Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Poem For Spring


Desdemona and Terrazzo are featured in a dramatic reading of "A Poem For Spring", wherein a dewy maiden proclaims her troth to the virile and enigmatic Forest Prince.

Friday, September 17, 2010

If Carhartt Made Wedding Dresses…

"La Paloma de Alba"

This lovely two-piece bib overall mermaid gown has delicate, feminine details throughout. From the hand-beaded, antique-finish nickel hardware brooch detail on the sweetheart bodice, to the cascading rose at the hip, it is a gorgeous dress for the modern bride.

Field-Tested, multiple tool and utility pockets. Faux-braided ribbon closure at back; breakaway honeymoon closure on side. Made of 11.75-ounce, 100% denim cotton, with triple-stitched main seams, satin-polyester facings and taffeta trim material. Also available in Nomex®™.

Shown in Sandstone. Available in Moss, Dark Green and Enhanced Black.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Suck it Up, Cupcake

Geoff Roes in the final 100 yards of his record-setting 15hr 07min Western States 100 win. Finish line at Western States 100, Auburn, CA. June 26 2010.

Today I'm going to slit the throat of some sacred cows. First out of the box was this on-line hilarity: "When your runs aren't fun anymore", which cited the following:
  • running not fun
  • tired legs
  • discomfort
Oh my. If I'd quit when "running wasn't fun" I'd never get past the 50-yard line. On a downhill course. Meet our constant companion, homeostasis.

Briefly, it means "The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes." In plain language: never moving off your comfort zone. Common example: people hovering in a Costco parking lot trying to get the spot closest to the door. It usually involves a lot of ass-time. You're going to have to step out in order to move up.

This past weekend I was on a run 20% longer in time, and 100% greater in vertical gain, than I'd been on in months. Was I not having fun? yes. Did I have tired legs? Oh yes. Was I in discomfort? yes.

The main differences with all three was that I knew that these were not the end of the world. I was pounding down electrolytes [old-school Gatorade] and water. This forestalled dehydration, and then dementia. I kept moving [because then my legs wouldn't lock up]. I kept calories coming in, because brains require a steady nutrient drip to keep making good decisions.

When I got back to the car, I broke out a tall beaker, and helped my immediate recovery as follows:

  • 12oz cranberry juice [reasonably organic, non HFCS-tainted]
  • 12oz water
  • 3 scoops soy protein powder

Whisk up, drink fast. I keep the juices etc diluted to 50%, as there's no need to bang yr insulin levels around.

I could feel the recovery start right there. Keep rehydrating afterwards with water as needed through to bedtime.


Part of the conditioning process is going to involve muscle fatigue. You'll have to figure out if you're:

  • too much, too soon physical acceleration.
  • Overstressed and undertrained.
  • Over-raced and under-rested

Are you over-weight and previously sedentary?

If so, you have to s-l-o-w-l-y acclimate your body to the new loads you are placing on it. And that will involve discomfort.

Each sport and activity has its own specificity. You're gonna have to practice at it to get good. Some cross-training is good, but don't count on time away from the discipline to make you fabulous.

Last year I read an unintentially hilarious post about some Cross-Fitters who were talking big about how they were going to blow up a 100-mile race based on their Cross-Fit and 30mpw. They got to 75 miles and dropped, with blisters the size of dollar pancakes.

I don't dispute Cross-Fit's overall strength-building premise. But it was clear that somebody's running training was not equal to the task.

Respect the sport, and respect the distance. I've never cared much for shorter-distance races [ie 5 & 10ks]. It was too much suffering up-front in too little time. The shorter the race, the hotter it gets.


Then, I was recently reading online about "how to break up your long runs". If I'd been driving I would've rubbernecked, and rear-ended the car in front of me. The article was aimed at half-marathon runners, and was fixated on how you couldn't or shouldn't run more than 3 hours. The specters of overuse injuries wafted over the proceedings.

I used to live in that state of fear. Let's take a look at these fears:

Long Runs

Yes, you can, and eventually will, run longer than three hours. And you won't die, provided you take care of yourself. Meaning: you are weather-appropriate, you are well-hydrated, you've conditioned yourself sensibly, and you aren't acting like a dick.

