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Back! (06 Jun 2006 at 17:21)
Back!
I know yinz are like "Where is Tom? Did he die?" The answer is, no, my friends, I am sitting right at my computer and I did not kick the bucket or purchase any farms! True, though, that I have not posted an update in some time. So, what's been going on?

Well, up above is a picture of me finishing the Cleveland Half-Marathon, which I posted about in the previous entry. This was my first visit to Cleveland and my first time running that kind of distance, and all-in-all I declare it a success! Cleveland is a nice city (despite warnings I've heard to the contrary), though it is a bit too driving-oriented for my tastes. Also, during our visit there was a bloom of what I think were mayflies. They were everywhere, like when we were walking around we'd inhale them and they crawled all over the Automatic ATM Machine and the walls and my car and themselves and that was pretty sick. We got dinner at the Great Lakes brewpub, which I love because I love brewpubs. It isn't my favorite brewery, but they had a lovely pale ale special to the pub, and a delicious veggie burger. OK, right, so we had to get up at 5:00am for the run itself and it was pretty cold and raining for almost the whole race. It wasn't really that bad though, and that's mainly because the course is quite flat and I'll trade hills for rain any day! Cortney and Alvin biked around town to cheer for us at various points of the race, which was really nice and motivating. I finished in 1h46m (pace of 8:09) and ran the whole time except for a bathroom break at the 10K mark. I feel like I should have done better, but I had only run a total of sixteen minutes in the two weeks prior, so I wasn't really trained for it. Now I want to run a real marathon sometime in the next year. If I don't do it, yinz all should chastize me for being a lame slacker!

Song of the month for May is Jonathan Coulton's Mandelbrot Set, which I learned about from Joshuah via Moira. It's totally cheesy and has a very TMBG-like educational subject matter, but I love it for its Van Halen porta synth and lyrics that incorporate phrases like "disdain for pure mathematics and unique geometrical insights." I lollerskated for real.

What's been keeping me away from the internet and everything for the last week is a workshop deadline for which I submitted two papers; one an updated version of my old draft about Grid/ML, and one a new paper about Separate Compilation for Standard ML. The latter was an extremely painful process that took up day and night for the whole weekend. I am glad to be done with that. As far as I know, I'll only be working on the programming contest for the next month or so.

To be continued in a few minutes!
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Anonymous (164.58.150.40) – 06.08.06 14:38:22
Earphones and MP3 player for the big race... Very good. So what song were you listening to as you crossed the finish line, and did you plan to be listening to it at that moment?
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Tom 7 (gs82.sp.cs.cmu.edu) – 06.08.06 15:14:51
Good question. Yes, running definitely needs a soundtrack. I believe that my mp3 player had just started over from the beginning at that point, which means it was probably "Use It" by the New Pornographers!
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kathy (dhcp-57-59.dsl.telerama.com) – 06.09.06 12:59:01
the song is badass. :) and catchy... good find.

i think "never trend away" even sounds kind of romantic...
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