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What, Fifth? Fourth?

This morning was a neat 12:00 mile. Since I started at thirteen minutes a few weeks ago, I figure that by next October I’ll be running three-minute miles.

My wind is improving, but is still a big obstacle to really running. This morning, my knees were stiff, a bit sore, and generally reluctant to help me move along. Still, I’m making progress.

Another Week, Another Mile

I didn’t start the timer on my phone correctly, so I don’t know how long I took this morning, but I’ll call it 12:15 ’cos I’m moderately sure I did better than last week.

As I went, I pondered how my various components were handling this experience. I was looking for a body part to blame — as if it would be most interesting if I were generally fit, with the exception of this or that bit). I thought ‘Well, I’m easily winded, so limited lung functioning might be the problem’; but then I observed that my quads were not doing a great job of lifting my legs, and my right hamstring started sending me gentle warning messages, and even my calves and feet were not jolly contributors to the overall running experience. After thinking it over for a few seconds, I reached the startling conclusion that I am just plain out of shape. Which is, after all, the reason I started run-walking a few weeks ago in the first place.


One of the cliches of twentieth-century theological reading of Scripture was that radical critics ween’t critical enough. I’ve seen that most often as an interrogation of the critics’ historical discernment — ‘You can’t say that miracles are impossible, because miracles are reported even today. You need to criticise your own modernist presumption that miracles can’t be historically true.’

I’m generally ready to poke biblical modernism, but i would take the ‘not critical enough’ gesture in a different direction. That is, the prevalent historical interpretive discourse persists in treating the most recent historical interpretations as self-evidently ‘true’ or ‘correct’. But if we have any historical awareness at all, we recognise that today’s self-evidently true conclusions are tomorrow’s risibly out-dated error. The biblical interpretation industry invests contemporary historical discernment with an authority incommensurate with its inevitable transience. Miracle stories may be accurate or not, but the restless necessity that interpretive judgement keep changing is a matter that any casual observer can verify.

Week Three

Same mile, same run/walk, same 12:35 as last week.
My thigh muscles felt weaker than last week, and my legs were leaden. I actually felt like running on Wednesday morning, but gave it a miss; this morning I was less motivated, and the run was hard.

Another Step

(A) I am not a runner. This is why I regularly begin my morning by skipping rope for ten minutes or so — to get my blood circulating, keep my breath capacity at least marginally satisfactory, and so on.

(B) This morning I ran/walked a mile in thirteen minutes. Not exactly Alan Bannister, but it’s a start.

Core-porate Relations

QuadrigaI remain alert to news from Cupertino, though less obsessively as I did when I was a younger man, so I was interested to hear from Gruber about a momentous leak of information relative to tomorrow’s planned announcement of the latest models of iPhones.

Of course, Apple is notorious for its track record of successful secret-keeping. Against that backdrop, the leak of a GM operating system upgrade would be a noteworthy news event in itself. What makes this special is that it came just a couple of days before a much-anticipated Apple Event, at which viewers ordinarily gasp, applaud, tweet, subtweet, marvel, and kvetch about each micro-unit of news (since no one will have known about them till they’re announced at the Event). Tomorrow, Tim Cook will walk out onstage with all the details of his iOS upgrade apparently already known.

Popular imagination can easily envision the scene — including furious tirades, multiple firings, and new security measures possibly including the sequestration of loved ones in an Apple-controlled remote facility — were this to happen to Steve Jobs when he was at Apple. That’ not Tim Cook’s style, much to the disappointment of drama-loving fans and journalists. On the other hand, it would be tough for Tim to walk out with the script intact, to say ‘… and now, for your mind-boggled consideration, facial recognition!’ while the audience yawns.

Apple may be desperately rejiggering some of the specs, so that they can say ‘Neener, neener, that wasn’t the real Golden Master after all!’, but that would run the risk of bugs and failures, and if Apple hates anything more than leaks, it’s failures. They have another option, though.

