Saturday, January 31, 2009

80 Miler

You know it's a good ride when...

I did about 80 miles today on Team Oregon's Saturday ride. We went out and rode once around the Banana Belt course, which included some hard efforts. I can't believe how good my legs feel considering I've only been back on my bike for a week. That and my endurance is much higher than I expected it to be. There's already some jump in my legs, so now I just need to do some interval work to get ready for the accelerations common in races and some more long rides to expand my base a bit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Keeping Busy

It's been an enjoyable past two days. Yesterday Cousin Jessie and I headed downtown where we proceeded to do nothing and everything all at the same time. We walked through Chinatown and into the Pearl District. We perused Powell's Books for a while, and ended up at a shop called Cargo in the Pearl that sells all sorts of rare imported antiques and other various imports. Things such as chairs made from tires.

And brightly painted stools.

We toured the financial district for a while and decided to cross the river to the Lloyd Center area of town. I wished I had my camera (the nice one) with as the lighting on Portland made for the most interesting views of downtown I've ever seen. It was a mix of dark storm clouds, blue sky, rainbows, etc.

Downtown Portland was covered in sunlight through a tiny hole in the clouds, while dark clouds loomed in most every direction.

Last night I headed to a meeting for the local cycling team I'm joining. I've paid dues to get all the team discounts and such, and I'll buy a kit as soon as I'm sure I'll be around to race. For now, it'll be a good group to ride with. The goal is to be race-ready in a little over a month. Check out the team -

At the meeting I randomly ran into Kennett whom I hadn't seen in a while (from UO). I'm not sure why I didn't think about the fact that he'd be there, since I knew he was on the team and in the Portland area. It was good to catch up a bit.

Today after some morning job hunting, I headed over to the Mucha household to play some Boggle with Joey's mom. I'm infamous around there for being the only person to have ever beaten her at Boggle. No wins today, but I did manage to tie twice. Then I was introduced to Quiddler, which is somewhat like a combination of Rummy and Scrabble.

This afternoon I headed out for a ride to take advantage of the sunshine. I headed up Skyline, which I knew was a good sized climb, but I had no idea what exactly to expect. For those familiar with Eugene's riding, I'd compare it to a mix of Fox Hollow and MacBeth - on steroids. It's not constantly up, but it just keeps going further and further up as you go, resulting in some amazing views, and snow still on the sides of the road.

You get high enough up on the ridge that you can see into Washington all the way to Mt. Saint Helens and beyond. Looking back at one point, you can see down towards downtown Portland some 15-20 miles away with Mt. Hood directly behind it. The clouds were sitting low today, so it was a little odd to be above them.

Tonight I'll catch up on last night's episode of Lost, and then...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Me, minus the personality

This was my remedy for my mood earlier. I created a list of all my skills, experience, and knowledge (that I could think of in an evening) of various degrees and semi-organized it. What I ended up with is a list of things that I would generally consider myself more knowledgeable/experienced in than your average person. The actual level of each may range from simply proficient to expert, but all of them are things that contribute to who I am and could be talking points in an interview. The list could be subcategorized many times more than it is, but that would make it much longer than it already is. It lacks all personal attributes, characteristics, morals, and everything else that creates my personality. Instead, it's just a list of everything I've picked up along the 23 year journey of my life so far that still seems at least somewhat relevant today. For example, I was a really good shot with a Super Soaker way back when, but what good is that today? If you read through it in detail, you'll probably get a chuckle or two, and probably even learn some things about me you didn't know. Without further ado,

Actually wait - another comment: it's interesting how interconnected technology and the internet are to my life. Now, without further ado,

Skills, Knowledge, Experience:

Online experienced with
Google Analytics
Html, xml, css literate
keywords, tagging
Google Chrome
Internet Explorer
General social networking
General web 2.0
Email list maintenance
Website maintenance

Software experienced with
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Access
Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft OneNote
Microsoft Visio
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Bridge
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Acrobat
RAW Image editing
HDR image creation
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Mac OS X
Basic Unix
P2P Protocols
CD/DVD burning

