16 December 2012


Would you believe me if I told you I had a pygmy elephant growing up?

09 December 2012


I like to tell people my favorite color is the one that roughly corresponds to the 489th nanometer on the visual spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Naturally I don't get invited to many parties.

Today was the annual Christmas Choral service at the church I attend. One of the songs we sang was 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,' a fetching tune written by a French monk sometime in the 14th century. I started to sing along, realized there was a contradiction here (seeing as how I'm a mortally fleshly kinda guy), and just sort of stood there humming merrily along.

29 November 2012

Coy Koi

Day 29: Today I am thankful for good ol' American currency which, yes, you can fold into a catfish in your spare time.

27 November 2012


Just out of curiosity: Have you ever liked someone but told yourself that you didn't like them because they're not necessarily your preconceived type, even though that other person actually is your type. . .not yet. . .but certainly in the future. And you go out of your way to show that this other person is merely a good friend and that nothing will ever happen between the two of you, though you secretly wish it would. . .sometimes, yet not always. . .and not quite yet for reasons you're unable to articulate clearly. And that even though the chemistry between the two of you is perfect, if you got any closer. . .it would be less than perfect. . .and if you grew further apart it would also be less than perfect, though in a different way.

And that the other person feels exactly the same way?

And you know it. And they know it. And you know that they know what you know, and know that you know they know that you both know it. And neither one of you can do anything about it. And even to think about it is to commit some type of cultural or psychological taboo, because talking about it would simply spoil the perfect chemistry and so, as a result, you both end up not talking about this subject ever and try not to so much as even think or dwell about it, except on an unconscious level?

I think this is what the two protons in a helium atom go through and why large atoms are very unstable.

Day 27

Today I am thankful for the Bermuda Triangle, Nessie, the U.S. Tax Code, Yetis, vanishing hitchhikers, crop circle technicians, and a fertile imagination that is prone to fantasy-like tendencies. I'm especially thankful I'm an introvert which has saved me from getting slapped on numerous occasions.

More thankfulness: (Since I’m feeling especially nice today)

I’m really thankful for spam…real spam…as opposed to regular spam, or SPAM spam, and certainly not the other spam, but the original spam. I’m also thankful for unambiguosityness in English, unlike…say english, or English english, or THE English. Don’t get me wrong-I’m thankful for THE English, but some English takes precedence over other englishes and Englishness in general.

20 November 2012

Day 21

Today I am thankful for the fact I just discovered I’m a direct descendant of the great Genghis Khan. Somehow, I think the DNA test I took was in error as the only two things I share in common with the great Mongol Horde leader are a predilection for little furry horses and a love of rice pudding.

Even More Thankfulness

Day 20: Today I am thankful for chicle…the perfect chemical. That's what chewing gum is made from. Chicle has the same consistency as squid, except chicle grows in trees and won't squirt you with ink, nor will a chicle tree try to eat you should you fall overboard. Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevik revolutionary, said chicle-chewing was a way for Capitalism to keep the working man from thinking too much. Lenin, a prominent chicle fan, promptly smacked him in the head and made him an un-person. Incidentally, chicle means ‘glue’ in Hindi…but this may be a mere coincidence.

19 November 2012

More Thankfulness

Day 19: Thankful for commas, semi-colons, regular colons, clean colons, periods, tildas, proper use of the CAPS LOCK key, the word 'discombobulate,' gerunds, non-dangling participles, most adjectives, Noah Webster, participial phrases, intransitive verbs, and the ancient Phoenicians.

I only wish others shared my enthusiasm.

17 November 2012


Day 17: Thankful for the extinction of the Twinkie phenomenon, gortex kilts, tame cattle, corduroy, facial yoga, Kim Kardashian, platypuses, Cindi Lauper memorabilia, the Syriac Vulgate, Costa Rican bananas, and Stewart and Stark's 'Nymphs of North American Stonefly Genera (Plecoptera)' which has affected my life in more profound ways than the astrology column in Cosmopolitan ever could.

And also commas.

12 November 2012

Forty-one miles.

That's how far I ran Saturday.

On asphalt.

Fueled by PowerBars, coffee, bananas, Gatorade, and pretzels.

Today I am in pain-not acute, nail-in-your-foot pain, just an overall aching sort of feeling in the quadriceps.

