“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” ~ Robert McCloskey

PR’s Press Conference is about to begin . . . let’s listen in.

Pathetic Runner (PR): I have a short statement and then I’ll answer a few of your questions.

As you know, 233 days ago my heart LITERALLY. STOPPED. BEATING.  Some sadistic surgeon and his two assistant stooges broke into my sternum, exposed my heart to the open air, and injected some vile substance to stop it while they messed around in there with a sharp knife.

Heart surgery gif

       This one is beating.  MINE . . . was not.

At some point after my heart overpowered their lame attempt to stop it and began beating again, I vowed to return to my previously pathetic and half-hearted attempts at running.

You will remember that I swore a blood oath to run a 10K by June 1st.  It was an ambitious goal.   Some said it was beyond my reach. I’m pleased to announce that on Friday, May 15, 2015, at approximately 8:00 PM GMT, I achieved that goal.  It wasn’t pretty, but I was able to cover 6.3 miles in a pathetically slow 1 hour and 11 minutes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I may not be “back,” but I’m now aware of the route that will take me back.  I’ll now take a few questions . . . Bill, lets start with you.

Bill: Pathetic, when did you vow to run a 10K by June 1st?  I don’t remember you ever giving a press briefing to that effect and none of your earlier posts even imply such a thing.

PR: Bill, I’d prefer it if you called me Dr. Runner (or Professor Runner) – at least in public.  Thanks.  Next question.

Bob Presser

 Professor?  Right – that’ll happen . . .

Bill: Um . . . OK . . . Mr. Runner, you didn’t answer the question.  When did you take this solemn vow?

PR: A long time ago, OK?  I didn’t make a big deal of it at the time beyond merely mentioning it.

Bill: Yeah, you didn’t mention it . . . Mr. Runner.  I have a follow-up . . . how long are you going to use your heart surgery as an excuse for your performance issues? Don’t you think that story is getting a little tired?

PR: You’re a little tired, Bill.  So, whatever.  Next question.  Michelle?

Michelle: PR, I’ve done some quick math on the back of my cocktail napkin and I figure your pace was well over an 11:00 minute mile.  How do you characterize that kind of effort?

PR: Call me, “Pathetic,” Michelle.

Michelle: Um . . . OK.  Whatever . . .

Bored Michelle

Believe me, I DO . . .

PR: Anyway, I didn’t say that I’m back. I said that I found the map that will take me back.  I did the first 30 minutes or so at about a 10:30 pace, but then I had to Galloway it back to the car.

Bill: That means you had to walk, right?

PR: Hey, Bill! Here’s an exclusive for you!

Leo Fuck you

Michelle: But you did walk?

Bill: You are aware that Galloway isn’t a verb, right?

PR: Michelle, I think of it more as alternating my pace.

Bill: So, you walked.

PR: Didn’t I tell you to shut up, Bill?


  I hate you, Bill.

Michelle: You walked . . .Pathetic.

PR: Yes, Michelle? Did you say something?

Michelle: You’re pathetic.

PR: Not yet, but soon. Very, very soon I expect to resume my status as a Pathetic Runner.

Michelle:   Wow.  I have to leave now.  I have this thing that I have to do at this one place . . .

Bored Girl

This job is killing me!

Bill:  Yeah . . . me too.  Hey, Michelle!  Want to go get a drink somewhere?

PR:  Wait!  Guys!  Come back!  You haven’t asked me about my next goal or how I’m feeling, or the other things that the public deserves to know!  Guys?

President Press Conference

Fine! I don’t need you. I don’t need anyone! . . . PR . . . OUT!

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” ~ Winston Churchill

The other day I was pondering . . . “I should write a blog post – and I WOULD – if I could think of something to write about.  Anything.  Doesn’t even have to be interesting . . .”

My pondering caused my mind to wander, as so often happens.

