Saturday, August 29, 2009

Racing in the heat

There were 2 races quite close to my home this weekend and while I didn't sign up for either one, I felt badly for the runners. This has been the hottest weekend we've had to date and it was already heating up by 5:00 when I got up. One of the races is a half marathon that will run through the local strawberry fields. There's no trees or shade of any kind on those roads; I know because I run them often and just last Thursday I was struggling through a 16 miler on those very roads. And there are rolling hills-one right after the other. The other run isn't quite so bad, since it runs on the beach and through the dunes, but it will be pretty hot as well. It's the first year for the half marathon and I hope that the organizers have lots of well supplied water stops along the way.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oil and Water

We all know that oil and water do not mix. That is why you want to keep the two elements separate in a car engine, which leads me to the question of the day:

You are adding coolant to the radiator in your favorite vintage car. You watch the coolant level slowly go down, yet there's no water coming out underneath the car. You then check the oil dipstick, and the oil, which should be a clear golden color, is a milky, yukky gray, and the oil level is slowly going up.

So, faithful readers, where do you think the water from the radiator is going? That's right-straight into the engine. Now watch as my checkbook balance slowly goes down...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It feels like Fall-in August!

I'm a morning runner. I love the cooler weather, the lack of traffic, and I've always been a morning person anyway. If I'm going to be up at 6 am, I might as well be running. In the summer it's advantagous to run in the morning in order to avoid the afternoon heat. Lately, however, it's been downright cold in the morning. We've had a heavy layer of fog that you can feel on your skin and that wets the pavement. I'm not complaining; it's perfect running weather and unseasonable even for those of us who live near the coast. The air has a distinctive fall feeling to it. I know, you're all saying California doesn't have seasons and that simply isn't true. We have seasons, they're just more subtle than the rest of the country experiences. I've lived here long enough to know what Fall feels like and I'm telling you it's here now, in August. For those of you in less temperate climates, I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Spy with my Little Eye

You just never know what you'll see when running; I think I hit the perfect trifecta of a trailer park vignette during my long run Saturday. Yes, part of my run takes me for a cruise through a trailer park. Let me just say that most of the people living in the park appear to be upstanding citizens of the retired kind, and this post is not meant to be a reflection on them. It is, however, a reflection on the minority of people who live in the park and have a negative tooth to tattoo ratio. And I swear I am not making this up.

Seen in the trailer park, neatly lined up against the curb:

4 empty bottles of beer (domestic brand).
1 McDonalds bag.
1 pregnancy test kit box.

I think this is just the dregs left behind from your typical trailer park date night...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Justice

I spent yet another day yesterday in court to protect my rights as a victim and see a little justice served to the pondslime woman who was involved in the burglary at my home. This was to be the day she was sentenced; I knew her sentence would not be nearly what she deserved (one year in jail and 3 years probation). I just wanted to see her sentenced and know she was finally punished. However, the case took yet another unexpected turn. I didn't see the thieving, lying lowlife with the other miscreants in their orange jumpsuits and she also was not in the gallery with the law abiding citizens like myself. When her case was called and it became obvious that she was not present, the judge issued a bench warrant for her arrest. This means that if she is still in California, and if she gets pulled over for a broken tail light on her car or if she calls the cops for a domestic abuse case or if she does anything at all that brings her to the attention of the police, she'll be arrested. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The bad thing about this is she was my last, final hope for getting back any of my stolen property. I just have to let it go and move forward-all that stuff that meant so much to me is gone forever. Damn.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anger on the Run

When I hit the road later in the morning like I did today, I usually see a lot of kids out doing stuff-riding bikes or skateboards, walking to the park or their friends houses; there's lots of kids around here and for the most part they're pretty friendly. Today, however, was different. I've been home long enough to take a shower and warm up my left over coffee and I'm still mad.

I'm somewhere between mile 4 and 5 of an 8 miler and I'm running on a fairly busy (well, busy for my little town..)street and I see a group of 5 kids ahead of me, ranging in age from maybe 13 or 14 to a little girl of maybe 7 years old. The little girl is lagging 10 yards or so behind the older kids and the gap is getting wider with every step she takes. And why, you may ask, is she falling so far behind? The little girl is struggling to keep up with the group because she's the only one in the group carrying a backpack-a huge backpack almost as big as she is. That's right, faithful readers, 5 able bodied kids and they make the littlest one carry the backpack. They weren't even watching her on this busy street with no sidewalk. I caught up with the little girl and I couldn't help myself. I told her to take a break for a minute and while she looked a little confused, she gratefully dropped the backpack and stopped walking. "HEY!" I yelled at the older kids. "GET BACK HERE!" They turned and just stood there, staring at me. I yelled again, and they walked back to me and the girl. I decided to try the nice approach first with the oldest girl. "You need to help this kid. She's little. Help her so she can keep up". OK, I'm thinking, this will be a test of the teenager's character. She'll either help the little one or she'll flip me off and keep walking.

The teenager gave me an arrogant stare, then she picked up the backpack and started walking. OK, I'm thinking, I didn't get the finger or any foul language. Let's see if we can make a little more progress. "Hold her hand, and walk slower. She's little and she can't walk as fast as you can. You need to take care of her". Again, the arrogant stare. She took the child's hand and the group walked away, at a much slower pace.

I'm pretty sure the next time these kids are out walking, they'll still make the little girl carry the backpack. But at least on this day they were forced to do the right thing.