Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Stupid

In this exciting announcement :

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081028/ap_on_hi_te/google_books_3

Google and a bunch of librarians and book publishers published a new agreement.

The gist of the deal is publishers will get money for books they no longer publish.
Huh?
Yea, go figure.

The publishers were griping- via lawsuit - that they were missing out on copyright dollars when libraries and readers using Google downloaded books that were out of print.

I SAY....

Hey publishers, if you want money for books that are out of print, too bad.
YOU made the decision to stop printing the book(s), Not us.

So if somebody wants to read a book you no longer publish - tough noogees for you.
If you want to make money from books you no longer publish I suggest you print some more so's you can sell them.
Otherwise, shuddup.

Me dos centavos....

Monday, October 27, 2008

OSAM....OOPS, OBAMA AND TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS

Bless his heart.
He just doesn't know how stupid he sounds sometimes.

Barack Husein Obama was speaking to some deluded citizens a couple of days ago and said something like this:

My opponent believes in "trickle down" economics.
That money given to the wealthy somehow trickles down to the middle class and the poor.
We no that is not how it works.
It never has.
Wealth grows from the bottom up.
Thats why we are proposing increasing taxes on the wealthy and giving tax cuts to the middle class.

Or words to that effect.

If you look at Senetor Osa.... Obama's logic for a moment, you will see an economic oxymoron. (to match the moron who said it.)
He makes fun of, so called "trickle-down" economics.
Saying that money from the "rich" does not move from the more wealthy to the less wealthy.
THEN he says that HE is going to take more money away from the "wealthy" (if he is elected, you will get a big surprise from who he considers "wealthy") than they are already paying and give it to the middle class in the form of tax "cuts".

So HE is going to give money to the less wealthy by taking it from the more wealthy.
So it seems that it is not that the trickle down principle does not work, he just has a problem with who is doing the trickling.
HE wants to do the trickling.

MY TAKE

There is no such thing as "trickle Down" economic theory.
It is a media invention (imagine that...).
What really happens is that as wealth is created in an economic system, everyone who is taking part in the economy gains a little more wealth from it.
In dollars, the more wealthy make more that the less wealthy.
Percentage-wise, the less wealthy often gain more than the more wealthy.
But everyone gets something more over time.

It is a liberal/socialist illusion to think that taking money from the "rich" and giving it to the poor will help the poor become richer.
It does not.
It never has.
It never will.

Look at any socialist nation on this planet - The former U.S.S.R., China, Sweden, France, whatever, they never have eliminated poverty by redistribution of wealth.
In fact, when a person has no personal incentive to work in the hope of improving his/her lot in life, he/she just settles back into survival mode.
They work only as hard as they have to to keep the authorities off of their back.
Productivity goes down.
When productivity goes down, the whole economy slows down.

So, I predict that if Senator Osam .... Obama is elected President of the United States, and he attempts to implement his socialist agenda, it will not accomplish what he says the wants to accomplish.

In truth, what he REELEE wants to accomplish is to make you and me dependent on the federal government for at least part of our wealth, so that we will "hopefully" re-elect him.

So intent is he and his cohorts to "change" America, that I would not be surprised if this is the last Presidential election this nation sees.

Home schoolers. be warned.
You and your children are at risk, if the teachers unions get their man in place.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FIFTY-NINE MINUTES

That is how long it took me to run the Cotton Row course this morning.
I am very pleased.
This is just a minute off of my usual practice times back in the day when I was running the course regularly.

The weather this morning was marginally cool.
Almost cold.
For me, any temperature that starts with a "4" is cold.
My thermometer at the house read 52.
I had expected it to be cooler.

Anyway, I went with bare legs and medium-weight long sleeves, knit gloves, and ear warmer band today.
The combination proved to be just about right.
The wrist timer read 6:06:53 as I started out in the dark.
Traffic downtown was nil.

