Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tenía mi primera clase española ayer.

Last night was my first class of Spanish. My friend Jana motivated me to take the class. It didn't take much prodding since I've been wanting to learn the language for some time. At first I wasn't sure what to think of the class. We began by learning how many countries there were that spoke Spanish and repeated each name after the teacher. However, the speed quickly picked up. We mostly focused on learning subject pronouns.

I can't remember...I may have mentioned it in a previous post...I pulled my right hamstring last week. So both yesterday and today I walked two loops around the Chambers Bay Golf Course. The hills were just enough to stretch my leg. I hope to have a quick recovery. I plan to help out with the Curtis Track team in March. In fact, I ran into a few of the team on my walk.

The weather has been good for walking. Here are a few pictures I took while on my second loop.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cushman Trial

Saturday I invited my running buddy, Rich, on a bike ride to check out the new Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor. The county just finished adding a couple additional miles to the trail. They did a fine job. There were some 10% grades on the way back that gave us a good workout.

Biking will have to be my form of exercise for the next couple of weeks. I pulled my right hamstring last Thursday during a standard run with my old Russell gang during lunch. I'm pretty bummed. Especially since the weather is supposed to be decent this week. This, in addition to my recent ankle discomfort, reminds me that my 50th birthday is this year. I've heard your body goes downhill after 50! I don't believe that, but I sure am reminded about it more lately.

Today I ran on the UPS track for a positive sign. However, it just confirmed that I have a minor pulled hamstring. Rats!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today at Chambers Bay

I took a break today to take in the sunset. I guess I have a need to appreciate the sun while it's around!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good morning sunrise.

I witnessed an awesome sunrise this morning. I owe it to three broken ribs.

A week ago Tuesday my mom fell and hit her side on the corner of a wooden chest that my dad's grandfather had made. For an 85-year old lady, she's pretty tough. She laid low for the week, thinking it was just bruised. However, after progressing to driving on Monday, yesterday she noticed that the pain was back with a vengeance. So, this morning we went back for a second visit to the doctor. While I waited, I took the opportunity to take these shots.

After my noon Toastmasters meeting, I went to the University of Puget Sound track to run six miles around a track. I couldn't have endured it as well without my iPod. However, I wasn't alone, so that helped. I chose to run on the track to help aid my ankle which has been aching. During the run, I would glance at Mount Rainier to monitor the accumulation of afternoon clouds as they shroud the mountain. I brought my camera along in case there was an equally fine sunset. It didn't happen.

An invite for dinner

Two days ago my niece, Andrea, invited me for dinner--that would be on MLK Day. I jumped on the offer. It was a balmy, sun-filled day. The Chinook winds from the previous night blew in some nice weather. It was a welcomed change from the drippy days of last week.

I took my time driving up to their house in Lynnwood. I drove along the water to West Seattle and took pictures along the way. I reached Alki Point around sunset and got lost in the moment--surrounded by folks enjoying the out-of-doors, passing me in their preferred mode of enjoyment. What a great place!

I had a great meal with the Dahlmans. My niece and her husband, Jim, have four fun kids who enjoyed having their uncle over for dinner. I was a new audience for them while I enjoyed watching their unique performances. I had fun! I appreciate the chance to hang out with my family up north.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New discoveries in the rain

Having lived in Tacoma all of my life, in the 31 years of running I cannot believe I haven't touched foot on the trails at Snake Lake. They're not too extensive, but they are well maintained and provide a nice nature break from city running--despite the puddles. A loop around the lake and the hill-side extension is about 1.65 miles. Thanks Tacoma!

With all of the rain we've been having, I've been feeling a bit smug... and snug, for having replaced my roof a couple of years ago. However, last night I was humbled with a leak! I called the roofers immediately without assessing the situation. It turns out that I had a crack in the glass from debris that fell from my neighbor's Douglas Fir, thanks to the wind. Guardian Roof came out anyway and caulked it up to buy me some time--free of charge! Thanks Guardian Roofing!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cars can drive a body...

Until today, I have taken my car for granted. I took it in for a scheduled oil change and left with four new tires, at cost. Well, it didn't happen that spontaneously. I actually left the dealer, deciding to buy them at Les Schwab. However, their price was no different than the dealer. So I scheduled another appointment and am now a proud, weary owner of four new tires.

