Monday, June 20, 2016

Independence: Week 1

I thought for quite a while about what to name this, "Small Town Kansas", "I Live in Kansas", "Small  Town Living", "Back to Kansas", "Return to Kansas", but nothing struck me as really capturing the essence of this move the way I wanted. I wanted something that was an unambiguous fact, like "I Live in Iowa" was, and something that could not be taken negatively, as inevitably I will have some criticism of small town life. As a bonus, it's always nice if I can see some humor in the title, and it's late and I want to get this published, so I might save that description of what the word Independence means to me for next week, but superficially it means Independence, Kansas, where I am temporarily living until I buy a house, and I may buy a house here.

The week started with Sunday in Dubuque. I went to church so that all of my friends could see that I was alive and healthy with all of my fingers. Then I finished packing and headed down to Kansas. So I work in Coffeyville, well, I work in the Coffeyville industrial park, which is outside of the city limits. It's a five minute drive from the city limits of Coffeyville, and 15 minutes from the city limits of Independence, so my coworkers are split somewhat between Coffeyville and Independence, with a number out in the country, and a few from places farther away, like Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Monday dawned and I went into the office. The week was both slow, and a whirlwind. A number of people were traveling so there were some quick conversations as I tried to learn all I could. Tuesday we had a test failure. That's a big deal. Tests aren't supposed to fail. The test had been running for hundreds of hours and on the morning of my second day a test fails, and it's on "my" project. I put my in quotations because while it is part of my responsibility to solve the problem, it was my second day in the office down here and frankly there was so much I did not know, I was afraid to say much of anything. Of course, I never get into the specifics of work, but the failure does not seem to be as significant as initially feared, and should be a minimal setback.

I ran 62 miles last week, with one double. Not a big number, but higher than I expected. That's part of the reason I moved down here, fewer distractions and better ability to focus on my limited remaining competitive running career. We shall see if I was correct or naive.

Saturday I quit sweating 10 miles into my 16 mile long run, because it was in the upper 80 Fahrenheit and humid, at noon. A few miles later I found a gas station and had some water, but a bit of a scare none the less. I've quit sweating in hot weather a number of times, so it doesn't scare me too much, but it's a really good reminder that I need to be hydrated as much as I can, especially as the forecast has highs above 90 ever day for the next two weeks, and lows all above 68F.

Saturday afternoon I went down to Tulsa and did a little rock climbing, then some shopping for some new biking shorts, and I ended up buying running half tights, which have no padding, but are very light, and padding is really not necessary for rides under two hours. Then I went to Whole Paycheck... I mean Whole Foods for some grocery shopping that you don't get in a town of 9,000 people.

Full disclosure, I'm definitely in the honeymoon phase of moving down here to Independence and Coffeyville, so if I don't blog about it much now, it because first impressions are often wrong, and I'm apt to be more positive than reality, that's just the nature of the honeymoon phase.

Facebook friends, I posted the vast majority of my Everest 2016 pictures into an album on Facebook, feel free to go over there and check them out. Some are pretty good.

Finally, here is a photo of me on my 30th birthday at Everest basecamp, a small part of the motivation to name my new blog series "Independence".
30th Birthday Cake at Everest Basecamp

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