Here’s a photo of our other Ray Swanson print, “Arizona Matriarch” (click to embiggen):


It’s a very good print – it’s done with some process such that it retains the brush strokes in such a way that it looks like the original, as though the brush strokes are 3D. It’s probably my favorite print. When I’m laying on the couch facing north, this is what I see.

But she is not happy – about anything. And she is not hiding her feelings, either.

No doubt there are folks who are sure that she’s unhappy about some great issue – the spread of the white man across the plains, the treatment of her people, the inflated prices she has to pay for Navajo rugs, or somesuch. I tend to think of such folks – in my own head, quietly – as “socialists”; this doesn’t refer to any economic system, but rather I’m using “-ist” in its more generic sense, like “materialist”, “extremist”, “atheist” – meaning a school of thought that sees everything from a given issue.

There are folks out there who really believe that social issues are the cause of all of our woes, and that if we could “fix” society then we would fix humanity. Of course, most of them disagree on just exactly how society should be fixed (or even what sort of “fixed” humanity we hope to wind up with as a result) but they do agree that “society” is the problem.

The nice thing about this type of thinking, of course, is that it means that it’s not my fault – my life and problems are actually somebody else’s fault. Not only that, but the problems that have been caused can’t really be solved, because they are so big and complex – so, there’s nothing that can be done. So it’s not my fault, and I am left with no responsibility to fix it.

Of course, as always, it goes back to what they told me in Texas, thirty years ago – “if I’m not the problem, then there is no solution”. My problems are mine, generated by me. There aren’t any exceptions to this. N.B. – this does not imply (directly) that my CIRCUMSTANCES are necessarily self-generated – I’d be glad to discuss that some other time :) – but my problems are not my circumstances. Problems are internal, circumstances are external.

I used to think that I looked outside and saw the world, and then looked inside and generated my feelings about it. I have since learned that I actually look inside and see my feelings, and then I look at the world and try to figure out what to blame for them. I then have to filter out everything that is good, and true, and beautiful, and find the negative things that I need to blame for my bad feelings. Then I can sit in my crap and have somebody to blame for it.

When I am self-aware – i.e. “aware that self is my problem” – then I see that I’m just telling myself stories about the world, making them up, and only picking out the things that I see that support my stories, that serve as evidence. Then I’m free to ask Him for “another way to look at this”.

When I look at the Matriarch, sometimes I think that she is carrying some vast weight of unhappiness that was brought about by evil people outside of her control – and that means that I’m buying into that sort of thinking. And sometimes it looks like she’s unhappy with me, and I start thinking I’d better straighten up.

When I’m spiritually fit, then I figure that maybe she’s just tired- or maybe she’s just looking into the sun, and it’s causing her to squint? Or maybe, even, she is where I get so many times – to that place where she realizes that she’s causing her own unhappiness, and she’s just a little tired of herself; that place of perfect discomfort that comes just before being relieved of the bondage of self, for just a little while.

Or maybe she’s constipated. Government cheese will do that to you.

Here’s a photo of our framed copy of the Ray Swanson print, Medicine Man:


The first time my eldest son saw this on our wall in New River, he said “Why do you have a picture of a homeless guy on your wall?”

We have two Swanson prints framed – this one, and Arizona Matriarch.Right after we moved into the house in New River, another house in the neighborhood was having a moving sale, and she was selling some pretty cool stuff – we got both of these prints, plus a big yellow plate (that stayed on our kitchen counter for the next five years, in a holder). There may have been other items; I can’t recall.

I have no link for the Arizona Matriarch print; in fact, I can’t find a single image of it anywhere. It seems that the Swanson folks are very, very proud of Ray’s prints, and they don’t let the images just get out there on the Internet for anybody to see.

In fact, if you clicked the Medicine Man link, above, you saw that the only place you can buy this print, it’s $1295 – that’s right. Thirteen hundred dollars for a PICTURE of a painting. And that’s not framed. (no, we didn’t pay that – maybe a tenth of that, framed).

I had no idea that we’d made such a find; I’m wondering if Floyd knows that the picture of the homeless guy was worth enough to keep him in a nice hotel for a while.

…who, me? I’ve been doing way too much. I’ve been training, and we’ve been packing the house and getting it staged, and finally got it listed this last weekend. I spent last week in California at a class, and the weekend in St George at our tri club’s Ironcamp. I’m exhausted – and I’m now paying the price with a pretty bad cold, that has me laid up and stupid.

In fact, this cold is so bad, that I spent a considerable portion of the afternoon just laying on my couch, listening to R. Carlos Nakai Radio on Pandora (Indian flute and drum music) and looking at Arizona Matriarch – and Medicine Man.

It’s two weeks and three days until IM St George. This last weekend, I exorcised my demon by swimming over a mile in the Sand Hollow Reservoir, in water even colder than it was last year when I squealed like a girl. I’m now sure that I can do that – unless, of course, it’s too windy. Or there’s a forest fire. Or somesuch.

But just being able to do the swim isn’t enough, and I’m in much worse physical shape in terms of biking and running than I was last year. And this cold is not helping matters.

