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WordPress 2.5

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Quote of the Day: “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

I upgraded!!

To what, you ask?

WordPress 2.5.

If you are a WordPress fan, you know that 2.5 is a huge deal and everyone is talking about it.

If you don’t blog or use WordPress, this entry means exactly jack squat to you. You can go outside and play for awhile.

OK, now that it’s just us, there are two kinds of you left. Either you’ve upgraded or you haven’t.

Have upgraded: isn’t it cool!

Haven’t upgraded: go do it. NOW!

But I have to admit, I had problems for the first time with this upgrade. I went through all the steps and my blog was as broke as broke gets. Wouldn’t even come up.

And I’m that guy who not only does all the steps, I backup EVERYTHING. I have files for my online copy. I have folders for my offline copy. I go slow and do each step meticulously. I use every cuss word in the book and even a few I make up.

Normally this results in me putting off upgrades to the weekend when I have the time.

But when I went through the thousand-step process this time, I got bupkis!

After three times of installing, I was still dead in the water so I had to reinstall the earlier version and it worked. Well, that was SOMETHING.

I gave it one more try and that time it worked. But I did nothing different.

That really pisses me off. But such is life.

When I finally got it installed, I was rewarded with a brand-spanking new interface that in the end, really only scored points on the “cool” scorecard but really didn’t make much of a difference.

Other than the knowledge that I’m using the latest and greatest, of course.

To my readers, it’s seamless which I guess is the point but there was a lot of work for just a new neat-o interface only I saw.

You can read about all the upgrade gobildy-gook here.

But know ye, know ye, I upgraded, it worked, and I’m using the latest and greatest blog technology WordPress has to offer.

So send cool points as you see fit.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Steph Entertains

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”

- Andy Rooney

Today my lovely daughter had her piano recital.

If you didn’t know, my daughter not only takes piano lessons, is getting pretty good, AND she is being taught by a teacher who is in a teaching line leading back to Beethoven himself!!

Steph had a little surprise for me this time. She had been given an assignment to write a song and play it for the recital. When I saw that on the flier, I thought they had made a mistake. It listed the musician and the author of the song. Her name was on both!


These things are always the same: you wait through everyone else’s recitals to hear your child’s and hope to God it either goes fast or you actually eek some enjoyment out of some of the other performances.

And they go by age so as Steph gets older, the longer I have to wait.

The little ones, well, they are the little ones and are just learning. Sitting in a real recording studio, we all put on our best faces and tried not to look to painfully bored.

There was one family who played quite a few songs (the teacher’s kids) and to my surprise, they came up with an interesting rendition of Dream On by Aerosmith.

The poor kid turned all red when he went high on the falsetto part (Dream on, dream on, dream on until your dreams come true…) but God bless him, he did it.

When it was Steph’s turn, I watched the whole thing through a camera, of course, but it sounded beautiful. She did very well on both of her songs and her own song rang wonderfully over the crowd.

I know I am biased but I really enjoyed hearing her tickle the ivories in front of a crowd of people.

Now she’s beautiful AND talented. No limits for this girl.

Here are the pics.

Free Advice for Today: “Don’t watch violent television shows, and don’t buy the products that sponsor them.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Eighteen Alone

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.”

- Bill Vaughan

My running buddy bagged on me this morning.

And oh how I wanted to join him.

It took everything I had to get to P-Canyon by 0645 so I could meet Sam at 0700. We were supposed to tackle an 18-mile run today and I was not all that psyched about it. After Monday’s run and then skipping Thursday, I was looking at two days without running.

I was sitting in my car at the trailhead waiting for Sam and secretly coveting the time in the warm car just sitting there.

“Take your time, Sam.”

Then it started to get on to about 0710 and my mood switched. Now I was wasting time and the effort it took to drag my lazy ass out of bed and get out here at an ungodly hour for a Saturday was being squandered.

That’s about the time I dug through my bag to get my phone. (Yes, I should have had it handy from the beginning, so what.)

