Jun 20

So June, huh? That’s one way to start.

Well hello there and happy Junevembertoberuary. I’m working on wrapping up week 12 at home. And this is where I would say I am doing well and we are blessed and all of that is true. All of that is very true. I’ve been to a grocery store a few times and we visit the drive through at Chick-fil-A on Saturdays and had some nice bike rides, but otherwise it has been right here. And I won’t complain! I can’t complain. Everything within our immediate reach is peachy keen while so many things beyond our grasp seem so far beyond our grasp.

There’s a lot to write and a lot of questions and worry and anger today, and there should be. A badly hurting world became something altogether worse tonight while we were on a one-hour bike ride. So quickly were things moving that I asked a friend what exactly was taking place that I managed to get caught up before he did. And then we sat aghast and in worry the rest of the night, as many people did. These next few weeks will try us. We must not be found wanting, when clearly so many people are.

The other day Poseidon help me work on a ceiling fan. He’s big on team efforts:

Did the fan get fixed? No. I blame the cat.

The fan is fine, but it does make a nice creaking nose. So we will continue to try to balance the thing. It’s only a problem for the few minutes when you’re really trying to go to sleep. And when it isn’t a problem it is really out of your mind. It’s a metaphor for life!

Phoebe does not care about your literary tricks. She is only concerned about getting in your path of travel and getting pets. And trying to stick her head through the spindles on the handrail for some reason.

This was a custom photo. The Yankee wanted one of her hiding and in preparation of attacking the laser. The dot can’t see her, you see, on account of her incredibly low profile. Laser dots, traditionally, scan the horizon as their primary form of enemy detection …

Between Thursday and Saturday morning a tree fell on a nearby path. It is a tree that had been waiting for some time to fall. I noticed a week or two ago that it had a serious lean and was braced against other trees that were still doing their part. This guy was rotted and exhausted. And now he’s just in the way.

But you don’t let that stop you, not when you’re running. You turn obstacles into hurdles. And that’s what we did. And then I used the saturation features on my phone to really jazz up this photo.

You gotta just look up. That’s the lesson here. This is a view on our Sunday walk.

And we played in the stream partway through that walk. It’s a peaceful little thing, watching the world’s tiniest waterfall in the valley between two quiet hills.

We went back to the lake. The Yankee went for a swim, her second swim since the pools closed in March, and so her second one in the lake. I sat on the shore to make sure the shore stayed in good shape. There was a bobber hanging from a tree:

And there was a log that was drifting in:

And she had a good swim!

I mean, look at that form! Such technique!

That’s a tow along buoy. Three quick puffs of air inflate it, and then you strap it around your waist and it swims behind you. They are designed to be visible for other people out on the water. Safety first, because low profiles and silhouettes and what not.

I could see this big pink dot about 150 yards away, or so, it is definitely high-viz. She says there’s no drag. She doesn’t even notice it behind her.

Other stuff? There’s more on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more On Topic with IU podcasts as well.

May 20

Happy Memorial Day

A Memorial Day unlike any other. There was no pageantry observed, no war films watched. The Yankee did use the grill. The day sped by with little tangible achievement. Went for a bike ride, threw yet another flat and so, in disgust, I limped back home. The day went by quickly, somehow.

The cats are doing just fine. Phoebe is surveying her queendom.

And one recent evening we were doing some work on the bed frame, which found the mattress standing on it’s end. Poseidon climbed up the underside of it and walked along the top.

We had a great time with that. Enjoyed it so much, laughed so hard, did I, that I couldn’t even be frustrated with the cat. And I said so. I’m not even mad. This is good stuff!

It was when he prepared to walk on top of the door that I stopped laughing and taking pictures.

The biggest news of the day was that we went to the lake and The Yankee got in a quick swim. I stood by as lifeguard and chief photographer.

I said, your suit is buoyant, so if you cramp up, just sit there and float until I can get out to you.

With the pools being closed this was her first swim, since early March, and finally, I guess, the lakes are starting to warm up. She was very excited about all of this.

And so were the other people at the lake. Three other swimmer at our inlet. Several people were preparing to put in kayaks. It felt like a summer day. A mid-summer day, the sort you enjoy and file away and don’t really catalog, not a holiday, not a day that marks the informal beginning of a season, but just a regular, muted day. Maybe that’s what it was. The whole of it seemed muted. A fuzzy reflection of a copy of some far off summer that is well out of reach. The peonies are blooming, the grill is cooking and the sun is finally warming things up, but this summer already feels lesser in most every respect.

Maybe that’ll make it feel more like a summer, somehow.

Sep 19

A fast race

It’s difficult to put a full day of racing, and the many weeks of training beforehand, into less than 60 seconds that you shot on a phone. So I won’t try. But this, nevertheless, was Saturday, a half Iron. That’s a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile ride and a 13.1-mile run to you and me:

The Yankee won her age group, cause she’s awesome:

Her goggles broke in the water, so she swam with one eye, and was the fifth woman out of the water. Her knee was aggravating her on the run so she wisely took it easy. What we’re saying here is that she can go faster if she needs to.

Apr 19


At the Hermann Memorial North American Championship in Texas The Yankee completed her second Ironman on Saturday. That’s a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a marathon. Louisville in 2017, and Texas this week makes her a two-time Ironman!

Here are a few highlights of her day:

It was warm. Hot, even. A bit more so than forecast, and the sun was beating down something fierce, even for Texas. The woman who on the professional side said, in her post-race interview, that it was the hardest course she’d ever been on. And we saw it all unfold, while my best girl did it all, again.

View this post on Instagram

‪Getting my mileage in, too. #GoRenGo‬

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

I did get some miles in, as it turned out. My phone recorded 10 miles of me hoofing it around the course, and a fair amount of that was running. I’m not even supposed to be doing any distance right now.

You can see more details under this hashtag.

Apr 16

To every meal’s seasoning …

Jeff Price says the Barbecue House is sold and the College Street landmark will be redeveloped. The oldest restaurant in Auburn, Alabama is going away.

He just lost his mother a few years ago. His parents built the business themselves and for most of his life Mr. Price has had his hands in it as well. You could tell that he was getting ready for a new chapter. He still has his health and his family and more happy customers than he could count. People will miss it, but people will understand. That’s the thing about regulars. The employees see you, but you see them, too. You can count plenty of mornings and lunches that he was there.

When I was in undergrad I’d go there for breakfast. And some days I’d just stay there, skip a class, read the paper and then order lunch. I ate there for five years. But then I moved away. Ten years later, when we moved back, Mr. Price asked if I was visiting or if I was back. He remembered me, just another young regular who used to visit his store a decade prior. That’s kind of the place they’ve made at The Barbecue House. That, and the food, will be missed. We’ll have to eat there a lot in the last few weeks.

Everything changes. Everything has changed. It is all different.

At any rate … Nice 2,500 meter swim today.

It only hurt for most of the time.