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Forgot to post this yesterday, but here’s what my weekly training looked like:

  • Monday – Cross training – 40 minutes of walking.  I’m part of a research study at Pitt, so I made sure to park far enough away to get a good walk in on the way to my appointment and back.  The walk back was much more pleasant in terms of temperature, and I enjoyed walking through bits of Pitt’s campus!
  • Tuesday – 5 miles – Ran in the gym due to schedule and temperature.
  • Wednesday – 6×400 at 5K pace.  Although I’ve actually been doing these repeats at faster than my current 5K pace.  So either that means I won’t be able to sustain it as I add more repeats, or my 5K time is soft and I need to do some racing to bring that time down!
  • Thursday – 5 miles – More hot weather, more time on the treadmill for me.
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 5 miles – One last run inside for the week, but this one was due to scheduling.  Headed out to catch up with a friend and didn’t want to be driving back and forth to the East End twice in one day.
  • Sunday – 9 miles on the GAP trail.  Felt great to be back on my favorite long run location, enjoying the trail.  I thought at one point, ‘what a beautiful, cloudless day.’  Then I swore ‘damnit, it’s a cloudless day, I want some cloud cover!’  It was a bit rough in the direct sunlight, but in the shade or when a breeze picked up, it was delightful.  Had some great ‘long run thoughts’ and really enjoyed myself.  My Achielles acted up a bit afterwards, so I took it easy the rest of the day and with some stretching, is feeling better.
  • Cross training – I did the r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Not my normal days, but due to the research study, when it fit in the best.


In June, SCOTUS ruled on the Masterpiece case, handing down a ‘narrow’ ruling.  Basically, they said that how Colorado handled the legal case was in appropriate.

This is still very troubling, and will for sure just open the door and be the first shot across the bow, as it may, The latest tactic against equal rights is the so-called ‘religious liberty’ argument, as we’ve seen with racist house elf Jeff Sessions even putting together a religious liberty commission, specifically to stamp out queer rights.  At the end of the day, this ruling, while narrow, still means that two men were denied service because they’re gay.  But there are larger implications; the court, incorrectly, said that a lawyer for the men was critical of religion, when instead he was critical of what religion was being used to justify (as well as it’s use to justify slavery, segregation and more):

If saying something true, yet critical about religion as an institution is an example of expressing hostility toward religion, then is every comment critical of religion evidence of bias? Are we never allowed to say anything negative about the harms that can be wrought by fundamentalism? It’s now hard to imagine the forces of equality getting a fair hearing if no one can say anything negative about the forces of bigotry when they use religion to justify their hatred.

And of course, the insanity continues.  A GOP lawmaker from South Dakota has said that Masterpiece means business can discriminate based on race.  In good news though, a lower court in Arizona stood by the narrow ruling and refused to allow a a non-discrimination ordinance to be struck down.

We will see more of these, and honestly, I think we are lucky that a larger ruling was prevented due to the technicalities of the legal system.  With a conservative court, without Kennedy, it will only be a matter of time when non-discrimination ordinances are a thing of the past.  As it stands right now, doctors are allowed to refuse to treat patients (for anything, including emergency services) if it conflicts with their ‘deeply held religious beliefs,’ which is why, on all of my race bibs in the emergency information, I have to specify to not be taken to Mercy, the local Catholic hospital.  I have to play the odds, and hope if the worst were to happen and I was already unable to speak for myself, that I could actually get the medical help I need.

All my best,

Mike



Two bits of legality today, one good (but currently probably futile) and one bad.

First the bad.  A jury in South Dakota condemned a man to death because he’s gay.  There’s an additional step in there, but that’s what it comes down to.  A gay man is a convicted murderer, but the jury sentenced him to death because they felt “he would enjoy” life without parole in an all-male prison.

