Thursday, March 29, 2007

Riding tonight... maybe

I’m going to try and squeeze in a quick (1 hour) ride this evening.  A lot depends on when I get out of the office and when I get home.

I may even take a stab at the big overpass on TCJester that goes over the rail road tracks and scrapes the bottom side of low lying clouds.


In other news tales from the front will now reside on  (yes, that’s something like French).

So, “anonymous”, if that is your real name, if you want to go there and accuse me of intolerance without knowing the least bit what I think or believe, you can find me there.  Alternatively, if you actually know who I am, you can ask and listen rather than just jump to incorrect conclusions.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

T +2 Days

2 days after the first real riding since the injury and my muscles were jelloey.
It was a good feeling.
It's the first time in a long time I feel like I've had a really, really good workout.  Truth be told, it was getting a little depressing to think that the MS150 was "no big deal".
I mean, it's no iron man endurance challenge, granted.  But it's still a big deal and if you don't at least prepare a little bit for it you're going to run into trouble...  like I did last year.
So, for the first time in a long time I feel like I've had a physical challenge.
And it felt real good.
Tomorrow I'm going to hit the park again.  Friends are coming over to drop off their dog and feed us, so I may have to truncate the ride a teensy bit.  But that's ok, i 'spose.  As long as I put my back into it and really bust my hump.  Maybe I'll ride home from the office Friday...  hhmmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Before the rib injury I went out and rode 12 miles at an average of 13.5 mph.
Since getting back on the bike Friday, I've gone the same route at 14.7 mph and hit Memorial park for almost 14 miles at 15.8 mph.
I'm back, baby.  And I'm lovin' it!!!!
I feel physically good for the first time in weeks--no, months.
In 2004, on March 26, I rode 16.4 miles at 15.6 mph.  That year the MS150 was on April 17th.  I don't feel like I've lost narry a step.
Of course, in 2004 I had already gone 303 miles.  All of them on a mountain bike.  And I tallied 450 total leading up to the big days.
This year I'll tally maybe 250 miles...  starting from 3 days ago.  It's going to be a long, tough, haul, but I'm pretty sure I can pull it off.
No worries.  I'll be rocking the training nomad style...  "In tent city"  (intensity, get it?).
The plan is for bust out 12 to 15 miles 2 or 3 times a week, with a long ride of 20 to 30 miles on the weekend.  The week before "Ride Week" will be 4 days in the park, minimum, and 50 miles on the weekend, minimum.
That's 220 miles or so, in 3 weeks.
I didn't run 200 miles in 6 months when training for the marathon.  Oh how I hate running.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why do we want stupid things to happen?

So, the story now is “Katrina counties are slow to repopulate.

I say “good”.

Look, these counties were basically depopulated and structures ripped off the map from a hurricane.  That should tell reasonable people that the location where they built WAS SUSCEPTIBLE TO BEING ERASED BY A HURRICANE.  So susceptible, in fact, that it actually happened.  THAT’s why your hurricane and flood insurance is so high.  Not because the insurance companies hate you, but because you insist on building or living in a house that is very likely to be under water at some point during the life of your insurance policy.


If the hurricane took your house once, it will take your house again.  There is no good reason for people to want to rush back in droves.  It’s A GOOD THING that they stay away and build a life in a place that is unlikely to get wiped off the map—unless, of course, the location is so economically vital that they simply have to live there, in which case the land should be raised a few feet like they did in Galveston.

So, if you’re going to go back to New Orleans or the Gulf Coast where your house was ripped off its foundations and tossed around, then the foundation was ripped up in a similar fashion, or your house was simply deluged with gazillions of tons of water, then you’ll have to build a little bit more robustly—and that will take time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A little math for you

Which is better:  10% growth or 3% growth.

Answer:  It depends on what’s growing.


If you start with $1 and have 10% growth, you end up with $1.10.

If you start with $10 and have 3% growth, you end up with $10.30.

Which grew at a faster rate?  The first one did, clearly.

Which would you rather have?  The second one…  but maybe not so clearly.


The difference between $1 and $10 is $9.

The difference AFTER the growth is $9.20.  The “lower” growth RETURN is actually much more than the higher growth RETURN.


The thing is, if both continue to grow at the same pace, the gulf only gets bigger and bigger.  That’s simply how it goes.


The point?  It’s a lie to say that “the 10% growth of Nordic economies dwarfs that of the United States” or some similar economic line.  It’s just a lie.  We hear that about the Indian economy and China’s economy and others.  The numbers just don’t support the implication that the US economy will be overtaken by another any time soon.