Below is a clip from the local news showing the early part of the race before mass feet carnage overwhelmed everybody. I also got interviewed...though she spelled my name wrong. I'm in the blue shirt running behind the blond girl for moral support.

http://www.wboy.com" title="WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather">WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

I'll definitely try to run run of these again...not 24-hours (I stopped at 12 hours)...but certainly a 50-miler in the coming months.

After all, I kinda' look forward to seeing more hallucinations and images of the Virgin Mary in the sidewalk.

08 November 2012

Life is Amazing

At noon, I decided to visit Wal-Mart in search of a headlamp, gold wrapping paper, fruits and vegetables, and fluorescent duct tape. The food and headlamp is for the 24-hour race this week-end (yes-you heard right...24 hours of non-stop forward progress...a man needs hobbies you know) and the yellow wrapping paper is for the colossal origami rhinoceros beetle I'm making.

Long story.

Upon arrival I noticed a nilla wafer in the parking lot by my Mazda. I looked around, saw nobody was watching, and...ate it.

I have no logical explanation.

A couple of steps later another nilla wafer made its presence. As before (nobody was watching) I quickly popped it into my mouth. The sugar rush made me walk faster and faster until

"Lo! What's this," I cried.

Another nilla wafer directly in my path.

I ate it.

Finally, I made the door and got a shopping cart. Wouldn't you know it...there were two nilla wafers sitting there looking pretty on top of some unused coupons for coconut-flavored Insure. Just before eating them, (I was ravenous by this time), a homeless lady wearing pink pants and pink jacket approached me. The hungry look in her eye told me she wanted the wafers.

I hurried on and found the headlamp in the sporting goods department, right beside the backpacks, penknives, another nilla wafer (which I ate), and, curiously enough, three large cherries. No Wal-Mart associates were in sight so I decided to eat these as well. At the same moment, the pink homeless lass came into my aisle, turned blue in the face when she saw my cherry-stained lips, and started to run.

Now, there's something you should know about me. I like running. And when I eat enough nilla wafers and carbo-load on cherries, something comes over me and I start seeing hallucinations and auras. Sugar high perhaps?

I chased the pink (now blue) bag lady into the women's undergarments sections and got disoriented. This section makes me giddy. I suppose if I were married it would be like standing in my wife's closet, but I'm more or less a non-confirmed monkish bachelor this would not be a problem. Fortunately, (you may think I'm exaggerating now), a 7th nilla wafer lay somewhat hidden under some socks and this I ate as well.

The bag lady, now red with rage, threw a $20 purse at me and chased me all the way to electronics, past the cat food section, the paper towel section, and finally to the layaway dept, where I escaped into the bathroom.

I like Wal-Mart bathrooms. They have nilla wafer dispensers on all the walls. Which is why sometimes there actually is a free lunch if you're a homeless fellow.

In case you're wondering, no, there is no hidden meaning here.
Michael Palin for President 2016

05 November 2012

Dear Readers

Today is a good day to start being nice to others, especially if they believe in unicorns, watch Nascar, and like professional wrestling.

And if you see that 40-year-old man at Wal-Mart who still lives at home with his parents and rides the mechanical horse all day...by all means...be friendly.


Five days.

That's how much time exists between me and my first ultra-marathon.

Saturday, I'm running for 24 consecutive hours, and by running I mean jogging/walking, not what most call running.

Clarification: It's what non-runners would call running; what marathoners would call jogging; what the LetsRun.com crowd would call walking; What hikers would call trekking; and my grandma calls, "yet another reason for you to settle down, get married, and have some sense in your life."

(I'm paraphrasing her)

My last long race was June 2012 at the Seattle Marathon.


If it looks like I'm the picture of seriousness with grim determination etched in my furrowed brow as I plow my way through 26.2 miles of Pacific Northwest asphalt...it's because I'm trying really hard not to cry.


Practice makes perfect.

Does it really?

I think practice makes better. It's by practicing something, over and over, when inspiration hits. For after you've done something a thousand times, you want to try something a little different. I've been practicing a lot of origami the past few months. Bought some books, ordered expensive washi paper from Japan, saved some PDF files of neat diagrams and...well...here is what some of the things look like so far.

The green figure in the above pic is step 13 of a soon-to-be kangaroo. The right figure is (was) supposed to be a man playing a violin. As you can see, I still have a ways to go.

The brown and white creature is a deformed Yoda...actually, now that I come to think of it...it's step 33 of a Rhinocerous beetle. The purple creature is well on its way to becoming a rabbit, but its paper DNA contracted a mutant virus and ended up looking like the backside of a purple Batman.