“What is this blog even about?  Why am I writing a blog in the first place?  This really interferes with time that I could use to play on my PS3.  I wonder if Far Cry 4 is any good?  I don’t think there’s any zombies in it, though.  I like games with zombies.  What if zombies really existed?  I should probably be stockpiling food and other essential supplies.  Except no sardines.  Sardines are gross.  Who ever thought about putting whole fish in a can?  That person should be shot!  I don’t own a gun.  Maybe I should get a gun so I won’t have to steal one after the zombie apocalypse that is SO coming.  A machine gun, I think.  Or maybe one of those guns that Shepard has in Mass Effect.  I wonder why MY Mass is constantly increasing  . . .”

Video Gamer

Obligatory Visually Interesting Insertion

Then.  BAM!  An idea!  A really easy way to create a blog entry would be to to provide my reader with a history lesson.  That might be useful to that hypothetical person since, if that reader exists, he or she is no doubt pondering some of the same things – like – “What is this blog even about and why am I wasting my time reading it?”

So – let’s start at the beginning.   Once Upon a Time . . .

I started writing about my “running” experiences in email form in my last job.  I would send out emails to those with whom I worked with the idea that I might encourage them to join me on some of my runs and, if not, maybe I would entertain them a little bit.  For those who ran with me, I bestowed upon them “running monikers.”  Over time, my email evolved and became a little bit of a thing because people were bored and had nothing else to look forward to.  Two things became abundantly clear in the process of writing the emails.  First, I am a PATHETIC runner (see the first reference to this fact in the first email, below).  And, second, I’m a very silly person.

I switched jobs and a clamor arose because I wasn’t writing about my exploits any more.  But, to be more accurate, one person who felt obligated to appreciate my meanderings (my son, aka “Walter”, so-named after Walter Sobchak from ‘The Big Lebowski’) created this blog and encouraged me to continue writing. Thus, a blog was born.


Symbolic representation of birth – sort of.

Several of my prior posts in the “Best Of” series are examples of some of those emails that I sent.  If I knew how to link to those posts, I’d insert them here.

Anyway . . . the following “Best Of” is the very first email that I sent that ultimately resulted in the hot mess that is this blog (at least it’s the first email that I retained, so that’s pretty much the same thing).

If you have any ideas about what this thing should be about (including your suggestions that I should just leave it alone), let me know.  In the meantime, “THE FIRST EMAIL.”



—–Original Message—–

From: [Pathetic Runner] Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 14:05



Wardroom (and prospective members):

“Will you join in our crusade?/Who will be strong and stand with me?”

That’s my question.  Will you take a stand here and now; or, will you will and join the countless other well-meaning but long forgotten wallflowers who are too fearful to attempt anything great.  Yes, that’s right; I have registered for the Fort to Base 10 nautical mile run on 11 September 2011. (http://www.fort2base.com/)

For those of you content to merely attempt something good – there is also a 3 NM run the same day. But remember: “Good is the enemy of great.”

In the interests of full disclosure, especially to those of you have never seen your way clear to go to sea, I suppose I should explain to you the concept of a nautical mile.  A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth at the equator (don’t worry, I’m not challenging you run the circumference of the earth!).  Long story short is this: a nautical mile is 6,076 feet.  That is a mere 796 feet longer than a statutory mile (the unit of measure employed by the odometer in your car).  So, it turns out that this run will be a bit longer than what you might have originally thought.  In point of fact, it’s really more like a half marathon.  That can be a scary word, but it needn’t be.  I ran my first full marathon at the age of 47 and I suck at running.

If you can run a mile and a half (and you can), then you can run 3 miles today.  If you can run 3 miles, you can run 6 miles.  Starting to see a pattern here?  Plus, you have 16 weeks between now and then to prepare and any of the stouthearted who sign up are welcome to train with me anytime they want.  You will have the pride and satisfaction of knowing you are a distance runner.  Plus you’ll get a cool T-shirt and finisher’s medal – that’s kinda neat.

Challenge extended: “. . . But we in it shall be remembered – we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile this day shall gentle his condition; and gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves a’cursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks that [ran with us upon 9/11].”

