Monday, March 29, 2010

Post 1K!

My 1,000th Write Enough post. Never has so little been said about so much outside of politicians spinning a scandal. Nevertheless, I press on into a new millennium of posts about not working, not running, and not doing much else. (Lately.)

My novelette was rejected, but I've sent it out again to an English publication. They weren't interested in electronic posts, but felt printing out the story on A4 paper, 12 point, Times New Roman and mailing it off old-school style separated the serious writer from the dilettante. Mighty expensive, shipping a 54-page story off to the UK. But at least I've proved I'm not a dilettante.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Track Down

In my building's garage, someone broke into an SUV and swiped a GPS unit and carrying case. The victim, a neighbor named Lester, has called out the thief via a note left on the building bulletin board and every door into the garage. Lester has served notice that if his property isn't returned by Wednesday, he'll will hunt down the thief. In addition, Lester mentioned that his anger grows greater the longer he searches.

I don't know Lester. I don't know how he knows the thief is someone in our building. I don't know how he plans on finding him. But his note was so furious and hostile that I almost went out and bought a GPS and left it in Lester's SUV.

I got a feeling, come Wednesday, there's gonna be a manhunt.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Nice Biopsy Plus Walking Update

Tendinitis, low red blood count and now a biopsy on some moles the skin doc found today. One lay near the tip of my nose. Now I have a dorky nose bandage. Enough! Stop! No more medical procedures! (Though I'll take all of them in the vast scheme of things.)

Walked 44 minutes today without any soreness. Next week, I'll walk 48 3x, which should finally put me past three miles on each walk. Three miles was always the starting point from which I resumed training after every injury. Now I'm glad to reach it after almost a month of starts and stops. Ah, sure and 'tis a new day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paulsen's Loose

Voice actor and bon vivant, Rob Paulsen darts behind the Orange Curtain to Anaheim Comic-Con, April 16 - 18 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Ask him to do his real voice. He has trouble with that.
h/t: Rob Paulsen on Facebook.

Run Down Blood Count

Literally. Blood tests from a physical came back showing my red blood cell count lower than the economy, making me borderline anemic. I held a cross up to my wife and she was cool, so that rules out home vampirism. Until my next doctor appointment, I'm taking iron supplements and dining on eclectic chow that should up the level a tad.

Meanwhile, I've fallen into a pattern of walking 3x a week and swimming 2x. Maybe the low red count might be why I'm so gassed after swimming. Being out-of-shape could be a bigger factor. So far, I'm swimming 1300 meters each session. That takes around 48 minutes with warm-up and cool-down. I wear these short swim fins for half the workout to concentrate on form. But mostly I splash a length, stop and pant, then splash back, pant, et cetra. I want to take a lesson, but I'm so pathetic, the instructor might try and hold me under with a long pole. Hopefully, I'll work my way up to 400 meters without stopping, then see what the world of professional instruction looks like.

Link to Ski Mask of Chthulu

You decide.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

LA Marathon Notes

Team in Training assistant coach Elizabeth Thomen ran 5:00:13, just missing a sub-5 hour marathon. (I volunteered to get better by 2011 and run her in the last three miles.) Ernesto slogged in around 7 hours, hanging out with an injured rookie marathoner. Former TNT coach Kate Freeman zipped home in 3 hours and 23 minutes, finishing her first marathon in almost a year. Emil, "Race Machine" Cheng hobbled in at 5 hours and 18 minutes. Many others ran and walked today. Kiley Akers coached. Congrats to all!

Marathon News: Courage, Ernesto!

Struggling along between miles 15 and 18, way under pace with the toughest stretch ahead. (Physically and psychologically.) Send him a visualization of a cold beer, beckoning him across the finish line with a trollop's smile.

