Sunday, March 22, 2009

It Has Sprung!!

Spring is actually here. I have seen robins. They are spread out taking territories, no longer in flocks. I saw woodchucks out, that is a local sign of spring when they come from hibernation and move above ground. Coming home from class the other night, I saw a bear crossing the road ahead of me.
The days are nicer for running. Fifty degrees is nice weather to run in. I have gotten out the last couple of weekends both days. I have a 26 mile road run that has around 2,000 feet of climbing. Four and a half to five easy hours with a couple of stops in stores for water and snacks is good training.
My running season starts April 10th. I have a 150 miler in Pekin, Il. It's time to back off and rest for that effort. I had hoped to have more miles in by now, but a nasty cold and life in general has happened. I'll go with what I have got. It will be my longest run ever. I have run several 100's. I'm not taking this lightly. Illinois is not all flat, and there are a couple small stream crossings each lap. The course can be muddy if there is much rain in the week before. Last year, there was horrendous mud conditions and cold snow flurries in the air. I'm hoping that is out of the way and this year is going to be better.
I have a huge running year planned and want to get off to a good start.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Like In The Good Old Days

My internet connection went down last Wednesday.
I don't know exactly what happened, but Verizon has been very good about doing what they could to get things back up. I spoke with technical support people who were native English speakers. They were patient and checked actual repair orders and verified that repairs were happening at 1:00 am. Right now they have arranged me a dial up connection at no cost so I can at least check email and keep in touch.
I have been adrift for almost a week. I don't count myself a techie by any means, but I get most of my news and weather forecasts from the internet. I don't have a television nor do I listen to radio much at all. I'm certainly not anti-social nor unsociable. I'm self employed and have no employees. I don't hang out in the coffee shop.
I remember buying my first computer. I can't remember the technical specifications, but now a microwave has more computer inside. At the time, I thought the kids would like to use it for homework assignments. The first one used 3.5 inch floppy discs. They were much better than the 5 inch ones. Soon came CD's. Who imagined DVD's full of information and entertainment? I remember when internet service was first offered here. I was one of the first couple dozen in town to sign up.
And the internet? It was touted as a way to swap recipes and to chat to family. Who predicted billions of dollars changing hands on E-bay?
I have benefited from the growth and evolution of the computer and internet. I can research and make better business and personal decisions. I can research and make better buying choices, both personal and business related.
One experience; I was arranging T-shirts for the Venture Crew. I phoned Stacie at the embroidery shop. She was making similar shirts for the Scout troop. While we were on the phone, she emailed me a couple of designs. I looked at them and chose the fish design, in green. She said OK, I'll make them. Elapsed time, 3 minutes. Once upon a time, I would have had to drive 40 miles, look at a book of designs, pick one, and drive home. Two hours spent, gasoline burned, etc.
In the last week, I didn't have a weather forecast. I went out for a run Saturday and got rained on. Just a brief shower. I missed an email saying a Scout meeting had been canceled.
I hadn't thought about how comfortable I've become with all this communication and information at hand. But I am glad to have it. Even as I wonder how much more can be coming and where will it end.