Monday, November 29, 2004
It has meant that I dropped the attempts to keep on the training schedule entirely, and instead I'm focused on continuing to get better. When I'm at 95% or so I'll start training for real again.
In the meantime, I felt good enough today to walk down to the grocery store after work, a decent little jaunt, and snag some stuff Eric didn't know to get when he went to the store because I forgot to put them on the list. I wore the new socks, which are WONDERFUL, and was only a little winded when I got back.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Ok. I'm impressed. I didn't ask for anything or expect anything, but a refund on the shipping is very nice. And, since the socks aren't actually damaged, I don't have to go through any hassle of returning anything. And hopefully no one else will go through a problem with their box being half-open. All told, a win.
The company that sent them got a nice (I hope) letter from me regarding their packaging and lack of ability thereof. See the box was completely trashed, and not just from UPS handling. The tape wasn't secured to the box, none of the corners of the box were taped, and a side of the box was completely open. It's a miracle all the pairs of socks arrived intact. As much as I hate packing stuff (and I really hate packing stuff), I would never have done such a poor job as whoever packed this one.
So I wrote to the company, and I hope to get either an apology or at least an acknowledgement of the poor job. If I don't, well... they use BizRate and I'll have to be honest in my evaluation of them.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Making sure you know the basis for my choices after the incident is as important to me as knowing how the incident went down. I did not in any way feel like I had captured some kind of "prize" video. In fact, I was heartsick. Immediately after the mosque incident, I told the unit's commanding officer what had happened. I shared the video with him, and its impact rippled all the way up the chain of command. Marine commanders immediately pledged their cooperation.
We all knew it was a complicated story, and if not handled responsibly, could have the potential to further inflame the volatile region. I offered to hold the tape until they had time to look into incident and begin an investigation -- providing me with information that would fill in some of the blanks.
For those who don't practice journalism as a profession, it may be difficult to understand why we must report stories like this at all -- especially if they seem to be aberrations, and not representative of the behavior or character of an organization as a whole.
The answer is not an easy one.
I knew NBC would be responsible with the footage. But there were complications. We were part of a video "pool" in Falluja, and that obligated us to share all of our footage with other networks. I had no idea how our other "pool" partners might use the footage. I considered not feeding the tape to the pool -- or even, for a moment, destroying it. But that thought created the same pit in my stomach that witnessing the shooting had. It felt wrong. Hiding this wouldn't make it go away. There were other people in that room. What happened in that mosque would eventually come out. I would be faced with the fact that I had betrayed truth as well as a life supposedly spent in pursuit of it.
When NBC aired the story 48-hours later, we did so in a way that attempted to highlight every possible mitigating issue for that Marine's actions. We wanted viewers to have a very clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the fighting on that frontline. Many of our colleagues were just as responsible. Other foreign networks made different decisions, and because of that, I have become the conflicted conduit who has brought this to the world.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I took a few pictures along the way. This first one is of one of the many, many rodents hanging from trees in Ravenna Park. I tried to get a picture of one tree that was covered with them, but they all scooted around to the other side of the tree before I got the shot off. This guy was just watching the pugs closely, even though the pugs don't usually show any interest in them.
As we walked over the ravine on the bridge, I saw a couple of spectacular trees showing off their autumn colors. Sadly, the picture doesn't nearly show how brilliant it was in real life, and according to Nancy the trees were far prettier only a couple of days ago. Still, you can get a tiny concept of how beautiful the view from the bridge is from this picture.
I've gotten another donation, this time from somebody who doesn't have a website I can link to. Thank you Maggie. Every donation keeps me going a bit longer.
Let me finish up today's report with news about my socks. Namely, they are on the way and due to be delivered to me next Tuesday. Not perfect, but I think I'll survive until then. I don't normally wear pink, but I guess I'll get used to wearing socks with a pink ribbon on them.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I went 3544 steps, down to the library and back. Nothing special, nothing hard. A bit over a mile and a half. I feel absolutely awful. Hopefully some hot cocoa, water, and rest will fix it, but I can't believe how bad I feel right now.
