Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, July 30, 2005

More Thoughts

*sigh* I just can't seem to stop thinking...

Shane is linkblogging again.

Tom Spurgeon's minute-by-minute coverage of the Eisner Awards is well worth reading, and confirms Mark Evanier's opinion of awards ceremonies.

Amazon Special Deliveries. Be sure to watch the Lemony Snicket one (July 9th). It had me giggling all the way through.

Astronomers have found a tenth planet. Only, it might not be a planet. And it's in the wrong area.

Trash Heap directs us to D&D Made Simple... but it's the process chart on page 2 that gets me: Is it alive? Is it a friend? Is it scary? Does it jingle? Heh.

Marta draws cool Harry Potter fan pictures. She's started drawing scenes from Half-Blood Prince, now... but beware. Here There Be Spoilers.

The Spriggan Mirror is paid for up to Chapter 32, which might be the whole book, but might not. I know I'm enjoying it, and I'm glad I contributed a little.

Even if they were a good moving company (which they probably aren't), the fact that they threatened a blogger over a negative comment about them on his site means they shouldn't be trusted. Via Boing Boing.

American Airlines works with the union and the workers, and turns a profit for the first time in 5 years. "...when American's management intensified its cost-saving efforts, it didn't turn to high-priced outside consultants. Rather, it asked its employees, since they do their jobs day in and out and know them probably better than anyone else." Maybe if I ever fly again, I'll go American Airlines.

Free papercraft downloads from Yamaha motors. And not just of motorcycles. Maybe I'll download a penguin.

Re-examining the Swastika. Via MeFi.

-by Tegan at 3:02 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, July 29, 2005

Random Thoughts (including comic book content)

Ok, so I'm still working on catching up with my comic book reviews, and I'm still way behind. I'm going to lose any cred I have as a comic book blogger if I don't get my rear in gear soon. In the meantime, here's some more semi-random thought-like things to enjoy.

Mike Sterling's Comics FAQ.

Tom Beland writes Spider-Man. Tom Beland's True Story, Swear To God is one of the best books available now, and I'm curious what he'll do with Spidey.

FilkerTom points us to the Ghost Rider Teaser Trailer.

Dorothy #1 goes into reprint mode with a new cover. I wonder if hubby-Eric wants the new cover?

Jake McKee's Quote of the Day: There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.' - Dave Barry.

House of the Ded linkblogs a bit.

A timeline of Women in Space.

The true story of "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

PBS debunks Myths about Video Games. via Trash Heap.

FilkerTom directs us to much-needed stickers for people who don't know how to park their cars.

It's not a sunspot.

Londoners take to bicycles.

Avalanche of Superballs.

How to Crush A Tank Car. Ouch.

POLITICAL EDITORIAL: Boy Scout Jamboree vital for national security. Ok, I like the Boy Scouts. Both of my brothers were scouts, and I loved reading their copies of "Boy's Life" (particularly the comic strip adaptations of books) and learning about camping from their manuals. I think that, with the right leadership, Boy Scouts can be a wonderful tool for learning. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the Boy Scouts are a religious organization that should NEVER get any funding from the federal government. So I'm very disappointed, as a person who likes the Boy Scouts, to see them being given preferential treatment by our government. I don't believe that this treatment is moral, legal, or appropriate, nor do I think that the "reasoning" behind the decision is acceptable. Unless the Boy Scouts choose to open their doors to all beliefs and drop their religious teachings, they should not accept federal money or favors. Doing so undermines their own message, and makes them a pathetic parody of what they claim to represent.

-by Tegan at 10:11 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Space Walk

I was just listening to NASA TV. They are getting ready for an EVA, and two of the astronauts are preparing to go out by breathing pure oxygen (to get rid of the possibility of getting the bends). Mission Control did a check on a step they weren't sure the astronauts had finished, and the two astronauts confirmed that it had been done. Then Mission Control said, in essence, "Great, have fun!" and the astronaut responded, "Yeah, we like breathing." Heh.

The high-speed uplink is running now, so we're finally getting images of the astronauts every once in awhile, although most of what we are seeing is images of the hull scan, since the mission purpose is to prevent another re-entry disaster. The EVA is going to be a test repair. They've put out tiles that were pre-damaged, and the astronauts are going to attempt several different methods of fixing them to see if any of them work.

If you want to watch, go to and follow the video link on the main page.

-by Tegan at 9:26 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Random Thoughts

I didn't get a chance to finish my thoughts last night, so here's the rest of them...

The Ocean Master on Resilience.

Flash Geography Quizes.

Curse you, Augie, for pointing out more fun stuff!
  • Here you will find crazy signs. The top sign on page four was of particular interest to this Doctor Who fan.
  • Here you will learn how to fold fancy napkins.
  • Here is an article about Harry Potter and the Internet Pirates.
  • Here is a music video that includes "Colin Mochrie for no discernable reason". It's also truly bizarre, both song and animation.

Solve The Rubik's Cube.

Preview image from upcoming issue of Dorothy.

Mike Sterling looks at Previews.

Shane is linkblogging again.

Why is pirating the software company's fault, when shooting isn't the gun manufacturer's fault? Boing Boing is asking the question.

File Sharers buy much more music than non-sharers. Probably because file sharers have a better idea of what they like and are willing to pay for than non-sharers. As Eric Flint points out, most people would rather be honest than dishonest. Give them the product they want in the format they want, and they will pay a fair price for it.

