Posts Tagged ‘UCLA’

Nothing But Net: Just Give Me The Ball And Get Out Of The Way” (1994©)  —  book review
Today’s book review is for “Nothing But Net“, written by Bill Walton with Gene Wojciechowski.  It is a quasi-autobiographical book stringing together a long list of anecdotes and opinions about life, music (Walton is a major fan of The Grateful Dead band) and basketball.  By “quasi-” I mean, the authors leave out large blocks of personal information about Walton’s life.  As such, it’s “curious” to exclude, but I guess that’s why “personal” information is also called “private” information.  Some of the topics are hinted at, but no real information is provided.
Examples are:
1)  he thanks his parents for how they raised him, but doesn’t say anything about “how” they raised him.
2)  he mentions his four sons and his wife, but doesn’t say his “wife” is his “current” wife and not the mother of his children.  Actually, he says nothing about wife one, how they met or why they divorced.
3)  he says he is constantly questioned about Patty Hearst and drug use, but doesn’t explain why he is asked about them.  And, (to me, most significantly)
4)  on a less personal note, he talks about basketball skills like footwork and angles, but doesn’t offer the slightest hints on any of his insights.  I guess he is saving that information for another book.
Having said all of the above, before I continue this review I need to offer a “full disclosure”:  I grew up watching Bill Walton and UCLA.  I then missed most of his professional career while I was in the Army, attending college, and I subsequently lost interest in professional sports.  At this point, I was only following the Forty Niners and / or only watching championship series (World Series, NBA Finals, Final Four, etc).  One of my most vivid teenage memories of sports was watching UCLA destroy Memphis State in the Final Four – where Walton scored on 21 of 22 shots from the field and had 44 points by himself.  Another was watching Walton face a four on one fast break where he blocked three shots (my recollection is by three different players, but I could be wrong about that), then got the rebound after the third block.  That game was against one of the Oregon teams (as I recall), but the opponent was kind of irrelevant.  The point was he stopped the fast break all by himself by blocking THREE shots!  Needless to say, I thought he was a “heroic” figure.  I can’t honestly say he was “my” hero, only that it was the kind of thing you see VERY rarely in your lifetime.  A bit like Secretariat winning the Belmont by 31 lengths (pulling away) or Bob Beamon crushing the world record in the long jump at the 1968 Olympics by over 21 inches.  Anyway, my wife and I were shopping in a charity shop we support (ARF Thrift Store – ARF = Animal Rescue Foundation) and I found this book for $.50.  So, I snapped it up and dove right in and began reading it that night.
In other words, I am biased about the author and was already predisposed to “like” this book if it was at all interesting or well written.  It is — mostly — both.
The tone is very conversational, which I like.  The topic is sports (basketball), which I like.  And, the analysis which is offered (other players from that era – up to 1993) is interesting.  It’s interesting because Walton identifies some of the players he feels are truly “great” and explains why.  It also lists some with potential greatness and lists some of the things they need(ed) to do to become great.  Finally, the book lists some players who Walton feels are good but not great and (mostly) covers why they are not “really” great – in his opinion.  As some of the players from all three groups have ultimately ended up in the Basketball Hall of Fame (HOF), we have a chance to look back and analyze Walton’s opinions for their accuracy / validity.  The three I found the most interesting were Michael Jordon – criticized for his early retirement after three consecutive championships (MJ went off to try professional baseball and then returned for three more NBA championships); Patrick Ewing, who is criticized for not having a mid-range shot / game.  Ewing developed a mid-range shot and is now in the HOF.  And, the third player I found interesting was Charles Barkley, who Walton more or less calls a cry-baby who always tries to shift the blame for losses onto other teammates.  Barkley is also in the HOF.
On the self-reflection side, Walton is also hard on himself.  He pretty much admits to being a pain in the ass as a teammate, which he attributes to wanting so badly to win EVERY time he went on the court.  He also spends a lot of time (repeatedly) saying how much he loves / loved the game of basketball and how it was his refuge for all of his teen and most of his early adult years.  As an aside, I’ve mostly known Walton as a loquacious basketball color-man / announcer, who tended to have an opinion about most everything and was happy to share it with everyone.  As it turns out, Walton suffered from “severe” stuttering until after he retired, which he feels he is now trying to make up for by over-talking.  He acknowledges his diarrhea of the mouth and handles it with a bit of self-deprecation, which I found surprisingly and refreshingly honest.  In the end, what really comes across is Walton’s joy in both playing the game and for living life to the fullest.
Final recommendation:  strong recommendation.  You won’t really learn much about basketball skills from this book, which is kind of what I was hoping for (a little).  You will get a snapshot of the sport of basketball – college circa 1970 to 1993 – and professional (NBA) from mid-1970’s to 1993, with an emphasis on players and personalities.  If you are a Walton fan (I still am), watched college or NBA basketball during this time frame, or you’re just interested in some NBA history, I think you’ll really enjoy reading this book.  I know I did.
If just reading the book isn’t enough for you, you can find loads of videos about Bill Walton on YouTube.  You can also find loads of his analysis and commentaries.
On This Day In:
2017 Just Because
2016 As Close As They Can Get
2015 And So I Blog
2014 Take Flight
2013 Contributing Joy
2012 More Than A Race
2011 Institutionalized Leadership

