A. B. Clarke

The Scientist

by abclarke

“I don’t know,” said the Scientist. “Sometimes I’m confident there is no God. Sometimes I’m confident God is everywhere. And sometimes, when I’m in my work, I’m convinced God is the collective memory of the universe, and at best we can only probabilistically approximate Him.”

“That’s true,” said the Philosopher.

“Which part?”

“Probably all of them.”


by abclarke

do {
    if I must work, work;
    if I must rest, rest;
    if I must eat, eat;
    if I must drink, drink;

    if I must play, play;
    if I must sing, sing;
    if I must dance, dance;
    if I must scream, scream;

    if I must laugh, laugh;
    if I must cry, cry;
    if I must mourn, mourn;
    if I must love, love;

    if I must lie, lie;
    if I must cheat, cheat;
    if I must fear, fear;
    if I must hate, love;

    if I must do, do;
    if I must not, don't;
    if I must be, be;
    if unsure, repeat;
} while (true);

The Truth Is Like A Pretty Girl

by abclarke

Tell it Slant

My friend Jeffrey read me a poem last night that I had never heard before. It’s from Emily Dickinson:

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

Hearing the poem was a nice recap to 2014, because I felt this poem encapsulates the hardest professional lesson I learned this year: The Truth must dazzle gradually, or every man, including the Truth Teller, be blind.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Inside Joke

by abclarke

Amongst the masters in the zendo there is an inside joke: There is no inside joke.

13 Dance Moves For Growing Old

by abclarke

  1. Go to homecoming. Stand still. Arms straight. Shoulder, ribs, spine flat. Gym wall. Sweat. Watch the others. Them. Watch them move. Yearn. But do not move. Do not move! Remember, the world might see you… you might do it wrong.
  2. Grow older. Go to prom. Hide in the crowd. Do not be noticed. Rock your body. Left. Right. Not too much. Not too much! Count the beat. One two. One two. Two. You’re doing it wrong. You’re doing it wrong! Leave early. Remember, the world is watching… they see what you’re doing.
  3. Grow older. Go to a party. Drink. Drink. Glance. Blue eyes. Shimmy closer. Shake your arms. High. Higher. You like big butts. You cannot lie. Bump her hips. Bump. Feel her bump. Bump. Can’t touch this. Touch her. Can’t touch this. Feel her touch. Drink. Laugh. Dance. Drink. Remember, who cares if the world is watching… you won’t remember tomorrow.
  4. Grow older. Go to a club. Glance. Brown eyes. Don’t think. Approach. Talk. Think. Stammer. Recover. Be confident. Confident. Take her hand. Lead her. Don’t think. Move her. Swing her. Spin her. Dip. Dive. Think. Think. Think… Think of future. Think of beat. Think of steps. And stumble. Stumble! Gah! Gah! Make excuse. Walk her home. Shake hands. Remember, the world is watching… and you cannot dance!
  5. Grow older. Wake up. Get in shower. Hear music. That song. The one you say you hate. Feel the water. On your lips. Lip-sync. Move your legs, your arms. Shake. Shake! Shimmy. Shimmy! Splash. Splash! Scream the words. Loud. LOUDER. LOUDER! Move your hips. Spin. Make the curtain sway. Slip. Fall. Cringe. Remember, no one is watching… no one need know.
  6. Grow older. Stand at the bus stop. See the wiry busker. Fedora on ground. Dollars in the felt. Guitar strumming. Fingers moving. Watch him bait the crowd. Dare the crowd. Smile. Watch your hands clap in time. Glance. Green eyes smiling, swaying. Listen to the music. Do not think. Green eyes. Do not notice your rythym. Green eyes. Do not notice your arms flowing, your legs kicking, your heart beating, your lungs screaming, your lips singing, your feet flying, the busker cheering, the horde howling. Green eyes. Do not contemplate your twists, your swings, your turns, your spins. Green eyes. Do not think as you put your hand out. Smile as she takes it. Dance. Dance. Remember, the world is watching… but she danced with you.
  7. Grow older. Go to church. Stand still. Arms straight. Shoulders, ribs, spine steady. Watch her walk. Slowly. See her smile. Green eyes down. Tears behind veil. Smile. Note her steps. One two. One two. One two. Tap fingers in time. Remember, the world is watching… and anything can be a dance.
  8. Grow older. Hear cries. Rub her back. Offer to get up. Your turn. Stumble to his room. Pick up boy. Rock. Rock. Wah. Wah. Itsy bitsy. Wah! Wah! Twinkle twinkle. WAH! WAH! Deep breath. Pause. And go: Twist. You like big butts. (He smiles.) Swing. You cannot lie. (He giggles.) Turn. Can’t touch this. (He murmurs.) Spin. Can’t touch … See her standing in the door. Laughing. Laugh with her. Don’t speak. Hold child between you. Dance. Dance. Remember, you made this world… this is your dance.
  9. Grow older. Watch together. See the bride and groom. First dance. Squeeze her hand. Lift your eyebrow. Look into the green. Don’t speak — conspire! Show your child how it’s done. Own the dance floor. Be at the bus stop. See the hat. Twist her. Swing her. Turn her. Spin her. Do not think. Dance. Dance. Hear the guests erupt. Only notice her. Remember, she is your world… you will dance with her forever.
  10. Grow older. Hold her hand. Beep. Beep. Squeeze it. Beep. Beep. Yearn to see green one more time. Beep. Beep. Know that you won’t. Beep. Beep. Feel your son’s hand on your shoulder. Beep. Beep. Try not to cry. No beep. No beep. Cry. Remember, the world dances… even when you don’t… even when she doesn’t.
  11. Stop growing. Stay home. Close curtains. Hear phone. Don’t answer. Hear knocks. Don’t open. No music. No music! Do not move. Do not move! Remember… no… don’t remember… don’t remember!
  12. Grow older. Hold the tiny hand. Compare young wrinkles to old. Feel her squeeze. Grasp. Look into her green eyes. Feel her father’s hand on your shoulder. Smile. Wish she was here. Wish she could see. But smile. Smile. Lift the child. Twist. Swing. Turn. Spin. Remember, the world has new dancers…dance!
  13. Grow older. Go to bus stop. Move slowly. Use the cane. Feel the sun. Watch the people. Watch them sway. Hear the music. Hear it. There is always music. HEAR IT! Sway. Like you did last year. Lean on cane. Twist. Swing. Turn. Spin. Smile. Remember: the world is dancing… you cannot do it wrong.