But, I don't want to be searched!

Amusing Police Blotter Write-Ups.

Michael Palin's Travel Books On-Line, Free and Legal.

V for Vendetta Trailer.

Angry Alien has the 30-second Rocky Horror Picture Show up. It makes even less sense than the original movie, if that's possible. Via Modulator.

Liftoff! And as a companion to it, The Top Ten Apollo Hoax Theories. All of which are neatly explained at Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy Page.

Build Stonehenge in your own backyard.

The Rap Canterbury Tales. Oh dear.

Do you undertip? Watch out, you might make the database. The MeFi discussion about this obnoxious site is almost as amusing as the site itself.

Heavy fog, tall building, and a B-25 don't mix.

HPANA, a Harry Potter News Aggregator, tells us about a website that tries to explain what happened in the sixth book. NOTE: There is a spoiler in the title of the website, so don't go there if you want to read the book and enjoy the surprises. I found the clues intriguing, but inconclusive.

Changing Daylight Savings Time. No, it's not to abolish it, but extend it. Yuck. I am completely for abolishing Daylight Savings Time as a waste of money and effort. You want more hours of light? Get up earlier.

Your Printer May Be Spying On You.

Just for reference: DC for October, Marvel for October, and Image for October.

Everybody else is linking to this LA Times Opinion piece, so I'll link to it as well. The bit that really stood out for me was this: The last 10 years have seen the release of many popular violent games, including "Quake" and "Grand Theft Auto"; that period has also seen the most dramatic drop in violent crime in recent memory.

-by Tegan at 9:24 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Random Thoughts

Wow. Perhaps I've started something here... my older sister, Christine, is doing a walk this Fall. If anyone wants to support her, please pop over there and donate. I've already contributed my $25. Her goal is a much more modest $200.

The Great Curve claims that this is Year of the Aquaman. Which reminds me that I need to catch up on Entourage one of these days.

Part of the argument that this is the year for Aquaman is his upcoming appearance on Smallville, as reported on KryptonSite. If you aren't afraid of spoilers, there's more on the appearance here and here. The second link includes this intriguing bit: Any chance of an Aquaman spin-off series? "I doubt it," Gough says. "We may bring him back like the Flash for other episodes, but now I hear because of the sort of success of Entourage, the studio is going to start developing a feature of Aquaman."

Speaking of Smallville, stunt actor Christopher Sayour was injured during the set-up for a major stunt. I hope he recovers soon and completely.

Unanswered Snopes Questions. I think I can answer this one: "Does the color pink really make a person feel weaker?" with a big fat NO! as many of the Walkers who finished the 60 miles were wearing pink the entire time.

Elayne tells us about two bloggy events coming up. If someone reminds me, I'll try to do BlogDay.

Phil Foglio updates with his second San Diego convention report. Again, just check out the links for Phil's brand of humor.

If you want to watch the Space Shuttle mission live, follow the link on the front page of Admittedly, you end up hearing more than seeing some of the interesting bits, but they rerun anything exciting during downtimes. This is the same feed I watched during the last shuttle mission... and before the tragedy happened I swore to myself that I would watch more of it if I had the opportunity. So far today I've seen a replay of the waking of the astronauts for today's work, a replay of the hull scan, and the waking of the astronauts for the upcoming day as well as lots of shots of mission control and some shots from the shuttle and the space station back down to earth.

Unfortunately, this appears to be the last chance to really enjoy a shuttle mission for some time, as NASA is grounding the shuttle again after concluding that falling foam insulation is still a major risk.

Marta, the Harry Potter fan artist I like quite a bit, has started drawing scenes from Half-Blood Prince. Warning, heavy spoilers!

Scobleizer directs us to Kryptonite Locks' side of the story. I seem to recall reporting on the problem with the locks at the time, so it's only fair to read their story.

The Last Fifty Images Uploaded To Livejournal. WARNING: I've seen everything from major Harry Potter spoilers to good artwork to naked people, so it's not safe for work, not safe for kids, and not safe for anyone who hasn't finished the latest HP and doesn't want spoilers. Via FilkerTom.

-by Tegan at 9:07 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Deep Thought

You know, it's good to be home.

-by Tegan at 11:23 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

3-Day Pictures Day Two and Three

I don't have a lot of pictures left. Naturally, the time I took the most pictures was when I was stopped and had time to think... in camp. So here's what I have left.

This is my usual view of my fellow Walkers. Namely, their backs. On the pole there is one of the arrows that was used to mark our route. We saw an awful lot of arrows over the weekend.

We also drank an awful lot of water and "vile stuff". The "vile stuff" was a powdered drink made by PowerBar/Pria which just tasted horrible. I like their energy bars, in general, though they aren't my first choice for good eats, but the "Endurance" drink they gave us was so bad that a lot of people were stopping whenever they saw a grocery store to buy a bottle of Gatorade. I'm not fond of Gatorade (in fact, I don't like the taste much at all) but it was a billion times better than the vile stuff.

To everyone's vast amusement, the Lake Washington Cheer Squad came out to support the 3-Day Walkers with some really creative cheers. I wish I'd stopped to take notes... maybe I would have made it farther if I had, and rested a bit more.

