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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.

2020-12-21 - Conjunction Junction

~2.4 mi @ ~26.5 min/mi

"No, Ma'am, it's not an eclipse, it's a conjunction!" says Roadkill to the lady in the parked car. "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?" Danger Man quotes Sesame Street. Jupiter and Saturn play peek-a-boo with thick clouds, allowing sporadic glimpses of their close encounter. Roadkill recalls his Xmas 2012 love poem "Conjunctions".


- Friday, January 22, 2021 at 07:22:09 (EST)

Chance, Cause, Clash

The three dimensions of Thinking Better, in a nutshell, are understanding:

That is:

(cf Greatest Inventions (2011-06-09), Think Better - Three Keys (2019-06-05), More Meta (2019-08-31), Clearly, Dearly, Nearly (2020-02-05), May I (2020-03-22), ...)

- Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 07:26:11 (EST)

2020-12-20 - Stables Sunrise

8.0 mi @ ~21.2 min/mi

"You probably don't have AIDS in your heel!" Doc Bob offers a cautious diagnosis of Danger Man's painful foot. Square Peg and Roadkill do a mindful Sunday sunrise saunter around the neighborhoods near Rock Creek and East-West Highway, sipping coffee and pausing to wish the horses "Good Morning!" at the stables. Then Coney Counter, DB, and DM arrive for another ramble. The ice has mostly melted from last week but pedestrian bridges remain treacherous.


- Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 06:19:34 (EST)

2020-12-19 - Starbucks Santa

~8.0 mi @ ~21.2 min/mi

"That way looks dangerous. You go first!" says Roadkill to Square Peg, as the duo explore a potential creek crossing early Saturday morning. They follow a deer track but the water is wide and icy banks are steep. Instead, a slightly sketchy cut-through via an apartment complex gets them to Connecticut Ave and back in time to meet Half Full and Danger Man for a safer ramble southward.

"Their bullets might hit Santa Claus!" Childhood worries resurface, from when a nine-year-old witnesses police, guns drawn, close in on a convenience store robber taking refuge in a barn. Fortunately no shots were fired!
Rock Creek Trail near KenGar


- Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 06:16:57 (EST)

2020-12-15 - Zivaara

~4.7 mi @ ~17.4 min/mi

"Radiation, Convection, Conduction!" Heat loss mechanisms make ice crystals linger on the surface of shaded ponds near Rock Creek after a cool clear windy night. Roadkill speed-hikes to Zivaara, local chocolatier. The big box of candies makes for an upper body workout during the final mile home, trading it and trading trekking poles back and forth between arms. "I would give up Chocolate, but I'm no quitter!" reads a sign in the shop.


- Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 06:05:16 (EST)

Foreign Policy Predictions

Daniel Drezner in his recent essay "Wonks Gone Wild" (Foreign Policy magazine online, 15 Jan 2021) writes:

A review of the worst predictions and most useful ideas of the past half-century reveals a few lessons for the readers of Foreign Policy. The first is that foreign-policy observers are a pessimistic lot. We are awash with doomsaying that has proved no more accurate than a cult member holding a sign declaring "The end is nigh" on the street corner. The second is that when examining trends within countries, the primary source of bad predictions is the fallacy of extrapolation: the belief that the future will be just like the present, only more so. The third is that the most useful ideas are not rooted in grand strategy or doctrine. Sometimes grand narratives get the big things right, but just as often they create cognitive blinders that make it difficult to recognize error. By contrast, small-bore ideas–grounded in concrete, specific, well-defined problems–have made the most tangible contributions to international affairs.

Drezner appropriately quotes Phil Tetlock:

Fifteen years ago, in his book Expert Political Judgment, the political scientist Philip Tetlock warned about the poor predictive ability of most political experts. The discipline's short-term predictive abilities are lackluster. Worse, the public tends to pay attention to the out-of-the-box prediction that proves correct. The problem is that these kinds of predictions also tend to be wrong more frequently. Tetlock later wrote that these conditions would create a ripe environment for charlatans: "The demand for accurate predictions is insatiable. Reliable suppliers are few and far between. And this gap between demand and supply creates opportunities for unscrupulous suppliers to fill the void by gulling desperate customers into thinking they are getting something no one else knows how to provide."

And as Drezner concludes, with self-referential humor:

The takeaway from all this is clear: To stand out, future foreign-policy observers will become less pessimistic and more concrete. Of course, I am making a prediction here. The odds are excellent that I am wrong.

(cf Expert Political Judgment (2010-05-13), Characteristics of Superforecasters (2015-11-21), Superforecasting (2016-02-21), ...)

- Monday, January 18, 2021 at 05:48:02 (EST)

2020-12-13 - Rugelach

~5.2 mi @ ~20.5 min/mi

"Rugelach require you to be in the mood – chocolate chip cookies are great ANY time!" Half Full analyzes traditional holiday fare with Danger Man and Roadkill during a Sunday morning ramble along Sligo Creek Parkway. Front-yard Santas proliferate.


- Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 05:55:18 (EST)

2020-12-12 - Woods Academy

~3.7 mi @ ~21.8 min/mi

mosaic at Woods Academy in Bethesda MD"Look closely and you can find LOVE, FAITH, ART, and other good words!" Square Peg spies a mosaic on the Woods Academy; it features an owl and much wisdom. A big mansion has yippy little dogs and musician statues with, um, geometric chest decorations. During a small stream crossing Roadkill slips, sits down abruptly, and thanks to kind Peg's quick-reflex hand of stability doesn't spill his coffee. Yay!


- Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 06:02:26 (EST)

2020-12-11 - Donut King

~2.0 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"Donut King is where I get my hair cut!" says Danger Man, who adds, "Well, quite near it, that is." As usual, for the Friday night walkabout Roadkill requests "Adventure!" so the twins meander by streetlamp and headlamp across Sligo Creek to survey a new neighborhood's lights. "Happy Chanukah" says an inflated menorah. A wire-frame angel invites visitors up a candy cane sidewalk to a manger-crèche.


- Friday, January 15, 2021 at 07:19:30 (EST)


A wise thought in Nicholas Kristof's New York Times op-ed column a week ago:

Patriotism is not about words. It is not about waving flags or singing "America the Beautiful." It is about struggling, imperfectly and inadequately, to make this country we love a better one.

... and a few centuries ago, Edward Gibbon in Chapter 1 of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

That public virtue which among the ancients was denominated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interest in the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we are members. Such a sentiment, which had rendered the legions of the republic almost invincible, could make but a very feeble impression on the mercenary servants of a despotic prince; and it became necessary to supply that defect by other motives, of a different, but not less forcible nature; honour and religion.

(cf Simultaneous Chess Matches (2004-03-15), ...)

- Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 07:01:49 (EST)

2020-12-10 - No Outlet

~4.5 mi @ ~19.0 min/mi

"No Outlet? No way!" Roadkill disbelieves signs that claim Harmon Rd is a dead end, and soon discovers a short scramble through some brush leads to Patternbond Terrace and Pennydog Lane. Earlier he spies a walker taking a narrow path between two houses and finds another new cut-through, between Brunswick Ave and Insley St.


- Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 06:22:06 (EST)

2020-12-09 - Gratitude

~5.0 mi @ ~20.0 min/mi

"Gratitude!" says cursive chalk by a bench on Sligo Creek Trail. Headlamp glow reveals the encouraging word – last week here the unknown calligraphic artist counseled "Hope". Roadkill rambles past inflated Santas to meet Danger Man for part of the journey.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/gratitude_sligo-creek-trail-bench_2020-12-09.jpg


- Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 06:38:03 (EST)

2020-12-08 - No Temple Show

~3.5 mi @ ~25 min/mi

"So where are the lights?" Danger Man is disappointed. Roadkill is embarrassed to find the LDS Temple display seen the previous week must have been just a test. The official Xmas drive-through with crèche doesn't begin until Friday the 11th. Bummer!


- Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 06:30:05 (EST)

2020-12-07 - Tail Lights at Merriweather Post

~1.1 mi @ ~36 min/mi

"Betzee, meet Guiness!" Monday is "Tail Lights" night for dogs to walk through the holiday display of decorations at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Slow Twitch invites Roadkill, Charlene, and Todd. Arf!


- Monday, January 11, 2021 at 06:08:49 (EST)

Just for Today

On New Year's Day in recent years the "Dear Abby" newspaper advice column says "I will share Dear Abby's often-requested list of New Year's Resolutions which were adapted by my late mother, Pauline Phillips, from the original credo of Al-Anon". They are:

... echoes of the classic Optimist Creed!

