Ready for the break…

Yeah, had a test today…went alright, generally… I had that presentation last week, which could have gone better, but is otherwise done… And, I’ve got an exam next Friday…

But…Spring Break awaits. And I’m going backpacking with Nathan again. Likely, we’re going to Mt. Sterling, which is close to Cherokee, NC. The interesting thing is that, as you may note from the link, there are bears at campsite 39. That should be fun. Nathan, bring your handgun.

Anyway, I’m more than ready for these next two weeks to be over so I can take a little break. Then, I’ve “only” got two more exams before the semester is over and I have summer vacation. On the other hand, I start lab work this summer, so I really don’t get a vacation…

Is it too early to be thinking of summer vacation?

On getting fit(ter)…

So yeah, Nathan and I are going backpacking over Spring Break again, so I’m trying to work out a bit more than I had been before. Last year, I did alright, but certainly should have been able to hike further and faster. I’m back to being able to jog for 20 min straight at a pace of 6.5 mph, which is a little over a nine minute mile. My goal is to be jogging for 20 min at 7.5 mph, which is about an eight minute mile. I think, by mid-March, that should be entirely attainable.

On a related note, my new frame pack arrived yesterday…5600 ci Kelty Red Cloud for about $100, so it was a steal ($75 less than at REI). I’m excited to get to use it! I still need to get a water filter though, since a). mine broke last year and b). I can’t trust Nathan to bring iodine tablets to cover our asses when we get stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to boil water to stay alive.

…but that’s another story…

…of tropical storms and homeless people…

I’ll try to make this mostly brief…but there is lots to tell… First of all, there are pictures posted in the Photos section now; click on “New Apartment” to see pictures of our mostly-set-up place and “New Orleans” for our trip down south… There are some pictures in “Hermann” of the B&B we stayed at a few weeks ago…

So yeah, we got down there in the middle of Tropical Storm Cindy…and needless to say, there was lots of water… There were over 250,000 people without power on Wednesday morning; thankfully we still had power, yet no cable…grrrrr… Anyway, the next day we walked around the French Quarter and explored a bit…went to a cafe, had some French food, etc… Essentially, we just explored a bit that first day…and it was gorgeous out, surprisingly… On Thursday morning, we went on the Nat’l Park Service historical tour, which was quite cool. We explored some more and then took the afternoon off (nice and humid), then went and got muffalettas (a New Orleans specialty…something like a Schlotsky’s sandwich, I think…but with lots of pickled olives)…which were also incredible… The cool thing about Thursday night was that we went to Preservation Hall and saw some really, really good jazz music…go buy a CD…it’s worth it… On Friday morning, we went on a cemetary tour, lectured by the guy who maintains the historic tombs. These tombs were above ground, so that was kinda cool…this is done for religious reasons, but also because the water table is very, very high in New Orleans. We also chilled Friday afternoon in the A/C and then went out to a nice place for dinner (mmmm…jambalaya…) and then walked around Bourbon Street for a bit…

Anyway, overall, the trip was good…the weather could have been a bit better, but I guess we did decide to go a). in hurricane season and b). when it’s really humid. It was certainly interesting to see people preparing for Hurricane Dennis; some people cared and others didn’t… The one thing I wasn’t expecting was all the homeless people. I mean, I’ve seen them before, but have never seen so many in a concentrated area and certainly had never walked by them before on the street…really kinda sad… Apparently, Louisiana has 1 in 4 people below the poverty line… Regardless, I guess it was a bit more shocking than I expected…

So yeah, check out the pictures…they’re online and all pretty-like… I’ll write more later…