Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Saturday run: The good, the bad and the ... beautiful?

As I was running around Ogden today, I had few experiences that merit sharing.

1. I found 15 cents on the road, a dime and a nickel. I am one more dime away from that gum ball I've had my eye on.

2. As I trotted through one neighborhood, I ran past three kids, all about 12 years old. One had a bike and as I ran past, he rode toward me on the sidewalk, then turned and stopped in front of me, cutting me off. I shook my head and kept going, thinking how he certainly picked the wrong place to stop. I ran about 50 feet more and the kid on the bike came from behind me, hit his brakes and skidded to a stop in front of, turning to cut me off again.
"Are you trying to cut me off?" I asked. He kind of laughed at me and didn't say anything. He was a lanky, freckle-faced kid who reminded me of my brother, Tanner. His mischievous smile also reminded me of Tanner.
I stepped around him and started running again, but after about 100 more feet, the kid rode past me again and again turned and braked, skidding to a stop about 5 feet in front of me, cutting me off again. I was a little perturbed by now, but I decided to teach physics instead of using physical violence.
"Dude," I said, "I am a lot bigger than you. If you cut me off and I can't stop, I will run you over and hurt you. I don't want to do that. I don't care if you keep cutting me off, just make sure you give me room to stop."
I stepped around him for the third time and kept running.
About half a block later, he came riding past me again, but rode about 30 feet in front of me before skidding to a stop. I had to time to simply run around him without having to stop.
"There you go," I said, and kept running.
I hope the encounter amused him as much as it amused me, since I think he was probably dared to be a punk by his friends. He is however, lucky, that I didn't end up plowing him over, whether by accident or otherwise.

3. As I was running up the big hill on my 6-mile run, in the hardest part, I had an experience that helped me run with head a bit higher.
A jet-black Chevy Tahoe drove by and all of a sudden, I heard a bunch of shrieking coming from the vehicle. About six teenage girls were waving at me and cheering me on!
That made my day!
With all the people who keep telling me what a cute pregnant lady Crystal is (and she is beautiful!), it's nice to know I still have it, too. However, I know I never look better than when Crystal is beside me.

UPDATE: I found another dime at CostCo this afternoon! Gum ball, here I come!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Come run, come all!

As you can tell by the mileage tracker on the right side of the blog, the great 100 Mile Challenge is on the home stretch. To celebrate our return to running regularity, Ali and I are hosting the AJ Classic (A for Ali, J for Jordan) 10-mile run on May 17 at 7 a.m. in Provo. By "hosting," I mean inviting anyone who is interested to come enjoy a 10-mile run from Vivian Park, in Provo Canyon, along the Provo River Trail to LaVell Edwards Stadium on BYU campus.

Thanks to a handy program online, here is a map of the running route, with mile-markers, etc.
Anyone who does not want to run the entire 10-mile course is welcome come and run for part of the race, cheer on the runners or (as Crystal will do) set up at strategic points to hand out water and orange slices.

Runners are invited to carpool to the starting area or bring someone who can drive their car back down the canyon. The course requires one major road crossing (at University Avenue and 2230 North), so participants should be careful as they run. The finish line will be set up at the stadium, which has a large parking lot for mingling after the race (and eating more orange slices!)

Important Information:
AJ Classic 10-mile Run
Where: Vivian Park in Provo Canyon to LaVell Edwards Stadium
When: 7 a.m. May 17, 2008
Who invited: Anyone who wants to run for fun!

Please RSVP so we know how many to expect and so we don't start running without you! Also, we may ask people to help out with water, Gatorade or some fruit for the pit crew. If you want to invite any non-runners, invite them to help with the treats, carpooling, etc.

You can RSVP by commenting on this post, or by e-mailing Jordan or Ali.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I hate to break it to all of you who are really excited to meet Chicklet when she comes into this world, but she is grounded! Thats right, you heard me, GROUNDED! I haven't really figured out what that means for a newborn yet, but she is definitely in trouble. This little girl has been misbehaving for a couple of months now and she thinks she can get away with it! Her first offense is repeatedly staying up past her bedtime, and by her bedtime I really mean my bedtime! Actually I am not even sure she ever sleeps! Whenever I am trying to go to sleep she decides she wants to play soccer with my liver as the ball or pretend she is Jane(like Tarzan and Jane) and swing from side to side. Her second offense goes right along with the first. She enjoys hitting and kicking me WAY TOO MUCH! There is one spot that she repeatedly kicks that sends my entire body into a spasm. How can someone that small cause that much of a reaction!?! Her third offense happened yesterday at my doctors appointment. The doctor was trying to get a look at her face on the ultrasound and she just kept her hands over her face the entire time. I told my doctor she would get a talking to when we got home. I am not sure what the terms of her punishment are yet. Maybe she can't have friends over for a year or maybe she is grounded every weekend for 2 years. Basically, I think her social life as a baby is going to be non existent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You could call it vanity, I'll call it a social experiment

In a recent interview with one of my friends, a masters student in communications who is researching our newsroom, he talked to me about my views about the importance of bylines in newspapers. (FYI, bylines are the place under the headline where it says "By (writers name here)")

Also, I recently had my hair cut after about four months of no cutting. That means that my hair, which is straight and flat, turned into some sort of '70s-style helmet. It was quite thick and long enough to cover part of my ears.

These two subjects seem very unrelated, I know, but bear with me and I'll show you something I've learned about myself.

First off, something I've known about myself for a long time: I like attention.

I'll wait for you to collect yourself after that stunning revelation. < /sarcasm >*

What I've learned new, however, is a little bit about why I like attention.

When my interviewing friend asked me how I felt about bylines, my first thought was, "They are good because they give the writer credit for what they do."

The whole reason I am in newspapers must have something to do with getting credit for stuff, I guess. I do feel good when I am able to share stories with others which entertain, teach, bring to tears, etc. Good communication can do that, and it is at the source of all good relationships. Think about the person with whom you are the closest... That person is that way because you can communicate well with them.

Despite my first, I-want-attention thought to why I think bylines are important, my mind quickly told me why it thinks that way. To me, a byline allows the reader to know who the writer is in order to build a relationship. When the reader reads my byline over and over, I hope that our relationship continues to grow stronger with each well-written, thorough story. In short, a byline lets a reader know they can trust the story before they even read it. Making the newspaper all anonymous (as many news Web sites are) cuts down on that trust.

Bylines also make writers more accountable, I believe, because people with issues about certain pieces know exactly who to contact. One of my favorite phone calls to take in the newsroom is someone who is upset about someone else's story, because I can simply say, "I didn't write it, I'll transfer you to them." On the other side of the coin, my least favorite callers are the ones who call me out personally, not because I really worry about how they feel, except that they will now no longer feel trust associated with my name on the paper.

So, my self-discovery is that this need for attention that I have had for as long as I can remember, is rooted partly in my desire to build trusting relationships with those around me. That is a good thing. I feel like it has helped me acquire a very supportive group of family and friends around me.

Now, if you noticed, I said "partly" in the previous paragraph. I think another part of my drive for attention is a desire to entertain, both myself and others. This is where my hair cut comes in.
The last few times I cut my hair (all in 2007) no one mentioned anything about me getting a haircut. It kind of made me feel like I was a little too bland or something, because no one noticed enough to even comment. So, when Crystal told me it was time to cut my hair in February, I said I'd rather wait. I was entertaining myself with the prospect of seeing if anyone would notice.

When I explained that I wanted to wait to let it grow long enough that people would notice that I had cut it, she laughed at me.

Not with, at. She is a great wife.

Anyway, it was finally getting long and weird enough that she was getting tired of it, and with spring coming, I decided it was time to cut it, and see if my experiment worked. Also, I'd just found a great deal on my favorite hair care product, so I was excited to use it.

Crystal cut my hair to the length it had been before I started my experiment and I styled it up and went about my daily business. Other than the fact that my head was a lot colder in morning weather, I felt good about it. Then, the results of my experiment started coming in.

In the past week, seven people have commented on my hair. Thus, my experiment is a success. If you wait long enough to cut your hair, people will notice enough to comment on it. The scientific method wins again! (Don't worry, Crystal, I won't be doing more experiments in this field. I am thinking about testing the theory that eating more oatmeal creme pies will make me feel like cleaning the house more.)

Overall, I think I have learned a little bit more about myself, but also I have had some fun. If I can keep doing both those things, life will be good for a long, long time.

Now, if you care, here are pictures of my hair, pre- and post-experiment.

*The HTML reference was for Justin H., who is known to frequent this blog and comment on my inabilities to truly program or code pretty much anything. Hi, Justin!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Runnin' in Columbus

I got the chance to visit my brother, David, his wife, Megan, and their supercute 9-month-old son, Harry, this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. On Friday, David let me tag along with him to school at The Ohio State University, and he also showed me around the city. The Columbus area has about a million people, but it is spread out and covers a lot of territory.

While the weather was mostly cloudy, it was very warm (compared to the 40s we've had in Utah) and enjoyable. I'll post some pictures from the trip later, but I wanted to share some cool stuff from this morning.

Since I am still trying to run my 100 total miles, I decided to go for a run this morning (Saturday) while David was at a professional school presentation event thingy. I rode with Megan and David to OSU campus, where David was dropped off, then Megan drove me a bit farther north (right by the huge Ohio Stadium, "The Horseshoe," where the Buckeyes play football) and dropped me off.

I then ran back to David and Megan's house along the Olentangy River Trail and it was beautiful and relaxing, as it winds along the river. I ended up with a nice 6-mile run out of it, too. One funny thing happened as I was running along one section, a pretty area near a park across the river from downtown Columbus. A few Canadian geese were playing in the water below me, so I did two loud "honk" noises to see if they would react. They didn't. Someone else did, though. I totally scared awake a man who was bundled up and sleeping on one of the benches along the path! I didn't notice him until he startled awake from my noises. I looked at him when I noticed and said, "Oh, sorry," and he just laughed and rolled back over. Pretty great!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Dictionary definition:

Incongruity: (noun) having a lack of conformity or harmony, inconsistent

Real-life definition:

Incongruity: A motorcycle pulled up to me at a stoplight this evening. The man on the bike had on a black leather jacket, a leather skullcap and a bandanna over his face that makes him look like a grinning skeleton. I noticed loud music coming from stereo speakers built into the bike.
His head was bobbing along to Ricky Martin's 1999 pop hit, "Livin' la Vida Loca."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wait! I thought I was the forgetful one!

This weekend Jordan and I went to Heber to visit family and have an entire weekend away while we watched conference. We rarely get a whole weekend away because we always have to be back for church Sunday morning to fulfill our church responsibilities. Needless to say, Friday, when we both got home from work, we were really excited to get away, but we had a few things to do before we could leave. As soon as Jordan had his bag packed and ready to go, I asked him if I could take it to the car for him so he could go do some of the other things he needed to do before we left. I put our bags in the car and half an hour or so later we were on our way! Weekend here we come!

As we were driving up to Heber, about half way there, Jordan said "Wait, I forgot to pack clothes!" I was confused because I saw him packing and I put his bag in the car. Apparently he packed socks and underwear and shoes and his toothbrush, but he forgot actual clothes to wear over his underwear and match his shoes and socks. Who does that?!?

Luckily, we were coming up on Park City, so I suggested we stop at the outlets to see if we could find a good sale and get him something else to wear for the weekend. The Gap Outlet was having a great sale on all their clearance items, so we ended up getting him some good clothes for really cheap. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a good deal, so I was super excited to find some nice shirts for $5-6 and some other good deals, so luckily it all worked out.