About This Blog

As time permits, in-depth musings on myriad subjects will be posted. Abbreviated adages will be announced via Twitter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Coyote crossed my path tonight as I walked with my infant daughter. Nervous at first but confident at last, I glanced at Coyote, its stare unwavering, its intent unknown. Into the unknown I continued, moving towards the rest of home, leaving Coyote, and the past, behind me. All the while, the babe slumbered, unaware of the harm that may have come but didn't due to the peace within and without the world. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I find myself at sea in a battered boat with a tattered sail. The sea is anything but calm.

Swells several feet to several stories build, threatening to overpower my vessel, as well as me. But the boat stays afloat, rocking in concert with the assailing swells.

I am thrown asunder, with no means to steer or navigate. The sky is blanketed, hardened and dark as a forgotten ink spill. I can see no star—neither the constellations nor our own sun, making it impossible to determine not only my location on earth but also in time; is it daytime or night? All light seems to have been blotted out by darkness.

The talisman to which I had clung for so long all but shattered as the storm built itself up from a scant few clouds on a distant horizon. Inevitably, we found ourselves beneath a threatening sky as the once calm sea turned turbulent, and I seemingly alone, attempting to keep the crumbling craft afloat.

External factors extricated the worst from a worsening situation. Disease did its due to friends, family, and loved ones alike; I am powerless to do anything but watch. And maybe write. But even that proves futile as I am unable to bring to terminus that which plagued my mind, inhibiting my thoughts and actions for the bulk of the day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


No doubt, there are countless masses who have either written or are actively writing something similar to what follows. But that doesn’t matter much to me. Instead, I’m just wanting to air my own point of view on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer aired last night during a sporting contest of some sort. But that doesn’t much matter, either, nor does it matter that the mad rush for tickets crashed servers and clogged Internet pipelines for hours. Rather, what matters to me isn’t so much the surface plot sketched out in the new trailer but what new owner Disney and its director appear to be saying through the selected scenes and dialogue revealed in the roughly three hundred seconds the trailer spans.

To say that I’ve been a Star Wars fan my whole life wouldn’t be entirely accurate. My first memories of what would become Episode IV: A New Hope include the visage of Darth Vader turning to look at me through the tiny television screen in my parents’ living room and my subsequent sprint through the house, screaming; later, I would cry and cling to my older sister, begging her not to go into the movie theater because of the “bad, bad man.” In essence, what Lucas had sought to accomplish with Star Wars worked on me from the get-go: He had tapped into my collective unconscious and unleashed a barrage of archetypes that would shape my life and the person I would become.

Now, a new director is at the helm of the film franchise. Monetarily, his credentials at steering at least one other sci-fi film franchise to glory and a new generation of fans is unquestionably successful. But I feel Abrams knows he is treading on sacred ground with Star Wars and is treating it with greater care. So he’s going with what worked for him on the previous franchise by bringing back original cast members to reprise their roles that solidified their respective places in cinematic history, easing the transition from what we’ve known for generations to what he wants us to know for generations to come.

Seeing the original hunting group of companions reunited on film (and in the poster revealed the day before the film) has caught the attention of anyone who knows even a little bit about Star Wars, but, for me, it was, again, the presence of the visage of Darth Vader in the teasers and full trailer that held my sway, and it wasn’t until what I presume to be the voice of Kylo Ren spoke, saying—and I might be paraphrasing here; I've only watched the trailer once—”I will continue what you had begun.”

J.J. Abrams has the weight of countless worlds on his shoulders, and for that, I do not envy him. Like Ren, he is attempting to continue the work began by his forebears. And, as Obi-Wan waxed in Episode VI, what we accept as true will depend on our own point of view. Personally, I’ve not been terribly impressed for what I’ve witnessed of Abrams’s style of storytelling, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying (for the most part) what he has offered. The same could very well be the case for Episode VII: Abrams could contort what he believes (or has been instructed to believe) to be true and skew the entire (Star Wars) universe to that perspective—just like Kylo Ren appears to be doing with the Force and the Empire. But, like Ren’s rumored (spoiler alert!) grandfather before him, it may take a few films to see (ahem) the big picture and find redemption through telling new and interesting stories. And that (the telling of stories) is what really matters.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

2015 Bike MS

Deep Thought, the supercomputer designed to answer the Ultimate Question of life, the universe—everything, took 7.5 million years to come up with its answer: 42. So, while the answer to the Ultimate Question may be 42, I, in my 42 years on this earth (which is a whole other storyline in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) am more like the Socratic Paradox: The one thing I know is that I know nothing.

