31 March 2006

State of the Obvious

Tomorrow is the race. I think I'm prepared.

States I've been to (35): Rhode Island, Conneticut, New York, Massachuttes, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (my home state), Maryland, Virginia (current state), Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Washington, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, and the District of Columbia.

States I've yet to go to (15): Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware (I might have been here), Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, and Wyoming.

Countries I've been to: United States, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, India, Nepal, the Tibetan Autonomous region of China (sort of), Thailand, the United Arab Emirates

Today was another go-to-the-grocery-store-and-buy-food day. Food Lion has scan your own stuff registers. You simply scan your own stuff, pay, and leave. And if you use a debit card, you can get cash back from your checking account and leave it right at the scanner for all the world to see like me. (Fortunately, I recovered it in time.)

God's given me time to write. So I write. What to write about? Hmmm.....I need a topic for my JRN 615 final. Let's see. Something about dating, women, men, loneliness, tribal warfare in Burundi, rising gold prices in Sierra Leone, Leona Helmsely, Jesse Helms, Helmut Kohl, Kohls (the store), the store, the weather, the Band, band-aids, AIDS, aide-de-camps, camping (I haven't camped in ages), the age of the Earth, Earth Wind and Fire, more bands, bandanas, Antonio Banderas, Spanish words, Chihuahua, the little Chihuahua staring at me at the traffic light from the Honda looking for tacos yesterday, days, ages, Ice Ages (I think there was only one, btw), old age, the 255 year old turtle that died this week in India, Indiana, Indians, Injun Joe, Tom Sawyer, Sawyer Brown, Cleveland, Grover Cleveland, former Presidents, el Presidente, Venezuela, Anaconda Citgo and rainforests, tropical forests, Hawai'i, Hawai'i Volcanos National park, lava, pahoehoe and a'a, ai, ancient Middle Eastern city destroyed by Israel, Israel, Benjamin Disraeli, Dissing Israelis, West Bank, Wesbanco FDIC, my bank, bank boards,...it's official...I'm bored.

29 March 2006

Another day

Just ran four miles on this new trail I discovered. Yesterday I did...what...nothing much. Yesterday was strange. After sleeping for nearly 9 hours, I woke up, went to the local Chinese restaurant, ordered a large quantity of General Tso's chicken and rice, ate it, and promptly went to sleep for another 3 hours. I slept like Rip Van Winkle in a coma and dreamed I was dying of thirst. I think I was more tired than I thought. Another possibility was that I've been severely curtailing my coffee intake. One thing I am certain of...working 9 to 5...that's 9PM to 5AM...is seriously disrupting my circadian cycles. It's like I'm experiencing jet lag 4 out of seven days of the week. I'm turning into an owl. Coupled with the fact that I'm a part-time grad student and also work part-time as a biologist...let's just say Jason is in need of a vacation.

27 March 2006

Like 10 lbs of crap in a 5 lb bag

Today was not a good workout.

I ran...maybe...4 miles and felt somewhat dizzy. The other day I kept running into a Virginia Tech biologist who was walking the trails. It seemed everywhere I went he went. He was carrying a radio-controlled device that monitored the exact whereabouts of the 100+ cottonmouth water moccasins that live around the swampy reservoir I run around.

I'm glad it was cold that day.

25 March 2006

High Noon

According to my computer, it is now officially high noon. While reading cnn.com I came across this picture of a squirrel eating a Wendy's french fry. What is bizaar is that last night I had a dream in which I was lecturing somebody about opinions and Wendy's hamburgers. I distinctly recall saying that, "if in your opinion you think that Wendy's hamburgers are the best in the world, and God does not agree with you...your opinion is worthless. And to still say that they are the best hamburgers in the world is to utter a cognitively meaningless sentence.

If on the other hand, God thinks Wendy's hamburgers are the absolute best and you agree, then your opinion carries all the weight in the world, and is the next thing to a fact of nature, even though it is still merely your opinion."

I should also mention that I ate exactly nothing yesterday and drank nothing but water...I was fasting.

Training news: I'm going out to run about six miles this afternoon. I'm waiting for my body to digest the cappuchino, sassafras tea, rice pudding, and potato salad I ate for breakfast.

24 March 2006

The day the music died.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen,

Today is a sad day for WVU fans. A time of mourning...of sadness. A time to weep. A time to don sackcloth and ashes and sing a dirge to the tune of 'Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen.' Texas, in a last second desperation shot at the buzzer, beat the Mountaineers. The cows won. The doggone desperate dogies did it. Go figure. But life goes on and we must continue on the road that is set before us.

