Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer vacation 2010

Thanks to this whole graduate school thing being pushed back, to an unspecified date in August, I've been enjoying my second summer vacation in a row. I could get used to this! While some might spend free time on a beach or otherwise relaxing, I am incapable of doing something as normal as that, and it seems that I'm even busier than when I also had a job. Its all fun, though, and I've come to realize that I get all jazzed up about projects when I have the time, but I have to be realistic and cut back before I start work again, or I'll just disappoint myself by not getting stuff done.

First off, Ed "re-hired" me as his sales manager. He'd been trying to do it all himself, but I have the coaching contacts, so we're collaborating again. He pays me in sushi (but on commission), so its definitely a win-win situation! Running your own business is no joke, but Ed runs a tight ship, I'm impressed with his operations. His rollerski ferules came in last week, so we're trying to get those out to the right people and all that good stuff.

I also managed to put together the contours and aerial photos for basemaps for a couple maps that I've been wanting to make for orienteering. The first is the Boston College Law School/Edmands Park, which happens to be a five-minute walk from our door, hence the desire. Its not a huge area, but it would be sweet for a sprint or two and to train on a map. OCAD (orienteering mapping software) has its issues, but I'm starting to figure it out. Next up is Boston Common, for which we have a map, but it isn't in OCAD. So, its a matter of digitizing/transferring the data over to an actual computer file, with accurate contours and all that good stuff. This is really Ed's project, but I'm helping out. And the next map is the UMass Amherst campus - the place is huge! It would be perfect for a campus sprint, and if all goes according to plan (this is what I mean by biting off more than I can chew), I'd like to set up a campus-O series at some point this year at Amherst.

And along those lines, I nominated myself as meet director for the big east-coast ski orienteering weekend this winter. We don't have a snazzy name yet, so help me out and suggest me something. So far what I've got is "NH Ski-O Weekend"... doesn't quite cut it. We're thinking of using two whole new maps, so it involves lots of permission-getting and speculation about maps in places where you can't go field-check, and pushing and shoving and herding these cats to get all the information together soon enough to put it on the NENSA calendar before it goes out. Which happens soon.

So as though that weren't quite enough to keep me busy, I've been coaching my usual mid-week specific strength workouts, my friday core-from-hell workouts, a couple extra rollerski technique sessions for people who ask nicely, and trying to keep on top of the kids who still need to send in training logs and answer the questions of the ones who are always on time but can never hear enough about skiing (hey, I understand that position - I was there), and this weekend I'm thinking of setting up a scavenger hunt somewhere on an orienteering map. Wheeeeeeeeee momentum!

So in all my spare time, I'm reading up on some freshwater ecology stuff so that I'm not caught out cold when I start doing work, if that ever does happen, although I hope there is at least a little review at the beginning of the classes... the grad student handbook was fairly intimidating, but I think I have everything ironed out, I at least got the classes picked.

What can I say, life is more interesting when its packed full of things you love to do. And its nice to be in Boston with no dayjob, at least until about noon each day, when the heat gets unbearable. Although today, I was out setting streamers for an orienteering training session later in the week at noon. That was fairly unbearable too, although the nail in the coffin was the track workout later that night... I think its time for bed...

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