Friday, August 31, 2007
I also love to have (what I call) relaxing music playing from the Ipod on my desk all day.
Where these two current facts of my life intersect there is a good-natured clash of cultures on a daily basis.
Assistant: What the he** are you listening to?
Me: Its nice, calming, relaxing music. You probably don't recognize James Taylor because he doesn't use a drum machine and all his lyrics do not rhyme.
Assistant: Who is James Taylor?
So it was with great pleasure that I read Rob Burnett's Defending My Playlist article in the new Runner's World magazine.
"The next day the feud reaches fever pitch when I ask a simple question: "Can I get the Village People's 'Y.M.C.A.?'" Slowly they turn. A line is drawn in the sand. For the first time they actually refuse to download.
"It's like being at a bar mitzvah!" they protest. "Exactly!" I counter.
Read the whole thing - it's great.
Do you want to run on asphalt, concrete or dirt? Do you mind traffic? Do you want to run with or without a leash? What are the temperatures like where you live?
Personally, I don't want to be near traffic with my dawg. I prefer dirt to asphalt or concrete. I like to have the dawg off-leash and, in San Diego, we tend to be a little warmer than some other places.
All that means that:
A) I have to run in the mornings when it is cool (mostly for the dawg's sake)
2) I have to drive to the park, the bay or the waterfront to do my runs (they are the closest traffic-free places where I feel comfortable letting the dawg off-leash)
It is something of a drag to have to drive to the run and it adds an extra 30-40 minutes to my 57-step morning routine but it is worth it. Running in the park, at the waterfront, or around the bay is just so beautiful and wonderful compared to running the hills of my neighborhood - dodging traffic and setting off canine alarms every other house that we run by.
Decide what is best for you and the pooch (even if it means a drive) - then get out and do it.
Whatever he needs, he has or doesn't
have by now.
Whatever the world is going to do to him
it has started to do. With a pencil and two
Hardy Boys and a peanut butter sandwich and
grapes he is on his way, there is nothing
more we can do for him. Whatever is
stored in his heart, he can use, now.
Whatever he has laid up in his mind
he can call on. What he does not have
he can lack. The bus gets smaller and smaller as one
folds a flag at the end of a ceremony,
onto itself, and onto itself, until
only a heavy wedge remains.
Whatever his exuberant soul
can do for him, it is doing right now.
Whatever his arrogance can do
it is doing to him. Everything
that's been done to him, he will now do.
Everything that's been placed in him
will come out, now, the contents of a trunk
unpacked and lined up on a bunk in the underpine light.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
On a scale of one to ten, I would give GW Bush an 8.5. I do not agree with him all the time and I think he has made some serious blunders in just about every arena. But he has gotten the big things right: Tax Cuts, War on Terror, Education Reform, an attempt at Social Security Reform.
With that in mind, Patrick Ruffini on Hugh Hewitt.com points to a 2004 presidential video on GW to illustrate a point about the new Mitt Romney ad contest.
I have to admit that I got misty-eyed towards the end. I can't imagine anyone but the most adamant Bushitler hater feeling differently.
Here it is:
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
“Billionaire Leona Helmsley's pampered pooch will go on living in the lap of luxury . . .
“A source said the $12 million trust was created to care for the dog, who once starred in ads for the Helmsley Hotels.
“Helmsley stipulated that the dog be buried beside her and her husband, Harry, in a five-star mausoleum that will be maintained with a $3 million perpetual-care trust.
“The will details how Helmsley and Trouble are to spend the afterlife – in an ornate mausoleum she ordered to be “washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year.”
$12 mil for a dawg that would eat cat excrement if it had the chance? Hmmm . . . Also interesting:
“While Trouble scored, two grandchildren were frozen out of the will. The outcasts are among the four children born to Helmsley's only son, Jay Panzirer, who died in 1982.
“The others, David and Walter Panzirer, will get $5 million each – but only if they play by their grandma's rules. Helmsley wrote that neither will get a penny unless they visit their father's grave once a year.
“To ensure that her grandsons meet the requirement, Helmsley ordered a guest book be installed inside the mausoleum at
Sleepy Hollow Cemeteryin Westchester County, N.Y.
Boy, wealthy people have a totally different set of problems than I do.
I am one of those people who can roll out of bed and head for the door in the morning. If I have to. Left to my own devices, I have a seemingly 57-step process to getting my act together in the mornings. I don't know what my problem is.
This morning, step 43 took longer than expected and we got out the door for our run late. Knowing that (even though it was only 5:30am) that I was going to be late for work, I thought of skipping the run altogether. But we went anyway.
10 min into the run the dawg was lagging. Plodding along, head down, 20 feet behind me and losing steam. He wasn't limping and when I checked his paws, everything looked fine. I decided to bag it anyway just to be on the safe side.
The wife thinks it is because of the heat (80 degrees inside the house this morning) and she may have a point judging from the way the dawg drained his water bowl when we got home.
Even so, I think I will "bench him" during Saturday's run.
Oh - and I forgot my phone so no photo of lagging dawgs today.
I hope this day gets better - tomorrow's Friday!
Now that's over . . . As a general rule, if I am walking or doing a combination of walking and running, I will keep the dawg on a 6-foot nylon leash. I like the "long leash" because it works well if I need to tie him up somewhere or if he needs a little personal space to "take care of business". Even though the leash is 6-feet, when we are walking, I shorten it up and he walks right at my side the whole time in an approximate "heel" position. None of this retractable leash let-your-dawg-run-amok nonsense for me.
When we are running, I prefer to let him off-leash (if possible) for a number of reasons:
1) He runs more. When he is off leash, he runs a little ahead, then races back behind, runs circles, chases rabbits etc. If I run 4 miles, he runs 5. And a tired dawg makes for a happy owner.
2) I can more closely monitor him. When the dawg is running on-leash, he is right there, at my side, trudging along. Being off-leash gives him the chance to run on the grass next to the paved path I am on - thereby protecting his paws. I can also better gauge when he is tired as he will fall back when he has had enough instead of being forced to keep up on a leash.
3) Taking care of business. Off-leash gives him the chance to stop and relieve himself at will. On leash, he pretty much just holds it until nature forces him to skid to a stop.
4) It is just plain fun. I love to watch him run across a wide lawn in the morning - big smile on his face.
Obviously, it is important for you to be very cautious about letting your dawg off-leash. I generally run in parks or near the beach where the traffic is non-existent. I would never take him on a run off-leash near traffic. His is a very well-behaved dawg but he is still a dawg. You never know when he is going to see a squirrel across the street and dart into traffic.
You should also be in control of your dawg at all times - leash or no leash. If your free-range dawg runs off into the distance or will not come when called, you really should not have him off the leash.
You also need to be socially conscious. You may have the most wonderful dawg in the world but strangers don't know that. When a stranger sees an 85lb mutt charging them, they are right to be concerned and no one should have their morning walk ruined buy your off-leash dawg stressing them out.
Remember that other dawgs are not always friendly. I always assume that when someone has their dawg on a leash, it is for a good reason. If your off-leash dawg charges up to a dawg that is on-leash, it may stress out the other dawg-owner and/or lead to a canine confrontation.
For all these reasons, I always carry the long leash with me. When we approach an unknown dawg,*clip*, on goes the leash. When we get near other people and I sense he is going to stress them out, *clip*. When we get near traffic, *clip*. You get the picture. In an hour run I may leash and un-leash him 5-6 times. It sounds like a pain but we are to the point that we can almost do it on the run - without breaking our stride.
So my default is: walking=leash / running=off-leash
At the gate, I sit in a row of blue seats
with the possible company of my death,
this sprawling miscellany of people-
Carry-on bags and paperbacks-
That could be gathered in a flash
into a band of pilgrims on the last open road.
Not that I think
if our plane crumpled into a mountain
we would all ascend together,
holding hands like a ring of skydivers,
into a sudden gasp of brightness,
or that there would be some common spot
for us to reunite to jubilize the moment,
some spaceless, pillarless Greece
where we could, at the count of three,
toss our ashes into the sunny air.
Its just that the way that man has his briefcase
so carefully arranged,
the way that girl is cooling her tea,
and the flow of the comb that woman
passes through her daughter's hair . . .
and when you consider the altitude,
the secret parts of the engines,
and all the hard water and the deep canyons below . . .
well, I just think it would be good if one of us
maybe stood up and said a few words,
or, so as not to involve the police,
at least quietly wrote something down.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Here is the actual transcript via World Net Daily:
"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some
people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our
education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such
as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should
help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the
Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children."
Uh - wow.
Dawgs are born with soft, smooth paw pads - not unlike an infant's feet. It takes time for your dawg to build up the tough calloused pads that he will need for running. If you push too far, too fast, you will end up with a dawg that has cracked, skinned and bleeding paws. I cobbled together my "Plan C" training schedule in part to accommodate this portion of my new puppy's development and it worked well.
When you are out and about, watch the terrain for hazards. I have had to stop and change direction more than once to prevent the dawg from running through broken glass. Fox tails (those irritating weeds that burrow into your socks) have the potential to be pretty nasty if your dawg ends up with one between his toes.
Also be mindful of heat. You may be fine in your high-tech shoes and socks running on that black-top road but remember that your dawg may not. If you find your dawg pulling you into the shade, the ground may be too hot for his paws or he may just be too hot in general.
Even though your dawg may have good established paw pads, it is a good idea to check his feet at least once a week - you never know what he may have gotten himself into when your head was turned.
What wonderous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head,
The Luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine,
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach,
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness,
The mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas,
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
My wife and I probably have close to a dozen children in our lives via our close friends. We have been present at the hospital during deliveries, babysat, taken children to the zoo etc. etc. Although we do not have children ourselves, I feel confident that I could pick a toddler out of a line up.
All that being said, THIS seems like a very bad idea:
“Dominic is a product of a growing
"diaper-free" movement founded on the belief that babies are born with an instinctive ability to signal when they have to answer nature's call. Parents who practice the "elimination communication" learn to read their children's body language to help them recognize the need, and they mimic the sounds that a child associates with the bathroom.”
“Erinn Klatt began toilet training her son at birth and said he has not wet his bed at night since he was 6 months old.”
“Some parents and toilet training experts are skeptical.”
Diaper-free infants? Not at my house.
More at: Diaper-free Baby.org
Instapunk has a great post on the pathetic Michael Vick story.
A word of caution – the actual post relates a pretty gruesome story that is not for the faint of heart.
dog-fighting kennel and executing dogs who don't fight well enough are not
mistakes. Deliberately killing even one dog is not a mistake. We're not talking here about the
careless driving habits of Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan. We're talking about
the cold-blooded cruelty required to participate in a sport which compels
one dog to kill another dog or be killed by his master if he fails. . . . We're
talking about something missing in the makeup of a human being. That something
missing is not something you suddenly discover is missing when the government
indicts you. It's just missing. It's an essential part of humanity you'll never
have. Getting caught is not an opportunity for confession, redemption, and
forgiveness. It's just exposure.
“. . . .And sometimes,
taking responsibility means taking responsibility for acts that cannot be
forgiven by men, but only God.
“There are a lot of us who will never
forgive Michael Vick. He killed dogs and he made them suffer. That's not a
mistake. It's a sin.”
HT: Hugh Hewitt
This is the main fountain in Balboa Park. It is located at the east end of the plaza and if you are running down the plaza at the right time, you can watch the sunrise behind it.
I have heard of people training for marathons on their local high school track. Round and round and round. No thanks.
I like to actually go somewhere when I am running and I try to avoid retracing my steps whenever possible. I also don't like to run near traffic and I prefer dirt trails to pavement. All this means that I have to be pretty creative at times when mapping out my route.
Lately, I have been staying off the dirt paths in an effort to give my IT band a chance to recuperate. But as I build up my mileage, it gets tougher and tougher to avoid retracing my steps through the flat paved areas of the park.
This morning I got to the end of my route and still had 5 minutes left - round and round and round I went. Like a hamster in a wheel - squeak squeak squeak.
It may be near time to hit the dirt again.
A maltipoo is not going to be able to run as fast or as far as a Lab.
If you want a dog that is going to be a good running companion, you need to opt for a medium to large breed dog.
Many pure breed dogs have trouble with their hips and joints so give some consideration to rescuing a mutt from your local shelter.
Our dawg is an 85lb mix of lab, spaniel and lord only knows what else and he is wonderful.
Just as with people, dawgs need to build up to running. Their paw pads and their bodies can't go from a couch-potato lifestyle to distance runner overnight. My "Plan C" workout schedule worked very well for both the Dawg and I. While it takes a loooong time to build up to running an hour every other day, it is a safe way to do it without pushing your dawg too far too fast and it gives his paw pads a chance to thicken and toughen up.
Again, keep a close eye on your Dawg. If your dawg lays down whenever you come to a brief stop, he is tired and you need to hang it up for the day.
Also remember that dawgs are generally sprinters - not distance runners. Our dawg does pretty well on runs under an hour but longer than that seems to be too much for him so I leave him home if I am going for a long run on the weekends.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Last night I walked him back and forth,
his small head heavy against my chest,
round eyes watching me in the dark,
his body a sandbag in my arms.
I longed for sleep but couldn't bear his crying
so bore him back and forth until the sun rose
and he slept. Now the doors are open,
noon sunlight coming in,
and I can see fuchsias opening.
Now we bathe. I hold him, the soap
makes our skins glide past each other.
I lay him wet on my thighs, his head on my knees,
his feet dancing against my chest,
and I rinse him, pouring water
from my cupped hand.
No matter how I feel, he's the same,
eyes expectant, mouth ready,
with his fat legs and arms,
his belly, his small solid back.
Last night I wanted nothing more
than to get him out of my arms.
Today he fits neatly
along the hollow my thighs make,
and with his fragrant skin against mine
I feel brash, like a sunflower.
“230 years ago,
our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and
gain the freedom of self-determination. Texans long ago decided that the death
penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes
committed against our citizens. While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome
their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans
are doing just fine governing
The whole place was scrubbed "stem to stern" and we rounded out the weekend by grilling steaks on the deck.
In fact, it feels so good to have the house in order that I think I am going to skip my run this morning and drink my coffee in the back-yard with the wife before heading into a week of toil.
A snail is climbing up the window-sill
into your room, after a night of rain.
You call me in to see, and I explain
that it would be unkind to leave it there;
it might crawl to the floor, we must take care
that no one squashes it. You understand,
and carry it outside, with careful hand
to eat a daffodil.
I see, then that a kind of faith prevails;
your gentleness is moulded still by words
from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
your closest relatives, and who purveyed
the harshest kind of truth to many another.
But that is how things are. I am your mother,
and we are kind to snails.
So I thought I would share some poetry with you from time to time (it can't all be bikini races after all).
With that in mind, here are excerpts of Garrision Keillor's introduction to Good Poems for Hard Times:
"The meaning of poetry is to give courage. A poem is not a puzzle that you the dutiful reader is obliged to solve. It is meant to poke you, get you to buck up, pay attention, rise and shine, look alive, get a grip, get the picture, pull up your socks, wake up and die right . . . .
"At times, life becomes almost impossible, and you curl up under a blanket in a dim room behind drawn shades and you despise your life, which seems mean and purposeless, a hoax and a cheat, your shining chances all wasted, pissed away, nobody can change this or makes this better, love is lost, hope gone, nothing left but to pour a glass of gin and listen to weepy music. But it can help to say words. Moaning helps. So does prayer. God hears prayer and restores the souls of the faithful. Walking helps. Many people have pulled themselves up out of the pit by the simple expedient of rising to their feet, leaning slightly forward, and putting one foot ahead of the other. Poems help.
"People complain about the obscurity of poetry, especially if they are assigned to write about it, but actually poetry is rather straightforward compared to ordinary conversation with people you don't know well which tends to be jumpy repartee, crooked, coded, allusive to no effect, firmly repressed, locked up in irony, steadfastly refusing to share genuine experience - think of conversation at office parties or conversation between teenage children and parents, or between teenagers themselves, or between men, or between bitter spouses; rarely in ordinary conversation do people speak from the heart and mean what they say. How often in the past week did anyone offer you something from the heart? It's there in poetry. Forget everything you ever read about poetry, it doesn't matter - poetry is the last preserve of honest speech and outspoken heart.
So just in case anyone else is thinking of doing the same, I thought I would put together some observations that I have had over the last 8mos and counting.
Tip #1: The Dawg Comes First
Dawgs love their humans and they love to run! A dawg will run itself to the point of injury and beyond just to keep up with its human. The last thing you want to do is have your dawg suffer from hip, shoulder and joint injuries all because you didn't know when to "say when".
It is very important that you keep a close eye on your dawg. If he is too tired, too hot, too thirsty or just plain old doesn't feel like running - you need to stop immediately and get your dawg what it needs. Your record-breaking workout can wait for another day.
I think it is significant that my first thought is usually that the family is somehow connected to the military. How is it that the US flag has somehow come to be an indicator of military service?
I do my best to put out the flag on every holiday. My thought is, "That's right, I'm flying the flag today - I know it's Easter - but its Easter in America!"
The last time I put out the flag was the 4th of July - I never took it down.
So now I wonder what other people think when they see my flag up 24/7. They are probably wondering if I am in the military when the truth is, I think the house looks better with it up (goodness knows the ol' homestead needs all the help it can get).
So there it is - I fly the flag for both patriotic and aesthetic reasons. I hope the one doesn't diminish the other.
One day, I hope to put in a bonified flag-pole.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I wanted to run someplace other than Balboa Park this morning so the dawg and I headed to Mission Bay. The Bay has a boardwalk that runs around it and you can run the whole bay or 1/2 if you take the bridge that cuts across the water.
I used to run here when I first started running in '05. I stopped because a job change meant that it was no longer on my way to and from work. It is also an extra ten min drive to the bay vs to Balboa Park and that 10 min each way makes a big difference in the mornings before work.
As we started out this morning, it occurred to me that there might be another reason why I haven't run here in over a year - it was here that I ended up with stress fractures in both knees. Half-way over the Ingraham street bridge, to be exact - 4 miles from my car.
I am not one to avoid a place because of an experience like that but I was surprised this morning to realize that I had an "unsettling" feeling about running the bay again.
I was on schedule to bump up my distance just a bit this morning and I then realized that the same Ingraham Street bridge that "beat" me over a year ago was going to be at the very tail end of my run this morning. Well bring it on.
As I neared the bridge, the Nano informed me that I only had 5 minutes left in my run. If I was going to beat the bridge, I had to put some pep in my step. The Dawg and I kicked it up a notch and trudged up and over the bridge - closing out this morning's run on the far side.
Take that you imaginary obstacles that have been holding me back only because I let you.
I am the boss of me.
One of the links to the right is for Monticelli Brothers. The Monticelli brothers are third generation winemakers in Napa, California. They also happen to be good friends.
In the time that we have known Massimo and Mario, we have seen both of them marry two wonderful ladies and Massimo and Jane have added to the family of friends with little Santino Monticelli.
The San Francisco Chronicle has done a profile on Mario and his wife Anna.
From the moment they met in a microbiology class, Mario and Anna Monticelli
have been drinking great wine together. . . .
During their studies,
worked a harvest at Cheval Blanc and Mario spent time at Antinori in
After graduating, both Mario and Anna were assistants to superstar
Philippe Melka. . .
And now, just before the ripe old age
of 30, they are
both in charge of various high-profile projects. Anna is
making cult Cabernet at
Piña Napa Valley, and Mario has just started a new
job as winemaker for
Trinchero Winery's Napa Reserve program. In their off
hours, they've been
bottling their own wines under the Esca label since the
Friday, August 24, 2007
Brian Baird is a Democratic Congressman from
“The invasion of
may be one of the worst Iraq
foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. As tragic and costly as
that mistake has been, a precipitous or premature withdrawal of our forces now
has the potential to turn the initial errors into an even greater problem just
as success looks possible. . .
“Despite the enormous challenges, the fact is, the
situation on the ground in
is improving in multiple and Iraq
“Regardless of one's politics or position on the
invasion, this must be recognized and welcomed as good
“. . . to walk away now from the recent gains would
be to lose all the progress that has been purchased at such a dear price in
lives and dollars.