My latest avant garde origami project. I call it Blanc Entropy pour Mercredi. This is what some un-artistic people would call a crumpled piece of paper, whereas in reality, it is a piece of organic art in the cellulose tradition that gives one the impression of cumulonimbusness and delusions of grandeur. Notice the carefully constructed folds forecasting stormy clouds ahead. 
I'm selling it on E-bay.

This is an Oriland Magic Cube. It's made from 48 sheets of square paper folded together. No cutting or glueing. If you hold it on the sides, you can rotate it in a circle and watch it change colors.

Another failure. This was well on it's way to becoming a paper Stag beetle. Around step 42 something went awry.
No. I did not make these. This guy did. Here is one of his diagrams of a praying mantis. Feel free to fold it. The amazing thing about these creatures is they are folded from a single sheet of paper.

The good thing about polyester you ask? It's easy to spell.

26 October 2012

Turtles live a long time because when weird people come visiting they can go inside their house until the weird people go away. They don't have to put up with people who make them get out wheelchairs and try to walk, even though they have one leg, and make fun of them when they cannot and tell them they don't love Jesus enough.

25 October 2012

When I was a small child I found a gecko. Naturally I wanted to see how it worked, so I took it apart. Next thing I knew, I had a non-working gecko. I had an interesting childhood.
Once one realizes that 99% of the time 99% of the people don't know what they're talking about 99% of the time, one can generally get along with 99% of the people 99% of the time.

Until then, there is always aspirin.

13 October 2012

You may not know this, but I once translated the entire book of Ecclesiastes into functional Ebonics.

I replaced all the 'meaningless' words with 'da man got me down'. All the 'verilys' with 'you dig.' Every instance of the word 'wisdom' I used 'Jerry rig.' And for the 'amens' I used the word 'uh-huh...that's why I'm saying.'

The Ebonics version gives it a more literal feel. It's more earthy and genuine.


It does lose a bit a bit of the author's natural rhythm and flavor...perhaps makes all the meaninglessness somewhat darker, but hey, in the hood what can you expect?

The result is, I think, something Everyman can relate to...preferably one who isn't obsessed with grammar.

Did I mention I also replaced all the 'kings' with 'community organisers?'

Things That Make One Weary on Life's Pilgrim Journey

by me:)

Old age, non-prescription chemicals, too much FD and C #3 yellow, prescription chemicals, hypothyroidism, winter, the 2nd law of thermodynamics, evil spirits from hanging out with unicorn lovers, allergic reaction to Spam, Botulism spores, increased cortisol production from stress caused by stepping in one too many mini Skoal pyramids at West Virginian Exxons, the Fall of Man, Obama, repressed rage due to frustrated attempts at origami crustaceans, iphone magnetism, Gamma rays, the neighbors, the neighbor's cat, the neighbor's cat's spoor, Thorium leaching into the water supply from mountain top mining, shrinkage, Libya in general, The Bolshevik Revolution, too much baby sloth watching activities on YouTube, raw bacon the day after the expiration date, K-Mart, dead porcupines, retro Nikes, obese gerbils, the inevitable erosion of telomeres in my DNA, fossilized coprolites, dry glue, used razor blades, pig's feet in the deli section, high taxes, missing commas, and and The Boston Globe

I can't take it anymore!

09 October 2012

This Week's To-Do List

 You know who have plenty of time on your hands when re-writing the Bhagavad Gita...making it a theological comedy...is on your list of things to do...

Rules For Happiness

It helps to keep in mind that 99.9% of the time, 99.9% of the people do not know what they're talking about 99.9% of the time.

07 October 2012

Today's Resolution: I promise to be nicer to people with consonant-heavy surnames.

Sunday Sunday

Ah, Sunday.

The perfect day to grok Jesus and God in Euclidean Reality despite what Zarathustra says.

04 October 2012

Sometimes...for kicks...I like to drive past the biology building at the local college and yell Creationist slogans like 'Ontology recapitulates Phylogeny is a false dogma!" but nobody takes me seriously.

Someday I hope to be mayor.

01 October 2012

It has been said in the last days the lion will layeth down with the lamb, but I don't think the lamb will get a whole lot of sleep in this situation.