It is a time to throw stones...sniff...sniff...at cows. Those nefarious four-legged evil orange wearing quadrupeds from Austin!!! The cows now play LSU. The tigers from Baton Rouge. The Bayou cats vs the TX longhorns...or shorthorns. I wonder, do the females have horns? I'm pretty certain.

Phlegminos: A game like dominoes. Do others play this game? I wonder. This is when you lay on your side while sleeping and allow the phlegm in your nasal cavity to migrate from one side to another. There's always that point at which the phlegm is poised precariously between the two cavities. Deciding whether to go left or right. This period lasts about 47 seconds and is the optimal time for breathing. The goal of the game see is to keep the phlegm in this area. What some call the fulcrum point. The fulcrum of phlegm. When the phlegm is leaving one side and traveling to the other greener pasture there's also this slight increase in happiness. I don't hasten to describe it as joy, because my joy is independent of which side the mucus inevitably rests in. It's more like just one of Life's simple pleasures.

I should get out more.

23 March 2006


After today's run I need more of this.

These are the shoes I purchased in the belief they will confer upon yours truly some kind of competitive advantage next week. I should note I am somewhat prone to WalterMitty-like fantasies.

I ran 6 miles this afternoon and actually felt pretty good.

21 March 2006

March Madness

This Thursday West Virginia University will play the Texas Cows basketball team in the Sweet 16 NCAA tournament. Everyone reading this blog is required to root for the Mountaineers.

I spent 6 years at this school and grew up near where Kevin Pittsnogle went to high school. Just for the record, Mr. Pittsnogle's basketball team NEVER beat our high school. So please, gentle readers, I beg of thee...don the royal blue and gold, eat a cow, watch CBS, and cheer for the team with the bearded buckskin-wearing Daniel Boonesque figure shooting a muzzleloader in the Georgia Dome.

Should we win, I'll discuss our next opponent...most likely the Duke Lucifers.

In training news: No running planned. Just a simple weight workout consisting of bench-pressing, barbell curling, leg lifting, and sit-ups.

20 March 2006

Run Sleep Work

This afternoon I ran a little over 5 miles, went to my apartment, ate some spaghetti, took a shower, then took a very long nap. I just woke up about 20 minutes ago and now have a headache. It's from not being in shape and breathing fairly cold air...aka...tension headache.

I feel my days going by at a faster and faster rate each progressing week in my life. Is this normal? Today is the 1st day of spring. It seemed like January was just last week. When I was a child, the years just seemed to drag on, especially when school was in session. I'd look at the calendar and think summer was...never..going...to...get...here. "I've always been in this classroom studying English and always have been."

Remarkably, I felt the same exact way when I spent 20+ hours on an airplane over the Pacific. Felt that "I have always been on this airplane. I cannot remember any existence beforehand."

I'm getting a new roommate this summer. My sister is moving from Naples, FL to Virginia Beach in August/September. This should be very interesting. I like my sister, but we are as different as night from day.

18 March 2006

I'm glad it's not 1376

-In the Middle Ages people used moss for toilet paper
-As a biologist, one of my duties is to look at moss under a microscope
-Moss viewed under a microscope reveals many creatures not readily visible to the naked eye
-I am glad I don't use moss as toilet paper
-The Middle Ages was scary
-That is all

17 March 2006

The Library

It has been said that not all readers lead, but all leaders read.

God puts certain longings or compulsions in man to accomplish his will upon the earth. He designs some men to be leaders and expects them to use their mind. One facet of an intelligent mind is knowledge. Knowledge gained by the collective minds of those who have gone before. Experience may be the best teacher, yet one would be a fool to not learn from the mistakes of others. And where better to find this type of knowledge than in the library?

The library is a magical land. Where else can you travel to Mongolia, visit Narnia, and delve into the private thoughts of St. Augustine all while drinking a cup of coffee?

It is the site where the intellectual armament is kept to do battle against the foes of ignorance. It is the heart and soul of the University. It is the brain, the storehouse of knowledge. It is where the future Winston Churchhills and Margaret Thatchers go to build their intellect.

