March in California, in like a lamb, out like a slightly warmer lamb enjoying a little more light each afternoon. It was getting complicated for me to keep track of the days of the year but fortunately NASA has a solution to that problem. This has been a good month for 365 – not because this batch is particularly great but because of all the friends in town gave me plenty of excuses to find new things to shoot. May April be so lucky!
For those interesting in keeping track of photo equity, seven of the thirty-one rock the dog while there are only two of CNHB & one of SMHB. Sadly, there are squat zip zero of yjp.
Lantana Camara (Red Sage), Green berries, Fatal. Affects lungs, kidneys, heart and nervous system. Yew berries, Fatal. Death is usually sudden without warning symptoms. Wild and cultivated cherries, Fatal. Contains a compound that releases cyanide when eaten. Gasping, excitement and prostration are common symptoms
The first official week of marathon training has come to a close with a little lower mileage than scheduled. I’d like to blame it on the houseguest but more honestly I chose to scale back a little bit from last week’s 31 mile overextension. It’s too early in the process to be dealing with injuries but I’ve been having some left toe, midfoot and knee issues. Fortunately both ankles (the weakest of the weak links) remain stable.
I’m going to keep posting this same link every Sunday in case someone’s interested in sponsoring me by making a donation to Youth Run4Fun. As a special this week, I’ll dollar per dollar match any contribution anyone makes (up to a total of our $250 goal). I recently got an email from the organizer with a breakdown of their expenses. Roughly 23% of total income goes towards various administration costs, which seems reasonable to me.
Well that sucked. It turns out my former enthusiastic ownership of the world’s best Michigan State sweatshirt was more upsetting to the basketball universe than I had realized – I’m willing to shoulder whatever blame you think is fair. It was a great game sure, the only non-blowout of the night and could have easily swung the other way in the last minute there. I didn’t necessarily think KU would win it all (again) this year but definitely would like to have seen them take out Rick Pitino and Louisville. Thanks to Gonzaga and Memphis also losing I’ve now lost a total of three out of my final four (and given how well Villanova’s been playing I wouldn’t be surprised to go for the shutout), putting me near the bottom of the possible points column in the quasify pool. You can check the standings here if you really want to. Mikey’s tied for first with the all top seeds bracket. Cold-hearted bastard that he is he picked MSU to win.
Happy pre-César Chávez Day! Had an interesting day today out at Sausalito – my face is sunburnt which is going to make explaining my swiftly arriving and departing illness tricky to coworkers of all class levels. Looking forward to dumping YJP at the airport-o place early tomorrow and then I’m working hard hard HARD for the rest of the week. Heck, why hold back – for the rest of the month. It’s time to get back to the kind of driven focus and denial of self that made this nation great!
The newest awesomeness from over at the Maija Nell Fan Club pool, part of YJP’s 365. For a minute there, I thought she was trying to poison my dog with nasty vegetables! My 365 still has her beat when we calculate the relevant “world’s cutest husky” per thousand photos ratios.
I had a really fantastic day today. It got of to a rough start with a difficult sand-bearing gale force headwind on our dead-legged five this morning, but followed that up with the predictably brilliant Kansas demolition of Dayton to reach the Sweet 16. After that, an afternoon of exploring San Francisco’s upper reaches with YJP. Then over to Haight to meet up with meddy & co. who’s in town for CNS.
Today is officially the last day before I start marathon training. This is a small kind of a joke since I’ve been on schedule for five weeks now (thus, obscene 10pm bedtimes). If you’re interested, I’m doing a slightly modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I schedule. Thanks to Hondo for her donation to my marathon fundraiser – she gave $1/mile for the first half (but hey – shorted me $0.10!!). Any small number of cents on the mile at all would be welcome and appreciated.
Ugh. The bloodbath continues. As of now I’m now officially tied with Maija who filled out her bracket by sitting on the keyboard while licking herself. I just wanted to say THANKS A LOT to friggin Purdue for screwing up what would have been a diversionary and otherwise enjoyable heuristic husky v. husky hoedown in the Sweet Sixteen. Humbug.
Ok. So on to tomorrow. KU’s on at 11:30am PDT. I don’t know anything about Dayton other than that they’re from… Ohio? Possibly. Pondering, a Jayhawk can fly, but can Flyers jayhawk? Here’s the funniest FB status update I’ve seen in a while: BT has his daughter taunt someone wearing a Dayton Sweatshirt today. Props to Shazzbot for picking a 14/3 upset by North Dakota State over Kansas. It’s a kind of a mental mind trick to make us think he’s all cRaaaazZy but then his elite eight packed solid with the 1s and 2s. He’s going to end up winning. Again, ugh. RESTART.
Right, so in the highly unlikely event you’re interested in sponsoring me for the San Francisco Marathon I’ve finally got a webpage (of questionable aesthetic design) up for your money wasting purposes.
Although it’s not immediately obvious from that page who exactly the money is going to, it’s for a charity called Youth Run4Fun. For once it’s not cancer or cardiovascular research but instead an organization that organizes programs encouraging running in kids from the bay area. I like this idea, and wish it was something I had been exposed to earlier myself.
JUST RUN® San Francisco (SF) is a free, bilingual, web-based program designed by fitness and running experts from the Big Sur Marathon, for grades 2nd-8th, aimed at combating childhood obesity and diabetes while promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices.
