Tag Archives: christmas

Snowstorm Run (“Hi Running Man!”)

The small bit of the so-called “blizzard of ’09” that Southwestern Pennsylvania got happened last night and today.  It was beautiful.  There were temperatures in the twenties, and the snow was flying.  I shoveled the drive around 2pm.  It was nice to be out in it. 

I was struck around 4:30 or so to get a run in.  I geared up (including my new headlamp!) and went for it.  It was fantastic.  The snow was all over the place.  It was a bit slushy and slippery, but overall really great.  It felt a lot like running in sand or something.  The plowed bits were kind of intense.  There were piles of snow about knee-high that I had to jump over (which made for an eventful evening), and usually when I made it over the pile of snow, I’d be running in 6 inches of powder with slush under it. 

At about mile two I passed a house with a small child, two adults and a dog playing in the yard.  The chile yelled “HI RUNNING MAN!” to me as I went by.  It was great.  The adults in the yard laughed, I said hello back and though how great it all was.

One really beautiful thing happened.  It was getting darker each moment as I ran.  When I would breath out the headlamp would catch the steam from my breath and the falling snow would look iridescent.  It was quite wonderful. 

So good!



Filed under Uncategorized

Big Weekend // Small Weekend

Good stuff this weekend.  Friday saw me hanging out with my Missus doing a little Christmas shopping in the evening after a lovely curry.  (Taj Mahal in the north hills.)  After many episodes of The X Files on DVD, we went to bed too late and woke up too early.  We had a bit of running around to do, including errands and getting a folding table to the Mr. Roboto Project for a blood drive a friend was setting up.  Our morning was a nice time, including a breakfast at Denny’s.  The last time I was at a Denny’s for breakfast (or any meal, actually) it was barely edible.  This weekend, however, it was surprisinglygly good!  We donated blood to the aforementioned drive in the afternoon and drove home in snowy, icy conditions to settle in for the evening.  More X Files and a night of snuggling in under blankets on the couch was perfect.


Sunday was a sleep in day.  I guess we needed all the sleep to build our blood back up!  It was another totally chill day…more X Files, more Dare Devil reading…all good winter-time stuff!  Sunday night was the Torley Manor Mix-Tape swap.  I’ve been to more than a few of these.  Last nights was probably my favorite.  I got a sweet tape and had a nice time.

All in all, it was good weekend.  We seemed to temper luxurious laying about with doing good things.  I should be so lucky to have every weekend this lovely.


Filed under Uncategorized


As December rolls on I find myself re-discovering my inner nerd.  (He never left, of course…it’s just that now it’s OVERT.)  Evenings at home read like a Kevin Smith daydream…watching hockey, reading graphic novels, watching movies about graphic novels. 

…Yeah…I know. 

I’ve always LOVED the idea of the superhero Dare Devil.  He is the man without fear, after all!  Plus, he was a working class kid…the books (and the first part of the film) have great imagery of boxing and Catholicism.  It’s really good.  I also feel that I need to train myslef to read graphic novels.  I’m not that good at it!  I find it hard, so this is good practice!  I’m used to more words, so I gloss over the pictures, but I’m getting better.  Plus, the guy at the comic store was actually REALLY nice and helpful.  I was kind of expecting a bit of an attitude (you know…the way many folks at record stores act…) but he was super nice and really helpful.  He steered me to the Frank Miller era of Dare Devil.  I love it.  I’ve also been really into watching old X-Files DVDs.  They are amazing…even better than I remember them being!

So, aside from nerding out to critical mass proportions, I’ve been running pretty well.  Yesterday was intense.  25 degrees with a 17mph wind!  Man.  It was good run.  I did the full 3.2 miles, as well.  It looks like no 5K for me this month, so I’m just going to keep up my own schedule. 

I am actually quite happy it’s winter time in Pittsburgh.  I like the cold well enough.  Plus, I’m excited about Christmas.  Some years the thought simply doesn’t move me, but this year it does and I’m super excited!  I’ve already done most of my shopping, and gift prep.  Plus the Missus and I did some excellent decking of the hall last weekend, including the procurement of a new small tree!  Woo Hoo!  It’s a bit skinny, but I dig it!  It’s only 4 feet high, so it can live on a table top.  Iam STOKED.  I’m finding that less is more in terms of X-Mas decor.

