27 July 2010

On Death

Dad spent his last month hoping for the success of treatments that were, in retrospect, nearly certain to fail. He died early one Tuesday morning in a hospital room with my mother at his side. I don't believe that any of the treatments from the time his cancer was diagnosed lengthened his life at all, and I am certain they lowered the quality of life in those those weeks. I regret the decisions we made because we were not prepared to make them. What some excoriate as "death panels" are actually frank conversations about choices. Choices we are all likely to face, whether we are ready or not.

This New Yorker article is particularly good, covering some of the issues we struggled with as my father died of cancer as well as in the years since. I read it with tears in my eyes. It's fairly long and parts are not easy reading, but it's important. You and everyone you love is going to die, ready or not. Don't squander those last moments.

Facebook

If you are reading this, it is nearly certain that you already know I'm on Facebook now. I'm still figuring out what goes where, but for the most part, I think I'll put thoughtful/lengthy stuff here and mundane/frivolous stuff there.

19 July 2010

Hope Springs Eternal


I am looking forward to this season. Liverpool won't compete for the title, but they still have the quality to enter every match with a legitimate chance at three points, and I would honestly be quite happy with 38 entertaining league matches (and a Champions League spot)

Summers are usually intolerable, but not this year thanks to the World Cup. Still, the doldrums have set in and I have little more than outrageous transfer rumors to entertain me.

Losing Benayoun was a blow; I like having creative players in the side. That said, I think Joe Cole is an upgrade (and English). Jovanovic will not make anyone forget Rush or Dalglish, but he is nonetheless clearly our second best striker. Now we need a left back. And some cover at fullback. And maybe another good winger. And...

I also think Carragher is soon to be (if not already) a problem. The Anfield faithful are loyal to a fault; their love for players like Carra is unconditional. Carragher is still serviceable, but no longer at the top of the game. At the World Cup his lack of pace was exposed, and at 32 he is likely in inexorable decline. Though Rafa was rightly called to task for his dedication to a rotation policy a few years back, I think Carragher should no longer be an automatic selection for every match. Of course on the other hand, I thought Hyypia was done a year ago, and he managed to start all but two matches last year for Bayer Leverkusen.

16 July 2010

Last One, I Promise


I've been accused of overdoing it, but indulge me one last time as this image is better than the cell phone photo originally posted.

13 July 2010

Welcome

This because we had a petty theft in the office. The video equipment cost several times the theft loss.

12 July 2010

Finals

Dutch accusations of favoritism by Webb ring hollow given that de Jong should have been shown a straight red for his karate kick to Alonso's chest. The Dutch tactics in the middle of the first half were effective, but ugly and cynical; whatever sympathy I might have had for the Oranje evaporated from that point.

By every measure, Spain deserved the win.

There is ongoing discussion of introducing technology to officiating, but I think simply stationing two more assistants (as was done in the Europa League) could avoid the most egregious errors. In American football, video replays take about three minutes to resolve, so I'd rather not see it in soccer.

11 July 2010

30 = XLIV

One of the guys in my high school class is director of communications for the New Orleans Saints. He brought the Lombardi trophy to our reunion, which is how I came to have this photo taken.

08 July 2010

Next Up

I'm registered for a half marathon that will run on October 3rd; training starts next week.

I'm giving serious thought to running the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon (part of the Rock and Roll marathon series) on February 13; the 18 week training schedule I've picked out would start the week after the half and calls for running 434 miles. At a 10 minute pace, that's 72 hours of running. Strangely, 72 hours doesn't sound as scary to me as 434 miles.

26 miles in one race is still hard to comprehend. On the other hand, six months ago my goal for the whole year was just to run a 10k, and now I've run three of them plus a half marathon to boot and the year is just half over.

Race Pictures

Both came out reasonably well. I might actually buy one for a change.

Philosophy

I earned a fair number of philosophy credits in college, but I wasn't necessarily happy about it.

I enjoyed this article more than any of those assigned readings (none of which, I am confident, used the expression "hard-ass").

06 July 2010

Why is that?

(I started this entry a week ago; Sunday's euphoria hasn't worn off so there has been respite for the last couple of days)

Left unchecked, my inner monologue consists of pretty harsh self assessment. Sometimes, I give these thoughts voice; afterward, I usually see that I was (subconsciously) fishing for affirmation from others.

But there's nobody else inside my head to object to the litany of self-abuse. So why do I keep cataloging my inadequacies (real and imagined)?

04 July 2010

A Great Race

First of all, the logistics of organizing a race with 55,000 entrants is pretty daunting. The Peachtree Road Race has been running for over forty years, so obviously they've had lots of opportunities to learn from past mistakes. As a friend said before the race, this is the best run race he's seen, and I'd say the same. Each starting wave has around 2,500 runners, so it's not so much one race with 55,000 runners as 23 races starting 3-4 minutes apart. Placement in the early waves requires a verified time, so I didn't have to dodge walkers for the first mile (which was not the case in May's 5k).

The weather was as good as you could reasonably hope for a race held in Atlanta in early July. A bank sign along the way said the temperature was 21/70; probably about right. Most of the time we were running in shade. Just as importantly we have had some recent relief from the humidity. Between the third and fourth mile marker the course is uphill, but another friend pointed out that, having just run three miles on a gentle downhill, you actually feel pretty fresh. When I finished that hill I was pretty confident about the remainder.

I had my phone keeping time in a belt pack so I didn't wear a watch. As a result, I didn't know what my pace was until after the race. I felt really good through the whole race (the entire course is lined with cheering spectators, with lots of live bands along the way as well). Unlike the Possum Trot a couple of weeks ago, I had no trouble breathing. At the end of the race, I honestly felt like I could run another six miles. Before the race I didn't expect a PR, but I posted one; I took over five minutes off my best 10k time, which now stands at fifty six minutes and change. Needless to say, I'm very pleased.

One hour before

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