Don’t believe percentage statistics.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Over the weekend I did a little yard work, and while there was a little tenderness in the old ribal area, there was no pain.

Last night I noted to my lovely and fetchingly beautiful wife that I was actually not in any pain for the first time in weeks.  Not just that the pain was manageable, or that it wasn’t so bad, but that there wasn’t ANY pain.  And that’s after yard work!

So yesterday I was going to go out riding, but decided to buy a tomato plant instead, plus with some other drama riding was really out of the question.

Tonight I may actually get a ride in after I get home.  Just a quickie to see how the old joints and muscles are holding up, but a ride all the same.


Speaking of the drama…

Ok, the yard work I did over the weekend was having a tree cut down in my side yard.  It was a nasty pine that was tearing up our driveway and it had to go.  Plus it was leaning toward the neighbor’s house and that’s not a particularly good thing.

The guy was supposed to chop down one of our 3 trees in the backyard as well.  This is the one in the middle of the yard that basically destroys all the free area we otherwise would have to play and have fun back there.  It’s also the one that caused our foundation to sink in the middle near the back door.  The other two trees were over on the edge of the yard and perfectly placed for hanging a hammock.  Granted, one was a little close to the house, but it wasn’t a problem.  Yet.


So, I get a call on my way home from the lovely and fetchingly beautiful Ms. IHateRunning that they cut down the wrong tree.


That’s right.  The wrong tree.


One of my hammock trees was chopped down.  The one that was just a little too close to the house, but not a problem yet.  The big, healthy one that was a really great tree.  That was ½ of my hammock duo.


Not the one that gobbled up all the free space in our back yard and was destroying our foundation.


The wrong tree.


So, I blew my stack, hung up on the Lovely Missus and fumed for a few minutes.  Then I tried to call the lovely missus back, but no answer.  WHERE IS SHE DAMMIT!!!!  Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, etc.  FINALLY she answers the phone.  WHERE WERE YOU DAMMIT!!!   Ok, talking to the guy.  Tell him not to leave before I get home.

Fume for a few more minutes.  Should I put a stop payment on the check?  Sue his ass?  What the hell?

Call back.  WHAT THE (*$(*@#$ WAS HE THINKING!!!!  It was a misunderstanding.  That tree was too close to the house, he thought that was the one you wanted to come down.  NOT A BLOODY CHANCE!!  I SAID THE OTHER ONE!!!  I NEVER MENTIONED THAT ONE!!!!  I’VE GOT TO GO I’LL BE HOME SOON!!!!


Fume for a few more minutes.  Call back (still a little mad).

Do you still want the other tree cut down?

Well, blah blah blah blah…

That’s not what I asked.  Do…  you… still… want… the… other… tree… cut… down…  yes… or…  no….  not a hard question.


Ok.  We’ll get it cut down.  I’ll be home in a few minutes.


I come in the house “Hi mommy.  Anything new?”  I chuckle for a few minutes with her and my sweet boy… now I’m not at all mad.  It’s not like I’m going to put the tree back together and it’s not like I’m going to do anything to the guy.  He’s a good man, a good fellow, takes care of his family, and he does good work at a fair price.  It’s just a damn tree.  He’s a person.  We can be reasonable people.  I’m a little sad that such a great tree has come down, but I’m not going to flay the guy over a stupid tree.

Truth be told, if I talked to the guy first, and not the Lovely Missus, then he would have heard me fume and vent and I may have said some stupid things.  I’m glad I spoke to the woman I love who also loves me and understands that my fuming was just that—fuming.


Time to go talk to my guy.



“I’m sorry”

“It’s ok.  Really.  Don’t worry about it.  All is forgiven.  Besides, you did a really good job on that tree.  Now, can we get the right one cut down?”

“Sure, no problem.  I’ll cut that one down.  That one, right?”

“Hehe…  yea, that one.  Cool.  You need a hand cleaning up?”

Then the details were worked out.  He’s a great guy.  I’ll still recommend him to friends and even family.  Hey, even enemies.  He’s a great guy.  He does great work.  I wouldn’t want anyone else helping me out.

Even if he did cut down the wrong tree.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The war is escalating

Ok, I tried mutual understanding.  I believe I have successfully won the battle of seeing the enemy as a person and not merely a thing.

I count that as a successful battle.

It is now time to escalate.

I do not know how “X” and “Not X” can coexist in the same belief system.  For example 2 + 3 = 5 cannot coexist with 2 + 3 = 6.  X and “not X” simply are at odds with each other because 6 is clearly not 5.

