Saturday, October 25, 2003

Carpe Diem

4 Miles, 32:02.11, Overcast 3°C, 5 km wind

Carpe Diem - Latin for seize the day.

I was high-jacked by friends to go and see a movie tonight; "The Life of David Gale" starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet & Laura Linney. It was a difficult and engaging movie about Capital Punishment and Idealism and was also a bit like a murder mystery. There was also an under-current of the inevitability of death and the courage to face it.

After the movie, my friend gave me a ride home and we got to talking. I told her I was feeling selfish for spending so much money and time on training for and going to the Seattle Marathon.

"Just think of all the homeless people that could be fed if the tens of thousands of runners stayed home," I said. "What about the quality time with my family that I am giving up for this crazy hobby?" It makes running seem so foolish and selfish.

My friend, who has recently experienced more the her share of people close to her dying, gave me this advice.

"You have to follow your passions, because death can come suddenly and you may not have a tomorrow."

Well there is no doubt in my mind that running marathons is a passion of mine. I am registered in the Seattle marathon at the end of November; the debit has shown up on my Visa. I am going!

Eventually, you can look up finish times for Tim, Rita, Gina, Chris, Alesha, and Bonnie once they are posted.

Running is a powerful drug and most runners go into withdrawal when they don't/can't get a fix.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Ants go working...

No Run, 30 to 40 km winds

On the way home from work today I got to thinking about the value of what I am doing with my life. Although the work I accomplish is valuable (they wouldn't pay my wage if there was no value, would they?) It seems to me that it could easily be done by someone else. With billions of workers on the planet, I can hardly have a unique talent.

In what way is what I do special? How do I contribute to a world filled with worker-drones?

An ant hill has millions of virtually identical worker ants. Genetically, they are identical twin sisters. Almost like photocopies. Each ant wanders around ready to do any task that comes to hand (or perhaps pincher?) "There is a stone in the middle of this tunnel, I'll move it down the passage so it is out of the way." "This chamber is vacant, I will make it ready to be used for a brood chamber; ready for the next occupant." If some other ant encounters these tasks before me, they perform them and I simply look for something else to do. The task does not fit the ant, the ant simply finds the task.

As I look down on this ant hill from my godly position, I see only a mass of ants. They scurry here and there, each on their own "assigned task" Their ant hill, 100 times bigger than their diminutive size, is a marvel of their accumulated accomplishments.

So, my ant accomplishments are insignificant when you look at the entire ant world. With my smarter than average ant brain, I could decide that the queen ant would never notice if I went down a side passage and had a little nap.

Just don't tell the rest of the ants, because then nothing would get done and the hill would fall to ruin.

I guess I had better do my work after all.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Supposition d)

It is just as productive to try to predict the plan as it is to try to push it.
7.1 Km, 36:44.11, Clear 3°C, 7 km wind

Yesterday was our (Mo & my) first "Faith Enquiry" session at United Church. None of the people I invited to come, actually came and the people who were there I hadn't expected. So my attempt to predict what would happen as well as my efforts to influence what happened both failed.

A strong indication (well, to me anyway) that I navigate the rapids, not control the river.

We talked about Baptism, Community, and a bit about our expectations for the class.

I felt a bit disappointed about the class, but came away with a very strong need to figure out why I am attending.

What need will Confirmation fill for me?

I liked what Mo said to be about confirmation: "In action and deed, perhaps you are already Confirmed. The ceremony is simply the celebration of what you have already decided" (paraphrased by me, BTW).

I don't feel like there are any particular things I want to learn about the process of Confirmation. I have been going to church for long enough to know how the service works and what the Creed means. I know there is still lots for me to learn, but I am not in a hurry. Why am I here? What is the hurry? Why now?

It just seems like time. I've tossed in my "Blind" and I have received my cards. Now I wait to place my bets and see what is on the "river".

As the Supposition says, it doesn't pay to predict the Plan.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

PBG Club: not mere Doofuses

6.8 Km, 34:00.2, Clear 1°C, 5 km wind

Today I met not one, but three members of the PBG Club.

First there is Robert. I met Robert as he was out walking his Grand Daughter's dogs Chance and Shadow. He is a very friendly fellow and quick to laugh. He was also carrying a bag of garbage he had collected along his path and some cans he had picked up. I told him I appreciated his efforts to tidy up the neighborhood.

At one point, Chance (who had a large cone shaped veterinarian collar on) dashed across the field to "greet" a lady and her dog. This turned out to be the second PBG Club member. She also admitted that she liked to have a clean neighborhood to walk through. She also cleaned up while she walked her dog.

After 7 years of waiting to encounter people who appreciated my cleaning up on my runs I didn't expect to meet two people with the same idea on the same day!

Then about 3 minutes later, I met another PBGer. This time it was another runner  with a bag full of pop cans. I had never encountered her out running before and have not seen her since. She didn't seem at all embarrassed about being seen carrying bottles. I offered her some of mine, but she didn't want them.

I met all three of these people on the same run! Within 5 minutes time! They are all concerned with how messy the neighborhood is. They all are lending a hand to make a difference. They are all members of the PBG Club

I like the idea of the Doofus tribe used by nikkip. I would like to start my own tribe too. Hopefully, my tribe will be more uplifting, but it is also tempting to just make it funny. Perhaps I will still illustrate the funniness of people without actually condemning them or laughing at them.

