December 14, 2006

Tokyo Marathon: 15 miles and counting

The 1st Annual Tokyo Marathon is February 18th, 2007 and I've been training for it for the past couple months. My goal is to shave almost a full hour over my finish time in Chicago.

I did my first longer-than-a-half-marathon-run last weekend, which was a nice milestone. But training for your second marathon is a lot more stressful than your first. For the first one, you're not even sure if you can finish the stupid thing, so just crossing the finish line is an accomplishment.

The second time, though, you already know you can do it, so if you don't finish, it's a huge embarrassment. And if you do finish, but slower, it's almost worse.

I'm using one of Hal Higdon's training programs again. This time, his Intermediate I schedule. So far, so good, although the program has me running 18 miles on New Year's Eve...

Posted by pmk at 3:16 AM | Comments (1)

December 5, 2006

Hitting the Vocabulary Crackpipe

PopCap, the folks behind games like Bejeweled and Insaniquarium, are masters at creating addictive and easy-to-play games. But their latest game, Bookworm Adventures, takes the cake.

You play the part of Lex, an erudite green worm, that battles his way through forests, castles and dungeons, in classic RPG fashion. But instead of twitchy mouse clicks, you defeat your foes by building words, Boggle-style.

You get sixteen letter tiles, which are replaced as you use them. The longer your word and the more ununsual letters that it contains, the more damage you do to your opponents. So far, the best word I've been able to come up with is "misestimates", although "quadrennials" was a close second.

If you bust out a really impressive word, Lex knocks off the enemy using a signature "finishing" move, just like in Mortal Kombat. It's hilarious.

The user interface is also very well thought-out. You can quit the game at anytime and it automatically saves your progress, so you can play for a few minutes, then hop back into whatever you should be doing.

Check it out. You can download the trial version for free and if you like it, the full version is only $24.95.

Posted by pmk at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)

December 4, 2006

Piano Mover!

piano mover

This truck, which was parked outside of our new apartment, is entirely dedicated to moving pianos.

Of course, with space being as tight as it is here, you can't count on fitting a grand piano (or even a baby grand) through the hallways of most apartment buildings.

Fortunately, the piano moving truck is equipped with a crane! So you can haul your $50k+ Bösendorfer in through your bedroom window.

Today, sadly, they were only delivering an upright, so the crane sat unused.

Posted by pmk at 9:02 AM | Comments (2)

Thank You!

A round of applause for guest bloggers Ted Warin and Jennifer Porto! They did a spectacular job of tending the flame while I was away saving the universe. Both still have their accounts here, so we may still be able to enjoy the occasional contribution.

Posted by pmk at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)