Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Story Without a Point (Or Get Your Techy-Wear Wash at Trek!)

I'm out of techy-wear laundry soap and haven't done any techy-wear laundry for almost two weeks.  New to this techy-wear laundry soap business?  Still washing your techy-wear in tide?  Does it stink more after washing than it did when you finished using and abusing it?  Does your room reek of used-but-washed techy-wear?  Let me help you with that.

Here's the deal with techy-wear:  You pay a fair amount of cash for this techy-wear, and even more if it's attractive techy-wear, so why not take care of it?  Wash it in cold water with a techy-wear wash, then hang-to-dry.  Easy as pie.*

*Oh and here comes a tangent.  Since when did pie become easy?  Good pie, that is.  Why do they say "easy as pie?"  Pie is not easy.  I made four pies Monday, and it was far from easy.  Worth it?  Of course.  Easy?  No way.  Washing techy-wear is easier than pie.

My favorite techy-wear laundry soap is ProWash.  Comes in a pouch, works nicely, is relatively inexpensive, and until recently, was carried at the local grocery store.


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My next favorite is Sport Wash.  Sport Wash costs more and is carried at a few specialty places here and there.  In the past I have ordered it from my favorite online running store, Running Warehouse.


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I don't know of a third option, and therefore I do not have a third favorite.  This is where you tell me about some up-and-at-'em techy-wear wash that I need to try today.  Or not.  Whatever.

As was mentioned earlier, the local grocery store quit carrying the ProWash variety of techy-wear wash.  As is natural for people like me, I stopped at the store's service station to fill out one of those can-you-carry? cards.  This store's can-you-carry? card asked for my phone number.  In most circumstances, I cease to include the correct contact info.  My mobile phone, or home phone, or any other phone, is not available for any sort of harassment. My mobile phone, and home phone, and other phones, are at my disposal for discussing stuff I want to discuss.  Therefore, I generally discompose my digits when somebody asks for 'em.  (I know what you're thinking.  And the answer is "No.  I didn't date much.")

The store wants my phone number.  This left me at an impasse.  I don't want to give them my phone number, but I want ProWash.  They might have ProWash.  They might be able to phone me when they get ProWash.

I gave them my correct phone number, then traveled home to trusty ol' Amazon to order some ProWash.  I ordered three pouches.  I have yet to be charged for these pouches, and I have yet to receive them.  Yesterday, the puzzle all came together.  The grocery store called to inform that ProWash had been "discontinued by the manufacturer."

Bummer.  Or in this case, stinky bummer.

And now... finally... the point of my story.  If there is one.  Actually, there is no point...

Last night the family was out.  We were in the same area as the Trek dealership, so I hollered at Spouse to stop at the Trek store for some Sport Wash.  (I don't have to "holler" at Spouse to stop at a bike shop, like, ever, so it wasn't a literal hollering, I just like the word "holler" in all of its forms.)

We walked into the store, I picked up the Sport Wash, and I paid for the Sport Wash.  While going about my business, Spouse found the road bikes (he's on a road-bike kick right now.  Happens periodically.)  I stumbled upon Spouse as he was fondling a fancy shmancy Trek Madone with a carbon frame.

"Pick up this bike."  He says.  Which always means, "Wow.  Can you believe how light this bike is?  I can lift it with my left nipple."

To humor him, I picked up the bike.  "Ah.  That's HEAVY!"  I said, all loud-like.

After calling this carbon-framed Trek Madone "heavy," I looked up at the salesperson to make sure he was listening, and you know, see if he caught my joke.

He did not catch my joke.  He marched over, complete with puffy chest, and commanded, "How much does YOUR bike weigh."  Notice that there isn't a question mark.  It wasn't a question, it was a commandment.  (Thy bike shalt not weigh less than a Trek Madone! In carbon!)


"Dude.  I'm just here for some Sport Wash.  And the Spouse is here for the jollies he gets from fondling something he cannot have."  (I didn't really say that, but you knew as much, right?  I just told the guy that I had a mountain bike, which is an implied no contest.)

There you have it – my Story Without a Point.  However, this whole carbon-framed techy-wash field trip got me thinking.  Ready?  We should make techy-wear out of carbon.  Think how light and fast carbon techy-wear will make us!

Also, no one ever gets my jokes.  Maybe I'm not funny.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Amityville Altamont

There are two things that scare the dickens out of me.  They are: 1) running backwards 'n naked into a brass doorknob, and 2) cows.  Not kidding.  I've had nightmares over brass in the buttocks (pewter and sterling are okay) and I am beyond-category horrified of cows.

In my short(ish) lifetime, I've stumbled upon several moose without losing my cool, and I've seen a few rattlesnakes.  When I was a kid, I used to chase bears and elk and deer and birds with my dad Mikey so that he could take some photos.  This was no big deal.  But cows on the loose?  Holy Krishna.

Spouse, Yahoos, and I have just returned from the annual reunion of Spouse's family.  We vacationed in a town called Altamont, Utah.  Which, incidentally, is where my Ma lived 'til she was five.  A lovely place, this Altamont, Utah.  I hope to return.  Heck, I'd give a lot of money to stay there for a whole month every year.  Altamont is a ranching, oil-mining town where houses are separated by half, or even full miles.  I became enamored with the "nothingness" of this town  – most all of the "nothingness" anyway.  I am not into the "nothingness" that involves cows.

Right now, I'm in the middle of some marathon training – I think I'm always in the middle of some marathon training, so I guess that should just be assumed.  But you and I both know that you shouldn't assume because it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me."  (Get it?  "ass u me?"  I know, you got it.  I'm just recording this "ass u me" trick for my grandkids.)  Anyway!  I'm in the middle of some marathon training, and a 20 miler was on the schedule for this last weekend.  Being as I was in Altamont, Utah, I used this 20 miler as an opportunity to see some Altamont, Utah.

Saturday's 20-miler plan was as follows:  Spouse would wake early, drive me 20 miles to a place called Moon Lake, where he'd throw me out the door with some fuel and water.   He would then drive back to the ranch in which we were staying, climb on his bike and pedal back to me.

Well, that was the plan. This plan, however, was thrown out with both the baby and the bathwater during the ride to Moon Lake.  This plan was thrown out once the Rabid spied a giant "Open Range" sign.  Open Range! You might as well turn me over to Voldemort.  Or bury me naked in a casket full of brass doorknobs.

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Turns out that the "Open Range" sign was legit.  Over a five mile jaunt, we spied four (count them four!) separate cow herds.  All mad heffers with calfs, and all wandering about in the road.  Spouse took one look at my poor trembling cow-tenance and offered to drive with me until the bovine brood was good and behind. We figured it would be about five miles.

Ready.  Set.  Go run past the cows!

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It was a bit chilly.  Had to start with some warmers.  But that didn't last long.   Notice the scaredy cat below.  That face is scared.  Cows can smell my fear. They smell my fear and know that I'm weak.

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Oh and lookey here.  Cows.  I was tucked in behind the vehicle.  Look at the stare down of this one!  Scary.  I'm afraid the Hindus have picked an evil being for their sacred.

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And so it was, for the space of five(ish) miles, Spouse drove ahead of me, all the way through the cow herd 'n turd war zone.  I made it safely back to the "Open Range" sign – which going the other way, is a welcomed "closed range" sign.  Yay!  Once at this sign, however, Spouse was having such a grand time that he decided to leapfrog the entire 20 miles.  He'd drive ahead, get out his giant knockers, (aka binoculars) look at stuff, wait for me to pass, then drive ahead.  

He took great care of me.  I quite enjoyed him taking care of me.  To date, this 20-miler is among one of my favorites.  Even with the cows.  Purdy too!  Oh my heck!*  Purdy.

*"Oh my heck!" is a local Utah-ism.  One I try real hard-like not to say.  But being as we just returned from hickville, it was decently apropos.  Speaking of hickville, you shoulda seen them ranchers drive by.  All five of them.  They'd look at me as if to say, "You ain't from 'round hair, ur ya?  You ain't workin' hurd nuff if you got inergy ta run."


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Half Way!  Check out the sweat droplet.  

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Bovine behind barbed wire.  Where they should be.


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From whence I came.  This was a decent hill.


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From whence I plan to go.  Down hill then up again.

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Hot now.  No arm warmers.  Temperature was 79F when I finished.


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Finished!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Villain of Choice


If I could be any villain in the whole wide world, I'd pick Bellatrix.  That girl is Bad A.

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Or perhaps I'd be the Red Queen.  She, also, is Bad A.

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Oh, but then there's Mrs. Lovett.  Holy crap, a villain and a cannibal.  Bad A.

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I think my obsession with the above Bad A villains has more to do with my lust for Helena Bonham Carter (aka Mrs. Tim Burton), than their individual badness.  That woman gives me chicken skin (and chicken skin is good!  Especially with butter.)  I hear that the next villainous adventure from Mrs. Burton is in the form of a terminator.  I can't wait to get chicken skin from a robot.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Race Calendar

Spouse has asked for the race calendar.  With a text he said, "Are all of your races on 'the calendar?'"  I said not quite and got to it.  See Spouse and me share a Google calendar.  Sharing an on-line calendar has proven itself paramount in our parenting partnership.  When something comes up, you put it in the calendar.  If we both check the calendar on a regular basis, then we both know what's about to go down and out. Except for when one of the partners forgets to include events.  Like my part of the partner.

For giggles (cause somehow my race calendar gives me the giggles) I've decided to spell it out here. For all time and infinity.

June 30Timpanogos Half Marathon.  Tina's coming.  Yay! 
August 6Jupiter Peek Steeplechase. (Peak spelled Peek on purpose, 'cause I'm going to go to the top to have a peek. Isn't that what you do on peaks?  Peek?)
October 1 – St. George Marathon.  Number 9.  That's nine yays.
January 15 –  Houston Marathon.  Everyone says, "Why?"  and I always say "Why not?"

I'm sure some other stuff will come up.  But as of now, this is the plan.  What's on your race calendar?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tammy Wynette - Tuesday Tunes, vol 87

For many years, I've wanted to pick a bone or two with Tammy Wynette.  Rather than bombard you with a flowery introduction, I'll just come right out and say it: Tammy Wynette released a song called D.I.V.O.R.C.E., then released a tune called Stand By Your Man.  All in the same year, 1968.

Oh Tammy.  NO YOU DINUNT.

She did.  Somehow she thinks (thought) that you could do both the divorce thing and the stand-by-your-man thing.  She lectured us all about putting up with our men running amok, but called it quits with a pathetic divorce song – a song that required the spelling-it-out so the kids wouldn't know.

