Monthly Archives: November 2016

Thanksgiving Friday

Why is it always women who are taking their clothes off?  I haven’t even read this specific article, but I think the general gist is that it’s a plus-size model trying to make a point about body-shaming.  But whatever the reason, it’s seems like it’s always women stripping down – celebrities who aren’t happy with this or that (Catherine Zeta-Jones being the latest), women who want to normalize breast-feeding, athletes making a point about something (thinking of Lindsay Vonn here), models, etc., etc., etc.  Personally, while I am totally against body-shaming, am massively in favor of women’s right to breastfeed everywhere without shame, and think Lindsay Vonn is amazing, I am tired of seeing press about women stripping down for one reason or another.  I never seem to run across men in their skivvies on the subway.  Personally, I am no fan of modesty in general.  It’s such a slippery slope.  I just wish women would get more media coverage for things other than their bodies, and I’m not sure strutting around in the nude or near-nude is going to help.

Also, I would like to point out that your average plus-size model has a waist smaller than mine.

On the subject of bodies, I’ve finally realized why my head is so big yet looks so small.  Folks, I have a narrow deep head.  Did I get squished during childbirth or something?  I’ve come to this realization in the process of trying to find a helmet that fits properly.  I’m ending up with these giant Men’s large helmets that look ridiculous on my narrow head and are also very heavy.  So annoying!

I’ve been continuing to enjoy cycling.  It’s hard to find time to do it when it’s not raining or dark, but when I do get out, it’s great.  Today I cycled 10.6 miles in a little over an hour with an average speed of 10.5 mph and a max speed of 24.6 mph.  That sounds pretty slow, and it is, but I am getting faster.  The local bicycle club here is Cascade, and they offer free group rides.  The rides are categorized as Easy (<10 mph), Leisurely (10-12 mph), Steady (12-14 mph) and on up to Super Strenuous (22+ mph).  There are few or no rides in the slowest categories, so it would be great if I could get my speed up to 12 mph so I could join in rides in the Steady category.  I’d really like to meet some other cyclists.

Right now, I’m in the process of trying to convince my friends to take up triathlon, but it’s a hard sell, mostly because of the swimming.  I did recently find out a co-worker I’ve been friendly with for many years wants to do an Olympic tri late this summer.  I can see that as a goal, though my main objective is to do any tri, no matter how short.  Seattle does not exactly have a wealth of short triathlons.  This one is very typical, with the “super sprint” having a swim of 400m, bike of 16.4 mi, and 3.1 mi run.  The Olympic distance is 1500m swim, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run.  Obviously, the swim would be the biggest problem for me.  Swimming a mile in open water is no joke.  As a point of comparison, the half ironman has a swim of only 1900m, with a 56 mile bike ride and 13 mile run.  The Olympic distance is disproportionately weighted towards the swim, which I think will be my worst “event.”  Anyway, one thing at a time.  I’ll start with a super sprint and then decide if I want to try something longer.

thinking about Trump

From what I have read, Trump didn’t really expect to win any more than we expected him to win.  Now he is scrambling.  The man is simply unprepared to be president.  Let us hope he gets his act together quickly.  I have been avoiding the news, but the headlines about his advisor-choosing process are stressing me out a little.  I do believe the debacle of the W presidency had a lot to do with bad advisors and bad influence, and I fear a repeat.  I would guess at this point, despite all his rhetoric, that Trump doesn’t really have a clue what he actually wants to accomplish and how he would go about it.  That means he’s going to be figuring it out over the next few months, and things could really go in any number of directions.

I went on Facebook shortly after the election seeking to find other like-minded individuals who were similarly disheartened by Trump’s election.  I did find this, but what I also found that I didn’t expect was an incredible amount of hate and vitriol directed at Trump voters.  Honestly, I was taken aback and disgusted.  I’m not talking about the posts expressing sadness that people who would vote for someone who speaks as Trump does and expressing concern over our country’s future.  I’m talking about the ones who insist anyone who votes for Trump is a racist asshole.  It seems too much to hope for that the liberal establishment will look in the mirror and ask how it is flawed and how they can improve so that someone like Trump isn’t an appealing alternative to their candidate.  I see a divide between my friends who grew up in affluent, urban areas and those from rural areas, particularly the rural south.  While nearly all my friends and colleagues are liberal, those who came from areas where there is widespread rural poverty and unemployment due to factory shutdowns are much  more likely to be sympathetic to the plight of the Trump voter whereas the former are more likely to dismiss them as stupid and bigoted.

