Showing posts from July, 2013

Jim O'Brien: Pilloried By Fools

On June 13, 2013, legendary coach Jim O'Brien was fired by the Arcadia High School for unspecified transgressions, despite two national titles and a winning record going back almost thirty years.
...O’Brien, now 60, was abruptly fired from his head coaching position at Arcadia. Runners, students, alumni and parents were shocked. O’Brien was not apparently involved in any scandal and, though his style has been described as intense, had no real detractors, other than the personnel associated at Arcadia High School associated with his firing. [from the TrailRunner article]

On July 24, 2013, friends, students and supporters of Coach Jim O'Brien came out and spoke directly to the Arcadia Unified School District Supervisors in an open meeting as to why Jim was important to them, the community, the state [yes!] and the lives of others. His job hangs in the balance, and the final outcome is not certain. Anyone who styles themselves a coach and did not attend, you missed a powerful demo…

The Tao Of McLeod

Today was a very good day to set aside the camera, and swing a McLeod with the AC100 Trail Crew. And no, the trail did not get magically shorter.

It took about an hour to realize that I was keeping the McLeod from doing its job. All I really had to do was raise it high overhead, and guide it as it fell towards the brush. The blade severed branches and twigs with far less effort than before. Only problem was that I had about 90 minutes juice left. The memory of what I had been able to do years ago was trumped and punked by ass-time in front of a computer.

The McLeod is a brush-clearing tool of great simplicity. A long ash-handled cutting, raking, and clearing implement, with a 9x9" hoe-blade/coarse tooth rake 1/4" steel plate at the end. Chop with the blade, clear with the rake. The simplicity requires much study and devotion before it reveals itself fully.
Getting There Is All The FunThe July 20 trail work was the final trail work by the Angeles Crest 100 Trail Volunteers befor…

Why You Didn't Get To Join

[revised Jan 30, 2015]

When I first wrote this, I was coming to grips with the staggering number of fake profiles in Facebook Landia applying to the ultrarunning Facebook group. Note lower-case U. Since this, I've become ruthless in dealing with this problem.
My first line of inquiry into an ultra-candidate is, a great bullshit detector. And if there's any further doubt, I'll look on

Here's the current ABOUT. It's edited down from the original, and still nobody reads it. Too bad.
This non-commercial site is about ultrarunning only. This growing group of informed ultrarunners is an excellent knowledge base. Please share your ultrarunning stories, adventures, goals, race reports, and questions.

Nothing focuses the mind like a cut-off. Everyone here has passed that simple test.

1] MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS, in effect since April 2013
verified completion of at least one [1] 50k via UltraSignUp, and/or RealEndurance.comvisible evidence of ultr…

Radio Goddess: Deirdre O'Donoghue

July 16 is the late Deirdre's O'Donoghue's birthday. Deirdre hosted "SNAP" (an acronym for "Saturday Night Avante Pop") aired three nights a week on KCRW out of Santa Monica College, in Santa Monica, CA. This is my unabashed fanboy eulogy.

Out of my own selfish memories of her, I revere Deirdre O'Donoghue's amazing forays and discoveries, I re-educated myself. No longer were the blighted wastelands of KROQ and Phil Collins to determine my landmarks.

Yes, I date myself. But holy fuck-fire of art! Did not Deirdre bring amazing music to the ears of those who'd learned that she was passionate and engaged about what she played? And yes, I wasn't ready, but who is? Because if you're pushing, its always out past the comfort zone?

Here's a short list of what she played:
The Finn Brothers with their glorious a-capella rendering of "Throw Your Arms Around You"Mary Margaret O'HaraVinny Rollie's Diazapam 500mgTexas: Prayer for …

Topical Relief From Poison Oak and PPDB

While in the San Gabriels, you will, sooner or later, encounter Poison Oak and Purple Poodle Dog Bush (PPDB). I've been friends with poison oak for over 30 years. PPDB re-appeared after the 2009 Station Fire. I'd never seen it before.
The PPDB lies dormant for years, until fire conditions burn off chaparral and manzanita. It then reappears, First it looks like a cross between marijuana and sage with oily lime-green leaves. As it grows, it sends up a stalk that can top out at 9' high. Watch out for the pretty purple flowers, which look like lupine, but stink like natural gas or decay. Do not touch. When the flowers die off in late spring, the stalks have dried fibers on them, which will fuck you up, just like the flowers.
PO & PPDB are prevalent from sea-level to 6,500'. PPDB is especially ferocious, and makes PO look like rose-petals. The contact-window seems to be much shorter than PO, approx 4-hrs, based on my experience. Yours may vary.
Now what? First Defense