Thursday, November 29, 2007

I took my new jacket out for a test run (ha!) yesterday. It kept my torso phenomenally warm, but I forgot my gloves and my hands suffered. The ventilation zippers on the sides worked really well and I would fiddle with them to help regulate the temperature. I wasn't thrilled with how the Ipod pocket worked out; the Ipod bounced around and caused the left side of the jacket to rise and fall as I ran. It wasn't terrible but I was hoping for something a bit more stable. I might look into an arm holder for it, but I'm also not sold on the idea of running with an Ipod at all, so who knows.

I am not going to meet my 200 point target for this month. I've been distracted with video games and other things and couldn't get my Glade Riders and Noble painted. Not a huge deal, but I am a bit surprised that I couldn't get six models and six horses painted in a month when I managed to paint 18 models last month.

My two landspeeders arrived, and I have two Dreadnoughts in the mail which means that I legitimately have a 1500 point army in various stages of completion. I haven't played anything larger than 500 points with it (and nothing larger than 1000 points with any army) but I am excited to have the options. Once this gets itself assembled and painted I would like to expand it further with some terminators and an assault squad.

I think Spoony is going to drive me to the pet store tonight and hopefully they'll have a tank that I like.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving was a bunch of fun. I really enjoyed going home and relaxing (although I didn't sleep late on any of the days I was there) and it was nice to see some people I haven't seen in a while.

The morning of Thanksgiving I woke up early to run a 5k. Several weeks ago I had big plans for this race, but I have only been training twice a week so my expectations were lowered. I was pretty surprised to run an 18:43 (results posted here) and finish 31 out of over 1100 people. My calves were on fire for the rest of the weekend, but I was very happy with how I ran.

On Saturday night I hung out with some friends from high school and several people I would rather have never seen again. Across the street, my parents were attending a party of their own. When I discovered that my old cross country coach was there, my sister and I headed over. I had been drinking for several hours at this point and it was very weird to be surrounded by a bunch of semi-intoxicated adults in my semi-intoxicated state. Everything turned out fine and I had a lot of fun but it was a very odd experience.

While home I came across my old fish tank and I decided to get back into keeping fish. Currently I am planning to have a 10 gallon tank in my room and putting in a group of 6 Neon Tetras. I might add a single larger fish but the jury is still out on that one. I want to have a large rock or piece of wood in the center of the tank a put several plants in the corners and along the back.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night was Laura's long awaited 21st birthday. Her and I went out to a very expensive and pretty good dinner at Eastern Standard. I had meat loaf that tasted a bit too much like sausage and mashed potatoes that were phenomenal. Laura had scallops that looked pretty good, but I didn't try them because I'm not so much a seafood fan. We both ordered drinks but our waiter didn't card either one of us, which was weird.

The celebration proper started at 9pm at Crossroads. About 15 people trickled in and out through the course of the evening to contribute to the festivities. Laura got good and drunk, but not nearly enough to ruin the night. All in all it was a very successful day of celebrations.

I had some high hopes for the Turkey Trot on Thursday, but I don't think anything much is going to come out of it. Come race day I won't have run in over a week, and my training was typically less than 10 miles a week over two days of running. I'm going to see what happens but I've lowered my expectations considerably.

Many girls.

Mostly boys.

We stumble home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pictures from the comp last weekend.

Team Barecca

The arena

Getting this problem on my second try (beta stolen from Mike)

Heel hooking my way to the top. I can't imagine what my next move was, although I remember it working out really well.
At some point recently I became a V4 climber. I'm not sure when or how it happened but it is pretty damn cool. There wasn't a single V4 at Metro yesterday that I couldn't figure out in a few tries.

Today is Laura's 21st birthday and there are a whole bunch of people going to Crossroads to celebrate. After work her and I are going to Eastern Standard for dinner. Their menu looks expensive but tasty, so we'll have a good solid dinner before the festivities.

Spoony and I finally played some 40k this weekend. It was a 550 point cleanse on our small coffee table. In the first round I took out his dreadnought and a plasma cannon gunner. Over the next few turns the squad that killed the dread trounced one of his squads in close combat (accounting for 6 marines and losing none) while his commander proceeded to chew through 15 of my marines (including my commander). It came down to my 8 man tactical squad against his commander and 3 marines. Fortunatley I had put two wounds on his commander in earlier combats, so when the final showdown happened my guys knocked off his final wound before he could decimate them with a power fist. A very fun game that came down to the wire and really highlighted the fact that we need a larget table to play on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Barry Bonds might actually be in trouble. Not for using steroids, but for perjury. I'm happy either way; him owning the home run record is an embarrassment to the sport of baseball.

