One Week In


Well, I'm one week in on this 82 week training plan, and I have to say, wow, having a trainer is surprisingly motivating. I hadn't quite understood how much having accountability for training and really, really, really not wanting to waste (lose) the money I'm paying for the trainer would motivate me. Historically, that accountability would come from my teammates, I don't want to let them down, but I seriously lack a team these days. Perhaps that "not letting them down" was too much of a motivating factor, I'm not sure. I'd like not to disappoint myself in particular, which means putting in the work now, for the success later.

One of the biggest surprises I've had so far is just how much I do not have the internal feel of an uphill athlete. I know what having sprint endurance feels like. I know the internal feel of being an ultimate frisbee player. I understand the motions, the aches, the nuances of training too hard vs slacking, but only for ultimate. I do not have these values set for uphill climbing. The advantage of being a fit ultimate player is that most non-skilled activities are "easy," - we were fit enough that we could fake being able to do those other activities. Walking the Cotswold Way? No problem. Building a dam? No problem. Hiking the Grand Canyon? No problem.

But now, with this lack of fitness and a lack internal set point for "uphill athlete," instead of "ultimate athlete," gosh, everything feels so slow.

What, don't raise my heart rate above 120? Um... can I tell you about the time my heart rate monitor recorded my heart rate at 248 and I decided never to wear a heart rate monitor again? 120 isn't even a slow jog heart rate, it is a walking heart rate. On flat ground. Unladen. How do I move this slowly? Argh.

The biggest non-surprise has been just how stunningly not in shape I am. I knew I wasn't in a great place, I just didn't realize how much of not in a great place. Consistency is key to fixing that. And that accountability the trainer brings.

Paired with that non-surprise would be my other actual surprise: that I've finally accepted that this is where I am, fitness-wise. Yes, this used to be easier. Yes, I could hike from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the top without stopping except once for water, once upon a time. That upon time is not now. I am no longer that person. I'm not competing with anyone else for that spot on the team, for our team to win. I'm training to climb a mountain. One mountain in particular.

Trying to raise or lower my heart rate artificially in order to "win" a workout doesn't help me achieve the goal of summitting that mountain and returning safely. Listening to the trainer does help me. And if he says go slowly, I'll go slowly, and eventually learn how being an uphill athlete feels.

Neko 002


My second of n watercolors of Neko Harbor, poorly lit.

I moved more quickly on this one, and just do not like it. I didn't give any part of the painting a chance to dry before I started adding more water. The foreground shore is far too light and far too yellow. While the iceberg that cuts through the middle of the image has its edges defined, the hard edges where I painted over dry paint really bug me. I like the start of the coastal fog. I want to work on that one more. Still love the upper glacier technique.

Watercolor on paper, 3" x 2"
Other versions: Reference 1

The Midnight Library

Book Notes

Neko 001


My new watercolors arrived while I was in Arizona, and I absolutely adore them. I finally decided on the image I want to practice on: my picture on and of the shore of Neko Harbor. I took this picture last January 14th.

My first of n watercolors of Neko, poorly lit.

I accidentally painted the sky and glacier interface, and I really like it. I haven't figured out the water. I noticed that I'm hesitant to start, so having the small surface is a good way to begin. The paper is 3" x 2", with a quarter inch border, so about 2.5" x 1.5" in size, so small form. The other hesitancy removal was the reminder that this is my experimentation medium: I'm not trying for a perfect painting, I'm learning and especially experimenting.

The Eating Instinct

Book Notes

Not How This Works


First email:

I noticed that you have a broken link to a website. That site was first published way back in 2001 but unfortunately, it is no longer a working website.

We recently published an article that explains what happened to the site. I think it's an interesting story, and it could be useful to your readers.

Would you consider swapping out the broken link for our article? It would really help.

It went into the ignore folder.

Second email:

I wanted to check in and see if you got my note about the broken link on your site?

Yes, and I really don't particular want to invest the time in tracking down the 404 at this point. Such cleanup is on my Tech Debt List, which is not high on my to-do list yet. Soon, but not today.

Third email:

After emailing you, I realized this may not be your responsibility and you're focused on other stuff.

Who's the best person on your team to talk to about this?

Well, A+ for persistence. My site isn't so visited that this level of effort makes sense. I think I want to meet the author of these emails.

Fourth email:

I'm sure you're busy, but if you could respond to my email below, I can cross this off my list.

Well, shit, I've become a blocker for someone. That really sucks. I'd feel bad, except let's look back at this from the first email:

PS: if you didn't like getting this email, please just shoot me a note and ask me not to email you anymore. I'll make sure I don't.

Yeaaaaaaaaah, no. This isn't how this site works.

All of these emails have asks. All of these emails demand action from me. All of these are asking for my attention, for action on my part. If I fail to follow up, more demands for my attention are made.

I recognize there is a person on the other end of those emails, and, wow, would responding be easier than writing this note. I would like to be kind to the sender, but, increasing demands on my time, without my consent, eh, really shouldn't be rewarded.

And how funny that I balk at setting this boundary on demands for my time and my site. I'm sure Jonathan can relate to this boundary, unfortunately.

So, I checked my assumptions and went to look for the person behind the emails, as the wording leads me to believe there is a person, and, well, now I'm less sure. Looking on Twitter, the company behind the "replace your URL with this URL" emails has one tweet, no followers, and is following no one (ugh, non-parallel structure there). I haven't gone to the website, but note that searches for the sender's name and the company name yield zero results in Duckduckgo, and subsequently Google, results.

A company I contracted with recently would use fake names in their marketing emails, names odd enough that one would be able to find the senders on the internet if they existed. The sender of the emails seems to be as much of a ghost as that company's marketing women.

Ehhhhhh, yeah, link rot sucks. I have a better solution planned than what I have now. It is, also, on the Tech Debt List. It is, also, not today.

And the link that was referenced in the first email? Still rotten.