17 November 2009


OK it usually doesn't rain all day everyday, but not a very sun-shiny forecast. Winter in the PNW. Snow in the mountains though!

06 November 2009

Columbia Gorge Marathon saga

Since I've been meaning to write a post for over a week now to recap the columbia gorge marathon, well, here goes! This year, I really wanted to do a fall marathon. Since my MN days, running the twin cities a few times and chicago, I really wanted to get the feel of another marathon. Running in the fall is just the best. The cool air, the leaves on the trees, can't beat it. I ran Portland marathon in 2004 (our 1st year in Oregon), so that was the last road marathon for me.

I found out about the CG marathon way back last spring when we were having breakfast with our friend and neighbor Susan and her sister Leslie and her husband. Leslie lives in Hood River, and said that they were thinking about organizing it, they found a sponsor, this and that... So I told her to keep me posted. Pretty much immediately when I got word of the race being on, I registered and started thinking about how sweet it was going to be.

Well my training plan was working pretty much perfect. We got back from spain, and I started doing long runs and even some speed work, and I was in pretty good shape, even though I wasn't doing many races, but I was planning on running a 1/2 marathon in Bend 2 weeks before CG marathon. Then, two weeks and six days before the race I was doing a 'recovery' run in Forest Park, and tripped on a rock or root or something, and smacked my ribs pretty hard. I tried running on that Thursday, and was in too much pain. the next week I took it easy but biked one day (felt crappy, ribs hurt). The weekend before the marathon I was able to do some easier running, but it was still hurting. The days leading up to the race it really started to feel better, each day, which gave me confidence that I should at least be at the starting line.

I drove out there on race morning, and was a little intimidated by some of the strong winds in the gorge in the amazingly dark early morning; if it was going to be that windy, the race would not be fun. Finally I arrived at the start area and a few people were around, but it was calm and non crowded as ever. Had a good chat with Leslie, Win (fellow pdx runner) and Kelly (pdx run oregon blogger). Finally made it over to the staring line and found Sean, good buddy (and rival) from central oregon. We chatted, took some photos, and then it was getting time to start. Chad (race director) did a little speech and then he said GO! The 7 or so miles were nice, just chatting with Sean and Win like it was a wednesday noon run or something. Rather uneventful, except that we noticed some of the mile-markers didn't seem right. We got to Mosier and Sean picked up a gu and put the hammer down. I tried to keep him in sight, but was only successful in keeping the 2nd place guy in sight. However, it was at this part of the race where I knew I was going OK (ribs weren't going to stop me today).

One of the coolest moments of the race was near the 1/2 way and high point on the race profile there was a helicopter hovering really low and taking some photos. It felt like we were getting tour de france style coverage! Then it was a right turn and downhill back to Mosier, where I arrived in 2nd place, with no sign of Sean. The long climb back up to the bike bath to hood river was a real grinder, and I was taking it at my pace and went back to 3rd. I did not lose too much time however and still had intentions of trying to catch Joel for 2nd place with even 2.5 miles to go. Then I just said to myself, you are having a great race, just hold on for the finish. The last 2 miles flew by (maybe a little short), but the feeling of finishing this race in sub-2:55 fashion was pretty outstanding, especially after my lack of any workouts that felt decent in the three weeks prior.

Since the marathon, Laurie left for a 2+week trip to Vietnam for operation smile, and I've been really busy with work and school, and it started getting dark really early. What is the point of daylight savings anyway?

18 October 2009


OK, here are a couple of spain pics (bike related). we were there for almost 2 weeks and saw alot of other stuff (no bullfights), but seeing la Vuelta was pretty memorable. start

Here is a pic of big mig! We saw Miguel Indurain. My friend Sean (sorta jokingly) asked me if we saw Indurain in spain, and was surprised when I said yea!!! Other (cycling) stars we saw were Cadel Evans, Fabian Cancellara, David Millar, Tyler Farrar, Vinokourov, Valverde, and a bunch of others. Vino almost won the stage we saw the finish of (he ended up 4th), and why is it that these dopers are worshiped is beyond me sometimes. Especially when 34 year olds are still dropping dead. I'm as guilty a fan as anybody I guess. I hate Valverde, as he is sorta not just a suspected doper, but an actual doper banned in Italy!!! and he is the hero and love of all the spaniards, winning la Vuelta. I guess maybe Contador is a bigger spaniard star, but he didn't show up at la vuelta this year.

