Monday, July 31, 2006

carneros pictures...

It's really odd to get an email from an automated system with a whole bunch of pictures of yourself in it. In any case, here are some pictures from the Carneros 10k a few weeks ago.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lake Geneva and running

After a busy week of travel and work and running, I really needed to spend some time relaxing. Luckilly my friends Joe and Kelly invited me up to the lake house at Lake Geneva for the weekend. It was so nice to get up there with no computers and nothing planned, drink some Yuengling, and walk down to the lake and just relax with my feet in the water. So relaxing!

Today I had to fit in a 12 mile run, and due the the fact that it's supposed to be 98 degrees outside today, I got up super early and went to Moraine Hills State Park and got it in before it got too hot out. It was a great run and once again, I wasn't very tired at the end which just totally made my day! I can't wait for the 1/2 marathon in two weeks!!

New Yorkers: If you want to hang out Friday night in Manhattan, let me know! I'm thinking maybe Angelica Kitchen and maybe a trip to see the NY neos?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Transit Cards

Transit Cards
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
I've been using a lot of public transportation lately. Here's a sampling :) From left to right: Chicago Metra, Chicago CTA, San Francisco BART, Boston MBTA, Washington DC Metro, NYC MTA. Yay for public transportation!



Kelle rocks! On her way back from NYC she picked up some Yuengling for me :) Now I have a nice six pack to take to Lake Geneva this weekend...Yay!


BP/Amoco Fuel...

So I heard a commercial on the radio tonight on my way home that really got my attention. It was from BP/Amoco and they were advertising that if your amoco gas causes your car to have problems with its fuel system, they will reimburse you the costs of repairing it. Now while I was growing up, my mom used to use Amoco gas...and had tons of trouble with her engine and fuel system. The week she switched to Citgo, no problems at all. So our family has never bought Amoco since after seeing the effect that just changing gas can make. And now it seems like Amoco is sort of admitting that there might have been some problems in the past with their gas. Very interesting...


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Yeah I still can't swim...

So I proved to myself again that I can't swim very well. I hadn't tried since the MIT swim test freshman year, but I had a guest pass to the Z Center today and figured what the heck. Well, after my three mile run for the day I just swam a few laps in very bad form and called it a day. Oh well, at least I didn't drown :) The lap lanes at MIT are 7 feet deep!

I really love the Z Center. I wish it would have been open for more than just a few weeks of my last grad term.


Cubbies Road Trip!

It's been a long, super fun weekend of being without a computer on the east coast! I survived the red eye from SF/run/flight to boston on Thursday, although my flight out of O'Hare was delayed six hours. I didn't get to hang out with friends at Grasshopper that night, but got a wonderful hummous wrap at Other Side which was great!

Friday was the big drive down to DC. We got a sort of late start, but made it in by about 2am. Yay for saving time by taking the Tappan Zee.

Saturday started with a 10 mile run with my friend Carol from MIT. It was great to see her again and awesome of her to let me into UMD's amazing gym and run with me for a bit. Then we braved the rain to get some veggie food and I headed back to Foggy Bottom for some Yuengling with Susan and friends.

Saturday we made a quick trip to touch the moon rock (yes, we're nerds) and then off to RFK to see the Cubbies lose to the Nationals. It was fun! Instead of a Sausage Race, they had a President's Race. Same basic costumes, except with big heads of washington, lincoln, and jefferson. Definitely interesting :)

Yesterday after a quick stop in Princeton to see one of Susan's friends, we made it to Shea for a great game against the mets! My friend Jessie from high school came as well as another WHS'er I hadn't seen in ages! So fun to meet up with high school people in nyc! The cubs won a very close and always interesting 8-7 game and then we got in the car and drove back to Boston!

It's been an awesome trip. I'm very much looking forward to sleep tonight though! But first a 3 mile run at the Z Center at MIT.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


It's been a wonderful few days here in CA! Monday, after a nice day in Muir Woods and hacking code and reading on the beach by the golden gate bridge, I met up with my friend Allison for a wonderful dinner at Lettus. It was so great to see her and catch up after all this time!

