Monday, August 15, 2005

Random Walk

I have no idea how people keep up with these things on a daily basis. It's magic.

I guess the trick to having an active blog is to have an active life. My life over the past couple of weeks has been like that Kids in the Hall sketch where Kevin McDonald is determined to stick to his to-do list regardless of what's going on around him (like he goes to the bank in the middle of a robbery and gets taken hostage but still insists on getting stamps,etc.). It's been a productive time, but boring. Unless you find the repair and maintenance of a 2000 Nissan Frontier to be fascinating, in which case have i got a story for you.

The only semi-interesting thing we managed to do over the last couple of weeks was seeing Yo Yo Ma at the Civic Theater. He was with his Silk Road Ensemble, so the music was not the standard classic fare. There was Mongolian opera, Chinese music, Persian classical music, Indian music, gypsy music-- much good stuff. The highlight of the night for most of us, especially my sons, was a piece by Sandeep Das, a tabla player, along with several other percussion instruments. It was amazing, both because of the strange rhythms and the unusual instruments. There were several string instruments- violins, Ma on cello, and a bass- carrying a line of melody throughout the piece, which provided a nice anchor for the rhythmic improvisation. Very cool.

My martial arts instructor decided to leave town to finish up college at Cal State Fullerton, so i have to break in a new instructor after 3 years. He was also my kids instructor, and my wife's tai chi instructor, so it's kind of like losing a member of the family. For a going-away present we bought him a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace. I figure that should keep him busy, and possibly confused.

I've spent the two weeks since the SF marathon doing nothing but eating. I think i've put on about 5 pounds. Ultimately, it'll probably be good for my body to give my joints a rest and just get fat for a few weeks, but i feel a bit bloated at the moment. I start a new cycle in about mid-September in order to prepare for the PF Chang Rock'n'Roll marathon in Phoenix in January. I intend that to be my all-out effort for Boston qualifying, so i'm sort of psyching myself up for it. It's gonna be a tough holiday season, since i'll have to be a bit more careful about what i eat.

A real random walk is a Markov chain, which means roughly that the direction of the next step you take doesn't have any dependence on the steps you've taken in the past. That seems like a good metaphor for my life at the moment.

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