One more day


Tomorrow, Kris and I will have been married five years.

The traditional gift for the fifth year is wood. While over at Keith and Katie's, we pondered this when I asked what I could purchase or make for for Kris for our anniversary.





A bat.

A baseball bat.

And Kris could buy me a tree! Whee!

Kris left his bats at home in Viriginia when he left for college. I've asked him several times to bring them back to California with him when he returns from visits back east, but either he forgets, or I forget, and the bats remain 3500 miles away.

So, while at her house, Katie and I looked for some bats, finding a bat signed by Willie Mays for $350. I thought about it, and realized that I'd rather have a bat we can use than a bat that sits in a box mounted to the wall.

When I dashed home and told Kris what I was getting him for our anniversary, and what he was getting for me, he laughed. He had already decided to get me a tree, but was waiting for when we could both go look for one together. I had to laugh. It's a good idea.

Tonight, however, we went to buy a bat. You can't buy a bat without purchasing balls. And you can't have a ball and a bat without any way to catch the balls you hit with the bat.

So, somehow I ended up with a new baseball glove. When I asked Kris how my gift to him became an odd gift to me, he replied, "The gift isn't so much the bat, as that you're going to play baseball with me. That's the TRUE gift."

Great. Only took him 11 years to break me down.



Happy anniversary, love.



The knee made it!



Bella, Kris, Annie and I went up to Fremont Older today.

Kris was going to spend the whole day, starting at 11:00 AM, playing World of Warcraft. I negotiated a hike and time spent with me in return for not complaining about his playing. In reality, I'm completely annoyed that he plays that game all the f--king time. I despise the inherent lack of a productive life that game, and all the other games he's been addicted to in the last 10 years, creates.


The hike.

I had originally intended on wearing my knee brace for the hike. When I put it on this morning, however, the brace caused my knee to hurt. Okay, not what I was hoping for. I thought about taping my knee, but decided against that, too, mostly out of laziness, partially out of a lack of belief the taping was actually helping.

So, off we went: Bella in her cone and beat up face, I without a knee brace, Annie and Kris with no issues we knew about.



The hike went smoothly. I ran some of the hills, just to get my legs moving and a faster rate than my usual walking. I had a hard time on several of the hills, with a heavy heart and gasping lungs. It's pretty clear that I haven't been exercising aerobicly for a short while now, a fact I intend to change. I figure, I can run around the block (a half mile loop) four times for a easy 2 mile run. I'll never be more than 200 yards from home, should my knee lock up or I need to go to the bathroom.

As well as my knee did on the hike, Bella didn't do so well. We kept her in the cone, since she immediately started scratching her face when we removed the cone. I don't know if the cone was an additional burden or not, but she ended up not moving at one point, so Kris carried her the rest of the way back to the car.


I think she might be getting old. We already know she's deaf.

On the hike, I noticed from one part of the trail near the beginning, you could see the other part of the trail from the end, so from both angles, nominally the same spot:





"Try to pronounce these pairs differently: our/hour, hole/whole, Hu/who, your/you're, so/sew, cot/caught, bow/bough, night/knight."

David Weekly posted that line on his twitter stream, and I just had to laugh.

Aside from the fact that "Kris" and "Chris" have different pronunciations (no, not really), I actually DO pronounce cot and caught, as well as bow and bough diffferently. Cot is prounounced with an "ah" sound, with caught pronounced with an "aw" sound.

I'm told that's a Midwestern drawl that causes those words to be different, a lesson I learned way back at Amerigon when the telephone call speech recognition system never recognized my "call" keyword to initiate a call. I had to use "phone" to initiate a call.

They call it a drawl. I call it speaking correctly.

I've managed to correct some of Kris' speech patterns over the last decade. He forwarded an email from a friend who had written "one" instead of "won" in the email. He was laughing at the typo, even hours later when he arrived home. I asked him to pronounce the two words, one and won, only to be mortified as he pronounced "won" as "Juan".

It was my turn to laugh.

I have since fixed Kris' speech problems. He done do talk purdy now.

Kris' new toy


So, Kris has this habit of waiting for me to purchase some new toy and, after it arrives and I'm playing with it, says, "Hey! I want one!" That's usually followed by his co-opting my new toy, forcing me to purchase a new one.