Lunch was at a beautiful lakeside park. The Walkers sat out and enjoyed the time to stretch and relax. There were family members hanging out, lots and lots of dogs (why does nobody bring their cats to the park?) and a blimp hanging in the air in the distance.

Back at camp, here's a shot of one of the gear trucks. The sign says "Well Behaved Women Won't Change The World". Many of the gear trucks were decorated, and the folks manning them sometimes were dressed up. Literally, in the case of Truck C's token male. He wore a flowered dress the first day and a hula skirt the second. I don't recall seeing him the third day.

Ah, the sea of little blue tents, this time with the stands for the football field in the background. The white thing in the bottom of the picture is the Bouncing Betties sign, which was next to my tent on the second night.

There wasn't enough room on the upper field for all the tents, so the football field itself got invaded. None of the tents were staked down. While this made the tents prone to fly away in the wind (which they did) and lessened the actual usable floor space in the tents, it also meant that the fields we used didn't have to be repaired by grounds crews. I'm sure that was an important factor in the 3-Day being allowed to camp out.

The view of the sunset from my tent on the second day. They sky was gorgeous. I expected it to get overcast during the night like it did on the first night, but it became more clear. When I woke up at 2 am and went out the stars were shining and the moon was brighter than the field lights.

Here's the one picture I took on Sunday, while we were walking along a street past Sunset Hill Park. Another sign identified the house as the home of a fellow Walker. There were a number of homes along the way that had signs like that, and at least one of them was open to people to use the bathroom if they needed it.

That's it for the pictures from the Walk itself.

I mentioned that there was a small surprise waiting for me when I got home. A friend, Laura, had decorated my house. These pictures were taken the day after, and don't do justice to the decorations. For instance, the mailbox, not shown, was completely wrapped up. And there were flowers on the corners of the garage door that fell down when we opened the garage.

I suppose that eventually I'm going to have to go out and take all the decorations down.

-by Tegan at 12:34 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

3-Day Report Day Three

Sunday morning dawned cold and clear. When I woke up (for the second time) I tried to decide what to do next. I wanted to go get breakfast, but I didn't want to have to walk back and deal with my tent after. I figured I'd be in line at Medical for a long time, as well. It was just too cold to get dressed in walking clothes, though, and I didn't have the heart to do it. My teammates were gathering down the row a bit, and I joined them when they said they were going to breakfast.

Breakfast was good, and it was nice to eat with someone I knew for a change. Until today I hadn't seen much of my teammates at all. Most of them walked much faster than I did, so we were usually at different parts of the route. We agreed to meet at the holding area after the Walk and march into the closing ceremonies together.

Once I got back to my tent it was warmer and I changed and packed. I was a little less careful about packing since I knew it was the last stretch. I lugged my bag to the truck with great difficulty and then headed toward Medical.

The line at Medical was really flippin' long. I stared at it for a moment before making up my mind to try self-medication using the anti-bacterial gel I'd been given the day before. I found a place to sit and slathered the stuff on my various blisters. I had a total of five, and I just gooped it on. I didn't bother with any bandages, since all they seemed to do was make the blisters worse. I just got up and got going.

To my immense surprise I was one of the first Walkers out. There was a cheering station about a mile away, then the first pit was at about three miles. I figured I would get to the first pit and if my blisters were ok, I'd just goop them up some more and keep walking.

I made it to the cheering station without difficulty, and then the first pit. I checked my feet and the goop seemed to be working, so I put more on and headed out. The grab and go was next, and I sat in the shade for awhile and hydrated myself. Then I headed out and as I turned the corner from the stop I suddenly recognized where I was and what street were were about to walk on.

It was Northgate Way. We walked along the least hospitable portion of Northgate in the city. We crossed Aurora Avenue on Northgate Way. Aurora! Those of you who know the area probably have a concept of just how crazy it was. Then we continued on Northgate, now 105th, to Holman Rd. Holman goes down into a valley and then back up. And that's what we did. We walked down into a valley, and then back up.

Before we got to Holman we passed a church which had bottles of water out for Walkers, and had opened their doors to let us use their bathrooms. We all agreed that they had just earned themselves a mansion in Heaven.

Climbing up Holman we had to stay in single file for awhile. I felt pressured to keep up the pace, but as I was walking, I felt a twinge in my left foot. I stopped for a moment and tried to move my foot around to stop the pain, but it wouldn't stop. I was holding people up because there was no room to pass, so I continued up until I got to a cross street I could stop at and rest. After a few minutes drinking water and keeping the foot relaxed the pain receded. I was able to walk up the rest of the hill without trouble.

At the top of the hill I spotted Dick's Drive-In restaurant. The only problem was that it was on the other side of the road. I didn't have the energy to climb the overpass and go get a chocolate shake, but of all the things in the world that would have made me happy, a chocolate shake was high on the list (actually, it still is).

The next pit was at the top of the hill at Soundview Playfield. Again I went to Medical and gooped up my toes. The blisters didn't hurt at all. I was a little worried about the twinge in my left foot, but I wanted to go on, so I headed out again. I got to the cheering station and found Nichelle there. She insisted on a photo of us together, as she'd been doing a great job today and felt like she was going to make it.

I walked on. A short way down the road there were some "Walker Stalkers" with an ice chest and lots of cheer. I asked if I could have a piece of ice for my hat. They gave me one, and I felt wonderful cold water dripping down until the ice melted.