Well, at 0630, Sam had called and there was a VM of a groggy voice saying something about being out late with the General and blah blah blah he’ll call me later.

Looks like I was going solo this morning.

Just as well….

The plan was to go out to the turnaround point (6 miles) and then return. Then I would go back out again to the 3-mile mark (the waterfall) and return to complete a total of 18 miles. Then cry, go home, shower, eat, and nap.

Everything went as planned (except the crying) and I was happy to see I could still tackle an 18-mile run without vomiting. That’s always nice.

I’m not saying the ending wasn’t tough because it was. And that moment where I have to go back out after taking a break at my car does not qualify as “the best time I ever had.” Far from it. It’s the point where it would be so easy to call it quits, hop in the car, and go home.

But I went back out and did that last 6 miles.

I have a lot of big runs planned in the future in a short amount of time because my big races are coming up so I’m supremely happy I was able to knock this one out to start the “big” miles.

Even if it was without Sam!!!

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but what’s new?

Free Advice for Today: “Loosen up. Relax. Except or rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Where Is It Coming From?

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.”

- Enrico Fermi

I’ll make this quick and cryptic.

I am convinced that I make things worse in my head than they really are.

The bitch about this is that I know this but can’t seem to change it.

I worry about things and they are never as bad as I expect them to be.

For example, for the last few months, I’ve awoken each morning at about 0430 in a panic. I am worried, sweating, and have unfocused dread. I toss and turn for an hour and a half and then get up dreading the day.

That sucks.

I try to go over all the good things in my life (and there are many) but nothing seems to help. If I can’t be happy with my situation now, what happens when it gets legitimately bad?

Huh? Answer me that.

On an unrelated note, I made a presentation to my boss about the security I am in charge of for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in June. Then I took him around to see the entry points to the base. (The race ends on the Depot).

On a related note, it went better than I expected it to go.

But the best news…

It’s the weekend, Baby!!!!

Free Advice for Today: “Take an overnight train trip and sleep in Pullman.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Massive Meeting Mourning

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”

- Salvador Dali

This is going to be counter-intuitive.

I was so utterly and all-encompassingly bored by sitting in complete silence in a meeting for 4 hours this morning that I was exhausted by the time I got back to my office.

So exhausted that I spent my lunch hour konked out on my couch in my office rather than running like I should have been doing.

Half my day was blown to pieces although all the work was still there. Funny how that works.

I don’t have what it takes for Dilbert-like existence. I just don’t.

Free Advice for Today: “Volunteer to be a Little League umpire.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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5 Posts I Wish I Had Never Written

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.”

- Unknown

Well, this isn’t exactly true. But it’s a meme I got from the Kat House and I thought I would play along.

They ARE 5 Posts that are potentially embarrassing but not ones I wish I never written, evidenced by the fact that most of them on on my sidebar under “Entry Hall of Fame.”

I got tagged by The Kat House who was tagged by Christy of Christy’s Coffee Break who I don’t even know, man.

I guess I have to list the top five posts I wish I had never written, along with the reasons I regret them so here ya have it. Look away, Mother.

I will go beyond the rules right out of the gate by throwing three into one of my spots because they all have to do with Sarah McLachlan:

1. Sarah concert: Might as well go for gold right away. This might be the most embarrassing thing I have ever done. I groan when I think about it even today.
1a. Sarah Tickets: I might have got a LITTLE to excited about getting Sarah McLachlan tickets. MAYBE.
1b. Sarah album: The final shot of this Sarah hatrick has to do with my reaction one morning at finding out Sarah was coming out with a new CD.

2. Easter thievery: The only saving grace I have with this one was that I was a punk kid at the time.

3. Medical woes: a list like this isn’t complete unless there are testicles involved.

4. Music preferences: I never heard the end of this. You put your entire collection of MP3s on your blog and you are gonna get shit of biblical proportions.

5. Fat lady: I only include this on the list because of the sheer amount of crap I’ve received when I make fun of fat people and homosexuals. I’ve lost many readers and even some family members have red-assed me on occasion.

