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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 = 0.9925 ... 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!

2017-02-20 - Tysons Trek

~5.0 miles @ ~12.6 min/mi

"Your little nincompoop is dancing down the aisle ahead!" says Kristin's son about his sister, yesterday in the grocery store. Better, perhaps, than what he used to call her: "My baby bother!" Dr K and I meander through Tysons Corner enjoying the rosy sunrise. A noisy flock of crows takes wing and circles above us.


- Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 05:46:42 (EDT)

2017-02-19 - GW Birthday Marathon

~26.2 miles @ ~11.7 min/mi

"This is Not Good!" Dr Kerry says, when the GPS voice announces our pace. Today is her Birthday Eve Spontaneous Marathon, aka the George Washington Birthday Marathon, and we're going ~2 min/mi faster than planned. But no matter! Kerry slices more than 50 minutes off her prior PB for the distance, and we finish with big smiles. Not bad for a race that she only started to think about two days ago!

"417 — and the Comrades 3 times!" says Pauline from England, when we ask how many marathons she has run. Ultra-veterans Caroline Williams and Phil Hesser greet us before the start, as do buddies Ken and Jennifer. Temperatures today reach near-record highs, in the 70+ zone, and we give thanks for brisk winds whenever the course turns toward them. Electrolyte capsules, energy gels, and quarts of Gatorade all help, though our fingers swell and my right hamstring threatens to cramp.

"I've seen you here almost every year for over a decade, and never stopped to shake your hand!" I apologize to Derek, whose boom-box and applause annually encourage runners when they pass him at miles 9, 16, and 23. Kerry pushes us along, allowing only limited walk breaks as we climb hills. During the last lap I stoop to pick up a spork in the road, mainly so I can say "spork in the road". Climbing the big hill at mile 25 we meet Chris, who wears a Hulkmania shirt that he rips apart as he crosses the finish line.

Kerry and I accept this year's uber-garish medals, pose for photos, and enjoy traditional GWBM chili. My experiments turn out well, especially taping the feet to deter blisters — though I need a refresher lesson from Stephanie on how to apply Leukotape most effectively. Dr K and I get home early and happy. A great day, great volunteers, and a great race!

(Splits, according to my watch and the mile markers: 11.7 + 10.3 + 11.6 + 10.7 + 11.6 + 11.6 + 10.3 + 12.0 + 11.2 + 11.2 + 10.4 + 11.9 + 11.3 + 11.3 + 11.7 + 13.4 + 12.0 + 11.5 + 12.5 + 12.8 + 12.8 + 12.3 + 13.3 + 12.4 + 12.3 + 13.3 + the final fraction in 2.2 minutes)


- Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 05:52:32 (EDT)

Mantra - She'll Be Right


... Australian slang for "Everything is OK" — no problem ... things will all work out somehow ... don't worry ... it's good enough ...

As, in fact, it always it!

(cf. Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Lord Love a Duck (2010-02-15), No Worries, Mate (2012-11-24), Mantra - Things Can Only Get Better (2016-09-11), ...)

- Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 05:37:50 (EDT)

2017-02-18 - Death by Do Loop with Stephanie

~8.3 miles @ ~16.9 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Death_by_Do_Loop_stephanie_z_2017-02-18a1.jpg"I'm stubborn!"

"You think you're stubborn? I'm really stubborn!"

Lost in the woods near the Occoquan, Dr Fonda and I compete for bushwhacking honors as we stagger down and up hillsides and clamber over fallen trees. We're enjoying "Death by Do Loop" (DxDL), an informal Saturday morning trek sponsored by the DC Capital Striders. On the orange (or maybe it was blue?) trail we miss a turn and follow yellow horseshoe blazes that lead to an abandoned rusty hulk of a car. Selfie Time!

Then press onward, backtrack, check the map, turn around, and eventually find the way back to Fountainhead where we began. For past disorienting adventures in the same area see 2008-08-23 - Lost in the Woods and 2009-03-31 - Lost in the Woods Again. Is this the Bermuda Triangle of Bull Run?