I do feel anger, but I honestly don’t feel it towards Trump voters.  I know plenty of people who voted for Trump.  The people I know who voted for Trump are mainly single issue voters who vote pro-life no matter what.  (I know a lot of people think pro-lifers are inherently evil, and I obviously don’t agree with this point of view either.)  There are two groups I feel anger towards.  1: Democrats and Liberals who stayed home.  Voter turnout was very low.  My understanding is that more than Trump receiving a lot of votes, he won because Hillary won so few.  2: Hold your nose and vote Hillary voters.  Yes, these people voted, but their rhetoric dissuaded others from voting.  Needless to say, anyone who didn’t vote or who voted third party gets no sympathy from me if they complain about Trump.

Four years.  I want to say to the Democrats, Let’s get it together people!  Much as I love Hillary (and hate Bernie), the Democratic candidate slate for 2016 was weak and limited.  The Republicans sort of dissolved into Trump disarray, but they had a large group of diverse candidates, similar to the Democrats in 2008.  Let us hope some new liberal leaders will emerge in the next four years.


Holy shit.  I cannot believe Trump might actually win this thing.  Maybe it’s naivete caused by living out here in liberal-land – I know a grand total of ONE Trump supporter that I’m aware of in WA and dozens on the other side – but I felt it was a slam dunk for Clinton.  The NyTimes said she had a 90% chance of winning yesterday.  Now they’re saying 70% for Trump (which I guess goes to show how much they know.)  Honestly I’m furious.  H says it’s sexism.  Is he right?  I’ve been blown away by the vitriol directed at Clinton by some liberals around here and the ridiculous support for Sanders.  If not sexism, what is the problem?  What leads people to think that having Trump in charge is going to lead to a better outcome?

I was told by a colleague that I was sheltered recently.  He wasn’t directing his comment specifically at me, but more generally at all of us well-paid, over-educated, liberal engineers so far separated from the people who feel they’re losing their path to well-being.  At the time, I thought, yes, we are sheltered, but still . . . Trump will not win.

I am honestly afraid for our country if he wins.  I’m not worried about the wall between here and Mexico or his sexism, though these things are obviously troubling.  I’m worried about the vast amount of military power he will wield if he wins, and the incredibly difficult tightrope our president will have to walk in dealing with ISIS and Iran and Russia and so on.  The world is a perilous place and Obama, in a way, has kept us safe for eight years, as well as averting a general meltdown.  I’m not confident Trump can do the same.  And please spare me the talk about moving to Canada.  If things go south in the great USA, of the whole Western world will suffer.

Bush caused a lot of harm in his eight years.  I fundamentally believe Bush was a good guy, but incompetent.  I think Trump is both a bad guy and also a loose cannon.

And if only Hillary had won over Obama eight years ago, she would have taken the general election, I’m guessing Obama could have won in 2016.

Alki Beach 5K race report

Woo hoo!  I ran a new post-college 5K PR this morning!  My time was 22:31, or 7:15 minutes per mile.  I guess exercising six days a week pays off.  Race report:

I was a little on the fence about whether to run this race today. I had some kind of bronchitis-like illness last weekend, and I’m still a bit wheezy. The weather looked iffy. However, I’m glad I decided to run. The weather ended up being nearly perfect – about 50 degrees and partly cloudy. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt and felt perfect. My only complaint was a headwind on the way back.

I’d decided to go for it, so I went out pretty fast, probably too fast, as I was left behind by the people I ran with during the first half mile. I was in serious discomfort half a mile in, and I couldn’t believe how long it took to reach the 3/4 mile mark (turnaround for the kids’ 2.5K), the mile mark, and finally the turnaround. I slowed down maybe 1/2 a mile in to a more sustainable pace. Turning around was a big mental boost, though the sight of the finish line in the far off distance was disheartening. I focused on reaching targets 50 to 100m away, one by one – first a bush, then a sign, and so on. I also tried to catch up with the man in front of me, which I did eventually manage. The person in front of him was the 11 year old who was comically photographed with me last week. He was way off in the distance, and I didn’t manage to make up any ground on him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I crossed the finish line. I felt moderately lousy for 10 or 15 minutes afterwards, about what you’d expect for a 5K.

I was displeased to find myself 3rd in my age group (top 2 get awards) given that I knew I’d been one of the first women. However, it turns out I was also 3rd place in the race overall. I was extremely pleased to get my first medal in longer than I can remember.

I’m anxious to find out my time. I’m confident I at least beat my post-Briony PR (25:25 or so), and I’m thinking I may even have hit my post-Isla PR (high 23s) but we shall see. It certainly hurt like I was running fast!