Thursday, April 29, 2010

con travel

I apologize for no post last week. After spraining my ankle stepping on the cat and with being busy and tired from work, I was not up to making a chart.

This weekend I will be driving to Troy, MI for Penguicon 2010. The con was created for open source programming (Linux) but to me it has become a great place to hang out with friends, to listen to music, to collect ribbons and to drink to the point where at 2:30 AM you are playing Guitar Hero against a person dressed as a Roman soldier as both of you are bellowing the lyrics to Free Bird. This year the music chairperson has over 15 hours of scheduled music planned and it should be a fun weekend.

I started to wonder how many times since I went to Marscon 2004 have I left the Chicago area for a convention and figured out this will be the 42nd time. The breakdown by state is as follows:

I did count Merillville, IN as outside the Chicago area since it took me 2 hours to get there on a Friday afternoon and the three Illinois ones in the chart are for one in Rockford and two near St. Louis. (the Chicago area con chart will be another post)

My attendence at those cons ranged from showing up to just to watch and help Luke Ski do a show to getting there on Thursday, staying four nights in a hotel and leaving Monday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

America's worst driver

Until I was inspired on Tuesday, there was going to be no chart.

Here is a video clip from the April 17th show premiering on the Travel channel at 7PM central time. This features Chris and Timm Waffle, the members of the comedy band Hot Waffles.

In the picture of the group from Marscon posted last month, he is the one lying on the floor.

Family Circus style driving part 7

This happened Tuesday evening. I got a phone call and had to drive 2 miles to help wife who had a car problem.

I had to go to the gas station and pay 6 bucks for a can since I was not comfortable pushing it over train tracks not knowing when the commuter train would arrive.

P.S. She did not realize there was a gas station there until I told her since she usually does not go to it.

P.P.S. She did not call me until after On Star said it would take 45 minutes for them to help her.

I did run out of gas one time in 1996. After working 4AM to 4PM and taking 90 minutes through normal Chicago area traffic for that time of day to drive home, I was so tired I left the engine running even though I locked the car door. It was not discovered until the next morning after a frantic search for the one set of car keys which was discovered in the ignition of the car which was no longer running after using the quarter tank of gas that was in it ten hours before.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

two topics in one

As it is 2010 and my year for the activity that distracts me from golf, my wife's recent participation in the Shamrock Shuffle inspired me to state that I could easily do a 5K run in 40 minutes. (In April 2009, I posted a chart called my circle of golf which explains why 2010 is my year of distraction. I can't get the Html to work correctly to provide a direct link)

The responses have mostly ranged from concern about me hurting myself to doubt, to laughter, and to stating that people who run 5 kilometer races generally don't eat vending machine cheeseburgers at nine in the morning. I decided to try to do it without telling anyone in my family so I can show them the result of me doing a 40 minute 5K and with many good things that happen in my life or any time I make an undisputable point get the awkward silent response from them.

Yes, the chart is based on about 3.1 X minues/mile. I would need to average 12:52 per mile to make it in 40 minutes.

I realized that to accomplish that goal that I would definitely need to train and since my legs mainly suffer from lack of fitness, I decided to join the park district fitness studio for three months and if I have not injured myself or got disgusted with it, to continue from there. I have realized that there will be pain in my life but if I work out there, the pain will only occur in that room and not every minute like it can happen now.

This Tuesday, I left work, changed into my decent gym shoes and shorts and went inside. I then realized over the next half hour that my fitness level is significantly worse than 2006 and my 40 minute goal is likely not going to happen.

At least I won't have a reason to try to overdo it. If this allows me to hurt less throughout the day, then it will be a benefit.

I also discovered that someone created a Facebook group about people who grew up at the park where I played tag football. Looking at pics I noticed one taken in 1990 of my former teammate who was the starting center of the team that won the 1986 championship.

A few years later we were on different teams and as he caught a point after touchdown conversion in the end zone I knocked him down as hard as I could in an effort to get my lethatgic teammates going. When he got up and punched me as hard as he could, the benches emptied.

Though he was tossed out of the game and suspended for the next one, we were ok with it. He was surprised that I knocked him down and that his punch did not knock me down let alone out. His teammates were pissed at me and the rematch would have been interesting had I not hurt my knee the following game.

The game after that I cost my team a touchdown on a kickoff by protecting myself instead of trying to fight through a block and realized that it was time to do something else.