As we continued, we passed a very familiar house. I got a used fish tank from the folks who live there... Phil and Kaja Foglio. I didn't see any of the Foglios, but it was still early on a Sunday morning. I just hope they didn't mind the thousands of Walkers that came past their house and all the honking of the sweeps.

With only a few more blocks to go to get to Ballard High School and the lunch break, I felt my foot giving out again. A sweep van stopped to check on someone else and I hopped in when they asked how I was. Again I went to Medical. Again I got some ice on the foot. I had lunch, relaxed a bit and considered taking the bus to the holding area. In retrospect, I REALLY wish I'd done that.

I left the lunch area and started off down 65th. I'm not sure how far I got. My heart tells me it wasn't far enough.

As I stepped off a curb to cross a side street my left foot clenched in a massive cramp. I gingerly walked across the street only to realize that the pain was getting more intense by the second. I couldn't walk. I literally couldn't put any weight on it at all. I thought, "Ok, I'll wait for a sweep van", but I was going to have to wait on one foot.

Someone grabbed me as I started to fall over, and a couple of Walkers helped me to some steps to sit down. They walked on when I assured them I was going to be fine. Some of my teammates arrived, one of them a Registered Nurse. I told them I was fine and that I was just waiting for a sweep to spot me. They wouldn't leave me. Another group of my team walked up and after a conference two of them chose to stay with me while the rest walked on. The RN stayed.

Finally the Scoobie van spotted us and stopped. They attempted to get me into the van, but I literally couldn't put any weight at all on my foot. When I tried, I screamed and fell onto the shoulders of the folks helping me. They decided against putting me in the van, and called for "Medical Transport".

It turned out to be an ambulance. It took a long time to get there, and the entire time we waited I felt miserable that I was holding up two of my team members and a sweep van. When one of those team members later got swept, right at the end of the Walk, I felt responsible.

Because I couldn't walk, the ambulance guys put me on a gurney and rolled me into the ambulance. It was a surprisingly smooth ride into the ambulance. You see it on TV and wonder what it feels like, now I know. There were two ambulance guys, a rookie who got to drive and the experienced paramedic who rode in the back with me. The rookie got us lost, and the other guy told me bad jokes to pass the time ("What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?"). The lights and siren were fascinating from inside the vehicle. When the lights are on there is a chirping noise, and the siren is much quieter from inside the vehicle. At one point we did a U-Turn to see if someone else needed picking up, but it was a false alarm. From where I was sitting, I could see a motorcycle sweep talking with someone as we drove off again.

When we got to Magnuson Park they drove across the grass to the Medical tent, avoiding all the Walkers who had fallen asleep on the grass. They rolled me out of the ambulance and into the tent, then onto a cot where the doctor on staff examined my foot.

Again, he couldn't see any obvious problems. He tested the bones and found no breaks, and told me that if there was a break it was a stress fracture and only an x-ray would discover it. And if it was a stress fracture, there wasn't a lot that could be done about it anyway. They put ice on it and I sat in the tent for a small eternity.

While I was there I heard about a Walker who had collapsed with severe heatstroke on the route and was taken directly to the hospital. I saw the medic listening to the report of her symptoms turning green until they got to the bit where she was being taken to the hospital. The medic said into the radio, "They took her to the hospital? She's not coming here? Please confirm!" and looked extremely relieved when it was confirmed.

A medic ran to get me my T-shirt for the closing ceremonies, and the doctor came back and OKed me for the closing ceremonies as long as I stayed OFF my feet for the rest of the day (after the ceremony) and all of Monday. I said that wouldn't be a problem. He also told me to get an x-ray done if it still hurt on Monday. I agreed, and the staff put me out of the tent and onto the grassy shade where it was slightly more comfortable.

I didn't get to finish. Perhaps if I'd taken the bus to the holding area I would have gotten to walk in with the rest of the Walkers. I don't know. I certainly wouldn't have ended up in an ambulance, I hope.

I waited for an hour in the holding area while the shadows moved across the grass and more and more people poured into the area. The staff told us there were 3300 Walkers, but the website says there were 2400. I know there were 400 crew members. In any case, there were a lot of folks in the holding area, including quite a few family members.

Eventually one of my teammates found me. She left her gear with me and went to find the others. When she did, she and her husband helped me across the grass to the team where I sat. Just after we moved, Eric called and told me he was at the medical tent, where was I?!? With some difficulties (thanks to the loud music) he found me. After a little while he went off to find my mom and sister and I waited for the rest of the team.

I think the gathering in the holding area was the first time the entire team had gotten together. We took some pictures, with me playing the part of the old granny in the chair. My teammates promised I would walk in with them if they had to carry me.

In the meantime, the final logistical nightmare of the 3-Day was happening. There just wasn't enough parking for the families of 3000 people. And there was a big "500 family" garage sale happening in the park at the same time. It was, in a word, insane.

It took a long, long, long time for them to get everyone processed and through the system. Finally we lined up, then slowly filed down the road into the area for the closing ceremony. Each step was a nightmare. The pain got worse as we walked, and I leaned heavily on my teammates. I wanted to stop and tell them to go on, but I was afraid they would try to carry out their threat to carry me in. I limped into the area with my eyes so full of tears I couldn't see much of anything. Then we were able to stop. A whisper went through the ranks that when the survivors marched in we were to kneel. I said, "I'm going down now" and my teammates helped me to the ground where I stayed for the remainder of the ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony we weren't sure what to do with me. Beth spotted a chair sitting forlornly in the middle of the holding area as people vacated, and they took me over to it where I sat to wait for someone to find me. Shortly after I sat, we saw medic surrounding a woman who had collapsed. When they carried her by, I thought it might be Nichelle. Whoever it was, I hope she was ok.