- Saturday, January 09, 2021 at 06:18:51 (EST)

2020-12-06 - Rock Creek Park Primrose Trail

~7.6 mi @ ~22.9 min/mi

"Tree down on Wise Road!" reports Danger Man. The Galactic Patrol (Terran Regiment #1) proceeds to investigate. On the way they discover a steep yellow-blazed path through the woods from Grubb/Primrose Rd to the Rock Creek Park's Valley Trail. Coney Counter, Square Peg, and Half Full navigate. Roadkill shares news of chafing in an unmentionable zone; Danger Man counters with incipient holes in his lower garments. Before others arrive, Peg & Road loop about Chevy Chase, philosophizing and helping each other be more mindful.


- Friday, January 08, 2021 at 06:45:17 (EST)

2020-12-05 - Sourdough Encounter

~8.6 mi @ ~23.0 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Bethesda_mural_z_2020-12-05.jpg"Now this is unpleasant!" says Doc Bob. He claims to refer to Sligo Creek Parkway being open to traffic, not to the arrival of Peg and Roadkill. They start early and enjoy a mindful sunrise trek, counseling each other on nonattachment, empathy, and kindness – including toward one's self. A cute dog wears a Santa coat for warmth; tromp l'oiel murals tempt the viewer to step in.

"We're all brave until we realize the cockroach has wings", "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else", "Don't tread on my lady parts", and "I get enough exercise just pushing my luck", advise stickers on a parked car. Half Full and Danger Man arrive, and the gang of 5 sets out for further adventure. Surprise: Peg's dear college friend Sourdough appears! She leads us via a muddy cut-through to her neighborhood, and we work to lure her onto the slippery slope toward her first marathon. Snake gourds guard a front porch.


- Wednesday, January 06, 2021 at 06:23:09 (EST)

It Always Happens

"What We Get Wrong About America's Crisis of Democracy" by Adam Gopnik is subtitled "The interesting question is not what causes authoritarianism but what has ever suspended it." Gopnik's short essay in the New Yorker turns the issue around, and points out that the normal state of things is what we see as today's catastrophe.

It always happens. That's Gopnik's refrain, quoting a line in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. It always happens. Gopnik writes:

... Lurking behind all of this is a faulty premise–that the descent into authoritarianism is what needs to be explained, when the reality is that ... it always happens. The default condition of humankind is not to thrive in broadly egalitarian and stable democratic arrangements that get unsettled only when something happens to unsettle them. The default condition of humankind, traced across thousands of years of history, is some sort of autocracy. ...


... The interesting question is not what causes autocracy (not to mention the conspiratorial thinking that feeds it) but what has ever suspended it. We constantly create post-hoc explanations for the ascent of the irrational. The Weimar inflation caused the rise of Hitler, we say; the impoverishment of Tsarism caused the Bolshevik Revolution. In fact, the inflation was over in Germany long before Hitler rose, and Lenin came to power not in anything that resembled a revolution–which had happened already under the leadership of far more pluralistic politicians–but in a coup d'état by a militant minority. Force of personality, opportunity, sheer accident: these were much more decisive than some neat formula of suffering in, autocracy out. ..."

and he concludes:

The way to shore up American democracy is to shore up American democracy–that is, to strengthen liberal institutions, in ways that are unglamorously specific and discouragingly minute. The task here is not so much to peer into our souls as to reduce the enormous democratic deficits under which the country labors, most notably an electoral landscape in which farmland tilts to power while city blocks are flattened. This means remedying manipulative redistricting while reforming the Electoral College and the Senate. Some of these things won't be achievable, but all are worth pursuing–with the knowledge that, even if every box on our wonkish wish list were checked, no set-it-and-forget-it solution to democratic fragility would stand revealed. The only way to stave off another [failure] is to recognize that it always happens. The temptation of anti-democratic cult politics is forever with us, and so is the work of fending it off.

The rule of law, the protection of rights, and the procedures of civil governance are not fixed foundations, shaken by events, but practices and habits, constantly threatened, frequently renewable. "A republic if you can keep it," Benjamin Franklin said. Keeping a republic is a matter not of preserving it like pickles but of working it like dough–which sounds like something you'd serve alongside very weak tea. But it is the essential diet to feed our democracy if we are to make what always happens, for a little while longer, happily unhappen.

... and – generalizing – the same holds for the current crisis in public health, and even more broadly the current crisis in deeply caring for one another. Loving-kindness is the exception. Acceptance is the exception. Selfishness and separation are so seductive, so nearly inevitable. It always happens.

