Saturday, September 13, 2008

A day of odds and ends

--We all got up early on this Saturday because we wanted to have breakfast together and the new car was scheduled for FREE! routine service this morning at 8:00AM

--Surenna wanted help with uploading videos to her blog. In the past we would upload to YouTube and then embed from there, but recently Blogger has added a tab for directly embedding. But, Safari doesn't have that tab. So, I installed Firefox on her Mac and as you can see from her blog, if you go there, she has been embedding video non-stop.

--Vaishali had promised Surenna a trip to the mall as a reward for doing Summer academic work, the other two girls wanted to play at grandparent's house and I needed insulation for the attic--I was up there a few weeks back and was appalled at how little insulation there was. So, I figured on taking the truck: Drop the two girls off at grandparent's, drop mom and daughter at mall, pick-up insulation and then retrieve the shoppers and head home. Eh, didn't work out that way.

I was in the Home Depot insulation section and they had rolls of R30 packaged in 6-roll bales. Each roll had a little more than 30 square feet of coverage, so I figured one bale would do around 200 square feet. While I was figuring out how much I needed, I noticed a guy there with his teen-aged son--also looking at attic insulation. He was cutting open bales to get at the individual rolls and asked if I wanted him to cut open some for me. I replied that the bales seemed like a nice neat and compact packaging solution as they were. He seemed incredulous that I would need a whole bale! And started out instructing me on how to measure area--take the length of your attic and multiply by the width...Yes, I know! Each bale of 6 rolls only does 200 square foot, so I will need 4 or 5 bales.

The guy continued cutting open bales and ended up cutting into the roll packaging, leaving greatly expanded bats of fiberglass swelling around the openings. I don't think he ended up buying anything. I stacked 4 bales onto a dolly. Another guy, this one not a clown, helped me lift the 4th one to the top of the stack. These 4 bales filled our Yukon XL! There is about 3 feet behind the 3rd row seat and I had to put down the 3rd row AND 2nd row seats to fit it all in. I couldn't bring the ladies home from the mall unless Surenna sat on her mom's lap. They didn't want to do that and agreed to the great hardship of staying at the mall for an extra hour of shopping while I ran the truck home and came back in another car.

--Once home the girls took the dog for a long walk while I mowed the lawn.

--Grandparents brought home the girls and stayed for dinner along with a relative who comes out from Brookline on weekends sometimes to visit.

--Vaishali made Chicken Tikka Masala, Aloo Ghobi, Tandoori Chicken and a few other things. I played Scrabble with her parents.

--Next, real soon, brownies made by Surenna. Yum!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday Marathon training...

This is a shorter run than the other long ones, but I am much happier with it for a couple of reasons:

1. Even though it has a woodland trail, I was able to pretty accurately map it due to geographic features and that I could identify entrance and exit points.

2. I hammered on he pace. Every time I felt myself slowing, I dug-down and got back up to speed. I hit the 13.1 mile mark right at 1:45--which is right at my marathon goal pace of 8 minutes/mile. I slacked off right after that point in part because I had hoped to take the rail trail back, but there was a cop parked right there so I chickened-out and took the (steeply up-hill) road instead.

Update: Ran 4.25 miles Thursday, fast, but untimed because I forgot to bring my watch to work.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lets Just Wait 5 Years and See What Happens

Right now we are at the bottom of an 11-year cycle. This means we will be at the bottom of the next cycle in around 11 years. It also means we will know how high the top of the cycle will be in between 5 and 6 years. As we can see from the above graph, there is a pretty strong correlation between sun spots and climate. If we see a peak in around 2013 of 50 or fewer sun spots per month, then we need to prepare for colder weather. It is not clear that high sun spot levels like the 250/month 1950's would send us into the other extreme. It happened in the 1950's and everything was A-Okay Daddy-O.


WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a media teleconference Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 12:30 p.m. EDT, to discuss data from the joint NASA and European Space Agency Ulysses mission that reveals the sun's solar wind is at a 50-year low. The sun's current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday marathon training run

Run notes:

1. I was feeling tired and slow by mile 3--this was going to be a long day...

2. Canal Street started bad and got worse: There were all kinds of no-trespassing signs, which I ignored since I had no idea how to connect with the rest of the planned run if I skipped this part. The road degenerated into an underwater path--probably due to the hurricane induced torrential rains we had last night.

3. At about mile 6 I saw the most interesting house: It was octagonal, I think. It was close to the corner of Brick Kiln Road and 3A (Boston Road).

4. Toward the end of the run a boxer ran up to me and then followed me for about half a mile. A boxer can be an intimidating dog, but this one was a puppy, although almost full grown. He followed me the way dogs do: He would run 100 feet ahead, investigate a front yard and then dash back to me and run alongside for a bit. A couple of times he even playfully shouldered into my hip.

Update: Monday 4.25 Miles in 32:32

Update2: Tuesday 4.0 miles, run in the AM with the dog. Untimed