Apple could deal with its misfortune by choosing not to make grand public punitive gestures (those will surely come anyway) on one hand, or stiff recitations about what anyone could have read on macrumors.

Apple loves the media, and its association with coolness, and it wants the media to have something unexpected to report. The iOS specs no longer count as hot or unexpected, however impressive they be. What if Apple called up a comedy writer — a Seinfeld, or a Poehler or Fey or David, or a behind-the-scenes comic writer — to rework the presentation with self-deprecating humour? Well done (and admittedly, that’s a risk with 24-hour turnaround and technology execs as presenters), it could divert attention from the sensation of the leak, keep Apple on the good guys side by laughing at itself, and make the presentation enjoyable even if you know what’s about to be announced.

This isn’t a moment for circling the wagons and publicly shooting traitors; more urgent concerns face Apple and the world than non-surprise product announcements. Apple could show its sense of proportion in a world where to heads of state are playing chicken with nuclear weapons, where two hurricanes have just devastated parts of the U.S. and its neighbours, and where climate change and economic disparities threaten to blight… well, everything. And make a few people laugh, perhaps awkwardly, and introduce some new products which (as far as the leaks suggest) should still be pretty impressive.

Turning of the Season

QuadrigaSteve Himmer always used to keep track of the end of summer by noting the last day he could wear short trousers (a situation he regarded as self-evidently natural and preferable to long trousers for men), and the first day of long trousers.* I don’t mind long trousers as much as Steve, but I mark the change from summer to autumn (and, mutatis mutandis, winter to spring) by the first night I sleep without the eye mask that protects me from early dawns. Last night was ‘no sleep mask’ night — autumn has come.

* It is a sign of the fallen and frustrating world in which we now live that it’s exceptionally difficult to track down the posts from one pot meal, Steve’s old blog, in which he discussed this important phenomenon.

Kenelm, King and Martyr

17 July — Here followeth the Life of S. Kenelm, King and Martyr.

S. Kenelm, martyr, was king of a part of England by Wales. His father was king tofore {61} him, and was named Kenulf, and founded the abbey of Winchcombe, and set therein monks. And when he was dead he was buried in the same abbey. And that time Winchcombe was the best town of that country. In England are three principal rivers, and they be Thames, Severn, and Humber. This king Kenelm was king of Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Gloucester shire, and the bishop of Worcester was bishop of those three shires, and he was king also of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, and Lincolnshire. All this was called the March of Wales, and of all those countries S. Kenelm was king, and Winchcombe, that time, was chief city of all these shires. And in that time were in England six kings, and before that, Oswald had been king of all England. And after him it was departed, in S. Kenelm’s days. Kenulf, his father, was a full holy man, and Dornemilde and Quendred were sisters of S. Kenelm. And Kenulf, his father, died the year of our Lord eight hundred and nineteen. Then was Kenelm made king when he was seven years of age, and his sister Dornemilde loved him much, and they lived holily together to their lives’ end. But Quendred, that other sister, turned her to wickedness, and had great envy of her brother Kenelm, because he was so rich above her, and laboured with all her power to destroy him, because she would be queen and reign after him, and let make a strong poison, and gave it to her brother. But God kept him that it never grieved him. And when she saw that she could not prevail against the king in that manner, she laboured to Askeberd, which was chief ruler {62} about the king, and promised to him a great sum of money, and also her body at his will, if he would slay this young king her brother, and anon they accorded in this treason.

