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^zhurnaly v.0.9942

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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 = 0.9941 ... 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!

2020-08-04 - Polychrome Historic District

~3.8 mi @ ~21 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Polychrome-Historic-District-houses_2020-08-04.jpg"Polychrome Historic District" says the sign in front of a line of Art Deco homes. "Slurpee!" says Roadkill as he and Danger Man do a humid afternoon walkabout with a Seven-11 aid station at mid-course and a new cut-through between Portland Rd and Dennis Av. Bees buzz busily around lavender flowers. One front-yard rabbit pauses near stone bunny garden sculptures.


- Friday, August 21, 2020 at 06:18:20 (EDT)

2020-08-02 - Eastern County 8k MCRRC Virtual Race

~5.1 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Don't Feed the Geese!" say signs by the pond at Martin Luther King Jr Recreational Park. Evening temps are in the upper 80s and humidity is high as Roadkill speed-hikes the MCRRC "Eastern County 8k" virtual race. Paint Branch Trail has gentle hills, sporadic views of the stream, and mystical graffiti where it passes under Randolph Rd.


- Friday, August 21, 2020 at 06:11:07 (EDT)

2020-08-02 - Sunday Signage

~2.2 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"My reading has gone way up!" says The Orange.

"My crafting has gone way up!" says Square Peg.

With Half Full, Danger Man, Roadkill, and K-Pop, a humid Sunday morning amble follows Rock Creek Trail, then branches through neighborhood streets into DC. Near a construction site warning signs stack up, including one that introduces a new participle, "undergrounding".


- Friday, August 21, 2020 at 06:09:03 (EDT)

Present, Possible, Positive

Three facets of perfection:

... and saying "Yes, and ..." to it all!

(cf Core Buddhism (2011-10-17), Mantra - Yes, and... (2016-01-30), Mantra - Widen the Skirts of Light (2018-01-06), Friend Sits by Friend (2018-07-04), Play Big (2018-08-31), New Superpower (2018-10-27), ...)

- Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 06:53:38 (EDT)

2020-08-01 - Spin in the Woods 4 Mile XC MCRRC Race

~4.1 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"... there seem to be TWO animals now. This – whatever-it-was – has been joined by another – whatever-it-is – and they are now proceeding in company," Winnie-the-Pooh observes. Roadkill similarly analyzes tracks in the mud as he loops around a Wheaton Regional Park horse trail during the MCRRC "Spin in the Woods" virtual 4 mile cross-country race. His "official" unofficial time = 1:22:04. A spotted fawn dashes to join its mother doe.


- Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 07:21:02 (EDT)

2020-08-01 - Appaloosa

~2.2 mi @ ~24 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Wheaton_Park_Stables_do-not-feed-or-touch-the-horses_2020-08-01.jpg"Appaloosa!" Kanga points out a lovely horse at Wheaton Park Stables as she and Tigger finish an out-and-back along the Northwest Branch Trail – their first together here in 8 years! (cf 2012-06-17 - Northwest Branch Trail with Caren and 2008-12-28 - Northwest Branch and Rachel Carson Trail Loop) Trail talk is happy as we catch up on family and friends, share ideas, and plan future walkabouts.


- Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 07:17:37 (EDT)

Regret v Disappointment, Risk v Uncertainty

Arthur C Brooks in an April 2020 essay "Two Errors Our Minds Make When Trying to Grasp the Pandemic" draws a distinction between Regret and Disappointment, and between Risk and Uncertainty. Perhaps it's mere quibbling over words – or perhaps there's an important difference, involving "agency", the freedom to choose. Brooks writes:

... disappointment is very similar to another unpleasant emotion: regret. It's easy to confuse the two. They both involve wishing something better had occurred. Many psychology experiments have thus treated them synonymously, and, indeed, people often process these feelings in a similar way: through rumination and counterfactual thinking. Rumination–literally, "chewing the cud"–involves turning a scenario over and over in our minds, while counterfactual thinking is the process of imagining things turning out differently. ... As long as regret does not become obsessive, it is beneficial because it trains your brain to do something different next time. No good comes from applying rumination and counterfactual thinking to disappointment, however. The reason is the small-but-important distinction between regret and disappointment: agency. Research shows that when I experience regret, I think, "I should have known better." With disappointment, I feel I have missed out on something beyond my control. There's no point in imagining over and over what could have been different about something I could not have affected; it simply creates a feedback loop that reinforces my disappointment, making me unhappier. ...

... Uncertainty involves unknown possible outcomes and thus unknowable probabilities. Risk involves known possible outcomes and probabilities that we can estimate. Risk is not especially scary, because it can be managed–indeed, risk management is the core business of the insurance industry. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is scary, because it is not manageable: We can't measure the likelihood and impacts of the unknowable. ...

Brooks goes on to suggest a three-step "solution" to both challenges:

In the case of disappointment, start by acknowledging the fact that you are disappointed at missing out on some things–it would be strange if you weren't. Then, distinguish your disappointment from regret by thinking about your own role in this global catastrophe. Note that while the crisis affects you, you had no role in causing it, so rumination and counterfactual thinking aren't productive. Finally, resolve not to let your disappointment interfere with what you can affect and the choices you can make today.

These steps can help you manage living with uncertainty, as well. Start by acknowledging that you do not know what is going to happen in this crisis. Next, distinguish between what can and can't be known right now, and thus recognize that gorging on all the available information will not really resolve your knowledge deficit–you won't be able to turn uncertainty into risk by spending more hours watching CNN, because the certainty you seek is not attainable. Finally, resolve that while you don't know what will happen next week or next month, you do know that you are alive and well right now, and refuse to waste the gift of this day. (One more practical suggestion: Limit your consumption of news to half an hour in the morning, and stay off social media except to talk to friends. No cheating!)

Disappointment and uncertainty are inevitable, but we don't have to turn them into suffering. Ruminating over what might have been and what might happen will reliably deliver unhappiness. If you practice eliminating these mental errors during the pandemic, you'll be happier today, and better equipped to deal with the hard parts of ordinary life, whenever it resumes.

Good advice – especially to limit social media and news consumption! And Brooks's "acknowledge → distinguish → resolve" is reminiscent of the harmonic triad chord "See Clearly → Know Deeply → Choose Wisely" ...

(cf Make Your Own Weather (2006-07-22), Steadiness of Heart (2011-07-13), Suffering Is Optional (2014-11-07), Buddhism and Suffering (2015-01-18), Think Better - Three Keys (2019-06-05), More Meta (2019-08-31), Creative Threes (2020-01-10), ...)

- Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 06:00:35 (EDT)

2020-07-31 - Sligo Cut-Through with Barry

~2.1 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"That path looks a bit ... sketchy," Roadkill opines, uncharacteristically cautious. So Danger Man leads the way through the woods and a quarter mile later the duo emerges on Sligo Creek Trail, muddy but unbowed. They sought adventure, and found it! A garden angel and a kitten lurk among the flowers. Four soggy Pokemon cards and one Dragon Ball Z card lie abandoned by the sidewalk. Light drizzle starts and stops on a hyper-humid evening.


- Monday, August 17, 2020 at 06:17:01 (EDT)

2020-07-30 - Sligo Dennis with Barry

~2.0 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"I'm not afraid of thunder! Lightning, on the other hand ...". Danger Man and Roadkill tour the 'hood as storm clouds gather. A huge tiger swallowtail butterfly leads us to a new street. Evening buses rumble past. A neighbor climbs a ladder to his roof. Good time to adjust the weathervane!


- Monday, August 17, 2020 at 06:14:30 (EDT)

2020-07-29 - New Cut-Through with Barry

~1.6 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"And another one by the birdbath!" Danger Man spots sculptures as he leads Roadkill on a quick tour of the neighborhood. A little free library features a big thick Dan Brown novel. From narrow Everest Street a narrower cut-through path, covered with fresh wood-chips, leads to a new neighborhood of townhouses. A live bunny sprints away and a stone one guards a front porch. We pass a family out for an evening stroll, and are accused of "speed-walking". Guilty as charged!


- Monday, August 17, 2020 at 06:12:05 (EDT)

Up Close

"Up close you'll always see
things to be optimistic about."

... a lovely-wise thought from author Anne Tyler, in an April 2020 interview by Hadley Freeman.

- Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 06:41:48 (EDT)

2020-07-27 - Holy Cross Neighborhood Statuary

~1.9 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Start your kick now!" Roadkill cheers as Danger Man dashes up a hill on a humid-hot summer's eve. The duo meanders, one running the long way around blocks, the other taking the shorter path. Lawn sculptures beckon. At the end of his walkabout Roadkill jogs a dozen short paces, a new record.


- Friday, August 14, 2020 at 07:22:35 (EDT)

2020-07-26 - Ken-Gar Coffee

~2.6 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Donut King for the win!" With the local Starbucks now closed on Sunday, Roadkill and Square Peg fortunately find a fallback to satisfy their iced coffee jones. Danger Man and Half Full rendezvous at KenGar and join the neighborhood survey. Mosaic frogs guard a birdbath not far from a gnome village. Roadkill rides his power animal, the snail. We analyze ethical dilemmas – no easy answers in life!


- Friday, August 14, 2020 at 07:20:25 (EDT)

2020-07-25 - Little Falls Parkway

~4.2 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Big Village – Be Quick – Bring Snacks!" Half Full suggests the correct reading of LTC Custer's final message. No-Trail-Name joins Danger Man and Roadkill in kicking a tennis ball along Little Falls Parkway for more than half a mile on a humid Saturday morning. Multi-million dollar homes in the wealthy Kenwood neighborhood sadly lack garden sculptures; a wet Pan playing pipes under a lawn sprinkler is the exception. The Secret Service protects a mysterious mansion. Half Full speculates that a ransomware attack on Garmin may, as a side-effect, enhance user privacy.


