Every Time

I love trying new things and, intersectingly, I love novelty food. And there’s a combination KFC/Taco Bell near work and about once a month I’ll get weak at work and head over there for lunch and I’ll myself that I’m going to try the new novelty food of the month that Taco Bell has produced. The Sriracha Quesarito, say. And I get there and the big poster illustrating the food, the curated, managed gorgeous food photo that is supposed to show off how tasty this thing is going to be, looks sooooo gross and I can’t bring myself to order it and I get two chicken chalupas instead and then go back to my desk and feel sad, in my stomach and my brain, for the rest of the day.

Sriracha Quesarito
Yummmmmm!

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 10K

After Zach suckered me into running two trail races of a series out in the suburbs with him, he ditched me for the third and final race of the series. He had some sort of B.S. excuse about some sort of service trip, building homes somewhere. Boo. The joke was on him, because while it was the longest of the three, and plenty challenging with two creek crossings and a big mud-thing in the middle (each then each times two, as it was a loop), it was also a gorgeous day and a great run. And I earned my series swag, which turned out to be a soft fleece, with thumb loops, which is always a plus in my book.

Update—I typed that up real quickly, but when Zach asked me by email how the race was, I had a little more to say that I thought I’d share:

For starters, I [using the name of a friend of ours who always arrives at the last second as a verb]’d the start — I got up real early and then futtered around the house until the last second and I got to the parking lot as people were walking to the start line. I had to run up a hill from the parking lot and frantically grabbed my number and then as I was headed to the start line, the race started and everyone ran at me. I was jogging to the start line and never actually made it—the guy had already picked up the cones and was walking back to the shelter and he said “c’mon, just turn around and start”.

It was a two loop course, with two creek crossings and a big muddy area as seen in the video they sent out last week. Because of how I started out, I was stuck behind the walkers for the first half of the first loop, which wasn’t bad since I was out of breath from that parking-lot-hill :-). It also meant the first two creek crossings were real calm, and I actually picked my way along the side of that mud pit.

It was a gorgeous day overall, and by the second loop I’d managed to pass folks and was running with some nice separation in front and behind me, so it felt like I had the trail to myself. The second time I hit the mud pit, I was trying to be careful, but slipped and was ankle deep in mud with one foot, so I said “screw it” and just splashed down the middle and was a lot more carefree for the remainder of the run.

I haven’t really been training (I think I got out twice since last month?) but somehow it didn’t feel as bad as the 8K.

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 10K

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 10K

Fuzzy at the Fox Valley Winter Trail Challenge 10K - Photo by Run to Achieve
Photo by Run to Achieve

Official Results:
Time: 1:20:44.2
Place: 113 / 133
Place in Sex: 73 / 77
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 7 / 8

A Certain Bearded Singer

We’ve had some technical and staffing changes with the new season of Steve Gadlin’s Starmakers that have meant I’ve been a lot more tied-down in the control room and so I haven’t been able to pop out and do my recurring lurker bit. But Steve just assigned Erica and I this song and we made it work. And it’s true… we can do the Boogaloo and that’s just what we’re going to do.

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 8K

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Sledding Hill at Oakhurst Forest Preserve

Last month, Zach talked me into running a challenging 5K trail run and it didn’t go too badly. So, to train for the next race in the series, an 8K, I… worked late a lot and didn’t train at all. Zach has already blogged about how hard the race was. And he’s in marathon training. So, yes, it was rather hard. Ouch.

Finishing

Official results:
Time: 1:08:34.8
Place: 115 / 142
Place in Sex: 73 / 79
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 9 / 9

Latte Plays Coin Quest

Erica had become obsessed with an Adult Swim web-show called [Fish Center Live(http://www.adultswim.com/videos/astv/fishcam/). It’s a show that features almost exclusively a live feed of a fish tank with various graphics placed over it. There’s a lot that goes on on the show, but the center piece is a game called “Coin Quest”—graphics of coins with point values are placed on screen and the announcers call out as the fish earn points by swimming through the coins. The other day on the show they showed a quick mock up of an idea for an augmented-reality app where you could play Coin Quest anywhere you wanted with your phone and they showed a screen shot of the coins placed over a photo of some cats.

So combine this with the fact that I noticed that if I set my cam-corder down to its lowest quality setting I could record about 12 hours of video to the SD Card. I’d been wanting to use that to see just how long Latte slept each day. So the other day I recorded 7 hours of her cat bed, just to see what was going on. You can see 2 hours of footage in this video (don’t worry, I sped it up a little).

Spoiler Alert: O-

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A couple of months ago at a Snorf rehearsal, Sam shared that he had tried to order a static protector from Think Geek but had accidentally received a blood-type test. Even though he hadn’t opened it, because it’s classified as a medical item, they didn’t want it back and were just going to send him the right item. He decided to give it away and we had an impromptu raffle, which I won. I promised to make a video of trying the test and I finally delivered this weekend. Warning: there’s some finger-pricking and small amounts of blood in the video.

FRAMED

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FRAMED is a cool little iOS game with an innovative gameplay system: you re-arrange panels of a comic book to change the outcome. It’s not a very long game, but I feel like it’s just long enough to really explore the limits of that system (in fact, the plot and the puzzles sort of loop at the end) and then get out before you get bored. It’s got a very stylized noir look and a jazzy soundtrack and it’s well worth the hour or two a play-through will take you.

Two Kickstarters

Two Kickstarters have just started that I think you might be interested in.

If you like the arts, in particular dance, and in particular the dance of my wife, you may like to support an upcoming joint performance by two dance groups she’s involved with. There are some rewards, but this is pretty much pure arts patronage. You can be a Medici or whatever!

If you like games, and in particular role-playing games, and in particular RPGs designed by my friend Megan and featuring a time-traveling cellist, then you may want to support her Kickstarter and receive a copy of the game Time Cellist:

Tomefoolery

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Tomefoolery is a podcast hosted by Chicago comedian (and Erica and my friend) Cody Melcher. Cody has other comedians on to talk about weird books. Cody casts his net wide and “weird” encompasses a lot of different sorts of books. For example, my friend Dave Stinton read the 1910 story The Wendigo, Dan Telfer dove into HP Lovecraft, and Jen and Erica discussed Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s book Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives. For months I’ve been asking Cody if I could come on the show. He finally assented and asked me and Steve Gadlin to come on the show together. And what did he ask us to read?

Hedging His Bets (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance)

Oh my.

Our episode is out today (happy birthday, me!) and is VERY Not-Safe-For-Work:

‘Hedging His Bets’ w/ Steve Gadlin & Fuzzy Gerdes

Some show notes: