Monday, January 30, 2017

3 Short Swimming Workouts

I work on a four week schedule: three working weeks followed by one rest week.  Last week was my rest week, and I came out of my last working week with a sore shoulder.  So my goal was this week was to take it easy, especially in terms of total yardage, but to try to put in some decent quality yardage if the opportunity presented itself.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Little Family History

I love this country.  It's been hard to watch this past week.

I'm adopted.  Whatever my genetic heritage is, it's a mystery to me.  I'll be honest and say that it doesn't mean a lot, save that I like to pretend that I'm Norwegian.  All those old stories of the Norse Gods speak to me because they're all so weird.  If the ancient Norse believed in the abstract ideas of Good and Evil, they did an amazing job hiding it in their mythology.  What we see instead is a people struggling like Hell against a cruel world, drinking and frequently whoring their way through lives that were too often brutish and short.  I'm personally kind of a brain, but the Norse myths often eschew intelligence in favor of simple physical strength and the will to fight and survive.  There is no greater meaning in their stories.  They just are.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Give Up

I can't take it.  You win.

I deactivated my Facebook account.  If you're looking for me, I'm not there.  Enjoy!

Super-Quick Movie Review: Primer

I caught the movie Primer earlier this week, and like a lot of folks, I really, really liked it.  This was possible because Netflix recently (finally) introduced a feature that allows subscribers to download and watch movies offline using their mobile apps.  With this, I’ve taken a break from reading during my train-commutes home, which is how I’ve found the time to catch up on movies.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quick Thoughts: Voltron (Season Two)

The girls and I are ten or eleven episodes into the new season of Voltron: Legendary Defender.  To say the very least, we are enjoying it quite a bit.

Voltron: Legendary Defender (Dreamworks & Netflix)
A few quick thoughts are below, hopefully without too many spoilers:

Friday, January 20, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Let's Hope We Make It to Star Wars

It’s kind of a good news, bad news sort of day.  
Bad news: the Son of Satan will be inaugurated later today as 45th President of the United States, beginning a process that will inevitably trigger World War III, the Apocalypse, and possibly the Rapture, depending on whether you believe in those sorts of things.  Even if you don’t, now might be a good time to start reading the Book of Revelations—for near-term investment advice—or to perhaps start praying for the future of humanity.  Your choice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Swim Workout: Jan 17, 2017

Tough workout last night.  I worked MLK Day, and as a result, this already feels like a long week for all that it’s only Wednesday morning.  They’ve also raised the temperature at the YMCA pool, which makes holding a decent pace a significant challenge over time.  
Still, I felt like I got something out of this workout, and as I said earlier in the week, I’m trying to archive more of these workouts for whomever is interested.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


The child,
Who always was a child,

She yet is smaller,
And she knows that there is still growing to come,
But she is matured.

She understands you now,
Heck, she talks to you now,
But do you still see a child?

She is tripped sometimes,
Oh, poor baby, you cry.
But she is no longer a baby.

And she hears you now.

Monday, January 16, 2017


My buddy Andy, Captain of the Army Swim Team way back in 1994-5, asked me recently if I'd archived my swimming workouts on this blog.  I realized that I hadn't and that this was an obvious mistake.  One of the principle things you want to do as a blogger is increase the number of ways you archive your posts, so that you can continue to generate hits from your previous work.

This post is therefore the draft version of the SWIM tab, which will serve as my archive of swimming workouts going forward.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekend Swimming Workouts: Jan. 14 & 15, 2017

I wasn't going to write these workouts up, but if I'm archiving workout now, I suppose I might as well include these in the archives.  Coming off of Tuesday's blistering work, I've been tired.  Still, Saturday's workout was mostly aerobic work, but it was great.  Today's was a struggle.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Mad Science: Putting Ourselves Back Together

