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Showing posts from May, 2021

Donut Essence

Friends, John Locke’s concept of nominal essence refers to a common set of qualities a thing shares with other things of the same kind. For instance, all donuts share a donut-ness (nominal essence) even though they don’t all look, smell or taste the same. This archetype tells us that we are indeed enjoying a donut; not a bagel, muffin, danish, croissant or funnel cake. As I prepare to run the “Bolder Boulder” this weekend, I can’t help but wonder about the race’s essence. The crowded Memorial Day 10K event has become somewhat of a Gonz├ílez family tradition. Running through the streets of Boulder, where quirky racers and fans engage in shenanigans, and culminating at Folsom field, where F-16 flybys, parachute landings and military tributes amuse the recovering runners sprawled on the bleachers. That was then. This year, the organizers have spread the start times across the entire weekend (my family runs tomorrow) and venues (we’re running in Firestone, CO… not Boulder), so as to avoi

Anthropomorphic Donuts

Friends, The human form is the measure by which we frame the world around us. We are, after all, most familiar with (and full of) ourselves. Take the friendly elevator at Shift, the coworking environment where I sometimes migrate to change scenery. It’s no more or less efficient than other elevators, yet, the illusion of a smiley face created by the card reader’s reflection makes the space just a tad more endearing. The elevator could, for all I know, be an evil machine plotting my demise. Nah! Who am I kidding, it can’t be. What with its symmetric “eyes” and understated grin. Nothing so cute could possibly be waiting for the right moment to plunge me to my grave from the top floor. Could it? Another example: receiving two thumbs up is universally accepted as a sign of having done a great job. Unless, of course, if it’s coming from a koala bear. With two opposable thumbs in each hand, anything short of four thumbs has room for improvement. Which leads me to donuts. Last week’s expedit

Urban Camping

Friends, With urban camping season underway across the Colorado front range, now felt like a good time to ask, what makes for a good spot to pitch a tent? Private property is out of the question – “trespassers will be shot” signs can be a tad unnerving. Access to services is a selling point amongst urban campers settling near the Good Samaritan and the Jesus Saves sign. Public lands and close quarters with other like-minded urban campers also seem like key criteria. And, while a view of the capitol or a flowing stream would appear to be desirable commodities, the smell of pot and strewn litter might be bigger draws. Maybe it’s my quiet nature or the quasi-hermit mindset derived from years of working from home… whatever the reason, I think that if I were camping within city limits, I’d pick a suburban trail underpass. You know, within reach of civilization but still remote enough to create the illusion of wilderness – plus the road above bears the brunt of the elements in the event of

Huele a Costa

Friends, Good photos use subject, light, color, contrast, texture and composition to create an overall pleasing effect. Great photos add the whimsical, unexpected and inspiring. Good photographers know the rules, understand their gear, are deliberate about their approach, experiment with different variables and welcome the unexpected. Great photographers combine motive, means and opportunity (or was that criminals?) They strive to create, not recreate some archetype of beauty. They go beyond technique and touch the soul. Which is an awkward way to introduce some photos I took on my cell yesterday afternoon. I’m no great photographer, but I was trying to challenge my process and habits. On my sunset run, I kept an eye out for counterintuitive subjects and soon realized the sewer system along the trail had a lot to offer. This resulted in four photos (and an average pace of 14 minutes per mile — the word “run” may have been overly generous). I call this series “coastal smells” (an expr