The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life on jury duty

Seriously, there is a conspiracy against jury pool W. Some of the other groups have served for only half a day out of the nine days that we have been on jury duty so far. On the other hand, old group W has been here five out of the past nine days. Actually, some of group W has been here even longer, having been selected for two juries so far. I've only served on one jury thus far and spent the rest of the time just waiting around to see if I will be selected.

Let me say this about the jury process. I think that everyone should have to do it once in their life. That being said, I am extraordinarily ambivalent about the jury process. I have been impressed by how well everyone gets along and was glad to be on a diverse jury that was still willing to work together so openly. The bureaucracy of the system has, to be honest, highlighted the reasons why we lecture about bureaucracies in introduction to sociology classes. I'm probably more of a populist as a result of all this. Everyone who served on the jury together yesterday clustered together in one of the small meeting rooms to talk and play cards. It's funny how strangers can bond together under circumstances like this. Technically, I've been excused from duty tomorrow, which is our last day. That means my civic duty will be done with soon. Of course, if I get picked again I must serve until that trial is over...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bye Bruce!

Our longtime truck, Bruce, is officially retired. Well, he isn't really retired, but we just sold him to make room for the F150 4x4 that is our new truck. Bruce was a great vehicle and took us everywhere we needed to go throughout graduate school and law school. He moved us from Michigan to Oregon and back again, throughout the Northwest, and even down to the Southwest. He saved us from a windstorm in Death Valley when we had to tie our tent to him. I slept in the back of Bruce on my way out to a week of solo backpacking in New York. He went to pick up Casey at the cattle ranch in Oregon. He's hauled us safely around for many, many miles--we'll miss you Bruce!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hotel treadmills

I'm at a conference in Grand Rapids for the next few days. I had some extra time so I hopped on a treadmill in the hotel. My plan was to run for a couple hours. I did about 7 miles on Monday so if I got 12-13 miles in today I would be all set for a long run this weekend. I had my mp3 player, some Sharkies for sustenance, and a water bottle. I quit after 7 miles. There is just something about treadmills that I cannot do. I'm not sure why I get bored so quickly, but there is just something about staring at a wall that just wears me out. Anyway, I'll just sneak in another 6 miles or so tomorrow and still be on schedule for my weekly mileage so it's not a big deal.

On the bright side, the short run gave me time to settle into my hotel room, eat some sushi, and finish a short article for Ultrarunning magazine that I've been working on. Yes, I'm taking my first step towards merging my professional life and personal interests with a somewhat sociological article discussing the role of online media in shaping ultrarunning culture. I've already sent an inquiry to the editor and she was interested in the article. It is not (I hope) too heavy on the academic stuff, but hopefully it will represent an interesting read.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am speed

Okay, I'm not speed, but Elliott is really convinced that I am. Actually, I think he is convinced that I am able to run as fast as one of the 38 race cars that he has now accumulated from the Disney Cars movie (see above). Only a couple weeks into my training program and already my running has been hit and miss. Last week, I didn't run at all until Friday, when I got 10 miles in. This was followed by 20 miles on Saturday--I managed 10:00 minute miles, which is not great, but reassures me that I haven't fallen too far out of condition (speed is relative after all). Monday, Elliott and I headed out and cruised through 12 miles. "Don't walk, Daddy! I want to keep going!" he said at the end. Sounds like my training is going to consist of a lot of long runs... Seriously, everyone should have a 2 year old committed to a Disney movie about race cars as a trainer.