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Howdy, pilgrim! You're in the ^zhurnal — since 1999, a journal of musings on mind, method, metaphor, and matters miscellaneous — previous volume = 0.9943. Click headlines to browse, comment, or edit the ^zhurnalyWiki. Page-top links provide random mantras, tarots, unicorns, power thoughts, and meditative suggestions. For a lovely little mint-tin deck of mindfulness reminders see Open Mind OM Cards.

2020-11-01 - Lonely Orange Skittle

~4.8 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"At least the rain didn't start until we were halfway!" says Half Full, optimistically. Danger Man walks strong the morning after a marathon. Roadkill's 1.5 mile loop to Starbucks recorded by the Apple Watch doesn't appear on its GPS trackfile map, which oddly enough begins only when he joins the others. A happy golden buddha occupies the front window of a downtown Bethesda psychic parlor, surrounded by occult paraphernalia; an inflatable Halloween spirit looms. The only Found Candy on Hallowmas is a lonely orange "Skittles" on the sidewalk. It tastes good.


- Thursday, December 03, 2020 at 06:16:04 (EST)

Disagreement under Disagreement

From David Brooks' NY Times opinion essay "Nine Nonobvious Ways to Have Deeper Conversations" (19 Nov 2020) a wise suggestion for thinking with those on the opposite side of an issue:

Find the disagreement under the disagreement. In the Talmudic tradition when two people disagree about something, it's because there is some deeper philosophical or moral disagreement undergirding it. Conversation then becomes a shared process of trying to dig down to the underlying disagreement and then the underlying disagreement below that. There is no end. Conflict creates cooperative effort.

Brooks's overall list:

(cf Shotguns and Rifles (1999-11-06), Big Lessons (2001-02-17), Superforecasting (2016-02-21), What Moderates Believe (2017-08-26), ...)

- Wednesday, December 02, 2020 at 06:04:14 (EST)

2020-10-31 - Virtual MCM Aid Station

~1.7 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Adults wear tutus too!" Roadkill meets friendly runner "Zoe" who gives permission to photograph her outfit; she hopes to run a marathon some day. Danger Man and Square Peg are doing their virtual Marine Corps Marathon. Their virtual Aid Station fits on the hood of Roadkill's roving car.


- Tuesday, December 01, 2020 at 05:44:05 (EST)

2020-10-30 - Halloween Eve

~4.5 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Awesome yard!" It's Hallowe'ene'en, and Roadkill compliments owners of displays, who respond modestly. A fast cold front brings brisk north winds and dramatic but short-lived stratocumulus perlucidus clouds. Danger Man joins for a segment of the ramble; he's doing a marathon tomorrow. Construction work proceeds furiously at Friday sunset, finishing up paving before the weekend.


- Monday, November 30, 2020 at 06:32:16 (EST)

2020-10-29 - Railroad Crossing

~2.3 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"I need one of those!" Roadkill's trekking pole appeals to the lady who meets him on the Beltway bridge. ("It takes some weight off my knee," he replies.) A quarter mile into today's ramble Roadkill realizes why he feels naked: he forgot his facemask! Double back, put one on, and retrace. At the railroad crossing the gates go down, and he scampers under to get across before a slow freight train blocks the passage. In the National Park Seminary a pair of 12 foot tall skeletons guard the fire house and power plant.


- Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 13:53:51 (EST)

2020-10-27 - Unicorn Skeleton

~3.7 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Look back!" Roadkill texts Danger Man, heading west and unaware that someone is following him half a block behind. On the way to their rendezvous Roadkill explores an overgrown path along a creek near the local swim club, only to discover it dead-ends in an impenetrable thicket. He backtracks and scrambles up a slope to escape. Halloween lawn art features a skeletal unicorn and other oddities.


- Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 05:52:04 (EST)

In Favor of Both

Thomas Friedman in a recent op-ed column offers a nice non-partisan list of things to support on both sides of the political fence:

... for BOTH redividing the pie AND growing the pie, for both reforming police departments and strengthening law and order, for both saving lives in a pandemic and saving jobs, for both demanding equity in education and demanding excellence, for both strengthening safety nets and strengthening capitalism, for both celebrating diversity and celebrating patriotism, for both making college cheaper and making the work of noncollege-educated Americans more respected, for both building a high border wall and incorporating a big gate, for both high-fiving the people who start companies and supporting the people who regulate them ...

... a marvelous statement of how to achieve key meta-goals: balance, partnership, insight!

(cf Make Money Whisper (2002-11-09), Overrated and Underrated (2004-03-13), Tilt Theory of History (2004-06-01), Lyndon Johnson Political Philosophy (2006-10-06), After-Shock (2011-03-30), What Moderates Believe (2017-08-26), ...)

- Friday, November 27, 2020 at 06:10:34 (EST)

2020-10-26 - Purple Line Peek

~4.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"¿Dónde estás?" asks the Mommy, pretending not to see her happy little girl peeking out from under the playground slide. Roadkill leaves the car at the mechanic's garage and takes the long way home via interim Georgetown Branch and Rock Creek Trails. Kids practice soccer at the community rec center. Halloween decorations abound. The wooden trestle, 1400 feet long and built in the late 1800s, has now been replaced by steel girders for the Purple Line light-rail.


- Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 09:03:50 (EST)

2020-10-25 - Tea Sipping

~7.5 miles @ ~24 min/mi

"Pinkies Up!" We pause to sip tea, masked and socially-distanced, during a soggy Sunday morning walkabout. Autumn leaves are lovely in the chilly drizzle. Half Full and Roadkill rendezvous with Danger Man and proceed upstream along Sligo Creek Parkway to Wheaton Regional Park.

"There's a cut-through here somewhere!" promises Roadkill as he leads a damp tour around ballfields to eventually find the path. Dr Slow Twitch joins for the return trip, stretching her legs after yesterday's 100 miler. Law lectures explain existential entities such as companies, corporations, and persons; math lectures explain the nuances of rationals, irrationals, and transcendentals. Mindful dialogue includes the need to empathize with those who may disagree with us, and especially to leave no one behind – in society as well as on the trail. The GPS pauses, resets, and omits half the journey. No matter: with friends, just being is a blessing!


- Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 06:46:43 (EST)

Self-Care Leadership

From Harvard Business Review "Serious Leaders Need Self-Care, Too" by Palena Neale, a short essay about how to "... reframe self-care as an investment that can increase ... overall productivity and effectiveness ...", with some suggested strategies:

(TY, Brigitta-sensei! – cf Comments on Mantra - Say Thanks, not Sorry (2017-06-21), Opening to the New (2019-05-19), Cats and Chocolate (2020-04-27), Happier and Healthier (2020-07-08), Self-Care Matrix (2020-10-15), ...)

- Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 06:26:09 (EST)

2020-10-24 - Way Down Yonder

~8.1 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Mom, where is 'Yonder'?" Square Peg reports cognitive dissonance and a new regional vocabulary when abruptly transferring in 4th grade to a western North Carolina school. She escorts Roadkill at sunrise from Candy Cane City uphill through Rock Creek Forest, recorded by GPS but not mapped until ~1.8 miles into the trek. They return via the Rock Creek Park valley trail and meet Danger Man and Doc Bob, then loop through the Audubon Naturalist Society.


- Monday, November 23, 2020 at 06:18:26 (EST)

2020-10-23 - Live Love Laugh

~2.0 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Breathe" - "Everything Will Be 😊K" - "Live Love Laugh" - "Faith Can Move Mountains" - "Vote" - "You Make Me 😎" - "Life Is Beautiful" - "Be You" - "Friendship" ... and more! A flock of new inspirational painted rocks-in-a-box have joined those first spied during the 2020-05-14 - Cat Practice walkabout. Roadkill rambles to mail a letter, buy lottery tickets, and pick up the car from the shop. Carved pumpkins decorate a front yard stump.


- Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 07:32:20 (EST)

Caring for Each Other in Some Strange Night

A thoughtful op-ed by Susan Faludi in the 29 October New York Times echoes Eugenia Cheng's Ingressive vs Congressive remapping of "female" vs "male" classic behavior patterns. The core of Faludi's argument:

The masculine archetype of the 1930s and '40s was the anonymous common man who proved his chops through communal building, not gunslinging. In a 1932 speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared that "the man of ruthless force had his place in developing a pioneer country" but he now endangered the nation.

"The lone wolf, the unethical competitor, the reckless promoter," he said, "whose hand is against every man's, declines to join in achieving an end recognized as being for the public welfare, and threatens to drag the industry back to a state of anarchy." New Deal America championed a manliness of usefulness, demonstrated through collective service and uncelebrated competence.

The '30s ideal of heroic civil servant carried into World War II, and was enshrined in Ernie Pyle's battlefront dispatches valorizing unsung grunts – "the mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys." Pyle disparaged the silk-scarfed "flyboys," whose camera-ready star turns Pyle instinctively distrusted.

Of the grunt ethic, Pyle wrote, "We are all men of new professions, out in some strange night caring for each other." This service-oriented prototype of manhood – tending to the needs of others, providing protective support, spurning the spotlight – was essentially a maternal masculinity, all the purported qualities of motherhood, recoded for the Y chromosome.

(cf Howards End - Women and Men (2017-09-17), Eugenia Cheng on Thinking (2017-12-30), ...)

- Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 05:48:48 (EST)

2020-10-22 - Pennydog and Patternbond

~5.6 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Pennydog Lane and Patternbond Terrace?" Somebody has a wicked talent for street names! Roadkill emerges from an wildly overgrown corner of Carroll Knolls Local Park after a new bushwhack cut-through over poison ivy, bogs, and tangled deadfalls. He seeks a secret back way to Wheaton and finds it, thanks to a well-hidden stairway behind Stephen Knolls School. Then it's back to meet Danger Man, who is working late. A Halloween black cat prepares to pounce and a skeletal dog has improbable bony ears. On the way Roadkill rescues a lost My Little Pony cap and a chocolate Hersheys candy bar. "The calories in this will cancel out most of today's exercise!"


- Friday, November 20, 2020 at 06:47:31 (EST)

Knowing Stuff Is Hard

In "The Next Decade Could Be Even Worse" by Graeme Wood (The Atlantic, Dec 2020), two memorable quotes:

(cf What We Know (2006-08-15), Know and Do (2019-05-25), ...)

- Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 06:26:42 (EST)

2020-10-21 - Halloween Merewif

~2.9 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Mermaid skeleton?!" Halloween lawn decorations continue to proliferate, including a wall of ghoulish portraits and a Little Free Library covered with faux cobwebs. Danger Man reports soreness from a long run yesterday afternoon; Roadkill's knee is achy after he pedaled an hour on a stationary bike. The GPS shows 2.98 miles when he stops. A curious cat follows for part of the walkabout.


- Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 06:14:49 (EST)

2020-10-19 - Strava Means Strive

~2.9 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"2.99 miles! You go another 50 feet – I can't!" Roadkill touches the finish line, aka his parked car, while Danger Man gets ready to add a run to his daily log. Strava means "strive" in Swedish. The word "compete" is from the Latin, "strive together". Tomorrow the Dioscuri begin another silly week-long Apple Watch activity competition. By a fluke Roadkill "won" the first one. Won't happen again!


- Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 07:00:09 (EST)

The Truth

From Terry Pratchett's comic-fantasy Discworld novel The Truth:

"A thousand years ago we thought the world was a bowl," he said. "Five hundred years ago we knew it was a globe. Today we know it is flat and round and carried through space on the back of a turtle." He turned and gave the High Priest another smile. "Don't you wonder what shape it will turn out to be tomorrow?"