I had a physical concern.
My right kneecap had a nice, sharp little pain on the outside, as I padded through the house getting ready this morning.
Not good.
If walking hurt, what will six miles of up-hill and down-hill pounding for an hour (or so) produce?
I would watch this carefully and have a plan B ready if things went badly.

Part of me was saying take your time but Coach and Runner were urging a more aggressive tack.
THEY wanted to knock another minute off of my time.

On Lowe Avenue I saw a solitary lady runner going my way on the far side of the street.
We did not speak and I soon passed her.
That was the last I saw of her.
Good for her being up this early and doing this kind of thing.
I hope she is putting as much effort and discipline into her spiritual life.

All things went well in the sodium-lit darkness as miles one and two rolled under me.
The kneecap of concern was amazingly quiet.
Mile three is a nice steady uphill grade called Owens Drive.
Coach said quietly, "Put the pedal down a bit."
And I complied.
The clock was running.

I altered my gait to use more of my calves and it was not long before I felt them mumbling about hard work or something.
The masochist in me just smiled.
The quarter moon was peeking through the morning clouds in the pre-dawn twilight as I took off my gloves.
I love this course.

Soon I was at The Hill.
Ninety feet gain in altitude in less than a quarter mile.
The road here is about as steep as the roof of a house.
I slowed to a walk for the first half and noted the three-mile marker painted on the concrete.
I did little bouncy heel raises with each step.
Then it was running again and more calf work (Lord knows they need all they can get).
By the top of The Hill there were cries of "Abuse!" from the calf department.
"Shuddup an run!" came the reply from Running Central.

After the slight down and up of Toll Gate Road, it was all down hill on Bankhead Parkway.
We would see if the right knee thing was real or not.
(Downhill running puts extra stress on quads and knees.)

Half way down, I met two lady runners coming up.
Wow.
Pony tails sure look cute at dawn....

Nearly a mile later we knew that the right knee was healed.

There was no traffic (plus one) on Pratt Avenue and I motored down its gradual pitch with glee.
When I am happy, I tend to slow down a bit and daydream.
Coach urged me to keep the pressure on the clock so I pushed my pace up to my comfortable breathing limit.
A zig and a zag and I was on Clinton Avenue in the dim pre-daylight.
Putt putt putt, I motored on with no issues.

A quick stop at California for some traffic, then off we went again.
I hate stopping in the middle of a good run.
It just throws my rhythm off.
Another zig and a zag and I was on Randolph.
More gradual downhill.
Coach whispered, "Push it."
I did.

A zig at the courthouse and a zag, and I was on Clinton again for the final half mile or so.
Now the racehorse in me was pushing to break free.
The finish line was in sight - waaaay down there.
There were no cars on the road for as far as I could see.

My breathing went into an easy level three.
I was feeling wonderful and ready to dump the bucket in the last two hundred yards.
And I did.

I wondered if the guys at the Coca Cola plant were watching and if so, what they were saying to each other.
"Look at grampa go," perhaps.
Then I passed the finish line and looked at my watch as I slowed to a walk.

7:05:55.
WOO HOO!
Fitty-nine minutes!
Coach was smiling.

And nothing broke in the process.
During my cool-down walk, the calf department registered a complaint regarding "overwork".
Masochist just grinned.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scrambled Up Schedule

This week's workout schedule is all messed up.
This is not a complaint, just a statement of facts.

The messedupness is because of the Pancake breakfast we had a church last Saturday.
(which was good, fun, and enjoyable)
I had to be there early enough that I did not have time to run at my "usual" time.
I chose not to run in the afternoon Saturday because of the traffic on my courses (no matter which one I chose).
Sooo.. I ran the Cotton Row circuit Sunday morning before church.
Which was nice (if a bit dark.).
See my previous post for details of that adventure.

Sunday morning is usually a walking day.
But I ran instead.
Monday is workout day - which I did, even though I was feeling tired from the run the day before.
(and had a surprisingly good result)
Today, Tuesday, is usually my mid-week running day.
But because of the run setback this past weekend, I decided to walk instead.
Which I did.
(Nobody but the yipping dog man out today.)