This Space Marine army is phenomenal. The painting makes it look very unified and complete, and I love the concept behind it; the idea of tons of terminators appearing and being terrifying is an image that I have had since I started this hobby. I can imagine it being very difficult to play, but I applaud whoever fielded it for being adventurous and taking a fresh look at the list.

Last night a bunch of people went to the Public House to celebrate Beth taking the GRE's and Lisa running a marathon. There were lots of people there who I haven't seen in a while and the beer was fantastic. Lisa and I got each other pumped to run Boston in April, so now I need to get some warm clothes so I don't die in training.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tim successfully defended his thesis last week so a bunch of people went on a bar crawl through Cambridge to celebrate. Tim had a fantastic time (which was the point), but everyone else had one too. It felt good to let go and have a really exciting, really drunk evening with a lot of people that I don't see a lot anymore. I'm going to miss Tim, but this was a very solid send off effort.

In some bizarre news, I lost one of my earrings that night. I told Cassie that her earrings were pretty and that I wanted to wear them. I took one of mine out and tried to put it in my mouth (I do this a lot so it isn't as weird as it sounds) but I missed and it fell on the floor. Obviously I was unable to find it, so I've been wearing a straw in my ear since then. There is a set of dark blue, 6ga plugs in the mail right now.

After the fun of Friday night I woke up early and made my way to Metro (with a substantial amount of Team Barreca) to compete in the Mammut-EMS Bouldering Championships. I wasn't in the championship part, but there was an amateur comp as well. I had never competed before so I was excited to see what happened. The climbs were fantastic, but the atmosphere was very chaotic and poorly run, which detracted a bit from the fun. I sent three V4's and two V3's, which put me in fourth place in the beginner division (Mike took second). I know I could have done better, which is exciting considering I've only been climbing for two years. The results are posted here.

After the comp was over, they cleared out the gym to set routes for the pro comp. We all came back to the gym and they had set it up like a theater with spot lights on the climbs. The pros (both men and women) were phenomenal. The setters had designed the routes to be gimmicky so climbers were forced to do crowd friendly moves; there was a lot of cheering and amazing climbing going on.

Sunday was a day off. Laura and I lounged around all day before going to see the RX Bandits at night. The Bandits are my favorite band and I was very psyched to see them play, but overall I was disappointed. They only played one song off of my favorite album (Progress) and focused a lot on their new album (of which I am less of a fan). Since they lost Steve Borth it sounds like their horn section is lacking something, which makes sense because they are. I also felt like the sound quality was not very good and it made a lot of their songs sound like sludge. It was a good show, but not what I was hoping it would be.

I had the day off on Monday and used it to do a variety of things I had been meaning to do. I had a brisk but enjoyable run in the daylight, which was something I haven't done in several weeks. I also managed to get paint on five of my six Wood Elf horses. I'm not terribly excited about any of them, but I am learning a lot each time I do it; hopefully I'll be able to apply it to something later. After the horses I assembled my two new crisis suits. They look very dynamic and even unpainted put my old (and painted) suits to shame. Finally, I bought some wonderfully tight black jeans.

Photos from the Mammut-EMS Bouldering Championships
MetroRock - November 2007

Sydney McNair sending Women's #4

Vasya Vorotnikov on Men's #1 or #2
a month or so ago he sent Jaws 2, a 5.15b at Rumney (I was there that day)

Paul Robinson on Men's #4
he would go on to win the comp and the tour

Ryan Olson sending Men's #3
he was the first person to send this (of two)
Laura and I are visible in the crowd just behind the man in pink near the middle left

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Last night, on my way home from Laura's, I fell off of my bike and hurt my left knee. I was passing the Heath St. T stop and there was a bunch of construction on my side of the street that was pushing traffic into the middle of the street. The barriers were moving me closer and closer to the T tracks, but I would have been fine had there not been a police officer standing in the only usable bit of road left. He looked me right in the eye, but wouldn't move out of my way; I was forced to try and jump the T tracks immediately on my left. It didn't work, and my front wheel dropped into the tracks and I wiped out on the cop's feet.

Initially he was concerned about my safety, but when I told him he was in the way and asked him not to stand here, he started to get angry. He called me 'son' a lot, and went on about how he was just doing his job and making sure I didn't fall into the very well lit, very well marked hole the construction workers had dug. I told him to have a good night and rode home.

