^zhurnaly 0.9948

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Howdy, pilgrim! You're in the ^zhurnal — since 1999, a journal of musings on mind, method, metaphor, and matters miscellaneous — previous volume = 0.9947. Click headlines to browse, comment, or edit the ^zhurnalyWiki. Page-top links provide random mantras, tarots, unicorns, power thoughts, and meditative suggestions. For a lovely little mint-tin deck of mindfulness reminders see Open Mind OM Cards.

2022-05-29 - Porcupine Woods Park

~3.8 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"There are No Refunds on 'Thai Spicy' orders!" 🥃 explains the policy at Ruan in Wheaton, where those who order extra-powerful carry-out are responsible for the consequences. With 🐻 we explore a new corner of Garrett Park, including a cut-through in Porcupine Woods Park that emerges unexpectely at the Post Office and train station.


- Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 06:31:22 (EDT)

2022-05-28 - Parkrun 5k

~3.1 mi @ ~12 min/mi

"Zombie" by the Cranberries is the mental music for Kensington Parkrun #155, where winning woman Liz Ozeki blasts past before 🐰 reaches the halfway point. Official result is 36:26 (48th of 67 finishers).


- Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 06:16:41 (EDT)

2022-05-27 - Thunderstorms and Buffalo Wings

~2.3 mi @ ~18 min/mi

Prowl the neighborhood and explore old-new paths in National Park Seminary as dark clouds loom and thunder rumbles.


- Sunday, August 07, 2022 at 09:24:55 (EDT)

2022-05-26 - Wheaton Loopabout

~2.3 mi @ ~22 min/mi

Circumnavigate the Library and meet Merle for a brief exploratory orbit. Geese herd their goslings along the sidewalk.


- Sunday, August 07, 2022 at 09:16:17 (EDT)

2022-05-25 - Chocolate, Salad, Sandwiches

~3.5 mi @ ~18 min/mi

Downtownbound sneakaround lunchtime, passing beneath the Spring St bridge where a liberated park bench provides a trackside rest area to those who know.


- Sunday, August 07, 2022 at 09:11:48 (EDT)

2022-05-23 - Fried Fresh Fish

~2.8 mi @ ~18 min/mi

Dinner carry-out from Hunan City: fried fresh fish 🐠, french fries 🍟 , and crab 🦀 Rangoon!


- Sunday, August 07, 2022 at 09:06:23 (EDT)

Clark Glymour on Epistemology

From "Bayes' Arrows" interview by Richard Martin, thoughtful comments by CMU philosopher Clark Glymour – on causality:

Try to plan getting out of a room by computing the probability that you try to turn the doorknob conditional on the doorknob turning ... versus ... computing the probability that the knob will turn given that you try to turn the knob. The conditional probabilities are different. Causality makes the difference, and is why when planning to get out of a room, we use the second, and not the first, conditional probability. For planning actions and policy interventions, probability is useless without causality. Once upon a time yellowed fingers were highly correlated with lung cancer later in life. The surgeon general recommended against smoking; he did not recommend that people wear gloves to prevent yellowed fingers.

... and on probability and science:

Bayesian statistics is two things: a useful technology and a bundle of mythology. A Bayesian data analyst almost never, and I mean almost never,inquires as to her degrees of belief: she makes mathematically convenient and not absurd assumptions and goes on. She tests the resilience of the outcomes she obtains by varying those assumptions–the prior probabilities, the penalties in a model score, etc. Essentially, her "prior probabilities" are just a measure to guide through a search space of alternative possible values for parameters in a model or models. The measure is adaptive, in the sense that it alters (by Bayes Rule) as data are acquired. It is subjective, in the sense that there is no best adaptive measure for guiding search, but there are better and worse adaptive measures. Generally, the measures are nobody's degrees of belief.

The facts we are really talking about when we talk of probabilities in science is estimates of "large" but finite sample frequencies. "Large" is of course vague. Frequentist textbooks often fudge their introductions this way. Then they go on to give a mathematical theory of "probabilities" that are estimated from finite sample frequencies. The mathematics hides the vagueness of the fundamental notion.

Probability in its mathematical form is about nothing, and so about any domain you may want it to be about. The same is true of logic, and of causality. Those three notions are the intangible bedrocks of science, and of rationality.

... and on the reality of causality:

Anyone who seriously thought causation is a fiction, a social creation of some kind unlike the everyday facts of the world ... such a person would be paralyzed, without reason for planning any one action rather than another. To get out of my office, shall I open the doorknob or wait for the doorknob to open? If I move my legs will I find myself at the door? If I move to an apartment with thin walls, will I hear my neighbors, and they me? I don't care so much whether people say broccoli tastes good; it makes a bad taste in my mouth. An ad hominem: people who say causality is a fiction are not doing much thinking.

... and on Bayes nets and graphical causal models:

Causes are relations between events: one event is a cause of another, or not. In science, causes are usually regarded as general, repeatable relations among variable quantities or properties: if one variable changes values will it, in all circumstances of a specifiable kind, produce changes in other variable quantities? A trivial example: if lobsters are boiled, do their carapaces change color (not trivial for the lobsters)?

Graphical causal models represent distinct variables as points and a direct causal relation between two variables as a directed line between one point and the other. By itself, this is just a convenient picture (of a kind people often produce spontaneously when asked to depict causal relations). When appropriately combined with the theory of probability, however, it is much more: an effective guide to predicting the effects of interventions that deliberately and directly change one or more of the variables (and hence, through the effects of the variables directly intervened upon, change other variables that they influence), and a framework that allows systematic investigations of the circumstances in which causal relations can be discovered.

(cf Correlations and Causality (2000-04-09), Epistemological Enginerooms (2000-08-10), Problems of Knowledge (2010-07-29), Causal Inference in Statistics (2018-09-16), Think Better - Three Keys (2019-06-05), Chance, Cause, Clash (2021-01-21), ...)

- Sunday, July 31, 2022 at 08:36:36 (EDT)

2022-05-22 - Toddler Escape Zone Ahead

~5.3 mi @ ~15.5 min/mi

"Either I have to lose 40 pounds, or you have to gain 40 pounds!" 🐇 tells 🐻, estimating how much weight change is needed to close a 2-minute gap in a 5k race. Meander around the Candy Cane City neighborhood, with 🥃 joining.


- Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 20:30:16 (EDT)

2022-05-21 - Kensington Parkrun 5k

~3.1 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

"Snake!" A big Black Racer slithers across Rock Creek Trail. Official result: 46th place (of 51 finishers), 29th of 32 males, in 39:05.


- Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 20:24:30 (EDT)

2022-05-20 - Teriyaki Beef, Gyoza, Thai Spring Rolls

~1.7 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"It's a Good Day to Be Happy!" says a neighbor's lawn sign. "Let's Root for Each Other!" suggests another.


- Sunday, July 24, 2022 at 19:32:13 (EDT)

2022-05-19 - Chicken Wings and BBQ

~3.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

Loop through the cemetery to fetch 🐔 for lunch
take the straight path to snag 🍖 for dinner
with mindful pauses for 🙏 Mary and Magritte
      ... so much beauty in this World!


- Friday, July 22, 2022 at 14:34:31 (EDT)

2022-05-18 - Wheaton Claridge Park Xylophone

~2.5 mi @ ~13 min/mi

"Bing - Bong!" Giant chimes
and pipes bring mid-run tones
to a playground pause


- Friday, July 22, 2022 at 13:59:57 (EDT)

2022-05-17 - Taquitos y Tamales de Mi Rancho

~2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Latoya-Peoples_mural_Silver_Spring_2022-05-17.jpg"Give them their flowers!" Beautiful art by LaToya Peoples graces a wall in downtown Silver Spring on Colesville Rd, part of The Blairs Mural Festival 2021.


- Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 13:19:39 (EDT)

2022-05-14 - Parkrun Kensington 5k

~3.1 mi @ ~13 min/mi

"Are you in the wrong Kensington?"
    From England, daughter Emma and momma Donna
Pull 🐇 along with stories of the Serpentine.


- Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 06:02:35 (EDT)

2022-05-14 - Canal Towpath Choices

~4.7 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Do I crawl over the log?
    Or under it?"
Sunrise at Carderock
    Brings 🦄 and 🐇
Together for quiet sharing


- Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 05:51:31 (EDT)

2022-05-13 - Mission Mi La Cay

~3.8 mi @ ~17 min/mi

Drizzle during scurry-scamper
North to Wheaton for bánh mì ...
... and ride the new bus home


- Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 18:53:19 (EDT)

2022-05-12 - Dennis-University-Lanark Loop

~1.2 mi @ ~14 min/mi

Is it OK to Trespass
During business hours?
Shy statues close their eyes
        ... to kiss


- Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 18:29:15 (EDT)

2022-05-10 - Bonchon Spicy to Go

~2.3 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Welcome", says Rockville
    As turquoise tiles swoop
Over telescope-girl
    While she peers at the sky


- Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 18:23:17 (EDT)

2022-05-09 - Gyros Salad and Pad Cashew

~3.8 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Don't look, Sir!" says Roadkill to the construction worker, as he prepares to take a gravel shortcut pathway by the train tracks.

"Be careful!" responds the young man in the hardhat. The track is slightly sketchy and overgrown with weeds. Adventure!


- Sunday, July 17, 2022 at 11:59:42 (EDT)

Memory Improvement

Suggestions from Richard Restak's new book The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Strengthening Your Mind, as summarized by Hope Reese in the New York Times review "A Neurologist's Tips to Protect Your Memory":

(cf Mental Bandwidth Boosters (1999-06-26), Body Mnemonic (2004-12-04), Memorizing Poems (2009-04-05), Memory Palace (2011-03-19), Mnemonic Media (2021-11-27), ...)

- Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 11:06:41 (EDT)

2022-05-08 - Happy Mothers Day

~2.5 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

Mother's Day morning meander with 🐻 past Meadowbrook Stables and Candy Cane City, then try a bit of hill-work on Leland Street!


- Saturday, July 09, 2022 at 07:49:59 (EDT)

2022-05-07 - Parkrun 5k Kensington

Soggy jog and new course PB! – damp 🐰 finishes 21st of 25 in 35:07 for the Kensington Parkrun 5k #152.


- Saturday, July 09, 2022 at 07:29:45 (EDT)

2022-05-04 - Muddy Branch Dash

~2 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"And your dog is beautiful too!" On a warm Wednesday afternoon revisit Malcolm King Park at the headwaters of Muddy Branch.


- Thursday, July 07, 2022 at 21:21:06 (EDT)

2022-05-03 - Lowell School

~2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

Lost in the woods? Follow a deer trail along a stream, through a brushy fen, and eventually emerge from the corner of Rock Creek Park. Admire student artwork on display at the Lowell School in northwest DC.


- Tuesday, July 05, 2022 at 19:09:25 (EDT)

2022-05-01 - KenGar Traverse

~3.4 mi @ ~19.5 min/mi

"It's a Secret Starbucks Cut-through!" 🐇 leads 🦄 along the narrow pathway by a tributary of Rock Creek through the bamboo grove to Starbucks. (see 2022-03-01 - New Trail, New Shoes) The duo then meanders, meets 🐻 & 🌗, and does another brisk out-and-back on Beach Drive.


- Tuesday, July 05, 2022 at 19:04:41 (EDT)

2022-04-30 - Kensington Parkrun 5k

3.1 mi @ ~13 min/mi

Caitlin Kenney and Mark Zimmermann during the Kensington 5k Parkrun #151Parkrun Kensington#151! 🦀 finishes 50th and 🐇 is 51st of 58 finishers – not counting Lilli (short for "Elizabeth"), the little brown-and-white Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who beats them both. Lilli is afraid to cross bridges, however, so her owner has to pick her up and carry her for those short segments – does that disqualify her? It's the first Parkrun for both 🦀 and 🐇. Official time 40:38, a personal best on the course, by definition. Parkrun is Fun!


- Sunday, July 03, 2022 at 07:51:09 (EDT)

2022-04-29 - Shingles Shot

~3 mi @ ~15.4 min/mi

Friday afternoon ramble through the woods to get to the Kensington clinic for a vaccination! 🦠


- Sunday, July 03, 2022 at 07:29:41 (EDT)

2022-04-28 - Scary Staircase

~1.6 mi @ ~20 min/mi

Erosion cuts channels in the woods of National Park Seminary, the ancient stairway is tippy-tread irregular, the little spring-house is dank. A passing freight train mandates a pause at the grade crossing.


- Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 20:09:25 (EDT)

2022-04-27 - Pastrami, Peanuts, Peppers, and Passover Sale Items

~3.1 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"What if, today, we were grateful for Everything?" suggests the sign in front of Montgomery Hills Baptist Church. Yes! Groceries at the local store are sponsored by the letter "P".


- Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 19:34:11 (EDT)

2022-04-25 - Spring Street Train Tracks

~3.2 mi @ ~19 min/mi

New cut-through! Under Spring Street, kids play hooky, smoke, drink, and paint graffiti; a relocated park bench provides the perfect view of Amtrak and Metro.


- Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 19:28:05 (EDT)

2022-04-24 - Tristram Shandy

~1.9 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?" DD/👽 leads Tris on a neighborhood walkabout near Sligo Creek Trail and recommends a gruesome-fun book by mortician Caitlin Doughty.


- Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 20:43:00 (EDT)

2022-04-23 - Skunk Swamp Cabbage

~5 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

"Hit me with your Best shot!" sings Pat Benatar, musical accompaniment to Park Service workers doing maintenance and improvement along the Western Ridge Trail. Happy dogs enjoy the woods and David, leader of a running group, recommends a Bobcat timed event with a generous cutoff. With 🥃, Roadkill

- Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 20:38:19 (EDT)

2022-04-22 - Ellsworth Urban Park

~3.3 mi @ ~15.1 min/mi

"Urban Living on the Edge!" – the slogan of Affinity on Georgia, a fancy new apartment complex in downtown Silver Spring just north of the DC line. A curvy-cute metallic sculpture stands near the entrance. A Friday afternoon walk-jog starts and ends at Ellsworth Urban Park.http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/affinity_silver_spring_curvy-metal-sculture_2022-04-22.jpg


- Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 17:16:20 (EDT)

2022-04-21 - Malcolm King Park

~2.7 mi @ ~12.3 min/mi

Leave the car on Story Dr and dash along the Muddy Branch trail through Malcolm King Park, named for a local Gaithersburg naturalist-advocate. Pause for pics of skunk cabbage proliferating in a swampy zone.


- Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 16:44:02 (EDT)

2022-04-20 - Crying Tiger, Drunken Noodles

~3.2 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Crying Tiger?" With a name like that, new on the Charm Thai carry-out menu, a late lunch walk becomes mandatory!


- Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 16:39:15 (EDT)

2022-04-19 - Cuatro Carnitas Tacos

~2.8 mi @ ~14 min/mi

Push the pace to Kensington Java Nation, and pick up Tuesday tacos for DW's lunch!


- Thursday, June 23, 2022 at 16:33:59 (EDT)

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

From the beginning of States of Matter, a 1985 physics textbook on solids, liquids, gases, and phase transitions:

Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously. ...

(cf On Temperature (1999-07-01), Carnot Cycle (2004-08-01), ...)

- Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 07:52:55 (EDT)

2022-04-17 - Liver Colored Ticking

~4.1 mi @ ~14.5 min/mi

"That brindled pattern is called 'liver colored ticking'," says the owner as his dog stares. Bluebells bloom by Rock Creek during a walk-run ramble.


- Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 07:42:56 (EDT)

2022-04-16 - Samosas and Mango Lassi

~2.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

With 🐻 & 🥃 enjoy a Saturday morning saunter from the White Flint neighborhood park to the Garrett Park farmers market, where Indian food is fun and a fairy garden poses for pics.


- Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 07:38:00 (EDT)

2022-04-15 - Sunglasses and Chicken

~2.3 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

Take the long way to pick up buffalo wings at DaVinci on a warm Friday lunch break – and find an abandoned pair of unicorn-style rainbow-plastic cheap sunglasses on the street. Style Zero!


- Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 07:34:20 (EDT)

2022-04-14 - National Park Seminary

~1.8 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Danger – Fall Hazard!" warns the sign. Rain begins during a ramble through a new trail across the eroded grounds of National Park Seminary, past ruins of the former finishing school for young ladies a century ago.


- Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 21:25:43 (EDT)

2022-04-13 - Rockville Civic Center Park

~3 mi @ ~17 min/mi

A great blue heron takes flight from a tributary of Croydon Creek, and two deer drink before dashing away. Boulders and trees near Rockville High School are graffiti-covered. A steep trail leads down from an apartment complex to the stream valley. Who knew what was hidden on the way to pick up Korean spicy chicken at Bonchon?


- Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 21:15:54 (EDT)

Charles Blow Career Advice

From New York Times columnist Charles M Blow's thirty-years-later thoughts "My Times: Career Advice From a Career in the Trenches" published 2022-06-05:

(cf Homer Simpson Career Advice (2011-04-28), Ementor Emantras (2011-05-02), ...)

- Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at 06:17:58 (EDT)

2022-04-12 - Thai Trek

~2.8 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Pad Thai, drunken noodles, papaya salad, and mango sticky rice!" Walk along the tracks to survey the underside of the new Grace Church Road bridge construction, find a new cut-through up to the end of Leonard Drive by Rock Creek Stream Valley Park, and proceed to Charm Thai to pick up Tuesday dinner carry-out.


- Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 13:41:32 (EDT)

2022-04-10 - Stairway to Heaven

~4.5 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi

"Hill Work!" the crazy-steep old stairway leads up to a locked gate from Sligo Creek Parkway between Dallas and Brunett Avenues, behind the Maryland County Parks Foundation. Climb and descend with 🐻 and 🥃, then continue cherry-blossom viewing Sunday morning trek around the neighborhood.


- Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 13:35:16 (EDT)

2022-04-09 - Blue and Yellow

~4.0 mi @ ~19 min/mi

🥃 & 🧐 & 🐻‍❄️ & 🌸, Oh My! Saturday morning's ramble down Beach Drive into Rock Creek Park with friends pauses to move a slug off the road. "O Slug-a-Moon, O Slug-a-Moon, O grant thy faithful hedgehog's boon!" (from Watership Down). Yellow and blue newspaper bags make a Ukraine flag on the fence of the ballfields.


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 21:46:53 (EDT)

2022-04-07 - Wet Wabbits

~1.4 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Do Not Enter! Private Road! Keep Out!" New signage on Beechbank Road try to deter entry to the Capitol View Open Space Urban Park. A line of lawn rabbits sit damply by the sidewalk.


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 21:39:51 (EDT)

2022-04-05 - Gratitude

~3.5 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Living Gratefully Makes the World Different!" advises the electronic bulletin board in front of the church. A newly carved stump stares owlishly in General Getty Park. "Fairies Welcome!" says the children's garden sign. Rain begins during the mission to pick up Crispy Sesame Chicken, Edamame, Thai Spring Rolls, and Gyoza. Yum!


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 18:28:06 (EDT)

2022-03-30 - Enchilada Walkabout

~0.8 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Mi Rancho es su rancho!" Orbit the TexMex center of the universe in downtown Silver Spring, atoning in advance for good food.


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 18:22:54 (EDT)

2022-03-29 - Afternoon in the Woods

~2.6 mi @ ~14.2 min/mi

In Rock Creek Park, from the DC line climb the Western Ridge Trail, cross the stream, and return along the Valley Trail on a crisp spring afternoon.


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 18:18:29 (EDT)

2022-03-27 - MCRRC Spin in the Woods 4 Mile XC Race

4.0 mi @ ~13 min/mi

MCRRC Spin in the Woods Mark Zimmermann photo by Dan ReichmannThe woods are wet, the mud and manure are treacherous on the horse trails, the hills are steep, and the Montgomery County Road Runners four mile cross-country "Spin in the Woods" race is all good. 🦄 and 🐻 and 💀 get separated, nobody falls down, and official results show 💀 finishing in 51:59 (65th of 89, 46th of 56 males, 6th of 9 in the male 65-69 year old bracket).


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 18:02:20 (EDT)

2022-03-26 - Kenwood Cherry Blossoms

~3.1 mi @ ~18.5 min/mi

"Dream Big" and "Live for Today" advise stickers on coffee cup lids. New friend Audrey joins 🦄 and 💀, and shares navy stories as we survey sakura in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda.


- Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 17:47:31 (EDT)

2022-03-25 - Remembrance

~2 mi @ ~25 min/mi

"During the summer and fall in 2002, the senseless violence of two men caused the deaths of thirteen innocent people. Although the tragedies occurred in several parts of the country, sniper fire in the Washington, D.C. area abruptly ended the lives of ten men and women. The stones here, engraved with the names of those ten, bear witness to the fact that they lived and worked among us – and they are not forgotten. Their lives, each unique but all too short, are forever part of our collective story. This place also honors the kindness of so many who supported their families and whose active compassion still strengthens the bonds of community."

So says the stone monument at Wheaton Regional Park. Nearby are the names of the ten: James D Martin, James L "Sonny" Buchanan, Prem Kumar Waldekar, Sarah Ramos, Lori A Lewis Rivera, Pascal E Charlot, Dennis H Meyers, Kenneth H Bridges, Linda Franklin, Conrad E Johnson. On a stone bench nearby are the words:

Linger here and reflect on those lost to violence.
            Hope for a more peaceful world.
    Seek a reverence for life among all people.


- Wednesday, June 01, 2022 at 20:19:47 (EDT)

2022-03-24 - Wet Walk

~3.6 mi @ ~16 min/mi

Sprinkles turn to drizzle to showers to outright rain! Leave Dehydration Aid (Japanese crackers and Turkish candy) at 🐻's and stop at grocery store on the way home for peppers 🌶 and pretzels 🥨!


- Wednesday, June 01, 2022 at 20:08:09 (EDT)

How Are Your Camels

A memorable exchange from John McPhee's book The Survival of the Bark Canoe:

... Henri Vaillancourt once had a dead bear in his room at college. This emerges as we move north on the northernmost arm of Chesuncook Lake. Between the canoes, idle conversation is for us what the chansons were for the voyageurs. Up at six, we have been on the water since seven-forty-five. The wind has not yet come up for the day. The canoes tend to separate. One or the other moves wide or falls behind. The gap extends until it reaches a kind of psychological apogee, at which moment binding forces begin to apply, and the two canoes–alone on hundreds of acres of water–draw slowly together until they all but touch.

Rick Blanchette says to Henri, when the gap is narrow, "So. How are you?"

"Fine. How are you? Still working down at the plastics shop?"

"Yes. Still building canoes?"


"How are the wife and kids?" Henri has no wife and kids.

"Fine. How are your wife and kids?"

Rick has none, either, but this ritual occurs at least twice a day.

I have told them they sound like Kordofan Arabs, who say to one another:

"God bless you."

"How is your health?"

"Thanks be to God, well."

"God bless you."

"How are your camels?"

"Thanks be to God, well. How are your camels?"

"Thanks be to God, well. How are your cattle?"

"Thanks be to God, well." And so on through any living thing in sight or mind.

And now Henri says to Rick, "How are your camels?"

And Rick says, "Thanks be to God, well. How are your cattle?"

And–to put a stop to it–I say, "God bless you. How is your dead bear?"

Henri explains that it was a cub and did not take up much space in the room.

"A cub! Warren Elmer says, and his paddle stops. ...

- Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 21:06:28 (EDT)

2022-03-23 - Bad Dad Joke No. 702

~3.3 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Spring is really here – I'm so excited, I wet my plants!" says the Bad Dad Joke sign for Day #702 in Kensington, on the way to pick up Hibachi Express bento boxes.


- Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 21:01:24 (EDT)

2022-03-22 - Nachos, Tamales, Taquitos, ...

~2.4 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"... and a halo around the sun!" Tuesday evening in downtown Silver Spring starts and ends at Mi Rancho, where the owner is fast runner Albino Castro.


- Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 20:56:45 (EDT)

2022-03-21 - Rock Creek Ramble

~1.5 mi @ ~15 min/mi

Quick mid-afternoon circuit from the Juniper St NW Trailhead downstream on the Valley Trail, across the creek, and return via Beach Drive.


- Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 14:56:22 (EDT)

2022-03-20 - Sunday Sunrise

~2.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Tell your dog I said 'Hi'!" a car window sign suggests. Strava fails to record but the Apple Watch captures an early morning ramble with Dr 🦄, joined along the way by Dr Slow Twitch and G-ji, then Counselor 🐻. "Dream!" suggests pastel cursive chalk on Sligo Creek Trail.


- Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 11:23:29 (EDT)

2022-03-19 - Austin Airport

~2 mi @ ~21 min/mi

On the way back from visiting family – tragedy, brother Keith is in the hospital after a bad bike accident – there's time before the flight back for a brisk double end-to-end stroll in the AUS Bergstrom terminal. Enough GPS satellite signals make it through the big windows to build a jittery-but-reasonable trackfile!


- Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 11:16:40 (EDT)

2022-03-15 - Spring Garden Carry-out

~2.8 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Hot and Sour Soup, please!" Phone in the order while walking the long way around, arrive a little too early, add a local loop to maintain momentum, and then speed-walk home!


- Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 11:03:38 (EDT)

2022-03-14 - San Miguel School Storefront Angel

~2.6 mi @ ~13 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/San_Miguel_School_angel_2022-03-14.jpgAn angel graces the front window of the San Miguel School on Georgia Avenue near the DC-MD border. Walk-run on a bridge over the railroad tracks, follow the Metropolitan Branch Trail past the Takoma Metro, and return in time to pick up carry-out lunch!


- Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 07:11:53 (EDT)

Mantra - This Is the World in Which We Live

Great wisdom from Australian punk rocker Chris Bailey:

This is the world in which we live.
    Bitter and twisted is something
        I don't see any advantage in being.

... quoted with context at the end of the April 2022 obituary "Chris Bailey, Who Gave Australia Punk Rock, Dies at 65" by Clay Risen:

While the musician Bob Geldof reportedly said that "rock music of the '70s was changed by three bands: the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints," Mr. Bailey was unbothered by the Saints' name recognition relative to those others.

"This is the world in which we live," he told The Los Angeles Times in 1998. "Bitter and twisted is something I don't see any advantage in being."

(cf This Is It (2008-11-14), Intimate Relationship with the World (2009-01-23), Gentleness, Sensitivity, Compassion (2014-03-09), Mantra - This Is How It Is Right Now (2015-04-27), Joko on Joy (2015-09-03), ...)

- Sunday, May 08, 2022 at 08:01:47 (EDT)

2022-03-13 - Short Long Run

~5 mi @ ~14 min/mi

🐰 heads upstream along Rock Creek Trail to meet and escort Gayatri, Stephani, Jon, and 🔥 at the end of their long Sunday run. Ice covers bridges but paved paths are mostly clear.


- Saturday, May 07, 2022 at 16:00:00 (EDT)

2022-03-12 - Treadmill Test

~1 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Don't fall off!" The initial experiment on DW/P's new treadmill goes well, a brisk walk with grade variation 3%-6% and pace ranging 18-20 min/mi, with a short cooldown at the end. And no falling off!

- Thursday, May 05, 2022 at 05:51:47 (EDT)

2022-03-11 - Nachos, Tamales, and Taquitos

~1.9 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"In September 2021 the murals were painted and banners were installed!" says the Blair Mural Festival announcement. During a Friday afternoon walkabout on the way to pick up TexMex carry-out, somebody finally looks up and notices them. Rose Jaffe's "Oneness in Nature" is bright and inspirational.http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Mural_Oneness-in-Nature_Rose-Jaffe_Silver-Spring_2022-03-11.jpg


- Wednesday, May 04, 2022 at 05:57:47 (EDT)

2022-03-10 - Bananas, Chips, and Croutons

~2.5 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Gnomes and Owls!" Tiny ceramic statuettes guard a garden. The grocery store provides essential supplies to motivate a neighborhood walkabout loop.


- Tuesday, May 03, 2022 at 06:22:49 (EDT)

Moral Concerns

Via Thomas B Edsall's recent New York Times column "Where Does All That Hate We Feel Come From?", from the (2012) paper "Tracing the threads: How five moral concerns (especially Purity) help explain culture war attitudes" by Spassena P. Koleva, Jesse Graham, Ravi Iyer, Peter H. Ditto, and Jonathan Haidt:

Briefly, the five moral foundations are harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity. The harm/care foundation leads us to disapprove of individuals that cause pain and suffering and to approve of those who prevent or alleviate harm. The fairness/reciprocity foundation makes us sensitive to issues of equality and justice and leads us to frown upon people that violate these principles. The ingroup/loyalty foundation is based on our attachment to groups (e.g. our family, church, or country), leading us to approve of those who contribute to the group's well-being and cohesion. The authority/respect foundation is based on our tendency to create hierarchically structured societies of dominance and subordination. This foundation includes approval of individuals who fulfill the duties associated with their position on the social ladder, for example by showing good leadership, or obedience. Lastly, the purity/sanctity foundation is based on the emotion of disgust in response to biological contaminants (e.g. feces or rotten food), and to various social contaminants like spiritual corruption, or the inability to control one's base impulses (see Rozin, Haidt, & McCauley, 2008, on disgust). In the context of previous research on ideology, fairness/reciprocity relates to a concern for inequality and authority/respect to a preference for stability versus change (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, 2009).

(cf Roots of Morality (2009-04-03), Brainpickings Tidbits (2012-07-31), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12), Negative Thinking Patterns (2015-08-28), Liberty, Equality, Truth (2021-02-24), Complicate the Story (2022-01-16), ...)

- Monday, May 02, 2022 at 05:19:06 (EDT)

2022-03-09 - Be Love

~2.2 mi @ ~16.2 min/mi

"Live in Harmony – BREATHE" say words painted on the staircase near Piney Branch Elementary School. "Be Love" recommends the poster at the first landing. A brisk early-afternoon ramble goes from downtown Silver Spring into Takoma Park and back, discovering new cut-throughs and local parks.


- Sunday, May 01, 2022 at 21:03:26 (EDT)

2022-03-08 - Mission Potbelly

~5 mi @ ~16 min/mi

Early afternoon trek along Rock Creek takes a pause to revisit graffiti under the bridge just inside the Beltway. Take East-West Highway past the northern point of the DC diamond, order carry-out sandwiches en route, and catch the #5 bus home.


- Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 14:51:28 (EDT)

Partner Change and Changing

Thoughts from Allison Hope's 2022 essay, "Watching a Partner Change Is Hard. Accepting It Can Be Harder.":

We don't marry one person as much as we marry one version of a person, a snapshot of who we (and our partner) are individually and to one another at the moment when we say "I do." Who we are five, 10 or 40 years later is anybody's guess.

People change. As a result, relationships change, too.

... and from Amy Sutherland in 2006, "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage", to help someone change for the better:

... and be a careGIVER, not a careTAKER!

(cf LOOPY - Caregiving vs Caretaking (2021-09-30), Navigating Ambiguous Loss (2021-12-28), ...)

- Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 19:34:14 (EDT)

2022-03-06 - Meditative Labrynth

~2.2 mi @ ~13.4 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Wheaton_Regional_Park_Brookside_Gardens_maze_2022-03-06.jpg"Tricky maze!" Sunday afternoon leads through Brookside Gardens where a new-ish labyrinth beckons, followed by hilly trails outside the deer fence.


- Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 19:17:56 (EDT)

2022-03-05 - New Graffiti, Annoyed Geese, Found Beer

~6 mi @ ~19 min/mi

Along Seneca Creek Trail at sunrise: Izaak Walton ("The Compleat Angler") and John Donne ("A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning") and Gerard Manley Hopkins ("Pied Beauty") and Laurence Sterne ("Tristram Shandy") and Robert Burns ("To a Louse") and Charles Dickens ... and mental models of other people, and of their mental models of us ... and what's so special about space ... and complementary-opposites in relationships ... and the value of inverting almost anything (cf: Category Theory!) ... and sisters and brothers and remembering and letting-go ...


- Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 12:22:43 (EDT)

2022-03-04 - Northwest Branch Back Yards

~2.5 mi @ ~12.7 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/stump-owl-carving_2022-03-04.jpg"Eagle and Owl!" A home on Remington Drive features tree stumps carved into strikingly big birds. Friday afternoon brings brisk breezes for a test trot downstream along Northwest Branch.
After a mile, spy a slightly-sketchy path – maybe used by neighborhood dog-walkers – and climb from creek to street. Speed-walk up the hills and jog down into the valleys.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/stump-eagle-carving_2022-03-04.jpg


- Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 09:00:50 (EDT)

2022-03-02 - Bode's Bench

~3.1 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"In memory of our beloved dog Bode – This was his favorite trail", says the plaque on the park bench. Upstream another marker reads, "In Honor of Jenna Madison Irene Luka – Always Remember to Look Up". At Cabin John Regional Park on a quiet Wednesday afternoon explore the Hawk Ridge, Gooseneck, and Cabin John Trails. Brown leaves blanket the earth.


- Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 06:37:08 (EDT)

We Are Made for One Another

In her 14 Feb 2022 NYT essay "A Valentine's P.S.A.: Instagram Is Not Your Friend Today" Margaret Renkl turns from the negatives of social media to the positive side of life, together, in this incredibly beautiful universe:

... The fullest happiness comes from a community – a real community of real people. Whether or not that community includes a partner, it definitely doesn't arise from an online platform that sows discord and sorrow, an algorithm that only deepens human despair.

That's what I used to write on Facebook at this time of year, though I don't do that anymore because the less time I spend on Facebook the happier I am. But if I still posted Valentine's Day greetings on a site swarming with public declarations of love, here is what I would write to anyone who is lonely, whose heart is broken, or who grieves a love gone too soon from this gorgeous, temporary world:

Whatever the world seems determined to tell us on this day for love that shuts so many people out, no one is alone. We are, all of us, made for one another.

You were made for me, and I was made for you, and we were both made for the grieving widow and the friendless child and the old man sleeping in the sunny library chair and the tired barista just barely leaning her hip against the counter and the teenager sneaking a smoke in the parking lot and the woman in high heels pumping gas and the cyclist pedaling head-down in the whoosh of passing traffic and the bored checkout clerk and the irritated mother whose child will not put on her shoes and the fog-breathed lineman in the bucket high above branches just on the verge of breaking into bud.

(cf How Great Thou Art (2005-03-16), This Is Water (2009-05-21), Big Ideas (2012-05-20), Being Still (2013-05-20), Finite Things in an Infinite Way (2016-12-16), Mantra - We Are One (2017-04-18), Mantra - Be Meta, Be Open, Be Love (2018-11-11), Distilled to Pure Love (2019-01-04), Be Kind (2021-02-27), Cup Full of Love (2021-08-20), ...)

- Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 05:34:43 (EDT)

2022-03-01 - New Trail, New Shoes

~2.0 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"Hi, Merle!" Pause at the Kensington Lodge on Howard at Knowles for a sunset selfie with #1 Son, then dash to Ken-Gar Palisades Park. Take the secret pathway on the north bank of the tributary stream and discover its exit in the bamboo grove behind Kaiser Permanente. In the Edith Throckmorton Neighborhood Park find a new meditation-maze at the playground. New trail shoes feel good!


- Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 06:43:43 (EDT)

2022-02-28 - Crocuses Arise

~1.9 mi @ ~13 min/mi

"I Brake for Beethoven!" says a bumper sticker celebrating the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Primrose/Grubb Road trail leads through the woods past signs warning of herbicide spraying to kill invasive plants. On Plymouth St NW orbit traffic circles to decorate the trackfile map.


- Sunday, April 17, 2022 at 06:35:15 (EDT)

Good Notation

Observations by Alfred North Whitehead in An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), Chapter 5, "The Symbolism of Mathematics":

By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and, in effect, increases the mental power of the race. Before the introduction of the Arabic notation, multiplication was difficult, and the division even of integers called into play the highest mathematical faculties. Probably nothing in the modern world would have more astonished a Greek mathematician than to learn that,
under the influence of compulsory education, a large proportion of the population of Western Europe could perform the operation of division for the largest numbers. This fact would have seemed to him a sheer impossibility. The consequential extension of the notation to decimal fractions was not accomplished till the seventeenth century. Our modern power of easy reckoning with decimal fractions is the almost miraculous result of the gradual discovery of a perfect notation. ...

... by the aid of symbolism, we can make transitions in reasoning almost mechanically, by the eye, which otherwise would call into play the higher faculties of the brain.

It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilisation advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle–they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.

(cf Good Notation (2001-01-06), Useful Doodles (2019-12-10), ...)

- Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 14:56:32 (EDT)

2022-02-27 - Candy Cane Criss-Cross

~2.8 mi @ ~14.3 min/mi

"Caution – Slippery Surface Ahead!" warns the yellow sign at the bridge over Rock Creek. 🐻 leads the ramble through the woods downstream and the return trip on the bikepath.


- Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 11:53:41 (EDT)

2022-02-26 - Chorus of Car Alarms

~3.0 mi @ ~13.7 min/mi

"We ALL Live Next Door 💘 Happy Valentine's Day, Neighbors!" says a sign in General Getty Park. Leave the car on Plyers Mill Rd and jog to meet 🐻y. Escort him for the first mile of his Saturday long run. Car alarms cascade in a chain-reaction cacophony.


- Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 05:13:08 (EDT)

2022-02-25 - Hot and Sour Soup, Gyoza, Crispy Beef, Thai Spring Rolls

~3.9 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Job Site Dress Code" says the sign at the elementary school construction fence, and depicts proper safety attire. Carry-out ordered en route isn't ready, so add a local loop, then pick up and zip home.

(trackfile) - ^z

- Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 05:05:06 (EDT)

Tethered Abstraction

Sage advice on how to think maturely about deep mathematical concepts from THE RISING SEA: Foundations of Algebraic Geometry by Ravi Vakil:

The purpose of this book is to give you a thorough foundation in these powerful ideas. Do not be seduced by the lotus-eaters into infatuation with untethered abstraction. Hold tight to your geometric motivation as you learn the formal structures which have proved to be so effective in studying fundamental questions. When introduced to a new idea, always ask why you should care. Do not expect an answer right away, but demand an answer eventually. Try at least to apply any new abstraction to some concrete example you can understand well.

