Monday, March 26, 2007

dawn patrol

Two alarms.....both announcing their presence at 4:30 a.m. One sounds like a siren....the other...a church hymnal. Both....annoying. Feels like fifteen minutes since I actually fell asleep. Stumble out of bed and make my way to the kitchen. It's dark. Water's already in the all I have to do is turn on the burner. Brush my teeth and consider putting in my contacts. Nah....eyes are tired....glasses will do. Still dark. Pull on some clothes and load up the car. Water's boiling. Green ginger go.

I hate waking the cute boy that's sleeping. Still....he sends me off with hugs & kisses.

4:45 a.m.


Drive past the cape. The requisite "slow down to check the cove" isn't even warranted. Can't see a thing. Past the fourway stop....where I roll down my window to listen. I can hear it...

No stops.

I turn off my headlights. The moon has long gone down....but the stars are bright. No traffic.

I contemplate the forecasted east winds....the 7 foot west swell at 11 seconds. I should've called in sick. Couldn't do it. I know what's waiting for me. 15 files in the queue....4 under my desk waiting for information....3 on the table to be processed....and one on my desk that's still open and half completed from Saturday. It'll be head least. No glass....guaranteed. Victory at sea.

I'm still smiling though.... as I crest the coast range. Close to 3 hours of water time on Sunday. Chest high fun. Popped the cherry on a new wetsuit. Sun sun sun.

Just....what I needed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


...took one look at me as I approached him on the deck and said, "You look like you could use a swim....burn off some of that stress."

Ya think? I mean....I could just sit at my desk and cry. Of course....this was before I actually read the workout. The usual 1000m warm up....then a 1500m set of 200's & 100's with some speed play mixed in. Oh joy...

The bulkhead is it's the 50 meter pool today. Fabulous. Actually...the 200 & 100 parts don't bother me. I've always been a workhorse at these distances. It's the speed play that's a real bitch. Guess I should mention that "speed play" means breaking down the 200's & 100's by 25's (in a 50 meter pool) and randomly assigning a number of those 25's as sprint. Having to pour-it-on in the middle of a 50 meter length...without the help of a wall...pretty much sucks. At least I didn't have to pull the train. (Lead the lane.) The rest of the workout consisted of a pulling set...a kick set...and a drill set. About 3500 meters in just over an hour.

Side note: coach. I use the term "coach" I no longer compete. I just happen to drop-in on his workouts a couple times a week. Anyway....Dennis is a lifetime Oregon swimmer. Still competes at the top levels. In his early 20s he was ranked top 10 in the world...for his 200 fly. At 43....his 200 meter fly @ still faster than most 20-year-olds. To watch him swim....amazing. Such ease, grace & strength...

As I exited the pool....he smiled and asked the inevitable...."Feel better?"

Yes....actually....I do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Degrees of separation...

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Prometheus Bound



Greek Tragedies

Norm Anderson

That's where fifteen minutes of distraction lead me to today....

A typical Tuesday....hip deep in horse shit....distracted by a two-day headache. I was making my way through the muck & mire when Elizabeth Barrett Browning arrived. Uninvited. Not very ladylike of call unannounced. She I worked the sales & trades....till I could no longer ignore her.

Fine....I hear you. ...what do you want?

Follow me...

...she whispered...leading me down a path. A path.....I hadn't visited in years.


Norman Anderson.

The only high school teacher that truly inspired me. Inspired read.

An English Teacher.

He's the reason...I studied English in college. (The first go around.) The reason....I became fascinated with words.

Norman Anderson.

A man of...flare.

A lover of Greek Tragedies. He wore a burgundy blazer. Occasionally a cravat. Always....a large garnet stone (in a rather raw/artistic 18k gold setting) on his left hand. His dog Herkimer...usually found chasing tennis balls down the hallway...accompanied him to class. He loved earrings....and would often stop in the middle of a lecture to comment on a pair that caught his fancy.

Norman Anderson.


He didn't take to brown-nosing. And....didn't allow slacking in class. Always took interest in the kids that needed coaxing....prying shy kids out of their shells. Delivering the kind of attention....that inspired participation.

He was the epitome of good teaching.

Words are the physicians of the mind diseased. ~Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound~


King/Greek Tragedy...
Lover of Greek Tragedies...

Degrees of separation....

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Mid-morning call from a boyscout that breaks up the monotony of numbers.

Sun shining...east wind blowing...west swell 7 @ 11.5... the left...working.

Wish I was there to enjoy it.


...knowing that cute boy is scoring...


photo courtesy of Gaz

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


50 meter pool

400 swim
200 kick
200 pull
200 swim

3 x {3x100 @ 2:00 desc. 1-3 to strong; 6x50 pull @ 1:00 ez}

300 kick - build

6 x 50 @ 1:10 - 25 fast/ 25 ez

cool down...

No more chlorine!

I grew up a pool rat....spending virtually all day in & at the pool. Sun-tanned and fried white hair. Never green. The pool guys (always a bunch of slack lifeguards) knew what the hell they were doing....and always kept the ph & ash levels straight on. Needless to say........I've never had a "good hair day". And quite possibly.... if I'd bought stock in Jergens body lotion......I'd be rich.


It was Nancy Reagan (I believe) that coined the phrase "Just Say No" to drugs. My twin & I would joke about not needing to do lines of we did "lines" of chlorine....every day....twice a day. We even had T-shirts made up that said "Cl2...just say no". (Our coach/dad was not amused.)


There are 3 pools at the club I'm a member of. The 50 meter pool has become the guinea pig for this test. Over the weekend they swapped out the chlorine for bromide. We'll see how it goes. Only noticed a few differences: softer water, no cotton mouth & no familiar itch after getting out of the pool.

Doubt it will help me swim any faster....

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It was a dark and stormy we cautiously made our way to the north side of town. The wrong side of town. We were to see a man.....about....a suit.

Picked up a new wettie Friday night.

An acquaintance that works for Solomon....stocked his garage before they completely dissolve their line. I was hoping to get it at cost. He offered it...for a few beers. A few beers?! Deal! ....almost. Told him I couldn't do it for "a few beers". I would only do it....if I could ply him with a few good wines. Not that there aren't any good beers out there. I mean....this is Oregon....after all....microbrew heaven. Just the same.....

He received four bottles of various reds.....all rated 90 and above.

I got me some new neoprene.

Fair trade.

I can't wait to get it wet....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Tried to drown myself today.


Not really.

Forced myself to go to the pool at lunch today. Hip deep in horse shit...I shoved it aside and went for a swim. Figured it would be good to clear my head. Nothing like following a black line...back & forth...back & forth...for an hour. It's amazing how easily my brain shuts off as soon as I jump in the water.

Long. Slow. Distance.

3 x 1000 meters

Didn't have it in me to do the workout posted on the dry-erase board. Instead.....I ignored the time clock...focused on feeling the water. Entry...placement...extension...pull...recovery. Paying attention to each subtle nuance....that's developed over the past 30 years. Head level. Hip level. Relaxation. Finger drag. Timing. Breathing. If anything's off......I feel it. Today....I was off. Left elbow slipping. Right shoulder over-extending. The stress of work...taking it's toll.

I ticked off the 1000s....and slowly worked out the kinks. Ignoring the queries of other swimmers. "Where've you been?" "Not swimming with us today?" "Work keeping you busy?"

I spent an hour......away from work. Not thinking. Just...feeling. Feeling the water temperature changes at each end of the pool. Feeling the water glide over my shoulders. Feeling the day's aggravations slip away...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oh yeah...

Haven't been on a board in a month. Not only has the surf been shitty...but it's that time of year. The time of year...when WORK....takes over. Not to mention...a new schedule with the v-man...getting him to and from school...means I've lost 60 work hours over the last 8 weeks. SO....hours need to be made up. And...making up those hours...means working Sundays as well as Saturdays. Just the name of the game.

No matter...

I busted my ass yesterday...a try and get ahead. I busted my I could avoid spending a Sunday working. I busted my make a drive. A...well worth

The sun was out...

There were waves. Not great waves. But....waves...just the same.

Decided to dust off Red Sonja. With all these winter would seem...she's been neglected. Stuffed away in a closet. Seen even less water time than myself. For Shame. A true nose rider....she does her best dancing in smaller conditions. Not today though. We had a nice knee paddle out...but the wind had turned west and brought some chop. And...well...not being on a board in just over a month...I sucked. She didn't complain...too loudly. We were both happy to get wet.

On a the middle of tax season....


...escaped from town.


...worked out a new kink.

A day well spent...

I'd say.