18 May 2008

Old river ramble

Well, I got back into the scene today with a 10k in West Linn called the old river ramble. I have not been racing much and certainly not training for any racing but when the race number gets pinned on, all bets are off. But expectations were low (but Sub 40 was a must ;). It was a pretty nice day, after 2 days in the 90s it was in the 70s with full sun. The course was along the willamette river in West Linn and Lake Oswego, and wound through Mary Young state park.

My only race strategy was to not start too fast and get passed by 5 people during mile 3, when I couldn't go any faster. I saw Wendy (a local all-star), and i decided to pace myself with her. It was a good plan, but I probably would have started a bit slower than the 5:39 that we ran. But it felt ok and I just went. The race sort of reminded me of a Nordic race in Bend, only you can replace XC-Oregon, with Team Red Lizard. I think all the people in front of me had red lizard shirts on, which is cool. They have a strong club up in here. So anyway... back to the race, it seemed to fly by all of a sudden we were going up hill and it was mile 5. I heard a guy breathing hard in back of me and I decided to drop that fool, and try and catch Wendy. I didn't quite catch her, but I turned in a solid 38:53. Not a PR, but hey, it's a course PR!

Next up is the starlight 5k at the end of the month. 3000+ people, along the rose festival parade route.

After the race, we biked downtown to see Barack Obama. Turns out, about 72,000 other Portlanders had the same idea. It was pretty cool, and you have to wonder if Hillary would have had the same kind of turnout. Here's the view we had. He started out the speech by saying wow like 10 times. It was a pretty massive crowd. (my first you-tube upload below).

07 May 2008


School is about it these days. Still have a job, and that tends to get in the way of academics, which seems to be the priority these days. Still running, but the race schedule is a bit up in the air right now. Some good experiments going on in electro-chemistry. If you've noticed the photos in the flickr side bar, we built a Cu-Zn daniels cell, that measured 1.05 volts. So it worked, but it really wasn't that exciting. Yesterday, things got a bit more exciting. We built an electrolyzer, to capture hydrogen, and see how much we could get out of some KOH (potassium hydroxide). Well, it was working really good with while pumping about 2.5 volts in there. We were getting way more bubbles than I thought we would, so I guess you could say the experiment was a success. Next week we'll take more precise measurements. Here's a rough diagram of our design:So there you have it. But that's not the end of the story.

We asked Bob (professor) if there was a safe way we could 'light' the hydrogen. (Heck, it was already mixed with oxygen right there for us) He said "well, not really", in a sort of confused tone. Problem was, my lab partners were focused on this endeavor, to light the gas. (even though it was not part of our thesis for this experiment.) Somehow I think they must have thought it would burn like natural gas on the stove, you know gently. I thought more along the lines of the hindenburg. So, with goggles on, (lab partner 1), [aside: lab partner 1 has a few tatoos, and he has 1 behind each ear, on the left, is a whispering devil, and on the right is a whispering angel] borrows (lab partner 2) lighter, and proceeds to "burp" the hydrogen up (think like your farting in the bathtub). I was already back about 5 feet with my arms shielding my head, when all of a sudden this Super loud POP, and lab partner 1 drops the beaker (didn't break), but it did give us a good scare, and I think my life flashed before my eyes for a second. We apologized to Bob for being wildly inappropriate, and I think he might give future classes a brief lecture on safety (or maybe just common sense). No one got hurt, so we got a little bit of a laugh out of it.

Today we had the midterm in Circuits. It wasn't too bad. The final will be much harder according to Mateo (Mateo=professor, see link on right). A couple of weeks ago he showed us a computer program he wrote to predict the price of stocks. Today while we were taking our midterm, he filed a patent application for something that was related to platforms for collecting and analyzing biomedical research. He's also 27 years old, so I guess you could say he's pretty smart. Great guy to learn from here at OIT. He also assigned to us what he told us is about 15 hours worth of homework for next week (class meets once/week). Hmm. I have tomorrow and Friday set to work at my job, Saturday afternoon is Diff. Eq (yea saturday class what the hell is that?), Sunday i guess I know what I'll be doing. (NOT BLOGGING that's for sure.)

Next week is the MT HOOD CYCLING classic. Last year it was an awesome experience, racing with the cat 3s, and this year, well, the only riding I'm doing is bike commuting, so no racing next week for me. Laurie however is going to be volunteering with doping controls, to see if she can catch some of those doped up cyclists. And the first 2 stages are here in Portland this year!!!! Tuesday the prologue is going to be downtown, and it should be spectacular. I however, will be in class.

hosta la veesta.