29 September 2012

Good Karma

I tend to take a holistic view of Reality. I believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. For every action, there’s a reaction. For every donut, there is a hole. For every AIG, there is an APPL. For every beautiful red-headed ‘Emily’ in Kansas City on eHarmony, there is a disgruntled anonymous biologist gnashing his teeth and cursing fate somewhere on the East Coast wondering WHY does she not return her e-mails. There is a time and season for all things. A time to plant and a time to reap. A time for war and a time for peace. A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to buy and a time to hock it on Craigslist. A time to read and a time to re-read lest one missed the point the first time. The Universe, see, is one vast gigantic whole. It is made of threads…strings…so forget that nonsense you’ve heard about atoms. Everything is connected to everything else.
Somehow. Someway.
Our physicists tell us all atoms (strings) know the location of all other atoms in the Universe. You’d think this undermines Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, but it doesn’t. Good things occur because this is inherent in the structure of Reality. They MUST occur. Bad things happen because the threads get tangled.
Bob Dylan alluded to this once and should have won the Nobel for physics, but alas! Sweden was undergoing social tangledness and missed it.
The secret to the good life is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD. This stretches the threads out and keeps them from bad tangled situations. This is why Sedentarism and mediocrity is bad. The good things in  life right are due to (can ONLY be due to) galloping through Life at warp speed…stretching out the space/time continuum…exercising it.
Always remember this.    

27 September 2012

College Entrance Exam

I discovered this college entrance exam question by one Hugh Gallagher on the LetsRun.com message board and felt to re-post it here.

Hugh Gallagher's 'College Essay'


 I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

 I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

 Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

 I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

 I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

 I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

 But I have not yet gone to college.

24 September 2012


I would like to take this time to encourage everyone to quit using your pet dogs and cats as shark bait while vacationing at the beach.

This is what squid is for.

Thank you.

20 September 2012

The Origami Yoda Project

Thursday night. Bored. What to do?

Why make an origami Yoda of course...

After an hour and a half, using green wrapping paper...

I created this little fellow.

May the folds be with you...

17 September 2012

Race Update

Saturday I decided to try my hand at a local 5k run that was dedicated to the preservation of some scholarship for some poor and needy, young, up-and-coming fellow or female fella...are fellas female fellows?...they should be...that hopefully will someday be one of the 1%.

I tried a different tactic. I started in the middle of the pack of 200+ runners.


I spent the first half mile zig-zagging around fat guys wearing spandex, old ladies wearing spandex, some little boy (I think I stepped on him), and one stray dog.

I finally got into a rhythm...two steps-breath in...two steps-breath out...cough. And finished somewhere around 20th place out of 200 or so.

Some observations:

-old men who wear spandex so tight you can tell what religion they are is wrong.
-the amount of phlegm produced during the running of 3.1 miles is roughly equivalent to the amount of coffee drunk pre-race.
-concrete is good for driving on...running on it is not.

Did I mention the theme song to the Partridge Family was running through my head during the entire 20 minutes?

Hours later, I don't know why, I ran another six miles to shake the legs out. Sunday I took off. Today I ran 13 on the trails.

Yes, I'm addicted.

16 September 2012

Dear old man who was riding a mt. bike yesterday on the trails while wearing a hoodie and a bicycle helmet with a Duralite strapped on top on a sunny 75 degree day,




11 September 2012

"This little piggy went to market,
this little piggy stayed home,
and this little piggy was used as a test animal in a baseline forensic entomology experiment...we won't say what happened to that little piggy."

(Classic example of someone who should not contribute their DNA to the gene pool)

06 September 2012

Write right

I just moved to West Virginia last week and felt the need to say this.
Not all addictions are wicked and evil. Some, as a matter of fact, are quite good...like phonics.

05 September 2012

Think Right


Listen up smart people. I've a secret for ya' all.

No matter how logical your argument is...how persuasive it seems. The conclusions of your argument are totally meaningless if your fundamental assumptions about the basic nature of reality are wacked out.

This is why I don't believe the sky is green.

There's a hidden meaning here, hopefully you can grok it.

31 August 2012

Adventures at the DMV

11:30 AM. The woman beside me has 4 toes. Yet another reason why food addictives should be banned by the FDA.

She was wearing sandals...from Wal-Mart...and jorts...also from Wal-Mart. She had obviously consumed far too much FD and C number 3 yellow food coloring extract...or had a mild case of jaundice. Hard to say really when one wears amber-tinted sunglasses to maintain a low profile when smirking-rated activities are necessary.