The long run was defined as 2-1/2 hours. You won't be pounding it out at a 90% race pace either.

Also mentioned or implied in the fear of long runs is the prevalence of injury among runners. Once again, refer to the previous list of three.

Injuries do not occur because a god, deity or cartoon-character is angry with you. Injuries are your body's way of telling you that you didn't do something very bright somewhere along the line, or a hidden stress point has been tapped. You then get to fix it, and learn from the experience.

I've known more people than I care to remember who ran while injured. They never let themselves heal properly. This type of behavior is typical of 'wounded persons/injured runners' who desperately need to get a life.


Run nutrition here is liquid-based, or liquid dominant. Back in the day I'd make a "Gator-plex" mutant hybrid of Gatorade and Carboplex. It kept enough calories and electrolytes in me to accomplish what I needed. Now its Gatorade and Clif-Bars, plus some date-expired GU I was comped.

The Great Wall
There is a lot of jabbering about "the Wall" eek-eek-eek!

The Dreaded Wall®™ is when the body runs out of glycogen and then starts hitting your fat reserves. Its not a fun transition, but usually memorable. Adequate nutrition takes care of this problem. Worst-case scenario: keep walking, and improvise.

Once on a training run, I hit so hard it was hilarious. I dragged myself to a hot-dog stand, filled a little paper cup several times with relish, ate that, then got a long drink of water. I stabilized, and continued. I wasn't very fast, but it was passable.

SMELL THE FEAR, Then Draw your own Conclusions

If I was training by the typical "received wisdom" none of what I've done would've happened. Forty years ago the conventional wisdom was that women couldn't run, and that their uteri would prolapse on them. Yes, they'll prolapse if they are in sloppy physical shape.

Don't limit yourself. Find a way to do it smart. And suck up the discomfort.

Smøüldering Midget X: Rise Of The Spin Cycle

A real runner, not me, a long time ago.

Smøüldering Midget X commenced under a brightening gray-light with a breathtaking roster of talent. The event sponsors were pleased at the massive turnout which would maximize viral marketing efforts for D&L Holistic Industries' "Trail Porn Light", Offshore Vacuum Party Gmbh, Hannah Montana Man-Bras, and "Sturdy, the Feral Mule" Outdoor Leadership, LLC.

In the end, this event would yield a surprising new development to the traditional "Thing 1/Thing 2 Kontest fur World Domination®™". Since Ian Torrence was a no-show, I moved up a full 3 places. Full deets below the jump.


In a category all her own, she'd expressed pre-event speculation that as a rapidly-aging, over-the-hill mother of a young daughter, would be slow, etc. In a rare lucid moment, I didn't bet her on the outcome, and so did not forfeit the pink-slip to my car, house, speedboat and ATV. She also played her cards cannily by taking a right turn at the Notch, ostensibly to "save her legs" for some upcoming event, but in reality getting back for the Ratt/Dokken double-header down below the Polyester Curtain.

Local boy who grew up on the mountain, back when his contemporaries were mulletting things over in their fragile, eggshell minds; keeps his visions to himself.

The only member of the famed "Icy Hot Stuntaz 02" Team to show this year, "Jay-G" modestly talked smack about his diminished abilities, yet ran away from his last remaining reminder of running mediocrity on the long approach to the Mt Baldy Summit.

Beneath his signature hat, all cunning and guile behind a genial smile and a killer downhill style. When he takes air, he shows the New Jack how its done, old-school.

Hitching up his 54" waist/18" inseam shorts to his full 4'10 height, he began the run with a full-salvo from the Missing Man Formation of Barking Ducks. His scanty training combined with florid limitations proved fatally comedic for hapless Big-Horned Sheep on the mountain, of whom several expired from the sheer improbability of it all.


Putting on my Big Boy Pants and toy sunglasses, I lurch from the Third-Person Improbable to the First Person Singular. Look out.