Read Full Post »

Well, all in all, it’s been an eventful few days…
On Wednesday, Sarah (my youngest) graduated from Concord High School.  We went up to the Concord Pavilion for the ceremony.  The weather was cool during the day and chilly for the evening, so much more pleasant than Rebecca’s and James’ ceremonies (where it was in the 90°s).  It was almost too cool once the sun dropped.  The main thing was how proud we are of them and of ourselves to have gotten all of our kids through high school (as I told a co-worker) with no prisons and no pregnancies.  Of course, it’s great they all seem to have grown up as good people too.  We are looking forward to Sarah continuing to grow up into the beautiful young lady she has already started to become.
Hil and I were both a little sad to see the Concord Band instrument van drive into the school parking lot one last time.  The band (and our travels) has brought us lots of good memories.
On Thursday, Hil, Sarah and I drove down to Los Angeles for the weekend to attend multiple ceremonies for our oldest daughter (Rebecca) graduating from UCLA.  Bec had finished her finals, so we picked her up and took a quick trip over to Santa Monica to see the pier and have dinner down in the shopping district.
On the Friday was the first of the graduations.  This was for the full senior class.  Sunday’s was for only the Political Science Department (Bec’s major).  The event was in the afternoon, so Hil, Sarah and I went down to Hollywood to see the Walk of Fame.  We took some photos (which I’ll post later) and just hung out then headed back to Drake Stadium for the ceremony.  We were there for the opening, so we pretty much got to sit wherever we wanted, which was way up top so we’d have the best view.  There really wasn’t much to see from the field, because she was one out of several thousand and they don’t call your name – they only ask your department to stand.  That narrowed it down to around 500.  Anyway, they had two big event display screens so you could see the speakers and the view of the campus was beautiful.  We were cautioned (by the school web site) to dress for warm weather, but it was actually quite pleasant – in the high 60’s with a steady breeze.
Afterwards we headed back to Santa Monica for dinner on the street of the shopping district.  We ate outside and the food was pretty good, even if the service wasn’t particularly.
On Saturday, Hil and I went for (about) a two hour stroll around a park near the hotel we were staying at (the Ramada Inn at Marina Del Rey).  The walk was quite pleasant.  It started off a little warm and humid, but then started barely spitting (very light drizzle) which made it perfect for walking – LA sights with SF weather.  We got back to the room and I rested my back and knees for a bit before heading off to pick up the girls and visit the Getty.  (Sarah was spending the nights at Bec’s dorm.)  When we got there, Bec asked if it would be ok to skip the Sunday ceremony and just leave early.  She said she was tired and still had a lot of packing to do and we’d have to skip the Getty as well.
Neither Hil nor I minded skipping both as Bec definitely still needed help with the packing and I preferred to get out of LA before the Sunday mid-day traffic.  And that’s pretty much what happened.  We completed the packing.  We had take-out Thai food for dinner in her dorm and the next morning we were back at 9:00 AM for a quick load of the van and trip home.  We left at 9:30 and managed to get home in great time – by 4:30 – so we were home in time to catch the Giants 4-2 come from behind victory over the Reds.
Re-reading A Classic On Conservatism
