kris

Would you vote for this one?

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Kris likes his question of the day. He asks them nearly randomly, but consistently daily. He has, however, started asking other people questions, instead of just me, which is both nice (someone else has to ponder them!) but sad (I don't get to ponder them!). He asked today's question to a coworker (the best hugger in the world, I might add), so I was asked the refined question instead of the original. The question assumed the person being asked the question both is liberal and votes along Democratic Party lines.

It went something like, "If a candidate were running, say for governor, on a platform of reducing per-capita emissions, and to do this, is going to implement some easy impact changes immediately, say,

  • forced spare-the-air days where you don't have a choice about not driving to work: you'd have to bike, take public transportation, walk or ride with the part of the population that can drive that day,
  • or, if a car doesn't meet efficiency standards, it's not allowed to be on the road on certain days, tickets will be issued on certain days,
  • or, following the car efficiency standards, they would be more strict than they currently are,
  • or, you have to pay to drive on the freeway, and you need to purchase a fastpass to do so,
  • or, you can drive only a certain number of days a month, using public transportation or carpooling on other days.

The idea here being, the candidate would issue hard and fast rules for the next 3 years, and everyone would see results. Guaranteed.

So, the question is, would there be a point where it becomes so inconvenient to your lifestyle that you couldn't vote for this candidate?"

Kris' questions are getting more involved.

The coworker he asked apparently not only said he'd vote for the candidate, but he also jumped on the bandwagon, offering a few more suggestions of control. When Kris asked me about the question, I jumped on it, too. I suspect none of the rules would actually hold up in any legal court, the summation of all of them causing undue financial hardship on a large number of citizens.

My suggestion was to mandate auto-off at stop for all cars. The engine of Kris' Honda Civic Hybrid turns off when it's out of gear and fully stopped. The amount of gas wasted at stop lights completely frustrates me, especially along streets with poorly timed lights.

Yoink!

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So, today at Velocity Sports, we hooked up to the sleds, but not to push or pull them. Instead, we used them as anchors. Kris has used the sleds before in a workout. I hadn't, and took a while to figure out the harness. It was a chest harness with the hook in the back, and broad straps along the shoulders.

Unfortunately, when I put it on, all you could see was boob. It was like my breasts reached out and smacked the casual observer who looked in my direction. Even Bryanne looked at me and inadvertently said, "Whoa."

Using the sleds as anchors, we attached ourselves to long bungee cords, sprinted forward twenty yards, touched the ground, ran backward twenty yards, repeated for four reps, then did 20 pushups, the whole set then repeated four times total. The sprint forward was easy until the last five yards, the run backward even easier. I don't run backward particularly well, so I enjoyed actually being able to run backward for once.

After the first set of four reps of four sprints plus pushups, we were to do another set with situps instead of pushups. Kris commented that he didn't feel the bungee cord was providing much resistence, and asked if he could run to the wall, another five yards beyond our current stopping point. Bryanne suggested, instead, that he move the sled back three yards, so that he feels the resistance sooner. He shoved the sled back. Bryanne added more weight to the sled since Kris was going to be pulling it more, and we lined up to run again.

When we start these runs, I'm usually able to keep up with Kris for the first run or the first few steps. As we started on the first sprint, Kris was on the far side, Bryanne in the middle and I ran on her other side. We ran the first twenty yards together until a "GAK!" and Kris disappeared from our peripheral.

The bungee cord had provided Kris more resistance than he had realized and, in a cartoon dog reaching the end of his leash moment, when he reached the end of the cord, it stopped, and he did, too. Quite suddenly.

We had to stop for a long time, unable to do anything but laugh.

Fingers in a door

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Once, when I was around four years old, my family arrived from out somewhere I have absolutely no idea where. I was in the back seat of the car when my mom opened the car door and hopped out. She immediately turned, and shut the car door, turning back to the house. As she turned, she heard a high pitch muffled little "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

A moment later, she realized that I had reached up on the door jam when she opened the car door, and she had closed the door on my fingers. She opened the door quickly and released my fingers.

I ended up losing a couple fingernails, but gained an entertaining story.

When Kris and I leave in the morning for Velocity Sports, having switched to the 7am class for the "convenient" time and the personalized training with group rate prices, the car is often covered in dew. I've taken to wiping off the passenger side window before opening the car door, so that Kris can see outside my side of the car.

This morning, I forgot to wipe the window before entering the car, so I rolled the window down slightly. Kris hates when I roll the window all way, believing the water will roll into to inside of the door and rust it out. I stuck my hand out the window and started wiping off the window so that Kris could see.

