Spent the morning at the graduation of Charlie and Rhonda's son Zach from high school (Forman School in Litchfield, where I grew up and where my mom still lives).
Such a pleasure. Zach was never much for schooling of any sort. A lot of kids are like that. Various things were tried, including a couple of other schools which specialized in learning issues. A little progress was made, but not that much. And then these two years at Forman something clicked. And he has blossomed into just a fine young man, including, unbelievable, graduating with high honors and a member of the National Honor Society.
As I said, such a pleasure to see. And how much greater the pleasure for Charlie and Rhonda after all these years.
And it was a nice program at the school. The main speaker, Peter Post, spoke of the value of relationships as you go through life. Two points -- first, that what often matters is not just what you do, but how you do it. Because how you deal with other people, how you treat them, can make all the difference. And second, that perception is important -- i.e. how you view yourself and how others view your can be quite different, so it pays to be aware of the fact that such a disparity is possible, and even likely. And that may change your behavior in positive ways.
But mainly he was talking about relationships, and the value of good relationships (family, friends, a spouse/partner, professional) throughout life. And in that regard he was right on.
And then we were off, but not without stopping for a short visit at one of the dorms at Forman, called Lewis, to have a look around, because that is the house I grew up in, lived there from age 2 to 12. At some point thereafter it was bought by the school. There were various kids in the process of loading stuff into cars and heading home, so no one paid us any attention as we wandered around. Brought back some old memories.
orienteering15:38 1.88 mi (8:19 / mi) +62ft8:04 / mi ahr:160 max:172 shoes: x-talon 212 #2
Sprint at SUNY Purchase. Ran the red course, same as F21 (for whom it was Team Trials). Not a bad run, did a few things right, but also a few things wrong.
I think I got the best route to 2, and to 6, and to 10, and 11. Not sure about 9. And definitely not to 8, pretty sure I got the worst route -- never saw the tunnel/strairs option.
On the other hand, I didn't go out of bounds on the way to 8, though I just about did. Swung back around by 6, just the way I came, headed for 8, saw a bit of lawn I could cut across to shorten things, but right at the end was a single line of bushes. Option 1 was to go through the nice gap between the last bush and the wall, wouldn't have touched a thing. Option 2 was to hop on the wall -- it was a thick black line, which means you can't cross it, but can you go on top and then get off on the same side? But I stopped, took a careful look at the map, it seemed like the olive green went right up to the wall, so I turned around and looped around the area. And even did that the wrong way, to the north instead of south. Yikes.
Other bad stuff was not planning routes to 6 and 9 enough in advance. To 6 I got the best anyway, to 9 I never saw the route to the right through the tunnel. Looks like it was better.
And then on the way to 10 through the tunnel, I checked out the stairs on the east side to get up to 11, but having tunnel vision, didn't check out the stairs on the west side. Saw them on the way back after 10, they were clearly faster as long as there was no trap at the top, so had to slow down to check that.
When you are really on, you don't do such stuff.
On the other hand, I did read all the necessary clues to know which side of a wall a control was on, so that's something.
Time was 15:36. 15 flat would have been fine. Not too far off.
In the morning played a round at Hooper with Mike Fritz. Exceeding pleasant, bright sunshine and we had the course to ourselves. My golf was the usual mixture of the sublime and the absurd, more of the latter of course, though with the benefit of having more of the former at the end, letting me leaving on a positive note. (Though I'm pretty sure I would have left on a positive note anyway, since I seem to be getting much better at enjoying the challenge of the sport while not getting bent out of shape when my performance falls far short of my hopes.)
Lots of good talk, including several holes spent talking about the state of O' in the USA, of which I will mention just a couple of things.
1. At some point Mike asked me to name what I thought were three significant changes in the sport in the USA in recent years. I thought for a moment and came up with one, the introduction of e-punching and its use at most meets, both large and small. Which I though was very cool.
And then I was stuck. So I turned the question back to him. And he offered up the extraordinary successes of our women's teams in the last couple of years as something that he was just stunned by, how good they were doing.
And related to that, meaning that the following contributed to their success, was the establishment of the Sprint Series. Because all of a sudden you could orienteer in many more places. And the organization was a lot easier. And it sure seemed to be making our best orienteers even better.