Jurors cited his orientation with disgust and said they didn’t want to send him ‘where he wants to go,’ and the Supreme Court refused to step in to take up an appeal.  Currently (and I just learned this) jury deliberations are kept secret, except when there might be racial bias involved in sentencing.  The same does not apply for sexual orientation or gender expression.

Putting aside the sickening notion of the death penalty, the entire episode is disturbing and vile and quite frankly sickening.

But onto some better, if unlikely to pass legal news: Democrats have put forth a bill to put a federal ban on the ‘gay panic’ defense.

A few states already bar it, but this would ban using ‘gay panic’ as a defense in federal court.  Gay panic, for those unaware, is the idea that someone can be found innocent of a crime (usually murder or the like) if they were hit on by a person of the same sex and they ‘acted out of panic.’  So total bullshit.

Do I think this bill has a chance: no.  But, it’s good to see at least recognition that these things need fixing.

All my best,

Mike



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, I might have actually linked to this before, but did you know that we have a plan in case we ever find Nessie?  Now you do!

If you haven’t seen it already, stop everything you’re doing and watch the new Randy Rainbow song:

There’s going to be a Baby Groot Chia Pet!

The Downton Abbey movie is finally confirmed and moving forward!

Remember all that money Jill Stein raised for a recount, yeah, she’s spending it on her legal defense for her involvement with Russia.  Raise your hand if you’re surprised.  Nobody?  I didn’t think so.

Gay ‘conversion therapy’ is torture.  Full stop.  And there’s a feature film about it and it looks powerful:

Queen Elizabeth II is a master stateswoman.  She greeted the President last month while wearing a brooch given to her by the Obamas.

Speaking of Britain, an artists has created a portrait of Princess Diana using diamond dust and HIV+ blood:

And in infuriating news, the Health and Human Services have removed all LGBT references from the ObamaCare website.  The erasure continues.

Integrity USA celebrates progress made at the General Convention.

And finally, Stranger Things 3 has a great new promo!



Getting back into the groove of a training plan, here’s what I did this week:

  • Monday – Cross training – 35 minutes(+) of gardening and landscaping.  Got some good work done, still a ways to go, as it is seemingly never ending!
  • Tuesday – 4 miles – Ran early so I could finish as the Frontrunners were starting, as I had to drive to Ohio early the next morning.
  • Wednesday – 35 minutes tempo run.  As I’ve found out, HH classifies things as tempo runs differently from other coaches, but his plans have worked well for me, so I’ll go with it.  His (and my) tempo runs are a gradual increase of speed throughout the entire run, with a short cool down at the end, peaking at 10K pace.
  • Thursday – 4 miles – Had planned to go with the Frontrunners and then join for happy hour after, but my sinuses/ears/head were all stuffy and making me dizzy, so I opted for a run on the treadmill just to be safe.
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 4 miles
  • Sunday – 8 miles, in pretty hot and very, very humid air in Schenley before going to an hour-long yoga class on the front lawn of Phipps Conservatory.  Thankfully, the instructor, based on the amount of small kids (it’s free, family-yoga) and the weather, had us doing extra stretching and no balance work this time.
  • Cross training – I didn’t write this in last week, but I’ll include it going forward: I do the r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.  It’s a new routine, and I moved too quickly through one of the progressions on Saturday, so took it easy Monday and Wednesday, but it’s still good to know I’m making some progress, even if my core still needs a lot of work!

I also took advantage of the early MOVE pricing (MOVE seems to be the theme this year) for the Pittsburgh Marathon and registered for the full this morning, so I’ll be training for marathon number 2 come winter!



Today is the last day of Camp NaNoWriMo, which has been a lot of fun!  My goal for the month was to update my site, as well as get back into the habit of writing each day (not for work).

And I’ll say that was a success.  There were a few days where the writing was a little different (setting up the podcast page, for example), but I was still creating words.  In the process, I got the portfolio section organized, mobile editing set-up, added a new blog and did some other cleanup work.