After the ceremony my little sister came and found me. When she came back with my mom's walking cane and her shoulder, my teammates finally left to go to their families. As I limped on Lisa's shoulder out to where mom and Eric were waiting. We sat in the shade and waited for a long, long time until the traffic cleared and Eric was able to bring the car around. Then I got to go home. And sleep.

Some news links:

There was a small surprise waiting for me when I got home, which I'll post another blog entry about. I also found that I really didn't miss the internet at all, which is a new one for me. Usually I go through internet withdrawal, but this time I didn't even want to turn on my computer when I got back, which is why Eric blogged for me on Sunday.

My foot is feeling much better, although I'm still very sore. I probably ought to schedule an x-ray... but I know the insurance doesn't cover it and I was told that they wouldn't be able to do much for it anyway, besides telling me to stay off it. I guess I'm inclined to wait and see if it cramps up again with normal usage before I go get more help. "Normal usage" is less than a full mile all at once in a day.

Four of my five blisters have already gone to calluses, while the massive one between my toes is still going strong. I also learned that I do not have ugly feet. I saw a lot of feet while in the Medical tents over the weekend, and I can honestly say that my feet aren't that bad. Which isn't something that I really cared about before, but I found it amusing when it occurred to me.

All told, I did about 30 miles over the weekend... half the promised amount. As Eric joked, if I go back next year and do the same, I'll have the full 60 miles. But just to show how insane I am, part of me really would like to try again. If the 3-Day can work out the logistics problems and the next one I try has a few less hills on the second day, I would be willing to give it a go. Not next year, but maybe a couple years down the line.

Even if I don't do the 3-Day again, I intend to go on other Breast Cancer walks. I enjoyed the Race for the Cure a lot, and I would do it again in an instant, especially if I could do it with Eric and maybe my sister Lisa. Shorter walks with lower fundraising requirements sound real good to me.

And lastly, thank goodness for cell phones. I don't know how Eric would have found me, or Lisa and Mom, without the phones.

-by Tegan at 8:52 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, July 25, 2005

3-Day Report Day Two

I didn't sleep well that first night. True, I was finally dry and clean, but some of my gear wasn't dry and I was severely disappointed that I hadn't been able to go the full distance. The concert in another area of the park seemed to go on forever, and the sound of porta-potty doors slamming in the distance also never seemed to stop. I eventually fell asleep with thoughts of calling Eric and demanding that he come and rescue me.

When morning finally arrived I lay in my sleeping bag and listened to the sound of other women getting up and moving around until the call of nature became too urgent to ignore. After waiting in a line for the porta-potty I came back to my tent and got dressed in my walking clothes and packed up for the day. My wallet was still soaked, so I put it in a spare plastic bag and took out my money and ID and put them in my badge-holder with my Walking credentials. Putting my contacts in without any mirror was a new and difficult experience. I then rolled up the tent and carried the tent and bag to the waiting trucks.

From there I went to breakfast and while I sat at breakfast I realized that I had just had the most miserable night I'd had in a very long time. And, while it wasn't the worst night possible, it didn't really fit the spirit of the Walk. I also recalled the doctor's very stern warning the night before... if I had any trouble at all today I was to get in a van and stop walking.

After breakfast I went into Medical to get my blisters tended to. Because one blister was between my toes, I chose to have the medic team work on it. I later felt a bit guilty about it, as there were many other women with much worse blisters. I considered taking photographs of the worst, but I decided not to. I didn't want any of my readers losing their meals while reading my blog.

Ahem. Anyway, the medic bound the two small toes on my right foot together with "second skin" and tape, and the blister on my left foot that had formed between my toes got more "second skin" and tape. This turned out to not be the best idea. However, the medic also suggested that I "lube up" the area between my toes with anti-bacterial gel (she gave me a bunch of little packets), and that turned out to be the best advice of the day.

After I was fully taped and gelled, I went to the starting area and hit the trail. The first length was from our camp in the depths of Marymoor Park to Luke McRedmond Park, which is right next to the apartments Eric and I used to live in before we got our house. It was all trail walking and very pleasant. I even stopped and got a picture of my typical view of the other Walkers. We had to contend with bicyclists, and every once in awhile you would hear "BIKE!" from the folks behind you and everyone would move to the right. At one point I tried to yell "cyclist!" but it came out "BIKE-LIST!" Everyone moved over anyway, and the folks around me giggled with me at my new word.

After the first pitstop, the climb was uphill on Redmond Way up to 148th, where we turned South. I got to the top of the hill and realized that I couldn't go on. My left foot was already beginning to cramp up. So I flagged down a Sweep and got a ride to the next pit so I could have my foot examined again to see if we could figure out what was wrong with it.

Another woman was already in the sweep van, and as we went around a corner we spotted yet another woman with difficulties. We picked her up and she told me she was having hamstring trouble. We picked up two more before hitting pit two at Lake Washington High School.