I can't say I'm particularly upset by this habit, as it gives me an opportunity (an admittedly very SHORT opportunity) to play with the first one, and purchase a better or upgraded one when he's not looking.

He's been doing this since our first MP3 player (not an iPod) and our first digital camera (floppies!), and our Handspring PDAs.

Of course, that all pretty much stopped when I purchased him an iPod. Instead of being fascinated with my iPod, he could be fascinated with HIS iPod.

This would work well, for both of us, if he didn't keep losing or breaking his iPods. I'm on iPods two and three (one for long term listening and videos, the other diskless for running), having lost my first iPod to kris' magical touch.

Kris, on the other hand, is on iPod five or six, having broken his first one, worn out the battery on his second one and my first one, and lost the fourth one, possibly the fifth one, too. Honestly, I've lost count.

Actually, kris WILL BE on iPod 5/6 once I give it to him. It arrived today. I really should have had his phone number engraved on the back. Of course, if I had done that, all the chicky-poos would be able to hit on him via his iPod and he'd NEVER see it.


The good thing about the engraving is that if whoever finds this ipod googles for his name, they'll find this site and hopefully contact me. That assumes, of course, that said finder is resourceful.

And that he loses it in the first place. I hope he doesn't: I'm becoming quite tired at replacing iPods.

Of course, since I've licked it, they're all mine.


Wildflower 2009


So, having driven down last night to King City, Kris, Andy Crews, Marc Weinberger and I stumbled out of bed, ignoring their overwhelming desire for coffee ("Hey can we stop by that Starbucks?" "No, I don't think so."), went NORTH on 101, with directions in hand, instead south on 101, as we have mistakenly done the last two times we've participated this event. Three times a charm, and we were on our way.


And STILL arrived late.

The advantage of arriving late is that you're allowed to park in the parking lot closest to the starting line. The disadvantage of that lot is, of course, it's the farthest away from the exit when you want to leave. Fortunately, we didn't need to do that until the end of the day.

So, we arrived, parked and hustled our butts over to the registration tent.


We ran to relay table, with the three of them each going to a separate table, even though, well, only one of them was supposed to check in for all three of them. Kris won in the "check in race" and called the other two over for their numbers, bags and tags.


Bags, shirts, bike and gear in hand, the three received their numbers and walked Andy's bike into the sea of bikes ready for the transition in the bike area. The area would have held the largest number of bikes I'd ever seen in a single place, if I hadn't see the area full at previous Wildflowers.


After dropping off the bike, well, the waiting began. The relay was the last group to go, in the various waves of people who started the triathlon. The first group to go is college men, followed by college women. We were so late arriving that the first wave of college men had already left by the time we mosied to our waiting spot. We had scoped this spot out our first year here, and it's worked well for us. We sat and waited. Kris had made a crucial mistake the first year in not sitting during the two hours before the race even started for the team, much less the next two hours before he was ready to run - he was exhausted before he even started running.

So, we sat.


And waited.

And waited.

When I personally wasn't sitting waiting, I was in line waiting.


Surprise there.


Eventually, the older age group waves left the starting point, and the team in training waves started. There were a surprising number of team in training waves, maybe four, two earlier and two just before the relay waves, all with purple swimming caps.

For the record, everyone looks stupid in those swimming caps.


Eventually, an hour and a half passed, and Marc figured it was time to head down the ramp. I offered to gather Marc's extra stuff, and went down the ramp with him. I verified he had on the timing tag, which Kyle almost forgot the first year. I then made sure he made a beefcake pose, and wandered back up the hill.


Sorta. In reality, I wandered out low on the the peninsula so that I could take some better, closeup pictures of Marc.

To my surprise, Marc started in the middle of the pack. I was surprised because he hadn't done any pack starts before. This was his first long open water swim(but, thankfully not his first open water swim). I don't know, I just figure the jostling in the middle of the pack is a bad introduction to the whole open water swim.


And, apparently, I was right.

Kris and Andy, sitting at the top of the hill, had a better vantage point than I did, and noticed that about 30 seconds into the swim, Marc just stopped in the water and threw up his hands. He wasn't wearing a wetsuit, so it wasn't to take it off, as Robin had done last year. I missed the stop, so didn't realize something had happened.

