A couple days ago, I learned that Denver Doug is gone. I wrote out aomse words in tribute but somehow they got lost before I posted them. I’m not really sorry he’s gone, in a way: I’ll miss him, many others will miss him, and all my sympathies are with his wife Heather, who has to walk on alone for a while now. But Doug had not only a long life but the one thing a lot of people must wish for at the end: time to realize his mistakes and make real apologies and amends to those he’d hurt. That’s a great privilege. And time, in these last years, to make a host of new friends and aopted family around the world – I know he considered that a privilege too.

I’ve known Doug for about the last seven years, and it’s easy to think of him as he was inthose years, a kind and thoughtful old guy. But as he’s shared the history of his place with us, he’s shared his own history too, and never hidden his times of trouble. I hope his writings of how he came through those times and found those who loved him there waiting will stick around for a long time and help others on.

And in the spirit of Doug’s frequent political writings, here’s an article link. In case you were wondering what “rich” is, let Obama and McCain help you figure it out.

I actually had two of those ocular migraine episodes last weekend, on Saturday and Monday. I don’t thnk I’ve had two that close together, so that’s not good. I think I may have found a correlation, though; I’ve been keeping notes, and I had already noticed that many of the times it’s happened, either I had a cold or Rudder did, or my occasional allergies were acting up. I’ve just noticed that on several of the remaining occasions including both times this past weekend, I was wearing contact lenses. These days they do seem to irritate my eyes, not enough to notice, ubt enough to leave me sniffly by the end of the day. So I’m thinking these ocular migraines are somehow related to clogged sinuses.

Ocular migraines are weird enough that anything that relates them to something normal instead of brain tumors, incipient anuerisms, or possession by aliens is very welcome.

Maybe I should finally break down and get LASIK. Kind of scary to do that in another country, though.

On the exercise front, I’m still not any lighter, which would be fine, but I don’t notice any less gut or any more definition yet either – no calf-splitting or outer-arm carving. Sigh. But I am feeling stronger, not just while trying to lift bottles of water but even in just walking around, and I’ve noticed that the 108 steps up to my fourth-floor office in the morning are a bit less annoying. (I haven’t even been counting them, on most recent mornings.) Next week I go into cycle 2, with a bit more distance.

I’m also finding that the distance is going a bit more quickly – ‘s suggestion of Librivox has helped a lot with that. Oddly, I’ve been finding Edgar Rive Burroughs’ Barsoom books are working better for erging than The Wind in the Willows. I’m much more annoyed by the racism, sexism, and colonial mindset in the Barsoom books than I was the first time I read them (and it was annoying even then) but while erging, my critical faculties are low enough to stlil enjoy hte books. On the other hand, maybe it’s because the reader of Willows is using different animal-y voices for each animal that I found it unbearably twee, which never bothered me while reading the books. (Though the Water Rat’s speech about messing about in boats is perfect for erging, no matter how it’s read.)