Let’s Blog About Running

I like to write about the video games I play, and very time I finish reading a book I make myself write a review. But Running is a big part of my life, so maybe I should start writing about that. So here goes.

Actually, I used to keep an exercise journal, and that was mostly running. But I’m not the sort of person who keeps up with things. I’m kind of forcing myself here, to be honest. A momentum thing- in as much as gaming, and reading, and running define the bulk of my free time interests, my first out of all them is writing. So, rather than choose one of those over the discipline of putting words on the page, I’m trying to a new paradigm- enjoying things more by writing about them. A win-win, if I can make it work.

So far so good, as they say. I’ve been writing book reviews since at least 2007,, and video-game blogging for almost two years (off and on, but more frequently these last two months). It would be great if writing about running became a habit.

I’ve said it a thousand times, might as well say it again: I’m inspired by materials. I started writing reviews because Goodreads gave me a place to do so, and I started video-game blogging thanks to a new website called Anook. I did try to blog about running, for a bit, at Runner’s World, but that was more about running in general, whereas here I just want to write about the run I just did. That’s a different kind of material to be inspired by- I’ve tried video games just so I have something to write about, and I’ve to try new running routes or races just to keep a blog going.

I use the word “blog,” because I post this stuff online for anyone to read, but really, this is journaling, this is diary-keeping. So be it. And I rarely, if ever, go back and read what I’ve read before. There’s some kind of philosophy there (or psychology), what it means to the reality of an experience to have written about it. I mean, maybe. I’m not sure.

All I know is, I love to run, and I love to write, and I’m going to start making an effort to have those loves augment one another. As experiments go, if it’s successful, I’ll probably get all excited and start blogging about the funny things my nine-month-old son does.

And The View Was Of a Concrete Wall

Postaday for June 8th: Blogger in a Strange LandWhat’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”?

Well I’m a wimp. I never blog from anywhere except home sweet home. Not that I am opposed to on-the-go blogging. I just don’t have my act together when I’m out and about. I suppose I could blog with my phone, but… I’m a tactile writer, I take energy and inspiration from the clickety-clack of the keyboard. Sliding my thumbs over a tiny screen, squinting with myopia the whole time, doesn’t inspire.

The closest I’ve ever come to “exotic blogging” would be the time I was in Puerto Rico in the middle of a DBTC effort on 750words.com. DBTC stands for “Don’t Break the Chain” and was inspired by advice Jerry Seinfeld offered on being productive (basically, you pick a daily task, and mark a calendar everytime you complete it. Soon you have a row of Xs, and that should motivate to keep going, so that you don’t break the chain.” 750words.com is a website where you are encouraged to write— you guess it— 750 words, a kind of daily writing warm-up. The website gives you a badge for consecutive days, and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.

So there I was everyday in our hotel room just outside of Old and New San Juan, desperate for a wifi signal, tapping away on a small portable keyboard that was bluetoothed to my Ipad. I wasn’t blogging back then, just writing, and not anything readable, either. Yes, if it occured to me, I wrote about what we did on the trip. But I’m not one for travel-logging, usually. So moistly I just typed whatever.

I should, though. I should get into off-site blogging. Goodness knows I’ve explored the necessities. I’ve got the aforementioned portable keyboard, and another foldable keyboard, and a few tablets, and that Ipad, and another iPad Mini, and a Chromebook, as well as my work-laptop. Heck, I’m in line to upgrade my phone to one of those bigger Samsung Note behemoths, which is basically a tablet unto itself. There’s no reason not to exoto-blog!

Except, of course, that I don’t take inspiration from being elsewhere. I’m an insular writer, and I work from home, so I don’t need to be out and about, don’t need to decide if I should sacrifice blog time to get things done.

Maybe I should try anyway. On Tuesdays I got to a bar to drink beer with friends. Maybe once I get that giganto-phone I can start going an hour early and see what happens. Hey, whatever I come up with can;t be more than this sad entry! (My apologies for that, by the way).

You Could Say I’m a Yo-Yo

Postaday for June 3rd: Blogger With a CauseIf your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?

