Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mascline subtleties

So, I was baking cookies and took a break to let the animals out back. Oreos went down the deck stairs and to the edge of the landing where she likes to eat grass. I sat down next to her and talked to her.
"Why are you eating grass," I asked; "baby eats grass." I continued our conversation.
I thought of the office picnic I'm going to tomorrow and tried to imagine saying "baby eats grass" in front of "the guys."
I hopped up and grabbed a stick and some rocks and started hitting stuff and throwing some rocks.
"Hell yeah," I said as I hit a small sweet gum across the creek...
"Sorry buddy," I thought, "you're a beautiful little tree and...hey there's a woodpecker."
"Wood pecker eats larva," I thought.
I laughed and then hit some more stuff. My heart wasn't in it so I looked at the woodpecker some more; they are much smaller here than other areas I've lived.
"Doh," I ran in to check on the cookies.
On the way by I grabbed Oreos, who was tormenting a bug.
"Baby eats bugs," I told her.

...Oh well, some guys are just gruff and rough cut, guys like John Wayne and Ernest Borgnine; it's just not me.

"Oh my but those cookies smell delicious," I thought...Se la vie, it is what it is, auf passen der treppe.

The last one my German neighbor used to say when the stairs were icy. I think it means be careful on the stairs or something.

Friday, May 30, 2008

One way Karma

The Luna moth was on the back porch again this morning; I liked it better when I thought it was rare. They are huge; Oreos really wanted to torture it.

I saw on the news that Sharon Stone had to apologize for saying that China brought their recent earthquake on themselves. She thinks it's Karma for their mistreatment of Tibetans. I have yet to hear her apologize for Sliver, The quick and the dead, Basic instinct or any of her miserable movies. If she truly believed in Karma she would live in constant fear of something crushing her at any moment...lights out. But, like many stars with too much time and our money on their hands, the cause-of-the-week makes her feel better about life. Don't get me wrong, Tibet concerns me but I am really offended by Sliver too.

Why can't more stars be like David Hasselhoff? I've never heard him rant about anything, I'm not sure he can even spell rant. His series were true 80's trash, and he took the money and ran; he never thought his "fame" made him worthy of deciding world issues. His goofiness made Knight Rider mildly entertaining, and the car/man interactions were priceless.
"Be careful Michael I'm detecting two elevated heart rates inside, I suspect a struggle of some sort is taking place."
"Very funny Kit, I told you not to scan my house and my wife is home alone."
"It was just a joke Michael, did I hit a nerve?"
"When gas reaches $4 a gallon your powerful gas guzzling engine will render you obsolete."
"Oh please Michael, that will never happen."
"Last time Kit, don't scan my house."
"It's okay Michael, one heart beat just went out the back window."
"When they crush you Kit, I want to be there."
"Please Michael, that will never happen either. I need to get going, I am on my way to pick up Sharon Stone."

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I let the cat and dog out this morning and just got a hold of the cat again before she spotted this moth on the deck. We have many fascinating insects here, but I had never seen a moth like this. I grabbed the camera and snapped a shot of what was certainly rare and possibly unknown as of yet; it turns out that it is fairly well known and common; isn't that the way it always is? This particular Luna moth had a wing span of about 4 inches and looked like a sea ray. Not much else going on here, just heat and humidity and me with nothing to say for once. I guess I'll leave it at that.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The notebook

I have eight or ten notebooks I have written in over the last few years. We have moved many times, so they vanish and reappear as boxes stand in varying states of emptiness, or fullness if you're more optimistically inclined. While they are missing I replace them, and then find the old ones and end up writing in several of them at once; until today I had not filled one up. I have filled them with nonsense, but never completely; I have completely failed to express what I had hoped to express, but not on every page; I have covered every page I wrote on with my ramblings, but never on all the pages...until today. It amazes me how long I can take to say nothing, but with all that puffed up.....okay I'll stop. Just trying to recognize a milestone...a milestone of touchstones with which I have measured the quality of my life, or more accurately the quality of what has made up my life.