“From a strategic perspective, if we leave now,
is likely to break into even worse Iraq
sectarian conflict. The extremist regime in
Iranwill expand its influence in and elsewhere in the region. Iraq
Terrorist organizations, the people who cut off the heads of civilians, stone
women to death, and preach hatred and intolerance, will be emboldened by our
departure. In the ensuing chaos, the courageous Iraqi civilians, soldiers and
political leaders who have counted on us will be left to the slaughter. No
American who cares about human rights, security and our moral standing in the
world can be comfortable letting these things happen.
“Our citizens should know that this belief is shared
by virtually every national leader in the
Middle. There is also near-unanimity among
Iraq's neighbors and regional leaders that
is not an Iraq
"You may think you can walk away from
," I was told by one leader. "We Iraq
cannot. We live here and have to deal with the consequences of what your nation
has done. So will you eventually, if the
conflict spreads and extremists Iraq
bring us down as well."
“Progress is being made and there is real reason for
hope. It would be a tragic waste and lasting strategic blunder to let the
hard-fought and important gains slip away, leaving chaos behind to haunt us and
our allies for many years to come.”
Read the whole thing
Let me just say, if you are thinking of buying anything from this site, DON'T. Spend the money on a U-Haul and MOVE TO A BETTER NEIGHBORHOOD.
WARNING: The video below is a product demo of a bullet-proof stroller with an actual baby - some may find it disturbing (I know I did)
Didn't prevent me from posting it, though. Hmm.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This may be one of the only things left that hasn’t been tried: Middle-East Peace by way of a drop-in, face carve and a gnarly floater:
“Dorian Paskowitz, a retired doctor who has
been surfing for 75 years, donated 12 surfboards to
's small Gaza
surfing community on Tuesday in a novel gesture to promote peace between
Israelis and Palestinians.”
"God will surf with the
devil if the waves are good," Paskowitz said.”
Well maybe not, but it’s a nice gesture anyway.
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell confirms that Iraqi terrorists have been caught illegally crossing the Mexico / US border.
Woe to the politicians who have opposed or slowed the construction of the border fence if / when a terrorist who illegally crossed the border kills innocent Americans.
Long standing tensions between
“We will defend ourselves against Dawgistan’s unprovoked aggression and intrusion into our sovereign territory” stated a spokesperson for
Tensions between the two started almost immediately when the governing body of Humania carved out a portion of
Tensions have flared on and off for months with
Although Dawgistan is 8 times the size of Catania and could effectively wipe Catania off the face of the earth, it is unclear whether Dawgistan is aware of its own capabilities and has consequently responded by mostly evading the CatScratch-2’s and making occasional raids on Catania’s food stores in the Lower Cabinet valley.
Since its formal declaration of war,
Due to the effectiveness of the SUD’s, Dawgistan has been forced to repeatedly retreat from the Kennel region and has all but had to give up the Dawg Bed plain unless accompanied by Humanian peace keepers.
Humania has stated that the organization is doing all that it can but that it has a limited number of observers and peace keepers and simply cannot watch the entire region 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“This is intolerable!’ roared an enraged Chief of Humania’s Security Council holding aloft the BVD-PWT in one hand and gesturing wildly with the other. “While it is true that Humania provides food, shelter and occasional walks to Dawgistan, let me remind
“Humania is not on Dawgistan’s side nor
Humania’s Security Council voted unanimously to enforce sanctions against
When asked for a statement, Dawgistan’s spokesman just laid down on his side, heaved a heavy sigh and stared into space.
At the press time, a representative from Humania’s State Department could not be reached for comment . . .
If you are thinking to yourself, "Whoa! That's pretty early to start a run."
Wehhhell let me tell you, that's when I finished my run this morning.
It feels like I have a lot on my plate right now. I am sure there are people busier than me and I am sure there are people less busy that think they are more busy. But whether I am busy or not, I feel busy and that means that once my eyes open in the morning, I am AWAKE.
Up at 3:30 this morning thinking about all that I need to get done.
Fortunately, it's Thurday and that's almost as good as a Friday in my book.
Big "drain the swamp and get the house in order" weekend planned ahead. There is nothing like firing up the BBQ at sunset on a Sunday evening, gazing out at a well-kept yard and then repairing to a newly cleaned house.
Oh please, oh please let this Sunday be that Sunday.
Google Earth has now been upgraded to include Google Sky.
From the Times Online:
"The internet facility has now been expanded, as part of the Google Sky
initiative, to offer a glimpse of 100 million individual stars and 200
million galaxies. The system has been designed to show the night sky from
any point in the world and to explain what the user would see were they to
peer up at the stars on a clear night. Information on 20,000 celestial bodies, including stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and comets, are available at the click
of a mouse."
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
My friend is new to blogging (as are we all) and she doesn't post every day (so far). But you should definitely check in with her every day.
It's good for you.
For future reference, she can be found at The Most Mundane Thing.
Following customer complaints, Wal-Mart has pulled Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading off their shelves.
Customers claim that the treats, imported from
No recall as of yet.
