Monday, December 20, 2021

What You Stole

 My grandmother died from Covid-19 last Saturday.

The last photo of my grandma
and I, taken at Thanksgiving

She was in a rehab facility when you walked in the door, transmitting Covid-19 to another patient, because you weren't buying the hype about the virus.

The person you gave Covid to transmitted it onto the hands or clothes of a staff member. Because you refused to wear a mask during most of 2020 and 2021, the staff in the facility burned out. They got sick, or quit and there weren't enough of them to ensure proper patient care in the appropriate ratios. Those that were left were too tired to practice effective infection control, and transmitted to 11 other patients, then to my grandma.

When she tested positive, she was free from symptoms. The day she tested positive, I tested as well, as I had seen her just 4 days before. I was negative. My grandma was vaccinated. We were hopeful.

Two days later, her doctor sent her to the hospital because her oxygen levels had dropped and her heart was elevated, but he had a plan. He would treat my grandma with a course of Rendesivir, the same medication that treated the former president when he got Covid last year.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Courtroom Crookery

Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty in a court of law on Friday. Not innocent, to be sure, but that a jury was unable to convict him of the crimes he committed. Observing the prosecution and defense arguments, this isn't a terribly surprising outcome. What showed up in court was not the best prosecution that could have been mounted, and the defense was skilled at doing what the defense is legally permitted to do. As disgusting as it sounds, in the American legal system, defendants of a crime have the right to denigrate crime victims, destroy their image and reputations in a way that prosecutors do not have the ability to do so. Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorneys took advantage of this toward his less than perfect victims, but this kind of trickery shows up not only in cases of violent crime like Rittenhouse's, but most frequently in crimes of sexual violence and assault. Jon Krakauer's book Missoula has good commentary on this if you are interested. A system of justice that requires proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt stacks the books against conviction if you hire a skilled attorney to defend you, particularly when much of case against you is based on establishing intent, and relying on human testimony. Its why only 10% of sexual crimes are ever prosecuted and convicted. It is why when you have money, you are more likely to receive a verdict of "not guilty." It also helps if you are white and have a baby face so people have a hard time believing you are or could be violent or aggressive, a condition that never exists for young, black men.

All of this is important when we consider another really important case currently under prosecution.
Greg McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan, Travis McMichael saw Ahmaud Aubrey running down their street, decided that he must be responsible for the recent burglaries in their area, jumped in their trucks, chased him down on the street, and caught him. When they caught him, these three men in two trucks pointed loaded guns at him, and one of them shot Ahmaud twice, killing him. These are the facts of the case, and were captured on video, as I've posted on before

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Race Report: Pikes Peak Marathon

 After 8 months of training, including just over 33 miles of elevation gain, today was the day. The Pikes Peak Marathon, called by Runners' World as one of the toughest races in the world. With 7800 feet of elevation gain over 13 miles on top of a granite mountain, Runners' World might have a point.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Race Report: Barr Trail Mountain Race

Barr Trail (last week, not today)
Trail racing is not the same as road racing. Whereas I used to be able to occasionally make the podium for age group finishing in smaller races, I'm a much slower runner on the trails - as is everyone. 

Lining up this morning outside the Cog Rail station at the end of Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs, I was concerned about hitting the cutoff times, which I never give a second thought to in road races. The race goes up Barr Trail to Barr Camp and back down again, for a relatively random race total of 12.8 miles. I've been running Barr for years and know the trail well, and have been on it a couple times a week this season. The last several times up to Barr Camp I've been getting faster, but I also know it's a different trail each time, and there are no guarantees in trail running. 

Barr Trail Mountain Race is primarily a local race, although it does attract some folks from out of state, as it is the second leg of the Pikes Peak qualifier. With the small contingent of out-of-towners, I figured I wouldn't be last, but I did want to not embarrass myself.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Trail Magic

 The alarm went off at 4am. 

So many of my running stories start this way you would think I am an early morning person. I am not by nature, although life is clearly forcing me in that direction. Thank God for coffee on workdays. But I digress.