12:30 PM. Still waiting. The four-toed lady has moved to window #9 and where she is being asked for far too much personal information by the kind DMV lady with less than the full compliment of teeth.

1:00 PM. C497 (my number is called) I let out a war whoop which I immediately regret. (I should really cut down my caffeine intake from 700 mg to something more like a dozen or so mgs) and proceed to the molar-challenged lady. She takes a sip of her Mt. Dew and I take the time to kindly remind her that experiments show that teeth placed in cups of Mt. Dew have shown the teeth to erode into their elemental atoms.

DMV lady is not amused.

1:45 PM. Still waiting at window #9 while same DMV lady has difficulty finding my name in her database. I tell her I changed my last name a year ago for personal and highly confidential government reasons. She sips more Mt. Dew and makes a sound something like a cross between grunting and coughing up phlegm.

2:00 PM. Finished. Go home and remember that I forgot to get my new vanity license plates.


28 August 2012

For those of you to whom this applies: Never expect to run a comfortable 8 miles on a breezy August day six hours after consuming an entire rotissiere chicken baptised in spicy mustard and homeade Italian dressing.

21 August 2012

It's always the easy ones you tend to miss. Every time one comes to something that seems quite simple, man has the unique ability of all creatures to mess it up and destroy part of the very fabric of nature itself. Nature is now flawed due to man's trangressions against the fundamental laws of the universe. I wish this were not so. Were things otherwise, the universe would not be undergoing a slow erosion to nothingness and an eventual heat death.

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" said the writer of Ecclesiates. Everything is meaningless. For no matter how hard a man toils, in the end it will all be forgotten. Everything a man does is meaningless, a chase after the wind. Many will come after and will they remember the deeds of the men who live today?


They will continue on in their meaningless lives...their paltry existence...wandering the earth seeking to fill their belly with things that only satisfy temporarily. Then, the aching dull pain returns and beckons them to flee into the void...that nameless void...that final walk we must all take into the Great Unknown which whispers into our ears every night to join the throng of those who have gone before.

15 August 2012

“Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?

I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.” 
Chaim Potok, from The Chosen

13 August 2012

I met a man who fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the world. He said the girl was a princess and was traveling to a faraway land to learn of other cultures. He admired her so much the gods became jealous. They placed a mark on his head as a warning to others that he was destined to be a lonely wanderer upon the face of the Earth. In time, he repented of making an idol of the most beautiful girl in the world and begged the god's forgiveness. He then asked the god's for her hand in marriage since they created the princess. I asked him about the response they gave him, but he never answered the question.


Rare inventions usually have a specific purpose. The more quirky a gadget, the greater the specificity it's job. Some jobs require a mind that is curious about everything. The same minds usually have a unique perspective into reality and show great influence over many people. Do-gooders and well-wishers often tell the quirky mind to settle down and join the crowd, but curiosity will prevent the quirky mind to restlessness with the status quo. They must travel, and explore, look for other kindred souls to dance with, and of course capture the moments with pen and brush.

12 August 2012

What matters is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

except ... chihuahuas.

09 August 2012

London 2012

I'm glad cheerleading is not an olympic sport. Can you imagine the thousands of Chinese kids forced to go to a training camp away from their families for years on end forced to learn to appear "spontaneous and cheerful?"

08 August 2012

OK. Be honest. How many of you used to think the word hazwoper was a derogatory term for obese DOT guys???
Plura Scriptum Epistola...'Write more letters'

Letters are one of those things that sets us apart from mere animals for only a living soul can translate his unseen, abstract, thoughts to another using graphite and cellulose as the medium. It's like magic really. Letters are the most valuable treasures one can leave behind. They unite past lives with current lives thus building a community that stretches across the ages.

I almost think God expects us to write to one another as a way to better our lives...make us more human. Don't you think?