Understanding algebraic geometry is often thought to be hard because it consists of large complicated pieces of machinery. In fact the opposite is true; to switch metaphors, rather than being narrow and deep, algebraic geometry is shallow but extremely broad. It is built out of a large number of very small parts, in keeping with Grothendieck's vision of mathematics. It is a challenge to hold the entire organic structure, with its messy interconnections, in your head.

(cf Think Cleanly (2022-03-01), Learn by Doing (2022-03-16), ...)

- Monday, April 11, 2022 at 17:34:33 (EDT)

2022-02-24 - Please Feed the Squirrels

~3.8 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Please Feed the Squirrels!" says a backyard fence sign, where a mailbox stores peanuts to distribute. A van in front of "Nothing But Bundt" claims to be "fueled by frosting". The wet weekday afternoon trek brings home ABC: apples 🍎, bananas 🍌, and cookies 🍪!


- Monday, April 11, 2022 at 07:25:15 (EDT)

2022-02-23 - Allen Chapel Cemetery

~2 mi @ ~13 min/mi

"Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) was established on Dayton Street in Wheaton in 1870. ... The founding members are buried in the cemetery in front of the church." [1] [2] Make a midday dash around a new neighborhood, beginning at the church grounds and along the back edge of Wheaton Forest Park. Rediscover the Glen Haven Neighborhood Park 2021-09-25 - Milking Stations.


- Monday, April 11, 2022 at 07:05:33 (EDT)

2022-02-22 - Pupusas

~2.4 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Gentlemen Beware: Ladies Lift Here!" Tuesday morning's trek to Java Nation leads past Legendary Fitness where a muscular poster decorates the front window. A bus ride brings lunch home.


- Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 05:39:00 (EDT)

2022-02-21 - Thoughts, Hopes, Dreams

~2.1 mi @ ~14.2 min/mi

"Leave Your Thoughts, Hopes, Dreams" invites a mailbox attached to a Sligo Creek park bench. A quiet Monday afternoon ramble finds spray-painted bikes as lawn sculptures in the hilly neighborhood near Piney Branch Road.


- Saturday, April 09, 2022 at 21:22:22 (EDT)

Admit and Atone

From Chapter 14 of Lundy Bancroft's book Why Does He Do That?, some important steps to go through for changing bad behavior, atoning for it, and becoming a better person:

  1. Admit fully what was done
  2. Admit that it was done on purpose, as a choice, without making excuses, being honest about motives
  3. Acknowledge that it was wrong and stop blaming others
  4. Accept others' right to be angry about it, and truly acknowledge the effects of what was done
  5. Accept the consequences of it
  6. Devote long-term and serious effort to making compensation for the damages that were done
  7. Lay aside demands for forgiveness
  8. Treat others consistently well in the future
  9. Relinquish negative views of others

(cf Relationship Repair (2022-03-09), Life and Worth (2022-03-23), You Are Brave (2022-03-30), ...)

- Friday, April 08, 2022 at 06:21:44 (EDT)

2022-02-20 - Rock Creek Rally

~3.7 mi @ ~13 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/heart-red-on-a-shed_2022-02-20.jpg"Heart, red, on a shed!" 🐻y waits patiently for one photo op after another, and sets a brisk pace between. Sunday morning along Rock Creek Trail includes a side trip to Dewey Rd where a cache of sticks awaits passing dogs.


- Thursday, April 07, 2022 at 05:56:33 (EDT)

Chronos and Kairos

Poet Wilmer Mills (1969-2011), dying of cancer, writes in "Living in Eternity" about Time and Language and Presence and Love:

... In Greek thought there are two ways of viewing time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos Time is chronological and measurable. Kairos Time is more open-ended and expansive such that one can experience an "eternity" in a brief instant. It is not a cold finality at all. While we mainly live in Chronos Time, it is possible to experience Kairos as a place in which to abide and to breathe deeply without respect to calendars and deadlines. Too often we live only for the clock and fail to notice how, in the absence of incremental time, we would be more able to see the pattern in the rug, how the stained glass windows of our lives make sense as wholes and not as mere pieces.

But no one needs to get a terminal cancer to enter this place. The simplest way to enter the fullness of time is by breathing our words aloud to each other, and often, with love and hope. The miracle of spoken language is that it insists on face-to-face contact, or, in the case of a letter, it brings the speaker's spirit into the room in a real sense and in real time at the right velocity, the speed of breathing. It has the tempo of people eating a meal together. In this sense, Kairos Time and spoken language are two sides of the same Koinonia.

(cf Plenty of Time (2009-03-09), Dimensionless and Therefore Infinite (2010-02-03), ...)

- Wednesday, April 06, 2022 at 06:59:07 (EDT)

2022-02-19 - Northwest Branch Trail Sunrise

~3.4 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"It's all so easy now!" New bridges and other trail improvements make a chilly coffee-in-hand stroll far more straightforward than in years past. A trio of bunny-musicians play concertina, flute, and lute in a front yard. A cat-butler guards a door. Friends breathe as one and share sorrow-joys. Thank you, 🦄!


- Saturday, April 02, 2022 at 08:49:01 (EDT)

You Are Brave

Addressing an abused spouse, Chapter 5 of Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft and Judith Patrissi (2011) concludes with important, encouraging thoughts:

You are brave. We know that we are looking with you at some painful patterns that are not what anyone hopes for when they start a relationship. We have a vision for you. We can see your courage. We write this thinking about your finding your way, and getting the clarity and freedom and love that you deserve. We believe in you.

Earlier in that chapter the authors define five principles of healthy relationships:

  1. In a relationship, each partner is responsible for his or her own actions. You don't cause what your partner does, and he doesn't cause what you do. Neither of you gets to blame his or her behavior on the other.
  2. Feelings are not an excuse for destructive or unfair behavior. "I was angry," "I was frustrated," "I was hurt," "I was disappointed"–these are all valid feelings, but they don't justify insulting a partner, giving her the silent treatment, or frightening her (even by accident).
  3. Behavior in a relationship cannot be justified by what the other person did. Two wrongs do not make a right, and one injury can't excuse another.
  4. A healthy relationship involves roughly equal exchange. Each partner has to do his or her share of the listening, the generous giving, the showing of kindness, the forgiving, the child care, the giving of sexual pleasure, the showing of affection, the making of sacrifices. Within reason, things should come out even.
  5. For a relationship to be healthy, a comfortable balance has to be found between holding on to the things that matter to us the most, and making some sacrifices and adjustments so that the other person can get what he or she wants and needs. Neither person should have to give up too much.
  6. The two members of a couple are equally valuable human beings with equally important thoughts, opinions, and strengths, and equally valuable judgment. Both partners have a right to equal say over all decisions that affect both people or affect the family.

In contrast, Bancroft and Patrissi say that abusers believe:

Near the end of Chapter 5 they suggest:

If you are coming to the conclusion that your partner is abusive, it does not mean that he is a bad person, or that you need to stop feeling love for him. It does mean that you will need to face up to the fact that he is not good for you, that he is a toxic force in your life. He will either have to give up his abusiveness or learn to live without you. You may reach the point where you decide you have to stay away from him permanently, for the sake of your own mental health; but even then you are likely to continue having caring and loving feelings for him–from a safe distance.


Whether you leave or stay, we want to provide you with a way to honor the struggling human being for whom you obviously care while honoring yourself at least that much.


... even when you are successful, when you find answers that provide you with a fairly accurate map of the patterns of behaviors that have disappointed you, you may remain troubled. One reason is that the clearer you become, the more you experience a sense of loneliness and growing distance from your partner, as you come to realizations about him that he is not ready to face up to yet, or has only begun to look at. Your awareness is way ahead of his, and as a result you can see how much work it's going to take for him to fix it. You wonder anxiously, "Can he do it? Will he?"

Your awareness also tends to bring you a sense of loneliness.

Still, hang in there. Finding clear patterns is validating and reassuring of your sanity. This work of clarifying what is going on with him is for you. It is intended to help you see better what is happening with your partner so that you can make your decision about going or staying with more certainty about what exactly you are keeping and what you are leaving behind.

Precisely. It's all about awareness and about the person closest to you: your self. Seeing clearly, knowing deeply, and choosing wisely.

(cf Relationship Repair (2022-03-09), Life and Worth (2022-03-23), ...)

- Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 05:42:21 (EDT)

Metacognitive Experiences

In the book Metacognition: Core Readings by Thomas Nelson (1992):

... metacognitive experiences are especially likely to occur in situations that stimulate a lot of careful, highly conscious thinking ... in novel roles or situations, where every major step you take requires planning beforehand and evaluation afterwards; where decisions and actions are at once weighty and risky; .... Such situations provide many opportunities for thoughts and feelings about your own thinking to arise and, in many cases, call for the kind of quality control that metacognitive experiences can help supply. ...

... John Flavell, Stanford University, "Metacognition and Cognitive Monitoring", American Psychologist, 34, p. 906 (1979).

(cf Reflective Students (2004-03-17), Great Thoughts Time (2013-11-29), Metacognitive Banter (2014-02-04), Metacognition and Open Mindedness (2015-11-15), Seeking Negative Space (2016-04-21), Teach Yourself How to Learn (2018-03-05), Metacognitive Awareness (2018-05-19), Metacognitive Classroom (2019-09-06), Metacognitive Reading (2021-10-21), ...)

- Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 06:19:49 (EDT)

2022-02-18 - Emoji Grocery Shopping List

~3 mi @ ~16 min/mi

🍌 + 🥜 + 🍎 + 🥗 + 🌭 + ☕️ + 🥨 + 🍪! A brown palette paints the woods and a frigid-cold wind blows.


- Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 06:49:31 (EDT)

2022-02-16 - Belmont

~2.5 mi @ ~13 min/mi

"BELMONT - 1906 - Black businessmen Alexander Satterwhite, Michael Dumas, James Neill, and purchased 31 acres along Wisconsin Avenue to build a 'High-Class' suburb for African Americans in 1906. Despite threats of violence, at least 43 people bought lots. The development collapsed in 1909 when the previous owner, the Chevy Chase Land Company, refused to clear the title. Belmont exemplified the ambition of Washington's early 20th century Black community and foreshadowed a century of housing segregation." So reads a sign seen during a brisk mid-day Wednesday walk-jog. The neighborhood between the Chevy Chase Country Club and the DC line features arty lawn sculptures.


- Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 06:50:04 (EDT)

Life and Worth

Chapter 1 of the 2011 book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft and Judith Patrissi offers good thoughts about relationships and choices – first among which perhaps is:

Your own life is important,
        and you are worth it.

There's the value of taking abstract knowledge and making it real via:

... the rules of real-life relationships:

... and the criteria of a healthy relationship:

More notes and quotes to follow ...

(cf Relationship Repair (2022-03-09), ...)

- Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 06:42:44 (EDT)

2022-02-15 - Slanted Sloped Surface

~2.2 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"WARNING – SLANTED/SLOPED SURFACE" says the sign, alliteratively. Take the long way to DaVinci Pizza & Wings, past the cemetery where a tongue-twisting tombstone similarly suggests: "Great Loves Live On".


- Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 14:00:30 (EDT)

2022-02-14 - The Mean Streets of East Village

~2.2 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"... cruising the mean streets of East Village. A drug deal goes down on the corner of Plum Creek and EV and a hooker tiredly drags on a cigarette. Litter blows in the breeze along the cratered street as I make my way in the slums. ..." wrote 🦘 in 2006 of a training run. A frigid Valentine's Day gift-to-self leads from the elementary school past Foxkit Creek and an icicle-fringed gazebo along snowy sidewalks.


- Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 13:54:31 (EDT)

Learn by Doing

Comments on the importance of exercises, from the Preface to THE RISING SEA: Foundations of Algebraic Geometry by Ravi Vakil:

Finally, if you attempt to read this without working through a significant number of exercises (see §0.0.1), I will come to your house and pummel you with [Gr-EGA] until you beg for mercy. It is important to not just have a vague sense of what is true, but to be able to actually get your hands dirty. To quote Mark Kisin: "You can wave your hands all you want, but it still won't make you fly."


0.0.1. The importance of exercises. This book has a lot of exercises. I have found that unless I have some problems I can think through, ideas don't get fixed in my mind. Some exercises are trivial – some experts find this offensive, but I find this desirable. A very few necessary ones may be hard, but the reader should have been given the background to deal with them – they are not just an excuse to push hard material out of the text. The exercises are interspersed with the exposition, not left to the end. Most have been extensively field-tested. The point of view here is one I explored with Kedlaya and Poonen in [KPV], a book that was ostensibly about problems, but secretly a case for how one should learn and do and think about mathematics. Most people learn by doing, rather than just passively reading. Judiciously chosen problems can be the best way of guiding the learner toward enlightenment.

(cf Gateways to Mathematics (2004-05-20), Expect Nothing (2012-02-20), Enso (2012-02-29), Potentially Useful Ideas (2018-06-26), Small Eyes Notation (2020-02-22), Think Cleanly (2022-03-01), ...)

- Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 05:56:48 (EDT)

2022-02-12 - Kengla, Kerry, Caren

~3.7 mi @ ~22 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Kengla-Trail_stream-crossing_2022-02-12z.jpg"Binoculars and bird guides!" A box on the Kengla House Nature Center front doorstep holds educational aids. 🦘 and 🦄 meet at dawn to explore the Kengla Trail.

"GOT MUD? Tracks on the ground, turn around! Stay off the trails when wet or muddy!" warns a sign at the trailhead. Look upwards at the InterCounty Connector (ICC) underpass to see the bridge where 🐰 looked downwards a month ago (2022-01-11 - Eye See Icy). Pause for pics of graffiti, and miss the markers showing where to ford the stream to the west bank. Turn back at Norbeck Meadows Park. Share mindful conversation about horses, friends, and life.


- Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 06:47:39 (EDT)

2022-02-11 - Taco Trek

~3.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Don't honk at me – I'm having a crisis!" says the crying raccoon on a bumper sticker, pondering a dandelion. Ramble north, then west, to pick up lunch carnitas tacos at Java Nation, and close the loop with a bus ride home.


- Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 06:29:29 (EDT)

2022-02-10 - Candy, Books, and Thai

~1.9 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero," says a front-yard garden painted post. Meander around downtown Silver Spring between picking up candy at Velati's, adding a meeting announcement flier to the (soon-to-be-renamed after Tuskegee Airman Brig. Gen. Charles McGee) Silver Spring Public Library bulletin board, and picking up carry-out dinner at Charm Thai restaurant.

"Say yes to what matters," reads the front window of Thayer & Spring apartments. Yes, and...!


- Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 07:42:05 (EDT)

2022-02-09 - Walk with Son

~1.6 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"Let's cut through the woods!" DS/Merle joins in a philosophical-conversational loop in the neighborhood between University and Arcola, along Sligo Creek Trail. Then, it's time for Taco Bell drive-through!


- Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 07:29:14 (EDT)

2022-02-08 - Potbelly Carry-Out

~3.6 mi @ ~17 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Ellsworth-Place_mural_Silver-Spring_2022-02-08.jpg"Octopi!" Orange and yellow sea-creature-themed metal sculpture-chairs decorate the plaza in front of the abandoned Discovery Communications building. An arty mural sprawls high above the Ellsworth Place pedestrian plaza. Zig-zag trek to downtown Silver Spring fetches Potbelly's for dinner, returning via the free county bus.


- Friday, March 11, 2022 at 06:28:52 (EST)

2022-02-07 - Coffee to Croissants

~2.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Do More of What Makes You Happy!" advises a sign. Monday morning's trek starts with Starbucks and ends with Java Nation during DW's doctor's appointment.


- Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 05:48:56 (EST)

Relationship Repair

It's all about balance. Useful definitions, thoughtful suggestions, and empathetic words of reassurance – in a nutshell, that's the Lundy Bancroft and Judith Patrissi book Should I Stay or Should I Go? (2011), addressed mainly to women in troubled marriages and perhaps more widely relevant. Key points from the "Introduction":

You are going to be okay, whatever happens. In this book, we will guide you in how to give the best possible chance to your relationship while also making sure to take equally good care of yourself. Some days you may feel that your life depends on fixing your current relationship, but it doesn't ...

... followed by success criteria and a taxonomy of trouble:

... a sharp-eyed combination of objectivity and kindness. More notes and quotes to follow ...

(cf Aikido Spirit (2003-12-09), Living in the Light (2015-02-23), Mindfulness Retreat - August 2016 (2016-08-31), Passage to India - People Are Important (2017-10-22), Aikido Zen (2019-04-05), ...)

- Wednesday, March 09, 2022 at 05:35:46 (EST)

2022-02-06 - Andante Schubert

~1.3 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"No Longer by My Side – Forever in My Heart" says the lawn ornament, surrounded by statuettes of squirrels and puppies and gnomes. Schubert is only a few months old, still working on increasing his mileage. "Peace on Earth" and "Wu-Tang is Forever" read front-yard signage, as 🌼 leads a Sunday afternoon survey of the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria.


- Monday, March 07, 2022 at 06:57:27 (EST)

2022-02-05 - Kengla Trail Loop

~4.2 mi @ ~15.1 min/mi

"Hello, Deer!" Explore the Kengla Trail midday Saturday, on the way to drop off income tax paperwork and pick up 🦬 for lunch. In a mini-mansion partly-finished neighborhood just north of the ICC, park at an enigmatic mini-traffic circle. (Maybe it's meant for future road expansion?) Take the paved path, avoiding goose droppings. Trot and walk to the natural-surface segment, scare a small herd of stags and does, cross carefully over creeks, and discover a rusted-out car body in the woods.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Kengla-Trail_rusty-car-decals-stickers-woods_2022-02-05.jpg


- Sunday, March 06, 2022 at 07:15:40 (EST)

LOOPY - Anchoring Bias

http://zhurnaly.com/images/LOOPY/LOOPY_anchoring-bias.png"Anchoring" is the name of a cognitive bias in which people cling excessively to an existing judgment. It's common, it's difficult to avoid, and it's important to be aware of. To load a "live" version of this LOOPY Anchoring Bias concept cartoon, go to LOOPY_Anchoring-Bias.

(sketch thanks to LOOPY, an ultralight tool for systems thinking ©2022 MITRE Corporation ...)

- Saturday, March 05, 2022 at 16:18:01 (EST)

Life Is Hard, and It's OK

A lovely Margaret Renkl New York Times column "The Meaning of Lent to This Unchurched Christian" muses:

... Ash Wednesday isn't a day for rebellion. It's a day for fasting, reflection and prayer, a somber reminder that our lives are brief, our days running out. "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." ...


Life is hard for all living things. To make it harder – knowingly and willingly, for even a contained period of time – is a uniquely human exercise. We want to be better than we are. We want living to mean more than surviving. There is something truly beautiful about that impulse, whatever form it takes.


... one summer afternoon ... I was sitting in my parents' backyard, listening to a mockingbird sing. Suddenly, inexplicably, a feeling of peace came over me. A feeling of perfect, absolute peace. No voice of reassurance came with it, and no words formed in my own mind to explain it. But if there had been words, they would've sounded something like: "It's OK. Don't worry. It's OK."


... Ash Wednesday tells me only to keep trying: to believe, to be better, not to give up hope. ...

(cf Mantra - Give Instead of Giving Up (2020-02-25), Precious and Finite (2020-04-16), ...)

- Friday, March 04, 2022 at 06:02:35 (EST)

2022-02-05 - Icy Sligo

~3.4 mi @ ~19.1 min/mi

"Frozen Fingerprints!" Rime on a puddle forms contour-loops and whorls after a chilly night, as 🐻 leads a loop around his 'hood on a brisk Saturday morn.


- Wednesday, March 02, 2022 at 06:21:10 (EST)

Think Cleanly

From the Preface to THE RISING SEA: Foundations of Algebraic Geometry by Ravi Vakil:

Because our goal is to be comprehensive, and to understand everything one should know after a first course, it will necessarily take longer to get to interesting sample applications. You may be misled into thinking that one has to work this hard to get to these applications – it is not true! You should deliberately keep an eye out for examples you would have cared about before. This will take some time and patience.

As you learn algebraic geometry, you should pay attention to crucial stepping stones. Of course, the steps get bigger the farther you go.

Chapter 1. Category theory is only language, but it is language with an embedded logic. Category theory is much easier once you realize that it is designed to formalize and abstract things you already know. The initial chapter on category theory prepares you to think cleanly. For example, when someone names something a "cokernel" or a "product", you should want to know why it deserves that name, and what the name really should mean. The conceptual advantages of thinking this way will gradually become apparent over time. Yoneda's Lemma – and more generally, the idea of understanding an object through the maps to it – will play an important role.


Pathological examples are useful to know. On mountain highways, there are tall sticks on the sides of the road designed for bad weather. In winter, you cannot see the road clearly, and the sticks serve as warning signs: if you cross this line, you will die! Pathologies and (counter)examples serve a similar goal. They also serve as a reality check, when confronting a new statement, theorem, or conjecture, whose veracity you may doubt.

... more quotes and notes to follow!

(cf Ultimate Abstraction (2017-08-24), If You Need a Theorem (2018-11-08), Macro vs Micro (2019-02-03), Why Care about Category Theory (2019-03-03), Conceptual Building Blocks (2019-11-05), ...)

- Tuesday, March 01, 2022 at 21:41:05 (EST)

2022-02-02 - Chevy Chase Country Club

~2.9 mi @ ~14.8 min/mi

"If a private can have such a lovely residence, imagine what a corporal or sergeant might get!" Early Wednesday afternoon a ramble near Chevy Chase Village leads past mansions, tennis courts, gazebos, and a golf course.


- Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 08:00:44 (EST)

2022-02-01 - Nolte Park

~2.0 mi @ ~19.9 min/mi

"Out. Of. Breath." Apologize during a hilly circuit for puffing during an online audio meet-up discussion. Explore eastern Silver Spring early Tuesday afternoon on the way to pickup of a carry-out lunch.


- Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 05:15:10 (EST)

Liberal Party, Conservative Party

From a conversation between Bret Stephens and Gail Collins, in the New York Times, 7 Feb 2022, Stephens suggests:

... I've made the case before that America needs a Liberal Party – "liberal" in the old-fashioned sense of believing in free expression, free enterprise, free living and a free world. But the truth is that America could also use a proper Conservative Party, in the true sense of the word "conservative": Burkean in its belief in the importance of manners, morals and gradual change; Arnoldian in its respect for high culture; Smithian not just in its devotion to free markets but also its belief in the cultivation of moral sympathies. ...

Fascinating adjectives, "Burkean" (cf Extraordinary Man), "Arnoldian" (cf Wikipedia), and "Smithian" (cf Upheavals of Thought & Efficiency and Niceness).

- Friday, February 25, 2022 at 17:41:05 (EST)

2022-01-31 - No Solicitors

~4.0 mi @ ~17.8 min/mi

"A British lawyer almost slipped on your icy front steps? But you have a 'NO SOLICITORS' sign!" Hydration (🍺) delivery to Chez 🐻 succeeds on a frigid Monday evening with temps hovering in the low 30's.


- Friday, February 25, 2022 at 17:18:45 (EST)

2022-01-30 - Lonely Cat

~3.8 mi @ ~19.3 min/mi

"Hello, Kitty!" On a Sunday afternoon neighborhood walkabout 🐻 pets a super-friendly feline that follows us down the street.


- Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 15:22:47 (EST)

2022-01-28 - Have a Grate Day

~3.7 mi @ ~14.2 min/mi

"No Walking or Biking over Grate – CAUTION!" warn stencils on the asphalt where a deer barrier has been installed. Inside the grounds of the Audubon Naturalist Society a memorial sign on a new bench reads: "In loving memory of Bonnie Mathieson – Some bring a light so great that even after they are gone, the light remains."http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/No-Walking-or-Biking-over-Grate_2022-01-28.jpg


- Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 06:57:15 (EST)

Folk Economics

See "Crypto and the Power of Folk Economics" (NYT, 7 Feb 2022) for important wisdom by Tressie McMillan Cottom on the dangers of oversimplifying complex systems, using bad metaphors (and bad models), allowing deceptive behavior to go unchecked, and accepting code-shifting for naked profit. Society needs regulations to protect the most vulnerable. Cottom writes of recent bubbles:

... a prime breeding ground for predatory schemes. In a recent newsletter, Paul Krugman likened crypto to subprime mortgages: low-information borrowers with narrow margins for losing money taking on risky financial products that extract profit for elite asset holders at the top. One might say, the risk and reward structure is shaped like a pyramid. ...


Folk economics refers to the very human impulse to describe complex economic processes in lay terms. The most popular example is talking about the national budget like a household budget. ... we like thinking about a system as complex as the budget in simple terms. Doing so makes us feel informed and in control. Knowing just enough to use a system is more than sufficient for everyday life. But oversimplifying complex financial instruments and the obscure rules of markets makes us vulnerable. We start to believe that these things are as intuitive as our folk models, and do not need oversight or even a clear-use case. ...

... like many other bubbles and frauds in the past, and like many examples of bad science ...

(cf Money Wisdom (2001-05-20), Bubble Busters (2002-02-06), Back to Normal (2008-11-13), Harry Browne Rules of Financial Safety (2019-12-24), Shiller Price Earnings Ratio (2021-03-29), ...)

- Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 07:04:16 (EST)

2022-01-25 - Tiny Happy Family

~2.4 mi @ ~14.1 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/tiny-happy-family-praying_Chevy-Chase_lawn-art_2022-01-25.jpg"Thought you were Graham Nash!" says a walker in Chevy Chase. Or maybe a ZZ Top? The US flag headband, the long gray beard, the wrinkled bald dome, all suggest bygone rocker days. A wee stone family prays and smiles mindfully in a front yard.