With respect and best wishes,

P.S. For any who can correctly identify the source of all of my inspirational quotes you will receive a reduced measure of my scorn and derision if you choose to stay home.  So, here’s a bonus quote: “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

“Even if you can be the world’s best at one thing, you’ll be the world’s worst at something else. Supermodels make pathetic sumo wrestlers.” ~ Martha Beck

I think the nature of being pathetic is to be irredeemable.  There’s no reason to pity someone if the thing about which you pity them is capable of being changed.  If it was, you’d probably think, Just change that thing. If you don’t then that’s your deal, but don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.

In contrast, if you knew a supermodel whose heart’s desire was to become a sumo wrestler, you’d likely think, Now that’s just sad because it’s never going to happen. If you try, you will suck. I’m not sure you’ll even win one match.

                Supermodel size comparison

So, don’t misunderstand me when I tell you that I THINK I’ve made some progress.  Still, I DO have SOME objective evidence in support of my conclusion.

First, there is a little LESS of me than what previously existed. I’m still the size of a walrus – but maybe a juvenile walrus instead of full-fledged adult walrus.

No wait – I’m still an adult walrus.  I’ve lost something like 15 pounds and at my size that is a miniscule change not discernible to the naked eye.

Human Walrus Swimming

        I’m a decent swimmer. Fat people are buoyant.

Second, I have SLIGHTLY increased my distance. I’m now up to about a 4 mile run. That’s about a 400% increase over where I was at the turn of the year.

Yay Me

           I’ve been working hard, you guys.  Really hard.

I am still pathetic. I will always be pathetic.  But, I’ve improved a little.  I’m no longer abysmal and I’m slogging my way back towards pathetic.

Still, I have a LONG WAY to go.  I’ve thought about it and I think I have narrowed down the reasons why it’s so hard for me to return to my previously merely pathetic form and have reduced them to THIS TOP TEN LIST:

10.  It’s been cold. Seriously.  There were snowflakes yesterday – at least 10 of them.  Way too cold to run outside regularly.

Case of Being a Little Bitch

                     Harsh. I don’t like it when it’s cold.

9.  I was sick for about a week.  I rarely get sick, but this year I had a doozy of a cold.  It was BAD, my friends.  I don’t want to overstate it, but I’m lucky to be alive.

I've Been Sick

Would you believe that she’s a nurse? It’s true.

8.  I’m consumed by a torrid love affair that has distracted me.

I love tacos

            Not with this dude. . .

Pizza Queen

                                              Or with this woman

With food.  I LOVE food.  I mean it’s really INTENSE!

7.  I don’t have anyone to encourage me.

Good Job!

What’s the weirdest thing about this: the “encouragement” or the caption about Suzy.

6.  I’m not very good – at anything.

I Am Below Average!5.  In fact, I pretty much suck.

You suck

                                         I know! I already said that! Geez

4.  I don’t have an accountability partner.

Can't Skip the Gym - Batman

   A cursory review of this blog would indicate I have a “thing” for Batman.

3.  I’m not truly apathetic. But, I don’t care that much – about anything, really.

Whatever (1)2.  Healthy food sucks.

Angry Dieter

Amen, Brother! Bring out the COOKIES!

1.   I can’t remain on task.  Whenever I go out for a run I have a feeling that I’m being followed.  Maybe even stalked.  There’s no joy in running when your head is on a swivel due to your paranoia.

Polar Bear Stalking Seal

[Insert ‘Jaws’ music here] I LOVE polar bears! Just not that one . . .

Still, progress is progress. I’ll take it.  My quest towards mediocrity continues!

Patron Saint Mediocrities

                        I can accept this.  Mediocre is an improvement for me!


“And I grow and change and I shift and I switch. And it turns out I’m actually kind of a bitch.” ~ Sara Bareilles (Sweet As Whole)

I work at the only place on the planet where conditions are such that I’m able to feel superior to other people.

I don’t like this about myself and I try to fight it.  I have no business feeling superior to anyone.