Yah, that sounds about right.

I intend to have a series of these posts, so look for the words PBG Club: in the title

Word of the Day: Arborescent

Word of the day: arborescent found in a quote on the Darwin Awards site:

"Humans are not the end result
of predictable evolutionary progress,
but rather a fortuitous... twig on the
enormously arborescent bush of life"
Stephen J. Gould

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Native Girl

15 miles, 2:21:11.0, Clear and cool, no wind

I met a Native Girl on my run today. As Neal said this evening, "I fell in love" instantly. It was as if I had known Her for a long time. This Native Girl is so much like the Spiritual Girl I am seeing now that it was breath-taking.

Unfortunately, like Neal, I saw her for only a brief glance, in passing on the trail. Actually it was one of the few moments that I was not chatting with Neal in 2 ? Hours of running.

Native Spirituality. Everything has a voice; birds, animals, trees, rocks. And Natives claim that they speak to them all. I imagine that a hunter would "hear" a lot from the twigs and blades of grass that have been displaced by his quarry. Moss on a tree tells him the direction he is facing. A bare rock marks a game trail or the den of an animal.

This seems pretty similar to the way the PBGs communicate with me. A bottle here, a playing card there. Perhaps a Milk jug or Jack, my prophetic rabbit. Symbols. Vocabulary from my conversations. I live in the city and the city "talks" to me.

Ok, not exactly to me, perhaps, but through me.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Spam Report: Sara Freder is a Fake

This is a public service announcement.:


To those who choose to believe in strange things; beware. Astrology is not exactly a science and not all practitioners are, <Ahem>, exactly, um, honest.

If this link goes dead, I'll tell you what it said here: Sara Freder is a fake and a lot of people have been suckered by her.

What surprises me most about these people is that none of them seem to consider that Sara Freder is probably not even a real person. Ever wonder who did all the fancy programming for 'her' site? Who set up all the programming for the accounts for people who are silly enough to register?

You might think *I* am crazy for inventing gods of my own, but I don't ask you to send me money.

Well, I thought about doing just that, but the PBGs slapped my hand and told me to get a life.

[Edit] Judging from the number of hits I get from Google searches for Sara Freder(2 or 3 A DAY!), there are a LOT of people who wonder about Sara Freder's service. If you want to get rich, try becoming a Motley Fool instead. With a small monthly investment you will gradually make that million you are hankering for. Once you are a millionaire, who can help being sexually attractive?

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Suggestion 7

What's important is not what others think of you, but what you think is Right.
10.2 Km (hills), 49:26.5, Sunny 15°C, light wind

It's a wonder that I learn these things at all. For days and days (ok, so it has been my entire life, what of it) the PBGs have been pounding me with the same message over and over. It's one of those types of messages that you know in the back of your mind, but you choose to ignore it. How else could I miss something so obvious.

If you are outward focused like me, you are pretty sensitive to other peoples' mood. Sometimes you feel like you can read their minds just by watching how they react. Over a lifetime you get pretty good at it. But often, if you take the trouble to ask them, you usually get a surprise. They invariably are thinking something quite different than what you expect. Sometimes they are busy with their own lives (The NERVE!) and not thinking about you at all.

I was running hills today and saw a woman who was running hills too. She was going slower than me, but seemed to be a pretty good runner and being very relaxed about her exercise. I was thinking, "I wonder what she thinks of me", my efforts, my form, etc. Then it occurred to me that she didn't even seem to recognize that I was there running past her again and again.

The observation that she wasn't even aware of me, caused me to be aware of all the other reminders from the PBGs. They have been trying to get me to not be so obsessed with myself and how I appear to others.

So what if my 'gems of wisdom', my 'unique perspectives' are languishing in obscurity. If I am to write, I should write because I have something worth saying.

If someone finds my viewpoint valuable, that is what the PBGs intended. If not, just as the PBGs predicted, this is a valuable side trip from my path that I have learned from.Yes, MTRF, you told me that weeks ago, but there is hearing and there is understanding.

Yesterday, there was a bus driver who was acting in a very OOPBGB'ish way. He was being extra friendly, asking trivia questions, wishing riders a 'good day' over the loud speaker...

If you have ridden an ETS bus, you will know that this is extremely un-bus-driverly. I was supposing what other passengers thought of this behavior. "He's crazy", "Is he drunk", "He seems to be in a good mood", "Is he serious?", "Where did this guy escape from?". Those are the thoughts I would worry about, if I was that bus driver.

I don't really know what all those people thought (I was probably close, but I bet there were some people that thought other things). But what was more intriguing to me was what the bus driver thought he was doing. What was his motivation? Why was he acting so strangely? Did he know that it seemed strange (I am betting he did, but that he did it anyway)? What did he hope to accomplish? And, did it work? Were people positively affected by his unusual behavior?

To act with purpose (any purpose) is to go beyond just thinking.

Right or wrong, an action is better than just a thought. And a fear of a thought, which kills an action, is murder in high degree.