I got my head handed to me in a take-out box. Mt Baldy and 3Ts: 6,000' of climb over 20mi, is about 2x my previous efforts, and higher than I've been in several years. Everybody else ran off ahead of me, which is impressive as we were all going uphill. Even the Bighorns mocked me by blowing Lucky Strike smoke in my face, then mooning me. Bristlecone Pines shuffled off when they saw me coming, and the squirrels in the branches cracked their nuts.

Early on, Miss Miwok surged ahead, flinging altitude gain an uphill miles aside like generic kettle-balls. Casino Bingo and Larry "OG" Grill fought gamely to keep the lid on the Red-Headed One. Shooting off the top of Mt Baldy, ignoring the GPS Day Hikers, Hiking Betties, and confused hiking-stick wielders, they blasted down to the Notch.

Miss Miwok and Jay G ricocheted off the Notch, and took the fabled right turn down to Wanker Flats. Casino Bingo and OG elected to take up a hobby while waiting for the tardy Mr Trail Safety. In the fullness of time, I arrived, and convinced me that I didn't look that bad. Pulling myself up to my full 4'3" height, I concurred, without knowing why. Off to the Three T's!

Proceeding eastward on the Trail of Tearz®™, we begin the ascent to Mt Thunder. But before we can get too comfortable, we're on a character-debilitating downhill stretch to a seductive saddle, followed by a long climb up to Telegraph Peak. Bingo and OG surge ahead, and Mr Trail Safety is left with his two remaining brain cells, who aren't talking to each other. Life's good! At the top of Telegraph, I encounter two men who I realize are the grandsons of Bingo and OG. They look just like them, imagine!

[Insert more running poot here; meditative musings about calories, hydration, moral uplift, etc. Then the part about the lithe hottie in the bright magenta jog-bra.]

At Ice House Saddle, Enchanting Lytle Creek beckons, but such was not to be. We chose not to pass the duchy on the left hand side, and instead were sybaritic poodles and made the peloton to the right. This is where the Thing 1/Thing 2 Kontest was revealed.

By an arcane formula, the original Thing 1 was now a fraction of his former self, hereinafter referred to as "Thing 47/64ths". The New Thing One was none other than Larry "OG" Grill, representing' old-school, and shit. Setting a fierce downhill pace, Fractional Thing and Thing 2 could only marvel at his fury. Further demonstrating his Old-School Cred, he took epic air, fell, and left blood on the rocks, then got up, and kicked more ass to the finish. The Ice House Cyn Trail is all technical, with only the finest ball-bearings unevenly distributed for the enjoyment of the hiking public.

At this point, "Smøüldering Midget X" coverage cut away to a recap of Hollywood-rehab softball league coverage, so the finish results are ambiguous. Sponsors are enraged, and there are rumblings of legal action. There will be additional photographic evidence and a sealed indictment by later this week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Springtime for Dipshits!

Apple refutes persistent claims that the new iPhones only work for hot vegan betties who hold them level like bonsai trays and coo into them while driving Mini-Coopers.
3 hours ago

Mel Gibson holds solitary prayer vigil as Polanski's lawyers lose 11th-hour Swiss asylum bid for Lindsay Lohan.
16 hours ago

Lindsay Lohan goes to jail! Officials scramble on capping and top-kill strategies. Meanwhile, Larry King, Droning Predator, dreams of taking to the skies again.
Yesterday at 6:39am

I offer my considerable expertise as a Certified Entropy Coach to help you miss your true potential, so you may squander your worth, and enter the next bardo completely at a loss. Pre-paid plans only, operators standing by.
July 17 at 1:08pm

Anthem-Blue Cross reportedly studying current North Korean medical practices to enhance profit delivery.
July 16 at 10:59am

Weekend Movie Preview: "Sorcerer's Apprentice" [Disney, 2010] Nic Cage fights a shadowy international conspiracy that tries to undo a bungling apprentice's efforts to keep Monica Bellucci's dress on. PG13, 2hrs.
July 15 at 7:54pm

Bristol & Levi: The Dream Continues®™. Sarah keeps the brand fresh with the "Wedding Episode", where Mel "Rose Garden" Gibson reads from 1st Corinthians, then introduces himself to the bridesmaids.
July 15 at 9:05am