Now why the aich do I care?  I don't really.  Except for when I hear that D.I.O.V.R.C.E song.  For when I hear that song, I always insist on barking "How can Tammy get a way with a Stand By Yer Man song in addition to a D.I.V.O.R.C.E song?  How can she do that?!  It's just plain wrong.  Not to mention the poor woman was married five times.  FIVE!  That's just plain wrong too.  What does she think marriage is?  A piece of paper that you sign?"

As an aside I always get a chuckle when I remember ol' Hillary proclaiming that she's "not some Tammy Wynette standing by [her] man."  Um, Hillary?  Tammy, with her five divorces, didn't really stand by her man(s).  Just sayin'.  Perhaps Hillary needs a staffer to feed her with an accurate representation of pop (country) culture?

The D.I.V.O.R.C.E. song made its grand entrance at Vera's house last Saturday night.  In customary rabid fashion, I began my signature "Hypocrisy of Tammy Wynette" diatribe.  Vera told me to shut up and blog about it.  So that's why today's Tuesday Tunes are Tammy Wynette's:

D.I.V.O.R.C.E. 
Stand By Your Man

Irregardless of the hypocrisy, they're great tunes anyways. (That was for you Jenn.  Grin.)

So good are these tunes, that they've been covered multiple times.  My personal favorite?  Stand by Your Man - Motörhead

-

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mondays (and sometimes other days) are RAD!

I'm a Monday person.  Always have been.  Mostly it's because I'm more productive and whatnot on Mondays.  Generally this is due to a return to routine after a pandemic cram-it-til-it pops weekend.  Summers are expecially chaotic.

Speaking of summer Mondays, these summer Mondays (and sometimes other days) are RAD!  And the reason they are RAD! is because in the summers, people participate in races, and then when they're done racing, they blog about it.

Am I the only one that gets all charged up about this?  Today's Monday was expecially RAD!  Here's why:

Anyone else have a race report worth reading and/or sharing?  Please do! Haven't written your race report from last weekend?  Well get on it already!


p.s.  I have the tour now.  Just in time for the Alps.  We found a computer and hooked it to the our main stage TV so that I can absorb the tour while I go about my morning business.   Even though I no longer "need" the Tour de POOR ME playlist, I'm still listening to it because it's RAD!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bright-Sided



Bright-Sided
by Barbara Ehrenreich

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The last few years we've been rained upon by self-help this, and a bunch of power-to-the-postive that.  If you've read (or watched) The Secret, you know it's a book of promises from various life coaches, positive psychology buffs, and success gurus.  Theses folks say that you can have anything you want... even all that you want... just be positive, and dream it!

It's true.  Try it now.  Close your eyes and visualize me knocking on your door with dinner and tickets to Disneyland.  Make sure you keep it real by dreaming in color.  Kay?  Ready...?  Now go dream...!

Did I knock on your door?

Hopefully the answer is an affirmative nope. (An "affirmative nope" is a "nope" with a positive spin.  Gotta keep it positive.  Also, it seems that I'll need to stay home for the next while so as to prove this here point.)

The Secret promises stuff.  Mostly material stuff.  Riches, mansions, even your very own giraffe.   All you gotta do is be positive! And it will happen!  Just like that!  It's magic!  They promise this.  If you don't believe me, read the book.  Or watch the silly show.

The Secret et al. also promises lasting health, prolonged wearing of your skinniest jeans, as well as a visit from the positivity princess herself, Oprah.  All you gotta do is be positive.  Have cancer?  Be positive and it'll go away!  Broken feet?  Think happy thoughts and you'll walk tomorrow!  In your fattest of fat jeans?  No problem!  Think about rice cakes while you inhale twelve pizzas and a diet coke.  Those jeans will finally fit!  And Oprah?  Just subscribe to her magazine and she'll knock on your door too!

But what if you are positive, and you are dreaming for all of your riches and giraffes, and you fail to receive these riches and giraffes?  What then?  You failed.  You're a pessimistic ninny!  You aren't being positive enough!  That negative thought you thought about your dirty garage?  That ruined your chance of riches and giraffes!  Drop-down and give me the reading of all of Tony Robbinses books!  Or 25 push-ups.  You decide.

Truth is, I'm a believer in positive affirmations.  I believe that being positive makes things happen.  I believe that the more positive you are, the harder you will work, and the better your life.  I also believe that every now and again, we could all use a swift kick o' motivation.  So, in fairness to the mega-motivation squad, I believe they are on to something.

However, I don't believe the dream-it-and-achieve-it bull.  I subscribe to more of the dream-it-work-your-ass-off-then-scrupiously, even critically-review-your-work-and-then-achieve-it.  That's what I believe.

In regards to sickness, I believe there's a mind-body connection somewhere.  Not sure what it is, and at this point, it cannot be proven.  Irregardless, I believe (from my own experience) that the body will heal better if you're positively hopeful.  I believe that.  Do I believe that being hopeful alone will do the trick?  That's an affirmative nope (there I go being positively negative again.)  Health requires some work too.  That work might involve rest, or restraint, or exercise, or or some help from modern medicine.

I think Barbara Ehrenreich and I could agree on some things.  This Barbara is the author of today's book report titled Bright-Sided.  While we both agree that the motivation hocus pocus is a farce, I'm pretty sure Barbara believes there isn't a place in any country on any planet for the mega-motivation squad.  She's pretty much anti-mega-motivation squad.  This Barbara is a hard-core realist who believes we should see things as they are, and review them critically.

