Monday, June 30, 2008


Hot half.

Fun stuff.

Over the bridge and through Bellevue neighborhoods of my youth.

Shout out to families with hoses everywhere.

You made my day.

Walking with tatas, hotties and the lone glamour pirate. I walked with my favorite walkers
and even the lone tata who was sunning herself on the beach in Maui was missed!

Man, I'm so glad I'm in shape and trained, it was not a half for wusses.

Back to the grind. One tiny blister on my toe and some advil and I'm good to go for 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.

nm with lots of beer in the fridge

Friday, June 27, 2008

visualizing reality

Ever have one of those days?
Tomorrow my 3 day training schedule has me going on a 13 mile walk. The following day I'm doing a half marathon. Did I mention the high for tomorrow is forecast for 86 and Sunday 88 degrees? Chuck Bartlett of Run Chuckit suggested that the Seafair Marathon be more about hydration and less about PRing. I am going to agree, for me, it will be a training walk with no real stops, a nice tshirt and a banana at the end.

I've been reading a lot about productivity, time management and stress reduction. One thing that struck me was the concept of visualizing what your day is going to be before you commit yourself to one more thing.

In this case, let's take my tomorrow.

TH is out of town, that means Ernest is all mine.

That means I have a 5:30 am dog walk at the park, shower, 8 am start to a 13 mile walk with lots of stops. We won't finish until 1 pm. I won't get home until 1:20 pm. I have time to wolf down something to eat, walk Ernest again, deal with whatever crises come my way and then run to Bellevue to pick up my race packet for the next day's half.

I should return home at 3 pm.

Walk Ernest again or at least do something to mildly entertain him.

Take another shower, do a few chores for tomorrow's potluck/bbq.

5 pm - go to 'rents to have dinner with a childhood friend and my mom and dad. I'm off the hook for making anything, but I'm responsible for bringing a box of mac and cheese and the legos.

Home at 8, walk Ernest.

Aunt P and cousin Scruffy are in town for Pride, hang with them. Walk Ernest and Scruffy, go to bed for a 5 am wake up.

Does that sound crazy?

It does to me once I put it all into my brain, buffered each activity for crap that could happen and then decided that it just isn't going happen.

My 13 mile walk is now a 7 mile walk at 7 am by myself. I have enough time to come home, run to market and chill in the heat. With dog walks, I'll finish the day at about 9 to 10 miles walked, not bad.

My training will survive my not being there for the 13 miles. My wallet will appreciate not stopping at Starbucks with the Hotties and I'll do things at my own pace.

Recently I started to really calendar, mostly visually using Google Calendar which synchs to the blackberry. It gives me a better idea of what my day is going to look like. I am trying to make better use of my time and resources - gas being one of them, so like every other person in the world, I'm starting to really combine trips.

I'm also learning to say no.

That is the hardest part.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A humble respect

the braising green section

Today I spent the twilight hours gardening, both at home and the p-patch. It was a beautiful evening and instead of spending it inside folding laundry we watered in anticipation of warmer weather on the horizon and a work function that will bring many to ooh and ahh at my overgrown perennial borders.

We tottered to the garden to weed, water and harvest. We have had brazen broadcasting of mustards all over our beds and since the P-patch program donates tons of fresh produce to the city food bank programs, we are trying to do our part. This spring has been cruel for Seattle gardeners with heat followed by snow followed by grey malaise that never let up. The last few days have brought some hope and great gasps of growth to our crops both planned and volunteer.

Tonight I harvested 15 lbs of mustard plants-topped and cleaned them to donate to my Friday run to our North Seattle food bank. When I arrive at the garden at 8:45 on Friday morning I will be relieved to see others have donated beautiful heads of bronze lettuce, greens of all sorts and rhubarb and mustards. Later this season there will be squash of various sizes and tomatoes that we all can't keep up with, at least we hope.

The Lettuce link program has been really integral in getting fresh foods to those who frequent the city's food banks. In April I had the privilege to volunteer my Saturday morning to help distribute seeds to those waiting for their weekly allotment of food and talked to people who wanted to plant small gardens - even in containers where ever they lived. It gave me hope and made me realize that we can all tuck in another row of beans, transplant a few more heads of lettuce and harvest our squash a little earlier and share the bounty with someone who will appreciate out harvest because for them it may be a rare thing.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

weekend wrap up

One of my fave views in the world

Three very good meals out - Tamarindo, Camino and Station House Cafe
Happy and sadness at Shell Beach
Sunburnt on the back of my arms
Hugs and tears
Hotter than hell in the 94707 on Friday night
Fog finally on Saturday night
A ring and a phone call on Saturday
The ring sighting on Sunday!
Home and not going anyfreaking where for three weeks and so happy about it

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Alstair stellar grey

I've been a bad blogger of late. Honestly, who wants to hear of my trials and tribulations. I'm not doing anything glamorous. My life is pretty mundane.

