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EVERY year I say the same thing in August:  “There are only two valid tests for a successful San Francisco Forty-Niner season – Did we win the Super Bowl or did we beat the Rams twice?
You see I grew up watching the Niners win one(1!!!) game against the Los Angeles Rams in ten years.  In the 1980s-90s, when we went on to win five Super Bowls in fourteen years, I still had the same question?  I don’t care about anything else if we don’t win the Super Bowl that year except:  “Did we beat the Rams twice?”  If the answer to either question is “yes”, then we had a good year.  Otherwise, I don’t want to hear about appearing in the Super Bowl, winning the NFC, winning the Western Division, having a winning record – or ANYTHING else.  Win the Super Bowl or beat the Rams twice…
Of course, anybody will tell you it’s also nice to beat the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders in the same season as either of the two above, but they are DISTANT seconds to the two defining conditions mentioned above.
Anyway, my point is we (the Forty-Niners) are halfway there…  Today, we went down to LA and put a whipping on the Rams (27-7).  We are now halfway to a successful season without even having to play in the Super Bowl.  Traditionally, NFL teams which finish with 10 wins in a season, make the playoffs.  We now have 5 wins with 11 games to go.  In theory, we only have to play .500 ball to make the playoffs.  Bottom Line:  our next game against the Rams is on 22 December.  Go Niners!!!
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On This Day In:
2018 VOTE – We Need A Wave
2017 Soothe, Inspire And Recharge
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

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It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister.  I can tell people that no human is limited.  I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.
  —  Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge (the 34-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya) ran a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds, becoming the first person in history to break two hours for 26.2 miles in a special running / marathon event in Vienna (at Vienna’s Prater-Hauptallee (main avenue)) on Saturday (12 October 2019) morning.
Roger Bannister – mentioned in the quote – was the (British) runner who became the first man to break the 4 minutes for a mile record in 1954 (May 6, 1954, in 3:59.4).  Multiple individuals were close to the record before Bannister broke it and over a thousand runners have since broken 4 minutes in the 60+ years since.  Bannister’s “world record” lasted barely six weeks before it was broken and two months after the initial sub-4, two runners in the same race (Bannister was one of them), broke sub-4.  A sub-4 minute mile is now considered “routine” for world-class middle-distance runners.
Kipchoge’s run does not qualify for the world record nor will it be “officially” recognized because it was not an “open” competition and because Kipchoge was preceded by a pace car (which provided a laser path guide).  In my humble opinion, neither of these factors are significant and we have witnessed one of the greatest feats in human athleticism.
The quote was taken from the web and is available from many sources.  This image was “snipped” off the news video at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/eliud-kipchoge-runs-1-59-marathon-first-to-break-2-hours/ar-AAIFQjT?ocid=spartandhp.  I make no claim to ownership or rights to the quote, image or video.
I AM simply astounded at the achievement.  It staggered me to wake up and read about (and watch) history in the making!  I had been hoping for it (the record) to happen, but never “really” expected to see it in my own lifetime.  As expected, it could “only” happen under ideal conditions: cool temperatures, flat course, little or no wind and only at (or near) sea level.  The course had an elevation difference of less than eight(8) feet over it’s lap distance and (I gather) the location for the course was between 500 – 600 feet in elevation.
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On This Day In:
2018 25 Days Until The November Election
Old And Young
2017 Universal Soul Sounds
2016 Not Rivals
2015 Dead Sure
2014 Are You Educated?
2013 For Myself
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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Let’s just get it out there…  I am a Giants fan; ergo: I HATE the Dodgers!  I MAY have to grant a grudging respect to one or two of their players, but it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Especially if it’s a current player…
There has been little sweeter for this Giants fan than watching the Dodgers lose the last two World Series at home, but this year’s playoff elimination is pretty close…  (Yes, I am a small enough person to gloat about this!)
The Dodgers won 13 more regular season games than the Washington Nationals (their opponents).
The Dodgers had a regular season run differential of +273 compared to +149 for the Nats!
Game 5 (the “deciding” game) was played in Dodger Stadium.
Clayton Kershaw has been one of – if not THE – most dominant pitcher of the last decade.  (Please recall:  I LOVE me some Madison Bumgarner!!)
The Dodgers were leading in game 5 by two(2) runs going into the 8th inning.
And, then, the collapse…  Kershaw surrenders two home runs and the game is tied.  Two innings later (in the 10th), the Nats get a grand-slam and go on to with the game 7-3.  The Dodgers are eliminated from the 2018 playoffs!
Now, Kershaw has always seemed to me to be a decent person: In victory, he shares the credit.  In defeat, he claims ownership and responsibility for the loss.  So, I have one request for the Dodgers:  PLEASE trade Kershaw to some other team so I can root for him to win a World Series before he ends his illustrious career.  I saw his post-game (series) interview and I really want to support him.   But, I can’t!!!   I can’t!!!!  If Kershaw gets enough post-season appearances, eventually he will win a World Series…  Please (Baseball Gods) let it be for anyone but the Dodgers!
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On This Day In:
2018 Thinking About My Hil
Remember Your Duty In November
2017 Play Well With Others
2016 Surviving And Challenging
2015 On Destroying Historic / Archaeological Sites
2014 Magical Power
2013 How Awesome Would That Be
2012 Two Views
2011 Still Looking For Examples
2010 Giants Win Away 3 – 2!!

