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Showing posts from April, 2006

Viral poetry to soothe shake up the soul

This almost 50-year-old poem's making the rounds in blogland. Read it. Remember it. Repeat it often. "There Is No Indispensable Man" by Saxon N. White Kessinger, Copyright 1959 Sometime when you're feeling important; Sometime when your ego's in bloom Sometime when you take it for granted You're the best qualified in the room, Sometime when you feel that your going Would leave an unfillable hole, Just follow these simple instructions And see how they humble your soul; Take a bucket and fill it with water, Put your hand in it up to the wrist, Pull it out and the hole that's remaining Is a measure of how you will be missed. You can splash all you wish when you enter, You may stir up the water galore, But stop and you'll find that in no time It looks quite the same as before. The moral of this quaint example Is do just the best that you can, Be proud of yourself but remember, There's no indispensable man.

Choosing the crooked path

I’ve been feeling funny all afternoon, and for once it has nothing to do with alcohol, aspirin or cookie dough. About three years ago I flew to Long Island to interview the then-CEO of Computer Associates for a magazine cover story . It was a great conversation, where I learned how his impoverished origins influenced his management of a controversial Fortune 500 company. The entire time we talked, I couldn’t help comparing notes since we were the exact same age and had had some parallel experiences during our youth. I even mentioned it to him. Of course, he went on to run one of the world’s largest software companies, live in multiple mansions and buy a professional hockey team. I, on the other hand, stuck much closer to my humble roots. And yet I couldn’t help but like the guy, even when, upon my asking about certain federal probes, I though he protested his innocence too much. They were indeed hollow declarations, made, we now know, around the same time he paid millions to a minion

No sleep? No worries!

Today’s 16-mile run of beachfront loops leading back to Buccaneer Beach in Oceanside was going to be a winner. I knew it soon as I woke at 2 a.m. with a tummy ache. A pattern has emerged this training season. Long runs preceded by little sleep and poor diets have ended up better than those I more carefully plan with ample shut-eye and three square meals. Friday was no exception. I woke at 6 for work after arriving home from New York just several hours earlier. To stay awake, I dined all day on Diet Coke and stale Easter candy, with some mixed nuts, chips and a pepperoni sandwich thrown in to balance out the carbs. Jelly beans…egg-shaped Smarties…speckled malt balls…all were consumed in colossal portions. Why, if I’d thought of it, I’d have gone to the grocery store across the street to load up on stale Peeps too. Instead, I made a pasta salad so the evening would not end as sinfully as it began. I had trouble falling asleep due to all the crap and caffeinated soda, and I woke too ear

Snapshots from my favorite run

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Did I ever mention just how awesome the people are that I run with on Tuesdays and Saturdays?! In addition to providing high-caliber training and outstanding companionship, they volunteer at aid stations on our long runs and take pictures for our private Web site so we have something to remember for the moment and for years to come. I've hesitated to pull pictures from it due to respecting people's privacy. And even when given files in e-mail, posting's been difficult. But Blogger's cooperating today, and with permission (I hope) here are some photographs taken by people in our track club, or in one case dating someone in our track club. Thank you, Kevin and Joe, for taking such great shots! (And to Lisa, Jim and Scott for all your contributions too) Now everyone else in blogland can see that even when the weather sucks here, the scenery doesn't. Running along La Jolla shores during the low tide under dense cloud cover. Our first water stop, just coming up off

Being mistaken for one of those runners

While I'm waiting for the Limoliner to take me to Manhattan, I thought I'd do a little rumor control in case any of my dear readers come across some world-class Asian athletes. You see, this week I stayed at the same hotel as some Boston Marathon runners, including the Korean Marathon Team. I didn't get in until well after the race, and I kept a low profile that evening. However, when I went out the next morning for a run, I immediately came upon some of the Koreans doing a little recovery run in their brand-spankin'-new neon yellow BAA windbreakers. I smiled as I zoomed past and they waved. A few blocks later, I ran into them again and this time I said hello as they gingerly moved up a hill that I plowed through. I did the same to a few more packs before heading a little farther out. When I returned 40 minutes later, the Koreans had all gathered in the lobby. As I entered they all smiled at me and then the buzz began. As I waited for the elevator, I looked back and t

Remembering Last Year's Low Tide Run

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Last year I wrote weekly essays for our Rockin’ ‘n’ Runnin’ Web site, and this entry is an updated version of one of my favorite runs in the program, which we’re doing again Saturday. I’m recycling it here for numerous reasons (and posting ahead of the run to avoid some confusion). Essentially, I’ve no time to blog for about a week. Soon as I return from the run, we head to the airport to pick up our traveling daughters; then I need to prep the house for Sunday’s Easter feast with my entire family. Sunday night I get ready for the following morning’s weeklong business trip. It also seems a little fitting, given the pivotal event that week was my parents’ retirement, and almost exactly a year later, they are heading to their new home in central Oregon. Plus, there’s a little lesson about hyponatremia in it, so you might learn something other than I’m still full of shit. Way back when my sister and I were planning our first marathon, we relied primarily on word of mouth for training

As Seen on Someone's E-Mail Signature Today

"FYI: - Did you know that Donkey's [sic] kill more people annually than planes and that turtles can breathe through their butts. Inquiring minds want to know."

