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Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's About That Time Again! Spring again . . . .

Spring Is Springin'!

That's right, people, we got to see the sun after 6PM tonight for the first time this year.  Stinks that we lost that hour of sleep, but we have ways of making up for these things.

Won't be long before spring arrives, and we all know what that means.  Baseball, America's National Pastime, will begin a new season.  Hockey will start its second season, The Playoffs!  And both Judaism and Christianity will be celebrating major holidays -- this year, they're actually happening at the same time!

Even at my office, we've got spring fever.  For the first time in years, we've been granted the privilege of business casual dress!  Usually, this option is made available to associates between July 4th and Labor Day, to account for the heat of the summer.  But now, provided that we have an "emergency suit" in our office to change into at all times, we may do so several months early.  All we have to do is not abuse this privilege, and maybe it'll continue! 

For those of us of the running persuasion, it means changing over the gear.  For the past several months, I've been using my "superhero" running clothes, consisting of the tights, the base-layer long sleeve cool max shirt, the medium-layer vest, the gloves, and the stocking cap (which just happened to be the same shade of lime green as the TFK colors we were already wearing for the first time in 2005 -- I still remember how  I had NO IDEA why everyone was laughing because it was on my head).  We all know we should always dress like it's 10 degrees warmer than it really is, but the way this winter went, I had to stay warm no matter what.  And yes, I said the tights, and most of us menfolk wear them without being self-conscious!

But now that spring is a-springing, it's time to hang loose with the clothes, literally.  Maybe just a loose fitting cool max long-sleeve that I got from that Half Mara I ran last year and some shorts -- if I must, maybe the warm-up pants will do, but the shorts are the best!  And as the months pass, downgrade the top to a short sleeve or a singlet. 

Unfortunately, many of us male runners are prone to a slightly uncomfortable problem that women never face.  You know what I'm talking about -- gunshot wounds, strawberry milk, piercings gone horribly wrong, etc.  Either get the 2"-wide Band-Aids, or the official Nip-Guards, and you'll be good to go.  Due to the friction of the fabric rubbing against you, even if it is cool max, the nipple/areola skin gets chapped and dry, and causes you to bleed embarrassingly through your clothes.  Makes laundry more of a chore, and makes a shower an exercise in avoiding pain!  Granted, this problem happens less in the warm weather, but don't tempt the Purple Nurple Gods!  Protect yourself!  Let the pain you experience be the good pain of calves and hammies stretched to their limit after a personal best, and not the annoying pain of the failure to shmear more Body Glide onto every nook and cranny!  Geez . . . give blood through the Red Cross, and not through your shirt!

So all y'all getting ready to run spring races, and haven't already been hipped to the above advice, you now know what you gotta do.  And for those running Half-Marathons in exotic locales, look around -- your friendly neighborhood blogger may be running alongside you, taking mental notes for his next race story!  :)

Hit the "Like" button, hit the "Share" button, maybe even comment! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Comment On The Rush Limbaugh Affair.

Some Just Don't Understand

This week, a well-known political commentator crossed the line.

An issue has arisen whether employers should be compelled to subsidize employee's requests for contraceptives.  The more conservative elements are against this compulsion, since many employers believe that there should never be a reason for contraception on religious grounds.  This is all well and good, but some of these employers need to remember that not all of their employees (unless the employer is a religious organization itself) have the same religious beliefs.  This is why employers already allow some employees to take personal days for religious observances that are not shared by that employer.

Moreover, the comments made by Rush Limbaugh are a perfect example of the height of bullying.  He may not think that employers should pay for contraception, but his branding of a woman who testified before Congress as a "slut" who "wants to be paid to have sex" is a thousand times more disgusting than the very act he describes. 

If anything, that's the type of comment you would expect from an overbearing relative with too much to say, in private.  Not from a public figure who caters to an audience expecting him to berate and belittle those who disagree with him.  There are more honorable ways to take a position than to personally attack your opponent.

DISCLAIMER -- the above is not an endorsement for or against an employee's right to contraception.  That's a personal matter for all people to individually decide.  It instead is a comment against high-handed, abrasive, bullying comments made against those who deserve more respect and less judgment.

In that same vein, it's been suggested to me that my blog has been a little bit too preachy.  Since I lack counselling credentials, it's been suggested that my posts sometimes take on a holier-than-thou tone.  Given the way Mr. Limbaugh unloaded on this woman, I've started to realize that I don't want this blog to ever move in that direction.

With that, I put it to you, my readers.  Would you prefer to see more anti-bullying rhetoric, or would you like to see some more feel-good happiness?  Your input is always welcome and appreciated.