I KNOW it’s “WRONG.”  It’s UNJUSTIFIED and UNSUPPORTED by the facts.  It’s JUDGMENTAL, MEAN-SPIRITED, and CONDESCENDING. It’s ARROGANT. It’s EVERYTHING that I despise in other people when I see it.

These people are smarter than me – vastly smarter. They’re post-graduate educated scientists and engineers.

Science Gif

They’re also WAY COOLER than me. Obviously.

Our hope for a brighter future is pinned to their adorable, little pocket protectors.

Pocket Protector

Who knew SETI had their own pocket protectors? Really? What are the odds?

Still, when I go to the gym at work and see things like this, I can’t help it.  It make me feel . . . better.

Fitness Center 1 How fast do I have to run to escape a zombie attack?

Batman running

Must. Run. Faster. (Faster than Robin. That’s all. Just faster than Robin).

I simply have to outrun that guy and I’m zombie-free.  I think I’ve got this.

See?  Arrogant! – I’m just a bitch.

I'm Kind of a Bitch

I KNOW! I don’t like me much either!

I’ve run a couple times since my last post.

April 1 Run Map March 30 Run Map

I still suck. But . . . I MIGHT be getting a little better. I’m doing 5Ks. I still can’t do one completely without walking, but I THINK they’re getting a little better . . . they don’t hurt as much.

But, I’m probably wrong about that.  It might be that my brain is changing my perception of reality in the same way that my brain allows me to feel superior to people who are, objectively speaking, far better than me. Shallowly, I’ll claim my perceived superiority and improved performance as a WIN regardless of reality. Gotta take my wins where I can – even if I have to manufacture them in my distorted reality.


“The only way into truth is through one’s own annihilation; through dwelling a long time in a state of extreme and total humiliation.” ~ Simone Weil

I am more than “into” truth; the truth permeates my very being.  I’m bathing in truth.  It saturates every cell in my body.  If I could be wrung dry, truth would be a puddle on the floor in front of me.  Seriously.

An unoriginal truth:   I have discovered that my life’s purpose is to serve as a warning to others.  I’ve wallowed in the sty of humiliation for a long, long time.  You don’t even know . . . many of my “best” moments are known only to me (and maybe a few strangers).

So, it’s not too difficult for me to confess some of the truths of my life.  Here’s a truth for ya – I’m not a good blogger.  I’m way too easily distracted.

Distracted Manhole

Ooooh – look at adorable kittens! They’re so cute! HEEEEEELLLLPP!!

I’ve also suffered writer’s block, although that is a fairly generous description inasmuch as it presumes that I’m a writer.  It would be more accurate to say that recently I have encountered “blocks” of several varieties included among them is my inability to think of anything worth blogging about.

Writer's Block

I get about half way through a draft post and I decide that it sucks and I lose interest in trying to find a way to make it suck less . . . and then I just sort of wander off to look at some shiny object.  My mind wanders and it’s hard to focus on . . . I wonder if zombies have taste preferences.  I bet they prefer to eat people who routinely eat spicy foods because whoever saw a zombie take time to add salt and pepper to the intestines of the person that they’re consuming?   Maybe I should change my diet to make myself less appetizing to them during the next zombie apocalypse.  Wait . . . what was I talking about?  Something about truth and the meaning of life . . . ?

Zombie Pancakes

Evidently ice cream too

Evidently ice cream too

Another truth: I’m not an athlete. I have no God-given talent or natural ability.  None.  I’ve never deluded myself about this, but even if I wanted to, recent events confirm beyond any doubt that I was made for the couch.  The purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others . . . from my couch.

I’ve been working hard, you guys.  I’ve routinely went to gym class and done Spin class twice a week.  These classes are no joke folks.  We’re talking HIGH INTENSITY and are led by Ivan the Terrible’s granddaughter.

Cross Fit Instructor (2015_03_18 23_02_09 UTC)

Last week I went for a run.  It was my first run in a couple of months.   I TRULY thought that it would be better than my previous runs.  I GENUINELY believed that my physical condition was improved and that a 5K on the trail would prove it. WRONG!  Here’s the humiliating confession.  I “ran” a 5K in something like a 12.5 minute mile pace.  I had to stop to walk FOR THE FIRST TIME after one mile.  It went downhill from there.