Because we were going to be travelling, I wanted a light (weight) book to carry with me to LA.  I took along “The Conscience Of A Conservative“, by Senator Barry Goldwater (1960©).  This is a book I originally read as a college student, because I had heard of it and knew it represented the bedrock of Conservative political theology (oops, I mean theory).  When I originally read it thirty odd years ago, I remember thinking, “Wow!  I didn’t realize how conservative I am!”  I didn’t agree with everything the Senator was saying, but some of it struck deep chords with me.
This time around, although there were still a few (VERY FEW) notes which struck me as well written, my overall  impression was, “Wow!  It’s like reading Peters and Waterman’s “In Search Of Excellence” – almost everything has been proven incorrect by the passage of time.”  As I do with most of these types of works, I began underlining things I intended to quote on this blog and respond to / comment on.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem feasible as almost eighty percent of the book is underlined!  Time and again, what is stated is either factually unsupported (and unsupportable except perhaps anecdotally) or has been proven incorrect by history.  It’s amazing that someone can get it (a prediction for the course of history) so wrong.
Having said this, the book is still definitely worth reading and I highly recommend it – less for it’s predictive value of American freedom and more for its descriptive value of the American Right (Neo-Conservatism / Corporate Capitalism) today.  If you substitute the words “Corporate Capitalism” for “USSR”, “Soviet Union” or “Communism” in Goldwater’s book, you have the current threat to the liberty and freedom of America today.
Other Notes:
The pier and beach at Santa Monica are worth a good full-day visit.  We only spent a couple of hours, but could have easily spent a lot more shopping and wandering around.
The Ramada Inn – doesn’t look like much on its web site and the room was a bit musty smelling, but the location was excellent.  Other than the initial smell, the room itself was quite pleasant – roomy, adequate seating (couch and two chairs) and clean.  The continental breakfast was more than adequate (pastry, fruit, cereal, toast and yogurt) and the staff were friendly.  We would definitely stay there again and, based on the experience, consider Ramada’s in other locations, too.
Marina Del Rey –  looking back, we definitely wish we had more time to explore the area and local restaurants.  We also missed out on the chance to explore Venice Beach.
Los Angeles driving – believe it or not, it was not that bad.  I believe we were fortunate not to get in any accident related stop-n-go situations and we were also fairly lucky in being able to find parking (even – shock of shock – around the UCLA campus)!  Hil and I actually felt like we knew how to get around a bit from Bec’s apartment (in Westwood) to our hotel (in Marina Del Rey).  Only one negative comment: the gas prices were extremely variable.  On I-5, the price was $4.40/gallon; at Westwood $4.30; about half-way between there and the hotel, we filled up for $3.95 per gallon; and about 400 yards down the street from our hotel it was $3.90!!!!
In-N-Out – Hil and I had our first experience with “In-N-Out”, which we visited twice for lunches – once on the drive down (off I-5) and once in Westwood.  The I-5 was superb!  We got there at 10:00 AM, just as they were opening and we were customer number 1!!  Needless to say, everything was fresh and hot.  The Westwood – not so bad.  NOT McDonald’s average, but nowhere near as good as the first time.  In any case, we would visit them again if they ever open a place up here in Concord, CA.  (Hint, hint…)

