Friday, January 28, 2011

Great Training at the soon-to-be-demolished YMCA

Had a great drill at work the other day. We crawled around the YMCA for four hours on search and rescue missions. Wax paper in our face pieces prevented us from seeing where we were going. It was a great exercise in endurance, teamwork, communication and skills. We were only "on air" for one of the drills - the longest and most involved. We all sucked our 45 minute bottles down to the low air alarm! My knees are still a little sore as is my back! There were a lot of tight spaces to crawl through.

In between sessions, I poked around the building and wound up by the swimming pool. It suddenly hit me - all the hours I had spent there while my kids took swim lessons over the years. And now it looked like any other urban exploration derelict. Kinda weird. Kinda sad.

Anyway, Thanks to the SFD and Dean Pearcy for the great pictures. You can see more on the SFD's awesome blog here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Was in Phoenix last week for the Affiliate Leadership Training Seminar, put on by the International Association of Firefighters. Great classes. Professional firefighters from all over the USA and Canada were there, so it was great to hear their stories.

The day was pretty full, but I was able to sneak out for a couple of runs - a short one before classes in the warm, dark morning and one after class in the warm, bright afternoon. I had been stationed at Williams AFB about 30 miles away, in the 1980s and I think this might have been my first time back. I really liked it. But you have to wonder about this giant net thing that they have erected in Phoenix:

Near as I can tell, it's some sort of crabpot/trap for bald eagles. I saw really big buffalo wings in many of the local eateries. This might explain a few things. Move over World's Deadliest Catch!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Book Review

A Guide To The Good Life: the ancient art of stoic joy
by William B. Irvine

This was a great read over the holidays. In fact, I liked this book so much that it is the defacto birthday present for each of my siblings this year (spoiler alert? Too late?).

“What is the purpose of life, your life?” This question is loaded with religious and feel-good pop psychology cheese. But for the ancient Greeks, and later the Romans, this was not a question to be pondered but one to be vigorously answered. The ancients thought the worst thing that could happen to a person was, on her deathbed, to realize she had wasted her life. So, philosophical schools took root, with differing opinions on life’s purpose and instructions on how to live accordingly. This was above and beyond any religion that students also practiced. Many of these schools believed that the purpose of life was tranquility - Stoicism was one of these schools.

Today, the word “stoic” conjures up many images that would conflict with the original school of Stoic philosophy. The Stoics had a different view of the word “tranquility” than we might have. Stoics in their day were extremely successful, athletic and professional overachievers, very engaged in the world around them as movers and shakers and exhibited genuine and appropriate emotional responses.

A Guide To The Good Life chronicles the author’s (a philosophy professor) rediscovery of Stoicism as not only a valid academic philosophy, but a valued guide to living one’s life. In this light, he also tackles modern psychiatry, current social values and the cult of victimization. It’s an entertaining read and was hard to put down.

Bonus - You may discover that you have been living a fairly Stoic life already. This book might answer why.

Whether you are a religious person or an atheist, and no matter your political leanings, I think this book would be enjoyed by anyone who cares about: the way he lives his life, how his life affects others, how to get the most joy out of life and how to live a purposeful life.

I can't find it for sale at Aunties, online. I have contacted them to see if they have it. In the meantime, here is the Amazon link.

Engine Three Meatloaf

Six pounds extra lean ground beef, four eggs, one chopped onion, 2 pounds of broccoli, garlic powder, pepper and a tiny bit of salt. Place in big-ass pan. Cook long time.

Somewhat paleo-approved (I left out bread crumbs) and a bargain at only $10 per firefighter. Luckily, we had been saving up for this one.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


While running home from work the other morning, I came across this. What could be a more fitting advertisement for the Windermere Marathon?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Thanks Barb Chamberlain! As always, you rock!

Saw this on John's blog. And it was so good, I had to do more than link it. Especially since the cranks have been complaining about bicyclists since yesterday's SR article.

Cranks! Do other cities pay this much attention to the whiners who aren't happy with anything? How much money does the city waste trying to appease the unappeasable? Every time I get on the bike, I feel like I am cranking against cranks.

Watch this and it will make you feel good!!

Pajama Jeans!

Saw this commercial the other day, and was going to share it with everyone. and then I forgot. Luckily, BoingBoing had it up this morning and it reminded me of my mission.

There is something about it that makes me nostalgic about my brief stint as an ad wizard. Can't put my finger on it though. Better watch it one more time.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


While walking below High Drive the other day, Sarah and I encountered this coyote frozen in the snow. There was another one above that looked in much worse shape. Much of its flesh had been stripped off by, I believe, the bald eagle pictured a couple of posts ago.

Winter is very picturesque right now.

Along these lines, we are currently experimenting with the Paleo Diet at our house. It is all part of my ten-year plan.

This month's OUTSIDE Magazine had a big article on the Paleo Workout. It was good, but I was a little miffed. Two years ago, I unsuccessfully floated my idea for, what I dubbed, The Wildman Workout. It was basically the Paleo Workout with a few key differences, mostly along the lines of merchandising opportunities:

1. The Wildman Spear. Run with it. Stretch with it. Put it in a tree and do chin ups with it. Spear an attacking pit bull and eat it for dinner... with it. Differing prices reflect the spear's composition - wood, aluminum, graphite, nanotubes.

2. The Wildman Game Bag Drag. Here's how it works. On your usual checkout at Rosauers, when asked "paper or plastic," you say neither. Then you toss on the counter what looks like an animal carcass, but it isn't. Made out of the finest cordura and enhanced with 3M light reflection, the Wildman Game Bag allows you to stuff it full of your groceries and then drag this what-looks-to-be-an-animal-carcass home. Pack the ketchup in the bottom for more realistic dragging action. Sized right for carrion luggage.

3. The Wildman Loin Cloth. Just a loin cloth... but made out of CoolMax! Comes in fun colors.

I wish I had my gear on when I came across this coyote. It would have looked good on the WW catalog. Always a day late and a dollar short.

As an aside... Please, next time when you see me doing my Wildman Workout run in Manito Park, don't call the cops. They are tired of responding and have already told me my spear is OK. Plus, they implied that they would never put me in the back of one of their cars while I am wearing just the loincloth. I told them it was CoolMax. They don't care.

Operators are standing by!