So, tomorrow, normally my walking day, I will run three miles.
That should get me sort of back on schedule.
Thursday is another weight workout day.
Then Friday walk, as per the usual pattern, and, bing! Saturday run as scheduled.
Back on track.

Part of the reason for the spacing and different forms of exercise is due to the ability (or lack of it) of my body to recover from certain forms of exercise.
Running takes a lot out of me, so I want to do something "light" the day after; hence the walking.
Weight lifting takes more out of me than walking, so I do it in between the other.

Because I run, walking is almost no effort for me at all.
I have to really walk fast to even get my heart rate and breathing up above resting level.
I walk mainly to burn a few calories.
With the amount of effort expended during my runs and weight workouts, walking hardly moves the effort needle off the pin.
But I am in the habit now - this is a good thing.
So I do it on my 'off' days.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More of the Usual...

The days are just zipping by.
The weather has changed from nice late-summer to nice fallish.
If fall can ever be "nice". (you know I hate winter)

Because of a church event Saturday morning, I did not run.
Or walk.
Just get up and go do....

But THIS morning (Sunday) I ran.
And I ran the Cotton Row course again.

It was about 41 degrees this morning with just a whisper of a breeze and clear.
So I chose my wind pants to cover my running shorts and my mid-weight mesh long-sleeved top (with nice, double thickness collar).
Ear cover band and knit gloves.
It was just about right.

I started out a 6:08 AM.
Just a bit behind planned time.
As I was about to start, a group of about 30 runners crossed in front of me in the streetlight-lit dark.
I asked one of them what was going on.
He said, "marathon practice."
Hmmm.
It is just about eight weeks until that event.

I went on along my favorite course reacquainting myself with all the twists and turns and ups and downs.
It is prettier in the morning sunlight but that does not happen here until about 7:15 or 7:30 now.
So I run in the sodium vapor-illuminated darkness.
There was virtually zero traffic.
For most of the course I run in the streets.

At mile three, my hands were beginning to sweat just a bit so I took off the knit gloves. (while I was walking up The Hill.)
Just holding one in each hand was enough to keep my hands warm by that point.

Everything went well until the middle of mile six.
Then left hip attachments (not the joint) began squeaking insistently.
The connector ligament that lifts my leg (thigh) was no longer happy with the task at hand.

Running Central had a quick conference with Runner and Coach.
It was decided that termination of the mission was not necessary at that time.
We were close to the finish line and some pain could be accepted for the next four or five minutes.
If things got worse, the decision to continue would be reconsidered.
But as has been the case so many times, "things" did not get worse.
They got better.

Somehow, the leg/pelvis attachments reduced their whining to a muted level by the time I re-entered Clinton Avenue and Runner motored on.
So much so, that there was a lengthy sprint at the end to the finish mark on the curb, across from the Coca Cola bottling plant.

A quick check of the clock indicated that I had chopped one entire minute off of my time of last week.
Woo Hoo!
Sixty minutes flat (more or less).

It is good to visit my old friend again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A VISIT TO AN OLD FRIEND

Let the Royal Chronicles show that I ran the Cotton Row course this morning in 61 and a half minutes.
I am very pleased.
It was very good to visit my old friend.
I do not know why I love this path so much, but I do.
It is very challenging yet pleasant.

Due to the time of the year, it was virtually dark when I started out at 6:01:35 AM.
The weather was chrystal clear and a cool 61 degrees.
The humidity seemed low for this area at this time of year.
Near-perfect running weather.

I was nervous at the beginning, wondering if I was being too aggressive in taking on this course so soon after increasing my distance to six miles.
And, indeed, just half way into mile one, my legs were feeling the subtle but insistent incline that is the most significant attribute of the first half of this six-mile path.

