Desierto norte de Chile

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fixing a flat

On Friday, I jumped on my bicycle to ride back to my apartment after frisbee and discovered I had a very flat tire. Fortunately, the frisbee field was only a short 7-min walk from home. Yesterday, I consulted the internet (here, here, and here, complete instructions and even photos), and after a call to my resident bike expert, Robin, decided to dive into the task myself. I struggled briefly to unscrew the back tire from the bike frame, but it basically came off by itself after I unhooked it from the gear mechanism. I had a greater struggle to get the tire off the wheel rim, not knowing how the tire really fit onto the rim (part of the time I found myself pulling the inner-tube off the rim, not just the tire). But after about 10 mins, it too was off. Robin suggested putting the inner-tube in water and finding the hole by looking for the bubbles (good suggestion!). I found the hole, more like a tear, but was unable to find anything suspicious protruding from the tire (after gently running my fingers along inside & outside). I put in the new inner-tube before church this morning, and reattached the back tire to the frame. I'll add some air this afternoon. Hopefully whatever poked into my inner-tube has since left my tire ... otherwise this will be a brief ride!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ramadan, frisbee, & football

Last week, 13 September, perhaps 1 billion people began thirty days of fasting (from food and sexual relations) during the holy month of Ramadan. My Jordanian neighbors in the apartment below kindly brought me a generous sample of their fast-breaking dinner last night. Today I enjoyed salad (a simple fare of diced tomatoes & green peppers, some lettuce, olive oil, and a few crunch bread pieces on top), rice, and chicken and potato stew. It really was filling! I don't know the significance of Ramadan, other than what I found online. I gathered that it is a time for Muslims to draw close to God, and perhaps receive forgiveness for sins. As a Christian, I have learned that faith is the way to draw close to God and receive forgiveness for sins. I believe that God eagerly awaits us to seek him out. By believing that Jesus' death was a substitution for me and his resurrection was God's demonstration of authority, I can draw close and receive forgiveness. It's really that simple.

This afternoon I'm looking forward to tossing around a disc with my "frisbee friday" guys. The humidity has returned (alas for a *dry* season here!), but we'll survive! After our frisbee game, I've invited the guys back to my apartment to watch OU beat Tulsa. A few years ago, I remember sitting in Paul Riley's living room and watching OU almost lose to Tulsa! Hopefully the result will be different this time :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Two hundred seventy-nine



Reading copy: finished!
Mental state: exhausted.
Ability to spout synonyms: unrivaled.
Sleep: deprived.
Friends: wondering where I vanished to.
Family: starting to pray for me.
Roommate: curious who I am.
Officemates: jealous? ( ;-) )
Meteorology secretaries: sad to see me go
Doctoral committee chair: impressed

My next four weeks:
Tues 18 Sept: take reading copy to printer for binding & color printing; deliver copies to committee members
~ 27 Sept: give seminar to department
~ 15 Oct: hold dissertation defense
~ 20 Oct: incorporate suggestions from the committee into final copy
~ 22 Oct: deposit 2 copies of final dissertation to Bizzell Library. Rejoice.

My next 8 weeks:
Rejoice. rejoice. rejoice. Consolidate dissertation into (2?) shorter manuscript(s) for publication. Attend MJO conference Nov. 5-7 in Irvine, CA. Attend 10-yr high school class reunion Nov. 10 in Greenville. Seek closure in Norman with friends from SoM, Wildwood, and frisbee (my 3 circles). Pack my things and move to N.C. in mid-Nov. Celebrate Barrett thanksgiving/Christmas in Greenville. Leave for Santiago ~ 01 Dec.

Thanks for (1) praying for me; (2) celebrating with me; (3) wishing me well for the future; and (4) bringing closure (if you live in Norman!) Till the next post . . .


ed·it /ˈɛdɪt/
–verb (used with object) supervise or direct the preparation of (a newspaper, magazine, book, etc.); serve as editor of; direct the editorial policies of. collect, prepare, and arrange (materials) for publication. revise or correct, as a manuscript. expunge; eliminate (often fol. by out): The author has edited out all references to his own family. add (usually fol. by in). prepare (motion-picture film, video or magnetic tape) by deleting, arranging, and splicing, by synchronizing the sound record with the film, etc.
7.Genetics. to alter the arrangement of (genes).
8.Computers. to modify or add to (data or text).
adapt, alter, amplify, analyze, annotate, arrange, assemble, assign, butcher, censor, check, choose, compile, compose, condense, copy, correct, cut, delete, discard, doctor, draft, emend, excise, feature, fine tune, finish, go over, make up, polish, prepare, prescribe, proofread, publish, put together, rearrange, recalibrate, rectify, redact, regulate, rehash, rephrase, report, revise, select, set up, strike out, style, tighten, trim

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Writing, writing, writing . . .

