Friday, June 29, 2007

You know what makes me chuckle?

You know what makes me chuckle?


I mean, besides the word “duty” (because it sounds like “doody”), perfectly appropriate comments that sound naughty if taken out of context (like “put it in the slot”), and people getting hit in the nads (even though it’s not funny)?


People who wash off the tops of their vended cokes.  As if any acquired germs or nastiness are worse than the crap they’re about to put in their body.  Seriously, introducing coke to any nastiness on the can will likely kill it since it’s not exactly healthy.  And whatever survives is going to sit in a toxic slurry of stomach acid and phosphoric acid spiked with high fructose sugar and everything else that does a body bad.


So keep making me chuckle, you chuckle heads.  It’s not like running that water over the mouth of your coke is going to suddenly change the composition of the garbage you’re about to pollute you body with.


Unless it’s holy water, but I don’t think the City of Houston is dispensing that just yet.

Running update

Congratulations Craig Biggio.  You rock.  Totally.  I’ve never seen an 85 year old man run like that in my life.



Running update: 

Distance:  n/a (didn’t track distance)

Time:  00:11:45 (non-stop)

Comment:  felt pretty good afterwards, still had some gas in the tank.  Probably could have pushed it for another minute, maybe 2.


Instead of going for distance in these early stages, what I’m doing is running as far as I can non-stop.  Last time I ran it was something like 8:00 before I had to crap out.  This time it was nearly 12:00.  The pace was good, probably a 9:00 pace.  If my distance reckoning was correct I ran close to 1.25 or 1.3 miles.  But I’m not keeping track of distance, yet.  Not bad for the first time really running in almost 2 years.  I’m at least 40 pounds overweight and I haven’t seriously thought about running since July last year, and haven’t actually seriously run since the 2006 marathon.


It may not seem a lot to you people who run all the time, but you people make me want to puke.  You’re cracked in the head.  Why would you want to do this to your body?


The intent is to do work that doesn’t involve mile-posts and mental stopping points.  The trap I run into is that I’ll push to the next mile marker, and when I hit the mile marker (or 5th light post, or next corner, or whatever) I’ll start walking.  But during the last marathon I probably walked 30 minutes (more than a minute a mile).  I figure if I can get those 30 minutes back then I only have to drop another 30 minutes from my pace to get under the 4:30:00 mark for the marathon.  Once I’m in the 4:30:00 range, then I can start really challenging myself to get to the 4:00:00 mark and beat some of those halfies to the finish line.


Marathon goal:  beat half marathoners to the finish line.  Even if it’s just the one legged guy with a cast on his good leg, I want to beat that guy to the finish line.

Physical goal:  180 or bust, baby.  If I hit that mark, I’m ready for the marathon and some bike races next year.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A chuckley day

I may run when I get home.  I’m likely not going to, though.


But meanwhile…


Today has been one of those days when you hear stuff around the office that taken out of context can make you just chuckle.


I come around the corner and hear the assistant say “I need Dick”.

It’s the kind of thing that makes you stop dead in your tracks.  After all, she’s not hard on the eyes.
But she’s talking on the phone and asking for someone named Richard… I think.


The receptionist is talking to someone on the phone and says “yea, they just keep coming in spurts”.

Certainly talking about … um… phone calls, maybe?


I’m delivering a folder with documents to be signed later in the afternoon and the document signer’s assistant says “just put it in my slot.”

Her “slot” is the vertical inbox she has for documents to be signed.


Seriously… three in one day?  Seriously.



Murphy, Texas and Dateline

Honestly I’m a little surprised to find out that a DA in Texas is refusing to prosecute Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” pervs.

I mean, if there’s any place in the whole world where there would be a “hang ‘em high and ask if they dunnit later” attitude it’s here in the great state of by Gawd Texas!


But then again I also had my reservations as to whether or not the whole Dateline “sting” was particularly legal or fair and the fact that a DA finally stood up and said “wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute” and that DA is from Texas gives me a little bit of pride.  Apparently not everyone in the state is so quick to rush to judgment and ascared of everything.


“I don’t even let my kids play in the front yard any more because a predator may come and snatch them.”


Yea, I feel sorry for your kids.  And my hunch is that you’re less concerned about their safety and more likely just afraid.


Now look, don’t get me wrong.  Predators and sex criminals should be thrown in jail and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law—even the pretty female ones.  But I think there is a distinct difference between a perfectly well adjusted fellow who otherwise made a mistake in an hour of desperation and someone who preys on children.  There is no good reason to demolish a guy’s life because he needs help.  There is plenty of good reason to demolish a guy’s life because he’s lurking around playgrounds with the specific intent and purpose of snatching a young little twink for his own perverted uses.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A work in progress

What can I say, I’m a work in progress, this blog is a work in progress.

I’m hoping to recover some of my lost data and rebuild some things (like the trophy case).  Meanwhile, I’m going to get back to the track.

