Oh, I’ve been running all right

We did the turkey trot again.

Though something was WAY off this year.

(As an aside, can I say that the commercial that’s running on ESPN for RockBand – the sequel to GuitarHero – has me stoked, even though I’ll never, ever, get an XBox. There’s this bus, running through the desert, with guys doing some song on top of it. Man, for the days when rock and/or roll was dangerous).

The something that was way off was the weather. Instead of frigid and wet, it was dry and warm. To the point that the folks who did the “dip” part of the Turkey Trot and Dip actually played in the river instead of immediately running for the heater.

Race was good. Jake made the entire mile, and Nate got out of the stroller and made it over the hill in the Y-Parking lot and all the way to the finish line. Missy rocked the 3 miler.

We got our number drawn during the post-race raffle. Missy grabbed the good bottle of wine, but Nate decided we REALLY needed a YMCA bag for the boys to use for swimming lessons. So, we’ve got a good bag, and Missy and I are paying for our next date.

I ran home from the Y. It should have been phenomenal, ‘cept I took a wrong turn, and what was supposed to be 7 miles turned into 10 miles, mostly uphill.

The upside? I made it over the Old Mystic hill, and showed I’ve got more in the tank than I thought I had.

The downside? 174 before I got on the plane this morning…

Word of the Day

So, I subscribe to Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day. Usually, it bores me (Rocked the SAT Verbal).

Today? Deipnosophist

How cool is that?

Best part, is I think I can use it. It’s defined as “Someone who is skilled in table talk”, which describes lots and lots of folks I encounter in my job.


Interesting bit on Amazon’s new e-Book, the Kindle.

I’m intrigued, despite the $400 price tag without content. I’ve started riding a van to the office, and it’d be cool to be able to carry along the PDFs I’m reading (converted to .mobi files via a free utility), or to be able to cheaply and quickly buy content via “whispernet” (EVDO) if the whim struck me.

But I’m concerned at the same time about the underlying thread that runs through ALL of this technological love-affair: That we, as a species, are going to be able to generate ‘lectricity from now until the heat death of the universe, give or take a couple billion years.

The killer appeal of paper is that it doesn’t need batteries. Kindle boasts some pretty impressive power stats, but eventually, on time-scales much shorter than years, it becomes a brick.

Maybe that’s OK. Maybe, if things deteriorate to the point at which we cannot make electricity any longer, it won’t be worth reading anything from the 2012 best sellers list, and having all that information spread into entropy is fine.

But I’ve got this vision, of a ragged and buffed 20-something, after the end of modern civilization, finding the Nebraska University library there in Lincoln*, climbing the stairs, and beginning to reconstitute civilization, learning from our mistakes this time.

In some ways, I suppose it’s a luddite point of view. I don’t think so – I’m looking forward to the power that will come with instant and cheap access to all the world’s knowledge. My hope, however, is that we don’t opt to clean off our shelves to save space or costs.

Unsolved mysteries like Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and the Bimini Road fascinate me. Maybe there’s something to the tin-foil-hat crowd that claims that stone-age technology couldn’t be accurate enough masons to stack the pyramids, or that there are lost civilizations under the Atlantic. Why haven’t we heard about them?

Maybe they were all digital. Maybe when they all fell apart, the only folks who were left were the beauticians and the telephone sanitizers, who had no clue how to work or build their advanced technologies. Maybe given a half-million years to work, nature swallowed up most of the traces of their civilizations, while we descendants of the dregs rebuilt the world in our own image.

Maybe history is cyclic, the Maya are right, and the world will end in 2012. Maybe we’ll burn books for fuel as daises grow in the center of IH-95. Maybe it’s inevitable.

Hug a book today.

*Picked a place in flyover country on the theory that they’ll avoid being completely looted and burned. Us coastal dwellers are doomed.

Oh … Yeah … Tagged


  • Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  • Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  • Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