. . . writing, writing, writing, writing, writing (e.g., Barrett 2007).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mt. Elbert: 14,433 ft (4,401 m)

After a whirlwind trip to Colorado to climb that state's tallest peak, Mt. Elbert, at 14,433 ft, I am back in Norman.

Matt Shipe, Cory Mottice, and I left Norman at 8:30 pm on Friday September 1, 2007, and drove to Salina KS, arriving around 12:30 a.m. We were thwarted in our attempt to stay at the Motel 6 by mysterious - but fatal - computer system failures. So we drove across the road to the Day's Inn for the night. After grabbing some cereal & bagels from the lobby, we were on the road by 8:30 a.m. We drove right through Denver and arrived in Leadville (after a series of traffic tie-ups along I-70 east of the Eisenhower tunnel) around 4:30 p.m. We setup camp at the Mt. Elbert trailhead campground (by Halfmoon Creek), and went back into Leadville to eat at the Golden Burro cafe. The Cafe had a live webcam ( in the seating area, and we were able to wave at our family & friends back home. We returned to the campsite and enjoyed 2 rounds of the "up-and-down" card game and then turned in. I tossed & turned all night, unable to get comfortable in the chilly air (the temp inside our tent at wake-up was a balmy 6C, or 43F). At 5:30 a.m., the alarm beckoned us to rise and begin our ascent.

We snoozed a little but by 6:15 a.m. we were off! We reached Elbert's summit in 3:48, or at 10:03 a.m., which was a very good time for us! After lounging around the summit for probably an hour, we began our descent. We reached the bottom in 2:30 (after taking another 30-min break below the 2nd "false summit" and just above the treeline). We broke camp, gassed up in Leadville, and headed to Pueblo. After dinner at Applebee's to celebrate our accomplishment (Elbert is Colorado's tallest peak and the 2nd tallest in the lower 48, behind Mt. Whitney in California), we headed south on I-25 toward our intended overnight point in Trinidad. Matt and Cory were pretty excited and wide-awake in Trinidad, so we kept pushing south and east toward Amarillo. Once we got to Amarillo (at 1:30 a.m.), we decided 'what the heck' and we drove on to Norman, arriving at 5:30 a.m.

That made for one heck of a whirlwind trip: Depart Norman Fri at 8:30 pm, drive to CO, hike a fourteener, drive back and return to Norman Mon at 5:30 am. 57 hours of fun!

Ahh, the incredibly ironic "colorful" sign welcoming us to Colorado (along I-70 West entering from Kansas).

Matt, Brad, and Cory at a scenic turnoff along CO-91 northeast of Leadville.

Wow, there are many things to be said about this tent. First: 3 people should not attempt to put up a 10-man tent. Second: three people who have been camping before should not take 1 hr to put up any size tent. Third: man this was difficult work at 10,000 feet. We're camping in the Halfmoon Creek campground, and our site was about 1/6 mile northeast of the Mt. Elbert trailhead. Perfect location!

Sunset over the Rocky Mountains, Saturday 01 September 2007, south of Leadville, CO.

Welcome to the trail to the summit! We began at 6:15 a.m. and summited at 10:03 a.m.; total of 3 hrs 48 mins.

Stopping for a rest just after we came out of the treeline.

Resting near the second "false summit". It was both cold and tiring, but Matt and I are determined to continue upwards!

Resting yet again, this time just beyond the second "false summit". Mt. Elbert had not one, not even two, but three false summits!

Wow, near the top!!

View of the "twin lakes" east of Mt. Elbert; view from over 13,000'.

Matt Shipe at the top of his very first 14er. And what a 14er it was!

Cory Mottice at the top of Mt. Elbert. Cory is definitely the expert having hiked a dozen (or more?) 14ers. (A "14er" is a mountain whose peak is above 14,000 feet above sea level).

Woo hoo! At the top at last!! (and YES IT WAS COLD!)

Looking back towards the summit (can you make out the long line of people going up/down the mountain?)

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