(cf Why So Bad (2002-10-20), Authorized vs Forbidden (2005-07-03), Viewpoint Convergence (2012-07-24), ...)

- Tuesday, January 05, 2021 at 07:41:58 (EST)

2020-12-04 - Mormon Temple Christmas Lights

~3.3 mi @ ~18.8 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Mormon-Temple_xmas-lights_2020-12-04.jpgFriday evening: Roadkill scrambles across a ravine and up a steep hillside to avoid rush-hour on narrow neighborhood streets. Passing cars pause at a glimpse of his bright pink shirt. Mormon Temple Xmas lights are awesome in a preview before the official drive-through event begins.


- Monday, January 04, 2021 at 07:07:53 (EST)

2020-12-03 - Hope

~3.8 mi @ ~17.5 min/mi

"Hope", reminds the chalk script on Sligo Creek Trail, illuminated by headlamp glow. Roadkill pauses in gratitude during a brisk Thursday evening walkabout.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Hope_headlamp-glow_chalk_Sligo-Creek-Trail_z_2020-12-03.jpg


- Monday, January 04, 2021 at 07:03:11 (EST)

2020-12-01 - Hat in the Road

~4.4 mi @ ~21.2 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/z_winter_trek_shorts_gloves_hat_mask_2020-12-01.jpg"The tire tread marks go with your Trail Name!" says Danger Man to Roadkill, who recovers his old white cap after a wind gust blows it into heavy traffic and it gets repeatedly run over. Early Xmas lights add drama to an evening trek with woodsy cut-throughs.


- Sunday, January 03, 2021 at 05:50:51 (EST)

2020-11-29 - Bless the Barista

~3.2 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Decisive, not hasty!" and "Elite, never arrogant!" Square Peg and Roadkill muse about personality characteristics for leadership and growth. A slightly sketchy cut-through takes them over a chain and through prickly bushes between business parking lot and dead-end residential street. On a frosty morning the kind Starbucks barista orders them out for a quick walkabout while she fixes fresh hot coffee; they sit on the curb for a minute to figure out how to add a retrospective tip on the app. Peg's butterfly wings unfold in a Bethesda alley as she prepares to take flight.


- Saturday, January 02, 2021 at 21:32:24 (EST)

2020-11-28 - Sandworm Facts of Life

~9.2 mi @ ~21.3 min/mi

"But how do giant sandworms mate?" Danger Man and Roadkill ponder biology, recalling Dune, Tremors, Beetlejuice, and The Mandalorian. With Square Peg and Half Full they loop down Rock Creek and return via the Bethesda Trolley Trail and Garrett Park. Earlier Roadkill gets lost and leads Peg on an accidental tour of North Kensington. The Apple Watch map omits the first 1.7 miles of the trackfile. On Beach Dr comrade Vixen shouts "Hi Roadkill!" as she dashes past.


- Saturday, January 02, 2021 at 21:29:32 (EST)

Life Lessons from an Ad Man

Poetry is
when you make
new things familiar
and familiar things new.

... and ...

We are perishing
for want of wonder,
not for want of wonders.

... from the conclusion of "Life Lessons from an Ad Man", a TED talk by Rory Sutherland on the value of intangibles:

Two quotations to more or less end with. One of them is, "Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar things new." Which isn't a bad definition of what our job is, to help people appreciate what is unfamiliar, but also to gain a greater appreciation, and place a far higher value on those things which are already existing. There is some evidence, by the way, that things like social networking help do that. Because they help people share news. They give badge value to everyday little trivial activities. So they actually reduce the need for actually spending great money on display, and increase the kind of third-party enjoyment you can get from the smallest, simplest things in life. Which is magic.

The second one is the second G.K. Chesterton quote of this session, which is, "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders," which I think for anybody involved in technology, is perfectly true. And a final thing: When you place a value on things like health, love, sex and other things, and learn to place a material value on what you've previously discounted for being merely intangible, a thing not seen, you realize you're much, much wealthier than you ever imagined. Thank you very much indeed.

(cf Birdless Silence (2004-06-05), Uproarious Amateurishness (2004-07-12), Rhythm Method (2006-02-24), Seeking Negative Space (2016-04-21), New Ideas (2016-10-18), All the Light We Cannot See (2017-06-09), ...)

