Cactus improving, in good health

A few months ago, I issued a stern warning through this blog to the anonymous creepy soul who was devouring my neighbor’s cactus, piece by piece, lobe by lobe. I worried that it might have been a ‘copycat’ cactus-eating situation; perhaps this weirdo read my book and decided to go out and try it himself. Well, I am happy to announce that the cactus is thriving again and in good health. Here’s an updated photo. However, it must be said that the rest of the neighborhood is going to hell in a handbasket. Today some guy spray-painted the same wall that I was leaning against — right in front of me! (for the record, he sprayed the words “CPA” on the wall, so maybe he’s a certified public accountant/vandal.)

Running with (raw) chickens

Yes, that was me, running up and down the street the other day with two huge plastic Andronico’s bags full of raw chicken. Sounds crazy, I suppose, but the chickens are my recession-minded answer to expensive hand weights for marathon training. The only drawback is that I can’t run for long or the chickens will go bad.

The trail awaits you

I’m getting lots of messages lately from people who are wondering if they could manage hiking the PCT (or other major trails.) My answer is: yes, you can, and if you can’t do it this year, or next year, it will be waiting for you some other year. I’m not a good person for trail advice or logistical help, (as you know from reading the book) but I can hook you up via email with people who know what they’re talking about! That’s my thought for the day.

Sierra Club launches hiking Wiki! (for up-to-the-moment user updated hiking information)

Hikers and backpackers, take notice. The Sierra Club is about to launch a new website called Sierra Club Trails. It’s (as far as I know) the first-ever comprehensive hiking wiki, “a website where anyone can post their favorite hikes and anyone else can edit the descriptions so that the trails are constantly up-to-date.” The planned launch is imminent so stay tuned; I’ll link to it here, of course.

Five years of All Over Coffee at SFPL

After starting intensive art classes in the GGP, I’ve become quite a fan of Paul Madonna and his wonderful, off-kilter pen and ink drawings of the city. His artwork makes me feel like I’m (willfully) lost in the city, stumbling upon its creaky old Victorians, bridgework and windswept parks for the first time. And the total absence of people — in these pictures, and the slightly discordant ‘”what the heck are they talking about” snippets of overheard conversation only add to the effect. Don’t miss the Paul Madonna exhibit (free) at the SF Public Library main branch, and make sure to pick up the All Over Coffee Book. Click here for an interesting video snippet.

Long run: hairy bison, Golden Gate Bridge, and disgusting electrolyte drinks

Well, I finished that darned Monster Run. Started out in Haight-Ashbury, under the oversized pair of fishnet-stockinged mannequin legs above the Piedmont Boutique. I paid my respects to the bored-looking, placid bison in Golden Gate Park, ran around the entire park, fought my way up into the Richmond, crossed through the Presidio, got lost in the Presidio, tagged the Golden Gate Bridge (with my hand, not spray paint) and crossed through Fisherman’s Wharf, than Embarcardero, the Tenderloin and Hayes Valley. Now I can’t move. It was a pretty good run, although I overdid it, and I almost gagged on the salty apple electrolyte beverage that I stole from my friend David when I visited him in Pennsylvania three weeks back. Too crowded in Fisherman’s Wharf — I could barely punch through. On the plus side, the Shrub Man wasn’t there. (he’s that guy who hides behind a fake shrub, jumps…

July 4th Monster Run

Honk if you see me. Tomorrow, early in the morning, I’ll start the day off by eating a couple of tablespoons of barley malt syrup and then I will drink a disgusting 16-ounce apple-flavored caffeine/electrolyte drink. Then I will try to throw down 20 miles — Upper Haight through the GGP, than crossing over Arguello through the Presidio to Golden Gate Bridge, than around the Embarcardero and back again. If this goes well, I’ll sign up for that marathon. If not, I’ll sit this one out.