Jun 21

Highlighting Friday things

There is a new look to the front of this website. The photo below will give you a clue. And if you click that image, you can go the front page and see the new art for yourself.

Speaking of the site, I tallied the stats earlier this week and noted that kennysmith dot org recently surpassed four million views. I’d like to thank you for your continued support. And the bots for continually crawling the site. They count, too.

It’s Friday, let’s show off some other people. This is some of the work stuff that I did this week. Enjoy.

And since we’re promoting things around here …

So go visit them. And be sure to come back on Monday. We’ll have updates on the weekend, and the cats!

Jun 21

So much is unknown from any given point of view

The perspective of walking and distance is an interesting thing. I park in a parking deck when I am at work. The deck is one block from my building. As I crossed onto the middle block today I noticed a fire truck down near where I was walking. And as I got closer I was having this on-again/off-again conversation about how the fire truck was positioned.

It was parked. The lights were on.

It is blocking the entrance and exit to the parking deck.

No it isn’t.

Yes it is. No it isn’t. Yes it is. And so on until, finally, I was there and could tell that the truck was blocking the entrance and exit.

There’s only one. It’s a small parking deck. There are three lanes, two are now devoted to entering and one to leaving. And the truck was blocking the one exit and middle entrance, like so.

I was parked on the second level. Near my car was a campus police cruiser. Unoccupied, but running. Not in a spot, but at one of those hasty angles police sometimes use. It was near another car and one of the corner stairwells. Downstairs were two fire fighters walking out. And another guy, who looked young, had a backpack and a low key fire department shirt on, just loitering at the entrance. You can see him silhouetted above.

And we’ll never know what took place in the parking deck today. It’s a mild curiosity, but, on the other hand, this experience could have been a really lousy day for someone. So that walking perspective is important here, too.

Someone could collect a list of stories like this, little tales with no known outcome, and write an anthology series. I wish I’d started this years ago.

But I suppose I was always too preoccupied with my other You’ll Never Know mind game: What’s the closest I’ve ever come to unwittingly walking over buried treasure?

Boats would count, too. When was I closest to accidentally discovering a lost Spanish galleon?

It’ll make you wonder, that game. But a short-story anthology might actually be more rewarding.

We went for a bike ride this evening. The Yankee has all but gotten her TT bike dialed in, as I feared. And, as I have prophesied, I can’t keep up with her in such a highly refined aero position. She’s too powerful. Also, let’s also blame the gearing. But not my lack of fitness. This too, requires perspective.

That, I also noted on Twitter, is an old gif, and a different bike There was no way in the world I could get my phone out today. I was working too hard to make new art.

So this is how it works now. I have to wait for hills, or rollers, where I know I am sometimes just the tiniest bit better, and really work hard there and close down her advantage incrementally. (It takes many hills.) The rest is guile. Descend those little hills, corner aggressively, win a sprint when she’s just out for her ride and doesn’t know I’m trying to race back ahead of her. Which is how I found myself attacking in a left-hand turn three-miles from the house at 30+ miles per hour.

In her Strava notes, she wrote that it was categorized as an easy ride. It was not easy for me. This is what it takes just to keep up. Perspective.

Jun 21

This is brief

Did this today.

And trying to line up a bunch more of those for the next few days.

Trying to line up a lot of things. The first trick is sometimes the hardest: getting people to check and reply to their email in June.

And my evening was spent cuddling cats, who are demanding and needy and desperate for attention. The best laid plans of mice and men are foiled by a sprawling, purring feline.

Not much else here today, then. So this is a random video that showed up in the suggestion rail on YouTube. It’s a sweet love story, and it’s worth sticking with until the end.

That somehow led me down a rabbit hole of videos of grandparents telling jokes. You should fall down that rabbit hole.

Jun 21

I’d like to draw a bit of attention to my pisiform

I mentioned that I’d made some new cufflinks, and I did. Here’s the proof you’ve been waiting for.

You were waiting for this, right?

Anyway, cut the fabric, adorn the cufflink face, attach a bit of chain and add the little toggle button thing on the back. After that, take a few pictures for you, dear reader, and then wait to wear them.

And make more in the meantime. It’s t-shirt season, of course. But eventually I’ll have to go into the respectable wardrobe closet and I’ll get to try my hand at accentuating colors.