If you do some background research on Ms. Ehrenreich, you'll find that this realist, critical thinking stuff makes sense.  She's a scientist.  Scientists need and require facts and experiments with lots of control.  Positive Psychology doesn't have a lot of facts or control.

The inauguration of this Bright-Sided book came in the form of breast cancer.  Barbara was diagnosed with cancer and Barbara was pissed off about it (seems natural to me, I mean isn't anger one of the stages?)  To help her through it all, she started reading forums of various cancer support groups.  Groups she found overbearingly positive and obnoxiously fake.

As an experiment, Barbara left a comment about her general pissed-offness, and was told by many that she needed an attitude adjustment.  One commentator suggested hat her negative thoughts would suppress her immune system which would make the cancer run amok.  Good grief, even I know that the immune system has nothing to do with cancer because cancer cells are seen by the human body as human, and the immune system only combats foreign stuff.  Logically then, with that train of thought, one could presume that positive thoughts would increase, not decrease, cancer growth.  Just sayin'.

After recovering from cancer, Barbara Ehrenreich began to research this positive thinking phenomenon and wrote this Bright-Sided book.  She has illustrated some intriguing arguments for how the positivity craze has made American delusional.  Maybe she's right.  Still not sure.  In a chapter titled, "How Positive Thinking Destroyed the Economy," she blames the subprime mortgage mess on the positivity phantasm.  You might recall that this was the same subprime mortgage mess that wiped out the nation's economy.  Barbara says that the positive people envisioned riches, had been promised these riches, and therefore paid for said riches with debt.  Credit cards became easier to obtain, and the mortgage – with  that bonus! free money! second – became an ATM on the horizon, waiting, even hoping, to make the dreamer's mega-material wishes come true.

I don't believe that the subprime mortgage mess was the fault of positive thinking.  My personal opinion is our country has been able to avoid something called the "natural consequence."  Heard of this term, "natural consequence?"  It's where YOU make a decision, and YOU are responsible for the fallout of this decision.  Weird, right?  I know!  Somehow bankruptcy wasn't such a bad thing anymore, the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.  And somehow, maybe because the word "bail-out" is thrown around so much these days, over-extension has become a welcome way to have it all.  Even the giraffe.*

*Note that I'm talking about over-extension used to buy freaky not-necessary stuff, not overextension for various emergencies, so don't send me any hate mail.  However... if your overextension emergency involves a giraffe, then gads!  You got problems!

It just occurred to me that Barbara's whole problem with positivity, is that it makes people delusional.  Delusional people don't see consequences, so perhaps she might be indirectly right.  Hmmm.  Still thinking on this one.

With that, (which is pronounced damn-it in German) I'd like to conclude with a very thoughtful remark from this talented author:
"The alternative to positive thinking is not, however, despair.  In fact, negative thinking can be just as delusional as the positive kind.  Depressed people project their misery onto the world, imagining worst outcomes from every endeavor and then feeding their misery on these distorted expectations.  In both cases, there is an inability to separate emotion from perception, a willingness to accept illusion for reality, either because it "feels good" or, in the depressive's case, because it reinforces familiar, downwardly spiraling neural pathways. The alternative to both is to try to get outside of ourselves and see things "as they are," or as uncolored as possible by our own feelings and fantasies, to understand that the world is full of both danger and opportunity–the chance of great happiness as well as the certainty of death."

That Barbara is a smart cookie.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tour de POOR ME! (Tuesday Tunes, vol 86)

There's sadness around these parts.  There's tears, and sorrows, and dread, and pain, and depression, and suffering, and distress, and heartache, and mourning, and lamenting (not to be confused with lactating), and melancholy, and dolor, and agony, and tribulation, and weeping.  Basically all the synonyms for "woe" are happening around here.   Woe.  Is.  Me.

You deserve to know the dialectics for my dire despondency, in addition to the duration of its distress.  You deserve that much.  And as hard as it might be, I'll do my best between sobs to tell you all about it.

This story began many years ago, around about the time I calfed my first.  That first calf was Yahoo #1.  Being as children these days require the highest of maintenance, I quit The Job so as to take care of these children who are high maintenance.  This job that I quit, was a job I enjoyed – a job with pay, a job that rained ratifying remarks of recognition, a job that needed capital reference, hence the capitals in The Job.  Quitting The Job was a tough decision; the most difficult of decisions to date (aside from what I was going to wear to last year's St. George Marathon, but that came later.  Thank goodness!)

As most women know, quitting a job or The Job (in my case) is quite the adjustment.  Prolly The Adjustment, but that depends on the dens of life in which you are thrown.  Quitting a full time job to take care of children is sometimes such a big deal that it causes some women to short-circuit.  Some (only some) women end up with a rowdy case of Stay-At-Home-Momitis.

I ended up with a rowdy case of Stay-At-Home-Momitis.  (Sounds bad, doesn't it?  It is!  It's the worst itis of all the itises.)

In July of 2002, I found that all of this Stay-At-Home-Momitis could be soothed quite nicely.  It only required the most expensive of cable programming and six hours a day for most of July.  Each year.  This soother of all soothers is known as The Tour de France.  July 2002 was when I began arm-chair-racing The Tour de France.

Oh, how the Tour de France soothed!  It gave us homebody-mommies something to look forward to each year.  Something to watch as we went about the many repetitive tasks required to raise kids and other stuff.  Watching the Tour de France was my new "thing." It has also been a periodical "thing" on this, the rabidrunner blog.

