May 30th, 2004

I took the train from Ottumwa to Chicago again yesterday.

There's been very heavy rain here, and the Mississippi was very high.

A hundred and fifty years ago, the settlers who came out here found a number of shallow prairie lakes covering up some of the soil. Thinking it wasteful not to use all of the extremely fertile soil in crop production, they constructed a system of pipes called "tile" several feet underground to drain off the excess water to rivers. Later, county governments built larger conduits to connect the patchwork of tile, and today most of the farmland in Iowa and Illinois is underlaid with it. It carries rainfall swiftly to rivers feeding the Mississippi before lakes can form.

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Marathon logistics

On a brighter note, the marathon is tomorrow morning, and I went down to McCormick Place to get my Marathon Packet, which consists of a bib number and timing chip and some free goodies such as energy bars and coupons and a T-shirt. I had been worried about the logistics of getting to the right place and getting timed and all, but the people there were exceedingly nice and helpful and I know exactly what to do and where to go tomorow. So now all I have to worry about is, well, running a marathon.

I'm going to make a big spaghetti dinner and then get a lot of sleep.

Oh, yeah, and I finally got that cell phone I was talking about. (Fisher-Price: My First Cell Phone!) It's going to be my permanent number from now on, and I'm relieved to finally have a permanent number. Do call; my number is 847-636-0186.

Also, I want to give a big, big thanks to all of you who've encouraged me through this whole marathon thing. You have no idea how much you've done for me. You rock.