I ran the Austin Marathon last weekend. For those of you into that sort of thing, it took my friend Vel and I 3 hours and 50 minutes. Not bad considering the rather hilly course, warm temperatures and our blatant lack of fitness. I am now about to undertake another gruelling physical challenge; the AAPG Distinguished Lecturer tour, and for next couple of weeks I thought I would keep a diary about it; I believe the kids call it a ‘blog’. For those of your who know me, this a big deal; I am virulently anti-Facebook and Twitter, mainly because I think day-to-day life is pretty boring. However, this tour will give me the chance to focus this blog on something pretty interesting. Not necessarily my lecturers themselves (although I will occasionally give a blow-by-blow account of how they went, questions I got, the creeping sense that I am about to be found out, etc), but more about the places I go to and the people I meet. I am not sure if it will work; the few geo- blogs I have read are by people who have a natural flair for written communication and commentary. I suspect this is not one of my strengths. Furthermore, my schedule (excuse the Americanism) may not allow me to spend much time updating the blog, although I have downloaded an app that should allow me to do it whilst standing in line for beer-battered, Rocky Mountain oysters in Boulder. During the course of 10 days I will visit 9 cites, 9 states and cover 6533 airmiles (I should probably get to keep my ozone hole…).