For example, in May of 2007, I wrote about Giraffe Money, and how if I had this Giraffe Money, I'd "follow the Tour de France. (As opposed to listening to the comments of Al Trautwig and Bob Roll and Phil Ligget and Mark what’s his name)."


And then in July of that same year, I yakked about Nicolas Sarkozy, and mentioned that "I only follow French politics when they involve running or the Tour de France (Viva le Tour! Dull mornings no more! By the way, you can watch the tour live EVERY MORNING on the channel called VS which is 151 if you have dish network. If you have direct TV or one of those other two-bit operations, I cannot help you)."  I was super helpful that year, yes?


On July 30, 2007, we talked about P.T.D.F.D or Post Tour de France Depression.  It's really real!  Don't laugh.  But the Tour is not for everyone, on March 9, 2008, we talked about how Vera thinks watching the Tour de France is "the dumbest worstest waste of time ever," but we're friends anyways, 'cause friends do that disagree thing from time to time.  At least good friends do.

During the 2008 tour, Spouse was still in that one chair with wheels (aka The Chair,)  due to a couple of crushed calcaneuses.  We were homebound that summer because of some limited mobility, but that didn't matter.  We had Le Tour!  That year's Tour was one of 10 Reasons To Celebrate.

The 2009 Tour brought the Poka Dot Whore ('cause I wanted one of those polka dot dresses that the presenters for Most Mountain Minims wear, and was willing to, uh... you know... trade homemade bread or something for one.)  The 2009 year was also the year I confessed our Fourth of July sacrilege.  I announced that we usually spend the entire holiday watching cyclists in France.  Megan called me a filthy frog, and sent me France's national anthem through iTunes.

The 2010 Tour was documented best.  First, I declared my official love for the Schlecks, (Andy in particular because I love the letter "A.")   Many can recall that this was the year that I decided that the Schleck boys would marry my daughters.  Then Sweet Andy had a mechanical which caused a cute little cat fight between Paul and Phil.  When the tour ended, I devoted an entire post to the happenings of that year.  This, of course, included a grand ol' slobbering over Fabian's legs.  Friends...  Fabian is the new Fabulous.  Too bad I don't have a third daughter.

Finally, we shall get to the Woe. Is. Me. part, which I prefer to call Tour de POOR ME!

There is no Tour for me this year because we turned off the cable programming.  Why did we do this?  Because we don't really watch TV anymore. (Insert brazen, self-righteous, we're too-good-for-TV tone here.) Think of all the books, (music, hats, running shoes) that we could buy with that $100 each month!  It was a great idea back then.  Now?  Notsomuch.

So, in honor of Tour de POOR ME!, I have created a playlist of sad songs and called it Tour de POOR ME!  I'm going to listen to that playlist over and over until the end of July, or until someone buys me some cable TV.

With all the sadness of Arnold's lamentation of the women, I longingly present Tour de POOR ME!, in all of it's half-assed grandeur (no linkage 'cause I gotta go cook dinner now.  'Member? Kids are high maintenance and require dinner.  WTF?!  Why didn't anyone tell me that kids would need dinner every day?!  Every!  Day!  And sometimes even lunch!)

p.s. If you have a song to add, please do!  I got loads of cash to spend on music now that we don't spend loads of cash on cable TV.

My Life Is Totally Boring Without You - Cracker
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Hold On - Kansas
Girl Of Mysterious Sorrow  - Marc Cohn
Mad World (World Remix) - Tears for Fears
Don't Crash The Ambulance  - Mark Knopfler
Little One  -Beck
Bringin' on the Heartbreak  - Def Leppard
Guess I'm Doing Fine - Beck
Trouble In Here  - Howie Day
Hurt - Johnny Cash
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want  - The Smiths
Cat's In the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Nobody's Fault But My Own - Beck
Pleasure And Pain - Ben Harper
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room - John Mayer
I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet) - The White Stripes
Long, Long, Long - The Beatles
Down In A Hole - Alice In Chains
Cry Baby Cry - The Beatles
I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow -  The Soggy Bottom Boys
Is There Anybody Out There?  - Pink Floyd
Trampled Rose - Robert Plant  Alison Krauss
Polly Come Home -  Robert Plant  Alison Krauss
Edie (Ciao Baby) - The Cult
Country Sad Ballad Man - Blur
Sad Songs (Say So Much) - Elton John
Wake Up Alone - Amy Winehouse
One Of The Few - Pink Floyd
Grey In L.A. - Loudon Wainwright III
Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
Somebody's Crying - Chris Isaak
Already Dead - Beck
No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
In Repair - John Mayer
Mista Mista - The Fugees
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - Johnny Cash
The Homeless and the Hummingbirds - Alaska In Winter
Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.
All I Could Do Is Cry - Etta James
Miss You In A Heartbeat (Acoustic Version) - Def Leppard
That Year - Brandi Carlile
Lonely Nights - Chris Isaak
For All Tomorrow's Lies - Berlin
The Rainbow Connection - Sarah McLachlan
End Of The Day - Beck
Doesn't Remind Me - Audioslave
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club
Mr Blue - Yaz
Don't Get So Down On Yourself  - Chris Isaak
Sad Songs And Waltzes - Cake
Tearing In My Heart - Sunny Day Real Estate
Trouble - Coldplay
Lonesome Tears - Beck
Shake The Disease - Depeche Mode
Lightning Crashes - Live
Only the Lonely - The Motels
Cry Cry Cry - Johnny Cash
Lost Cause - Beck
Ocean Rain - Echo & The Bunnymen
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Cry For Freedom - White Lion
Side Of The Road - Beck
I Grieve - Peter Gabriel
Paper - Tiger Beck
The Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Candy Says - The Velvet Underground
Die - Iron and Wine
Bleeding Heart Graffitti - The Cult
Fire And Rain - James Taylor
The Funeral - Band of Horses
Someday Never Comes - Brandi Carlile
The Winner Takes It All - ABBA
No Woman, No Cry - The Fugees
Pavement Cracks Annie Lennox
I Can't - Ben Sollee
Wind Of Change - Scorpions
I'm So Tired - The Beatles
Hello Goodbye - The Beatles
Crash Course - Crash Test Dummies
Landslide - Smashing Pumpkins
Suffer the Children - Tears for Fears
Road To Nowhere - Ozzy Osbourne
Dear Prudence - The Beatles
Round The Bend - Beck
The Final Cut - Pink Floyd
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who
Up In Arms - Aslan
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Johnny Cash
Awful Sad - Jenny Scheinman
Yesterday's Mistake - Oi Va Voi
Dreaming With A Broken Heart - John Mayer
It's Been Awhile - Staind
Teardrop - Massive Attack
Dead and Done - obby Long
Don't Leave Me Now - Pink Floyd
Close Your Eyes-We Are Blind - Alaska In Winter
Mayonaise - Smashing Pumpkins
It's All In Your Mind - Beck
Sunday Sun - Beck
Heal the Pain - George Michael
This Train Don't Stop There Anymore - Elton John
Hey You - Pink Floyd
You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
Double Trouble (Alternate) - Muddy Waters
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes - Ultravox
Without You - Nilsson
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Tipping Point