I'm reminded of a funny story; an old friend of mine contacted me a couple years ago. He is a senior manager for a major food company now, and when he called me he was surprised to hear that I wasn't famous or something.
"Nope, me just mechanic." I spit out between mouthfuls of turkey taken right off the drumstick I walk around with. We didn't talk again. I emailed him a few times as I came across his name in a magazine or in an article on the net...I think he screens his email and blocked me as spam. Oh well, he used to try to charge me a quarter to play the pinball machine at his house...real friends don't do that. Take your money and fame, I've got touchstones, and turkey legs.

The playoffs beckon...I've actually gotten into the NBA again. It has been ten years or so since I watched any games. The biggest change I've seen is the tattoos. One guy had a small paragraph on his shoulder; it had some conflicting tenses and mixed metaphors but I'm no grammatical genius, so... live and let live. Another guy had a maze tattoo I think; the camera didn't stay on him long enough for me to get through it so I'm not sure. Game 3 is starting, gotta go.

Auf wiedersehen

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


You know who you are! I feel awful that I just realized I didn't send you a card. It's a weak excuse but there has been so much going on, still is really, that I haven't focused on anything important like your birthday for a while. Our house closed today and the money is in the bank so there is a lot less going on now; as I wrote the date today I realized what that makes tomorrow.

YOUR BIRTHDAY!! WOO HOO. We will celebrate the day you were born, because that was a special day. You are in the top three women (along with our Mom and my wife) who have influenced my life, and that means a lot to me.

And now a word from your sister-in-law... "no, I'll say it to her when I see her. It's not my blog; leave me alone and let me pack. I mean it, just write what you want to and I'll tell her what I want to when I see her."

Hershey and Oreos long to express themselves but lack the means, just know they care about you and wish you a happy birthday.

I'll see you in a couple weeks at one of the events that's eating up your time in it's planning stages.

I love you, happy birthday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thoughts of my daughter

The beauty of the morning was dampened only slightly by the soreness in my legs; yesterdays long run became this mornings stiffness. As the miles disappeared behind me and blood carried away the bad stuff and brought in the spinach and tomato pizza I ate last night, my legs loosened up and I enjoyed the end of the run.

I thought about many things as I ran, but mostly about my daughter and son. I thought of a poem about my daughter; it's kind of based on a day when she was four. She's in Washington and I'm in Georgia, and there's enough time and distance between us now that we're not as familiar as we once were...I miss her.

What began as a dream quickly encompassed everything. Then, like swirled moments of time overlaid, one becoming lost in another, it was gone.
She carried an apple along a dusty path.
Shaded patches of grass held her in soft contrast.
A warm wind ruffled the long folds of her pale blue dress.
Soft curls of blond hair framed a peaceful and natural beauty that glistened slightly in the late fall warmth.
Small brown freckles covered her tiny nose and thinned as they spread high across her cheeks.
Her lips parted slightly in a reflective smile as she moved easily down the path and disappeared around a bend.
The air hung heavily; a branch moved slowly with the passing of a lone bird.
Suddenly the path was only dirt, the air hot and humid and the world felt empty.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Food Chain

My cat is lovable, cuddly and a source of great joy, she is also a ruthless killer. Unprovoked, she kills with amazing quickness and, when necessary, unbelievable patience. I watched her leap straight up four feet and grab a moth out of mid-air. Her killing isn't so troubling, because the victims are several notches down the food chain. Dogs are capable of killing humans, so their attacks are big news; psychotic, serial killing cats are no danger to us, so their killing is amazing and sort of insignificant instead of sickening and wrong.

Actually, our perspective on human killings is sort of compartmentalized too. Few people fret over the daily killings in Kenya, Tibet, the Gaza Strip, L.A., New York or Atlanta, unless you live near there or know people who do; if it's far enough away it almost doesn't matter.

