Friday, July 28, 2006

Word of the day: Lactivist

Lactivist: a proponent of breast feeding.

According to this story on CNN's web site, "Babytalk" magazine is being bombarded with hate mail because they ran a this cover photo of a baby nursing. Shocking, I know.

For the record, I suppose I'm a lactivist. The wife nursed both kids until they were eating solids (our son for just about 2 years, the daughter a bit less since she took to food faster). She nursed wherever we went, very discreetly, and we only had one problem (an elderly usher in the old Kingdome who told her she'd have to move to the "family section"...this was AFTER the game was over, and there were about 10 people in the entire section. Ol' Eagle Eye spotted her nursing from the aisle and yelled up at us (we were probably 15 rows up), calling far more attention to the activity than if he'd just kept his pie hole shut).

But what strikes me about the CNN article is this quote:

"'I'm totally supportive of it -- I just don't like the flashing,' she said. 'I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see.'"

Mam, I think I speak for every straight male when I say there is just about NO breast we don't want to see. At least not of nursing age...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sorry, Steggy...

No more chants of "Steg-A-Saur-Us!" at Safeco Field, becuase the Mariners DH Carl Everett has been designated for assignment.

Why "Stegasaurus?" Well, because Carl doesn't believe the dinosaurs existed. So what better nickname? Besides, he's kind of spikey.

Sorry, Steggy...

No more chants of "Steg-A-Saur-Us!" at Safeco Field, becuase the Mariners DH Carl Everett has been designated for assignment.

Why "Stegasaurus?" Well, because Carl doesn't believe the dinosaurs existed. So what better nickname? Besides, he's kind of spikey.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First trip to the Podiatrist

Haven't posted in forever, so here's a big 'un...

Yes, I'm clearly getting old, 'cause I had to go to the podiatrist today. No, he's not the one with the rubber glove and the KY, that comes after I'm 45, I think. He's the guy with the foot models and lots of shoes all over the office.

So the story goes something like this: Back when I was a kid I was prone to do stupid things like jump off monkey bars. One day, playing tag on said monkey bars, I violated rule number 1 of bar tag, "no touching the ground." Then I violated rule number 2, "don't get hurt." See, in a dodge to avoid being tagged I jumped backward off the bars and, to quote my current self (since I'm sure I didn't use such words at the tender age of 10 or whatever), "twisted the shit out of my ankle." Like to the point of requiring a cast.

So, fast forward about, oh, 25 years or so and it's 2000. I've had weak ankles on both sides pretty much since the Bar Tag Incident and, being a relatively smart and financially independent person, have purchased a pair of industrial-strength ankle braces to wear while playing softball. These are the good ones...steel ribbing, laces, they look like thoroughly unsexy ankle corsets. I'm playing a co-ed game and hit a weak line drive to the outfield. Being an idiot, I attempt to stretch a single in to a double, then decide to slide far too late.

The result? Well, as your basic physics text book will tell you, a body in motion will want to stay in motion. And, as a corolary, mass plus velocity equals pain. Especially when the lead foot hits the base, the cleat grabs the base, and the mass of the body continues to slide past the base, folding the ankle over.

Thanks to the ankle corset nothing broke, but I did have another case of "sprained the shit out of the ankle." No cast this time, but it never really healed completely. Or, rather, it did but was weaker than before.

Fast forward another 6 years and, as you are no doubt aware, I'm now in Marathon Training mode. As the milage increases I realize something interesting: when I run on the right side of the road my right ankle (the one that was hurt in 2000) starts to ache after a mile or two. If I run on the left side of the road it doesn't. It doesn't take a master's degree in rocket surgery to realize that the road is humped, and when I'm running on the right side the road is sloping down to the right, subtly rolling my ankle outward, the direction of the injury. On the left the ankle is rotated inward, which doesn't hurt. Naturally, I begin running exclusively on the left side of the road.

Unfortunately, while that plan is great for training, I can't guarantee that during the 26 miles 365 yards of the Portland Marathon I'll be able to exclusively run on the left. So I check with a friend who's also a runner, she says "you should get Orthotics", and voila I'm in the chair having my feet examined.

To the doctor's credit, he didn't say anything about all the gnarly calouses and excess skin on my feet. He did, however, say "yeah, you need orthotics, and it's going to cost you about $500." Swell.

