25 September 2011

Reindeer Run 5K

I know that for the vast majority of the population it is entirely too early to be thinking about the holidays. But I don't care. I LOVE the holidays, and I'm super excited because I finally found a December race to partake in this year!

When I signed up for the Track Shack Running Series I noted that there isn't a series race in December. Wanting to fill in the gap and do something outside of the series, I searched around. I looked for an Orlando Jingle Dash, Kris Kringle Run, Rudolph Race, Elf 5K - NOTHING turned up.

Until yesterday when my Track Shack Event Guide arrived in the mail. Enter the Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run 5K!

Distance: 5 K/ 3.1 Miles
Date: Saturday, 10 December 2011
Time: 7:30 AM EST
Location: Sea World
Cost: $24 (through 3 December 2011)

I'm definitely signing up. Let me know if you're interested, and we can meet up, carpool and cheer each other on!

Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii

The other day when I went to water my plants I had a fleeting thought upon catching first glimpse of the soil:

"Oh, man - some rotten kid has stuffed yellow Nerf darts in my pots' soil! How did they even get onto my patio?!"

(That's my beautiful bougainvillea, by the way. It is finally blooming after I gave it some fertilized soil this summer.)

So, anyway, upon further inspection, it turns out the little yellow things weren't Nerf paraphernalia. In actuality they were growths coming right out of the soil. I still wasn't sure what they were, but I'd find out.

After stumbling around searching online I finally discovered that these little yellow things are mushrooms! Specifically, these shrooms are Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii.

A professor from the University of Wisconsin had a nice, informative page about them:

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (luke-o-kuh-PRY-niss burn-BAUM-eee-eye) is a common mushroom in house plants and greenhouses or any other place with organically rich soil where the temperature is warm . [...] It's a bright colorful mushroom that helps those of us in the far north get through the long, mostly mushroomlesss winter. It's also very common in the south in warmer climates, where it can grow outdoors, especially in mulched flower beds.

And now I know what those growths were. Some websites recommended letting them grow because they are so dastardly difficult to get rid of. Even if you replace the soil they can still come back. I've decided to try to remove them. So far I've plucked 4 or 5. They grow SO fast, I'm sure there are a couple waiting to be yanked today.

In other news, my newest flowers are starting to really get growing. No buds or blooms yet, but hopefully soon!

22 September 2011

TSRS 2/7: Autumn Rock 'N Run 5K

Two Saturdays ago (I know, this is belated) was the second race of the Track Shack's Running Series: the Autumn Rock 'N Run 5K in Casselberry, Florida!

Here is a snap shot of my race results (I'm 3rd from the top):

Nike+ offers some neat statistics and graphical views. Here is a graphical view of my pace throughout the race:

Here is a breakdown of my time per mile:

Here is a map of the route (with start, finish and mile markers):

Overall, it was another great race. The weather for this race was still pretty warm, but it wasn't nearly as muggy as the first race in the series - thank goodness! I did walk briefly while I chugged some water at the station, but it was non-stop other than that (gotta stay hydrated). I think the potato salad through the week helped me load up on carbs because this race felt good. That and a good night's rest and good breakfast the day-of.

Added bonus: my colleague, Tash, raced with me! This was her very first 5K, and I'm super proud of her!

After the first race I was sitting fairly well in 7th place in the series for my age group (Women 19-24) because I came in 7th place. Now, after the second race, I am sitting pretty in 4th place in the series because I took 3rd. See, the key is to race consistently. I noticed that some of the top finishers in the series so far only ran one of the two races. Bwahaha! Watch out for me, and I'll watch out for this Bethany lady!

And that wraps it up for the second race in the series! Next up is the U Can Finish 5 Miler at UCF on Sunday, 23 October 2011! Here's a snap shot of the Track Shack Running Series (link to my blog about it):

New Desk!

I saved up and bought a new desk. It's simple and elegant. Now for a new chair and floor mat thingy.

Note the open keyboard drawer front. Of the entire box and pieces, only one piece was amiss: the latch that holds the keyboard drawer front in the upright position. I've called Sauder, and the piece has been shipped. Easy peasy. Great customer service.

21 September 2011

Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

I received the following in an email from my awesome Grandma Bennett. With my huge love of words and creativity, I thought I'd share:

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men