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Howdy, pilgrim! No ads — you're in the ^zhurnal (that's Russian for "journal") — see ZhurnalyWiki for a Wiki edition of individual items; see Zhurnal and Zhurnaly for quick clues as to what this is all about; see Random for a random page. Briefly, this is the diary of ^z = Mark Zimmermann ... previous volume = 0.9931 ... complete list at bottom of page ... send comments & suggestions to "z (at) his (dot) com" ... click on a title link to go to that item in the ZhurnalyWiki where you can edit or comment on it ... thank you!

Om - How Deep Is The Yes

Be Open
... emptying,
embracing ...
How Deep is
the Yes?

(cf Yes, and... (2012-11-14), Mantra - How Deep is the Yes (2018-02-15), ...)

- Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 05:00:21 (EDT)

2018-05-05 - Kensington Ramble

~11 miles @ ~15.9 min/mi

Kensington Childrens Library wood carving owl"I'll try a 100 miler, but you have to run it with me!" Last week's C&O Canal 100 by Dr Stephanie inspires others to ponder the distance. "Or maybe first do a 100k? Hmmmm, have you run your age in miles yet?" Gayatri and Barry smile at babies in prams, hug friends whom we meet, and admire cute dogs. Emaad and Rebecca dash ahead.

"OK to touch?" Somebody's back itches, but before scratching a friend it's always good to confirm permission. Experiments with a stick find it insufficient. An explosion of flowers line Rock Creek Trail today, perhaps provoking allergic reactions. Late-season cherry blossoms blanket the ground.

"And I was at least 5 minutes ahead of the cutoffs!" Barry reports on the Big Sur marathon last Sunday. At the base of the Mormon Temple Hill a large faux rock is padlocked to the ground. The Temple itself is closed for construction. A direct route leads back to KenGar, past the Noyes Childrens Library owl carving and kitschy antique store window cat-and-vase displays.


- Monday, May 21, 2018 at 04:29:58 (EDT)

Metacognitive Awareness

Fully Present by Susan Smalley and Diana Winston is a fun and fuzzy book that sporadically shifts gears between neuroscience and mysticism. From Chapter 6 ("Feeling Bad: Dealing with Negative Emotions"):

... Meta-cognitive awareness refers to a de-centered relationship of self to thoughts and feelings—the idea that you can be a neutral observer of your own experiences, whether these are sensory experiences or thoughts or feelings. Many terms are used to describe this meta-cognitive stance. We have already used the words "de-linking" and "disidentification"; others use terms such as "reperceiving," "de-centering," "defusion," and "distancing." Still others use terms such as "detached discerning ability." More descriptive terms for the attentional stance of a person witnessing his or her own experiences include "impartial spectator," ... and "unentangled participation" ....

Oops! — lots of jargon there ... but perhaps, with a bit of structure and sensibility, it might become part of a useful lexicon of metacognitive mental modeling — and maybe, with a dash of humor, be a finger pointing toward zen master Ikkyu's Mantra - Attention, Attention, Attention!

(for other quotes from Smalley & Winston see Rebalancing Doing and Being (2011-02-28), Breath and Awareness (2011-03-12), Come SAIL Away (2011-11-26), Models of Happiness (2012-01-05), Equanimity (2012-02-01), Emotional States (2012-04-26), ...)

- Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 06:25:34 (EDT)

2018-05-02 - Scotts Run Run

~5.6 mi @ ~13.4 min/mi

"... He submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his destiny ...", as Cardinal Newman says in "The Idea of a University". K2 leads the Dawn Patrol duo quietly through Scotts Run Nature Preserve, down the Woodland Trail, across stepping-stones on the River Trail to the Potomac. Sunlight glitters; blue flowers bloom; a waterfall splashes; an ancient stone chimney abides. Two big deer pause on the pathway, then step aside. It's a meditative morning, as we cherish friends and family.


- Friday, May 18, 2018 at 04:55:28 (EDT)

Mantra - More Choosing, Less Doing

More Choosing,
    Less Doing!

... decide to pause, notice the beauty, cherish the freedom, be the now — and let go of hustle-busy-panic-action ...

(thoughts thanks to comrade KD; cf. Knowing, Choosing, Doing (1999-05-29), Mantra - I Choose (2016-06-06), Mantra - Refuse to Be Busy (2018-02-24), ...)

- Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 04:59:28 (EDT)

2018-04-25 - Sophia's Cafe

~3.9 mi @ ~12.0 min/mi

"Probably a dead end - but there might be a cut-through!" On a drizzly-warm morning K-Rex explores Corporate Ridge, a street leading into an McLean office complex just inside the Capital Beltway. Fences block access to the apartments/condos nearby, alas, and muddy paths between parking garages lead nowhere. So go back, past Sophia's Café to the main road. Birds chirp loudly, as if in a tropical rainforest.


- Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 04:36:42 (EDT)

2018-04-23 - Text Messages Chirp

~6.5 mi @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Pick up your pace!" Joe, a Dear Boss of 15 years ago, rolls down the car window as he drives by and shouts words of encouragement to Dawn Patrol. We climb a hill and admire an eastern sky, glistening pinks above clouds, somber blues below. At McLean High School the gate to the track is closed. Feet lead through quiet neighborhoods, past tulips, cherry trees, hyacinths. Text messages bring news of traffic and family: Mom has fallen and broken a hip. In the condo complex a sign warns, "Speed Limit 9 1/2". K-Rex spies a red fox.


- Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 04:30:11 (EDT)

Go Quotes

The ancient game of Go is awesome in the simplicity of its rules and the complexity of its strategy. A few comments about it, from [1] and [2]:

(cf Complexity from Simplicity (1999-08-05), Go Words (1999-08-29), Zar Story (2000-01-16), War and Checkers (2005-05-25), Thinking in Systems (2017-11-03), ...)

- Monday, May 14, 2018 at 04:49:24 (EDT)

Om - Let the Mind Pass By

Be Open
... nothing special,
nothing to analyze,
no success or failure,
no concentration,
no forcing or fighting,
nothing to attain ...
Let the Mind
Pass By

(cf Mantra - Let the Mind Pass By (2016-09-17), ...)

- Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 07:08:24 (EDT)

2018-04-22 - Pushing Hands

~4.0 mi @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Happy Earth Day! May I make a video?" Two men practicing Taiji pushing-hands in Sligo Creek Park kindly give permission. It's a 20 second detour during a run with a Mission: turn in a library book that's due tomorrow! En route, compliment an elderly lady on the street-side book-exchange in front of her home. "Not mine," she demurs. "My daughter likes to freecycle!" After turning in the book enjoy lunch with daughter Robin on her way to a DC meeting, then walk home rather than await a bus. Spy a striking "Purpleleaf Sand Cherry" in bloom on the way. What a lovely day!


- Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 06:07:08 (EDT)

2018-04-21 - Rock Creek Cave and Chickens

~10.2 mi @ ~13.6 min/mi

"June 26th - which happens to be ...", Dr Fonda tells of an ultrarunner friend who light-heartedly inserts his birthday into conversation, to help others remember it. In downtown Garrett Park we investigate a nature trail, then ramble upstream along Rock Creek. Cyclists pile their bikes in a mound at a rest stop. In a back yard fluffy white Silkies scratch the soil, along with other exotic chicken breeds.

Mindful trail talk includes The Fifth Discipline (by Peter Senge: systems thinking, mental modeling, team learning, shared vision, and personal mastery), another five dimensions of Awesomeness (aka "BadAssery"), and insights from The Talented Mr Ripley.
Back yard chickens by Rock Creek Trail near Dewey Park
Stephanie at mini-cavernWe smile together at how great it feels when the Universe "lobs you some easy ones" for a change, and recount recent joys, frustrations, accomplishments, aspirations. This world is an awesome happy place, especially when one finds kind friends who care for and help one another! ("June 26th - hmmmm, maybe somebody should jot that down somehow.")

"Where does that lead?" Near Veirs Mill Road a side path beckons. From it, Stephanie spies a narrow cave opening high on a steep hillside above the stream. With only a few muddy stumble-slip-slides, up we go. "It's a magical world ... let's go exploring!"


- Friday, May 11, 2018 at 04:32:40 (EDT)

Splunk Tag Lines

Splunk, a big data analysis corporation, uses some geeky-funny slogans:

But the super-fave, which also appears on a Splunk t-shirt that kind friend MC gifted long ago:

Because Ninjas
  Are Too Busy

(cf [1], [2], [3], [4], ...)

- Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 05:31:17 (EDT)

2018-04-21 - Capital for a Day 5k Race

~3.1 mi @ ~8.1 min/mi

"Your race is about to start!" says Tom Young, pointing to a dozen tiny people getting ready for their kids-on-the-run dash. If only! Today's MCRRC "Capital for a Day" 5k is a good challenge, with gentle hills and perfect weather. Exchange fist-bumps with fast graybeard Wayne Breslyn and Race Director Keith Evans, line up, and go!

"Where did he come from?" A 10-year-old blasts past in the home stretch. Compared to previous times on this course (2011 = 22:19 and 2012 = 22:33) the effects of 5 years and 15 lbs show clearly: official result is 24:49, good for 2nd place among 7 in the 65-69 year male group, 75th of 171 men, 93rd of 298 overall. Rough GPS splits: 7.7 + 7.8 + 8.6 with 8.0 min/mi for the final fraction.


- Wednesday, May 09, 2018 at 04:47:09 (EDT)

Om - Safety, Health, Insight, Peace

Be Soft
... free from
strife ...
Safety * Health * Insight * Peace

(cf Mantra - Safety, Health, Insight, Peace (2015-10-30), ...)

- Tuesday, May 08, 2018 at 05:30:29 (EDT)

2018-04-16 - Fortunate Flood

~5.9 mi @ ~12.0 min/mi

"You've got a pen and paper? You can write the Dawn Patrol log report during the run!" K-Rex is amused to hear that somebody forgot to empty his pockets and carries, in addition to note-taking materials, wallet and reading glasses. Fog glows in headlamp lights. K2 finds the way to a narrow pedestrian cut-through between neighborhoods where Melrose Drive has a 100-foot gap. Puddles decorate the pathway after overnight thunderstorms.

"This morning's forecast was for heavy rain and strong winds. We're lucky!" Then at mile 5 the deluge hits. Pause to put on windbreakers — then shiver and seek shelter from the storm. We are so fortunate indeed!

(trackfile, Mantra - So Fortunate (2018-04-25), ...)

- Monday, May 07, 2018 at 05:52:12 (EDT)

2018-04-15 - Cherry Blossom Shadow

~4.6 mi @ ~14.6 min/mi

"It just is!" Rebecca remembers an argument between a runner and an Aid Station volunteer over how far the finish line is from that point. "It just is whatever it is!" With Caitlin and Gayatri we enjoy a Sunday morning meander through the quiet streets of Kenwood, a Chevy Chase neighborhood. Cherry blossoms float down like pink and white snowflakes and drift across the streets. A stream is strewn so thickly with flowers that in places the water becomes a pastel pathway. We seek the corner of Sunset and Shadow but fail to find it.

(trackfile; cf 2016-10-22 - Patapsco 50k with Stephanie, ...)

- Sunday, May 06, 2018 at 03:07:22 (EDT)

Don't Call Me Ishmael

Michael Bauer's young-person's novel Don't Call Me Ishmael is childish and crude, witty and fun. Its ninth grade Australian protagonist, Ishmael Lesueur, makes friends and struggles with shyness. He yearns for a girl. Comeuppance comes to a cliché of a class bully. A plot arches, not unpredictably. After 50 short chapters, good triumphs.

Yet magically, buried within this competently-written boy's book, Don't Call Me Ishmael paints a scene of extraordinary insight. Chapter 27 has Our Hero talking on the phone to his debate team leader James Scobie, the New Kid who's nerdy-weird-twitchy, a survivor of brain surgery that he claims has left him neurologically unable to experience fear. Ishmael asks:

"Scobie ... you know that story ... about the tumor and the operation and everything ... and about never being afraid? Is it really true?"

A long silence followed. I pictured Scobie's face frozen mid-twist. Finally I heard his voice. It seemed different somehow.

"Sort of ... the tumor, the operation ... they're true. The other thing ... not being afraid ... well, it depends on how you look at it. Maybe it wasn't a scalpel that did it. Maybe ... when you're lying in an operating room and someone is cutting into your brain ... and you don't know whether you're going to ..."

For a few seconds all I could hear was Scobie breathing. When he continued it was almost in a whisper.

"Well ... maybe there's just so much fear you can have ... and in that one moment you use up all the fear you were ever supposed to feel ... and it's the fear that cuts you ... and it cuts you so deep that you just decide that nothing else is worth being afraid of ... and that nothing is going to scare you any more ... because you just won't let it."

Yes ...

- Saturday, May 05, 2018 at 06:06:52 (EDT)

2018-04-14 - Kenwood Hanami

~8.8 mi @ ~14.1 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Kenwood_cherry_blossoms_k2_z_2018-04-14_t.jpg"Culpable malpractice? Probably not," says the doctor, after listening to Roadkill's lungs for post-flu post-marathon wheezing and rales. Yay! — it's license to join K2, Rebecca, Ken, and Barry for a hanami ramble in Bethesda, where 1,000+ cherry trees are at peak bloom. Ladies in kimonos pose under parasols for photos. Cardinals swoop across the street. Pink sakura petals rain down when the wind gusts and when friends throw them at each other.
"It's fun to run with someone even more OCD than I am!" Fearless Leader, who shall remain nameless, chooses a route to maximize coverage of Kenwood neighborhood lanes. After an hour the group heads back. Some depart, others add a couple of brisk bonus miles.

"Here's to the one part of your body that doesn't hate you right now — your heart!" Rebecca quotes a Flora (London Marathon sponsor) commercial devoted to post-run aches and pains. Cute!


- Friday, May 04, 2018 at 04:38:36 (EDT)

Mantra - Everything Has Beauty


Notice it — in Nature, in Art, in Others, in Self — everywhere and always!
  ... in the emptiness between the obvious ...
    ... in the softness inside the frame ...
      ... in the love within the pain ...

(quote often attributed to "Confucius" without a real source-reference; cf Find the Beauty (2011-04-03), Ordinary Beauty (2015-12-20), Mantra - Stop, Notice, Appreciate (2016-04-03), ...)

- Thursday, May 03, 2018 at 04:58:28 (EDT)

2018-04-11 - Series of Unfortunate Events

~4.9 mi @ ~11.2 min/mi

"Mark, with you it's always 'What you See is What you Get'!" says Aaron, a senior manager, upon spying somebody wearing running clothes to work today.

"Thank you, Sir!" — the right reply to feedback. This morning's Dawn Patrol checks out Pimmit Hills and finds no signs of civil disorder or alien occupation. K-Rex chooses the course and pushes the pace, between Roadkill's post-flu coughing fits. Birds chirp from flowering trees. Cars idle in driveways. Gray skies brighten to the aroma of breakfast cooking.

Then commences a series of unfortunate events. Discover that the bag with office clothes and shoes was forgotten at home. Oops! Ponder driving back and forth through morning rush hour traffic. Place car keys carefully by towel on the front seat, close that door before opening another, and find all doors now are locked. Oops!

And it's a beautiful day — no worries! Call the auto club, and while waiting go into the locker room, shower, dry off with paper towels, and put jogging gear back on. Meet the locksmith and get back into the car. Work a normal day, and laugh with kind colleagues. Give thanks for the wonderful world we live in. All is well ...


- Wednesday, May 02, 2018 at 04:34:18 (EDT)

2018-04-08 - B&A Marathon

~26.2 miles @ ~11.4 min/mi

"Those calves look like they're going to rub against each other!" The runner ahead of us has amazing muscle definition on his lower legs. Others display noteworthy hair, silly headgear, and raw speed. And everybody is cheerfully polite at the B&A Marathon and Half Marathon today, including racers, aid station volunteers, spectators, crosswalk guards, passing cyclists, and dogs that we meet along the course. It's a beautiful day, temps rising from the mid-30s, gusty north winds, lovely scenery.

"That officer has real bullets in his gun. You'd better stop walking and run to the finish line, Sir!" We help a half-marathoner trying to get her companion to start his kick with half a mile to go. After 400+ competitors turn aside at mile ~13 things get quiet for the 200+ remaining. A bridge takes the trail over a beautiful stream decorated with four grocery carts. Approaching the northern turnaround we enter a "Planet Walk", a scale-model of the Solar System over 4.6 miles. Neat!

"Kerry is holding me back, and I'm holding Kerry back!" It all balances out: one of us is woefully undertrained; the other is recovering from illness. Our pace for each 5-mile segment is fairly steady after an initial warmup: 10.8 + 11.2 + 11.6 + 11.4 + 11.6 min/mi with a similar speed in the last bit. We finish with the official clock reading 5:01, but our chip times are under 4:59:30 - another ~9 minutes off Kerry's Personal Best - yay!


- Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 09:05:00 (EDT)

For back issues of the ^zhurnal see Volumes v.01 (April-May 1999), v.02 (May-July 1999), v.03 (July-September 1999), v.04 (September-November 1999), v.05 (November 1999 - January 2000), v.06 (January-March 2000), v.07 (March-May 2000), v.08 (May-June 2000), v.09 (June-July 2000), v.10 (August-October 2000), v.11 (October-December 2000), v.12 (December 2000 - February 2001), v.13 (February-April 2001), v.14 (April-June 2001), 0.15 (June-August 2001), 0.16 (August-September 2001), 0.17 (September-November 2001), 0.18 (November-December 2001), 0.19 (December 2001 - February 2002), 0.20 (February-April 2002), 0.21 (April-May 2002), 0.22 (May-July 2002), 0.23 (July-September 2002), 0.24 (September-October 2002), 0.25 (October-November 2002), 0.26 (November 2002 - January 2003), 0.27 (January-February 2003), 0.28 (February-April 2003), 0.29 (April-June 2003), 0.30 (June-July 2003), 0.31 (July-September 2003), 0.32 (September-October 2003), 0.33 (October-November 2003), 0.34 (November 2003 - January 2004), 0.35 (January-February 2004), 0.36 (February-March 2004), 0.37 (March-April 2004), 0.38 (April-June 2004), 0.39 (June-July 2004), 0.40 (July-August 2004), 0.41 (August-September 2004), 0.42 (September-November 2004), 0.43 (November-December 2004), 0.44 (December 2004 - February 2005), 0.45 (February-March 2005), 0.46 (March-May 2005), 0.47 (May-June 2005), 0.48 (June-August 2005), 0.49 (August-September 2005), 0.50 (September-November 2005), 0.51 (November 2005 - January 2006), 0.52 (January-February 2006), 0.53 (February-April 2006), 0.54 (April-June 2006), 0.55 (June-July 2006), 0.56 (July-September 2006), 0.57 (September-November 2006), 0.58 (November-December 2006), 0.59 (December 2006 - February 2007), 0.60 (February-May 2007), 0.61 (April-May 2007), 0.62 (May-July 2007), 0.63 (July-September 2007), 0.64 (September-November 2007), 0.65 (November 2007 - January 2008), 0.66 (January-March 2008), 0.67 (March-April 2008), 0.68 (April-June 2008), 0.69 (July-August 2008), 0.70 (August-September 2008), 0.71 (September-October 2008), 0.72 (October-November 2008), 0.73 (November 2008 - January 2009), 0.74 (January-February 2009), 0.75 (February-April 2009), 0.76 (April-June 2009), 0.77 (June-August 2009), 0.78 (August-September 2009), 0.79 (September-November 2009), 0.80 (November-December 2009), 0.81 (December 2009 - February 2010), 0.82 (February-April 2010), 0.83 (April-May 2010), 0.84 (May-July 2010), 0.85 (July-September 2010), 0.86 (September-October 2010), 0.87 (October-December 2010), 0.88 (December 2010 - February 2011), 0.89 (February-April 2011), 0.90 (April-June 2011), 0.91 (June-August 2011), 0.92 (August-October 2011), 0.93 (October-December 2011), 0.94 (December 2011-January 2012), 0.95 (January-March 2012), 0.96 (March-April 2012), 0.97 (April-June 2012), 0.98 (June-September 2012), 0.99 (September-November 2012), 0.9901 (November-December 2012), 0.9902 (December 2012-February 2013), 0.9903 (February-March 2013), 0.9904 (March-May 2013), 0.9905 (May-July 2013), 0.9906 (July-September 2013), 0.9907 (September-October 2013), 0.9908 (October-December 2013), 0.9909 (December 2013-February 2014), 0.9910 (February-May 2014), 0.9911 (May-July 2014), 0.9912 (July-August 2014), 0.9913 (August-October 2014), 0.9914 (November 2014-January 2015), 0.9915 (January-April 2015), 0.9916 (April-July 2015), 0.9917 (July-September 2015), 0.9918 (September-November 2015), 0.9919 (November 2015-January 2016), 0.9920 (January-April 2016), 0.9921 (April-June 2016), 0.9922 (June-July 2016), 0.9923 (July-September 2016), 0.9924 (October-December 2016), 0.9925 (January-February 2017), 0.9926 (March-April 2017), 0.9927 (May-June 2017), 0.9928 (June-October 2017), 0.9929 (October-December 2017), 0.9930 (December 2017-March 2018), 0.9931 (March-April 2018), ... Current Volume. Send comments and suggestions to z (at) his.com. Thank you! (Copyright © 1999-2018 by Mark Zimmermann.)

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