In one of his more memorable gaffs, President Bush made the following statement; “Look, fool me once, shame on me – fool me twice . . . . uh, the point is, you can’t fool me again.” Which I think pretty much sums up the way our two political parties view each other. In my opinion, Liberals genuinely feel that they are smarter than conservatives in terms of culture, academia, legislation and running the country. Conservatives, on the other hand, genuinely think that they are smarter than liberals in terms of good-old-fashioned common sense, legislation and running the country. One thing that many on both sides believe is that Karl Rove is smarter than all of them. All policy matters aside, the guy knows how to run a campaign and win.
Conservatives seem to take comfort in the fact that, even if they don’t understand what he is doing, Karl Rove knows what he is doing and he is on their side. Liberals seem to have such a preoccupation with Rove that some conservatives have labeled it “RDS” – “Rove Derangement Syndrome”. It seems that Liberals believe that they do know what Karl Rove is doing and they must stop him – unless, of course, it’s a trick and that’s what Rove really wants them to do – in which case, they should do nothing.
In recent days, Rove has been talking about Hillary and that has people wondering. Check out this post over at NRO.
“Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times
speculates here about the possibility that as he
heads for the exit door, Karl Rove is using reverse psychology to engineer the
nomination of the weakest candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination
in 2008: Hillary Clinton. . . . . “
Check it out.
Then check out this video on YouTube. You decide which one is Rove:
I have always wondered about this statue in Balboa Park. It is striking and it sits in a very prominant location. This morning, I decided to snap a photo on my run and look it up when I got home.
It is a statue of a Spanish warrior named Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar who was referred to as El Cid. Turns out, he became famous during Spain's war against Muslim invaders.
Some things never change, I guess.
Had a great run. Even though my new "Mr. Clean" haircut was an accident, it sure is a nice hair style for running. I have never felt cooler - it was as if 1/2 the heat and sweat just poured out the top of my head and into the morning air.
For some reason, the nano kicked up a "rock-block" of U2 this morning. There are a lot of great tunes to run to but if I could only pick one band or one album, it would have to be U2. They might be the best running music ever. Their confident, forward-leaning beats and their alternating solitary and celebratory songs make a great mix for running. Fun.
There is a woman who walks her Cocker Spaniel off leash in the mornings and we recognize each other enough to exchange pleasantries. This morning, as the dawg and I jogged by, the two dawgs had a drive-by frolick. Fun Fun.
As the dawg and I rounded the south end of the park, a jogger came up an adjoining path with her Boxer, also off-leash. Since we were running the same direction, the dawgs had a good romp for about 100 yards or so before we went our separate ways. Fun Fun Fun.
I hadn't run since Friday due to all the weekend adventures and this being only my second 40 min run since the IT Band incident, I was a little apprehensive. I am glad to report that I felt like a million at the end of the run today.
Since I missed the run on Sunday, I think I will hold off on increasing my runs to 45 min until the weekend.
Smile! It's not Monday and tomorrow we will be 1/2 way there!
A 600-year-old stone tablet found in a Minnesota field - covered in runes - possibly carved by the Knights Templar - possibly a clue to something else?
You gotta love it. It's National Treasure in real life!
Looks like someone is making a movie:
"Minnesota's state budget is also hardly short of tax revenue. The state spends $25 billion a year, twice what it did 10 years ago. The Tax Foundation reports that Minnesota has the seventh highest personal income tax rates among all states, the third highest corporate tax rates, and the 10th highest taxes on workers.
"The Legislature started the year with a record $2 billion budget surplus, and the economy threw off another $149 million of unexpected revenue. Where did all that money go? Not to roads and bridges. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota says the politicians chose to pour those tax dollars into more spending for health care, art centers, sports stadiums and welfare benefits."
Ever notice how whenever the pols want to raise taxes it is always for firefighters, elementary schools and soft little kittens who just need a good home? When was the last time you were asked to vote on a bond measure to repair a freeway overpass? How about never. That's because if they ask for $$ for kittens, no one will object - ask for money for infrastructure repairs and people start saying, "What did you do with all that money we already gave you?"
No, the problem is not a lack of tax revenue it is a lack of intestinal fortitude on the part of the people we put in office. After all, they don't often have ribbon-cutting ceremonies for bridge repairs.
Sadly, we are being reminded that if our pols don't make good use of our hard-earned money to care for our infrastructures and instead choose photo-ops at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, our communities will get ceremonies of a different sort as well.
Monday, August 20, 2007
We decided to do something new this time since we had the dawg, we decided to check into a hotel rather than spend the night at a friends house.
We found a dawg-friendly hotel near the airport, checked in - left the exhausted dawg in the room to his own devices and spent a lovely evening with friends.
Got up the next morning, caught 1/2 of CBS Sunday Morning and headed out for what amounts to our annual LA visit.
We had breakfast at a neat little place in Venice Beach. And when I say, "Neat" I don't necessarily mean "clean". It was after we ordered that I noticed the "B" sign the window issued by the department of health. We decided to chance it, and I am happy to report, breakfast was and remained delicious.
The wife wanted to see an installation at the Getty and since they don't allow dawgs - I dropped her off and headed down the road to find a quiet, dawg-friendly place where I could sit outside and read.
