Thursday, May 31, 2007


My daughter and I went to Provincetown, the first time I had been in probably nearly 20 years. It was quite quiet this time of year on a weekday, but the experience hasn't changed much. Maybe a little tamer than it used to be. They were doing a major renovation of the town library--I thought the cupola on the ground was interesting.

We mostly wandered into shops and art galleries, but we did also climb to the top of the pilgrim monument and enjoy the view.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

more beach pictures

I think I post more or less the same pictures every year, but we enjoy so much going to see the nesting seagulls.

We are earlier this year than usual, but we saw two nests that had chicks already.

Also, something I made after my daughter and I went to a bead shop:

The fossil didn't photograph well but I thought the spiral in a triangle a good symbol.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

yesterday's pictures

With more drying and cleaning the contacts with a pencil eraser I can get my daughter's pictures from yesterday off the memory card. We will wait days or weeks before trying a battery in the camera.
A moon snail, a crab, and a hermit crab

two sizes of baby horseshoe crabs

and a big one

Saturday, May 26, 2007


We got to Chatham Tuesday evening. The weather has been remarkable, sunny the whole time and warm the last two days. Today we went to the far side of Hardings Beach, and found baby horseshoe crabs from dime to hand size, as well as lots of hermit crabs and moon snails.

Climbing out of our boat at our dock, my daughter dropped her digital camera in the water. It bubbled as it went down. I went up to the house and put on my wetsuit to dive after it, but the wetsuit turned out to be a bad idea because it gave me too much floation. I had to take it off to be able to dive down about 6 feet, but then I found the camera easily. The water was warm enough that I then swam about 1/3 mile without the wetsuit. We soaked the camera in fresh water, but I think it very unlikely to dry out and work. I did think the memory card would work, but I just tried it and it doesn't. I will try it again tomorrow when it has had more time to dry out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quick report: Issaqueena's Last Ride

I ran a workshop Mon.-Thurs. and spoke at a meeting Friday afternoon. My mother arrived Friday, we go up this afternoon for my son's awards banquet and then bring him home tomorrow morning (he finishing 10th grade but is required to attend graduation). My daughter graduates from 8th grade Monday evening and then Tuesday we fly up to Massachusetts for two weeks.

But it was a perfect day for a bike ride and I did the 31 mile version of Issaqueena's last ride. It was held a couple of weeks later than last year and the mountain laurel were in bloom this time. A lovely ride--mostly on roads with no traffic. My time was 2 hours 20 minutes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

tooth update

The dentist told me on the phone Saturday that if I had the crown he could just glue it back in, so I was very frustrated with myself that I had spit it out and couldn't find it. But today when I went into the dentist and he looked at my tooth and my record, he said that it was a style of crown that hadn't worked very well so he was going to reshape my tooth and make a better crown. So it wouldn't have made any difference if I had had the old one (except I might have been able to get a temporary fix Saturday).

The dentist's office was able to fit me in today between a talk I gave at my daughter's school first thing in the morning and a workshop I was running in the afternoon. And I didn't even have to do the workshop with a numb face--the dentist reshaped the tooth but didn't have to drill into the nerve so I was able to manage without anesthesia. They put on a temporary crown; I will have to go back in three weeks to get the permanent one. But it feels so much better--it didn't ache but it was very sensitive and my tongue was raw from the sharp edge. It even appears they aren't going to charge me because they have acknowledged that the kind of crown they put in was a mistake (they said they had only made 10 or 11 of those and mine was probably the last one to be replaced).

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Race Report: Clemson Sprint Triathlon

Short version: A learning experience.
official results
swim 750 meters: 22:51
t1: 2:58
bike 11 miles: 41:16
t2: 1:41
run 5K: 41:11
Overall time 1:49:55, 120th out of 138 women, 4th out of 4 among women 50-54.
Last year my time was 1:39:02, the year before it was 1:55:02.

This was the first race I did two years ago so it is an important race to me. But between travel and the end of the semester I wasn't very well prepared. I got a bike fit almost two weeks ago, with some major changes, and had only ridden my bike three times since. I think the main lesson of preparation though, is that running slowly, even though I am running more miles per month than a year ago, doesn't make me faster.

I've had other things on my mind and didn't focus on the race beforehand. I ate oatmeal around 6:15, but forgot I was going to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the race. Since my daughter was going with me and wanted not to get up too early, we got to the race start about 7 am for an 8 am start. The lines were not long so that was fine. When I laid out my things I realized I hadn't brought food, but I had in my bag a nut bar and a gel. I let myself get distracted talking to people I knew but I still got in a short swim warmup.

