"This fog is thick as peanut butter."

"You mean pea soup."

"You eat what you like and I'll eat what I like!"

- Yukon Cornelius and Hermey the Elf

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Owl Has Arrived

I read a story once about a man whose adventures took him far away from other people for many years. A minor detail to the story line was that he'd brought with him the very last book from his favorite author. He had never read it, and even though he was alone and had this book with him, he wouldn't read it. I remember thinking: Just read it, you idiot! What if something happens and you never get to read it?!

But now I understand. Because today I hold in my hands the very last unread Harry Potter book. I've been sitting here with it for an hour. I've read the entire jacket, the title page, the dedication, even the publisher's notes about copyright and permissions. But I can't make myself start reading yet.

This is that moment. The one right before you experience something wonderful (I hope) and you know it's coming, but it hasn't happened yet. This is one of those moments that you only get to live once.

Muggles might think all this sounds silly, but some of these books comforted me through some really hard times. And others were read during some really wonderful times in my life. The memories and emotions are now intertwined with the stories and characters. And just think - there are people all over the world right now, opening this book for the first time just like me. They're living one of those moments.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The "Rape" of Justice

Please. If you are a woman, please go here and read this blog entry. If you are a man who knows and likes one or more women, please also read this blog entry.

Please read it. I'm too disgusted and appalled to comment on it right now.

This is now the end of my rapidly waning respect for the American justice system. Justice is utterly, utterly dead.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Boilermaker 2: Race Day

Well, I managed to haul my lazy butt out of bed in time to head down to Utica for the big race. Start time was 8:00 and I parked myself about a half mile from the finish line, just down the street from a troop of bagpipers. I didn't have to wait long for the action to start.

First, the wheelchairs began to appear.

The wheelchair race (a separate race using the same course) starts 15 minutes earlier, at 7:45. By 8:15,

Krige Schabort blasted by. He was a good 5 minutes ahead of everybody else.

These guys are intense, racing along with their heads down, totally focused.

After most of the wheelchair riders had gone, it was about 8:40 when we heard the sirens start. First a police car, then two big pace trucks. Right behind those were the two front runners.

In the understatement of the year, wow, they were FAST!

By this time, they had run full tilt for 9 miles, with a half mile to go. And they didn't even look like they were breathing hard!

(Do you love the guy with the megaphone yelling "wake up! half a mile!" He yelled that at every single runner. Good times.)

I love this quote the Utica Observer Dispatch printed from the winner, Nicholas Kamakya: ""I liked the race because it's so perfect," he said. "It's a bit flat and some hills." Kamakya said he likes the 15-kilometer distance. After the 10-kilometer mark, he begins to feel strong and hit his stride, he said."

Yes, after running 10K, he "begins to feel strong." Well folks, I walked for 8K yesterday, and after about 4 kilometers I began to feel like lying down in the grass.

So here's the number 3 and 4 runners.

And some more runners.

After two hours of lots of sweaty people running by, these folks were hanging on, but starting to look like they wanted to lie down in the grass too. It's a good thing megaphone man was there to tell them to "smile! Don't be mean to yourself - smile!"

My pictures kind of suck, but if you're still interested, there's lots of footage on the local news websites:
This came from the Channel 2 website

An interview with the winner.

Video from the starting line.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


boil·er·mak·er [boi-ler-mey-ker]
1. A beverage made from a shot of whiskey submerged in a mug of beer
2. A 15K road race held annually in Utica, NY. Considered to be the largest and most competitive 15k run in the country, with men and women participating from around the world.

Now folks, I'd never been the slightest bit interested in running as a sport, but it's impossible not to get caught up in the excitment around here. This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the Utica Boilermaker. There are more than 12,000, that's 12 THOUSAND, runners participating tomorrow. While the race is open to anyone, professional or amateur, this race attracts the best of the best from around the country and around the globe. (I say the race is open to anyone, but that's anyone who can run 15 kilometers - 9.32 miles - in under 2 hours. The faster runners do it in under 45 minutes. The very thought makes me want to lie down.)

According to my manager, whose husband is running tomorrow, racers love this town. They say it is the only race where instead of small pockets of onlookers, the entire length of the course is lined with spectators cheering them on. In fact, there is a competition among the four area neighborhoods to see who can cheer the loudest.

The Boilermaker has grown to an entire weekend worth of events, with several shorter runs, a youth run and an 8k walk on Saturday. Walking?! That's for me! I walked with a group from my new employer, Upstate Cerebral Palsy. What fun! Want to come with us?

Let's go! Here we are at the starting line...

It's gonna be a looong walk. But there's entertainment along the way.

Local bands are serenading us...

The local news stations are out...

And all along the way, people are sitting out on their lawns cheering us on. This family put out gigantic speakers on the lawn and is blasting...you guessed it....Aerosmith's "Walk This Way."

And we're at the finish line!! Check out that record time!

Whew! It's hot and I'm tired. And I've gotta go home and take Zeke for a walk now...Oh boy.

See you tomorrow at the race!! We've got to get up early. And don't forget your sunscreen.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Think I'll Name Him Leonard

Hey Canada! Happy Birthday! You look great - have you lost weight? Been excersizing? It must be that Universal Health Care that's doing it. Many happy returns of the day!

Mom and Dad visited last weekend and I was speculating about the local chipmunks. How their tails seem fluffier and they seem a little larger and less shy than their southern cousins. Maybe these were a different species, or a sub-species?

In the interest of science, (or maybe a door was left open?) one was helpfully invited into the house for a more close-up comparison and photo shoot.

Unfortunately, our little house guest soon discovered the many seeds dropped by Mango and the handy food and water dishes left out for Zeke and he decided to outstay his welcome. He was here for several days, occassionally "chip"ing behind me in the kitchen before I finally spotted him running across the floor in the dining room.

My informed scientific observations:

Chipmunks are nearsighted. He only seemed to actually see me when I was moving and walked right past me as I sat on the floor in the kitchen, trying not to giggle.

Chipmunks are fast.

Chipmunks are naughty.

Chipmunks jump right into havahart mousetraps if you leave them in the right spot.

(Another scientific observation: my floor is gross. Sorry.)

In addition to all the research and wildlife relocation, I've been knitting. Socks are, of course, always on the needles around here. I finished the stripey pair for Mom but forgot to take pictures before sending them on. Maybe one day I can borrow them back for pictures.

My newest pair is these:
"Embossed Leaves" socks from Interweave Knits, which I've been dying to make almost since I first started knitting, but I didn't have the pattern. Then, I was given the magazine issue for free!! Score! Here they are in green Koigu.

Here's a shot with my hand jammed inside to try to stretch out the pattern a bit. See? Leaves!

I wanted to work on something bigger too, but don't have enough yarn for a sweater. What I DO have is a lot of the same yarn I made my stripey sweater in, but in colors I didn't want to actually wear. So... a lap robe!

I was inspired by a gal at my knit group who made an awesome baby afghan in strips. So mine will be a sampler in strips of each color, with the pieces later knitted together. This section is flowers done in knit and purl. (I scavenged the flower from a pattern for a bag that I didn't like.)

Other sections will be cables or what have you. I'll just keep going until I run out of yarn or patience. Neat-o! Except I might rip this bit out and start over. I don't think I like the border....