Well, there was, again, nothing obviously wrong with my foot. We iced it again for a few minutes, and I started out again, determined to at least get to the first cheering station, and hopefully all the way to pit three.

It was really hard going. A spike of pain would go up my foot every other step or so. I wanted so bad to go the full distance, but my foot just hurt so much I could cry. I made it to the cheering station, which gave me quite a lift in spirit, if not in body, and I continued on hoping I could make it to pit three. The route took us down a steep incline to the shores of Lake Washington, and as I got to the bottom I realized I could go a little way, but not much farther. It hurt entirely too much. At that moment a sweep van stopped to ask if everyone was ok, and I asked how much farther it was to the next pit. I figured I could make it if it was only a few more blocks. They admitted it was nearly a half mile. I needed to have my foot checked again, so I hopped on.

This was the Scoobie Boobie Sweep, and as I got on they handed me some Scoobie Snacks. We went to Pit Three, which was as she had told me nearly a half mile away at the Kirkland Marina. I didn't get out of the van because they were discussing taking me all the way to camp at this point, or at least to lunch. Finally they got word from Sweep Central to take me to the lunch stop and have medical check me out there.

So off we went! Now, I want to point out that I used to work in this area, and when my co-workers and I went to lunch, we sometimes went down the road the Walkers were going on. Literally, "DOWN" the road. The hill the Walkers were climbing from the Marina is one of the nastier hills in the area, even by my standards.

Lunch was at Juanita Beach Park, and was pleasant even though I realized after a short visit to Medical that my day was through. I wanted really badly to go on and at least visit each pit and cheer people, but I hurt and the medics weren't sure what was wrong with my foot. They suggested I get on one of the buses and go right to camp, but I didn't want to.

I met up with the lady who had a hamstring problem again at Medical. She was sobbing with frustration because she, too, couldn't go on. She had, in fact, been informed by the medical director that she was done for the day... and if she was caught trying to walk any farther today she would be sent right to the hospital. If she didn't walk any more today, they would let her walk on Sunday. Her team had given her everything they didn't want to carry and she was headed for camp. Like me, though, she didn't want to go right to camp. She wanted to go to each pit stop and cheer her team as they arrived.

So Nichelle and I conspired to make that happen. We talked with a sweep van and convinced them to pick us up right outside the pit and take us to the next pit stop. They did so, and we started a jumping pattern from one pit to the next via Sweep Vans, waiting only for her teammates to come into the pit and cheer them. At the Inglemoor High School pit I found a four-leaf clover and presented it to Nichelle in the hopes that she could safely go the distance on day three.

Also at Inglemoor we met the assistant principal, who told us that he had arrived at the school on unrelated business on Friday and found all the porta-potties that had been set up were knocked over by some mean-spirited prankster. He called in the problem and they were all cleaned and set upright well before any Walkers arrived.

We also talked awhile with one of the motorcycle sweep riders. These fine folks traveled up and down the line watching for problems, and they also stopped and directed traffic at intersections with heavy traffic. They all had decorated their motorbikes, including one guy who put bunny ears on his helmet and another who had a very large bra across the front of his bike (it wasn't his, I noticed it still had a price tag on it). I think they came out just for the sheer joy of being able to ride their bikes up and down the streets honking at everyone.

On one of the sweep rides we heard about a woman who ran into a fire hydrant while walking. Our van headed there are quickly as possible, because 911 had been called. When we got there we saw the hydrant, hidden slightly behind some bushes that had been hacked away by other Walkers. There was a bit of blood in sight. From the sounds of it, the Walkers who called 911 believed that the cut went into her muscle, but the paramedics who cleaned it up said it wasn't as bad as it looked. It gave new meaning to the signs along the route that said "Stay Alert, Stay Alive".

From Inglemoor we hopped a van to the next grab and go, which was at Log Boom Park, where I've spent a bit of time during my training. The sweep van drivers were from out of town, however, and weren't sure where they were going, so I spoke up and directed them, explaining where the roads go and what to watch out for. With the massive repaving project going on in Lake Forest Park, it became really clear to me that they would've gotten very lost without me. I'm sure they would have eventually found their way back, but the directions they had did not match up with the street names. At the grab and go, nobody wanted to leave so they took us to the next pit, at Lake Forest Park Elementary school. We got out, and I lost Nichelle somewhere in the heat, as I went down to cheer people on the road where there was some shade available.

Once I realized Nichelle was gone I decided to head right up to camp, and got in with a sweep. The route was insane. So far, all day, the hills had been relentless. But right here, at the end of the route, it got worse. One of the other women said that where she comes from (East coast) these things we call "hills" are called "mountains". I said that it isn't a mountain in the Pacific NorthWet (not a typo) unless there is snow on it year-round. She just shook her head in disbelief.

I was pretty disbelieving myself when I saw where the route took us. Right up 15th Avenue and up Perkins road, a steep hill that I don't even like to drive. It wound around a bit and the route finally reached the Shoreline Community Center, where we were let off in a parking lot before the day's finish line. We marched in with the other Walkers, and I felt guilty that I was being cheered when I'd only walked maybe 4 miles that day, out of the 20.5 in the route. True, my foot hurt, but I really felt like I didn't deserve any cheers.

