Sunday, October 28, 2007

running pix

If you want to see pictures of me running the KC half marathon, click here and type 3301 in the bib number field.

I look pretty goofy in most of them. In several of them I have the classic Miller unintentional sneer.

wrongful conviction

I think one of the most difficult things to deal with in the world of politics is the way people will believe rumors as if they are absolute truth.

Twice now I have been convicted of doing something I did not do.

First, a council member blamed me for a negative story about her that was published in a newspaper I used to work for her. She believes that I got the reporter to write it and nothing I say or do can convince her otherwise.

Now a reporter for another paper thinks I am going around trying to get people to write negative stories about her. She thinks I'm trying to convince people from her own paper to write these stories. It's absolutely absurd, but she's so convinced it's true that she's going around town saying that I'm running a smear campaign against her.

This also is not true, but nothing I say or do can convince her otherwise.

Again, it's a lot like high school.

But the weirdest thing is that these two individuals are liberals who would be outraged if a murder were convicted without a fair trial. But in this weird, backstabbing, he said/she said world of politics, it's all perfectly normal.

What can you do?

good bye squirrel

Allie and I were walking the dogs last week. Suddenly, Allie started screaming. I looked down and Maddie was about to chomp on a squirrel. I yanked her back.

The squirrel tried to climb up a tree but it couldn't even get past a gnarl of root. It clawed at the bark to get a good grip but it had lost all its strength. It stumbled back onto its haunches and breathed heavily.

I looked at the squirrel and it looked back at me. It seemed to be in shock, and baffled by its inability to do basic squirrel stuff, like climb a tree. I could see it labor with each breath. I knew it was going to die.

Allie told me to take the dogs home so she could examine it. Later she came home and then returned to the squirrel with a box, a soft towel and a hot water bottle. But then she came back a few minutes later. The squirrel was dead, she said.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

cool cats

This one is for my aunts...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

kc half marathon

I did the half marathon this morning. It was a blast.

The course was very nice, and it was a beautiful day. I liked that it started so early, because we had that really early morning sunlight, where all the folks ahead of me were sillhouetted. It's been a while since I've been in a road race, running amid so many people. There were about 5,500 in the race. It was quite a sight to be going down Grand at dawn amid such a crowd.

For those of you familar with KC, we started at Crown Center, headed toward downtown to 16th and then south on Main, past Union Station, up the hill for a loop by the Liberty Memorial and then back on Main to Westport. We ran through Westport, then south to the Plaza, across the Paza, past the Nelson and Stowers, up north on Troost then Gillham then the Paseo to the 18th and Vine district. We took 18th the last mile or so to a finish in the Crossroads (near where Allie and I got married, for you out of towners).

I didn't see anyone else doing the Jeff Galloway run/walk thing. It was a little odd being the only one, especially in the beginning. To be honest, I felt a little self conscious, like everyone running past me thought I was a pussy or something. But then when I'd start running again, I'd be passing folks left and right.

I wound up getting caught up in the excitement of it, and running the last three miles straight through, with walk breaks at the aid stations at each mile. I wound up coming in at a little under two hours and fifteen minutes.

I probably shouldn't have broken out of the game plan, because I'm feeling a little stiff right now. But I think I'll recover by Tuesday, when I'll be ready to resume my shorter mid-week runs.

Now I think Allie's getting the bug. She's talking about training for a half in the Spring.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

racing season

I'm getting all excited gearing up for the Kansas City Half Marathon this weekend. I haven't run in a road race for four or five years. And the last time I did a half marathon was in college, probably 15 years ago. This one will be cool because it's a real pretty course, and it's projected to be a perfect fall day.

I'm doing this one as a training run. I'm going to try to keep it slow, and take the usual one-minute walking breaks for every three minutes of running.

This is the plan for the rest of the spring and winter, as I move into the really long run phase of my marathon training. To keep from getting bored on the long runs, I'm going to run half marathons as part of them. It just so happens that there are races scheduled for all but one of the long-run days penciled in on my calendar. I'm going to do one in Olathe, another in Tulsa, and then this weird one in Springfield, where you can keep running around a 5k loop for as long as you want until you hit a marathon (I'm going to stop at 23 miles).