Marc came out of the water at 39 minutes and, to his credit and word, he ran up the hill into the bike transition time. Despite the fact he had to run up the hill about 100 yards, around the corner, another 100 yards back down the bike area and around the corner to where Andy and Kris were waiting, and I had to merely negotiate around dozen RVs and run 50 yards outside the bike area, Marc nearly beat me over. I did manage to capture some on video, so I wasn't too upset, just surprised.


And annoyed, when Kris and Marc spent a good 10 minutes inside the bike area, going over what Marc had experienced. I had to yell at them to get them to come out and let me know what happened.

What happened was Marc was kicked in the face about 30 seconds into his swim, which was when he stopped. He took a few minutes to settle, before swimming again, taking about half the swim to recover fully. He didn't expect to finish under 40 minutes.


After Andy left the bike transition zone and we chatted, we then had another hour to wait for Andy to return. Andy had suggested we try Google Latitude to track his location on the racecourse, but decided against trying when we realized it would require cell phone coverage, which we couldn't guarantee.

What I find interesting about this time is how much the spectators and participants clear out. Before Kris leaves on his run, the first five, six, maybe 10 waves are done with the whole thing, not just the swimming and biking part. The crowds lessen and the event has more breathing room.

I like this part, except for very end, when I have to brave the crowds AGAIN for Kris' finish.

One of these years, I'm going to just write a number on my arms and go into the bike transition area, maybe holding a swim cap in my hand, a cap of any color, I don't care. I'm going to do this, because I'm annoyed that I miss so much that happens IN the bike area.

As Kris and Marc waited after about an hour and ten minutes and Kris' warmup, I had to wait outside the bike area, on the other side of a fence, about 25 yards from them. As is my current custom, I stood under whatever shade I could find, which happened to be under a Powerade flag that was just barely not vertical, and provided enough shade to keep my arms out of the sun if I stood just so.

Well, the spectators and participants start moving out of the area, right? That means the clean up starts, even though the race is far from over. The Powerade clean up crew decided that now as the time to move the flag / ad, JUST as Andy came into transition the timing chip to Kris.

For the THIRD year in a row, I MISSED THIS HANDOFF. I have no idea how I keep missing this damn handoff, and have to sprint to the top of the hill to take pictures of Kris on the far side, but I miss it EVERY TIME. Quite annoying.



Okay, third person in this three person relay has started his run. We three decide to wander, not really hustle, since we knew we had at least half an hour past when I was done taking pictures of his start, until Kris would come down the finish line. Andy and I figured if we could find a spot in the bleachers, we would sit there for a while.

Delighted, we did find a space to sit. Two rows, actually, were empty right in the middle of the bleachers. We couldn't believe our good luck.

That is, we couldn't believe our good luck until we realized why the seats were empty.

A woman just behind the seats and to the side was ringing a fucking cowbell.


It was loud.

It was annoying.

No, it was FUCKING annoying.

And it was causing me to go deaf.

We left.

Andy took one camera, I took another, and we wandered over to see if we could capture Kris in all his finishing glory.

The group finished in 4:46:22, which was a time of 2:46:22 if you clear the two hour wave delay.


After Kris had finished and managed to push through the annoying crowd that overwhelms the finisher, we found him standing along the side of the area, water in one hand, a finisher's towel in the other, and a finishers medal around his neck. Entertainingly, neither Marc nor Andy wanted the medal after Kris offered it to him. It's not like it's a gold medal or anything.

I had run into Jane a few moments earlier, pushing her two kids in a stroller. John was participating in the triathlon, and Jane was along for the ride. Or, as she put it, John's been to so many ultimate tournaments, this was the least I could do to support him.

We went off to get food and, for the boys, beers. I ate strawberries and the cooked cabbage I had brought, because, really, who doesn't love cooked cabbage?


When eating, I started people watching. I thought it very strange that a woman would sit down in the middle of a major walking throughfare, blocking foot traffic, then become annoyed when people had to step over her and around her. Had she sat anywhere away from Andy, she would have had no problem. Even though sometimes it's easy to complain, I have to say that it's often easier just to think about what you're doing and do something better.