 

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The end of day eleven and the morning of day twelve…
Morning weight: 355lbs.  (on Day 12)
I am down / down “1/18”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 18lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs  (the morning of Day 1).
After walking Shiva, I went up to my brother’s (Sean) house to visit and to watch the San Francisco (actually the San Jose) Forty-Niners play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I went up in the morning so we could have some time to kick it before the game started.  We did that for about an hour and then spent most of another hour reviewing the movies and TV shoes my brother has been binge-ing on.  He has kidney failure and goes to dialysis four times a week.  Most of the remaining time he is recovering from the dialysis and watching the tube.  He says half the time he is sleeping and the tube is watching him.  He is really starting to get into foreign entertainment (Asian, Middle-Eastern, Indian and some European).  We were joined by my sister’s husband (Art) for the game itself.  The Niners won and it was a satisfying victory keyed more by the defense (two interceptions for touchdowns) than by the offense.  Still, a win is a win.
After the game and drive home, I relaxed for a minute and then went for an evening swim (7:10pm-8:10pm), so I did get a little bookend exercise for the day.
I stopped drinking three hours before bed and, again, did not have to get up during the night.  I’ll give it a few more days, but it certainly seems like that’s going to end up being a key to losing weight (a restful sleep).  For some reason my FitBit gave me an extra two hours of sleep – including an extra hour of “deep sleep”, which started before I even went to bed.  I guess it just can’t tell when you stop moving and your heart slows and when you are actually asleep.
As of this morning, I consider myself to be losing actual weight now.  As I’ve frequently mentioned, the best estimates are that you (we / I) have between 7 and 15 pounds of stomach content at any given time.  This is food “in processing” along the pipeline from mouth to bum.  When juicing, most of this gets eliminated after the first few (4) days.  This explains the rapid weight loss during the first few days of a juice fast.  It also explains the rapid weight gain when you come off the fast and begin to refill the stomach content.  From my reading, the 7 to 15 pound range is the best estimate for average adults and not reflective of obese or morbid obesity.  I assume morbidly obese folks will have even larger stomachs than average adults and therefor would start off with more stomach content and more weigh to shed.  I don’t know if this is a fact or just my opinion, but assuming it’s valid, this means that at 18 to 20 pounds loss I am probably finally stating to get to my non-content weight loss.  I am certainly hoping that is true, anyway.
I’m now more than halfway through week two and proceeding day to day…  And, so it goes…
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On This Day In:
2018 Worry (x2)
2017 Still Working
Gold In The Morning Sun
2016 Power Inside
2015 Sometimes I Feel Small
2014 It Slipped Away
2013 Corollary
2012 Working Retired
2011 The Web Is Not Authoritative! (Really?)

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I have missed more than 9,000 shots, lost almost 300 games, on 26 occasions been entrusted to take the game winning shot — and missed.  I have failed over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.
  —  Michael Jordan
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On This Day In:
2018 Praise God
2017 Necessary Gaps
2016 Nor My Dogs
2015 Say What?
I’m A Dog, Too!
Beginnings
2014 Astonishing Choices
2013 Three Hard Tasks
2012 The Only Remains
2011 Personal Capability
What Price Failure?
Both Of W’s Elections
Tea (Baggers) Anyone?