That was really hard, you guys

That was really hard, you guys

It’s unbelievable, really. How can I be this bad after working so hard to get better?  In what universe does that happen? Nowhere.  It’s me.

The next day I tried another 5K on the treadmill.

Treadmill Fail

That didn’t work so well.

Fear not.  I’m going to keep trying.  I will give it another 6 months before I throw in the towel and resign myself to living the rest of my life as a fat slob who can no longer run.  After all, it’s only been 5 months and 24 days since the surgeon cracked my chest like a walnut and moved some of my cardiac arteries around.  Even though I feel fine – like nothing ever happened – I’m going to allow myself to use that as an excuse for six more months.

All is not horrible.  My work has reduced my walrus-like dimensions by about 10 pounds.  Don’t jump to any conclusions here.  There’s not a queue of people waiting their turn to see my abs.  I’m still a fat bastard.

Fat Bastard

My size has not visibly reduced. But, I have reduced a bit.  That’s something.   And that’s the truth.

I’ll try to be a better correspondent.  Until next time,


“I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. I am the walrus, goo goo goo joob.” ~ John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Does anyone know if LSD is good for losing weight?  Can an acid trip inspire brilliant lyrics . . . . AND weight loss?

I know that smoking meth can help you lose weight, but I heard somewhere that smoking is bad for you, so I’m not sure I want to go that route.  Plus, smoking makes your clothes and hair smell bad and I saw on TV that meth isn’t very good for your teeth.

I’m not asking for a friend. I want to know for me because, you know . . . I’m fat.  I am the walrus (goo goo ja joob).

In my imagination, some of my imaginary readers are now commenting to their significant others, “He’s always so hard on himself. It can’t be as bad as he says.” (In my imagination I HAVE readers AND they DISCUSS my silly ramblings amongst each other – like a book club.   A Blog club.  Really, I guess, more like a fan club . . . ).

At least in this case, your imaginary objections lack foundation.  In my first draft of this post I tried to explain the history and progression of my weight gain.  I was so bored I fell asleep mid-essay.  I can’t put my imaginary readers through that.  Suffice it to say that since the age of 18 to my current age I’ve gone from about 150 pounds to a whopping . . . I can’t even say it.  I’m so mortified.  Let’s just say that I could play cornerback or safety in the NFL.   Well, I guess I couldn’t ACTUALLY play any position in the NFL, but my weight is roughly equal to an NFL player in the defensive secondary.

So if smoking meth is bad for me and the jury is out on whether acid will help, I guess the only thing left is diet and exercise.  It’s a desperate and drastic step, but I think it’s the only thing left to do.  Today was Day #1 on the diet.  I LOVE brussels sprouts.  Ice Cream is ICKY.

Today was day #7 at the gym.  Here I am last week at Zumba! class.

Happy Dance

Zumba! Day 1!

I think I’m making progress.  Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.  One of my friends took this video of me at Zumba! today.


Bustin’ a Move!


I’ve also been lifting weights.


I’ve always been a good multi-tasker


See!  Progress!  It’s like that old joke . . . how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  I’ve taken my first bite!  It’s still pretty cold and snowy here.  Another week or two of working out with this kind of intensity and I think I’ll be ready to try to run again.  If all else fails, there’s always meth – or maybe acid.

I’ll keep you updated.


“If that’s your best, your best won’t do.” ~ Twisted Sister

My parents cursed me.  They didn’t curse AT me (very often).  But, they DID place a curse on me – like a hex. Or voodoo.

I don’t remember The Day of the ceremony or when they cast the spell.  I don’t know if there was a kettle steaming on an open fire and whether they chanted incantations.  I don’t remember any of that. It was likely done when I was too young to remember it – or the hex included a forget spell.  (I don’t know how these things work. I’m not the one who’s a witch).

