Running and science-fiction: Two great tastes that go great together.

My running shoes died last Wednesday. They had been giving signs for a few weeks, and I tried to pretend they weren’t there. But you have to face facts when your legs start hurting on runs. Well, more so than usual, and on a short one.
I wanted to hold off for another two weeks. That is when the Running Room is going to have a sidewalk sale. And I had a 20% off coupon that would go nicely with that. But painful-legs trumps saved-money. (And I’m going to try and score another coupon. Vector cereal may taste bland and give me gas, but the coupon easily saves me more money than it costs.)
So I went and bought some shoes on Friday. These ones aren’t very expensive higher end ones, as I’m really just using them to pass the two weeks. Still, they aren’t cheap. And I needed them for today, because I ran 32km. Which is probably wrong on so many levels. Don’t break in new runners with really long runs.
Normally the group I’m with would do 16km, but they are training for a marathon two weeks earlier than mine. So I figured a long run on my own would do the trick. Unfortunately that means there is no conversation to keep me going. So I brought along my iPod and listened to Escape Pod; Science-fiction short stories read out.
I’ve been holding off on listening to their really long 100th episode: Nightfall by Isaac Asimov. Fifteen years ago I had read a longer novelization made by Robert Silverberg, but I must say, the original short story is better. Much more compact. I highly recommend you give it a listen.
When I listened to their Christmas episode (I’m a lot behind in my listening) I also found a lovely Christmas carol at the end. And springtime is the best time to listen to them, because it doesn’t have the trappings of commercialism. I did not expect Twisted Sister to be that versatile, but it really got me pumping. An excellent running song that I will have to add to my repertoire.


The newspaper has a section on new condos. The front page of this part is about boring bachelor pads and the mistakes single guys always do.

  • The dark leather sofa: Yup. I have one of those.
  • The AV equipment: Does a 56-inch widescreen TV count. Yes it does. This indicates my living area is for watching TV and playing video games instead of conversation. Ironic considering how little time I do spend using the TV. Maybe I should move my aforementioned sofa and chairs around so they are arrayed in a circle?
  • The cheap shelves: Check. They were a good place to store remotes! I thought they were a great idea.
  • The bad art: I might be better here. But then again, most of my art is inherited from my mother. I do like my wooden framed medieval map of England. (Or is it France? I’m not sure, I never look.) Against me, is that I actually have purchased beautiful numbered prints of half-naked winged fantasy women. They previously adorned the walls of my apartment ten years ago, but I still have them.

So, it can not be argued. I have a boring bachelor pad; As defined by an article written by a woman. (Does that give it more credibility or less?) However, I can’t really see it changing. I don’t like to sell things. It makes me feel like I was wrong to have purchased it in the first place. Better to throw it out and maintain some honor.
Why do you think I still have a scooter?

Just eat it

I haven’t been out to dinner in quite some time. The last time I can recall would be back in November for my birthday. So I can’t blame this drought solely on last month’s financial challenge.
I am, of course, discounting fast food restaurants. Although, come to think of it, I haven’t gone to one of those places much lately either. And I’m also skipping Chianti, but that place feels more like family than a restaurant. (And I’ve been served faster there than some actual “fast food” places.)
I used to go out much more often. I remember a time I went out every Friday for a meal. But back then I lived within walking distance of a food court. Now, I am living in the greatest density of culinary art in Edmonton, and yet I barely use it.
Part of the problem would be that it is somewhat uncomfortable to eat in a restaurant alone. I used to have friends who wanted to go out often too, but I no longer live close to them.

What do emo cutters use?

If my work had an actual security department, I would be in an afterschool special today.
I use Henckel knives. My mother used them and I have inherited the habit. Since they are expensive, I don’t want to sharpen them incorrectly. Which has led me to not sharpen them at all. But today, a kitchen store that sells the knives was having having a representative from Henckel do free knife sharpening. Perfect. I’ll go after work.
So, in other words, while I was at work, I had two, very large, rather deadly, kitchen knives in my backpack. Thankfully there is no metal detector, or trigger-happy rent-a-cops packing heat at work. But if there were, I don’t think they would have been pleased with me.
The kitchen store had a lot of cool gadgets. I don’t cook enough to justify most of them, but the hoarder in me would still like to get them. Do I really need a special pan just to make omlettes. And a pressure cooker? Not really.
Is a cooking store a good place to pick up chicks?
However, I am weak and did buy some stuff. Of course, it is hard to feel like a real man when you decide to buy six ramekins so you can make Crème brûlée. I didn’t get their butane torch, and they seemed rather upset when I suggested getting one from Canadian Tire, but it has got to be cheaper there. (Plus they will have the actual butane needed.)
If this was last month, I probably could have controlled myself and not gotten anything.
And I got a diamond edged knife sharpener. Defeating the purpose of going there.

