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Showing posts from September, 2013

Post-Modern Java Man

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The 1994 LA Earthquake came roaring out of the ground, the freight train from hell on January 17, 1994, at 04:31. Half the city lost gas and power. When I made it home from my girlfriend's just after dawn, my apartment was still standing. Gas, but no power. I was supposed to go to work, but that didn't happen. Jangled and suddenly very sleepy, I fell into a deep nap. 

Several hours later, I'm kind-of awake. Aftershocks are still rumbling through the city. I'd made a triple-espresso. Sitting at my kitchen table, half-awake, and watching my coffee cup dancing slowly around the table. I began to think—OK, I've got a camp-stove, Bialetti pots, water, coffee...what would happen if I didn't have any beans ground?Holy shit!

Being a swap-meet and flea-market devotee, I looked for hand-grinders. And in true swap-meet fashion, began seeing them. Then it was looking for complete blade sets. Eventually I found them— cutter blades what would grind from coarse to exceedingly f…

Twenty-Third Psalm For Hipsters

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The Dude is a Hipster; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down at Coachella
He leadeth me beside the fixies,
He restoreth my white-boy soul
He loadeth me in the tats of righteousness for His name' sake, and shit

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of norm,
I will fear no evil: For thou DJs are with me;
Thy 'pod and 5-bars, they comfort me.
Thou preparest kombucha before me in the presence of whatever;
Thou anointest my head with kale; My sideburns runneth over.

Surely PBR and 420 shall follow me all the daze of my life,
and I'll hang out in the House of the Hip, whenever.

The Once And Future Baldy Peaks 50k

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Relevant Race History: 1988-2004"A mildly disturbing event with a cult-like atmosphere" —Craig Holloway Originated byJohn Davis, with his sons Ken and Stan. With the artistry, precision and eye to maximal sensory overload that can only come from the mind of an aerospace engineer (John) and a classically-trained musician (Ken) the race was born. Stan provided SysOps support.
Joe Franko adds that "Actually, as I recall, the credit should go to John's son Ken, who laid out the course as part of a college project at Cal Poly, Pomona. We were students together then. He was an undergraduate in mathematics and I a graduate student." So who said that science, math and pain don't mix?
The Inaugural "Zero-eth" Baldy Peaks was run as a trial effort in December 1988. There was no snow that month on top of Baldy. When the day was ended they all came home and Phyllis Davis made the lads dinner. Phyllis was a key element of the race that ended only with her sudden …

Finding Shit Out

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An essential part of learning is finding shit out. Seems pretty obvious, but WTF—its not quite like getting married or invading Iraq.

I did my first 50mi 90 days after my first 50k—and had my head handed to me on a plate. I finished, but holy hell. My advice on when and how to do a 50miler is given with this knowledge. Your mileage may vary. Just one of my control issues, but you'll figure your own shit out. Or not.

All this is a different order of business than charging people money to run 25 miles per week and drag a tire while telling them its gonna get them to the finish line in an ultra, especially a 100-mile. There are people who do that, and should be flogged.


I'd gotten marathons cold-wired well before I even considered a 50k. My then-training level gave me 3-4 marathons a year. But I was getting bored. I did my first 50k at the long-gone Baldy Peaks 50k, and I got un-bored. I also learned that running from Zuma Beach to County Line did not constitute altitude training, d…