Sunday, November 26, 2006

Single Parent Blues

My wife is in Europe for the week and it's time for me to experience life as a single parent. My wife's been traveling a lot throughout the fall, but this is the longest trip by far. More importantly, it's the first time she's been gone for two consecutive weekends. Weekends are doubly difficult because without extended family to help out, I basically don't have any time for myself (except for a short time after the little boy goes to sleep).

That being said, this weekend was an excellent time to bond with my son. With excellent weather, we made two trips into the District. The boy's too young to really appreciate museums just yet, but I was able to meet up with out-of-town friends who also have children. And having just started walking within the last few weeks, my son was having a ball wandering around the American Indian Museum. Today, we had even more fun at the zoo. Since I didn't have to worry about anybody else keeping up, I was able to quickly motor his stroller to all the big animals that I know he'd appreciate (and little animals too... he loved the small mammal house).

Alas, there is a still a part of me that is struggling with the demands of parenthood. Even with my wife home, I've lost most of the time I used to use for creativity. I find that I'm having a really hard time finding the time/energy to prepare for games, do personal technical projects, blog, and even continue studying my Chinese (which, I'm sorry to say, I haven't touched in months).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Will It Blend?

Just because I haven't posted something goofy in a while... check out the extreme blending at Blendtec.

File It Under Adventure

Ok, it's taken me almost a week but I think I've finally recovered from last Saturday's Richmond Marathon. As I had previously mentioned, I had been quite sick over the preceding two weeks. But the race seemed to start well anyway. At the half-way mark, I was flying along ahead of my goal pace. The weather was cool and the course was beautiful. But then the sun came out and my respiratory infection started to catch up on me. At the 20 mile mark, I was about 3 minutes off my best 20 mile training run. The remainder of the race was pure, utter hell. But I finished and I finished well, all things considered. My total place was 90th of 2918 (I had previously thought it was 89th but someone chipped in ahead of me, even though I finished first). I finished 80th among men and 18th in the 35-39 age group. Best of all, I qualified for the Boston Marathon. Now, I just need to decide if I'm going to run it in 2007.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Living On Borrowed Time

I am supposed to be running the Richmond Marathon tomorrow. I was going to run it last year, but I sustained a leg injury several weeks before the race and was unable to run. This year, my training has been going extraordinarily well. Just three weeks ago, I ran my last 20 mile training run at nearly race pace (too fast, according to Hal Higdon's program, but I felt really good). Then, as if the Fates couldn't possibly let things get too easy, my entire family came down with a really, really nasty cold (possible RSV). I've been feeling marginally better in the last few days. I ran 6 fast miles two days ago and spent about 10 minutes coughing afterwards. But i finally feel like I just might be able to run after all. This morning's easy two-miler felt comfortable... least until I was hit by a car!

Yes, I was hit by a car this morning. I was running across an intersection about two blocks from my house and thought this guy saw me. Obviously, he didn't. As he blew through the stop sign, I had to vault the hood of his car. It happened almost in slow motion. The whole time I wasn't thinking about serious injury. I was just thinking, "Crap! I have my race tomorrow!"
Well, it looks like I'm ok. I wound up on the curb with my heart racing a hundred miles an hour. But I don't feel any i pain. The guy was obviously very freaked out and he gave me all his contact information. But I really think we both escaped a potentially bad situation - serious injury for me and a whole host legal troubles for him.

So I will be running tomorrow. Hopefully, I'm done with my pre-race scares.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mice and the Fountain of Pinot Noir

As a follow up to this post on caloric restriction in monkeys, there has been a swirl of media coverage on the recent study of the effects of resveratrol (found in red wine) on mice with "McDonalds diets". Apparently, it seems to mimic the effects of caloric restriction in mammals. Studies on humans can't be too far off. More details can be found in this CNN article.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dresden Dolls

Other than a nasty cold that seems to be holding the entire family hostage, things have been good around here. Good, but very busy. Blogging has fallen down on my list of priorities. But I did want to mention that this past weekend, Christy and I celebrated our fourth anniversary by going to see the Dresden Dolls in Philly. I have only recently discovered the band, though they've been on my radar for a while. Essentially, they can be described as Cabaret-Punk. They consist of a woman who sings and plays piano and a man who plays drums and sometimes guitar. The music is great, but their live performances are really what makes them special. There are true performers who try to make shows special with dancer, costumes, and audience participation. They don't just get on stage and play music. And they have this amazing sex appeal that is kind of hard to describe. Anyway, if you get the chance, I do recommend that you check them out.

Immortal Monkeys

Here is a great article from the New York Times about slowing the effects of aging through caloric restriction. Because actual caloric restriction might be too difficult for most people, scientists are now working on drugs that mimic the effects. One researcher in the article estimated that with the help of such drugs, humans could have 112 healthy years and some might even reach 140.