Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have an issue with New Year's resolutions. Why wait until an arbitrary date to change your habits? Start tomorrow. Or right now. If it's worth resolving, resolve to start doing it immediately.

While I'm climbing down from my soapbox, I'll acknowledge that some resolutions are fine to start at a later date, particularly the ones I'm about to go into, which all happen to align nicely with the new year. It's convenient (but not at all hypocritical) how that works out for me.

These aren't all the things I'm planning, but they are what I'll share for now.

1) One of my favorite Zen truisms is, "When you wash the dishes, wash the dishes." It means live in the moment and stay focused on the task at hand. In this specific case, for me, it's literal: I'm going to wash the dishes each night instead of letting them pile up. I'm also going to do a good job of it. Simple things can make a big difference.
2) I'm going to get stronger. That means consistency in the gym.
3) I'm going to do fun stuff.
4) I'm not going to care about Ironman. If it happens, it happens. I'll be prepared either way. Fitness is useful, and not just for running around in lycra.

I've already started on two of them, so I guess I can keep one foot up on the soapbox.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I think I've been pretty lucky in my life in that the few opportunities I had to really cheat, I didn't realize I had the opportunity until the moment had passed. Or the cheating scheme seemed so blatantly obvious that I figured there's no way I (or anyone else) could get away with it. Of course, in the latter situations, the cheaters ultimately almost never got caught -- leading me to stop placing much value in my professors' observation skills.

To summarize:
1) I'm a little slow -- if you have a great scheme, why not just come out and explain it to me in detail.
2) If your scheme is so great, why did you have to explain it to me in such detail? There's no way that would work; it's too complicated.

Needless to say, I rarely get approached anymore with a "foolproof" plan for getting a better grade, earning "free" money, etc. My annoying qualities keep me in high moral standing.

One of my friends on the other hand seems to be presented with shady offers all the time. Most often lately, this happens with work colleagues, sometimes even at work. Apparently there's a whole slew of people that actually run side businesses (some not quite legal) while "working" at their primary job during business hours.

I'm sure this happens at my company too, but my perceived inability to comprehend shady dealings has insulated me pretty well. Incompetence is also my negotiating strategy: ask Hannah how many times I've bought jewelry at lower prices just by saying, "Hmmmm..." and pausing for a minute after being told the price. Either the jeweler thinks, "This guy's a really good haggler," or, more likely, "I feel sorry for how dumb this guy is; all I did was tell him a number and he's trying to figure out what it means... I'll sell it to him for less."

I believe in karma. Eventually, cheating is going to come back around. You might have the nicer car or the race trophy, but eventually you're going to wind up losing: either your job, your money or your friends.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Recipe for an Awkward Evening

Mix in a small space:

- 45 people from a Marketing and Communications department for a life insurance company, mostly women over 40
- 12 comedians "performing" for over two-and-a-half hours, with talent ranging from awful to middling to genuinely funny (some recipes call for only six comedians and a show half as long, but only use that amount if you want a pleasant evening)

- Large quantities of classless humor (sex, rape, reproductive organs, racist comments, playing up stereotypes, etc.)
- As much profanity as possible
- "New material" night
- One guy who thought jokes about the annoying qualities of "It's a Small World" were original
- A healthy dose of Tiger Woods

Once combined, let simmer while sitting at a table with your manager and your manager's manager.

When cooked, you'll have my department's holiday party last night.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Swim Camp day 12 and day finished + snow!

On Friday, San Angelo was hit with a blizzard the likes of which I've never seen (in San Angelo).

You'll notice the artistic juxtaposition of my wetsuit (which I had left out to dry after my lake swim a few days ago) against the stark harshness of a west Texas winter.

I think we had a total of at least a couple millimeters.

Friday's swim:
WU: 1000 easy

1000 pull with paddles/band/buoy

20x100 on 1:40 (arrive 1:28-1:30)

50 easy
Total: 4050m

Saturday's swim:
WU: 1000 easy

1000 as 75 free / 25 back

I did the following straight through:
- 20x200 (First 10 on 3:20, arrive around 3:08 / Second 10 on 3:15, arrive on 3:03 for first 7, 3:00 for last 3)
- 3x400 descend on 6:10 (5:56, 5:53, 5:43)

300 easy CD
7500m total

Total for the two weeks: 62.4k
(That's over 38 miles for anyone that doesn't want to do the conversion. Yay for me.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Swim Camp day 11

I thought I might be able to go for a monster session tonight, but got started a little later and had to wrap up early to coach the masters group. I've hit my target of 50k, but with only two swims left I'm barely on track for 60k. I'll probably need to throw down something huge on Saturday.

For a while I strongly considered swimming in the lake again on Sunday morning before my flight, but they just issued a winter storm warning (which I assume means we might get a flurry here in west Texas). All the same, there's not enough neoprene out there for me to swim in open water when the air temp is in the 30s. Getting caught up in the fun and challenge of the virtual camp is one thing. Getting hypothermia...

Today's workout:
WU: 800 free / 400 back / 2x200 free

54321 swim:
5x100 easy, 500 steady
4x100 easy, 400 steady
3x100 easy, 300 steady
2x100 easy, 200 steady
1x100 easy, 100 steady

8x50 as odds easy, evens mod hard

50 easy
Total: 5050m

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Swim Camp day 10

1000s day. Also known as the day Nick didn't want to bother with any math to figure out intervals.

1000m warm up

1000m as 75 free / 25 back

1000m as 10x100 IM continuous

1000m pull with paddles, band and buoy

1000m as 100 kick / 100 swim

250m easy CD to loosen up my shoulders
Total: 5250m

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Swim Camp day 9

The novelty has worn off.

Of course, I'm talking about the novelty of blogging my swims. I'm sure the novelty of reading them wore off days ago. I'm still having a fine time swimming though.

WU: 750 swim / 500 pull / 500 kick / 250 swim

750 swim as 25 fly / 50 free

250 easy

5x200 on 3:15

200 easy

1000 as 75 free / 25 back

50 easy CD
Total: 5250m