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Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy

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Race Report - The Chicago Marathon [Oct. 12th, 2016|04:06 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Last Sunday I ran the Chicago Marathon. It was my first time ever in Chicago, my 3rd marathon outside of California, and my 19th Marathon overall.

They call Chicago the Windy City, but personally I never found it especially windy. (But then again, I was there in the mild month of October.) And Marathon day was no exception. The day was clear and cool with a few clouds. I made it, along with the rest of the mob, early enough to particiapte on my corral's eight AM start. The thing is, around eight o'clock my corral wasn't anywhere near the start line. It would be a little more than an extra half hour before I finally crossed the line with my herd.

The day before at the Marathon Expo I attended a Runner's World forum, and one of the running coaches recommended running the first ten miles as one would a training run, so you could spare yourself for the latter part. I decided to follow that advice. It was also ideal since my PT Jessica Greaux, (Of Innersport in Berkeley,) had been coaching my running, and I paid a lot of attentionto my gait and cadence as I tried to pedal my feet and move the ground underneath me, rather than slapping my feet on top of it.

Read the rest!Collapse )
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My Lost Cat Jadzia - Time to start saying Goodbye... [Oct. 1st, 2016|11:16 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
On the evening of August 4th, nearly two months ago, my cat Jadzia went out of the bedroom window to go catting around, as she had so many times during her more than ten years of life, only this time she never returned.

Since the night she inexplicably disappeared I have searched my house and the surrounding area very thoroughly. I have been through ever corner and crevice in the attic and the basement. I searched the surrounding area, combed through the adjacent creek bed, and even scoured a vacant lot nearby after crawling under a chainlink fence. I have wallpapered the neighborhood with lost cat signs, visited all of the East Bay shelters several times, put up lost cat notices on online neighborhood bulletin boards and visited the local vets. I'm still doing that, but I'm now also checking the local pet rescues, since one of them might have picked her up if she had been brought to a shelter shortly after she disappeared.

It's been less than a year since we lost her brother Bashir, who was struck and killed by a car. Now she is gone.

It is maddening. If she had been badly injured by a car or a wild animal, I suspect I would've found her body by now. She has a chip, so if she were brought to a shelter or a vet they should've been able to identify her. There we some recent incidences of coyotes killing cats in the area, but in all of those cases remains were found. Still, the possibility exists that she may have been killed by a wild animal or a car, and she was so badly mangled that she was never recovered. Or she may be in someone's home, someone who thought she was a stray, but in that case that someone should've seen the lost cat signs.

There is the possibility she was taken to a shelter, and maybe she has been adopted. I doubt she was quickly euthanized, unless she was badly hurt, but in those cases they should've found the chip. I've been told that there are incidences where a chipped animals was not identified with a scan because someone did a quick wave through and just didn't find it. But that's also unlikely.

The worst part of all of this is the not knowing. Has she gone over the Rainbow Bridge? Or is she curled up and purring in someone's lap? I just want to know. I hope and pray that someone else has her and that she's okay, getting fed and having a nice warm place to sleep. But even if that's not the case I still want to know what happened to her.

At this point I'm not optimistic. I am beginning to doubt that I'll ever find out, that she's probably gone for good. I have heard about lost cats coming back after weeks or months, or even years, but she never strayed far from the house.

I will still check in on the shelters, and I'll put up the last of the lost pet signs, even though some that were put up back in early August are still up. In the meantime, I will perform a ritual I had been putting off: I have her brother Bashir's ashes, and I have always been meaning to spread some of them in two of his favorite places: In the creek bed where he liked to hang out, and on the large tree stump not too far from there where he liked to survey his kingdom. I have not fully gotten over Bashir's loss. I even had a dream about him the other night. I was in the creek bed, and I could hear his distinctive meow, even though I couldn't see him. Now, with his sister gone, I believe it's finally time to go through with that ritual. Who knows? Maybe it will summon her return.

In any case, my upcoming Bashir ritual is also to say goodbye to Jadzia as as well as to him. She may yet still return, but just in case, I want to start to say goodbye so I can reconcile myself with the most likely outcome: That she is gone for good, and that she's never coming back.

This is a very Jadzia picture
of Jadzia. Always serious
and dignified

Jadzia and her brother Bashir.
Jadzia was never the same after
she lost her brother last year.
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How to Talk to a Woman Who is Commanding a Space Station capable of Destroying a Planet [Aug. 31st, 2016|09:29 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
These days, many women walk around playing with a Star Destroyer or coordinates to a wormhole and are often commanding a massive intergalactic space station that is capable of destroying a planet at the same time.

Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them.

Of course, not all women are open to being approached because not all women are single and looking.

However, if a woman commanding a space station capable of destroying a planet is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend (or even a new lover), she will usually be happy to take her eyes off of the station's command center screen or leave stellar cartography to give you an opportunity to create a spark with her.

What to Do to Get Her Attention

1. Position your spaceship in front of her space station. (With 1,000 to 15,000 kilometers between you).

2. Have a confident, easy-going smile.

3. If she hasn’t already trained her station's sensors on you, simply get her attention with a static warp shell. Fluctuate your static warp shell in her direct line of station sensors or patrol ships so she can see it and say, “Hey, how’s it going?” She most likely won’t hear you say that, (In space no one can hear you say “Hey, how’s it going?”,) but it’s just a way of showing her that you’re trying to talk to her.

4. When she opens hailing frequencies and gives you her attention, smile, point to her exhaust ports and confidently ask, “Can you lower your shields for a minute?” as you lower your shields, so she fully understands what you mean.

If she doesn’t understand that you want her to briefly lower her shields, simply gesture that you want to talk to her by pointing back and forth at the numerous interstellar fighters that have undoubtedly been launched by now from the station. Say, “I want to talk to you for a minute.”

In most cases, you won’t have to go to that extreme because most women are polite, but some women are shy and will be hesitant about lowering their shields and deactivating station perimeter defenses initially.

Of course, if you notice that she doesn’t want to call off her fleet of Star Destroyers and doesn’t seem interested in talking to you at all, just respect that and try to calculate the coordinates for hyper speed without trying to talk to her any further.

5. When she opens a channel to talk to you, you might want to then do what we call “Acknowledging the Awkwardness” by quickly mentioning something about the potential awkwardness of the moment (see the conversation example below), to demonstrate you understand that a man and a woman talking to each other in this way isn’t the most common of experiences for either party.

For example, in an intergalactic corridor or near a highly localized distortion of the space-time conitinuum:

You: [Smile in a friendly, confident manner] :) Hey – I know it’s not normal for people to talk to someone commanding a space station the size of a small moon, but I was walking along and saw you and thought – wow, she’s hot, I have to come over and say hi. I’m Dan, what’s your name?

Woman: Sith Lord Jessica, Destroyer of Worlds.

You: [Add in some humor to get her smiling and create a spark between you] Cool…nice to meet you Jessica, Destroyer of Worlds. I don’t normally talk to girls with massive space stations with hundreds of thousands of storm troopers, but your big black helmet and skull emblem were just calling out to me.

Woman: [Possibly smiling or laughing or waving her hands to black clad security guards with blasters].

You: [If you’re in orbit of a class M planet or near Deep Space Nine, let her know that you have something else to do besides talk to her, so she understands that you’re not going to stand there scanning her station's defensive capabilities for 30 minutes] Anyway, I’m just out doing a bit of pergium mining at the moment. How about you?

If it’s clear that she’s interested in talking to you and has not locked onto your craft with a tractor beam, keep the conversation going and, if she’s not training the Concave Dish Composite Beam Superlaser at a hapless planet at that moment, transport over to her station and have a chat for a while before getting her sector coordinates and parting ways.
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Smacked in the Face by Fairy Wings: What I Learned at the Tinkerbell Running Festival [May. 24th, 2016|12:03 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Earlier this month I ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Actually I did the Pixie Dust Challenge, which was the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday. I was going to write a regular race report, as I usually do with big races, but I'm prompted to write this instead.

I am a "regular" race runner. I run on average three marathons a year, having run my first in 2009, and I've run so many half marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks that I've literally lost count. I save all of my race bibs, and I've run out of medal hangers, yet again.

I knew about Disney races but wasn't really prompted to try one out until my friend Maire convinced me to try one out last year, when I ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in 2015.

Please read the rest, It is important!Collapse )
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The Decline and Fall of Livejournal... [Apr. 11th, 2016|01:29 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I hit a new livejournal milestone.

Thee LJ community runners was once a mighty and extremely active community, buzzing with posts and comments every day. Like all things Livejournal, it slowed and slowed down, until there were only a few posts a week, and comments were sparse.

Now, for the first time ever in history, I posted something to the runners community and it did not receive even one comment. I posted my last Ragnar race report and got bupkiss for comments. (It got a few comments in my own journal though.)

Sure, no comments on a post is not all that uncommon, but it's unheard of in the runners community. That is, until now.

I hear the bells. The bells tolling, in the distance! It tolls for thee, Livejournal! The darkness is spreading over this BlogLand. The end times is nigh!
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Race Report - So Cal Ragnar 2016 - Getting Knocked Out in Irvine [Apr. 5th, 2016|07:50 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Last weekend I ran on my friend Kiki's long-distance relay team Running C2C at the So Cal Ragnar Relay. It was my 6th ever So Cal Ragnar and my 15th Ragnar Relay.

For those of you not familiar with a Ragnar Relay: The Ragnar Relay is a long-distance relay race a la' Hood to Coast. The average team has 12 runners, and the course is around 200 miles long. Each runner runs three legs of 3 to 9 miles, and the race takes an average of 30 hours to complete. The runners get from exchange to exchange via two passeneger vans. While one van's runners are running, the other van is resting and trying to get some sleep. For more info, check out this link.

