was safe. Also, along my course, I waived hello to about 5 runners and gave one a high five. And, no doubt due to the amazing crisp weather and rolling elevation changes, it felt like I was passed and crossed paths with about 100 cyclists.

So, in short, my run was on track to be perfect, but I did need to stop for a pit stop and Gatorade. I'd hoped I could hit one of the general stores or, worst case scenario, a dive bar, along the route.

But, then, I turned the corner, and found Trailhead Coffee and Cycling Lounge, and I was filled with relief.

Runners are to cyclists like sisters are to brothers. And, much like the love you feel for a sibling, I knew with certitude I'd be welcome for a quick stop, even if I didn't have a bike or want any coffee.

As I expected, I was welcomed. I walked in, and before I could speak, the man behind the counter said, "Over there," pointing at the bathroom. I quickly walked past several middle-aged men in various stages of undress/lycra (most of whom had passed me on the way up the hill), smiled a thank you, and asked if they had Gatorade. It was on the counter waiting for me when I exited.

I paid, trying to avoid too long of a break in my run. While counting my change, between yelled exchanges with the various cyclists, the man running the show explained that I, like all runners, was always welcome to just come in and fill my water bottle there, get ice over there, and use the bathroom.

My only regret is that I didn't have my camera to take pictures on the run.

February 18, 2011

Latest Legal Spam

I received this gem in my law firm inbox today:

Dear Counsel,
we are in need of a litigation/business lawyer that will handle our case.
revat back to me for details.

Wow. Targeted enough to clear my spam filter (which is impressive since sometimes my clients' messages get stopped), but boy do you have the wrong Counsel.

And, "Revat"? What does that even mean?

February 14, 2011

On the Road Again

My last attempt to train for and run a half marathon resulted in a turn-around and torn off number at the 2 mile mark, whereupon I ran back to the hotel and enjoyed a hot shower instead of continuing in the crowd of miserable people slipping and falling in the pouring rain.

I can now say I've *started* the US Half Marathon every year since 2005. I've finished it sub-2-hours 3 times, sub-2:15 once, and bailed at the 2 mile marker once (so far).

Overall, 2010 was a medium running year. I totaled 1067.7 miles, or about 20 miles per week. But, I didn't complete even a single race with a sub 10-minute-mile pace. When I look at my logs, the years I felt best in my running, I was doing marathons and totaling between 1200 and 1400 miles.

So, that's the goal this year. I'm working on my speed, and I've registered for two spring races and a memorial day marathon. By the time I toe the line at the marathon, it'll have been more almost 3 years since my last marathon, and 3.5 years since my marathon PR.

Ideally, I'd love to set a new PR. That will require much hard work and some luck, but it's good to have goals.

In fact, as a result of my renewed commitment to running, yesterday, I joined a Beer Run through Golden Gate park. Gorgeous weather, good post-race beer and food at Social, and new friends.

Not a bad start to the return to running.

February 3, 2011

Iridium Flare

Two nights ago, E announced that a big bright shiny point of light would magically appear in the night sky at about 45 degrees at a certain point in time.

We went outside.

Nothing happened.

E then realized he had the date wrong.

So, last night, we went outside at the same time. And this time, as promised, the iridium flare was briefly the brightest thing in the sky.

It was cruising at a high speed when it lit up for 5 seconds or so, and then it returned to the brightness of a super small star zipping across the sky.

If you're interested, you should check one out.