Practical Advice

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles find fun with weapons.

h/t: Viral Footage

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Devil's Gate

Walked through the reservoir today for the first time since Sept. 2008, when I ran the trails on my way to eventual knee surgery. Winter rains washed out so much vegetation, it looked like a dried river bottom. Not so dry though, as there was still low-lying water around to keep the cracked mud company. Knee held up well. No soreness. In keeping with recommended injury prevention - which I never bothered with before - I'm only adding ten percent additional walking per week. (I should reach marathon distance sometime in the early 22nd century.) Meanwhile my swimming has many of the elements of a polka: wild twirling followed by breathless collapse. This isn't proper form, but I believe not-drowning to be the foundation of any successful water exercise program.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Link to Jimmy Freeman Running Interview

My former TNT coach, Jimmy Dean Freeman, clocks some face time on the news talking his passions: running and eating.
h/t: Jimmy Dean Freeman via Facebook

LA Marathon Race Expo

I accompanied Ernesto to the LA Marathon Expo at Dodger Stadium so he could grab his bib and goodie bag for this Sunday's race. Goodie bag pickup was a crush of humanity, but Ernesto wove through the crowd, spotting a short line. Going to a marathon expo when you can't run is like visiting your old high school - awash with memories but you're an outsider, especially if you show up at gym class. Afterward, we swung by the Team in Training booth to chat with our former teammates, and blood cancer survivors extraordinaire, Van and Virginia. Apparently, the streets reopen after six hours and anyone slower than a 13 min. per mile pace will be shunted onto the sidewalks and required to obey all traffic signals, even the ones they disagree with. And while the finish line stays open for 8 hours, there's a question whether water stations will also close at the 6-hour mark. Sunday promises to be warm and sunny. Slower runners and walkers could find themselves thirsty and adrift, waiting for traffic lights and hoping to finish before they run out of medals. Whatever the outcome, all the best to Sunday's participants. I'll be Tivoing the race avidly.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cops Afoot

LAPD in Griffith Park. I was walking my 40 minutes today as the police held a fitness test. They must've run around 5 miles. A uniformed cop timed them as they finished up near the Ranger Station. One guy had the worst form I've ever seen on a runner: shoulders hunched up, big steps landing on his heels. But, hey, he's a cop. Whose gonna tell him?

Mo LeMarche Prepares

Maurice LeMarche and another guy prepare for the second annual "Talk Like William Shatner Day."

h/t: maurice453

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quake and Walking

4 at 4. Time of the morning and the magnitude of the earthquake. A rumble, a shake, a listen for breaking glass, silence, back to sleep.

A 40 minute walk today. No soreness in the knee. I've been icing since last week and, so far, everything's cool (so to speak.) No running until I can cover 3 miles without soreness or pain.

Fasting tonight for a physical tomorrow; first one in three years. I feel Okay but might as well get one before my coverage runs out at month's end.

Since I'm not supposed to eat, I crave snackage.

Monday, March 15, 2010

So Long, Mr. Phelps

Peter Graves passed away from a heart attack. Back in the day, he was the leader of the IMF team on TVs Mission: Impossible (from the second season on.) 'Mission' was a must-see in my home growing up. I especially enjoyed Martin Landau impersonating big-time crooks or commies, then pulling off his false face to the amazement of transgressors. Once in awhile, there would be a two-part show, which absolutely frosted my dad. He considered it an unwritten contract with CBS that an hour show would last an hour, not two hours spread out over two weeks. Lalo Schifrin's great title score was classic. In any case, listen and remember:

h/t: 80sand70sMemories

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Physical Therapy Graduation

Once again, finishing up physical therapy tomorrow. The tendinitis in my shoulder is mostly cleared up, with pain down to a twinge. However, my knee has been sore the last few days. I walked briefly today. I'll rest up and ice through next Tuesday before I attempt another walk. Anyway, glad to be done with therapy, though I'll miss the therapists. They made pain fun.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Live Blogging My Call With the Franchise Tax Board

1111 AM: You have reached the Franchise Tax Board. For our menu in English press one. For our menu in different languages including Pig Latin and Esperanto, press two. (I press one.)

1112 AM: For individuals broken under the millstone of the state, press one. For businesses, press two. To be instantly disconnected, press three. (I press two.)