I need a Medicine Man.

The Vudden-Vudden Car-Car is now in summer configuration:

summerconfigWhat makes this “summer config” is that the snow tires have been swapped back in for the performance package, and the bike racks are back on top :)

Both changes are due to the fact that I do stuff. The reason that I have snow tires at all is because I live in a ski town, because, well, I ski. The bike racks are because I ride a bike – well, more than one.

Not long ago I read on Facebook (which means that it is scientifically proven fact – “bonjour”) that the current generation out there is the first one that might wind up with a shorter life span that the previous, and that this would be the first time that that’s ever happened. This is called “progress:”.

Now, I have no reason to believe that that is true, but I do know this – my generation is the Do Generation.

My parents would not have believed my life at the age of 56. My mother had been sedentary for a good while; the only exercise my father got was the mild exertions at work (he worked in a machine shop). Dad played golf, but I never saw him walk a round – he always rode in the cart.

If they went on vacation and went sightseeing, it wore them out to walk around all day. They simply couldn’t see any sense in exerting themselves; I think that, to them, “exertion” meant that they were doing something that they didn’t want to do, and that therefore they should get paid. Gardening was as close to exercise as Mom ever got – until she got so old that the doctor told her to exercise, and what she called “exercise’ would not qualify as a normal hour’s activity for me anywhere – even in the office.

Meanwhile, Ethel and I run and bike and swim. We ski as much as the climate will let us :( and when we golf, we pull our little hand carts. (the exception was made here for golf in Phoenix in Arizona, in which case being outside itself was hazardous enough). We haven’t climbed in a few years but we’ve got the gear and we’re ready to head back out there this year – we’ll be at Dogwood Crag, getting our skills back, pretty soon now. We love hiking, although I can’t get Ethel to backpack any more – the last night we spent on the Mogollon Rim was so cold that I think she’s sworn off forever. I enjoy jumping out of airplanes, but Ethel hasn’t tried that – yet.

Our lives are vigorous by intention. And I have many, many friends who have the same kinds of lives, and whose parents were as sedentary as ours. Sometimes it seems to me that it’s not just my generation, but my AGE GROUP that does this – many times it seems to me that the 5 year age group that I’m in is usually faster than the one just younger.

Obviously not everybody does what we do – but the fact that it isn’t even unusual for us middle-aged folk to be out there doing all of this stuff is the point. This was simply not done. For Ethel and I, none of the generation before us, on either side, lived like we do now. It was unheard of.

And, while it is by no means the rule, the generation following us is certainly not emulating us. Two of my sons have poor-to-serious health complications from their lifestyles; the other, who seems in good health and is active, certainly has no athletic pursuits, and is still smoking much after the age where Ethel and I quit.

In fact, the next generation in my line laughs at us and makes fun of our activities – and you are never about to copy something that you are ridiculing. So no changes there any time soon.

I have no idea why people my age are athletic and active, while our parents avoided activity, and our children are only in shape for playing video games. It can’t be the video games themselves, because my generation, again, was the first that was raised sitting down watching Gilligan’s Island. And yet, here we are, going to bed early to get up early to spend money to do vigorous things with no real return on investment.

But I am grateful.



This is our Vermont Castings grill. It is ten years old.

Yep, you heard that right.

vermont castings

When we lived in Vermont, Ethel and I were often quite impressed with the quality of the Vermont Castings wood stoves that we saw in various homes.

Seven years later, when we moved to Arizona, during our initial “buy everything” visit to Home Depot there we saw this grill. We didn’t see any other Vermont Castings grills, and I didn’t really look at the price tag. I just bought it, as quick as I could.

Have you ever heard of a gas grill that gets used several times a week, left in the open in Arizona and Utah, that lasts ten years? I hadn’t either.

Of course, some things have gone wrong with it. The igniter doesn’t work anymore, and I can’t get a replacement, so I use a long match. And…well, and…

Well, actually, that’s the only thing that’s ever gone wrong with it. At all. Everything is original, the jets all still blow, it’s still tight as a drum.

Some of the decisions of my life have been like this Vermont Castings grill. For instance, whatsername has been around now for 28 years, and she still has all the original equipment. (This is not a time for me to discuss whether or not her igniter still works).

I just finished my annual cleanup of the grill – I do this every spring, once a year, and that’s all that I do to the grill, and that’s all it seems to require. In this case, I’m cleaning it up a little earlier than usual, because we are getting our house ready to stage, photograph and list on MLS next week.

We’ve packed up a lot of stuff and moved it into the garage – today we moved the first bit of furniture out there. Tomorrow the stager comes and tells us what goes where – we don’t argue with the stager; in Phoenix, when our realtor Amy Gilner brought a stager to our house, we did what the nice lady said, and we had three full price offers in five days.

Yes, it’s a bother having half – or more – of our possessions out of reach in the garage, but it’s not nearly as much of a bother as not selling a house once we decide to list it.

No, I’m sorry, the Vermont Castings grill does not convey with the property – but we can make you a great deal on the Cocker Spaniel!

At Snowbird, there’s a tunnel with a long, long Magic Carpet to get one from the top of the Peruvian lift to the Mineral Basin area.

