This year's route is supposed to be just as hilly as last year's ride. It will have 22,806 feet of climb, which make it rank tenth in the amount of climbing. However, it will be the sixth shortest RAGBRAI, coming in at just 442.3 miles. Now although last year's RAGBRAI was very hilly, and I did not have much training in, I did not find the ride to be too difficult.
Anyway, here are the overnight towns for the thirty-seventh of the bike rides across Iowa:
- Council Bluffs
- Red Oak
- Mount Pleasant
My first RAGBRAI, in 2000, started in Council Bluffs. That same year we also stayed overnight in Greenfield and Ottumwa, and ended in Burlington. In 2003, RAGBRAI stopped for the night in Mount Pleasant. I have never been to the other towns on this year's RAGBRAI route as overnight towns.
Weight: 213.2 lbs.
Change since last week: -2.8
Pounds to goal: 14.2
Then, in April of last year, I refocused on watching what I ate and joined the Weight Watchers online program. I was able to bring my weight down from 231.4 pounds on April 25, 2007, down to 199.0 pounds on October 3. I was able to keep my weight within a few pounds of that until June 2008.
I have tried to keep up with following the Weight Watchers program, but I have found it to be challenging since I am just a short walk from a kitchen stocked with food. I need to regain control and stop going to the kitchen whenever I feel the slightest bit of hunger. So starting today, I am going to once again track my weight loss progress on my blog. Perhaps by making my weight loss progress publicly available, I will be more inclined to follow through with the program. My goal is to get my weight down 199.0 pounds.
Weight: 216.0 lbs.
Change since last week: N/A
Pounds to goal: 17.0
With the oath of office, perhaps Chief Justice Roberts should have had some cue cards available so he wouldn't mess up the oath of office. Yes, Obama did start repeating him before he paused, but the misplaced "faithfully" in the second phrase kind of threw of the whole rhythm of the oath even more. Then, when Roberts corrected himself and got the oath right, Obama ended up misplacing the word anyway.
I did like Obama's speech. And I wonder if his and Bush's car ride together to the capitol would have been a bit different if Bush had read Obama's speech ahead of time. In his speech though, Obama did seem to attack the principles of the Bush administration One instance of this is when he said:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.I took this to be in reference to the warant-less wiretapping that the Bush administration approved.
There was one error in his speech though. Toward the beginning, Obama said that "forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath." This is not correct. Only forty-three Americans have taken the presidential oath. While Barack Obama is indeed the forty-fourth President of the United States, Grover Cleveland was both the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. So while he did take the oath of office twice, once for each term, he was still the same person.
Correction: In the first paragraph, I indicated that I didn't hear anyone boo Bush as he entered, however today (1/21) I found a video of that happening. Shame on those people.
I also got some of my Yodas unpacked, enabling me to remove the last box that has been sitting on the office floor since we moved in from the office. I did not have room to unpack my entire Yoda collection though. Some day, hopefully there is room for the rest of it to be displayed.
Since it was still rather cold outside, although it was above zero degrees, we only looked at the indoor exhibits, visiting Discovery Bay and the Tropics Trail. As it was, we got to the zoo a little less than two hours before it closed for the day, and that was just enough time to make it through these exhibits. Emma did enjoy looking at the fish and the tropical animals.
After returning home, I went back out to rent a movie from the Redbox at Cub Foods. I had to go there to buy a few things anyway. I rented The Dark Knight which Mel and I began watching last night. We did not start the movie early enough though as we were too tired to see the whole film last night. We finished the movie while Emma took her nap today. I really enjoyed the movie. It did take me a little time to get into it though. I have to say that this has got to be the darkest and most disturbing movies I have seen in the Batman franchise.
After Emma's nap today we did another fun activity. Mel baked some sugar cookies this morning after making the cookie dough last night (it was ingredients for the cookies that took me to the grocery store last night). So this afternoon, the three of us decorated the cookies. We did not let Emma put icing on the cookies, but she did like pouring on the red and green sugar crystals and the nonpareils. And when I say she liked pouring them on, I really mean it. There were green sugar crystals all over the table as well as the floor and her clothes. For some reason, those sugar crystals sure poured out of their container very easily.
All of the excitement must have worn Emma out, because at 6:45 this evening, she was ready for bed. Well, it could be that she is not feeling well. We think her stomach may be hurting for some reason, so hopefully she sleeps through the night well.
Now I am wondering if all fish are sea kittens, or just marine fish. Since a sea is commonly defined as a large body of salt water, it occurs to me that freshwater fish, such as mine, would not be sea kittens, as they do not live in a sea, nor in a sea-like environment. Maybe they will have to call non marine fish "freshwater kittens."
At least it didn't seem to be the case for the moment. She teachers had forgotten to give us dessert, individually wrapped Rice Krispie bars. Emma came back to the table for dessert. Then when the was done with that, and had washed her hands again, she came back over to me and did not want to lie down for her nap. I took her to her cot and set her on it. She was crying, but after a moment she did lie down. Since she was looking away from me, I left. I am sure she did fine the rest of the day.
Incidentally, Emma was not the only one who did not want his or her parent to leave. The two other children whose parents were at daycare for lunch also started crying when their mothers tried to leave. I wonder if they will try this again.
So this morning, instead of driving the one mile to drop Emma off at daycare and then back to the house, I had a twenty-four mile drive to Roseville, Minnesota, this morning. Because of the large amount of snow we received yesterday afternoon, and the damn cold temperatures (it was as cold as -15°F during my commute), there were numerous motor vehicle accidents along my route. It took me 75 minutes to make it to my destination. Fortunately I made it there in time. In fact, since many of the committee members arrived late because of the traffic, we got started late.
The meeting went well. Even though I was not completely familiar with the content we were working with, there were no major issues.
My drive back was much better than the drive there. I did make a detour to the airport on my way back so I could drop off another colleague so he could avoid taking a taxi. Now tomorrow I will be back to my normal routine of working from home all day.
Speaking of being sick, Emma is staying home from daycare today. She slept most of the way back home from Iowa yesterday afternoon, and she didn't seem like herself after getting out of the truck. We took her temperature last night and found it to be a bit high, 99.6°F. This morning we took her temperature again and discovered that she had a 101.3°F fever. So I will be taking her to the doctor in a little bit this morning to have her checked out. Hopefully I can get a little work done later today if I can get her to take a nap.
This morning I called and the phone system said it would try to reset my modem remotely. It then disconnected my phone call, and I still did not have Internet service, so I called back. This time I got to speak with a customer service technician. He ran me through all the things I had already tried, although he added a new thing to try to my repertoire -- unplugging the modem, removing its battery, and shutting down the computer. When that still did not work, he told me that since I have had reoccurring issues with the Internet service over the past month, there could be something wrong with my modem. He then gave me the option of making an appointment for a technician to come out to the house or to go to a Comcast service center and have them diagnose the issue with the modem, possibly replacing it.
Not wanting to wait for an appointment, I said that I would prefer to go to the service center to get immediate service. He gave me an address for a couple of locations in my area. The first one was in Brooklyn Park and the second was in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis location would have been closer to my home, but through his accent I could not understand what he said for the street name, and when I asked him to spell the street name, he continued on to another location that was almost as far away as the first.
So off I set for Comcast's office in Brooklyn Park, over thirty miles away. It took about forty-five minutes to get there. Thankfully the traffic was not too bad. When I got there and explained my issue to the person at the desk, she told me that since we get our phone service through Comcast, as well as the Internet service, they could not do anything there, but I would have to have a technician come to the house. Gee, if the guy on the phone would have told me that, I could have saved over sixty miles of driving and an hour and a half of my time. So, I made an appointment for someone to come out tomorrow morning. She then added that her computer was showing that there was a service outage in my area. Ok, I realize the technician I was speaking to was located halfway around the world, but you would think that before spending all that time trying to fix my Internet connection, he would have checked for something as simple as a service outage!
Anyway, I drove home and hooked the modem back up, and violà, my Internet connection was once again working! I did not bother cancelling my service appointment for tomorrow between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. I figure that whoever shows up can look at the modem and decide if there is an issue with it. Besides, after they wasted an hour and a half of my time today, I do not really care if I waste a little of their time!
Another thing that bothers me about the packaging is the claim that the Family Pack has "2 times more diapers . . . than Jumbo Pack." The Jumbo Pack of Luvs size 5 diapers has 30 diapers, and the Family Pack has 70. If the Family Pack had 2 times more diapers than the Jumbo Pack, it would have 90 diapers. Two times 30 is 60, and since the box says "2 times more," not "2 times as many," it should have 60 plus 30, or 90, diapers. Perhaps I should write a letter to the makers of Luvs to bring this mistake to their attention
She ended up sleeping through the entire night and managed to get herself out of bed when she was done sleeping. We opened her door around 6:30 this morning, after we had heard some noise coming from her room through the baby monitor. At that time, she must have been standing near the door, because she came right out and greeted us.
After all of the difficulties we had getting her to go to bed last night, and the fact that she often screams and puts up a protest when it is time for a nap, I thought that nap time today might not go so well. However, I had no reason to worry. She went down for her nap just fine on her own today.
- George H. W. Bush
- Nancy Reagan
- Barack Obama
- Dick Clark
- David Prowse
- Stephen Hawking
- Ted Kennedy
- Wilford Brimley
- Darryl Strawberry
- Muhammad Ali
- William Shatner
- Kim Jong-il
- Andy Dick
- Willard Scott
- Kenny Baker
- Mr. T
- Bea Arthur
- Queen Elizabeth II
- Suge Knight
- Barbara Bush
Scoring is based on 100 points minus the age of the person who dies, with a minimum of 1 point being awarded per person. I will be sure to keep you, my readers, updated as to my score during the year.