Sunday, February 19, 2006


(Note : I started this post Sun 19/02, and haven't worked out how to update the date shown as posted - help requested !) Well, it's been 2 runs on the M7 this week : one unplanned. I hope their website updates bikepath photos soon - this one is pre-opening. Still, it's at least partially indicative : bitumen, good width and not that close to cars - even a separate track (and bridges) in places.
Summary of the week so far (est. 65k for week):
* Sat 18/02 11k extended Clean Streets
* Sun 19/02 18k home to Rooty Hill via M7 (lift from support crew Mrs BB and YD, with cooling down period at Nurragingi Reserve)
* Mon 20/02 12k M7 : Rooty Hill to Light Horse interchange return ("work return")
* Tue 21/02 REST DAY
* Wed 22/02 8k Clean Streets
Today was indeed a struggle; I found it more difficult to get up and run at 6am than backing up for a 12k after the 18k. I spent much of this morning's run "musing", which can be also be interpreted as "half asleep". I was jolted out of this revery on my return leg by a cheery hello from Go Girl on the other side of the road.
One observation : summer is gracefully exiting. The mornings are darker earlier and it's not as hot, sure. The real giveaway is the flies. I think they are on tour, possibly FNQ. And not a rabbit in sight either.

Books : suffice it to say that I have made only small progress on the Michael Jecks book in the last few days; it seems that other less noble pursuits have stolen my time away. Here I refer to TV programmes. At least I could argue that hey - at least it's the ABC and SBS, so I don't yet qualify for the Hills Philistine Of The Month Award. Some great shows on or returning : Spics N Specs, Ali G in Da USA, various history shows on SBS. Haven't history docos had an extreme makeover ? With computer-generated everything and dramatic music, the events really come to life. It's somehow comforting to know that maybe Gen X, Y and Naughty might
a. find key historical events/people interesting
b. watch the shows (dare I dream : read the primary sources ???)
c. think about them
d. learn from them (I'd like to think - in a positive sense)

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

Music : well it's been very much a fusion of styles this week. Two different groups which are on the list, but not anywhere near the Golden 20. Still, very good and great to replay. Blondie's The Hunter was their last studio LP (1982) until their re-grouping for No Exit in 2000, then The Curse Of Blondie in 2003. The last two show what can happen when a nice idea is confronted by reality. A bit like The Bangles comeback Doll Revolution in 2003.
I digress. The Hunter is a wonderful album : the hit single Island Of Lost Souls, Dragonfly anticipates Star Wars 4 with it's interstellar races, War Child with that familiar powerful dance beat and strong Deb Harry voice. Other intriguing tracks include Orchid Club, For Your Eyes Only, and The Beast.
I mentioned fusion of styles. I should had said two opposites.
The other albums on the metaphorical turntable in the car have been Out Of The Blue (1977), and Discovery (1979) by ELO. Music history lesson for those unfamiliar : Jeff Lynne is a Beatles Freak. No two ways about it. I guess many remember he worked on the Beatles Anthology in 1995, and produced the two singles. He would have LOVED to have been a Beatle !
A casual perusal of his musical style suggest a certain Beatles influence, too.
By 1977, ELO were mega. They had come off the back of insane sales of A New World Record (1976) with songs like
"Tightrope" "Telephone Line" "Rockaria!" "Mission (A World Record)" "So Fine" "Livin' Thing" "Above The Clouds" "Do Ya" "Shangri-La".
A cynical view would suggest they became less creative and more bland. Certainly the cello and violin became less obvious.
But... Out Of The Blue had "Turn To Stone", Sweet Talking Woman", "Jungle" and Mr Blue Sky" so all is forgiven. Discovery gets a pass mark, but only because of "Need Her Love", "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" (how Beatles is that ??) , "Last Train To London", "Midnight Blue" and "Don't Bring Me Down" (Brrrruce)
A question has been asked : how does the artist get selected for the week ? Simple really. Vertical integration : it involves scanning up and down the shelves, and then waiting for inspiration. So maybe I haven't listened to Aqua or Abba lately because I'm short and the unit is over 6 feet high. I tend not to look at the T-Z artists after a hard run too.

Previewing upcoming runs : just over 6 weeks to the first West Met ! I have the feeling that the weekend will hold the prospect of a 15+k run, most probably early Sunday, with the Crew required to assist at the end. I'd like to try the M7 south of LH interchange. One day I'll co-opt work colleagues to assist in a run from work to the M7 - 25k. This would be my longest ever. We'll see. Teamwork.

"Exit, Stage Left"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Another Page : see you Jimmy!

"It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled,It’s been a long time since I did the stroll." 1971 Led Zeppelin IV . What a group - what an album !!!
Well for me it's been (relatively) some time since my last post, so here's an update.