At the beginning of mile two I met another runner going my way.
He said he was from North Carolina and did not know his way around town.
I told him he was on a marked six-mile course and by following the painted marks in the road he would be able to follow the course back to his hotel.
He thanked me and trotted on ahead.
He was young and looked strong.
In just a few minutes he was out of sight.

It felt really good to be on my old familiar course again.
It may be three years since I have run the Cotton Row course.
I am not sure.
The session would have been more enjoyable if I had felt more comfortable with my physical ability.
But I was concerned that I might not be up to the task.
For this reason, I consciously took my time.
The main goal today was to finish with no broken parts.
We will work on time later.

I arrived at The Hill feeling good.
I knew that once I topped this steep incline it was all down hill to the end. (mostly)
Mile three ends about one hundred feet up the hill.
I walked the lower part of the Hill that is paved with rough concrete and, as has been my practice in days gone by, when the pavement changed to asphalt, I began running again.
This section is still quite steep and very challenging.
I was thrilled that at this point, nothing was hurting and other than my accelerated breathing, I was doing fine.

Then it was a quarter mile of a slight down and up and then it was all downhill for three-quarters of a mile to the bottom of Bankhead Parkway.
Still no problems.
Woo Hoo.

As I turned onto Clinton Avenue I remembered the days a few years ago when I was running this course on Tuesday afternoons after work.
It was summer and smotheringly hot.
I was doing fine joint and ligament-wise, but I was really hot.
And feeling tired.
One day I had to stop and walk for a couple of minutes.
That sort of scared me, though I finished the run with no other problems.

Not this morning.
I was feeling very good as I trotted down Clinton Avenue in the morning twilight.
My breathing was more rapid than I would have preferred but I was not laboring.
I just motored along enjoying the scenery and my blood pumping.

After a couple of turns I was back in downtown Huntsville, turning onto Clinton Avenue again for the final quarter mile.
The sky was light now, though the sun was not yet above Monte Sano.
I was feeling very good.
I was near the finish line and nothing had broken.

To my amazement, I still had enough Wheaties in the bowl to sprint the last hundred yards or so.
There actually IS a finish line mark here.

I passed the line and looked at my watch.
7:02:58.
Wow.
Just three minutes slower than I used to run this course two or three years ago.
I am very pleased.

I am sure I will feel the effects of this jaunt later.
Already I can feel my calves wanting to cramp.

THE WEDNESDAY WALK

I was in a perverse mood Wednesday morning when I woke up and, even though it was pouring rain, I wanted to walk.
So I put on my rain gear and stepped out into Noah's flood 2.
And most of me got wet - especially my feet.
Some of the gutters were 3 inches deep in water and it is not easy to see at 5:30 AM.
Even with the street lights.

Anyway, I walked in the rain.
And lived to tell about it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Of Runs and Fiddling Around

NICE SATURDAY RUN

Saturday morning dawned cool and just a bit humid.
But it was not as cool as I was expecting.
So shorts and long sleeves was the outfit chosen to keep my body temperature happy when working hard outdoors.
And it worked just right.

I had a pleasant time running my SIX mile course (again!).
The sprinklers were shooting gallons of water into the air again.
I went into the parking lot to avoid them this time, to keep the surface under my feet as smooth as possible.
But I still had to cross the grass to get back on the sidewalk.
Me no like running in grass.

I managed to keep from going into accelerated breathing until the last half mile or so.
By then it was not a big problem to me.
My time was nominal - about 56 minutes.
There were a few, brief whinings from my left hip/leg not liking the stress.
There may come a day when such problems become a show-stopper but not now, or soon, it seems.
Thank Yahweh for good health.

I have re-learned something about running.
How I feel - meaning how I view my ability to complete the planned distance when I am running - depends on the distance I set in my mind.
If I think I can only go three miles, that will pretty much limit me to that distance. (assuming there are no unplanned physical breakdowns)
So, now that I have proven to myself that I can once again travel six miles, it seems relatively easy.
Yes, it is taxing on my (aging) body.
The results of the effort will be felt for a day or two after the party.
But it is doable.
I am thinking of tackling the Cotton Row course again.