Also, the training program I'm following calls for me to run 26 miles one month before the Austin Marathon. So I figured, hell, if I'm going to do that, I might as well run a real marathon. So I'm seriously considering doing one in Mobile, Alabama, in January. So I'll actually wind up doing two in a month's time.

Sounds kind of crazy. But fun.

trash tv

I don't know how long Allie and I are going to last with this full-package cable deal we bought into. I'm thinking if we don't get rid of it by winter's end, we're both going to require brain reconstruction surgery.

Last night we watched 101 More Things Removed From the Human Body.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


As some of you know, I had a few tough months this summer with my new job. About a month in, the Mayor appointed a woman to the Parks Board who happened to be a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, which is this anti-illegal immigration group that's arguably racist against Hispanics. This made the job tough because it seemed as though our administration was spinning toward failure, that this misstep would consume us, and we'd never get anything done, and we'd be the first one-term mayoral administration in Kansas City in a long, long time.

But then a couple of months ago we start hearing that the Mayor's approval ratings have been through the roof. We're talking historic highs -- like 70 percent. In fact, the more the mayor held his ground on the appointment, refusing to buckle to boycott threats, the more his approval ratings went up. These polls were conducted in conjunction with some ballot initiatives that are coming up, and they were paid for by other people, so we didn't own the info. And, for reasons I still don't understand, I was sworn to secrecy about them. But now, finally, the embargo has been lifted. I'm going to be getting copies of the poll results today, and then comes the fun part of figuring out how best to disburse the info.

All this underscores what I wrote about the other day, about in-crowds and politics. If you're immersed in City Hall, and in the circles that orbit City Hall, you would think that the Mayor is really blowing it. But if you go out among the masses, the people we're ostensibly serving, you'll see that he's a huge success.

I'm really curious to see what will happen when the insiders learn this, when they find out that their take on reality is completely wrong. Will they all fall in line with the mayor's agenda? Or will they work all the harder to make their dreams become reality?

I'm guessing a little of both, but that the former will win out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

sports fan

The other day I said I'm not much of a sports fan. But today I wish I was.

I'm kind of jealous of my dad and brothers and all my old friends in Denver who are celebrating the Colorado Rockies pennant win. It's quite a sports story. Probably one of the hottest hot streaks in the history of the game.

For those who haven't been watching, the Rockies have won 21 of their last 22 games. The streak started in the late season, when they came from behind to tie the San Diego Padres, forcing a one-game play-off for a place in the play-offs. Then they swept both series to earn a trip to the World Series, the first time ever for Colorado.

Quite a ride.

Now I might have to watch the World Series.

But then, that would mean I'd actually have to sit through several baseball games, and foresake HBO.

Hmm. I'll have to think about this.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I have this friend who works in the mayor's office of a large Midwestern city that we'll call Possum Trot. She shares with me stories about what it's like.

Dan's recent post about Steve Kraske reminded me of some stuff she told me about her experiences with the press. She's particularly tuned in to their rhythms because she used to be a reporter.

She's got lots of stories, and I might share a few here, but the main theme of all of them is that almost all of the reporters and the columnists and the editors are wannabe insiders. Actually, I take that back. She says the folks at the daily paper are in-crowd aspirants. The TV people, with the exception of two real good reporters, are too scattered from covering so much territory, too limited in time, and in some cases, too good looking to care about what the movers and shakers at City Hall think of them. The radio people are too smart. And the alt-weely people have too much freedom.

But the daily people, with the exception of two, according to my friend, they all fancy themselves players in the game.

She tells me that politics is just like high school.

You've got the in-crowd, the proverbial football captain and cheerleader. That's the establishment.

Then you got the in-crowd wannnabes in newspaper and yearbook club. That's the daily paper.