Anyway, mission accomplished, and here's today's rainy picture. This is the boulder at 183rd and SR 527, also known as the corner by the Ricketts building.
The plaque reads: Bothell High School's first State Championship came in 1927, when the boys basketball team upset highly favored Yakima. The whole town celebrated the feisty cougars' victory, continuously ringing the school bell (which now hangs at the Park at Bothell Landing) and dancing around a roaring bonfire.
Not much more to say to that one, except that I'm really thinking the animal representing Bothell is a cougar, not a lion. After all, it doesn't have a mane.
On the donation front... nothing new. I need to start making some serious efforts, but I don't like asking for money. I just have to remind myself that it's not for me, it's for breast cancer research. And anyone can get breast cancer.
If you feel like helping out, visit my donation inspiration page to put your money where my feet are.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Sunday, November 14, 2004
The Seahawks didn't do so good. I watched part of it, but not the end. It just wasn't that interesting a game.
The Thunderbirds also won another one last night.
Overll, not a bad weekend for Seattle sports, surprise, surprise.
At the Orientation, the coach suggested WrightSocks. One reason to get these socks in particular is because they sell pink ribbon socks in which a portion of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer research. I went off and ordered some after a quick check of prices. I'll mention when they arrive. In the meantime, I expect to go through my old pairs of socks fairly quickly. I don't have any socks that aren't already nearly worn through. Will my old socks last long enough for the new ones to arrive? Or will I wallow in despair as I stumble around town with holes in my socks... tune in next time for the answers...
Sorry, went into cheesy TV mode there. As I mentioned, we walked the other half of the Loop today, and I got a couple more pictures of boulders. We actually have visited every boulder now, all nineteen that are installed. I've only covered three of them here... because I want a reason to do the loop repeatedly. Once that fun is over, though, I wonder what I'll do for entertainment on long walks?
This is the boulder near City Hall, at 183rd and 101st. I think this is actually the first boulder I stopped to look at, and the first one I ever paid any attention to.
The plaque reads: Bothell Ordinance 1, dated August 4, 1889, prohibits apes from using the streets of Bothell during July and August. No, I don't know why apes are prohibited in July and August, but it sounds like you could get an interesting story out of it without even knowing the facts. The "ape" on the plaque is the owl that represents the school, acting very ape-like.
I also took a picture of the sidewalk in front of the police station, which has a painted on notice of the loop:
There are several places around Bothell where you can see the words and arrows. They don't quite tell you where to look for the boulders, though, and without the map I don't think I could find most of them even with the help from the sidewalks.
Nothing new on the donation front. It would be nice to get more, but I don't expect anything more until I start pleading again, and I don't feel much like pleading yet. I will tell you how much I've spent on this so far, though. The registration fee was $90, and I paid that when I signed up. I just bought six pairs of special socks for $45. So my total out for this so far is $135. I still need to get new shoes, which won't be cheap. I plan on using my current two pairs as long as I can stand them before buying new. I may end up having to get as many as four more pairs before The Walk, depending on a lot of factors. In any case, I'll have to have two pairs of shoes with me during The Walk itself.
If you want to donate, it will help a lot. It's easier for me to justify buying shoes and socks... and eventually other clothing like shorts... if I've got the donations backing me up on the walk itself.
That's all for now. Tomorrow is crosstraining Monday, and if I go, it'll be swimming.
Anyway, I was reminded of politics by a self-righteous torture-supporter who decided to apparently make a Blogger ID just to harass me. What a complete dope! What an utter moron! Does anyone really think that they can change my mind by spamming my comments?
Since this person clearly wants me to respond, I will go against my usual policy of not feeding the trolls with some political commentary. All of those people who aren't idiots because they didn't vote for Bush, or voted for Bush out of ignorance instead of sheer evil, can just skip this entry.
