June 20, 2012
Is This the World's Scariest Ride?
YouTube caption: "The ride is called WIND SHEAR and it is at Divo Ostrov Amusement Park in Russia. This ride is very similar to the Riptide ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, but a different name and little changes make it more exciting. It was so scary that even the people who were watching it started screaming."
Wrote Katie Hagar on Better Living Through Design,
"Here's a toothbrush that allows you to rinse without the aid of a glass — it has a small channel for water to flow up and outwards to provide you with a fountain of water. And, the bristles may be popped out and replaced so that you can use the toothbrush longer and minimize waste."
Designed by Scott Amron.
Running on empty — "We never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do."
This has been the most intensive month of road racing I've done in many, many years — and it's only 2/3 done.
Here's what's gone down so far:
Saturday June 2: 5K
Sunday June 3: 5K
Saturday June 9: 5K
Thursday June 14: 5K
Saturday June 16: 5K
Sunday June 17: 4-Miler
The three races in four days between June 14 and June 17 is some kind of record for me.
That's a lot of high-intensity mileage — over 10 miles at race pace, red-lining it, pedal to the metal.
Anyhow, long story short: I still haven't been able to reach my goal — cracking the 8-minute/mile barrier (24:48 for 5K), which I last did over four years ago, in early 2008.
I've come fairly close this month, my best 5K times being 25:37 and 25:42.
Toward the end of last year I decided to try to run a half-marathon pretty much every month for the rest of my life, seeing as how I'd built up a good distance base last summer training for last year's (October 30) Marine Corps Marathon, which I managed to complete but not very triumphantly.
No more marathons, I decided afterward, but a monthly half seemed eminently doable.
To that end, I did a half on December 4, 2012, then one on February 26, a 10-miler March 31, another half-marathon April 7, and one on May 6.
I'd planned to run the Kona Half-Marathon this coming Sunday, June 24, and in fact registered, but due to circumstances beyond my control the trip to Hawaii isn't going to happen, and so I've got no half this month.
To make up for that absence, I figured I'd do a lot of shorter races and then get back on the half-marathon circuit in July.
Hence the schedule above, with the three races in four days at race pace to me a fair trade equivalent of a half-marathon.
I felt it: Sunday night, I pretty much fell asleep as I lay down in bed and Monday I didn't do a whole lot of moving around.
Thursday June 21: 2-Miler
Thursday June 28: 5K
Saturday June 30: 5K
Two more shots at cracking the 8-minute barrier this month, and then on to the second half of the year.
I must say, it's kind of fun not reaching my goal and trying again and again; yes, I'll be pleased when I finally break through, but that same day I'll set a new goal and reorient my sights.
This one's familiar and in some strange way comforting even as I fail to get there.
It's not the easiest thing to do, like the song goes, but it's what's happening.
Bonus: In the finish area of last Sunday's race, the Charlottesville Men's Four-Miler, I saw my longtime UVA Department of Anesthesiology faculty colleague Carl Lynch III (below)
for the first time in at least 15 years (I left UVA in 1995).
I was amazed to see that he'd run the race: Carl was not by any stretch of the imagination a runner back when I knew him.
He said to me, "What are you doing here?"
I said the same thing (to him).
Turns out he's taken up distance running and is an integral part of 4-Miler race award-winning Team Anesthesiology, transformed into a lean, mean running machine.
Good on him.
Dog Pool Float
From the website:
Your pup can cool off in the pool or lake right beside you on a float designed especially for dogs.
Heavy-duty, puncture-proof construction that springs open and inflates easly, then deflates and folds down for compact storage.
Measures 48" x 27" and supports dogs up to 65 pounds.
"This is really fun. Click this link and give it a try. But, be prepared to waste the rest of your day playing with it."
Candy Wrappers Jigsaw Puzzle
1,000 pieces; 24" x 30".
The Dark Knight Rises
Plastic Eames Chair
From the New York Times: "When Niels Wildenberg turned 21 and had a few dollars to spend, instead of treating himself to a used car he bought a used chair. The one he coveted was wood and leather and could be identified by almost anyone as the classic lounge chair designed in 1956 by Charles and Ray Eames."
"Now 43, Mr. Wildenberg, a founder of Mal, a new furniture company in the Dutch town of Eindhoven, is producing lounge chairs that look strikingly similar to the one he bought years ago, except that they are brightly colored plastic and meant for outdoors."
"Coyly called Mal 1956 — 'mal' is the Dutch word for 'mold,' and it also means 'silly,' Mr. Wildenberg said — the chair and accompanying ottoman are made of polyethylene powder that has been heated and rotated in an aluminum mold."
"Plastic is more forgiving than the rosewood with which the original Eames lounge chair was built, so owners need not be overly protective. 'For instance, if your dog used the chair for his chewing toy,' Mr. Wildenberg said, 'the chair could be recycled into a new chair by using the same material.'"
"Also clever are the holes drilled into the chair and ottoman where you would find leather buttons on the original; their job is to drain rainwater."
"Reminded that messing with a celebrated silhouette can have unpleasant consequences, Mr. Wildenberg didn't seem worried. His partner, Bob Copray, received a call from a representative of Vitra, which produces and distributes the Eames lounge chair in Europe, he said, and 'Bob told her the ins and outs about our product. That’s all we have heard up till now.' The chair is a respectful tribute, he added, and 'we strongly believe in the fact that we have created a whole new product.'"
"Mal 1956 weighs about 64 pounds with the ottoman and is about $1,120. Information: mal-furniture.com."
Full disclosure: When I finally sat in a genuine Eames chair, I couldn't believe how uncomfortable it was. Another mass delusion, like the Aeron Chair and the Kindle, with its grey screen that Jeff Bezos has somehow convinced people is just great for reading.
Maybe I'm just allergic to Kool-Aid.