- Friday, January 01, 2021 at 06:26:42 (EST)

2020-11-27 - On the Edge

~4.0 mi @ ~18.4 min/mi

"Maryland" and "Jurisdiction of the United States" say letters cut into the sandstone post, installed in 1792 to mark the northernmost corner of the District of Columbia. Roadkill jaywalks across East-West Hwy to visit the historic survey point late Friday during a brisk walkabout. He finds himself trapped on busy 16th St with no sidewalk, and has to scramble along the overgrown edge of a road barrier atop a steep hill. Thank goodness for a trekking pole!


- Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 07:20:08 (EST)

2020-11-26 - Thanksgiving Run

~3.5 mi @ ~17.6 min/mi

🌷🌷 "Softer than ... uh,something that's so soft I can't mention it!" Roadkill gives thanks and blushes to remember the resilience of the new track at Blair High School. He runs a lap (2:40), for the first time in more than a year, and then after a walk break runs another (2:30) paced by Danger Man. And the knee doesn't hurt (much). Yow! Heart rate is up near the Death Zone (170) due to poor fitness. A cooldown walkabout finds mosaics on the school wall, plus graffiti and lovely-artistic political posters. 🌷🌷


- Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 06:06:06 (EST)

Humane Conservatism

From E J Dionne Jr's column in the 6 Dec Washington Post [1], quoting English political philosopher Michael Oakeshott:

... To be conservative [is] to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to Utopian bliss. ...

... and there's much to be said for all of those choices, sometimes ...

(cf Traditarians vs Libertitionists (2000-08-03), Roots of Morality (2009-04-03), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12), ...)

- Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 06:05:14 (EST)

2020-11-25 - Thunderclap

~3.8 mi @ ~20.2 min/mi

"Lewis & Clark carried 'Thunder Clapper' pills from Dr Benjamin Rush, and somebody may have died from them!" Danger Man continues the history lesson as he finishes a run and then rambles with Roadkill. Passers by wish Happy Thanksgiving to one another.


- Monday, December 28, 2020 at 06:09:10 (EST)

2020-11-24 - Onionskin Paper

~2.6 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were co-leaders," explains Danger Man, as the twins do a Tuesday evening survey of holiday lights in the 'hood. Roadkill wonders how they took so many notes during the expedition's three-year journey. "Lucky they didn't use clay tablets to record their observations!" he opines.


- Monday, December 28, 2020 at 06:06:07 (EST)

2020-11-23 - Sending Out an SOS

~3.6 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"If anybody near me gets hurt, I just throw myself to the ground and the Apple Watch automatically calls for help!" Danger Man assures Roadkill during their Monday night meander. Xmas lights shine bright in front yards; an inflated Thanksgiving turkey smiles.


- Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 06:51:23 (EST)

2020-11-22 - Jump the Tree

~2.2 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"When I was younger I would have leapt it!" Danger Man and Roadkill clamber over a fallen tree on a trail through the woods. On a gray Sunday morning they follow a tributary of Sligo Creek parallel to Dublin and Dameron Drives. Yesterday's Richmond Half Marathon provides good anecdotes. The parkway is closed to cars and features encouraging chalk slogans for a girls race.


- Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 05:33:40 (EST)

T-V Distinction

Language is fun, human society is fun, and when they are combined in a tradition so common as to be almost invisible, like air, that's even more fun! Hence the "T-V Distinction" – special-familiar tu versus normal-formal vos. In times past thou and similar tu-words in other languages, according to linguist David Crystal, could be used:

In contrast, you and other vous-words would be said to one's superiors or among the sophisticated. Nowadays, in most languages, social gradations are faded and disapproved. But among family and friends, tu-ing is still something sweet to show connection!

(cf The Classicist (2004-09-09), Smell of Good Prose (2006-07-03), Babel-17 (2015-10-20), Language, Science, Art (2018-05-24), ...)

- Friday, December 25, 2020 at 06:09:46 (EST)

2020-11-21 - Head, Heart, Hands, Health

~9.3 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Head, Heart, Hands, and Health!" Square Peg and Roadkill score 50% in remembering the 4-H Club motto as they do a sunrise walkabout in the national headquarters grounds. It's great to have organizations that help youth learn to be better people. ("I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.") Good goals for grown-ups too!

Stone Mill 50 Miler race director Barry Hauptman greets us as he runs by. Back in Bethesda we rendezvous with Doc Bob, Half Full, and Coney Counter for a walk along Little Falls Parkway. Philosophical questions range across cosmology, investment strategy, the Mind-Body problem, and whether the world should be arranged to be satisfying for its occupants. Peg's kind college friend waves and offers us water as we pass her home. An ambulance from the Bethesda Fire Department arrives to aid a runner who tripped and fell on his shoulder. The GPS map misses the first 1.8 miles of the trek.


- Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 06:27:54 (EST)

2020-11-19 - Grace Church

~3.2 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"Since it was built on Grace Church Road, they decided to name it Grace Church!" Roadkill's logic seems persuasive to Danger Man, as the twins take a Thursday evening trek past the tiny cemetery and around the neighborhood. The church dates from the mid-1800s and includes a grave of 17 unknown Confederate solidiers who died in the nearby battle of Ft Stevens.


- Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 06:21:30 (EST)

2020-11-18 - Lincoln Park

~2.4 mi @ ~19.3 min/mi

"Unity Bridge", says a plaque on the pedestrian span behind the car wash and strip mall. Roadkill explores on Wednesday evening and finds Lincoln Park, a Rockville historic district literally on "the other side of the tracks". It features cut-throughs, cute classic homes, and Lincoln High School, the only secondary school for Black children in the entire county from the 1930s into the 1960s. Near Pint Isreal Park is a 1997 "Memory Walk" with iconic images: Vigilance, Hope, Peace, Wisdom, and more.


- Monday, December 21, 2020 at 06:12:31 (EST)

2020-11-17 - Grateful

~5.7 mi @ ~17.8 min/mi

"So glad we met at Eliot and Cathy's party - 45 years ago!" On a Tuesday night walkabout Roadkill feels gratitude for the event that brought Paulette and him together. Gusty north winds slice as temps drop into the lower 40s. Early Xmas lights are dramatic at a North Chevy Chase home on Connecticut Ave. Purple Line construction work mandates detours on the way home.


- Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 05:44:57 (EST)

Sol LeWitt Advice

Artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) in 1965 wrote a letter to artist Eva Hesse focusing on creating – letting go, accepting whatever happens, hitting the "pause" button on the inner critic. The simple word DO appears frequently in LeWitt's handwritten note. His letter is full of naughty words and typographical errors; a full transcript is in Comments on Sol LeWitt Advice. Busy Executive Summary:

... echoes of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet", and Keith Johnstone's "Impro"!

(cf [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], and Not Easy (2001-03-31), Live the Questions Now (2015-04-02), Rilke on Being Human (2015-04-22), ...)

- Friday, December 18, 2020 at 06:38:35 (EST)

2020-11-16 - Symbolic Logic

~5.5 mi @ ~18.6 min/mi

"Honk IFF You Love Symbolic Logic!" says the bumper sticker on a car with license plate "MATHGRL". Flamingos form a skull-heart on another decal, joining political slogans and ads for local businesses. On Monday night Roadkill spies the well-decorated vehicle while exploring a new cut-through at a Wheaton condo complex. Early Xmas lights glow. A UFO flies above a home near the neighborhood cemetery. The Apple Watch GPS records full distance but the map omits the first 1.6 miles.


- Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 06:43:31 (EST)

2020-11-15 - On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

~7.6 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"They stayed up all night reading the new translation, and the next morning Keats wrote a sonnet about it!" Roadkill tells Square Peg the story of "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer". Dawn Patrol ambles through Garrett Park and finds a friendly cat, a new cut-through, and deer breakfasting. Then with Danger Man and Half Full a meandering route through Chevy Chase View reveals large numbers of front-porch wrinkly-dog sculptures. A secret Shar Pei admiration society? A too-successful community fund-raiser? Crabby and Mr Bill emerge to wave from their front porch. Out-of-season forsythia blooms and golden ginkgo leaves swirl down to decorate swanky sidewalks. With cherry blossoms appearing in November will the traditional spring run be held this season instead?


- Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 07:47:16 (EST)

2020-11-14 - Artemesia LaNedra

~1.8 mi @ ~24 min/mi

"Me and Julio down by the schoolyard!" sing two guitar players. A great blue heron stalks its prey, neck S-shaped, as Nini and Pokey circle Lake Artemesia on Saturday afternoon. Cyclists pedal and families push prams. A setting sun glints off the water; a Siberian Husky puppy rolls on its back and blinks blue eyes at strangers.


- Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 06:15:04 (EST)

2020-11-14 - Towpath Reunion

~3.5 mi @ ~22 min/mi

"Red-winged blackbirds and bald eagles!" Dr Coney-Counter & Roadkill tutor each other on bird identification during a reunion ramble along the C&O Canal, skirting puddles and stepping aside for cyclists. A great blue heron catches a fish, then hastily swallows it as half a dozen ducks approach.


- Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 06:13:02 (EST)

2020-11-14 - Swiss Peloton

~4.7 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"We rode through my least favorite city in Switzerland!" remarked a Peloton cyclist whom Square Peg knows well. Unique perspective?! Trail talk revolves around loving-kindness and helpful mental models of folks whose viewpoints we find challenging. We detour through a corner of the Chevy Chase Country Club and ponder how to organize data on expertise and technical opportunities to maximize ease of building, maintaining, discovering, and using. If someone were to move to Japan, what should they do there? Roadkill reminisces about the Fifth Generation Computing Project and speculates that a Category Theory perspective could suggest good opportunities.


- Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 06:10:47 (EST)

Resilience Skills

By Katherine King, "Seven Skills of Resilience: Practical ways to enhance well-being in these trying times" (Psychology Today, March 2020), good suggestions on staying OK:

  1. Cultivate a Belief in Your Ability to Cope – ... Take a moment to list the capacities that you can bring to bear in this current situation. Focus on those things that are not dependent on other people or outside circumstances, qualities like adaptability, intelligence, a sense of humor, courage, perseverance, resourcefulness, assertiveness, gratitude, and so on. ...
  2. Stay Connected With Sources of Support – ... This is not the time to say "I don't have the time" to be in touch with friends, loved ones, and other supportive people in your life. This is the time to double down on these connections. If you are busy, it might mean sending short text messages or scheduling a 10-minute phone call on one of your breaks. We are social animals, and we need a tribe. Tribes make us feel safe and supported. A tribe will deliver toilet paper to your doorstep in the middle of the night. A tribe will send you funny memes to get you through a hard day. ...
  3. Talk About What You're Going Through – ... If it's hard to find someone to talk to, you might take to journaling or sending letters or messages to loved ones who are far away. If you do have people nearby, one simple structure is to do a paired sharing activity. ..
  4. Be Helpful to Others – ... It can be very rewarding and empowering to help other people during hard times. When we see that we can make a difference and reduce someone else's pain, it reduces our own feelings of helplessness. It enhances our sense of control and efficacy in the world, which helps protect us from feeling overwhelmed ...
  5. Activate Positive Emotion – ... Find things that make you laugh, and commit to watching, following, and connecting with whichever of these sources most amuse you right now. ... there are countless potential positive emotions to cultivate. Think about how to feel gratitude, appreciation, love, intimacy, connection to the beauty of nature, the pleasure of a home-cooked meal, a "runners high", the joy of tapping your foot or dancing to music, the sense of accomplishment of completing a home maintenance project. ...
  6. Cultivate an Attitude of Survivorship – ... we are all going through hardship at this time, and that there are indeed circumstances beyond our control. We are not completely in control, but we aren't completely helpless either. Regardless of the reality, a survivor narrative is much more supportive of our mental health in the long run. ...
  7. Seek Meaning – ... You might believe that what matters most is how you treat others and connect to a deep personal sense of the value of family. ... Another simple practice is to read or re-read something meaningful or inspiring to you each day. There are websites that will send a poem or quote a day, or you could read a paragraph from a favorite self-help book or spiritual text. ...

... wise thoughts on how to bend, not break!

(cf Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), Sheryl Sandberg on the Hard Days (2016-05-22), Positive Thinking Techniques (2017-09-21), ...)

- Monday, December 14, 2020 at 05:57:11 (EST)

2020-11-11 - Warm Veterans Day

~1.8 mi @ ~23 min/mi

"Thanksgiving lawn decorations?" Danger Man and Roadkill do an early evening walkabout survey but spy none, as weirdly warm drizzle pauses on Armistice Day evening. Cars slow for red headlamp glow.


- Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 07:30:00 (EST)

2020-11-10 - Pi Beta Nu Castle

~2.7 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Pi_Beta_Nu_castle_National_Park_Seminary_2020-11-10.jpg"Pi Beta Nu was formed in 1903, and the following year, the Castle clubhouse was built. A drawbridge connected to the main bridge to the rest of the campus. In 1921, an additional tower was added ..." says a web page on the history of the National Park Seminary. Roadkill bushwhacks across a ravine to photograph the abandoned ruins of the building. Nearby the DC Fencers Club door is open. On the grass a heart-shaped pin says "Love Yourself" - wise counsel indeed!


- Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 05:58:23 (EST)

Scenario Planning and Probabilistic Forecasting

In the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, J. Peter Scoblic & Phil Tetlock share insights in their essay "A Better Crystal Ball: The Right Way to Think About the Future". BLUF:

In other words, use observables to define indicators, and apply good systems thinking to build mental models of the future!

(cf Fifth Disciplinarians (2000-09-10), Forecasting Lessons from Systems Dynamics (2017-07-05), Superpowers - Systems Thinking, Asking, and Listening (2019-01-29), Dancing with Systems (2019-06-21), Systems Thinking Icebergs (2019-06-27), Mantra - Be More Meta (2020-01-02), ...)

- Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 06:25:14 (EST)

2020-11-09 - Shared Streets

~3.3 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Shared Streets - Road Closed to Thru Traffic!", say signs for a new country initiative to make more walkable neighborhoods. At sunset on Monday Roadkill wades through autumn leaves that spill across sidewalks.


- Wednesday, December 09, 2020 at 05:55:49 (EST)

2020-11-08 - Out of the Road

~8.2 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"Out of the road!" Square Peg uses the same phrase to keep Roadkill safe that she & her DH have taught their dog Sid. "The harsher your tone of voice, the more you love them!" she explains. A meandering ramble discovers a new cut-through to Connecticut Ave. Crabby and Mr Bill are still asleep when the Dawn Patrol gemini/dioscuri divert to pose on their front porch rocking chairs with coffee. Danger Man appears at mile ~3 and leads a Mormon Temple hill climb. Trail talk is mindful and joyous.


- Monday, December 07, 2020 at 05:26:35 (EST)

Too High or Too Low

Further wise observations from 1750 by Samuel Johnson ("No. 43. The inconveniences of precipitation and confidence.") on the dangers of flying too high or lurking too low in one's life strategy — and in particular on the risks of hastiness and hubris:

There seem to be some souls suited to great, and others to little employments; some formed to soar aloft, and take in wide views, and others to grovel on the ground, and confine their regard to a narrow sphere. Of these the one is always in danger of becoming useless by a daring negligence, the other by a scrupulous solicitude; the one collects many ideas, but confused and indistinct; the other is busied in minute accuracy, but without compass and without dignity.

The general errour of those who possess powerful and elevated understandings, is, that they form schemes of too great extent, and flatter themselves too hastily with success; they feel their own force to be great, and by the complacency with which every man surveys himself, imagine it still greater: they therefore look out for undertakings worthy of their abilities, and engage in them with very little precaution, for they imagine that without premeditated measures, they shall be able to find expedients in all difficulties. They are naturally apt to consider all prudential maxims as below their regard, to treat with contempt those securities and resources which others know themselves obliged to provide, and disdain to accomplish their purposes by established means, and common gradations.

(cf Johnson on Perseverance (2020-10-12), ...)

- Sunday, December 06, 2020 at 05:33:55 (EST)

2020-11-07 - Ten Miles Plus

~10.1 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Tell them it's exploring new corners of their flight envelope!" suggests Roadkill, to nudge data-driven engineering-mindset folks out of their comfort zones. A 10 second handheld iPhone Night Mode exposure catches Orion setting. Apple Watch 3's GPS inexplicably omits the first 2+ miles of Saturday's sunrise stroll to Sligo Creek (blue segment on map). Square Peg and Roadkill arrive simultaneously at Forest Grove Park, and proceed from there to Starbucks. After a brief loopback to fetch Roadkill's forgotten treking pole they return to meet Danger Man. The trio take the Parkway southeast to the middle school track, pausing to photograph chalk sketches and a new BBQ sign. Roadkill's solo saunter home is the first 10+ mile trek since the Fractured Femur at the 2019-11-09 - Stone Mill 50M 24k DNF.


- Saturday, December 05, 2020 at 05:44:23 (EST)

2020-11-05 - Special Dumplings

~2.2 mi @ ~17 min/mi

"Hot & Sour Soup, please! And Mamma's Special Dumplings!" Roadkill phones in a carryout order to nearby China Bistro during the last mile of an evening walk around the COVID-empty Rockville campus of Montgomery College. Gaps in fences lead to two new cut-throughs.


- Friday, December 04, 2020 at 06:06:10 (EST)

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.)