"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ah, There's The Rub

Should one care to research my wife’s genetic origins, I’m convinced they would find she and Martha Stewart waded in similar gene pools. For while in my world there are only two shades of any color – light and dark – hers is one where there are no fewer than 134 different shades of what I would simply call … green.

This unique ability isn’t only limited to colors as her Stewart-esque similarity virtually blossoms in the kitchen. While I can open the refrigerator and stare blankly for an hour only to find the lone piece of suspect turkey I conveniently left in the container the previous time I attempted to feed myself something other than Cheez-its, she will extract from the same Kitchenaid appliance the ingredients with which she will produce a gourmet meal rivaling that of anything ever featured on the cover of Bon Appetit.

In addition, other manifestations of this talent appear as well. For example, by simply rearranging a few items within a room – such as a photo, a chair or a No. 2 pencil – she can completely transform the look and feel of the space; so much so that on more than one occasion I’ve gotten so confused, I had to Google my address to insure I was indeed home.

So it came as no surprise to me a couple of night’s ago when Beth and I were sitting on the deck enjoying the night’s cooler air and a bottle of wine, that she produced, seemingly from thin air, a fabric swatch-book the size of a Buick and began showing me approximately 429 different patterns, a couple of which she intends to use for the purpose of recovering two chairs.

It should be noted that at different times, both of these chairs have somehow become the property of either Reilly, the 80lb Golden Retriever or Mocha, a similar sized Chocolate Lab who was blessed with claws meant for a grizzly bear. Both are horribly spoiled and between the two of them, shed the equivalent of 40 metric tons of fur each and every day.

So needless to say, I have no problem with her chair restoration plans.

However, I have no ability to offer constructive opinions relative to the 429 different patterns firmly ensconced within the binder of the Buick sized book. Therefore, all I was capable of doing was to stare blankly as she thumbed through the swatches, speaking a language I didn’t understand. Recognizing I was fast slipping into an interior design induced coma, I tried my best to maintain the appearance of one fully engaged by occasionally nodding and grunting at what I felt were appropriate times.

Suddenly I was jolted from my stupor when I heard Beth utter the following phrase, “… and this one is rated at 30,000 double rubs …”

30,000 double rubs … what the hell is that?

Well for those like me – clueless in the ways of all things cloth – a double rub is a testing method whereby a fabric’s surface is rubbed back and forth repeatedly until it wears out. Now in reality, this process is done by a machine but I immediately began to ponder what a position as a manual double rubber might entail.

For instance:

What qualifications might be required for such a position?
Would one be paid hourly or by the number of rubs rubbed?
Would there be different styles of rubbing developed and employed?
Would there be a Professional Double Rubbers Association?
Would universities offer graduate programs – an MDR perhaps?

And after retiring from a 30 year career as a double rubber, would there be a federally funded benefit program to compensate for having double rubbed one’s hand down to a nub?

I will never look at fabric in the same way again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

17 June

Happy Anniversary Beth

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reflecting on The New Earth

I've had some time to reflect after finishing Eckhart Tolle's The New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. And in so doing, several things are very obvious to me.

1. I want to listen to the book again,
2. I certainly recommend it - but not as a 'light, vacation' read, and
3. I am woefully unqualified to accurately explain it's impact on me.

As I indicated in my previous post, I saw myself in much of what he spoke. And while it wasn't initially pleasant, the 'awakening' to this observation was powerful.

Below is a reader's question from Tolle's website along with his response. There are others as well but this particular one resonates with me:


Is there any way in which your spiritual teachings may be applied to everyday life? Can your teachings make us any happier today? How?


At the core of the teachings lies the simple practice of living in the present moment. It is true, of course, that everybody already lives in the present moment, but unfortunately they haven’t noticed, and they pretend that past and future are more important than now. In reality, your entire life unfolds in the space of now. Nothing exists outside of the now. So I am talking about making the present moment conscious. That is also the quickest way beyond ego. Thinking about past and future keeps feeding the ego. Past and future have no existence except as thought forms in your mind, and when you become conscious of the present moment, all the old structures of your mind cease to operate. The mind is then no longer your master, but your servant. A new state of consciousness arises: Presence. Instead of denying the now – which is ultimately the ego’s denial of life – you accept it, acknowledge it, make it your friend instead of your enemy. When you live in alignment with the now, you embody peace, but you also embody power, the power of life itself. It goes deeper than happiness.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Game of Tag

Here are the rules as explained to me.

Copy the rules (or your version of them) and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers and then tag 5 new people - or in my case, 4. If tagged, you’ll find your name at the end of this post.

To be sure everyone tagged knows they’ve been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a comment notifying and referring them to your blog for details.

Lastly, according to my tagger Anne, once the chosen have answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

Here are my responses.

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

An exercise in self-preservation in the context that I only ran if I was being chased by someone or something clearly intent on and capable of doing me great bodily harm.

I only began to run by choice approximately 7 years ago. The impetus for doing so was my rapidly approaching 45th birthday. It was then I decided it was past time for me to accept the reality that the habits of my youth needed to put be put aside and replaced with those more befitting someone my age; i.e. get my lazy butt off the couch and make physical exercise a regular part of my existence because:

a. taking my health for granted was not only stupid but dangerous, and
b. continuing to lay about and eat as though I had the metabolism of a teenager would likely land me the starring role in a remake of the 1950’s Hollywood classic, The Blob.

So … my running 7 years ago might be best described as life changing.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?

My best running experience was completing the Marine Corp Marathon this past October. Not only was it the achievement of a personal goal (one I never would have considered a few years ago) but it was also significant because I did so with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program.

For the past 20 years TNT, the world’s largest endurance sports training program, has provided coaching and support for people to cross the finish line at marathons, half marathons, triathlons and 100-mile cycling events. As a result, over 360,000 participants have raised more than $850 million for lifesaving cancer research and to help blood cancer patients live longer, better lives. Being a TNT alumnus is something I’ll always remember with pride and gratitude.

My worst running experience was the ice bath afterwards … brrr!

3. Why do you run?

Partially because of the way it makes me feel, both physically and mentally; partially because I enjoy the camaraderie of the running community; partially because none of my co-workers can – or more accurately, will and partially because one can never have too many race T-shirts.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given about running?

Best: Invest in Body Glide.
Worst: Cliff Shot Bloks taste great!

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

I was born an uncle.

Tag you’re it:

Amy in Georgia

The Bill in Virginia

Cheryl in Arizona (We miss you!)

Zoe the Hellerhound