Quatro and his friend Carol lead us on a tour of the white-blazed trail. A kind soul in the DCCS has brought scrumptious chocolate-coated peanut-butter delicacies to share, and Q is carrying one. "Pretty Please?", I ask, as we part ways to head back to the start. Quatro lobs a high-arcing PB-Choco-Bomb and Stephanie catches it. Touchdown!

Today's trail talk is quiet and thoughtful. We give thanks for dear friends, good health, tender relationships ... muse on how to be loving-helpful-kind while letting others grow strong and independent ... and wonder how to recognize and honor one's own self without being selfish. So hard, sometimes.

Discussing ASMR — a tingling-relaxing-euphoric-thrilling sensation triggered sometimes by acts of service and certain sounds — we wonder: could some people create moments of pure joy for others and yet never realize it? Could it be happening everywhere, unnoticed? What a lovely thought!



- Monday, March 20, 2017 at 05:56:31 (EDT)

2017-02-17 - Meet Maureen

~4.4 miles @ ~15.6 min/mi

"You're one 'Sorry!' in the hole now, Maureen!" Caitlin's mom is visiting, and apologizes twice before she learns the Second Rule of Dawn Patrol: you only get to say "Sorry!" once per mile. She already knows the First Rule: leave no one behind, ever!

By flashlight and headlamp Kristin leads the way along the path by Dead Run to the north end of Pine Hill Rd, where we take Kerry's Cut-Through #7 in reverse. Maureen laughs off the sub-freezing temperatures; she's from Buffalo NY. We trek along Benjamin St, admiring mansion architecture and wondering what the response would be if we knocked on a door and said "Trick or Treat!" at 6am?

When Cait's shoe comes off we suggest duct tape, which she used inside another pair before a fancy-dress dance over the weekend. An electric sunrise just keeps getting more beautiful. At Kerry's home we share coffee and memories.


- Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 05:17:45 (EDT)

2017-02-15 - Langley Blowdowns

~7.4 miles @ ~12.9 min/mi

"Fox!" Cait spots the creature hunkered down in the brush by Dead Run, eyes glowing orange in our headlamps. Half a block later it's Kristin's turn: "Rabbit!" The big bunny dashes across a front lawn. Hope it survives!

The Dawn Patrol strides over sticks and twigs blown down by recent high winds. Broken trees almost block the path in a couple of location; bands of yellow "CAUTION" tape stretch across the asphalt. We ramble into Langley and text-message a GPS push-pin waypoint to Dr Kerry when we pass in front of her home. "You should have come in for coffee!" she replies.


- Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 07:05:21 (EDT)

2017-02-13 - Against the Wind

~8.9 miles @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then!" And wish I could have remembered that Zen lyric sooner this morning. Northwest breezes are 20+ mi/hr, with chilly gusts reaching 40+ mph. Kerry and Kristin have to duck under a broken cedar tree trunk that stretches over the sidewalk. The 1967 song "Windy" comes to mind — and raises the question of how many neurons are devoted to storing sunshine-pop lyrics like that? And how long should it take to recall that Bob Seeger was the artist who wrote "Against the Wind"?

"Let's run to a different Starbucks today!" Kristin nominates one we've never visited, in Tysons Corner next to a Harris-Teeter on Park Run Drive. But when the Dawn Patrol gets there nobody is behind the counter, although the doors are wide open! Another erstwhile coffee customer suggests being baristas for each other. But we decide against it, and after a couple of minutes give up and hit the road again.


- Friday, March 17, 2017 at 05:31:15 (EDT)

2017-02-12 - Wet Trek

~10.3 miles @ ~13.1 min/mi

"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" — "Pennies from Heaven" — "Who'll Stop the Rain?" — "Purple Rain" — "Macarthur Park" ("Someone left the cake out ...") — "Red Rain" — Rebecca and Barry free-associate a medley of precipitation-themed songs as we ramble along Rock Creek through intermittent light drizzle. We review recent movies, compare notes on donut shops, run a few hills, and reminisce about races. On a side trail near Ft Detrick's Forest Glen Annex speculation includes what superpowers one might acquire by drinking from the contaminated streams there, or perhaps just taking a dip as Achilles did in the River Styx. Who knows?


- Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 14:58:20 (EDT)

2017-02-11 - Mormon Temple Hillwork with Cait and Stephanie

~16.3 miles @ ~12.9 min/mi

"Good morning, Oreo!" At sunrise, as the full moon sets, Dr Stephanie starts running. Within a few blocks, there's Rebecca walking her lovely-friendly dog Oreo. Pause for puppy petting! After a digression through Garrett Park and Kensington we join Caitlin at mile ~5 and return to the flatter Rock Creek Trail.

"It's just another theoretical astrophysicist!" Gerry waves at us from across the street. Soon thereafter, "Make way — elite runners coming through!" Anny and Michele and Jeff zoom past. We run three times up the Mormon Temple Hill, meeting Gayatri and other friends solo and in training groups.

Mindful sharing and trail talk topics include advice making new friends, studying graph theory, managing unreasonable first-date expectations, running downhill during ultramarathon training, heart-attack hazards of deep-décolleté at a dinner with elderly gentlemen present, temptations found at Duck Donuts in Rockville, and the challenge of listening to the spaces between notes of a fast Haydn flute trio. Om-ward ho!


- Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 14:30:15 (EDT)

2017-02-10 - Last Wishes

~6.5 miles @ ~13.7 min/mi

"Pretend to be happy — I'll fix it!" Mindful Mom Magic works wonders, apparently even via the medium of text-message. This morning temps in the lower 20's lead Dawn Patrol feet toward a Starbucks on Route 7, where hot coffee maintains momentum. An electric persimmon sunrise distracts Kristin, who almost trips on a sidewalk crack as we run through Tysons Corner. Kerry throws out an arm to help her recover. We warn each other away from icy puddles.

"Your daughter locked my son in the dog's cage!" Note choice of personal pronouns. Conversation also gets serious, talking about a lovely final resting place for one's ashes. "I'd just like to be the bench there!" — a beautiful thought.


- Monday, March 13, 2017 at 18:32:42 (EDT)

2017-02-08 - Hot February Trot

~7.1 miles @ ~13.6 min/mi

"Murphy is his name!" says the owner of a 105-pounds-of-joy black Rottweiler-blend out for a pre-sunrise stroll. Dr Kristin and I pause to pet the big puppy, who is thrilled to make new friends. The Dawn Patrol duo meanders across Route 123, veers around crowds of construction workers on sidewalks, and ventures cautiously along the shoulder of a busy street underneath the Dulles Access Road.

Freakish February warmth brings temps in the mid-60s. Much mindful conversation and trail talk ensues. We're all so busy putting out fires, listening to lectures, and doing our duties these days. If only the whole world were a bit more grown-up and self-aware, more open and flexible, and a bit less prone to panic. Maybe some day!


- Friday, March 10, 2017 at 10:02:08 (EST)

2017-02-06 - Theory of Justice

~5.3 miles @ ~13.1 min/mi

"Justice as Fairness!" is philosopher John Rawls' bumper-sticker summary of his theory of justice. One of Kristin's kids is fully on board with that; the other currently is more in-the-moment I-want-what-I-want. Demands a tricky balancing-act by a good Mom!

The skeleton Dawn Patrol crew takes a lap for luck around McLean High School track, then trots south as an umber sky slowly brightens. Icicle-lights glitter in a window to frame a line of snowman-statuettes. A bronchitis cough intrudes during walk breaks, never while on the run. "Is that a rabbit?" Nope, just a small bunny-shaped cedar branch blowdown.


- Thursday, March 09, 2017 at 11:21:47 (EST)

Werner Zimmermann, R.I.P.