The weather has not been particularly good here, so anytime I can feel the sun shine through, I'm outside. I couldn't imagine being inside tied to this infernal machine any longer than possible.

Today TH started a trek to California -one she does on a fairly regular basis. I will follow tomorrow and we will spend Saturday morning on the beach at Point Reyes celebrating the life of a dear friend. I anticipate tears and laughter and the warm hugs of his partner, with whom I last spoke two years ago after the death of a mutual friend. It makes me sad that we have to connect this way.

Like I said, its been a hard year all around.

Tomorrow, summer starts. To some this is wonderful, to me it is bittersweet.

It means the days grow shorter again.

This evening, after a round of chores and visits, I spent two full hours weeding, transplanting, pruning and watering the p-patch plots. My enthusiasm has rubbed off my parents. After dinner tonight, they skipped Jeopardy they went to their garden and watered and weeded and just reveled in the evening.

My mom called me later and told me that she was happy she got out of the house and went to the garden.

It made me smile.

I'll try and be a better correspondent. As I drive or walk these days I think of things I want to write, but others have covered the same topics better than I can and frankly internets, I wouldn't want you to spend time reading when you could be out weeding.

nm up and down like the dow jones

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Short but sweet

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Jacques, our beloved basset. I don't know whether to be sad that or forgot or happy that we've moved on.

Life here is throwing a few curve balls, but we'll hit one out of the field one of these days.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A remembrance

May he rest in peace

Today I found out that one of my favorite musicians in the world passed last month.

I cannot tell you how sad I am, I cannot tell you how lucky I was to listen to him last year and the years before at the VFMF.

Utah Phillips was to me one of the most amazing legacies of an era that is slowly fading.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Carrot weather

When you walk the dog in a down jacket in the second week of June there must be something wrong.

My tomatoes are snug in their wall o waters and my spinach has no fear of bolting. People scoff at the idea of global warming, well folks climate change does all sorts of things including bringing to the table lots of variability. Here we are having a moderate La Nina event --cooler and wetter. It was predicted and she is rearing her wet head all through out the north pacific while the mid Atlantic sizzles and the Plains are deluged.

Maybe we are finally paying attention to the weather.

I hope my strawberries ripen soon -- I hate to see a mismatch between rhubarb availabilty and strawberries.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

more of nothing redux

Every time the phone rings these days, its not happy news.

I can unfortunately count on more than one hand, the number of people taken from us this year.

This really sucks.

Today we heard that one of TH's last links to her mom died a few weeks ago.

I will miss him so.

I need some cheering up.

nm here for the duration, or as long as they let me

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More on nothing and something


I used to love it when TH left, really.

It meant I could eat standing up, toast for dinner, pad thai for breakfast. I could clean closets at 2 am or go to bed at 8 pm with the dog. It was a nice break for the both of us.

These days, I wish she was home, the dog, the house, the garden and my soul need her nearby.

Times have changed in the world of the sea going scientist --It used to be that doing field work meant the last staggered phone call at the fuel pier felt like a life line was being cut. You said your goodbyes, your i love yous, your devotion and dedications and the be safes with a time delay and that was it, for weeks. If you heard from someone while you were out to sea, something terrible had happened.

In the mid90s TH was testing out a protocol that sent faxes and simple file transfers from the vax to the ships. I was the lucky recipient of little coded messages at the bottom of status reports from the lab or to the lab of how our operations were going. I loved getting these little messages, they were little love notes in with larval fish counts, station changes and equipment issues.

In Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, more than likely, you can get a cell phone tower to work if you lean into the wind and away from the big hills. If not, there is the internet. It is less costly these days and the real time streaming of data and information is useful for the scientists, operations and for the morale of the crews.

You really can't get away from it. From 2 pm when TH surfaces until she goes back to bed after her watch is over at 4 am, I get updates on the cruise, she checks in with ernest and his blog, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and other sundry items between stations.

She also does work as it just does not go away anymore. You still respond to crisis, submit abstracts to meetings and fight fires from the middle of the ocean.

I love and hate it.

I love that I can email her or even skype her if I needed to because I am having a day, but at the same time, it means that neither of us can just let it go. You inbox may be clean when you tie up, but you haven't had a moment to just clear your head.

Today I celebrate the fact that in two sleeps and one wake up, TH will be tied up to the pier and soon on her way home.

I'm hoping that the FY09 field season has a February cruise for TH. It would be a nice time to visit Alaska. I hear its easier to get your upgrades to clear and you may get to the ice edge.

nm over and out

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today I came home from a ten mile walk to find that I have no fence on my south side of my yard. Nice.


That basically means that the back garden is unusable for Ernest, quite the bummer as I have tons to do back there and he could spend his time chewing, running around and be a dog, something that I realize he spends less and less time doing these days.