I spent one hour driving in circles looking for a parking space in Westwood. The wife called and said she was ready to be picked up. "This is why I don't leave San Diego", I muttered to myself.
I did see Harrison Ford though. Which is weird. I don't go in for the celebrity sightings / autographs etc. I figure they are entertainers - no big whoop. But it is surreal to be 10 feet from someone whom you have seen dozens of times in the movies. You realize that there is an actual person named Harrison Ford walking around independent of the silver screen. He had a paper cup of coffee and a pastry. Huh.
After that we went back to Venice Beach and walked the canals and boardwalk. I will not try to relate that experience to you. If you have been there, you know what I mean - if you haven't, nothing I say will do it justice.
I will say this (and since I was born and raised in LA, I think I can speak with some measure of authority) going to LA sometimes feels like going to a circus as a child. There are some very talented people doing some amazing things (trapeze artists, lion tamers etc). There are some very talented people doing very funny things (clowns etc.). There are strange and exotic animals that you might never see anywhere else. The music is loud, the crowds are dense and between the candy, the popcorn and the animals, the smells are so thick, you don't inhale them - you wade through them.
But if you are a little older you realize that, amidst the show, there is an air of sadness and desperation. A sense that neither the people nor the animals are being cared for exactly as they should.
Which is not to say that all of LA is a loud, over-crowded stink-fest. But much of it is - and the loud over-crowded stink-fest epicenter is the Venice Beach boardwalk.
Once we had our fill, we continued our southward trek homeward and stopped off for lunch in Manhattan Beach. Utterly, wonderfully, delightful.
Stopped off at some friends' house in Oceanside for dinner and the trip was complete. All in all a great weekend.
Plus, the hour of circling, looking for a parking space in Westwood was more than made up for when my wife replied "I don't need to go back to Venice Beach for a very long time."
15 years of marriage - it just keeps getting better.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I surfed down at the pier today. 3-4 foot with 4-5 foot sets. It was sort of crowded but everyone had a good time.
Afterwards, the dawg and I hit dawg beach for a while. We are driving up to LA this afternoon and checking into a dawg-friendly hotel. The wife and I are going to sneak out and leave the dawg in the room when we go visit our friends with the new baby. I really tried to tire him out at the beach so hopefully he will sleep this evening.
What do you think? Does he look tired enough?
Friday, August 17, 2007
Every 5 weeks or so I have to schlep down to whatever chain bushwacker is closest, sit in grimy chairs, reading pestilence-smeared rags that try to pass themselves off as legitimate sources of news until the first available body-piercing-laden and/or "English is not my first, second or any language" tonsorial artist hacks it all off for $17 and 1 hour of my time.
So tonight, I had my wife cut my hair for the very first time. I went out and bought a new pair of clippers etc and we commenced.
All went well. In fact, she did an excellent job - all that was left was a few minor touch-ups . . .
As they say, "The Devil is in the details".
Let's just say that mistakes were made. It doesn't matter how or by whom.
Besides, we should not be spending our time pointing fingers . . .
When we should be out buying more sunblock.
You get what you pay for . . . .
Want a dramatic example of what is going on? Check out this YouTube video of Jim Kramer:
A few weeks ago, I did an 8 mile run. I was nervous about it because I have never run that far without injuring myself. I was very pleased to feel great at the end of it.
I did not feel so great on my mid-week run two days later. About 40 min into the run, I had a sharp pain on the outside of my right knee that prevented me from finishing. Two days later, I had the same pain at the 40 min mark. This did not seem like a pain that you should run through.
I checked it out on Runner's World and found this article that pointed to IT band syndrome. The only cure is to rest.
So I dialed my runs back to 30 minutes and did my best to ice both knees twice a day for a week. The second week, I increased my runs to 35 min. Today was my first 40 min run and it felt great - no pain.
This was part of my run today at Balboa Park. There are these long corridors along the buildings with beautiful arches and views of the grounds. It is like running through a church without getting in trouble.
From Runner's World:
"To me, running means freedom, but you need the discipline to gain the freedom. Find nice places, find people to run with. Use your runs as 'devotions,' a time to be thankful for life's beauty."
-Doris Heritage, five-time world cross-country champion; set six world records and 17 American records; won 14 AAU national titles; two-time Olympian
He devises a training plan that involves attempting to pray, attempting to remain pure, suffering (a la Christian martyrs) and running running running.
It is a fantastic movie - one of the best I have seen in a long time and one that I intend to own.
I was first tipped off about this movie over at The Final Sprint. Check out what they have to say about it.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The dawg had eaten all the cat's food.
In return, the cat had peed in the dawg's kennel.
Just to show who was boss, the dawg destroyed my wife's basket of art supplies and dug 14 holes in the backyard.
AND it was about 95 degrees in the house.
But it is better now.
The sun has gone down in a blaze of glory and the house is a balmy but bearable 80 degrees.
The wife is making carne asada burritos.
I have my favorite imix blaring from the computer (4:30 Friday). Take every song that acts as a salve upon your soul, put it in a mix, fire it up at 4:30 every Friday to wash the work week off you . . . (and anytime in between for that matter).