By A. B. Clarke

The Luck of the Irish

by abclarke


As some of you know, in September 2011, my father passed away after a short battle with brain cancer.  At his funeral, I gave the following eulogy, and some people have asked for a copy of it.  My father’s funeral was at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Jacksonville, FL, where he worked for 4 years.  All the school teachers, many children, his neighbors, friends and family were all present.  Thanks to everyone who was part of that.

The Luck of the Irish

Some people would consider my father, Patrick, to have been an unlucky man.  In a way, they’re probably right.  My father was Irish, and bad luck is so common for us that in the United States we sometimes use the expression “The Luck of the Irish” to refer to someone unlucky.    

Well, I’d like to say today that, yes, my father had “The Luck of the Irish”, but not the bad kind.  Let me give you three examples:

For those who don’t know, my father came to the US twice.  First for a stint in the 60’s and 70’s, and then again in the late 80’s.  From 75 to 87 Dad moved back to Ireland to pursue his dream of being a farmer.  We worked hard at it for years, trying cattle, chickens, goats, turkeys and rabbits at different times.  While the economics in European farming were brutal, in the end the economics didn’t matter.  You see each year we were there, Dad had been getting progressively sicker due to a rare disease he had called Farmers’ Lung.  That disease is an incurable allergy to the molds and pollens on a farm, and if left untreated is fatal.    At the end of his time in Ireland it was apparent that we were bust economically, and that Dad would die if he kept trying.  I think that counts as bad luck.

