Scott Douglas’ Terse Bloviation

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February 28 Appearance on Public Radio

The folks at Here & Now were nice enough to ask me on to discuss doping in running. Listen to how I worked in a mention of my father-in-law’s bridge playing here.

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My Atlantic Interview With a Chocolate Researcher

Can be read here.

I was hoping for a different answer to the question about whether she or colleagues have gained weight because of nibbling on the research materials.

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Best Material Possessions Acquired in 2012

Of course the best things that happened in 2012 had to do with relationships, accomplishments and experiences. But I’m allowed to feel fondness for material objects as well. Here are the best things I acquired this year, and why, presented in chronological order of when I got them.

1. Amby Burfoot’s New England Runner’s Training Log
Amby gave this to me when we roomed together in Houston for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I think he meant it as a gag–he tried selling these things in the early 80s–but I’ve been using it as my running log since September. The log is wonderfully retro, with GBC binding and a cover photo of Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer and George Malley at the 1982 New Haven 20K. I like not only the log but also that Amby and I have become good enough friends for him to jokingly give me the log.

2. Jobim For Lovers by Vincent Herring
I found a used copy of this 1999 release over the summer and have been playing it nonstop since. If I’m happy, Herring’s interpretations of Jobim’s bossa nova classics make me even happier. If I’m sad, the CD improves my mood while also acknowledging that life can be hard. Herring always plays his sax with depth, but with special layers of profundity on this album.

3. Sandwiches from Scratch Baking Company delivered on October 2
On the day Stacey and I had our dog, Clara, euthanized at home, our friend Meredith came by with sandwiches from the neighborhood bakery. I had always wondered why people bring food when there’s been a death, and now I know. We are blessed to have good friends and a great bakery within walking distance, and we were blessed to live with Clara for more than eight years.

4. Storage kohlrabi for $1
Five pounds of kohlrabi goodness for one dollar is a food bargain I will probably never top. All hail Freedom Farm for its willingness to grow crazy vegetables for the few of us who appreciate them.

5. Mill Street blanket from Faribault Woolen Mill Company
Thanks to a gift, I splurged and bought this queen-size merino wool blanket for our bed. The warmth-to-weight ratio can’t be beat, and this thing will last forever. It’s a great example of the value of spending a little more on one occasion and having a high-quality item for years instead of a series of lower-cost disposable substitutes.

6. German mushrooming knife
A great gift is one you didn’t know you wanted because you didn’t know the item existed. That’s the case with this knife for mushroom foraging, complete with foldable blade and brush. Thinking about using it already produces thoughts of purposeful, pleasant walks through the woods next summer and fall.

7. Painting of Miss Hitty
2012 was a tough year on the pet front. Clara’s death in October was preceded in March by that of Miss Hitty, the cat I adopted in 1995 and felt an inexplicable bond with. Stacey commissioned the hugely talented Kate Pugsley to do a small watercolor portrait. Staring at it evokes in me feelings that I don’t get from looking at photos.

Sorry, sort of a sappy list, and not the happiest. But true to the year’s tenor.

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2012 Completed Book #9

Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden

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I’m a Sell Out

I’m out of copies of The Little Red Book of Running, so have removed the buy-from-me post that used to live below. Thanks to everyone who ordered directly from me. This little start-up called Amazon still has some they’d be happy to sell you.

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Doesn’t Everyone Want to Look Like Me?

I’ll be on a Maine morning TV show on Wednesday the 23rd.

Topic: Weight loss.

Potential for alienation of audience: Sky high.


A Few 2010 CD Acquisitions That Brought Me Pleasure This Year

Some of them were even released this year, instead of my playing catch-up. Alphabetically by artist:

Black Tambourine: Black Tambourine
So, uh, I was a mere 20 years late in really listening to this beautiful noisepop from a band with two members that went on to be in Velocity Girl (who, in my defense, I caught on to when they were new and fresh). One of those two guys, Archie Moore, was also in Heartworms and The Saturday People. I could listen to wall-of-feedback-over-pop-song stuff like this all day. This 2010 release compiles everything they recorded, including four new songs taped for the purpose of this record. Review

Steve Davis Quintet: Live At Smalls
A four-song set, with all five band members firing on all cylinders throughout. The first time I listened to it, Mike DiRubbo’s solo on “Spirit Waltz” literally stopped me in my tracks. I went over to the stereo and sat staring at the speakers in awe. Review

The High Violets: To Where You Are
In addition to the noise-over-pop mode of Black Tambourine, I have a weakness for swirling, swoon-inducing dreampop. These guys from Portland, Oregon do it really well. After playing this 2006 disc to death I’m inspired to get their release from this year, Cinema. Review

Phantom Buffalo: Cement Postcard With Owl Colours
Stacey first heard these locals (as in Portland, Maine) at an outdoor crafts fair in August, and was the impetus for us exploring them. This being Portland, of course we’ve since learned that we know the ladyfriend of one of the band members. I’m not sure how to describe them, but you won’t be disappointed if you like the usual suspects like The Shins, Rogue Wave, Carl Newman, etc. wrung through a 12-percent psychedelica filter. Review

Craig Ramsey: Parting Gift for a Party Girl
A solo release from half of the songwriting chops behind favorites Bears. This is classic should-be-a-hit indiepop. Ramsey’s sweet, gentle voice and bouncy songs belie the venom in the lyrics, which either document the end of a relationship or display Ramsey’s ability to imagine having lived through such a thing.  Review

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Bloviating Redux

I must have done something horrible, as did you, because we’re now subject to a Scott-only blog on the Running Times site. It lives here. At least the blog’s photo on the main RT blog page is fun.


Have a Heart, Save a Heart

And now a message from Fiddlehead Media Inc.’s president, also known as Stacey. If you can contribute, write to me and we’ll work out logistics. I’ll match any contributions sent in response to this post.

It is slaughter time again at Wolfe’s Neck Farm, where I periodically do volunteer animal care, and I wanted to see if anyone might be able to help contribute to saving a few of our woolly friends. For $125 per animal (which is half of what they would get for the meat), the farm is willing to let them go to a wonderful place in Anson, Maine, run by Beth and her husband Jerry, who so kindly adopted our sheep friends Harry and Sally last year. They get lots of love, food and plenty of room to roam there. Five lambs are up and I’d love to see if together, we could save at least two. The money for the lambs goes to running the educational program at the farm, which is a wonderful way for children to learn about animals and farms. I know it’s a terrible time to be spending money on non-necessities, but it is a tax-deductible contribution so you can consider it your charitable giving for the year! Let me know if, and how much, you might be able to contribute and I’ll see if we can save a couple of these sweet creatures. Any amount will do! Thank you so much.

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