No, I’m not joking. Here’s Ethel, riding along ahead of me.

This was at Snowbird, three weeks or so ago. The next weekend, we didn’t ski at all; the weekend after that, I skied four runs. Last weekend, we didn’t ski at all.

I got 22 days this year. That’s the worst season I’ve ever had – and most of those days weren’t full days, by any means.

Yesterday, I went for a run at lunchtime in Park City, in bike shorts and singlet – and it was so warm and sunny that that had to change. Before I was half a mile into the run, I had the singlet off, and had rolled up the bike shorts, so that it looked like I was running in a Speedo. You’ll be grateful to know that I didn’t take a selfie for FCD. “The vulgar stared, and the polite turned away”.

I should not be running nearly naked in Park City in mid-March. The snow is normally at its deepest right now.

This ski season is over, and it ended with a whimper – me, whimpering.

Meanwhile, we’re packing up the house. We don’t know where we’re going, but we’re going somewhere, it seems, unless the house doesn’t sell or we suddenly decide to stay where we are. That’s possible – heck, anything is possible, but that is certainly inside the realm of discussed outcomes.

But let’s be completely honest here – the thing that will drive us out of Park City is not the lack of snow, nor is it the relatively tame terrain available. The snow will return, and the older we get, the less tame said terrain will seem.

What’s driving us out of Park City isn’t the strangeness of the meetings – although I am getting very discouraged everywhere, to tell the truth. This may be part of being an old timer (I’m coming up on my thirtieth) but it seems to me more and more that folks simply don’t want to do the work, and will take any excuse or loophole offered, or even make some up. OA has, it seemed, come up with some sort of “Appreciating Diversity” silliness that seems to say “Hey, whatever anybody wants to call recovery is fine with us! We’re so scared of offending anybody that we’re certainly not going to ask anybody to do anything – and we’re certainly not going to beg of them to be fearless and thorough from the very start!”

..and AA is getting slipperier and vaguer, it seems, every year as well. The last issue of the Grapevine was basically all about agnostics and atheists, and the party line was pretty much “we don’t want to change our minds to get sober”. Heck, where I come from (that would be the Big Book) I’m not even supposed to talk to anyone about the Program until they can say that they are willing to go to any extreme to stop drinking for good. That would even include changing one’s mind…

But the meetings are going to be just as weird in the Salt Lake Valley, or in Bozeman – or in Bend or Steamboat, for that matter – although things do vary by region, and Utah has some of the lowest-energy meetings that I’ve ever seen. And truly I have found that many other places do, indeed, have less silliness than Utah, although I have to admit that the whole 12-Step culture seems to be sliding into the abyss.

But it won’t be meetings or church or snow or terrain driving us out of Park City – it will be Ethel, training for triathlon.

Now, when we moved back to Utah, I ran, and Ethel skied and played golf and maybe did some rock climbing. But after we moved in, I picked up the tri-thingy, but still Ethel kept her wits about her and everything worked out okay.

But after she started training, suddenly we didn’t have time or energy for anything; everything took longer, and cost more. That’s because Ethel is doing this right, and triathlon done right is time consuming and energy consuming and expensive. And I certainly don’t want her to stop – heck, she’s having a ball and doing great.

No, I love watching her do this, and I have every intention of supporting her, as she’s supported me through a lot of silliness. And if the ONLY thing going on were Ethel’s tri training, then the best thing for us to do would be to move to the Valley, whereas the other issues still have me hoping for Bozeman.

Now, while we’re being honest, let’s say it out loud – I could quit triathlon training, and go back to just running, and then Ethel could keep training, and we could sit still… be perfectly frank, that’s the first time that I’ve said that out loud.

And, suddenly, that seems like a good idea – perhaps a very good idea….

Saturday I did my second long weekend Trainer Road ride on the trainer – the Maclure, which lasts for three hours.

TrainerRoad is an application that has pre-formatted workouts. These workouts are laid out in terms of power outputs – i.e. 140 watts for 20 minutes, 160 watts for 10, then back to 140 for 20; that sort of thing.

When a workout is selected, the TR app reads the power meter on your bike and lets you know if you’re in the proper range; it also reads the heart rate monitor, speed and cadence sensors, and whatever other ANT+ capable gadgets you have and records all of this information so that later your coach can tell you you’re a lazy piece of Cheez-Whiz and that you should be working harder.

The Maclure (and, no, I have no idea why it’s called that) is a three hour ride which has warmup and cooldown periods, and then it has four 25-30 minute “up” periods where one is at 70% of one’s FTP (that’s “functional threshold power”, which means “the power output that you can maintain for one hour while throwing up less than one quart of digestive fluid”)  during which one is doing “enduring spinning” (maintaining the power output at a lower gear, while spinning the pedals much faster) and three “off” periods of 60% of FTP where you’re doing “form sprints” (read: standing up on the pedals and hammering for 10 seconds or until you puke) and one short stretch where one is doing ILTs – “Individual Leg something-or-others” – this means that you unclip one foot from the pedal and try to spin with only one foot while not falling off of the bike.