This week is the second week of my training plan for the GAP Relay, so I’m actually good to be able to take a bit of a breather, but I’d like to continue writing more regularly.  I also want to dive in and get back to work on Warhol’s Phone and The Great and Secret Show.

But for now, I’ll raise a glass with the other members of our Camp cabin, the Drunkest Slytherpuffs, and enjoy the feeling of meeting my goal.  Thanks for reading along.



I’m returning once again to write about my bishop, as well as the General Convention.  This comes with some baggage.  Not only did I write about this earlier this month, but it’s also something I discussed at Global Entropy

The bishop did put together a good summary of the actions taken at the General Convention (a summary of just the same-sex matrimony resolutions), which I really do appreciate.  Gears of any large organization take a long time to move, the Episcopal Church is no different.  It’s disheartening, especially since waiting to be fully accepted by your own church hurts, but it’s what we’re dealt, so we can just try to urge things to move along faster.

However, what threw me for a loop, and what I didn’t catch during my first wiring about the General Convention is this:

3. Established a Task Force on Communion Across Difference [A227].
Background: The language of this resolution was drawn in its entirety from Resolution B012 as originally offered. The commission establishes an on-going channel of communication to explore a way forward together, and to avoid future conflicts.
The 2018 General Convention:
• Set membership at no more than 14 clergy and laity, half who believe marriage is a covenant “between two people” and half who believe marriage to be exclusively “between a man and a woman”

This is, again, as we saw in Pittsburgh, bullshit.

Once again, the process is based on the forced inclusion of those who believe I should not have access to the same sacraments as other people in the church.  The bishop writes:

steps were taken to include LGBT people more deeply in the life of the whole Church, and to honor their relationships

I’d love to know how (thankfully not me, as I’m not on any committee), having to sit in a room and defend your right to God’s love to people who want to force you into a loveless life honors and includes us?

The Episcopal church is leaps and bounds ahead of others, and has always been a home for me.  My parish is easily one of the most liberal in the country, and I’m proud of that fact, but this kind of process drags us all backwards.  This did not work in Pittsburgh, although I expect the larger church, with such a small committee, will have no problems filling up either side of the ‘debate.’

And for me, I’ve always been much more of the ‘doing’ rather than going to church every week, and that won’t change.  I go, especially when I need a bit of recharging, but I’ve always been drawn more to the community events and volunteer work I can do through the church.

All my best,

Mike



I’m part of the Pace Oddity team for the GAP Trail Relay, to prepare, I smashed together a Hal Higdon half marathon plan and a Ragnar plan.  Here’s what this week looked like:

  • (Sunday) – 5 x 400 @ 5K pace – Did this speedwork early due to schedule
  • Monday – Had a doctor’s appointment, hence why I added in the Sunday to this week just to give myself some wiggle room, as well as ease back into a training plan.
  • Tuesday – 4 miles – Ran with the Frontrunners in Schenley
  • Wednesday – 35 minutes cross training – Did the AMT machine at the gym after our relay team meeting
  • Thursday – 4 miles – I’m part of a research study through Pitt, and after my surprisingly intense assessment, headed to the gym to run away from some of those feelings
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 4 miles – Ran the course of Open Streets, which was a blast!
  • Sunday – 7 miles


Today wraps up my first week of training for the GAP Relay, I’ll be keeping track of my training through the Gayt Analysis blog.  And also in good news, it looks like I’ll be able to get my photo galleries up sooner than I thought.  It will still take some time to get that all sorted out, so probably not by the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m still excited about that!

Otherwise, this has just been a weekend of adulting, lots of laundry, work around the house, and some relaxing on the deck.  I did however, get supplies to make dairy free root beer floats, so that will be happening tonight, and I’m very excited for it!



Another quick update, from my phone (I’m so excited I can do that!)

Enjoying the weather this weekend with a lovely run at Open Streets Pittsburgh, and then also bottles the beer I brewed, so in two weeks, just in time for the Ultra Team Meetup, I’ll have a Scottish Ale!

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