... parody-echoing the film Men in Black:

"Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was flat. And fifteen minutes ago you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

(cf What We Know (2006-08-15), ...)

- Monday, November 16, 2020 at 05:41:02 (EST)

2020-10-18 - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

~7.4 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Lovely long ears!" says Roadkill, admiring the brown-and-white Cavalier King Charles spaniel that a masked lady is out walking. "Yes," she replies, "they pick up all the leaves!" Sunday morning's brisk ramble begins with a chilly solo walk to Starbucks for hot coffee, a quick survey of downtown Bethesda, and a return to join Danger Man, Doc Bob, and Half Full at the Bethesda Outdoor Pool, aka "SEE-ment Pond" as Roadkill pronounces it. Trash talk is strong as the group proceeds south along Little Falls Parkway and continues on the natural-surface Little Falls Trail south of Mass Ave. At his mile #5 Roadkill takes a side pathway to Westmoreland Hills Local Park and returns though a neighborhood of mansions. He discovers a good cut-through near Little Falls Swimming Club.


- Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 05:41:27 (EST)

2020-10-17 - Lawn Angel

~2.6 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"The angel is crying!" Halloween decorations are dense in Half Full's neighborhood. On a crisp Saturday afternoon Danger Man and Roadkill follow her directions to explore Garrett Park streets and admire lawn art, autumn leaves, and architecture.


- Friday, November 13, 2020 at 05:03:24 (EST)

Trustworthy, Helpful, Fair

From "The state of Americans' trust in each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic", a survey of more than 10,000 US adults performed in April 2020 by the Pew Research Center found that:

... and then, looking at combinations of the three criteria:

... startling and sad numbers in many ways – but a small improvement in altruism and optimism and hope since the prior Pew survey in 2018!

(cf Underappreciated Ideas (12999-07-06), How to Succeed (2005-03-11), How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), Tough-Minded Optimists (2009-12-22), How to Be an Optimist (2011-08-24), Life Partner Criteria (2014-05-15), Action to Raise Trust (2015-09-05), Principles of Trust-Building (2015-09-23), Nine Beliefs for Success (2018-03-02), Kevin Kelly Advice (2020-09-22), ...)

- Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 05:35:09 (EST)

2020-10-17 - Black Hill Horror

~3.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Clack! Clack! Clack!" The tapping sound of Roadkill's trekking pole on the path behind them reminds Square Peg and Danger Man of a classic film trope, as if they're being chased by a monster-murderer. They run the Saturday morning MCRRC 5 miler at Little Seneca Lake in beautiful Black Hill Regional Park and finish in just under an hour. Roadkill cuts the course, omitting out-and-back segments, to take photos. An old stone marks the boundary of a William & Mary land parcel from centuries ago.


- Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 06:51:17 (EST)

