a blog about stuff.

  • Let’s recap.

    In part one of this saga, having just days prior made an exit from my job of thirteen years, the family and I boarded a plane to London. Following that was three weeks of European adventuring, photography, sketching, food, museums, wandering, trains, tours, and fun.

    In part two the epic saga continued as I settled into a summer of casual parenting, entertaining a teenager whilst whittling away the hours in the backyard, on the trails, and about the city. Marathon training continued, but went askew from the original plan as races, more travel, and smokey days intervened.

    Thus begins part three. September arrived, the long weekend passed, and school begins for another year. All but I have settled back into the long routines of a new yearly cycle. The marathon is about four weeks away marking the duration of this part, and during that time I’ll need to learn to be regularly productive, find hours to run distances, practice my skills for fun and purpose, and fill my days with meaningful effort, growth, and mental healing.

    And so it goes, and the saga continues.

  • I’ve been writing.

    It’s a compulsion, but it is somehow, deep down, my life purpose. To write something. And ultimately I probably somewhere, somehow care if it is eventually published, but at the end of the day the exercise of putting words into the white spaces of paper, digital or dead-tree, is fulfillment of that compulsion.

    I suppose I do want to publish something, but it occurred to me that there are mediums beyond the typical approach of string words together and hoping someone wants to pry open a book or a file and read what I wrote.

    I’ve been thinking about podcast fiction.

    See, there is this audio medium with which I’m familiar with but for which it has never really occurred to me could be a serious outlet for my creative efforts.

    Just like I used to post a weekly comic strip, serializing my creative efforts into a modern medium to be consumed in bite sized chunks and created in a rolling format, it makes me curious to understand the implications of what it means to write in a way that it similar to this.

    To write a serialized story, based around characters, and like a regular soap-opera, perhaps monthly or on another schedule, release a next episode of the story that builds across time and space.

    So, I’ve been writing.

    And in my mind I’m not writing to be read right now. I’m writing to be recorded and downloaded and consumed with ears and imagination.

    When and how and what that ultimately looks like is still in the design stages, but…

  • Worth noting only for my own future recollection, about 48 hours prior to writing this I was almost half way done running my fastest half marathon.

    I’ve been aiming, however vaguely that aim may have been, in the direction of a sub-two hour half marathon for the better part of a decade.

    Two hours is this semi-magical number in the eyes of any half marathoner that separates the pack. Anyone who runs that (or any race distance) should be celebrated and held up to the admiration of all. Putting one foot in front of the other and carrying yourself a distance at a speed greater than walking is a feat.

    But we do like to measure things.

    And once you’ve run ten, twenty, or maybe more half marathons you start to think that “hmm, I might want to see if I can run them faster and better and break through some arbitrary speed barrier that makes me feel like I’ve reached some next level of running achievement.”

    A sub-two hour half is a letter-grade improvement on your running marks.

    If finishing is a pass, then sub-two hour makes you a solid B student.

    I’ve been passing for a decade, and after months of (a) recovery and (b) gruelling and focussed training, I get to now risk sounding like an elitist, gatekeeping asshole and say I broke through the two-hour mark.

    I ran a half marathon in one hour fifty-six minutes and forty-one seconds. A solid B-student grade.

    And then I stood at the finish and clapped and cheered for everyone else, until the last half marathoner crossed the line and hung a matching medal around their neck, because every one of those runners has been me over the years and forty-eight hours ago I may have been fast, but I won’t be forever.

    But I do get to tell everyone I’ve run a sub-two-hour half marathon now… and forever.

  • Yesterday I booked a flight to California.

    My uncle passed away last week, and so I’m escorting my mom down to the memorial service.

    On my big long list of “things to accomplish on my career break” I’d actually listed “take a weekend trip with one or both of my parents” and as it turns out I’m taking a weekend trip to California with one of my parents. It wasn’t exactly the getaway I’d envisioned three months ago when I was drafting that idea list, but life has a funny way of twisting around and mapping out realities for each of us.

    I just wrote a different post about quantum mortality and free will and my intention in that post was to steer my little essay into some words about fate and coincidence and all that jibber-jabber, but in the end I don’t think it’s super-relevant: with a big enough data set on a long enough timeline, coincidences become statistical likelihoods.

    In other words, if I had created a list called “3 things to do on my career break” and one of those things was “travel to California with my mom” … and three months later I was booking flights to an unexpected funeral for a sad but important visit to see the family, then yeah we could be gaping in awe at the coincidence. But I made a list that actually has one hundred and two things on it, and some of them are pretty vague, so the fact that one of those has manifested into reality is a scenario that could have played out in hundreds to the power of ten interesting ways, so… almost inevitable, right?

    So, I’m going to California.

    And then a few weeks after that I’m going to Illinois.

    And we just kinda got back from the UK, France and Italy.

    And for a guy without a job and no income, I somehow am getting around the continent and the world these days.

    Coincidence? Nah.

  • I’ve been reading a book about quantum physics that I picked up from the Kindle store discount rack last week, and in a chapter on the concept of quantum immortality I traced a parallel thread back to my own experiences in mapping out my path through the murk.

    The theory goes something like this: given the theory of infinite multiverses basking in the quantum foam bubbling away below the surface of our perceived reality, uncertainty speculates that for every potential alternative reality that exists a universe also exists where that alternative plays out. Realistically this plays out at the infinitesimally small quantum level of electrons and photons, but electrons and photons have ways of interacting with biological or neural tissues in a manner that sometimes causes alternative realities to play out in our decision making or health. This has huge philosophical implications for free will and mortality, and the concept of quantum immortality plays out along the line of thought that if the universe happens to branch along a path where in one universe we survive and in the other we do not, our consciousness will forever and always track the one where we survive, obviously. The result is that from our own point of view, our consciousness will hang onto a path through the multiverse that is most likely to result in our personal survival, an optimal path for the longest possible life, and thus a kind of “from my point of view” I’ll live a very long time, but only from my point of view. Other players may exist in other long divergent universe threads where I’m long gone. Weird, huh?

    The rabbit hole goes really deep on this one if you start pondering the implications for what this means for any individual personally. Like, the old adage “everything happens for a reason” starts to take on new meaning when you put it in the context of our personal perception of the multiverse and contort it around the notion that our personal consciousness is tracing the optimal route for us personally through the foam.

    Again, weird, huh?

    It got me thinking about decisions and other things, and bordering on some new age hooey-type thoughts about how things work out around larger decisions. Specifically, I’ve made some lists and plans around this career break and life events seems to be manifesting in a way that not only did I kind need this time off, but this time off has become something immensely useful and well timed in the grand scheme of my life. Is that confirmation bias, or am I adrift in the quantum foam and following an optimal path to ensure the personal longevity of my own consciousness.

    Weird, huh?

iteratively improving
stay tuned