Spell Casting

My earliest memory of it goes back to my childhood and how I was doing at school.  I was never the sharpest tack in the box and I had trouble with math going all the way back to 2nd or 3rd grade.  My parents sat with me at the kitchen table, clearly very frustrated with my lack of progress in understanding something so simple, when one of them recited the curse.  I don’t remember if it was my mom or my dad who said, “[j]ust do your best. So long as you do your best, we’ll be happy.”

What?  Just do your best?  What does that even mean?  What does it look like when you do your best?  How does it feel?  Do you KNOW deep in your soul that you’ve done your best and you could have done no more?  Is there some sort of objective test that I don’t know about that you guys use to measure whether any particular effort was your BEST effort?  Or, is it a subjective test where you get to decide for yourself whether you did your best? IF that’s the case, I’ve decided that everything I do from now into infinity is the VERY BEST I can do.  Period.  No need for discussion or reflection.  I’m AWESOME.  Shut up and get out of my way, loser.  It’s decided.



YEAH! What she said!

I only know two things for sure and both prove the insidious nature of trying your best.

Thing One:  My parents weren’t offering me parental advice or trying to raise me “right.”  THEY CURSED ME!  That’s why they said it so much.  It was like a renewal incantation that they were obligated to recite to keep the curse fresh.  “Just do your best.”  “Try your best.”  “All we ask is that you do your best.”  “We’re satisfied with your effort if you do your best.”  “Remember though, no matter how good you are, somewhere there is someone who is better.”  (What????  I need a therapist!)

Thing Two:  I can’t put my finger on even ONE instance in which I’ve done my best.  Even in my most successful efforts I can say, “I could’ve done better.  I should have done x instead of y.”   By definition, if I could have done better, I haven’t done my best.  It’s that simple.

I’ve been CURSED to always do my best AND I’m always incapable of actually doing my best.  Nice.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  That’s just perfect.  I should sue for the cost of the lifetime of therapy needed to deal with that paradox.

“So,” you ask, “Pathetic Runner, what does this post have to do with running or anything else, for that matter?”

I’ve been to the gym. I’m taking “classes.”  I spin and I cross train (until I get some level of fitness to get back out on the road).

My “teacher” is constantly harping on me to do better and to suck less.  She said she would get off my back if only I would try my best.


No. That’s not at all what you look like . . .


Until next time,


“Life does not start and stop at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit!” ~ Walter Sobchak

You must know two things about me if this post is to make any sense.

First, I work at a research lab.

Second, I’m not a scientist. (Despite my fascination with quantum mechanics, particle theory and anything beginning with “Astro”, including George Jetson’s best friend). I’m simply not smart enough.

George Jetson

Got it? OK! Let’s begin.

My employer owns and operates a small gym on its site. It’s nothing, really – especially compared to gyms I regularly encountered in my prior life .  It’s nice enough, I guess. There are weight machines and free weights; there’s cardio equipment and a small torture chamber that contains about a dozen spinning cycles (more on this later). And, there’s a basketball court.

It probably won’t surprise you as much as it did me to discover that the gym is predominantly populated by scientists. We’re talking about Ph.D. engineers mainly, with a few theoretical guys thrown in here and there. In the main, these folks are NOT athletes – in fact, I might be the closest thing to an athlete they’ve ever seen.  You don’t believe me? Witness the video I secretly took of their pick-up basketball game.

Sheldon BB1

What’s that spherical orb and why are you throwing it at me?

Sheldon BB2

Newton’s Third Law of Motion Demonstrated

Maybe  you haven’t hung around many scientists. I wouldn’t expect you to know much about their cute little eccentricities.  I can tell you, they’re a lot of things, but ‘one of the guys’, they are NOT.

I really don’t like stereotypes because they disrespect people as individuals. Those of you who know me, I hope, will attest that I’m nothing if not an individualist. I try to keep the weird in everywhere I go and everything I do – It’s who am.  Seriously, I’m one strange cowpoke.  I own that.  Individualism is my “thing.”