Yep, I’m a blogger without a cause. You can find me half-drunk and nearly passed-out on the side of that yellow brick road leading to the bloggosphere. Pick me up and haul me in. Doncha know police stations are just places to make friends with criminals? Dorothy’s there in her red dress, and the cowardly lion too— later on, we’ll give him courage, and it’ll get him killed.

Me, I’m the new guy, the one you’ve known all along. Call me scarecrow. Shun me for stepping all over the mascot. How was I supposed to know that big blue-and-white W was sacred? So let’s go on up to the observatory, where the wicked witch lives, or should I say lived, since that house fell down on her. The sun’s going to go supernova someday, you know. We’ll all be dead long before then. Oz the great and terrible, expanding past all the inner planets. Maybe Jupiter will light up and Clark can write a book about it.

Wanna dance? Fine, we’ll dance. Not you, Dorothy, you had your chance. I’m talking to your old man. Gimme a knife, I don’t aim to knock your teeth in with my bloggy wit while you’re distracted by my blood on your knife. Look at how my words cut and slice! And there, your blade is gone, you dumb punk. You rusted up tin-man. What’s a metal head need chicken for anyway? I’ll show you who’s chicken. Steal us a few cars, we’ll see who lasts longest driving through the poppies.

Rev ‘em up, rev ‘em up! You want me to throw myself behind a cause? How about I throw myself out of this Porsche 550 Spyder while your tin-man parts get stuck inside your own ride. You’re dead, tin-man, and we were barely friends. How am I supposed to get a brain when your heart’s all splattered at the bottom of a cliff? At least Dorothy’s still here. The cowardly’s going up to the abandoned house; I’m going to the cops.

Because there’s justice, there’s fighting for what’s right, there’s standing up to the tornado— but first you got to fix yourself. Here’s my cause: me. I need fixing. Both me and the whole planet, burned up when Oz goes boom— I can only fix one, might as well be the one who wastes his talents not writing all day. (How many words I got so far, now? 400? It’s stll nothin’.) But the cops, they won’t listen. I tried. I’ll take Dorothy to the abandoned house instead. Maybe Cowardly will be there.

He is. Let the wicked witch’s flying monkeys harass my parents, what do I care. Coupla munchkins, hobbits on the run, Sauren and George RR fill bookshelves, sure, but library stacks don’t stop bullets like they used to. Me and Dorothy and Cowardly, we’ll pretend this abandoned house is the Emerald City. That’s easy, see. Didja know cats sleep 20 hours a day? Cowardly dozes like a good kitty. Me and Dorothy go exploring. I don’t know what that’s a metaphor for.

Oh but here comes Cheetah the Moose. Did you know there’s a whole Wikipedia page on flying monkeys? Cowardly, brave now, shoots one of them. Everything’s all messed up. Stop shooting at me, Lion! Everything’s animals. We’re all running back to where we learned about Oz exploding. Here’s the cause I’d blog for: annihilating angst. A worthless cause, so I’m without. But for now I can trade my own red jacket for Lion’s ammo. Dumb cat.

We go outside. Oh, NOW the cops pay attention. “I got the bullets! Look!” Cowardly’s dead. He stood his ground. I’m not going to take up that cause though. Dorothy clicks her heels together. Nothing happens. Because that was a terrible way to end a story.

You think it’s a coincidence that James Dean and Albert Camus both died in car crashes?

NaBloPoMo Day 31: Your Best Photo

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: Free Write

So NaBloPoMo is done. What have a learned. Not much. A lot! Some.

Blogging, if no one reads you, is not constrained to any kind of discipline. This is nearly true. For example, I am writing this on Monday, not Sunday. And yet, for most of the month, I wrote every day. Weekends were the toughest, most apt to be non-writing days. But I was able to catch up during the week, so there’s that. Maybe writing is, for me, like running: not an every day thing. I wish it was. And unlike running, there’s no body fatigue to hld me back. But maybe there’s brain fatigue. Maybe that’s worse. Maybe if can accept that, I can be more disciplined. Three times a week without fail as opposed to seven times a week with frequent failures.