This is all called “fun”.

maclure bike

(this only works if you sing “hour” as a single syllable – “our”)


Theme from Puckett’s Third Floor

(to the tune of “Ballad of Gilligan’s Island”, with apologies to Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle)

Just sit right there and you’ll read a tale
A tale of a painful ride
That started up on my third floor
(That’s right, I ride inside)

The bike was a carbon Cannondale,
The course, hard to endure
5 Hour shot drink and a PowerAde
For a three hour Maclure…a three hour Maclure……


The rider started feeling it
The seat was hard to sit
If not for a Monster Energy drink
The rider would just quit…the rider would just quit…

The ride finished up on the laptop screen
With charts of watts and more,
With intervals, and endurance spins
Some sprints with form, and without –
Some ILTs –
A warmup few, and a cooldown too
Here on Puckett’s third floor!


For those of you who care about such things, this is what the end graph looked like –

After this, I went for a six mile run. The six mile run didn’t last nearly as long as the Maclure – just about exactly one-third as long, to be exact – but it came after the Maclure, and thus wasn’t as much fun as I would have liked for it to be.

For one thing, I’m on Atkins, which means that I’m carbohydrate-deficient. Now, during the ride, I had two GUs and a Monster, but I didn’t think to take in any carbs between the ride and the run, and the run was outside, from Jeremy Ranch to Kimball Junction. During the first quarter of the run, I felt a little wobbly, but figured that that was because I had just come off of a hard three hour ride.

During the second quarter of the run, I started seeing things a little funny, and figured that I must be “bonking”, as endurance athletes say – running on empty; needing some sugar; getting stupid. I figured that I’d turn around at the Red Roof Church at the Junction, and go into the kitchen and see if anybody had left any cookies.

The Red Roof Church was closed.

Halfway back to Jeremy Ranch, I pulled over to potty and drink at the RV park, and saw that they had a gumball machine; if I could have found a human being, I would have begged them for a dime (“brother, can you spare a dime?”) and gotten a gumball. I did not see any human beings. I even went into the laundromat and looked around on the floor, hoping that somebody had dropped some change…no luck.

During the last quarter of the run, I actually picked it up and did some on-offs, since by that time I was well into the “stupid” part of the blood-sugar graph. But then I drank some chocolate milk, with protein powder, and felt much, much better!…

…until I got home, and Ethel sent me back up to the third floor, to pack up and bring down boxes of books and DVDs. Ouch!

…I’m steering clear of our third floor for a few days.


Date:   Thu, 5 Dec 1996 19:11
From:  Eric M Fariss

quit sending me    shit
thank you .

Date:   Thu, 5 Dec 1996 19:23
Subject:  Re: DRS Digest – 4 Dec 1996 to 5 Dec 1996 – Special issue

On Thu, 5 Dec 1996, Eric M Fariss wrote:

quit sending me   shit
thank you .

Good one, Eric. But tell us how you really feel?

Date:   Fri, 6 Dec 1996 13:33
Subject:  relaxation response


I usually count my steps on the inbreath and the outbreath.
When I’m running slowly that’ll be 1234,1234, and if I’m running
fast it’ll be 12,12, etc. What you describe is very much like
zen, and a favorite topic of our very own list father, Chris.

Sounds to me like you’re a prime candidate for zendead!
ORN: Five Easy Miles at lunch on a beautiful, warm day. If I had
a Triumph t-shirt, I’d be in the mood for acting out that scene from
Five Easy Pieces ;-) This taper for White Rock has got me a bit
goofy, eh? Oh yeah, will y’all stop sendin’ Eric shit?

kevin, the mathineer
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Date:  Fri, 6 Dec 1996 14:58
Subject:  bad Deads!

quit sending me   shit
thank you .

OK, you guys, ‘fess up. Who has been sending Eric shit?

Date:   Fri, 6 Dec 1996 14:05
Subject:   Dead-related dream

So that’s what Austin does with that surplus bat guano. They send it
to Eric.

* Brian Blansett, from east of Lorena, Texas

Date:   Fri, 6 Dec 1996 14:19
Subject:   Eric Shit, by Dr. Zeus

Hi there Dead people!

It’s Dr. Zeus here with a rhyme for you!

I will not send to Eric shit.
I will not send it; I will quit.
I really wish the rest of you
Would not to Eric send shit, too!

Eric has so little time
He cannot listen to this rhyme,
He hasn’t time to check the FAQ,
To work he really must get back!

So please desist, also refrain
From being, really, such a pain.
To send, to Eric, shit is bad.
Keep it up, we’ll make him mad!

kevin, the mathineer
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Date:   Fri, 6 Dec 1996 14:24
Subject:   Re: bad Deads!

On Fri, 6 Dec 1996, Laurel Park wrote:

quit sending me   shit
thank you .

OK, you guys, ‘fess up. Who has been sending Eric shit?

I’m not convinced that “shit” is the object of “sending.” Note the extra
space after the indirect object “me.” Looks like punctuation. Makes the
entire message sound more like a lament to me, as in:

[You’ve] quit sending me. Shit.