First off, I will NEVER apologize for my opinion. I'm entitled to my opinion, and if you don't want to read my opinion, you don't have to come to my blog. I don't force my opinion on other people by spamming their comments. I don't harass people through e-mail. I've kept my opinions on my blog, and even further removed them from the public eye by moving them to this blog, which isn't as well-read as my other.
The person who is harassing me has decided to do so anonymously. This person has come to my blog repeatedly, and posted comments on blog entries that had absolutely NOTHING to do with politics. Instead of writing his/its/her opinions on his/its/her own blog, this person has choosen to come to mine and force me to read his/its/her vile language and stupidity. I have news for you, scumbag, I don't CARE about your opinion. I might have, once upon a time, if you'd presented it politely, logically, and with a real name to go with it instead of nastily and anonymously. But now? No. All you've done is confirmed what I thought of many people who voted for Bush. All you've done is made me hate your kind (Rethuglicans) even more. You're a self-righteous idiot, and I hope that you suffer dearly under Dubya's thumb, since you asked for it.
Now, a couple more thoughts on politics:
Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism, 14 of which match Rovian politics. So maybe I should be calling Dubya fans Fascists instead of scumbag idiots? For the record, I don't think America is becoming Fascist, yet. I think we're definitely on that road, though, and anyone who continues to support Bush knowing what he's done might as well call themselves Fascists.
The Problem With Electronic Voting Machines by Bruce Schneier.
Walking the walk on family values... guess what state has the lowest divorce rate? Massachusetts, that horrible liberal state. Oddly enough, most of the "red states" are full of hypocrites who claim to be moral but when pressed turn out to not even come close to living up to the standards they hold the rest of the world to. See, they are completely "do as I say, not as I do" like Rush Limbaugh the drug addict.
Dubya is going to purge the CIA. Is he getting rid of people who gave him bad advice and wrong information on Iraq? No! He's getting rid of anyone not loyal to him. Is that the actions of a democratically elected official? Tell me again, are you stupid enough to believe Dubya?
Lastly, I've turned off comments again. This is to keep the troll from bothering me. You see, I don't want to hear from it. I'm not interested in the opinions of a torture-supporting pendejo. To the troll: Since you can't take a hint, I'll tell you flat out: Go away. Leave me alone. I think you are stupid and sick in the head, and I will ALWAYS believe that. You aren't even brave enough to use your name. You're just another hypocrite. Go Cheney yourself.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
During the short walk, I hit four of the boulders on the Town-Gown Loop, and took a picture of the one at 102nd and 183rd, which is actually the same boulder you see in my third training report.
The plaque reads: Every Christmas season from the 1930's through the 1970's an immense fir tree at the corner of main street and 102nd Avenue NE glowed with lights strung by community groups. The December, 1962 issue of Life Magazine recognized the 112 foot tall, nine foot diameter fir as "The World's Largest Living Christmas Tree." Disease attacked the tree in the late 70's, and the top section had to be removed. The image is of the Lion/Cougar that represents Bothell tangled up in Christmas lights.
The Orientation was a bit of a disappointment, as I had heard most of the news and information from Eric already. There were some new bits, like the level of commitment needed from the Crew, and the ratios of donations that actually go to the Cancer foundations. They also made it absolutely clear that all donations are tax deductible. In fact, if somebody donates this year, then donates again next year, they can get two years of deductions out of the one walk. There was a lot on fundraising, and people's worries about getting enough money.
For the record, at least 70% of what get raised goes directly into Cancer research, the minimum amount to raise is the level at which it goes to 30/70, with the 30% needed to support the walk itself. If I raise more, the ratio will get better and more money will go to Cancer research. The ratio can only get better.
Well, much more to do... I need to concentrate on getting healthy now.
Friday, November 12, 2004
After yesterday's walk I decided to e-mail the city of Bothell and ask about where the various hills are, not to mention what happened to the missing boulder. To my surprise, I got a response first thing this morning!
