Desert Solitaire

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Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break….I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.

― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

zero-sum game

A dream about working through Fourier transforms at the whiteboard. Recombining recipes from abstractions, looking at the problem differently and realizing I don’t know anything. Trying to put together a puzzle comprised of pieces from other puzzles. A game in which the rules change; by design. I don’t know anything.


A photo posted by Chris Rivard (@chrisrivard) on

Marquam Loop today.

Ghost whisperer on, ghost whisperer off. Gloves on, gloves off,  gloves on. I could see my warm breath in the air before crossing the road and dropping onto the roller coaster trail back to Terwilliger. “While running”. Huh. Nothing. There was a guy with a gas-powered leaf blower moving leaves off the trail in the woods above Marquam shelter.

Yesterday I passed Jacob running in the opposite direction, no words, just a high-five. Solid-like.

Thinking today about shutting this whole thing down. This site I mean.


It’s got a little Kahneman and Taleb with a sprinkle of D.T. Suzuki, add some middle life existential angst and a theory of everything… from the perspective of a senior and respected information architect pondering nature and complex systems. (This is all a compliment btw).

There are a few non sequiturs … and a misquote of the measurement quote to Drucker (when it really should be to Deming). I’m on page 98. It’s an engaging and quick read. A bit validating;  like we’re all approaching the same conclusions through various lines of thought.

I’m fixing my reading lists and wish lists and finally.. not sure why I’ve never done this… created a Good Reads account.  Recommended read fo sho.

Library Future

I got off the elevator on the 4th? floor of the Seattle public library, stepped out and looked to my right. I would describe the feeling as a mix of shock/horror/surprise. Rows upon rows of monitors being stared upon by the general public in the vast, airy structure designed by Rem Koolhaas. It was grotesque. I got the sense I was walking into abattoir.

The other thing that has stayed with me are the floor panels, and not just the panels themselves which are 16×16 in/sq and made of stainless steel, but the fasteners holding them down.  The fasteners are a black metal, one quarter of an inch round, one in each corner of the panel. They look like an afterthought. As if the proposed invisible fastener that would hold the panel down from beneath was deemed over budget and scrapped in place of the top-mount screws.

The exterior of the building is beautiful.

I keep contrasting the interior to Mother Foucault’s Bookshop in Portland. As described in a Yelp review, it’s the closest approximation one can find to the fictional Black Books. I could spend all day reading hidden way in a comfy chair. Seattle public…THX-1138.


The curious thing about a tailwind is that it’s difficult to sense when you’re in it.  So 2 things:

  1. Look for the leaves that are blowing past faster than you’re running
  2. Stop for a few seconds and turn around … is the wind blowing in your face?

Almost kissing that magical 40 mile / week load. Next week may be light, then I’ll have some EXCITING runs the following week.