How forlorn.:-)

Chuck McCaffrey

Date:   Fri, 6 Dec 1996 16:36
Subject:   Re: bad Deads!

On Fri, 6 Dec 1996, Laurel Park wrote:

quit sending me   shit
thank you .

OK, you guys, ‘fess up. Who has been sending Eric shit?

Sorry! It’s that pesky IBS….I don’t know what to do with all this crap!
And C.O.D. even! I should be ashamed….

you asked for it!

Date:   Sat, 7 Dec 1996 13:45
Subject:   Re: bad Deads!

On Fri, 6 Dec 1996, Laurel Park wrote:

quit sending me   shit
thank you .

OK, you guys, ‘fess up. Who has been sending Eric shit?

I don’t know. Coffee always gives it to me.

——— Keith Stone

Date:   Sat, 7 Dec 1996 16:50
Subject:   Re: I’ll start

On 6 Dec 96 at 13:33, J. Richard Nelson wrote:

Why don’t newspapers report major running events? A race can pull as
many _participants_ as a Maple Leafs game pulls spectators, yet find
nary a word in our local newspapers.

Yah, but nobody who wasn’t there cares even as much as our dear Eric.

– Dick

Date:   Sat, 7 Dec 1996 16:55
Subject:   Re: DRS Digest – 6 Dec 1996 – Special issue

Chuck said,

I’m not convinced that “shit” is the object of “sending.” Note the extra
space after the indirect object “me.” Looks like punctuation. Makes the
entire message sound more like a lament to me, as in:

[You’ve] quit sending me. Shit.

Yo Chuck,

NO! NO!, you still got it wrong…add a comma thus-ly “quit sending, me shit”

When else has anyone EVER admitted that they are NOT WORTHY of receiving
our splendid tomes??

C’mon Eric…give yourself a little slack.

Date:   Sun, 8 Dec 1996 10:46
Subject:   Re: Eric’s dyslexia

I didn’t send Eric shit I sent him “this”.


Date:   Mon, 9 Dec 1996 07:35
Subject:   more about Eric

I can’t resist beating a dead horse to death, so here’s a Haiku I wrote:

Do not send Eric
Letters full of excrement
He does not want them

Doug “IceTray” Hutcheson
Douglasville, GA

Date:   Mon, 9 Dec 1996 11:42
Subject:   what can you fix with a bent paperclip…

well, I fixed the flusher thingie on my toilet this weekend with a
bent paper clip. so rather than sending the fecal matter to Eric (who
doesn’t seem to want it), it can now be sent to me, because once
again, i can flush.

(and also, i’d be curious to hear what others of you have fixed with
bent paperclips…maybe some day i’ll write a book about all the
things that can be fixed with bent paperclips)

MarkO in St. Louis who should be running more, ‘cept it’s almost time
to start tapering for Walt Disney World….

Date:   Mon, 9 Dec 1996 19:35
Subject:   Eric

I honestly think that everyone should be concerned about Eric rather than
severly abusing him. His message to me sounded like an emergency was occuring.

Don’t send me shit

Sort of like he was beginning a sentence “Don’t send me…” and then he
paused, realized his house was on fire, typed shit and ran out of the house,
or maybe he burned. Is this guy still alive?? Doesn’t anybody care?

Thomaston, Maine

Date:   Mon, 9 Dec 1996 22:30
Subject:   Re: And the winners are…

Dead Beatens,

Hinkmond bragged about his PW with no shame whatsoever:
The backward guy beat me; Karen Wells (who ran her first marathon!)
beat me; the juggling guy beat me; a small kid beat me; a dog, a chicken,
and a marmoset with one leg beat me (just kidding!); people who beat me,
finished the course, ran back to where I was, and beat me again just for
fun. It was a good thing this was a training run and I wasn’t really
racing! And, it’s a good thing that baby strollers weren’t allowed
in the race, or I would’ve felt bad if *they* beat me, too! :-)

Peter Stokes added some more bad news:
Reports are the babies crawled out of their strollers and rolled
and crawled the event. And beat you… ;-)

It gets worse, Hinkmond … Eric was there.
And he apparently beat the   shit out of you!

Peter dellaFemina
Readsboro VT

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 01:13
Subject:   Re: more about Eric

I don’t understand this. Why would anyone want to send Eric letters full
of shit anyway. By the time the post office got through with them there
wouldn’t be any left.
Lady G

ORN – 5 miles today in beautiful Valley Green with a light snow falling.
The deer wern’t cold and neither was I.

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 07:32
Subject:   eric

I’ve enjoyed the thread about eric’s problems with his receipt of
scatological missives more than I can express. I had a similar
experience some time ago when I tried to unsubscribe to this list because
I was going to be gone for awhile. Unfortunately, the listserv would not
take my command. How fortunate for me, I would have missed eric.

rob strong

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 09:52
Subject:   Re: What you can fix with a bent paper clip

Hi gang,

Mark Oppenheim posted:

well, I fixed the flusher thingie on my toilet this weekend with a bent
paper clip. so rather than sending the fecal matter to Eric (who doesn’t
seem to want it), it can now be sent to me, because once again, i can flush.

