Friday, October 31, 2008

Ironman Florida, the night before

Drove up today with Sue and Krystal, had an excellent time.  Krystal sang the whole way and after I handed her my camera a lot of random (but funny) documentation took place.  Think I will have to make a collage out of the trip.
Arrived in time to go greet my friend Cameron who is racing tomorrow and then it was off to the volunteer meeting.  Although the word meeting does not quite describe the clusterf*** taking place.
I had been instructed to show up for the out-of-towners briefing to get an identifying volunteer t-shirt and further instructions for the area I had been loosely assigned to.  I expected the finer details to cover the where, when and what of my volunteering duties.
No dice.
I finally found someone that could give me a bracelet so that I could at least make it into the area and from other volunteers I gathered that we should show up "around 7".  No volunteer t-shirt for me (sniff sniff) but instead I will wear my "Go Cameron" shirt.
Answers such as "well the race starts at 7" and "there may be a break for you if any of the other volunteers show up" didn't give me the warm fuzzies.  I can't help but feeling a little unloved and many of the other volunteers shared that.  It doesn't seem it would have taken that much to have a tad better organization in place, especially considering that this is the 10th year IMFL is held here in Panama City Beach.
And it sucks, because the athletes that have trained so long and hard for this event deserve enthusiastic and motivated volunteers, doing everything they can to make this experience the best it can be.
Either way, I'm going to show up and do my best to help the future Ironmen and women to have the best race day possible.  Hopefully the "management" uses the time between now and 7 am to get their shit together so that everyone will still manage to have a great time.  I will however think long and hard before offering up my time, money and energy to volunteer for this organization again.

Oh.  And for my own personal IM plans...  now that I decided to start school in January 2009, I have postponed IM plans until 2010.  Marathon plans however remain on the books (ughh!!). 

Ironman Florida, the night before

Drove up today with Sue and Krystal, had an excellent time.  Krystal sang the whole way and after I handed her my camera a lot of random (but funny) documentation took place.  Think I will have to make a collage out of the trip.
Arrived in time to go greet my friend Cameron who is racing tomorrow and then it was off to the volunteer meeting.  Although the word 'meeting' doesn't quite describe the clusterf*** taking place.  
I had been instructed to show up for the out-of-towners meeting to get an identifying volunteer t-shirt and further instructions for the area I had been loosely assigned.  I expected the finer details to cover the where, when and what of my volunteering duties.
No dice.  I finally found someone that could give me a bracelet so that I could at least make it into the area and from other volunteers I gathered that we should show up "around 7".  No volunteer t-shirt for me (sniff sniff) but instead I will wear my "Go Cameron" shirt.
Answers such as "well the race starts at 7" and "there may be a break for you if any of the other volunteers show up" didn't give me the warm fuzzies.
I can't help but feeling a little unloved and many of the other volunteers shared that sentiment.  It doesn't seem it would have taken that much to have a tad better organization in place, especially considering that this is the 10th year IMFL is held here in Panama City Beach.
And it sucks, because the athletes that have trained so long and hard for this event deserve enthusiastic and motivated volunteers, doing everything they can to make this experience the best it can be.
Either way, I'm going to show up and do my best to help the future Ironmen and women to have the best race day possible.  Hopefully the "management" uses the time between now and 7 am to get their shit together so that everyone will still manage to have a great time.  I will however think long and hard before offering up my time, money and energy to volunteer for this organization again. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween: I hate it

Time to just come out and admit it: I'm the Grinch of Halloween.
I hate everything about this holiday, especially that it isn't a holiday.
I didn't grow up Halloweening (I was a poor, deprived Icelandic child - all we got were icicles and yellow snow), so I have no warm and fuzzy childhood memories to fall back on.
I don't like being scared and I hate being startled, and I'm pissed that my peaceful TV watching nights have been disrupted by flesh eating alien flicks.  I HATE horror movies, I still remember the last one I saw.  The Ring: nightmares for 5 years and counting.
I don't like dressing up, I don't like icky kids hitting me up for candy, I don't like pumpkin-anything. Because pumpkins don't have a flavor, they are the blandest food ever.  I'm fine with bland, I actually like it, but you people* kill the poor pumpkins with cinnamon and nutmeg until there is nothing left of the original pumpkin.   Full on pumpkin violation in the spirit of Halloween.  
I am fortunate enough to have signed up for volunteering at the Florida Ironman this weekend, so on Friday night I'll be making my way to Panama City Beach, clear and free of the pesky trick-or-treaters my neighborhood is bound to be plagued with.
Halloweeners, I bid you good night.  I say good night!

* a general term used by foreigners such as me when describing Americans or American customs. Very snooty, yes.  Expect to see more of it.  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flood warning

Sometimes Accuweather is spot on.
I have this little Firefox extension on my browser that gives me the 411 on the local weather. I work in a building void of windows so I need something that helps me knowing what is going on outside since my activities are usually weather dependent.
My mini weather station has this "severe weather warning" feature which I usually completely ignore as it is not very helpful. The severe weather we have here usually comes with a few days (if not weeks) of advance warnings and a name, in alphabetical order.
Today's severe weather menu warned about floods, mostly around the Melbourne area (about 2 hrs from me) - but as it turns out, I had a mini-flood in my own back yard!