Read Full Post »

One week to go ’til my flight to Baltimore…
I tried to push through and complete my reading of “An Incomplete Education“, but I didn’t quite make it.  I’ve still got some 20 odd pages to go.  I decided I’d rather post a quick entry and finish it tomorrow.  So far, it’s been a terrific read – thought provoking even when not fully understood (appreciated).  I realize (am reminded of) my memory limitations when I read an overview of knowledge like this.  I flipped back through some of the earlier chapters and realize how little I have retained.  That’s the difference between hearing / reading and learning / internalizing something.
Today was the celebration of the Epiphany in church.  The sermon was interesting because the priest was trying to advise us that sometimes the “illumination” can be from a thousand little candles (family and friends) in our daily lives and doesn’t necessarily have to be a sudden revelation from God.  I have never considered “epiphany” in this way, but it certainly does warrant consideration.
My jog seemed harder today.  For whatever reason, I felt as if I had less to think about.  When that happens, my mind wanders and loses track of time – which sometimes makes it seem longer rather than shorter.  Sometimes it works the other way.  No, I don’t know why.  I just know the sensation / observation of time lengthening can go either way based on thought or non-thought.
Rebecca returned to UCLA today.  She left at 8AM and didn’t get there until about 10:30PM.  Snow on I-5, and lots of accidents.  The girl she drove down with had to turn around, go back North and then go down 101.   Still, they got there safe, so we can stop worrying.
Hil and I ended the evening sitting on the couch, looking at the Christmas tree and just quietly chatting.  It’s something we like to do each year.  Sometimes we talk about the year gone by, sometimes our plans for the future, sometimes we just chat and enjoying being with each other.
Another Christmas and New Year’s gone and I have health, love, family and faith.  God is Great and I am a lucky man…
On This Day In:
2021 More New Year’s Exercises
7 Done, 12 Down
2021 Another Public Service Message
Greetin’ The Sun
2020 From The Mountains To The Shores
2019 Watering The Trees And Seeds
2018 Take Care Of Me…
2017 Make Some Difference
2016 Still 99%
2015 Adolescent Opinion
2014 In A Big World
2013 Vacancy For God
2012 Sweat Equity
Try It… You’ll Like It
2011 Still Incomplete
2010 Happy New Year – 2010

