Saturday, August 21, 2010

Some stats from my running...

This is some interesting information, at least to me...I've been using a Garmin GPS type watch to record a lot of my running…for my last 79 runs to be exact...

(here's where the engineer in my raises its head...)

Over the last 79 recorded runs, I've:
  • covered over 313.40 miles  
  • ran a total of 48 hours, 54 minutes and 8 seconds
  • climbed over 60,778 ft (and descended an equal amount, obviously)
  • had an average HR of 166 bpm and an average maximum HR of 190 bpm
  • burned 36,049 Calories
  • averaged 3.97 miles on each run
  • had a maximum run distance of 11.12 miles
  • had an average running time of 37 minutes and 8 seconds per run
  • and ran for 1 hour, 40 minutes and 55 seconds straight at one point.
If this link works, you should be able to see the all of the activities (running, cycling, etc.):

I'm surprised I'm not faster and healthier! 

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Magnolia Marc's 1996 Proflex Attack

I helped my Buddy, Magnolia Marc, restore his old 1996 Proflex Attack.

If you like old bikes... check it out...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Juneteenth - Olivewood Cemetery

Special Ed, Magnolia Marc and I went on a photo safari this morning. Our plan was to shoot old abandoned buildings, which we did later in the day, but we started off at Olivewood Cemetery.

Olivewood Cemetery lies near a bend in White Oak Bayou, along the rail line to Chaney Junction, where the First and Sixth wards meet just northwest of downtown. The 6-acre cemetery is a historic resting place for many freed slaves and some of Houston’s earliest black residents.

In 1875, the land, which had previously been used for slave burials, was purchased by Richard Brock, Houston's first black alderman. It opened as a cemetery for black Methodists in 1877. When Olivewood was platted, it was the first African-Americans burial ground within the Houston city limits. The cemetery contains graves of both the well-to-do and those who died in poverty; therefore, the grave markers run the gamut from elaborate Victorian monuments to simple, handmade headstones. Burials at Olivewood Cemetery continued through the 1960s.

While we were out there, an archeologist showed up and said he was doing some historic research. He said there would be a crowd of folks out later in the day given that today is Juneteenth. He was part of a non-profit group called "Decedents of Olivewood." He told us that the site was supposed to contain 440 graves, but his research over the last nine years has revealed there are more than 800 graves at the site.

Even though the Decedents of Olivewood was established to take guardianship of the cemetery, decades of neglect and abandonment are evident. Water and vandals have damaged many of the graves, and at the back of the cemetery many of the graves are hardly visible because of the overgrowth and disregard.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gang colors... there goes the neighborhood!

Stepping out on the porch this morning, I was surprised to see a brown anole flashing his gang colors at me! If you’ve not seen a brown anole, they are much more tolerant of humans than the green anoles typically seen in our neighborhood.

Since he didn’t seem like he was in a hurry to go anywhere, I went back inside and grabbed my camera. He waited.

This particular brown anole is a male. Males are brown and speckled; females have diamond-shaped patterns. This fella is also a mature male as evidenced by the crest-like ridge along his back.

When I started taking his picture, he was quite the true professional. Brown anoles get used to humans; you can typically get really close to them if you move slowly. I was able to get the lens within a foot of him, and he only flinched at the clicking sound of the camera’s shutter. I guess he thought he was going to be on the cover of National Geographic.

After shooting a few pictures of him on the stone, he hopped into the bushes and began the characteristic head bobbing. Then he displayed his yellow-trimmed, red-orange dewlap for the camera lens. I had to turn the ISO up to 1250 because of the poor lighting in the bushes, so there’s a little noise in the dewlap portraits, but he’s still a handsome fella.

He won’t make the cover of National Geographic, but I trust you will appreciate his dashing looks and flamboyant display.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You're not the boss of me!

The first words out of William's mouth most Saturday and Sunday mornings are similar to the following, "Daddy, can I play the Wii?"

William is five. He loves the Wii. Emily, seven, also loves the Wii, but she doesn't have the same level of obsession with the Wii as her younger brother.

More frequently than not, playing the Wii becomes a problem. And typically the problem is one of two things...

For the first 15 minutes or so after the Wii is powered up, Emily and William work as a team while playing Lego Star Wars. At some point a decision has to be made about what door to open or who gets to be what Star Wars character. Then it happens--yelling, screaming, stomping... "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!" William is in tears and Emily decides she doesn't want to play anymore anyway!

The other "thing" that happens is the result of too much Wii. If William plays the Wii for too long, turning the Wii off typically results in a meltdown. William cries and cries and cries...and between the tears he reminds me that he never gets to play the Wii, and "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!"

Perhaps a third "thing" is my inability to manage Wii time, but clearly that subject would require more self assessment than I'm willing to dedicate to it at this particular moment...

Santa needs his ass kicked for putting the Wii under the tree in the first place. Fat bastard.

So while having dinner at IHOP tonight (yeah, don't even can think it, just don't ask it...), William says, "Daddy, can we play the Wii tomorrow?"

Seriously? Are you f'ing kidding me?

Thoroughly annoyed, I try to use some parenting skills that don't involve the words, "I'm going to throw that Wii in the trash!"

Finally, I got it!

"William..." I say, "I think you play too much Wii; that seems to be all you want to do. What's something you could do tomorrow besides playing the Wii?"

William looked at me intently...he gave the matter serious thought for a good 15 seconds...carefully he chose his words before proclaiming, "I know, Daddy!...I could watch TV!"


Horrible 18-wheeler accident on I-10...

An 18-wheeler crashed on I-10 in Houston today...right at I-45 and I-10.  The crash must have happened around lunch time.

The following are the pictures I took after I drove up on the HOV overpass lane to look down on the scene...


And a look from the other direction

Part of the hood...and the turbo charger

He's alive!

The upper part of the cab and the driver being loaded into the ambulance

Here you can see the bottom of the tractor underneath the trailer...see the exhaust stack?

Here's another look...
you can see part of the cab under the trailer (blue arrow),
the top of the cab (red arrow),
and the hood (purple arrow).