Alas, Mark, you may soon be back to “shipping” to Eric.
That paper clip is going to rust through faster than you can say “jogger”. I
personally went through a bunch of safety pins from my race numbers until I
finally broke down and went to plumbing supply store. The problem was
permantly solved when I moved.

Andy Yelenak
Wallingford, Connecticut USA

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 13:58
Subject:   Eric Sighting

Eric was recently seen in Trader Vic’s, drinking heavily with the
Werewolf of London and Elvis. A passerby overheard Eric lamenting about
what a shitty deal the world had given him.

I hope the list gods delayed unsubbing Eric for a while so he could know
how much joy he gave us. Although, at that stage of his DRS career he
probably wasn’t reading any of that shit, anyway. ;-)

ORN: A nice brisk 8 mile, pre-dawn tempo run. Additional challenge
added by losing a contact lens about a mile out – the one in my right
eye that provides the distant component of my monovision prescription.
My brain kept telling my eyes to stop sending that shit. At least
they’re the disposable type. Next race is the Uwharrie Trail 40 Mile
Adventure Run on February 8th. Hilly, bad footing, numerous stream
crossings, possibility of extreme weather conditions. Proof positive
that running causes brain cell loss in the mature athlete.

Will Brown
Raleigh, NC

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 13:12
Subject:   Re: Eric Sighting

Poor Eric. But, I guess I should tell everyone that he never
subscribed to drs. Someone named Ellen subscribed to drs and then
either lost her account or changed her username and forgot to
unsubscribe. Eric was assigned her old username. I guess
he never knew what hit him :)

Ted Louis Glenn
Tucson, Arizona, United States

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 16:51
Subject:   Re: Eric Sighting

At 01:12 PM 12/10/96 -0700, Ted Louis Glenn wrote:
Poor Eric. But, I guess I should tell everyone that he never
subscribed to drs. Someone named Ellen subscribed to drs and then
either lost her account or changed her username and forgot to
unsubscribe. Eric was assigned her old username. I guess
he never knew what hit him :)

Alas, poor Eric. I knew him, deads; a fellow of infinite cyberspace, of
most excellent fancy; he hath read our messages a thousand times; and now,
how abhorred in his imagination we are! his gorge rises at us. Here gazed
those eyes that we have glazed I know not how oft. Where be his attention
now? his curses? his flashes of anger, that were wont to set us on a
thread? Not one now, to shame our poor scribbling? quite tired of us? Now
get you to your keyboard, and tell us that you want no more shit, to this
request we must obey, and let us ponder that.

ORN – Alas, this taper doth vex me.

Richard Ferguson
in dreary Elsinore

Date:   Tue, 10 Dec 1996 15:39
Subject:   Eric . . .

Hello one and all,

I was wondering if anyone has Eric’s E-mail adress. I seem to have
lost it. I would like to apologize to him. I think somehow a shipment
of fertilizer that I was supposed to receive for my greenhouse got to him
instead. I could use the fertilizer and it sounds like he needs
heartfelt apologies from each of us, over and over.

John the crazy alaskan runner who is trying to push up daisies.

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 07:18
Subject:   chest pains & binary numbers

From: Ray Scott
Mike, I hate to tell you this, but it sounds like you’re destined to be a
machine-code programmer :-)…

Yeah, maybe one day. But first I have to pass my exam tomorrow! It’s
mostly about the 68000 CPU, but will surely have other exciting shit
(Eric’s bane) on it.

Michael Lehotay
Toronto, Canada

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 08:52
Subject:   Re: Eric . . .


If and when I ever unsubscribe to the list, I hope I don’t make any mistakes.
We have been merciless with poor Eric. But, it has been great fun at Eric’s
:>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>) :>)

Marc Scudamore

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 10:24
Subject:   Re: Again with the esplanades & boulevards.

It is good that you are going to run on the Merrit trail cuz when you run
on our boulevards you have to keep dodging the trees ( and the dog shit
that we didn’t send to Eric).

sorry i can’t join you but have a good one.

Ed Pomeroy, Dept. of Psychology,
Brock University, St Catharines, ON

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 13:09
Subject:   Re: Eric Sighting

Will writes:

I hope the list gods delayed unsubbing Eric for a while so he could know
how much joy he gave us. Although, at that stage of his DRS career he
probably wasn’t reading any of that shit, anyway. ;-)

Eric remains clueless, because his impressive command of the English
language captured my attention immediately and I deleted him as
requested. Once I did a search on his address, and came up with
someone else’s name, I realized that he had inherited the subscription.
I just didn’t have the heart to tell y’all, though. Anyway, I was
enjoying this little burst of creativity :-). Especially Richard’s
variation on a theme of Hamlet.

ORN: five miles on the treadmill, pretending I was on the
carriage trails in Acadia National Park ;-)


Date:   Thu, 12 Dec 1996 07:11
Subject:   Re: Where’s the eric’s our summer?

I haven’t contributed to the Eric thread yet, but see an opportunity at
last. Always on the lookout for new euphemisms, may I suggest that in
future we use the word “eric” in place of sh*t. BTW, eric is also a
four-letter word. Example of usage given below.