Tuesday was a lot of fun as well. I made it up to Berkeley for lunch with Eliza-Beth at Cafe Gratitute. It certainly was an experience. Great food though!! Basically all of the menu items are positive things, like "I am wonderful" or "I am fruitful" or "I am resourceful" - and when you order they are like "Yes, you are!" It's all raw vegan food. And fun! And so good to talk and catch up with Eliza-Beth as always!!

Then I headed over to Yahoo Research Berkeley to give a talk at their Brain Jam series. It was lots of fun and then I hung out with some of the researchers there for some beer and dinner at this outdoor beer garden on Shattuck.

It's been a fun trip and I'm about to begin my crazy day of travel! By the next time I go to bed, I'll be in Boston! Yay!


Monday, July 17, 2006

more reasons I love SF...

1) I walked down a random street looking for someplace for lunch and within a block came to a big sign "Vegetarian Restaurant" - sweet!
2) I can hike a mountain and sit on the beach and still make it back into SF for lunch
3) Lunches and Dinners with old friends
4) Free BART today! Spare the Air
5) Naan-N-Curry - the cheapest indian food in america :)


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Carneros Wine Country Napa To Somoma 10k

Today was a great day to run in Northern California. At race time it was about 58 degrees and sunny and quickly warming up. I was running the 10k at a half marathon in napa valley, and the 10k was only about 350 people compared to the 1/2's 2000 so things weren't quite documented so well. In any case, I found the place where the buses came to take us to the start line (point to point races are so difficult, I've only run loop races before). I ask at the registration table by the bus if there's a gear check. They say there's one at the start of the 10k. So a bunch of us get on the bus with bags full of stuff. Of course we get to the start and they are like, nope, no gear check here. But sice it was a small race, one of the organizers had us throw everything in the back of her truck and she left it at the finish line for us. How nice! :)

We got started right on time at this auto body shop with a big parking lot so everyone could line up (see picture). Since it was so small, they had no chip sensor for the start so everyone went with gun time. With only 350 people, this was no big deal. We head out and merge onto the road the 1/2 marathoners are running on...only problem...we're runninng 9ish minute miles and the 1/2er's are running 6's. So we get passed, and passed, and passed. :) The run was amazing and went through a bunch of vineyards with the mountains in the background. The 10k even took a little out and back detour right into a vinenyard for about 0.4 of a mile and then back out to the road. All in all, I was feeling great and kept moving at about a 9 minute pace. Of course I had no idea what the pace was since I don't own a watch and they seemingly don't believe in split time clocks in Sonoma :) I was running behind this girl from WI who kept looking at her watch and seemed to be moving at a good pace.

Speaking of midwest people, I was waiting for the race to start and standing right next to me is someone who looks really familiar. I look at her bib and it says she's from Hoffman Estates, IL and is 27. I'm sure I met her sometime growing up or at someone's party or something at some time. Anyway, we thought that it was pretty random that people who live in towns right next to each other 1/2 way across the country randomly run the same 350 person 10k in CA. :)

So back to the race...all was good for the whole run and when it was over I was like, really, that's it! I want to keep going! :) Still probably better that I didn't run the 1/2 but man I wanted to keep was so nice outside! I finished with a nice 56:17 which was a 9:03/mile. Not bad at all.

The race ended in a park where they had wine tasting from a bunch of local vineyards. All very very tasty :) They also had lots of fruit, but no bananas. What, a race without bananas? Yes! They seem to do some things different out here. Including the champion chip (see photo). It goes around your ankle. Bizarre. :)

So yes, the race is highly recommended. Maybe I'll come back next year for the 1/2!


Saturday, July 15, 2006

hi from SF!