These guys are too small to be reviewed by Charity Navigator – I usually consult them to look at expenses and program expenditures before sending anyone money. I’ve sent an email asking for some details and will update back here once I hear back from them. Just by way of disclosure, the program I’m in is called Race4Free (the idea is my entry fee would be refunded once hitting a $250 goal). I’m not really interested in personally benefiting from this though, so if I can raise half of the total goal I’ll cover the remainder myself.
This is my perfectly perfect red-headed girl, with whom I chose to hang out with this St. Patrick’s Day evening (in lieu of Guinness or sickly green beer – a radical change from last year). Today is also my father’s birthday – this morning, after posting an old photo of him & I from back in 2003 I decided to go looking through some old files trying to find more of the footage SJH came up with of him in high school. Frustratingly, I can’t track down the raw material, but I thought I’d post a link to the clip I put up previously – my dad, in 1961.
I’m trying to remain positive but at the moment it’s difficult considering CNSMHB have come and gone. I had been looking forward to their visit for months and it’s difficult to have that Forthcoming Happy Thing fall to the wrong side of verb tense. Here are some of the happier highlights from the last few days.
Some interior shots from CNSMHB & my trip to Alcatraz yesterday. The natural light coming through into the cellblock was gorgeous – we were lucky to visit on a completely brilliant fog-free day. Additional shots (including some of the external grounds) are in my full Alcatraz set. Today is day three of a highly enjoyable & gratuitous four day weekend. I was supposed to spend it watching Kansas roll in the Big XII championship game but instead I’ll have to find some other way to amuse myself, like amputating my ill-mannered left big toe. Wish me luck.
I’m on my way to Oakland shortly to rescue CNSMHB from the Coast Starlight (though truth be told, it doesn’t much look like they need rescuing). The station there is called Jack London Station – curious to me in that I hadn’t realized he was from this area. He was born in San Francisco in 1876 and later lived in and returned to Oakland after various sea voyages. When I was a kid I read as many of his books as I could get my hands on but haven’t revisited any of it in the last two decades. Fortunately, all of it is safely in the public domain at this point, available on Project Gutenberg.
I had some vague recollection of this work being children’s material – it’s not, remotely. This stuff is way more disturbing than any he-who-must-not-be-named being melted by an errant bucket of water nonsense. Take a few minutes, check out some of his short stories. And to keep with the sled dog theme around here as of late, there’s man/furball camaraderie/antagonism to spare. Here’s a bit from the introduction of the main canine protagonist in To Build a Fire.
At the man’s heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog, gray-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf. The animal was depressed by the tremendous cold. It knew that it was no time for travelling. Its instinct told it a truer tale than was told to the man by the man’s judgment. In reality, it was not merely colder than fifty below zero; it was colder than sixty below, than seventy below. It was seventy-five below zero. Since the freezing-point is thirty-two above zero, it meant that one hundred and seven degrees of frost obtained. The dog did not know anything about thermometers. Possibly in its brain there was no sharp consciousness of a condition of very cold such as was in the man’s brain. But the brute had its instinct. It experienced a vague but menacing apprehension that subdued it and made it slink along at the man’s heels, and that made it question eagerly every unwonted movement of the man as if expecting him to go into camp or to seek shelter somewhere and build a fire. The dog had learned fire, and it wanted fire, or else to burrow under the snow and cuddle its warmth away from the air.
Every so often I feel the need to explicitly come clean and face the reality that this blog exists entirely for the purpose of posting the dog pictures I can’t squeeze in elsewhere. Likewise, the only point to Daylight Saving Time is to allow more light to take said pictures. Even though I left work late today, there was somehow magically enough light to make it home, make it down to Ocean Beach, wear out the critter and throw in a stop at the grocery store before sunset. Wonderful.
It’s only a matter of time between when something like this goes up and people start forwarding me the link so I’ll try preempt them all – go check out today’s Big Picture, the single best (or dare I say worthwhile?) part of boston.com.
Dog-brake made a case for increasing her mileage quota cap from five to six miles tonight.
Pros: it’s nice to have company, and she was enthusiastic about coming even after I told her I was going to leave her fuzzness home.
Cons: her tendency to throw in random ankle snapping lunges towards the omnipresent holes of invisible pocket gophers throughout Golden Gate Park is getting old.
In the end though she didn’t crap out on me, I didn’t have to drag or carry her at the end, and we finished the massive post-stairs uphill bit by the VA without any walking.
On a related note, one of the surgeons at work mentioned that Robin Williams lives (or possibly, used to live) in Seacliff fairly near to my house (despite them being vascular surgeons and him needing an aortic valve replacement we were just discussing it in terms of running landmarks). It turns out I’ve unknowingly been by his house many times – it’s near the end of my long run route, a huge walled mansion amongst more modest mansions. From a pedestrian perspective his place is notable for the fact that the (very narrow) sidewalk on the left ends a half block before the more normal sidewalk on the right begins making it an optimal location if you’re looking to get run over by a speed-racing luxury automobile. That’s it below.
Playing with some video I shot around and about in San Francisco this morning with my new camera (this one, not this one). It’s a bit tricky to know what you’re shooting without the rotating viewfinder of the TX1 but that said it’s exceedingly nice to be able to have pocket video again. Another cool thing is it’ll shoot 16:9 in SD and HD.