1113 AM: For a complicated electronic menu that addresses all needs but yours, press one. Otherwise, wait on the line for an operator. Your estimated wait will be ten minutes in geological time. (I wait, trying to figure out how long ten geological minutes might be. I'm not encouraged.)

1119 AM: Muzak consists of soothing New Age melodies, lots of harp and Celtic drum. It sounds like the LOR underscore when Frodo visited various Elf Towns. I'm nodding off. Drool rolls down the corner of my mouth like a gentle Elven waterfall.

1134 AM: I awake with a snort, my sweatshirt soaked. The music is fading, dying out. Excitement builds. But then the muzak swells. False alert. I eat a whole-wheat waffle.

1146 AM: The music changes to a peppy Calypso beat alive with steelpan, bongos and flute. I'm happy. I'm on vacation, dancing on the sand in a large straw hat. But then, I catch myself. I'm on the phone waiting for the Franchise Tax Board. No one dances to that. No one good.

1152 AM: Another false alert. But this time I refuse to be baited into hope.

1158 AM: A ring tone! A man's voice! Hello, this is Pembry Teal, workstation number 8925, how may I assist you?

Me: Please don't leave me! Please. I want to see if an estimated tax check cleared.

Pembry: Sir, please don't plead. We're trained to react to pleading as if it were a dodge used by cheaters to avoid tax liability.

Me: I withdraw my plea. I'm a regular guy, checking on a check. Is that Okay?

Pembry: (Long sigh.) Don't be cute or coy or use irony or sarcasm, sir. We're trained to react to these tones as if they were dodges used by cheaters to avoid tax liability.

1201 PM: (I give Pembry my tax ID, name and address of corporation. There is no inflection in my voice whatsoever, nothing that would activate Pembry's hair-trigger cheater alert.)

Pembry: Sir, there is no indication that you ever sent a check.

Me: What if I send another one before March 15?

Pembry: Is this a ruse to avoid tax liability?

Me: No. I want to send you money.

Pembry: Very well. But add a $35 penalty for failure to pay 2009 estimated tax.

Me: But I paid it! Someone lost the check, either the post office or you guys. Why do I have to pay more for government mistakes?

Pembry: This is tax dodge talk.

Me: Okay, okay. Thirty-five bucks.

Pembry: Send it before March 15 or there will be further penalties. I won't say 'good-bye' or 'have a nice day' because I believe you're a slick avoider of liabilities, a sand crab hiding in the glove box of efficient government.

Me: 'Sand crab?'

(Disconnect.)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Colin Back From Combat Ops

Still in-country, Colin Wells returned to base from operations with the Strykers in Afghanistan. On Facebook, he mentioned being displeased that Hurt Locker won best picture. I've heard this view from other soldiers and marines who feel the film disses them as adrenaline junkies and violence freaks. I suppose Hurt Locker is to the war, what Slap Shot was to semi-pro hockey. Nonetheless, a sigh of relief that Colin is Okay.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

In Addition

to the growing list of people I know competing in the rain this weekend, Ernesto ran 16 miles in preparation for the LA Marathon, looming on the running horizon - provided he avoids pneumonia.

Tri and Ultra Marathon

Physical therapist Glenn, who has kneaded me fiercely, braves the stormy elements tomorrow at the UCLA IronBruin triathlon. He likes the short tris — half-mile swim, 12 miles on the bike and a 5K run. Mayhap the current downpour will pass. Good luck Glenn!

Others have no meteorological hope, only today's heavy slanting rain. Kiley Akers battles such elements in the Cleveland National Forest, running 31, elevation-packed miles at the San Juan Trail 50K. As much as I've written about Team in Training, Kiley's written more in this essay, chronicling his journey from recreational runner to TNT coach to ultra-marathoner along with his gains and losses in the fight against blood cancer. A moving account, blending sorrow and hope, heavy on the hope.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Google Hassle

Google locked me out of my mailbox and blog because of "suspicious activity." I wish. They wouldn't accept my security question or anything. After hassling with them, I'm now back blogging, but have nothing to say.

See?