Feel your spine extending through the top of your head and touching the wall of the pool…

So, I’m pretty sure I’ve made the connection before, but am too lazy to google my own site to find it.

But, while swimming tonight, I found myself channeling Ana Caban and continually trying to “radiate energy” from my fingers and toes, and to “engage my powerhouse” while kicking. Good stuff.

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am even more of a hacker (in the sense of a really, really poor golfer who “hacks” at the ball) at Pilates than I am a slacker at running. I do maybe a half-dozen sessions a month. Usually, I’ll be really good for a week or so, and then decide to sleep instead of work out. Fancy that…

So, I haven’t experienced the “10 sessions to feel better, 20 sessions to look better, and 30 sessions to a whole new body” that seems to be in the first 5 minutes of any tape.

But, in my flirting with it, I’ve noticed that if I do a Pilates workout the day before I swim, the swim goes much better.

Tonight – amazing. After a short warmup, I just started swimming freestyle, and kept going. There was rhythm, there was fluidity – it felt GOOD

So, maybe I am learning something from the DVDs. Which makes me feel less like a dirty-old-man when I watch them…

Eh, I’m falling asleep as I type. This post lacks pop. Go check out my bit on the Georgia Satellites from earlier this week. It kind of got buried, and, I’ll admit, I think it’s really great. Also, looking at Nike+ the other day, I realized that I’m haven’t had baked goods in a … wow, where did baked goods come from? No, I realized that it’s going to be a tiny stretch to hit 500 miles in my first year of Plus-itude. But, it’s a goal. 92 miles to go by mid-July…

Ain’t so pretty no more, are you?

I did a little modified brick today. After the lunchtime run, I called home to see what was on the table for supper. Missy mentioned that Jake had a coupon for pizza from school, and as I had the bike on the back of the car, I said “Hey, why don’t you and the boys get pizza, and I’ll eat leftovers after I ride?” That’s me, always thinking about the wife all the time.

The ride was incredible. Started from the soccer field on Jamestown, looped up to the North End of the island, down south to downtown, and back to the car.

There was a casualty, though. After 6 years and a couple thousand miles, the faceplate on my left shifter bit the dust. It’d been rattling for a while, and finally let go heading down a hill. I backtracked after I finished the ride, but there was nothing there.

I was going to get the trifecta and hit the pool tonight, but the pool was closed. Let’s see if I can get up in the morning…

Oh, and I bought my USAT license for this year. Rock on.

She started talkin’ ’bout true love, started talkin’ bout Sin

I’ll happily date myself here, but I may have finally found a perfect “Power Song” for Nike+iPod – The Georgia Satellite’s “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”.

I’m a big proponent that 12 bar blues based rock may be the perfect running music.  It is, bar none, the perfect music for a non-interstate road trip, the bass drum beating in counterpoint to the seams in the tarmac, the thrum of the bass and the engine indistingushible. Plug the same music into an iPod, plug the earbuds into your aural cavities, and you’re going as long as there’s gas in the tank.

Not meaning to pour salt in wounds, but I’m going to rave about summer in New England for most of the next four months, until I transition into raving about fall in New England. Today was one of the days that makes me do it – 73 degrees at lunch, bluebird skies, gentle breeze off the ocean, and looking to drop into the 50’s tonight. The boys and I had a great time camping Sunday Night (look for a post on that this evening), I did substantial amounts of yard work on Memorial Day (felt guilty the whole time about not doing anything in particular to memorialize my brothers-in-arms forever awaiting homecoming), and was somewhat productive at work this morning.

The run was amazing. Set the iPod for a 5K, planning to run to the Buckley Bridge and back, which varies between 5K and 4 miles depending on what twists and turns I add. No wind on the way out, and the sun was strong enough to be warm but not hot. Slight breeze on the way back – kind of wished I was turning pedals, ’cause it wasn’t enough to make a difference on the bike – just enough to keep the pace down.