With both Cute Boy and me being gone and with it being dry and windy, the level of our pool had dipped pretty low. Something clearly needed to be done, so I got the garden hose and turned it on. Stuffed the appropriate end in the pool and promptly forgot all about it. A few hours later (I refuse to discuss exactly how many) I'm sitting on the couch alone, with my deep thoughts. The current one had me wondering why the new cat smells so much like fish when I have never even fed him fish and the other cat eats the same and doesn't smell like fish at all... and then all off a sudden I remember the hose.  Crap. 
I now have a very full and very cold swimming pool.  And then there are some very busy (and pissed off) ants in my back yard frantically relocating to higher ground.
I also have a feeling that my next water bill will be more than sixteen smackers.
It's good to be home.

Home sweet home, time to clean

Got home late last night. Had planned to be in around 5, but then Delta was looking for people willing to bump their flight in return for flight vouchers.  The gate agent paged for "Passengers with flexible travel schedule" so I jumped up and got in line.  A few moments later I stood with a new boarding pass (first class!) and 400 Delta dollars in my pocket.
I said good bye to my travel partner Morten, got a book and then made my way to the new gate. A couple of hours later we boarded and took a scenic tour of the Atlanta taxiways before returning to the gate.  The right engine didn't want to start up.  I was certain that we would have to stay in Atlanta so I called a friend to see if his couch was available - which is was - so I was prepared for everything.  Thankfully the Delta mechanics fixed the broken valve quickly so I made it home.
Today I have done a whole lot of absolutely nothing, and it's been awesome.  Bit of laundry, bit of cleaning, bit of scrubbing the pool, grocery shopping.  But mostly nothing at all.
And now it's time for some yummy tilapia with spinah - proper food for the first time in a week, I'm excited!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wrappin it up

Last day in Eloy.  It's a little less hectic now that many of the FS competitors have packed up and gone home, and most of the headdowners are still in bed nursing a hang over.   So the dropzone is quiet and we are just hanging out on the porch, enjoying the perfect temperature and the dryness.
And I love it.  The dry air suits me.  Every time I travel out west now I get more convinced that this is where I should be.  Now that Cute Boy is seriously falling in love with ground launching, I think he might be up for considering divorcing Florida and moving to the left side.
I just need to get school done and then get a move on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dry and dusty at the USPA Nationals

We arrived here in Eloy, AZ last Saturday - me and 2 of my good coworkers.  Armed with a camera and an hour-long session in editing, we set about publishing a news show from the 2008 Skydiving Nationals.   The first event was 4-way with guest competitors from as far as Russia and France!  4-way is sort of a big deal, so we were immediately thrown into the deep end of the pool, sink or swim.  We published several sort news clips and a couple of full on news shows, topped off with a Late Nite show too. 
The best part is that none of us had any previous experience in editing or shooting video, let alone any knowledge about what it took to film, edit and publish one. 
What we did have was a healthy dose of undying optimism along with a generous helping of "wing-it".
And we did it. We battled spotty internet connection, hectic schedules, technical difficulties and 18-20 hr days.   We had a blast.  We did it.  If you want to check it out, you can see it here.
Today we are taking the afternoon off.  We are going to actually have dinner more substantial than popcorn and we are going to be in bed by 8:30.
Needless to say, training is nonexcistent at the moment. That Ragnar Relay and the November time trials will be interesting :/

Friday, October 17, 2008

A coke and a smile

At last it's Friday which means I can have a some of my beloved beverage!  A few years back, after realizing I was somewhat out of control when it came to coke consumption (not just me, the entire Icelandic nation is a bunch of coca-holics), I decided to cut out soda during the week. To me soda = coke, no substitutes accepted.  Under the new abstinence law,  I would be allowed coke on weekends only, in moderation (NB weekends start at noon on Friday).
First few weeks were a little rough, but then I adjusted. At the same time Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta initiated a round of layoffs, but I am sure that was just a coincidence. Levels of moderation may vary, sometimes I'm really moderate, sometimes less so. 
I'm proud of how I have stuck to this little policy of mine and very rarely cheated.  I do make exemptions when I travel and for my birthday, and if I'm sick (esp if it's stomach related).  And now it's Friday, so I'm off to the store to pick up some of those cute little coke cans.