Extemporaneous writing is doable. Sustainable and almost easy. Almost. Right now, as I write these very sentences, I’m struggling with my thesis. But at least I have a thesis! At least I’ve got a subject to write baout— and on a free write day no less. Sure, it’s the last day, so it makes sense I’d write about NaBloPoMo itself. Still, I’m making this up as it goes along, which makes me not just the writer here, but also the first reader. Hey, me are you entertained? Yes I am, you egomaniacal conceited twerp!

And finally: of all the reason to not do this, none of them are very compelling. There’s not a very good reason to not write. Everyday, three times a week, whatever. I’ve got Postaday to keep me going for the rest of the year, so even though NaBloPoMo is done, that doesn’t mean I’m done. I’ll maybe be a bit more relaxed, since I’ll be writing less (maybe less— got some ideas for something else to do through June, so we’ll see).

Anyway. NaBloPoMo ends with a whimper. So it is like running then. You should have seen me at the end of my eight miler today. It wasn’t pretty. But then, we should leave pretty to the TV people. The rest of real people are too busy smacking keyboards around to be pretty.

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Your Best Photo

Wenatchee sunrise.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

To Err is Human, to Forgive is… um…

Postaday for May 7th: Forgive and Forget? Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave them.

I can’t remember having ever forgiven someone because, you know that proverb: forgive and forget. Wait, not proverb. Psalm. No, not psalm, maybe… idiom? Cliche. Saying? Folkway. I don’t know what it’s called! But I always do it: forgive and forget.

Remember that movie, Momento? (it would be a delicious irony if you didn’t). I’m like that guy when it comes to forgiveness. I’ve even taken to tattooing the names of people I’ve forgiven on my thigh (this is a total lie but so is the forgetting thing).

I can’t tell you the numbers of times I’ve found myself sitting in a filthy motel room, needle in one hand and a broken Bic pen in the other, cell phone cradled in one shoulder as I talk to some strange person about forgiveness. These memories are in black and white. There’s a post it note stuck to one knee, with a name on it, or names, or sometimes a doodle of a duck. I think I must have had some serious issues with ducks in my life because I’m always finding post it notes around my house and I can’t help but think, when the heck did I draw this?

On my right leg I’ve got my wife’s name three or four times, which make sense: people in love hurt each other all the time. Forgive and forget, it’s how a marriage lasts. Also on that leg: my dad, my mom, by brother, and my wife’s sister and her husband. That last one has something to do with a train in Switzerland. Or maybe Sweden. I don’t really remember.

On my left leg I’ve got Robert Downey Jr, the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, Twizzlers, and the ending of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl.

Notoriously absent: Oklahoma City, a bouncer at the Taj night club in Vegas, Verizon, 1986, and every single freakin’ person who changes lanes more than once in less than a quarter mile on Highway 5.

In general I’m a pretty easy-going person. I don’t have to forgive very often because I don’t take offense too often. At least I don’t think I do. It’s hard to remember. For example, I don’t remember names very well at all. Maybe the reason I can never remember names is because those people always offend me? Maybe, instead of being embarrassed every time I see someone and realize I can’t recall their name, instead I should be angry?

“Hey good to see you again!”
“Jason, right?”
“Yes… uh…”
“It’s Dave.”
“Ah, right, Dave. You bastard.”

Memory’s a funny thing. So’s forgiveness. And it occurs to me that a saying I’ve heard, “first you must forgive yourself” does not bode well for me. Or maybe that’s an idiom. Or a Psalm. Darn it, I can’t remember!

NaBloPoMo Day 7: Your Time

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: When was the last time you asked someone to take a picture of you?

Can’t recall specifically. Other than selfies, which means I’m asking myself to take the picture. I’ve probably asked my wife to hold the camera. “Take a picture of me doing something stupid!”

It’s been touched on before, how much I don’t like being in pictures. Aligned with that is my displeasure in asking people to do things in general. And strangers especially! I just don’t like putting people out. I’ll spend 15 minutes balancing my camera precariously on a rock before I’ll ask someone to squeeze the trigger a few times.

My wife’s not so shy. She’ll grab any old person walking by and ask them to take our picture. And you know how people will take the picture, and kindly say, “is that good? I can take another…” I die inside whenever my wife says, “Yeah, can you take it again?” Aaaaah!

But they don’t seem to mind, And my wife has one of those faces that makes people smile— I’m sure the walk away (eventually) thinking “I did something nice today. I’m a good person!”

