Quote of the Day: “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.”
- Victor Hugo
You know what’s cool about being unemployed?
Sleeping until 9:00 AM!
OK, I know that is downright disgusting for a military man (or any man, really) and on top of that, a few blogs ago I talked about the 5:00 AM wake up call to go work out but I will blame this one squarely on my wife. There is no way in 10 hells she would wake up at that hour to work out so if I want to work out with her (which I do), I have to wait until she wakes up and we get ready and go.
Just because that is ending up being around 10ish is not my fault. I know but I suffer through it somehow.
I still get up at about 7:00 AM to take my lovely daughter to school but I return and can’t peel off the sad assortment of clothes, which would embarrass her painfully if anyone were to actually take a gander at what Steph’s dad is wearing on the morning school drive, fast enough and crawl back into bed for another couple of hours of sleep.
So we get up, I brush the teeth, splash some water on my face, throw on some gym clothes, suck down some scroatmeal (blech!), and head to the gym.
Today, I decided to do a full half hour on the elliptical (I am trying to work on endurance but still take it easy because I got a marathon on Sunday) and then I got it in my head that I should accomplish the little monthly challenges set up at my gym.
Now I am sure the “challenges” are for the desperate housewives and the cast of all of the Cocoon movies that seem to be in the gym mid-morning on weekdays…
… so I am not feeling all that superior for nailing this month’s challenge which was …
“Jump rope for two minutes straight.”
Do you know how hard it is to time yourself jump-roping? Especially if you don’t happen to have a watch on when you work out.
I decided to go with the method of pausing a song with two minutes left, set up, hit play, and skip until the song ended so, with Fergie finishing up educating me about how “Fergilicious” she actually is, I made it to the end of the song.
Yes, it was Fergilicious.
Can we just concentrate on the fact that I jumped for two minutes straight?
Didn’t think so.
All I have to say is go get a jump rope and try it. It may not sound difficult and seeing that little girls can jump for 2 DAYS nonstop, as an adult, it ain’t any kinds of easy, folks.
You are still thinking about the Fergilicious thing, aren’t you?
After all that, I got on the treadmill and did 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes of running, and rotated that schedule for about 35 minutes.
With so much time on the elliptical and the treadmill, I decided I needed a distraction so I brought my brand new issue of Trailrunner Magazine!!!
But Jason, don’t you subscribe to about 4 different magazines and have YEARS of back issues you haven’t read yet? And Carrie let you subscribe to another one?
Well, um, yeah, I kind of didn’t tell her and what do you know, an issue showed up in the mail the other day.
But come on, I am in to ultrarunning, or at least interested in reading about it.
(If I haven’t ultraran since May of 2007, I can still claim to be an ultrarunner, right?)
Anyway, the tagline for the magazine is “One Dirty Magazine.” How can you NOT love that?
So other than the general ultrarunning theme, I love the attitude of the magazine and the advertisements inside which are sometimes better than the articles. This one for a running shoe from ITSaRUNNER.com caught my eye and I found myself laughing out loud while ellipticalizing…
(I had no idea what this meant and almost skipped reading the rest of the ad. But I did and it said…)
Running is in our blood. But don’t take our word for it. Just flip through the latest American Journal of Human Genetics and you’ll learn that the genes like ACTN2 and R577X are linked to elite athletic performance. But in a day and age where running gets confused with jogging and medals are dished out merely for participating, we fear these genes may go dormant, or worse yet, disappear completely. So please, do your part to make sure running doesn’t get lost in the genetic shuffle. Take another runner by the hand and do what comes naturally. That is, other than running. Breed like an animal. Run like and animal.
I almost choked on my water when I read the last line and linked it to the title of the ad.
I think I’m going to really like this magazine.
The other epiphany I had while reading the magazine today is that it finally happened.
- I have run 21 marathons.
- I have run four 50-mile ultramarathons.
- I have attempted a 100 mile race because it sounded fun.
- I have been on a team that ran 140 miles over 2 days.
- I have ambitions to run the Badwater, a 135-mile uphill torture-fest through Death Valley in summer.
- Twice I have run back to back marathons in consecutive weeks and then an ultra two weeks after that.
But I FINALLY read about a race I have no interest at all in even attempting.
I didn’t think it was possible because up to this point, the more difficult, crazy, and bizarre a race sounded, the more it interested me. I recognize this trait as a kindred spirit (or flawed genetic make-up) that both draws me to the sport and makes “normal” people scratch their head because it is precisely the opposite reaction they would have to such arduous quests.
But today, I found one that is completely out of the question.
You see, I don’t do cold.
I can do heat and the prospect of running in 140-degree heat does not scare me (and yes, I have been to the Badwater course so I know what the heat feels like. Yes, it is a dry heat but it will suck the moisture from your (insert any assorted body part here, the more vulgar, the better).
So when I saw this ad, I said to myself, “Jason, there you go. A complete off-limits race that holds absolutely no appeal whatsoever.”
The description of this race had the affect on me as any of the other races I am fascinated with has on a “normal” person.
In other words, WTF?
I think the final knockout blow was the poem which served as the ad itself. Here is what it looked like:
For and ultra cool experience!
February 1st – 3rd, 2010
Days and nights of 30 below,
Frostbit my nose and can’t feel my toe,
Timberwolf paw prints dot the snow,
Am I still on the trail or where do I go?
