Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 2.58 HE

Way back in my playing days we had a volunteer scorekeeper.

She was young, energetic and charming. Having grown up with her coach father and two older brothers, she knew the game. So well that she wanted to be perfect.

When there was the slightest doubt as to the proper scorekeeping notation of a bang-bang play, or the correct tabulation of accuracy - was that a hit or an error - she would look to me, as team captain, for resolution.

We developed a system that would settle the dispute quickly and without bias.

Most of the time without bias. It became a bit of a vaudevillian drama. Baseball, after all, is a game of statistics, where the official scorer's decision could mean the difference between an All-Star nomination or a snub. So we played it for all the drama and comedy we could.

We even invented some ad hockery, coining the THTH acronym, Too Hot To Handle. This created some follow-on complexities, but the moment of merriment was worth every bit of mathematical dilemma. It was simply an effective way bubble-up the magical elixir of team chemistry.

We also developed a keen understanding of the frailty of human performance phenomena. We all error. No one is perfect. In our game you were a star if you failed half of the time. We saw lots of E5s, E6s and E7s. We even had a special category when two or more players unwittingly conspired for a TE, a Team Error. If the error was from the managerial or leadership ranks, it was simply an HE, Human Error.

Baseball and softball are not exempt from HE. Nothing this side of computers are.
We see it all the time. What happened? Human Error. What caused it? HE.

Human Error.

It has been suggested that if you aren't erring enough you aren't trying hard enough. If you burn the first pancake, fry another.

As then, I must, or might, be trying too hard.

I still lead the league in HE.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 2.57 Turn Pro

This morning I joined a user forum sponsored by the American Heart Association specifically for folks with AFib. I felt obliged to author a brief intro and used my exercise regimen as topic. It felt somewhat like posting a first bio in a personals forum. It felt unworthy. I really don't have a glaring need. I am not lonely. I don't need, or want? a spouse. I am no longer feeling on the edge of the ledge. I am not seeking a height-weight proportionate, Buddhist, long-course triathlete intellectual with a masters degree in English literature for a short term walk in the park.

I am wanting to share my experience in the hope that it just might help someone going through the same nightmare.

I think a lot of people with AFib give up. Same with exercise and diet. When one comes to the dance of discipline, where your daily choices build to a crescendo of fit or fat, where the hard-earned gains come from consistent work, many toss the towel, refuse to even try, never get on the dance floor to shake whatever thing they bring. I have used it as an excuse, the old, "not feeling well so I cannot do it' line. Weak.

So we start to accept the results. We slow down. We move less. We eat more. We binge on TV. We self medicate. We constrict.

And we get sick.

We cannot give up. EVER. That is not an option. We must show up daily, committed to fighting the good fight. Yes, we can call it a dance, dosing with gumption and grace, but when the time comes for choice, like right now, you gotta be strong. You gotta fight. You gotta get off the canvas and get back in the ring. You gotta throw. Drive fast, find love, don't get caught.

That was my message to my friends suffering from heart ailments. DON'T GIVE UP. Eat good, exercise daily, rest. I know it can be ridiculously hard, but that is our challenge. Face it as a professional.

Dunno, maybe Hunter S. Thompson wasn't the best role model around, but he sure had a knack for nailing the shadow side. I love this quote.

Turn Pro.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 2.56 YES

This morning was one of those.

The definitive answer to one of the big questions.


Less than three hours ago, after a very difficult cycling set, a shot of protein and a dozen ounces of water, I heard the endorphin choir belt a joyous hallelujah.

YES! We did it. Eight super hard blasts at maximum intensity for thirty seconds followed by a time bending ninety second recovery. Ten times.

We did these for eight weeks and today was the final. We now have eight weeks 'off' before another block.

They are insane. They are miserable. They are incredible. They are gold.

I feel like a million bucks. Part of this being as a result of finally (I pray) getting past the 'mucous on the lungs' issue that has plagued for almost as long as the block. It has been a capitol pain. Additionally, I just might be adapting to the medications along with adapting the the physical, muscular and mental demands of the protocol.

