25 May 2006

Running for the Roses

Running for the Roses
By Me

Jericho City, Israel (25 May) – Elijah Shunam ran away from the field to win the 17th Annual Jericho Turkey Trot 10 km Run, hosted by the City of Jericho Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday morning found 357 runners lined up for the start of the 6.2 mile footrace around the fabled walls of Jericho.

Shunam, a native of Bidon, Moab finished a surprising third overall on this same course last November. This year, however, he was going for first.

“My plan was simple, see,” said Shunam. “My goal was to run with the lead pack until the final 2km then sprint away from the field.”

Shunam let the field dictate the pace over the 10 km course. During the early going Nimrod Infodel and former University of Rohan standout Théoden Chevelle were at the front of the pack which cruised through the first 5km in a fast 14:37.

“I felt pretty good the first part of the race,” said a visibly worn Infodel. “I think the lentils and boiled yak meat for breakfast caught up with me.”

The next 2km were passed in a relatively pedestrian 5:09. Then the action heated up.
Dain and Nain Thunderfist, twin brothers, broke away from the field and lead the runners for the next 1km. It was not immediately evident that the Thunderfists were even part of the race as each one carried a rather large battle axe that kept their race numbers hidden.

Unfortunately, a company of small dark-skinned creatures chanting “Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! Off to Saruman we go!” accidentally crossed the racecourse at the 8km point leading to some apparent confusion.

Race officials intervened, however, the brothers Dain and Nain were forced to drop out. Shortly thereafter, Elijah Shunam began to increase his pace.

“Something just came over me,” said Elijah. “I think it was my second wind.”

By the 9km mark Shunam held such a commanding lead, the others were left running for second place.

With just under 900 meters remaining Marcus Aurelius Theophrastus Octavian and Achilles Hunter battled fiercely for runner-up honors, with the former prevailing by mere tenths of a second.

“Honestly, I felt pretty good out there,” said Octavian.

Said Achilles after his third place showing: “I think I could have dropped a few seconds off my time today. I keep have a recurring problem with my heel. My physiologist friend, Dr. Freud, seems to think it’s all in my mind though. Oh well, that’s life I suppose.”

23 May 2006

Man Things

What is it about metal that draws men like a moth to flame? I know we came from the dust of the earth so maybe something down there attracts us...like magnetism. It's the siren call of the iron oxides. Do women know this? When I look at a rock, I don't see just a rock. I see something to be heated to extract the metallic elements. I see molten steel. I picture myself in leather boots with toe protectors, leather gloves, a dark grey Darth Vader-like mask, and a black apron skimming the dross off a tub of molten aluminum heated to 2,000 F, in a large factory with concrete floors while an older fellow with white hair and mustache called Jim watches me from a distance. Oh yeah, and he's wearing plaid. In my quest to become a man of steel, I purchased two more weights some time ago at this new sports store. I sauntered in wearing jeans, leather jacket, unshaved, and paid cash. Introduced them to Lady Guinevere (my car), grunted like King Kong and scratched myself...(no, actually I didn't do that). Manly things you know. Unfortunately, they're not the right size for my benchpress bar which means another trip back to the Man Shack to buy more iron to satisfy my male ego-driven desires.

22 May 2006

My soon-to-be-new roomate

My sister. . .not the dog. . .is coming to stay with me. What do I think of this??? Not sure. About dogs: Dogs and other furry creatures are generally not welcome in any dwelling place of Yours Truly. Much as I appreciate all God's creatures great and small and furry, there is a time and place for everybody. My opinion is that since they have so much fur, they should stay outside. Of course, one may well ask about the non-furry beasts of the world. . . like birds. Birds are cool if they sing or talk and promise to stay in their cage. Something like an emu. . .well. . .I can just picture and emu sharing my place with me. Not a good idea, especially when breakfast rolls around and Jason's frying omelelets. I heard on NPR about a family that has a pet horse that stays IN THE HOUSE. Again. . .it's the furry animal thing. . .just don't see it happening here.

Much Ado about Nothing

Now that Samuel Alito Jr. has officially been confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court justice, it is time to rethink whether the hearings serve any useful purpose. The Judiciary Committee hearing process should be abandoned. Hearings have only been held since 1925, just after the notorious Teapot Dome scandal. Since then, most nominees have sailed through their hearings and were confirmed. That is until 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork, which subsequently turned into one of the most partisan confirmation hearings ever.

There are two good reasons to discontinue the process.

There is no law or constitutional obligation requiring the nominee to testify. Only two events need to occur in order for a Supreme Court nominee to be put in office. The first is being nominated by the President. The second is garnering a majority vote in the Senate. Nothing else is needed.

