Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A blog compiling corrections from newspapers around the country -- that would be fun. Maybe a project for the new year. Right now, there's this (stolen from L.A. Observed):

Correction o' the day, from the Daily News: "A story Friday misquoted Los Angeles school board member David Tokofsky in regard to a comment he made about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's push for authority over local schools. Tokofsky referred to the mayor's growing up in the City Terrace neighborhood rather than calling him a city terrorista.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Dumb Run
I was supposed to do 12 miles at a comfortable pace. I don't know what got into me. The first couple miles came in at 16 minutes, and I felt good. So I stuck with the 8 minutes/mile pace. Well, actually, I sped up a bit -- and what the heck, if you're going to run 12, why not go another mile (point one) and make it a half-marathon?

Because I finally downloaded the software I needed to upload my Garmin run data, I can give you all the details:

Lap 1 2.01 miles 16.01 7:59/mi
Lap 2 2.75 miles 21:58 7:58/mi
Lap 3 2.76 miles 21:34 7:48/mi
Lap 4 2.74 miles 21:14 7:44/mi
Lap 5 2.05 miles 15:10 7:24/mi
Lap 6 0.79 miles 05:33 7:00/mi
Total 13.10 miles 1:41:32 7:44/mi

Hopefully I'll recover from this slightly overboard effort by Sacto (Dec 4). Course, that said, it WAS fun, so what the hell.
News of the Weird
Tri-Valley Herald neglects to properly apostrophize "It's" in a headline. Check it out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

New Feature: Crap I'm Tired Of
I think I have a pretty high tolerance for crap and I've never thought it great fun to spend a lot of energy complaining about that which is, in the great scheme of things, unimportant, or which I can easily avoid or ignore. For instance, I'm not inclined to join in on all the Rachael Ray bashing that is all the rage these days. But perhaps not all clickies come with on-off or channel-changing buttons. Thank goodness I have one of the good ones. Anyway, criticizing nearly anything on Food Network these days is like using a fucking bazooka to shoot fish stuffed into a two-gallon bucket. Thank God for Alton Brown.

Some crap, however, is either harder to avoid or more damaging to the culture -- or both. Because I know you care, today I begin cataloguing them on this site.

Crap I'm Tired Of, Item 1:
Sleep Train commercials, especially those delivered by "news" anchors. I have a terrible habit, picked up from my father (always blame the parents), of listening to news and talk radio. Anyway, I don't mind the talk-show hosts delivering Sleep Train commercials. But news anchors? I suppose it didn't shock me when I heard the KGO afternoon duo selling out. I expected better from KCBS. News people are constantly amazed at the lack of respect they command these days. Well, uh, maybe the fact that you shill for a mattress company is part of the answer. And yeah, we KNOW they'll deliver the mattress that day if you order it buy noon AND they'll take away your old mattress for free.
(Related thought: Interesting marketing strategy by Sleep Train -- inundating radio. Or maybe I just fit their target demographic perfectly? Doesn't seem to matter where I go, Sleep Train is there: KFOG, KGO, KNBR, KSFO (I get perverse pleasure out of listening to freaky wingnut conservative wackos, which is a shamefully deficient explanation for why I ever tune it in, but it's true))....

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I've been consolidating my gains. Or slacking? I really do think it's the former. I can't remember who it was -- I do recall him seeming authoritative -- but someone said it takes three weeks to realize the benefits of a long run. Thinking about that and feeling very worn out after the 20-miler last Saturday, I eased back into running this week. First, two days of long walks and a swim. Then back to back 4-milers, followed by a day off for a swim, then a 6-miler today. I'm starting to feel recovered. With two weeks until the marathon, I'll probably do one more medium-long run, on Thanksgiving or the day after. The point is to keep the body in tune with long runs, but not break it down. Tricky business.

Oh, by the way: Nice job, Bears!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Three weeks (and one day) before Sacto, so I did my last long run. Twenty miles at an 8:26 pace. This is 10-20 seconds per mile slower than I hope to do come race day. It was pretty good, although, honestly, I'm not sure my thick-limbed body is made for long-distance running -- at least, not at age 42.9. At Mile 12 my left knee started hurting; out past 15, there were lots of aches and pains. But aerobically I felt fantastic, so I just kept going without losing the pace.

In the hour after the run I had one tall glass of water and 12 oz. of ginger brew. Two hours later I'm finishing off a huge blueberry, banana, yogurt, raspberry sorbet smoothie. Starting to feel "normal" again.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Death Valley Out; Sacto In
It's a long drive to Death Valley -- 11 hours or so, according to Mapquest. And doing the December 3 marathon there would require two nights' hotel. And with gas being as expensive as it is … well, it all added up to a change in plans: I've signed up for the California International Marathon in Sacramento on December 4. Course sounds kind of dull and from what online posters have said, isn't as fast as advertised. But a friend said it's a well-run event and friendly and fast enough, and it's only an hour away. Settled.

(BTW, the race slogan is "Folsom to State Capitol," which sounds like the title of a book or movie about a criminal turned governor...)
Can't remember what we were talking about, but the expression "spill the beans" came up in conversation with Niko the other day. Spill the beans? Well, we had to look it up, even if it was time to get ready for school. One of my first Google options (can't remember what search terms I used) was a promising site that had vanished. I went back and clicked on the cached page, and found paydirt -- a long page that was only the expressions beginning in the letter s.

Spill the beans - reveal information or a secret
An Americanism that may come from bean as US slang for 'head' (spill or let slip what is in one's head). More likely it comes from 'know one's beans' (know what's what); this is clearly related to the early 17th century English saying 'know how many beans make five,' which has the same meaning. It is a short step from knowing one's beans to spilling them, i.e. telling what one knows.

Here's the longer-than-your-arm URL for the cache of the page: