Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My old ghost runner visited the other day while I was out on a run. He/she invited me to race for the first time in  20 or more years. It is a scary proposition because somewhere deep down I  still believe that if I accept the challenge, losing means death. I had never previously been conscious of the right to refuse the challenge. That day I did refuse and lived to run another day.
  The next Friday I was a mile from home and thinking how a follow and kick racer would run this 4 mile arroyo and road race. I had it all planned out. I knew my opponent was faster than me but maybe not quite as tough, so I would follow until I was at least one yards before the point where any sane finish kick racer would start their kick. At that point I would pass and leave the opponent in surprise and build enough of a laed to hold them off after I ran out of atp. All theoretical of course as I was in an empty arroyo where no right minded roadracer would be caught risking their rep.
 I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a ghostly voice.... "think you can do it?" I nodded happily at my imagined friend. "Of course... no problemo" . "Willing to bet your life on it?" My old frenemy was back again. I felt the old familiar tickle of fear and felt like walking, but it was too late!! The gauntlet had been thrown!

I followed my ghostly enemy down the arroyo through the fence and around the corner. Exactly as I had planned (in theory) I sprinted past my surreal opponent with 3/8s of a mile to go and left him frozen in surprise. By the time he recovered I had slipped around the bend and was on the short steep climb out of the arroyo where I took my scheduled slow down right before the down hill on the dirt road 440 yards to go. My breathed rasped in my throat and my legs began to go numb as I pushed on last effort to create an insurmountable lead. At the bottom of the hill I knew I had not done enough and I was done. The involuntary F**k with the realization that I was at lactic acid and hypoxic limits same as in the ninth grade in the 440 as I ran out of steam and the school for the deaf won districts by 2 points. Up the final hill with my ghost (death) closing in. I heard him thinking I finally got you but somehow the legs kept going and I touched the finish felt that feeling of complete exhaustion mixed with elation that comes with survival.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

racing the ghost

When I was young and would do night runs cross country out in the Caja Del Rio just north of Santa Fe I would sometimes get this feeling of exhilaration mixed with fear and on the return trip I could feel the spirit of my previous runs on my shoulder. I knew that I had to beat him home or I would die. Those were some of the hardest and , I am sure fastest, runs of my life. I would touch the safety icon and know I had spent the last of my energy. The feeling of victory was just as strong as any official race I ever ran. Over the 2to3 years that this lasted I had maybe 20 of these experiences. I wonder what would have happened if I lost? Was it a true feeling. Did I lose and never find out? Who was the ghost?
  Funny thing, now in most video races you can race your own ghost,but you do not die if you lose. Jaime


1979 I was a freshman in high school, the big thing among the smart kids was computers, some sort of newfangled fancy calculator. Some company was selling kits with which you could build your own. All you had to do was learn a language. I believe it was basic, or was it fortran? Anyway after several mildly frustrating hours I lost interest and went back to a novel called "the river why" . So while Greg and John and Kevin and others were building HAL and playing chess I ignored computers and I may have hurt their feelings because to this day they are still rude to me.
  A friend of mine is almost jealous of SIRI(?) her husband always asks nicely and says thank you. SIRI's response?? Just doing my job Bill.

Friday, April 20, 2012


On my way from horseshoeing in Nambe to pick up kids at school. I have half an hour to spend before I need to get there.Maybe there is an arroyo around here that would be interesting. Nothing... nothing... oh well, I guess it won't kill me to park by the school and run on the road. Although the toxic fumes and New Mexico drivers make it a less than appealing prospect. Maybe by the flea market yup there it is a little hiddn arroyo that nobody ever even thinks about. change into swimming trunks and running shoes slide down a small cliff into a narrow steep and deep arroyo. The calming sound of distant traffic relaxes me and I see a little path around a fence. On the little path are deer tracks. big ones, medium ones and tiny ones. Do deer travel in families? Goldilocks and the 3 deer?
I am breaking the cardinal rule of unfit runners by starting out going down(which means I finish uphill) I run till I hit a little river that smells sewery then another 10 minutes then I turn to head back uphill. Goodbye deer family. As usual late to pick up the kids.


I started out yesterday thinking that I was going to write about running up an unknown arroyo by the Sandia mountains. As usual I was distracted by something. I do not remember what it was, anyway as I was running up this totally unknown(to me) arroyo I started feeling this sharp pain in my foot like a goathead(we call them Toros) sticker had gotten into my shoe. I am always conversing with myself and in this case I was arguing over the toughness doctrine and the discretion is the better part of valor doctrine. The basic premise of toughness is simple "never stop never give up never show weakness" It has always seemed to me to lack a little in the commonsense department. However,I had found it a very useful tool in surviving a very confusing and manipulated childhood so I am not averse to using it as an operational theory.  In this case I am listening to the body and considering practicing toughness and ignoring the sensation and balancing this against the cause and long term of whatever is causing the pain. Since I was not running for my life and had an interest in not taking days off from running and the pain sensation felt not familiar I decided to use my frontal lobes and stop to remove the offending object from my shoe. When I removed the shoe there was nothing but sand. Generally in this type of situation I would just put the shoe on, but as usual in cases where things do not add up they did add up and as our minds are wont to do mine kept insisting that there was more to this case of mild stabbing sensation in the shoe so I took the extra few seconds to check the sole of the shoe and found a cactus pod embedded in the sole. I could not believe that it could pierce an in of sole but it had. I do not understand how it was in such a position that one of the spines would be upright and not bend or fall over when I stepped on it but there it was ,,another reminder to me to listen to that little voice(s) in your hea

