Never tell me the odds!

July 4th, 2014 @ 8:53 am
Friday Five: Patriotic Movies

Uncle Sam

July 3rd, 2014 @ 2:12 pm
Throwback Thursday
Me and Dad

David and Dad, 1990

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“You stopped breathing once when you were five weeks old. Did I ever tell you that?”

No, she certainly hadn’t.

“I was about to take a bath and then I thought I’d better check the crib, so I went in and you weren’t moving at all. I thought you were dead. I snatched you up and tore out of the house to the Jensens’ and pounded on the door, and right then you let out a cry. Anyway, we took you to the doctor.”

“What did the doctor say?”

“He wasn’t sure. He didn’t think it was a seizure. I guess it was just one of those things that happens sometimes.” Then she got up to make a salad for supper.

That’s how Mother told stories. Never enough detail, and she always left you hanging at the end. If she had gone ahead and run the bath water, I’d be dead right now. And it was “just one of those things that happens sometimes”? I felt a little weak myself. I had gotten over the fear that I’d stop breathing during the night, all those years I used to remind myself to breathe, and now this. So I wasn’t dumb to think that your breath could stop at any time. It could happen right now, sitting on a white kitchen chair in a cool breeze and drinking iced tea. Fall over dead on the linoleum. Thirteen years old, dead.
Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days

July 2nd, 2014 @ 7:43 am
Misdirection and Contraception: On Hobby Lobby

CashThere is an article in the New York TimesThe Illogic of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance — which does a great job of explaining the real problem with the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision.

See also:

June 27th, 2014 @ 8:17 am
Friday Five: Favorite Rides

I’ve owned eleven cars in my life. Here are my five favorite:

  1. 1976 Ford Mercury Monarch
    My first car is still my favorite. It was a massive white tank with a red interior and a broken gas gauge. The engine died because nobody ever thought to tell me it was important to change the oil in a car.
  2. 2001 BMW 330ci
    I owned this car in Los Angeles and loved having a convertible. I had to give it up, though, because I couldn’t afford the maintenance costs.
  3. 1981 Toyota Corolla-Tercel
    My second car ranks highly on this list purely because of how many great times I had in it. I bought it for $800 with 200,000 miles on it and sold it for $800 with 300,000 miles on it.
  4. 1987 Toyota 4×4
    I bought this car in 2002 from a buddy just before he moved to New Zealand. It was probably the most dependable vehicle I’ve ever owned.
  5. 1991 Honda CRX Si
    This was my upgrade when I got rid of the Corolla-Tercel. It was Nike-green and awesome.
June 26th, 2014 @ 9:42 am
Throwback Thursday
Great-Grandparents

Meeting My Great-Grandparents

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Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
Michael Crichton

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Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.
Dr. Jonas Salk

June 20th, 2014 @ 7:12 am
Friday Five: Nobody Gets Woolly

Bull DurhamMy five favorite Kevin Costner roles:

  1. Crash Davis — Bull Durham
  2. Eliot Ness — The Untouchables
  3. Denny Davies — The Upside of Anger
  4. Billy Chapel — For Love of the Game
  5. Tie:
    Roy McAvoy — Tin Cup
    Ray Kinsella — Field of Dreams

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Youth has no age.
Pablo Picasso

June 19th, 2014 @ 9:29 am
Throwback Thursday
EPCOT with Dad

At EPCOT with Dad, circa 1996

June 18th, 2014 @ 1:12 pm
Mr. Chainsaw

Nike Free 4.0I was supposed to run 10.75 miles this morning, but miscalculated where I needed to make a U-turn, so it was actually 11 miles on the nose. It took me almost exactly an hour and forty-five minutes — not bad for a week shy of 41 — and put me over 77 miles for the month of June.

Continue reading …

I Was Tony Gwynn’s Bat Boy

June 16th, 2014 @ 7:49 am
The lines on the road just looked like dots.

Nike Free 4.0According to my Nike Running iPhone app, I’ve logged over 475 miles on my Nike Free 4.0 sneakers, and it’s time for a new pair. I only ever wear them for running, so that’s actually pretty accurate. I have no idea what the average lifespan is for a pair of sneakers, and I suppose Nike could be simply trying to get me to spend more money, but they do seem to have lost some springiness lately. If anyone has any recommendations, do let me know.

My Father’s Day was pretty great. We had a lovely brunch, I got to watch plenty of the U.S. Open, my son gave me a #1 Dad star that he made in school, and my wife gave me a gift certificate for a massage. We didn’t catch the season finale of Game of Thrones, but after the boy went to bed we watched three episodes of the second season of House of Cards, which was awesome.

Continue reading …

June 13th, 2014 @ 6:32 am
Friday Five: John Williams

My five favorite John Williams film scores:

  1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. Superman
  4. Jaws
  5. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
June 12th, 2014 @ 8:47 am
Throwback Thursday
Christmas

Christmas morning
(1977?)

June 11th, 2014 @ 7:27 am
Good Golly Miss Molly

Nike Running AppI probably should not have bothered to watch the end of the Spurs @ Heat game last night, but I didn’t want to have missed it in case Miami managed to make a comeback. I still managed to hop out of bed at 5:15AM and lace up. I spent about fifteen minutes stretching and waiting for the sun and then hit the road for my ten miles. The first five seemed to be pretty easy, but then the weight of my sweat-soaked t-shirt started to bother me and I sort of lost steam at the end. I still finished, though, so I feel good about that.

My plan is to make it to a half-marathon in quarter-mile increments and then drop back down to five miles and ramp up again in half-mile increments. We’ll see.

Continue reading …

June 9th, 2014 @ 7:44 am
Let’s Pretend We’re in Antarctica

Nike Free 4.0I had a brutal migraine when I went to sleep last night. I managed to make it through Game of Thrones and then conked out, still in pain despite several pharmaceutical attempts to relieve the ice pick in my brain. It was still there when my alarm started ringing at 0600, but I knew it wouldn’t be able to survive a long run. So I laced up my sneakers and hit the pavement.

Don’t get me wrong: It hurt like hell to run. Every footfall was murder. But by the time I hit three miles, my headache was gone and I was drenched with sweat. I’ve done a good job of adding a quarter-mile to each run for over a month now, and was happy to push it to 9.75 miles. Ten is a nice round number lurking in the future.

Continue reading …

June 6th, 2014 @ 6:11 am
Friday Five: 1975 Photos

Here are five photos of yours truly from 1975. Four are from March — about three months shy of my second birthday — and one is from June, presumably around my birthday. They are some of the only photos I have of myself as a child, and they were (apparently) very special to my mom, who kept them safe and very close to her for almost forty years. She died on August 12, 2012 and I miss her more than she’ll ever know.

June 5th, 2014 @ 8:42 am
Throwback Thursday
Bye Bye, Birdie

Bye Bye, Birdie