Nike Hill, listed as the tallest on the boulder I wrote about yesterday, is the same hill that I stupidly climbed in my Dodge Caravan during a winter storm. You see, I wanted to get home, and as the storm started I thought to go the alternate route, forgetting about the very large hill along the way. Had I been smart, when I got to the bottom of the hill I would have turned back and tried the other route, but I'm stubborn and was already stressed from driving that far in the icy snow. The streets were getting slicker by the moment, and I didn't want to end up in a ditch somewhere, so I aimed the van up the hill and kept up a steady acceleration. To my immense surprise, considering the condition of the tires on that poor thing, I slowly but surely climbed to the top. While I climbed, other cars attempted the hill. Some made it up, but most of them would get a bit up the hill then slide back down. That was how slick it was.
When I got to the top of what I now know is Nike Hill, I thought the hard part was over. Foolish me. I still had to get down the hill. As I started down, it quickly became apparent that down is much, MUCH harder than up. I spun out constantly. I was really lucky that there was no other car in front of me, and no ditch... just a wide shoulder. I have often stated that I believe I had a guardian angel stopping my van while I went down that hill... and I still believe that. There were several times that I knew I was going to crash into somebody's retaining wall, but I stopped just in time. I eventually made it safely to the bottom without hitting anyone, and was able to continue home. Ironically, it was on a much more gentle hill on the way home that I finally got stuck thanks to someone who couldn't push their car out of the way so people could go around. Luckily, there were enough people there to give the van a gentle shove that I managed to be stuck for only a minute.
The e-mail from Bothell said that the hill was named for the military base at the top, which I've passed many times, that housed Nike anti-missile batteries during the Cold War. I admit to being curious as to what it was called before the Cold War.
Norway Hill is the hill just South of downtown. It was the one I suspected it to be. I don't have a fun story to go along with Norway Hill. I do think the name is appropriate for me and Eric, though.
As for the missing boulder, it hasn't been installed yet! There was a construction project going on when the boulders were placed, and they were waiting for the project to be finished before installing the boulder. Now it's on the city's "to do" list, just waiting. At least I know now that I didn't miss it, it really isn't there.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
I had vague hopes of being able to do the entire Town-Gown Loop, but that was not to be. In addition to feeling ill, I needed a restroom badly before we'd gone halfway, and everything was closed because of the holiday. So we did about half the loop and came home. The pedometer says 3562. A bit less than two miles.
I didn't take pictures of all the Town-Gown Loop boulders because I wanted a reason to go back and revisit. We found and read nine of the boulders. One of them appeared to be missing from its spot on the map.
This one is the one at the corner of 103rd and 185th.
It reads: "The highest point in Bothell is 506 feet on the top of Nike Hill (the summit of Norway Hill, at 480 feet, is second-highest). The lowest is 19 feet, where the Sammamish River leaves Bothell and enters Kenmore." The image is of an Owl (which on the other plaques that show the City and School together represents the school) holding a flag that says "Bothell" on top of a hill.
No, I'm not sure where Nike Hill or Norway Hill are. I've been living here for five years and still don't know the landmarks.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I downloaded a map of the Bothell Town-Gown Loop, and if I'm not seriously sick, I'll walk it tomorrow sometime. It looks like a very solid 3 mile route with plenty to look at and take pictures of along the way. It also visits some spots in Bothell that I've never been to, like the Pioneer Cemetery, despite living here for a few years. There appear to be 20 boulders, each with a unique fun fact, so I'll try to get pictures of all of them for the page.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
I thought the Sonics were really bad this year, as I've even heard people saying the coach was in danger of losing his job, only three games into the season. I looked up Seattle's record to figure out why, and still couldn't see it, as the Sonics are 2-1. And they seem to be handling the Nuggets ok. I finally thought to look at their pre-season record, which was awful. I thought the pre-season didn't matter, but that's the only reason I can see for people making a fuss about how bad they are.
