Aug 15

Back to school

Back to campus for the first day of another fall term. It rained a lot and there was no parking. There is a video circulating among the campus set of the president ferrying people to their buildings in a golf cart. Did that happen at your university? The president of the institution was out this morning in a slicker and a baseball cap, driving people to and fro.

It took me 34 minutes to park this morning, and it seemed like most everyone had a similar tale, but at least the good folks in the administration building know what is going on on their campus.

First class today, I’m teaching a social media practices class this fall. I’m excited to see what becomes of it.

After class the rain had moved off and the sun appeared. I saw this on one of the bike racks:

I moved my car closer, because, according to the collection of emails, that’s going to be the game of the first week back in classes. This is the largest student body Samford has ever had, some construction is wrapping up here and there and heavy equipment is using some parking. They’re going to invent a new parking lot from thin air soon.

I think that’s because the folks with the truly impressive titles were out shuttling students and faculty this morning. They know. They know, they understand and they’re eager to make this work.

Great place to be.

Went to the big blue box store tonight. I got excited when I saw this:

And then you tilt it over, pick it up, read the label and look inside. There’s no Play-Doh inside. A terrific con. Buy this bucket and the few bits of plastic inside. Play-Doh not included.

Aug 15

Catching up

We went to a wedding last night. A dear friend, a sister that should be. We’ve known each other for 12 years and she’s just about the sweetest, nicest, hardest working person you could ever hope to meet. I’d go on and on. She’d hate that. Anyway, Elisabeth and Chris said things in front of people and signed documents and now it is official.

They’re a sweet couple and they had a lovely wedding and a terrific reception.

Everyone just went on and on about it, as they do. And we all enjoyed meeting the people that helped shape the people we were there to celebrate. It was pretty much what these things should be. And delicious food. Also, there were rubber duckies:

Here’s the shirt from yesterday’s race. Awesome design, very yellow.

Aug 15

Chattahoochee Olympic Triathlon

The race was fast. I was just slow.

We rode our bikes to the race from our nearby hotel. Rode across the state line, actually. And we did that in the dark, with little blinkie lights on our bikes showing the way.

We got there in plenty of time. Nice easy setup. Met race veterans and three people who were doing their first race. It was a nice relaxed pre-race morning, as opposed to the usual stress. This race was launched in age-group waves, so The Yankee went off earlier than I did, scorching people in the water and then burning up tar on the road.

When my group went off we pushed away and swam downstream 500 meters. You climb out of the water at a boat launch, run back upstream and swim it again. So the swim is short, just 1,000 meters, but that jog counts to your swim, which means I had my best 1,500 meter swim time ever. It still wasn’t very good.

Out of the water, finally, and up to transition where I climbed on the bike and settled in deciding that I would ease into the 20-something mile ride. It was a two loop course, roads with which I am familiar, and I figured that maybe I would be better served pacing myself early and going hard on the second time around. On the first loop, though, I felt my legs lock up. And on the second loop my legs said “No. This is what it feels like when your legs lock up.”

And after that nice little ride, where I didn’t get to hammer it much of anywhere, I was back in transition and setting off for a run. THis is the second time, by the way, I’ve run across a state line. (You don’t keep track of this sort of thing?)

The course offered three miles of river views:

And then there were three miles of downtown views. And somewhere right in between everything started going wrong.

You shouldn’t get chills two hours into exercise in the August sun, but I did. It seemed wise to take everything easy after that, and so I did. When I got to the end I wanted a blanket and calories. It was an unsatisfying race for me. But the weather was nice and the people were pleasant. And this one had a great race:

I didn’t see her until a few parts of the run course. She did this thing where she beat her goal and still wasn’t satisfied with herself. (Don’t race her.)

Aug 15

Those people

Still playing with the light diffuser box:

That’s a pot we picked up in Ephesus, in 2010, during our honeymoon. One of the better stops on a terrific trip. I wrote about it:

Mustafa then took us to the house of Jesus’ mother. This is believed, by some, to be where she lived her final years. John was said to have had the house built here because he was preaching in the area and this was one of the safer non-Christian cities available to them. (Others disagree and believe Mary lived and died in Jerusalem.)

So the story goes that a 19th Century nun had a vision of a location of the house. Her description led a researcher to this spot, but his discovery didn’t gain much attention. The place was subsequently re-discovered a decade later, ruins were uncovered and, in the 1950s, the modern house was built there. A red line on the structure is meant to demonstrate the original building and the new structure.

Since then it has become an important pilgrimage for many. Muslims and Christians alike come here, viewing the place as an important religious destination. There’s a stream running under the house, from which you can drink of the sacred waters.

We put water from the stream into these vessels but, being untreated terra cotta, it just drained away.

Haircut today. Basic general grocery store – drug store errands. Had a short ride and an easy mile run. We’re racing tomorrow. This is the weather:

Isn’t that lovely? I’m not fit enough to race in weather like that, mostly because it has been to hot to train a lot. So tomorrow will be fun.

We got a hotel room just across from the race. (It is an out-of-town event.) We’re going to ride our bikes, in the dark, to the starting line tomorrow. We have lights for that. Because we’re those people … The riding to a race people … The riding in the dark with lights people … That also means we’re riding back to the room after the race people … And so on.

Aug 15

Folded re-discovery

I was looking for my other microphone, my Sennheiser classic, which meant I had to go through this box in that closet and then another box and so on.

What? You don’t have more than microphone at home? The Sennheiser records a better sound than my newer, cheaper microphones.

Anyway, just before I found it I ran across my origami collection in a box of desk supplies. Kelly made these for me years ago. (There’s no medium she can’t conquer, it seems.)

I had always intended to use them here, actually, but as an under construction place holder. I just never really built a site so intense as to make use of them in that way. So I put them in my homemade diffuser box that I’ve been tinkering with recently. It isn’t perfect, but it does help make a neat picture. These are with my phone, even: