Thursday, August 31, 2017

Should I Do The Triple?

When I was attending the mandatory course talk for the Chicago Triathlon, the speaker asked for a show of hands of those who had already done the Chicago Triathlon 10 times. I raised my hand.

No one doubted me. Let's face it, I look old enough!

But I wondered whether I actually was sure of that number. So I went back to my race log and counted. Yep, well over 10. And, as I thought, I had raced all 3 of the distances: International, Sprint, and Supersprint. Also, from my notes, I raced a couple of times where the course was shortened. I had forgotten, but I remember that one year the swim conditions were terrible, and they shortened the swim course drastically.

Anyway, they now have an event called the Triple Challenge, which involves doing all 3 distances in one weekend. I have to admit, I'm tempted. It's actually less distance than a half-Ironman. Well, to be technical, the swim is longer, but the other pieces are shorter. And... it's broken up into 3 piece over 2 days. So you can kind of catch your breath between the races.

The real reason I'm attracted to it is that you are in the very first batch of people to start at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning. No waiting around! I waited around till 8 a.m., old person that I am, because they wanted to let the fast young people go first. But just by signing up for the Triple, I would get into the first wave or so for the International. They have to do that, so that you can be finished with the International in time to join the last wave or so of the Sprint race.

Hopefully I will talk myself out of this.
It would be a strange way of pursuing my bliss.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Like Auntie Fa?

People are uncertain how antifa should be pronounced.
I'm worried if I say it wrong I'll end up getting trounced.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Not News

I find That overly slanted news
Is boring. It makes me snooze.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fiery Art

'Someone set fire to the large "REAL FAKE" sculpture that sits near Chicago's Trump Tower on Friday afternoon, forcing firefighters to come out and wash it down.'

From past reports, this sculpture wasn't created with Trump in mind, but it may well have been placed with Trump in mind.

Even when art
Fails to inspire,
Please do not
Set it on fire.

Of course, political art vandalism is becoming a thing in the USA. Mostly people are tearing them down or writing messages on them. But in Chicago, fire seems to be spreading. This is from last week:

"Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of emboldening vandals to set fire to a bust of Abraham Lincoln that has stood as a symbol of freedom in West Englewood for nearly a century."

With anonymous vandals, it's actually hard to be sure of motivations. There have been plenty of "real fake" hate crimes in recent years, although those seem more common at colleges.

Arson on art
Is a local trend.
I'm worried about
Where it might end.

Mrs. O'Leary
Had a bad cow.
But our fire department
Is better now.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wish List for Sunday

For the Chicago Triathlon,
It would be great
If they could paint lines underwater
To help me swim straight.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Overcrowded Museum

I've seen people, all northerners I think, proposing that all the statues of Civil War generals be put in a museum. I think they imagine that all these works are artistically significant, and that there's a big variety of statues. But I rather fear there are a lot of statues of just a few people: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis. With here and there some generalized "confederate soldier" statues. We've got a confederate soldier statue here in Chicago, at a mass grave of confederate soldiers who died in the big POW camp here in Chicago, Camp Douglas, which is sometimes called the north's Andersonville. Prison conditions, by most accounts, were frequently deadly.

They lie beneath the Illinois loam.
These men who didn't go marching home.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Oh My Ears

Free speech is at its best
When I'm the one doing the talking.
But it's an unpleasant test
When my opponents are squawking.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cool Event

Some kind people let me borrow
Their special specs
For solar effects
So my eyes will still work tomorrow.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Toeing the Line

Cut a hole in my shoes
To make room for my toes.
No more black toenail blues?
Well, we'll see how it goes.

Here's how it looks:

I was actually following internet advice on this. You see, I really like this new pair of Hoka shoes, and they seem to be great for distance running. But...

Well, 2 weeks ago I ran 16 miles, in these expensive Hoka shoes, and felt unusually good, except for my a few of my toes, which felt unusually bad. They were bruised under the nail. Now you might think that the right thing to do is to just buy bigger shoes. But these shoes were sized correctly in most respects.

So, yesterday, I made this radical modification, and ran for 20 miles, and it went really well, and my toenails seem fine. Really, it's was like running in cushioned open-toed sandals.

I thought of one more benefit - yes -
Now my shoes weigh even less.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Safety First

If everyone in the country tried
To see the eclipse, would we tip to one side?
As for me,
I'm going to watch it streaming on TV.