- Monday, February 21, 2022 at 05:34:28 (EST)

2022-01-23 - Chilly Survey

~3.4 mi @ ~21.3 min/mi

"Do turtles live under the ice?" 🐻y wonders. A quick circuit of the neighborhood near Sligo Creek Parkway finds a family of lawn-ornament bunnies guarding a frozen bird bath.


- Monday, February 21, 2022 at 05:19:10 (EST)

Urn under the Arm of the River God

... a powerful image from Finn Brunton's journal:

George Eliot's remark in a review of Robert Mackay's Progress of the Intellect: "like extracts from his common-place book, which must be, as Southey said of his own, an urn under the arm of a river-god, rather than like a digested result of study, intended to inform the general reader." Southey's specific phrase is in vol. IV, and a point of pride: his work has not exhausted either his own intellectual resources or the contents of his commonplace book. The former is like "a living spring," and the latter like the urn under the River God's arm, gushing water as he walks. The living river spills forth from it, full of fish and leaves and saltating stones.

... possibly quoted from Nicholson Baker's essay "Narrow Ruled" in his American Scholar (Autumn 2000) column "At Large and At Small".

(cf [1], [2], and the original in The Writings of George Eliot: essays and uncollected papers by George Eliot and John Walter Cross (1908), ...)

- Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 06:09:14 (EST)

2022-01-22 - Icy Rock Creek Lakes

~3.7 mi @ ~21.9 min/mi

"Love Shack!" Sharp-eyed 🦘 spies a structure by Avery Road, and despite temps in the low teens it's a mandatory photo-op stop. Starting at sunrise from Lake Bernard Frank, natural-surface tributary trails lead downstream to Rock Creek, then uphill on the icy bikepath to Lake Needwood. Pause for pics, and close the loop via narrow streets, leaning out to let speedy pick-up trucks blast past.http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Avery-Road_shack_Caren_2022-01-22.jpg


- Friday, February 18, 2022 at 06:45:57 (EST)

2022-01-21 - Gaithersburg Downtown Crowne Rio Park

~2.0 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Gaithersburg-Crowne-bear_statue_2022-01-21.jpg"Brrrr!" The lake at Rio Park is frozen; geese are walking nearby. Big bronze statues decorate the benches. A speedy trek prepares for bison dinner from Ted's.


- Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 08:25:23 (EST)

Root Access to the Future

"I'm trying to get root access to the future.
I want to raid its system of thought.

... from Jude Milhon (1939-2003) in her cypherpunk-hacker persona during a brief interview "Modem Grrrl", Wired (1995), as quoted in the front of Digital Cash by Finn Brunton ...

(cf Crypto Quip (2001-04-08), ...)

- Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 05:26:34 (EST)

2022-01-19 - Chevy Chase Ramble

~3 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"Girl with Hoop!" The lovely-curvy sculpture by Jenny Read catches afternoon sunbeams and throws them back in Elm Street Park. A unicorn-themed insulated bottle lies frozen by a bus stop. Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall, wearing a rainbow mask.


- Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 06:52:59 (EST)

2022-01-18 - Icy Wheaton Regional Park

~3.4 mi @ ~14.6 min/mi

"See the beauty!" and "Pause to consciously improve your well-being" advises a Garden Mindfulness sign, which continues:

Paths and sidewalks are mostly clear of slippery ice patches. Fences have gaps a bit too narrow to squeeze through. The anti-deer grate on the road at Brookside Gardens is still there, and a decade after first crossing (2011-04-23 - Oh Deer Gate) there is now a pedestrian boardwalk around it.


- Monday, February 14, 2022 at 07:13:10 (EST)

Travel Light

Travel Light by Naomi Michison is beautiful young adult story, published in 1952, recommended in This is How You Lose the Time War. It's the story of a fiercely independent young princess named Halla. The official card catalog entry characterizes it under "human-animal relationships", "abandoned children", and "feral children". A sample of Michison's style from Chapter 2, where Halla's dragon parent Uggi has a Hard Conversation with her:

Halla stretched her arms and the bracelets clinked and the rings flashed in the sunshine. "I'm glad I'm a dragon," she said.

"Never forget, child," said old Uggi, "not only to think dragon thoughts, but also that you are part of a dragon's treasure. My treasure. And remember, if a man were to see you, he would immediately try to steal everything you are wearing and carry it away and probably murder you as well."

"I'd breathe fire on him," said Halla, "when will you teach me to breathe fire? I'm tired of history."

"It is very sad," said Uggi, "but I cannot teach you to breathe fire."

"Why not?" asked Halla. "Is it because I was a bear once? If only you would show me how to breathe fire, I would try to stop eating berries and getting my paws full of earth!" For the dragons were always speaking to her about these habits.

Uggi sighed, a hot, hot sigh that burnt a small patch of lichen that had survived so far on the side of the rock. He felt that, in spite of the way he had brought Halla up as a dragon, the moment was come when she must learn the facts of life, hard though it would be for him to tell them to her. He went on: "It is time, my child, that I told you something. Have you noticed, when you look at yourself in the shining mirror, that you are not like me nor indeed like any of the dragons?"

"Not very like," said Halla, admiring her long toes, which were decorated with gold and emerald toe-rings, but which were not quite long enough, nor nearly sharp enough for claws. "Perhaps I shall be more like you when I am older. I think I can feel my wings growing," she added, looking backwards over her shoulder and scratching her back.

Uggi the dragon wept a sizzling tear. "My child, I am afraid you will never grow to look like a dragon, for the truth is, you are not a dragon."

"But–" said Halla, and her lip trembled, "I feel like a dragon. You always tell me I'm a dragon. Oh, I know I'm a dragon!"

"Alas!" said Uggi. "That is not enough. Though it is something. I am afraid that what I have to say will upset you very much, my dear. You must be brave, brave as a good dragon. The truth is that you are a child of man and only by adoption one of us. But never mind," he said eagerly, "you are quite safe. You shall never go back to them. Unless, that is, you want to do so."

Halla burst into tears and threw her arms round Uggi's neck. "I could never possibly want to go back, never!" she said. "Why did you have to tell me? Why can't you turn me into a dragon?"

Travel Light is funny, wise, and thought-provoking. It offers Norse and Christian religious elements in addition to princesses and dragons, plus echoes of E. Nesbit and Michael Emde. Delightful reading, for the young at heart of any age!

- Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 21:28:59 (EST)

2022-01-16 - Temps in the Teens

~3.2 mi @ ~13.2 min/mi

🐻 leads a Sunday morning dash along a closed segment of Beach Drive near Ken-Gar, with 18°F on the thermometer. New graffiti graces the warehouse by the railroad tracks.


- Friday, February 11, 2022 at 06:34:50 (EST)

Build Resilience

Suggestions for "How to Build Resilience in Midlife" by Tara Parker-Pope (NYT, 2017-07-25), quoting Adam Grant, Dennis Charney, Steven Southwick, Jack Groppel, and others:

(cf Emotional Intelligence (2015-04-14), Sheryl Sandberg on the Hard Days & Comments on Sheryl Sandberg on the Hard Days (2016-05-22), 2016-05-21 - Personalization, Pervasiveness, Permanence (2016-06-05), Positive Thinking Techniques (2017-09-21), Resilience Skills (2020-12-14), Mantra - Together, Lucky, Loved (2021-11-06), Navigating Ambiguous Loss (20212-12-28), ...)

- Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 06:45:51 (EST)

2022-01-15 - Big Rock

~2.8 mi @ ~20.4 min/mi

"Strategic Detergents?" A misheard word by 🦄 suggests humorous meta-models for the process of strategic deterrence, e.g., "Turn the Tide before War!" And more seriously, deterring someone is all about mental models of their mental models of one's own mental models, and maybe even more meta. A sunrise walkabout with temps in the low 20's discovers the Big Rock, eponymously near Big Rock Rd, just outside the Beltway in the Four Corners neighborhood and halfway down the valley cut by Northwest Branch. Graffiti on it advises "Stay in School". Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of compassion, mindfully guards a front yard.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Big_Rock_Northwest_Branch_Four_Corners_2022-01-15.jpg


- Wednesday, February 09, 2022 at 07:51:27 (EST)

2022-01-14 - Potbelly Pickup

~0.7 mi @ ~17 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Downtown_Silver_Spring_elevator_lights_2022-01-14.jpg"A Wreck and an Italian sub!" Arrive early to get carry-out sandwiches, in time to cut through alleys and survey a few blocks of early evening lights and curvy artwork in downtown Silver Spring.


- Tuesday, February 08, 2022 at 06:22:32 (EST)

For Positive Thinking

From "5 Ways to Stop Spiraling Negative Thoughts from Taking Control" on Healthline, some useful advice by Jamie Elmer:

Each of these comes with more detailed suggestions on how to implement them: turn "should" into "try to"; recognize "Automatic Negative Thoughts" (ANTs) by noting situation-mood-reaction; weigh the evidence for/against negativity; understand and embrace worries ("Oh, hello anxiety, what do we need to do to function together today?"); and make small positive steps. Be gentle to yourself! Remember:

It's OK to feel sad.
    It's OK to feel anxious.
        Take a break and
give yourself another day.

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), Positive Thinking Techniques (2017-09-21), Ten Resolutions by Clyde Kilby (2017-10-16), See the Good in Others (2018-01-02), Mister Pollyanna (2020-01-28),Worry, Stress, Anxiety (2020-03-04), Be More Optimistic (2020-07-02), At the Back of the North Wind - 5 (2020-07-04), Resilience Skills (2020-12-14), ...)

- Monday, February 07, 2022 at 06:50:08 (EST)

2022-01-11 - Eye See Icy

~2.0 mi @ ~13.2 min/mi

"Try the Kengla Trail?" The Intercounty Connector's so-called "ICC Trail" runs alongside noisy heavy traffic. Overpasses are ice-glazed slippery for an out-and-back brisk Tuesday afternoon jog, start-finish at Emery Lane, no other souls seen on the freeway shoulder except those inside speedy metal boxes. From an overpass glimpse dog-walkers follow a meandering natural-surface pathway, the Kengla Trail, alongside a tributary stream that leads to Lake Bernard Frank.


- Sunday, February 06, 2022 at 08:25:38 (EST)

2022-01-10 - Icy Near the ICC

~2.4 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi

"ICC Trail" say signs along Emory Lane. On the way home from the dentist, circle the neighborhood between Georgia Avenue and the Intercounty Connector. Jog where the ground is clear and tiptoe cautiously across ice-covered segments of sidewalks and paths.


- Saturday, February 05, 2022 at 06:13:51 (EST)

Small Wisdom

Tiny things that matter, from the poetic-archaic King James translation of the Bible, Proverbs 30:24-28:

There be four things which are little upon the earth,
  but they are exceeding wise:
    the ants are a people not strong,
        yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
    the conies are but a feeble folk,
        yet make they their houses in the rocks;
    the locusts have no king,
        yet go they forth all of them by bands;
    the spider taketh hold with her hands,
        and is in kings' palaces.

(cf Your Own Bible (2007-02-13), ...)

- Friday, February 04, 2022 at 06:15:40 (EST)

2022-01-08 - Caught in a Chimney

~4.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"What are those fire trucks and piles of bricks all about?" 🐻, 🔥, and 🐰 figure out the mystery only later: an erstwhile burgler got stuck in a chimney, and rescuers had to dismantle the mantel to extricate him! Saturday's three-part walkabout explores a corner of Four Corners for a sunrise coffee circuit, then loops twice around 🐻's lair, first at a brisk walk, next at a gentle jog.

(trackfile & trackfile & trackfile)

- Thursday, February 03, 2022 at 06:44:57 (EST)

2022-01-02 - Laps

~2.2 mi @ ~11.6 min/mi

"Four Quarters?!" Early Sunday afternoon the Silver Spring International Middle School track beckons. After a mile at ~2.4 minutes/lap (with half-lap recovery walks) and a cooldown stagger around the neighborhood, get back on the road to pick up hydration supplies at the local Denizens microbrewery.


- Wednesday, February 02, 2022 at 06:36:59 (EST)

Flowers of Quiet Happiness

From the conclusion of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery:

Anne's horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home from Queen's; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it. The joys of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!

"God's in his heaven, all's right with the world," whispered Anne softly.

(cf Remember Me (1999-05-21), Dusty Graves (2009-10-23), ...)

- Tuesday, February 01, 2022 at 08:24:11 (EST)

2022-01-01 - Happy New Year

~3.5 mi @ ~19 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Lake-Needwood_wet-new-years-day_kerry-z_2022-01-01.jpg"We're a few hours early and it's raining – let's explore!" 🔥 and 🤖 follow the shore of Lake Needwood on a soggy morning and discover a path beside the northern half. A wide tributary stream blocks progress. Wade across next time, when it's warmer? Meanwhile, enjoy mindful conversation and share optimistic aspirations for a joyful 2022 – to all!