He did, however, explain my new and previously mysterious foot pain! Ever since going to Cub Scout camp a couple weekends ago (after running 12 miles one Saturday morning I packed up the boy and headed off for 4 days in the woods with a bunch of 8 - 10 year-olds) I've been getting pain in my heels and along the outside of my foot. It's at its worst the day I run (especially on days I run before work, where I can't just sit on the couch with my feet up), and I noticed that the outside of the foot hurt if I tried to do things like open a drawer with my foot (what can I say, I don't like to bend over...). Well, as the good doctor explained, there's a big ol' tendon that runs from the heel up to the tarsal or metatarsal that keeps your foot in place, and I've been stretching it out. So it gets sore. Which means...I need orthotics.

Amazing how it all comes back to the $500 foot gear...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another study I'm glad I wasn't a part of

Moms Prefer Smell of Their Own Baby's Poop

What kind of sick mind decided to study this one?

"In a new study, 13 mothers were asked to sniff soiled diapers belonging to both their own child and others from an unrelated baby. The women consistently ranked the smell of their own child's feces as less revolting than that of other babies.

This effect persisted even when the diapers were purposely mislabeled."

Apparently there are plenty of these studies going around:
"The finding is among the latest in a series of studies suggesting that humans can determine biological relatedness through body odor. Another recent study found that mothers more accurately identify and prefer the smell of their biological children over that of stepchildren."

That could explain the whole Cinderella thing, I suppose...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Big Dig tunnel collapse

And Mayor Gridlock wants to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct with a "cut and cover" tunnels...why? Sure, it's probably a fluke, but really. I already spend most of each drive across the viaduct worrying about an earthquake dropping me 100 feet to street level (or sandwiching me between decks first, then dropping 40 feet to the street). I don't want to spend time thinking about bolts breaking and dumping 20 tons of concrete on my head.

Besides, the People's Waterfront Coalition has a pretty good vision of what things might look like if we blew up the viaduct and replaced it, not with a tunnel, but with a wide surface-level roadway similar to San Francisco's Embarcadero.

So where will the cars go? Well, if Mayor Gridlock hadn't killed the Monorail I'd say they could ride that. But he did, so that's out. My feeling is that people will adapt. After all, even if we build the cut-and-cover boondoggle tunnel there will be several years without either a Viaduct or a tunnel option, and I seriously doubt the city will grind to a halt. Sure, we'll bitch a lot, but we do that anyway. By replacing the Viaduct with a 6-lane surface street with well-timed lights and (hopefully) some pedestrian sky bridges we'll significantly cut down the amount of time the main artery is gone, as well as saving all the money that was going to be pumped in to digging the tunnel. That cash can then go to fixing the sea wall, creating parks and walking spaces, and generally making the waterfront something other than an orphaned tourist-trap.

Monday, July 10, 2006


That's the only title I can think of. Who else would YouTube themselves solving the Rubik's Cube in 21.1 seconds?

Then again, who would blog said video? Clearly, I spoke too soon.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Rocky Roll action and more Lego Dudes

First up, there is rocky roll action in White Center tonight courtesy of the most important rock band in the world. We're at the Pacific Rim brewery just off Roxbury on 14th. Show starts at 6-ish, there's no cover, and it's all ages. Rock on.

In other news, here's Logan's second directorial effort, a continuation of the Lego Dudes saga. No sharks this time, just more experimentation with the ol' stop-action animation. He did all the work this time, I just plugged it in to Adobe Premier Elements and created the movie.

Lego Dudes

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Flying the Manta Ray

Sweeet...."never soar higher than you are willing to fall."

Oh, it's got fill music, so turn down your volume...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Apparently I'm Spiderman

I'd much rather be #2, Green Lantern:

You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First two-digit day!

Ran 10 miles today, one more than last Saturday. And, not surprisingly, it was a bit easier than last week's. Part of that is that I got on the road relatively early (8:45...about an hour later than I'd planned, but hey, I wanted to sleep) so it wasn't too hot. Last week I didn't leave the house until just before 11, and by the time I got home at 12:30 or so it was about 78 degrees out side. Not that that's super hot, but when you're running the last 3 miles up hill it gets old.

Also finally got a decent shirt. Up to now I'd been wearing t-shirts, which are fine for the short distances but get really heavy and wet in the longer ones. So, at the urging of my friend Jaime (the triathlete...finished the Coer d' Alene triathlon last weekend in 13:12 or so) I went to Ross and found a "dry-fit" Nike shirt. Sure, it says "Basketball" on the front, and sure it's pretty much the same color as my shorts so I look like my Mom dressed me, but hey, it was $10 and it's great. Wicks the sweat like nobody's business, kept me cool, very nice. Now if I can only find one in white...

Anyhow, this coming week is a "step back" week, with 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, 5 again on Wednesday, and then only 7 on Saturday. Why, that will be a breeze!