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Dude, Tower Records is going out of business.

It's true, all the goth kids and other assorted nobodyunderstandsmes have been going to Streetlight and Rasputins for years now. At some point during the fin de sicle (or however that's spelled) Tower devolved into the worst of all possible retail things: A Mall [record] Store, with calendars and posters and CD racks for sale and everything. What's worse is it wasn't even in a mall. Malls these days don't even have record stores.

Very occasionaly Streetlight even has bad bands come in and bitch at their sound engineers between songs...Tower (in Campbell, anyway) never had a chance.

(I seem incapable of writing a sentence without a parenthetical.)

I wonder what's going to happen to the building. I bet it gets bulldozed. I bet the whole lot gets bulldozed. The parking's always been terrible at Tower. The whole block is a throwback. There used to be a small office building next door which got razed many years ago. The rest of the block is fast food, across the street from the Pruneyard. At one point there was a stoplight, so that people could cross safely from the parking lot at the Pruneyard to Tower. That was before the green steel fence.

Some other stuff has happened. I went for a long walk, came back, went for a long run.

The walk was to Mt. Whitney, from the west. This had been in the works for a couple of years. I had wanted to go last year, but I got run over by a cyclist and broke my collar bone. Collar bone healed, but not in time for the trip, so another year, another permit, and I and a friend struck out across the Sierra towards Mt. Whitney and the Owens Valley. Leaving out, unfairly, the 2 days of placing a car at Whitney Portal then driving around to the start of the hike with Dad. In the predictable ways, those first two days of the trip were a real highlight, road tripping back and forth across the mountains. I'd probably have enjoyed it more but for some nervousness about the hike to come. All the parameters were more this time than before, distance, altitude, days away. The result was a real trans-sierra odyssey though, that was only as hard as it should have been, not as hard as it could have been.

The run was the Long Beach Marathon, in October. I'd lost 15 pounds on the 8-day hike, such that I got a little cocky with the rest of my training for the Marathon. Seperate from that, and not intentionally, I ended up doing a half-dozen things on race day differently than I had trained, as if to prove you shouldn't do that.

Wasn't my best run, wasn't my worst, but it didn't matter. We had almost more fun than we could stand. It was my fourth season with Team In Training, and like the other three, it made me want to come back for more.

So I did. One of the things I learned when I started with this was that the progress against these diseases is incremental. Every dollar spent on research not only advances the doctors and researchers in the direction of a cure, but along the way drugs and therapies are discovered which help people get into remission or otherwise improve their quality of life.

Mostly though, let's cure these diseases. Last week at track practice the temperature was in the forties, and the lights weren't on yet. As we stood there shivering, one of us asked, jokingly, "Why are we here again?" Everyone, including the person who asked, knew exactly why we were there, but nevertheless someone in the group put it perfectly: "Because someone's going to get diagnosed tomorrow."

As healthy people, we're crazily, freakishly fortunate. Let's celebrate that by doing what we can for those who've had some of this decided for them. They should have more life. Give what you can, or just pass my link on to others, or both, ok? Thanks!

More from here soon. Practicing for the new year, when i'm going to try to get a lot more updates out. See you soon!