You want a Seattle team that's doing well this year, though, check out the Thunderbirds. They've only lost four games out of sixteen so far this season. Not bad at all.
And, despite their three-game trip up, the Seahawks aren't doing all that badly, either. Halfway through the season and they've got a five and three record. Nothing to sneeze at.
My feet did fine this time, the only pain was in my shins, and that was from walking a bit too "smartly". I think I went into marching band mode and was actually using the glide step. Not bad for when you are playing an instrument, but terrible for distance walking.
When I realized my camera was out of battery power, I lost a lot of energy. It really is helping me to have a goal of taking a cool picture somewhere along the route. I need to keep my back-up batteries fully charged, or risk being depressed again.
I came back home on a slightly different route, through the Bothell Landing Shopping Plaza, which is across the street from the park. I was hoping to find a public restroom, actually, but didn't spot any. I did get the feeling that I can learn a lot more about Bothell by walking around it than I have in the last few years of living here.
The library really is a heckuva lot closer to our house than I'd realized. I need to walk to it more often. We really did luck out on the location of this house.
Tomorrow is my scheduled rest day, no walking or crosstraining. Thursday is another walk, Friday is crosstraining, and then walks on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, my orientation meeting is on Saturday, and maybe I'll find another local to walk with. I need to remember... the meeting is in the morning, at 10:15 am. It's at the library, so I can walk to it. I must remember... meeting is in the morning...
This is a boulder on the City of Bothell Town-Gown Loop. In addition to having this bit about the City of Bothell and the college joining together (represented by a lion and an owl), every boulder along the route also has some "fun fact" about Bothell. As I was about to take a picture of the fun fact for this boulder, the camera gave up. However, I did find out that the Loop is almost 3 miles... so I've got another route to try.
Today's walk was longer than the first two, and a bit chilly when I started out. I'm not sure I quite got in three miles, because my pedometer kept stopping. When it did work, however, I discovered that 2000 steps is indeed very close to one mile. In the end, it showed 5070 steps. I think I did go the full three miles, but I won't count it as such.
I had some brief pain in my lower legs, mostly in the shin areas. Nothing serious, and when I relaxed and stopped trying to march it made a big difference. Some small part of me wants to make a big production out of this.
Monday, November 08, 2004
The big news is that I got a donation! My friend and fellow comic book fan Elayne Riggs is the first one to actually register a donation at my donation site. THANK YOU, Elayne! That got me fired up for this week's walks. I went from wondering if I could actually make the minimum to raring to go out and do this.
Ok, more tomorrow after I get a walk in. I'll try to get a picture of something other than a fowl.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Friday, November 05, 2004
The walk was a bit shorter than 2 miles, it was 3532 steps according to my cheapie pedometer. The claim is that 2000 steps is a mile, roughly. I'm still well short of the 3 miles where the training schedule starts at, but I think I might be able to do it, I just need to find a few good routes that are about that distance.
If you want to give me some inspiration, I could use a donation. Just one donation, even just $5 would make me feel a lot better. Click here to donate, or on the image:
If there's a lack of money, you could also leave me a comment to help inspire me.
And yes, I still feel the need for new socks/shoes. I think that's going to be one of the highest priorities for the first couple of months. I'm not too terribly worried about a lot of this, but taking care of my feet is important.
In the meantime, Mike Hargrove was announced as the M's new manager some time ago. I'm looking forward to seeing what, if anything, he brings to the team.
I won't say that the M's have nowhere to go but up, but it would be hard for them to do much worse than this year...
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Monday is always listed as a rest day, which might work for me. I do plan on continuing my Monday swims, though, so I have to consider those. The swims are generally not high impact, but they might replace one of the "cross training" days.
