[M.M.X.I.V. 157] A Dozen Miles And A Dozen More

The title of the post is a parody of The Proclaimers, in a way.  Today, eight years ago, seemed a very salient day for me.  So, in today’s blog, I will reconstruct the journal that I wrote for that day, since it was in bullet points at the time.  Here goes nothing!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

As usual, the day began for me at 06:30, in MY room.  Yes, there is special emphasis on that part, because after my school year ended a month ago, in my return home, I did not immediately get to move back into my room, because Georgiy (foreign exchange student) was there during the school year.  (Yes, I did get it back a few weeks ago, but it definitely taught me to not take things for granted!)

I bounded down the stairs into the kitchen with my usual alacrity, and Mom made one of my favorites: Mickey waffles, with chocolate chips and whipped cream.  Although I had eaten Golden Malted waffles in the dining halls during my first year at UNL, there is nothing like Mom’s food, made from scratch and love.  I ate breakfast, read the Lincoln Journal Star, and listened to, first 99.9 KGOR for Definitions, and then Battle of the Sexes by shifting over to B107.3, all by 07:40.

After I ate breakfast, because it was a Tuesday, Dad was home on his day off.  Therefore, he wanted me to come outside and do some yardwork with him.  Of course, I first slathered on some sunscreen–it was foggy, expected to clear and become a beautiful day in the mid-upper 80s Fahrenheit.

In the yard, I did my usual picking of weeds, and also helped Dad with some other chores.  The specifics are eluding me at the time, and although I COULD reconstruct a story about it, I would rather not fake it–you know that I am honest!  Well, in some sense I could make it up and almost nobody would know.  But, since I tended to repress yardwork during my teenage years due to despising it, the only trace of it is mentioning that I did it in my journal!  Ergo, I am moving on in the day!

I wanted to try something different today–bike to UNL for work.  In recent weeks, I have ridden my bike to Runza for work rather than driving, and have felt great doing it.  This ride, however, was going to be the longest ride that I had ever done on my own.  So, Dad helped me pump my tires and check that the bike was in good shape.  I was using the Raleigh road bike, and it rode well.

I snaked through the Big Thompson Creek neighborhood, and headed to Union Hill Road in order to snake through Cripple Creek South.  The route that I would have otherwise taken–straight down 56th Street, was undoable, because there was a road construction project between Union Hill and Pine Lake.  At least it allowed me to go through Cripple Creek, my old stomping grounds.  It was so weird riding past Humann Elementary School!

I was listening to MP3s along the way, everything from Hard To Say I’m Sorry to 500 Miles (I’m Gonna Be).  The latter gave me an idea for how to perturb the song based on my experience.  Of course, now I realize that it is dangerous and illegal to listen to music while riding using headphones, but maybe this was the rare aura of invincibility of teenager-hood that I felt!

I rode along the Helen Boosalis and Rock Island Trails, and my mind wandered a little bit while riding (don’t worry, I was still focused on where I was going!)  Having transferred to different trails, it made me think that the trails should have “road signs” like how the Interstate highways have them.  [In fact, this was the idea of one of my blog posts from earlier.]  I noticed the wind was a little bit against me, but I was not particularly fazed.

I would have normally taken the Billy Wolff trail all the way to UNL, but decided instead to ride downtown, to First National Bank.  One of my high school friends, Holly, was working there as a teller, and I thought it would be nice to stop by and say hi.  Unfortunately, as the time was about noon, she had already gone to lunch.  Oh well, I can try again next time!

I proceeded to Brace Lab on the UNL campus, while smelling the serene aroma of fresh lilac.  In fact, that is what I meant by the “campuses linked” yesterday.  I parked my bike in front of the building, and headed through the old building.  I bypassed the stairs leading up to the lecture hall and lab, and instead headed to my left, past grad student offices.  The next hallway had the library about to permanently close on my right, and the office on my left.  The building was in poor shape, with creaky wood, old walls, and more.

Entering the link between Behlen Lab and Brace Lab, where a sawtooth stairwell was centered in a windowed, open space, I took the stairs down one level.  In this basement, I walked to almost the end of the short hall, and knocked on the penultimate door on the right.  Prof. Batelaan was in (after having been out due to a 24-hour bug yesterday), and we discussed my progress on the problem that he assigned me on Friday.

