Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Experiment With 5 Fingers

After doing a bit of on-line research, I decided to buy a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes. They cost approximately $85 and I had to drive to Reyer's in Sharon to find them. They are available on-line (www.vibramfivefingers.com) but given their unique shape and sizing I wanted to try them on before purchase.

I tried them out for about a half mile at first, to get a feel. Then, I wore them all day Sunday to see how they'd hold up as a daily wear shoe. Once you get over the initial awkwardness of putting them on and walking around a bit they are quite comfortable. Yesterday, I went for a 2 mile run. They felt great on the gravel trail at Pearson Park but I got blisters on my arches and a few toes. Well worth it in my opinion. I tend to trod heel to toe, rolling across the full length of my foot. The 5 Fingers make that feel awkward, which forced me to put more emphasis on the balls of my feet and toes.

Long story short, I'm a fan thus far. (Though some better color options would be nice.) 

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School

Today is a great day for learning. The Wife headed off to grad school today, leaving me behind to continue my battle with the percolator. It took three tries, but we reached an accord and I got coffee instead of hot water. Not that I need it, but I'll take small victories.

This may be my favorite time of year, the first week back to school. Working in Oakland gets me an eagle eye view of the incoming freshman class. There's so much promise and excitement before things get real and they get fat. Naive optimism, is there anything better?

Here's a particularly bomb TED talk, noteworthy for the crazy animation and stellar argument. (The last few minutes are exceptional.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Ahhhhhh back in the Castle, baby. Much like the mob, you try to get out and it pulls you right back. It's been half a month and I've noticed people smile less here. Christina was verbally accosted by a drunk the one night we went out and obesity is rampant.

It's been said that politically, Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, with rural Kentucky in between. It's true. Not necessarily a bad thing, but brush your teeth. In a sick sense I'm looking forward to interacting more with the denizens of the city of my youth. There are a lot of good people here, and I hate that they get marginalized (tho I guess I'm doing the same thing).

All I know for sure is family is a blessing. Going to the LC Fair tonight. Pictures to follow.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Just to try to begin to get in the habit of putting words down each day...

Nothing insightful or interesting happened to me today. I made pancakes for dinner. Teen and I joked about wearing all of one color, how "sweatpants gray" should by all rights be the color of universal surrender. Nothing is lazier or a more appropriate sign of not giving a crap than wearing all sweatpants gray colored clothing.

A final thought:  If we know we will live longer, do we grow up too fast? Is it wrong to feel 18 at 25 if you're going to live to be one hundred?

Sunday, February 28, 2010


The wife and I went to New Castle for a day this weekend. My dad was preaching at a small church, and at one point in the service people brought up concerns and prayer requests. Two people mentioned loved ones who had to be rushed to Pittsburgh for medical treatment. It's amazing for me to think of this city like that, as a faraway place where the sick and dying must go to be kept alive, but for so many people, a trip to Pittsburgh means a loved one is hurting.

I've been seeing a lot of people bringing up a lot of evidence that the United States is an empire in decline. Some think it is due to the fact that we got away from our Constitution or our old way of life. Some say it is because we are too gluttonous and greedy. Still others say that the reason doesn't matter--that empires eventually and inevitably decline.

People relate to life in two ways, I think. The first is how you see yourself as an individual person. This view incorporates those with whom you interact and their influence on you. The second is how you see yourself as a human being in the long-term sense of humanity. A good example is an old person you love. You want your great grandfather to live forever, but if he does, future children will miss out on all the resources he consumed in his long life.

For me, Pittsburgh, with all its potholes and crappy politicians, is home. For others, it is a last chance. The city has done well at adapting to progress, moving from a primarily steel based economy to one set in education and medicine. There's a certain dignity and clarity involved in seeing yourself as just a small cog in a much larger machine. Imagine what the state of the city would be if it had refused to abandon its coal-fired roots. Pittsburgh no longer shapes the world as it did in its heyday, yet it's doing pretty well. Perhaps we're better off forgetting about the way things used to be and just looking forward. We all share one thing in common: no matter what we do now we are all in the end just future history.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coincidence feels like Luck

I'm going to start writing on here more because it is good practice.

On Wednesday I went to the grocery store because I wanted bread to go with the fish and green beans I was cooking. Also Wednesday is one of the two days each week that the Powerball is drawn. I usually buy one ticket per drawing because it seems like a worthy investment. So I get my bread after muscling out an Asian couple in the checkout line (I only had one item, they had like 50) and go to the lottery-ticket dispensing machine. I slide a crisp dollar into the slot and press the quick pick button. No ticket. After thinking it best to just walk away, I reluctantly pluck another dollar from my wallet and decide to pick numbers. My finger hovers between 29 and 30. Intuition says 29, mind says 30. I go with 30.

The first ticket drops with the second; oddly enough showing a Powerball of 29. As it turns out, that night the number drawn was 27. Oh well. I don't really play the Powerball to win, but to hang on the promise that miraculous life change is possible and for all we know, imminent.