Monday, March 31, 2008

shamrock shuffle 2008

Yesterday I ran the Shamrock Shuffle for the 3rd year in a row. It's a fun 8k (4.98 mile) race around the loop with free beer at the end. This year was a good year for WHS '98 people with Katy, Gina, Christine, Zack and me all running! It was a pretty cold day in Chicago with temperatures in the upper 30s at race time. Due to that, I decided to opt for the long sleeve, long pants running attire which turned out to be a bit too much. Right around mile 3 I was wishing I would have opted for the shorts and just sucked it up in the corral.

So after a 47:24 finish, I met up with Zack for a beer and then a wonderful black bean burger at Schoolyard which was full of other runners. All in all, a very good day!

Now it's time for me to go and pack for Mexico agian.


bush booed at a baseball game..

This is awesome!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mexico City

Originally uploaded by bentley79.
So I'm back from Mexico City! It was a good went well, and we had some time to go have fun in the city on Friday.

We originally booked 2 days there in case things didn't go well and couldn't get on an earlier flight, so Friday was filled with fun in the park (including the castle, street vendors, and modern art museum)!

The castle was really amazing with many of the rooms as they were in the early 1800s. It's up on top of a giant hill with amazing views of the city and park below. About 1/2 of the castle has been converted into a post-columbian history museum which was really interesting and fun that was actually in a castle. What a better place for a history museum!

The modern art museum was fun as well and they had an interesting exhibit on Ehrenberg and a fun outdoor sculpture garden.

Walking through the park was pretty amazing as well. Street vendors lined up booth to booth on both sides of every walkway, lots of amazing smells of food and sounds of people hawking their wares. So much fun!

I really am starting to love Mexico City and feel much more comfortable now knowing the safe parts of town, where to grab taxis, etc. It's definitely not as scary a place as the guidebooks seem to indicate.

You can see all of the fun pictures here.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

running at 7,349ft elevation...

It's a lot harder to run at 1.4 miles high :) I did my final run today before Shamrock Shuffle and man was it hard! I think that's the worst 5k time I've ever had. But hopefully the exercise in the thin air will do me some good. I haven't been running nearly enough this spring with lots of travel and horribly cold weather in Chicago. Sunday will be interesting. Especially if it's 40 and rainy like the forecast says. :(

All in Mexico City is going well! We had a great day at the stadium today and I'm going to try to make it to the castle and the modern art museum tomorrow before heading to the airport.

I'll see many of you Sunday at the race!


photoshop express...

So I have to say well done to the guys and girls at Adobe for their new Photoshop Express web app. It's a flash version of the basics of Photoshop that works cross-platform cross-browser. And it even lets you import and edit photos directly from facebook and photobucket. They get it, and it's awesome! :)

Try it out!!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008


So to avoid thinking about this...

If cubes of tofu in a stir fry are called "queso de soya" in Spanish, do they have no way of saying "soy cheese" in their language? :) to Mexico for a few days...


Monday, March 24, 2008


It may feel like 28 right now in Chicago, but it'll be 80 in D.F. Thursday :)


Friday, March 21, 2008


There's something wrong when the train conductor sings White Christmas while driving through 6" of freshly fallen snow on the first day of Spring. What's wrong with this city?


Saturday, March 15, 2008


Assuming it's not raining, does anyone want to join me on monday after work for the St. Patrick's Day Nike Training Run at Fleet Feet? More info here. Should be fun!

Also, if you're running Shamrock, let me know!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


It seems like spring has finally arrived in Chicago. We were well up into the 40s today and we're set to hit 50 tomorrow (of course it's going to snow sunday, but we'll just pretend we didn't know that). With the nice weather, and the recent switch to daylight savings time, I was able to get in a nice 5k run after work today before it got dark outside which was wonderful. I miss being stuck inside all winter fighting with the treadmill (or just not being motivated to run at all) so it's always nice when I can get the first good outside run in. (I was spoiled a bit this year to get some outdoor runs in while I was in FL and CA, but this was the first in Chicago).