Last Friday, he had expressed concerns about my progress and contribution to his group, and that really intimidated me, fearing getting fired.  Thankfully, I was much more productive and accurate this time, and was able to answer most of the questions that he posed.  What Mom had told me over the weekend in my distress was that I need to ask some questions and figure out a road map.  (In some sense, I feel like I am in the situation of history repeating itself!)

So, I worked on problems involving heat conduction and radiation, as a toy problem for the research question that Prof. Batelaan was trying to answer about field emission tips.  I don’t remember much else about what happened at work that day, but I was relieved at the end of the day (about 17:00) to not only have gotten some work successfully done, but also to perhaps be off the ledge for a while.

I headed to Arby’s on Q Street for dinner (er, linner.  I’m not used to eating dinner before 19:00!), and it tasted great.  I have freedom to choose what I eat, and at times, I will crave fast food.  I am blessed with a fast metabolism, and everyone needs to eat sinful food every once in a while!  Interestingly, particularly for Levi, the person who served me was named Sora.  (Any fans of Kingdom Hearts would definitely show interest in that.)

The next stop was the Lincoln Saltdogs vs. St. Paul Saints baseball game at Haymarket Park.  I took Q Street down to the Haymarket District, and took a right in order to cross the pedestrian bridge over a mess of railroad tracks, and circled the stadium in order to enter the stadium at the main entrance.

I was pretty early, which allowed me to take some time to enjoy walking the concourse of Haymarket Park.  Unfortunately, my headphones became disabled, as a wire appears to have broken.  Oh well–it was probably meant to be so that I would not be listening to them later tonight when I rode home.  Prior to the game, there were entertainers like the Red Hats, and of course canned music was playing in the meantime.  The Saltdogs had pretty good warm-ups.

This game was prior to the time that I started keeping score at baseball games, and the details are pretty thin.  However, the game started as a pitchers’ duel, with the first third of the game being zeros across the board, at least on the runs columns.  There were a few hits and bases on balls.

This summer, Tuesdays were “Choco-Taco Tuesdays,” where they had Choco-Tacos on sale at the concession stands.  This is one of the few times that I have gotten concessions at a sporting event, and it tasted really good!  It was definitely worth it, and even though I have mentioned quite a bit of unhealthful food today, so what?  Days to splurge are fun.

So, the Saltdogs managed to get some offense going later, in order to take a commanding lead.  However, the Saints had some well-timed hits and scored a few runs, but left several runners on base.  Again, the particular details are fuzzy, but I will just say that the game was a victory (8 runs to 4) that ended at about 22:00.

In order to get home, I retraced my route a little bit.  I followed the on-street bike routes back to the Billy Wolff trail, which led me through a few scary neighborhoods.  However, I did not feel threatened, since I was moving at a good clip.  The scarier part was on the Rock Island Trail, when I was afraid of something jumping out at me, whether that be a deer or a crazy person.  Neither of those happened.

The weather was so pleasant that evening, and when I got home, I had accumulated about 25 miles on the day.  And to go back to the Proclaimers that came up on my MP3 player earlier in the day (with apologies):

“And I will bike a dozen miles, and I will bike a dozen more, just to be the man whosavedfourdollarsingasandalsogotsomeextrahealthbenefitsbeforefallingasleepafter the door… NANANAH (nananah), badadadah dadadadadah…”

=============================================================

Today is the one-hundred and fifty-seventh day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty-two weeks and three days.

The original journal entry:

Tuesday, June 6

*Today is 06-06-06, but I fear no apocalypse or evil

*Good waffles for breakfast 🙂

*Yardwork wasn’t bad

*Ready to bike?

-> It’s fun to bike and listen to my MP3s

-> The trails should have “road signs” a la the interstate highways

-> It was a little windy today!

-> Took the Billy Wolff detour to First National, but Holly was already at lunch

*In the Lab:

-> I’m still alive [i.e. I didn’t lose my job]

-> Perhaps I’m progressing

-> It’s tough to catch Herman

-> THIS might be that “road map” that Mom was talking about

*Ate linner at Arby’s: it tasted great!

-> The Server’s name was Sora.

*My headphones stopped working! [A wire broke or something like that…]

*Red Hats, dancing, etc. before the game!

-> The first few innings were all 0’s

-> Danced to the music, but lots of the music was un-dance-able

-> The Choco Taco tasted really good 🙂

-> The Dogs withstood the Saints’ rally and won 8-4

*Biked home safely, but I got sleepy-tired

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