- Friday, August 14, 2020 at 07:17:34 (EDT)

We're Rich

Four months ago Meghan McArdle wrote in a Washington Post op-ed [1]:

The United States is an immensely wealthy nation, one of the richest in history. We can afford to sacrifice a substantial chunk of our gross domestic product to save a substantial number of lives. What better do we have to spend our money on?

If what we are doing is unprecedented, it is only because earlier societies simply weren't wealthy enough to manage it – as tragically, many developing countries still aren't. The last time we saw such a plague was 1918, when average household income was about a third of what it is today, in inflation-adjusted dollars. We could shut down the entire economy for four months, produce not one good or service, and still be, collectively, twice as rich as our ancestors who lived through the 1918 flu pandemic.

Actually, overall we're a lot richer than that: US National Wealth according to Wikipedia is ~100 T$ (100 trillion dollars) and has doubled about every 15 years, so the correct comparison is between ~2 $T in 1918 and ~100 T$ now. Per adult, the median wealth in the US is about 70 k$ and the mean is ~400 k$, though with huge inequalities of course.

Batman, when asked what his superpower is, replied "I'm rich." Likewise, if we can work together ...

- Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 07:30:16 (EDT)

2020-07-24 - Friday Evening Cooldown

~2.1 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"If only the Wishing Well worked!" Roadkill wishes for lower humidity as Danger Man does a "cooldown" from his Friday afternoon run. Within a scalloped shell the Virgin Mary likewise wishes well. Two big bunnies eye passers by.


- Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 07:00:18 (EDT)

2020-07-23 - Rabbit Run

~2.1 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Bunny 1 and Bunny 2!" A pair of fast rabbits dash away on a street near the Metro, possibly the same hares seen there six weeks ago (cf 2020-06-09 - Plant Happiness). A stony coney guards a front porch. The new bridge span over the Capital Beltway is open to traffic and features faux brick.


- Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 06:56:46 (EDT)

2020-07-21 - Thunder Road

~1.3 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Have we proved our foolishness enough?" Danger Man (running) & Roadkill (walking) meet at the top of the Mormon Temple hill in the midst of a thunderstorm. They're soaking wet. Lightning is striking within a half mile. What a difference 25 minutes makes! At least they're a lot cooler than when they set out.


- Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 06:49:58 (EDT)

People Can Be Better than They Are

Optimism, from James Baldwin's "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind" (November 1962, reprinted as part of the book The Fire Next Time):

... We should certainly know by now that it is one thing to overthrow a dictator or repel an invader and quite another thing really to achieve a revolution. Time and time and time again, the people discover that they have merely betrayed themselves into the hands of yet another Pharaoh, who, since he was necessary to put the broken country together, will not let them go. Perhaps, people being the conundrums that they are, and having so little desire to shoulder the burden of their lives, this is what will always happen. But at the bottom of my heart I do not believe this. I think that people can be better than that, and I know that people can be better than they are. We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is. Anyway, the point here is that we are living in an age of revolution, whether we will or no, and that America is the only western nation with both the power and, as I hope to suggest, the experience that may help to make these revolutions real and minimize the human damage. ...

... and on tragedy and hope:

... the fact that life is tragic. Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return. One must negotiate this passage as nobly as possible, for the sake of those who are coming after us. ...

(cf My Dungeon Shook (2020-06-30), ...))

- Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 07:14:19 (EDT)

2020-07-20 - Rock Garden

~2.7 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Lotsa rocks!" Danger Man and Roadkill explore the 'hood on a hot and humid evening. They find a mini-garden of painted stones featuring yummy-looking faux M&Ms, melons, hot dogs, and candy corn under a tree, along with mini-sharks, crabs, bees, and exhortations to hope, vote, love, respect, and be happy. At least half a dozen little free libraries line the route. A small deer with huge ears watches us from the far side of Sligo Creek.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/painted-rock-garden_2020-07-20.jpg


- Monday, August 10, 2020 at 06:16:17 (EDT)


A word of wonder: numinous, meaning awe-inspiring and mysterious, like an overwhelming spiritual feeling of terror and fascination. Wikipedia cites various authors attempting in various ways to describe the indescribable. Best not to try?!

Or perhaps via poetry: Jane Hirshfeld in "Spiritual Poetry: 22 poems about spirituality and enlightenment" (2006) collects some verse and comments. Among them Emily Dickinson:

The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Auger and the Carpenter –
Just such a retrospect
Hath the perfected Life –
A past of Plank and Nail
And slowness – then the Scaffolds drop
Affirming it a Soul –

... which by chance (?!) Eliot A. Cohen recommends in The Atlantic (Go Memorize a Poem: In times of crisis, learning and reciting poetry can act as a balm) only a few days ago.

... and in the middle of Hirshfeld's commentary, an aside quoting Paul Valéry:

There is another world,
and it is in this one.

(or maybe that numinous quote is by William Butler Yeats or Paul Éluard? – cf Silence not Ignorance (2005-06-05), Atheist Spirituality (2009-01-29), Valorization of Mind over matter (2010-05-16), Enso (2012-02-29), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), Attention (2015-03-03), Holding Space (2016-07-22), Subtle Sound (2017-01-03), New Superpower (2018-10-27), You Must Change Your Life (2019-02-01), Sharing Awareness (2020-07-06), ...)

- Sunday, August 09, 2020 at 07:26:56 (EDT)

2020-07-19 - MCRRC Piece of Cake 10k

~6.4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Achilles_vs_Tortoise_Seneca_Creek_State_Park_z_2020-07-19.jpg"So how do you train for a 100 miler?" – "Run 50s!" – "And how do you train for a 50?" – "Run marathons!" – "And ...?" – "Yes!"

In response to Tassie's question, Roadkill recommends Infinite Descent as a training tactic. Taken to its logical conclusion one hardly need run at all! Nova laughs; she carries the Gatorade and tries to keep her comrades out of mischief and dehydration on a hot Sunday morning. Seneca Creek State Park is the venue for a virtual race, the MCRRC "Piece of Cake 10k". Two turtles move faster than the one rabbit that Tassie spies. A gentleman emerges from the woods along Mink Hollow Trail, wearing shorts that match Roadkill's. Maybe it's Achilles, looking for his lost tortoise?


- Saturday, August 08, 2020 at 05:35:25 (EDT)

2020-07-18 - Little Falls Pink Drink

~2.7 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Don't tell anybody, but these shorts are on backwards!" Roadkill confesses, as he reaches behind to find the pocket with his keys. He joins Half Full and Danger Man for an early trek along Little Falls Parkway, taking advantage of relatively cool morning temps before a forecast scorcher. To deter dehydration he sips a Starbucks "Pink Drink" and eats all the ice. Breathing through a mask adds bonus difficulty, a Very Good Thing according to the philosophy "Train tough – then Race Day will be easy!"


- Saturday, August 08, 2020 at 05:26:31 (EDT)

Place of Conversion

In April 2020 Pope Francis, responding to online questions from The Tablet (a UK Catholic weekly), wrote thoughtfully on a variety of issues. In to reporter Austen Ivereigh's translation "Pope Francis says pandemic can be a 'place of conversion'":

... How am I living this spiritually? I'm praying more, because I feel I should. And I think of people. That's what concerns me: people. Thinking of people anoints me, it does me good, it takes me out of my self-preoccupation. ... I'm living this as a time of great uncertainty. It's a time for inventing, for creativity.

... and:

... What comes to my mind is a verse from the Aeneid in the midst of defeat: the counsel is not to give up, but save yourself for better times, for in those times remembering what has happened will help us. Take care of yourselves for a future that will come. And remembering in that future what has happened will do you good. Take care of the now, for the sake of tomorrow. Always creatively, with a simple creativity, capable of inventing something new each day. ...

... and:

... we're realising that all our thinking, like it or not, has been shaped around the economy. In the world of finance it has seemed normal to sacrifice [people], to practise a politics of the throwaway culture, from the beginning to the end of life. ... We see it in the way people are selected according to their utility or productivity: the throwaway culture. ...

... and:

... What comes to mind is another verse of Virgil's: [forsan et haec olim] meminisse iubavit ["perhaps one day it will be good to remember these things too"]. We need to recover our memory because memory will come to our aid. This is not humanity's first plague; the others have become mere anecdotes. We need to remember our roots, our tradition which is packed full of memories. ... This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike, and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy. I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons. This is a time to be converted from this kind of functional hypocrisy. It's a time for integrity. Either we are coherent with our beliefs or we lose everything. ...

... and:

... Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption ... and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion. Yes, I see early signs of an economy that is less liquid, more human. But let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it. We have lost the contemplative dimension; we have to get it back at this time. ...

... and:

... This is the moment to see the poor. Jesus says we will have the poor with us always, and it's true. They are a reality we cannot deny. But the poor are hidden, because poverty is bashful. In Rome recently, in the midst of the quarantine, a policeman said to a man: "You can't be on the street, go home." The response was: "I have no home. I live in the street." To discover such a large number of people who are on the margins ... And we don't see them, because poverty is bashful. They are there but we don't see them: they have become part of the landscape; they are things. ... To "see" the poor means to restore their humanity. They are not things, not garbage; they are people. ... This is the time to go to the underground. I'm thinking of Dostoyevsky's short novel, Notes from the Underground. The employees of that prison hospital had become so inured they treated their poor prisoners like things. And seeing the way they treated one who had just died, the one on the bed alongside tells them: "Enough! He too had a mother!" We need to tell ourselves this often: that poor person had a mother who raised him lovingly. Later in life we don't know what happened. But it helps to think of that love he once received through his mother's hope. ...