Since my neighbor's son is dealing with all this, I am willing to put money on the fact that it ain't getting finished in a timely manner.

Maybe tomorrow am we'll hit the dog park for a change.

nm not in the best of moods

Thursday, May 22, 2008

still here

Just busy.

TH is bobbing around the Gulf of Alaska and Ernest is zooming. Doesn't give me much time for anything more than hanging on my fingernails.

Stay tuned for something witty tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

saturday update


nine miles this morning, hot, but nice
three new pairs of brooks yesterday - two for the 3 day, one for the portland marathon/seattle half
overdue pedi
my first skort (shut up) purchase
dinner plans changed in mid stream, learning to adapt

seven plus miles
new shoe testing
tomato planting
mama stephanie visit

I could get used to this.

TH is off to the Gulf of Alaska via the Bering Sea for the two weeks or so, Ernest and I are holding down the fort.

I see long walks, some discussions over the appropriateness of cereal for dinner and who gets the last table water cracker in the package.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fresno Friday wrap up

Slamming doors were fewer
Transnational as word of the day
Mennonite church ladies providing panderia and tacos
Nectarine groves lush with fruit
Table grapes at 60 mph
Japanese variety store converted to a mosque in fresno
Strawberry buttermilk shake--don't knock it until you try it
Margaritas with the duluth, savannah and butte conference organizers
Wheat from the mill

Nm says bye bye now

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fresno highlights

Slamming hotel doors
Adobe architecture
Water towers
Seeing uncle bill
Ranch supper
Fig garden woman's club tea
Taco truck for dinner

In 15 minutes. 9 separate door slams

Nm following the banal with the sublime

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

dear internets

I am not very happy with myself. Without going into so much detail. I have realized that my weight issues are more than garbage in and nothing positive coming out.

yours fondly and in a pants size bigger than last summer,


banana republic -- i hate your vanity sizing
old navy -- i really wonder if you are truer to size

Monday, May 05, 2008

growing old

The Zootunes tickets went on sale today. I drove by the store that was selling them and I thought that I was watching a breadline in the former Soviet Union or that rice was available on the shelves again. It seriously looked like the line at Bell, Book and Candle when Stones tickets went on sale in 1981.
We usually go to a few Zootunes shows and mostly have a decent time. It is no longer cheap, but appeals to people with sprogs, because sprogs under 10 or some such get in for free. So if you are into mood, deep thoughts and grooving to the tunes, it isn't the scene for you. If you love watching kids run amok, a myriad of crocs colors and good weather then go.

Even with the kids, the line up and the fact we have to haul ass from work, walk the dog and find parking we still go. This year the line up was meh, but we still managed to find some crumblies to see. Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs and Josh Ritter (who knew) are on the plate. I believe that most of these dates do no interfere with tata 3 day training and if so, I'll just walk to the show.

I used to love live music - mc'ing little shows at clubs, going to see bands and really getting into the music. These days, its not just the same. I don't have the same stamina for sets that start at 9 pm and definitely not the stomach for that much beer. I look at festivals as an excellent excuse to read a book, work on my tan and listen to some decent music. I abhor paying more than 40 dollars to see a concert. I balk at the shows that I see that start at 75 bucks a head. I can't imagine paying that much to see anyone -- okay, I would pay up to 250 dollars to see Leonard Cohen and he would have to play for at least 90 minutes and stare directly at me for at least one song.

The funny thing is that the people I see going to those expensive shows are my cohort plus or minus some botox or a c-section or three. That is a lot of money - at least a few units of the b-juice in the forehead to see Dire Straits or the Michael (ugh) McDonald sing badly while sipping some plonk and checking in with the office on a Saturday nights on the blackberry.

I think I'll hold off for a few more years - wine, concerts at wineries and the b-juice, I'm just not ready to grow up that much.

nm minute by minute

Sunday, May 04, 2008

sunday funnies

Flew to and from Boston, after dinner with some of my favorite people around in Seattle. I wish I could have made the night last longer and I wish to g-d in heaven I had more than one mangopolitan.

I'm trying to figure out if I really need to do these "stupid" runs to keep status.
This one had TH involved, so it was fun. I have to say the no change fee is worth some of the pain.

This week is a long one and a short one. I'm off to FAT for VAF.
I haven't been in FAT since 1981 and I'm thinking there are fewer fig groves than before.

Other than that, tata walking, parental controls, gardening and work (must finish short course description asap) are on the horizon for the next 70 hours.

nm on the loose

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Accomplished today:
walked 10 plus miles
laughed a lot on said walk
showered twice
walked dog hither and yon
delivered said dog to lock down (to be retrieved tomorrow)
12 minute nap accomplished

Not accomplished:
planting anything

good thing tomorrow is coming up

off to bos, don't ask.
Currently in one day lockdown, my lawyers think they'll be able to post bail tomorrow.

ernest jail bird basset