01 August 2012

Daily Log:

Look at insects under two different microscopes all day.
Run 8 miles and decrease the gnat population of Central Virginia by 1,000 by swatting them during the run.
Drink 2 gallons of water.
Make one pizza using corn chips, garlic powder, chili powder, cheese, pepperoni, corn meal, olive oil, horseradish sauce, salt, and the tiniest bit of sugar.
Read a couple chapters from 'Far From the Madding Crowd'
Pay rent.
Work on the next great american novel.
Pray to God asking him to send me a wife who looks like Mary Poppins...hey, I like Brits.
Get involved in a staredown with a mean-looking cow.
Learned the Yugoslavian words for 'Happy Birthday'
E-mail secretary data for a report.
Drink another 2 gallons of water.
Wash clothes by boiling them in water to shrink them to make them fit better.
Ponder the hidden meanings in Ecclesiastes.
Watch Dr. Christian Harfouche preach on the internet.
Lift weights.
Eat part of the aforementioned pizza and make mental note to never use horseradish sauce ever ever again when pepperoni is involved.

31 July 2012

Dear World

Good Morning.

More will be said later when blood caffeine levels reach statistically significant levels and hormone levels increase to appreciable amounts that make writing and talking actions easier.

I have spoken.

30 July 2012

Far From the Madding Crowd

I just started reading this book and feel that Gabriel Oak and I have an awful lot in common. Hopefully, he'll win the heart of his sweetheart at the end of his journey. It would be the perfect ending...

29 July 2012

A story:
I had an epiphany yesterday.

I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, took a side trail, got lost, re-discovered the AT, hiked 13 miles in the wrong direction, backtracked, and ended up walking 30 miles. Yes-you heard that right.

Thir-ty miles.
So yes, I’m tired…and thirsty.
Oh, did I mention I also ran a 5km road race at 7:30 A.M. the same day? Finished 10th out of about 200 people.
I finally made it back to my Mazda just as the most glorious sunset occurred. There were actually people pulled off the road taking photos of it.
Ten hours is a long time to spend in the woods. I had a  dream furry woodland creatures were inviting me to live with them. A rather large grey squirrel…his name was Mr. Poggins…was extolling the virtues of baked acorns and invited me for dinner. I respectfully declined his offer…that, and I couldn’t fit in his treehouse.

26 July 2012

Today's long-distance running training advice: In the long run, one must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

25 July 2012

Moving Right Along

In one months time I shall move back to the great state of West Virginia. Eight years have I lived in the merry state of Virginia and I'll miss it. Well, except for the high tax rate...but that's another story.
"And just how long do you plan to stay in West Virginia, Jason?"

Good question. I really don't know. I've moved...in the last ten years...at least ten times. You could call me a traveling nomad. I've always known I never would live permanently in VA or WV for long so I've been renting off people and never bought a house. The West Virginia thing seems...right now...and semi-permanent situation. I could see myself living anywhere in this country of ours except for perhaps Alabama or Louisiana. Don't get me wrong, I like these states...in much the same manner one loves certain relatives who chain smoke, tell obnoxious jokes, and kick cats...but some places you can, and should, appreciate only from a long distance.

Seattle or Portland is a possibility. Albuquerque another. New York City...definately...under the right circumstances...as in if I found a great deal near Central Park so I could run 10 miles a day and feel like I was in the country...situation. London is yet another possibility. Sometimes I think I was born there and kidnapped by hippie bohemians during the 70's, hidden in the cargo bay of a rather large ship, and dropped off at an orphanage in Fairmont, WV. This would explain my difficulty in remembering the first two years of my life and these recurring dreams that involve lots of water and boxes.

19 July 2012

Today's long-distance running training advice: in the long run the long run should only be a "long" run if you run the run long, so...run long.
"Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything." --Thomas Merton

18 July 2012

You know. No matter how sincere someone is when they try to persuade you the color of the sky is purple, I cannot help but think it is, always has been, and always will be blue. There is a hidden meaning here.

15 July 2012

After 25 years...guess who is back?

14 July 2012

No Sweat.

8.2 pounds-amount of weight I lost due to sweat during today's hour and a half run in 91 degree heat.

13 July 2012

Peace Tea

Leave it to some Californian tea company to actually design a proper tea can.

I can quite honestly say I have no more problems with houseflies...

10 July 2012

Meet Myrna and Loy. My newest fishy origami creations.

08 July 2012

More Origami Madness

12 pieces of paper folded into this contraption called the WXYZ Project. Yes-it was difficult.

The left item was made using 6 sheets of square paper and the tiniest bit of glue. The right item, called the I-Ching Square, was created using 8 sheets of paper-without glue.

Bookcase with little origami books. OK...OK...so I do have quite a bit of free time.

Close-up shot of one of the mini books.

