Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ahhh Crap


1. How many easily accessible bathrooms are there on this running route:

2. How many of them did GVB visit on today's 8 miler?
3. How many of them did GVB almost not make it to?
4. Which ones were either locked or ransacked of all paper products?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Title Hypocrisy and Musings Thereon

SailRun ____Ride
Yesterday I met up with former Frat House Acquaintance for an 8 mile run. I hadn't seen FHA since I moved away from Greek Row in favor of Upcountry Maui way back when such a move seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It was great to catch up and try to chat while pushing a 7:30 pace, and as usually happens, we found that we had many of the same interests and experiences over the past 15 years. It was when we were sharing tales of sketchy alpine climbs, huge lead falls, and crazy aid routes in the North Cascades that I realized I might need to shave the "Climb" part out of SailRunClimbRide.

Or I could go climbing. Cap'n? You listening? I'm thinking something like this, for openers.

I don't want to be called a liar.

It was cool to talk about some of the classics and remember the broken bones, scraped knuckles, Ramen diets, 30 foot falls, sketchy aid gear, and near fatal rappelling accidents, but I will say that in telling the tale of Buck almost rapping off the end of the rope 300 feet off the deck in Leavenworth sped my heart up a bit.

Question: Is it really possible to be a responsible partner, professional, father and have any sort of climbing aspirations?

Running Content
I wimped out on my long route today once the thunderstorms and rain hit. I was planning at least 14 but hoping for 20. Instead I did 7. I know. I know. Lame.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Touch Me

The Colleague is taking a stand against gadgets. I support that move for her. There is no way she could support both an iPod AND Facebook addiction at the same time.

But I can't help loving my new iPod Touch. All of my music, videos, WiFi, maps, photos, and my Outlook calendar in one place? AND it is completely intuitive to use? Yes please.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Best Thing to Happen in Husky Stadium All Year

Race Report
Made my way down to good old Husky Stadium this morning for the Dawg Dash 10k. After meeting at RPD's pad, The Colleague, RPD and I walked the mile or so down to the stadium for the start. Here, in the traditional Race Report format, are 10 things about the 10Ks:
  1. It doesn't feel great anymore to be down on the field in Husky Stadium. I know it makes me sound like I'm living in the past and all (and I'll admit it does make me feel old) but what a different place Montlake was BACK IN THE DAY when the football team was at least competitive. I don't even really need to go back to the early 1990s when we would go to the stadium KNOWING the Huskies couldn't lose. I would be happy to go back to the days when there was always at least a chance they would compete. I'm happy Willingham isn't recruiting from the Walla Walla State Penitentiary, but if Stanford can stay competitive with "quality guys," why can't UW?
  2. On a related note, Husky Stadium is flat out falling apart. It really is a disaster. I can't help but think that Northwest recruits compare Husky Stadium to Autzen Stadium and say, "I think I'll go play for Nike U..." I know the renovation plans are pretty much scrapped thanks to the same folks who sent the Sonics to Oklahoma, but can we get something going on here?
  3. I haven't run the Dawg Dash since BACK IN THE DAY when I was a scrawny little undergraduate English major, and my memory of that "race" is just as fuzzy as the rest of my college life, so I did some reading about this course beforehand. I was a little worried given all of the whining and complaining about the "hilly" course and the "steep, long climbs" across the UW campus. I'm not sure I understand what those bloggers were talking about. The first 2 miles are dead flat, leaving the stadium to the east and working out past the Crew House and around the stadium parking lot. After crossing Montlake near Hec Ed Pavilion, the course picks up the Burke Gilman northbound for a while before turning up hill toward the dorms and heading back south toward Rainier Vista. From there the course winds around through campus and back down to the stadium for the finish. Sure, it climbs up to the top of campus, but there isn't anything that really smacks you in the face. AND, you get to finish with 2 miles or so of flat or downhill running. I liked the course a lot, actually.
  4. PR. Not that I have an extensive set of 10k number to compare against, but today was actually a 10k personal record for me at 41:46, which is a 6:44 pace or so. If I were to run this one again next week I could probably find another 47 seconds or so to shave off of there, but I was running pretty hard. If I really knew the course (and wasn't so worried about all the hills people complained about) I would have pushed a little more on the first uphill section through campus. Still, let's call it a PR and move on. Happy with that.
  5. I don't mind if you want to run with your dog, and I know this race encourages dogs to "dash" with the runners, but isn't there a rule out there somewhere among dog owners about leash length? I think a 10 foot lead is a little excessive, and I don't love the idea of getting that strip of nylon wrapped around my ankles when I'm running at full speed.
  6. RPD commented after the race about a runner who decided to orbit him like a moon as he ran. She would pass him and cut him off and slow down and pass him again, circling him as he ran along. I didn't have that experience, but several times I had people running right off my left heel, not to the side of me, not behind me, but overlapped with me in my blind spot. What the hell? Back off, man.
  7. Shirt Rules Revisited. I covered this a year ago, but let's repeat it here. You get a race shirt before the race. This shirt is not to be worn during the race. Nor is last year's shirt from the same race. Nor, frankly is the shirt you got at the most recent marathon you ran. Souvenir race shirts are for training, wearing to the gym, or painting the living room. Technical souvenir shirts are for training. Not racing. I don't know why this is the rule, it just is. Anyone under 15 exempted from this rule.
  8. Stairs. I spent enough academic terms wandering around the UW campus to know how to get from Building A to Building B. So I KNOW there are ways to get around without stairs. Why on earth would you build a race route with stairs in it?
  9. Music. This is the 5th race I have done without any headphones on, and I'm starting to like it. Especially on shorter distances, I'd rather go without. Just sayin'. Also, if I can hear your speed metal clearly as I pass you in mile 1 (why did you line up with the 6 minute pace group again?) you are a problem to everyone around you. Also, they still produce speed metal?
  10. Goody Bags. They just keep getting worse. But as I started to mock and pass by the offer a toothbrushes and toothpaste, I remembered the last time I had to pay $3.00 for a toothbrush and went back and filled my bag with the free ones.
Back to dreading the Seattle Marathon. And watching the Seattle sports scene crumble into the sea before our very eyes. Do I have to become one of those annoying fans who lives in one city but adopts a more perennially interesting contender from another city? (Red Sox "Nation" I'm looking at you.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


