Friday, February 17, 2012
My brother David teaches at The New Mexico School for the Blind & Visually Impaired in Alamogordo. www.nmsbvi.k12.nm.us/
Dave forwarded me and our niece Andrea, who is also a runner, an email announcing the opening of the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon registration for the October 7 race. OK, so it's another half. Except, last year they had 11 blind runners and this years they are looking to have 30 or more. But to do this, they will need guide runners to run along. (It doesn't hurt that there will be a deep discount but I din't know about that until I talked to the race director tonight.) wilsonbridgehalf.com
Notice that this bridge, a part of I-95/495 the Capital Beltway, as a pedestrian lane. Very thoughtful design.
Upside is that it's a half marathon in Virginia, so I cross that state off my 50 States list. It starts in Virginia, goes about 100 yards in DC on the bridge, then finishes in National Harbor in Maryland.
Downside, it's only a week before the Baltimore Running Festival where I will run the Half Marathon this year. So, as I said, I spoke with the director and he indicated that he has need for volunteers to also help guide runners around town during the week before. There will be penguins so I can run slow if I desire.
Every race has some cause for which you can raise money.
I hate raising money.
This way, I get to assuage my guilt without fundraising. And I will probably have a good time too.
And my brother is thrilled that I will be helping a cause he is involved in.
Friday, February 17, 2012
In June 2010 She(WMBO) and I went to Ireland with two of our friends whose parent were born there, Clare and her brother Tom. It was a really good trip and we really enjoyed ourselves. One evening, actually our 37th Anniversary, we went to dinner in a restaurant in Westport, Ireland that we had discovered on a previous trip and had thoroughly loved. On that occasion, it was my 50th birthday.
Westport is as the name implies a port in the West of Ireland in County Mayo. There is a small street that runs along the water front called the Quay (pronounced Key). At the end of that street tucked in a far corner is the Quay Cottage. And directly across from its front door is a boat ramp.
That far north, tides run to the extremes. It was fascinating to observe a boat at the ramp floating when we went in for dinner and two hours later that boat was sitting on the grounds, though I would not have tried to walk on it. It was an interesting looking boat and so I took several pictures of it. This is one of my favorites.
After we got home, I was looking at some pictures of Westport on Google Images, for what reason I don't remember and I came across this photo on a travel site for Ireland.
My thought was, "At least they could have had the decency to tell me that I was taking a photograph of a 'Kodak moment.'" Clearly, well now clearly, the boat was at the ramp as a tourist photo opportunity. Hmm.
Oh well, I like mine anyway.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I stepped out today in the rain to head for the mall and I was carrying my camera ... just because. I looked at my car and I decided that it would make a good photo to share:
My Mobile Trophy Case
There was a time when I would not have been caught dead with a bumper sticker on my car. Most of the joke ones are stupid. "Caution: In case of Rapture this car will be unoccupied" and "In case of Rapture, can I have your car, dude?" Political ones just invite road rage.
But I decided that smugness about my running was just right.
She(WMBO) HATES them. Hates them all.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I got a Nikon Camera
I wanna take your photograph
Oh mamma don't take my Kodachrome away.
Thank you Paul Simon. I hear tell that Kodak may go away this year. Wow! Who knew film would be the next typewriter or buggy whip, but there it is. No more Kodachrome! I don't think film will go away permanently. It will be like vinyl records, I suspect. But, Kodak didn't adapt, much like Polaroid, and now they probably will go away.
Oh, and I do have a Nikon camera. I got a D5100 after I finished Savannah. After spending nearly a grand on it, now I have to learn how to use it well. But I also have a couple of point and shoots. One is a ... well looky here! ... Kodak Easy Share CD14. It is digital. The other, which I keep in my run belt, is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-3. Not to mention my iPhone which does a passable job if you don't mind its clumsy interface.
I decided to put up a picture a day. That may give me incentive to get up to speed on my Nikon. Today all I have is a couple I took on my run (8 miles, thank you very much) with my Run Camera, the Lumix.
Part of my route is along a converted RailTrail. The trolley in Baltimore, until the late 1950s/early 1960s, ran on both tires and on rails. The Number 8 line that came into Catonsville was a Rail Trolley. In fact, there are places where you can still see the rails trying to peek through the asphalt in the street.
