running


21
Mar 18

Its still winter, in spring

I’m not accustomed to seeing cotton bolls in March. Then again, I’m not accustomed to seeing snow in March, either:

It’s still spring, by the way. And at lunch I saw this second, or third, sign of spring:

It’s hard to keep count, there have been daffodils and the eternal budding-but-not-opening of trees and my first robin of the year, and pointless, too. Winter isn’t hardly done with us yet.

But, for this afternoon’s neighborhood 5K, when it had warmed up to an impossible 46°, I wore a sweatshirt. I did that for the first 1.8 or so, and then discarded it. I ditched it just before the shady and cold segment.

Now, normally that would be one of those things you’d laugh and shiver about. Timing, am I right? But I did this in the neighborhood. I did this in the neighborhood, the place where, presumably, I know where the shady spots are.

So this was a lovely experience. Ten years ago we were at Peju, got a few of these and held on to one. And held on to it and held on to it and held on to it. After a while it became a joke.

Then, as I tend to do, I got sentimental about it. We got some more, so that solved the nostalgia problem. And by then we figured we should probably ought to wait until the 10th anniversary.



And here we are. Tonight was the 10th anniversary. The cork didn’t cooperate, but we filtered out the debris.

It was quite tasty after we let it breathe. I don’t know if it was worth hanging on to for all of that time, but it was worth getting sentimental about.


16
Mar 18

No wendigos allowed

Here is today’s podcast. And if you’re hungry before you listen, we’ll either solve that problem or give you some ideas. It seems there’s a new kind of meat that may be making its way into your grocery shopping list. I doubt, very seriously, that it will happen, but it is fun to contemplate, as you will soon see.

I went for a run after work, sneaking in a quick four miles around the neighborhood before our dinner with friends. And I told them about this episode. Everyone agrees it is an unusual one, even the guy sitting at the table next to us.

We were at an upscale fancy kind of place, our friend who suggested it promised the best burgers in town. And that’s always one of those things you should follow up on. Because it would be a shame to not know where the best burger in town is, first of all. Plus, the previously nominated best burger in town was merely pretty decent. There was nothing wrong with it, but we went the one time and haven’t been back in 15 months, for whatever reason.

But this place, maybe we’d go back. The burgers were certainly good, if a bit overpriced. But you’re paying, you see, for the pleasure of sitting quite close to the next table over. And those people are paying for that same privilege. So it only seemed right that I should talk about recording a podcast where we discussed what is called clean human meat.

The guy at the next table was a little put off by this. Probably because I was talking about it. Definitely because I was talking about it with a little volume. Hey, these podcasts don’t publicize themselves, you know.

Anyway, we probably stayed at that places for about three hours, on the strength of burgers and fish. And everyone had a lovely meal and time. Our dinner dates work in the library and the art museum, so they have plenty of interesting things to tell us about. And we decided in the course of all of that that there are movies we all haven’t seen, but should.

How do you know which movies those are? It seems like we’d all need the input of someone else on this. But who knows all of the movies you’ve seen? No one, really. So it is down to self reporting. And so we decided on a methodology — because this is what you do on a Friday night in a college town. After much debate and thought, we figured we would self-nominate five films each from the Oscar nominated Best Screenplay and Best Film categories dating back to 1980. So you have to go over those and find five movies per. Mine were:

Her
Grand Budapest Hotel
Lady Bird
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
The Savages

Elizabeth
In The Bedroom
The Theory of Everything
Get Out
The Post

Next, someone is going to gather all of those in a spreadsheet and we’re going to start watching the common overlaps. There will be popcorn and merriment and, I’m sure, endless critiques.

There will be no human meat.

Happy weekend!

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26
Feb 18

The Monday that was, and the weekend before it

I worked on Saturday. Two Saturdays in a row! Last week it was a pre-admissions program for incoming students. Today it was a video program for current students producing short stories on local businesses and programs. Good turnout:

And outside, things are beginning to sprout!

… but after a rainy four-mile run I can definitively say it isn’t yet springtime:

Nor will it be for some time yet, I’m afraid.

Putting up some clean clothes, which Allie doesn’t like, because she likes a big pile and she sat there staring at me as this one got smaller and smaller:

So, of course, I left the last little bit on the bed for her, and then surrounded her in more clothes. This might sound unreasonable, but she stayed like that for a few hours last night. She was happy.

Here’s a monologue I recorded this morning:

And, finally, a program we produced today. Skip beyond the first little bit …

And now we’re on to Tuesday, where we should get up to about 60 degrees, but it still won’t be spring, though it should be.


18
Dec 17

A nice medium-run on old haunts

If you look way down this pedestrian lane, you’ll see The Yankee:

This is a mile-long bridge, and if it wasn’t for all of that chainlink, which is at times brings up feelings claustrophobic, and then absurdly pointless, it would feel meditative. It is a relatively new bridge. It’s only about 15 or so years old, already on its second name. It was originally the Patton Island Bridge, but now it is the more elegant, and historical, Singing River Bridge, which is the name the Yuchi tribe gave to the Tennessee River.

Most of the road traffic goes over this bridge, but it hasn’t always been that way, of course. Just a few miles away, there’s a dam.

This is a view from Wilson Dam, which was built between 1918-1924 and was later incorporated into the Tennessee Valley Authority:

It is a narrow, two-lane dam. It was always a bit intimidating when I was a kid. My mom and I would drive it, one of the last little bits of road on the two-hour trip to my grandparents. And she would tell me about how she learned how to drive on that dam, in the snow.

Well, I haven’t done that. But last summer I did ride my bike over the dam. And this weekend I ran over it. (On the sidewalk.)

It has less traffic now, because of the Singing River Bridge, but it is still narrow:

Here we are on the dam, midway through our run, still on the sidewalk:

The dam, named after President Woodrow Wilson, was put on the historic registry in 1966, and boasts the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains.

And here’s the Wilson Dam, once more, from the Singing River Bridge:

It was a seven-mile run, and it was fun, the weather was pleasant, and uncomfortable. I was beginning to think my shoes might be done. And after a three-mile run today, and checking the miles on this pair of Saucony, I decided it was official:

So, at 300 miles, on the nose, actually, I have to go shopping for new jogging shoes.

Elsewhere, there was plenty of family and visiting this weekend. Heading back out tomorrow for a few more days of work, and then more holidays.

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30
Nov 17

Well then …

Me and the moon tonight, on a solo 5K run.

Though, really, it might have been 6 p.m. by then. Who can say this time of year?

I told The Yankee to run without me because my schedule is weird and if she waits for me she’s going to be running at night and that’s not her favorite thing to do. So she can running earlier some days and I can run later in the evenings. One interesting thing about that, I figured, is that I could try to do some different things.

So I decided I’d try to work down below an arbitrary 5K time goal. Pick a round number and sneak in a run just under it. Big sprints at the end count, after all. This would take a few days or a couple of weeks, I figured. And then I did it on the first attempt. I got in a great last mile.

Which means I have to come up with another time goal. And, friends, the followup goals are always more difficult than the initial ones.