Of course, the story doesn’t end there.  During his earlier stint in the US he had gotten US citizenship in Chicago and made a bunch of friends there.  In 1987 he moved to Fort Lauderdale where an old American family friend, the Kelly family, gave him a free place to stay.  They took Dad in when we had nothing and needed the help most.  A year later my mother managed to sell the farm in Ireland and the rest of us joined him in the States.  Once in Fort Lauderdale, my father met people like John and Joyce Curran, Father Tom O’Dwyer and Chris Fazio at Little Flower Catholic Church in Hollywood, Florida, and many others.  These complete strangers took our family into their hearts and made us their friends.  They made introductions on our behalf, took us places, and guided us through our new lives for no reason other than love.  With their help, my mother and father got their feet back under them, started building a new life, and achieved a level of prosperity they could never have imagined in Ireland.  They got to watch their four sons graduate high school, get their first jobs, and find and marry their true loves.  On behalf of my father, I want to sincerely thank each of them here today and those who unfortunately can’t be with us right now.  We owe them our lives – they helped turn Dad’s first big run of bad luck into one of his biggest successes.

The second run of bad luck happened in the early 2000s.  By this time Dad was in his sixties.  The company he worked for decided cutting costs were in order, and just like that, Dad was out the door.  When many other people contemplate retiring, he had to find another job.  He got one working for an oppressive supervisor, constantly outside in the summer sun scraping bubble gum off of sidewalks.  Sixty two years old.  Starting over.  Scraping bubble gum in 90-degree summers.  I don’t think I ever saw him as unhappy as during that period.

But again, through the help and love of others, good luck returned.  Dad decided to move to Jacksonville to be closer to his grandkids who live here and asked his friends for help.  Father Tom at Little Flower church sent a letter to Father Cody asking for help, and Father Cody introduced Dad to Rhonda Rose at St. Joseph’s school.  For some reason that I will never understand, but will be eternally grateful for, Mrs. Rose decided to hire Dad at the school.

To say Dad was happy working at St. Joseph’s would be an understatement.  I would say St. Joseph’s school was the fourth greatest love of his life.

(Now before those of you here today get too upset and say “only fourth?”, allow me to put that in perspective.  His third greatest love was his children and grandchildren.  His second greatest love was his wife of 45 years.  And his greatest love was, well, baseball.  We all took a backseat to baseball.  So fourth is pretty good.)

Anyway, Dad loved that job, loved working with all of you, and loved being the closest thing to a real life Leprechaun the school children were likely to ever meet.  He loved everything about St. Joseph’s school.  Without St. Joseph’s, my father would never have been able to move to Jacksonville, would not have had the house with the pond in back where he fished each day, and would not have had the last five happiest years of his life.  Thank you to Father O’Dwyer, Father Cody and Mrs. Rose for making that happen.  You helped give our dad a preview of heaven right here on earth.

Which brings us to the last run of back luck.  In February, as you all know, Dad found out he had a golf-ball sized tumor in his head.  There is no way to call that anything but what it was – the worst of all possible luck.  That type of cancer was made famous by Ted Kennedy but it’s very rare – fewer than 1 in 30,000 can expect to get it.  It’s aggressive.  It’s debilitating.  And it’s almost always fatal.  But like going bust in Ireland and losing your job when you’re in your sixties, it was a fact.  And once you accepted that fact, and put it aside, you can’t help but notice how incredibly lucky and blessed Dad was.

First off, there are 7 cancer hospitals in the United States that specialize in his form of cancer.  Your odds of being near enough to one to go are very low.  Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic happens to have one of the seven.  That’s improbable.  On top of that there are only about 200 doctors in the US who specialize in this cancer.  His daughter in law, and my wife, Jenny is one of them.  That’s not improbable – that’s miraculous.  Our family got great access to the best people in the world at treating the disease.  Thank you Jenny and thanks to the Mayo Cancer center in Jacksonville for all they did to try to help Dad.

And when it became apparent that the treatment could not alter the course of the disease, Community Hospice of Florida stepped in and allowed my father to spend his final weeks at home in comfort.  They were amazing – taking care of all the small details so we could concentrate on caring for Dad in his final months.  If anyone here ever goes through a similar experience, we cannot recommend them highly enough.  Thank you to them and all their staff.