We are going to finish an excellent movie that we started yesterday and I told the folks at work to have a good weekend. That's right - pound sand - I'm taking a three-day weekend.
Going for a run tomorrow morning - with any luck, surfing Saturday before heading to LA for the weekend to see our friend's baby and celebrate our 15th anniversary at Manhattan Beach or anywhere else that suits our fancy.
Naturally, I am very intrigued by the iphone. The dawg and I even test-drove one at the mall (yes-they let him in the store!)
There are a couple reasons I have not purchased one yet.
A: I don't have the $$.
2: With new technology like this, you never want the first generation with all the bugs - wait for the second or third generation.
Now I can add a third reason: The 300-page phone bill
I heard an interview with an AT&T spokesman on the radio and he acted as if the customers were being unreasonable. He explained that At&T does not want a bunch of customer service calls regarding billing so they always itemize every single phone call that you make. Since the iphone also accesses the web, the bills now itemize every web page you visit.
Riiiight. They probably won't be getting aaaannnny customer service calls about phone bills with the number of pages in the triple digits.
Come on now people . . . .
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Congratulations guys! You are going to be - correction, ARE great parents!
We can't wait to see the little walnut!
I wear Nike+ shoes and run with my nano. As far as running gadgets go, the Nike / Nano partnership is the best ever. It is so sleek and simple - your music, your stats and your watch all in one place.
I didn't always have the Nike+ shoes though. When the Nike+ Nanos came out, I was running in a pair of Asics. I really wanted to try the Nike/Nano though so a couple of friends at work bought me this:
I ran with it for about 6 months before it was time to buy new shoes. Loving the Nike/Nano so much, I tried on a pair of the Nike+ shoes and found them to be what I was looking for.
Now, of course, the gizmo sits in the space provided under the sock liner of my left shoe and I no longer need the case on my shoelaces. But I discovered something interesting when I changed the location of the gizmo. My spilt time slowed down by a full minute.
When I had the pod attached to my shoelaces, the Nano was posting my splits as 9 minute miles.
The very next day, when I placed the pod inside my Nike+ shoes where it belongs, the Nano informed me that my splits had slowed by a full minute to 10 minutes a mile.
I am inclined to believe that the slower time is the more accurate since I am now using the gear the way it was designed to be used. Either that or the dang Nike+ shoes are slowing me down . . .
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I am an avid reader of satirical sites such as The Onion etc. and I am somewhat surprised that I didn’t catch it.
But then again, I am dumbfounded by so many of the things that real people actually do that it is no wonder I assumed it to be legit.
Mark my words, someone, somewhere, is wondering if thumb-whittling would really work, could they find a doctor to do it and how much it might cost.
You have got to be kidding me. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig doesn’t think there are enough “black Americans” in Baseball.
Last time I checked, no one was complaining that there are not enough whites in basketball.
Sport is the ultimate “level playing field”, if you will pardon the pun. You are in because you perform. No one should care what you look like.
What is next? Not enough women in professional football?
I have an idea, let’s mandate how many blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, men, women, Jews, Christians, Muslims, short, tall, fat, skinny people should be on every professional sporting team.
THEN see if you have a problem.
Give me a break . . .
One runner blows on a conch shell. . . .
Others chant, ``On, On!'' . . .
At the halfway mark in the five-mile run they stop at a bar . .
. to hydrate themselves -- with beer. . . .
the ritual has evolved into an intricate society complete with a bible,
an anthem and websites like http://www.gthhh.com/. .
If you wear new shoes, . . . you'll be forced to drink out of
them . . .
first-timers are heckled into singing a song, flashing a covered body
part or telling a joke, preferably dirty. . . .
These are the Hash House Harriers.
Monday, August 13, 2007
From The Hill.
“ It’s hot. It’s gross. We know. But let it be a comfort
has always steam-cooked its Washington
inhabitants in August — and some say that had some decent policy implications
for the country.
“Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) recalled chatting with former
Sen. Jim Eastland, a Southern Democrat from
, asking the long-serving politician Mississippi
what was the most significant thing that happened since he took office in 1941.
“He looked at me and he said, ‘Air conditioning,’”
“Biden recounted on MSNBC Aug. 3. “‘Before we had air
conditioning,’ he said, ‘that sun would beat down on that dome, heat up that
place,’ he said. ‘It would get too hot and we’d leave
, and we’d leave Washington
for the year,’” Biden quoted Eastland as saying.
“‘Then we got air conditioning, stayed year-round and ruined
If every run felt like my run this morning, I would
Hoi. I felt fine when I got up this morning. Felt great stretching. Warm-up walk was no big deal. Then it started. I felt like I was carring twice my body weight. My legs began to fill with lead.
It felt as if I was running in ski boots - clunk clunk clunk clunk. I tried to adjust my gait but then I felt as if I was running in swim fins - slap slap slap slap. I adjusted my gait again - slap clunk slap clunk.
The sun turned the sky firey orange and all I could think about was, "I hope I don't look as bad as I feel . . . " slap clunk slap clunk.
By the end, I was in survival-shuffle mode.
The Dawg did fine, as far as I can tell.
Hey! It's Monday! With any luck, the hardest part of my day is already over!