THE FIDDLING CONVENTION

The weather was beautiful.
The music was expectedly nice.
I did not see as many folks from Morgan City as I expected.
But I did see the Bishop/elder - brother Cornwell and his charming wife and John and Katrina Crouch - so the absence of other members must not have been because of an official edict to avoid the event (as in days gone by...).

The most notable event of the day was that someone backed into my car and left a nice football-sized dent in my front bumper.
I did not notice this until the next morning, when I saw the note the perpetrator left under my wiper.
We have talked and everything will be worked out.




THE TUESDAY RUN

It was quiet in my neighborhood again this morning.
In spite of the fact that I went to bed after 10:00 last night, I woke up at 4:30 this morning.
And I felt fine.
Go figure.

Anyway, that got me off to a early start preparing for my mid-week running session.
I was out the door at 5:25 AM - which is the same as when I sleep until 5 AM.
So, what did I do for that extra half hour?
I piddled around the house arranging my running clothes in the closet, cleaning my bathroom sink, and other little tasks that I have ignored.

Anyway, the run went well.
I was expecting rain but there was none.
Yet.
Clouds but no rain.
And it was surprisingly warm - almost 70 degrees.
So the outfit of choice was shorts and one of my sleeveless tops.
(I only bring up what I wear because as winter approaches, dressing "just right" for a run becomes a more involved process. That is why I like to run in the summer - same outfit every session.)

And I was alone today.
No people, just a couple of dogs to greet me (behind their fences).
And three or four cars.
That was it.

About a quarter-mile from my finish line (an invisible line in the street in-line with the edge of my driveway) I purposefully jacked up the pace to induce accelerated breathing.
I am sure this validates the contention of some who believe that there is a touch of masochism in runners.
I am not sure I would take it that far, but for myself, I have a sense that if a session feels too easy, I will try to do something to make it more of a physical challenge.
This usually comes near the end of a run where I unconsciously measure how much juice is left in the bucket.
If there seems to be more than enough, I jack up the effort.
The goal (and I cannot tell you where or why I got this idea) is to end the session with no juice left in the bucket.
I see that as enforcing an element of discipline on myself, rather than deriving pleasure from personal pain.
And, most of the people who see masochism in runners, are not runners themselves.
So, I think this is more an expression of jealousy than concerned clinical observation.

Friday, October 03, 2008

DEAD

It was really quiet this morning during my walk around the neighborhood.
So quiet that as soon as I got out on my street I heard the recorded trumpet on the arsenal playing reveille a mile away.
Soon after, I heard Our Guys hollering as they ran on the arsenal.

Other than the three cars that passed me, and the light traffic on Bob Wallace, it was like a ghost town.
Rin Tin Tin (not his real name) was up and barking again (he is a big German Shepherd that is usually sleeping when I pass, but yesterday he was busy defending his territory) for some reason, but was quiet when I passed.
The man with the yipping dogs was absent.
The man with the Shillelagh was absent.
Just the crickets and a few night birds were busy.

This is unusual for a Friday.
Often, Sunday morning walks are this dead, but not Fridays.
Usually, some folks who will lay out on other weekdays, will go to work on Friday because it is payday for many companies.
Not today, it seems.

It was on the edge of cold this morning - about 54 degrees.
For a the walk I dressed in long pants and long sleeves and mesh gloves.
It was just about right.
And about fifty minutes after I launched out, I was home with another three miles on my shoes.

ANNOUNCEMENT

This is to advise you that I will be unavailable tomorrow, Saturday, after the morning run and weekly shopping trip.
I will be in Athens, Alabama, attending the annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention.
I plan to be there from ten in the morning until eight or nine that evening.
Pictures will be taken (even though they may look like the pictures I have taken at this event the last two years (the only years that I have had a digital camera).
.