And I have some really nice material waiting for the next batch. I’ll get pocket squares and cufflinks from them. And then I’ll probably be ready for an intervention.

It’s impressive how quickly things can accumulate if you don’t pay close attention.

Like this, this got out of hand in a hurry. I thought we should talk about the book. My lovely bride co-edited a book that was published recently and we should try a little, you know, publicity. And so I recorded some of her talking about it and I can put it in some places. I decided it’d be a good idea to put it in a tweet and then tag all of the co-authors and their outlets and that was basically my entire afternoon, trying to track those people down.

A copy of the book has been sitting on our coffee table and there’s a little something for everybody there. Someone even wrote about the NCAA and mascots, after all. All of these scholars who have devoted their time to researching this organization and they have a lot to say. (There are problems. Some you’d imagine, and others that probably you haven’t yet considered.) It’s a bold and important book. And it is available to you at …

So order your copy today!

I went out for a run this evening.

I’ve been having a conversation with a friend about how evening runs can be almost meditative — and I am not a person that finds my harmonic zen in running — and so I decided to honor the idea. (Lately I’ve been doing my shuffling in the morning, where the only virtue seems to be that ‘At least that’s out of the way.’) Only, this evening, I had to do it in-between rain showers.

Some people think running in the rain is great. I am not sure why they tell me that. But it’s like anything else. If you’re passionate about it, you have to tell everyone and they have to know it’s the best thing in the world! Just try it! You’ll see! Except running in the rain is not the best thing in the world. Sorry.

So I walked out of the neighborhood and up the small little hill and dodged a few raindrops that arrived earlier than scheduled and then ran back through the neighborhood. And, before I knew it, I had two more humble little miles under my shoes.

This, of course, is nothing. I took a long break from running, as is my routine, and I’ve been slowly easing into it. Because that’s what you do now. You enjoy every ache and pain, aware that this wasn’t there two years ago, or maybe even last time. I figure I’ll try a few more runs at that distance and pace, and then a few more runs at that distance with more pace. And then I’ll marvel at how the slower pace and the faster pace really aren’t that far apart anymore. Because I’m slower now! Never to be fast again! But still moving! And after that, I’ll really start to add some miles in. Just when summer decides to really impress us.

Maybe this approach, I hope, will delay the next inevitable break from running.

It’s funny, I always see someone else riding a bike and think “Wow, look at him go!” or “What a great bike she has!” And I find myself just the tiniest bit jealous that they’re going for a ride and I’m not on my bike just then. But I never see a person running and go “Wow! I wish I had my jogging shoes on right now!”

I thought that again this evening while a guy rode past me during my run. I think he had an e-bike. I was on a bit of a downhill flat section, and feeling OK, but still a bit jealous.

Bet he wasn’t thinking, “Oh, this is fine, but I’d much rather be shuffling around on foot like that guy!”

Just wait until he sees my personalized, bespoke wrist accessories.

May 21

Showing off, but just a little

Quite day at the office. Most everyone had taken the day off for the long weekend — or they were working from home. I talked with one person face-to-face. So, really, it was perhaps an almost-average day.

Here’s a new thing from work. We’re going to be rolling out a lot of this sort of thing before long, just trying to show off the work of colleagues. (Somebody oughta do it.)

I got 10 or 11 cuts from her on that study and her recently published NCAA book, and we’re going to show those off a lot, of course.

Speaking of showing off, she got on her time trial bike this afternoon. Working through the geometry shakedown rides, so still getting everything finely tuned after the latest round of adjustments. It was windy, she was getting acquainted and wearing this rain jacket — because it is cold and stupid here. That jacket parachutes and adds unnecessary wind drag. And she was still cooking.

I jumped ahead of here in a little bit of a road that suits me better than her. I figured I should get ahead and stay ahead because, when she got all of this figured out she’d go right by me. So for the next 10 miles.

She did not catch me. Today. She won’t do it tomorrow, because I will have a great ride tomorrow, but that bike is so fast and she’s so powerful on it that it’s only a matter of time. We rode the last two miles together, because it is a fun little chase. I was holding her wheel and glanced down to see was doing 31 mph (for context: that’s respectably fast) on that last little strip. I’ve ridden thousands of miles with her, so trust me here: she wasn’t even trying.

I need to install rockets on my pedals in the next week or two.