And in this while, and at that same time, this young holy king was asleep, and dreamed a marvellous dream. For him seemed that he saw a tree stand by his bedside, and that the height thereof touched heaven, and it shined as bright as gold, and had fair branches full of blossoms and fruit. And on every branch of this tree were tapers of wax burning and lamps alight, which was a glorious sight to behold. And him thought that he climbed upon this tree and Askeberd his governor stood beneath and hewed down this tree that he stood on. And when this tree was fallen down, this holy young king was heavy and sorrowful, and him thought there came a fair bird which flew up to heaven with great joy. And anon after this dream he awoke, and was all abashed of this dreme, which anon after, he told to his nurse named Wolweline. And when he had told to her all his dream, she was full heavy, and told to him what it meant, and said his sister and the traitor Askeberd had falsely conspired his death. For she said to him that he had promised to Quendred to slay thee, and that signifieth that he smiteth down the tree that stood by thy bedside. And the bird that thou sawest flee up to heaven, signifieth thy soul, that angels shall bear up to heaven after thy martyrdom. And anon after this, Askeberd desired the king that he should go and disport him by the wood’s side named Clent; and as he walked, the young king was all heavy and laid him down to sleep, and then this false traitor purposed to have slain the king, and {63} began to make the pit to bury him in. But anon, as God would, the king awoke, and said to this Askeberd that he laboured in vain, for God will not that I die in this place. But take this small rod, and thereas thou shalt set it in the earth, there shall I be martyred. And then they went forth together, a good way thence, till they came to a hawthorn, and there he pight the rod in the earth, and forthwith incontinent it bare green leaves, and suddenly it waxed to a great ash tree, the which standeth there yet unto this day, and is called Kenelm’s ash. And there this Askeberd smote off this holy young king’s head. And anon, his soule was borne up into heaven in likeness of a white dove. And then the wicked traitor drew the body into a great valley between two hills, and there he made a deep pit and cast the body therein, and laid the head upon it. And whilst he was about to smite off the head, the holy king, kneeling on his knees, said this holy canticle: Te Deum laudamus, till he came to this verse: Te martyrum candidatus, and therewith he gave up his spirit to our Lord Jesu Christ in likeness of a dove, as afore is said. Then anon this wicked man Askeberd went to Quendred, and told to her all along how he had done, whereof she was full glad, and anon after, took on her to be queen, and charged, on pain of death, that no man should speak of Kenelm. And after that she abandoned her body to wretched living of her flesh in lechery, and brought her own men to wretched living. And this holy body lay long time after in that wood called Clent, for no man durst fetch him thence to bury him in hallowed place for fear of the queen Quendred.

And it was so that a poor widow lived thereby, {64} which had a white cow, which was driven in to the wood of Clent. And anon as she was there she would depart and go into the valley where Kenelm was buried, and there rest all the day sitting by the corpse without meat. And every night came home with other beasts, fatter, and gave more milk than any of the other kine, and so continued certain years, whereof the people marvelled that she ever was in so good point and ate no meat. That valley whereas S. Kenelm’s body lay is called Cowbage.

After, on a time, as the pope sang mass at Rome in S. Peter’s church, suddenly there came a white dove, and let fall a scroll on the altar whereon the pope said his mass. And these words were written therein in letters of gold:

In Clent in Cowbage, Kenelm, king born,

Lieth under a thorn,

His head off shorn.

And when the pope had said his mass, he showed the scroll to all the people, but there was none that could tell what it meant, till at last there came an Englishman, and he told it openly tofore all the people what it meant. And then the pope with all the people gave laud and praising to our Lord, and kept that scroll for a relic. And the feast of S. Kenelm was hallowed that day solemnly through all Rome. And anon after, the pope sent his messengers into England to the archbishop of Canterbury, named Wilfrid, and bade him, with his bishops, go and seek the place where the holy body lieth, which is named Cowbage, in the wood of Clent. And then this place was soon known, because of the miracle that was showed by the white cow. And when the arch- {65} bishop, with other bishops, and many other people came thither and found the place, anon they let dig up the body, and took it up with great solemnity. And forthwith sprang up in the same place, whereas the body had lain, a fair well, which is called S. Kenelm’s well unto this day, where much people have been healed of divers sicknesses and maladies. And when the body was above the earth, there fell a strife between them of Worcestershire and of Gloucestershire, who should have this body. And then a full good man that was there among them gave counsel that all the people should lie down and sleep and rest them, for the weather was then right hot. And which of the two shires that God would first awake, they to take this holy body and go their way. And all the people agreed thereto, and lay them down to sleep. And it happed that the abbot of Winchcombe and all his men awoke first, and they took up the holy body, and bare it forth toward Winchcombe till they came upon an hill a mile from the abbey. And for heat and labour they were nigh dead for thirst, and anon they prayed to God, and to this holy saint to be their comfort. And then the abbot pight his cross into the earth, and forthwith sprang up there a fair well, whereof they drank and refreshed them much. And then took up this holy body with great solemnity. And the monks received it with procession solemnly, and brought it into the abbey with great reverence, joy and mirth, and the bells sounded and were rung without man’s hand. And then the queen Quendred demanded what all this ringing meant. And they told her how her brother Kenelm was brought with procession into the abbey, and that the bells rung without man’s {65} help. And then she said, in secret scorn: That is as true, said she, as both my eyes fall upon this book and anon both her eyes fell out of her head upon the book. And yet it is seen on this day where they fell upon the psalter she read that same time. Deum laudemus. And soon after she died wretchedly, and was cast out into a foul mire, and then after, was this holy body of S. Kenelm laid in an honourable shrine, whereas our Lord showeth daily many a miracle. To whom be given laud and praising, world without end. Amen.