And maybe I'll run later, the foot seems to be easing up on the "don't step on me" policy a little.  An easy run will probably help.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BOOOM goes the ankle

Went for a run earlier, when it dawned on me that I hadn't been out running for over a week, and I'm supposed to be in serious training for the Ragnar Relay. Oooops (lame excuses are plentiful but I won't bore you with the details).
But now I might actually have a real excuse for not running - as I twisted my ankle like a pro about an hour ago. I was peacefully jogging up the road, still sort of warming up, about 10 minutes into it. Feeling pleased with me and my pace, going pretty strong for a slacker.
It's twilight, and I was thinking I should have brought along the new shiny runner reflective vest I just got, as I prepare to cross the road. There is some traffic up ahead so I decide to scoot behind a couple of cars, but keep a close eye on the 4-way stop intersection at the same time, to avoid being run over by one of the many geriatric drivers in the hood.
Turns out I should have been looking where I was going, as the next thing you know I trip into a stupid hole, my foot is pointed south and I'm stumbling like a drunk donkey. Of course every time I take a spill (or a near spill) I spring up like nothing happened with the "I'm fine, I'm fine, nothing to see here, scoot scoot away" attitude.
Except this time, the springing didn't go so well as the left ankle wasn't on board with the plan. It didn't want to move and it didn't care that I looked stupid in the middle of the road. I managed to hobble over to the side and after a little bit the throbbing went down. Remarkably enough it felt ok, so I gently finished the run, since I was already sort of halfway out.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow, but it's already clear that it's best if I just stick to riding or swimming, this running business is clearly very dangerous ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RED kitchen

Yet another weekend gone by at warp speed. 
Yesterday Cute Boy and I tagged along with some friends and did the Bakery Ride at the Mt Dora Bike Festival.  Great time, and the halfway stop at the Yalaha bakery is awesome.  I had a piece of pastry aptly named "fat mans misery", very tasty.  And probably 8000 calories or so, that fit nicely in the palm of my hand.
Today it's been home improvement day, big time.  We repaired the kitchen ceiling and then painted the kitchen red. The boy got to pick the color for this project, I wanted something sage-green-ish, but he insists that color induces vomiting and there is already too much effing green around.  Total BS, but I backed off, in accordance with the "lose the battle, win the war" theory.

On the cat front, not much progress.  iBite still hates Herman, Herman still pretty indifferent. If left alone, I think they would fight to the bitter death, or at least to bitter baldness, as fur tends to fly whenever they make contact.  iBite has spent quite a bit of time in the Isolation Chamber (guest bedroom) lately, so that Herman can spend some time with us, adjusting to indoor life.  He's a big fan of the couch and thinks the cardboard cat scratcher things are the best things since sliced bread. He's now on flee/heartworm/tick medicine, so hopefully tick on his neck will be the last one he has to deal with. And hopefully it dies too, ticks are horrid little monsters.

And so goes life in the little house by the blue lake.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Basket....

My favorite workout of the week is usually the Wednesday group ride. Spans anywhere from 20-30 miles, usually in the company of good friends that push me to do better on the bike.
Lately, it has rained on Wednesday afternoons, which doesn't make for good cycling at all.
Yesterday I REALLY wanted to bike, having all this pent up energy that tends to build up in your system when you spend a couple of days reading about your homeland going bankrupt. Full on down the tubes: friends and family faced with loss of savings, jobs, life as you know it.
And then it rained. Running wasn't an option as I'm still in somewhat sucky running shape and knew I would hack up a lung or two before I could tire myself out enough. So I opted for a spinning class, which turned out to be a great idea.
Called a few of my friends, we all met up at the Y, dragging our newest cyclist girl Adrianne along. We promised her good times and a good workout. And boy oh boy, Evelyn the spinning instructor delivered.... an hour later we emerged on wobbly feet, with Adrianne having barely enough breath left to threaten death and dismemberment to all of us for having conned her into class. But I know she loved it, especially after we made her do some core workouts on top of it.
Turns out it was a good thing we worked Adi to the bone, thus providing sleep aid. Later in the night she got the sad news that a family member had passed away. Please send some good vibes her way, she'll need a lot of those over the next few days.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pantyhose from hell

Back from a great trip to California. Went to Chicks Rock, a skydiving event at Lake Elsinore. Really had a good time hanging out with cool ladies from around the world. Also got a good bit of work done, met up with some of the sponsored athletes and instructors I work with to talk about renewals of contracts, status of current on-goings and stuff like that.
Travel back and forth was uneventful, for the most part. My DVT leg did swell up a little on the way back, but less than normal. I was good about getting up, staying hydrated and wiggle my toes - plus made sure to get enough rest and keep the leg up. Seemed to make a world of difference.

I have also invested in a $109 pair of tights for future travels called Skins. They are essentially a tight spandex batman looking pants, designed to compress and keep blood from pooling in my legs. I will get to use it on a trip in about 2 weeks when I head out to Arizona for the US skydiving nationals and am strangely excited about that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brand new Y!

Yay, the DeLand YMCA has been a crummy little place to work out since I first got here.  But no longer, they just opened up the new addition and we are now working out in a well lit, clean and bright room.  We even have windows, and there are fresh, new machines. 
Even the staff stands taller, smiles brighter and is more helpful than ever.  Full on Stepford Y, in a sense.
I'm silly excited about this and plan to be a frequent visitor over the winter, as I build up my thunder thighs needed for time trials.  And maybe do some other workouts too.

My only complaint is the pool.  They did make a handful of improvements there too, but it's still pretty useless for swimming.  It's still only 25 yds, and they still only do 2 lap lanes, and they still have the stupid water slides protruding nicely into the deep end of the lap lanes, ready to slice your arm off.
No love for swimmers, so I guess I'll keep visiting pools in neighboring towns when it's swim time.