In response to my statement that:
I sweated blood on the above and they still didn’t turn out quite right.

Allan wrote:
I have been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to sweat blood. Can’t do
that either.

I must admit to having lied. I didn’t manage to sweat blood. I’ve
managed to get blood out of some other orifices, but not out of the pores
in my skin. I’ve had bright red blood in my urine and in my eric, but
never in my sweat. Producing bright red urine for the first time was a
rather unpleasant and unwanted surprise.

ORN: After two weeks of struggling, first with a minor calf strain and
then with some kind of bug (in sympathy with many other Deads) I managed
to get out and do a slow 15 miles yesterday. I need plenty more of those
in the next month to get ready for a marathon in January.

Dave Couper
The Ancyent Marath’ner in Hobart

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 14:17
Subject:   Another meaning Eric may have had, great trail run.

Pardon me if this has already been suggested (I don’t read every word of
every digest, but I do scan it all), but perhaps dear Eric feels that
he is no longer worthy of our company due to extremely low self-esteem.
He may have meant to say:
“Quit sending. Me s***.”

Tam Thompson, Ph.D. candidate
Mechanical Engineering Department, The University of Texas at Austin

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 15:36
Subject:   A ghostwritten Ericonian filk

“You Don’t Send Me S*** Any More”
with half-hearted apologies to Neil and Barbra

You don’t bring me feces,
You don’t send e coli.
The sewer’s empty, the toilet bowl’s clean
I reach out to flush, and there’s nothing there…

It used to be so easy
to send messages (scatalogical),
But messages don’t get sent any more
at least not ones with themes proctological.

You don’t bring me feces,
You don’t send e coli,
You don’t send me s*** anymore.

ORN: 8 miles, including 5X600M hill repeats, the last with a distinctively
Ericesque feeling in the old quads. Still recovering from the effects
of the Kalpana-Cold last week.

Be dead well.

Mark Kunkel
Auburn, AL

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 21:44
Subject:   Re: Where’s the eric’s our summer?

At 07:11 AM 12/12/96 +1100, The Ancyent Marath’ner wrote:
I haven’t contributed to the Eric thread yet, but see an opportunity at
last. Always on the lookout for new euphemisms, may I suggest that in
future we use the word “eric” in place of sh*t. BTW, eric is also a
four-letter word. Example of usage given below.

At 03:17 PM 12/11/96 -0500, Gerardo Despian wrote:
Unless a file has an executable command such as .exe, .sys, or .com, there
is no way you can pick up a virus by just reading an email. Is this true?
Was the alert a hoax?

— No Gerado — its a crock of eric.

Paul Aloe
Here in New York, where we would say “yooooo. Stop sending me sh*t”

Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 1996 22:38
Subject:   Re: Where’s the eric’s our summer?

The Ancyent Marath’ner writes:
I haven’t contributed to the Eric thread yet, but see an opportunity at

Hmm…I’m going to try to not yield to temptation…

last. Always on the lookout for new euphemisms, may I suggest that in
future we use the word “eric” in place of sh*t. BTW, eric is also a
four-letter word. Example of usage given below.

In response to my statement that:
I sweated blood on the above and they still didn’t turn out quite right.

Allan wrote:
I have been sitting here for 5 minutes trying to sweat blood. Can’t do
that either.

I must admit to having lied. I didn’t manage to sweat blood. I’ve
managed to get blood out of some other orifices, but not out of the
pores in my skin. I’ve had bright red blood in my urine and in my eric, but
never in my sweat. Producing bright red urine for the first time was
a rather unpleasant and unwanted surprise.

Tell me about it! The first time that happened to me was after a Sunday
morning long, hot, humid run. It took me forever to rehydrate, and when
I did, and went to the can, it (the urine, that is) came out red and
scared the “eric” out of me….sorry guys…I couldn’t resist…

Oh, and while I am at it, to answer the question, where’s the eric’s our
summer, it’s here in Houston, where although mid December, we hit 80F

3 days to Sunmart Texas Trails Endurance Run (50 miles) – and yes, I’m
nervous…it’s my first 50 miler…
32 days to Houston Marathon

Dennis “the menace” Halpin
Houston, Texas

Date:   Thu, 12 Dec 1996 00:20
Subject:   Re: Poor Eric

Dearest Decomposed,

This “Eric” thread is absolutely priceless! Does this happen all the
time around this list? IF and WHEN it ever comes to rest I would like to
put the whole thing up on a web page if no one minds too much. At the
rate we’re going though, I think Eric might just re-subscribe for all
the attention he’s getting. His response rate is about to eclipse that
of Claude’s and Tam’s combined!!

Come on back, Eric, you’re FAMOUS … I shit you not!