The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell

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It's book report time!  It's the time in which I read a book, then record my reading of this book for all time and infinity.  Today's book is of the non-fiction, cross-between-economics-sociology variety.  I think.  I'm no economist or sociologist or non-fictionist.  But if I were to classify this book it would be non-fiction-economics-sociology.

First, let's start with the author.  I don't know much about Malcolm Gladwell, other than he's a writer for The New Yorker, and appears periodically on a Moth stage for some story-telling.  Now it's time for some author research, which, coincidentally, is my favorite part of book reporting.  This particular book is an extra special treat, because I feel there's a cosmic connection between the Rabid and the Gladwell.  Maybe it's because I'm super GLAD when I'm feeling WELL?  Maybe it's something else.  Let's find out, shall we?

Mr. Gladwell, a Canadian, is the result of some diverse melting pot heritage.  They say he descends from Indian, Igbo, Irish, English, and Scottish ancestors.  They also say he's a distant cousin of Colin Powell.

When I learn of someone, or meet someone, I always like to observe where they come from.  I like to get information on each of their parents; what they do for a living, what they're good at, their education, hobbies, and other stuff.  People are very interesting.  They are.  And I find people are much more interesting when you get to know their parents, and subsequently observe how the offspray managed to pick and choose certain characteristic.  One day I'll tell you all about my parents.

Today, however, I want to talk a bit about Malcolm's parents.  Mr. Gladwell's father, Graham Gladwell, (GG!) was born in England and is a civil engineering professor.  His mother, Joyce, was born in Jamaica, studied psychotherapy, and has authored a book or two herself.  The Gladwells met in England where they had little Malcolm.  When Malcolm was six the family moved to Elmira, Ontario, Canada.

Right directly, you can see why Malcolm Gladwell had an interest in scientific research that involves social behaviors.  Scientist, engineering dad, and psychotherapist mom who writes – ba-bing! Malcolm Gladwell.  It's like magic isn't it?  I mean, I wonder if he just cued into the many actions and whatnot of his parents, or if they raised him to be this way on purpose.  I'm raising kids now, you know, and these types of thoughts are very interesting to me.

Another interesting thing about Malcolm Gladwell is that he ran middle distance in high school.  See!  I knew there was a connection somehow, somewhere.  We are both GLAD when we feel WELL, and we both spend/spent time running.

Now that we've observed the author, let's move on to the book.  The Tipping Point, is a study of how little things can make a big difference.  The book reviews a collection of earth-shattering events that were "tipped" into action by small little happenings.

The concepts and what-have-you are far too involved to begin summarizing here, but I'll give it by best shot.  Basically, there are some people-types in this world that facilitate the spreading of these Tipping Points.  They are connectors – people who know and collect massive amount of people and friendships; the Mavens – people who store massive amounts of information about a particular subject; and finally, Persuaders – people who are able to sell just about anything.

Connectors, Mavens, and Persuaders are the people that expedite big happenings.  They are the people that spread the word because they know people, they know things, or they can sell things.  This is mostly because people will actually listen and act upon whatever Connectors, Mavens, and Persuaders say and do.  These type of people spread trends, products, and services.  They also spread disease.

Another item of interest is what Gladwell refers to as "The Stickiness Factor."  In order for epidemics to spread – both good and bad – the concept must "stick."  He goes over certain theories and research that reveal what makes things stick.

For example, stickiness research was conducted on a show called Sesame Street.  They studied children while watching the show to determine what types of things get concepts to stick.  That's how big bird came to be.  They found that while the adult actors were yak-yak-yaking on the street, the kids didn't pay attention and would not learn what the adults were teaching.  When a puppet of some kind was thrown in with the adults, however, the concepts would stick.  Since they needed a puppet that could be filmed walking, they creating a giant bird and called him Big Bird.