Next was the army.  And I don’t mean the US Army.  You see as I mentioned, Dad loved St. Joseph’s, but St. Joseph’s loved Dad.  As soon as the school found out what had happened, the St. Joseph’s School Army was mobilized.  Thank you cards, get well wishes, and gifts poured in.  After his surgery, different teachers and parents from the school brought food to Mom and Dad every week for months.  So much food.  Our freezers at home are still full of leftovers that we’re working through.  Really.  Wow, you people can cook!

Every time Dad, or anyone in our family, saw the cards the kids made, we would smile a little inside.  Anytime Dad got to talking about St. Joseph’s he would light up a little.  Your school truly does God’s work.  Thank you to everyone from St. Joseph’s – our family cannot express our gratitude enough.

And then there were our neighbors.  In Ireland everyone knows all their neighbors, and there is a real sense of community.  But everywhere else we’ve lived in the US has been different – distant people who live next door but do not care or look out for each other or even get to know each other.

My parents’ house, a few blocks away from here, was different.  As soon as Dad was home after surgery, Cindy from across the street and Lisa and Taylor from next door were constant companions.  As Dad got worse they were always there to help.  When he fell in the bushes, they picked him and Mom up, brushed them off, and returned with flowers a few hours later.  When he collapsed at 5 in the morning, they were the first people at the scene.  When it came time to find hospice, Cindy’s advice and guidance was pivotal.  When Mom needed extra help at home, Cindy’s sister Lisa (a different Lisa) would come by every few days to give Mom a break, to help clean Dad, and to provide a desperately needed lifeline.  Thank you Taylor, Lisa, Cindy and Lisa – you were guardian angels on earth for Dad.

Next, the sons and the wives.  To be very frank, I think our Dad, and I know our Mom, was surprised that all four of their sons survived childhood.  Most of us bear scars on our heads from where we’ve hit each other which large metal bars and other stupid things.  And we haven’t always been incredibly nice to each other.  But when push came to shove, all helped to the most of their ability and then some.  Brendan took charge of managing Dad’s rental properties.  Michael and Kevin, who lived, locally were saints – stopping by every day, helping wherever they could.  No task was too small or too large, and all was done without hesitation.  And the wives pitched in.  Robin, Kevin’s wife, took care of all the Medicare insurance, Kim helped her husband Brendan and myself as we worked through all the finances, and Michael’s wife Geraldine stopped by constantly, took my Mom out places when needed, and with her Dublin ways kept her Cavan husband Michael under control – which, if you know Michael, is no small feat.  Thank you Kim, Robin, Geraldine, Kevin, Brendan and Michael.  Some families break apart at moments like the last six months.  Some come together.  I’m so proud we were one of the latter kind.

But finally there is our mother.  If my father ever had one piece of good luck, it was the day he somehow convinced her to marry him.  She prayed for him in Vietnam, gave him four sons and raised them with him.  She was his partner in all things in life.  She amplified his strengths and dulled his weaknesses, and he did the same for her.  And when it came time for him to die, she was amazing.  She took him to and from the many many trips to the hospital.  She kept track of a complicated medical regime that even experts in the field have trouble keeping track of – ask my wife, she knows.  As he lost the ability to walk, she became his legs.  As he lost the ability to feed himself, she fed him.  As he lost the ability to bathe himself, she bathed him.  And as he lost the ability to hang on to life, she gracefully let him go.  Thank you Mom.

So yeah, my father had has his share of bad luck, no doubt about it.  But bad luck was a small thing compared to the love that the people in the world had for him.  You can see that in this church today.  My father loved each and every one of you, and you loved him.  When he was down, you lifted him up.  When he needed you, you were there.  And when all in the world seemed lost, every last one of you reached out to him.  That is the true definition of the Luck of the Irish.  Dad was the luckiest unlucky man in the entire world for knowing each and every one of you.  Thank you.

2008 Fitness Goals: How’d I Do?

by abclarke

Wow… it’s been a while since I posted.  But here goes.

As a reminder here was my set of 2008 fitness goals outlined in this post. The goals were:

  • Complete the Philadelphia Triathlon on June 22th.
  • Complete the New York Marathon on November 2nd.
  • Increase my weight to around 175-180 lbs by end of 2008, but keep my waist around 32-inches (i.e. muscle, not fat).

How’d I do?

Well, as I posted in my last post, I successfully ran the Philly Triathlon.  And believe it or not, I completed my first Marathon on November 2nd in New York, finishing in a time of 4:20, despite having a severely strained calf muscle and having to walk in a boot for 4 weeks afterwards (don’t ask).  As for the third goal… as of right now I’m 165 still.

That said, something had to give as a lot of other things have been going on in my life.

For example, in July J and I packed our bags of New York and moved back to San Francisco so she could start her long-term career at UCSF.

At the same time, the pace at my company really started ramping up with a co-founder onboard.  How much.  Well as of right now, here’s where we are:

  1. We’ve officially launched the beta of our first product, a free and open-source tool that lets Java programmers modify live Internet-broadcasted video on the fly.
  2. We came out of hiding with our official company name: www.xuggle.com
  3. And we’ll be “officially” launching on-stage at the FITC conference in Amsterdam Feb 24-26.

All in, I’m quite happy with 2008.

For 2009, my fitness goals are:

  • maintain current weight, and try to run at least 3 times per week

That’s it.  Because I have a sneaking suspicious that work might be a little crazy this year.

As for blogging, personal blogging is taking a backseat to company blogging.  That said, if you want to keep in touch, I still monitor the comments, or send me e-mail at art.clarke(at)gmail.com

Thanks to anyone who’s still reading.

– Art

2008 Fitness Goals: Midway Checkpoint

by abclarke

So here we are half-way through the year, and a good time for me to check in on my 2008 fitness goals.

Spring Plan Final Report

Just for completeness my reported spring 2008 fitness goal was simple: complete the June Philadelphia Triathlon. I did that the weekend before last.

I’m really excited to be done; the swim was harder than I expected, and I was slow, but I got it done. My bike ride was good; I stuck to my plan and finished feeling fine. Although my run started off badly (my body wasn’t dealing well with ingesting that much water in the river), but, um, once I found a porta-potty, I went from 12-minute-miles to finish that last 3 miles at 8.5 minute miles, sprinting the last quarter-mile at a 7.5 minute mile pace. Total time was 3 hours 20 minutes, but I spent 50 minutes doing the swim, about 10 minutes in transitions, have room to improve in the bike and run, so for the next one I have lots of areas to work on (which is exciting for me).

Midway Report

As a reminder though, that was part of a larger set of 2008 goals outlined in this post. The goals were:

  • Complete the Philadelphia Triathlon on June 22th.
  • Complete the New York Marathon on November 2nd.
  • Increase my weight to around 175-180 lbs by end of 2008, but keep my waist around 32-inches (i.e. muscle, not fat).


I’ve achieved the first goal on target and now must begin training for the 2nd goal. I’m currently injury free which is a good place to start.

I’ve learned that the third goal is too aggressive for me (when coupled with the tri and marathon). I just can’t gain that much weight (well, I can, but not gain weight the right way) and train for endurance events at the same time. During the winter I was able to add about 5lbs of muscle, but it took a lot of really hard work to even do that. So I’m going to pare my goal back to achieving 165-170 lbs by the end of 2008, keeping a 32-inch waist. For completeness, on last weigh-in I was 162 pounds at 11.4% body fat.

I’m also going to try to keep my running ramp slower than last year to hopefully avoid injury and actually show up at the NYC marathon start-line this year.

Summer 2008 Plan

This brings me to my plan for summer of 2008. I need to start my marathon training (which means more running) and I want to prepare for the winter lifting work I’ll do. Right now, I’m at about 11% to 12% body fat, and it’d be nice to run the marathon lighter, and start the winter “bulking” when leaner. So here are the goals:

By 9/30/2008 I will:

  • Get my body-fat percentage from 12% to below 10%, with a stretch goal of below 9%.
  • Increase my running mile by no more than 10% per week (starting at a base of 10 miles/week), and most importantly, avoid injury.
  • Join a new gym in California, and do weight/isometric/cross training on running off-days

As a stretch goal, I may also do the Marin Century (cycling) in August. This is for fun, and I don’t really plan to train for it, so it may kill me. We’ll see, but if I’m worried about marathon injury, I will skip it. Lastly, I have a week in Croatia in about 3 weeks, so no training then.