... and:

... What we are living now is a place of metanoia (conversion), and we have the chance to begin. So let's not let it slip from us, and let's move ahead.

(found via the essay by Steven Paulikas cited in Emptiness Blessings (2020-07-20), ...)

- Friday, August 07, 2020 at 06:32:17 (EDT)

2020-07-17 - Gargoyles and Gnomes

~4.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Two happy rabbits and one big deer!" Danger Man and Roadkill walk along Sligo Creek on a hot and humid afternoon, and close the loop with a saunter back via neighborhood streets. Skaters and cyclists enjoy the Parkway closed to cars. A family pet cemetery is guarded by a gargoyle. Garden gnomes stand near swans in a front yard, along with a stone frog wearing a "Biker Babe" cap and a black leather brassiere.


- Wednesday, August 05, 2020 at 06:32:44 (EDT)

2020-07-16 - Statues and Flowers

~2.9 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Naughty statues and naughtier flowers!?" Prurience predominates on a humid morning walkabout, as Roadkill revisits old cut-throughs, finds new perspectives, and enjoys a relatively pain-free knee for most of the ramble. A startled Siamese cat dashes away. Coney count = 1 big bunny. Bees buzz in patches of clover.


- Wednesday, August 05, 2020 at 06:27:44 (EDT)

2020-07-14 - Cat Hair

~2.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Rabbit Number Five!" Danger Man wins the bunny-spotting competition, 3 to 2, during a sunset stroll with Roadkill through neighborhoods near Sligo Creek. A faded mailbox calls for Peace, near a front door mat that says, "Hope You Like Cat Hair".


- Wednesday, August 05, 2020 at 06:23:20 (EDT)

Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Wisdom and hope, from an interview with actor Tom Hanks held by Hadley Freeman. When asked about himself: "... I don't carry around a lot of anger. But rather than just being nice, I think I'm kind. ..." and "There's no reason not to greet the world with some kind of kindness." The conversation concludes with Hanks addressing the challenges of life from the viewpoint of his character, Capt Ernie Krause, in his latest film Greyhound:

"... Krause has a little card that says: 'Yesterday, today and forever.' That's all we have as human beings and that's all we have in the midst of the 19 different crises that we're facing right now, between Covid-19, worldwide economic disaster, what happened to George Floyd – the great reckoning that we're all going through. What do we have that we can have faith in? Well, we can have an understanding of yesterday, we can have a plan for today, and we can have hope for forever, and that's it. That's my wisdom. It ain't much, Hadley, but is there anything else?"

In a box:

An Understanding of Yesterday
        A Plan for Today
                Hope for Forever

(cf How Great Thou Art (2005-03-16), 2018-09-10 - Thank You, Mr Rogers, Present in Every Moment (2019-11-25), 143 (2019-11-28), Love Abounds (2020-01-06), Mantra - Greater Love (2020-02-21), Remembering Mister Rogers (2020-03-30), ...)

- Tuesday, August 04, 2020 at 06:19:15 (EDT)

2020-07-13 - Northwest Passage with Barry

~3.3 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"We've found the Northwest Passage!" Roadkill declares to Danger Man as they amble down the narrow path between backyard fences to arrive suddenly at Capitol View Park. A masked goggle-eyed dog guards a garden. Danger Man leads the way to a home where he lived decades ago.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Masked-dog_garden-ornament_2020-07-13.jpg


- Monday, August 03, 2020 at 05:55:25 (EDT)

2020-07-12 - MCRRC Matthew Henson 5k

~3.2 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Jump, Spin, Step, Hop!" Mid-course Square Peg pauses to demonstrate how to follow the chalk instructions on the path. Is that part of the race? She and Half Full escort Roadkill on the MCRRC virtual "Matthew Henson 5k". Danger Man sprints ahead for the win, plus bonus mileage.

"What would you like in your back yard, if you could wish for anything?" A swimming pool? A yurt? Or maybe peace of mind? Trekking poles get stuck in gaps between planks on the boardwalk over wetlands. Deer wander through the woods; roosters crow; woodpeckers rat-a-tat. Half and Peg compare notes on gourmet DC restaurants Maydan and Centrolina. Roadkill keeps to himself fond memories of a Taco Bell on Bladensburg Road.


- Sunday, August 02, 2020 at 05:54:35 (EDT)

2020-07-11 - MCRRC Run Aware 5k XC

~3.4 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"I'm trying to kvetch less – on odd-numbered days!"

"I'm trying to read less news of events – and more news of trends and patterns and causal factors!"

"I'm trying to be more thankful – especially for my dear friends!"

Drs SlowTwitch and Roadkill share aspirations and frustrations as they ramble in Cabin John Regional Park, following the course of the MCRRC "Run Aware 5k" virtual race. They miss occasional turns when Roadkill gets the distinction between Left and Right muddled. Betzee the SuperPup enjoys a romp in the dog park and is well-behaved on leash in the woods; she points out two chipmunks and a bunny rabbit in the first quarter mile.


- Sunday, August 02, 2020 at 05:51:20 (EDT)


Steven Callahan's book Adrift: Seventy-six days lost at sea is fascinating, powerful, thoughtful, and at times also frustrating. In many ways it's much like Joe Simpson's true mountaineering story Touching the Void. Both men survived, against huge odds, after deliberately putting themselves into risky situations for the thrill of adventure. Both made mistakes. Both emerged injured and ultimately stronger. Both achieved significant insights. Both write reasonably well, albeit with flaws.

Should Callahan and Simpson be listened to and learned from? Probably yes. Should they be emulated? With great likelihood, for the most part, no. What are the biggest common take-aways from both? Perhaps in dire situations:

But above all, before getting into trouble, remember the Scout motto: Be Prepared. Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell said in the 1908 Scouting for Boys:

Be Prepared in Mind ... by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

Good advice for all, at all times!

(full disclosure: the above quote from Wikipedia's article "Scout Motto" omits Baden-Powell's admonition, "... by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order ..."; cf TouchingTheVoid (2004-06-02), Re-Touching the Void (2009-11-11), ...)

- Saturday, August 01, 2020 at 06:06:46 (EDT)

2020-07-10 - Gramophone Shrine

~2.3 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Just paying my debt to Society!" Roadkill finds a mailbox and posts his income tax check to the US Treasury. Garden ornaments hide amongst the underbrush. Water bubbles up from a broken main and ripples down the street. An old record-player sits next to statuary in a glade.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Gramaphone_statue_glade_bench_shrine_2020-07-10.jpg


- Friday, July 31, 2020 at 07:03:26 (EDT)

Data Curation like Paint Preparation

Derek Lowe's blog "In the Pipeline", on pharmaceutical drug discovery, seems often insightful. A recent post "AI, Machine Learning and the Pandemic" comments:

... The biggest point to remember, when talking about AI/ML and drug discovery, is that these techniques will not help you if you have a big problem with insufficient information. They don't make something from nothing. Instead, they sort through huge piles of Somethings in ways that you don't have the resources or patience to do yourself. That means (first) that you must be very careful about what you feed these computational techniques at the start, because "garbage in, garbage out" has never been more true than it is with machine learning. Indeed, data curation is a big part of every successful ML effort, for much the same reason that surface preparation is a big part of every successful paint job.

And second, it means that there is a limit on what you can squeeze out of the information you have. What if you've curated everything carefully, and the pile of reliable data still isn't big enough? That's our constant problem in drug research. There are just a lot of things that we don't know, and sometimes we are destined to find out about them very painfully and expensively. Look at that oft-quoted 90% failure rate across clinical trials: is that happening because people are lazy and stupid and enjoy shoveling cash into piles and lighting it on fire? Not quite: it's generally because we keep running into things that we didn't know about. Whoops, turns out Protein XYZ is not as important as we thought in Disease ABC – the patients don't really get much better. Or whoops, turns out that drugs that target the Protein XYZ pathway also target other things that we had never seen before and that cause toxic effects, and the patients actually get worse. No one would stumble into things like that on purpose. Sometimes, in hindsight, we can see how such things might have been avoided, but often enough it's just One of Those Things, and we add a bit more knowledge to the pile, at great expense. ...

... and last year, in "Machine-Mining the Literature":

... In the same way as the old line about how armchair military buffs talk strategy and tactics while professionals talk logistics, professionals in this field tend to devote a lot of time to data curation and preparation. That's partly because the real-world data we would like to use are often in rather shaggy piles, and also because even the best machine-learning techniques tend to be a bit finicky and brittle compared to what you'd actually want. We're used to that with internal combustion engines: diesel fuel, ethanol, gasoline, and jet fuel are not perfectly interchangeable in most situations, and so it is with engines of knowledge. They are tuned up for specific types of input, and will stall if fed something else. To use a different analogy, data curation is very much akin to the advice that you should spend more time preparing a surface for a good paint job than you do in applying the actual paint. In almost every case, you will definitely spend more time getting your data in shape for machine learning than the actual computations will take. ...

and in conclusion, Lowe notes:

... Extending this to the biomedical literature will be quite an effort – many will recall that this is just what one aspect of "Watson For Drug Discovery" was supposed to do (root through PubMed for new correlations). As I mentioned in that linked post, though, the failure of Watson (and some other well-hyped approaches, some of which are in the process of failing now, I believe) does not mean that the whole idea is a bust. It just means that it's hard. And that people who are promising you that they've solved it and that you can get in on the ground floor if you'll just pull out your wallet should be handled with caution. The paper today gives us a hint of what could be possible, eventually, after a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of (human) brainpower. Bring it on! ...