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Alumnus Football

Bill Jones had been the shining star upon his college team.
His tackling was ferocious and his bucking was a dream.
When husky William took the ball beneath his brawny arm
They had two extra men to ring the ambulance alarm.
Bill hit the line and ran the ends like some mad bull amuck.
The other team would shiver when they saw him start to buck.
And when some rival tackler tried to block his dashing pace,
On waking up, he’d ask, “Who drove that truck across my face?”
Bill had the speed-Bill had the weight-Bill never bucked in vain;
From goal to goal he whizzed along while fragments, strewed the plain,
And there had been a standing bet, which no one tried to call,
That he could make his distance through a ten-foot granite wall.
When he wound up his college course each student’s heart was sore.
They wept to think bull-throated Bill would sock the line no more.
Not so with William – in his dreams he saw the Field of Fame,
Where he would buck to glory in the swirl of Life’s big game.
Sweet are the dreams of college life, before our faith is nicked-
The world is but a cherry tree that’s waiting to be picked;
The world is but an open road-until we find, one day,
How far away the goal posts are that called us to the play.
So, with the sheepskin tucked beneath his arm in football style,
Bill put on steam and dashed into the thickest of the pile;
With eyes ablaze he sprinted where the laureled highway led-
When Bill woke up his scalp hung loose and knots adorned his head.
He tried to run the ends of life, but with rib-crushing toss
A rent collector tackled him and threw him for a loss.
And when he switched his course again and dashed into the line
The massive Guard named Failure did a toddle on his spine.
Bill tried to punt out of the rut, but ere he turned the trick
Right Tackle Competition scuttled through and blocked the kick.
And when he tackled at Success in one long, vicious prod
The Fullback Disappointment steered his features in sod.
Bill was no quitter, so he tried a buck in higher gear,
But Left Guard Envy broke it up and stood him on his ear.
Whereat he aimed a forward pass, but in two vicious bounds
Big Center Greed slipped through a hole and rammed him out of bounds.
But one day, when across the Field of Fame the goal seemed dim,
The wise old coach, Experience, came up and spoke to him.
“Oh Boy,” he said, “the main point now before you win your bout
Is keep on bucking Failure till you’ve worn the piker out!”
“And, kid, cut out this fancy stuff – go in there, low and hard;
Just keep your eye upon the ball and plug on, yard by yard,
And more than all, when you are thrown or tumbled with a crack,
Don’t sit there whining-hustle up and keep on coming back;
“Keep coming back with all you’ve got, without an alibi,
If Competition trips you up or lands upon your eye,
Until at last above the din you hear this sentence spilled:
‘We might as well let this bird through before we all get killed.’
“You’ll find the road is long and rough, with soft spots far apart,
Where only those can make the grade who have the Uphill Heart.
And when they stop you with a thud or halt you with a crack,
Let Courage call the signals as you keep on coming back.
“Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
Let every game’s end find you still upon the battling line;
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the Game.”
Written by: Grantland Rice
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On This Day In:
2018 Nice To Meet You
2017 All Nations & Religions
2016 Given The Choice
Why Is He Wearing Red?
2015 Within The System
2014 None But…
2013 Obviously Longer
2012 A Childhood Poem
Who Are You Callin’ Leather-Faced?
2011 In No Particular Order
The Need For Proof

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Amateur (2018©)  —  book review
Over Christmas, my daughter gave me a couple of books as prezzies.  One of them was “Amateur“, written by Thomas Page McBee.  The premise of the book is that the author has gone from being a woman to a man and is seeking to become the first transgender person to box in Madison Square Garden in New Your City.  He is fighting in a charity event against a non-professional fighter (like himself), who is presumably non-trans – at least there is no mention of the male opponent being transgender as well.  Anyway, the book is autobiographical and describes the training and preparation leading up to the match.  The book also relates background information about the authors parents and siblings.  It also has a small amount about the stages of being / becoming transgender.
I asked my daughter why she got me this particular book and if she had read it.  She replied she had not read it and she just wanted to expose me to different perspectives.  The other book she gave me was the Michelle Obama bio, which I have not read yet.
Anyway, I found the book difficult to “get into” because I didn’t (and don’t) care for the author’s writing style.  I found the ideas being expressed unclear and the sentences “stilted”.  Several times I had to re-read a sentence or a paragraph because I wasn’t sure I understood what the author was saying or how it added to or followed on with whatever else was being said.  Eventually, I got the hang of the writing and had fewer problems reading along.
Although the book is “about” boxing and preparing for a fight, it is also about aggression and “being male” – or at least what the author believes is being male in modern society.  I found much of this to be “interesting” even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything the author was trying to relate.  That is, much of it makes sense / rings true, but I’m not sure it (the points being made) are uniquely “male” or modern.  I also don’t know if they are unique to western / American society.  “Interesting” because I am not transgender, did not grow up as a “tom-boy”, and have not spent a great deal of time thinking about being a “straight” “male” as opposed to being “gay” or “trans”.  To this extent, my daughter was successful in getting me to think outside the box.
Final recommendation: moderate to strong.  It is difficult for me to know who the target audience for this book is, so it is equally hard to recommend it to anyone stumbling on this post / review.  I don’t know that LGBQ folks would want to read about someone who is “trans” or about boxing and preparing for a fight.  I (personally) did find the writing about the training and preparation for the fight to be pretty interesting, enjoyable and well described.  In one way, the book made me chuckle.  Although I personally participated in a boxing tournament as a teen, I went into it completely unprepared, untrained and unfit.  LOL – and the results showed.  I guess, my question is would another trans person (female to male) find this book interesting.  I am not sure they would, except maybe to know there are others (like themselves) out there and they are adjusting to being their “new” selves.  And, maybe that’s enough…
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On This Day In:
2018 Feeling Both
2017 Just Start
2016 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
2015 Restraint At The Inn
2014 To Not Discovering
2013 I Have Less To Say
2012 Not The Best Prediction I’ve Ever Read

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