Lap Swimming and Multi-tasking
My reasons for swimming are many, but high on the list is the tranquility and solitude – it’s a time when everything else can be blocked out for a bit.
Had a really good swim this morning at my newish pool of choice (since May), and while taking a rest between sets noticed a small group arriving. Two grabbed lanes and the third went to the shady chairs. No big deal. After more laps I got out and he was still there, staring intently at his smart phone. As I toweled off he started getting agitated, then burst out in a scream of ‘GO TO THE NET.’ I guess Wimbledon was this morning. I don’t know if it was the end of the match or just that viewer’s final straw but after the outburst the tennis fan put down his phone and joined his friends in the pool.
Smart phones are bad enough, but waiting for the inevitable day Google Glass begets Google Goggles. I dread the concept overall, but it sure would’ve been hysterical to see him have his little meltdown halfway down a lane.
Swimming Sad Face
Unfortunate to see the swim news this morning that the Belmont Plaza swim complex in Long Beach is being closed as seismically unsafe. I cheered for Cal at the Pac-10 swimming championships back in 2005, and thought it was a very impressive site. I know the economy is still rough, especially for large capital projects, but I really hope someone can step up and put something comparable here in Southern Cal.
Taking a moment away from packing for the roadtrip to share this twisted piece found at swimbrief.net.
We’re in Pismo until Saturday. Play nice.
Time To Move On
Just going through one of those periodic points of time with the practice where I wonder where to go and what to do. Adapting to the recession led me to take on some work I didn’t really enjoy, and it came to a head in the last month. With more than 10,000 attorneys in San Diego County there are plenty of choices and being more selective about the cases and clients I take on, even in a recession, is better for everyone in the long run. Especially since I can’t go back and repo someone’s divorce when they stiff me, and I suspect the bar and karma would both frown on me deliberately trying to stress out a client, former or otherwise, just for the joy of payback.
The swimming’s always been good therapy for these times, but I’ve been out of the pool the last couple of months trying to let some things heal (and die, in the case of at least one respiratory bug). Need to get back in the water. Need to go to my happy place. Need to make sure the Crackberry is turned off when I get there.
Vicarious Morning Swim
I may have been slacking in my personal swims lately, but smelling the chlorine vicariously this morning with this video.
Love being able to combine alumni fan-boyism with the vicarious smell of chlorine in the morning. It’s especially good when it involves seeing Cal Bears out giving back locally and working with the kiddies. Now if I could only get up the energy to get to an actual swim…
Catching Up On The Lost Week
One week ago today, thirty or so very good friends and family gathered at The Linkery in San Diego to celebrate Randy’s 50th birthday. The people at The Linkery outdid themselves with great service and great food, and while the Big Five-Oh is easy to poke fun at (and there was a ceremonial presentation of Spinner’s first AARP card), the rapidly-marching-to-death jokes were kept to a minimum, and as far as I could tell a great time was had by all.
Very early the next morning we left Diego and the Great Basil Forest in the care of a wonderful housesitter, and set off for Hawai’i.
In hindsight we’d redo the itinerary. It seems ridiculous in hindsight to fly 21 minutes from San Diego to LAX, then sit on some very uncomfortable seats at LAX draining the batteries on various portable devices for three hours until our flight to Kona. We could’ve driven to LAX in less than two hours, and still left home at least 90 minutes later than we did. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… As for Delta – I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything but a hop from here to the Bay Area, but $25 to check a bag and no food except a bag of peanuts on a five-hour flight? Ohmygawd you’re cheap bastards and you’ll get no linkey-love here.
Once we got off the flying metal deathtrap though, life was renewed. I suppose for Randy it was like how Logan’s spin through carousel should’ve been. Hours of people reminding you of approaching mortality, more hours trapped immobilized in a sealed metal tube, then whoosh…PARADISE!