The race started late and they gave two elite groups more than the usual time between waves, so it must have been 8:30 when my wave got off. We did an in water start this year, which was hard on the people who didn't have wetsuits (water temperature was 73). Last year this race my swim felt miserable--I never found my groove. This year, having gone to open water swim practices twice and warmed up, I felt comfortable in my wetsuit and in the water right from the start. The only trouble was I didn't have my watch set up right and didn't get my swim-only time, and they made the run from the swim to transition even longer this year.

Since I hadn't had anything right before the race, I started to eat the nut bar as I was getting ready to leave transition. As I was running my bike out of transition I thought "Oh, no, there is a shell in it," and spit it out. Once I got on the bike I gradually realized there was something wrong with my tooth. At first I thought I had lost a filling, as it didn't seem that far back, but gradually I realized I had lost a crown that was just put in last year.

I thought I had a really good bike, though it was a few seconds slower than last year. I like my new aerobars.

I ate a gel in T2, which hurt my tooth, so if anything I was becoming more distracted by the tooth, not less. I tried to push the run, but I guess my heart wasn't fully in it--my average heart rate was 177 for the bike and 173 for the run, compared to 187 for my 5K running race at the end of March. They had changed the course in a way that eliminated the steepest hill but replaced a flat section with steady fairly serious rolling hills. The weather was cloudy and not too hot--it should have been good conditions. I did enjoy watching the other runners--I saw such a wide variety of people on the out and back course. But my run time was 10 minutes slower than last year. I didn't fully bonk but I think more food might have helped.

When I finished I called my dentist, and was told if I could find the crown I could get it glued back in today. But I searched and searched in the transition area where I am quite sure I spit it out, and couldn't find it. I'm very discouraged by that, as I am giving a talk and running a workshop and have other commitments the early part of next week, and going to get a new crown made is going to be very hard to fit in. If only I had...

I'm disappointed to be slower, and wondering if it is realistic to do a longer race in the early fall. But I think a lot of how discouraged I am feeling is about the tooth.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I did a ritual of God's acceptance last night--the text is here. A powerful experience.

Tomorrow is the Clemson triathlon. Between the end of the semester and being away two weekends in a row I'm not feeling well prepared, but I intend to have fun and push myself.

Monday, May 07, 2007


My daughter and I went to a mother-daughter retreat at the Convent of St. Helena. There were only three mother-daughter pairs, but we had a good time, making mandalas and doing yoga/dance and making Anglican rosaries.

At midday dinner on Sunday we got in a conversation about other orders of religious women. The sisters said they are closest to the Sisters of St. John the Divine in Canada. I asked about convents in the northeast and was told St. Mary's is still stuck on God the Father, St. Anne's and St. Margaret's more moderate. That led us to talk about the movement toward ordination of women in the Catholic church. I hadn't heard about the irregular ordinations of women. In the Episcopal church, the official decision to ordain women came two years after a major irregular ordination of 11 women in 1974.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Academic Dishonesty

Several years ago I started the process of accusing a student of academic dishonesty for handing in the same paper to two different courses. But I was advised that I didn't have a strong case, because Clemson's statement about academic integrity doesn't specifically cover that. Since then I have had a statement in my syllabus that cheating includes handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.

A few weeks ago I received a paper that rated as 89% duplicating a paper turned in to another course at Clemson University a year and a half ago. I filed my statement charging the student with academic dishonesty. I've had several of these before, usually plagiarism from the web, and in the other cases the students have waived their right to a hearing. This student requested a hearing, which was held today. As he talked about how he was so proud of the paper he had written for another course and then submitted again, I felt sorry for him.

The shocker came when he was found guilty. I was prepared to give him a 0 on the assignment as his penalty. Instead I was told that I wasn't being asked to determine the penalty because this was a second offense. Suddenly the whole situation looked different.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

monthly totals and bike fit

swimming 13 hours
cycling 205 miles in 16:52
running 55 miles in 14:38

I got a bike fit yesterday--he raised my saddle a couple of centimeters, lowered my bars a touch, and moved my saddle as far back as it would go. Not what I expected, but when combined with his advice on posture and pedaling style (keep my toes down at the bottom of the stroke) it may help the problems I was having. He moved my cleats further back on my shoes and installed some shorty aerobars for me. I've been resisting the idea of aerobars but these seem to be a good compromise. They give me another position that seems comfortable. My position on the aerobars isn't very low and stretched out but all the other road bike hand positions are still correctly adjusted. Setting up a more aggressive position on longer aerobars requires adjusting the bike differently from the way it would be set up for comfortable road riding.