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Friday, September 29, 2006

I was planning on never writing about Rupert, the dead swan, ever again...but the local papers seem unable to stop...

Briefly, memorial service will be this Saturday. I'm guessing that if you don't own your own outrigger, you are out of luck. I want a canoe...or maybe a kayak. Really, I want some time to paddle a canoe or kayak around. I guess I do not really need a canoe or a kayak.

Here's a picture of Rupert's replacement; although he is much better looking than Rupert, he will not be making his debut in Newport Harbor any time soon.


In running news: I have 2 and a half weeks until marathon #1, and I am nowhere near my goal time of 210 minutes. Ran a little over 35 miles last week...only up to 7 miles so far this week. Good thing I haven't paid yet.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sorry for my recent lack of blogging. I have had no time for posting, because I am supposed to be training 10 new pharmacists next month. Prior to starting the training, I have been entrusted with updating a very poorly written training manual. My first task was to trim the 160+ pages down to a hundred or so...sadly, I have ended up back at 140 pages. Most of the new pages are screen shots that I have made with (the only photo editing program available to me at work), Microsoft Paint.



Paint is a rather lousy program, but I have become so adept at using it, that I was able to touch up this picture of Snake Woman and her new boyfriend.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Jewish, Whatever is a Jewish?"

My father always said this with a hint of a proper British accent, though it's probably funnier with a Southern drawl. Note to gentiles: You are most likely not allowed to say this sort of thing. Please consult woodyallen.com for more information.

So it seems that every Christian I know seems to know several (so called) Messianic Jews. I am perplexed, because this website tells me that there are only 20,000 or 30,000 Messianic Jews worldwide. I am also perplexed because Messianic Jews are supposed to be celebrating the Sabbath on the Sabbath, at least according to this site. So where are these Christians meeting all these Messianic Jews? In church? On Sunday? Wouldn't that just make them Christians? I have only met a few Messianic Jews (usually the crazy uncle at a Sukkot party, or something), and they have all insisted that they are indeed Jewish.

So what makes one Jewish? Are we both a race and a religion? Jewish law says that if your mother is Jewish, then so are you. But you can convert to Judaism...the Bible is full of Jewish converts, from Abraham on down. There are no races (of which I am aware) that you can convert into. Can you convert to Messianic Judaism? Evidently, not unless you are Jewish.

My test has always been: If you have a Christmas tree, you are not Jewish. I probably have some cousins who would disagree with me on this one.

Messianic Jews (or Jews for Jesus as you are more commonly known): I would hazard a guess that a lot of you probably do not have Christmas trees. You are still not Jewish...just as a Christian who follows the teachings of Mohammed is no longer a Christian.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

After my first year of college (the first time around), I decided to take a year of organic chemistry over the summer. I can no longer remember why...something to do with the apartment we had rented requiring us to pay rent for the summer. Anyway, there were four (three hour) lectures per week and three (three hour labs)...or was it four (four hour) lectures? Every Thursday was a midterm exam, and every third Thursday was a final; nine weeks of this horror. I remember thinking during these lectures that sitting at home and staring at a wall would be more interesting that watching the collection of PhDs they had rounded up to teach this course.

In retrospect, I had it all wrong. That much organic chemistry adds years to your life.

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Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years.

'I think you're crazy,' was the way Clevinger had responded to Dunbar's discovery.

'Who wants to know?' Dunbar answered.

'I mean it,' Clevinger insisted.

'Who cares?' Dunbar answered.

'I really do. I'll even go so far as to concede that life seems longer I -'

'- is longer I -'

'- is longer - Is longer? All right, is longer if it's filled with periods of boredom and discomfort, b -'

'Guess how fast?' Dunbar said suddenly.

'Huh?'

'They go,' Dunbar explained.

'Years.'

'Years.'

'Years,' said Dunbar. 'Years, years, years.'

'Clevinger, why don't you let Dunbar alone?' Yossarian broke in. 'Don't you realize the toll this is taking?'

'It's all right,' said Dunbar magnanimously. 'I have some decades to spare. Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?'

'And you shut up also,' Yossarian told Orr, who had begun to snigger.

'I was just thinking about that girl,' Orr said. 'That girl in Sicily. That girl in Sicily with the bald head.'

'You'd better shut up also,' Yossarian warned him.