For back issues of the ^zhurnal see Volumes v.01 (April-May 1999), v.02 (May-July 1999), v.03 (July-September 1999), v.04 (September-November 1999), v.05 (November 1999 - January 2000), v.06 (January-March 2000), v.07 (March-May 2000), v.08 (May-June 2000), v.09 (June-July 2000), v.10 (August-October 2000), v.11 (October-December 2000), v.12 (December 2000 - February 2001), v.13 (February-April 2001), v.14 (April-June 2001), 0.15 (June-August 2001), 0.16 (August-September 2001), 0.17 (September-November 2001), 0.18 (November-December 2001), 0.19 (December 2001 - February 2002), 0.20 (February-April 2002), 0.21 (April-May 2002), 0.22 (May-July 2002), 0.23 (July-September 2002), 0.24 (September-October 2002), 0.25 (October-November 2002), 0.26 (November 2002 - January 2003), 0.27 (January-February 2003), 0.28 (February-April 2003), 0.29 (April-June 2003), 0.30 (June-July 2003), 0.31 (July-September 2003), 0.32 (September-October 2003), 0.33 (October-November 2003), 0.34 (November 2003 - January 2004), 0.35 (January-February 2004), 0.36 (February-March 2004), 0.37 (March-April 2004), 0.38 (April-June 2004), 0.39 (June-July 2004), 0.40 (July-August 2004), 0.41 (August-September 2004), 0.42 (September-November 2004), 0.43 (November-December 2004), 0.44 (December 2004 - February 2005), 0.45 (February-March 2005), 0.46 (March-May 2005), 0.47 (May-June 2005), 0.48 (June-August 2005), 0.49 (August-September 2005), 0.50 (September-November 2005), 0.51 (November 2005 - January 2006), 0.52 (January-February 2006), 0.53 (February-April 2006), 0.54 (April-June 2006), 0.55 (June-July 2006), 0.56 (July-September 2006), 0.57 (September-November 2006), 0.58 (November-December 2006), 0.59 (December 2006 - February 2007), 0.60 (February-May 2007), 0.61 (April-May 2007), 0.62 (May-July 2007), 0.63 (July-September 2007), 0.64 (September-November 2007), 0.65 (November 2007 - January 2008), 0.66 (January-March 2008), 0.67 (March-April 2008), 0.68 (April-June 2008), 0.69 (July-August 2008), 0.70 (August-September 2008), 0.71 (September-October 2008), 0.72 (October-November 2008), 0.73 (November 2008 - January 2009), 0.74 (January-February 2009), 0.75 (February-April 2009), 0.76 (April-June 2009), 0.77 (June-August 2009), 0.78 (August-September 2009), 0.79 (September-November 2009), 0.80 (November-December 2009), 0.81 (December 2009 - February 2010), 0.82 (February-April 2010), 0.83 (April-May 2010), 0.84 (May-July 2010), 0.85 (July-September 2010), 0.86 (September-October 2010), 0.87 (October-December 2010), 0.88 (December 2010 - February 2011), 0.89 (February-April 2011), 0.90 (April-June 2011), 0.91 (June-August 2011), 0.92 (August-October 2011), 0.93 (October-December 2011), 0.94 (December 2011-January 2012), 0.95 (January-March 2012), 0.96 (March-April 2012), 0.97 (April-June 2012), 0.98 (June-September 2012), 0.99 (September-November 2012), 0.9901 (November-December 2012), 0.9902 (December 2012-February 2013), 0.9903 (February-March 2013), 0.9904 (March-May 2013), 0.9905 (May-July 2013), 0.9906 (July-September 2013), 0.9907 (September-October 2013), 0.9908 (October-December 2013), 0.9909 (December 2013-February 2014), 0.9910 (February-May 2014), 0.9911 (May-July 2014), 0.9912 (July-August 2014), 0.9913 (August-October 2014), 0.9914 (November 2014-January 2015), 0.9915 (January-April 2015), 0.9916 (April-July 2015), 0.9917 (July-September 2015), 0.9918 (September-November 2015), 0.9919 (November 2015-January 2016), 0.9920 (January-April 2016), 0.9921 (April-June 2016), 0.9922 (June-July 2016), 0.9923 (July-September 2016), 0.9924 (October-December 2016), 0.9925 (January-February 2017), 0.9926 (March-April 2017), 0.9927 (May-June 2017), 0.9928 (June-October 2017), 0.9929 (October-December 2017), 0.9930 (December 2017-March 2018), 0.9931 (March-April 2018), 0.9932 (May-July 2018), 0.9933 (July-September 2018), 0.9934 (September-December 2018), 0.9935 (December 2018-February 2019), 0.9936 (February-April 2019), 0.9937 (April-July 2019), 0.9938 (July-August 2019), 0.9939 (August-November 2019), 0.9940 (November 2019-February 2020), 0.9941 (February-June 2020), 0.9942 (June-August 2020), 0.9943 (August-November 2020), ... Current Volume. Send comments and suggestions to z (at) his.com. Thank you! (Copyright © 1999-2020 by Mark Zimmermann.)