Hi from San Francisco! I made it in today and drove up to Sonoma over a beautiful fog-filled Golden Gate was really beautiful. I wish I could have taken a movie with my phone while driving...the fog rolling around the supports and then fading away on the other side. It was very cool. And yes, it was cool temperature-wise as well, about 55 degrees. But then I got just 20 miles north and it was 92. The weather here is insane :)

The expo was fun...and outdoors which is new for me :) I got a bunch of the Jelly Belly sport beans which I'm sure I'll be using, and a 20% off coupon for Sports Basement which I already used on my way back into town. I love that place! I was checking out and the cashier was like, have you shopped with us before. And I was like, yes, 2 years ago! :) I really thought about getting the garmin GPS watch with the coupon since it was already reduced to $230, but decided against it and just ended up with some socks and other running apparel. for any of you who I've talked to about the whole changing meaning of "space" or "co-location" you'll love this. I'm walking down Market St and get an SMS from a friend asking if I could look up something online. I search wikipedia on my phone and SMS her back. Now I have no idea where she was, and she probably had no idea where I was when she sent it. I just love how communication like that can take place across the counrty or the world when ways to contact people are attached to the person and not to a physical space.

Tomorow is the 10k! I'll post pictures!


Friday, July 14, 2006

who killed the electric car?

So I finally got to see "Who Killed the Electric Car?" last night. I made my way down to Old Town and walked around a bit in the nice warm night air before the show. I just really love that part of the city in the summer...sidewalk cafes, lots of people, lots of energy. Anyway, yes, the movie! It was good, although the Martin Sheen narration made me feel like it was a message from President Bartlett :) It was interesting to see all the different factors that led into the failure of the EV1 and other electric cars, one of which was that an electric car just doesn't make money for the car companies. There are no oil filters and oil changes, brakes last a lot longer, no complicated easy to break transmissions, spark plugs, etc etc. Basically the sell the car and never get any maintenance revenue which is where they make a ton of their money. I never really thought about that side of things. Even with my Prius Toyota hasn't made any money off of me (my dealer gives me free oil changes for life and I've had nothing wrong with the car in its 55,000 miles so far).

It was also interesting to hear about the fuel cell lobby and how that was praised as the "next big thing" overshadowing electric cars. It's still so so so so far away, but we could all be driving ev1's today. Sad.

Anyway, it's a good movie if you're interested in this sort of thing. Definitely a low budget movie and less professional than a documentary on the Discovery Channel, but still a good watch.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


It's been a long busy week with not much exciting going on. I was able to work downtown again on Monday afternoon which has by far been the highlight of the week! Fun, exciting work in an awesome location followed by beer and good food with friends at Elephant and Castle.

And then today made me remember once again why I love working in an awesome research lab. :) We had a talk from a researcher at PARC about conversation analysis and a look at a "co-present" type of communication that came about when a group of college students started using PTT. It's interesting to look at how that type of communication is very similar to the sorts of always-on, time-delayed, fragmented conversations that occur in IM or SMS conversations.

Anyway, now I have my checklist of a million things to do before I go to CA this weekend....


Sunday, July 09, 2006

good running...

I ran my first 9 mile run today and it went super well. I took one of those gel shot things about 1/2 way though and that just gave me a ton of energy to make it to the end. Maybe it was the "double caffeine" in it that helped me out :) It was a bit hot outside though, but not too bad. About 81 degrees when I started and 86 when I finished. I'm really looking forward to the 10k this sunday in napa valley!

Anyone in the bay area who wants to hang out this coming weekend or early next week, let me know!!



Well Richard's wedding was a lot of fun. Even if it was in every way the antithesis of susan's wedding a few weeks ago. Very formal catholic ceremony, traditional midwest reception, dancing, etc etc. It was fun to see some old friends again, including the first person I ever asked out back in 8th grade :) She said no back then, but hey, that's the story of my life. :) Anyway, yay Richard and Kristin! I need to sleep now so I can go run 9 miles tomorrow morning!