When it comes to the Stickiness Factor, there is also something called "The Power of Context" – how the context of the individual determines whether a concept will stick.  One example used was nicotine addition, and how only certain types of people become addicted.  They found that the genetic makeup of a person – context – determines whether an individual will become addicted.  Some people, in their current context, are more susceptible than others to the Stickiness Factor.

This is a fabulously fascinating book.  It's a thinker.  And highly recommended.

Other Malcolm Gladwell books include: Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures.  I think I'll check those out too.


-

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Pound Hound Positioning


This is what happens when you put a GPS on the Pound Hound, then let him loose on a track:

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And here are the stats.  Check out the max speed of 22.1.  He should be my new coach.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday Tune, vol 85 – Powerful Stuff


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Today's Tuesday Tunes are all about Fireworks.  I'm going to just tell you that up front.  I'm also going to tell you, (upfront again) that this post may or may not include actual tunes.  I haven't decided yet.  Mostly because there are precisely 188 songs that I have chosen for today's Tuesday Tunes.  That's 12.4 hours of play using 1000.1 megabytes.  Firework tunes, like fireworks themselves, can be powerful stuff, so the more the better.   I know that no one on this green(ish) earth will take the time to listen to even a small percentage of my Powerful Stuff Playlist.

And you thought we'd talk about running today.  Hah!  Well, I suppose we could.  I could tell you that I ran Big Springs on Saturday (15 miles in Provo Canyon), then ran around my little town and some of the neighbor towns on Monday (11.5 miles.)  There.  Did that satisfy your need to read about running?  If not, maybe perhaps you should find a blog that has "run" in its title.

Oh right.  "Run" is in "RabidRUNner."  I should prolly tell you upfront that we talk about running only some of the time. Perhaps I should prolly talk to management about that.  We also say "prolly" a lot around here.  Mostly 'cause we're lazy and don't want to type probably in it's entirety.  That probably is a doozie, takes a lotta letters, and even more syllables to say and think it.

So, fireworks.  Here in the 'Tah (Utah,) fireworks made the news in a big way.  During the last legislative session, the governor of the 'Tah, one Gary Herbert (who I know well and have over for brunch* because I went to school with his kids,) signed a bill that would allow the use of multi-shot aerial fireworks.  These multi-shot aerials are also referred to as "cake" fireworks – and is anyone else surprised at what a wiki-geeked-up world we live in?  There's a wiki page for cake fireworks!

*Totally kidding about having The Gov over for brunch.  We don't do brunch.


Up until this year, fireworks in Utah had to remain on the ground, like a fountain, and could only spew so high.  In other words, they are totally and completely and unequivocally unworthy of the cash you'd hand over in exchange.  

For as long as I can remember, folks from the 'Tah have been driving to our close 'n tight neighbors named Wyoming for aerial fireworks.  Wyoming allows and sells all sorts of aerial fireworks.  Many have crossed this gateway into the wild, ferocious, and aerial-fireworked east to hand over hundreds and return with contraband.  Spouse had a Grandma, who we'll call "Grandma Magic," who had a thing for these aerial fireworks.  She'd load Spouse and tribe into her current boat and sail the I-80 all the way to Evanston.  Spouse says those were some good times.  Part of the reason she's Grandma Magic.  

There are rumors that cops would line the Wyoming/Utah border, stop cars at random, and search for any unauthorized loot, but I have no source that says this is true.  I've also heard that some have been stopped at the border, and have been forced to watch the cops take away their hundreds-of-dollars-in-aerials stash.  I'm sure tears were involved.  Much like when you're driving to California and they make you leave your oranges behind.

Now, there's one small problem with this illegal pastime.  It's not like cocaine, where you can tuck yourself into a bathroom so as to consume and enjoy.  No-sir-ee.  To consume and enjoy illegal fireworks, one must do so outside.  In the open.  For all to see.  You do it in a bathroom and you'll die.  I suppose you could die doing cocaine in a bathroom too, so maybe that corollary isn't a good one.

Anyway, in previous years, the cops could drive around during firework season, see your illegal fireworks in the air, and drive right to your house, because, like, duh, it's pretty easy to see where the ashes drop.  Once these cops would arrive at your house, they'd ask to see your stuff, you'd reveal your stuff, and they'd take it away.  Not that I'm telling you this out of experience or anything.  A-hem.  

I guess that the Utah legislators and whatnot noticed the loads of cash going to our neighbors named Wyoming.  They figured that for the good of the economy and whatnot, it was time we tried to keep that cash here.  I suppose that's the reason the Gov et al. decided to allow aerial fireworks; to keep the hard-earned Utah cash in Utah.  

Well... IT TOTALLY WORKED!

Boy did it work!  The Rabid household rarely blows cash on fireworks.  This year?  Boy-oh-boy, did we blow cash on aerial (and ONLY* aerial) fireworks!  And if you were to visit our little hood last night, you'd see that perhaps the pooled firework cash could build an entire pool.  Not kidding.  There was a time when I was sure something would catch on fire, or someone would burst an ear drum, or that one of those beloved aerials would blow before leaving the ground.

*That's if you don't count sparklers as fireworks.  You know... fer the kiddies, and those who might want to write "rabidrunner" in the air or something.