I have 2 1/2 weeks to get in shape for Shamrock, and after today's run I feel good about it. Now lets just hope it doesn't snow :)

Also, this is post 1000 that I've made to this blog! It's kind of's spring, a time for new beginnings, new running seasons, and the 1001st blog entry :) I've been posting for 4 years and 3 months, so that's about 2 posts every 3 days. That's some nice volume.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008


He escrito cuatro correos electrónicos en español hoy :) Me encanta trabajar en español!


Thursday, March 06, 2008


So as many of your know already, my lab manager has resigned from Motorola effective tomorrow. It's a big deal as he's been with the company for over 20 years and this has been his only job since college. We all *really* enjoyed working for him for all of this time. Seriously, I can't put into words how much we loved working for him. He pushed us all to be better people and to be the best we could be in so many areas of our lives. And gave us the freedom to work on research we thought was interesting and impactful while encouraging the productization of our research. He's appreciated the human-centered research, the implementation, the academic side of things, and the commercialization, and that's a rare combination. It's been a very wonderful five years at Motorola with him as a manager. He's off to bigger and better things with Karen Holtzblatt of Contextual Design fame and it's an awesome move for him. But he'll be very very very very very very very much missed.

So I found this out yesterday, and was almost all ready to throw in the towel and start calling friends in the valley looking for a job. After a good deal of deliberation today and long talks with many people, I've realized how amazing our lab still is and how impactful the projects I'm on now can really be. So barring any horrible new management of our lab, I do think I'll stick it out for a bit and push these few projects through all the way and see them out.

I spent the afternoon and evening with one of these teams, most of whom work for our design organization. We went bowling at 10Pin and had some wine at Bin 36 in a very wonderful evening with amazing people that I really love working with. So hopefully all goes well, and we can push this project through all the way. It's exciting and could be pretty awesome :)

On a totally unrelated note, I have the Yeal Naim song from the macbook air commercial stuck in my head thanks to 101.9 which is playing it continually. And I'm listening to that since WBEZ (NPR) is doing their pledge drive and I just can't stand listening to that.

Anyway, yay for awesome people at Motorola that will make these next few months great, and good luck to the awesomest of all Motorolans, my soon to be ex-manager Larry.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I've never been very impressed with hospitals. I always feel like everyone there really just has no idea what they are doing and are just sort of making things up as they go. Maybe I have high expectations after watching hospital shows on TV, but I've never met a nurse or doctor in a hospital that seemed like they knew what they were talking about.

Last night, I went to visit my aunt who is in the hospital after a fall last week. She was in the ICU and being moved to a telemetry floor and the nurses almost pulled her away with all sorts of tubes connected to her and her bed plugged into the wall. Then they bashed the bed into the wall a few times on the way down the hall, forgot things, and just seemed generally confused. No one seemed to have any answers to any questions and they certainly were not treating my aunt with "care" in any way in the whole process even when checking her vitals. It was just really sad. Are there seriously no good hospitals out there?


Saturday, March 01, 2008

JCDL PC meeting...

So I'm in Palto Alto today and tomorrow for the JCDL (Joint Conference on Digital Libraries) Program Committee meeting. Today went well...almost 10 hours of talking about papers and choosing the ones for the program. And we're ready for another four hours tomorrow. Amidst all that is yet another reason to love the bay area: the food. We had Whole Foods cater the meeting, and not only did I get two yummy tofu dishes at lunch, but I got a vegan oatmeal raisin cookie and some very incredible vegan chocolate pudding. Yum!

It's been a crazy and busy week in the bay area. Although I'm not looking forward to returning to the cold tomorrow night, it will be nice to relax for the next few weeks and not have so many deadlines and craziness looming about. It will be so nice next weekend to just sleep in and not have much to do.