Winter 2008 Preview

My plan for winter is to switch back to bulking/lifting as my fitness focus, but I also want to get a swim-coach and really work on swimming. If anyone has good recommendations for coaches in San Francisco, please let me know. I’m going to sign-up for at least one more triathlon in 2009 and want to see if I can break the 3-hour mark.

- Art

The Flamboyant Optimist

by abclarke


I used to say that pessimists were actually closet-optimists: why point out the bad if you didn’t secretly believe that by pointing it out, you could make something better happen.

In the past few years I’ve realized that’s not the case; pessimists are cowards. It’s easier to prepare yourself for the worst and then be surprised by the best, than expect the best of the world and adjust when everything inevitably falls short.

I made a point when moving to New York two years ago to come out of the closet and try to live life from an optimistic perspective. This was new for me; prior to that I’d been an avowed pessimist.

Yet here I am, about to leave New York for San Francisco, and I find it harder than ever to maintain my new optimist lifestyle.

Why? Because I’ve been so lucky over the past two years… how can it possibly continue?


I was optimistic about my move to New York, but even so I’m surprised. The world did not fall short of my expectations: instead, it exceeded them. As those who’ve read this blog (I know, I’ve been intermittent of late), I’ve been trying to do a lot of things with my time here, and looking back on it now, I’m quite happy with where I got.

In leaving though, I realize it’s not because of my effort alone, but because of the help of others, that I had such a great two years. So, in no particular order, here are some of what I was involved with in New York (at least the things that really mattered to me), and some shout-outs to those responsible:

  • Raised over $15,000 for care of cancer patients: Thank you to everyone who donated. (Including over $3,600 with the stupidest online competition ever: Thanks Jonathan, Sanjeev, Matt, Gary, Will, and James.)
  • Met some amazing students, and fantastic volunteers at the New Song Learning Partnership: Thank you Stephanie, Grace, Roger, Robert, Neil (for introductions) and others, and a big thank you to all the kids!
  • Met some great International students learning English in the US who taught me a lot about Korea: Thanks Woolee and Hyung
  • Trained for and completed the Jack Brown Charity Ride from New York, NY to Providence, RI: Thanks to everyone who participated, but especially Mark for pulling it all together.
  • Trained for (but alas, did not complete) the New York City marathon: Thanks to Team Continuum, and especially Paul for being the driving force behind that.
  • Learned how to swim (sort-of) and then trained for and completed my first Triathlon (the Philadelphia Olympic-Distance Triathlon): Thanks to Grant, Mike, Erica, Jay, but especially to Gustavo for convincing me to sign-up and helping me learn to swim.
  • Helped start Stolen Bases, and learnt a lot about what do when you’re trying to start a company: Thanks Mike, Rick and Cliff.
  • Started my own company Vlideshow, and learnt a lot more about what to do (and not do) in the process: Thanks especially to Eric for introducing me to Robert.
  • Made a lot of new friends in NYC (who I hope will visit in SF), and deepened my friendship with several old friends who also moved to New York: Thanks to new friends Gustavo, Mariella, Diego, Jocelyn, Tony, Alyssa, Zahra, Kim, Lisa, Eve, and Zohn, and old friends Kathleen, Regan, Abbie, John, David, Ryan, Gisela, Kevin and Nolan.
  • And for the first time in our life together, my wife and I discovered we actually had weekends and evening available to spend together, and despite living in a 380-square-foot apartment, still found we liked each other. Thanks to J for putting up with me.
  • (…and yes, I lost 30 pounds and then gained 7-10 back. The true thanks for that goes to everyone mentioned so far, along with Microsoft Excel.)

(My apologies if I missed anyone.)

Given all that, I worry a little about how the next phase of my life can possibly measure up.