William Caxton, trans. The Golden Legend, vol. 4 (J. M. Dent), 60-65.

Michael Hernandez

(from the Brunswick-Bath Times Record, where I once worked as senior flyboy)

Michael Hernandez, a talented registered nurse, and 33-year resident of West Bath, ME, died unexpectedly on June 19, 2017 while vacationing in Mexico.

Michael and Lisa

Michael is survived by the love of his life, Lisa Baker Boyle of West Bath, his sister Sandra Kane in California, and countless friends who consider him family.

Born on September 14, 1958 in New York City, Michael’s parents had immigrated to America after leaving Puerto Rico. Following his mother’s death when he was only 16, he took on multiple jobs to help support his father and sister.

He was a graduate of St. Regis High School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He relocated to Midcoast Maine and became the first year-round chef at Cook’s Lobster House after teaching himself to cook. He would eventually put himself through nursing school, earning his registered nursing degree.

During his tenure at the Midcoast Hospital and 24 years as the Admissions Director for the Rousseau Management, Inc. (Horizons Dionne Commons, and Coastal Shores), Michael touched many lives and was a committed advocate for patients in need of medical care.

Michael’s friends and those who were helped through his professional endeavors will remember his compassion and devotion to others. He was a hard worker and never took his life or his friendships for granted. He was a role model, and the perfect gentleman. He lived his life to the fullest, and did everything with love. Michael’s kindness and generosity touched everyone he met.

He will be deeply missed by many, his spirit and generosity will never be forgotten.

A Celebration of Life for friends and family at Coastal Landing in Brunswick from 3-6pm on Thursday June 29, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to RMI Resident Activity funds.

Michael stated his philosophy of nursing twenty-four years ago, at the beginning of his vocation:

A philosophy, in my opinion, encompasses the past, the present, and the future. My past and nursing are completely unrelated, for some strange reason a seed of this concept floated into my brain four years ago and rooted into an ambition. Through fortune and fate, I’ve been able to tend to it ever since. I honestly believe the nursing path was sort of destined for me because my intellect had no reason to choose it. My career has been fortunately successful but totally alien to the medical field. Not only did I not know anyone in the field, but, thank God, I haven’t even been sick in over 20 years. One can see that either I believe I am fated to follow the nursing path or I admit to having perhaps made a totally irrational and idiotic life change. I’m sticking with the former so far.

Presently I am experiencing the euphoria, or is it shock, of a marathon runner. After two years of cramming facts and concepts into this limited brain of mine I am both exhilarated and exhausted. Never before had I been a victim of education and never before had I been so satisfied by it, in retrospect it hasn’t really been that bad considering the honor of being a nurse that it will hopefully provide.