Technology knowledge
Computer sourcing and building
General troubleshooting
Computer hardware
Device compatibility
Wireless networking
File extensions

Sports experience
Cycling – competitive road, recreational MTB
Runner – race experience
Golf – 6 years approx handicap between 10 and 15
Fencing – competitive
Tennis – recreational
XC skiing – recreational
Downhill skiing – recreational
Soccer – recreational
Ultimate Frisbee – recreational

Creative outlets
Digital SLR
Photo Manipulation
Resume Design
Graphic design

Marketing knowledge/experience
Direct consumer interaction
Grassroots marketing initiatives
Brand/logo design
Brand image/recall/response
Brand continuity
Event marketing
Advertising and promotions
Retail marketing
Consumer behavior and psychology
PR and paid news
Sports marketing and sponsorship
Marketing life cycle
5 Ps
Agency-client relationships
Marketing metrics
Viral marketing
Guerilla marketing
Permission marketing
Direct/email marketing
Employee brands
Marketing plan creation

General Business knowledge
Six sigma manufacturing
Annuities and Perpetuities
Time value of money
Break-even analysis
Business calculus
Management styles
Business organizations (matrix, etc)
Annual reports
Market analysis
HR/OSHA/Labor practices
Management versus leadership
Product life cycle
Basic accounting – credits, debits, depreciation, AR/AP
Union labor

Operations highly knowledgeable of
Golf Courses
Bike shops
Bike manufacturers
Cycling teams
Shoe/sports apparel manufacturers
Media organizations
Web startups
Marketing and advertising agencies

Games good at

Misc. Education
US politics/government
Classic literature
World/US history
Basic Calculus
Basic German

Publications/Online regularly read
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Ad Age
Google News
Huffington Post
Seth Godin
Tech Crunch

Manual Skills
Luggage Handling
Oversized vehicle handing
Bike building
Basic woodworking
Hauling heavy objects

Other knowledge and proficiencies
Travel logistics
Knowledge of many US cities
DOT regulations
Animal attack survival
Typing 50-70WPM
Reading 60-100PPH dependent on reading material
Thesis writing
Can read music
Heart rate/threshold training
Calvin and Hobbes
Dog care and training
Job hunting
Green technologies

Networks connected to
UO Cycling team
Team Oregon
Event Marketing/marathon
Business School
American Marketing Assn
Honors Business College

Moods Like the Weather

Today hasn't been a particularly good day. I woke up to a bit of a change when I noticed fresh snow outside, and I felt somewhat excited to go drop off a resume and cover letter for a company that I can hopefully make some connections at (They have their own internal cycling team, how sweet is that?). I froze in the frigid weather on the way there and back, but hopefully it will amount to something in the future.

I came back and spent much of the rest of the morning and afternoon submitting my resume to several other job sites I hadn't yet, submitted an application for a couple of retail positions, and then checked the news. December unemployment info is out, and it's bad. Highest unemployment numbers the country has seen in decades. 9.0% in Oregon last month before the Intel cuts. I'd guess it'll be 10% or higher for January.

For the first time since I started job hunting, I got really down over how lame being unemployed is. I'm not even that concerned about job pay or benefits as long as it's enough to get by on. Right now, I want something constructive to do that ideally uses my college degree that I still have a ways to go on paying off. I'd take an unpaid position at a company for several months to prove I'm a valuable asset if it meant good experience and would lead to an actual job.

I'm staying busy enough, but right now my constant state of flux doesn't allow me to feel at all settled. I don't know whether to build a new social network here since I don't know if I'll be around long. I just paid dues for a local cycling team, but I'm not sure if I'll actually be around to race with them. Then again, if I remain unemployed this could be my best training and racing year ever. I dunno.

The cold, wet, dreary Oregon winter day outside fit the mood pretty well.

Oh well. I suppose bad days are a necessary evil. They stand out in stark contrast to my normal very positive self and if anything motivate me to do something to fix whatever is wrong. I just need to figure out what else I can be doing.