For what it’s worth, I, personally, am always flattered when some strangers asks ME to take their picture. So you’d think I’d get over myself, and ask others if needs be… but then, I don’t like being in pictures anyway, so…

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Your Time

Nice little yard-work break.

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

My time is leisurely. I work from home. I spend time on con calls, and puttering around the house with the laundry, the dishes, making the bed. Occasionally I get outside and do yard work. But no matter how much work I do, I always break it up and spent as much or more time doing nothing. You tell me if blogging is “leisurely.” 🙂

The Bukkhead Comes with a Side of Maui Onion Potato Chips

Postaday for May 6th: You, the Sandwich. If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)

I have no idea why a cheese, mustard, and pickle sandwich tastes so good. But it does. Not all of the time, but sometimes. And I’m talking cheap-ass cheese, cheap-ass mustard, none of your Grey Poupon here, monsieur. French’s Yellow Mustard. But good bread, quality bread, thick slices, white bread.

If I had my druthers I’d be the type of person who gets hungry around 11:45, shuffles out the door with his Chromebook under his arm, and waddles to a nearby cafe and orders a Bukkhead (on white). So there’s me eating my sandwich and tippy-tapping the day’s blog entry.

They’d name it after me because I’d eat it every day. Some days it would have onions on it. Some days the pickles would be sweet. Occasionally, instead of American cheese, it would be a hand-sliced slab of sharp cheddar, and the mustard would be brown, and the bread would be fortified white. It would still be a Bukkhead.

Other days it might be a more wheaty-bread than white, a more mayonnaisey-mustard than yellow, a more lettucy-cheese than American, a more turkey-like pickle than dill. Still a Bukkhead, though.

Maybe the blog would be influenced by the sandwich ingredients. No, I have a better idea: the sandwich would be influenced by the blog. No one would know how or why. I’d lock my front door, shuffle to the cafe, stand there in front of the ordering counter and peer at the menu as if I hadn’t memorized it years ago, a thousand blog entries ago, as if I wasn’t going to order what I always order. “Gimme a Bukkhead,” I’d say and:

As I’m typing up a screed lambasting the new proto-nerds for their hypocritical denigration of so-called neckbeards, Carl, the chef, is grabbing sauerkraut and corned beef. As I’m pecking away at a short story about a secret door behind Mrs. Tanner’s refrigerator, Carl’s looking for the pimento-loaf and the thousand island dressing. As I’m formatting a review on a novel I’ve just read about a Henry VIII’s Thomas Cromwell, Carl’s adding a few dashes of paprika to give the egg-salad some zip.

He rings a bell. Order up. The kid grabs it, brings it to my booth. Sets it down. For a few moments gazes at the rapid-fire staccato of my two index fingers whizzing around the flat keyboard. Until I start to slow down. He blushes like he caught a glance of his dad coming out of the shower. I give him a look as he walks away, which he doesn’t see, but Carl does. It’s a look that seems to say “I don’t know how I do it either, kid.”

I pick up my Bukkhead and take a bite. Chew slowly. First it’s the tang of the mustard, and then the vinegar bite of the pickles comes through. The coldness of the pickle against the softness of the bread. Chew, chew, swallow, the tang and bite fade to the fullness of the cheese. Inhale,exhale, another bite, set the sandwich down, go back to the keyboard. Correct some typos.

NaBloPoMo Day 6: Your Love

Today’s NaBloPoMo Prompt: How often are you in your photographs?

Rarely if ever (except for selfies). I’m the photographer. I’m the one behind the camera, and even if someone else happens to have a camera, or happens to take mine from me (which I allow; more below) I don’t wind up in the shots too often.

As described in yesterday’s NaBloPoMo post, I don’t like being photographed. And while I do like taking pictures of people, it’s not my first go-to, so to speak. Sure, everyone gathers around for the group photo, and thanks to Ellen, the group selfie is hot right now. But if I’m going to take pictures of people, they’re usually candids, and candids of me don’t happen to often.

Now, on the subject of other people using my camera— I don’t just allow it, but encourage it. I truly believe that taking photos is easy. The camera does all the work, and I know there are photographers gnashing their teeth when I say this, but let’s be honest: once you’ve got the right ISO figured out, auto-shutter speeds and image stabilizing lenses take care of a lot.

Too often I think people shy away from trying things they think are difficult. So when folks see a schlep like me clicking away, and they want to try it to, I’m all for it. And then I stand behind THEM and help them choose the shot. Which is never of me 🙂

Today’s NaBloPoMo Photo Prompt: Your Love

Weekend island hijinx. #orcasisland

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

Woke up with a headache this morning, and my love, my wife, crawled back into bed after taking a shower and getting dressed, and sat on my temple. It worked. For about a minute.
Above photo from a visit to one of the Puget Sound islands. I don’t recall which one. But as soon as I read today’s prompt, I knew which photo I wanted to post. I asked her permission first.

Gunshots Heard at 4:30 PM

Postaday for May 5: Idyllic. What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?

Yesterday at about 4:30 PM I heard gunshots. It took about 30 seconds for that to filter through me head. We watch so much violent TV, play violent video games, read violent books, visit violent web sites, drink violent coffee, shop at violent discount markets, eat violent bananas, sleep in violent beds with violent pillows and dream about so many violent cows wearing tutus and playing violent flutes that we sometimes don’t recognize real violence when it happens. But eventually I dialed 911.

I was connected with the state troopers, and I could barely understand what the fella on the phone was saying. I told him I heard what sounded like gunshots, and he asked me if I was in Seattle. When I said, yes, he said he would put me through to Seattle PD. The phone rang and rang and rang. The guy was still listening though.

Then I heard sirens, lots and lots of sirens, and I told the guy this. He took my name and number. Half an hour later the Seattle PD called me, asked me what my emergency was. I told him about the shots, and they said, yeah— multiple reports. He thanked me and said to keep my eyes open!

More sirens, and helicopters. At one point I could see the helicopters through one of my skylights. It was right above our house! I set the alarm. I found a website with a police scanner, and listened to that for a while. Heard nothing about what was going on, but did here a lot of other chatter. The police in Seattle are not idle.

Later in the evening, I went to the Seattle Police Blotter website, and read:

Officers are investigating after gunfire erupted in the Haller Lake neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Several residents called into 911 after hearing gunshots at about 4:30 PM in the 13500 block of Roosevelt Way North. So far, officers have found no victims or damage as a result of the shooting.

Officers have collected shell casings at the scene and are speaking with witnesses now. According to witnesses the suspect shot several times out of his car window and then fled the scene. Police are searching the area for the suspect vehicle.

I’m guessing it happened at the 7-11, the one I go to for Cokes and frozen burritos.

My house sits well off the road, at the end of a long driveway. I have easy access to highway 5, and shopping is convenient, with options less than a mile away. There’s that 7-11, which has a gas station next to it. There are parks and churches around here, bus stops, schools, and not a heck of a lot of traffic.

I like all of that. But here’s my favorite part, which I’ll quote from the report above:

Several residents called into 911

People are people, and things are going to happen, no matter where you go in the world. This is my ideal community— a place where folks let each other be, but keep their eyes and ears open, just in case.

NaBloPoMo Day 4: Your Energy

Today’s NaBloPoMO Prompt: Do you think one side of your face photographs better than another?

Glib Answer: I tend to put the viewfinder up to my right eye more often than my left eye, so I guess I should say yes.

Actual Answer: my right ear is missing a fold in the cartilage, and I have a small blemish on my cheek just to the right of my nose. But when I smile, you can see that my left lateral incisor is recessed, which in high-contrast photos can look like it’s missing altogether. So it all depends on lighting, angle, and sartorial influences.

Today’s NaBloPoMO Photo Prompt: Your Energy

Got a #PR for “Half Marathon with a Leg Cramp.” #running #MercerIslandHalf

A photo posted by Jason Edwards (@bukkhead) on

I get my energy from running. (Mostly I get it from the music I listen to when I’m running). Also, when I’m done running, I have no energy left. So I guess it’s a bit of an oxymoron, the whole running energy thing. Suffice it to say that when I am running, I feel energized, and that’s the very in-the-moment type of thing that grounds me. (Except when I have wicked leg cramps).