Read Full Post »

I have today off to recover from driving Rebecca back to UCLA for her senior year.  She’s living in an apartment this time, instead of in the dorms like last year.  The place is reasonably large and looks comfortable enough.  I’m sure Bec and her roommate will enjoy the year.
The drive was surprisingly easy.  We left early (5:30) and there was very little traffic.  We stopped for a quick brecky at Mickey-D’s and were unpacking by 12 noon.  I was back on the road by 12:30 and back home by 6:30.  The drive back was fairly boring with no one to talk to, but I cranked the music up and sang along with some favorites – The Everly Brothers, The Commodore’s and Jimmy Buffett.  I’m going to have lots of lyrics to add to my site!!
Speaking of which, I’ve added two more of my own poems (for a total of 9, now), and six more song lyrics.  The lyrics are a mixture of old and VERY old, with one exception (a patriotic song).  Anyway, here’s the brief intro to each:
MineFor Those That Might  –  There is a saying in Japan that it is the raised nail which meets the hammer.  This is true universally, but until the hammering actually starts, the other nails don’t know there is a raised nail.  The interesting thing about nailing is, once your start, you frequently have to hammer the nails around the raised one as well.  The transfer of energy by the wood “raises” the neighboring nails, so the good carpenter has to give them all a quick tap as well.  Of course, this has a rippling effect to the nails around them, too.  Is there any doubt that a small group of dedicated individuals can change history…  They are the only ones who ever have!!
What’s A Woman Worth?  The physical beauty of youth fades with time like the glory of kings and civilizations.  But true, inner beauty – deepens and grows until, finally, it replaces the illusion of youth and strength.  Making beds, washing clothes, holding hands on long walks, quiet conversations between the lights going off and the arrival of sleep – these are some of the millions of “little” things that mean love.  This poem came out of two ideas – smelling a fragrance in a pillow and life being like the pages of a book.  The rest just flowed from that…
LyricsSigns – (Written by Les Emmerson and performed by The Five Man Electrical Band) is one of the great “Who died and made you Ayatollah?” songs of all time.  Not really a “protest” song as much as a rant of the young against the established.  (If you don’t recognize my “Ayatollah” reference, you weren’t around in the early ’80s.)  …And yes, I’ve dropped the same message into the collection basket (on more than one occasion).  I’m not sure the person opening the envelope “gets” the reference, but it brings a smile to my ironic heart to think God’s getting my missive (and thanks!)
Just An Old Hippie – (Written by Howard Bellamy, performed by The Bellamy Brothers) is one of those great, country story songs.  I’m not sure how younger folks relate to it because there are a lot of historical references, but for me – it’s damn near 100% accurate.
The Greatest Love Of All  – (Written by Linda Creed; Performed by George Benson) is probably more frequently associated with Whitney Houston, but I always think of it by George Benson.  Sadly, (for me,) this wasn’t one of the songs he played at the recent concert I attended.  As selfish (Ayn Rand-ish) as this may sound, I’m not at all sure you can truly love someone else unless you do love yourself.  This is the philosophical “true” love I’m referring to.  Of course, you can “truly” love someone else (and devote your life to them) and still not like yourself (low self-esteem issues), but I don’t rate this as equally “true” love.  “I love myself AND I love and sacrifice for you, too!” is for me a purer form of love.
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ –  (Written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil;  performed by The Righteous Brothers;  Bobby Hatfield has passed away, Bill Medley has his own site now) is one of the greatest songs of all time.  Is there any greater expression of lost love than a person not closing their eyes when you kiss them or no tenderness in their fingertips – or eyes, when you reach for them?  The funny thing about this song is Wikipedia reports the song almost never came to market because it was considered too slow and almost a full minute longer than what was the standard playing time (for back then on the radio).  How fine is the line between never reaching air and becoming the most played song in American radio history…
Treat Her Like A Lady – (Written by Ali-Ollie Woodson and Otis Williams;  performed by The Temptations) is one of those up-tempo songs the Temptations are famous for.  There are not enough songs about being a gentleman and this is definitely one of the best.  If you look this up on YouTube, be aware there is more than one version, and the version which seems to pop up the most does not match with my lyrics.  The explanation is lyrics are sometimes changed to match a venue or occasion.  I briefly considered using the alternate version, but decided against it, because it’s not the way I remember the song – and because the alternate really doesn’t make any sense.  The main difference is the substitution of the word “celebration” for “liberation”.  Liberation makes sense;  celebration does not.
An American Soldier – (Written by Chuck Cannon and Toby Keith;  performed by Toby Keith) is the patriotic lyrics I alluded to earlier.  I’ve heard this song many times and it’s always struck me, but I listened to it intently on the trip with Rebecca and it made me tear up.  It’s hard to communicate to someone who’s so young, that the message in this song is EXACTLY why we should NEVER be fighting for oil – in any part of the world…  Because our bravest WILL go if asked.  They will go and they will try and some may die – but not for freedom – for OIL!!  Having been a volunteer soldier in a time of peace, I cherish the lives of those who serve – particularly those who serve in times of real battle.  God Bless You!!  All who serve – God Bless You and keep you safe to come back to us soon.
As usual, read the lyrics then go listen to the music…
On This Day In:
2021 I’ll Keep Trying To Anyway
She Knows
2020 Respond
Still Trying To Adjust
2019 The Limits Of My Knowledge
2018 Even Tiny Progress
2017 Real Conservatism
2016 The Business Of Life
2015 Alone Again, Naturally
2014 Agreed
2013 Smile From Your Heart!
2012 Like You
2011 Got Days?
2010 K9 Humor – Has Anyone Seen My Setter?  (Must read!!)
A Longer Blog Than You Want To Read (Probably)
2009 Back and Forth and Round Again…