Tomorrow I pick myself up and dust myself off and keep going.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ode to Boxer Briefs

They have a confused identity
Part restricting and part free.
Often covered by pants,
Ideally free of ants,
Boxer briefs are just right for me.

Your resume is so sharp, it cut me.

Seriously, look at that thing, it's beautiful:

The perfect balance of white space and text. Just enough color to catch the eye. Bold in all the right places. Enough action-oriented bullet points to take down a one ton grizzly. No fat - all meat. Revised and edited so many times any spelling and grammatical errors fled in terror. Power words. A constant state of flux - never the same on any two days or for any two jobs. It probably even glows in the dark!

If I were someone in HR, I would hire me based on that resume alone.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So Close!

Last Wednesday while taking Harry (the dog) for a run, something odd and out of place caught my attention as we ran past the backyard of a house in the neighborhood. I backtracked a few steps only to see an owl staring straight back at me in a tree perhaps 15-20 feet away. I froze for a few seconds trying to process exactly what I was seeing, before cautiously walking back out of sight and immediately bolting the two minutes back towards the house and my camera. It was one of those I NEED this photo type of moments. I raced back hoping it hadn't moved from its perch. It seemed relatively content just sitting there, so other than the squirrel that didn't like its tree being taken over and was being vocal about it, I figured there was a decent chance it wouldn't move.

I got back, and this was the scene.

The red circle is approximately where the owl was perched, and the blue squared is how much of the frame it would have filled with my 300mm lens.

I thought it may not have gone too far, so I searched around and actually found it in the same tree, just much higher up and behind plenty of branches in relative darkness. This made focusing and getting a decent exposure a pain.

I did manage to find one clear angle at it (other than the dense foliage in the way).

So as best I can figure out, it's a barred owl. Which mostly makes sense. Searching online, it's the only one that looks similar, but it's primarily a more eastern owl that has only recently started expanding its range into Oregon and Washington. Do you concur, parents?

It was very close to being a dream photo opportunity, but I just missed it. I run by there fairly often, so I'm going to have to keep my eyes open.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You choose.

What should I blog about?

Give me a subject, and I will write it.

Oh, and my trip to Eugene followed by two days of riding my bike back to Portland was fun.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A little too much hype?

This is going to sound a little odd, but as Obama prepares to be sworn in as president some eight hours from now, I worry that the country is making too big a deal out of the inauguration. While the event is certainly historic and exciting, the media frenzy and commercialization surrounding the event seems a bit much.

When I attended Clinton's 2nd inauguration, it was a big deal in my life. That entire trip to DC/New York/Philadelphia as a 5th grader is still very fresh in my memory. The inauguration, however, is not one of the most memorable moments. Granted, 5th graders aren't usually terribly excited by speeches and can think of things more fun to do than standing around for hours in cold weather - but I'm glad I was there and would certainly appreciate it more were it today.

This time around, everyone seems to feel the needs to get in on the day. Every major TV station is not only covering the event live, but most have hours and hours of "pregame" where they'll undoubtedly repeat the same thing over ten times trying to fill airtime. It's a little early in the morning to be playing drinking games, but I'm sure you'd be well on your way if you simply drank every time you heard the word "historic" uttered. Yes this event will be historic. I hope Obama gives a moving speach tomorrow that will be remembered among the great presidential speeches. The problem is that history usually runs its own course on its own time, and in this case everyone is forcing this to be a part of history. It's still what it's always been - a swearing in, some formalities, and a parade, followed by DC letting its hair down for a night of partying. Don't spoil the moment by making too big a deal of it.

I'm extremely happy for the countless African Americans who have waited for this day their entire lives. I'm happy for every Obama supporter who finally gets to see an extremely long election process come to fruition. I'm happy for our new president. I could do without 14,000 hours of TV coverage for an hour long event. I laugh at the 2800 different Obama t-shirts and 288 bottles of Obama wine (even though it's from Oregon). I shake my head in disbelief at the Obamarella and Obama bedside lights.