Kris looked left, looked right, rolled the window down slightly so that he could see, looked left again, and, as he pulled out of our street turning left, reache down and pulled on the passenger window switch to roll it up.

With my entire hand still out the window.

Clearly my vocabulary has increased in the intervening decades. Instead of a high pitched muffled little "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Kris heard a very succinct, "OOOOOOOOOoooooooooWwwwwwwwwwwwwwWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"

Pulgas Ridge hike

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Andy showed us his Pulgas Ridge hike, with an off-leash dog park in the middle.

Andy told us about a hill in the park that he and the dogs run up. It's an insane hill. They run up, rest, walk down and run up again. Last week was a slow week, they managed only two sprints up the hill. Their record is five.

I'd be happy with one.


Shadow and Kris


Bella and Blue


Blue and his indestructo disc

Give up baseball?

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"Who wrote this crap? Who in his right mind would ask a woman to give up everything she is, everything she loves, the very essence of her being, for him? I mean, how could you even ask that of someone?"

"Well, you start out with, 'Hey, bee-yotch!'"

...

"Wait a second. You mean, if I asked, you'd give up baseball?"

"Baseball?"

"Yeah, baseball. Like, never talk about it. Never watch another game. Never read another book about baseball. Never draft another fantasy baseball team. You'd do it?"

"Well, if you started with, 'Hey, bee-yotch!'..."

Boom!

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When I was maybe 11, my family and I were in the family room (how appropriate) one evening watching television. At least, I think we were all in there. Maybe just the kids were watching television, and Mom and Dad were off doing something else.

At some point, we all heard a loud BOOM! as something crashed upstairs in the attic. Now, unlike another episode when I didn't hear the sound, I did hear the sound, and jumped up when everyone else did. We all ran upstairs to look around. Did a ladder fall? No, there weren't any ladders around. Did a picture fall? No, none of us had pictures on our walls upstairs. Did the plumbing in the half-renovated bathroom come crashing down through the center of the house? No, it's still firmly in place, though, still half done. We looked around, and could find no cause for the sound.

Eventually we gave up looking for the sound source, and went back to the family room. Soon after, the phone rang with Mrs. Bretts calling to ask if we, too, hears the loud boom a short while ago. We told her we did, which caused even more concern. What could have possibly caused the noise that could be heard over all the neighborhood? We checked our front yards, the back yards, no accident, no screaming neighbors running around with gunshot wounds trailing blood down the street. Nothing.

We found out the next day that a meteor had hit the atmosphere over Northwest Indiana and exploded. Honestly, I can't say any of us offered that as a possibility.

Last night, Kris and I had a remarkably similar what-the-heck-was-that experience. In the middle of the night, when both of us were fast asleep in the doggie matrix (also known as the small bed where Kris, Bella, Annie and I sleep, all packed together in the bed so tight that extraction from such a pack requires delicate precision, and re-insertion into the matrix after a trip to the washroom in the middle of the night is nigh impossible), we heard a long, lonely arooooooOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOO!

Kris and I were instantly awake and rushing out to the living room. We looked around, trying to figure out the cause of Annie's howling. Annie sat in her place on the couch looking up at us with an expression of, "What?"

We couldn't figure out is the noise was actually Annie. She didn't seem to be the source, looking up at us innocently. Bella had been in the bed between us, so clearly she wasn't the source. We eventually figured Annie had howled, and wandered back to the bedroom. As I faded back to sleep, I wondered if meteors howl.

Maybe fire lightning does...

Just can't win

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Even when I try, I just can't win sometimes.

Take tonight, for example. Since I trained in from Velocity Sports this morning, I asked Kris to pick me up from work before we went to dinner with Crystal and Nick. I told him to call before he arrived so that I could be downstairs waiting when he arrived. Last time we tried this, I made Kris wait a few minutes downstairs as I finished up with something I was doing (clearly the most important thing to be doing, ever), and he was annoyed at me when I finally exited the building. He was double parked in the street, and such blatant disregard for fellow drivers pains Kris beyond belief.

I was determined not to cause his such pain. I was ready to close my computer, stand up and leave the moment he called. This time, I would be waiting downstairs, ready to sprint to the car, fling open the door and jump in, all while Kris rolled by at an easy 10 mph. No stopping this time!

Earlier that day, I was at a client meeting with Mike. When we arrived at the client's, I turned off the ringer on my cell phone (actually, off both cell phones), and tucked them back in my bag. When I'm at a client's, I'm at the client's, not on the phone with another one. Twice during the meeting Mike's cell phone rang and he looked to see who the caller was. The second time annoyed me so much I snapped at him, "Why is that ringer on? Turn it off."

Another lesson Kris taught me: the phone is there for my convenience.