This is good news. Today I am a happy guy.

I may not be doing it all right, but this morning was one of those days where one question was answered with a roaring yes.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day 2.55 SHARE the path

It is my road. I decide which bifurcation to take. I own the responsibility of choice.

If I tried to apologize for every insensitive word, ignorant action or silly mistake I have ever made, there might not be time for anything else. Yes, the past haunts me, I have done things that I deeply regret. But I try my best not to dwell. I try to forgive myself as I would hope others would forgive me. Sometimes I cringe. There are a few things that shouldn't be forgiven. A few things I should be flogged for.

How could I be so stupid? Why did I say that? What in God's name was I thinking?

After years of analysis (mixed with moderately heavy drinking) I have come up with a few causative possibilities. Please bare with me (you can keep your hat on) and I will attempt to explain.

Improvisation. I like to experiment. Most of the time this is better left to the guys in lab coats or in a laboratory. Pronounce it like Igor please.

Rebelliousness. If there has been one concept with which I have pledged long allegiance, it is civil disobedience. I do not like seamy, corrupt politics. Which by default means I am a rebel. Anarchy forever comrade!

Experimentation. Yep, let's take the road less traveled, or better yet, the road not seen. Adventure and me are pretty good company. From freight trains to epic rides, out of the ordinary, is the way.

Silliness. OK I admit, I can be world-class silly. So what? In a world filled with self righteousness, pompous arrogance and money-grubbing capitalists, I find it refreshing to say fuck you to the conservative credo. Sometimes it helps to laugh in the face of pretentious zealotry.

Ignorance. It is easier to make fun of, as it is to fear, things that I don't understand. Religious fundamentalists and myopic conservatives drive me crazy. You want to torture me? Tie me to a chair and turn on Rush Limbaugh. I'll sing like a canary.

That is about it. In retrospect, I would probably be a lot more 'sane' if I simply shut up and smiled more. But how much fun would that be?

After all, everyone of us shares the path.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 2.54 This Path

On the occasion of what would have been Mom's 83rd birthday yesterday, I thought how nice it would be to call all her offspring and give them some good news. Tell them that I just won the lottery or something. But the best I could come up with was that I am still standing, health improving and that I put in a solid, hard week of work. And that I love them all as much as she did.

Dad gave me the pictured money clip. I think he still envisions me becoming a millionaire some day. That seems to be the metaphor.

I hate to disappoint, but…..Dad, I have failed in this regard. And although I will keep trying, it is more important to me to flow my heart as it is to follow the money. I hope you understand.

I sincerely hope that I did ONE THING that provided a sense of pride in Mom as I also trust that I still have some time to do the same with Dad. I am working on it.

It would be so easy to say I am a success (and you should be proud) because of the bills I keep in right front pocket. But, it (somewhat) pains me to say:

That will not be this path.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 2.53 Happy Birthday Mom

Another exciting Chilly Hilly in the books. The most spectacular I can remember, and I and I have been doing these for over twenty years!! Captured some nice aerial footage with the drone, despite a gimbal malfunction, which meant that I was filming blind, as they say, with no monitor. Fortunately I have been doing this for a while and knowing that the Go-Pro Hero 4 has an ultra-wide 127 degree fish-eye lens, all I really needed to do was point in the general direction. Video is compressing as I type so I hope to have a short sample of today's festivities up by midnight or so.

Happy Birthday to Mom who would have been 83 today.

Pic: Junior takes the sticks for a test flight at Blakeley Harbor.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day 2.52 New Toy

Pictured is our new tool, the DJI Phantom 2 drone. I call it a tool because I plan on making a living from its use. Most people would call it a toy, especially 12 year old boys. With me is Junior, 12, and RG, 82. Today's post is brief because we have been out testing and now I need to download video and re-charge batts for tomorrow's shoot. Tool or toy, she is the latest addition. Wish us luck.