Who knows, maybe the massive amount of money being spent in relation to the inauguration will accidently give the economy the kick in the pants it desperately needs.

As for me, I'll be wearing my Obama underwear and "Yes we can" slippers first thing tomorrow morning while I eat my Obama-shaped pancakes watching picture-in-picture-in-picture MSNBC/CNN/ABC coverage on all new inauguration news that has broken in the last 6 hours prior to the event. Then I might actually go back to being sane while I watch the actual event.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Likely the last free pair of Crocs I'll ever receive:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A photo walk

I think the photos I took on a walk today are some of the best I've ever taken. I spent much of my time focused on macro photography, with some other odds and ends thrown in.

And Some HDR:

Key Words

In the last month, here are the top keywords (ordered high to low by number of hits, ranging from 18 to 1) that have landed people on this blog from Google:

"adjectives starting with m"
"adjectives beginning with m"
(Apparently I'm not the only one that can't think of very many)
"vibrating belt and Dallas"
"interesting adjectives"
"migratory marketer"
(Ok, I'll give them that one)
"rick davis, portland, or"
(Undoubtedly a combination of several different posts having absolutely nothing to do with one another)
"rock racing"
(I may have mentioned them once, which apparently is enough)
"Vibrating Belt"
(Really? This was a couple months ago. And they're a joke!)
"Adam Edgerton blog"
(Hurray! Even if it is only one hit!)
"adjective running child"
(Once again, a mashing up of several different posts)
"Merry Marketer"
(At least this person spent a whole four minutes on the site rather than immediately bouncing)
"Portland Oregon Sneakerhead"
(Seems fairly apt)
"Road trips from Phoenix to Flagstaff"
(I wouldn't call myself an expert, but it is a trip I've taken)
"food movie"
(Well, I do like food. And movies, for that matter)

It would appear that my random post subjects that fail to fall under any one theme have unsurprisingly made it really difficult for Google to catalog my blog. Using the tags section on each post for locations also probably doesn't help. Nor does my blog's current state of name-in-flux syndrome. Not that I'm really that concerned with drawing in people who are actually looking for my blog. It's linked from every major online social network I'm connected to. Plus I kind of like drawing in people who are searching for something completely menial that my blog has nothing to do with.


After a week in Portland I'm starting to feel settled into a bit of a routine, for better or worse. A typical day begins around 8:00-8:30 with a run. Then I'll get back, eat Cheerios, and begin searching the dozen or so job sites I'm frequenting for new postings. After doing this combined with some research and brainstorming about companies to apply to directly, It's about lunchtime. I'll have a bit to eat and get back to job hunting, usually focusing on writing cover letters and submitting actual applications in the afternoon. Around the time my aunt and uncle get home, I finish up for the day and socialize a bit. Dinner is next, followed by anything from a movie to watching a bit of TV to reading a book to messing around with my camera. Late evening I'll watch some TV in the basement while stretching and doing some weights/balance ball exercises. Bed usually around 1AM. Rinse and repeat.

There are a few exceptions, including last night when I went over to a different aunt and uncle's house for dinner followed by American Idol. And Friday nights have been designated as the night I cook dinner with my aunt. We're experimenting with various Thai and Asian dishes.

Still, I need to get outside a bit more, see some friends in the area, and explore Portland. I'm also in the process of planning a long weekend trip to Eugene and Corvallis, probably to occur the weekend following this one.

I've got enough applications out now that I'm waiting patiently for an interview call. I've gotten a couple no answers already, including what I thought my best shot might be at the company I was recently working for.

I need to get one of my bikes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Going RAW

So I finally added RAW as a file format my camera saves with. I'm not sure why it took so long, other than I had to get around to installing software to make full use of the format's potential. For those who don't know RAW, it's a format that saves all the details of the photo as captured by the camera's sensor before any additional settings (such as white balance or noise reduction) are applied. This allows you to go back later and make any changes to the image that you would otherwise not be able to if you set those extra settings prior to taking the shot and only saved as a jpeg.