NEWSMAKERZ!: Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston engaged, will remain abstinent for the next several news cycles; Dick Cheney gets a new pump and air-to-air refueling boom.
July 14 at 3:52pm

As I rode my bike in LA traffic yesterday afternoon, cars used their horns to blow me air-kisses. I reciprocated by "cropdusting".
July 14 at 8:46am

Your favorite Mel Gibson Quotes [non-movie only, please!] Discuss!
July 12 at 7:53pm

Organic white corn chips are virtuous. Unsalted is rubbing it in.
July 12 at 8:50am

Disney rolls out their new game show, "Who's F*cking Goofy?" First celebutard guests: Lindsay Lohan and LeBron James. Other letters of the alphabet will be represented soon.
July 10 at 12:30pm

With LeBron James' departure to Miami, Zanesville's chances suddenly brightened.
July 9 at 9:03am

SPY DRAMA UPDATE: Russia will exchange 11 physicists for Anna Chapman and the 5 NY suspects, including LeBron James. The Kremlin declined Lindsay Lohan. The swap will take place at Checkpoint Yakov Smirnoff in Branson, MO.
July 8 at 8:40am

Anna Chapman typed her last message to her Muscovite spy handlers. Stifling a sob—she would never frolic in Monaco with Princes William and Harry. Jack Bauer gripped his joystick and stared hard at the intercept: FML/FTW/LOL.
July 7 at 8:39am

The drizzle had stopped. Lindsay Lohan was due to make a court appearance. Jack Bauer gripped his joystick with fierce determination as the Predator drone took off. Would the vaunted BioMetric HottieTrak Imaging Software work as promised by the contractor? The clock was ticking...
July 6 at 7:18pm

NEWS NOTES: Texas Ag Officials note upswing of vegan vampire teens leaving bite marks on squash and zucchinis; LA braces for 2nd hour of "Drizzle Watch 2010!" as thousands of luxury cars and SUVs are unable to leave their garages.
July 6 at 9:03am

Brain-dead audiences agree that 1D plot-lines look better in 3D, especially with $40 popcorn glistening with toothsome culinary lubricant.
July 3 at 6:40am

For July 4th fireworks, I'm staying home...in my neighborhood its Mexico v. Armenia for ordnance detonation.
July 2 at 5:51am

Opening at the Hazmat Octoplex near you: "The Last Airbender" (2010). ••• Beans, Fried Eggs, Kim Chee, Chili. Flang (Boa Rinker) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements…
July 1 at 1:57pm

In a world gone mad... the only thing that strikes fear into the "Twilight" franchise comes out of the past ..."Scent of a Woman"
July 1 at 11:26am

The African Gray Parrot has a brain the size of a shelled walnut. Humans have brains the size of melons. The difference is that the African Gray's brain is fully utilized, and is a consciousness that has no need or use for polyester, nuclear weapons, off-shore drilling or multi-level marketing.
June 24 at 9:16am

What was "It Pays To Increase Your Word Power" is now urbandictionary.com.
"I Am Joe's Brain" would implode.
June 23 at 1:41pm

Right now, I'm channelling Mojo Nixon: "I'm only kidding/Can't you tell?/I love his sensitive music Idiot poetry, swell..."
June 23 at 8:58am

This week on Animal Planet: "Judgmental Ben" disses other bears that wander into stupid human swimming pools, dumpster dive, eat chubby poodles, getting tranked in the process. Hosted by Paula Abdul.
June 22 at 9:17pm

Tonight on Discovery: "Dental Ben". America's favorite flossing grizzly shares tips on how to Cub Scout fragments from behind molars.
June 21 at 3:45pm

Health-Club 101: You can't outrun a fart on a treadmill.
June 21 at 1:39pm

Hollywood is crippled by sequels...but somehow I don't think that "The Postman", "Ishtar" and "Schindler's List" are being versioned out.
June 20 at 7:36pm

This Father's Day, my Billions of Unborn®™ tried to call me. My rotary phone was off the hook.
June 20 at 2:04pm

The Painter of Light, "wet reckless and deuced", this time in Pantone 502...

