Tuesday, June 21, 2005


What a difference a week makes! I'm feeling really good this morning, since I set my alarm for 6:30 am and then Eric came in and made sure I got up and went on a morning walk with him. We did a three mile slightly hilly loop around Maywood Hill, where we live. It was a nice comfortable walk, and I got to really test out my new foot brace as well. Amazingly, at the end of the walk, my heel didn't hurt at all. And even more amazingly, after sitting and reading blogs for 45 minutes, it barely hurt at all when I stood up. It seems the brace is working!

It's also much easier to walk in the morning, before the sun hits and heats up the air. My body still thinks it's winter even though Summer starts today.

I still have a ways to go to be ready for the walk, but I also have just over four weeks to prepare. I think I can do it.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Senator Durbin

Crossposted from Bloggity: This is so incredibly important, so vital for people to understand, that I can't stay silent about it. The following rant is only directed at my fellow citizens of the United States of America.

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here — I almost hesitate to put them in the record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold... On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor."

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

This is the statement that Senator Durbin of Illinois made recently on the floor. The full statement is here (pdf).

Look at what the Senator said. He did NOT say that our guards are Nazis or Stalinists. He did NOT say that Gitmo is a death camp. He said that if you read the account of the torture that prisoners are being put through at Gitmo without knowing who was committing it, or where it was taking place, you would not believe that Americans had done it. This is because such torture is so completely unAmerican that it is nearly unthinkable, and yet IT IS HAPPENING. And worst of all, AMERICANS ARE COMMITTING THIS TORTURE.

Think about it. People are being tortured in our name. In your name. In my name. People are being tortured and the current government not only isn't condemning it, they condone it and are even making excuses for it. We, as Americans, should not be allowing this to happen.

Senator Durbin was speaking out of pure disbelief and disgust, and if you aren't just as disgusted and angry as Durbin is that these acts are being committed in your name, I find it hard to accept that you were raised in the same free country that I was raised in.

Torture is wrong. If you believe that torture is wrong, then stand with Senator Durbin. Call your senators and representative and let them know that Senator Durbin speaks for you, that you are every bit as disgusted and horrified at the torture being committed as he is. I just did. And I wrote to Durbin to let him know that I fully support his statement.

If you think that torture is good, then I pray that you never fall into the hands of someone who thinks the same way you do, because I don't wish such a fate even on people who deserve it.

There is no excuse for torture. It does not yield reliable results. It makes people resent the torturers even more, leading to more terrorists. It creates a culture of fear and hate. It is demeaning to both the tortured and the torturers. Torture is wrong.

I stand with Senator Durbin.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

If I'm Counting Right...

...and I may not be, but if I am counting right, I've got just $300 left to raise until I can walk in the 3-Day. That's just 20 people giving $15 each. I'm really almost there. I still have the drawing that people can participate in. But the deadline for donations is looming. If you want to mail in a check, you need to send it by June 14th, that's just six more days. If you want to donate on-line with a credit card, you've got until July 7th... under a month now. The Walk itself is just six weeks away. SIX WEEKS. AND THEN I'LL BE WALKING 60 MILES IN 3 DAYS. WHAT KIND OF INSANE PERSON AM I, ANYWAY?!?? Ahem. I'm almost there. Only $300 left to go.

Please Donate

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More Politics

Rossi couldn't resist a swipe at the state supreme court after losing his battle with prejudice when every single one of his charges turned out to be false. Instead of bowing out gracefully, Rossi whined that he was conceding "because of the political makeup of the Washington State Supreme Court". In other words, Rossi believes the non-partisan judges on the Supreme Court are stacked against him.

Whine whine whine. That's all Rossi has done since the final recount. This from the man who said that if HE were behind after the second recount that he wouldn't demand a third recount and would bow out gracefully. He's been anything but graceful since. He's a hypocrite and a sore loser and I'm really glad he's not the governor now.

I mean, good grief... the Republican secretary of state certified the elections, Rossi's team hand-picked a Republican-leaning judge to hear their arguments in a Republican stronghold county, and then Vance and Rossi cherry-picked their evidence to try to prove a lie... and they still have the gall to act like something unfair has happened and accuse the state supreme court, which had nothing to do with this decision, of being partisan.

Rossi owes the entire state an apology for his childish behavior. We'll never get it, but he certainly owes it.

Hopefully, attention will now turn to fixing the problems in the election system, and not just in King County as the Democrats turned up proof of bigger problems (with regards to percentage of population) in other counties during the trial. I'm all for election reform. Let's start by abolishing this notion of "Election Day", a working day on which people are expected to somehow squeeze a trip to an unfamiliar building to vote into a regular day. Either make election day a holiday or give people more time to vote, like a week or something. Next thing to abolish is voting machines that don't have a human-readable paper trail. If an ATM machine can give you a receipt then voting machines better be able to produce one too. But that's all topics for another post, so I'll leave it alone for now.

In other news, Kerry finally releases his records and, guess what? They say exactly what he said they would say, including commendations from the same veterans who later claimed he was an awful soldier. Why didn't Kerry release the files during the campaign? Because Kerry is not very politically astute, apparently. Someone said that Republicans are really good at running campaigns and lousy at running the country, while Democrats are really lousy at running campaigns but pretty good at running the county. Kerry possibly fits the pattern. Now, let's see shrubya release his full records, and prove that he didn't desert during wartime.

Monday, June 06, 2005


The judge rejected the Rossi Rethuglican demands for a re-vote in the governor's race. The Seattle Times has notes on the trial. Basically, the Rethugs couldn't prove that intentional fraud was committed. Now, if the intelligent Republicans in the state would rise up and demand some election reform, and if the rest of the parties would just join them, maybe we won't have this problem again.

