Monthly Archives: October 2006

willful ignorance should be a crime

on the way in to work this morning, i drove past our state senator (no names here, don’t want to give him any more publicity) as he campaigned near a busy freeway onramp.  he was dressed pretty nicely for a guy breathing exhaust fumes on a foggy 30 degree morning.
as i drove by, i wondered how he could smile and wave after :
– voting against extending anti-discrimination protection to gay citizens.
– supporting "defense of marriage" bills and efforts in washington and nationwide.
– voting to limit stem-cell research in washington state.
– supporting a "stay the course" approach in iraq.
apparently he’s not afraid to go out on a limb in the interests of protecting intellectual property interests … sponsoring a bill making it a crime to take a hand-held video camera into a movie theater.  if he calls that the centerpiece of his interest in technology and ip law, he should be embarrassed.
also – he tells us that "his background as a catholic is as much of what he brings to the legislature as his law degree".  but we can surmise that by examining his voting record.
think about it.  he opposes equitable application of the law to citizens who just happen to be gay.  he opposes some of the most progressive and promising forms of medical research, and lacks enough common sense to recognize a failed foreign policy even when it’s killing his constituents (not to mention 50-100 iraqis per day, not counting the ones our troops are killing too).  but try to make a very low-grade copy of an entertainment property, and he’ll draw the line there!
interestingly, none of his positions on the issues above are featured prominently on his campaign website.  i guess he’s a bit embarrassed about his voting record and past public statements, given that it’s pretty out of step with his district.  here’s a pretty good article about the stark differences in the two candidates :
make sure to vote this coming tuesday … as we’ve seen in the past several state and federal elections, every one of them matters.

working through challenges

i’ve been experiencing some nagging knee pain now for about two weeks.  it started the day i left for new york, and (surprise!) didn’t get any better when i continued running.  there were times i had to force myself to continue going, and it hurt badly enough that i wasn’t having much fun.  last friday i deciding (about a week after a more sensible person would have) that i was past the point of diminishing return, and needed to take a few days off.
should be an easy choice, no?  all i was able to do was slog through the miles – i wasn’t up to speed work, or any real distance work.  running down hills was out too.  so i’ve been sitting tight now for three days, and feeling ansy.
i’d not really decided whether or not to try running the valley of fire marathon next month.  this injury might make the final decision easy, but doing the race would have been a major hassle … involving distant accommodations, plane tickets, and rushing back to be at rachel’s birthday party.
i really can’t complain though, as kris is facing a bigger challenge right now.  she’d been experiencing some nagging hip pain, and went to get checked out.  an mri revealed cracks in several vertabrae in her lower back.  they’ve been there for quite a while, and she’s run, biked, ans swam countless miles like this.  but it’s the sort of thing they need to check out carefully, so she’s gone in for another mri and is playing the waiting game.  she’d registered for the minnesota endurance 50 event (run this morning), but had to bow out due to the injury and the risk of making it worse.  i know from experience that it’s a real downer to commit and prepare for an event, then not do it.  and it’s a bigger downer to play the waiting game on top of that.
still – we want to plan for longevity too.  i’d rather be running at 80, than to pack it in now.  i suspect kris feels the same way too.
speaking of longevity, the girls and i attended a great get-together over the weekend, and our friends rhonda and brian’s house.  we were marking one year since brian had open heart surgery.  he’s a guy I worked with right after moving to the northwest.  he’s a bit younger than me, and has a beautiful wife and daughter.  apparently he also had a leaky heart valve (i think that’s what it was).  anyway – seeing brian, and celebrating with him on saturday made me reflect on the more important things in life :  enjoying friends and family, and doing everything we can to stay healthy and happy!
in that spirit, i’m going to try running tomorrow.  if all goes well, i’ll go out again thursday.  if that goes well, i might try a really long one over the weekend – playing things by ear for now though.

on temporary solo parenting

kris left for minnesota today, off to visit family and friends and to attend her high school reunion.  the girls and i are on our own for the next five days, until she returns on sunday night.
on the one hand, i’m really looking forward to having time alone with them, especially after being gone myself last week.  on the other hand – holy crap there’s a lot of stuff going on.  today was an easy day.  i dropped them off at school just before nine, then had to leave around two to help out with kayla’s girls on the run group (more on that later).  i spent about 90 minutes running around with the 8-11 year-old girls, then packed kayla up to go pick rachel up at extended day care at the school.  then we picked some dinner up, and headed home to watch the mets beat the cardinals.  so – not too many places to go, but only a half day of work.
a more typical day involves either girls on the run or taikwando for kayla, and at least one appointment for rachel, perhaps swimming lessons too.  now kayla’s beginning rehearsals for a christmas play with a local kid’s theater company.  don’t know how this is all going to work, and i sure am glad i don’t have to do it myself.
about girls on the run … this is a great pre-teen program for girls that helps them learn to make good choices about food, drugs, and alcohol, helps bolster their self-esteem, and helps them develop enthusiasm for an active, healthy lifestyle.  this afternoon we played some games and ran some laps.  i left kayla to be with her friends (she seems to have a lot of them in the group), and ran with some of the girls i hadn’t met before.  i introduced galloway rule #1 for running – that you had to bring stories or a joke, because running’s supposed to be fun.  well-  we had a blast!  we traded stories (some of them in german!) for about two miles, and exchanged high-fives all around when we finished.  it was a great experience for me – we did a little bit of walking, had a lot of fun, and ran pretty well.  the girls i ran with probably did about a 10-11 min/mile pace when running – not bad at all!