Ooh, Baby Baby

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After Saturday’s train run, I rushed home to change and then drive my daughter to Del Mar Fairgrounds to stand around while Alex’s hip hop team performed at the Yeah Baby Family Expo. Just what a perimenapausal mom with sore feet needed, right? Of course, give a miffed mother a camera and then have a local celebrity walk by and she immediately turns into a parent paparazzo. The object was Channel 93.3’s “Boy Toy” Jesse, a disc jockey every middle-school-carpooling mom in San Diego knows. He had just finished announcing the Diaper Derby. I’d also later see A.J. and Hula from the same station’s “A.J.’s Playhouse” morning show, but I wasn’t as quick with the Nikon. We returned the next day for a repeat performance and few more hours of ‘fun.’ The crowds were smaller, probably because there were two other big events happening on Sunday. One involved protesters supporting immigration rights; the other involved legs protesting the 21st running of the Carlsbad 5000 . From what I was told

The Train Run: Facing the Music

A few miles into today’s “Train Run” we came upon a guy with a customized gray T-shirt commemorating this particular long run in our marathon training program. That’s when it dawned on me that today was indeed an “event,” one where hundreds of us board an Amtrak train in Solana Beach, get off in Oceanside and then run the 16 miles back to the station. It’s one of the most highly anticipated runs of the year, and it’s a shame that this year I had no flow. For the first time, I’d brought my MP3 player along. My emotional rollercoaster of a week had included some pretty deep dips, and I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts. But when we pushed off towards blocks and blocks of beach homes, I didn’t need the tunes anyway. As happens every time we run this stretch, the song “Take My Breath Away” from the movie Top Gun popped into my head. I saw a cocky Tom Cruise on his motorcycle, heading to Kelly McGillis’s house at sunset. And I thought: I know that house is around here somewhere.

Ahead of the Bill Curve

Here’s a Fortune magazine piece reposted on the CNN site that talks about Bill Gates’ work habits , particularly when it comes to handling e-mail. I wrote this week about my own strategy for removing a lot of the noise in this mandatory mode of business communications. Glad to see Gates does something similar. And, hey, I don’t have any handlers to prescreen my mail for relevancy, and I do it all with one lousy laptop. I suspect one reason for the first-person report is because the next Office upgrade is going to feature a quite different Outlook that supposedly limits all the bells and whistles in favor of functions to actually save us time, rather than drain it. And though Bill Gates stretches the meaning of ‘beautiful people,’ The New York Times today is reporting one theory on why attractive employees have a better chance at life, work and happiness. Particularly work. It’s ‘cause they’re gorgeous -- and they know it. Self-confidence is a huge selling tool. Apparently, even if yo

Non-running news from the homefront

When 17 days of security is an 'Olympian' task I interviewed the guy in charge of the Olympics' IT infrastructure to find out how his team of 2,500 managed to handle 3.1 million "events" daily without a single breach. Turns out any activity outside the norm was met with swift action: disconnection from the network. I guess insomniacs never stood a chance. Scam artists flocking to MySpace I wasn't the least surprised that MySpace.com is now a major breeding lab for ID theft and fraud. Dating services like Match.com and eHarmony are also susceptible to abuse, placing paying customers in a tough situation: lie to protect your real identity and be labeled a fraud; or tell the truth and risk being the victim of fraud. What really got me -- and I mean literally -- was learning many music lyric sites are stuffed with spyware. Yikes! I've looked up lyrics before and now understand why my machine suddenly slowed thereafter. Next time, I'll just mumble my w

Managing a Life by Better Managing E-Mail

Last week I had to pinch-hit for our main news writer, who was on special assignment. I wasn’t sure how I’d successfully juggle two people’s workloads. But, not only did I pull it off, I did it all within my typical 10-hour day (which is down from the 12-hour norm of years past). My secret? E-mail. As part of my yearlong reduction initiative, I decided to tackle one of my biggest time-wasters at work: managing my e-mail account. As a journalist, I’m at the top of the spam heap, mainly because my e-mail address is blasted all over the place. (Realtors are an even bigger catch, by the way.) As a result, I get 300 to 500 messages daily, about three-fourths of which are some form of spam. The remainder comes from publicists, listservs or staff/company communications. I’m also a remote employee, so I need to check e-mail frequently since I’m not in the office to keep up through osmosis. For the past month I’ve begun deleting messages whose subject lines suggest I’m not the appropriate rec

Let's Try This Again

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This weekend Blogger was being uncooperative, so I tried to sneak those pictures in my last post in through a backdoor. It apparently only worked for an hour before the photos went poof! Here's one of them at the base of the big hill.    The others will have to wait. I'm still encountering problems that even my AP Computer Science kid can't help me with. I will add as a post-race note that apparently my eyes are as weak as my bladder. I learned today that the portable toilet was indeed unlocked. The padlock only hooked around one end. Next time, I won't latch on to misperceptions so quickly.

Race Review: 2006 El Cajon 20k

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Within our running circle, this race gets so much word-of-mouth that its course is almost mythic. It’s different for us city-dwellers. It’s also difficult. For those unfamiliar with San Diego, El Cajon is a sprawling and weathered city bordered by beautiful mountains. It’s one of the few places I know of in the county where the McMansions and country clubs of the nuevo riche and old-moneyed coexist with the rundown service stations and manufactured homes of those less fortunate. El Cajon is also a more compassionate municipality than most. It tends to take in the downtrodden that other communities expel through community policing and higher housing costs. As a result, it’s not that unusual to drive downtown and have to dodge some slightly deranged, cigarette-dangling guy looking for a light. If there’s a Starbucks in El Cajon, it’s well hidden. And if I sound like I'm dissing the place, I'm not. There's something to be said for a community that's colorful, tolerant,