Aug 17

What we did this weekend

Last spring The Yankee qualified for, and this weekend participated in the USAT Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championship. She’s awesome. Here are a few clips from the big race:

She almost hit a PR, and finished with a smile, despite some serious sun and legitimate heat. It was a great race!

Aug 17

You just think you know square jaws

I’m not seeing things, right? You’re seeing this too, aren’t you? There’s a face in that shadow, yeah?

Which led me onto a long series of thoughts about the impermanence of shapes in clouds and the more permanent but still shifting nature of the shadows of buildings and maybe how the buildings are wiser, but the clouds have it better. So that was lunch.

Also, I meant to order the bourbon chicken, which is a sweeter dish. But I instead ordered the first chicken item I saw on the menu, which was the voodoo chicken. That was red and spicy and the word “voodoo” should have been the clue, dude. I wondered if the shadow man somehow knew. His jaw was jutted out just so, in that brutalist blockish manner. I strolled back by later but the sun had moved over by about half an hour and the shadow man had moved on for the day.

We’re moving today, too:

We are in Omaha this weekend for a race and fun. Lately I’ve come to realize it is difficult to travel and eat. Something about the schedules and the options and habits. It is a challenge. This was dinner:

We had a burger at a pizza joint when we got to The Big O.

At the pizza joint, which was using a Chicago theme, because it is pizza in Omaha, one surmises, there was a claw machine. You remember claw machines. Those were the games you couldn’t win no matter how good your manual dexterity was on its own. You couldn’t win at it such that you began to think, and then watch, and then know, that no one could win at the claw game. And then you saw the little feature on that one guy cleaning up at the claw game and you thought “Huh, why does one guy need that many stuffed toys and obviously cheap watches anyway? The claw game. It was waiting for you, at the Chicago-themed pizza joint in Omaha, Nebraska.

I’m not sure if it was a sad game because someone had been so successful or if someone was so successful because it was a sad game. When you see them near empty like that, it effects you. Probably it was sad no one was pumping quarters into it at the moment.

That was at about 11 p.m. and thus it was the best burger possible. Probably because I didn’t ask for the voodoo anything.

Jul 17

Your Monday status report

It was a successful race on Saturday. Everyone got finisher medals. Everyone set new personal records. Seventy point three is nothing to sneeze at. I’ve done it once. (Once.)

Afterward we sat in the shade and had burgers and told stories. Here are some of the visuals:

And then the long drive home. It was a sunny day, much improved from my drive up the day before. But I was tired and had a headache and passed actual Waffle Houses. So I stopped at one. And while weaving my way into the parking lot I saw this thing:

Now, their website says they have blacklight mini golf, laser tag, pizza, a game rame, playground, arcades and, coming soon, bumper cars. That all sounds fun. I’m sure that it appeals to children of all ages. But that guy on the roof is kind of terrifying. And the car doesn’t really scream “Demand mom and dad take me there.” But that’s just me.

Saw a bit of graffiti on the walk into the office this morning:

The lane is closed because the world needs more condominiums, and this construction has meant work crews and heavy equipment and Jersey barriers and cones and signage. And, apparently, a contribution from the commentariat. The only problem is we don’t know if this message was added for this job or some previous lane closure. Such is the problem of the application of permanent marker on temporary, and moveable, signage.

And now I’m hanging out with Allie. She’s in her box:

We’ve taken to interpreting this as “Time to play, hooman.” She attacked a ribbon toy for the better part of an hour, until I finally had to hide the thing while she was distracted. Then she sat on me so I couldn’t eat dinner. So pretty much a perfect evening for her.

May 16

Pictures from the weekend

What we did this weekend:

Well, what she did:

This was a short race. I’m not fast enough for the short races. Instead of swimming and riding and running, I volunteered. My job involved standing in the road, stopping traffic and directing runners. I stood just down from these trees, listened to the breeze and yelled “Run to me! Run to me!” a lot.

Then we went here:

For these:

I recommend these two:

(The best thing about square doughnuts is that you get four extra bites.)

Nov 15

Where would you like to be right now?

All things being equal, I’d rather be doing this right about now:


Alas, my riding season is probably pretty much done. There are no more races and real life gets in the way. I’m actually struggling with how much I want to do on the bike or in the pool or running. You’re supposed to have an off season, they say. But I am not one for whom fitness is a linear thing.

Feels more Sisyphean than anything. Make a bit of progress, find a new best or improve on a new technique or hit a longer distance and then get bogged down by the other parts of life.

Except Sisyphus was doomed to his fate as a punishment. So probably most of us are using the expression wrong. On the other hand, Lucretius said the myth personified politicians who always looked for office but were also always defeated. The quest for power, he said, being an “empty thing.”

When I’m going up a hill — on my bike, not pushing boulders, which is not something I am never really tasked with doing, fortunately — I could also use some more power, my legs being empty things.

Kierkegaard and Camus and all sorts of writers and philosophers have expounded on the Sisyphus tale. But I want to know what first century B.C. writer Publilius Syrus, of Syria would have to say. You know Syrus, he’s the person credited with the old saw about a rolling stone gathering no moss.

People have apparently tried to tie the two together, but according to the text from a 1912 book I just found online, that’s just a clever reimagining. Which is an odd thing if you go back to the myth. Part of Sisyphus’ problem was that he thought he was more clever than Zeus. The story goes that the big Z, showing how clever he was, put the weeby jeeby on that stone and that’s why it kept rolling back down that hill.

So maybe you downplay the wit and whatnot around that particular deity. Gravity is tough enough all by itself. Which is pretty heavy for a Thursday, if you really think about it.