Thursday, December 31, 2009

Black Ice and Snotcicles

Been very busy here with Christmas and family, but I've not been a total slug in the running department. Sunday went out early (0600) for 12. I’d characterize that run as “black ice and snotcicles.” Had to pick my way gingerly, staying mostly right on the edge of the road to take advantage of PENNDOT’s anti-skid stones from previous storms.  And this was my first run of the winter where my mustache froze up with condensed water vapor and snot.

The beat of the phrase "Black Ice and Snotcicles" kinda reminds me of the chorus of the REM song, "Crush with Eyeliner" (lyrics at ).  But it's the beat and the pause after My Crush....with Eyeliner that synchs up perfectly with Black Ice....and Snotcicles.

I'm a rookie here but I'll try to embed the YouTube video.

Then on Tuesday I went out braved the wind for a 10 miler. The wind at 0900 was north by northwest—just like the Hitchcock movie—sustained at about 20 mpg with higher gusts, so I headed right into it so as to have it at my back for the second half. I seriously bundled up so it wasn’t outright terrible, just unpleasant, until I reached the far side of the loop and began circling back. Then it was like running with no wind at all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

There's two kinds of people in this world....

After a series of Christmas days in various places with various portions of the family, we settled in today on our butts. We're talking going nowhere, pajamas all day, re-examining our Christmas presents, and watching old movies.

Today it was The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef, respectively.

There are all sorts of levels to this wonderful film, but my favorite is near the end when Clint says to Tuco "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

Kinda applies to life as well, all sorts of dichotomies exist.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cloud Cover

Yesterday before I ran I was observing the sky on the way over to the gym and wondered about the cloud cover. In the summer it would have been for purposes of wondering how hot it might get, but at this time of year I was thinking more about how much melting we'd get of the 12+ inches of snow that dumped on us this past Saturday. I guessed in advance that the cloud cover was maybe 65%, but then during the run I figured out with some degree of accuracy that the cloud cover was actually 42%.

You smart engineering types--how did I figure this out????

Answer after the jump....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hecate's Post

Go check out Hecate's post, commenting on an op-ed by Starhawk in the Washington Post. An interesting view of "Just War."  If you are like me, and have grave reservations about our open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this piece takes a step back and examines the concept of war as a tool...and it comes up wanting. 

Rather than comment directly on the original op-ed-I don't see where I could improve upon Hecate's observations, that's why the link to her rather than to the original.  Note that Hecate is a witch--seriously--but don't let that dissuade you from treating her words quite seriously.

For me, the money quote is ""Violence is the last resort of the incompetent."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Sand County Almanac

This is my inaugural post for this new blog, Mister Tristan.

Like a recurring pilgrimage, I have just completed my annual re-reading of the ecological classic, "A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold. My initial reading was prompted some years ago by a college biology professor who recommended it. I became hooked, and for each of the last 30+ years, Leopold, who has been in his grave for 60years, speaks to me and touches me with new and different insights into the nature of things wild and free. I now see Leopold's writings in a way which he never anticipated, but would certainly have approved of--from an ultrarunner's slant.