Great wisdom: "It's Hard!"

(cf Awesomely Simple (2001-01-26), Simplicity via Abstraction (2016-01-07), Taxonomy of Machine Learning (2017-02-02), ...)

- Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 06:53:43 (EDT)

2020-07-09 - MCRRC Going Green 2 Miler

~2.1 mi @ ~16 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/running-track-lane-one-long-shadows_z_2020-07-09.jpg"You're the Hare and I'm the Tortoise!" Roadkill cheers as Danger Man dashes past on the way to his 5k finish. Shadows near sunset stretch long on the Blair High School track. According to the GPS, a journey in Lane 4 results in ~8% extra distance for the MCRRC "Going Green" two mile virtual race. Roadkill finishes in 33:27.


- Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 05:10:10 (EDT)

2020-07-08 - MCRRC Midsummer Night's Mile

~1.0 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Midsummer Night's Mile!" albeit a few days post-solstice, and afternoon not evening. Roadkill speed-walks four laps in lane 3 of the Blair High School track. Total time = 15:39 to capture Dead Last in the Montgomery County Road Runners Club virtual mile race. (He actually manages to "run" a few steps near the end!) Sprinters blast past; a robin pecks at the artificial surface.


- Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 04:56:59 (EDT)

Lupus in Fabula

In "Feeling Stuck? Five Tips for Managing Life Transitions" by Bruce Feiler there is, alas, far too much "I" — but there's also thoughtful goodness. The author begins with an awesome metaphor:

The Italians have a wonderful expression for how our lives get upended when we least expect it: "lupus in fabula." It means "the wolf in the fairy tale." Just when life is going swimmingly, along comes a demon, a dragon, a diagnosis, a downsizing. Just when our fairy tale seems poised to come true, a big, scary thing threatens to destroy everything around it.

Feiler's suggestions (adapted from his new book):

  1. Start with your transition superpower – "... 'the long goodbye,' in which you mourn the old you; 'the messy middle,' in which you shed habits and create new ones; and 'the new beginning,' in which you unveil your fresh self. These phases need not happen in order. Each person tends to gravitate to the phase they're best at (their transition superpower) and get bogged down in the one they're weakest at (their transition kryptonite). ..."
  2. Identify your emotions – "... fear was the most popular reaction, followed by sadness and shame. Some people coped with these emotions by writing down their feelings; others plunged into new tasks. But nearly eight in 10 said they turned to rituals. ..."
  3. Shed something – "... Once we enter the messy middle, we shed things: mind-sets, routines, delusions, dreams. Like animals who molt when they enter a new phase, we cast off parts of our personality or bad habits. ..."
  4. Try something creative – "... start to dance, cook, paint; ... write poems, thank-you notes, diary entries ..."
  5. Rewrite your life story – "... we are called on to revise and retell our life stories, adding a new chapter in which we find meaning in our lifequake. The lifequake itself may have been positive or negative, but the story we tell about it has an ending that's upbeat and forward-looking. And that may be the greatest lesson of all: We control the stories we tell about our transitions. Instead of viewing them as periods we have to grind our way through, we should see them for what they are: healing periods that take the frightened parts of our lives and begin to repair them. ..."

... non-falsifiable pop-psych – and some good ideas too!

- Monday, July 27, 2020 at 06:50:06 (EDT)

2020-07-07 - Race Where You Are 5k

~3.1 mi @ ~17.3 min/mi

"Isn't that rather self-destructive?" wonders Roadkill, eyeing a pinwheel crab that wields crab-hammers. A mossy Virgin Mary blesses a small garden and all the world around it. Mormon Temple spires gleam in the sunrise. The virtual MCRRC "Race Where You Are 5k" finish is 54:49 with a wee bit of extra distance in case of GPS error.


- Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 05:28:38 (EDT)

2020-07-05 - Bearded Ivy Eater

~4.6 mi @ ~21 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Bethesda_garden-art_beard-ivy_z_2020-07-05.jpg"Visualize Whirled Peas? Give Peas a Chance?" Roadkill reacts to a big peace symbol sculpture that Square Peg points out. A few blocks later she spies a bearded stone head enjoying a breakfast of ivy. Watchwords for today are awareness, nonattachment, oneness. We're simply thankful for the chance to see, to share, to celebrate together.

Danger Man joins for a stroll down Sixties TV lane ("Flipper"!). Flowers are beautiful. Two rabbits and a chipmunk scamper away.


- Sunday, July 26, 2020 at 05:23:11 (EDT)

The Crush of Reflection

... like babies, or the sizes of things, or graffiti, or sunlight
    ... like hardwood floors, or Monty Hall, or inference, or bird-calls
        ... from the flash-flood rush of passion, to eons-long collision of continents
            ... redemption! a rattling breath, the crush of reflection

(a tag-team poem by Molly Graham Hickman & Mark Zimmermann)

- Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 06:38:51 (EDT)

2020-07-04 - Unearned Urn

~2.7 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Mirror, Mirror, ..." says Roadkill, to an urn-shaped looking glass. It's marked "FREE" and leans against the outside of the antique store. Danger Man's wardrobe on Independence Day leads to an analysis of C. S. Lewis's "Narnia" books and Half Full's review of "The Magicians". Lawn sculpture wears a protective mask. Coney Count = 2 rabbits plus additional stone hares guarding a garden.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Urn_Mirror_Kensington_z_2020-07-04.jpg


- Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 07:49:06 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 7

Thoughts on fighting the devil of Misery, from At the Back of the North Wind (George Macdonald, 1871), Chapter XVIII:

Now the way most people do when they see anything very miserable is to turn away from the sight, and try to forget it. But Diamond began as usual to try to destroy the misery. The little boy was just as much one of God's messengers as if he had been an angel with a flaming sword, going out to fight the devil. The devil he had to fight just then was Misery. And the way he fought him was the very best. Like a wise soldier, he attacked him first in his weakest point – that was the baby; for Misery can never get such a hold of a baby as of a grown person. Diamond was knowing in babies, and he knew he could do something to make the baby, happy; for although he had only known one baby as yet, and although not one baby is the same as another, yet they are so very much alike in some things, and he knew that one baby so thoroughly, that he had good reason to believe he could do something for any other. I have known people who would have begun to fight the devil in a very different and a very stupid way. They would have begun by scolding the idiotic cabman; and next they would make his wife angry by saying it must be her fault as well as his, and by leaving ill-bred though well-meant shabby little books for them to read, which they were sure to hate the sight of; while all the time they would not have put out a finger to touch the wailing baby. But Diamond had him out of the cradle in a moment, set him up on his knee, and told him to look at the light. Now all the light there was came only from a lamp in the yard, and it was a very dingy and yellow light, for the glass of the lamp was dirty, and the gas was bad; but the light that came from it was, notwithstanding, as certainly light as if it had come from the sun itself, and the baby knew that, and smiled to it; and although it was indeed a wretched room which that lamp lighted – so dreary, and dirty, and empty, and hopeless! – there in the middle of it sat Diamond on a stool, smiling to the baby, and the baby on his knees smiling to the lamp. The father of him sat staring at nothing, neither asleep nor awake, not quite lost in stupidity either, for through it all he was dimly angry with himself, he did not know why. It was that he had struck his wife. He had forgotten it, but was miserable about it, notwithstanding. And this misery was the voice of the great Love that had made him and his wife and the baby and Diamond, speaking in his heart, and telling him to be good. For that great Love speaks in the most wretched and dirty hearts; only the tone of its voice depends on the echoes of the place in which it sounds. On Mount Sinai, it was thunder; in the cabman's heart it was misery; in the soul of St. John it was perfect blessedness. ...

(cf At the Back of the North Wind, At the Back of the North Wind - 2, At the Back of the North Wind - 3, At the Back of the North Wind - 4, At the Back of the North Wind - 5, At the Back of the North Wind - 6, ...)

- Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 08:38:58 (EDT)

2020-07-03 - Shiny Sinuous Somerset Sculpture

~4.1 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Somerset-Elementary-School_curvy_sculpture_2020-07-03.jpg"And I'm monologuing again!" Meta-Roadkill pops up a level, briefly, to ask Square Peg how she and her family are faring. Stately mansions in Kenwood sadly lack statues in their expansive-expensive front yard gardens. Danger Man spies a rogue corgi and reminisces about pre-Sixties sitcoms A happy little statue waves its hands in the air near potted succulents. The owner isn't sure of its identity: perhaps a jolly Budai/buddha? Independence Day flags and bunting abound. Metallic sculpture erupts mushroom-like at Somerset Elementary School.


- Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 07:28:39 (EDT)

2020-07-02 - Fenced In

~4.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Hey, Mister Tambourine Man!" Besides the sky, Roadkill finds many fences facing this morning during a ramble 'round apartment complexes near the northern corner of Washington DC. Bird houses gleam in the sunrise; construction workers wave.


- Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 07:22:14 (EDT)

Emptiness Blessings

From Steven Paulikas's Easter 2020 essay "The World Is Empty Now. How Should We Fill It?" in the New York Times, meta-thoughts on realizing the gifts of emptiness:

... Yet the void created by this crisis may be an unexpected gift. This emptiness presents to us a mystical and uncluttered view of life as we have been living it until a few weeks ago. Life will never be the same. Each day, it becomes more apparent that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to consider a fundamental question about the spirit and morality of our way of living: Having emptied ourselves, what do we really want to fill our world with once it is time to rebuild?

Now on Sundays as I look out over a field of silent pews, I am reminded that self-emptying is, in fact, a divine virtue. Christian tradition calls it kenosis, the Greek word taken from the famous passage of Paul's Letter to the Philippians, in which he writes, "Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus, who did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself."