And the answer is it can’t… I can’t expect to compare and measure the past phase of my life to the next.

To remain an optimist, heck to become a Flamboyant-Optimist, I need to think about it differently.

The Worst Day of the Rest of my Life

Which brings me to Li and Eric’s wedding. Two weekends ago I was in California at a college-friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, and the entire crowd seemed a natural extension of Li and Eric’s relationship (which for me is the mark of a great wedding).

The bride and groom wrote their own vows, and something from Eric’s stuck with me. He said (I paraphrase):

“I believe today is the happiest day of my life so far, and also the worst day of the rest of my life.”

That, in many ways, is the creed of the Flamboyant Optimist.

Eric had faith, that despite the ups and downs of life, each day his relationship with Li would deepen in some way compared to the day before.

Now, Eric’s not stupid; he doesn’t expect each day will, when compared via all metrics, be better than the last; he only pledged that he would look for the way in which his relationship with Li deepened and became stronger in that day.

I need to now do the same. I am nervous in many ways about my return to San Francisco: will I be able to keep up the same philosophies? Will I find the right programs to give back to? Will my company succeed? Will my hair magically stop receding and getting grey (hmm…)? These are all questions that only time will answer.

But, as with my trip to New York, I am taking the following approach: I have faith that my life will be richer and deeper tomorrow, next week, five years (and further) from now than it is today. I don’t quite know how, but I leave here convinced that today is in fact the worst day of the rest of my life, and I go forth as an out and proud Flamboyant Optimist.

Thank you New York and good night.

- Art

p.s. As folks may have noticed, I’ve seriously decreased my postings to this blog. I expect that trend to continue for a while as I resettle in CA. I do hope to resume the “Naked Numbers” posts in August, and may post other things as time permits. The transparency the blog forced on me has been quite useful, and I may resume it again as a framework to help me push through other difficult changes I want to make. Feel free to keep an RSS reader pointed at the link.

Nude Numbers 47

by abclarke

Nude Numbers are my weekly progress reports on my fitness goals. See About Running Naked for the philosophies involved.


Week 7 of the tri plan. Due to work and moving commitments, my training has gotten spotty and it’s only going to get worse between now and June 22nd. That said, I’ve got a wet-suit set up and still planning to go for it. Next week is very travel heavy, so workouts will be limited.

Subjective Data

Due to weather the long bike ride never happened (it’s been a rainy spring here in NYC). And running was spotty due to the NYC Aids Walk cutting off my long run on Sunday. See, lots of excuses.

I did get a swim in on Friday, but while long it wasn’t that enjoyable due to crowding in the pool. Given my time constraints, I’ve fallen back on doing weight training which I enjoy.

Objective Data

Blue lines == actuals; Gray areas == my target range for that week.

Note: Where are all the graphs? I’ve run into an Excel 2007 ‘bug’ or feature where you can’t have multiple pivot tables of the same Excel ‘table’. I’m officially punting on fixing this for a while.


I would have liked to have gotten more biking and swimming done last week, but I need to bow to the reality of the fact that (a) I’m doing a cross-country move in 6-weeks and between now and then am only in NYC for 3 of those weeks and (b) we’re hitting a nice crunch period at work and it’s the right balance to spend more time there.

Still, I’m not happy with the small amount of swimming drilling I’m doing. That said, I’m finding that the pools are always in use when I have time to go swimming. This week I’m going to try varying when I go.


That said, I’m going to be in Jacksonville for Memorial Day weekend, so at best I’ll get a run in there, and in California starting Wednesday of next week. I’m going to bring my wetsuit (for an open water swim at Candlestick) and my bike-helmet and shoes (because I’m borrowing a bike) to CA, but otherwise running and isometric workouts are all I’ll get done next week.


I’m planning to try (again) for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’re interested in running either with me, let me know. Also, if anyone is interested in doing the Philly Triathlon (June) with me, or the Marin Century (August) with me, you’re welcome to join the team!

Presentation Notes

These notes are always presented in SOAP Note format. Click here for all the Nude Numbers posts.


Thanks for reading.

- Art


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