You cannot have both.  It is either one or the other.  Period.

Therefore, it is now time to escalate the war.

And to the counter of “That’s not the way we do things” I say “the way you do things is clearly not working”.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh... my... dear... lord...

Yesterday was “Pi Day”.  Pi is the irrational number that is generated any time you divide the circumference of any circle by the diameter of said circle.  Consequently the diameter multiplied by Pi equals the circumference.  It is a beautiful thing.  That number is 3.141596…  and it goes on and on.

Yesterday was 3/14.

Pi Day.

I had fun with it.  It was a good day.  I had pizza.  Or…  Pi-zza.  Or pizza Pi.

It was arithmetically delicious.

Eurotrash Pi day (or Fractional Pi Day) comes around again on July 22 (or 22/7 if you’re eurotrash).  22/7 is a close approximation to Pi, and for general calculations it’s pretty good.  But not if you’re calculating the entire circumference of the larger moon of the fifth planet of any extra galactic system!  He he (snort) ha.  Indeed.


Anyway, an even more momentous occasion is June 8, 2010.

Can anyone tell me what special math day that will be?  (think geek—I’ll give a hint next week sometime)


Alright, so I read something that just made me roll my eyes in disgust and say audibly the subject of this post.  For you non-geek literate folks out there, Pir^2 is the formula for the area of a circle.


“Pi r squared?

Pi r not squared.

Pi r round.

Cornbread r squared.”


Yea.  I know.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I dreamed that I was working part time as a waiter in a hoity-toity black tie restaurant.  I needed to wear a tux—as a waiter—and some of the folks I was working with I vaguely recognized from my car sales and bar tending days—though I can’t remember their names beyond “Anthony” or “Curt” and one guy we called “Action” because his last name was “Jackson”.  I think his name was Rodney, but I couldn’t pick him out of a group of random people.  But then there was a lot of other faces I recognized, but there were no names that went with them.


Anyway, it was one night of work—some kind of special event that seemed like the big ball in Stephen King’s “The Shining” but it wasn’t quite—but it was sort of uneventful.  I think I worked a couple of tables and smoked some pot and then hung out with some of the guys afterwards and drank some beer.  I’m not entirely sure anymore since this was a few days ago. 


Come to think of it, it was the last night I took pain meds before bed on account of my bashed ribs.  That might explain a lot of this.


Anyway, home, sleep, wake, night time comes again.  For some reason this hoity-toity place is only open at night.  I get back in my car—the 1994 white mustang I drove when I was a kid, again, weird—and head back to the place in full black tie tux uniform to pick up my check from the night before and I’m driving like a bat out of hell—just like I did when I was a kid.  I’m having a grand old time, then see the cop and know I’m busted and start to pull over even before the lights come on, but I’m on the feeder road of the freeway all of a sudden.  Then it occurs to me that he hasn’t even flipped on the lights yet when, sure enough, the lights come on when I’ve already come to a near full stop.  So, naturally, the dream me guns the engine and enters the freeway, then exits, the takes the u-turn under the overpass, then goes to the restaurant like nothing happened.  I go in to a restaurant completely devoid of people except for staff and they act like they’ve never heard of me and don’t know who I am.  Of course, the other guys on staff know who I am, they just won’t look at me and scurry around like they’re guilty of something.  The doorman (with typically cliché long nose and glasses) says “I’ll be right back” and then vanishes into the back of the restaurant and the place is like a ghost town.


Next thing I know, people are at all the tables.


I walk towards the back and there’s nobody on staff.  Not a soul.


So, I say “F^©% it” and open the register in the back to find my check sitting there—and nothing else.  I take my check, exit out the front and into…


My bedroom.  I climb into bed with my lovely wife who rolls over and says some stuff to me that I don’t dare repeat lest she get eternally embarrassed and it’s at this point where the thin veil between sleep and wake lifts.  I look at my clock and it says 4:30am.  I’m stuck on my right side because of my busted left ribs and I’m laying there wondering if any of that stuff was real or not when I become almost certain that I was not part timing as a waiter for a night and I probably didn’t run from the cops, but maybe he wasn’t coming after me…  but I probably wasn’t even on the road…  and my wife doesn’t talk in her sleep (usually)…  but by then it was close to 5:00am on Saturday morning and I was again lost to sleep. 


