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The D.O.L.T. Movement

D.O.L.T. stands for Do One Less Thing.  The acronym works for me because I often find myself way, way over-scheduled.  Maybe a lot of us do that — when we decide to do things, each thing we decide on, taken separately, seems like a good idea.  But then when they’re all in a row together, one after another after another, our lives are difficult (and sometimes to me feels outta control).

Take yesterday, for instance: Got up at 6:20, after not such a good night’s sleep, had coffee and read the paper.  AND THEN:

1. Went out for a 7-mile run.

2. Cleaned up, went into work, organized things I need, updated course Website.

3. Gave a final exam to 21 students.

4. During the exam, read a dozen or so petitions for College Petitions Committee on Thursday.

5. Rushed home to meet the service tech who was going to set up my gas fireplace.

6. Picked up Becca’s package (Christmas present) at the apartment complex office.

7. Took a 7-mile bike ride.

8. Cooked a pasta dish, a couple days worth of food.

And all this before 4:30p.m.  No wonder I was tired last night — I obviously need to try to just do one less thing each day.

But I learned nothing; today was almost as packed.  Sheesh.  Yikes.  Sheesh.  I must learn to ask myself — what would Stephen Colbert do?  (Certainly he would either take it easy or find someone else to do everything for him.)


Must Be Having Fun — I’m Bleeding

Well, folks, I’m not actually bleeding, at least right now — but as I crash through the woods occasionally on runs, I sometimes intersect rose bushes or similar sticker-rich plants.  I’ve got about a dozen minor scratches on my ankles and shins, a few more on my hands.

Buy the Damn Cookies!

But the training is going well — today a 7-mile run, my longest this year, at about 8:41 pace.  So I’m on track to do a 15k January 28th (the Newnan’s Lake Run, which I haven’t done for years; signed up for it 2 years ago, but it was 18 degrees that morning, so I decided against running).  The link is here: And then there’s the Austin Half-Marathon February 17, as part of the Dead Runners Society World Conference (here’s the link:

Though not bleeding, I’m feeling a little beat today.  Didn’t sleep really well, blasted around campus getting things done, including giving a final exam to 21 students (already graded, final grades entered in the system).  Then a quick 5.5 mile bike ride this afternoon.

Tomorrow will be an easier day — 3 miles running in the morning, 20 minutes swimming in the late afternoon, giving 2 finals in between.


Busy Weekend!

As often happens this time of year, near Christmas, schedule got busy starting this weekend.  My friend Lorraine ( next-door neighbor for several years) had an artist’s opening at the Hippodrome Theater, displaying her new iPodography — photos taken on her iPhone.  They were uniformly excellent, and we ended up buying one for the low, low price of $45. (The picture you see when you read this is called an Instagram — taken by the iPhone but altered a bit by the software.  It’s a picture of Christ Church Frederica on St. Simom’s Island, GA.)

Then I looked a little bit more at ArtWalk, which Lorraine’s show was part of — just one more gallery, actually, and then on home.

Saturday was the Gathering of Artist’s at The Thomas Center — about 10 artists, many of whom I know, some quite well, like Lenny Kesl and Bill Schaaf (I’ll get some of their images up here soon).

Then Melissa’s graduation party — she just completed her Ph.D.  Good food, good friends, and congratulations to the newly-minted Dr. Flanagan!


This Week’s Training

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe I’m getting in better shape, maybe there’s another explanation, but this week’s running seems to have slowly ramped up — which is good, ’cause I’m scheduled to run the Austin half-marathon, during the Dead Runner’s Society World Conference in Austin February 17-20.

Ran 6.5 miles on Monday, and it went well; then 5.5 on Thursday.  In between 4.5 miles and 3 on Wednesday (I typically run the shortest run of the week on Wednesday, sort of half-a-day off in midweek).

Totals for the week are 26 miles running, 20 cycling (a little low, but if I’m ramping up the running, something’s gotta give).  I also started back swimming, doing 450 yards on Wednesday and 650 on Friday — this is barely swimming in the context of “real” swimmers, but I rarely do more than 1,000 yards in a session, and I haven’t done any swimming for months.  (Since I’m only doing sprint triathlons when I do tri’s, and the swim is 440 yards, it doesn’t seem like such a good use of time to train more than 1,000 in a session — can more than hold my own in the swim at that level or training.)

My new Merrell Trail Gloves have worked into the rotation — ran 2 on Monday in them (then switched shoes!), 3 on Wednesday, 2 today.  They took a little getting used t0 — I may have shared that I stupidly ran 4.5 miles the first time I ran in them and suffered calf pain all week.


The Theatre of Church

I’ve been to many churches, been pleased with some of them, and am more-or-less content with my current church, Holy Trinity Episcopal in downtown Gainesville, FL.  But what I’ve noticed, in many of the churches I’ve attended (and at times Holy Trinity) is the service can miss the main point of a church service, a liturgy — the theatrical point.

For the sorts of churches I usually go to (Episcopal, Lutheran, Roman Catholic), the crux of the service is both to celebrate AND RECREATE the foundation moment of Christianity, the Passover supper (aka The Last Supper) at which Jesus instituted the Eucharist after a meal with his family and friends.

That moment when Jesus says the Word of Institution indeed happens weekly (and during the week) at my church.  Nevertheless, there are times when the crux of the drama, the main theatrical moment, is a bit buried, under the choir and music, under the announcements, under the celebrations for Girl Scouts, or our Young People’s Program, or the making of our AIDS quilt.

These are community aspects of church, and to be sure a church is a community, far more than it’s a building.  But it’s a mistake, at least in my mind, to too long delay or even bury the central theatrical point of the liturgy under the dozens of other things that it’s also possible to do in a church service.

There seems to be an issue with adding somewhat extraneous elements to a church service, elements that, if considered one at a time, each seem to be a good idea — BUT TAKEN ALL TOGETHER, distract focus from the main point.

As always, YMMV — Your Mileage May Vary.  (Or your opinion may vary, or your experience may.)


Training With My Daughter

Becca's White Elephant Gift Exchange

My daughter Rebecca (age 28) is now back running.  When she was 13-14, we trained together regularly and did races together.  She was really pretty good, though she had exercise-induced asthma that only seemed to flare up for races and not in training — this meant that she always did better out training with me than she did in races.  Maybe it was performance anxiety mixed with a little sinus difficulty.

We did a 5k together once on University of Florida campus.  It was an out and back, and we did an amazing perfect split — 13:13 out and 13:13 back, for her PR of 26:26.  (I could do a 5k faster back then, under 20 minutes, but I ran with her in that race to help her out and urge her on.)

Don’t know why she decided to take up running again, but she’s maybe planning to come along  to the Dead Runners Society World Conference in Austin this coming February.  She might do the half-marathon as I am; maybe we’ll run it together.  That would be delightful.