Tonight for sure I’ll be hitting the pavement with a short run.  Tomorrow or Sunday I’ll bust out a longer run, maybe even at Memorial Park.  We shall see.


In other news, I’ve had some car trouble lately and I’ve been riding the bus.  I know “THE BUS?!?!  IT MUST BE HORRID!!!”  Well, it’s not.  It’s actually quite pleasant.  After 1 week on the bus I’ve learned a few things:


  1. Do NOT assume all buses on the same line take the same route.  Some do not and you may find yourself in downtown and very, very late for work.
  2. Hot chicks are rarely on the bus, if ever.  Today is day 5 and it’s the first day I saw anyone even remotely resembling a hottie, and she was at the transit station.
  3. You can’t help but relax and slow down while on the bus.  Traffic is a non-consideration and you’re going to get where you’re going in due time, so just take a nap or read.  You’re trapped, so roll with it.
  4. On a bus you’re no better than anyone else on the bus.  They’re all in the same “boat” as you.  You suddenly become one of the people more so than ever before.  It’s a great equalizer, maybe even greater than the grave, because you may come out of the grave knowing we’re all brothers, but you can’t use that knowledge in life.  You step off the bus with brothers and sisters who are all fine folks.  It’s kind of like when you fall into a group of runners who are all at the same pace and all just rolling along together.  You share water, joke, chat, and encourage each other.  That’s riding the bus.  It’s not all that bad, if you have a route you can take (and that’s the tricky party).
  5. Walking to and from the bus stop (about 15 minutes walking time each way, probably about a half mile total) gives me a surprising amount of energy in the morning and evenings.  I have little or no (ok, no) interest in running in the mornings, but with the energy I’ve got in the evenings I can go jetting off after putting the little monkey to bed and get back in time for dinner.  What fun!


Ok, folks.  Go out and try riding the bus.  I dare you.

New look, new feel, new title, new mission

Ok, I've revised the template (and lost everything I had, oops) and now I'm ready to start the training.
Today (Friday) I'm going to run a few miles after work. Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm going to hit a trail for the first time in eons.
In a couple of weeks I may do an organized run.

I'm feelings something strange... I think that's... um, ... ANTICIPATION!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I shot the sherrif

Tomorrow I run.  Can’t wait, actually.


But first:


Ok, last Wednesday there was a robbery in Jamaica.  No big deal, sure.  There are plenty of robberies there.  It’s a poor island.  Stuff happens.


Except this was a robbery of a lily white tour group from the Carnival Conquest while they were on an excursion to a banana plantation on the island.


**Disclaimer:  I went on the Conquest the week before the robbery and I fell in love with the whole damn country.  I’m totally going to move there and open up a barbeque stand.  Oh my GOD IT’S A FABULOUS PARADISE THERE!!!


Ok, back to the robbery.

A group of 17 tourists were on an excursion (here is where I include the obligatory women and children part, sigh).  Armed bandit came out of the bushes—one guy with a gun, one with a machete—and they began to rough up the women and scare the children (but fuck the guys, kill and maim them all you want) and stole passports, credit cards, cash, etc.  Nobody was hurt.  A few folks were scared.  That’s all.


2 days later one of the thieves were shot dead by local law enforcement.


A post to a message board about the incident was “at least some justice was served”.


Excuse me, but justice?  JUSTICE?  17 people going on a vacation that cost more than most people on that island make in 5 years, on an excursion to a destination that most residents couldn’t afford admittance to, are robbed of maybe 2 days’ wages and of nothing that couldn’t be replaced (except cash, stupid tourists) and killing one of the guys is JUSTIFIED?  Huh?  How so?  I just don’t understand that logic.  Because you created some minor discomfort, you must lose your life AND your family lose a source of livelihood, a village a source of production, etcetera.


No, the robbery was not appropriate.  It was illegal.  It was immoral.  But then again, which of these folks would have given freely if asked?  Sure, they all say they would… now.  But would they really have freely given before?  Honestly I didn’t care much about dickering over a buck here or there.  I paid $3 for a $2 beer, no sweat.  It was a good beer.  Really good beer.  I left more than my cash on that island. 


Here’s an idea.  Instead of killing all the folks who are preying on tourists, maybe try and figure out a way to raise the tide so that the tourists aren’t preying on a cheap and backwards island.  Maybe if you raise the tide and invest in means for these people, the lily white sunburned tourists won’t have such giant targets on their backs.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2 Hours

It took me 2 hours to get to work today.

Why?  Because the bus I was attempting to catch was 2 minutes early.  The next bus didn’t stop at the transit center (unbeknownst to me) and went into downtown.  From downtown I had to catch yet another bus to get to the Galleria, which dropped me off 10 walking minutes away from my office.


Ways I could have gotten to the office faster (12 mile drive via the west loop, 30 – 45 minutes in the morning):

  1. Ride my bike
  2. Run
  3. Drive
  4. Cab
  5. Catapult
  6. Drive to Intercontinental airport, catch a flight to Corpus Christi, fall out of plane over the Galleria.  Hell, that might have been less painful.