Werner Edward Zimmermann, age 87, passed away quietly on March 6, 2017. He was with family, in his home on the farm near Hostyn where he grew up and, years later, returned.

Werner's life was full of service to others. He took a leave of absence for two years from La Grange High School to serve his parents on the family farm when his brothers were drafted and sent away during WWII. He rose through the ranks at the Carnation Milk Company and served as a supervisor for the Austin branch. In the 1960s he started his own business, Princess Craft Manufacturing of Pflugerville, to build campers and pick-up covers. In addition to owner and general manager, Werner served in dozens of additional roles including recruiter, designer, subbookkeeper, master carpenter, and more. After years of success he sold the company, but had to take it over again when the abilities of the new owners fell short. Again Werner served his customers and employees well, and rescued the business. After he "retired" back to the Zimmermann farm, Werner began serving part-time on behalf of the Engle Farmers Mutual Benefit insurance company of Schulenburg. His honesty and passion to help others fueled his rise to become President of that company, a post to which he was reelected for many years.

In 1951 Werner married Minnie Merle Meinke and with her raised two sons, Mark and Keith. After divorce, in 1969 Werner wed Dorothy Hoover and became father to her children, Patrick, Michael, Corinne, and Shawn. Werner is survived by two brothers, Elroy and Gilbert, a sister, Gladys, and dozens of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

When Dorothy died in 2009 her eldest son Patrick eulogized her. After a difficult first marriage, in Pat's words:

... Dorothy's life took a happier turn. She met and married, in 1969, the greatest man I know, Werner Zimmermann.

The two of them seem to have been made for each other. The were a great team. They became partners in life, and partners in business.

Werner loved our mother, totally, unreservedly, not least during the last two years of Dorothy's life, when her health began to deteriorate more rapidly. They were the best things that ever happened to each other.

They were, and are, people of true grit. They had good times and bad times. Usually the good times and bad times were all happening at the same time. Such as when their business burned to the ground in 1971 while Werner was in the hospital having abdominal surgery. No matter what happened to them, they just picked up the pieces and kept working.

I think of myself as a hard worker, but Werner and Mom make me look like a slacker.

In 1971, when Werner woke up from the anesthesia of the operation that Pat mentions, his doctor asked him, "Do you want the good news first, or the bad news?" Of course, as an optimist Werner wanted the good news. He learned that the surgery was a total success. The bad news, that downtown Pflugerville burnt down and his business was utterly destroyed? No problem. Werner could handle that.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday March 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swiss Alp. Interment will follow at 3:00 PM at the Capital Memorial Park in Pflugerville. Contributions in Werner's memory may be made to Hospice Brazos Valley in La Grange, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swiss Alp, or charity of one's choice.

(cf. Johnson Condolences (2008-01-05), Dorothy Zimmermann, R.I.P. (2009-08-21), ...)

- Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 08:47:57 (EST)

2017-02-05 - Tempo Trek

~11.2 miles @ ~9.7 min/mi

"Technically, it's afternoon!" Mr Quibbler is on a solo tempo run today, and feels the need to correct a cyclist who says, "Good morning." A few miles later, when a walker greets him with "Great to see you back!", he replies, "Thank you, but I haven't been away." OK, loosen up, dude!

With "La donna è mobile" stuck on heavy mental rotation, the miles flow by briskly. A young lady training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler zooms ahead on the Capital Crescent Trail, then stops to rest on a park bench. One mini Heath Bar provides fuel for the final mile. A family of cyclists says "Hi!" on Rock Creek Trail and again half a dozen miles later on the CCT. Splits according to GPS: 10.8 + 10.1 + 9.6 + 9.4 + 10.5 (climbing the hills of Cedar Lane) + 9.6 + 9.8 + 8.9 (perhaps due to track gitches in the tunnel under Wisconsin Ave? or to the girl who zips past there?) + 9.0 + 9.3 + 10.0 min/mi.


