Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thirty for the week.

Beautiful fall weather heralded the arrival of October and I took advantage of it by starting the month with a long run of 8 miles on the first day.  You might consider that runners tend to be obsessive because I ran five consecutive days, always starting eastbound on the W&OD Trail on an out-and-back, going 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 miles to total 30 for the week.  (I voted!)

Always an adventure, the first day, a Saturday, I ran by two different 5K races getting underway and was mightily tempted to join in each time but I had to get back home to get ready to go sign up voters in a registration drive later that morning.  Although it was a non-partisan volunteer effort this presidential campaign season, you could imagine that it's Democrats who are signing up voters in Northern Virginia, and probably Republicans who are making the same effort further down south in Tidewater Virginia, and my two hours of effort garnered two new voters.  (Step up and get registered!)

I turned Sunday's run of seven miles into a mini-nature tour, photographing dollar webs on the damp grass (fungus spots), unsuccessfully trying to shoot an actual spider web on a light pole I went by and running along the banks of Four-Mile Run creek, which parallels the trail, as much as I could.  Monday's run of six miles wasn't much different from the day before, the same dollar webs were ever-present in the medium-tall grass alongside the trail, except that I ended up my run at the local McDonalds for a breakfast of a $1 sausage burrito and a 69c senior coffee, after which I went down to City Hall to vote early.  (A dollar spot early morning web.)

Tuesday's run of five miles was followed by a walk of two miles in the District with my currently-injured running buddy from work as she tries to resume her running regime, and Wednesday's run of four miles was followed by my 114th blood-products donation of whole blood.  I took the next seven days in a row off from running because my abdomen was still bothering me and I wanted to give it a good long healing period.  (Power walking at noon in the District with my running buddy as she convalesces, here stopping in to use the restrooms at the National Botanical Center.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Running out September

The last week of September, as my surgical procedure in August continued to bother me, I still ran five times but I scaled back my weekly mileage total to 15 miles, with a long run of five miles.  That gave me a total of 77.2 miles during twenty runs for the month.

That compared to 90 miles in August, where I ran considerable miles prior to surgery.  Still, I felt I was recovering, albeit slowly, especially since I still couldn't do upper body work which put too much strain on my stomach muscles.

September had its pleasures outside of running though.  My sister came to visit me and we toured DC a little, going to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airpot.  I went out to a beer house in the District with a friend on her birthday, had lunch in my town with a former colleague at work, breakfasted in Arlington with a former and future running buddy and his new wife and canvassed door-to-door for the Arlington Democrats.

I looked forward to ramping up my mileage and pace in October and doing some more volunteering in the presidential campaign.  Life is running but there are some things that transcend running.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Third Week of September

Last month I was coming back from abdominal surgery but as I came back from the down time, I tried not to lose too much of my conditioning from the prior month where I'd worked hard to get into shape in the first place.  The third week of September I ran five times and logged 26 miles.  (A warm day.)

None of those miles were very fast.  The left side of my navel was bothering me, there was a long surgical scar down there.  (I couldn't do my torso workout so soon after my hernia surgeries.)

The scar is atop another surgical scar I have from 1985 when I underwent abdominal surgery there to try to increase my chances of reproduction.  That was for you, Jimmy, oldest son.  (Jimmy is in the middle, in less conflicted times before the divorce during which his mother Sharon R. Lightbourne, made him a victim of PAS, which I believe is a form of child abuse.)

My long run, or shuffle, was seven miles.  I kept trying to increase my turnover (pace) to improve my workout load but I was happy to log the miles as I fight to come back to full health.  (At the Beltway overpass on the fifth mile of my LSD.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Slowly, my friends have gotten me to text.  It used to cost me 20c per text, which I let them know, so they all knew to call me instead.

That's the point.  If you want to communicate with another human being, especially a friend, speak to them.

I changed my phone service plan and got unlimited texts, and a Samsung phone, which I have parked on the shelf for the last six months because my dumb phone with its actual keyboard still works just fine and now I can receive and answer texts for free.  Well, it turns out it that texting is not as blessed as it seems to be to many people.

My Samsung might be the model which would burn my house down if I ever charged it which I haven't--did I say my dumb phone worked just fine?--and my new phone plan launched my new and better life, and I have been engaging in texts lately.  But it's not actual communication, rather, it's throwing snippets of information out there, sort of like hollering, such as "here" [I've arrived, where are you] or "2 min" [I am two minutes away by car and I am texting while driving and if I don't crash first I'll be there very shortly].

In a phone call, which used to be the norm, there's real communication because you can nail down all the details.  In answering a text, the recipient of your message, if you have included a query or queries in it, can ignore you or give you a partial answer to some but not all of your written content, and you're kept either waiting for that other person's response or hanging onto the partial, perhaps purposefully selective response until the event has come or has passed.

If it had been a phone call, either the connection wouldn't have been made in which case there are no plans laid so nobody is left hanging awaiting the other person's full response, or the call would have been completed and the information exchange would have been complete, including the nuances.  Except for very limited instances, like waking up at 3 am because of a storm outside and texting that you're not going to be at the agreed-to meeting place at 7 am for a run (because you can't call somebody in the middle of the night for that relatively unimportant information exchange and now you don't have to arise at 6:30 am to phone to say I won't be there), the exchange of full information is better done through actual talking.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Maybe next time.

I had lunch yesterday at the Lost Dog Cafe in Westover at noon with the empty chair as usual.  Since it was the Columbus Day holiday, naturally I ordered the Italian Pizza Pie and two drafts, one of which went untouched ultimately.

The next holiday is Veteran's Day.  I'll try again then.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Still Waiting.

The Columbus Day holiday is upon us, and at noon as usual I'll be at my favorite lunch spot in Westover.  I go there on most holidays and birthdays in the fading hope that one or more of my three estranged children will show up so we can begin the first day of the rest of our lives.  (My youngest child Danny, and middle child Johnny.  I have no idea what they look like as men.)

It's been over nine years of absolute silence from any of them, and no sibling of mine (their aunts and uncle) has heard from any of them in more than a dozen years.  Classic PAS, I'll leave it at that.  (My oldest, Jimmy, is on the left in this picture grabbed off the Internet.)

I miss and love my children as any father would.  (Waiting for Godot at noon on Veteran's Day 2014.)

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I have a sister named Hilary.  Not Hillary.  Sir Edmund Hilary ascended the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, with his Sherpa porter Tensing, around the time she was born so perhaps she was named after him.

I want Hillary for president now, not because she's so great but because she's not The Donald.  I have no idea who Hilary prefers.

I have been working for Hillary's candidacy during this presidential campaign; the last presidential campaign I worked for was George McGovern's campaign against Tricky Dick.  You might know how that came out, an absolute debacle at the polls for the Democrats, so although I always vote, I don't work for candidates anymore.

The choice seemed so clear back then, and the stakes so high, just like now 44 years later.  But the lesson I learned back then, when I was young and hopeful and confident that if I worked hard I could make a difference, is that the American electorate is often its own worst enemy, and I always defer to that era's cartoon philosopher, Pogo, who famously said (a slight misquote), "We have met the enemy and he is us."