My tagger? Hip

5 Facts:

  1. I lived in Hawaii for three years. I don’t remember a day of it, and haven’t been back since the early 70’s.
  2. If there’s sewing to be done in Casa Jankowski, it’s me that’s breakin’ out the Singer, not my lovely wife. My ma, about the time I was 10 or 12, handed me a needle and thread and told me I was on my own.
  3. I can brew beer from nothing but water, malted barley, and hops. Scratch that – I can brew GOOD beer from nothing but water, malted barley, dregs from the last batch of homebrew, and hops given no tools other than a big propane burner, a coil of copper tubing connected to the garden hose, a giant pot, a 5 gallon gatorade cooler with a frying pan splatter screen jammed into the bottom, and a big glass jug in which to let it percolate.
  4. Uuuuhhh – I dig musicals? Not like recent musicals, like Cats or Phantom. Don’t get me started – really, there’s like nothing that Andrew Lloyd Webber did that I can hear without gagging. But start in on an old-school musical like Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein/Heart, or Gershwin – Man, I’m hooked. Stuff you can sing along with. Stuff written in 4/4 time that can bounce around in your head while you run.
  5. I’ve never killed a deer, and have absolutely no desire to. I come from a family of hunters, and really, really love to go out shooting birds. Waking up at 0200 to go sit in the dark in a duck blind in 40 degree weather while a fine misty rain falls down is honestly high on my list of things that’s enjoyable. And I even really like venison. And my objections aren’t even ethical or squeamish; I’ve little doubt that the only reason deer exist is as nourishment for those of us who have been blessed with / who have evolved the ability to make tools or been gifted with teeth and claws. It’s just that I really don’t want to have to deal with schlepping 150 lbs of steaming deer carcass out of the woods and back to the car.

Tagees: ShoreTurtle, Doc, Am, Jon, who needs a boost in general, and April-Anne

Trivia – November ’07

Trivia tonite.

It really amazes me how much I love living in a small town in New England. I dug our off-year local elections (No on the senior center to replace the really nice senior center they’ve already got, no on the heated pool if they approved the senior center, and yes for the animal shelter ’cause I’m on the verge of becoming a bleeding heart – Obama ’08 if Ron Paul or Huckabee lose the ‘pub nomination). And the monthly trivia night at the Harp and Hound downtown is the icing on the cake.

I broke down tonite and ran after the van got back to the carpool lot. Nothing exciting, 4.3 miles. 10 minutes warmup, two halfhearted 800s around the soccer field – no track, no lights, just running on turf, which is wicked tough, and 15 minutes of cooldown.

And the monthly bike downtown to the pub. Couple of beers – we lost again (stupid Gimballs parade), and a 45 minute ride back to the house in the dark. Took a new and different long way – only saw three cars.

It’s an interesting crowd – there’s a couple of teams from either Conn College or Mitchell, a bunch of Pfizer types, usually a team from out-of-town, a couple of Navy teams, and us – a combination of engineers and n’ere-do-wells from around town. There’s good beer, no room, and it beats watching television.

The ride home for me is the best bit, though. There’s a serendipity to spinning as transportation, feeling the fog roll in off of the Sound, and appreciating the silence that follows the first hard frost. Good sleep tonight. I hope it’s still warm in three weeks.

Flu Mist

So, I hadn’t thought about it much, but there’s a pun up there.

And, yeah, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted. I owe Jeff a meme, Mark an article, and a slew of congratulations to David, Danny, and everyone else who’s done marathons.

So, let’s take this in reverse chronological order:

This weekend: Missy and I took place in the 5.5 mile tribute run on Friday. Neither of us really follow the marathon scene, but the idea of a guy literally running his heart out is moving. So, while I took the kids to swimming, Missy ran to the Y, and then I ran home. Did the 5.5 for Ryan and another 4.5 for myself. Life is good.

Sunday night was an aborted camping trip – Jake and I headed out to the woods, had supper, and started sleeping. Turns out he’s a really light sleeper, and I mistook that for being on the verge of hypothermia, so we hiked out at one in the morning, in the dark. Which ended up being extremely cool in its own way. When we got home, we snuck into the guest room downstairs and pulled the door shut behind us. Missy and Nate didn’t realize we were in until we walked out after they were eating breakfast. The extra sleep was nice.

I had a great run while on travel last week, but am having trouble getting in runs during the week. I started riding a van-pool, which rocks for giving me an extra two hours in each day to do whatever the heck it is I want, but giving up flexibility is tough. I can’t delay leaving for work, and even though I’m consistently getting home earlier than I did before, I feel obliged to spend the time saved with the wife and kids, as I’m essentially getting personal productive time while I’m on the van (Such as time to catch up on my RSS feeds and eventually to blog on a regular basis).

So, schedule is going to be in flux. Plus, there’s cool stuff coming up at the end of this month that is really going to throw everything to the breeze.

Two weekends ago was a bust. The remnants of a hurricane blew through, marking the first nor’easter of the year. Plus, I had drill, which pretty much kills weekends. The flu mist completely killed me – on Saturday night I was asleep by 8, even before my oldest kid hit the hay. Sunday wasn’t much better, ’cause I was dreading heading to the 8th day of work in a row…

So, that’s pretty much it. Overall, I’ve got nothing to complain about. Once I get logistics worked out, the van is going to be a godsend – keeping me on a regular schedule. But for the time being, there are kinks to work out.