I hit the button and called up the Satellites as I came to the last hill – distorted guitar gets you started, a beat of bass drum, and then pained lyrics as the bass picks up. The hill gets steep, and the first chorus ends, the “wall of sound” best effort from a redneck garage band hits, and it just gets better from there.

The lyrics – “story about free milk and a cow”, “wanted her real bad and was about to give in” – straight up Baptist morality and carnal frustration torn out of my high school days. Which works well with running – denial of immediate pleasure the shallow promise that we are able to trade of pain in the present for bliss in the future.

(Interesting note – in the opening stanza, it’s the “change in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling” that “wants to call you on the telephone”, not the narrator. The great Southern trick of anthrophormization to

The music – one decible louder, one more cycle, or one more bit of color from the vocalist and the song would have immediately descended into satire. Instead, it’s burned into my psyche as one of few perfect things.

The running catch – halfway through the obligatory but not over-the-top guitar solo/bridge, there’s a perfectly timed “Oh, go, man, go!”

I finished strong, sprinting the last 400 meters with a brief stop at the guard shack to get back on base. Walked a little over a quarter mile to get back. Love it.

Now, to keep hold of the song, especially the part about “See, I wanted her real bad, and was about to give in” the next time I start thinking about picking up a snack for the road.

links for 2007-05-29

iPod Shuffle

Randomduck threw this out there – “Just start your iPod, iTunes, or whatever music player you use, and write down the first ten tracks that come up. No cheating and skipping around until you get the cool songs.”

1. “Call My Name” Prince, Musicology
2. “Wishful Thinking”, Wilco, A Ghost is Born
3. “Unknown Soldier”, The Doors, Live in Concert
4. “Beat Box”, Maitsyshu, Live at Stubbs
5. “Less than you think”, Wilco, A Ghost is Born
6. “If It Don’t Take Two”, Shania Twain, The Woman in Me
7. “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”, The Beastie Boys, Paul’s Botique
8. “Hard to Concentrate”, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium
9. “KIdnapped!”, Robert Sorko, That These Things
10. “Inside”, Moby, Play

My question looking at the list? Who the heck is Robert Sorko? I’m guessing an iTunes freebie…

The list is pretty representative, even coming off the Nano, which has less than 10% of my library on it. Using iTunes, I get

1. “Don’t Need You”, Alejandro Escovido, A Man Under The Influence”
2. “Revolution”, Stone Temple Pilots, Revolution (Single)
3. “Pick Youself Up”, Dianna Krall, When I Look In Your Eyes
4. “White Christmas”, Vince Gill, Let There Be Peace On Earth
5. “What A Good Boy”, Barenaked Ladies, All Their Greatest Hits, 1991-2000
6. “Gentle Rain”, Art Farmer, A Taste of Jazz
7. “Merchant Ivory Punks”, MJ Hibbett and the Validators, *random download*
8. “Jet”, Paul McCartney and Wings, Wingspan: Hits
9. “The Best of What’s Around”, Dave Matthews Band, Under the Table and Dreaming
10. “Leaning (on Jesus)”, Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish, 2000 Oxford American Southern Music CD

OK, so the takeaway there? I haven’t deselected my Christmas Music yet. Call Me Slacker

PS: Song 11? “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” by ZZ Top. Yes, I am indeed.

The truth doesn’t hurt all that much…

Thanks to Kate for pointing this out. And, now that I look again, that picture even kind of resembles me…

Your Score: Pure Nerd

78 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 34% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the “dork.” No-longer. Being smart isn’t as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos

Beaten by a girl

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that)

It’s insanely beautiful up here. Worst part about summer at the Southern New England shore? Work. Tell me that it’s OK to spend a minimum of 40 hours inside when blue skies the color turquoise, filled with puffy white skies beckon. Tell me that, and I’ll call you a liar.

Work’s busy but great. My clients are happy, my projects are making progress (slowly), and I’ve currently only got a couple of developing personnel crises. Luckily, I’ve just had my 1 year anniversary, so I’m no longer a “provisional” employee. If I can spend some quality time with the requisition system tomorrow, I’ll go into the holiday feeling pretty good about life.

I applied for the backpacking permit for a Connecticut State Park for part of the weekend – the boys and I are going to go see if they’re ready to spend the night in the woods. Actually, scratch that – we’re GOING to go spend the night in the woods, far enough from the car that we can’t bail out at midnight and go home, and see if we get any sleep. My money’s 50/50 that the youngest pretty seriously freaks out. The oldest was asking to take his own tent – I put the kaibosh on that, ’cause (a) it’s one less potential freak out to deal with; and (b) I don’t want to carry it. The campsite is less than a mile from the car, so I don’t think anyone will get too tired.

I got home from the Y tonight, and Missy said “Wow, you look terrible. Swimming must really kill you.”

The problem, my friends, started after I’d done a 250m breast set and a 250m freestyle set. A woman started swimming in the lane immediately next to me, despite an empty entire rest of the pool. Long, languid, lazy strokes of freestyle – next to no splashing when the arms went in; really, really smooth rotary breathing every third stroke.

I started another set at one of her turns, and did 250m free pretty much keeping pace with her. She was turning again just as I finished the fifth lap. I rested a lap, and then started another 250m free, this time trying the fancy breathing on BOTH sides. Didn’t drown quite so much as usual. Almost, but not quite.

She’s still going. Splish, splish, splish, breathe, splish, splish, splish…

So, I do one last 250m free, trying to be relaxed and easy, breathing to the left every fourth stroke – she’s still there.

I thought about doing a final set of 5 laps, but decided that the honorable thing was to admit defeat and move on. I think she closed the place down.

Good on her.

Terramuggus Tri kicks off 14 June. I’m going to try to be there. For the record, it’s going to flat out kill me.

Easy as Fishin’

Nothing physical on Wednesday. Had to get into the office early to support a couple of meetings, and then get home early to support Missy’s book club.

IN support of the book club, the boys and I made ourselves scarce. Quick stop at the KFC, and then on to a little pond to go fishing. Good times.

There were rocks upon which to climb, ducks to look at, and a brand-new SpiderMan fishing pole for the youngest. Getting the SpiderMan fishing pole involved a stop at walmart, where the kid then insisted upon hanging from my arm and swinging around like Peter Parker just out of pull-ups.

Jake had the task of digging worms. Our yard is crazy with them, and last year he did an admirable job in getting them out. So, no question existed in my mind when I got home, and he handed me a plastic box with some dirt in it that it was crazy full of nightcrawlers.

7-year olds need backup. The neighbor-girl, who’s going to be a nightmare for her folks when she hits about 13, dumped out the worms ’cause she didn’t want Jake to hurt them. Jake added a couple of tiny, tiny, tiny worms when she wasn’t looking, and a centipede, and that was what we went fishing with.

Or, more accurately, dumped off the dock before we pulled out the jigs.

No fish, but the boys and I had a great time watching the shadows grow long and envelop the world. We left just as the tireds started to sink in with the youngest, and he started complaining about being cold, and asking for a flashlight. Good times.

Planes, Training, and Automobiles

Spent the last couple of days out of town. Good, good trip – man, I love my job.

Monday afternoon was a run on the BWI trail. It didn’t start out as such – I had 60 minutes to clear my inbox, run, and make it to dinner, so I was just intending to head out and back on the road. But, about 10 minutes in, I spotted the trail, did some rough guestimation, and turned the out’n’back to a loop.

Good choice – I’d forgotten exactly how cool the view from the hill overlooking the civil aviation runway was. Man, I love the spring.

Last night I managed to squeeze in a swim after getting home and seeing the kids. Bleh. 750 meters and I was wiped. Could have been any one of a number of reasons – I think I may be coming down with something; or I was dehydrated from traveling, whatver.