My cat rolls over and over, enticing me to pet her. She briefly grabs my arm and playfully tries to rip out it's soft underbelly with her rear claws while mock-biting my hand. I look at her eyes and see the joy in them and I'm glad she's so small; she's definitely an emotionless killer when she wants to be. I'm pretty sure she's psychotic.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's never too dead

Yep it's dead, so let's get out that crop and get to work.

Oil was over $127.00 a barrel yesterday, and last night I saw a commercial on TV from that evil airline that started the trend of sending US jobs to central America so they could sell cheaper tickets. The gist of the ad was that it's much better to go to an NBA game than to watch it on TV, and with $59 dollar fares it's possible. There just isn't much to say...we are doomed.

Like the flight of Icarus, the wax holding our feathers on is getting soft and, as we fly farther into the face of danger, they'll soon be stripped from us like a bad cartoon; we'll creep away, covering our privates, and with a nervous smile that reveals chattering teeth.

It's like the Cindi Lauper song in the 80's:
"The phone rings in the middle of the night; China says we'll take your jobs, make your load light. Oh China dear you're the new number one, and Americans just want to have fun. Whooaoh Americans just want to have fun. That's all they really waaaaannnnt, Americans just want to have fun."

Clear!...beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep beep beep beep. Doh, I won't be able to come back here any more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Used oil and sagging buns

A guy I work with drives a large truck with a 200 gallon tank in the back of it that he collects waste oil in to make bio-diesel. The weight of the tank makes the rear of the truck squat noticeably. Recently the tank was removed, but the rear of the truck is stuck in a permanent squat.

As I was running this morning it occurred to me that the same thing happens to people as we carry life's burdens around and don't unload them often enough; sometimes it wouldn't hurt to just say "sorry, I can't carry that right now." It's something that I have a hard time doing; I hear about the struggles of people I care about and they become mine too. Add to this my own supply of struggles and you have a recipe for a squatting rear end. Down here in Georgia I hear a lot less than I used to about the struggles of my people, my peeps, my posse, and as a result I've had a few brief spells of standing tall and stretching out muscles that have been frozen in a squat for quite some time. I know it's my own lack of skills that amplifies life's effects on me, and I feel bad that being mentally removed from some of the things that I suffer through, but couldn't possibly change, has helped me heal. I wish I could be supportive without becoming catatonic, neurotic or's heavy...the whole squatting rear end thing...whatever.

Damned -ic words anyway, hardly a good one in the bunch...let's explore that:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Your best and what that means

This morning was scheduled as a Marathon Paced run, which means that, after a warm-up period, I would run the bulk of my run at my MP. The thing is that on any given day it takes a different effort level to achieve MP. If the effort for the day is lower than expected than I may exceed expectations, but when it falls into this AM's category, expectations are not met if time is the only factor. So, several years ago I adopted the effort based training approach that is Heart Rate training. This AM as I climbed a long gradual hill in the warm, humid and allergen laden air, my HR climbed well above what I allow for my marathon effort run. I slowed down and had to accept the slower pace for the HR. The quality of the effort was the goal, and the sustained effort at an acceptable HR made it a success. The point is that there are multiple factors that determine success in any endeavor, and recognizing them all is key. You can only be your best on any given day, and you can't always predetermine what that means.

That said, there is a fine line between actual limitations and perceived limitations. The mind is powerful enough to ruin a run if you let it convince you that you just can't do it today; conversely, it can get you in trouble if you power through a situation that really requires you to back off.

Our best is subjective, and unless we have a way to measure it like a per-mile pace then how do we know if we have achieved it? Mostly we try and fail, try again while trying not to fail and try to not fail-to-try. It's a process that doesn't seem to have defined boundaries; some people start "going for it" at a young age, and we all have room to improve until we are no more. So, the worst thing you can do is not try to be your best at something, and if you're not failing then you probably are not understanding what your best could be.