As for Cadel Evans, he is the man. I was glad he got world champion stripes, the media makes him out to be a dork, but I think in real life he's a good guy at least from my observation after stage 10. Too bad he got that flat tire at Vuelta.

I thought Millar would have been uglier for some reason... He's a former doper, and now he's on the clean team Garmin, and I was going to say he never wins anymore, but he went on to win the final TT at La Vuelta, so maybe there's hope for the sport.

We're going to the race across the sky movie showing on Thursday, to see the leadville 100 mt. bike race documentary. Should be pretty cool, and I think I'm going to wear the dopers suck wrist bands for fun, and it will probably give me a little inspiration for Sunday (columbia gorge marathon), and future goals, maybe even leadville 100.

Upgraded to probable for the marathon. I'm pretty sure it will be a struggle, but I'm pretty stoked, and have been looking forward to this for a while. The crash a couple weeks ago was luckily after most of my important training, but I still feel like I haven't done enough running (and ate too many donuts) in the last 2 weeks to make a good race out of it (sub 3?). Someday I want to go sub lance (which is somewhere in the 2:50 range). One thing is for sure: running through the tunnel on the way back is going to be awesome, but it's still a ways to the finish.

13 October 2009

Day to Day

After a long lapse, I'm updating the blog. Since updating, we took a pretty sweet trip to Spain, which I hope to post a recap at some point. In short I'll just say that southern spain is a very arid landscape and the weather is hot. We saw the Vuelta

In preparing for the Columbia Gorge Marathon on Oct. 25th, I had been getting into some good form. It's been 5 years since I've ran a road marathon(ran Portland marathon in 2004 in PR time) and I'm really looking forward to this one. The course is challenging and it's got a view of the gorge most of the way. If the weather's bad it could turn out to be an epic cold and windy death march. Two weeks ago I did yasso 800s averaging 2:46 per half mile, which (according to Bart Yasso) translates to the potential of being able to run a 2hr 46min marathon. I pre-ran the final 18 miles of the CGM course felt great. I was all scheduled to run a half marathon tune up last sunday, and then last week, on a 'recovery' run at forest park, I was running on the trail and instead of staying on erickson drive, I needed to warm up so I ran up to the wildwood on wild cherry trail and came back down dogwood, where I proceeded to crash on the down hill, tripping on a root or rock or something. It wasn't running fast, but running downhill that translated into a harder fall, and I didn't catch myself really at all, and basically landed on my side and managed to scrape both the left and right shins (very minor road rash). The worst was the impact to the lower right ribs, and if you've ever had a rib injury you know the drill. Hurts to laugh, hurts to sneeze, hurts to cough. Well try running. So I tried running 3 miles last week and it was not happening. Rested the weekend and got a couple hours on the bike yesterday in a desperate attempt to keep the fitness. Feels a little better this week than last week (but it's more sore after the bike ride), so my status is day to day for the CGM.

I'm nearing completion of school and will be looking to land a job staring in 2010 (around Feb or March). What does that mean? I don't officially get done w/ school until June2010, but I only have one class for the spring term. So the job will probably be here in the valley (portland / hillsboro area). My plans are to get employment in the semiconductor industry as it relates to solar cell manufacturing. The outlook looks pretty good. The program at the school I'm in really could prepare a student for potential employment in the wind, solar (manufacturing), solar (residential), hydro, bio-fuel or electrochemistry (fuel cell) industries. At this point I'm hoping the solar manufacturing thing works out, as I already have an internship at the largest solar cell factory in the Americas. And my senior project (call it Bachelors Thesis) topic is studying the light induced degradation of mono-crystalline CZ silicon solar cells.

Hope somebody still reads the blog, and hope to write a killer race report for the gorge marathon. And if the race doesn't go so well, that's ok, but I should be on the starting line.

27 September 2009

2009 Vuelta a Espana - Stage 10 finish

It goes by pretty quick!!!

here's Simon Gerrans winning stage 10 of LA VUELTA!

30 June 2009


It's July, it's in the 90s, it must be time for... the Tour!

So the Tour starts tomorrow!! Even though I'm excited for it, I'm not excited about some things. I was pretty excited for Astana, but that was before they left Christ Horner off the tour squad. You can say that one of Contador's spanish buddies got his spot, but in reality, his LordStrong is the one who's there in place of horner...

Now, I really hope either Menchov or Evans can whoop ass on both Lance 'second coming' Armstrong and Alberto Conta-Doper, but I don't really like those guys either. Either that or Levi just crushes everyone, which is unlikely. I pick Sastre to repeat, and Cavendish to get green, and a random doper to get the polka dots. Now maybe I'll just go out and ride my bike.

Anyway, I'm back at it this weekend, with the foot traffic flat 1/2 marathon. Known for hot weather, it won't disappoint, as it's supposed to be in the 90s. So I guess that's about all for now... After using twitter so much lately, it's difficult to get more than 140 characters, but I'll keep trying.

10 June 2009

Pre classic

I had the opportunity to go to a professional track meet last sunday. The Pre-classic in Eugene is one of the best meets in the USA, in terms of the world class competition. There were no less than 34 Beijing Olympic medalists there... Here are some photos below. The rest are on flickr.

shot put winner below. He attempted a victory lap, but only made it 1/4 of the way around the track:

bowerman mile winner. His victory lap was complete in about 60 seconds, and yes he is as skinny as he looks if not skinnier. About 13 guys went under 4 minutes in the mile. Pre would be proud:

Lashawn Merrit breaking the sea-level world record in the 300m.

Dwight Phillips just after jumping the 5th longest long jump ever, 8.74m (or 28 feet 8.25 inches) holy crap.

Sanya Richards, just before going sub 50 in the 400m.


27 April 2009

RIP Sasha Clapper

We built one bad ass power supply (below), and a sweet electrolyzer. I met Sasha in Spring of 2008, when we were lab partners in Electrochemistry at OIT. The students in our program are diverse and Sasha was no exception. We're talking about a dude with neck tattoos, on one side, the angel whispering in his ear, and on the other side, the devil.

He will always be remembered in the lab for the experiments we ran. Especially when he ignited the hydrogen that we produced in our electrolyzer.

taken 4/21/2009

Rest in peace, my friend, it's not going to be the same at school without you.

22 April 2009

21 April 2009

Power supply

School is keeping me busy, with Power Electronics, Heat transfer and Vector calculus. By far the most interesting is power electronics. Why? cause you get to build stuff. Lab 1 of power electronics, we built a power supply. Basically we took a PC power supply and took everything out except the fan, and designed a power supply w/ a 5 volt DC, 12 volt DC, negative 12 volt DC and an adjustable voltage with 1-15 volts DC. It takes power from the wall outlet (120 Volts AC), and converts the power to DC and regulates it. My lab partner Sasha helped. We soldered the board 3 times before we got it right, so we learned some things. The fan runs, although the power supply will probably not generate too much heat, but it's nice to have the fan run, so we at least know the thing is working.

Holy crap, 3 blogs in one day. I'm doing twitter now. yippe.

two wheeled awesomeness

thanks bro, via facebook

do you have mac envy?

28 March 2009

Whistler Olympic Park - trail report

Well, here we are, back in rainy Portland, after having spent some time up north previewing the Nordic venue for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler. We made it up to Vancouver last Saturday, before heading up to Whistler on the 99. They are totally expanding this road, which basically means they are blasting out a bunch of rocks, to make room for a wider highway. It seems pretty amazing that they are going through all of that just for the Olympics, but I guess, that's what they had to do to get the bid. Now thinking back to last summer watching China's Olympics, w/ the 100,000 seat stadium, I think of what Vancouver has that may be similar? hmmm, they have a metrodome like structure! good luck with that. And whistler has no big venue that holds alot of people, but I guess by comparison, nobody watches the nordic races (compared to figure skating) so they are probably fine. BUT, one third of the events are going to be at whistler Olympic park (between xc, biathlon, jumping and nordic combined).

As for the Nordic trails... well, we had perfect conditions. And hardly anyone was there. Actually there were a lot of people on Sunday, but virtually no-one was skiing on the Olympic course, so it seemed empty pretty much where ever you were skiing. There is over 50k of trails. I have no idea why, but most of the rec skiers stayed on the 'recreational' trails (which were spectacular BTW). As for the Olympic courses, it was my first ski on Olympic class trails, and I thought the hills would have been steeper. They didn't seem as hard as I thought they'd be, but i was not ski racing on them either, I'm sure they are hard enough, but especially the Biathlon trails seemed easy? Camp ripley biathlon had way steeper hills.