In order for man to uphold and defend Christianity in the most logical and lucid manner possible, he needs a place to acquire the necessary principles to fight. Not just any place will do. The enemy is wily and cunning. He is the Father of Lies and falsehoods are his specialty. He once caused a race of beings to fall into disgrace. Fortunately, that disease has been cured. Yet, the effects linger and he remains at large.

But man is a being of one. He is not omnipresent and has only a limited period of time devoted to learning. He needs help.

Throughout history the enemy has planted subtle lies and deceits. But he is not creative. He can only mock and pervert the good. What is done has been done before, and what is seen has been seen before. There is nothing new under the sun. A wise man goes to the storehouse of knowledge and builds himself up. He studies the ancient histories and discovers what works. Little by little, he constructs a castle, a safe haven, an impenetrable fortress where others can find peace and safety.

The Master has said, “Study to show yourself approved.” He would know. As the wisest of the wise, much of his youth was spent in study.

Christian leaders, as God’s representatives, should strive to achieve a level of proficiency and excellence far surpassing their secular peers. They do a great disservice to mankind when they do not give the best of their ability to their chosen field of endeavor. The world knows greatness when they see it. They also know a fool and despise him worse than one of their own.Solomon said seek Wisdom, though it costs all you have. The stacks would be a start.

In training news: I ran exactly zero miles today because I'm recovering. Yesterday I ran 4.5 miles and saw no snakes. Just a bunch of gnats, ducks, herons, stork-like flying creatures, and napping snapping turtles lounging in the shallows.

16 March 2006

The Ides have it

I didn't run on the Ides of March. Lifted weights instead. I lift weights every day except Sunday. It's my Sabat.

My church has a new web site. Dominion Christian Center. Created and composed by my soon-to-be-married-cousin Mr. Theodore Shuttlesworth. Check it out.

A story I heard today: Once upon a time an Amish father and son discovered a magical door (at the mall of all places). Over the door stood a row of blinking red lights. As they gazed up at this metallic wonder, they observed an elderly woman with sagging skin step inside. The doors closed, the lights blinked red, then a bell sounded to the opening of the door.

And Lo! A beautiful young woman stepped out. The Amish man's eyes gleamed with wonder and he said to his son.

"Quick! Boy...Get your mother..."

I love homeade Amish cheese from Pennsylvania.

14 March 2006

Degrading English

In 1906, when two 23 year old men met on the street they shook hands and greeted one another by saying “How do you do?”

Then we invented cars, airplanes, television, flew to the moon and back, and created the internet.

In 2006, after a century of marvelous technological improvements and mind boggling discoveries in every field of scientific endeavor, when two 23 year old men meet they stick their hands in their pants, bob their heads up and down like a drunk chimpanzee, and say “Whasup?”

Something clearly has gone wrong with our society. It is rapidly turning into Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

In training news: I ran four miles and met the mother of the garter snake I nearly stepped on yesterday.

13 March 2006


A few years ago I ran 3 miles in 13:47, which is approximately a 14:30 5,000 meters (5km). Today I ran 4 miles and purposely did not look at my watch because I did not want to be depressed. The last half mile was hard. Fortunately I almost stepped on a garter snake which gave me just enough adrenaline to finish the run.

I really need to get in better shape. In 3 weeks I'll be running a 5k road race sponsored by Regent University. I'll post my training here. (Should be a hoot).

09 March 2006


I need to eat more vegetables and cut down on my coffee consumption.

According to NewScientist magazine, it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of coffee beans. I was absolutely shocked to the very core of my being. Had no idea. Now if these results are valid, then face it. It's only a matter of time before all the freshwater on the planet is GONE. All for coffee.

I never drank coffee until I graduated college. Long story there, but a gas station attendant hoodwinked me into purchasing a large cappuccino for a quarter. I spurned my conscious and yielded to better judgment. Told myself it merely was (or is it "was merely"...) a sugary vegetable juice.

Coffee beans--->vegetables
Sugar--->from sugar cane...another vegetable...right?

I was hooked. Still am. But have been slowly weaning myself away from the dark mysterious brew, and have moved on to boiled leaves, tea leaves that is. Columbia tea, Black tea. Maybe I should eat more chocolate...they say it's from beans as well.

07 March 2006

Night Shift

One of the great things about working the night shift is all the strange creakings and groanings that our pre-WWII building emits. The sounds most don't here during the day. I've noticed that around 3 AM they reach peak crescendo. Sometimes I wonder if the place is haunted.

