Sansa Rocks



I’m pretty hard on my toys and equipment. My next job might a product tester for rugged devices. In the past two weeks, I’ve literally gone through two of my watches (Polar S625X and Timex BodyLink). The button cracked on my Polar (not sure how it happened) and the watch band broke on my Timex. I’ve gone through MP3 players in just months. Cell phones rarely fare any better. I don’t think I abuse these things. I just use them all the time!


But with my latest MP3 player, the Sansa e280, I have been having a good experience with it and it has lasted all of 7 months. So we were over in Hawaii a week ago on vacation and I was heading out for a run. My Sansa MP3 player was in my hand and I made a quick pit stop at the bathroom before heading out. As I’m standing above the toilet, I watch with horror as my player slips through my hand and into the crystal clean water of the toilet bowl. After cursing myself for being so stupid, I quickly reach in and retrieve my beloved MP3 player. There goes $200 I tell myself and kick myself over to the desk to lay out the player. Since the player is flash based, my only hope is that I can give it a day or two to completely dry. Sure enough the next day, I turn it on and it powers up. But right away the songs won’t play and it keeps displaying “Bad Track”. I power it off and give it another day. Incredibly, the next day it works as new. Amazing and thank goodness for flash based memory and clean toilets!

Hawaii provided some rest and downtime. Dylan seemed to enjoy the beach and sun bathing. We were about 20 minutes north of Kona and was it windy in the afternoon. Mornings were absolutely beautiful but around midday, the wind would start and the clouds would come over. It never rained on us. In fact, where we were they only receive about 10 inches of rain a year. We were surrounded by dry lava fields for miles and miles. Running was interesting as I found a lava trail (see picture) that at one time connected the various villages up and down the coast. This trail, called the King’s Trail, used to run for 31 miles and was nearly perfectly straight but traverses through these immense lava fields. It was like running on another planet. I did this a couple times then another day ran to a nearby town to pick up lunch for us. Mauna Kea was somewhat close to our side of the island and I had thoughts about running up this volcano (nearly 14,000 feet) but wasn’t sure about how I would get back. I think it was about 50+ miles one way. Would have been a great experience! Our last day, we rented a car and drove around the island and visited Volcano National Park and finished the trip with lunch on Ali’i Drive, right next to the start/finish of the Ironman.

Nicole and I visited the north part of the island on the first day and did some swimming at a really scenic public beach. The rest of the time, we hung around the hotel, which had a mainly private beach and a couple pools. One day I was swimming off the beach about 100 yards and noticed a sea turtle swimming about 15 feet underneath me. I swam with it for about 5 minutes. That was pretty cool.

I read a couple books. I couldn’t put down “Into The Wild” and found out it will be turned into a movie later this year. I also read “Walden” which hit home on so many levels. Even though this book was written many years ago, I kept reading sentences to Nicole. Thoreau kept hitting the nail on the head as he describes those living for the pursuit of money and the endless material chase. His commentary of people being slaves to their jobs, slaves to their homes and possessions kept making me wonder what century this book was published. I firmly believe in working hard. Owning a home can be very rewarding. But being so trapped by our possessions that our lives revolve around them is no way to experience life. Walden kept saying there is more to life than spending it at a job to earn a wage that barely pays a mortgage on a house that ends up consuming all your time for no real purpose other than to gather more and more stuff that will have no value when we die. I don’t want to be spoiled and not have to work. I want to earn my way. Yet, I want to make sure that what I am doing is my passion. Are we doing what we love?

This past week, I’ve been playing with a new watch, the Garmin Forerunner 305. So far, I’ve been pleased with this watch and the features, most noticeably the interfacing with Motion Based. The watch can upload the workout data directly to the Motion Based website so all your workouts can be tracked and stored on-line. Very nice. You can view one of my runs at:

The map player is fascinating or use the dashboard link to view more workouts. You can share routes with friends and do virtual races. Like I said, so far it has impressed me. The Polar S625X is comparable but the footpod can be problematic. The Timex BodyLink has the fewest features of the three, however it is GPS based like the Garmin but does not provide elevation data and the Timex software has much to be desired.

I’m back at work and into the swing of things. Had a couple sites go live this weekend so there was some late nights this week with coding until the wee hours of the morning. I had to laugh reading an article today where the lead programmer was saying their project has become so complicated that in the early days it was “Do we need another programmer?” and now it is “Do we need 200 or 250 programmers?” I think that I can relate. Right now the pattern is work…ride at lunch 2x a week…work…run…dinner…work…bed. This is repeated five times a week and maybe some of the weekends/holidays. However, on Wednesday we had a reprieve and had a baby prep class at Kaiser after work and then visited with my brother and his family. They had driven down from Anchorage and drove across the country and were headed back home. We were able to spend some time with him, Brianna and their three girls.

Our vacation was nice and it was a good time to be together and start to prepare for Dylan. It was our first and only vacation of the year. I have had a couple days off this year but those were due to Clif events. Runs on the trails have been the vacation this year.


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