Since I left I-Falls I wonder why,
I must be crazy to even try,
I’m determined to finish,
But I won’t lie,
The Arrowhead Trail seems tougher than I.
135 miles of Arrowhead snow,
Frostbitten fingers and blistered toe.
Timberwolves howl and owl eyes glow;
Hallucination or Northern Lights show?
Frostbit Falls to Vermilion sky;
Afraid of the dark? So why even try?
Fearless will finish; fearful will cry.
Only the toughest will dare apply.
As though it makes up for what they just described, they lamely add…
Coolest handmade trophy for all finishers.
Application deadline December 1, 2009.
Again, I don’t do cold so cook me all you want but snow is not something I will be putting myself through in this lifetime. I’ll stick to the scorching desert, thank you very much.
OK, on to other subjects: My Kindle.
(not my hand)
As most of you know, I have and love my Kindle 2 from Amazon. I got it as a retirement gift from my extended family and I have been enjoying not only the novelty of having the great piece of technology but also being able to read anything I want just about anywhere I want, which, I guess is the whole idea.
So you can imagine my geek-fuelled excitement when I got an email yesterday that they had updated the software and it would be sending the update across the airwaves in the near future.
But was that fast enough for me?
Of course not.
I turned on the wireless capability (which I keep off to extend the battery life to a staggering 2 weeks!) and nothing happened.
Upon further investigation, Amazon snuck into the verbiage some vague silliness about how the update would be rolled out to the users over few weeks.
After dismissing my initial plans involving Molotov cocktails and Amazon HQ, I found where it gave the option of pulling down the download from Amazon and then manually doing the update by connecting the Kindle to the computer via the USB.
It was like a geek’s wet dream except without the Star Trek, Star Wars, and Meagan Fox references.
I followed the directions and before you knew it, I was sporting version 2.3 and that’s not the geek-boner scale of 1 to 3.
It means, among other claims, I had longer battery life (a few more days with wireless on than before) and a native PDF capability (I can now read a PDF right from the gadget, I guess).
I can also rotate the text to any orientation by going in the settings and choosing what I wanted (not by just rotating the gadget like an iPhone). Seems like a lot of work for the flippage but I have the capability now.
The only real benny I can see me using is the longer battery life but hey, it was a free update. And it WAS an update so I know Amazon is kicking out improvements of some kind.
Plus, I have the latest Kindle software. I mean, come on. Time to go update my resume!!!
All this Kindle-talk got my reading juices flowing (how gross does THAT sound?) and I hopped over to Amazon to see what I could find.
What did I find?
A big fat serving of shit pie.
It seems there is a tissy going on over the Kindle offerings. Some of the high-profile new-release books are being released in hardback but delayed in the Kindle version.
Books such as Stephen King’s new release Under the Dome can be preordered as a Kindle book but you can’t get it until December 24th, although you can buy the hardcover right now.
To me, here is what they are saying:
“OK, yes, you shuffled out over $300 for this reader on the promise that new releases were going to be under 10 bucks but we are not going to let you have that new release until it is NOT a new release any more. But you can buy the hardback right now.”
What possible logic could they be using?
You want me to preorder so I can get it in a month?
Why don’t you preorder laying your lips on my ass, Amazon?
To tell the truth, I would be a lot more outraged if I didn’t have a library of unread books shelved right behind me as I type this but still. I should be able to download Stephen King’s new book right now so it can wallow on my Kindle for months before I even touch it.
Like all my blog entries, this one is running long but I have to talk about a story I read today. It can be filed under “Jason is still recovering from a year in Saudi Arabia…”
It seems that Jeddah is getting one of their two annual flood-causing downpours and since they rarely get them, there is no infrastructure to handle the massive amounts of standing water. Combine that with the fact that a single drop of liquid on the roads there causes the average Saudi to lose his shit and bunch up traffic for miles and you get a recipe for traffic disaster. I mean, more than usual of course.
But that’s not the story. The story is that it is Haj which means that thousands of Muslims pour into the area to make their religious pilgrimage to Mecca.
- Thousands of foreigners
- Torrential downpour
The news says that the numbers are down this year.
It also says another factor is the H1N1 virus.
I laughed myself silly over all this because:
1. I am not there
2. On a GOOD day, that whole area would get a AFUTWTS* rating
3. With all the extra dollops of SUCK poured on top, they wish they could be upgraded to AFU!
4. I guess good weather and no viruses being passed around is a prerequisite for Hajing. I don’t want to hear any more about religious piety and sacrifice, gents. It rained and you took your football home. Or should I say “pigskin?”
5. I am not there
One last note about the situation in the KingDumb:
I have been told that the servicemen there will no longer be able to get their monthly ration of flat-nosed beef (pork) from Riyadh because the drivers who transport it from the capital on the weekly commissary run are refusing to transport it.
See #’s 1 and 5 above.
*All Fucked Up Ten Ways Till Sunday
F.M.L. of the Day: “Today, I was walking into the building I hoped to work in someday with my resume, ready to be interviewed. As I walked through the doors I had to sneeze, so lifted my hands and sneezed a huge bloody booger right in the middle of the cover page. Turns out future employers don’t like that. FML.”