The weird thing is that even though I know not a single event happened, it seemed so damn real that I can’t shake the feeling that something odd is about to happen.  Not odd on the level of taking a part time wait staff position in an eerie hoity-toity restaurant, but odd on the level of “Hi, can I speak to Joe?  I’m So and So from thatplaceyouworked, do you want to grab a beer?” odd.  It’s shit like that that puts me on guard for one of those “other shoe dropping” moments.



Tuesday, March 06, 2007

6 weeks and crashing down

I am exactly 6 weekends from the MS150 and fully 6 good weeks to get miles in.

I am also 1 week into a broken rib injury.

I’m likely to be off the bike completely for 2 more weeks leaving me with 3 good weekends to get miles in and 3 and a half good weeks to work out.

I don’t see the MS150 realistically happening.  It’s just so… unlikely.

What’s worse is that the reality of it not happening is beginning to settle in and that cold, desperate feeling is settling over me.

I hate that feeling of despair on the road when you begin to come to the realization that you’re simply not going to cross the finish line.  That point of final brokenness when you realize that you cannot lift the leg one more time or push the gears around one more time and you know your trip is over.  That same point where you stop at the medic tent and have to call and tell the people who so desperately want you to finish that you had to quit. 


Give up. 


Words that aren’t just words, but slaps to the face.




It’s even worse when that feeling comes before you even pull on the shoes or slip on the jersey.


Knocked out.

Without even throwing a punch.


It’s a very lonely feeling because nobody wants to stand near the slumping batter.  Failure clings to you like dank, fetid, mouldering swamp water.  Try as you may you simply can’t wash it off.  The only thing that gets it off you is a victory—no matter how small.  A grounder “with eyes” between first and second will do to break the slump.  A PR in a 5k or a fast 10 miles where you didn’t have get out of the saddle once.  The problem is that the clinging failure weighs you down and makes it that much harder to get up one more time.

The weight of defeat is crushing.


It takes all the energy you can muster to remind yourself that even in the pit of failure there is always a step even though the darkness conceals it.  Eventually you either start to believe it or you stumble across it.  Somewhere in the darkness is the step.  Then another.  Then another.  Then light. 

One day the pain in my ribs will end. 

Eventually my angel will come and invite me—command me—to “rest and eat cake”.  Then maybe I can get up and finish.



Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ok, I'll say it

So, apparently there’s a tomb that has been uncovered in Israel near Jerusalem that is the burial tomb of Jesus the Nazerene and his family.  According to Discover Channel’s website 5 of the 10 ossuaries were inscribed with names relevant to the New Testament including Matthew, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.


I will just come out and say it.

There is no way that the Jesus in the bible is the Jesus represented in this tomb.

The Jesus in the bible ascended into heaven after he bodily rose from the dead.  There is no tomb holding his body.  Period.

That means that if this tomb is found to be real AND it held the historical Jesus who is depicted in the biblical texts then the biblical texts are completely fraudulent and fabricated and the Jesus in the bible is a fiction.

{There’s more to be said about that, but there just isn’t the space here.}

Regardless, it’s a high standard to reach. 

First the authenticity of the ossuaries must be confirmed.  But even if they’re legit ossuaries—all of them—you still have to connect that legitimate ossuary to the person described in the New Testament as Jesus.  For most people, I recon, the simple fact that it is a Jesus in Jerusalem will be proof enough that the historical “Jesus” as described in the New Testament was merely an ancient Paul Bunion.  Statistically speaking, it’s probably a fair statement, too.

Sure, Jesus was a common name in 1st century Israel.  Mary was a common name in Italy and was probably no different in Palestine.  Even the alleged son, named Judas, had a popular name.

But statistically speaking you just don’t see many Johns (son of James) married to Jennifers with a son named William.  It is a helluva coincidence.

But that’s also not to say that the ossuaries are legit.  Just recently the “James Ossuary” was found to be a hoax.  A very well done hoax, but a hoax nonetheless.  I expect this will be shown to be a hoax in due time.  After all, nobody has bothered to comment on why Joseph’s body would be shipped from Nazereth to Jerusalem to be buried in his son’s tomb. 

That just doesn’t quite make sense. 

But then again, when attacking Christianity you don’t really have to make sense, just allegations.

Meanwhile, I don’t have a problem saying it.  If the body of the one they call the Christ is ever found, then the one they called the Christ was not the Christ at all, or the body is not that of the one they called the Christ.  Because the One who is the Christ did not end his life in a tomb; and any one who did end his life in a tomb cannot be the Christ.

If not Christ resurrected, then eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

But if Christ resurrected, then die unto yourself and abide in Him for eternity.