We had one day when it wasn't as sunny, but it was still quite awesome. here are some looks:

Like skiing at bachelor on it's best day, with better trails and 100 times better scenery.

start grip tape was grippen and gliden!

These guys spent all day getting the jump ready, but nobody was jumping!

The huge jumps. This event would be the ultimate one to snag tickets for next winter.

Here's a wide view of the stadium, that will look much different next feb.


I highly recommend a trip up there to ski, it is amazing. We will be back that's for sure. We just need to find time off, and get hook ups on excellent lodging in whistler, Thanks Belinda!

18 March 2009

PC Free

Got rid of the old PC! If you want it, send me 65 dollars and I'll fed ex it to your door. (but it doesn't work, but the parts still hold at least 100 dollars of value on Ebay.

This is the first post from the new mac mini, which is so far, flawless.

One lab report, and one paper, and one presentation away from being done with Winter term 2009. Should have everything wrapped up in the next 30 hours, but it seems like I need more time. After that, it's looking like we're going to be on our way up to BC to preview the 2010 olympic nordic trails. Holy shit that will be sweet. Full report to follow, from where we go, which is still up in the air, but it's looking like Whistler.

18 February 2009

The outlook...

So, the blog has been very, well... tired. With all the BSSN internet sites like twitter and facebook, the blog is getting neglected. and it's harder if not impossible to tap out a decent blog post on the iphone, and twitter is super easy, cause posts are short, so I put the twitter feed on the right, but I don't even 'tweet' that much. School has been busy.

So, anyone who comes here with an attempt to gauge (or gage) my fitness level as it applies to running ultramarathons in record time, well they are going to have to wait until Saturday. All I'll say is, I will be at the starting line, and also that I will try to run the first lap at a reasonable pace.

My Hagg mud forecast is also as follows: It will not be unlike last year, and may even be less muddy. We have been having humid air so the grounds are not dry. We just have not had alot of rain, and the rain will hold off until saturday evening or sunday, according to the forecast right now.

The final piece of news for the blog today, is that I have a job interview today.

BSSN: bull shit socail network

14 January 2009

School (half way point.)

First I have to say the weather has been great for the past 2 days. We're talking 50 degree-sunglasses days, of which, you don't get very many of here, during this time of year.

On to the real blog entry: So, I'm about 1/2 way through my 2nd for-ray in college. So far, I think the most important information I've learned are concepts in mathematics and electronics. Also, I've thought alot about our society's problems (like the financial crisis of 2008) are pretty much a direct correlation of human beings not being able to understand the exponential function. That is, e to the x (or ex). I am beginning to understand it.

So this winter term of 2009, I'm taking 4 or 5 classes and here they are... Digital Signal Processing (DSP): Hands down the most interesting and awesome class I've taken so far since going back to school. Really cool stuff taught by the most inspiring instructor at OIT. This is not required for the REE program (that I'm enrolled in), but our director is letting us use it as an elective, since 3 of the renewable energy students are taking the clss. I couldn't not take this course. I have in fact considered switching to the EET (electrical engineering technology) program. probably wont... Fluid Mechanics: good concepts, great textbook, horrible instructor. Enough said there, but it's really too bad, because they just hired this guy, and he's basically reading the text to us. Embarrassing really. Photovoltaics: so far, more to do with azimuth angles of the sun and net present value / return on investment than how the shit actually works. Energy Economics: So far (i know it's only been 1.5 weeks) more about boring supply / demand curves that anything too interesting. This is an elective that I'm taking but I'm considering taking this instead: Biofuels and Biomass: even though I don't really expect to go into this in the future, it is probably going to be more interesting that economics. So i don't think I'll stay in 5 classes, but I have to decide by Friday.

This Saturday will be 5 weeks till Hagg Lake 50k. Laurie is doing the 25k this year, so we've got the training plan all set. Like last year, it will be my first race of the year, and I have cautiously optimistic goals, since this will be my 3rd ultra!!! Now I'm a veteran, and probably most importantly, a Hagg veteran. I know now, what that second lap feels like. Holy shit and well, I wasn't going to post anything about this, but we got a new ride, (I should really say, Laurie got a new ride) and it's f^*&ing awesome. Peace out.

subaru impreza outback sport