I am five days late in noting what is now the 18th anniversary of this blog. At this point, it is safe to say I am keeping it up as much out of habit as anything else, what with the more or less once a month posting pattern ever since my "friend" Donald J. Putin began kicking ass and taking names on Twitter.
One feature of this blog has been my occasional reporting on my efforts at distance running. At 56 years old, it is likely that my fastest days (which were never fast) are well behind me. As such, I look for other things, like quirky goals of various kinds-- 50 states, 7 continents, 100 marathons, whatever. Hence, yesterday I completed my 56th marathon in this, the year I am still 56 years old, at the Adirondack Marathon in Schroon Lake in upstate New York. Regular readers are vaguely familiar with "my usual range" and this was on the slow side, but "in the range." I realize significant time improvements will require significant weight loss, which I find difficult to do with a full-time job. But hope springs eternal. I will just say that this race took particular focus, as the first 10 or 11 miles were virtually all uphill, and at times, extremely steep at that. So after the legs and lungs were destroyed, I also had to contend with "the sweep bus"-- a vehicle customarily behind the last runner-- following most of the way as runner after runner behind dropped out, leaving me to be the last runner (presumably not time-wise in the ultimate standings as quite a few started early).
That said, while my first and still fastest was done at age 19 in North Carolina, in 2001 at the age of 38 I began running marathons as an adult. Later that year, I began this blog, a week after 9-11 as it turned out. Over the years, I have kept up both activities, with whatever sense of accomplishment comes with each. The marathons alone total in excess of 1,400 miles (I have run many other races, both shorter and longer, but never stopped to add them up), and I am sure I am well over 1400 posts to this blog in its current Movable Type form.
Guantanamo Bay has been open since the beginning of 2002. My college classmate Barack Obama became a two-term President of the United States, only to be replaced by a media-created circus clown. The USA has been "at war" since all but about a month of the existence of this blog (and that first month was the immediate aftermath of September 11th). Lots of personal stuff; TD Dad passed away around four years ago; the rest of TD Familia is carrying on, albeit 18 years later (including the Loquacious Pup who, adding 18 to her age at the time we started this... is now 19).
Mostly, I saw a world in crisis at the start of this project in the aftermath of 9-11 fail to extricate it from that crisis. We can add climate change to all the other problems of the world; I see no cause for optimism, as there seems to be a catastrophic failure of imagination, that the overall system that isn't making anyone happier (let alone happy) is going to end up killing all of us so that a few rich people can hold on to extraordinary privilege does seem... catastrophic.
OTOH, in Jewish lore, the number 18 Is an alpha-numeric Hebrew code spelling "Chai" (the Jewish or Scots "Ch" rather than the English as in chimney); Chai of course means life-- a lucky number often used as a multiple for cash gift giving. Because of a 2012 cancellation (climate change again) in a few weeks I will run my 18th NYC Marathon, an active streak that puts me in the top 200 in that category for that event. So... there is always a basis for hope. Somehow. Young people are generally not assholes, unlike many old (especially white) people.
So, at the end of the day, we'll just keep on keeping on. "Donald J. Putin on American Exceptionalism" should be coming out in October-- perhaps not as early as I would have hoped, but I expect it too to come to fruition while I am still 56.