The Schroth Trail

This morning I ran with a group of Buffalo Warriors, a C-U area trail running group affiliated with Second Wind Running Club. We ran at Schroth Trail on the south side of the Sangamon river in Allerton Park. We traversed the 5.9 mile loop twice in 5˚ weather. In the photo you can see how much ice accumulated on my beard and hair.

The last time I ran this trail was almost exactly 4 years ago, a month or so before I injured my left knee. As was the case today, that run was also 1 week before the world renowned Riddle Run, my first and only (thus far) ultramarathon.

This trail is also special to me in that I ran there frequently my freshman year at UIUC with the cross country team. One September Sunday morning we did a 16 mile long run on this trail in 1:40:00 (6:15 miles), which is faster than I ran 11.8 miles today, and probably remains one of my best long runs ever.

Unfortunately, my little GPS didn’t do a very good job in the dense forest. The two paths should be identical :(

The NUMB3RS

I made that software. That’s what I said to Melissa as I was watching NUMB3RS tonight. Several people at Wolfram Research work as math consultants for the CBS show and they frequently make use of Mathematica related props on the show. In the past they have shown copies of the Mathematica book, A New Kind of Science, and various posters created with Mathematica.

Tonight one of the main characters Charlie was using Mathematica (on Mac OS X even). Okay, so some of the footage may or may not have been special effects, but Mathematica was there. My software was there.

The Expo

Today is the final day of the 2008 Macworld Expo in San Francisco. I did not attend Macworld this year, but I always find the expo exciting nonetheless.

In January 2001 I began working full time for Wolfram Research, where I was charged with porting Mathematica to the soon-to-be-released Mac OS X operating system. My 3rd week of work I was sent to attend a workshop at Apple‘s headquarters in Cupertino, where they were to provide me with assistance in this process.

The workshop took place the week following the 2001 Macworld Expo and it worked out that I was able travel to California a few days early to catch the tail end of it. This was my first trip to Apple/Cupertino/Macworld/San Francisco/California so it was a big deal to me at the time.

I toured the hundreds of vendor booths at the expo and saw lots of great technology demonstrations. I purchased a laptop bag which I still use to this day. I also purchased my first and shortest-lived digital camera. It was a real piece of crap, but I got what I paid for…

After the expo I did some sight seeing in San Francisco before taking the train down to Cupertino. I still remember walking downtown, taking my first trolley ride, running through Chinatown, seeing Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time.

I have been back to San Francisco on a number of occasions since then and every time I go there I discover something new. San Francisco has become one of my favorite places to explore, and the Macworld Expo is what brought me there.