In addition to all of the above obsessions I’ve been into listening to more music than I have in recent weeks.  The hit parade:

Gorilla Biscuits
Inside Out
Have Heart

In non-hardcore terms it’s been:

The Ex
Anthony Hamilton
Everything But The Girl
Christmas Music!!!

More soon!


Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Soulstice, (Never Trust a Hippie)

There is a soulstice upon us.  No one can refute the fact.  It’s the shortest day of the year, soon, and then we begin the long, slow crawl back to sun drenched (and at the point where three rivers meet) humidity of a summer about eight months from now.  This is science, folks, not hippie crap.  I feel almost as cheated that the so-called “left” of hippie-dom has taken the ideas of any kind of value in the soulstice (and nature for that matter), as I do that the anti-choice crowd has shifted the debate to refute what we all learned in 10th grade health class about what conception is and when “life begins.” (You know, that pesky science that lets us in on the fact that the zygote needs around 2-4 days to make it to the uterus, and how so many times the zygote never makes it…all that.  So the “morning after” has very little to do with it all.)

At any rate, last night I had a soulstice miracle of my own by watching The Wickerman with some friends.  I’m talking about the 1973 version here.  It’s AMAZING.  I am still so blown away by the film.  Discussion of “the old gods” and all…what a way to celebrate the pre Hogswatch (Hogmanay)!  http://www.hogmanay.net/history/faq 

I’m not sure how The Wickerman went under my radar for so long, but I must highly recommend it.  Please, however, make sure that you find the original 1973 version with Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt and Christopher Lee.  The film really has everything!  It’s wierd and wonderful and creepy and brilliant. 

 I am tired of the hippies getting to have things that are just tradition. 

In other news… 

For inspriration, go here:


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Christmas: attacks and sonic attacks

I was generally unaware, until a few days ago, that the so-called “attack on Christmas” was still raging.  Indeed, I thought it was over.  “Like, that’s soooo 2005.”  At any rate, it’s not.  Focus on the Family, Dobson and company, and plenty of others are still drumming up the fight.  If you really want an excellent discussion of this subject, however, simply search online for Michelle Goldberg’s EXCELLENT article from Salon.com a few years ago entitled “How the Secular Humanist Grinch Didn’t Steal Christmas.”  The subtitle reads: “The right-wing crusade against the liberal ‘war on Christmas’ is great for rallying the troops. Too bad the war doesn’t exist.”  http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/11/21/christmas/

But back to the world of the living.  My thoughts have drifted to quality Christmas music as of late.  Here in the City of Champions at least one radio station does nothing but “holiday” tunes for the month or so leading up to the New Year.  So much of what they play is garbage.  So, while I sit here listening to Joy Division, I thought I’d list some of the quality pieces out there, in case you needed to know:

The best Christmas song, hands down, is Emerson Lake & Palmer’s “I Believe in Father Christmas.”  There, that’s sorted.

Next would be “Merry Xmas, Everybody” by Slade.  That song is truly wonderful.

Third would be “Last Christmas” by George Michael.

It would appear that when it comes to Christmas music, the British have it.  In addition to the stuff listed above, the following always get plenty of rotation around my house in December:

The Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

The 1987 classic “Kenny Rogers Presents Christmas”

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet

The Squirrel Nut Zippers “Christmas Caravan” LP

and OF COURSE, the John Denver & The Muppets “A Christmas Together”

In addition to these must-listens, we always spin the comp that Pgh radio legend Zombo (of Zombo’s Record Party fame) gave me a few years ago titled “Zombo’s Merry X-Mess” which features such classics as Kay martin’s drrrrty “Ooh Santa” and “I Know What He Wants for Xmas” in addition to wierdo anthems such as “Don’t Believe in Santa” by The Sonics, “Surfin’ Santa” by Lord Duglas Byron and possibly the strangest Christmas song I’ve ever heard: “4,3,2,1 Christmas” by Ruth Lymens.

Check these out.


Filed under Uncategorized