(I find this is a good time to get really spiritual and pray to God). It's definately an 'unclean' place. If you know what I mean. It's like something or some things linger there. Little things like lizards, but they're invisible. I feel they're watching me. . . the little reptiles. Yet they can't touch me and fear me because they know I'm a Christian. Others who've worked the night shift think there are ghosts at the lab. (I work in a chemistry lab, btw). If anything, they're annoying. But there are reasons why they linger there. Every thing has a cause. Certain entities have rights. They're allowed to linger because of what. . . sin??? This can be the only reason. Somebody's not living right if there are unclean things hanging about the place. A perverse somebody or somebodys.

I always wear a lab coat and latex gloves. I HATE touching things there.

Aside from this, it's not a bad bad place to work. The pay is half decent and I've LOTS of downtime.

06 March 2006

Regent University

I am a 1st year grad student at Regent University. What in the world would possess a biologist to return to college and study journalism? It's complicated and requires a novel to explain. This is a paper I wrote for one of my classes entitled Evolution of the Cell.

I portend a scary future. Once upon a time, somebody somewhere invented the cell phone. It was a fabulous invention even though one needed a backpack to carry it. At first cell phones were strictly used for talking. In time, you could send text messages. Nowadays, you can check your e-mail, surf the net, take pictures, and even shoot video.

It is addictive. At first it is just a convenience. You say to yourself, “OK. I’m only gonna use this for emergencies. As in when I get a flat tire in the middle of the Central Arizona desert in August and run out of water.” Soon, emergencies evolve to such catastrophic events as calling your next door neighbor to see what time the game starts.

When you first acquire a cell phone, you tell yourself that you will “never use it while driving.” But as anyone knows who has been sideswiped by a cell phone-talking-while driving-SUV-owner, this is not the case. You join their ranks.

The cell consumes you. All your free time at work is on the Motorola. There, in your little cubicle…always checking your e-mail, and surfing the net, and texting, and filming.
Never talking or speaking with others. Just you and the phone.

The years go by. Cell phones get smaller. Friends leave. You forget how to carry on a normal conversation with people. You take the night shift and refer to the cubicle as your ‘cave.’ All your time is busy for you and the magic phone. This little shiny thing you got for. . .your birthday.

You love working nights. You shun the day. Become introverted. Anti-social. Buy nothing but fast food. Never eat food from an actual grocery store anymore. Too many people.

Soon, the sight and smell of McDonalds, Wendys, and Burger King disgusts you. All you can stand now is Long John Silvers…and fish.
You love the taste of fish. Lovely little fish. Dainty little fish. Precious fishes.

“Never thirsty, ever drinking,
All in mail, never clinking.”

Fishes. . .

More years go by. The cell obsession continues. You haven’t seen a dentist in years. You don’t want to. You are a fish-eating carnivore now. And you grow fangs.

The cold clammy nights in your cave cause your hair to fall out and make your eyes bigger. Big eyes that see well in the dark and pica 3 font. You become a full-fledged nocturnal creature. It is just you and your Motorola. Your birthday present. Always fondling and caressing your little silver toy. Only now you forget that this magical toy once was designed for talking.

Since nobody calls you anymore you simply play games and surf the net. Friendless, you hold your precious cell in the palms of your grubby little hands and repeat your private mantra.

“Ring! Ring! RING!”

But nobody calls. Not even VISA. (You are on the no call list).

It is a mystery why nobody calls. It is a riddle you cannot solve. This bothers you since you’ve become rather adept at solving riddles.

Yet Life goes on...
You eat more fish…
and weep...

The ring tones and its eerie blue light amuse you till you’re mad. It’s got a new name now. Yes, yes…it’s your birthday present. It’s “My Precious.”

04 March 2006

Greetings All

Hello fellow wigwam owners. This is my very first attempt at building a blog and this is my very first post. The first in the history of the planet. Imagine that. I suspect that in the coming days I'll entertain you with my thoughts about life in the swamp. Stuff like eel-cookin' and pipe smokin.' Useful stuff that every marshwiggle should know.

What's a marshwiggle?

I'm glad you asked. Marshwiggles are tall, lanky, somewhat green-grey amphibian-like humans who live in the Northern Marshes of Narnia. I don't live in Narnia any more since K-Mart came to town and paved my homeland in asphalt, soooo I moved to South-Eastern Virginia. More on this later.

Tengboche Monastery (recovering from altitude sickness) Posted by Picasa