I had a long run planned for today, so I was up early to get down to Manitou. The plan was to run from bottom to top of Pikes Peak, then go back down and up 2 miles, then head over to the Crag's Trail and go down three and have Eric pick me up at the Devil's Playground. I added an extra egg to my pre-run breakfast and packed my running vest with water and food for a 20 mile excursion. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

14 Angry White Men

Juneteenth is set to become the 11th federal holiday in the US, but not for the efforts by 14 white Republican men in the US House of Representatives who voted against such a measure. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Midnight Snack

 As a human, I find sleep more or less essential. Without enough (and "enough" has a fuzzy definition over here), I do things like:

  • start the coffee pot without actually adding the coffee grounds
  • begin my day without glasses or contacts and then wonder why I can't see well
  • struggle with basic conjugations of the English language
We make concerted efforts to get to bed at reasonable hours. One of us insists he is a light sleeper, and wears earplugs to bed every night. I might argue he is not quite as "light" of a sleeper as he believes himself to be, and the addition of earplugs creates a nearly impenetrable barrier that allows him to remain cocooned in dreams, while the other of us is left to do things like "hear the Christmas tree fall over."

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Race Report: Garden of the Gods 10 Miler

 Look! A race report! The first since the New York City Marathon in 2019, because, you know, #2020. I actually participated in the Climb4Change Power Hour a couple weeks ago at the Challenge Hill in Castle Rock, but this is the first distance race I've been in since I ran the five boroughs.

I was up super early this morning, after a night of tossing around. We had some friends over for dinner the night before, and I should have probably avoided eating about half the stuff I ate, as my stomach was giving me issues. Also, our normally dry Colorado weather took a turn and the humidity present overnight felt like we had somehow been transported to the beach. Knowing the day was going to be warm, I slathered on the sunscreen and the Body Glide, filled up my water bottles, and was on the road by about 5:30. I parked at the elementary school outside the park, stretched, and gave myself a one-mile warmup, ending the near the start line. I made sure to get some extra water as it was already warm and the humidity was still pretty high - which is nearly unheard of here. I was glad I was in a tank top and light colored half-tights. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Don't Panic, or Tripping into Middle Age

 42, according to the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, is the secret of life, the universe, of everything. However, having recently slid through that particular birthday, 42 has yet to impart any secrets to me.

Middle-age has not come with its own guide to this particular galaxy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Just Checking, Are You Ok?

We had recently moved into our first apartment in Colorado. Eric was out of town for work, and I hosted friends in our one-bedroom, so I was sleeping on the floor in the kitchen area of the tiny space when early that morning, my phone began to buzz with texts.

"Tell me you didn't go see Batman last night."

"Just checking you are ok."

Sleepy, not having listened to the news, I started checking to see what was going on, to learn that a man opened fire in a theatre in Aurora, Colorado.

A couple years later, while Eric and I were checking out the Petrified Forest, similar texts came in.

"Where are you? Are you ok?"

"Is that clinic near you?"

A man had opened fire on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, which in fact, was near my primary grocery store. The police had used my bank lobby as a safe location from which to respond. 

Two weeks ago, it happened again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tips for Making Better Films

 Dear Hollywood,

May I offer you some advice? I know that you do a lot of research to make sure that your movies are as true-to-life they can be... I mean, you put nipples on the Batman suit, so clearly your commitment to accuracy of detail should not be underestimated. But I think we might need to talk about the apocalypse movies. Having lived through this anti-utopian affair known as #2020, which apparently signed on for the #2021 sequel, I have some thoughts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

One Day More

I don't write music. I do, however, plagiarize a LOT of music, change the lyrics to suit my purposes, and/or randomly belt out Broadway showtunes because they have a line that sort-of-relates-to-the-topic-but-only-kind-of. 

All. The Time.

So, it should be no surprise that this is the song running through my head, and who I think should sing the different parts. Surprisingly, I had to change very little of the lyrics (yes, "one more day with him not caring" is the original). The more you know Les Miserables, the more this makes sense. 

Sing along with me, will you?

Thursday, January 7, 2021

No-No, or How We Broke in the New Subi

Well, the holidays are over, and January is apparently #2020's ugly hangover. I was hoping for a fresh start, but yesterday the world burned down again in ways that ushered in new fresh hells, and, well, I need a bit of a distraction as I sort out my feelings while climbing the Incline over and over. 

So! Story time, boys and girls!

We have been in discussions, Eric and I, about replacing HailNo. She's been a good car, but she was tripping the light fantastic toward 200,000 miles, and with a storm season coming up to coincide with a sabbatical Eric is planning, that could have meant a continent's worth of additional miles on her this spring. So he started looking, all over the country, for what's next. The smart money means you don't buy a Subaru in Colorado, as its the state car and they go for a premium here. When we got my Forester, we bought her from a dealer in Connecticut, and could have sold her for $5000 more than we bought her for after we crossed the state line.