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I was over at a friends house the other day and I was introduced to "things Burquenos say" All I remember was that the college age woman was attractive and "Ombers" which I had not heard since Agua Fria elementary school. So today I went down to Burque (something us Santa fenos usually only do under threat or to go to the airport.) We actually have an airport in Santa Fe but only people who can afford their own planes go there. Anyway it was a short day so I decided to hang with my high school friend who lives in Burque and claims to be a santa feno even though he did not move here until he was six. I told him about Burquenos and of course his son knows the star.He did refuse to introduce me. Oh well . To this day I do not know the origination of ombers which is something w would say when somebody did something that could get them in trouble.
   We laughed and remembered only the good parts of high school and talked about R A Lafferty ( a catholic who wrote science fiction) He took me to a fast food joint that served real beef with plastic buns and velveeta. On the drive to the food place I saw something that I never thought I would see in my life, a gated community full of mobile homes. Every other gated community I have seen has been specifically designed to keep mobile homes and those of us with the lack of moral fiber that would even consider mobile homes OUT. I could not help but wonder who the mobile home park was trying to keep out. Trailer trash?   Naw maybe it is all those evil banskters I keep hearing about.....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Iconclast? continued

The ideal of being different is very important in American mythology. The different one always saves the day from the Reacher novels to Travis Mcgee from Dirty Harry to the Duke and Shane we love the Iconic "other". In life we seem to all want to think the same in a different dress. Everyone has been around the tragedy of matching dresses. However if anybody dares to think differently from the group we as a group seem to get very upset and can even become violent.
So the illusion of otherness is very important and the reality of otherness is very scary.  We hang the witches and sorcerers while we worship the very attributes which caused our fear.

Thus continues the dance between fear and curiosity which creates what we call progress. The changing state of self awareness and knowledge of the universe we lived in balanced with the constants of human nature and unchanging natural laws. Act too quickly on new information or ideas and risk falling out of balance with natural law. resist change too much and get left behind by the ever-[changing conditions of existence

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Creative language

The othr day I was home with Ben,Soren and our friends kids Spencer and Liam. There were out in the back yard playing with the Hose I saw that Liam was turning red where I had not gotten the sunscreen. As I was walking out to catch him and apply sunscreen his dad called as I was answering the phone I stepped down on a board with very sharp rusty nails sticking out of it.I barely managed to communicate that no I was (probably) not dying and that I could keep the kids till 5. Then as the pain got worse and I tried to remove the board I started cursing as Ben was asking what happened. between G*d*m and sonova... mfer  to show him the board and nails and use up a few minutes up a few minutes. After the ninth or ten repitition of sonova... Ben said Daddy you already said that. What could I say? I mfing know that G*d*mit. I guess I better brush up on my language skills.

moonlit run or goodbye

For th first time in 20 years I am running in the dark. Not quite because of the full moon. I am reminded of the olden days when I would strike out from the house on Agua Fria street into the Caja Del Rio across the Santa F river and through the territory of La Llorona. I could tell when she or her fellows were near when the hair on the back of my neck would rise in a primeval response to extrasensory threat. Boy was I fast then. I would run until exhaustion then turn for the hard run home. I would challenge myself to keep ahead of my ghost with a real sense that if I was caughr by myself I would die. I would run faster and faster until there WAS no speed left and then I would hold on for the eternity of the imaginary finish at the river or the road. I would drag myself the last few yards home cook a 2lb bag of spaghetti dump a can of tuna and a block of cheese on it. drink a gallon of watered down cranberry juice and sleep the sleep of the just. (or the just damn tired)
 I remember distinctly the day(night) that I lost my hometown. 4 miles out at midnight and I turn for home. Something is terribly wrong . I cannot see the ground in front of me because I am blinded by lights. It had crept up on me like the fog had crept up on those poor Los Angelinos in California. I had to try to saty on the road because of the loss of night vision.
After that night I took to wearing a hat. If the hat was at just the right angle it would block the lights of the...City.
The magic was gone though. I no longer communed with La Llorona and her ilk and one night I ran into a 4 foot high cholla. I ran home on adrenalin could not  work for a few days and within a few weeks I said goodbye forever to the Caja without knowing it.