'It's your fault,' Dunbar said to Yossarian. 'Why don't you let him snigger if he wants to? It's better than having him talking.'

'All right. Go ahead and snigger if you want to.'

'Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.'

'Old?' asked Clevinger with surprise. 'What are you talking about?'

'Old.'

'I'm not old.'

'You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unhooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast. How the hell else are you ever going to slow time down?' Dunbar was almost angry when he finished.

'Well, maybe it is true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. 'Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?'

'I do,' Dunbar told him.

'Why?' Clevinger asked.

'What else is there?'
Marla, that sore on the back of your heel that would get better if you could just stop rubbing it with your shoe.

Almost completely healed after my purchase of $12 NewBalance socks. It looked much worse a few days ago, when it was still oozing. Who says I'm not giving the public what they want?

My first injury of the marathon training season (except for my chronically bad knees and my chronically deformed right pinky toe). My mileage has been greatly reduced (only 19 last week). Do I have enough time?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

2 Days in the Valley....not that Valley, this Valley.

(There would probably be some cool pictures on this post, if someone had remembered the camera...I shall see what I can steal.)

400 miles isn't too far to drive for free wine tasting, is it? We also made a little visit to the oldest Japanese Gardens outside of Japan, or something. The zen garden was in a state of disrepair, and looks better in this photo:

These turtles look surprisingly like the turtles in the garden. I never seen a turtle.


There was tea at Santana Row. I think this was our waitress. She had a crush on me, probably because only old ladies and their granddaughters usually go in the place.

Dinner consisted of tequila and appetizers. I like tequila...not your cheap mass market tequila, but real tequila. I feel another expensive hobby coming along.

Bonny Doon on the way home. Ever have raisin wine? Really nothing to write home about, but come on, it's made from raisins. How's that even possible?
You hit like a girl.

So I'm finishing off an exquisite burrito (worth a diversion to the coast if you happen to be driving to/from NoCal), and Nico checks her voicemail, then starts repeating some numbers over and over again. So I start in with the Pinball Number Count...did anybody else know that was the Pointer Sisters? Does anybody else think the Pointer Sisters look pretty good for eighty?

Where was I? Wham!!! Nicole hit me on what must be a very soft spot of my head. Nicole is mean, and I still have a headache 20 hours later. For future interactions with Nicole, I will be wearing a helmet. I was thinking either a Jack Nicholson Football Helmet...
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
...or a Natalie Portman Rugby helmet.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Takealotofdrugs movie trivia...1/16th to the first person who can:
1) name the two movies the above pictures are from
2) tell me what 1/16th is
3) tell me what movie the 1/16th is from
(Kwon, you should know this but you won't...Nico, you should not know this, but you just might).

Back to my head injury, evidently a sister is in the hospital. I have no more details to share because, 1) I sort of blacked out after the blow to the head, and 2) Nicole was not sharing any details, as she was kind of mad over the whole Pinball Count thing. I see Tricia has survived bungee jumping; no word from Jenny in a month. Tricia, Jenny: If you are reading this, please let us know you are alive and well. Back to work.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Snakewoman: Everything you need to know is right here. You have plenty of time to study and practice before Tuesday. I guess I have to disagree with the author of the referenced page; I prefer wheat bread. I would also like the bread toasted, if it's not too much trouble.
"There's no downside to having a swan..."

I could not have made that quote up...actually I could have: I frequently tell Nico that there is no downside to getting a pelican.


So anyway, if you don't feel like reading that fascinating article about Rupert, there's going to be a memorial service...for a swan. Also, some guy wants to buy a new pair of swans for the harbor. In other news, no memorial service has been announced for the dead Huntington Beach woman. And there was this brilliant quote from City Councilman (and former Mayor) Tod Ridgeway: "I just don't understand what's the hurry to get to a dead body...One, what was the hurry, and two, why didn't they avoid the swan?" Uhhm...I don't know, maybe because you need a coroner to prounounce a body dead, and until that happens it's a person floating in the water???

Only in Newport. I could not make this stuff up.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Don't Kill the Goose...


Evidently, the dead body that Harbor Patrol was trying to rescue when they killed Rupert was a slightly more important story, capturing the front page of the Daily Pilot today.