A number of years ago, a young man needed an Eagle Scout project and he took on converting the number 8 track to a walking trail for about a 1/2 mile as it went through the woods between Frederick Road (a part of the old National Turnpike from Early America) and a place called Edmondson Junction. Part of the project included painting a retaining wall. The scene chosen is of the Number 8 Trolley itself. Vandals took their toll over the years and some art students from the High School restored it this past summer.
Just a little farther up the trail, I looked up and noticed that one of the neighbors has install a new bat roost about 30 up in a tulip poplar. I like bats. They are so cool.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I read a blog tonight called Divine Caroline. One particular entry by a Vicky Santillano began:
"My experiences with handwriting lessons in elementary school were frustrating at best, emotionally scarring at worst. It sounds dramatic, but how would you feel if, in kindergarten, you painstakingly wrote your name on the chalkboard and marveled at its neatness, only to have your teacher walk by and erase it because you used all uppercase letters? Wouldn’t it sting just a little if you received a big red F on a cursive test in second grade because you couldn’t master the curly Qs and Zs?"
She goes on to discuss the decline of penmanship in our society and what it all means. Really and truly, the times I reach for a pen are fewer and fewer because I always have my phone handy and it has a note pad on it.
What really struck me was that last sentence because that was me! And when I was in grade school in in the 1960s, penmanship was King! I really and truly think that one of the things that sabotaged my academic self esteem, as we call it and worry about it nowadays, was Penmanship. When we got the report card, it didn't matter if I got 6 As (no I never even came close) I always always always got one F.
And in retrospect, I do believe that it affected my efforts in other subjects. I could study hard for the spelling test and then spend so much attention to making sure my letters were just-so that I would misspell a word or miss it entirely while dwelling on the last one.
Sister Richard (my nemesis in Grade 3, and English and something else in grade 6,7 and 8) always wanted the following: paper tipped to the left, letter angle to the right, and a straight wrist. I am left handed; you cannot have all three. So like most lefties, I crooked my wrist.
Add to that, we either used Number 2 pencils or Bic pens which blobbed terribly. Ball point pens were really a fairly new technology 50 years ago. So my papers always looked sloppy, no matter how neatly I tried to write. My Dad was a natural lefty who was switched, and not because Sister thought the Devil was left handed, but because he only had nib type pens with wet ink. He had little sympathy for my plight. He thought his handwriting was great. Mom would always have to ask around for translations of what he wrote.
The writer also mentions Qs and Zs. Those two letters in the Zaner-Bloser method most of us learned simply didn't make sense to me, even today. What's worse is we rarely used them. Oh wait! I used Q all the time. Around Grade 6 Sister Richard wanted us to develop our signature: First name, middle initial, last name in cursive and legible. So now I had to sign all my papers. Timothy Q. Nohe. The Zaner Bloser Q looked more like a 2. I couldn't get it right. So I made an O with a tail. It looked like Q! "MISter Nohe!" Uh-oh! "This is wrong. Unacceptable!"
"Sorry Sister, that's the best I can do." She sent a note home to Dad. I thought I was gonna get it. Mouthing off to Sister. Surprisingly, Dad asked for my side. "Stand your ground. I don't like this woman anyway." He wrote HER a note. She backed off my case over the miscreant Q.
Thank goodness I didn't have a Z in my name too or there would have been war.
I did meet one person, a lefty, who would have driven Sister Richard just bats. We were buying something and a form needed to be filled out. She clipped the form to the clip board upside down … I do that … but began writing from the bottom right to left. That's correct, she was writing everything UPSIDE DOWN! I commented to her, "You must have driven Sister nuts."
"I DID go to Catholic school and it did drive them crazy because I followed all their rules. They never said I had to write top to bottom and left to right."
Today, I doubt that 40% of my handwriting is from those old Zaner-Bloser tablets. Sometime in college my Z gained a stroke in the middle like everyone in the world except Americans do with 7. That was because I had to distinguish the Z from a 2. And I never use that curly Z at all. It's a writing trait I passed on to my boys which drove their teachers nuts. Hee hee hee.
And you know what? After all those Fs in penmanship, somehow people can read what I write.
The column ends:
"We can afford to let go of flowery cursive a bit, but not without first teaching today’s youth how to write well and for longer than just a few minutes a day. After all, they’ll be writing our prescriptions someday."
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