From High Tech to Highest Tech

Lately I’ve been working on technology improvements to this blog. Now, I’m ready to upgrade so I can bring you the latest in running news, information, and updates.

I’ve developed a new big-screen mobile tablet. This will ease eye-strain, and allow you to really see the details in photos that I post. You can expect to see them in stores starting next month.

My new big screen mobile tablet will bring internet images to life!

My new big screen mobile tablet will bring internet images to life!

I’ve decided to roll out my own social media platforms. I started a new social interaction network called Face Notes. It will begin showing up on your smart phones and laptops soon. Hopefully you’ll find that FN works better than the current, popular one.

You can subscribe to my Twicker network. Similar to Twitter, Twicker gives you real-time updates that are real. I’ll be sending out running news via Twicks several times a day. However, I’d like to make a statement here: I’m very disappointed by some comments about my new technology. It’s sad when people can’t respect the hard work put in by someone who has created a new platform. Simply put, I have very little patience for the Elmer Fudd references. I’ve already heard, “Hey, Jim, is this a twick?” or “”Are you a twick or tweeter?” I will become unglued if I hear one more such comment.

To deliver these new social media, I had to put in infrastructure. Since I’m a sustainable, low-carbon footprint, eco-friendly kind of guy, I avoided building more cell towers by installing my equipment into wind turbines.

Crews installing equipment at a wind farm in Eastern Washington.

Crews installing my network infrastructure at a wind farm in Eastern Washington.

Sorry there’s so little running news in this blog post, but I’ll get back to it next time. Meanwhile, I want you to know…

Everything I do, I do for you, baby!

Everything I do, I do for you, baby!

And, I’ll keep you updated on these new technological advances in a future post.

Boston Marathon Stuff

I’ve called up my friends at the National Institute of Running Sciences so many times about topics that are rather unusual, and every time turns out they’ve done a survey about it, or had in-depth info for me. The other day I had another challenge for them.

Many of my fellow running club members have made a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It made me wonder if the Institute has done a survey to find out what percentage of runners do this. Even though Dr. Ayer O’Beck is the Chief of Running Research, I called my good friend I.P. Aard because she’s very pretty, and she visited me a few weeks ago.

Runners at the Boston Marathon Wait for the Starting Gun

Runners at the Boston Marathon Wait for the Starting Gun

“Jim, you squirt of honey! How are you?”

With a greeting like that, everyone can see why I like I.P. Aard so much. However, when I inquired about Boston, she told me I had to pay for the information.

“Jim, I’m sorry, but the research we do costs tons of money, and you’ve called so many times and gotten the results for free. The board made a decision to start charging you.”

I was devastated. I thought I was like family. I.P. knew by my long silence that I wasn’t taking it well.

“Sweet thing, you know we’d never do that. I forgot you’re so sensitive. I’m sorry.”

I.P. is right. I get so out-of-proportion upset sometimes. But after a minute I recovered, and I.P. supplied me with the info I requested – 19%.

Now, a contest. The caption above says it’s a photo of the Boston Marathon. It isn’t. I blurrified the photo so it’d be hard to blow up and read the race bibs. If you leave a comment correctly identifying which marathon it is, you win a prize. Even if you have no idea looking at the photo, if you’ve read a recent Post, you might figure it out.

Marathon Champion

Jacqueline Post, 2013 Coeur d'Alene Marathon overall women's champion

Jacqueline Post, 2013 Coeur d’Alene Marathon overall women’s champion

I belong to a running club that had a bunch of entrants in the Coeur d’Alene Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K today in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I spent the morning cheering, taking pictures, and wondering if it’d be shabby to eat and drink refreshments intended for the runners.

I was very surprised that the women’s overall champion was someone I knew. Jacqueline Post of Spokane Valley, Washington, finished first in 3:17:26.4. I was very happy for her and offered my congratulations as she rested and received precautionary treatment after the race.

Jacqueline and I are members of the Flying Irish Running Club. After returning home, I remembered that a couple years ago, I often finished ahead of Jacqueline on our group runs. If she’s a marathon champion, yet I could finish ahead of her, that makes me a champion.

My award for outstanding running performance

I made this very worthy award for my outstanding running performances.

In a hastily arranged ceremony, I presented the above award to myself. It was very moving, and the words were difficult to find as I gave an acceptance speech.

My award brought tears to my eyes

My award brought tears to my eyes.

It’s so satisfying to be recognized for great work. I wore my ribbon the whole evening and then stored it away until my next outstanding performance.

New Shoes Revolutionize Running

The Revolutionary New Balance 479 Sods

The revolutionary New Balance 479 Sods.

It’s my opinion that grass is the best surface to run on. Naturally, I was excited when New Balance rolled out the new 479 Sods a couple months ago. I bought a pair the first day they were available.

Truly revolutionary, the soles are embedded with a thick root system of specially developed grasses designed to withstand the pounding of even the highest mileage runners. New Balance touts the soft, comforting foot strike as easy on the legs and feet. Indeed, within a few days of switching to the Sods, my nagging injuries cleared up.

The Sods can become bushy and overgrown without close attention

The Sods are great, but they can become bushy and overgrown without close attention.

New Balance has one maintenance recommendation – water them once every few days. I like to go the extra mile to keep them looking really nice. The grass can get long and bushy, so I trim around the edges. The soles have nutrients embedded to feed the grass for the life of the shoes, but I like to fertilize to make the grass a very dark, vibrant green. Though the grassy part of the sole, called the lawncap, stays short with normal running, I like to mow every couple weeks to keep the lawncap uniformly even and attractive.