Now the best part, the future. I view nursing, and I realize I still have volumes and volumes to learn, as a relationship between oneself and one’s responsibility. The responsibilities are to give and to accept. To learn and to teach. To respect fear and to alleviate fear. To encourage and to remember to be encouraged. To achieve maximal efficiency but to resist becoming a machine. To be there for others and to allow others to be there for you. To help others recover, regain, and retain health. To be part of a team with the well being of others the most important team goal. To be as good as we can, to work hard, and to always have a heart. to remember how fortunate we are to get paid to do these things that are just what being human is all about.

Michael Hernandez 4/24/94

Mike, AKMA, and Margaret

Nancy Tuttle Adam

(from obituary submitted to the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror)

Nancy T Adam and Tuppence, her dog

Nancy Tuttle Adam, of Arlington, Massachusetts, and a longtime resident of Nantucket, died on June 20, at the age of 82. The daughter of artists Isabelle and Emerson Tuttle, both founding members of the Artists’ Association of Nantucket, Nancy too was a gifted photographic artist and poet. She exhibited her signature minimalist landscape photography at The Little Gallery and published several volumes of poetry over the course of her life.

Born on March 16, 1935, in New Haven, CT, she was an Island child from the cradle on, summering in the Tuttle family’s historic 1724 house. From her bedroom window perch, she loved to stick her tongue out at passing tour buses as they pointed out her ‘old house’. She was precocious, observant and sensitive to image and language. Nantucket ran deep in her veins and influenced her profoundly.

After attending Radcliffe College in Boston and graduating from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, she worked in a photographic lab in that city from 1978–1984 before moving back full-time to the island. Here she could follow the many passions that made her a Renaissance woman. In addition to writing her own poetry, she contributed to the Isle Say column of the Nantucket Map & Legend for years, commenting with astute and gentle wisdom on Island life. She was an active and formative member of Hospice (now Palliative Care) on Nantucket, an active animal lover, and an enthusiastic member of the Unitarian Church family.

Challenged for most of her adult life with multiple sclerosis, she made illness her companion not her taskmaster. Grace, good humor and a forgiving nature carried her on wings above the disease, even when she was forced to use a wheelchair.

Nancy is survived by her devoted daughter Holly Adam, of Nantucket, her daughter-in-law and son Margaret and Andrew Adam, of Oxford, England, and her sisters Grace Noyes of Nantucket and Harriet (and Bob) Noyes of Arlington and Nantucket. She was predeceased by her sister Isabelle Tuttle DeWitt. She was a loving grandmother to Josiah, Nate and Pippa Adam. Various nieces and cousins complete her large and loving family.

A simple celebration of her life will be held at the Unitarian Church at a future date. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of gifts to Palliative Care of Nantucket.

Nancy T Adam surrounded by family

Squire, But Not Valerienne

And after this, on a time died the holy woman Susanna, and tofore her death she recommended to S. Marcial her daughter, that was called Valerienne, which had promised and avowed to our Lord chastity as long as she lived. After, when the holy maid knew that there should come to Limoges a lord named Steven, which was lord of all the province from the river of Rhone unto the sea, she was sore afraid lest he would do to her any grief or noyance against her vow, and gave away all her riches to poor folk for the love of God. When the said Steven was come to Limoges, he made to do come tofore him the holy maid, to the end to have his will of her; but when she was come and he saw that she would not consent to do his will, anon he made her head to be smitten off. Then the squire that beheaded her heard the angels sing, that bare the soul of the holy virgin into heaven, with much great joy and solemnity, and anon he returned unto his master and told him all that he had seen and heard, and sith fell down dead at his feet. Then the duke and all his company had much great dread, and the duke himself clad him next his flesh in a sharp hair and hard, for great repentance, and prayed S. Marcial that he would pray God that it might please him to raise his squire from death to life, and he would believe in the faith of Jesu Christ and be christened. Anon after that S. Marcial had prayed, our Lord raised the squire; then the duke and well fifteen thousand persons in his company were baptized.

So, Steven has holy Valerienne beheaded, and the squire who executed her informed Steven, then dropped dead — and Steven prayed to St Martial to raise the squire. Mmmmm hmmmm.