Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jim recently commented about his frequent use of conversational shorthand when replying to inquiries from people he has never met and is likely to never see again. At the conclusion of his brief post, Jim posed several semi-rhetorical questions.

His entry rings true.

I first noticed my increased use of conversationsal shorthand (i.e., giving the quick answer rather than the truthful one for the sake of simplicity and brevity) afterI began my law practice in earnest (after my clerkship).

When friends or family would ask me about work, I would offer a concise summary of whatever happened to be on my desk at that moment. Often, as eyes glazed over, the conversation would quickly come to end, no further explanation necessary for my bored inquirer.

But on occasion, my account, fraught with legal minutiae, would intrigue a listener, prompting him or her to ask additional questions. Soon, I would find myself engaged in a longer than anticiapted discussion of the inticracies of venue, jurisdiction, and/or the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Over time, in order to avoid such a dialogue, I began making a simple, general statement, often having nothing to do with my current workload.

And then I found myself doing the same thing in conversations having nothing to do with my job. Responses to questions naturally requiring complex answers became one or two word replies, uttered not for their explanantory nature, but only to avoid further discussion. Paraphrasing Jim, it became easier to simply to allow the conversation to run its course (or not even really get off the ground) without the unnecessary addition of too many (or, in my case, any relevant) details. Conversational shorthand became a way for me to feed my verbal laziness. Rather than spend time ensuring I adequately clarified my topic, I would avoid the need to lay any sort of predicate. No time for that. Let's just stay away from subjects that require more than a passing glance.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Had my first encounter with "wind chill" this morning. Rarely a factor when jogging, I was greeted by the slap of cold air across my body as I biked along the Trinity River around 6:30 a.m. I was sufficiently prepared except for my toes, which went from cold to tingly to numb.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The purchase has been made. I went with a 2005 Felt F60. I am very excited. I also got a helmet, gloves, cycling computer, hand pump, extra tube, shoes, and small seat pack. I still need to get cycling shorts (because, after only riding for 5 minutes or so on a trainer, my ass was getting sore). But I'm pretty much ready to go.

There is only one problem -- it is raining. And because this is the first rain we have had in about a month, it's hard to complain about it. But I sure would like to be out there riding. Ah well.
Here's what I'm thinking about purchasing. Sure, it's more than the Cannondale (by about $300), but if I'm going to spend $1k+ on a bicycle, I'd rather plop down a few hundred more and get something that is considerably better. We'll see how the haggling goes at 1 p.m. today.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Buying a bike is difficult.

And expensive.

I almost pulled the tigger today on a Cannondale R500, but was advised to upgrade from the alluminum frame by my biking expert buddy. Tomorrow, he is going to join me as we attempt to get a deal on a carbon-fiber bike.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I'm sleepy. I've been getting up early at least 4 days during the week since the new year began to hit the gym and/or jog. Nearly everytime the alarm goes off, I'm tempted to hit the button, close my eyes, and head back to netherland for another hour and half. But here I am, sipping my morning coffee and trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

For the runners out there, USTF has a great website that allows you to chart the distance of any run. Check it out here.
I've decided to run the half-marathon at the Cowtown. My left calf has been feeling tight on several of my recent runs. While it hasn't been enough to force me to stop, the slight nagging is reminiscent of the first twinge I began to feel about half way through White Rock -- which led to my debilitating, half-run/half-walk stumble to the finish.

Yesterday, I left the house at 2:15 p.m. (after watching the Horns knock off #3 ranked Villanova) and jogged about a mile to the gym, where I put in a quick but intense upper body weight session. Then I hit 7th Street and finished my Monticello/downtown loop. I left the stopwatch at home and casually jogged the 10 mile route, listening to Rolling Stone's podcast of Jan Wenner's interview with Bono. I arrived back at the house about 4:45 p.m. Without worrying about my pace, I found the two and half hour weight/running workout enjoyable and refreshing. Although I was tired, I did not feel exhausted.

My decision to forego the full marathon next month has pushed up the timetable for my next fitness purchase. So I think I'm going to buy a bike next weekend. I want to ride the Hotter Than Hell 100, but I don't own and haven't ridden a bike in years. (Yes, I am incapable of doing anything casually.)

Okay, back to the appellate brief that, unless I get an extension, is due in two weeks.

Monday, January 09, 2006

So VY is headed to the NFL. Not all that surprising. I did entertain the thought that Mack Brown's trend would continue and Vince would forego the immediate lure of millions of dollars to spend another year in Austin, as did Ricky Williams, Derek Johnson, and Roy Williams (among others). But it's probably the best decision. VY's stock is never going to be higher -- two-time Rose Bowl MVP, Davey O'Brien winner, Maxwell winner, National Championship. Strike while the iron is hot.

It's always kind of a bummer when college football season comes to an end. It's the only sport I really follow. The NFL isn't bad, but it lacks the same excitement. March Madness is fun, but I don't keep an eye on college hoops until then. I also enjoy the college world series. But I hate pro basketball and baseball.

There's just something about collegiate athletics.

I'm definitely a bigger UT fan now than I was when I was in school. As a student, I took it for granted that every other weekend I could head to Royal-Memorial stadium to sit in the bleachers with 80,000 other burnt orange revelers and watch the Longhorns get after it. It didn't seem like that big of deal. It was almost common place.

Now, I get excited about games the week before. I read the hype online and in the paper. I talk with my buddies about the game and analyze and predict the Horns' game plan.

This fanaticism isn't all that surprising. College sports--and football in particular--take me back to those days living in Jester Center or the fraternity house or off Cameron Road with my pals. Back to that great time in life where you have all the benefits of adulthood with none of the responsibility.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Here we go again. The first long run of the Cowtown training program. 10 fun-filled miles.


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