There are always sacrifices involved with achieving goals and they are what trip most of us advice there except "just get it done." In the long run, the power you gain as you overcome your mind's limitations provides a great deal of satisfaction.

Run, always run.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Where are the Care Bears when you need them?

Things have been amazingly unremarkable lately, or I have been so tense over changes going on in my life that I am missing all the things that normally catch my eye.

I had a dream that I was sleeping on a cot on the tarmac at the airport. My cot was very low to the ground which let my sheets hang down and touch. Someone had spilled coke everywhere and it was wicking up my sheets making the edges dark and moist. When I saw this I had to get up, and I wandered through the bag carts and fuel trucks. I was smoking a foot-long cigarette and I saw the fuel truck drivers discussing my presence. I heard them say it wasn't their problem so I decided to head to some of the empty planes nearby to watch a movie. When I couldn't get on a plane I saw another group of people loading bags and discussing if they should find out why I was there.
I woke up at this point or simply forget the rest, but what I do remember was vivid and stressful. It had a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas feel to it; I can't recommend this movie to anyone, but I enjoyed it very much. It was about Hunter S. Thompson and was another Johnny Depp character taken to eerie extremes. I once recommended Pulp Fiction to my Mom and she questioned my character for a while after seeing it; I like interesting characters and non-traditional stories...sue me. No, don't sue me, I don't think my fragile state of suspended animation can take much more right now. The current crises are mostly beyond my control, and if you know me you know that since becoming an adult (okay, since I turned 30 or 35) I like to have control over my life.
Enough about mountain trail run this AM was cancelled due to receiving paperwork that I have to see a lawyer about...nothing criminal; the statute of limitations is up on mostly everything they could pin on me at this point. Thank goodness someone had sense enough to establish a statute of limitations; usually lawyers are just irritating because we live in a blame everyone else society, and also because most politicians are lawyers, but this time they pleased me. Enough about me...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A triumphant return to nonsense

I have been writing everyday but I haven't been able to sit down at the computer and do anything with it; I have been so distracted. I know I'm distracted when I neglect Hershey. Yesterday she tried to get me to go over to her bowls for hours; I knew she had water so I kept telling her that it wasn't time to eat yet. I made her go out twice and finally discovered her in the bathroom trying to get into the toilet. As I said, I saw that she had water, so I went to the bowls with her to see what was wrong. She has a new self-filling bowl with a gallon tank on it and it was full, but I had to coax her to drink from it. As I turned to walk away she jumped back from her bowl shaking. I got her to drink again but she was very timid about it. This time I saw the bubbles go up as the bowl filled itself, and she sprang back again. I sat with her and petted her as she drank nearly half a gallon...she had been so thirsty and too afraid to get water, it was a sad moment for petownerhood.

Other than that things are going along in a state of suspended animation. I ate too much last night, but I ran too much this morning so it worked out. You wouldn't think that two acts of excess would balance each other out, and I suppose that ultimately they aren't. It's probably all just building up and one day I'll burst into flames or simply explode. The people who knew me will say "I don't get it, he was so calm."...okay, no one will ever say that about me. Hey, at least I wear my anxious demeanor on my sleeve; it's not like you think you're getting yoga and you get was a mosh pit the whole time.

The stars have been beautiful on my morning runs, partly because there has been no moon and you can see them all, and partly just because they are there every morning. I have noticed since I've been here that they are in pretty much the same spot in the sky everyday. I have also noticed that groups of them form recognizable shapes. This morning I saw a wireless mouse, a sailboat, a piece of gum and a partridge in a pear tree. I don't know why the partridge thing makes me smile, it's not like I don't know it's dumb. Sometimes simple things that make me smile are not explainable, things like:
- Poop
- Making fun of those less fortunate than I
- Envisioning the secure future of oil execs and the warm feeling it brings
- Catchy business slogans like "The world is flat." (also poop)
- President Bush being dropped on his head as a 4 year old, a six year old, at 10,12 and fourteen years old.

Yeah..welcome back me!