Still, many stereotypes exist because somewhere, deep down in the center of it, there exists an embryo of truth. One of those truths is: Ph.D. engineers are generally a little wanting in the “regular guy” category of life.

Be honest. They’re not your first choice of people to go have a beer with at the local sports bar while you watch the Bruins game and complain about your partners.  They won’t help you move out of your apartment next weekend, so don’t ask. And you definitely don’t want to go to their house for a Super Bowl party (aka Kitten Bowl party).

All of this is a preface to this: I went to the gym at work for a spin class yesterday (the subject of a future post, perhaps). As a result, I have to amend my Top Ten List in last week’s post by making it The Top Eleven Reasons I Hate Going to the Gym.

11. Pudgy, sweaty scientists stand in the locker room with their naked posterior cheeks pressed against your locker while discussing their favorite wavelength (or some such shit) with an equally dorky colleague while you stand there waiting to get into your now-gross, disgusting locker without contracting some weird fungus-thing that rubbed off of his ass and is waiting to infect you causing skin boils and spontaneous bodily eruptions before it brings about your slow, painful demise.

Ummm - You're Welcome?

Dude! The towel! Sit on the towel!


P.S. I apologize to my female readership. I had to pick a gender to make this work like I wanted. There are PLENTY of dorky, socially awkward female Ph.D. engineers and scientists. NONE of them had their naked butts pressed against my locker this week. I’m not a sexist. Just so you know.  That just would have been a different post  . . .

Best Of Series – Alien Reconnaissance Deer (ARD)

As promised, here is an email to bring my new reader up to speed about my supposed fixation with deer.  When I first discovered that an alien civilization had disguised reconnaissance drones as deer, I began alerting anyone who would listen that they were here, mixing in with our indigenous deer population, spying on us, likely in preparation for some sort of “War of the Worlds” invasion.  The email below is my first mention of the conspiracy.

At first, they are secretive.

At first, they are secretive.


In time, they grew bolder!


August 30, 2012

—–Original Message—–
From: [Pathetic Runner] Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:45
Subject: THURSDAY – ? ?

“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” ~ Aldous Huxley


I ran five miles yesterday afternoon while the members were deliberating on findings. Sadly, I ran alone. Not even Frodo – Ole Faithful, Frodo – joined me. I had posited the theory that running with me was akin to a child waking up on Christmas Day. The alternate theory was that Frodo has left the path of wisdom in his willingness to suffer pain and injury to run with me. It now appears that neither theory is correct. Not to worry, though. I have replaced those theories with one equally, if not more, plausible. The new working theory is that I have a powerful and original mind that subconsciously causes me to schedule runs at times when you can’t go so that I can enjoy the solitude of my thoughts. I guess we’ll go with that.

It was a terrific run, though. When I was running by the cemetery I ran past four mystifying creatures. They appeared to be two doe and two fawn of the standard White Tailed Deer variety. I know they couldn’t be deer, though. Deer are afraid of humans and run at the slightest provocation. I ran easily within 3 YARDS of these . . . things, and they barely raised their heads to look at me. Most likely they were some other type of creature disguised as deer but lacking in any knowledge of how actual deer behave . . . I’m guessing aliens from distant galaxy on a reconnaissance mission of our base. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “No. That’s very unlikely. The tyranny of space/time is such that these aliens would have had to travel distances we can’t even conceive. More likely they were aliens from within our own Milky Way galaxy.” You could be right, I suppose. I won’t argue the point.

These are the types of adventures you miss when you don’t run with me. Just so you know.

I’m thinking that MAYBE I might be persuaded to run this afternoon. I don’t know – if anyone thinks that they might want to go for run, let me know and I will go. Otherwise, I’m planning for a run tomorrow.


P.S. It’s unlikely that many of you will join me tomorrow since I’ve decided to grant 96-hour liberty to military personnel in honor of Labor Day. Our civilians are encouraged to take leave if you want to, otherwise please take 59 minutes tomorrow. Whatever you do this weekend, please be safe and make intelligent choices so that you are able to get back next Tuesday and be ready to go.