- Sunday, March 05, 2017 at 07:00:13 (EST)

What a Drag It Is Getting Old

http://zhurnaly.com/images/xkcd_ui_change.pngFrom Randall Munroe's xkcd comic #1770, "UI Change":

"Ugh, I hate when apps make arbitrary changes to their UI. Stuff I do all the time just got way harder for no reason!"

"Man. You are not gonna like getting old."

(cf. Pickwick Papers Width and Wisdom (2006-07-05), Enchanted Castle (2010-07-17), Nothing There in the First Place (2015-05-31), ...)

- Saturday, March 04, 2017 at 04:51:27 (EST)

2017-02-03 - Good Sports

~7.1 miles @ ~13.8 min/mi

"Puppy!" Kristin spies another cute little dog out for a walk. The Dawn Patrol braves 32F chills to meander around McLean and Falls Church. Kerry and Cait discuss sportsmanship, good and bad, in basketball. Friend and cousin (respectively) Jimmy Patsos, coach at Siena College, recently made the news when a rival team refused to shake hands post-game. Patsos walked along the line where they should have been and shook hands with imaginary players. Sweet symbolism!

The 1938 pacifistic film "Dawn Patrol" (set around World War I aviation) is now on order. Perhaps we'll see who among us corresponds to Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, or David Niven? Alas, not a lot of ladies in that movie ...


- Friday, March 03, 2017 at 04:21:15 (EST)

2017-02-01 - New McLean Cut-Through

~9.2 miles @ ~13.4 min/mi

"Bitmoji! You've gotta try 'em!" The Dawn Patrol rambles long on a brisk morning, bank thermometer in the mid-30s, chill intermittent breezes. Silhouetted by streetlights, two big deer amble across the road. Cait tells of last week's National Symphony Orchestra "Pops" concert. Kristin's foot is largely recovered from last week's stumble over her new puppy.

"Let's call it 'Kerry's Cut-Through #7'!" Led by Dr KB, we explore Pine Hill Road, an apparently-ancient gravel lane that leads to a big farmhouse. A narrow path brings us back onto neighborhood streets. Who knew? And in other deep philosophical questions, we wonder if a big white rock in a front yard indicates a "swinger" residence? Or is that an urban legend?


- Thursday, March 02, 2017 at 05:16:25 (EST)

Vladimir Braginsky, R.I.P.

Vladimir Braginsky (1931-2016), was one of the underappreciated godfathers of gravitational wave detection. MIT's Rainer Weiss shares a glimpse of the man:

Another memory of Vladimir I carry are his comments to me after a particularly difficult meeting with a review committee of vacuum experts who were advising the NSF on our strategy to construct the 4km beam tubes and their enclosures. The experts from vacuum groups associated with accelerator laboratories were skeptical of our design to process the metals to reduce out-gassing and thereby greatly reduce the number of pumps required to meet our goals. They were convinced that the ratio of pumping capacity to surface area was so low as to jeopardize the project and were convinced the LIGO vacuum would fail to achieve its design even though we had demonstrated the strategy in two separate experiments on different scales. I knew that if we were to build LIGO based on their recommendations, it would have significantly exceeded our estimated costs and I felt would have killed the project. Vladimir caught me sitting in a room on a corridor near the Caltech Physics Division headquarters with what must have been a pretty desperate look. He came and patted me on the back and said, "You know what you are doing is analogous to a man trying to love a woman in broad daylight in the middle of Red Square. You will get a lot of advice." We both laughed; it was just the change in perspective that was needed.

(from "LIGO Mourns the Loss of Vladimir Braginsky" in LIGO News, 2016-04-25; see QuantumNondemolition (2000-02-05), ...)

- Wednesday, March 01, 2017 at 04:56:14 (EST)

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), ... Current Volume. Send comments and suggestions to z (at) his.com. Thank you! (Copyright © 1999-2017 by Mark Zimmermann.)

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