Early Christian thinkers viewed Jesus' kenosis is a sign of divine supreme power, not the loss of it. The sight of Jesus' empty tomb was the first sign of his resurrection, believed by Christians to be God's greatest act. Now that I have adjusted somewhat to the emptiness, I find myself keeping vigil with the opportunity of this time, hoping that something better will be on the other side.

The Christian contemplative Cynthia Bourgeault writes that we can emulate Jesus' self-emptying love in our own lives by practicing letting go of the things, thoughts and feelings we cling to. This insight is more often associated with other religious and spiritual traditions.

The Tao Te Ching teaches that the usefulness of the clay vessel lies in its empty hollowness. Mahayana Buddhists use the spiritual discipline of meditation to cultivate an acceptance of emptiness, or sunyata, using the famous Heart Sutra: "Emptiness is form, form is emptiness." The lesson transcends religious divides; emptiness is not something to fear but to explore as a spiritual reality that leads to detachment from self-interest and greater compassion for the world. ...

Paulikas concludes with a call for self-examination and positive change, for hope and improvement:

... This is a powerful moment in human history in which we can examine, individually and collectively, the unnecessary decadence and cruelty of our contemporary society that we have accepted without sufficient scrutiny.

We don't yet need detailed plans for the future. For now, we can simply examine the emptiness of this disrupted life and take note of the ways in which we might strive to make it superior to what we had before. Sitting with these questions now will determine what we are willing to accept once this crisis is over. Having tasted a simpler life, perhaps we will shift our values and patterns. Having seen the importance of community, maybe we will invest more in the well-being of the collective and not just the individual. Having seen the suffering of others anew, we may find it impossible to ignore it in the future. ...

(cf Kenosis (2008-09-21), Cling to Nothing (2011-01-29), Seeking Negative Space (2016-04-21), Holding Space (2016-07-22), ...)

- Monday, July 20, 2020 at 05:21:08 (EDT)

2020-07-01 - Tempting Cut-Through Opportunity

~3.3 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Sketchy – and maybe feasible?" The house for sale on Campbell Place seems to be missing a fence, and might provide a cut-through opportunity to Linden Lane, assuming the woods and stream are passable. Hmmmm! Meanwhile to avoid becoming roadkill, Roadkill hugs the thorny bushes as cars swoop pass on the narrow street. A front door is newly decorated with bright signs; a frog king rules over a small garden domain, near a serene Buddha head; one deer and one rabbit cross front yards.


- Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 06:10:20 (EDT)

2020-06-29 - Gneiborhood Gnome Gnests

~2.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Gneiborhood Gnome Gnests!" Roadkill discovers an infestation of wee creatures in front-yard gardens on the street where he lived in 1979. He and Danger Man rendezvous for an early evening ramble. They spy one big bunny rabbit.


- Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 06:06:08 (EDT)


How to write an embarrassingly weak book about a supremely important idea like self-awareness? Authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles manages to apply many methods in Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life:

Alas, that's Ikigai. To save time, glance at these "Ten Rules of Ikigai" from the Epilogue of the book:

  1. Stay active; don't retire.
  2. Take it slow.
  3. Don't fill your stomach.
  4. Surround yourself with good friends.
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday.
  6. Smile
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

... you are most welcome!

(cf Secrets of the Padding Masters (2006-11-27), ...)

- Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 12:19:23 (EDT)

2020-06-28 - Sundial Sculpture

~6.2 mi @ ~23 min/mi

Bethesda sundial"Half Full!" – an optimistic new trail name for an "Imaginary Friend". Her glass is not half empty! We ramble along Little Falls Parkway with digressions to explore nearby neighborhoods. Square Peg navigates to a BFF's home for a surprise Sunday elbow-bump, glasses of cold water, and directions to an elusive new cut-through path.Bethesda sundialDanger Man logs miles for the Interstate-81 virtual ultramarathon. We spy nearby a big pileated woodpecker (enemy of home siding) and two rabbits. Half Full explains Salad Theory. Square Peg points out a curvaceous-voluptuous sundial and lovely lilies for hungry-eyed lensman Roadkill.Bethesda sundial


- Friday, July 17, 2020 at 06:23:04 (EDT)

Roadkill's Running Rules

According to friends and fellow-travelers, Roadkill ran with a variety of simple principles:

(cf Jog Log Fog (2002-06-09), Pleasant Surprises (2002-08-08), Slower Runner's Guide (2002-10-30), Running Advice (2003-10-02), One Third Each (2004-01-11), Jogging Advice (2004-08-04), Injury Avoidance (2008-06-02), Training Tactics (2009-04-09), 2019-03-29 - Rules of Dawn Patrol, ...)

- Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 05:47:13 (EDT)

2020-06-27 - Little Falls Deadfall

~3.6 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Superman and Batman, tied to a ... bird?!" Roadkill and Danger Man scratch their heads at Bethesda garden artwork. Two chipmunks and a rabbit scamper away as the Decrepit Duo meander along neighborhood streets, looking for adventure in whatever comes their way. Sir Elton's "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" plays on the car radio, matching Roadkill's azure attire. Downed trees partially block Little Falls Trail in Bethesda.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Little-Falls-Trail_fallen-tree_z_2020-06-27.jpg


- Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 06:23:43 (EDT)

2020-06-26 - WHAP

~2.6 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Found fruit!" On Talbot Ave by the curb Roadkill spies first a fresh nectarine, then a golden delicious apple, and a few yards later another nectarine, barely bruised. Soon his pockets are full. He channels his inner anarchist and takes a couple of sketchy new cut-throughs at industrial parks. "WHAP!" is the acronym for "We're Having A Party!", a business with rather gender-stereotypical artwork on its delivery van. Lawn ornaments decorate a front yard near Rosemary Hills Elementary School.


- Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 06:16:21 (EDT)

2020-06-25 - Psychic Reader

~2.6 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Causation? Correlation? Or mere Coincidence?" After today's walkabout, which sets a new speed record, Roadkill discovers his underwear is on backwards. He also learns that he can walk uphill without using a trekking pole, yay! Downhill: not so easy. Running: only while jaywalking to dodge cars. The local Psychic Reader sign is charged with mystic symbols. An eroded garden sculpture shows a girl and her kitten. One rabbit freezes and then flees.


- Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 06:13:03 (EDT)

Joy of Lecturing

From Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K Jerome (1900) Chapter V:

... what sustained us was the consciousness that we were instructing and improving our fellow men and women. Of all games in the world, the one most universally and eternally popular is the game of school. You collect six children, and put them on a doorstep, while you walk up and down with the book and cane. We play it when babies, we play it when boys and girls, we play it when men and women, we play it as, lean and slippered, we totter towards the grave. It never palls upon, it never wearies us. Only one thing mars it: the tendency of one and all of the other six children to clamour for their turn with the book and the cane. The reason, I am sure, that journalism is so popular a calling, in spite of its many drawbacks, is this: each journalist feels he is the boy walking up and down with the cane. The Government, the Classes, and the Masses, Society, Art, and Literature, are the other children sitting on the doorstep. He instructs and improves them. ...

... as opposed, of course, to working on improving one's self ...

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Readings on Thinking and Living (2001-10-01), Three Man Boat (2002-01-10), Self Improvement (2002-07-29), My Ob (2002-08-18), Be Your Own Cause (2006-02-04), Meditation by Eknath Easwaran (2010-10-14),...)

- Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 07:45:31 (EDT)

2020-06-24 - Echinacea Sunrise

~1.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/echinacea_sunrise_2020-06-24.jpg"Be kind to yourself!" advises awesome Alice, patient and wise counselor – so in lieu of inertia Roadkill channels his inner rabbit and ventures out for a dawn therapy-walk. He spies mushrooms (and refrains from nibbling), two bunnies (one white stone, one brown fur), multiple St Francis of Assisi garden statues, brilliant lilies, and a sunrise-limned echinacea cluster. "The world is charged with the grandeur of God." – Gerard Manley Hopkins


- Monday, July 13, 2020 at 06:19:36 (EDT)

2020-06-23 - Three Cats in the Yard

~2.1 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!" Roadkill follows three cautious cats &ndash black, tabby, white – down the stairway by the abandoned house to a dead-end in the industrial park near the train tracks. Micro-adventure! A century-old statue of Joan of Arc waits patiently near a kimono-clad geisha in the garden.


- Monday, July 13, 2020 at 06:08:32 (EDT)

Righteous Mind

Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012) is about social psychology and the evolutionary roots of human morality. It overlaps significantly with Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Instead of describing cognition via System 1 (intuitive) and System 2 (rational), however, Haidt suggests an equivalent metaphor of the Elephant and the Rider. The focus of Righteous Mind is morality and how much it varies by (and within) cultures. Major take-aways:

Haidt suggests that, in general, Liberals concentrate their attention on Care & Fairness; Libertarians focus narrowly on Liberty; Conservatives value all six dimensions in roughly equal amounts. Different societies differ wildly. But, as Rushworth Kidder noted, there's a lot of common ground.

- Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 06:20:00 (EDT)

2020-06-21 - Classic Glass Lass

~3.8 mi @ ~21 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Classic-Glass_curvy_etched-glass_window_Kensington_2020-06-21.jpg"*&%$#@ !!" comments Imaginary Friend in amazement, as an impolite cyclist swoops past without warning and almost scrapes a lady walking on Beach Drive. Other bikers today are far more polite. We discuss the "Slow Streets" movement and climb over a barrier to the cut-through from Rock Creek Trail to Parkwood Drive.

Roadkill photographs carved wooden bears and an eagle in St Paul Park, sidewalk dinosaurs at Circle Time Child Care, and an eye-catching curvy feminine etching in the front window of Classic Glass. Danger Man and Friend kindly escort him a few miles, then commence their Sunday run. Coney count = 1 big bunny.


- Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 05:21:15 (EDT)

2020-06-20 - Little Falls Loop

~5 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"97% humidity!" says the weather sensor. Square Peg and Roadkill sip coffee while exploring a new Bethesda loop to connect Little Falls Trail and the Capital Crescent. A uniformed police officer cheerily hikes along the bikepath. We discuss "normalization" and how, depending on one's experience, extraordinary soon becomes ordinary. Danger Man and Imaginary Friend join us for a warmup walk before their run. Peg identifies a Grateful Dead bear in sidewalk cement. Coney count = 2, including a brave bunny that lets us get within a few steps before it flees.


- Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 05:12:27 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 6

Thoughts on selflessness, from At the Back of the North Wind (George Macdonald, 1871) in Chap XVI:

She was looking gloomy, and his father was silent; and indeed except Diamond had done all he possibly could to keep out the misery that was trying to get in at doors and windows, he too would have grown miserable, and then they would have been all miserable together. But to try to make others comfortable is the only way to get right comfortable ourselves, and that comes partly of not being able to think so much about ourselves when we are helping other people. For our Selves will always do pretty well if we don't pay them too much attention. Our Selves are like some little children who will be happy enough so long as they are left to their own games, but when we begin to interfere with them, and make them presents of too nice playthings, or too many sweet things, they begin at once to fret and spoil.

"Why, Diamond, child!" said his mother at last, "you're as good to your mother as if you were a girl–nursing the baby, and toasting the bread, and sweeping up the hearth! I declare a body would think you had been among the fairies."

Could Diamond have had greater praise or greater pleasure? You see when he forgot his Self his mother took care of his Self, and loved and praised his Self. Our own praises poison our Selves, and puff and swell them up, till they lose all shape and beauty, and become like great toadstools. But the praises of father or mother do our Selves good, and comfort them and make them beautiful. They never do them any harm. If they do any harm, it comes of our mixing some of our own praises with them, and that turns them nasty and slimy and poisonous.

(cf Unselfing (2009-01-14), Unselfing Again (2009-11-01), Einstein on Self (2010-01-31), It is Thou (2014-09-24), Mantra - For Us (2015-11-28), No Me (2016-01-18), Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - Unself Together (2018-03-30), Less I (2018-05-26), ...)

- Friday, July 10, 2020 at 05:50:09 (EDT)

2020-06-19 - Thin Gnomes

~2.1 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Deer!" Danger Man points to a doe in the woods as he leads the way along Sligo Creek Parkway, already closed to cars on Friday evening. "If you see one, more are probably nearby!" suggests Roadkill, and indeed soon they spy another, with a pair of month-old fawns. Thunderstorms leave puddles and soggy grass. Underfed gnomes decorate a neighbor's garden; wet lilies bloom.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/skeletal-lawn-gnomes_2020-06-19.jpg


- Thursday, July 09, 2020 at 05:53:59 (EDT)

2020-06-18 - Foxtrot

~2.8 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Here, Foxy!" The big red-and-black fox ignores Roadkill's call and dashes across the LDS Church parking lot; it looks like the one seen a few blocks away on 25 May. Garden pigs root and a dog sculpture hunches down to eye a butterfly. Yesterday's rains leave puddles and high humidity.


- Thursday, July 09, 2020 at 05:46:52 (EDT)

Happier and Healthier

A horrid clickbait title for an article with a few good ideas: "Want to Be Happy? A Top Psychologist Says Stop 'Social Distancing,' and Do This Instead" by Bill Murphy Jr.

BLUF: No, don't stop social distancing; yes, try:

... and as the author suggests (emphasis added): "... The less you can emphasize distance – and instead emphasize physical separation but social connection in your language – the better things might be ... ."

Not rocket science, and not bad!

(cf Big Ideas (2012-05-20), Opening to the New (2019-05-19), Tips for NQTs and Everybody Else (2020-06-24), ...)

- Wednesday, July 08, 2020 at 06:26:12 (EDT)

2020-06-16 - Pink Lilies

~3.1 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"I'm on a Mission of Mercy!" Dr Roadkill delivers Danger Man's "special medicine" (aka adult rehydration beverage) on an early evening stroll. Lovely lilies flourish in a nearby garden; a small flock of flamingos stand guard in another. The GPS glitches in the underpass below the Beltway.


- Tuesday, July 07, 2020 at 05:27:44 (EDT)

2020-06-15 - Purple Line over RCT

~4.0 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Good evening, Deer!" Roadkill greets a doe crossing Rock Creek Trail on her way to join a friend at the neighborhood garden buffet. Two rusty rabbits decorate a flowerbed. Masked friends out for a walk exchange toe-tap greetings, then step back to chat from a safe distance. Massive girders span the stream for future Purple Line light rail traffic.


- Tuesday, July 07, 2020 at 05:24:02 (EDT)

Sharing Awareness

A dear friend recently describes a beautiful moment of mindfulness – an awakening to now and here, a sudden heightening of attention. Pure being. Simple bliss.

Suppose it happens when bicycling with a partner in the cool quiet evening, after a crowded public event in a dense downtown city. Or when stepping aside to let someone pass on a narrow muddy path in the woods, and feeling the scratch of a thorn. Or when startled by a glimpse of crimson, a scarlet splash on a curve of flesh or flower or flame.

It could happen anywhere. How to share such an instant, know that another sees it, properly preserve it?

Maybe all that matters is the moment itself, and not the telling or capturing of it? Perhaps what counts is letting it go ...

(cf Atheist Spirituality (2009-01-29), Constant Kensho (2012-01-19), Charlotte Joko Beck (2014-08-18), No Drama (2015-01-15), Our Job for the Rest of Our Life (2015-07-18), Enlightened State (2015-08-20), Joko on Joy (2015-09-03), One Step at a Time (2017-08-17), ...)

- Monday, July 06, 2020 at 07:28:11 (EDT)

2020-06-14 - Happiness Turtle

~4.0 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Mardi-gras_metal_flamingo_2020-06-14.jpg"Mardi Gras beads on a metallic lawn flamingo?" Roadkill diverts to inspect, as Danger Man and Imaginary Friend ramble with him along neighborhood streets. Beach Drive by Rock Creek is closed to cars but swarms with cyclists, runners, and walkers.
"Happy tortoise!" Brave, uninhibited comrade Kristina greets us. She recommends a second opinion before installing a new knee. "You will always know it's different," she says, and nevertheless admits to putting 40 miles/week on her artificial joint, mostly via fast walking. Impressive!http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Happiness_turtle_sculpture_2020-06-14.jpg


- Sunday, July 05, 2020 at 06:18:00 (EDT)

2020-06-13 - Little Falls Northeast Passage

~2.6 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"I'm working on a new case!" Danger Man tells Roadkill, who assumes it's a case of either ale or lager – but no, it's an adventure! The decrepit duo discover a new cut-through, the long-sought Northeast Passage to the end of Little Falls Trail, thanks to a tip from local natives. Their ramble back closes the loop at the Bethesda Pool, just in time to rendezvous with Imaginary Friend. Then it's a brisk out-and-back, mocking one another's injuries en route. The Trash Talk is strong in this Trio!


- Sunday, July 05, 2020 at 05:53:42 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 5

Deep optimism in George Macdonald's children's book "At the Back of the North Wind" (1871), in Chapter XV when young protagonist Diamond vows to be joyful:

Diamond's father and mother were, notwithstanding, rather miserable, and Diamond began to feel a kind of darkness beginning to spread over his own mind. But the same moment he said to himself, "This will never do. I can't give in to this. I've been to the back of the north wind. Things go right there, and so I must try to get things to go right here. I've got to fight the miserable things. They shan't make me miserable if I can help it." I do not mean that he thought these very words. They are perhaps too grown-up for him to have thought, but they represent the kind of thing that was in his heart and his head. And when heart and head go together, nothing can stand before them.

"What nice bread and butter this is!" said Diamond ...

- Saturday, July 04, 2020 at 06:56:35 (EDT)

2020-06-12 - Georgia Jaywalk

~2.7 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"And thou shalt be called Roadkill!" Long ago K-Rex named him, and today he cheats death again, crossing Georgia Avenue in gaps between speeding cars. "Two cats in the yard" – a tabby and a black feline watch. Lawn art features alabaster angels and a brilliant ceramic rooster. Lilies greet the sunrise; a last-quarter moon gleams in the south.


- Friday, July 03, 2020 at 11:54:40 (EDT)

2020-06-11 - Snapping Turtle

~2.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"SAMPLE", says the portable brick wall at the construction site. Between thunderstorms Roadkill rambles through Forest Glen Park, a cozy neighborhood where years ago runner-buddy Adam Safir and computer-buddy Marshall Abrams lived. Heavy rains leave gardens muddy. A huge snapping turtle holds so still that it seems to be a statue.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Snapping-Turtle_muddy-garden_2020-06-11.jpg


- Friday, July 03, 2020 at 11:49:28 (EDT)

Be More Optimistic

"How to Be More Optimistic" by Susan Shain (NY Times, 2020-02-18) offers four ways to look more hopefully at the world:

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Smile at Everyone (2013-02-15), Power of Optimism (2016-02-23), Mister Pollyanna (2020-01-28), ...)

- Thursday, July 02, 2020 at 05:44:22 (EDT)

2020-06-09 - Plant Happiness

~1.9 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Four rabbits – three alive, one bronze!" Roadkill makes a fast scamper around the neighborhood, eyes sensitized to spot hares after dear Dr A alerts him to a bunny in her yard in Köln. Small-animal sculptures adorn the path across the Beltway. In a garden a post says "Plant a Seed, Sing a Song" and "Plant Happiness".