This means that this otherwise badly underexposed shot...

can be mostly salvaged without having to resort to contrast and brightness manipulation.

Oh, and I also decided to create my first HDR image. It's really a shame that I picked such a boring subject, but at least I don't feel bad for spending very little time adjusting it to make it look good. Look at the top of the window. Yikes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just a big kid

I spent much of yesterday playing with my cousin's son whose grandmother (the aunt I'm staying with) regularly babysits him. Legos were the name of the game, and I fulfilled building requests for a Star Wars-like spaceship, R2D2, and C3P0. Eventually the spaceship gave way to a larger space ship that was nearly 2 feet long.

R2 was an especially big hit. There was a bit of a tantrum when R2 had to stay when it was time to go. Not to worry though, R2 is currently sitting on the fireplace mantle waiting for his return.

My personal project of the day started out with a wheeled-vehicle of some sort. I wasn't sure where I was going with the idea, until I decided it had better be a jet-driven car. I added a couple jets. I quickly got completely carried away and decided that this needed to be the most overpowered jet car ever, so I crammed as many jets onto it as possible. I only stopped when I ran out of jet-like pieces to use.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Few More

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Well if I wasn't already into shoes before today I guess now I'm immersed.  Shoes and running technology has definitely been the theme of the day.  I started off the day with a walk in my running shoes to really feel out how they fit me.  Then I spent a while reading articles online about running stride, gait, and common gait problems.  Then I watched videos online of various running and walking gaits (plus 3d models and renderings - isn't the internet great?).

Then I had lunch.

Then I headed over to Portland Running Company, where shoe fitting expert Rich was very helpful in answering questions that my morning cram session had brought up.  I watched some in-person gait evaluation and shoe fittings.  I talked running with Rich whose fastest marathon time is 2:23, which is only 50 minutes more than my fastest HALF marathon time.  He was able to inform me about his particular reasons for recommending certain brands and shoes and clarified the very different purposes of shoe design and insole design.

Then I had lunch.  Wait...

Based on all this learning I determined that a while back on the tour the Mizuno rep that looked at about three strides I took before figuring out which shoes would be best for me actually knew a thing or two.  But wait, there's more.  After all this, I went back online and started doing some research and rote memorization on running shoe lines and their various features.

Ah, the life of a job hunter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This is a public notice of removal from my "Some Favorite Blogs" list to the distinguished authors of "Crisscrossing the US" and "etc." as seen on the right column of the page.  While I hold your persons in highest esteem and regard, I must insist upon unlinking your blog (the most brutal and hurtful of blogging-related actions) unless new content appears therein thereby breathing new life into your wonderful yet stale creations.

"If I could leave you with one thought, remember, it wasn't me.  They are trying to make me an escape goat.  If I am fired, I swear to God that every little piece of copier paper in this town is going to have the F word on it.  The F word. You have one day. day for what?

Thats... they always give an ultimatum."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eagles, Running, Stupid Children, The Weather...


We saw them!


On average 5-6 days a week for the last month.  Usually 3-8 miles per run, with some intervals, slow endurance, and high pace involved.  This has been complemented by fairly vigorous (spell check wanted me to say viperous, which also sounds really cool) core and upper body workouts plus lots of stretching.  This will come in handy in the future for things such as being race-ready on a bike, running 10Ks and Half-Marathons, chasing down purse-snatchers and other miscreants, and even running from the occasional barracuda that has sprouted legs and decided to take up being a carnivorous land-dweller.


It's not completely their fault.  I had the thought as of late (and have actually considered this dating back before the movie Idiocracy, in all its mediocrity, brought the subject to light) of what happens if our current child-bearing rates continue.  I can't speak for all countries, but in the US it seems that there is a ratio of IQ to children, with higher-IQ couples producing less offspring on average than their idiot counterparts.  This makes complete sense, with smart people rationalizing that less children means better upbringings and more financial security, while stupid people can't figure out how to not get pregnant every 9 months.  This, combined with the general class and income-gap associated with intelligence, means that if this trend continues there's the possibility that the percent of humans living below the poverty level will increase dramatically, as will the overall dumbness of everyone.