This Week in Crazy: This Week in Crazy: Thomas Kinkade
His pastel dream world has become a lurid place of failed sobriety tests, bankruptcy and Winnie the Pooh abuse. Articles about This Week in Crazy
June 19 at 11:18am
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Monday's Laker victory parade will reportedly feature The Massed Burning Shopping Kart Drill Teamz, bringing up the rear, yo.
June 19 at 7:12am

Having just seen the trailer for SATC2, I find myself imagining "what would Miranda and Samantha do?" Nevermind Jacaranda and Anaconda.
June 18 at 8:54am

Gunshots, M-80s, now car horns. Lakers musta won, and shit.
June 17 at 9:20pm

Damn, if the Lakers lost tonight, a buncha dude in my office are gonna be real, real sad campers tomorrow. Like having to honor their $1 bets by writing "Lakers suck!" on them.
June 17 at 8:33pm

I was watching my office today implode under the weight of Lakermania and World Cup. Delicious.
June 17 at 7:51pm

BP tell the truth? Act honestly? HAH! The last time these bastards, along with the other Oil CEO asshats appeared before the Senate, they couldn't be bothered with swearing to tell the truth. And none of those spineless bought-n-paid-for poodles made them. Over $4.4B in profits for 2009 cuts a lotta ties.
June 16 at 9:23pm

Pat Robertson mysteriously silent as to whether Satan made a pact with BP. All parties are not returning calls.
June 16 at 4:15pm

‎"Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 3.0". Hijinks and hilarity ensue when the pants are worn by the Olsen Twins, both at the same time!
June 16 at 11:20am

Somewhere in Hollywood, a movie based on the comic-strip "Cathy" is waiting to be born in a suburban multiplex. This may yet save Jennifer Anniston's career.
June 14 at 7:27pm

I'm not even half-done with Tony Hayward, BP's CEO. In addition to all cleanup costs and damages [and not fought in court ala Exxon, btw]; he needs to drink a glass of water, with a light crude sheen, every day, for the rest of his life.
June 14 at 12:44pm

Today, Orly Taitz is trying to find her Kenyan flag.
June 14 at 7:07am

Hipsters unsettled by arrival of a transit-mix oatmeal truck at street-fair. Only 10 cubic feet were sold that day.
June 13 at 3:14pm

To all the knuckleheads who were screaming for smaller government are now pissed off that Obama isn't kicking BP's ass hard enough. Face up! The government you wanted is really corporate serfdom. Now whatcha gonna do about it?
June 10 at 9:01pm

‎"I'm from BP, & I'm here to help!"
June 10 at 7:06am

‎"Fat Boy Rebooted 2.0" Jonah Hill and Seth Rogin battle for total Vegas domination as they race cross-country on lawn tractors. Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman costar, with some hawt chix. Directed by Judd Apatow.
June 8 at 7:50pm

I guess the answer was "no..."

Woman killed by lightning in mountaintop proposal | World news | guardian.co.uk
A man's plan to propose to his girlfriend on a mountain in the US ended in tragedy when the pair were struck by lightning, it was reported today.
June 8 at 6:22pm
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Little Walter's "Hate To See You Go" is a menacing boxing workout; sharp combinations of drums, guitar, harmonica and haunted vocals at a relentless pace.
June 7 at 8:17pm

"...honey, is it supposed to be this soft?" Whoops! That was "Animal House". Wonder if Mrs Rush 4.0 read and signed the pre-nup.••• h/t Angela O. for the matrimony alert!

Limbaugh to wed as Hollywood flirts with his life story - Yahoo! News
Will the fourth time be the charm for Rush Limbaugh?
June 4 at 8:20pm
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Potential BP lobbyists resist idea of swimming 1/2 mile thru oil-slicked waters as employment pre-requisite; citing unsafe workplace environment and preferential hiring practices that favor mutant Norway rats.
June 3 at 8:10pm

Oil-stained lobbyists and accompanying tar-balls wash up on Capitol Hill. They appear to be in good condition, and have quickly adapted to their new environment.
June 3 at 6:54am

Since Juneteenth is around the corner, let's all stop and chew on this nugget.