- Thursday, July 02, 2020 at 05:39:59 (EDT)

2020-06-08 - Sketchy Cut-Throughs

~2.1 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Parkour no, sketchy yes!" Roadkill finds two new cut-throughs, one of which is only for use in hot pursuit (or when evading surveillance); it involves jumping down from a small brick wall into a private driveway. Roses peek through a wooden fence; a mini-monster stands guard atop a mailbox. Police cars with strobing lights guard construction workers. New walking speed record, and the bum knee doesn't complain (much)!


- Wednesday, July 01, 2020 at 06:08:15 (EDT)

2020-06-07 - Skeptics Gonna Skept

~2.6 mi @ ~26 min/mi

"Go, Go, Go!" Roadkill and Imaginary Friend cheer Danger Man as he finishes a marathon in 2 hours 6 minutes. Alas, the course isn't certified – some may suspect it was a bit short (like 16 miles short) – but "skeptics gonna skept". The cooldown walk takes us to the end of Little Falls Trail at Norwood Park, where Roadkill seeks in vain for a legal cut-through to neighborhood streets. "Black Lives Matter" says a painted rock-on-a-rock and chalk on the pavement.


- Wednesday, July 01, 2020 at 06:02:45 (EDT)

My Dungeon Shook

James Baldwin's powerful 1962 essay "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the of the Emancipation" (originally in The Progressive, and slightly edited in the book The Fire Next Time) does a striking inversion near its end, where he argues for love and hope:

... There is no reason for you to try to become like white people and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them. And I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love. For these innocent people have no other hope. They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. ...

Baldwin concludes with (guarded) optimism:

... But these men are your brothers, your lost younger brothers, and if the word "integration" means anything, this is what it means, that we with love shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it, for this is your home, my friend. Do not be driven from it. Great men have done great things here and will again and we can make America what America must become.

It will be hard, James, but you come from sturdy peasant stock, men who picked cotton, dammed rivers, built railroads, and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved an unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, "The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off."

You know and I know that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too early. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you, James, and Godspeed.

(cf Interracial Intimacies (24 Feb 2003), Racial Relationships (2004-01-10), An Hour Before Daylight (2004-05-25), Race and Love (2004-08-06), Troublesome Words (2006-04-09), Jimmy Carter (2017-04-27), ...)

- Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 06:32:50 (EDT)

2020-06-06 - Lost in the Woods

~2.8 mi @ ~25 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Horse_Meadowbrook-Stables_Kerry_2020-06-06.jpg "Choose Joy!" recommends a painted rock balanced on a log. Roadkill's unerring sense of direction errs as he leads Square Peg on an unplanned ramble through the woods. The two adventurers slip-slide on muddy slopes, skate across slimy wooden bridges, and skirt puddles left by last night's thunderstorms.

"Don't fall!" ... "Watch out!" ... "That stream-bank is about to collapse!" When they do get back to Rock Creek Trail the paved path is equally treacherous. Bulldozers work to clear flood detritus from parking lots. Danger Man waits patiently for the wayward twins at Meadowbrook Stables, then escorts them upstream and back, a warm-up for his race tomorrow. Friends give thanks for friendships.


- Monday, June 29, 2020 at 06:54:47 (EDT)

Do Nothing

"The Case for Doing Nothing" by Olga Mecking (NY Times, 2019-04-29) says that stress goes down and creativity rises when one stops doing and practices being:

... and, if one goes further and really lets go of Goals (like less stress and more creativity) très Zen, eh?!

(cf Patience and Time (2005-01-11), No Method (2010-01-21), Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Waiting Is (2011-01-17), Listen to the Traffic (2014-11-12), No Expectation (2015-01-02), Creativity and Insight Enhancers (2015-08-04), Holding Space (2016-07-22), As Much Nothing as Possible (2016-08-05), Mantra - Do Less, Better (2016-12-14), Just Zazen (2017-01-29), Ultimate Freedom (2017-06-18), Mantra - Refuse to Be Busy (2018-02-24), ...)

- Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 06:06:36 (EDT)

2020-06-05 - Culs-de-Sac

~1.9 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Cul-de-sacs? Culs-de-sac? Or just dead-ends?" Roadkill explores coves and crannies, ducking below damp tree limbs that droop from last night's thundershowers. Birds trigger avalanches of droplets as they land and take off.


- Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 15:57:56 (EDT)

2020-06-04 - Curvy Pink

~2.0 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Now that's ... different!" Roadkill studies a crimson array of flamingo-ish shapes in a tree. Art is. Young stag, velvet-covered horn stubs on forehead, retreats into the woods. Lilies thrust pistils and stamens skyward in fecund profusion.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Pink-flamingos-tree-art_2020-06-04.jpg


- Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 15:55:09 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 4

Paradoxical and important parables in George Macdonald's rich young person's novel "At the Back of the North Wind" (1871) – first, about knowing, in Chapter V:

"Are you the fairy that herds the bees?" he asked, going out of the summer-house, and down on his knees on the green shore of the tulip-bed.
"I'm not a fairy," answered the little creature.
"How do you know that?"
"It would become you better to ask how you are to know it."
"You've just told me."
"Yes. But what's the use of knowing a thing only because you're told it?"

... and about doing, and trying to do, and obligation, in Chap VII:

"... You had to be taught what courage was. And you couldn't know what it was without feeling it: therefore it was given you. But don't you feel as if you would try to be brave yourself next time?"
"Yes, I do. But trying is not much."
"Yes, it is–a very great deal, for it is a beginning. And a beginning is the greatest thing of all. To try to be brave is to be brave. The coward who tries to be brave is before the man who is brave because he is made so, and never had to try."
"How kind you are, North Wind!"
"I am only just. All kindness is but justice. We owe it."
"I don't quite understand that."
"Never mind; you will some day. There is no hurry about understanding it now."

(cf Knowing Choosing Doing (1999-05-29), Mantra - More Choosing, Less Doing (2018-05-17), ...)

- Friday, June 26, 2020 at 05:37:53 (EDT)

2020-06-03 - Butterfly Angel

~2.6 mi @ ~21 min/mi

Thwarted twice! Roadkill tries to traverse the train tracks but is stymied, first by high weeds and fences, then by early morning construction worker-witnesses who return his wave. No sneaky cut-throughs today! Lawn ornaments await the sunrise. A stone butterfly rests on a baby angel's arm.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/garden_angel-butterfly_2020-06-03.jpg


- Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 05:53:24 (EDT)

2020-06-02 - Halle Building

~1.5 mi @ ~22 min/mi

" RESERVED for MARTHA HALLE ", reads the sign in front of the best parking space at the small office building on Linden Lane. Roadkill takes a woodsy detour in hopes of finding a new cut-through, but a deep ravine is too daunting to stagger across. Hydrangeas and roses bloom, statues decay, and a rainbow flag hangs proud in front of the little stucco home at a five-way intersection.


- Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 05:45:17 (EDT)

Tips for NQTs and Everybody Else

Grainne Hallahan's recent "13 top tips for this year's NQTs" – suggestions for Newly Qualified Teachers in the UK, offered by their experienced colleagues – besides observations on grading papers and monitoring student behavior has mindful self-care thoughts for everyone to remember:

(cf Comments on Mantra - Say Thanks, not Sorry, 2018-09-10 - Thank You, Mr Rogers, 2019-04-21 - You Are Loved, Opening to the New (2019-05-19), 2019-09-22 - Empathy and Openness, ...)

- Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 06:39:13 (EDT)

2020-06-01 - Birdbath Statue

~1.5 mi @ ~21 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Lawn-statue_decollete_bird-bath_2020-06-01.jpg"No Trespassing - Private Driveway", reads the sign that Roadkill doesn't notice, overgrown as it is by weeds. Barefoot décolleté lawn lady catches sunbeams as she prepares to pour water into a birdbath. Hundreds of feet above the underground Metro a traction station door warns of danger. Irises hold hostas hostage. "FREE" says a scrap of paper, resting under a rock on top of a wooden display case by the street. Profound philosophical questions: is the rock free; or the paper; or the mind of the reader?


- Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 06:01:25 (EDT)


Pachinko, a novel by Min Jin Lee, is a beautiful story of a Korean family. It spans most of the 20th century, and resembles Pearl S Buck's The Good Earth in its slow and gentle depiction of the sorrows and challenges that parents and children struggle with for generations. Japanese racism toward Koreans is a central theme. Also sacrifice, confusion, misjudgment, failure, and death. And passion, love, loyalty, honor, faith, and redemption.

Lee's prose is gentle, rising and ebbing like the tide. A typical snippet, at the end of Part 1 Chapter 1:

At last, Yangjin gave birth to Sunja, her fourth child and the only girl, and the child thrived; after she turned three, the parents were able to sleep through the night without checking the pallet repeatedly to see if the small form lying beside them was still breathing. Hoonie made his daughter dollies out of corn husks and forsook his tobacco to buy her sweets; the three ate each meal together even though the lodgers wanted Hoonie to eat with them. He loved his child the way his parents had loved him, but he found that he could not deny her anything. Sunja was a normal-looking girl with a quick laugh and bright, but to her father, she was a beauty, and he marveled at her perfection. Few fathers in the world treasured their daughters as much as Hoonie, who seemed to live to make his child smile.

In the winter when Sunja was thirteen years old, Hoonie died quietly from tuberculosis. At his burial, Yangjin and her daughter were inconsolable. The next morning, the young widow rose from her pallet and returned to work.