The hearing process has evolved into a reality show for Senators to show off. As entertaining as Senators Ted Kennedy and Joseph Biden were, many people would argue that their time would have been better spent asking short concise questions. Rather, they seemed to view it as a campaign opportunity.

Although I’ve listed three reasons why the hearings should be abandoned, there are reasons for continuing the process.

Perhaps the best argument one can make for the continuation of the hearings is that it gives Senators an opportunity to see how a prospective judge will rule in a case. However, this goes against the American Bar Associations Code of Judicial Conduct which bars nominees from pre-judging cases . . . even if they are simply scenarios. Alito has been blamed for being evasive during the hearings. However, for him to answer would have been inappropriate.

I recommend that the nominee go before the full Senate for two days of questioning. With a third day set aside for debate among the Senate followed by an up-or-down vote. All 100 Senators would ask just one question with the nominee having a set time to answer. I think this would save all parties lots of time and greatly simplify the process.

Thoughts anyone???

17 May 2006

Mr. Toad et al.

I have been reading The Wind in the Willows for the upteenth time. I think it's the perfect book.

And the description of Toad going to the dungeon is beyond funny.

15 May 2006

Circadian Cycles

Biologists and other strange people tell us that we operate on circadian cycles. There are times of the day that we do certain things best. Like thinking. Your brain is most active around sunset. You're also at your physically strongest...most track and field records have been broken at this time. This also corresponds to the highest core body temperature.

At 300-400 AM, your core body temperature is at a low point and is no surprise that this is when most people are sound asleep. So, I'm thinking since I work midnight shift, my c-cycles must be really messed up. This afternoon, when I was sleeping, I dreampt that I was picking baseball-sized strawberries. They were everywhere...piled in boxes on front porches, by the side of the road, just lying around the malls on the floor. I haven't eaten a strawberry in a year, so you can imagine my disappointment when, while at the store today, the strawberries I saw were...um...strawberry-sized.

I've noticed something peculiar about my brain. I'm 31ish, and it takes me a tiny bit longer to grasp how some things work...but that once I know how they work, I don't forget how. It's as if my memory is increasing. My language skills seem to be improving as well. And it still erks me to no end when I see a mis-spelled word. I cringe and stare it like it's some kind of overripe squash.

When I was a little boy, large yellow squash used to bother me. Why??? Don't know. Something about it's extreme knottiness...like it had warts. Troll food. Trolls eat overlarge yellow squash. Can't you just see them? Three old knotty warty trolls under a bridge at night gnawing on Farmer John's stolen squash. Juice running down their faces...grubby hands...bad teeth...trolls scratching themselves...greasy old trolls with paunches...Disgusting.

11 May 2006


I love anagrams. I found this neat anagram generator on the net. Taking my name and rearranging the letters you get Iran jar shops.

09 May 2006

The Human Goldfish

Magician David Blaine just spent a week in a goldfish bowl. Why do people do this? And 7 minutes holding your breath? The longest I went once was about a minute and a half. They say that skydivers don't need to hold breath at all during freefall. Apparently when your careening towards the ground at 120 mph, the air goes right through your skin into your bloodstream.

I'm thinking if Mr. Blaine were to do this stunt over again he could mount sensors on his body that blow pure oxygen into his body, as in freefall.

08 May 2006

El Ocho de Mayo

Hmm...let me see...I have been away for awhile.

Small headache at work today. Fortunately, we've a soda machine here (or pop machines as they're called in some parts of the country). A coke costs exactly 60 cents. I have the exact change...pennies not included. I feed the coke machine my hard earned money only to have it spt out a dime.

3 times. I discovered a had a mutilated dime. I think these machines work by how much the coin weighs. This dime had the edges sawed off. Not only that, it looked as if somebody with waaaaayyyy too much time on their hands actually sliced the dime in two halves...not sideways like your average currency defacer, but actually cut it in 2 along the skinny side.

The coin never worked, sooo after a mad search through my car and one chemistry lab, I found no other dimes. Went to Wendy's (OK so I was desperate) and got change.

And finally, got the coke. I should also mention that this particular machine takes one dollar bills. It does NOT, however, give you anything back in exchange...except a headache.

What else has been happening here at the lab??? The other night a 3-year-old boy carting an orange plastic gun wandered in at 10 PM. Never saw the little guy before in my life. Thinking that I was te only one in the building this came as a bit of a shock, since little boys don't generally wander into chemistry labs at night. I found out he belonged to one of the janitors in another part of the building.

The same little man was seen riding a mop bucket like a cowboy some time later.