I couldn't argue with either of his suggestions. But I'm wondering if there are other things that have changed in recent years in our sport (hopefully for the better) that we may have forgotten about. And sometimes it's good to remember things that have done well, and not just think about our shortcomings.
2. And then at some other point we were talking about how make things, more specifically "new" things, happen in the sport, in particular in cases where some money could be found, and whether it would make sense to give the funds to the federation as a whole to see what they could do, or whether it might make more sense to identify certain individuals, the "movers and shakers," and direct the resources specifically to them and see what they could do.
And he asked me, in the latter case who would you choose. And I said that my first choice would probably be Vladimir, because he seems to have more of an entrepreneurial spirit than anyone else. And my second choice might be someone like Greg Lennon, who I have a lot of respect for (though I don't know him well) because he seems to make things happen. And then I was stuck for a third choice.
And I'm wondering here too if there are others that should be added to the list. Because at some point the best way to make things happen, as opposed to endlessly discussing the pros and cons, is to get the resources in the hands of the movers and shakers and just let them do their thing.
road running25:58 2.11 mi (12:18 / mi) +997ft8:30 / mi ahr:149 max:168 rhr:52 weight:134lbs shoes: pegasus
Just enough time for a very short effort before heading off to pick up my brother at the Hartford airport. Twice up South Sugarloaf via the paved road, both times down the steep trail.
A very strange run. No time to warm up. I just jogged the 50 yards over to the usual starting point, started the watch and headed up. Taking it easy, expecting to be quite slow. Certainly not putting out a lot of effort. And the time at the top was 9:45, better than I've done all year. Huh?
Quickly back down the steep trail, turn around and head up again. Again at what seemed like a relaxed pace. And this time I noticed that I was a little quicker still (9:38), and my heart rate was getting up in the area (165+) which usually means I am breathing pretty hard and getting into oxygen debt. But it sure didn't feel that way. Don't know what was going on, and whether all that is good, or bad, or irrelevant. And did it feel easy because I hadn't done much since Saturday's race? I wish I knew how to figure things so I could get the days that it feels easy to happen on the days that I want to be fast.
And then quickly back down, and off. Got to the airport at just exactly the right time.
Gone most of the day, playing golf at a nice private club over in the Boston area, thanks to a MGA program that arranges occasional access for a modest fee. My game was far from sharp (and the course was quite difficult), but very much enjoyed the day.
But no desire for a run after I was done.
I did stop by the weekly meeting of the town's Selectmen (the local executive authority). A couple weeks ago the town voted down their budget by about a 60-40 margin, because it would have raised property taxes about 11%, so they had to figure out what to do. Last week they decided not to try again at the ballot box with a smaller amount. This week the plan was to see what to cut.
And it turned out to be surprisingly easy -- cut a little, toss in some reserves, defer a couple of things, and pretty soon the numbers added up. But it was an interesting discussion. Very small attendance actually, just me and a couple of guys from the Finance Committee and a reporter. The FC wanted to cut a bunch more, to make the town do without some things (cut a police office, close the senior center, cut back the highway crew) to drive home the message that things were tight. The Selectmen clearly weren't going along.
And for about an hour there was a lively discussion about what to do. I was putting my 2 cents in, mostly on the Selctmen's side. Quite good fun. All the details about municipal finance were coming back to me. So part of the discussion was about what little pots of money might be buried here and there that might be accessed. And part was about what sort of changes could be made in town operations to make things more efficient. And part was about how to deal with the longer-term capital replacement needs of the town.
The voting will be done at another town meeting in a couple of weeks -- which I will miss, unless the ash cloud cancels flights to Ireland -- but the work and the decisions were made last night. Though people may not yet realize it.
trail running30:32 2.48 mi (12:18 / mi) +614ft9:58 / mi ahr:133 max:154 rhr:51 weight:135lbs shoes: pegasus
Stopped in Charlie's neighborhood on the way to Litchfield, just time for a short run. Which was all I felt like anyway, still a little stiff after yesterday's race.
This outing turned out more pleasant than expected. The trail was up and down quite a bit, so my pace was slow, but I managed to chug up all the hills without too much ado, and that left the usual sense of satisfaction.