All the same, it was very relaxing.  The trip home was better last night, though.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Catch 22

The US has been embroiled in a nasty catch 22.


We told the Palestinian Authority “Hold direct elections”.  They did.  They elected Hamas to leadership.


We then told them “you elected the wrong guys” and cut off aid.


This is hypocrisy in action.  Why?


Well, if we’re committed to “democracy now”, then we have to be willing to accept the consequences.  We can’t, out of one side of our mouths, say “democracy now for all” and out of the other say “you elected the wrong guy” and cut off support.  A democratically elected government—assuming the election process is fair and open—is a democratically elected government whether we like that government or not.  Period.  It’s hypocritical to say that it’s arrogant to say some people “aren’t ready” for democracy, while at the same time say that the government they elected was the wrong government.  It’s no different from installing a puppet government to rule a nation.  On the one hand, you had select a military ruler to take over, on the other you rig an election to ensure the “right guy” is elected.


And if you have a hypocritical foreign policy, then you’re going to have credibility problems and trouble winning hearts and minds.  Wonder why the US government has a bad image overseas?  Because for the last several years our government has said one thing and done another.  If you’re going to be all for the status quo, the SAY you’re all for the status quo and don’t do things to rock the boat.  If you’re all for democracy now, then work for democracy now and support even the governments that are elected that you don’t like.  Don’t go supporting tin pot dictators simply because you’re scared about the government that may take over in Pakistan when he’s gone.  Oops, did I mention Pakistan directly?  I guess I meant to do that.


Of course, on the other hand you can be honest about what the foreign policy really is.  “We’re going to remake the world in the image we want it to be.  Some dictatorships are ok.  Some dictatorships are not ok.  Some military intervention is ok.  Some is not.  It depends on what we feel is right, because we are the law.”


This is the world of a single superpower.  Imperial rule.  Straight and simple.  What the empire says is what the empire does.


Oh that change is coming in the winds…  and coming soon.


Screech is a dick

By the way, in case you didn’t know, Dustin Diamond…  you know, Screech…  is a total dick.

Complete and total douche.


Seriously.  Call him up (or e-mail him) and tell him so.


Ok, to be totally fair, he may not be a total dick.  He may only be acting.


I’m not convinced he’s that good of an actor, though.


Oh no, oh no, oh no...

Bob Barker says that the folks at The Price Is Right are talking to Rosie the Hut.


Oh no.  Oh nonononononono.


Admittedly, since I’ve had a job for the last several years I haven’t watched TPIR as much as I used to, but I still love the show.


And to put that fat loudmouth in the host’s spot would just…  sigh…  I so can’t stand the sound of her voice.  Or her personality.


Oh please say it ain’t so.



Monday, June 11, 2007


Yes, I’m back from vacation and ready and rearin’ to start training.  I even hit the gym and track a couple of times on the boat.  What fun.


I’ll probably start running Thursday and really kick it into gear by the end of the month.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel rested and ready.


Speaking of good and strong…  (not really, but I’m changing the subject here)…

Howabout high gas prices.

You think they’re high here?


We spend a day in Jamaica (mon) and we tour a little bit of the countryside.  Talking with our tour guide we discover that mandated minimum wage in Jamaica (mon) is 40 Jamaican dollars (or j$ from here on out).  To put it in perspective 1 US$ is 60 j$ on the ground exchange (CIA fact-book says $65:1).  That’s right, the mandated minimum wage in Jamaica is 40j$.  That’s each week, by the way.  About $0.67 a week. 


We make $7.15 per hour as a federally mandated minimum wage.  Or about $429 j$.


We drive by a gas station and the sign says $67.00.  We say “SIXTY SEVEN DOLLARS A GALLON?!?!” before we even know about the minimum wage or exchange rate on the ground.  The guide says “No, that’s per liter.”


Well, you metric junkies know that there’s about 4 liters to a gallon (a little more, but don’t muddy up the math, k?).  So, work your exchange rate… ok, now multiply… ok, yup.  That’s something like $4 for a gallon of gas.

No big deal, gas is cheaper in the US, right?  Right.  But to know how much cheaper, you have to do a little more math.


Their minimum wage is about $0.67 a week.  At minimum wages they have to work almost 6 weeks to buy a gallon of gas.  For a typical 13 gallon tank a minimum wager would work 77 weeks.  Fun, huh?  Howabout making that tank last 77 weeks?

The equivalent here would be Johnny Grocery Bagger would have to work 77 weeks for a tank of gas that would cost $22,022, or $1,694 a gallon.


Think we don’t have it good here?

Still think $3.00 gas is too expensive?


Still think the odds are stacked against the little guy, and you’re the little guy?


Jamaica (mon) is such a cool place.  It’s so beautiful, the people are so wonderful…  I’m totally going back.  Maybe to stay.  Maybe.