They flit about the quarterback and cheerleader, snapping pictures and jotting down notes, propping the in-crowd up as the standard bearers for high school reality. Oh, they might poke at them a little bit from time to time, like when the jock loses a big game or something. But for the most part they are utterly beholden to the myth of the in-crowd's supremacy. And if anyone tries to challenge this myth, they attack. They have to protect the in-crowd because they want so desperately to be the in-crowd. The in-crowd defines them.

Meantime, there's this vast high school reality that they're utterly clueless about. While they're obsessively focused on the dozen or so so-called poplar people, they're surrounded by hundreds of normal kids who are just slogging their way through adolescence. In my city-power-structure metaphor, these are citizens -- the people who are increasingly disinterested in reading the newspaper and, worse, in voting.

Honestly, sometimes when she tries to explain this stuff to me, I get a little leery. It all seems a bit glib and contrived. But she's adament that she's on to something.

I'll try to parse more of what she has to say in future posts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

chiefs game

Allie and I are not big sports fans. We arrived late to today's game and left early. It was fun, though.

Allie doesn't really know anything about football, so I explained a lot of the rules to her. She was amazed at how complicated it is. I hadn't really thought about it before, but it is kind of amazing. How is it that I know all this stuff, even though I hardly watch the game? I kept thinking that if Americans knew as much about civics as they do about football, the republic would be so much stronger. I couldn't help imagining government events being so popular. Like, wouldn't it be great if city council meetings were in Arrowhead Stadium, and the place was packed with crazed fans who would erupt in applause when a good ordinance passes or a bad one fails?

I've long thought that society would be a lot better if the news section of the morning paper were as lively and interesting as the sports section.

Give them bread and circuses.

Anyway, the highlights for us were Domata Peko's hair and the wave that got going in the fourth quarter. Seriously, Peko's hair is totally wild.


Well, I've gone private. We'll see how this works.

I'll try to post more frequently. I think that'll be doable because I won't have to worry about Steve Glorioso reading it. At least not directly. (For you out-of-towners, Steve Glorioso is a generic term for unprincipled political opportunists.)

Ran six miles today. Next Saturday is the KC half marathon.

Today Allie and I are going to a Chiefs game. First one for her, second for me. We've got the Mayor's seats, so it should be pretty classy.

Drop me a line and let me know if the access worked.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I got an e-mail from one of my relatives today worried that I was cutting them out by making this blog private. That's not the case, so I figure I'd better explain why I'm taking this action. Initially I didn't want to say much because I've suddenly found myself in this weird online stalker situation and I know that addressing it here will probably just intensify it.

There's this guy I was once reluctant friends with who has been weirdly obsessed with me ever since Allie and I didn't invite him to our wedding because he sexually harrassed one of our friends. Almost immediately he started writing all these over-the-top nasty posts about me on his blog. I was taken aback at first, but then I decided to just ignore it. Supposedly his is a joke blog, but I've had the misfortune of hanging around with him in person and I can attest that it's no joke -- especially the misogynist and racist stuff. Mostly he craves attention.

But recently he's started writing really creepy sexual stuff about me and I just have to cut him off. It's unfortunate, but I guess all those Dateline NBC sensationalist reports about the dangers of the Internet were at least partially true.

Anyway, all my friends and family are welcome to keep reading. Send me your e-mail me at gobodog [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll set you up for access. I'll probablly make the switch a week from Saturday.

privacy statement

A week or so from today, I'm going to make this blog private. If you're interested in continuing reading it, e-mail me at gobodog [at] gmail [dot] com, and I'll consider your request.

The way it'll work is that you'll have to get a free Google account, if you don't already have one, and you'll be able to read it as long as you're logged in. The way Google is set up, though, you'll be logged in pretty much anytime you go online.

I know this isn't an ideal set up. But I think it'll be worth it, because now I'll be free to write about things that are actually interesting.

Look forward to hearing from you. I won't be posting anything new until a week or so when I privatize this thing.

Monday, October 01, 2007

paperback writer


They arrived today!