Peter dellaFemina
Readsboro VT

Date:   Thu, 12 Dec 1996 13:06
Subject:   Eric running at Rocket city marathon

Can anyone confirm the rumors that Eric will be running at the Rocket
City marathon this Saturday? Any other deads going to show up? I’ll be
there, most likely in maroon shorts over black bike length tights and a
Rocket City marathon shirt from 92. If you find a short guy (5′ 7″)
with glasses, reddish-blond hair and a red mustache–that’s me. I’ll
answer to “Jeff?”, “are you dead?” and “SHIT, ERIC, IS THAT YOU???”
(Might I be so bold as suggest that last one as a
pseudo-quazi-recognized-but-not-sanctioned dead greeting?) I just hope
I don’t look like “eric” by the end of the race. Of course, it’s better
to look like Eric then to feel like eric. If I feel like eric I might
not be worth “eric in a handbag”.

Yesterday’s forcast was for “cold and breezy…low 30’s rising into the
40’s by 10 am.” The rain we’re having is supposed to be ending tomorrow.

Jeff Shelly
Huntsville, AL

Date:   Fri, 13 Dec 1996 16:36
Subject:   Re: Non-Running Question

Now, Julia, did you have any inkling that you would start the thread that
has generated the greatest interest since Eric and those grassy strips,
whatever they’re called. If Eric had realized the fascinating things we
discuss besides running, maybe he’d have stayed on the list. :-)

ORN: None since kidney stone on Monday, but I’ll probably go for a run

Ralph Lindzon
Hong Kong

Date:   Fri, 13 Dec 1996 08:00
Subject:   Eric running at the Rocket City Marathon ?

Eric will probably run if you eat bad Mexican food the night before the
race :-o

Kevin Bales
Houston, TX

Date:   Fri, 13 Dec 1996 17:01
Subject:   Re: Non-Running Question

From: julia

Does anybody know the difference between a “hectare” and an “acre”?
On a translation I’m doing for Americans, should I just translate
everything into acres so they know
how much land I’m talking about, or am I the ignorant one (never heard of
“hectare” as a measurement) and leave it as is?

An acre is the Customary / American measurement of area
A hectare is the Metric measurement (American Eric would say “Metric?
Oh sh*t)

Acre x 0.4 = hectare or Hectares (ha) x 2.5 = acres

And …

Inch (in) = 24.5 millimeters
Foot (ft) = 12 in = .305 meter
Yard (yd) = 36 in = 3 ft = 0.914 meter
Mile (ml) = 5,280 ft = 1.609 kilometers
In2 (sq in) = 6.452 cm2
ft2 (sq ft) = 144 sq in = 0.093 m2
Yd2 (sq yd) = 1,296 sq in = 0.836 m2 = 9 sq ft
Acre = 43,560 sq ft = 0.405 ha
Mile2 (sq mi) = 640 acres = 2.59 km2
Millimeter (mm) = 0.001meter = 0.039 inch
Centimeter (cm) = 0.01 meter = 0.394 inch
Decimeter (dm) = 0.1 meter = 3.937 inch
Meter (m) = 3.281 feet
Kilometer (km) = 1,000 meters = 0.621 mile
Sq millimeter (mm2) = 0.000001 m2 = 0.002 sq in
Sq centimeter (cm2) = 0.001 m2 = 155 sq in
Sq meter (m2) = 10,746 sq ft
Hectare (ha) = 10,000 m2 = 2,471 acres
Sq kilometer(km2) = 1,000,000 m2 = .386 sq mi

And Eric said (all together now …) “Stop using that metric sh*t!)

A 5km race = 3.1 mile
A 10km race = 6.2 miles
The first half of a marathon = 35 km = 21.7 miles
The next half of a marathon feels like 35 km = 21.7 miles
The next half of a marathon is actually 35 km = 21.7 miles!
The stadium is always on the horizon and is 2 inches big (50.8 mm)
At half way the stadium is still on the horizon and is still 2 inches big (50.8 mm)
At finishing field feels 40 hectares wide = 100 acres = 4356 sq ft = 1.3 km
The medal weighs 10 pounds (lv avdp) = 70,000 grains = 4.54 kg of SOLID GOLD!
The elation of running and finishing can’t be measured

ORN: 20 minutes round the block in my new shoes (Asics 125 ES)

PS: Eric, if you want to weigh all that stuff you’ve received I suggest
the Metric ton = 1,000 kg = 1,102 short tons = 0.984 long ton.

Date:   Fri, 13 Dec 1996 11:07
Subject:   NOW I get it!!!!!!!!

Okay, Okay….I admit I’ve not kept up with reading all the posts,
and have on occasion, just simply deleted a slew of messages to ease
the memory on the server, but my goodness am I slow….I now, today,
an obligatory BJD, have JUST NOW understood ERIC!…oh my! I can’t
stop laughing…..

wishing you all the best….

ORN: off today, 5 tomorrow…hoping it’s sunny!


Date:   Fri, 13 Dec 1996 18:01
Subject:   Re: DRS Yearend Survey 1996

DRS Yearend Survey 1996

3. Describe something you like or something you dislike about the
Dead Runners Society.

I like how something like “Eric” takes on a life of its
own. It’s also great to read all of the race reports, from
our dead elites to the Penguin brigade.

4. If you could change one thing about Dead Runners Society, what would
it be and how would you change it?

Can’t think of anything!

Joel Barnum
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dead Runners Society
From Everywhere



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