east coast, west coast

spent last week on business in nyc.  it was a nice gig.  i was interviewing students at columbia university, and staying in a nice smaller hotel on the upper west side.  the last few times i’ve gone, i’ve eschewed the big corporate hotels in favor of these smaller places – and have really been happier.
i was on 81st st, right across from the museum of natural history, one block from central park, and around the corner from the subway.  very convenient.
things i did (besides working) :
  • ran around central park, including a number of faster laps around the reservoir.
  • ate at an excellent vegetarian korean restaurant in gramercy park.
  • went to the top of the empire state building at night.
  • saw the mets lose a playoff game at shea to the st louis cardinals.  nothing like seeing a game in seattle – much more intense.  rode the subway to and from too – other than having to wait around for the train, that was pretty fun too.
  • saw a broadway show.
  • enjoyed some great margaritas at a place on 7th ave.
  • went to moma – twice!
  • visited friends and family.

while i love living in the northwest – i also loved the easy access to cultural stuff.  you could spend weeks there, and not visit the same museum twice.  there’s a great selection of plays to see at half price.  and the culinary options are great too.  nyc would be a great place to live on an unlimited budget.  i also remember it being a great place to live as a kid – sort of like being at the center of the universe.  perhaps every kid feels like that, but being able to experience such a range of cultures, ideas, and people isn’t something you can do in the suburbs.

it’s good to be home with kris and the kids, but i had a blast back east.

ramping back up again

on a positive note – had a spendid 21+ mile run yesterday.  started out under chilly overcast skies, finished under partial sun.  managed to focus on good cedence, a positive attitude, and low hr.  each time the hr would creep up, i’d will it down a bit.  that’s the way it felt anyway.  i averaged only 146 on a run that included rolling hills and about 1500′ of ascent.
looks like we’re training for the tucson marathon.  kris wants to bq, and tucson looks like a great place to do it – all downhill, moderate temps.
it’d feel like cheating, but i’ve done some tough uphill races too (whidbey and deadwood come to mind, as do a host of shorter runs).  anyway, i’m also weighing the valley of fire marathon in nevada – one of those tough uphill courses (about 2000′ of gain, all in the first 16 miles).  the really crazy idea was to do that one as a training run for tucson.
not sure what i’ll decide yet, but will keep doing long runs with hills to make sure i’m ready for anything.
finished reading karnazes’ ultramarathon man yesterday.  he’s crazy.  also a bit narcissistic – the more introspective parts of the book were a bit annoying.  i enjoyed reading about his ultra distance races – some of them were white-knuckle rides.  found out that he and i both attended cal poly slo too.

and another thing … or two …

last month our hometown monthly paper (usually bit of fluff devoted to real estate ads, notices for neighborhood bbqs, and gripes about zoning) published an editorial calling for the impeachment of gwb.  prompted several thoughts :
– how many real estate ads did they bump to publish this?
– can’t wait to read the letters to the editor next month.
now that next month is here, i can say that the letters to the editor did not disappoint.  60% said "right on!  what a great paper you are".  40% said "sedicious creeps like you ought to move to havana.  or tikrit.  or both".
i didn’t bother reading the "right on!" letters.  had trouble parsing some of the assertions of sedition.  do people understand that part of what we’re ostensibly fighting for is the right to intelligent discourse, rather than throwing our dissidents out or into jails.  perhaps the best answer to them is "well – the last administration let you stay when your party actively worked to overthrow the government".
not sure how to respond, other than open mockery.

republicans : the party of pedophiles, torture, money laundering, and xenophobia

gotta vent.
this whole business about mark foley – FL rep who was repeatedly caught trying to hit on underage pages has me thinking.
what’s the prevelent discussion about now?  well – it’s about whether or not speaker dennis hastert will ultimately get to keep his job.  talk about missing the point.  i mean – who can listen to hastert’s rambling, incoherent, disgusting defense of ignoring foley’s actions?  why is this even a conversation?
fire him.  kick him out.  he let us down in so many ways.  we deserve better.  
think about hastert’s line of defense : "they (abc news, democratic operatives) want to see this all blow up".  he’s telling us that – even though he basically aided and abetted a pedophile by turning a blind eye (as the catholic church has done for predatory priests) – we should be more interested in the motives of the people reporting the facts.
meanwhile – the republican agenda is erecting fences to keep people from coming to work here, firing up the masses about "islamo-facism", defending senators and congressman who have been observed funnelling soft money for personal gain, asserting the right to torture POWs, hiring well-connected new college grads without finance backgrounds to restart the iraqi stock exchange, offering no-bid contracts to the same company that the vp ceo’d until he ascended to power, and actively working to remove your civil liberties every day.
if you voted for this mess – are you happy with how things have worked out?
if you plan to vote for it again – shame on you.  really.