- Monday, January 31, 2022 at 06:12:52 (EST)

2021-12-31 - New Years Eve

~2 mi @ ~25 min/mi & ~1 mi @ ~13 min/mi

Morning neighborhood loop and peripatetic philosophizing with DS Dr Merle, and an afternoon exploratory trot before picking up 🦬 for dinner from Ted's in G'burg!

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 05:16:02 (EST)

Webb Space Telescope

Dennis Overbye writes powerfully-poetically in "The James Webb Space Telescope and a Quest Every Human Shares":

The Webb telescope is designed to ferret out the very first stars and galaxies that lit up the foggy aftermath of the Big Bang and initiated the grand crescendo of evolution that produced us, among other things, as well as to search for clues to whether the conditions might be right for other creatures' emergence, on nearby exoplanets.

There was no military or economic advantage in devoting 25 years and $10 billion of national treasure to build a telescope, of all things, devoted not to looking down at our enemies, but out across time and space, trying to decipher the nature and condition of our origins. We all share the quest even if we all don't get the time and chance to obsess about it.

It's not just Einstein's universe, it's ours too. Our crib and our crypt.


Building it required the best of humans: cooperation and devotion to knowledge, daring and humility, respect for nature and our own ignorance, and the grit to keep picking up the pieces from failure and start again. And again.


We stagger upward under the weight of our knowledge of our own mortality. In the face of the ultimate abyss that is destiny, we can find honor and dignity in the fact that we played the cosmic game to win, trying to know and feel as much as we can in the brief centuries allotted to us.

(cf Edge of the Universe (1999-06-08), Universal Knowns (2002-06-13), Infinite in All Directions (2003-12-02), What We Know (2006-08-15), Full Moon Metaphors (2007-10-29), Mantra - Grind New Lenses (2017-12-26), Reading the Book of Nature (2021-09-10), ...)

- Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 07:44:17 (EST)

2021-12-30 - Julep Avenue Art

~3 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Is it natural, or carved, or ...?" 🐻y speculates about the wooden lawn ornament with Mickey-Mouse-like spherical-sculptural ears, or maybe organically-ovoid protrusions, spied near the dead-end of Julep Ave. Mysterious and curvy, mystical and attractive!http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Lawn_wood_sculpture_2021-12-30.jpg


- Friday, January 28, 2022 at 06:47:44 (EST)

Midway Between

Midway between stars and atoms
Is the perfect point to push the lever –
The right size and scale to scale the wall,
And nudge the scales of the universe –
To see clearly, know deeply, choose wisely,
And help repair a broken world.

(cf Tikkun Olam (2019-12-11), ...)

- Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 07:16:39 (EST)

2021-12-29 - Post-Xmas Statuary

~3.3 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"That reindeer is nibbling the snowman's carrot-nose!" With 🐻, survey lawn inflatable sculptures and stroke a friendly unicorn's horn. Hmmmm – does that mean 🐰 is, uh, inexperienced, naïve, or ...?http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Unicorn_horn_z_2021-12-29.jpg


- Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 05:17:53 (EST)


Rationality: what it is, why it seems scarce, why it matters by Harvard prof Stephen Pinker is an extended sermon delivered to the choir: nicely written, technically precise, a bit slow in spots, and unlikely to convert most of its audience, since few who don't already know the topic will read it. Sadly, the book lacks a BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) or synopsis. Happily, Pinker's jokes are funny and apt. When discussing axioms of rational choice, for instance, he tells of legendary logician Sidney Morgenbesser who, as the story goes:

... was seated at a restaurant and offered a choice of apple pie or blueberry pie. Shortly after he chose apple, the waitress returned and said they also had cherry pie on the menu that day. As if waiting for the moment all his life, Morgenbesser said, "In that case, I'll have blueberry."

More useful, perhaps, and definitely shorter is Pinker's 2022-01-01 BBC news column "Three ways to be more rational this year" that zooms in:

  1. Future you – "... our problem is not that we discount the future, but that we discount it too steeply ..."
  2. "Methinks it is like a weasel" – "... We look for patterns in the kaleidoscope of experience because they may be signs of a hidden cause or agent. But this leaves us vulnerable to hallucinating spurious causes in haphazard noise. ..."
  3. Being right or getting it right – we should "... treat [our] beliefs as hypotheses to be tested rather than slogans to be defended. ..."

All worth remembering – and easier to remember than if they were part of a 300+ page tome!

(cf Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013-10-24), Future Self (2022-01-22), ...)

- Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 05:24:46 (EST)

2021-12-28 - Temple Loop

~3.8 mi @ ~14.1 min/mi

"Hi, Deer!" Quick circuit around the neighborhood, pausing to pose by an eroded statue wearing a holiday cap, and sprinting back to see a passing freight train.


- Monday, January 24, 2022 at 05:21:24 (EST)

2021-12-27 - Peanuts Peppers Pastrami

~1.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"When the wind-storm came last week," says the homeowner, "my front-yard Saint Nicholas mannequin didn't blow over – but his pants came loose and fell down to his ankles. I had to come outside quickly to fix them. Didn't want my neighbors to think there was a pervy Santa on display!" On the way to pick up the car from the tire shop, pause at the grocery store for peanuts, pastrami, and peppers.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Santas_Silver-Spring_z-2021-12-27.jpg


- Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 06:58:53 (EST)

Future Self

Homer Simpson, talking about a choice that feels great right now but is likely to have bad long-term consequences:

"That's a problem for future Homer.
        Man, I don't envy that guy!"

(quoted in Stephen Pinker's Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters; cf Zhurnal Themes (2003-04-04), Homer Simpson Career Advice (2011-04-28), Honor Your Practice (2013-01-24), Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013-10-24), Professor Bertrand Quotes (2019-12-17), Luna Bar Sayings (2020-09-01), ...)

- Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 05:55:35 (EST)

2021-12-26 - StoryWalk

~6.8 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Reindeer stables!" A big front-yard inflatable in Kensington features all eight of Santa's sleigh-haulers bobbing to drink from a faux watering trough.🥃 & 🐻y climb the Mormon Temple hill to meet 🤖 heading downward. Noyes Children's Library StoryWalk posters line a path in Kennedy-Clum Park.


- Friday, January 21, 2022 at 06:42:14 (EST)

2021-12-23 - Radial Tire

~4.2 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Good job, Santa!" says the cyclist on Rock Creek Trail upon seeing the red cap. One of the MINI Cooper's run-flat tires is flat, so leave it at at the shop for a long weekend of R&R, then meander home via the Parkway Deli to pick up a few hamantashen!


- Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 05:54:18 (EST)

Paulette Dickerson High School Annual

http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_a.jpgPaulette Dickerson (aka "DW") attended Washington High School (now Washington Preparatory High School) in Los Angeles, California.
She was a member of the Ephebians, a scholarly honor society, and of the rifle club, the student government, and other organizations involved in the arts.http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_b.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_e.jpgFrom the Washington High School Yearbook for the graduating class of Winter 1967, here are a few photos of Paulette. She was ~18 years old at the time.

- Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 05:54:54 (EST)

2021-12-20 - Candy and Pizza

~1 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Velati's, then Manny's and Olga's!" Between chocolate truffles, gyros, and pizza, there's time enough for quick walkabouts in downtown Silver Spring. Lawn flamingos wear Santa suits and reindeer horns made from pipe-cleaners.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 05:12:41 (EST)

2021-12-19 - Faith, Hope, Love

~2.7 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Kemp-Mill_faith-hope-love_z_2021-12-19.jpg"Have you been naughty or nice?" Sunday midday dash around the Kemp Mill neighborhood, with Santa cap on head, provokes pre-Christmas questions from passers-by. Tristram is taking his owners on a walk along the horse trail loop in Wheaton Regional Park, but there's no time to sync up. At the Saint Andrew Apostle Catholic Church banners remind: Faith, Hope, Love.


- Monday, January 17, 2022 at 05:10:47 (EST)

Complicate the Story

Simple is seductive, yet so often wrong. In "Complicating the Narratives" Amanda Ripley (Solutions Journalism) writes about the need for reporters – and everyone else – to artfully:

and from Ripley's final paragraph:

Journalists need to learn to amplify contradictions and widen the lens on paralyzing debates. We need to ask questions that uncover people's motivations. All of us, journalists and non-journalists, could learn to listen better. As researchers have established in hundreds of experiments over the past half-century, the way to counter the kind of tribal prejudice we are seeing is to expose people to the other tribe or new information in ways they can accept. When conflict is cliché, complexity is breaking news.

(cf Mantra - Open the Aperture (2018-10-30), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12) ...)

- Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 07:48:40 (EST)

2021-12-18 - Wet Crossing

~4.7 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Lake-Bernard-Frank_wet-crossing_Caren_Jew_2022-12-18.jpg"Wet Crossing!" says the signpost at Lake Bernard Frank, and Comrade 🦘 is fearless as she leads the way through the stream. Mindful trail therapy talk pauses during breathtaking-steep hill climbs on the Old Nasty Trail. Ultra-friends share stories and thank each other and laugh together at the world. And it's all good!


- Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 06:02:49 (EST)

2021-12-17 - Xmas Decorations

~3.9 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

"Santas and snowmen and penguins and dragons!" Front-yard inflatables in 🐻y's 'hood vie with crèches for Christmas dominion. A dog-walking elderly lady at the drainage ponds discusses birds.


- Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 05:50:33 (EST)

Scam Culture

A recent thoughtful essay by Tressie McMillan Cottom in the New York Times, "We're All 'Experts' Now. That's Not a Good Thing" offers multiple insights into metacognitive challenges and their consequences for society. Cottom suggests that it's not useful to make individuals responsible for knowing everything about everything and to blame them for their own victimization by cheaters. She also notes that it's unwise for people to view government and social order through a personal-profit-maximization lens. Among Cottom's key points:

... important ideas worth pondering!

(cf Shoot the Moon (1999-12-29), Since Fire (2000-04-29), Money Mechanism Meaning (2001-02-15), Money Wisdom (2001-05-20), For Themselves (2003-06-08), Techniques of Financial Fraud (2015-05-02), Risk Shift (2019-06-02), ...)

- Friday, January 14, 2022 at 05:52:29 (EST)

Mantra - Think about Other People

"I think about other people besides myself.
          You should try it some time."

... from the 2021 film The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, a thoughtful-lovely time-loop story by Lev Grossman.

(cf Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - Unself Together (2018-03-30), Mantra - Identify as More (2018-09-11), Mantra - Let Somebody Else Be the Hero (2020-02-17), ...)

- Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 05:44:30 (EST)

2021-12-16 - Climb and Crawl

~2.3 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

"Science is Real" says a lawn poster by artist Tessa Lloyd. "Be Kind" reads a sign on a telephone pole. Jog around new corners of an old neighborhood, climb a wall, crawl under a fence, and enjoy new bits of an old neighborhood.


- Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 20:40:49 (EST)

2021-12-15 - On the Way to Mi Rancho

~2 mi @ ~12.5 min/mi

"TexMex carry-out!" Pause en route for a quick run-walk loop around the hilly neighborhood near East-West Hwy east of Rock Creek.


- Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 05:57:19 (EST)

2021-12-14 - Warm Wishes

~3.4 mi @ ~13.6 min/mi

"Warm Wishes!" says the coffee mug held by a fire-breathing dragon, an inflated sculpture in a Bethesda front yard spied during a walkabout on the way to the Apple Store. Curvy orange-painted metal acrobats pose in front of another home.


- Sunday, January 09, 2022 at 07:36:48 (EST)

Oblique Strategies

A deck of cards to help give the Muse a nudge: Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt created Oblique Strategies in the early 1970s. As Eno describes them:

These cards evolved from our separate observations of the principles underlying what we are doing. Sometimes they were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated. They can be used as a pack (a set of posibilities being continuously reviewed in the mind) or by drawing a single card from a shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case the card is trusted even if it appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident.

Much like Tarot cards, an Oblique Strategies random suggestion can help rotate the viewpoint. A few examples:

... all meta, obvious, and often overlooked!

- Saturday, January 08, 2022 at 06:02:52 (EST)

2021-12-12 - MCRRC 8k Jingle Bell Jog

~5 miles @ ~11.8 min/mi

"Devoted Family Man, Teacher, Coach, and ..." says the gravestone at historic Haiti Cemetery, last word invisible behind flowers. 🔥 and 🐇 pause to explore and remember early on a Sunday.

"Fall in love with the problem, not the solution!" – a creative turnabout-inversion strategy shared during coffee walkabout. 🔥, 🐻, and 🦁 lead the club race. Official result: 249 of 280 finishers, 146/153 males, 7/8 among the male 65-69 year old cohort, in 58:29 (58:13 chip time).

(trackfile & trackfile & trackfile)

- Friday, January 07, 2022 at 07:10:08 (EST)

Think All the Time

From an obituary of Robert H. Grubbs (1942-2021), Nobel laureate in chemistry:

You don't have to work all the time,
      but you should think all the time.