Tuesday is listed as an "easy walk" day, topping out in the later weeks at 6 miles, and never going below 3 miles. I'll have to work up to 3 miles, but I've got a few weeks to do that. One mile today wasn't a big effort, and if it hadn't have been getting dark I might have managed another mile. The river park is at the 9 1/2 milepost on the trail, so if I went in either direction to the next milepost and back, that's two miles (from home and back). That will definitely be my next goal.
Wednesday is listed as "Moderate Crosstrain", starting at zero minutes for the first four weeks (making it a second restday) then gradually working up to 45 minutes. I'm thinking "exercise bike" for Wednesday. I could also do the Wednesday swim, depending on what happens.
Thursday is listed as "Moderate Walk", and again has the three mile minimum.
Friday is another Crosstraining day, this one going from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. More exercise bike, unless I switch it with the Monday swim.
Saturday and Sunday are the big walking days, with distances topping out at 30+ miles for the weekend. Four weeks before The Walk, I should be able to manage two back-to-back 15 miles days, according to the chart.
For this week... I'm not sure what I should do. Today's walk was nice and mild, and maybe I should just plan on duplicating it tomorrow. Or, if Eric wants to get into the act, I can bike tomorrow, then walk with Eric on Friday. I don't think I'll try to fit into the regular suggested schedule until next Monday. All of this could change if I find another Bothell walker who wants to join me, or if I learn something important at the orientation meeting Saturday next.
"Training for what?" you ask? Well, hey, I've just signed up to do the Seattle 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, and I need to get in shape. I've got about 37 weeks to get ready to walk 60 miles in 3 days.
After signing up today, I felt obligated to start out with a small walk to kick off the training. I wasn't sure where to go, since I don't really like the walking options in our neighborhood. After some thought, and some false starts, I decided to walk from our home down to Sammamish River Park, about a half mile away. Originally I was going to drive down to the park then walk along the trail, but that seemed... wrong, somehow.
I don't know how long it took me, but it wasn't a bad walk at all. The last time I walked that far was with Eric, and I think he set the pace too fast for me because I didn't have any of the problems I've had when I walk with him. When I got to the park, I was surrounded by ducks almost immediately... sinister ducks... and had to pull out my camera for a shot. Of course they scattered, so I only got one. See... sinister.
I suspect I'll be taking my camera along quite a bit on my training walks, both because I intend to have it with me on the 3-Day itself and because it will give me a goal within a goal for my walks.
The walk back was a little more difficult, and I found that I'm going to need new shoes and, particularly badly, new socks long before I expected to need them. But on the other hand, it's good to find out now, when the walk is so far away. But that's another worry. In addition to the money I need to raise to participate, I'm going to need to raise a bit of money to outfit myself with another pair or two of shoes and some good socks. If I can find it, I intend to wear my Legoland hat during training and the 3-Day, and T-shirts are just not a problem for me. But socks... I'm going to need some really good socks.
Fortunately, I'll probably be way too old to be of interest to be drafted myself. I hope...
As for Bush, the best I can hope for now is that he will choke on his own ego before he does any more serious damage. I'm not confident in that. In any case, Bush will never be president in my eyes, if for nothing else than for the horrors of Abu Ghraib that Bush not only approved of, but made possible by his actions. In my opinion, any person who voted for Bush voted for Abu Ghraib. Anyone who voted for Bush this year is an accomplice to prison torture.
And I hope the young'uns enjoy the draft. I know that if I'm called to wage Bush's war, I won't go. I don't believe in wars based on lies. If he wants to draft me to actually go after real terrorists, that's one thing, but to go invade an unrelated country? No way. I will never take up arms for a madman like Bush. And anyone who chooses to join the military now, knowing that Bush is a scumbag traitor, is also scum. Wait until the madman is gone, then join up.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
Republicans say Democrats are trying to get more people to vote, including people who can't vote for various reasons.
Apparently, the more people who vote, the worse off the Republican party is. So which party believes in a true democracy, I wonder? The one trying to get people to vote, or the one trying to stop people from voting?