About story #1. I'll miss Rupert and all, but that swan story is definitely sensationalized. Rupert was never particulary friendly. Sure, he'd swim up to our boat sometimes, but he would let out a very loud hiss if anybody tried to touch him. Also, I had not seen Rupert at Wassall's dock in well over a year...actually, I think he preferred to hang out by Harbor Patrol.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I was going to title this post: "Why stay in college, Why go to nightschool?" Because of the Google ad at the top of my page that currently reads: "Want to be a pharmacist? Earn your degree in your spare time 100% online. Free info available." But then I thought: "These ads are bringing in 60 or 70 cents a month, so I should not make fun of them. So I'll have to save my cool Talking Heads lyric for a future post.

Today's post will instead be called: "How to kill a Sunday."

A lot of people take their cars to the carwash. (Carwashes are great if you want all the grit from the cars in front of you to carve little scratches in your paint.) A lot of people put their kids in daycare. (Daycare is great if you want...I'll let you finish that yourself.) My car, however, has been 100% hand washed at home (with the possible exception of a couple of unrequested washes from the Chrysler dealer during routine maintenance). Washing is quite easy, but a couple of times a year, a car needs the 3 step waxing process (actually 4 steps if you count washing). Usually, it takes me around 3 hours to get through the 3 steps. Yesterday, I decided to make things easier on myself by buying an orbital buffer. Orbital buffers would be the greatest inventions ever if I had an old Volvo...I even bought the smallest diameter buffer I could find (6 inches), but my car proved to be too voluptuous. Also, to actually have a time savings benefit with an orbital buffer, you really need two of them (or else you're changing applicator/removal pads every 2 minutes)...an assistant would also help. Unfortunately, my assistant prefers to drive a dirty car, and certainly did not feel like assisting with the cleaning of mine. Total time spent washing, waxing, and buying an orbital buffer: 4 hours.



After the car care was done, I did an excruciating 10 mile run to the HB pier. Excruciating because:

1) I was tired/sunburnt/dehydrated from 4 hours of car care.
2) The much faster 50 year old man that passed me made me run faster than I can run.
3) I was still tired from Friday's 14 mile effort.

UCI night sailing at sunset. Our sidekick brought along the wind, but made no effort to mingle with the scores of eligible bachelors.

In non-Sunday related news, here is my long overdue mileage update:

Last week (9/3-9/9): 21 miles running (over 2 days)
Week before last (8/27-9-2): 22 miles running (over 2 days)
--Not great totals, but I did get in 180 miles of cross training.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Everywhere I looked there was something to remind me of her.


Any bike ride that starts and ends at sea level has to be flat, right? Actually, due to the curvature of the earth, maybe any ride that starts and ends at sea level has to be entirely downhill.

And with these two theories in mind, we rode the tandem down to San Diego for the weekend.

Being the social people that we are, we invited a couple of single bikes along for the trip. Here is Ben (on an early 1980s Schwinn) managing to stay ahead of Jessica, just before the hill at Torrey Pines.


What would a trip to San Diego be without a visit to the zoo? It was 100 degrees at the zoo. Most of the animals seemed to like the heat.

Here is a council of three wizened giraffes:


I usually tell Nico to look less goofy prior to having her picture taken. I must have forgotten this time.


Hanah (who drove with the SAG vehicle) and her sister.


And finally, Snake Woman was worried about the caption that would accompany this photo. Hey Snake Woman, if you don't want to be called Snake Woman, stop posing with snakes. I was going to go with "Don't do it Big, Giant, Albino Python...don't eat the apple"...but then I thought, let's open it up to the board. Click the "Comments" link and post your caption suggestions for this picture...prize for the winner to be determined.


Nico and I were all alone for the ride back, with Ben and Jessica choosing to return in the SAG vehicle. There was a good 10-12 MPH headwind for the final 70 miles, making the ride home considerably worse than the ride there...probably the most difficult bike ride I have ever undertaken. Maybe the ride up the Volcano was worse...but I was out of shape then. (The 4000 ft elevation sign did not come out very well.)

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For you out of towners, I guess I left off: Newport to San Diego is 90 miles give or take...we'll call it 180 miles for the weekend.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Copyright??? What's a copyright?

Too cheap to buy your own copy of the greatest and most influential novel of our time?

Well now you can save your $6.86 and read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas without even leaving your desk.

And since Dr. Gonzo is dead, you can read this online book without any guilt whatsover.