Cortana on my Nokia Lumia 520 Windows Phone!

Windows Phone 8.1 (Preview for Developers) was just released by Microsoft today, and I’ve managed to install it this morning without a hitch on my Nokia Lumia 520. (Here’s how.) While there are so many new features I am excited about like the Action (notification) Center and the Word Flow swipe-style keyboard, the biggest feature that catches my fancy is Cortana, a virtual personal assistant. Blame it on the movie Her, but I couldn’t wait for her arrival.

I just had my first conversation with her, as shown below. Cortana is awesome! Continue reading

Horsetooth Half Marathon

It looks as if the weather forecasters were right: after an entire week of high temperatures in the 60s or 70s (Fahrenheit), the morning of the Horsetooth Half would be around the freezing point of water. “Well, I can’t let a little bit of a chill slow me down,” I thought.

At least there wasn’t a northeast wind giving us a headwind the entire way. Or snow and freezing rain to pelt us in the face that my eyes would be half-closed during three-quarters of the race. Or wooden bridges featuring enough ice that people around me would slip and fall. Or all-mud sections off the Poudre Trail that were already something of a quagmire by the time I got through it.

Oh wait, there was all of that. Continue reading

Denver Auto Show

This was one of the best Denver International Auto Shows in years. This is not only because Porsche decided to return to the showroom floor after a two year hiatus, but because the show had every new car I wanted to see! Well, almost. The third generation Audi TT was not here, but as it was unveiled at Geneva for the first time only a few weeks ago, the four-ringed marque can be forgiven. But the other vehicles I anxiously awaited to see in the metal (and carbon fiber) were there, including the 2015 Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Jaguar F-Type. Continue reading

Cottonwood Glen 12k

Finally, the Great Arctic Streak was broken. While it hasn’t been unseasonably cold in Fort Collins during the winter, for some reason, each of the last four Tortoise & Hare races fell on a morning when it was 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit. That is cold even for Eskimos, and race director Nick often had to resort to warming up his hands with a portable propane heater that was shaped like a bazooka.

But this morning, with lots of sun and temperatures north of Jennifer Lopez’ age—was positively balmy—enough that I almost regretted wearing a T-shirt instead of a singlet. Good thing, because this would be the longest (and final) race of the Tortoise & Hare series. Continue reading

PSD Pi Day Fun Run 5k

Nerd alert! When I was six years old, my dad would make me mentally convert degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice-versa—and I could accurately do so in about the same amount of time it would take to Bing it nowadays on a smart phone. By third grade I was solving two-equation, two-variable chicken-and-dog algebraic problems. In tenth grade I scored a 5 on the AP Calculus exam and was done with math until college. It is probably safe to say, then, I have always been something of numbers geek.

So what a delight it was to receive an e-mail informing about a newly held, low-key race that would benefit the math departments of the four high schools in Fort Collins along with a local math scholarship. This being March 2014, the race was called the Poudre School District Pi Day Fun Run 5k and was clearly honoring my very favorite number. Never mind that the official Pi Day was two weeks ago on March 14th, or that the race was not officially five kilometers (3.11 miles) but pi miles (3.14). Or that “I know this math department; the distance probably won’t be that accurate” joked my friend Alex, a math teacher in Loveland. Continue reading

Copper Mountain, CO

The snowpack in the Colorado mountains this winter was really abundant, so Dave, Jennie, Karen, Shane and I played hookie from work one Friday and piled into one car and headed to the slopes of Copper Mountain. We were going to snowboard! Or in my case, ski, having never strapped two feet to one fiberglass plank before. Continue reading