At that point I just wanted, more than anything else in the world, to take a hot shower and use a flushing toilet. I called Eric and begged him to take me home for an hour or so to indulge me. He was kind and did so. I went home, flushed the toilet, took a shower, flushed the toilet, got clean fresh clothing on me, flushed the toilet, and Eric took me back. On the way, we saw the last pit being closed up and the last Walkers leaving. A little ways down the road I saw some of my teammates walking, and knew they were coming into camp really late tonight.

The Community Center was chaotic. In addition to the normal activities, there was the 3-Day of course, taking up a huge amount of space. There was also a swim meet at the pool, and the folks taking their kids to the meet where really upset that there was no parking whatsoever within easy walking distance of the center. But then, you can't really complain to a 3-Dayer about "walking distance".

After Eric dropped me off I checked back in and got dinner, then went to find my gear and set up my tent. As with the first night, the boy scouts had come and gone, and my tent was already standing. The Bouncing Betties sign was next to my tent. I set up my mattress and bag, then went out to the truck to wait for other team members to arrive. When Beth got in, I helped her carry her bag to her tent.

It was a really mild evening. I took some pictures, blogged a bit, avoided the area of camp where the services and dinner were set up because of the dust on the grounds. It got into your shoes and crawled up your legs. I'm not sure how the women who attended the dance managed... yes, there was a dance, and yes, Walkers were dancing.

I checked my blisters, and everywhere I'd been bandaged during the day the blisters had gotten worse. I wasn't sure what to make of it, but I found myself wishing for a bandage that didn't hurt more than it helped. I only walked four miles... how bad would those blisters have gotten if I walked the full distance?

I was able to sleep nicely that night until about 2 am when I woke up, wide awake. I heard the call of nature and heeded it, then went back to my tent (which was an adventure to find in the dark even with a flashlight) and tried to sleep. I couldn't, so I pulled out my cell phone and checked for messages. There were two. One was from a well-wisher, Laura. The other was the Aquaman on Smallville message from Eric, which I reported here. It was difficult to sleep after hearing that, but eventually I faded out.

-by Tegan at 9:42 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

3-Day Pictures Day One

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to throughout the 3-Day. It wasn't as easy as it should've been to grab my camera from it's pocket and get a picture, especially when I didn't want to break my pace and be unable to get going again. Still, I got a couple of pictures, so here's what I have to share with you.

This is an example of a Sweep Van. This particular van is the "Moody Boobs" and they drove around playing 60s music. I also saw the "Scoobie Boobies" (more about them later), "Clean Sweep", "Knock Out Breast Cancer", and the "Sole Train". I think there were seven sweep vans, two ambulances, and a number of other cars monitoring the route at all times.

Here's the crowd at the holding pen, waiting for the Walk to start. The gentleman in the Wizard of Oz cap and I tried to chat, but the music was too loud. Lake Sammamish is right behind me as I took this picture, and we could see lightning if we looked out across the lake.

A couple of the women in the pen with me were from out of town, and they asked about the weather. I predicted it would be dry by evening. As we waited in the pen, rain started coming down and people put on rain gear. During the Walk, the rain gear made a distinctive swishing sound, and you could always tell when someone wearing rain gear was coming up behind you. As the rain continued, the crew started handing out plastic bags and mylar blankets. A lot of the Walkers were cold and needed those blankets. I thought the temperature was perfect. The rain, not so good, but the temp was nice. That night a lot of folks took their silver blankets to their tents with them, and I heard some people in the morning exclaim about how the blankets made the night tolerable for them.

I couldn't resist getting a picture of Walkers in front of the Microsoft Campus. I'd lived in Redmond long enough that it just seemed like a perfect photo op.

Home, Sweet Tent.

The team was all in the same area, and so we put up our sign. The Bouncing Betties of Bothell were well-represented, although I know for certain that three of us didn't do the full Walk thanks to injuries. On the first day, lots of people commented that they liked my shirt. On the second day, people would exclaim "Look, it's a Bouncing Bettie!" On the third day everyone was too tired to do more than grunt.

Last picture of the day. A sea of tents. We were on a field right next to the Velodrome, which had a race on Friday night. Deep into the evening we could hear the lap bells. In addition, there was a concert in another area of Marymoor Park, and we could clearly hear the music from our tents. It was a county group singing a bunch of country classics. They went on and on, and eventually I just wanted them to shut up. The field itself was still damp from the rains, but it wasn't bad. There was a lot of mud in some spots, but those were mostly avoidable.

-by Tegan at 11:19 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

3-Day Report Day One

Ok, I know something that I won't be doing again any time soon. Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience! And the training got me healthier than I've been since college. Maybe even healthier than then. But I couldn't finish, and that was more depressing than anything I've ever experienced recently. Because 20 miles each day is a lot longer than it sounds.

If you listened to my audioblogs, you already know some of this, but I'm just going to get as much of it down as possible.

Eric and I arrived at the drop-off point early Friday morning. There was a bit of a line-up to get in, but it wasn't too bad overall. I'd say we timed it pretty well, in fact, because when we were waiting to start the Walk later, they had to delay the opening repeatedly because more women were arriving, having been caught in the massive traffic jam the arrivals caused. This was not the first instance of poor logistical planning on the part of the 3-Day, nor would it be the last.

After waiting for a while at a picnic table, the announcer asked all Walkers to go to the holding pen to wait for the beginning of the Walk. Silly me... I thought they were serious! I stood in the holding pen for what seemed like an eternity, but was only about an hour and a half. Then, after some inspirational speeches, we were off!