Why do I run?

The other day a friend asked me why I continue to run if I complain about it all the time. He bicycles all over creation and says he always enjoys it.
I can think of two answers to his question.
The first is simple. I complain because it gives me a chance to brag about how far I’ve run. I like to be the centre of attention. This is a mark of poor self-esteem and I do need to work on this.
The other answer is that when I am running, I am usually training for something. When you have to do something, it becomes less enjoyable. Some of the best runs I’ve ever had have been short 16-km ones that didn’t matter. When you pile on the distance, because you have a marathon coming up, then it starts to become work.
Competition ruins hobbies.
Why do you think no one watches the Olympics anymore?


Every so often I get a project idea in my head. These are projects that will take time and energy, but in the end will challenge me and build character. Unfortunately, if I see that someone else has taken over the same project, it gives me an excuse to bail out on the whole idea.
I once started making a program to give clues to someone to help solve a sudoku. I never really got down to the user interface; You had to do a simple rewrite of the program to solve different problems. (Not as hard as it sounds.) I even used it to help me solve monster 16×16 problems that the newspaper was having contests with. Then I found the application Sudoku Susser. Clean user interface, uses tricks I didn’t know about, and would give hints in exactly the way I want. (I don’t want a solution, I want to know how to solve only one more square.) When I saw that someone had already done all the work (probably better than I would have), why should I bother.
It doesn’t solve 16×16 problems though.
Now, I had another project in mind, if I ever got my hands on Lego again. But today I found someone had already done it, and probably better than I would have. Darn professional artists.
I could still build a simple sphere.

Running on empty

The run this morning was long. Longer still because I decided to run to the Running Room. But surprisingly, I felt pretty good during the last part. I’ll take that as a good sign that I am getting healthier.
The only unfortunate part about it was that the group never really came upon a water refilling. There is only so much water you can bring along with you, and you don’t want to get dehydrated. So, it is good to stop off at some gas station or rest stop and refill the water bottles.
Thank goodness it had snowed recently. The fresh snow was not particularly tasty, but it did have the added benefit of cooling me down.

Month’s end accounting

Well, I nearly made it. I checked online and found that I am $3.60 over my goal of $300 for the month. It was the newspaper subscription that pushed me past the target. Curses for staying well informed!
Mind you, there is no prize for meeting the goal, and I did accomplish what I set out to do; Get back to financial discipline.
Hopefully my car will start tomorrow and get me to a gas station.
There is thoughts in my head to reward myself for this. Mostly by going out and spending money. Which sort of defeats the purpose. But the iPod touch does look sweet. And I should get Super Smash Brothers Brawl. And I have a friend who believes that Guitar Hero 3 would be a good investment. And I haven’t done an order from Amazon in awhile.

And I’ve never been to Las Vegas…

The road to hell is paved with logical steps

It is a series of steps, that all may logical sense, but they lead to a horrifying conclusion.
I am still trying to keep the credit card bill as low as possible. The period ends on Monday, so I only have to survive two more days, and then I’m done and can waste my money again. (The words willy-nilly come to mind… Are those words?) Unfortunately, my car is running on fumes. I need to gas it up if I want to go anywhere, and in this economy, gas is very expensive. But if I can hold off on driving for the weekend, I’m good.
So I work at home today. That skips the daily commute. But there is still the regular Friday party. I want to go to that. Fortunately there is a great solution. I need to fit more running into my schedule, and the party isn’t that far. And now I know that it is only 32 minutes away. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Warm. I can even run home at night.
At around nine o’clock though, it started snowing. That is not a good sign.
It was actually quite nippy out. And I am very thankful that someone gave me a ride home. She even had a very warm car.