In our first two hours on the Big Island we swam in the ocean, swam in the resort’s pool, then had mango daquiris and kalua pork quesadillas at the hotel’s poolside bar.
Yes, I got injured a couple of times, but it was all still absolutely worth it. I got stung by a jellyfish or something, but I got stung swimming the water portion of the Ironman course in Kona. I beat up my ankles on some silly rocks, but I did it body surfing at Magic Sands on the Big Island. I suppose I should mention the dead brain cells from several rounds of Mai Tais too, but that doesn’t sound nearly as butch as the swimming and bodysurfing. Would it help if I said they were flaming Mai Tais?
We visited palaces and churches and archeological sites and generally behaved like gawking tourists we were. Spent lots of time sitting on the seawall just watching local life: the triathletes and open-water swimmers, the locals playing, the outrigger canoe clubs, the birds and crabs doing their things.
We had a great time. The vacation was way too short. Probably wouldn’t have come back but for the grim realities of modern life spelled out by Quicken, even given my responsibilities to appear in court this Tuesday.
The flight home was relatively uneventful: same tin-can of death, same lousy service, still no love for Delta. Diego not only survived, but seemed much better after five days with the housesitter than he’s ever seemed after any time at all in the kennel. The Great Basil Forest is thriving. After 36 hours the mountain of laundry finally seems surmountable. I’m back and I accept it, happy or not.
I’ll be wearing green whenever I get around to getting dressed, except when I go out for my swim because I don’t have a green speedo anymore, and I’m not going to run out and buy one just for the holiday. I love the holiday and all things Irish, but some things are overkill.
Nothing really new here for the holiday in terms of content either, so please enjoy this YouTube rerun from last year.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone.
The Birthday Season Continues
All the good holidays get seasons, so I’m happily and guiltlessly extending my birthday into a season this year.
Yesterday Randy rode the Flightline zip line at the Wild Animal Park. I got a couple of photos of the preparations, but nothing from the ride itself. My hands were too busy to work the Canon and the wind grabbed my helmet cam right after launch and repointed it at the sky. Still the experience was a complete blast, and we broke down and bought the photos of the day taken by the zoo’s photographer. Randy put some of those up on Facebook, and some more might make there way over here in the next few days.
I spent today with some overdue humiliation and exercise. Swimming alone has been good for me, both physically and with the meditative aspects. I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant lately and kinda hitting a wall, and have been looking for a way to avoid my tendency to become complacent. Spent the morning getting beaten up and feeling old at a coached workout with a local masters swim team, Different Strokes. Had a great time and should join if I can prove to myself I can commit to their schedule.
The birthday season is scheduled to wrap up with a grand finale Thursday evening at a showing of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The tickets were generously funded by my parents’ birthday check, and thus makes the perfect finale to this year’s Season of Chuckie.
Weekend In The Balance
Let’s face it: software is never as easy to install as it should be, and food never tastes as good coming back up as it did going down. But at the end of the weekend I lost a couple pounds and have Windows 7 up and running on the desktop. Wish I could have worked a swim in there somewhere, but it just didn’t happen. Still, I think the scales for the weekend balanced out pretty well in the end.
Back To The Water
Made it back to the pool this morning for the first post-Christmas-gluttony swim. Minor panic attack when I pulled into the parking lot, but fortunately all the New Year’s Resolutionists were staying in the dry areas of the gym. Either they’re committed non-swimmers or they haven’t resolved enough of their body issues to be seen in swimwear yet. Either way I won – I had a lane to myself for the entire workout.
We’ll see if the effort pays off on Friday. Weather permitting, at 11ish we’ll plunge into the ocean like little penguins with 300 or so of our closest friends to celebrate the New Year. Most of our friends normally wince at the thought of going, with the imagery of icebergs and hypothermia shivering up their private bits just as surely as the cold water itself would. Still fun though, and free coffee, doughnuts and certificates always make for excellent motivators. See you there? This will be the 24th annual plunge, and our fourth together.