Saturday, November 8, 2008

Not much to report...

I've been trying to take the girls 'joring twice a week, to make sure they maintain their fitness level post-retirement, and also so they regularly burn off enough energy to remain calm, peaceful indoor dogs. I also think it would be fun to enter a fun race in Spring. Nothing so serious that we'd annoy the really competitive mushers and skijorers with our levity, but just something casual and enjoyable. We'll probably win the red lantern. :) I also ski once a week while they run beside me off-leash, and we still run weekday mornings. With all this activity, I feel happy and strong. I seldom feel drowsy or lethargic in afternoons, the way I often used to in afternoon meetings in the Sili Valley, where my activity level was somewhat limited by my intolerance of hot weather. I am also indulging my appreciation of the unique beauty that Fairbanks has during its cold, icy Winters. The sun is low in the sky even at noon, and the sky and snow-covered trees are awash with the colors of a combined, extended sunrise and sunset.

I was out on a frozen pond today, following some snowmachine tracks, and I think I finally "got" effective skiing. I had been shoving myself along, pushing with my poles, huffing, puffing, quite ineffectively. But today, on that smooth, perfect snow, something clicked and I realized that I could actually use the strength of my thighs for propulsion. And then I realized that I could also apply this to 'joring, and sure enough, when I hooked up to the girls on our way home, I felt for the first time that we were actually working together, instead of them dragging me like I am a sack of potatoes. It was awesome, and once again, I am so thankful to have such sweet, intelligent partners.

In other news, I am working on a take-home exam for my elastic stability class. It's a structural engineering class, and assumes quite a bit of civil engineering background that I don't have. But I did pretty well in the one beam theory class I took at Berkeley, so I figured, how bad could it be? Well, I was doing fine in the class, and learning some interesting things, but then I got this exam and looked at it. Uh... hmmmm... some casual references to how we should "check our work" by plugging in numbers and running it through this structural engineering software that apparently all civil engineers are proficient in. Oops. Well, I have a week to teach myself a new software package! Yay for not actually paying attention to prerequisites before signing up for classes!


mdr said...

Best luck to your exam and learning of the software. Just remember not to stress yourself too much. If you get the PhD, you accomplish a big step accademically.. If you return to work without the PhD, you re-establish your income, work experience and future social security earlier. Either way won't be a loss.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

You'll be right with the software, no worries.

Drop me an email and I can tell you about tips and tricks for xc skiing, especially about using the thighs, hip flexors, and glutes --I used to race. Oh, and some tips about xc sking on snowmachine trails.