I put off my morning run today, as I got to sleep late after the Oriel Schools Dinner and subsequent visit to the King’s Arms to greet an Oriel theologian from the past, and his charming fiancée. It was a terrific night, with jolly conversations with Josh, Alex, Pia, and my colleagues.
I’m giving my heel a break this morning after three days in a row of running. I’ll pick up again, but I walked a lot yesterday and will again today, so I’m not asking so much of my pedal extremities today.
It’s the last day of term. I’ll be posting my ‘Friday of…’ photo of my desktop on Facebook, maybe the last time. This morning was my last tutorial of term, maybe my last as a tutor here. We shall see.
My knees have been vexing me for the past week or ten days, almost as long as the resurgent plantar fasciitis (the latter is slowly ebbing now that I’m wearing new trainers, so huzzah! for that); this morning the knees and various non-obvious body parts that had adjusted to not-running all mounted a moment of resistance to my morning pace. Determined as I am to just plod ahead, though, I was not deterred, and after a mile or so everything settled down and I ran to a good pace (13°, clear and calm).
I was thinking about a post I’ll write soon, and the colleague who provoked me (in a good way) to write it out, and he used to blog but doesn’t much any more; and I was sad that where we all used to link to one another by deliberate composition — now the most we can do to make any kind of connection is to MacGyver some kludge involving Facebook or ExTwitter or (heaven help us) LinkedIn. It’s not up there with the climate catastrophe or the war in Ukraine, but it’s a small way in which we used to live in a better world, and I miss it.
Back to daily running: comfortable 9°, modest pace, legs fine, heel discontent but not obstreperous, another two miles in the books. Some books. Somewhere.
I was getting uneasy about not-running, so I bought a new pair of trainers yesterday, laced up this morning, and ran my two miles. Not a rocket pace, but fine weather, clear and 14°, and my legs felt surprisingly limber. My heel was unhappy, but not actively rebellious.
The other day my colleague Sarah Apetrei called the attention of our Theology Faculty to the the fact that our hard-working, thoughtful Graduate Studies Administrator Nick Fowler (Sarah identified him as ‘Nick “Growler” Fowler’ but I don’t know if that’s an official nickname) is touring Norway as bass player in Gaz Coombes’s back-up band (keep an eye open for him in these appearances on Jools Holland’s Late night BBC show). No one seriously accuses Theology Faculties of being the centre of coolness, but I’ve worked among (and just plain ‘met’ incidentally) some impressive musicians, from my Disseminary pal Trevor at Seabury (and Tripp there also) to Doug at Glasgow and now Nick here at Oxford; and Margaret had a connection with Thomas Joseph White of the Hillybilly Thomists when she was at Duke).
That reminded me that I was listening to one of my favourite singer-songwriter cuts a while ago, when I though I’d look up her home page to see whether I’d scoured it for all her recordings. Shannon Campbell had let her web presence lapse, alas, but the Wayback Machine has a long memory and I was pleased to see her music archive is preserved in digital amber. Better still, the Archive preserves all the lyrics and backstories she supplied.
My favourite is probably also her best-known recording, ‘Dreaming of Violets’ (with Scott Andrew LePera); her cover of ‘Landslide’ is strong, too, and there are a lot of other recordings here (many that I hadn’t downloaded before). I’m going ahead to download them all, so that if the Archive ever succumbs to entropy, there will be at least a chance that my copies will have survived — so you can ask me if you have any trouble downloading them from Wayback. I promised Shannon to download all I can to save them and pass them along to as many people as I could — she’s a lovely friend, and I’m very happy and proud to call attention to her work.
So listen to and ask others to listen to ‘Dreaming of Violets’; there are tons of recordings that have gotten more attention with less finesse, and it would be a great thing for Shannon to see a fresh wave of people enjoying her gifts again. Download, pass ’em along, and thank you, Shannon!
Still no running; I’ve walked more in the last week than I would have preferred, but for various reasons I’ve walked in to or back from Oxford several times, and shuttled between Regent’s and Oriel. I’m looking for an economical pair of running shoes, but the local athletic shoe shop was overcrowded and understaffed, and when a sales rep finally did respond to a request for help, he refused to acknowledge my price-oriented interest and steered me only to a rack of high-end trainers.
My heel still hurts, though on days when I walk less, it feels better. I’ll keep trying to give it a rest, but life and work have different expectations.
Still resting my plantar fascia, but I got one application out and two or three on the verge of submitting, so there’s that.
My plantar fasciitis is abating, so I hope to resume running in a few days — but for now, it’s the bus for me.
Today’s a year since I was permitted to reveal that I’d been made redundant at St Stephen’s House. Wonderful as everyone at Regent’s Park has been, spending a year looking for work (and having reason to conclude that my age is one mark against me, making me now a year older and less employable) has been… unpleasant, and I do very earnestly hope that some college or congregation finds a use for me before too long.
Plantar fasciitis still plaguing me; no miles today (well, to be exact, I walked more than two miles both of the last two days, but that’s incidental walking, not running for mileage, nor is it walking all the way to and from work). I may sneak out from work to price a new pair of trainers or some insoles today….
Yesterday David Weinberger posted his response to the Apple Vision Pro promo video (I mistyped ‘pormo video’, which suggests a very different sort of clip); he proposed reading the video as the product (‘the video is the actual product: it claims a new space for Apple.’)
David’s exactly right, I think, especially when he says ‘I was impressed by the video under-selling its 3D capabilities. That took a lot of marketing restraint.’ I’d argue, though, that David undersells the pivotal importance of this feature. A couple of years ago, I wrote that ‘the flatland of 2D screen interaction drains me of vitality. Zoom doesn’t afflict me with headaches, but stupefies me.’ If I understand the Apple video correctly, though, the headset actually processes (or ‘effectively simulates’) 3D vision as part of their FaceTime messaging/conferencing app; that would vastly heighten my interest in video communication, and although I’m not lining up to evacuate my retirement savings to buy this first iteration of the device, I suspect that this is the killer app for AR more than gaming, which has already been simulating dimensionality for more than two decades. The difference between ‘flat chat’ and 3D chat will be like the difference between 2D side-scrollers and FPS/MMRPG game worlds — and that’s a big, big difference.
I’ve been getting some web traffic recently looking for my book of sermons, Flesh and Bones, in PDF form; that’s heartening, though I realised that I’ve been preaching longer since Margaret and I compiled those sermons as a benefit for St Luke’s than I had been preaching all told when it was compiled. (That sounds confusing. I mean, ‘that selection of sermons draws on less than half of my preaching years’). Another post mentions the Big Bible project and links to a number of places at that site, which no longer exists and which wasn’t archived on the Wayback Machine. Big Bible was a relatively well-financed operation, shinier and better publicised than the Disseminary — and the Disseminary made some missteps, and was ‘ahead of its time’ — but my sisters and brothers, I’m still here, links to me mostly resolve, and I gradually fix broken links. Hit-and-run splashy projects come and go; but the vision I proposed, along with Trevor, is still standing.