On why Barack Obama’s links to William Ayers are relevant in the campaign:

PALIN: It is pertinent, it's important because when you consider Barack Obama's reaction to and explanation to his association there, and without him being clear at all on what he knew and when he knew it, that I think kinda peeks into his ability to tell us the truth on, not only on association but perhaps other things also. So, it's relevant, I believe, and I brought it up in response to the New York Times article having been printed recently, and I think it just makes us ask the question that, if there's not forthrightness there, with that association and what was known and when it was known, does that lead us to ask, is there forthrightness with the plans Barack Obama has or say tax cuts, or spending increases, makes us question judgment. And I think it's fair and relevant.


Now NYC has two MORE of my favorite things. But only temporarily. Safe travels ladies.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Getting Nothing Done, Much?

I know, I'll set aside some time this weekend to get some work done on my online classes. Or...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Grade This!

To all of the teachers in the audience, I would like to present you with the following assessment sample. Please let me know what grade this student should get, and what comments are warranted, if any.

Question One: Explain why the following sentence is grammatically or logically flawed, and offer a revision to the sentence which does not alter the meaning significantly.
“There is no way the soldier could of known there was a bomb in the vehicle.”

Answer: I don’t really want to get into a question like this. It is too nuanced and frankly seems like an unfair question. Car bombs are not really related to grammar issues and I want to talk about how the rest of the class sometimes says things that don't sound like proper grammar to me. That guy in the front row said "irregardless" the other day and I know everyone heard it and I can't believe no one is pointing that out now.

Question Two: Who is the better contemporary author, Sherman Alexie or Nicholas Sparks, and why?

Answer: I know it isn’t the answer you are looking for, but I’m going to go back to the car bomb question here and just point out that you are asking questions about things that I don’t think my classmates really want to focus on. I’m new to this whole school thing, and I tell you what, when I sat down with the former dean of this department and asked him how to succeed here I was pretty sure that my classmates would join me in my battle against these written tests. You know where I’m from we don’t have to do any writing like this. We just sit down and we do things and we make stuff. That’s what this test isn’t asking me. So I respectfully disagree with ya on that one.

Question Three: Name three of the key elements of the modern short story and give examples from your reading.

Answer: Last quarter the guy I sat next to in my Sociology class said that he liked that film “No Country for Old Men” and I have to tell you its things like that that make me just so mad I could spit. I mean that movie is violent and bloody and sends the message that people can just walk across our border. And if that is what my classmates think, I have to disagree. He actually said that. He did.

Question Four: Write a short analysis of Billy Collins’ poem “Introduction to Poetry,” which can be found in your text.

Answer: I’m not interested in what the textbook publishers have to say or what they decide should be put in my textbooks. Maybe this just shows that I’m not from here, but one thing I have tried to do is meet with people and get down to brass tacks on main street and ask my friends what they think and I listen. I really do listen and I haven’t heard anything from any of my classmates, or from the college, about how we are going to break free of this written word and proper English regime we’re in. I just like to do things a little differently, and I can’t believe that you aren’t asking me the questions I want to answer. Why aren’t you asking about my classmates’ answers? Focusing on my answer makes it seem like you are just out to get me. Let me tell you why this guy sitting next to me has the wrong answer. He read this poem seven years ago and is still answering the question the same way. How can the poem be about one thing 7 years ago and another thing now? It just doesn’t make sense. But maybe I’m just so new to this class that my approach is a little different.

Question Five: Looking back on this academic term and reflecting on your own learning, what would you say is the most important lesson you have taken from this class?

Answer: There’s so many things, you know, that I think my classmates didn’t learn along the way. And keep in mind that most of them have been at this college for a lot longer than I have. Where I’m from and where I learned about life it was different and people have to understand that I bring that difference and I wear it on my sleeve and that’s not going to make people happy. But again, my classmates have missed questions on every test they’ve taken along the way. There’s a long record of their errors. They should be held accountable for their lack of understanding and their failed attempts at perfection before they start pointing out lies about me. This is the first test I’ve taken so technically my record is perfect and I can’t believe that isn’t what you are looking at. It’s simple and it’s true. I’m convinced that my grade will be the highest in class and not only that, but I’m convinced that my classmates have a long record of just saying the right things to the right people at the right time so that they could “make it” at this elite school.