Cold ride

Saturday morning I set out for an 8 mile bike ride to one of my favorite places to run. The run is a 7 mile out and back course through the woods on a couple of bays here in Pensacola. Then I would jump on the bike and ride the 8 miles home. A very nice brick workout.

As soon as the morning started I felt the world conspiring against me. There was confusion about when breakfast was going to be ready. I thought I would actually get to eat with the family instead of rushing out before everyone was ready. It was not to be. While breakfast was started in time for me to sit down and enjoy it, it ended up being delayed by more than an hour. I ate alone once again.

A block into the ride I remembered that I had a problem with my bottom bracket (the “axle” for the pedal crank arms). The last time I rode the bike I noticed that one side was beginning to loosen. I did not take the time to fix it after the last ride. I turned around and headed back home to fix it.

After a short repair I was back on the road. It was 52 degrees when I started out. I dressed just like I would for a run at 52 degrees. I found out that running and biking have different clothing requirements for the same temperature. When I am running I am going approximately 6 MPH. Biking can be 20+ MPH (but averages a bit less). That is 3 to 4 times faster wind speed blowing the cold air across the body. It was very cold.

Within a mile of taking off the second time I had already decided to cut the ride shorter and go to my second favorite trail running area. The trail is only 3 miles long, but it seemed appropriate for the shorter bike ride to get there. Shortly after that though I noticed my bottom bracket was coming loose again. I had to stop on the side of the road and fix it twice in the 5 mile ride that I did. I just went back home.

I then parked the bike and enjoyed a 3 mile run on the roads around the neighborhood instead. Wasn’t what I had planned, but since I am no longer training for anything specific I could go out and do the run without any pressure to accomplish any particular task.

Fourth Annual World Wide Festival of Races

WWFoR Logo 2009Last Monday I ran my half marathon for the World Wide Festival of Races. This is a race I have participated in for the last 4 years. It was also the 4th running in some form or another. It started out as just a half marathon and now includes a 5K and 10K option.

This year I was running from Mom and Dad’s house in Pensacola, FL. I have already called off a marathon later this fall due to a stress fracture in my left foot. It is not serious yet, but I don’t want to do too many long miles. I am still running, but mostly 3 miles or less at a time. However, you don’t run a half marathon at only 3 miles, so there was work to be done.

I got 7 miles into the run when I knew it was time to stop. I walked from that point on. It took me 3 and 1/2 hours to do the 13.1 miles, but I stuck it out.

I had a “first” on this run. A black snake decided to visit with me a short time. I have seen snakes on runs before, but this was the first time while running “in town.” Or, at least on roads and not trails. I also strongly considered a DNF on this run. Even though this was not an official course with other runners around me, I entered this run as a race and felt like I had to give myself my first DNF if I did not finish.

Physically I did fine. It was mentally tough to stay at it. By walking the last 6 miles I did not give any more pain in my foot, but it sure took a long time.

This will not go down in my record books as being a special race/run, but I did accomplish the task.

Do you GoodSearch?

GoodSearch logoOne of the missionaries I had in a class a couple of weeks ago suggested we use a search engine called GoodSearch. It is a search engine that lets you specify where you would like a portion of the advertising money that you generate from web searches to go. She said that there is a charity that she always sends her money to through GoodSearch. To do that all you do is choose the charity and use the GoodSearch website. Everything else is taken care of in the background.

I have set up my mission organization, Baptist International Outreach, to receive money through GoodSearch. You can choose BIO on the drop down menu if you would like to help us out, or you can choose your own charity. By helping out our board office you are helping to support over 100 missionaries through your web searches.

While it is a small portion that is actually donated with each search, it is at least something that is being sent to the charity. That is certainly better than donating nothing.

GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo. I find that I get totally different results with them than when I use Google. Neither one is necessarily better than the other, just different. Try it out and see for yourself.

Take time to learn your tools

Receptionist phoneYesterday (Thursday) I got a phone call from a doctor’s office I called on Tuesday. The receptionist was calling me back to confirm that my doctor would take my wife as a new patient even though he is currently not taking new patients. This was good news.

The receptionist asked to speak with my wife to get all her information. Since I am clueless as to my wife’s address, phone number and birthdate, I relinquished the phone to her. The conversation included my wife having to give her Social Security number 4 times. Address, phone number and birthdate 3 times. This was because the receptionist (who schedules all the appointments) was having trouble with the “new” computer system.

In my phone conversation with the receptionist on Tuesday I had to go through similar antics. After giving all of my information once, she had to ask for it again. I think I probably went through the whole battery of questions 3 times.

Since I am an existing patient and they have a new computer system I can understand that the receptionist would want to verify my information in their computer. But the data from the old computer system did not get pulled into the new system. So she was having to input it all for the very first time. That seems poorly implemented.

Here’s the rub though. If the system was “new” on Tuesday and all this receptionist does is schedule appointments and input data into the computer, shouldn’t she be better at it after 2 days of use? I can’t imagine having as much problem inputing data into a computer after 2 days as I did the first day. My suspicion is that the system is not “new”, as in, this week, but “new”, as in, the last week or two.

One would hope that the doctor knows how to use his tools before he starts working on you. Shouldn’t other professions be trained in their tools too? I know data entry may not be as life-critical as a surgeon’s work, but you should be able to accomplish such a simple task with at least 2 full days of practice. This isn’t brain surgery; it is data entry.

I try not to be harsh on older people who are trying to learn new technology, but if you have a tool that you are supposed to use for work, you should be able to adapt to it pretty quickly or maybe look at a different line of work. I have no idea how old the lady is in the doctor’s office, but I have never seen anyone in there older than maybe 50 except for one nurse who I am sure is not the data entry specialist.

Google Maps Feature: Lot Markings

Map detailThis morning I got up to map out my running route for the day. I noticed a new feature on Google Maps. It marks out where the housing lots are. I thought maybe this had already been there and I just now noticed it. Though it had to be less than 5 days old since I know I used Google Maps on Saturday.

This feature may have already been available in other areas, but this is the first time I have seen it. I do know that it is new for my neighborhood.

I have now been able to narrow down the time of when it was rolled out here. I was playing a game last night that uses Google Maps and the feature was not there. This morning the game has the new feature shown. So sometime between midnight last night and 7:00 this morning is when it was implemented in the Pensacola area.

Anyone already see this feature in your area?

What is it good for? I can see that it would be helpful in searching out property. If you are looking for some place that has a little bit larger than average yard in a particular neighborhood it would be useful. With the already current feature of having the blocks marked out with numbers telling you approximately the address of each house, this is an incremental step to giving us an exact address for each of the little lots that they are marking off now. When typing in an address you can see if the house you are looking for is on the corner, or three lots down. I can imagine that they will make it easy to click on one of the blocks and get the exact address in the near future.

This does not work in Mexico where we lived. But they also don’t have addressing information in the city of Merida yet either. Only the streets are laid out.