Tragically, after the meeting, I forgot to turn either ringer back on.

When Kris called me on his way to the office, when he was close, just as I requested, he called me to let me know he was on his way.

He called again to let me know he was close.

He called again to let me know he was downstairs.

He called again to let me know he was driving around the block.

He called again to let me know he was parking in the lot across the way.

He called again on my other number, because clearly the first one wasn't working.

"Is that your cell phone ringing?" Mike asked me as I was working away, clearly blocking out the world as I worked. "My cell phone? What?" I asked. "Cell phone? OH CRAP!" I jumped up.

Kris was just ringing Doyle to ask "WTF, mate?" as I made the last exclamation. I was out the door before Doyle could say, "She's on her way."

From actual call that reached me to downstairs out the door was less than 10 seconds.

For Kris, that 10 seconds took 20 minutes.

Morning person

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"You've become a morning person."

"I'm not a morning person."

"How can you say that? You're up before 7:00 am every day of the week but Sundays. When the ultimate season starts, you'll be up that early even on Sundays."

"I'm not a morning person."

"Yes, you are. Admit it."

"I'm not a morning person, I'm a coffee person."

"Oh."

Kris' quotes and questions

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One of Kris' quirks, one that I absolutely love, is that he will ask an unusual question, usually one relevant to the situation at hand, in order to spark an off-the-wall conversation. After a few years of this, I started writing the questions down, mostly because they're so entertaining. I wish I had kept notes about the conversations that followed, too.

"Water splats. It doesn't roll."

It was raining outside, and the drops were really loud on the roof of the house. I commented to Kris that I was surprised at how big the drops were. He pointed out that, no, it wasn't raining: it was hailing.

"It's not about the size of the pie, it's about the size of the piece."

We were talking about something, I don't recall what, but I had made some comment about people's greed in a dying industry. It might have been something comparable to the horsewhip industry in the beginning of the car era, but applied more to a more recent technology, not sure.

The observation seems right on, though. Many times, people are more interested in keeping what they have, in the areas they know, instead of looking around and seeing other opportunities. I know I'm guilty of this.

"It's easier to keep up than catch up."

This should probably be a letter, but Kris said it, so here it is.

He made this comment offhandedly after I skipped a workout. I don't recall if I was injured or not, given the last fews years, I probably was.

Fitness is definitely one of those qualities that takes constant maintenance, and keeping up with it is way easier than trying to catch back up with it. It's not like you can workout for ten hours on one day and be as fit as you would be after working out for an hour a day for ten days. Darn it.

"Large car. Small space. Do you think you have any recourse if you're in an accident?"

We were in the parking lot off Cowper and University in Palo Alto, when Kris asked this question. The lot has many spaces labelled "CAR SMALL" (or "SMALL CAR" if you read it close to far away). These spaces are, as expected, smaller than most spaces, and should be filled by, you guessed it, small cars.

However, the lack of parking spaces in the downtown Palo Alto area often causes the retarded drivers of large SUVs to park in these spaces. And yes, I'm deliberately calling them "retarded," because there is something fundamentally wrong with drivers who park in spots that are clearly too small for their vehicle, a vehicle sized far bigger than the driver truly needs in the first place, and thinks the parking is a good idea.

Clearly wrong.

As we drove by a particularly big SUV, might have been an Cadillac Escalade, in a CAR SMALL spot, Kris pondered what recourse a driver of a small car parked in a small space would have if the large vehicle damaged the car, or blocked the small car in with its size. The small-car driver would, of course, have whatever legal recourse for damage to his vehicle by the large vehicle.

For inconvenience of being unable to leave the spot because of the larger vehicle's size, however, the issue is murky. The larger car isn't supposed to be parked in the spot, but we didn't know of any parking law in Palo Alto that legally prevented its parking. I recall a law was proposed, but I'm pretty sure the political arm of MWSUV (Mothers with SUVs) defeated it in the elections.

We concluded the small car driver would have no recourse, but we didn't reach this conclusion until the end of the drive home.

Which made the question a great one for conversation, and achieved Kris' hidden agenda of asking thought provoking questions to ponder.

History. Gone.

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I went to Kris' blog today to see if had posted recently. When I didn't see any posts on the front page, I logged in to see the posts.

And couldn't find any.

When I asked him about it, he told me that he had deleted them. He felt blogging wasn't for him, and so removed all of the posts.

I was surprised, and, honestly, remarkably bummed (disappointed, shocked, hurt) about it. He had told some stories, some of which were really cute and quite humourous.

I can respect he doesn't want the content back up, but I could have kept the posts and taken down the site.

I'm just really sad the posts are all gone.

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