October 3 & 4 marked Bike MS weekend, the annual big fund raiser for the local chapter of the National MS Society. I participated in my first Bike MS fifteen years ago in the year 2000 (which used to sound so futuristic but now sounds archaic) and raised a little over $1,000 to fight a disease I knew nothing about, nor did I know anyone involved with the disease. Now, in 2015, I know more than I used to as well as many who are fighting MS: Friends, neighbors, loved ones—including my own wife.

Thanks to the generosity of so many friends and family members, I was able to exceed my fundraising goal of $1,500 this year, which will be matched in the next week or two by Team EOG Resources, the team for which I have ridden since 2013, bringing my own total to over $3,000. Bike MS in San Antonio surpassed the $1 million mark before the ride commenced on Saturday morning. Donations can continue to be made here.

Saturday’s ride was a 100-mile trek from the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex on the east side of San Antonio to the Comal County Fairgrounds in the middle of New Braunfels. The ride was relatively flat and the temperature cool (for south Texas in October) but the wind was ever-present and never at our backs. I rode the full century with my friend, neighbor, and teammate Josh, and, together, we put in a solid effort until about mile 80 when I bonked due to not taking in sufficient nutrition during the first half of the ride. After that, it was damage recovery and survival for both of us until the finish.

In spite of that, day 1 of Bike MS was amazingly fun and enjoyable on every account—save the bonking bit. Day 2, on the other hand, proved more challenging, though not on the bike.

Before departing for the start line, Nicholle & I noticed The Girl had a bit of a rash. This was coming on the heels of a fever she ran prior to the weekend, which followed her getting her 6-month vaccines and flu shot, but documentation from the CDC indicated the rash was unrelated as an allergic reaction. Because The Girl’s spirits were high and temperature was normal, I went ahead and departed for the ride and departed the start with the group.

In relatively little time, I found myself at the front of the whole ride, which was nice, especially when considering how deep in the hole I put myself on Saturday. About 8-½ miles into the ride, though, I received a phone call from Nicholle: The rash had worsened, Nicholle felt to be having a flare-up with her MS, and she was worried; would I come home.

Breaking off from the pack, I hightailed it back to the first aid station and caught a ride with a SAG vehicle to the start; Nicholle would meet me there, and we would get The Girl to the area pediatric urgent care in order to ascertain what was going on.

Unlike the whole of ride weekend, the pickup and trip to the urgent care center went perfectly to plan. I was irritated at having to abandon but not with Nicholle or any other person. Rather, I was irritated at the toll MS has on not just the diagnosed but on families as a whole. So little gets to go to plan, and for a Type A family, that gets to be more than a little aggravating.

Fortunately, the rash turned out to be the downslope of the Roseola Virus, so there was precious little we could do but give her TLC, fluids, and rest; check, check, and check. While Nicholle tended to The Girl, I tended to The Boy, and the day and weekend managed to end on a high note: The Girl is on the mend, Nicholle’s flare-up has all but subsided, and we’re all together as a family.

I cannot pretend to know why things happened as they did, nor does it really matter. What does matter is that my family is together and lovingly strong, I am part of an amazing support network of friends and family who donated (as of 9:00 PM) a collective $1,590, which will soon be matched by Team EOG, and there were 1,500 other riders who each raised $300 or more in donations to the National MS Society, bringing us that much closer to a cure for MS. Hopefully, we’ll find that cure in less time than 7.5 million years or before the earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass—whichever comes first.

To those who donated towards this weekend’s ride: Thank you so much, and I am sorry to have let you down by not being able to bike all the miles. Maybe next year, providing a cure isn’t found before then.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I'm tired.
I have papers to grade.
Need to fix dinner.
Dishes won't wash/dry themselves.
Writer's block.
I'd rather go for a run/ride/swim.
When it comes to reasons why I don't write much or why I've not written much in recent memory, the above is but a sampling as to the excuses at the ready. Understudies await in the wings, too.

And that's just sad.

As an undergraduate, I served as newsletter editor for the local cycling club, often penning filler for the blocks of whitespace not occupied by ads, graphics, or other content generated by the spartan few members who cared enough to not only ride with the group but to write for it, as well. This was in addition to the reams of literary analysis and other tripe I turned out in order to earn a degree in English.

And then I all but quit writing.

