Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Monday, May 30, 2005
Clutter Reduction
The theme for our Memorial Day Weekend was how to reduce clutter. Saturday morning I challenged the girls to find five things in their rooms that they did not need anymore. I was happy with this small achievement. Then Fran went nuts. She cleaned each of the girls rooms, plus much of the other parts of the house. We wound up with four or five garbage bags of trash, plus four or give large garbage bags of stuff for the goodwill.

In this I realized that I have way too much old computer stuff. I think that I have eight PC's that I am not using. Yeah Eight! There is an IBM PC, yes the original 8088, and its brother the IBM XT! I can't part with either one of those. Then there are two 386's, and a compaq 486/25. Those are in my garage. In the attic there is a cyrix 166, a P2 500, and one other box. On top of all of these machines, I have monitors out the wazoo that need to be disposed of. There is the Viewsonic that i replaced with the Samsung Syncmaster. Then there is an old CGA monitor to go with the IBM XT. There is a DEC (yes Digital Equiptment Corp) VGA monitor that went with an old DEC 386-16 I once owned.

I don't want to heave this stuff into the dump. It seems that the City of Plano has an electronics recycling day on the 3rd saturday of the month. So I guess I will try to do that in June!

Saturday, May 28, 2005
Four by Four Hundred
That's what I had today in preperation for my 800 next Tuesday. Coach Vaughan told me to run them slightly slower than 800 pace. Since I ran my last 800 in 2:24, he suggested that meant 73 pace. No problem. Then coach told me pointedly, don't go and run 65 on the first one and then 73 on the last one. Run 73 on the first one and then pick it up if you can. 10-4.

So I hit the track with a pretty fast turnover. I was against the wind for the first 200, and when I came through the 300 I knew I was faster than 73, so I tried to keep the pace with my turnover, but relax just a bit. I hit the line in 70.7. That felt right to me. I did a two lap jog between 400s. The next one's were 69.0; 69.3 and 68.3. That's a nice set and I got no grief from the coach. The plan for tuesday is to come through in 70 and hold on for 72.

Now while I was running these reps, Erin Aldrich turned up at the track! Erin placed fourth in the Olympic Trials last year after making the team in 2000. She is working on making the US Team and going to Helsinki. Erin's grandfather was the first overall pick in the NFL draft in 1939! How about that for some althletic genes.

800 Meters
I was just looking at the results from my first track meet this spring. I ran an uninspiring 2:24, which was fifth masters. More interesingly was that the man I beat out for fifth place was non other than Kyle Heffner. For those of you who don't know Kyle, well let me say he is the nicest guy you could ever meet. He also holds the third fastest American Olympic Marathon Trials run ever (2:10:54.1), which at the time was only good for the third spot on a team that did not get to run the Olympics (thank you very much Jimmy Carter). Anyway, I had no idea that Kyle was even in the race, much less right on my rear end!

Real Estate Empire
As previously noted, I have a rental property as well as rent contolled aparment complex. Early this month I leased the Carrollton House which is always a relief. The interest in the house was very strong in spite of weak marketing efforts on my part. For most of April, I simply had a sign out in front of the house, which is on an road which only services those who live on it. In otherwords you have to either be lost or go way out of your way to even drive by the house. In spite of that I recieved numerous calls. I posted the house on Rent Clicks for only a week or two, and by that time I had my tenants pretty much locked in.

As soon as it became clear that I had a tenant, I then needed to do some work on the house! So I had to scramble to get the carpets cleaned; bathrooms cleaned; landscaped kicked up a notch - stuff like that. Of course I had no available time, except Blog time that is....

Anyway that house is now clean and rented, and that's some good news!

As to my rent controlled bird house - there is news to report there too. There are three pairs of Martins nesting in the facility. The Martins are great. They sing and whistle and they fly like little F16 fighter jets. Very cool to watch and have around. The house went up late in the season, so I feel luck to have them. There are also two pairs of sparrows that have moved in as well. The Martins seem to be tolerating them - so I have not posted eviction notices although it is recommended that the sparrows be kicked out.

I should also note here, that I have a Dove nesting in one of my Bur Oaks in the back yard. We have had Doves nesting around the house for years, but this Dove is nesting in a branch of the oak that hangs across the drive. I went out there to prune the branch before I realized that she had set up home there. So we have had to drive around her. She had two chicks in the nest, but one has died. I'll see if I can get a photo of the remaining chick.

