Al Borland, typically on the receiving end of Tim Taylor’s insults during Tool Time segments, always manages to handle Tim’s equipment gaffes and his corresponding painful grunts with a measure of grace. He maintains his poise with a reserved, stoic pride that is unflappable. Al is indeed an admirable character on the now syndicated Home Improvement (1991-1999), and the chemistry that he has with is co-host Tim is side-splitting at every encounter. In watching old episodes once again, I’ve noticed that Al has a tendency to bring two fingers to his head as he and Tim salute various tools or rooms of the house (e.g. chainsaws, magnets, the bathroom, and the kitchen).
In the enduring words of acclaimed novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Penned as part of a poem to describe Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, this phrase still transcends the most magnificent English literature about Middle-earth. As a distance runner, I am prone to wandering and getting lost, though the former doesn’t always cause the latter. In fact, like other like-minded runners, I tend to consistently revisit the same routes time and again for the sake of convenience and familiarity. But as familiarity tends to breed contempt, returning to the same loop or out-and-back course is surely a precursor to boredom and stagnation.
In 1999, a friend in my high school youth group loaned me a CD with a striking title across the cover: The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. Recorded and released by Payable on Death (POD), a hard rock band based in San Diego, Southtown achieved remarkable success, driven in large part by the booming range of Sonny Sandoval, the group’s lead vocalist. A few days ago, I listened to “Lights Out” once more, track number two off the band’s sixth studio album, Testify (2006). Sandoval employs a recurring phrase in the song to highlight his ability to arrange words in a magnificent manner. “It’s lights out, game over. If you wanna you can check my stats.”
The arrival of September, with its cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and return of the beloved (or disdained) Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, also brings football. Lots of football. High school, college, and professional football. Enter fantasy, not the word that you would typically associate with the pigskin. Most people think of fantasy in terms of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Star Wars, not Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. But like the players themselves over the course of sixty minutes, the goal for fantasy players, in the always amusing words of former New York Jets coach and ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards, is to achieve victory – to win the game.
Threads on the Let’s Run message boards have a way of garnering my attention with every visit. While most of them pertain to running, other unrelated topics are regularly explored, e.g. taking cabs instead of Uber or Lyft; the special election runoff in Georgia between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff; and why wealthy people who spend $100K or more on automobiles don't purchase a Tesla. But running and running related news dominate the boards when all threads are considered as a whole. Questions and answers concerning training appeal to me, and a popular thread I stumbled across recently highlights whether training advice is heeded and applied or downplayed and ignored.