Friday, July 07, 2006

did he just 'yada yada yada' mass?

So a very long day, but a small bit of entertainment at the rehearsal for Richard's wedding. The priest was going through the wedding ceremony was like and then we do a mass, you know, holy holy holy, and then ... I took one look at my friend Holly and then just couldn't hold it in. He just holy holy holy'd mass! :) I'm sure he didn't mean it that way, but still it came out just so hilariously.

Anyway, it should be an interesting wedding tomorrow. Definitely much more tradition and formality than most weddings I've been to. Now I just have to pay attention so I know when to sit down and stand up! And I'm the first groomsman to go down the aisle, so I really need to be paying attention! :) And it really annoys me that the bridesmaids and called bridesmaids...if we're groomsmen why aren't they brideswomen?


Thursday, July 06, 2006

travel craziness...

So it wouldn't be a Frank trip without some travel craziness going on. In a few short weeks I'll be flying out of San Francisco at 10:30pm, arriving in Chicago at 4am, leaving chicago again at noon, getting to boston at 3pm, and then leaving boston the next morning and drivng to DC with my friend susan. Yay! It's going to be awesome :) All of this in the name of seeing the cubbies in DC and NYC and hanging out with some fun high school friends out east! I can't wait for a nice break from work!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

3rd and 4th

It's been a fun end to the weekend here! Monday I went up to Summerfest to see Lewis Black perform. He was awesome as always and drew a gigantic crowd, even though they moved him to the biggest tent they have! We got there early though and had a good place to stand just behind the seats. A lot of his act was from the HBO special that I saw in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, but it was still all great! And then the fireworks start going off before he's done, but he still finishes. Milwaukee's fireworks are pretty cool. They shoot them off in the lake, but also off of the top of one of the buildings downtown. I had never seen anything like that before!

I was super impressed with summerfest's veggie food selection. It used to not be so good, but now they have pita and hummous, pasta and tomato sauce, a cihpotle, and a few other options! And of course corn. You can't have Summerfest without corn! Way to go Milwaukee!

Yesterday was spent with family at Wheeling's "Freedom Fest." The selection of veggie food was very limited, but they had one of the Monkeys (yeah, that 60's band) performing, so that was pretty cool. And of course fireworks. The kind where you can sit like 100 yards from where they are launching them so they are all like right above your head! There's something to be said for small town fireworks! It was also fun to sit there before the fireworks started and try to find the space shuttle in the sky. I haven't done that since I was little. I didn't see it this time though..


Monday, July 03, 2006

1/2 in SF??? I'm totally not at this point in my training for another few weeks, but there's this awesome 1/2 marathon in napa valley the day before I was going to be going out to SF in a few weeks. I totally think I could run it...or at least run the first 10 miles and walk the rest as it's supposed to be a 10 mile running day. Here's the race and it goes from Napa to Sonoma. It just sounds wonderful! Except for the 7:10am start time. :) But I guess that'll be like 9:10 to me. I could deal with that.

I'll have to think about this one...


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Race to the Taste

Today was a fun day of running! I met up with Connie and Mark early down in Grant Park for a fun Race to the Taste! It was just a 5K and I knew I still had another 4 miles to run later in the day, so I didn't go all out, but finished with under 9 minute miles which was what I was going for. I haven't gotten my chip time yet, but it looks like it's around 27:45. (EDIT: Time is in, it's 27:08, I guess it took me longer to start than I thought!) It was raining pretty hard at one point in the race, but it was least I didn't feel super hot! And I ran into some other Chicago blogging runners which was unexpected but fun!

Then I had some excellent food at the Taste...samosas, channa masala, dolmeh, and watermelon. mmm. Then it was back to Palatine to run another four miles to finish up the 7 mile day. :)

Last night was fun as well. I finaly saw the DaVinci Code, which I thought was actually pretty good and had some good conversation over thai green curry at Big Bowl. :) I love having time to relax and do things!!