07 July 2012

Origami Madness

With the advent of a 4-day period of no water or electricity this week, I decided to practice my origami skills. Origami, you should know, is the Japanese word for the art of paper-folding. Coincidentally, in Korean it is the word for torture. Here is a Kusadama ball I made from 60 small square pieces of waxy paper.

Stage 1: the little papers are folded into triangles, glued, and clothes-pinned together.

Close-up shot of the little papers ranging from perfectly flat to folded to glued together. 5 triangles were glued together to make one 5-petal flower.

Next, two flowers were glued together petal-to-petal, clothes-pinned,, and resting precariously in a beaker filled with paper clips. Note: glass beakers also make great green tea holders.

Finished! One Kusadama ball that will be sent to a special friend of mine for inspirational purposes.
Sometimes, I think God arranges the hearts of men so they hopelessly in love with a girl. And the girl, try as hard as she might, finds it difficult to not reciprocate the action...

26 June 2012

2012 Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon

Finish Line

I woke the next morning at 4AM and consumed a pre-race meal consisting of fried lamb and curried rice. A note from my journal reads:

Seattle. Marathon starts in 85 minutes. pre-race meal of fried lamb and curried rice-check. Last will and testament donating all my worldly possessions to the Society for the Prevention of Country Music-check.Nectar-flavored energy gels on hand-check.

A couple other notes I wrote read:

I feel like that mouse who after a few drinks got brave and said, "Now where's that darn cat everyone's talking about."

Should today not go so well, I've a couple of kidneys, a heart, and a liver or two I'd be willing to donate.

Naturally I wasn't feeling over-confident.

Surprisingly, the marathon went well. I walked the 25th mile since my legs felt like somebody spent all morning running a jack-hammer on them, but the 26th mile I continued on. The last 400 yards were uphill and I think I almost cried. That afternoon walking was extremely difficult but surprisingly next morning I felt fine...just some somewhat sore quadriceps.

Sunday morning I went to Christ Church Kirkland where a former Regent U classmate of mine used to attend. I met a most classy blogger whose blog, I must add, totally rocks...and a must-read. It's called Southern Nomad.

Later I explored the Capital Hill District of Seattle.

Odd Fellows Cafe...a must go to place...this is the perfect writer's hangout. Not necessarily on Sunday afternoons as it was quite crowded, but during the day it would be perfect.

Next morning it was time to go home and I flew to New York...then to Pittsburgh where my bleary-eyed parents took me to their house. This morning, I drove back to Merry Ol' Virginia.

Marathon Traveling and Marathon Running

At precisely 4:56 PM last Monday I began a journey of 6,000 miles via plane, train, and automobile.
First, I packed up and drove the Mazda to my parent's house in West Virginia.

I camped out here for a day before my mom and sister dropped me off at the Pittsburgh Amtrak station. There were about 30 Amish folks there traveling en masse to Chicago with me and well got on the same car.

Elkhart, Indiana...minutes after being involved in an Amish pillow fight.

Union Station, Chicago

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Near Madison, WI...1st amber wave of grain sighting.

Wisconsin Dells,WI...getting ruraler...train is temporarily stopped due to small herd of badgers.
Winona, Minnesota...Downtown Winona Minnesota...the...um...business district of downtown Winona.
Fargo, North Dakota
Rugby, North Dakota

Little house on the prairie.
More evidence of human overpopulation in North Dakota...if you look closely you'll see an old house about 5 miles away.
Perfectly flat dirt roads for dozens of miles. This is perfect training ground for ultra-marathon training and crop-circle making activities...still in North Dakota.
Train Literature, fascinating reading.
Havre, Montana...dinosaurs used to live here. Thank god and extinction they're on vacation.
Shelby, Montana
Columbia River, Washington.
(I didn't take any pictures whilst in Idaho as I was overcome with sleepiness)
Bingen-White Salmon, WA
Vancouver...the American one...we're getting closer.
Random Note#1: Dear Conductor-There's an old fellow snoring like the London Philharmonic warming up. My psychologist tells me I've Chronic Snoring Syndrome that causes me to go into violent spams of senior citizen choking yoga (his words, not mine). I propose we ditch him at Walla Walla where he can snore happily ever after.
Windmills on the Columbia River early Friday morning.

Mt. Hood, Oregon

Portland, OR...I shall

Random note#2...Amtrak baggage guy's name tag reads 'Hi...I'm Gregory Peck.' I think he's lying.

Finally, after nearly 60 hours on a train I arrived in Seattle.