Texas: Texas textbooks and the truth about the Confederacy
Texas is right: We should teach kids about Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy. But let's tell the whole story
June 1 at 8:46pm
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BP spokesbots as yet unaware of the massive bullshit plume and sea-mount building under their very feet. CEO Tony Hayward is bummed, "wants his life back"; will get signed sympathy card from 50,000 dead turtles and dolphins.
June 1 at 6:54pm

Here's the real news...the BP blowout will be a corporate win. They'll buy the Congress they want [thanks, SCOTUS!], hide profits, claim losses, whine like little bitches for tax-breaks, and Obama gets all the blame for failure.
May 29 at 5:46pm

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Change Of Shapes To Come

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

Getting back in shape hurts. I was haunted by what I knew what I used to do. I'm not trying to recover my youth—I needed to recover a new definition of fitness, and decided that I had to start pushing it again.

I lucked out. There's a gym in the office park I work in. I can ride my bike 10-1/2miles from home, into a shower. What a luxury! Looking around the gym, I noticed weight machines, and the hook: a free physical assessment.

The verdict confirmed the anecdotal: I'd put on 20lbs over my prime fighting weight, my arms were Gumbyesque, torso and core strength was kinda sad, and my Hannah Montana man-bra was getting snug.

What to do now, middle-aged man-child? I had the nice fitness pro cook up a program to build strength and fitness. She did, and two days later, I was shown the exercises. Soon my arms burned, my torso screamed, and I was pushing out sweat beads the size of buckshot. I hurt.

A Further Definition of a Boombastic Lifestyle...

Hurt is not to be conflated or confused with injury. Injuries are avoidable, not inevitable, and are contingent on habit, attitudes, nutrition, rest, recovery, or the lack of any of the above. Random events also figure. Shit happens, sooner or later.

So here's the good news: it's always hurt. Forever.

I'll elaborate. I hurt when I was training as a high-school 2-miler. After college, I hurt when I was learning how to Nordic downhill ski. Ditto rock-climbing and mountaineering. I hurt when I was approaching my first marathon. And I hurt like hell afterwards, because I hadn't trained well enough.

I hurt when I started body-boarding and discovered that my first marathon did not make me a very good swimmer. Time, tide, and outside set waves wait for nobody.

Hurting was a way of life when I went into the high country on multi-day outings. I wheezed over Black Rock Pass, overlooking the Triple Divide. But damn, those vistas were memorable.

I hurt all the time when I started doing ultras in 1989. I kept finding out that what I'd done earlier didn't cut it; like running along the Pacific Coast Hwy from Zuma to County Line did not qualify as altitude training.

I started running with bigger dogs. Those guys went out fast and hard. Eventually I found myself going up and over Red Rock, Post Peak Passes in the Yosemite backcountry. Busting my hurting ass, chasing after seasoned runners once the thunderstorms quit, and the flesh-eating mosquitoes that came out as darkness fell.

I'd already gotten into 100s by this time. My education was beginning. By the end of that run, I'd spent six years being coached by the best, and hurting most of the time.

Illness forced me out of ultras. Other disciplines arose, and I profited by being challenged every step of the way. I still ran, but then work and other stuff arose, and I stopped doing nearly everything except riding a bike. Things were not looking good.

Until now.

What Now, My Duckling?

The workouts are starting to bear fruit. Lifting and crunching, done right, without cultic distractions, are a beautiful thing. Its satisfying to feel upper-body strength used for actual living, like holding a camera steady for a long shot.

The six-pack is starting to emerge from a hot-water bottle. Its making my runs more interesting. And yes, I'm notching up the mileage there too.

Starting over again reminds me that I can learn something new. The esteemed Zen Roshi Casino Bingo observed that "your body is perfect, for what you are right this very instant." If you've been inert, there it is.

How hard is it to change? As long as you can breathe, you can begin to do something about whatever's on your mind. Or just tilt back the recliner and let it slide.

Your move.