How wet is dry??
After practice today, I stopped by the Starbucks right next to the track and ordered my usual: venti-nonfat-dry-cappicino. It should be noted that this was a Real Starbucks, not a facko-in-the-back-of-the-grocery-store variety. Anyway, the barista handed my this drink which wieghed 20 pounds while at the same time repeating my order ensuring that there was no confusion. What puzzles me is that I don't think that this drink had any additional room for more milk. I have no idea how she could have produced a wet cap. This is very disconcerting. The only good news in this, is that there is another Starbucks right across the street. I visited them after practice two weeks ago. On that occasion the Barista asked me if my drink was dry enough when he handed it to me. It was, and I told him that it would be impossible to construct a drink that was 'too dry'. He agreed telling me that was his preference as well. I know where I will be going next week for sure!

Thursday, May 26, 2005
Reagan Kelly Turns Five
Today is Reagan's fifth birthday. They grow up too fast. Last Friday she graduated from Preschool. She recieved a "ploma", as she calls it. She wore a cap, and got to keep the '05 tassle. It was quite a ceremony. Next year is Kindergarten (also next year will be the only year that all three kids go to the same school.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
So much to blog, so little time
Please accept my apologies for being away. May has been very, very hectic. The Soccer world has been in turmoil including the dismissal of one of Marissa's coaches. My project at work is on the final stretch to release, which has caused lots of stress and lots of hours. My first cousin died.

I had a week of downtime when I could not run nor blog!

I have run two track meets.

So these reports are coming!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Longhorns Soccer Update
Marissa has been playing as a guest on a different Longhorns team both indoor and in the Premier Academy Tournament. Marissa has played in six games and scored three goals! She is on a tear for sure.

In the Tournament, Marissa scored the winning goal in the game that clinched their appearance in the semifinals. That game was against a third Longhorns team, and not surprisingly, the director of the academy and the director of coaching were both watching that game! Then they won the semifinal in a hard fought match 2-1. So Marissa is playing in the Finals this Thursday!

Sunday, May 01, 2005
Five Laps
My last 2000 was a tune up just before the Rudolph Run. For that run on Dec 1, I posted a 7:00.5.

So my goal today was to run at 7:00 pace (84 per lap) and see how that felt. Looking back in my log book, Coach Vaughan has given me several of these early season 2000s and I always seem to go out too fast and then cave in the middle. As I headed to the track I decided that I was not to repeat that mistake again.

There was a terrible north wind at the track which I was going to have to deal with on the back stretch. After I completed my warm up, I was ready. I signaled to Coach Vaughan that I was ready, then I took off. I tried to run relaxed on the first lap, and once I was out of the wind, to run strong and relaxed. Coach Vaughan called the first split at 83.6. Perfect. For the second lap, I tried to pick up the effort a bit. Coach Vaughan called 2:47.1. It took me a second to remember that was still faster than target pace. Good. More effort for the third lap – the wind was hard and tiring. I came through 1200 in 4:11.8, which was still below target pace. I remember getting to the 1400 mark and thinking 600 to go. I came through the 1600 5:36.9. Yikes slightly over pace now. I knew I could break seven, one lap to go. The wind on the last lap seemed over powering. Or was I just that tired? At the 200, as I turned out of the wind, I poured it on. Down the home stretch, I really pushed hard, lengthening my stride and working on my turnover. When I hit the line I listened intently was it going to be 6:50 something or 7:00 something. All I heard was one word from Coach Vaughan – Sandbagger.

Oh crap. So I looked at my watch, and the split was 6:58.7.

After I caught my breath I climbed up the stands. Coach Vaughan proclaimed that I was the sandbagger for the day. I reviewed my 200 splits. I started out with 41’s and slipped to 42’s, the slowest one was 42.9. I had a 42.x on the penultimate 200, and then I finished with a 39.x – which is what earned that sandbagger award.

The splits on my watch were: 83.6, 83.5, 84.7, 85.1, 81.8. I have to agree that looks like I had a bit too much gas left in the tank. Still even with that, I was 2 seconds better than December – so that is nice too see.

All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012