- Thursday, January 06, 2022 at 07:48:22 (EST)

2021-12-11 - Sandworms

~4.4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"If we wore them for our walkabouts we might look like baby giant sandworms!" 🥃 & 🐻 lead the way from Ken-Gar to the Garrett Park Farmers Market, and show 🦆 some new-to-him cut-throughs. We discuss walk-around sleeping bags, and who would win in a fight between Cthulhu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


- Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 06:28:53 (EST)

2021-12-10 - Local Loop

~2.6 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"Mermaids!" A neighborhood tour revisits the graffiti under a Rock Creek bridge, and the fountain at Forest Glen's National Park Seminary plus other statues and architecture.


- Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 06:20:39 (EST)

This is How You Lose the Time War

A bundle of love letters – an extended prose poem – an amazing maze of silly alliteration and elusive allusions – a prize-winning SF novella ...

"This Is How You Lose the Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is beautiful and fascinating and all of those. From a review by Jason Sheehan:

But what if someone wrote a time-travel story that made the uncoupling and haywire craziness the entire point? And what if you could ground all that crazy in the simple, pure yearning of two lovers separated by the streams of space and time, passing letters to each other across the chaos?

Well, you'd have The Lake House, of course. But if you took that sappy story of unrequited love, Keanu Reeves and a time-traveling mailbox, strapped it up in body armor, covered it with razors, dipped it in poison and set it loose to murder and burn its way across worlds and centuries, what you'd end up with is This Is How You Lose The Time War, the experimental, collaborative, time-travelling love-and-genocide novel by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

And more succinctly, "... it's fun to watch goddesses fall in love ..." as Stephen Case says. Likewise it's fun to hear echoes of classic science-fiction* harmonize with modern spacetime physics speculation. A sample snippet from the center of the story, a fragment of a note from Red to Blue:

... You have me watching birds, and though I don't know their names like you know them, I have seen small bright singers puff before the trill. That's how I feel. I sing myself out to you, and my talons clutch the branch and I am wrung out until your next letter gives me breath, fills me to bursting.

I miss you in the field. I miss defeat. I miss the chase, the fury. I miss victories well earned. Your fellows have their intrigues and their passions, and now and again a clever play, but there's none so intricate, so careful, so assured. You've whetted me like a stone. I feel almost invincible in our battles' wake, a kind of Achilles, fleet footed and light of touch. Only in this nonexistent place our letters weave do I feel weak.

How I love to have no armor here. ...

... and so much more – paradoxical wordplay-foreplay, simple similies and subtle suggestions, human humor and cosmic caring – that grows into a long short story worth rereading and savoring.

(*e.g., "The Seesaw" from A. E. van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher)

- Tuesday, January 04, 2022 at 07:02:20 (EST)

2021-12-07 - Kindness Rocks

~1.9 mi @ ~11.8 min/mi

"Kindness Rocks!" and "I hope you 💕 find peace today!" say signs in the woods. A brisk trot along the paved path atones in advance for 🦬 from Ted's.


- Monday, January 03, 2022 at 06:49:33 (EST)

2021-12-05 - MCRRC Seneca Slopes 9k XC

~6 mi @ ~14 min/mi

photo of Mark Zimmermann by Dan Reichmann"Seventh place – from last, that is!" The MCRRC cross-country race at Seneca Creek State Park turns out well, on a frosty-brisk sunny Sunday morning in the late autumn woods. Official results show a finish 90th of 96, 59th of 60 males, 5th of 6 among males age 65-69, in an overall time of 1:27:35 – and no falling down or broken bones!


- Sunday, January 02, 2022 at 07:56:12 (EST)

Apple Watch Meditations

The "Mindfulness" feature on an Apple Watch offers short mini-meditation themes to think (or not-think!?) about. Some examples:

Gently focus on the feeling of your breath as it rises and falls.Remind yourself of a challenge you've overcome. Think about the traits you have that helped.Think about a person you're likely to see soon. Imagine what giving them your full attention will feel like.
Bring to mind three people you are grateful to have in your life. Reflect on why you appreciate them.Notice your thoughts but try not to get caught up in them. Let them pass by.Think about something you've learned from an experience you've had recently.
Notice your emotions right now and consider how they may be shaping your experience.Find one thing to appreciate about yourself. Think about why this is meaningful for you.Think about the last time you were kind to yourself and how that felt.
Link something you're focused on to one of your core values, like kindness or integrity.Think about the best idea you've had recently and why it was so interesting to you.Think of someone who helps you feel relaxed and centered. Imagine them supporting you now.
Be curious about your own thoughts. Notice what comes up and any impressions you have.For this session simply focus on your breath. Cool as you breathe in. Warm as you breathe out.Find one thing to appreciate about someone close to you. Why is this trait meaningful?
Notice your surroundings. Appreciate the time and energy it took to create the things around you.Recall a challenge you've handled well. Apply this sense of resilience to a current problem.Think of a recent experience you've truly enjoyed. Recall what made that moment so wonderful.
Think about someone who inspires you to be a better person, and why.Rather than noticing everything around you, focus on one thing. Let it hold your attention.Become very aware of the things you see, hear, and feel. Let this focus your attention.
Recall a tough time that came up recently and what traits you have that helped you through it. Connect with your strengths.Think of a quiet place in nature. Relax into this peaceful feeling.Bring to mind something you are passionate about. Enjoy how it helps you feel fulfilled.
Think about a recent topic you were curious about. What sparked your curiosity?Creative ideas often come when we're not trying to do something. Take this time to let your mind wander.Reflect on one thing you're grateful for and think about why you appreciate it so much.
Think about how it feels to give kindness. Let that feeling flow through you.Think about something you love to do and why it brings you joy.Remind yourself of the many challenges you've overcome.
Notice any emotions you have during this time. Don't judge them, simply notice what comes up.Think about a tough situation you've faced and how you grew from it....

Perhaps these could be good ^zhurnaly "Mantra" pages, or could inspire short poems, or ...?

- Friday, December 31, 2021 at 06:07:47 (EST)

2021-12-04 - Northern Bethesda

~4.3 mi @ ~18.5 min/mi

A beautiful morning walkabout, cut slightly short by (ahem) chafing "issues" ☺️ ...


- Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 06:04:12 (EST)

2021-12-03 - Sisyphus

~4 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Sisyphus!" The 2009 sculpture by Wendy Ross in downtown Silver Spring "... reflects on the notion of cycles within cycles, of growth and decay, and the perspective of time and space as a continuum. It is a metaphor for the human condition, of hope and despair, and the eternal search to find purpose and meaning in a single act." For today's walkabout, the Act is to return library books 📚 ... and stop at the fancy chocolate store ... and improve physical and mental health ... and be a better person! ⚖️ http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Sisyphus_sculpture_Wendy-Ross_Silver-Spring.jpg


- Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 06:47:37 (EST)

Navigating Ambiguous Loss

In "Caregiving and Dementia: Navigating Ambiguous Loss and Grief" Regan Olsson summarizes Lori Nisson's suggestions for "... ways you can work through these feelings, begin to grieve the losses and stay connected and present for the person you love while also building up your strength and resiliency." She uses the metaphor of ambiguous loss, "... a loss that is unclear, has no resolution and no predictable ending or closure ..." and advises:

(cf Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Rebalancing Doing and Being (2011-02-28), Fear of Failing (2015-07-08), Fraying at the Edges (2016-05-04) Mantra - Touch and Go (2017-04-01), Distilled to Pure Love (2019-01-04), ...)

- Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 06:38:33 (EST)

2021-11-29 - Lovely Dog

~2.2 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi

"Lovely dog!" Pup-walkers and bird-watchers line Sligo Creek. Take the natural-surface trail for a segment; join 🐻 at the Beltway and keep him company for the downstream return trot.


- Monday, December 27, 2021 at 06:26:45 (EST)

2021-11-28 - Store in a Cool Dry Place

~6.4 mi @ ~19.5 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Store-in-a-Cool-Dry-Place_earth_globe_trash.jpg"Store in a Cool Dry Place!" says the box that 🔥 spies by the globe in a trash heap behind an apartment complex. Too obvious a metaphor for the Earth's situation?

"I miss my dose of you!" Mindful conversation is a beautiful gift between friends. Consider: good housing as part of the larger System of Society; hacks to become the Teacher's Pet at an upcoming short-course on Innovation; creativity principles from Category Theory; why horses nuzzle each other. Aspirations for the future: "Do Less, Better" (too hard?) and "Pause" – 🐾🐾!


- Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 06:09:29 (EST)

Ron Mann on Mindfulness

From a podcast interview by Chase & Sarah Koserlitz with Ronald L. Mann, PhD, insightful thoughts on relationships, meditation, and love:

(deep namaste to DDR for sharing this beautiful interview!)

- Saturday, December 25, 2021 at 09:12:08 (EST)

Gift Box

Like a frame around a photo
  Or whitespace around a poem
    Or "quotation" punctuation –
    Simple separation
  Brings attention

To rest

(cf Between (2009-12-10), Cling to Nothing (2011-01-29), Attention (2015-03-03), Work the Whitespace (2017-05-07), Halfway (2019-08-09), Om - Be Between, ...)

- Friday, December 24, 2021 at 06:19:29 (EST)

2021-11-27 - MCRRC Turkey Burn-Off 5 Miler

~5.0 mi @ ~12.5 min/mi

Nine years ago the average pace was ~7.5 min/mi (at the 2012-11-24 - MCRRC Turkey Burnoff 5 Mile Race) – today, it's a thrill to be five minutes slower every mile! The Montgomery County Road Runners post-Thanksgiving Saturday run goes well, with minimal knee pain.

Comrades 🔥 and 🐻y lead the way and come in just ahead. Official result: 223 of 259 finishers, 112 of 122 males, 7th of 8 in the 65-69 year male age bracket, with chip time 1:02:37 and gun time 1:03:18. Hooray!
MCRRC Turkey Burn-off photo of Mark Zimmermann by Dan Reichmann


- Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 06:10:14 (EST)


Faith is a pyramid
  Founded on the premise
That what was will persist
  That laws rule and connections bind
That cause gives birth to effect
  That Lover remains forever true,
And that meaning at its foundations
  Will not collapse in an avalanche
When the final snowflake lands.

- Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 05:59:22 (EST)

2021-11-26 - Christmas Lawn Art

~4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"And a Santa as big as a house!" In 🐻y's neighborhood early Xmas inflatables include a Mandalorian holding a baby Yoda, an aged Yoda with a holly badge, and other decorations.


- Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 06:23:28 (EST)

2021-11-24 - Mastiha and Kaiser

~4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Mindfulness-maze_geyser_2021-11-24.jpg"Olives, cookies, and prescriptions!" A leaky hose erupts skyward in the middle of the Old Spring Road meditative maze. Pickups at the Greek Bakery and the Pharmacy provide a perfect excuse to ramble.


- Monday, December 20, 2021 at 06:09:47 (EST)

Thinking Differently

From an obituary of nanotechnologist-chemist Ned Seeman (1945-2021) in Nature, on the value of having other people get excited about and work on something you started:

"We don't have to have all the ideas any more,
and we don't have to make all the mistakes!"

Seeman's big ideas involved DNA self-assembling building-blocks and fitting tiny tiles together to do computations. In the same Nature obit author Philip Ball notes:

Seeman was renowned for his blunt way with words and dry, self-deprecating wit. He has been described as a singular character – at once gruff and caring, vulgar and articulate, stubborn and visionary. Winfree told me, "I feel it's no accident that DNA nanotechnology sprang forth from someone who took almost a perverse pleasure in thinking differently."

- Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 05:35:37 (EST)

2021-11-23 - Be Present

~2 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"Be Present" admonishes a painted stone slab by the road. So simple. Yes, and...


- Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 06:15:39 (EST)

On the Floor

From a December 2021 New York Times column by David Brooks, "What Do You Say to the Sufferer?", thoughtful suggestions that might be summarized as:

Brooks describes how hard times can provide meaning – "... tenacity, courage, unselfishness and dignity ...". He shares "... cases where suffering didn't break people but broke them open – made them more caring toward and knowledgeable about the suffering of others ...". He tells of:

... a woman with a brain injury who would sometimes fall to the floor. People around her would rush to immediately get her back on her feet, before she was quite ready. She [said], "I think people rush to help me up because they are so uncomfortable with seeing an adult lying on the floor. But what I really need is for someone to get down on the ground with me."

... getting on the floor can be anxiety-producing and, when someone is in deep despair, even dangerous to the strongest caregiver. But sometimes you just get on the floor. ...

Brooks concludes:

"We all need witnesses –
    to witness others,
    to be witnessed,
    to draw inspiration
        from each other."

(cf [1] for free-gift link), and see also How Great Thou Art (2005-03-16), New Superpower (2018-10-27), Receiving (2019-12-22), Mr Rogers Asks (2019-11-18), ...)

- Friday, December 17, 2021 at 06:29:45 (EST)

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