Our route took us out of Issaquah and up West Lake Sammamish for awhile until we were directed up a hill. It was quite a hill, too. It took us by Weowna Park, which was a beautiful area. After that, everything gets a little fuzzy in my recollection. There were streets, and sidewalks, and stopping points with food and water and porta-potties. There were lots and lots of women and a few men walking, and lots of people cheering us on. Every once in awhile we would come around a corner and I would suddenly know where I was. It was like a tiny shift in angles would make everything familiar again.

For instance, when we came out onto Bel-Red road after walking through a residential area, I suddenly knew where we were, then calculated the distance we'd come, and went into a numb state of shock.

The first few hours of the Walk were very wet. The thunderstorm that had been predicted for Friday night came through early and dumped on us. I was wet right down to my skin. The double layer socks gave me a little protection, so I didn't get as many blisters as some women, but every other bit of me was soaked through. Luckily, I'd packed my waist pack as any native Northwesterner is wont to pack, and everything in my pack save three items were in sealed plastic bags. My phone and camera weren't wrapped up, but neither seems to have suffered any lasting damage. My wallet, on the other hand, was soaked badly enough that my insurance and voting registration cards were both nearly unreadable when I set them out to dry on Friday night.

When we reached the Overlake area, there was a cheering station. I was in desperate need of some cheer at that point. We were 9.5 miles in and I was ready to collapse. I'd done a few long training walks, but I usually wasn't as wet and tired. To my immense surprise, my mom was at the cheering station. Getting a hug, and giving her my soaked 3-Day shirt so I didn't have to carry it with me anymore, was really nice. Mom's presence meant a lot to me.

We continued along into Redmond, where I got a staged picture of a couple of Walkers in front of the Microsoft Campus. My left foot was beginning to really bother me. I knew I had a blister forming somewhere on it, but it also seemed to be cramping up a little as I walked. It continued to bother me until about a mile and a half from Marymoor Park it completely cramped up. I stopped and leaned against a traffic sign and tried to hide my pain from Walkers coming up, but it was no use. I couldn't exactly say I was fine, and too many of them were too concerned. They flagged down a support van and my Walk was ended for the day at 16 miles, instead of the scheduled 17.5 miles.

Let me tell you about the support vans. They call them Sweeps, and when you get in one you've been Swept. My goal was to not get Swept. The Sweep vans are all decorated. On the first day, I got picked up by "Clean Sweep". They had brooms and broom designs on the van.

The van took me straight to Medical, so I didn't get to walk into the camp and get cheered by all the supporters hanging out. At Medical they took off my shoe and were unable to figure out what was wrong. There were no blisters, but the pad of my foot was really sensitive. However, I could put weight on it without screaming and I didn't seem to be in severe pain otherwise, so they iced both my feet for about a half hour and let me go with a warning that if it started to hurt again, I should take the van or bus to camp and not try to walk tomorrow.

I got my bag and was going to try to carry it, but as soon as I mentioned that I had just come from medical the guy at the truck insisted on carrying it for me. I didn't argue. The tents were a ways away, and my section, "A" was the farthest from the trucks.

Once I got settled into my tent, I went for a shower in the shower trucks, then dinner in the the dinner tent. When I got back to my tent I expected to meet my tentmate, or at least her stuff, but there was nothing there. It was late enough at that point that everyone should have already come in... so either my tentmate was stuck at Medical with a serious problem, or I didn't have a tentmate. It turned out to be the latter. I was one of many women who didn't share a tent.

Before I went to sleep I checked my foot again and wasn't surprised to see a blister forming between my big toe and the one next to it. I thought at that point that I knew what the problem with my foot was, and therefore would be able to fight it.

My body was in a lot of pain. Every muscle ached. My feet hurt. My legs hurt. My back hurt. Even my eyes hurt. My arms had somehow been converted to lead weights attached to my shoulders. My hips felt like somebody had hit me with a baseball bat a few times. I cried myself to into a fitful sleep.

-by Tegan at 9:48 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, July 24, 2005

She's done

Laura finished the walk today, but I'm sure you'll all understand if she's just too pooped to say anything about it right now. Let me just say, however, that if she repeats her performance from this year, were she to do it next year, she'd have her sixty miles in...spread out over both years...

-by Eric at 8:49 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Excellent Smallville news, if it's true

Since Laura's not here to report this news -- heck, I don't event think she knows this news yet, as I just left it on her voice mail last night -- I'll pick up the reins and mention two very interesting bits of information about the coming season of Smallville which, if they turn out to be true, will make this not only a must-see season for Laura, season 5 may end up being the first season she gets on DVD, whether we can actually afford it or not.

  • James Marsters, who played Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, will be appearing as Brainiac. Excellent casting there, I'd say. Laura got hooked on the Buffyverse with the last season of Angel.
  • Dukes of Hazzard reunion, as Tom Wopat will be appearing as an old childhood friend of Jonathan Kent's (who is played by John Schneider). I guess Laura watched enough Dukes as a kid that she'd be interested in this.
  • Aquaman will be appearing in the fourth episode. Heh. He gets on the show before Bruce Wayne!

I got it from the Saturday, July 23 edition of Comics Continuum, which is usually pretty reliable about these sorts of things.

-by Eric at 7:22 AM Seattle time - Permalink