Pachinko is weakest when it relies on far-fetched coincidences to generate action, and when characters are abruptly destroyed to cut the branching tree of plot. It is strongest in conveyance of sensation – the delicate aromas and spicy tangles of food, sex, war, and hard work. In Part 2 Chapter 2:

Sunja parked her cart in the empty lot by his stall. Whenever a train stopped, she could feel its deceleration beneath her sandals. Passengers would disembark, and many of them came into the market from the entrance nearby, but none stopped in front of her cart. Sunja tried not to cry. Her breasts were heavy with milk, and she missed being at home with Kyunghee and Mozasu. She wiped her face with her sleeves, trying to remember what the best market ajummas would do back home.

"Kimchi! Delicious kimchi! Try this delicious kimchi, and never make it at home again!" she shouted. Passersby turned to look at her, and Sunja, mortified, looked away from them. No one bought anything. After the butcher finished with his hog, he washed his hands and gave her twenty-five sen, and Sunja filled a container for him. He didn't seem to mind that she didn't speak Japanese. He put down the kimchi container by the hogs' heads, then reached behind his stall to take out his bento. The butcher placed a piece of kimchi neatly on top of his white rice with his chopsticks and ate a bite of rice and kimchi in front of her.

"Oishi! Oishi nee! Honto oishi," he said, smiling.

She bowed to him.

- Monday, June 22, 2020 at 06:00:23 (EDT)

2020-05-31 - Which Witch

~2.7 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"Witch!" says the little kid, pointing at Roadkill's pointy wizard's cap. "Tow truck!" warns Imaginary Friend, pointing at the sign near where Roadkill initially leaves his car. Little Falls Parkway is closed to traffic; Danger Man runs ahead to reconnoiter. We discuss traffic apps that recommend Surveillance Detection Routes instead of easy-to-follow directions, watch a fire truck pass by, and enjoy a cool-crisp late spring morning.


- Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 06:23:57 (EDT)

2020-05-30 - Mormon Temple Hill

~3.1 mi @ ~25 min/mi

"Deer!" Imaginary Friend points out a big doe crossing the street just ahead. Pretty peonies blush with Roadkill in front yard gardens. Alyssa and Danger Man dash past on the Mormon Temple hill.


- Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 06:20:34 (EDT)

Accept a Compliment

The New York Times article "How to Accept a Compliment – Even if It's From Yourself" (Micaela Marini Higgs, 2018-12-04) recommends gracefulness in receiving praise:

- Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 06:51:37 (EDT)

2020-05-29 - Minerva and Justice

~1.5 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Minerva_statue_National-Park-Seminary_2020-05-29.jpg"Danger - Ravine!" Roadkill reads the sign on the far side of the steep valley after he scrambles up the slope, thankful for trekking pole and saplings to cling to. Minerva's tall statue stands intact, but Justice is missing her sword and scales, hidden in the underexplored National Park Seminary grounds. A stream-side grotto is much as it was 6 years ago when last visited with Dr Mary.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Justice_statue_National-Park-Seminary_2020-05-29.jpg


- Friday, June 19, 2020 at 06:27:34 (EDT)

2020-05-28 - Silvia

~1.7 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Silvia_statue_National-Park-Seminary_2020-05-28.jpg"Silva, the Goddess of Mechanical Arts!" Roadkill finds an antique statue in the woods, barefoot and holding a giant gear, right arm that once wielded a sledge hammer missing, surrounded by weeds on an overgrown path at the National Park Seminary. Further west is Cyparissus, grief-stricken at the death of his pet deer. Bronze lions flank a staircase.


- Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 05:36:43 (EDT)

Nine Cognitive Biases

A useful table of mental fallacies, at "Thinking Biases & How to Overcome Them":

(cf Big Biases (2014-01-09), How Doctors Think (2014-10-28), Negative Thinking Patterns (2015-08-28), Cognitive Distortions (2015-09-28), Characteristics of Superforecasters (2015-11-21), Mirror Fallacy (2016-03-10), ...)

- Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 06:06:55 (EDT)

2020-05-27 - Peony Mirror Shades

~2.2 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"No! You could fall and get hurt!" A father stops his young kid before he can try a risky traverse on a fallen tree over a stream. Passers-by greet each other through masks. A lawn angel spreads her wings. Peonies blossom and Roadkill experiments with mirror-shade selfies.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/peony_mirror-shade_selfie_z_2020-05-27.jpg


- Monday, June 15, 2020 at 06:12:57 (EDT)

2020-05-26 - Aussie Salute

~1.8 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"She's 14 and still looks like a puppy!" New neighbors push their corgi in a pram. Roadkill discovers a narrow cut-through between Lanier Drive and Glen Ross Road. Hydrangeas bow down; recycling bins line the streets; cardinals flit and robins strut. An "Aussie Salute" attempts to brush away swarms of gnats as the sun sets.


- Monday, June 15, 2020 at 06:03:26 (EDT)

Flags of Our Fathers

Monocular viewpoint, narrowly first-person, often racist and jingoistic, weakly-written: Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers could have been so much better. It tells the story behind the famous photograph of the US flag raising over Iwo Jima on 1945-02-23. Or rather, it tells a story of that event, one based on family history and propaganda, now known to be far less accurate than once thought.

If only the book were more nuanced and less certain of itself — like most things in life ...

- Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 07:45:41 (EDT)

2020-05-25 - Mormon Temple Hill Encounter

~3.2 mi @ ~22 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Mormon-Temple-Hill_Texas_z_2020-05-25.jpg"Emaad! Ken!" Roadkill fortuitously meets two comrades running an Elevation Challenge, a baker's dozen Mormon Temple Hill climbs. "Hook 'em, Horns!" he says, offering a Texas salute.
A mottled black-and-red fox dashes across the road. Trail cut-throughs lead through urban woods and over a hidden stream bridge. A bronze girl looks up from her book.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/reader_girl_book_statue_Silver-Spring_2020-05-25.jpg


- Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 07:37:56 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 3

Power from submission, control from obedience – the novel At the Back of the North Wind suggests a thoughtful metaphor-parable for a paradoxical facet of life in Chapter V, when the young child called Diamond rides the horse of the same name:

... Diamond soon found that, as he was obedient to his father, so the horse was obedient to him. For he had not ridden far before he found courage to reach forward and catch hold of the bridle, and when his father, whose hand was upon it, felt the boy pull it towards him, he looked up and smiled, and, well pleased, let go his hold, and left Diamond to guide Diamond; and the boy soon found that he could do so perfectly. It was a grand thing to be able to guide a great beast like that. And another discovery he made was that, in order to guide the horse, he had in a measure to obey the horse first. If he did not yield his body to the motions of the horse's body, he could not guide him; he must fall off. ...

(cf Certainty and Doubt (1999-04-27), Face to Face with God (2001-11-13), Silence, Not Ignorance (2005-06-05), Dive Right In (2016-06-12), Loving Arc to the Universe (2020-03-25), ...)

- Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 06:12:12 (EDT)

2020-05-24 - Rosy-Fingered Dawn

~2.4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/National-Park-Seminary_statue_z_2020-05-24.jpgRose petals drift down to splatter the sidewalk. A scampering of squirrels dash away as Roadkill pauses to hug a sympathetic statue. Stenciled lyrics quote Sting on Rock Creek Trail near the Beltway.


- Tuesday, June 09, 2020 at 05:55:22 (EDT)


"Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself" by Charlotte Lieberman (NY Times, 2018-05-22) offers some excellent advice on how "... to avoid getting caught up in our mistakes and obsessing about them until we degrade ourselves, and rather strive to let go of them so we can move onto the next productive action from a place of acceptance and clarity." She suggests three small steps:

(emphasis added; cf Mantra - Be Your Own Best Friend (2016-02-16), There Is Nothing Wrong with You (2020-02-13), ...)

- Monday, June 08, 2020 at 20:04:48 (EDT)

2020-05-23 - Voted

~2.3 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Exercising my franchise!" says Roadkill, ballot envelope in hand to be mailed. Danger beckons, as do front-yard flowers and cemetery statuary.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/construction-site-danger-caution_z_2020-05-23.jpg


- Sunday, June 07, 2020 at 06:25:40 (EDT)

2020-05-22 - Raindrop Petals

~1.4 mi @ ~26 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/orange-yellow-roses_2020-05-22.jpg"Swallowtail!" the masked lady declares, bending down in the middle of the street to photograph a yellow-and-black butterfly. Sweat stings Roadkill's eyes as he staggers through the neighborhood on a hot and humid afternoon.
Roses are beaded with droplets from morning showers. Dog-walkers detour to maintain their distance, aluminum cans of unknown beverages in hand.http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/red-roses_2020-05-22.jpg


- Saturday, June 06, 2020 at 15:18:45 (EDT)

At the Back of the North Wind - 2

Thoughtful quotes from the 1871 young person's novel At the Back of the North Wind by George Macdonald:

... in Chapter II:

... there is a good kind of crossness that is only disagreeable, and there is a bad kind of crossness that is very nasty indeed ...

... in Chapter III:

The sun was going down when he flew from the door like a bird from its cage. All the world was new to him. A great fire of sunset burned on the top of the gate that led from the stables to the house; above the fire in the sky lay a large lake of green light, above that a golden cloud, and over that the blue of the wintry heavens. And Diamond thought that, next to his own home, he had never seen any place he would like so much to live in as that sky. For it is not fine things that make home a nice place, but your mother and your father.

... and:

"Why should you see things," returned North Wind, "that you wouldn't understand or know what to do with? Good people see good things; bad people, bad things."

... and in Chapter IV:

... Everybody can't be done to all the same. Everybody is not ready for the same thing. ...

- Friday, June 05, 2020 at 05:51:07 (EDT)

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