Now my knee hurts a lot and feels unstable. I didn't feel any pain when it happened, but I have become fixated on the possibility that I tore my ACL. In rational thinking world, there wasn't any twisting, no pain when I fell, and really no reason at all for me to think that. Obviously, with two of those monsters under my belt and no desire to repeat for a third time, I'm being a bit less than rational. Fucking dumbass cop.

Before that wonderfulness, I went for a run. For some reason I decided to really run it hard, and ended up doing 4 miles in 27 minutes (that turns into 6:45 miles). It felt like I was running a lot harder than that, although I may have been going slower at the beginning and much faster towards the end. I would like to be able to run a sub 18 minute 5k this Thanksgiving, which means I'm going to need to be able to run 3 miles faster than 6 minute pace.

Last time I talked about the Olympic marathon trials. It was an early race and when it was over I turned it off and made breakfast, so I didn't lean that one of the runners had died on the course. Apparently, Ryan Shay went into cardiac arrest around the 5.5 mile mark and collapsed on the course. What a tragic ending to what looked like a fantastic triumph for American runners.
New York Times article

The other night I spent some time playing with my Space Marines. I had recently bought a tactical squad off of Ebay and I assembled the models. They turned out very well since I spent a lot of time being careful and deliberate, instead of rushing through like I usually do. One of them I turned into a commander for the army, and his model is one of the cooler poses I have come up with. I also experimented with using cork on the bases and I think it turned out very well.

I am leaving work early today to watch Tim defend his doctoral thesis. I've never been to one of these but I thought it would be fun to watch and support Tim. After that I am going to the comic shop and then home to decide if I want to test out my knee on a run or not.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Last night my computer crashed. I don't know what happened, but I was forced to reformat and I lost everything. I am pretty annoyed that I lost my stuff, but I'm more annoyed that I have no idea what I lost. Since my external hard drive crashed last Christmas, I've been operating under the assumption that I would be replacing it at some point. With that in mind, I haven't been paying much attention to what I've been saving on it. That means that I don't know what pictures were on here, what music, what movies, what documents, etc, so I don't know what I need to replace. Damn.

I went climbing today with Laura at Metro. I warmed up on a bunch of V0's, and then went through several 3's and a 4-. After the bouldering we got on top rope and Laura climbed several 5.10's. I climbed an 11-, 11a, and two 11b's (one cleanly), which is clearly the best climbing I've ever done.

I based my Wood Elf archers so I now have a unit of Dryads and archers totally done. I also put sand down on the horses, so sometime soon I'll put the black spray on them and get painting. My ebay auction for two landspeeders was victorious, which means that soon I'll have almost 1500 points of marines. I started assembling the most recent tactical squad and I hope to be painting them in between bouts of elves.

The marathon trials were really a really good watch and I am glad I got up early to watch. Ryan Hall won looking like it was easy, and Brian Sell took third place in a really gutsy come from behind performance.

Currently my computer is not downloading any music, which is less than exciting.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Laura and I saw the Weakerthans last night at the Paradise and they were phenomenal. The crowd was really into the whole show and then band's vibe was very lighthearted; it was very apparent that they were having a fantastic time being on stage and singing their songs to the audience. I wish that I had know the songs off Reconstruction Site, but it almost didn't matter because of the crowd's energy. My only complaint was that they didn't play my favorite song, "This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open," but it really didn't make a difference.

Halloween Halo didn't turn out to be as much fun as I had hoped it would be. The new game type became boring and repetitive quickly and I just wasn't as interested as I thought I would be. Spoon and I did end up in a party of 6ish people that we knew, so it was fun to finally use the mics and not feel like an idiot.

My climbing and running schedule went to hell this week. I was just exhausted from staying up so late every night that when it came time to work out I was too tired. I did manage to (mostly) get my two Wood Elves units painted though. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, due in large part to me being tired and impatient with painting the same thing over and over again. I think in the future I'm going to try to paint in smaller batches (two or three models) and spend more time on each one.

I bought tickets to see American Gangster tonight, and then Laura and I are going to hang out at my place for what I hope is a quiet and relaxing evening. Tomorrow morning I'm going to get up early and watch the U.S. men's Olympic marathon qualifier. I've never watched a whole marathon before, but I've been reading a lot about this race and some of the people involved; it has been a lot of motivation to get my ass out running and prepare for Boston. With a bit of luck I'll be up at 7:30am tomorrow to see how these guys do it.