Like the traffic rent-a-cops at the roads when we were leaving. Rather than letting two inflows of cars just zipper at a junction, they let cars from one side go for 5 minutes, then cars from the other side go for five minutes. Frustrated at their lack of efficiency, I suggested an alternative, to which they just became enraged at, how dare someone question their authority?

Yeah, well, just because you're waving traffic along, doesn't mean you know how to do it efficiently. Not that they had any motivation besides.

The drive back was uneventful, other than I nearly ran out of gas, stopping for a refill at the station near Andy's house. If Kris hadn't driven the car so efficiently on the way down, there is NO way we would have made it down and back in one tank. I have to wonder about my driving style now: it's costing me around $10 a week to drive so inefficiently compared to Kris.

Update: Marc was the bottom quarter of the open relay teams. Andy was the fasted in the open relay bikers. He finished in the 3% of all the bikers in the competition, including college and open. Kris didn't do as well as he wanted, but still shaved 2 minutes off last year's time. A successful triathlon. As Kris said, "Ah! I want to do it again!"

Pew pew! Pew pew pew!


One of the problems Kris and I have with working out together is that he's faster, stronger and, let's admit it, far more motivated than I am. Track workouts generally work well for us, since he can run extra sets or just rest longer while I'm finishing up. Longer distance runs haven't worked as well, since both of us essentially run by ourselves, and meetup at the end.

Kris has been training to run the 10k part of his relay team's Wildflower Triathlon this weekend, and has been running some good distances. He's tapered this week, and asked if I wanted to use my new scooter and keep up with him as he runs. We talked about whether or not it would work, and decided to give it a try. I've been to his work only a few times since he's worked there, so it would also be a good chance to see the campus.

We ended up doing three loops around the campus. I, for the most part, kept up with Kris, except when I didn't. I came in too hot on one hairpin turn and ended up in the dirt, but still standing, at one point. I also had problems on the back side with the head wind in the parking lot being so bad I could have walked faster than I scooted.

In all, the experiment was a fine success. Especially when I started pew-pew-pewing the cars that tried to cut us off.


A boy and his dog


Kris has a habit of reading in bed before he goes to sleep at night. Bella has a habit of jumping on the bed and burrowing under the covers. Together, they make a really cute picture.


Kris' backward bet


Kris and his coworker Frank were talking a couple weeks ago about running. Frank commented that his best 400m time was 90 seconds. "Pshaw!!" Kris comments, "I can do that backwards!" They continued to joke around, and eventually ended up with the bet that Kris couldn't run the 400m in under three minutes.

Once I heard about the bet, I asked that they wait until I arrive, in order to see it in its full glory. They waited, but only just barely.

Kris wins the bet running backwards from kitt h on Vimeo.

After Kris crushed the time (I really wish I had yelled "2:40!" instead of "1:40!" to see what he would have done), we all went out for fish and chips, and talked about the bet. There was a side bet between Frank and Joe that Kris would fall over backwards at some point on the run. Now, that's a safe bet if I were running, not so much with Kris. So, Joe, here, is the ultimate backwards bet loser.


One of them suggested building a site about all the bets they make in the office. Apparently, they can make a bet about ANYTHING, and pretty much do. The "double or nothing" bet is nearly as common. I suggested a twitter feed of their bets, for the entertainment of the world. They all agreed it was a great idea, then realized that none of them twitter.


Maybe I should have bet them they couldn't twitter all of their bets for a month. THAT one I'd win.


Happy birthday, love

Daily Photo

Yes, we're late! Please save the date!

Kris and I would like to invite you to our anniversary celebration!

We're heading back to the Valley of the Moon Campground in Glen Ellen, California, for a weekend with friends and family. We'll be in beautiful Sonoma Valley, surrounded by rolling hills, tall trees and wine country. We invite you to join us, play games for the weekend, sleep in the campsite's cabins, hike the nearby trails, swim in the pool, and celebrate with us.

Once again, just like summer camp, minus the annoying counselors!

Date: Friday, May 15th - Sunday, May 17th, 2009

More information, including directions and travel suggestions, will be posted on our site soon:

Although we'll be sending out "official" invitations, if you know you'd like to come (or know that you can't), and want to RSVP now, you can! Just leave a comment here, or send us an email with your name and number of guests.

We hope you can join us!