I feel better.  
I suffer from a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I would personally argue is not a disorder, exactly, considering that most people struggle when they don’t get enough sunlight.  But whatever.  My symptoms are complicated by the reality that I work in a windowless bunker in Midtown Manhattan, and they were complicated even more this past weekend when temperatures in New York and Connecticut dipped into the single digits alongside several days of snow and overcast skies.  I usually deal with my SAD by swimming and bike commuting, but I couldn’t get to the pool early in the week, and with the weather, cycling was impossible as well.  This left me with far too much energy, too many ugly brain chemicals, and not enough light.  At exactly the same time, I was also dealing with some profoundly negative thoughts about a project I’ve allowed to become entirely too personal.  By midday on Tuesday, I was bouncing off the walls.  I found myself snapping at my wife and indulging some rather nasty fantasies…  This was not good.
I finally got to the pool Tuesday night, and it was a Godsend.  My main sets were as follows.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Teenage Tuesday: Only For Those Who Listen

I talk,
But no one listens.

If I were silent,
Would you notice?

They who never say anything hear me.
They who talk all day judge me.

I am merely keeping pace with the world.
They who run free are dominant.

Maybe if you actually looked into my eyes
Would you notice the walls I put up.
Would you know me then?

Only for those who listen,
Only do they understand.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Did you ever have one of those moments when you’ve been trying really hard at something for a really long time, and you finally get to the point where you think, “You know what?  I suck at this.  For better or worse, this is not my destiny.  I’m wasting my time.”
I’m having one of those moments right now.
Here’s what happened. I sent my memoir to a friend.  Spoiler Alert: she hated it.  Actually, that’s not fair.  Really, what she said was that it was so poorly written that she didn’t think it would be a legitimate use of her already precious time to read it.  She couldn’t give me feedback.  The crap I have right now, as written, doesn’t rise to the level of critiquing.  

Required Reading: Corporate Tax Plans

This was in the January 7th edition of the New York Times:

The Major Potential Impact of a Corporate Tax Overhaul (NY Times)
The current corporate income tax manages the weird trick of both taxing
companies at a higher statutory rate than other advanced countries while
collecting less money, as a percentage of the overall economy, than most of them.
It is infinitely complicated and it gives companies incentives to borrow too much
money and move operations to countries with lower tax rates. 
Now, the moment for trying to fix all of that appears to have arrived. With the
House, Senate and presidency all soon to be in Republican hands and with all
agreeing that a major tax bill is a top priority, some kind of change appears likely
to happen. And it may turn out to be a very big deal, particularly if a tax plan that
House Republicans proposed last summer becomes the core of new legislation. 
Among Washington’s lobbying shops and policy analysis crowd, it’s known as
a “destination-based cash flow tax with border adjustment.”

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: This Is What Perfect Looks Like

This Is What Perfect Looks Like is Heather House’s memoir about raising a baby daughter with Down Syndrome in a household with three kids under two.  Though there’s a lot here that will be familiar to any veteran of multiple kids-in-diapers, it’s the ongoing trauma of dealing with Downs that gives the book its pathos.  House has to first come to terms with her daughter’s reality, that this is her life and not some mere problem that can be solved, and then find a way back to her previously joyous and loving existence.  Her story becomes a journey through both the machine of modern medicine and the grief of lost expectations, and it’s powerful, not because there are easy answers but because there aren’t any answers at all.  Instead, there’s life and love and a community of friends and family that lifts itself up amidst the ongoing slog of medical complications, developmental delays, and the sheer challenge of young children fighting for their place in a now overly-full family.

Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Netflix & Chill TV Reviews

I’m doing Netflix TV this week because let’s be honest: no one cares about Congressional ethics panels.  Am I right?  Certainly not Congress.

So fuck it.  If they don’t care, why should we?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Army Football Preview: 2017 First Look (Part 1)

College football season is over, alas, and now we've got the long wait until Spring Practices.  Army ended on a winning note but also raised expectations substantially for next season.  With that in mind, let's take a quick look at the coming schedule.