Thursday, February 25, 2016

So, on this beautiful sunny, dry day I let my road bike out of the stable for a ride in the wine country. I had no other aim but to get out and move and metabolize some much needed vitamin D. I had, for the moment, given up on my small quest to hear a strange, disturbing, high-pitched sound that has puzzled residents of Forest Grove for a few days. The story of the unexplained racket has been picked up on national networks; theories as to the source of the sound abound, and no one has figured it out. Last night, after a meeting, I drove around the neighborhood where the sound has been heard; I let my windows down, shivered a bit in the cool shadows beneath a cloud shrouded moon, and . . . heard nothing. So I came home and forgot about it. Anyway, today, I'm about two miles into my bike ride, 3:30 in the afternoon, just getting warmed up, the sun low in the sky and causing me to squint like a mole . . . when a harsh, multi-high pitched sort of shriek drops on me from seemingly everywhere. The noise was absolutely awesome and genuinely disturbing. Now keep in mind I am whizzing along at nearly twenty miles an hour, which is enough to produce a doppler shift effect with a sound from a stationary source. Ordinarily. This noise continued for about three seconds, constant in tone. This is one of the strangest things I've come across. I can understand why folks are a bit freaked out. Someone will probably figure out what is causing the noise before too long. But I kind of hope not. It probably isn't someone harvesting immature mandrakes, even though I did hear the sound while cycling by a local nursery . . .

Friday, February 12, 2016

So, I was practicing what I call Goodwill Hunting a few days back, this time on the prowl for a pair of running shoes. I stopped in about every day for over a week to check the shoe aisle. Day passed to a week with no luck -- close on size, but not quite right, some the right size but bad brand for me or a little too tread worn. So eventually one afternoon I walk in, head straight for the shoes, and a staff lady walks up whistling and sets a perfect pair of Asics Gel Nimbus VIIs, a neutral support shoe of the type I wear, in hand's reach. They probably sat on the rack for about two strides worth of time before I picked them up, discovered them to have never been run in, and the perfect size 10.5. This happened on a Wednesday, so with my senior discount I got them for $17.99. At home, I did a search and found the shoes were the new model about ten years ago, and sold for $120.00 new. So I have kind of a like-new pair of vintage running shoes. I've taken them out and they are great, the shoe almost identical to a pair I did my first marathon training in. So anyway, I have this feeling the shoes were waiting in their box in someone's closet for a decade until they could get to me. So then I start wondering what the story is. Did someone buy two pairs, as was common advice back then -- either meaning to rotate them, or because the buyer knew the company would modify the shoe the next year and the new one would not fit as well? I have had that happen, then couldn't get what had been my perfect shoe. Or did a person make a New Year's resolution to run a marathon, and these were the shoes they never got to wear because will failed or they got too sick or got divorced or had a death in the family, or died themselves, and a partner or parent or child kept them all these years in memory until they realized the shoes had a chance for a life - and maybe I am running someone's race they never got to start? Whatever the back story is, the continuing tale will be told now by my footsteps. Perhaps I'll have some really interesting experiences to share as I get back to the roads and trails. I'll be watching with extra anticipation during this season of Lent.