Thursday, January 29, 2009

Long Cold Walk

Well apparently we don't run anymore. I have desires to run, and then I'm like....cold. It's cold and snowy out. We did go to the gym on Tuesday and it was so crowded I barely got a locker and there was a line for the treadmills. I found some other kind of machine and did it for 10 minutes before I was so bored I had to stop. So yeah.

Instead of working out yesterday Jason and I went for a long walk. We put on our winter running clothes....but just as base layers. I want to learn how to take some night time pictures with long exposures/tripod blah blah blah. So I know...let's go walk to North Avenue Beach from our house, and take pictures when it's 11 degrees feels like 1. I just get so stir crazy in the winter having to stay indoors, that I will do anything to get outside. So we did walk over to north avenue beach. I think all the pictures I took are bad, but a lot of the pictures I took when I first got my camera leave a lot to be desired and there might be a gem in there somewhere. Given the long exposures it was a lot of open the shutter...then sit and freeze, check the image, try again. I didn't get a lot of pictures either...but anyways, it's all just practice.

After the picture taking we walked until we found a cab, and we had him drop us off at Sheffields where we enjoyed the company of our favorite bartender Matt, some delicious food, and some reading I had to do for work.

We have a fun weekend planned. Next week I'm off to sunny florida to visit theMom and then the following weekend Jason and I are off to Zurich to visit old friends for a week. I'm getting excited as I really love to travel!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bad Night

Well it was just one of those nights. With a new project on the way at work, snippyness between Jason and I, basic unrest feeling makes for a long, sleepless night. I layed awake for 2 hours, then I woke up at 2:18am (and not just like opened my eyes, looked at the clock and rolled back to sleep...oh no it was one of those bolt awakes with your heart racing...and so you get up, get something to drink, check your e-mail and question whether you should just stay out of bed...I didn't...but I thought about it). Finally I woke up for reals at about 5:30, and was in the office by 7. I do like being in early before anyone is here though.

My photoblog is going really well. Mirrored is the post for today:

if you haven't checked it out, stop by : as there some other good stuff over there.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning. I am *not* looking forward to it. I have really bad teeth genetics (thanks mom and dad!) and in grad school aside from having no insurance, I didn't have any money for the dentist so let's just say I haven't been for awhile. I'm really going to get yelled at I'm guessing. I sort of hate this dentist too as last time I went he told me that if I get the jaw surgery I need, they might be able to give me a chin implant at the same time to take care of my weak chin....I was like..what? Really? Dude...could you be more vain? And me advice on my looks. thanks. But the place is close, and maybe they got a new dentist. The things is there used to be two dentists there and one of them was awesome, then I went back and I got the old vain dude and I was all, what happened to the nice one? Anyways. That was a lot of ranting about the dentist.

Alright and I'm off.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday at about 4:45 pm, I was looking out the window at work and noticed that it wasn't dark out. I mean it was *dusk* but it wasn't black as death out. It was that day, when you realize that the days are in fact getting longer and that April is right around the corner (when I mentioned that to my friend Jake he looked at me like I was crazy...which I am...but I told him we were closer to April than we were yesterday and so it's right around the corner). So I got the itch to go for a run when we got home.

I noticed a post about iPhone running applications on this blog, and thought that it would be a good time to try one of them out as I didn't really care how far I went and so if the GPS got all wonky as GPS devices can do in the city, I wouldn't really care. She mentioned two apps, one called RunKeeper and the other called Fitnio. I decided to try out Fitnio (I had a reason for this....don't remember why) but as they are both free I'll give the other one a whirl as well and then I can have more accurate reporting/opinions.

So we got home, changed quickly before changing our minds, downloaded the App, and filled out the information (great user interface by the way, very clean and simple to enter all your information....they have you enter height/weight/birthday etc and it's all via menus and not typing via the keyboard which is nice and quick). Went outside, started the program and it quickly got a GPS signal, I threw the iPhone in the pocket of my running jacket and off we went. I looked at the phone after about the first 1.25 miles and it was still running, and accurate as compared to my Garmin watch (I wasn't wearing the watch, but have run that route a lot and know what the miles are). But I looked at it again at the turn around point and the screen was off. I turned it back on and had a nice message from the app saying something like, "Oh NO!!! Fitnio lost the GPS signal and has had to estimate your location" So it grabbed it again, and we finished the run, finishing up at Belmont and Sheffield. The run said about 4.5 miles which I would say was about right.