Read Full Post »

Family stuff first:  Thursday, I drove down to UCLA to pick up Rebecca.  She finished her last final at 6:30, but wasn’t allowed to move out until 11, so we went to dinner and then just hung out until she was ok to leave.
We got back to the hotel (the Hampton Inn in Van Nuys) after 12:30.  We got back on the road by 9:30 the next day (Friday, 11 June) and were home by 3:30.  All in all it was a nice, smooth trip.  I was not looking forward to the drive down – mostly because it was all by myself, but it turned out to be not bad at all.  I listened to music (sang along) and it was quite enjoyable.
I had one of my serendipity moments on the way down.  I was at the northern end of the Grapevine and looked up at the hills and saw a unusual purple color on several of the (mostly brown) hills.  My first thought was, “Wow, they’ve either had a fire already or they’ve sprayed fire retardant in advance of the next fire.  As I got closer, I realized the color was from a small flower and not a chemical spray.  It was a faint, but very distinct purple.  It wasn’t on all of the hills or spread as evenly as the brown from the grasses – which was probably why I thought it was a spray and not naturally occurring.
Anyway, it occurred to me that I was probably seeing something which only lasts a couple of days a year and which probably only happens a couple of times a year – kind of like a “desert bloom”.
I would like to make a few quick comments about the hotel.  I’m not a big fan of hotels, but this was a nice little place for the price ($130).  It wasn’t much to look at from the outside and I can’t comment on the locale, but it was reasonably close to UCLA, which was my primary criteria.  The inside was surprisingly quite nice, appearing reasonably modern and well kept.  The room was a nice size with two full size beds.  There was a large flat panel TV, and free wireless internet in the room.  The bed was very comfortable and the shower was hot with good water pressure.  The room smelled a little musty when I first entered it, but that soon went away with the AC on.  All in all, I would highly recommend it.
I injured my back last week crawling around on the floor, shifting PCs at work in Oakland.  At first I thought it was just a strained muscle, but by the end of the day, I had tell-tail sharp pain all the way down my right leg.  The next morning, Tuesday, I tried to do a light jog to work it out, but all I did was aggravate it severely.  I had to stop jogging because the pain in my leg was so bad.  The pain continued all day until I could barely walk.  I texted James to set up my inversion table and I hung when I finally got home.  I managed to relax after about five minutes and I felt my spine snap back into place.  The leg pain was gone and I gingerly made it through the rest of the evening.  I decided not to risk injury by taking Wednesday off.
I haven’t had back (and leg) pain like that in quite a while and it put the fear of God back in me.  Thank God for inversion machines!!
James’ girl friend – Natasha – graduated from high school on Friday.
Sarah had her end of year band dinner last week – Saturday before last and we went.  It was lots of laughs and we are very proud of her.  Go Minuteman Marching Band!!
Home stuff:  Hil and I took a trip down to The Shed Shop in Fremont to have a look at sheds.  We picked a model and size, so now we just have to have them come out and do the site evaluation and then we agree a day for installation.  Finally!!!!  We’ll have a shed.  We’ve also decided we’re going to start doing the floors with bamboo.  It’ll take us a few years to get it all done, but at least the decision has been made to move forward.
Perhaps, the most significant thing (to me) is that Hil has finally decided she likes our house and wants to stay in it.  I think this will mean we’ll move forward on a lot of different things now.
Movie Review:  Well, I finally got around to watching my DVD copy of “Slumdog Millionaire“.  It was a very intense (and moving) movie.  I discussed it with my son James who dismissed it as a chick-flick, date movie.  It was – at a certain level – simply a love story, but it was a lot more as well.  It raised questions of philosophy – are our lives destined?  It also hi-lighted man’s inhumanity towards others – particularly in circumstances of dire poverty.  Bottom line – I highly recommend it.
Book Review:  Yesterday, (Sunday, 13 June), I finished “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell (2005).  The book is about how we are able to make almost instantaneous decisions based on limited information and those decisions turn out to be (frequently) as reliable as decisions we make with great consideration and lots of data / information.  Another interesting discussion was about using different parts of the brain to remember things.  If we think of the picture of a cow, we use a different part of the brain than if we think of the word “cow” and try to describe it, height, weight, color, etc., and the very act of trying to describe something tends to make us “forget” the thing we are trying to describe.  This seems to happen because of the difference in the amount of brain power allotted to long term versus short term memory.  Long term memory is virtually unlimited, but short term is “thimble sized”.  It takes some time to move memories from short to long term and the act of interpreting the memory, by describing it, seems to short-circuit the transition from short to long term memory.
I found this point very interesting because at one point, I used to “think” in text, as in when I “thought of” a “brown cow” (in my mind), that’s what I saw – the words, not the “image” of an animal.  I remember being mildly surprised at the time that others didn’t “see” the way I did.  (I asked several of my friends.)  I actively tried to “see” the image of a brown cow instead of the words when I thought of it and in the space of a couple of weeks, I started “seeing” the images.  Unfortunately, I found I had lost the ability to “see” the words now.  I’ve tried a few times to think my way back, but it seems to be completely lost to me.  I don’t know if it’s a permanently one-way street, but it certainly seems to be since I’ve never met anyone else who admits to ever thinking of things that way.
Bottom Line:  the book was a very fast read and raised some interesting points for me to continue thinking about.  You can’t ask for much more than that from an author.  I now plan to make time to go back and read the author’s other work:  “The Tipping Point”.
Running and Diet:  Not so good of late.  With the continuing little injuries (back and legs), it’s been easy to make excuses for not running at night.  I’ve found the jogging in the Gym to be not the same.  For one, I try to run instead of just enjoying my time jogging.  I also tend to get distracted by the TV.  This means my brain is not continuously involved in my moving.  It also means, when I go do my school yard jogs, my head is missing the extraneous input (distraction) from the TV.  I believe the long term solution is to not jog at the gym and instead do other cross training, cardio workouts.
I’m still wearing my first pair of test shoes – the Ahnu Delta Water shoes.  Granted I haven’t been pounding them daily, but they still seem to have almost no wear whatsoever.  I’m already over a month using them (sporadically) and I’ve not done a hundred miles yet, but they still seem very sturdy to me.

