Now, Where Were We…?

Six days. One post. <sneer> And you call yourself a blogger. Sheesh.

Well, that six day period does represent the longest I’ve gone without posting since this humble blog was birthed. I’d like to say that I missed it, but I didn’t, really. I’ve been distracted by other things, very few of them more fun than this, but the distractions seemed to drain me, mentally if not physically. I haven’t had anything left at the end of the day for writing here.

Still don’t, for that matter, but it’s not stopping me. Stick around at your own peril; this may not be pretty. But it’s still a post, and I get credit for it.

Actually, what I’d like to do is just offload some random observations (hey, it’s what we do!) which have been accumulating like navel lint. To wit…

  • I bought new running shoes. They’re New Balances, model 1041 I think (sounds like a tax form, doesn’t it?). This is a Big Deal for me, as I buy new shoes once a year. My old pair ended up with about 600 miles on them, which might be a little more than is optimal, but I do almost all my running on a treadmill, so they don’t break down as quickly. The cool thing about these new shoes is the laces; they’re kind of scalloped, if you can visualize that, so they won’t accidentally come untied. I think advances in shoelace technology get far too little press. Hey, wanna see a photo? Thought you might…just happened to have one:
New Shoes!
  • The biggest contributor to my blogging absence is my PHP class. I’ve never spent so much time getting so frustrated, and finally feeling so good about understanding so little. This week’s assignment was only three questions, but I was consumed with trying to finish them, and not just answer them, but really understand the theory. If you’re interested, you can see my assignment here. If you’re a script-kiddie, be prepared to be underwhelmed. But it works, and I don’t think it’s half-bad for someone who couldn’t spell “PHP” two weeks ago.
  • I still think Jay Leno had the best line about Howard Dean’s post-Iowa screamfest: “The cows in Iowa are scared to death of catching Mad Dean Disease.”
  • I’ve gotten some really interesting spam lately. First was the advertisement for “Heaven Insurance.” Here’s the intro:I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to go to Heaven. I live my life according to God’s will and like many of us, I’m not perfect. I’m not sure if going to church is enough and figured that my family and friends could use a little extra help. Heaven Insurance will provide that help. That’s why we created this certificate and it is already helping people all over the world!  

    It goes on to offer a color certificate with the insured’s name printed in genuine ink-jet, along with the amount of the insurance ($100,000 for only $19.95; $1,000,000 for $24.95…obviously a much better deal).


    I was just about ready to pull out my credit card when I saw the fine print: Heaven Insurance is a gift/novelty item and is not an actual insurance policy. It is intended strictly as an artistic novelty designed to remind and encourage those with a true spirit to work toward and remain on the path to better living and to take comfort in the ways and security that faith in the lord provides.


    Well, rats. So much for that idea for a great Valentine’s Day gift for the pagan of my choice.


  • In a less lighthearted but somehow more forthright solicitation, I received an email offering to help me with my hosting needs if I was seeking space for my “child p**n, illegal content, spam advert site.” It went on to offer me “fresh stolen dumps” (with URL); “credit cards with cvv2 information” (with URL); “SSN of any US citizen”; access to “fresh eBay accounts”; and an assurance that “our site will be usefull [sic] for the those [sic] who want to wash their money also 🙂 (If you don’t want to pay taxes or you need to buy something illegal like weapons or drugs).”  I did a whois lookup on the URL, which is registered anonymously to someone in Miami with the email address of The come-on sounds tempting, but I’m afraid I’d end up on a fundraising site for a Democratic presidential candidate, so I’m going to pass.


  • Speaking of treadmills (go back to the top if you’ve already forgotten), I’ve also taken this week to develop a brand new rating system for movies on DVD. It’s the creatively named “Treadmill Rating” and it’s my assessment of how many miles of running I can do in front of the movie before either giving up from exhaustion or boredom. It’s simple, objective and probably destined to replace the tired “thumbs up or down” system that less perceptive reviewers rely on.Under this rating system, a movie like Terminator 3 (rating: 4) scores higher than, say, LOTR: The Two Towers (rating: 2.5). A classic like XXX (rating: 4.5) will outperform Saving Private Ryan (rating: 3). I’m not saying that these are better movies, but I am saying that pounding out eight minute miles makes one less able (or willing) to enjoy extended dialog and a plot that relies more on cerebral gymnastics than C4 and swordfights. Fortunately, my aging knees top out at 5 miles, and so does the rating system, which keeps it in line with other, less objective systems.


Well, that’s it. I feel better. And please accept my apologies…for either being gone so long, or for returning so soon, whichever fits your pistol!


  1. Dawn, I feel a little rusty, but it was good to be back pounding the keyboard. Thanks for not abandoning The Gazette! (And don’t tell anyone else…you know how envious “they” get…but even when I wasn’t reading any blogs this week, I was reading yours. I owe you a letter about Style Court.)

  2. You’re right, running shoes have come a long way. Back in my serious running days, decades ago, I bought Nike Waffle Trainers, the one of the first entries into the glamour, big buck [for the time] shoe market. Perhaps you remember? Nylon shoes with almost no support but with “really cool” rubber squares on the bottom. At the time they seemed like the height of technology. But man, did they kill my feet.

  3. Wallace, I’ve never been able to wear Nikes — they just don’t fit my arch structure, for some reason — but I do remember the trainers of which you speak. I have my own similar horror story. My first pair of “real” running shoes was a pair of Adidas; I can’t remember the model, but they were white with red stripes, and they were practically weightless…at least compared to anything I’d ever had before. I can remember running endless laps around the steeply banked 1/16th mile track at The Midlander, pounding on those Adidas shoes, and totally screwing up my knees.
    I just didn’t know any better…and it took me years to recover!

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