The question, then, is as a self-proclaimed smart person, am I obligated to find a smart girl and produce as many smart offspring as possible in my remaining decades of life?  Or should I go the standard route and have 1-2 children that I can support and hope they manage to take over the world?  Or do I abstain from little devils all together out of fear that the number of stupid people they'll have to deal with in their lifetimes will simply be unbearable?


Saint George, Utah has seen dramatically more snow and cold temperatures than usual this year.

Portland, Oregon recently turned into a wintery (tire chains not optional) wonderland, and I hear it's snowing again today.

The temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska was -52F this morning.  Glad I'm not there.

The midwest is a popsicle.

What is going on this winter?


While in Portland Oregon, how should I prioritize the following? (Also known as: Who actually reads my blog in Oregon?)

A - See all the aunts and uncles in Portland
B - See all the aunts and uncles South of Portland North of Eugene
C - See all the friends and relatives in Eugene and figure out what to do with all my stuff stored there
D - See all the other relatives not covered by A, B, or C
E - Become a hermit and take up napping as my primary hobby

Saturday, January 3, 2009


What do you know?  The puzzle is actually finished!  After putting hundred of pieces in places where they didn't seem to fit but did anyway and driving ourselves crazy matching single pieces against the box picture and working our way through the leaves that made up a good chunk of the entire puzzle, it's complete.  

Now what?  Do we frame it?  Put it back in the box and donate it to some poor unsuspecting family that doesn't know what they're in for?  Burn it (as I suggested recently)?

Tonight as I was cooking dinner we finally got the sunset that I'd been hoping for in order to have a chance to pull out the camera and see what sort of colors I could pull out of the clouds.  I ran outside while dad tended the stove and snapped 20 quick shots.

And for some reason or another I was feeling like a project tonight so I decided to mess around with a picture of my brother.  After several different renderings, this is what I ended up with.  My brother is a big fan (obsessed?) of the Green lantern, so it fits.

The original:

I realized today that while I'm pleased that I've managed to continue blogging about pretty much nothing since wrapping up the tour, I'm not writing as much as I once was, and I kind of miss it.  While I'm a little more creative with a nice camera, I felt one of the strongest points early on was simply whatever I happened to be writing about and how I wrote it.  I'll have to get back to a bit more of that.

Portland and the unknown in T-minus 4 days.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Flagstaff-Phoenix-Vegas Road Trip

Who else is excited for The Office to start airing new episodes again in a month?

A semi-spontaneous road trip to Phoenix occurred New Years Eve Day.  Ian wanted to get to Phoenix and couldn't find a ride, so I gave him one and decided to see what sort of adventure came my way.

We took the route east around the Grand Canyon past Lees Ferry and the Vermillion Cliffs to Flagstaff.

Ian was excited to see the large piles of snow still present in Flagstaff, as this means he'll be able to go snowboarding every weekend now through the end of the season.

On the way to Phoenix, I spent a while messing around with the new telephoto camera lens taking pictures of license plates, road signs, and the sunset while my brother drove.

In Phoenix, I met up with Heidi (friend from the Crocs tour) who was working at the Tempe Block Party and managed to get me in free.  The Block party is listed as one of the top 10 New Years Eve parties in the country - stretching many blocks through downtown Tempe.

I spent some time playing video games...

Had my choice of some 30-40 different concerts...

Watched some heavily branded motocross freestyle jumping...

And of course, watched fireworks.

On New Years Day, I headed back home via Las Vegas.  On the way I stopped at the Hoover Dam.  The new bridge over the canyon is pretty impressive, and will ease traffic congestion considerably.  Coming from the East I had no wait, but traffic from the West was backed up nearly 10 miles all the way to Boulder City.

In Vegas I met up with Joey briefly and caught up for a few hours.

Then I headed back home and took the parents out for a brief stargazing trip, complete with a few shooting stars.