Of course, I'm being optimistic. If there are any people capable of fixing the election problems, they aren't going to be allowed to work on it. There are too many rules and regulations that prevent real progress from being made.

The Greatest Americans? HA!

Watching the Tony Awards last night, I popped over to the Discovery Channel during the ads to catch a glimpse of their list of the one hundred greatest Americans. I came to the conclusion that the whole thing was a farce, especially after I looked at the list of nominations this morning (it's at http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/greatestamerican/top100/top100.html). Some of the people listed, and those left off, have really made me wonder what was going on. As an example, the presidents listed include some that you'd expect, such as Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Jefferson, Truman, and both Roosevelts. And I can also understand Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, and Reagan being on the list. But what are Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and both Bushes doing there? (In the case of Clinton and George W. Bush, I say they haven't had the chance for history to truly assess their impact.) And where are Woodrow Wilson, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, and Andrew Jackson? For that matter, why are so many recent First Ladies -- Barbara Bush, Hilary Rodham Clinton, and Laura Bush -- on the list, but not Dolly Madison, who defined the job in the first place? Or what about actors? Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are there, but not Humphrey Bogart, Douglas Fairbanks, or Clark Gable? Athletes on the list include Brett Favre and Pat Tillman (the latter, admittedly, more likely on the list because he was killed in Afghanistan), but not Jim Thorpe, Babe Didricksen, or Hank Aaron? In music, they have Elvis Presley and Madonna, but not Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Buddy Holly, or Bob Dylan. Sam Walton made the cut, but not Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Ward. Other nominees on the list whose inclusion I question include Ellen DeGeneres, John Edwards, Rudolph Giuliani, Hugh Hefner, Michael Jackson, Robert Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Phil McGraw (wow, he does have a last name), Michael Moore, Barack Obama, Condaleezza Rice, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, and Tiger Woods. I'm not saying that these people aren't important or influential, but there are so many who weren't even nominated who have had a bigger influence on American life that I just have to wonder how the list of nominations was even arrived at. You can vote on the top twenty-five over at http://tv.channel.aol.com/greatestamerican, but personally, I'm so disinterested now that I'm not even going to bother watching, let alone voting.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Race For The Cure

I did it! I walked 5K on the Alaskan Way Viaduct (beautiful views of Seattle) with no problems at all. Ok, I had to blow my nose badly by the time we were almost done thanks to the remnants of this cold, but the walk itself was no problem.

As you can see, the viaduct was crowded. The race organizers said that 13,000 people took part.

In this detail shot, you can see the speed limit. My little sister pointed out that we were probably walking faster than the traffic usually moves on the viaduct anyway.

After the Race for the Cure, my group went on a long training walk. I made it up the first hill with a bit of difficulty. The remaining bits of my cold seemed determined to settle in my lungs and make it impossible for me to breathe. At the top of the hill I took a break in the support van, then rode past the next hill in the van. I tried again when the group caught up, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't breathe. So I stopped for the day. We figured I got about 8 and a half miles in. Not as good as the 15 miles that the other women managed, but most of them weren't recovering from a cold like I was.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

3-Day Check-In

The 3-Day got my medical waiver, so I went to the online check-in to start the process. I watched the safety video (which, frankly, makes the 3-Day sound much scarier than it is) and answered the quiz questions. I don't think I'll have any problems with the rules. I don't intend to run while on The Walk. I always obey traffic signals, thanks to having it drilled into me at an early age (thanks, Mom). I will be phone-blogging from The Walk, but not while walking. While I'm walking, the phone will be off, as per the rules. I don't have an MP3 player, so I won't be listening to music. On my Marymoor walk I figured out how to hydrate myself extremely well, so that shouldn't be an issue. And I've got a handle on the whole blister thing, though I'll always admit to the possibility that I'll get blindsided by one. I have the tools to deal with it if I do.

I had to stop at the donation summary bit, though. I'm not quite ready to do a delayed self-donation yet, with $417 left to go. It's close, and Eric and I could possibly recover from the financial blow if we ended up paying it, but I'm just not quite ready yet. When I next log in, it will still be at that step, so if I get $400 more in donations in the next week or two I could finish check-in with a month to go until the event. I can't believe how close I am to the goal. It amazes me every time I look at the page. But then, there's only two more weeks for people to mail in donations, and only five more weeks for the on-line donations, so maybe I'm not as close as I'd like it to be.

I'm almost recovered from this cold, and I'd better get well in a hurry because I have The Race For The Cure this Saturday, followed by an eleven mile training walk. I feel mildly guilty that I haven't raised any money for Race for the Cure at all, but the priority has been getting the money for the 3-Day, since I can't participate in the 3-Day unless I reach the minimum. The weather report for this Saturday looks perfect, at the moment. Slightly cloudy with no rain. A bit of wind, but nothing huge. Lookin' good.

I haven't been walking as much as I'd like. First it was the ankle, then it was busy busy busy, then it was the cold. I did a bit over a mile on the treadmill yesterday and had no problem with it, except I had trouble with the cold making me cough too much near the end. I plan on doing some more time on the treadmill as soon as I finish posting this blog, at which point I hope to gauge if I'm really ready for this weekend's training walk or not. I feel like I'm ready. We'll have to see if my emotions match reality.

And lastly... I did weigh myself on Saturday morning (I forgot on Friday), but I didn't post a fitness report because there's basically nothing to report. No weight has been lost, and none gained. I didn't get enough exercise in to feel like reporting it. So when I post my next report, it'll just pick up from this week, I guess.