It turned out to be safe night.  No one was hurt, and all were wow'd (except for a few who locked themselves inside.)  Was it a good move for Utah?  Not sure.  Is it safe?  Absolutely not.  I suppose the danger element is what lures.  

If you would like tunes, holler.  I've got that 12.4 hour, 1000.1 megabyte, 188 song'd playlist that I could prolly share.  Includes AC/DC's TNT, among other powerful stuff.




Friday, July 01, 2011

AF Canyon Half Marathon Race Recap

In the world of running, there are races, and then there are RACES!  And among the RACES!, there's one called THE BEST RACE EVER!  There's only room for one race in that BEST RACE EVER! classification, and the AF Canyon Half Marathon (and 5k) is it.  IT, I tell ya, IT!

So what makes this AF Canyon Half Marathon (and 5k) THE BEST RACE EVER?  Eee gads, there are thousands of reasons, lemme give you some of those reasons.

1) The Cause.  All of the proceeds from the AF Canyon Half Marathon (and 5k) go to help a local someone who cannot pay for cancer treatment.  I believe the official amount of cash raised was around $55,000.  That's a lot of dough for one little race on its inaugural year.  I cannot wait to see what happens next year.

Speaking of this cancer cause, it brought a feeling of togetherness.  I know this sounds cheesy, but it's true.  And I like cheese anyways.  The folks from American Fork Hospital and Select Med set up stickers that said "In honor of...." and you could list the names of loved ones (presumably who've had or have cancer.)  They also had cancer-representing ribbons in all of the established colors (pink for breast, sky blue for prostate, teal for ovarian, etc.)  Sadly, I looked at that display of ribbons and knew someone who has had each of those cancers.  I decided to choose ribbons for the two people I know that are dealing with cancer now – colon cancer's dark blue for Camie, and bright orange for Emily and leukemia.  Emily is the daughter of some friends of mine who has been fighting leukemia since the fall of 1998.

The sticker and ribbon flair set the mood for helping others.  But the predominant mood setter was a little speech given by Fat Cyclist, just before the race started.  Through his blog Fatty has managed to raise millions of cancer-fighting dollars.  Millions!  And that's real Millions not like Dr Evil's phony millions.

Fatty has some serious experience with cancer.  You can read his speech here.  You can also read his race report here.  And if you decide to read his race report, make sure you check out the very last photo of the Hammer Runner's legs.  Wow!  Even if you decide not to read his race report, it might be worth your effort to just click on over to this link and look at the Hammer Runner's legs.  (I have a total girl crush on the Hammer Runner and her legs.)

2) The Course.  I dare say that this course, the AF Canyon Marathon (and 5k) course, is the finest around.  It's beautiful, it's fast, it's quick, and it's speedy.  Did you catch that this course is fast?  So fast is this course, that I'm making plans for a serious P.R.  Like, I wanna 1:25.  I said that all the way down to the finish... I said, "Give.  Me.  1:25.  I wanna 1:25!  DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME ONE TWENTY FIVE!!!"  I say "down to the finish" and "DROP DOWN" because it's all downhill.  Actually, I lied.  There are three little bumps along the way.  So, aside from the three little bumps it's all downhill.

My official time this year was 1:32:30, but I want faster.  FASTER, I tell ya!  Faster.  But, then again, I always want faster.  I told my neighbor Stu that I wanted a 1:25, and he replied with a "Well that should be easy.  All you gotta do is run faster."  IT'S TRUE!  He is so very wise.

Now that we've covered the quickness of this course, let's talk about the beauty.  Have you visited this American Fork Canyon?  It's beautiful.  It truly is.  Words will not do it justice, so if you live in the vicinity of this American Fork Canyon, pack yourself a picnic and take a field trip.  It will be time well spent.  And then perhaps I can hold a little "Why I love American Fork Canyon" essay contest.  Saaaaay.  That's not a bad idea... anyone care to play?

Also, the river is raging.  Like whitewater raging.  As I ran down that canyon, I thought about how fun it would be to find a raft and float it.  I like rivers.  Spouse calls me the Riverologist because I love to look at maps of rivers – you know, to see where they come from and where they go.  Rivers have an unspoken story.  Looking at a map of a river tells a story without sentences, kinda like poetry.

3) The Party.  The party element of the AF Canyon Marathon was... well... the perfect party.  It started with a slumber party with Rachel (and by the way, we didn't sleep out on the tramp like we were twelve.  We're in our 30s now and have 30-year-old-ish backs, so a sleep-out on the tramp will not fare well the night before a big race.)  Then there was the bus ride with friends and almost all of my neighborhood.  Then there was the over-the-top-organization of the race.  Then there was the flood of smiling volunteers.  Then there was Spouse and my Yahoos, complete with bed head, cheering me into the finish (a stones-throw from our front door.)  And then there was the food, music, and friends.  It was the best party I've been to in a while.  It also helped that my friend Danielle won overall Female with a 1:21.

4) The Shirt.  Remember how I said that "a woman has needs.  And one of those needs is a woman's sized shirt"?  Well, the accompanying shirt to the AF Canyon Half Marathon did not disappoint.  I have already worn it twice.  It's way cute.  The dude shirt is not way cute though.  It's way macho.  Just as it should be.


The AF Canyon Marathon (and 5k) is my new favorite run.  It is, indeed, THE BEST RACE EVER!*  It will be what I'm doing at the end of June every year, for as long as I can run.  Care to join me?