P.P.S. It should go without saying that I don’t have the authority to grant liberty to our brethren from the NLSO who are on this email. Nice try.

P.P.P.S. I wonder how many of you had the courage and endurance to make this far into this frivolous monologue. I think I’ll come in tomorrow and count how many people come in. Then I’ll know who actually reads my emails.

“I think there probably should be a rule that if you’re talking about how many loaves of bread a bullet will go through, it’s understood that you mean lengthwise loaves. Otherwise, it makes no sense.” ~ Jack Handey

I don’t want to get into the habit of providing you guys with more than about one post per week.

I know you love my musings like that fat kid loves cake (I am the original fat kid, by the way). I can’t be responsible for feeding your addiction to my intelligent and witty prose. I have a life to live . . . as far as you know.

Still, I think I owe you an explanation about why my renewed dedication to my exercise program has been somewhat less than stellar. We’ve already seen that the temperature outside has been hovering around 0° F.

“So, why haven’t you been to the gym?” you ask, “you mentioned something about a spin class? . . .”

The Top Ten Reasons I Hate Going to the Gym (Not Letterman Style):

10. The gym is a confusing place. (Interstellar space travel is simpler than figuring out some of that equipment – I know, I’ve spoken to an extraterrestrial, aka Alien Reconnaissance Deer or ARD’s for those of us in the know.)(I’ll post a “best of” soon to explain this to the one reader who’s joined the gang since I moved from email to this blog-thingy).


It's like the International Space Station in there

It’s like the International Space Station in there


Work those hammies, girlfriend!

What the Hell?

What the Hell?


9. Riding a bicycle sucks. Spinning class blows (and sucks)(and is probably illegal under several international torture conventions).

Nope.  Not in this lifetime!

Nope. Not in this lifetime!

Spin Class-1

A meeting of cultists? Maybe a rally?

Spin Class-2

It’s frightening.


8. The gym is full of muscle heads, weirdos, perverts and creeps.

Can I work in?

Can I work in?

Dude . . .

Dude . . .

Exercise Class

Um . . . yeah. That’s totally normal.


7. The “equipment” is designed for muscle heads, weirdos, perverts and creeps.



6. If I go, I have to go there alone (as evidenced by my “sick” colleague who still hasn’t shown me where the gym is at work).

No one wants to work out with me.

No one wants to work out with me.

5. I don’t own any stylish gym attire.

Is that outfit available at Walmart?

Is that outfit available at Wal-Mart?

4. Cardio classes . . .

Wake me up before you go-go. Don't leave me hangin on like a yo-yo . . .(check out the jazz hands).

Wake me up before you go-go. Don’t leave me hangin on like a yo-yo . . .(check out the jazz hands).

3. The gym is dangerous


And . . . wait for it . . . she’s gone!


I’m speechless . . . no words . . .


And possibly even fatal

Yeah . . . I'm probably just gonna leave . . . after I finish my run.  What?

Yeah . . . I’m probably just gonna leave . . . after I finish my run. What?

And almost always embarrassing

Gym Distractions

Focus, dude! Run or yoga – make a decision! (She’s out of your league, bro).

Hey!  Who was taking my picture during my cross-fit class?

Hey! Who was taking my picture during my cross-fit class?


2. I’m married

Discretion requires I avoid a witty caption here.

Discretion requires I avoid a witty caption here.

And, finally . . . (I’m so  sorry. I have to do this. I don’t really have a meaningful choice in the matter . . . I owe it to you to express my art honestly without self-censoring.  Anything else would be a disservice to us both).

1. The gym is a nasty, dirty, smelly, disgusting place.

That's just wrong.  I'm sorry.

That’s just wrong. I’m sorry.

OK, I got that post out of my system.  I’ll soon be returning to my typically highbrow, sophisticated soliloquies.


P.S.  For the few of you who DEMAND that the tie between my quote and the theme of the post be OBVIOUS.  Sorry.  Make your own connections.