Raygrets; or, Adventures in bureaucracy

In my hand I am holding an unopened farewell card from M, dated March 2008. I am going to open it.

Later. I will open it later.

See, anticipation is the best part, and anxiety is the worst. The trick is to balance the anticipation with the anxiety, the promise with the purgatory.

The point I'm not getting at is: I am now a free agent.

Chicago Marathon 2010: Postmortem

All training before before the 2010 Chicago Marathon, and every line I'm thinking here to describe the marathon now that it's over, centers on one thought: three hours and ten minutes.

Plus twenty

Runners learn — the hard way, naturally — that there is an invisible barrier at the 20-mile mark known as The Wall, the point where you’ve burned off the body’s ready-to-use chemical energy.

You remember the feeling. Your thoughts, once as free and fluid as your running, turn to viscous sludge, like wet concrete. Your legs abruptly submit their resignation. All vital signs, as measured by your sodden brain, point toward system collapse.

The Wall. Bonk.

Organizing the history of Ingersoll Scout Reservation (in Drupal)

Since 1998 I have been maintaining an online history of Ingersoll Scout Reservation -- specifically, a history the staff who have worked there every summer since 1965. It's an impractical obsession -- both the maintenance of the history and the summers at camp.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it. At the outside, only a thousand or so people -- all of the staff since 1965 -- could possibly be interested. What use is my time investment there? What does it matter?

A Run in the Woods: Escarpment Trail Run 2010

The Escarpment Trail Run is a 30 km race up and down a hiking trail in the Catskill Mountains in New York. Two hundred people are allowed to enter after going through an application process that begs them not to. (Bears! Bees! Broken bones! Bruises!) There are casualties. There is pain.

You can't get there from here

My parents now live in Chester, Illinois -- home of Popeye -- which lies on a bluff above the Mississippi River. Therefore I am now fascinated with rivers, especially the Mississippi River. I grew up near the confluence of the Spoon River and the Illinois River, but I didn't care. I am not a river rat. Give me a mountain instead. Now, however, I at least appreciate rivers.

Panoramic Alberta

Back in April I took a too-brief trip to Alberta, Canada because of you-know-why. We drove west out of Calgary, up the Icefields Parkway through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, then east along the Yellowhead Highway to Hinton. I posted a set of pictures from the trip on Flickr. Here I've posted a few panoramas to whet your appetite.

Pilgrimage; or, the creek and the peak

I finally bought the tickets. In July I am going on a semi-irregular pilgrimage -- two pilgrimages strung together into one, actually.

Two worlds at work

I live in two worlds at work. One is good, one is bad. I created them both. They move in different orbits. Despite my education in orbital mechanics, I don't know how to predict their paths nor do I know how move them.

The first, my native world, is the bad one. It is a land of belching fumaroles and badlands -- a discontented place. This is me at work.

The second is peaceful, positive. Here is where I feel at home but do not reside. This is me at work, but not at work -- meaning, the things I do that are not defined as part of my job.