1. running
It's been an interesting week. 7 runs for 72k, with a day off due to suffering from a cold, and my first attempt on the M7. Details:
Fri 10/02 9k 6am no rabbit (or any day since)
Sat 11/02 18k 8am Vardys Rd to M7 exit Kingslangley Vardys Rd return (to watch son's cricket team get smashed 1.5 hours after start)
Sun 12/02 12k 9am home to M7 Quakers Hill Parkway; delightful Mrs BB waiting with sportsdrink and ride back home
Mon 13/02 unplanned day off due to cold caught from son
Tue 14/02 8k 6am no respite even though Valentine's Day - feeling worse, so ran 8 unpleasant k's at 5.30pm
Wed 15/02 9k 6am Clean Streets
Thu 16/02 8k 6am Clean Streets
Fri 17/02 8k 6am Clean Streets; weights BLC 1.45pm 50 min (arm okay thanks blood sample lady!!)

Anyone bored yet ???

I can assure you all that boredom has not been the primary feeling as I arose this week. Probably a mixture of lethargy and resignation. It's an interesting experience running when you're sick. Not "danger to life" sick, just "inconveniently clogged up" sick. I've noticed that the legs lead the protest. They jointly and gently inform you that, really, they would rather be horizontal in bed, but if forced to don socks and shoes, then they will ensure all levels of energy previously assumed as a constant will immediately dissipate upon exiting the house.

This weekend I plan to monitor the right knee niggle, and run accordingly. So, if all goes to plan, it will be a home to Rooty Hill run, about 17k (Sunday) with Mrs BB the road crew sweeper. Saturday is planned for a modest 10k around the Clean Streets.

2. Books
Have just finished the Caiseal Mor trilogy; now it's back to more standard HM fare : Michael Jecks : The Butcher Of St Peters (19th in series set in Dartmoor early 14th century). Comforting and consistently interesting. As always, well researched.
For those tantalised by the previous brief summary, try

3. Music
What an incredible week ! I am metaphorically pinching myself to see if H.G. Wells' time machine has arrived :

* no.1 song on the UK charts : "Thunder In My Heart" Leo Sayer 1977. Well actually Meck, sampling Leo Sayer
* no.1 album on US Billboard charts : "Greatest Songs Of The 50s" Barry Manilow. I mean really : Barry Manilow !!! I've been a fan of his for many years now - no I'm not gay ("not that there's anything wrong with that") but his last chart topper arrived when I was starting Uni.
I haven't seen any signs yet, but I fully expect to hear the newly released Village People single, with Victor Willis on lead vocals, like in the old days (before You Can't Stop The Music) although that seems a tad unlikely as Victor is currently a fugitive from the law, wanted on handgun and narcotics charges.
This week has been Renaissance Week, with most Don McLean albums getting airtime in the car. Everything from Tapestry up to Believers. I doubt that that anyone was writing better lyrics during 1971-1972 than Don. Just superb.

"Exit stage left"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lucky No Elmer Fudd here

...because the wascally wabbit would be in trouble for sure !
That's right, there he was again, hopping down the mean streets ahead of me the other day. Still has no concept of pacing himself. Still, most sensible rabbits have moved further west, so we should expect erratic behaviour from this one.

Exercise has been consistent since the last post:
Wed 8k
Thur 12k
Fri rest day
Sat 15k Rouse Hill bikepath
Sun 11k to Quakers Hill one way (lift from Mrs BB at end)
Mon 8k
Tue 9k
Wed 9k
Thur (today) rest day

Notice something missing ? No weights ! Yes, still in the unplanned recovery phase from deep tissue bruising after blood test. However, BLC will see me there tomorrow after work for an easy 50 min workout. I'll be starting the day with a run naturally - perhaps an invigorating 10k ?

Life at the BB household charges along, with YD now esconced at Kinder, and ED ready for Uni. I negotiated a Suzuki Swift for ED, so now tend to see her only in family photos, as she is busy completing a circuit of all her friends' houses to showcase and showoff her wheels.

Son has retired from soccer, wishing to focus instead on golf. I have convinced him to join me - for fitness' sake - in my return to West Met comp this year. Spoke to HillsAthletics today, who confirmed the first race is April 9, at the traditional Haberfield course. Nice and flat!

The Caiseal Mor trilogy draws to a close, with Well Of Many Blessings capturing much interest.

The Moody Blues have been getting much car airplay this week. Strange how these things occur. What prompted this episode was hearing Gemini Dream on Vega last weekend. I struggled for 10 seconds to identify the album, then realised it was from Long Distance Voyager 1981 - with the hit The Voice on it. Sort of a comeback album for MB, although they released Octave in 1978, some 6 years after their seminal work Seventh Sojourn...
Anyway, that has led to their first four albums getting airtime in the Holden.
In case Robert Song ( reads this, and corrects me (his musical knowledge appears flawless), I hasten to add that I count the MB as starting from Days Of Future Passed (you know, Nights In White Satin) 1967, not the original band with Denny Laine and all that Go Now stuff. Just from when Justin Hayward and John Lodge joined. Great music, great album covers.

"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." W Congreve

Exit, stage left