I got home and logged into my account online only to still find the welcome screen. I tried to sync things up a couple times and couldn't get it to work so I left it for the morning. Overnight the servers must have caught up with updates or whatever and my run was there. When you log onto your account you will see a listing of all of your activities :

Then you can click on one and get more details about that particular run (or bike ride as they have that too), including the pace for each mile (it got a little wonky for miles 2 and 3 where I think it lost the signal as I dont' think I was running 10+ or 7ish min/miles :) ) :

Fitnio's tag line is "We're just getting started..." so I think they are going to add in a lot of other functionality. The website however, is really slow and so that's kind of annoying. I like the idea of making RunTrackRun into an iPhone app, using it's GPS instead of the Garmin's. There is a lot of framework on RunTrackRun and it might be cool to jump on the iPhone development bandwagon. There is a lot of power in RunTrackRun and it might be cool to pair it with an iPhone App and their GPS. It would also be nice to keep in the Garmin reading functionality in there, but add in an iPhone portion. I own for the next three years and so we'll see where that goes.

I want to get a workout strap for the iPhone so that I can attach the phone to my forearm so I can look at the screen while I am running so if the GPS gets lost I can turn the phone back on.

So there's that. And if you missed this :

Head over to to see more!. Leave me a comment, add me to Google Reader and Bloglines, gaze with awe at my photos. :) Thanks!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mini-RoadTrip, Up Without Alarm, PhotoBlogging Again, New Office Construction

This past weekend my Dad and I went on a mini road trip to Indiana. I had worked extra hours to make up for time, taking off all of Friday and three hours on Thursday so we could get out of Chicago around 1pm. We went to Indy to visit my Dad's sister and on Friday afternoon we went into town so my Dad could meet up with an old band member of his that he had found on Facebook. That was a really funny trip and it looks like 5/6 of the band could get back together in the fall which of course would be hilarious.

While at my Aunts house, I sent an alarm on my phone....even though there was no need to, I had nowhere I had to be. It went off and I turned it off immediatly. I haven't been feeling so hot the last week or so and thought maybe it was because I hadn't been sleeping enough, or whatever. I didn't set an alarm on Saturday night (yes. I turn an alarm on every day of the week because I hate wasting one second of my weekends by sleeping...but then I'm always off a bit during the day because I go to bed at 1 in the morning and then get blasted by my alarm at 6am...but goddamn it, I'm up). I got up at 7:30 on my own, and felt great the entire day. Jason and I had a great day, we took a walk to the lakefront and walked north to Fullerton. We stopped a few times along the way to get breakfast and then some coffee to warm up our toes. So...yeah, I'm going to not set my alarm on the weekends. I also woke up at 5:55 this morning...5 minutes before my alarm which was nice... I don't think that will be a common theme as I just had a super relaxing 3.5 day weekend...but still nice.

Apparently the shock of working 9-5 has worn off (seriously...going from Grad school to real work was tougher than I had thought) and I have a nice setup at home to get back to photoing, and more importantly I'm going to really try and keep a photoblog going (yes....really...not just for a week and let it fall to the wayside). I really enjoy it when I'm more organized about it and don't just end up with 200 photos on my camera that then need to be dealt with. SO. You can check out new things at Leave comments...let me know what you think. For is the newest picture :

While my Dad was in town, I couldn't not put him to work. I saw these magnetic photo wires on the interwebs and I thought it was a great idea...except the price of them. Seriously...$99 for 12 freakin' wires...I don't think so. Dad and I talked about it, and thought that it might be better if the wires themselves came out of shelves to hide the tops of them. He put fishing weights at the bottom, and just got galvanized cable at a home depot along with the shelving. The whole project cost about $50 bucks and I think it looks great. Really fun to put pictures up quickly. I just need more of those little strong magnets. Here is a picture without many photos on it, to get the idea. I'll get a better one tonight, as the wires have been filled in a bit.

It's a *really* easy project and a nice way to display pictures in a fluid kind of way. Thanks Dad!

So that's it. We have no real plans for about two weeks now, which is nice. But then I have a busy two weeks because I am going to Florida to visit my Mom and then going to Zurich the following weekend. I'm going to have to make some time up so I don't take extra vacation days. Today we have the first of 6 hawks game tickets. We were going to go to the gym but obviously Blackhawks trumps everything. We have another game on Wednesday, so we'll try and run home from work tomorrow.

So that's it. Happy Monday All!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dad in Town!!!!

Wheeeee my dad is in town for the week.

I'm working extra hours so that I can take of Thursday afternoon and Friday for a Dad/Daughter roadtrip to Indiana. We are going to Indy to visit my Aunt, and my Dad has recently hooked up with his old college band members who still live in Indy and so we are going to stop by and see them, and there is talk of driving to Bloomington as well....just cause...well Bloomington is cool.

We have a bunch of projects for my dad to do including a DIY photo wire wall and some shelving which I think is going to be really cool and I should have some before and after pictures.