Solar Lunacy

The moon has a lot of nerve,
Proposing to block the sun.
It really ought to swerve
And leave the eclipse undone.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In Fact They May Find It Annoying

I have found that a lot of white people enjoy talking about their racial guilt trips, but that African Americans rarely find much of value in these travelogues.

No matter what you heard
In your class on sociology
People aren't sitting around
Waiting for your apology.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trying to Understand

There was violence on both sides. True.

There was only deadly violence on one side, from one person.

Who was marching on that "Unite the Right" side? Were there decent people on that side? Trump apparently said there were. I mean, I'm sure there are people who would like to preserve the statue of Lee for various reasons which are not, in fact, racist. Were there a lot of such people at the rally? Or were they avoiding the rally because it looked to be led by a bunch of neo-Nazi pro-Confederacy types? I can't tell, and it doesn't seem like any reporters are working the angle of exactly who was at this mess.

There's a group that is described as alt-right or far right, called Proud Boys. I want to quote from their website:

'I hope they all enjoyed the little “street performance” with their KKK pals. THANK GOD THE PROUD BOYS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.' (Lots of NSFW swear words at the link.)

If you're thinking of marching with Nazis,
I really suggest you don't.
You may believe it will work out well,
But history says it won't.

Dogged Determination

How to lick the last bit out?
Just stick in your furry snout!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Feathers vs. Fur

I'm listening to an owl, just after midnight. It's a barred owl, judging by its call. I hear my yellow lab barking back at it. She finds the hooting disturbing, I'm not sure why.

The hooting from the owl
Incites my dog to howl.
Oh, you silly pup,
It's time to shut up!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sword of Damocles

I saw where David Brooks, the NY Times columnist, was calling for the CEO of Google to resign.

I do find this turn amusing.
I suppose he will be refusing.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Susan Rice, late of the former administration, writes in the NY Times:

"First, though we can never legitimize North Korea as a nuclear power, we know it is highly unlikely to relinquish its sizable arsenal because Mr. Kim deems the weapons essential to his regime’s survival."

So, we won't legitimize, but we expect North Korea to remain a nuclear power. We will accept, but not approve. I suppose that matters a little, but I wish it mattered more.

A lot of us imagine the current world order proceeding more or less as it is now. But I do wonder what would happen if North Korea dropped even one nuclear bomb on an American city. It could change a lot of things very quickly. I think it would make our reaction to 9/11 look like a minor eruption of force and fury. I don't know what would happen. I don't imagine anyone really does.

I wish the missile defense systems
Worked better than they do.
Maybe then I wouldn't be sharing
These worrisome thoughts with you

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


Up there in the sky -
What is all that stuff?
Well, to my eye,
It's a mountain of fluff.


There was a story in the news today that a certain chain had a plan to shorten its name.

The company plans to go nuts
And drop the alliterative "donuts"
To rebrand just as Dunkin'?
Man, I call that flunkin'!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Formican Melody

What music does an ant hum?
I hope he drones an anthem!
And if he won't, just plant him
Beneath the spiky Xanthium.

Sunday, August 06, 2017


One thing about autumn marathons is a bummer:
You have to start training in the summer.
Maybe it's me, but I'd rather not
Run run run when it's hot hot hot.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Unpretty Situation

Wacky local story:

"Escort wasn’t the ‘brains’ behind spending of $5.8 million with exec’s credit card, lawyer says"

They blew an awful lot of money that wasn't theirs to blow. Now it looks like they might be trying to blame each other. But I can't see pinning either as a mastermind, under the circumstances.

Who was the 'brains' of this spending spree?
They both seem sort of short-sighted to me.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


There are a rumors that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is considering an entry into politics.

Billionaire considers second job.
Pay is so-so. Hope he's not a snob!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


I was driving home mid-day Sunday, and I encountered a big white cloud of smoke the length of my city block. I stopped twice to make sure I could see through it safely while driving. It smelled a bit acrid, like burning rubber or something. I thought it must be from a malfunctioning vehicle that had driven ahead of me. But I never saw what vehicle that might have been.

A little while later, a fire truck came down my block, and proceeded to drive around the area a bit. I think someone had made a 911 call about the smoke. But the firefighters couldn't seem to find the source.

Where's there's smoke,
Fire is expected.
But this time
It couldn't be detected.