Fertilizing and Carefully Trimming Sods Keeps Them Looking New

Fertilizing and carefully trimming your Sods keeps them looking new.

You Gotta Mow if You Want the Sod's Lawncap to Look as Nice as Your Yard

You gotta mow if you want the Sod’s lawncap to look as nice as your yard.

When I’m not wearing my Sods, I make stick people out of toothpicks and arrange them on the lawncap like friends enjoying a backyard barbecue.

Thoughts Runners Have While Running

An obsession of Many Runners

An Obsession of Many Runners

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and discovered we’d both been thinking about things runners think about while running. I was sure the National Institute of Running Sciences has studied this, so I called my friend, Taul N. Leene, who heads the Office of Running Psychology at the Institute. He said most thoughts runners have can be categorized as follows:

  • Personal issues and tasks that have to get done.
  • Evaluating running performance and workouts.
  • Self-imagery of winning races and being cheered.
  • Sliding down a mayonnaise-covered hillside into a big puddle of chocolate pudding.
  • Job issues, office politics, and work relationships.
  • Random, tangential thoughts sparked by scenes or objects while running.
  • Partying with aliens and cracking them up with R2D2 impressions.

After Taul read the last item he snorted and did a poor job of trying to stifle his giggling. I said nothing and waited. Taul’s a really nice guy, but because he’s a top-notch research scientist, he’s somewhat nerdy. When his muffled laughing went on for long enough, I finally said, “Taul, are you sure these are really things runners think about?”

“No!” Taul shouted, bursting into laughter. “Two of them are fake!” He laughed for a long time.

I thanked Taul for his time and for sharing his research. I asked him to stop fooling me because I might have used the two fake ones in my blog.

“You’re so easy to fool. You need to work on being less gullible, Jim.” Taul was still laughing when he hung up.

Police Needed at Bakery

As I’ve mentioned before, I usually run with the Manito Runners Club on Saturday mornings. Afterwards, we have coffee at the Rockwood Bakery. An incident occurred that disturbed me because I thought I could trust my fellow club members.

I set my order on the table and used the bathroom. When I returned, someone had helped themselves to my food. “Okay, very funny,” I said. “Who ate my coffee cake?”

My table before coffeehouse crime.

Eating this delicious treat was surely going to be the highlight of my day.

My table after heinous coffeehouse crime.

Instead, I found a tragic and barbaric situation when I returned to my table.

Everyone nearby claimed they didn’t eat my coffee cake, nor saw who did. I was about to get another piece when Petra sat across from me. I was instantly happy.

“How was your run today, Jim?”

“It went well, Petra. I felt pretty good. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill. Someone ate my coffee cake.”

“That’s so, so sad, Jim.” She reached under the table and set my coffee cake in front of me. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist playing a joke on you.”

I was happy to get my coffee cake back, but even happier that Petra had done it. She was seated across from me now. We got into a long conversation about relationships. She and her boyfriend Byron have been together two years. When I asked if they had marriage plans, she looked away and sighed.

“Byron is picking me up in a few minutes. We’re going to a friend’s house for a barbecue, and I know we’ll have fun. But last night we got into a long discussion that wasn’t fun. One day we’re a perfect couple and then another day I wish I was unattached. Our relationship is an emotional roller coaster.”

“Hey, what are you guys talking about?”

It was Byron. Neither of us saw him come in. “Roller coasters,” I blurted.

Byron said Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California is the best roller coaster ever. We shared a few more roller coaster stories before they had to leave.

I sipped the last of my coffee and pondered my conversation with Petra. Maybe I have a chance with her.

Gadgets Take Over Runner. Friends Say She’s no Longer Human.

A couple years ago I read in a scientific journal that theoretically, runners using too many gadgets could cause a meshing of the electrical fields of the human body and the gadgets. This could lead to a separate consciousness being formed and taking over.

Theory has become reality. Amy Smet DePaolo, a runner living in Spokane, Washington, has become the first known victim. On an evening run, she was wearing a smart phone on one arm, a heart rate monitor on the other, an ipod, two GPS units on her wrist (one was a backup), and a head lamp.

Amy Smet DePaolo Before Takeover

Amy Smet DePaolo Before Takeover

When she returned from her run, friends said she wasn’t herself. There were electronic tones coming from her body. She spoke in bursts of computer code. She refused to take her electronic gear off and spent the next several hours in front of her laptop, not once touching the keyboard, relying apparently on a newly developed way to communicate using brain waves.

By week’s end, a doctor’s visit confirmed what her family was seeing. Amy was becoming a walking, multi-purpose, electrical gadget made of human tissue. Her eyes were changing into a digital scanner. Her internal organs were morphing into a motherboard. Two fingers were forming into prongs to plug into outlets.

When she overheard her family planning to short her out to stop the conversion, she fled. Her husband, Toby, now raising their young son alone, tearfully says attempts to get her back have failed.

“She’s too sophisticated. Even though her eyes are a digital scanner, she’s so adept at getting around because her internal bio-GPS unit is amazing. She downloads real-time satellite imagery constantly, so she always knows who’s nearby. “

Toby sees little chance he’ll ever get the old Amy back. However, he’s investigating having his own conversion. “I’m sure Amy would come around if I became a bio-electrical unit too. I’d like to be a large-screen, HD, plasma TV with a really big 256-inch screen, built-in Blu-ray, Netflix enabled, the whole shot. Oh, how our circuits would hum.”