Free Advice for Today: “When reading self-help books, include the Bible.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.



Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

- Dorothy Nevill

Even though we celebrated last Saturday, today marks the actual anniversary of when I married my lovely bride.

All day, the thought of this was not far from my mind. I had a general feeling of well-being and anticipation to get in my car and head home all day.

On the way home, I stopped at Costco and picked up two dozen red roses. In my bag was a card I had bought a week ago with a full page of memories scrawled on it.

When I bought the flowers, I got the inevitable question of “what I did” and I boldly told the cashier what, in fact, I did.

I married a beautiful woman two decades ago.

When I got home, I gave her the flowers but pointed out that she only gets 20 of them. The other 4 were for Stephanie, our daughter, so when Carrie cut them and put them in a vase, she put 4 in a smaller vase.

I crept upstairs to my daughter’s door, rushed in without knocked, lunged across the room without saying a word, placed the small vase on her desk, and ran out, slamming the door behind me as I heard giggles of confusion.

She didn’t even know I was home yet.

I am a very strange man.

And what did we do to celebrate two decades of marriage?

We went to our daughter’s freshman orientation.

This would not have been so bad if it wasn’t absolutely worthless. We have a son that goes to this school and there was no new information passed to us.

What we DID get to see is our daughter’s future counselor who was in a desperate need of a haircut. His ponytail draped to the middle of his back but at least he had a collared shirt and tie.

We walked hand-in-hand the entire night.

Free Advice for Today: “Borrow a box of puppies for an afternoon and take them to visit the residents of a retirement home. Stand back and watch the smiles.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


If There Is To Be Good, There Must Then Be Bad

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Quote of the Day: “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I know I’ve been all over the spectrum when it comes to running but I had a decent week last week and even tackled a pretty good 12-miler last Saturday which led me to believe that I was getting back in the game.

The game kicked me right in the onions today.

I went out for my lunch run and thought I would be covering the 7.5 miles at a steady pace, not trying to impress, just getting it done.

I got about half way out and … and… bwa bwa bwa bwaaaaaaaa…..

I could almost HEAR my blood-sugar drop to trace levels.

I suddenly found myself about 5 miles out with nothing to get home on but the bitter taste of hatred of a body that didn’t want to play no more.

I made it back (obviously) but there was a lot of walking and not a little amount of self-loathing involved.

Goes to show you, no matter what level you are at (or was at), sometimes even a single digit run can bring a runner to a pitiful crawl.

Here’s to better days with better runs.

Free Advice for Today: “As soon as you get married, start saving for your children’s education.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Easter Opinion

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Quote of the Day: “Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”

- Samuel Goldwyn

Ahh, Easter.

You know what I’m thankful for at Easter?

The going to church and seeing all the people dressed in their “Easter Best”?

Having a friend join us for brunch afterward?

No, I think it would have to be not having a place to go and ending up at Denny’s.

Oooh, ooh, no, I got it…

How about going to Denny’s and waiting an hour and a half for a club sandwich?

No, no, I can do better…

No Peeps.

Nary a Peep to be had for Viper.

Easter blew this year.

Free Advice for Today: “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Two Decades of Love

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Quote of the Day: “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

- Herm Albright

Our 20th anniversary is coming up next week but we are going to our daughter’s freshman orientation that night so we decided to go out tonight to celebrate.

But first, I got back into my running groove by getting back into the long Saturday runs. I had a little help in the form of Sam, the General’s Aide, who is going to be running Wild Wild West and Bishop 50-Mile Ultra with me this year.

He joined me at 0700 this morning and I introduced him to P-Canyon as we tackled a 12-mile run.

I felt like “Coach Viper” since he had never run a trail marathon, a 50-mile run, nor the P-Canyon route before. I had a lot to pass and we actually made pretty good time while I gabbed almost the entire time. We did sub-10 minute miles (10-minute miles is the goal on long training runs) so I was happy, especially considering I’ve been out of the long training runs since…

… I don’t even want to look back and do the calculation. Let’s just say it’s been a LONG time. TOO long.

