Stan’s Obligatory Blog


How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Filed under: — stan @ 8:06 pm


Today was the first practice day for the Aon Tower stair climb next month. They opened the stairs from the 4th floor up to the 60th for an hour at lunchtime for practice runs. I talked my friend Erik from work into trying the stair climb. We’ve been practicing on the stairs at Millikan Library at Caltech, but that’s only 10 stories. (The building is 9 stories, but we start in the basement.) So we thought it would be good to go and try the real thing. I did this climb last year, but Erik had never done a big stair climb before. And there’s nothing like trying the real thing to know what it’s like.

Can you tell it hurt from the pictures?

The climb from 4 to 60 is 90% of the full climb from the ground to the roof. It took us 11 minutes and 13 seconds. Based on this, we could do the full climb in 12:20, which is very close to my goal for this year of breaking 12 minutes. So the steady pace training we’ve done helped. Next time we’re going to try it with a small electronic metronome for pacing. I’ll set it for about 3% faster than we went today and we’ll see how that goes.

Another anniversary

Filed under: — stan @ 6:36 am

As is human nature, today is an anniversary of sorts, and it’s time to sit back and take stock. It was two years ago today when Cathy moved out. We’d spent nearly 22 years together as constant companions, so when she turned into a stranger and left, it was a major upheaval in my world. I looked back in my private journal and found this tidbit from that time:

I think the fundamental problem I’m having with dealing with her is that she only speaks to me to criticize me or call me an asshole. You know the old saying, “If you can’t say something bad, don’t say anything at all.” And then she wonders why I don’t want to talk to her.

So now she’s denying that she ever said that ‘it was over’ between us. She’s making it out like I’m the bad guy for insisting that we have to split up. That she never wanted to split. But she was the one who said, “I don’t want to be married to you any more.” That seems like a pretty definitive statement. I don’t see much room for interpretation.

I was in the proverbial ‘world of hurt’ back then.

Looking back one year, things were much better. At that time, I thought we were close to a settlement agreement. Looking at my journal from that time bears this out. We were able to talk in a semi-reasonable manner by then, and we managed to reach agreement on some issues. So I was cautiously optimistic. Little did I know that the whole thing would blow up in my face a couple months later and would lead to nearly a year more of fighting, not to mention thousands of dollars in lawyer bills.

Today, things are much, much better. We finally reached a settlement after the near-equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis last August. There was a lot of high-stakes brinksmanship to reach this point, but now everything is settled. Our agreement was signed and filed in January, and we settled the buy-out for the house in February. So there are no more major issues to fight about. And this has been a great thing, at least for me. My overall stress level is down significantly, and I’m much more able to enjoy life again. I thought I was doing really well this time last year, but I was still the Walking Wounded then.

There’s been a lot of healing over the last two years, and I hope that this continues. I’ve had some tremendous adventures, and even found a new hobby. Once again, I feel pretty good about where I am now. But that still leaves room for more improvement in the future.

So overall, I’m optimistic, and I don’t even have to qualify that with ‘cautiously’ any more. And that’s progress.

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