Normally, this would not be so painful, but my current employment situation causes me to ponder--more than usual--the transfer of funds in this manner. In the end, though, I do have comfort knowing my wheels are fit for the road.

I loitered around the dealer's "comfort lounge" a couple of times today like I was waiting for a loved one to arrive from surgery. I read my bible study notes while I did my best to avoid watching Matt Lauer and his gang. Fortunately I was one of only two people there, so I tunred the sound down while the other dude was reading.

You can learn alot about an indiviudal by listening to their cell phone conversations. Believe me, I would rather not. However, there are people who apparently have the freedom to share their lives openly. One gal parked herself by a complimentary phone nearby and responded to a remark on the other line. She blew her cool and told of how she was a different person now and how she wished people could forget the past and see her for how she is now. She's saying all this while doing her banking with credit card receipts spread all over the table, all along everyone is looking up at each other wondering the same thing: Is she really doing this?

Now, don't get me wrong. We all have our moments. However, there comes a time when common sense kicks in. Common sense for me would have been to bring my iPod along, at least for next time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays, Gotta Love It!

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain dumping on my roof. I like the sound. I like my low-pitched roof for the very reason of being able to hear the rain. It helps in the enjoyment to know that my roof is just two years old with a 30-year warranty.

I put some coffee on and snuggled in my favorite chair to spend some time in the Word wondering if it was ever going to get light today. It eventually did get lighter, and even stopped raining halfway through my afternoon run. My ideal morning, like today, begins with coffee while doing my devotionals. I then move to my computer to check the email and delete the overnight spam offers that promise to enhance...things

Today I met with a client to go over their project. They have chosen a design direction that I provided and want to carry it to completion. I'm stoked! I look forward to developing their business cards and stationary, Powerpoint template, and website. What's most exciting about the work is that their business deals with historical financial documents, all of which are printed using the intaglio process (the process used in printing currency). Today I was able to see their collection of very old currency. It was incredible.

I've been nursing a goofy ankle injury. Today was my second day of running this year. Praise the Lord! I had no substantial pain after this run. I will be able to run my next run with less trepidation.

As I write this, the rain is once again drumming upon my roof--just in time to lull me off to sleep.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Enjoying the great outdoors

Today started with a great sunrise. Since I attend church in Gig Harbor, I drove down to a frequented photo spot to take snaps at the sunrise over Mt. Rainier, seen from the harbor. I was so caught up in the moment that I was a bit late for the service.

After breakfast with a good friend of mine, I went home to change before heading to Chambers Creek for a hike with my camera. You know, I've lived here all of my life and I've never explored the trials that lead back into the creek. It was awesome! The water was running pretty good. I was wondering why they called this a creek rather than a river. The moss growth was incredible. I hardly saw a soul. I had the park to myself--at least that's what I told myself while traipsing over decomposing leaves on mosit, loamy soil.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Enjoying the moderate Northwest

While the other two-thirds of the country is crippled by an arctic blast reaching clear down to Florida, I enjoyed a run through Tacoma with my friend Patrick. Oddly for me, this was my first run of the year! I've been nursing an ankle "issue." Nothing crippling (like an arctic blast), just an odd pain that is absent during my runs but is annoying when I walk. It's annoying! However, I had an encouraging run and great conversations with Pat.

Point Defiance has to be my favorite place to run. Although running in DC was a monumental occasion for me, Point D. is still the absolute best (even better when it's closed to traffic).

This is my first posting on my blog. I have this huge expectation I put on myself to write oodles of meaningful words that will capture my innermost feelings. Perhaps the feeling of uncertainty I have in starting my own freelance design gig, or the great support I have from my friends and family. Or, maybe the fulfillment I get from assisting with first-grade Sunday school at church.

Actually, I'm reading this book by Peter C. Newman called, Company of Adventurers. It traces the history of the Hudson's Bay Company from the second half of the nineteenth century to the company's contemporary work. Well, as contemporary as the book can go since the book's copyright of 1985. It's a fascinating read.

Since it's Saturday and a decent weather day, I spent more time than usual out of doors. I bought a new camera just before Thanksgiving and have been taking opportunities to get better acquainted with it. Here are a few pics I shot today.