I was in van two with my intrepid Captain Kiki, (third time I've been on one of her teams,) and her friends John, (A veterinarian who happens to be the vet for Kiki's pibble Casper,) thee epic Wendi, a stalwart runner who did more than her fair share of running, (And is also a fancy semaphor flag waver,) and Angela, a soon-to-be sailor for thee US Navy! We were missing one runner who had to drop out at the last minute, so we had extra legs to cover. Such is life on the Ragnar trail!

Read the harrowing Ragnar Tale under the LJ cut!Collapse )
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Race Report: Taking it Easy at the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon [Feb. 16th, 2016|03:07 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Last Sunday I ran the LA Marathon. It was my first LA Marathon and my 18th marathon overall.

I planned to run this marathon as a casual fun run. I had attempted a new PR back in December at the CIM, but an unexpected on-course injury derailed that plan. (Basically I developed a shin splint on steroids halfway through the CIM that slowed me down considerably.)

Between CIM and LA I sent most of my time recuperating and doing light runs while I healed up. Even though I had planned to take it easy on this marathon, the longest run I managed to get in between CIM and LA was a fifteen miler three weeks before race day. Light training for sure.

Many of my friends had already run LA. I heard horror stories about ninety degree weather and the infamous monsoon year when it heavily rained the entire time. It didn't help my trepidation when I received a weather alert from the LA Marathon. Turns out they were warning us about possible 80 degree heat late in the race. Meh. Not that scary if you ask me.

And I"m off! so to speak...Collapse )
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My friend, My Wife, My Teacher... [Feb. 2nd, 2016|01:53 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Below is the English translation of this entry which I posted yesterday in my German Livejournal superigel.

Many have asked me "Why have you learned German?"

I have several reasons: Because I wanted to learn a foreign language, because I'm interested in German culture, especially German music. But I always answered "My first German teacher was my ex-wife."

My ex-wife was Doris Kyburz. Last Friday Doris passed away. She was not young, a few years older than me, but she was too young to die. Last week she injured her ankle and a bloot clot formed. This blood clot made its way to her heart and she had a heart attack.

German was Doris' native language. But she wasn't German. She was Swiss. That means extra German!

Doris taught me German. I have also taken classes at the Goethe Institut and also at Language Schools in Germany, but she was the best teacher I ever had. She was mostly nice, occasionally mean, but always strict. I am proud that I have learned this language. It's true that too many Americans can't speak a foreign laguage.

My life really changed because of her. My first trip to Continental Europe was my trip with her to Switzerland. No, I can't speak Swiss German. When I went to Switzerland my German was good. Not so good as it is now, but not bad. Nevertheless I could barely understand anyone. Chuchichäschtli? Wat??? But Switzerland is a beautiful counrty. Zurich and Lugano and a train through the Mountains and Doris' wonderful family. Awesome!

After our divorce I made three language trips to Germany. Two to Berlin and one to Munich. Doris and I remained friends, but I kept going with my German adventure by myself. I love Berlin. I have friends in Berlin now. And I have made friends with many new people in my German conversation group.

Everyone is impressed when I talk about Doris. She had lived in Tokyo. She was a German professor at a University. She studied martial arts. She could speak six languages. (Seven if you include Latin!)

She was not a typical woman for me. Most of the women I've gone out with had tattoos, funny looking hair, and most were some sort of artist. (Painters, dancers, musicians...) Wild and hot tempered and oftentimes besotted. (As is often the case with bohemian types.) Doris was not at all like my past girlfriends. My life as a young man was wild and chaotic, ergo so were my relationships. My relationship with Doris marked a turning point in my life.

My German is a bit rusty. I have negelected this blog. (The superigel blog that is.) I have not taken a class in a long time. But I didn't totally give up. I still have my German conversation group. We meet twice a month so I can practice my German. I still read German books and see German movies. (Berlin and Beyond Film Festival!) Maybe my German is a little strange to Native German speakers, and perhaps this entry has a few mistakes here and there. Nevertheless I keep learning German. Especially now. I will really try to improve my German. I'll do that for Doris.

Goodbye my dear Doris. Until next time, at that Language school in the sky.

I'm a better man, because you've been part of my life.

Yes, Doris was also a biker chick!
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(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2016|12:52 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
I saw Bowie's Serious Moonlight tour. It was the best big concert I ever saw. And what made it extra special was not just Bowie and all of the incredible musicians he brought along with him, but the audience as well. Everyone from clueless preppy peckerwoods to incomprehensible freaks from hell and everyone in between. His influence was universal, breaking through so many cultural barriers.

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My Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS!!) [Dec. 30th, 2015|04:02 pm]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
This review contains TONS OF SPOILERS and how! So don"t say I didn"t warn you!Collapse )
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