The creation of this blog was to serve as a chronicle of training for triathlon, but those number to the extent that grains of sand say "wow"—to say nothing of the fact that my glory days of triathlon are seemingly long passed. Yet I still urge myself to continue to write. 

And write I will, I suppose. 

There is no set audience. There is no set of shareholders to appease. There is no set agenda. And, so, for tonight I just needed to write. To eliminate the excuses. To push through whatever barriers there were—and there were many. 

This post has been crafted over the course of several hours, across several devices. And, somehow, it made it to you. 

Hopefully, there will be more. Maybe not tomorrow and maybe not the day after that. But certainly in the days to come. The gift of communicating is one we owe to one another, no matter the occasion. 

Thanks for reading.


In coaxing my advisory students into getting comfortable with writing, I had them take ten minutes to write anything about any one of three objects setting atop a table in the classroom. The overwhelming majority chose the bicycle handlebars I keep in the room and use as a hall pass. I opted to write something about them, too:

Under the crystal blue of the south Texas sky, the stark contrast of black anodized aluminum and white cork wrapping attracted my attention. For a moment, I was withdrawn from the sound of wind racing through my ears and across my eyes, causing the latter to tear, the faint scent of salt penetrating my nostrils. For a moment, I contemplated the light stickiness of the cork tape, finding comfort in the feel it gave my hands as it numbed the vibrations of the cracked and painted miles of asphalt speeding beneath the wheels of my bicycle. For a moment, this was all my world—not the scenery, not the traffic—just the glint of aluminum and cork, gripped like a vise in my hands. While it was only for a moment, it proved to be a moment too long, for, in that moment I was distracted by the handlebars, another driver in a more monstrosity of a vehicle also became distracted. Distracted to the point that his vehicle impacted with mine, disengaging me from both my bicycle and the world in which, for a moment, I lived.
Whether or not I'll do something more with this, I don't know. But I did want to share it.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Today presented somewhat of an opportunity to do something I'd not done since I was a teenager:

Ride a bicycle and not wear a helmet. 

It wasn't a long excursion, but it was somewhat daring, dashing down Broadway, near downtown, aboard a rented B-Cycle. And, because lunch was something that had to be had—and Green was so close I could practically taste it—the decision was made to risk it and make the roughly one-mile trek there & back again sans skid lid. 

Fortunately, everything worked out fine and there were no near-misses with automobiles, nor were there any boneheaded moves made by moi—with the exception of the aforementioned missing helmet. It's not something I intend to make a habit of—in fact, my 30-mile outing on the Cannondale later in the day was made wearing my trusty Rudy Project Sterling. It's just...there was no space to pack one along, given how cramped the school bus was, to say nothing of the fact that there is no storage space to speak of for even a cup of coffee, let alone a bicycle helmet. 

But I digress. And I also need to get to sleep. 

Rest up, and don't forget your helmet each & every time you venture out on two wheels. And thanks for reading. 

Friday, January 23, 2015


The aroma hung in the air, as though it had been nailed in place, precariously and ever present though barely perceptible but to those with superior olfactory abilities. Like her.

Her sense of smell was so strong that scented anything was intolerable, exacerbating in her a near uncontrollable urge to either vomit or black out. There was little happy ground when it came to how things smelled, making this effervescent fragrance in the kitchen almost intoxicating to her. Yet the identity of the scent eluded her, leaving only a trace in her nostrils of its familiarity, like an old friend with an unforgettable face but with a name lost somewhere in the finite reaches of memory. 


The rain in Spain may fall mainly on the plain, but here it his the roof and the roads all around, making riding or running out of doors—for me or for The Boy—all but impossible. So I lay in bed, listening to the trickle, reminiscing of the sounds of the rain reverberating on the aluminum roof—and writing here. Why? Because I can. Because I must find something, some way of motivating myself to write, and what better means of giving new life to writing than the very substance giving new life to a parched planet. 

That and it's Friday. Yea, Friday. :)

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year

For calendar year 2014, I had hoped to resurrect this blog and write more than I had in years past. But, while I did write more in 2014 than I did in 2013, I wasn't as prolific as I had hoped. So, here I am on New Year's Day daring to again be a better and more contributing writer. Heaven knows neither the Web nor the world don't have enough of them. 

There is more I could say but won't, as I have gone into this post without a plan, and I really like having a plan before launching into some tirade or other. Besides, it's late, and I need rest; The Boy will be up at stupid o'clock in the morning, I'm sure, and he's a 2+ hour head start on me in terms of sleep so far this evening. 

Happy new year to you & yours, then, and thanks for reading.