Monday, April 30, 2012

Run Free

The writing's not amazing, but the sentiments are.

An excerpt from Scott Jurek's forthcoming book.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I just had a thought. If you started hiking from the Mexican border right about now, you'd make it to the Sierras (or the Rockies) as the snow was melting and the high passes could be done without much problem. Somebody ought to throw a party.

Sad I'm not there; I had a blast at the last 4 ADZ's. I hope NITRO and the mantourage are having fun. Best of luck to this year's hikers, especially Gazelle, Marlow, and Team Bad Wizard on the CDT.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Long Run by the Onion at Garmin Connect

Long Saturday Run by the Onion at Garmin Connect - Details

Loop to Mukumu
I'm just experimenting with my new Garmin Forerunner. I'm pretty happy with it. I drained the battery all the way down a couple weekends ago and thus got lost on my long run, but today it worked like a charm. The basemap is of course a blank slate to start with, but I can add POI's to help me learn the roads and trails around here.  Came across a bullfighting arena (it's bull vs. bull, not man vs. bull, but there no fighting going on today) and a cool pottery collective today. Maybe I should've brought my Nathan hydration pack instead of my old ill-fitting Mountainsmith (with more carrying capacity) to Kenya so that I could actually take my phone and camera on runs and share photos with you. Oh well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Philly in Fall

Starting in August I'll be a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the economics department at Swarthmore. So there's that.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I'm curious about east coast ultras. The Appalachians, the Sierras they are not. But they've still got some good eastern standards like Massanutten, Old Dominion, and Vermont. A few others like Grindstone, which looks good, and some flatter river-trail or loop-type ones like Pine Creek Challenge, and Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon. And Umstead. And for shorter stuff, JFK, obviously. I've read a little about eastern ultras saying they're difficult, with very rocky terrain; hopefully that's true. Maybe they'll suffice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saez says we should raise the marginal tax rate on the highest earners, and I feel school pride.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tiwi 2

Here are some pictures from a great weekend at Tiwi. I was hoping for some long runs along the beach, but it was insanely hot and the sand was crazy sugary. Plus the beach is only 2 miles long, with bluffs at one end and a river impassable at high tide on the other. Oh and you can't go running back on the roads away from the beach because there are robbers all over the place (or so says all guidebooks, all taxi drivers, and my friends who saw a dude show up in only his boxers because he'd been robbed of everything else on the 3km walk from the paved road, and I was apparently 30 seconds away from it happening to me a few years ago, but I digress.) The beach itself is safe, as long as you keep an eye on your stuff. I was burgled by some vervet monkeys, who ripped a hole in my tent (dammit!) and stole a loaf of bread.

So instead of running I played a bunch of ultimate frisbee and went swimming, and remembered that I'm pretty crummy at both. Other than our team t-shirts being neon pink, it was good fun, despite losing 4 of 5 games.

Now I'm back in Kakamega. I went running today, took a half-liter of water, and expected to go two hours. My Forerunner ran out of juice five minutes in (for once I'm listening to people who say you should fully drain a rechargeable battery on first use), I got totally lost, and ended up going for 3.5 hours. First good run in a long time. Now I need to get back to work. New survey round coming up in two weeks, and I'm going to Philadelphia for most of this coming week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Good African Article/Coffee

This article on coffee/entrepreneurship/Africa/development/dependency is pretty good.

If I had the time, I'd add the book it mentions, Dead Aid, to my reading list. For now I'm working on King Leopold's Ghost, which is quite good. The article discusses skepticism of aid, and since I'm pretty (extremely?) skeptical in general, I think that's pretty interesting. In a discussion with a cool new co-worker a couple weeks ago, my co-worker suggested a novel way to think positively about our work: "At least we're not extracting natural resources." So yeh, I could be doing a lot worse. (FYI, I'm not down on my work right now, it's actually pretty cool, it's just the subject of the article which brought it up.)

Monday, April 09, 2012

NYTimes: Jack White

This article's fun. I wish I were into radio-controlled steamboats, or even thought of stuff like that. I also hope not to die in front of a KFC.

From The New York Times:

Jack Outside the Box

The White Stripes singer, virtuoso guitarist and music producer is "trying to get somewhere."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Run Free, Swim in the Ocean

Caballo Blanco died in the Gila Wilderness a few days ago. I never met him, but people I respect had, and they wrote good words about him. My friend BH wrote this, and Scott Jurek was interviewed by Runner's World here.

I'll be running the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy marathon at the end of June. People (whatever that means) say the course is hard, but I haven't found any information to make me think that's more true in this case than in any other case where that's claimed. I suppose it's hard compared to most road marathons. It's at 5,500 feet on dirt roads inside the conservancy, so there's a potential to see some wildlife.

I'm headed to Mombasa for a long weekend starting tomorrow afternoon. I've been there before for xmas 2006 with AK, WF, EK, which was pretty awesome. Cool people, cool tidal pools at low tide, awesome swimming at high tide, a little cliff jumping, and we went on a snorkeling trip that didn't really involve snorkeling and instead mostly involved me using the compass on my watch to tell the boat captain during the storm "I think Africa's that way." This time there's an ultimate frisbee tournament.