Anyway, I also ran into my friends from the running group I used to join up with every Saturday. They had not seen me in almost a year and I was sure they thought I got shipped off to war and got killed.

Driving home, I called up my good friend Paola and asked her where a good place would be to take Carrie for our anniversary. I didn’t want Olive Garden or really anywhere where there would be jeans and babies in high chairs.

Money was no object. After all, she HAS put up with me for 20 years. That deserves something special.

Paola gave me a few option but the one that sounded the best was right on the water and was mainly a seafood joint. I detest seafood but I know Carrie loves it and since this was all about her, I knew going to a seafood place was a gesture that spoke volumes.

When I got home, I called the Chart House and made reservations as close to sunset as I could get.

Then I took a nap and was glad Carrie didn’t check my pulse because she would have probably called an ambulance. I was as out as out gets and when I awoke, I felt heavily sedated. I guess I was a little bit in the red when it came to sleep. Last week was a little rough and the first long run in awhile took its toll.

We made our way to the Chart House on the ocean and we were dressed to the hilt. I was even in a coat and tie (which took me about a half hour to get right). Carrie’s dress was stunning and if I do say so myself, we made a breathtaking couple.

There was no choice but to valet park but like I mentioned before, money was no object and if you know the depth of my cheapassedness, you would know how much that says.

We got seats near the window that overlooked the ocean and we could see surfers. It was going to be a magnificent sunset and we had front row seats.

Our waiter, who was coincidentally named “Jason”, looked like a surfer himself. A Patrick Swayze-esque hairdo topped the look off and while he offered his congrats when I announced why we were there, it did not garner us any discount. But that’s OK, the night was just about the two of us and the experiences we have shared in the last two decades.

Perusing the menu, I wanted to make sure I didn’t make Carrie feel bad for being at a seafood restaurant. I made sure that I was in the frame of mind where I would accept anything they had to offer and since money was no object, I decided to follow suit with what she was having.

Much to her surprise, I echoed her order when James Dalton took her order after announcing that nobody pus baby in a corner.

Fillet minion and Australian lobster. Yes, folks, steak and lobster for the both of us.

And it was gooooooooooooood!

Most of you know, I’m not a big lobster guy. I’m not red all over and have big snapper claws for hands.

Just kidding.

I think one of the reasons that is has to do with it being too close to “fish” which I abhor but probably has more to do with the fact that I worked in a Black Angus in high school and the only lobster I got was the leftovers (cold and rubbery.)

But tonight, it was some of the greatest food I’ve ever dipped in butter and let melt in my mouth.

I will save the details of our conversation because it was just for the two of us but the overall theme was a recollection of all the places we’ve lived in the last 20 years, how we started, where we are today, and where we are going.

It was an absolutely wonderful dinner with a beautiful woman and tantalizing conversation.

The mood was topped off when the sun dipped into the ocean and the entire restaurant stopped to watch in mesmerized silence. Even the waiters stopped and everyone was staring out the plate-glass windows, faces bathes in golden light.

When the last sliver of sun dipped below the ocean, the place erupted in applause and the normal sound of silverware, glasses, and dinner conversation resumed.

We even had the lava volcano cake thing which represented about three times the amount of calories any ultrarunner should take in during Badwater!

For the sake of Pete, it was drizzled in Godiva chocolate!

After dinner, I wanted coffee but instead of Starbucks, we decided to go to Borders because along with coffee, they have my other passion: books. I didn’t want to stay there long, just wander the aisles a little, away from Carrie as I explored and bringing books back to her I thought were interesting.

Meanwhile, she got approached a couple of times by Borders Casanovas who probably troll in such places and are not used to seeing a beautiful woman in a dinner dress perusing the shelves.

I, on the other hand, was not approached.

It was a wonderful night and we went home happy, returning to our two teenage kids who once again reminded us how lucky we were and what we have created over the last 20 years.

And Buster’s dumb ass was there too.

Free Advice for Today: “Give generously.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.