Read Full Post »

This weekend I jogged my second four hour jog.  That makes two half marathons in less than seven days.  I estimate I’m doing about 3.5 mph, so, times 4 makes about 14 miles.  This time seemed a bit harder.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe the novelty has worn off now that I know I can last that long.
It does make the WS100 seem a little more possible now!
I finished my second book on running during the week.  This one is titled:  “Running Past 50” and is written by Richard Benyo.  It’s an old book.  The copyright is 1998, but it still had some interesting information.  One of them was the name of the Mexican / Indian tribe that does all the long distance running:  the Tarahumara of the Copper Canyon region of Mexico.
I looked them up and found they supposedly have a “unique” running style.  I looked that up and read various descriptions of it.  I tried it over the weekend and it seems to be fantastic!  I tried it for about 20 minutes during my 4 hour run on Friday.  I then did a full hour yesterday and again two hours tonight.  To tell the truth, except for a little tenderness in my calves, I don’t feel like I’ve been out jogging at all.  I’m going to keep trying it and see if is the “miracle” it seems to be.  Usually, when I’m done, my feet hurt and the following day, they are very tender to walk on until I get the blood going.  There has been NO foot pain at all – so far.
I’ve started a third book about running.  This one is by a guy who’s run across the US.  So far, he’s not mentioned the WS100, but I guess when you’ve run 3,400 miles in 80 days, 100 miles in 24 hours doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Not much change at work.  I had overtime again this Saturday.  It’s nice to have some quiet time to get caught up, but it was also nice to have two days off (today is Martin Luther King Jr. holiday).
The diet still seems to be going well.  I weighed in on the scale at work (without a 3lbs clothes allowance) and I was under 300!!  I came in at 299.5.  Hopefully, I’m still there (or less) tomorrow at my “official” weigh-in.
Rebecca came home for a quick weekend visit.  She flew in on Thursday and took off today.  Her return flight was delayed multiple times and she didn’t get back to UCLA until evening.
On This Day In:
2022 Pass A Voting Rights Act For Democracy’s Sake
2021 Tomorrow President Biden Starts Wrestling
Good-Bye #45
2020 The Burden Of Faith
On To Superbowl LIV (54)!!
2019 Are Your Dogs Barking?
Dangerous Waistcoats
2018 And 40+ Years Later?
2017 He Is Alone
2016 Compensation
2015 Charlie Redux
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog

Read Full Post »

Here are some pictures from our recent drive to UCLA to drop off our daughter (Rebecca).

Bec, Hil and me at the UCLA sign


Bec, Hil and me


Bec posing


Hil, Bec and her best friend Sarah

On This Day In:
2021 A Model Democrat
  Listen Mister
2020 The Main Thing: Vote!
  No Other Reason
2019 A Big “IF”
2018 Committed To Thinking
2017 More Pictures From My (Family) Retirement Party
  A Fondness For Sins
2016 Are You Waiting?
2015 The Future Myth
2014 Hands
2013 Because You Have Lived
2012 47%
2011 Conservative Values: Low And Lax
2010 A Non-Zero Sum Game
  What If “c” Isn’t A Constant?
2009 Pictures from UCLA trip…

Read Full Post »

This past week was a doozy for travel.  I flew out to Chicago for two days of work related training and then Hil and I drove Rebecca down to UCLA so she can start school this week.
National health care is going poorly.  The war in Afghanistan is getting worse – no end in sight.  And, (on a personal note,) the cost of college education is frightening.  To top it off, my home PC is slowly dying.  I just lost a hard drive.
On the way home from the airport on Thursday, I passed the “grave” site / memorial to the fallen soldiers near the Lafayette BART station.  5,166 deaths!!  I almost started to cry.
Today I purchased a cable to move photos from my phone to the PC.  I’ll be trying it out soon.
Travel is a funny thing…  This year I’ve driven to Seattle, WA and back.  Crater Lake, OR and back.  Phoenix, AZ and back.  And now, UCLA and back.  Add in the flights to and from Chicago (with a stop-over in Seattle to and from) and I’ve probably traveled 11 or 12  thousand miles this year.  Two hundred years ago, it would have taken someone years to travel that far.
Finally, the Niners won today!!!  2 wins, 0 losses!!  …and both wins are within our division!
On This Day In:
2021 I’ll Keep Trying To Anyway
She Knows
2020 Respond
Still Trying To Adjust
2019 The Limits Of My Knowledge
2018 Even Tiny Progress
2017 Real Conservatism
2016 The Business Of Life
2015 Alone Again, Naturally
2014 Agreed
2013 Smile From Your Heart!
2012 Like You
2011 Got Days?
2010 K9 Humor – Has Anyone Seen My Setter?  (Must read!!)
A Longer Blog Than You Want To Read (Probably)
2009 Back and Forth and Round Again…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: