Saturday, July 28, 2007

Running Club Banquet

Tonight was the Orlando Runners Club annual banquet, where we also raffle off some prizes, award a few scholarships to high school students, and conduct the club's other awards.

Some exciting news for me is I'm one of the four members chosen to participate in the Urayasu half-marathon, an exchange program we have with a sister club in Japan. Time to brush up on my Japanese and train for an early February half-marathon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shopping Redux

As I mentioned a few months ago, I went clothes shopping with my friend Diana. Today we finally got around to the second part, which was to pick up a few more items.

We went to the Lake Mary Target, because Diana wanted to show that decent clothes didn't need to come from fancy expensive stores. We picked out a few fitted T-shirts, two long sleeve striped shirts, and some jeans. Again, we covered the "theory of the blue jean", which is according to Diana:

  • light or faded color is trendy and thus BAD for me in general
  • shiny look is also BAD
  • no carpenter jeans - stressed many times

Thus, the "good" jeans are dark blue and for lack of a better descriptive word, dull, as in not shiny.

We also picked up some fairly plain looking thongs, to replace the various sandals I have. I gather the sandals have too many straps or whatever, because the ones she approved were brown with just a simple foot strap. To my surprise they are quite comfortable to wear.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Best Place

An email making the rounds here to an article listing the Best Place to Live, as ranked by CNNMoney. Number 4 on the list is... Lake Mary, FL! Well that is great news, and I am pleased with my fortune-telling and crystal ball skills when I moved here two years ago. The rankings are specific, of "smaller places, between 7,500 and 50,000 in population, that offered the best combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."

The cons are: Florida summers and Florida hurricanes. Well, that is... entirely accurate. But this climate isn't foreign to me - I lived in Houston for 10 years and it was a similar climate. Actually, I imagine any place with this latitude north or south of the equator is like this, and that is a lot of the world's population. At least here in the US there is air-conditioning on demand all over.

The lady mentioned in the article has a shorter commute that I do - 4 minutes versus my 10 minutes!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Artistic Gators

We decided to change things around for this morning's club bike ride. Instead of having the B group head out with the A group, we decided to ride the route in reverse. The problem was the tendency for the B's to try to keep up with the A's, and mostly succeeding, until a bit past Gemini Springs where the A's would ramp it up. Some B's would still try to hang on but ultimately get dropped, nearly exhausted. So the suggestion was made to go the other way and keep our pace relatively sane.

This worked out really well and we did a few extra miles, for a total of 43.

Back at the Colonial Town Park, some kind of art show was going on: ceramic gators are all over the place. I remember something similar in Seattle, but that was of ceramic pigs. Actually I think the pigs appeared in Orlando also. I'm not sure what they are there for - I think it is a fundraiser of some kind - but they do look kinda cool.

Artistic Gators
Originally uploaded by klbarrus
Ceremic gators at a shopping plaza.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


A few weeks ago, I noticed a spider web hanging under my mailbox. It was big and almost looked like one of those string props from Halloween. But it wasn't, and I grabbed some rolled up newspaper and brushed it off.

A few days went by, and it was back, glistening in the morning dew. Once again, I just brushed it away. I didn't see a spider around, but one was obviously there.

Then I was out of town for a bit, and when I came back, it looked like a few web strands were there, but not a complete web. Sort of like one was there but the wind blew it away.

Today I noticed the web back, but it was up near the lid. So I opened up the mailbox slowly, and found that spider had spun a web inside the mailbox! I looked closer and saw what looked like an hourglass mark on the abdomen:

Originally uploaded by klbarrus

Yes... I am positive my arachnid guest was in fact a black widow spider. I can't have a black widow living inside my mailbox! I don't want to get bitten picking up my mail!

I tried fishing it out, but she was very nimble on the web, and retreated to the end of the mailbox. After spending a few minutes deciding what to do, I went in and got my bug spray. I felt bad but I don't want to mess with a black widow or brown recluse - those just have to go.

So I doused my mailbox with the spray: top, bottom, inside, on the pole, in various holes in mounting brackets, etc.