Other than that things are fine. Big demo for work stuff tomorrow, setting up the Apprentice program at Obtiva to be a bit more rigid with a senior developer and yeah...that's about it.

We won't be working out this week (Well maybe on Saturday and Sunday) because with Dad in town I want to spend time with him and not at the gym....but we'll be back on that horse next week.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Good Example of Sucktitude

Last night Jason and I played racquetball and while it had been awhile since we had played...holy hell are we sucky. Both games ended 16-14 in Jason's favor, although after discussion on the way home we decided that the first game should have ended 15-13 in my favor as he hit me with the ball and we had the rules of interference a bit wrong. took 1 hour to play two games. A lot of not scoring on the serve and a lot of really weak playing....BUT I did remember some stuff and had some nice shots for a point. I think we are going to try and play once or twice a week.

We were supposed to run home today according to the plan that I set in motion...but there is no way. After no working out for months and months...working out three days in a row is exhausting. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I didn't move at all last night in bed as when I woke up my ear was sore as if I had slept on it, in the same position all night.

In the future we might take Wednesdays off so that we can still run home on Thursdays without being an exhausted puddle but we'll see. Maybe we'll try that in the next couple weeks and then slowly add back in Wednesdays.

The plan of course will fall apart a bit next week as my Dad is in town and so I will foresake working out to spend time with him. Plus we are going to Indy at the end of next week to visit my Aunt and my dad found his college band members on facebook and so we are going to go visit them too I guess. We might even make a run to Bloomington as my student ID is still valid, and Lightroom for the student liscense is a lot cheaper than the non-student price....but we'll see on that one, as it's still a pretty long drive from Indy.

Extra work hours this week and next so that I can take off the afternoon on Thursday and then I best be getting on it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Better About Bed Time

Tuesdays is run home from work day which Jason and I did...not with flying colors maybe, but not too bad. Working out two days in a row is *crazy*. Tonight we have racquetball which I'm guessing in our current state of exhausted and sore will be quite the funny sight.

I set up an older laptop at home to run photoshop/lightroom stuff (woot! another 30 day trial!) and forgot about all the updating that it needed and so I was up fighting with it....and didn't get to bed till after midnight....getting up at 6am (even with my iPhone alarm which is labeled, "Keep your ass out of bed!!!!!") was not going to happen.

So a bit tired today and no work in the morning which frustrates me. Ah well...tomorrow is another day. Looking forward to the YMCA tonight.

Oh yeah and stomach still store from the Pilates on Monday night.

Alright, time for work.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A New Year...A New...You?

Oh screw that. Why do the new plans always want to start on January 1st? I mean I'm totally a sucker for it, but why not like October 12th or something? And why does it have to be a *new* you. How about A New Year....and a more improved you.

Anyways, that being said. Happy New Year to everyone out there! Jason and I had a pretty good 2008 with only about 6 rough weeks. But seriously our little family unit is 180 from where we were last year so that's always good.

A more improved JasonLeahRun is starting with a new membership at the YMCA. We heart the Lakeview YMCA and all it's quirkyness. Our plan is to cardio + pilates (leah)/weight lifting (jason) on Monday, Run home from work on Tuesdays, racquetball + weight lifting on Wednesdays, run home from work on Thursdays, relax + lazy on Fridays, racquetball + pilates/weight lifting on Saturdays and run longer on Sundays. That's the idea anyways.

Also LeahC is doing a lot more photoshop work this year. It's a beast of a program but I am learning a ton from Scott Kelby's 7-Point system book. He takes 21 photos from out of the camera, and takes them through the steps he would use to make them a final product. You can download the photos used in the book from his website and follow along. The theory behind the book is that all photos out of a camera are a little dull, could use a little sharpening, etc. He found that most photos used similar steps, all deriving from these 7 basic steps outlined in the book. Not all photos need all of them, but the idea is that at the end of the book you'll be able to look at your photos and be able to get to the output using different varieties of the 7 steps. Anyways, I highly recommend that book (and any of Scott Kelby's books for that matter). Eventually I am going to buy Lightroom2 so I can take advantage of the photo workflow that it provides.

LeahC is also going to be working with a senior developer over lunch on various programming tasks.....still working out what that actually is...but looking forward to it.

LeahC and JasonR (although we might need to get a 2nd copy if we want to include the JMan) and ScottSails are all going to read I'm a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. This reading will probably be slow with the photoshopping/work reading + working we need to do (We are going to have a study group at work and JasonR is starting at class at his company tomorrow).

LeahC and JasonR will also find themselves in Zurich in about 5 weeks visiting old friends and a city we have yet to see.

So 2009 is starting off with a bang and sore core muscles and thus it's time to enjoy the rest of the evening.