Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have always been a fan of U2. I am growing to like them more and more as I get older.
This interview with Bill Hybels, although I'm not too keen on Bill, is excellent.

I like Bono's salty descriptions of Christianity. For many years, I have shared his distaste for the church. I wish Bono could meet Piper.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Trip up North

Check out our photos here.

Barefoot Running

OK. I consider myself quite rational and think of myself as a slow-to-act-on-impulse guy. I'm even slower to act on inspiration.

Nevertheless, I ran barefoot yesterday, in the basement, on the treadmill. Just one mile.

While running, it felt great. As the day passed on, the pads of my feet grew more and more raw feeling. I say raw feeling because I would check them often, and they really aren't raw. They just feel raw.

This all comes from "Born to Run." And since I've been reading it for about a month, I've been thinking about running barefoot for about a month.

Where to go with it now? Well, I'll keep running barefoot on the treadmill for now.

The good folks at Vibram responded to my email and informed me that they do not make a Vibram for people like me with webbed toes, but that I could buy a pair for $80 a crack and modify them by cutting two toe pockets and stitching them together and thereby void any and all warranties for them. It was very generous.

So, I'll look for a cheap pair of racing flats. Remember those from high school track?

For now, check out this great interview with Christopher McDougall.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eat Like a Poor Person

That's what people keep telling author Christopher McDougall, as he recounts advice he gets about eating to run farther in "Born to Run."

McDougall mentions this advice a lot. It seems to appear when he's talking about Scott Jurek's diet, when he tells the story about some guy (actually a doctor) named Louis who lived among the Kalahari Bushmen for four years, and the advice seems most poignant when he's describing the eating habits of Peruvians or Tarahumaras or American vegans.

"Eat like you're a poor person," seems to mean to eat less, eat less meat, and eat things that you find underground. By avoiding meat and fats from McDonalds, a person can avoid all those types of cancers that all the poor people, ie Tarahumara and various Indian tribes in far away places (and the Japanese until they met the BigMac), don't have.

But I got thinking.
First, do the Peruvians or Tarahumara Indians consider themselves poor? That's a lengthy discussion not to be had here.

Second, McDougall spends a considerable time positing a theory that man developed as a long distance runner in order to enable him to more efficiently hunt animals. Early man needed lots of meat for his growing brain. I don't understand when these far-away tribes traded in their hunting and gathering of meat in exchange for cancer-free, low cholesterol, low blood-pressure living?

Third, I've met a few poor people. Most have been on the streets in Minneapolis or Chicago. I've seen photos of poor people in Calcutta and Mexico City. My best guess is that most poor people find some of their food in dumpsters, or as hand-outs, or steal it, or find it in a black plastic bag in an open city dump. I would venture to say that poor does not equate with healthy eating.

I recently finished reading "Grapes of Wrath." The Joad family was poor. They ate dough, dropped in boiling grease, for breakfast. They ate cheap, greasy hamburger purchased from the plantation store. Hard biscuits. Bacon and bacon gravy. Coffee, lots of coffee. With sugar, lots of sugar. Sometimes, they didn't eat. Near the end, they were eating peaches off the trees they picked. In the end, all they had was breast milk.

I really like "Born to Run." It's written very well, he very accurately tells the story of some aspects of ultra running, and I am learning many new things. However, I don't think I will take McDougall's advice to eat like a poor person.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doing Business on Great Waters

Runners try to explain why they run. Ultra runners attempt to explain why they run crazy distances, in remote places. I've tried. Now I have an answer.

This evening, while good, dear friends were here for small group, Larry tried to remember a verse in Psalms. With just enough words, we found it on line. Psalms 107:23-30. These verses describe why I run. They describe why I do many things.

Like many ventures in life, running is like doing business on the great waters. Not many go on the great waters. Those "some" see things, see wondrous things, that they wouldn't have seen otherwise. At mile 20 or 75, there are stormy winds and waves that seem unassailable, the depths of which are unseen. During many a run, I have staggered like a drunken man, although I've never been at my wit's end. And yet, each run or race has a finish line to which I have been brought.

So here's my new answer to why I run and why we as a family do some of the things we do:
Not everyone goes to the sea and does business on the great waters, but sometimes I do. Sometimes our family does. As a result, I see some things, I experience some things that are beyond explanation, beyond imagination. There is no doubt that when it's done, I'm glad I'm done. I'm glad the waters are quiet. But it is an incredible experience to have been on great waters where very few have gone. This is what I am trying to teach my children: to go out on great waters. Sometimes it can be done through running.

Psalms 107:23-30
Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.

Sunday Naps

Today is Sunday. Our day goes like this:

Wake at 6:50, cinnamon rolls in the oven, and wake the kids at 7:30 so we can leave for church at 8:00. It takes a little while to get there. We go to first service and then Sunday School.
We're usually back in the truck for the drive home around 1:15.

When we get home, in an attempt to honor the Sabbath, we take naps. At least everyone lays down. Usually only the two oldest and the youngest actually sleep (that mean dad, mom, and Zeke). Every Sunday, on the drive home the question gets asked, "Do we have to take naps today? Do we have rest time today?"

Once the "yes" is pronounced, the next question is inevitable, "What time can we get up?"

Today, like every Sunday during the drive home, the first question came. I immediately said, "Yes." Then I thought about the week ahead and changed my answer. There was a chorus of cheers from the back.

I conditioned the lack of rest time with this provision, "No one can ask mom any questions until 3:15." There were a few sounds of agreement.

Then, Emma slyly said, "Can we make statements that are false so that mom has to correct us?"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Born To Run

This is an incredible book. It's as riveting and multi-dimensionally educational as Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven." I would have said, "Into Thin Air," but I haven't yet read that one.

It's as inspiring as Dean Karnazes' "Ultramarathon Man."

What I really like about this book is that
1. It provides a glimpse into specific histories of ultra running,
2. It challenges long-held notions about the best techniques for running,
3. McDougall has done his homework and describes accurately minute details about the ultra running world (his descriptions of Leadville put me right back to specific sections of the course), and
4. As McDougall peels aways histories and arenas of the ultra running world, I find that I've already been there (Leadville, Ultrarunning magazine, Anton, Scott Jurek and his Brooks Cascadias, the Minnesota Voyageur 50 miler). I can't wait to read the next page.

Dean's book got me (and the family) into ultra running. I'm very eager to see where this book takes me and the family!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I've blogged about Anton. Two years ago, right around the time of Leadville.

I've met Anton; in person. Yes, I spoke with him, he spoke back. It's called a conversation, even though it was short.

Tonight, I placed Anton's blog link on my blog. I looked at other famous ultra runner blogs, but I think I see in Anton a humility, and a sense of uncertainty that I appreciate.

I hope to follow his blog. I hope to see him again out in Leadville. I hope to have a conversation with him again; maybe a little longer this time.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Wow. I'm blogging about my new scanner. I would have never guessed.

For the past 11 months, I have been reading emails and reviews about, listening to other attorneys talk about, and even went to a CLE about scanning documents in order to become a "paperless" office.

Truly "paperless" means that one keeps no paper documents in one's office. Get a document? Scan it, electronically file it, and then shred it. No physical files, no file cabinets, no piles of files around the office.

I'm such a tactile person, that when I first heard about a paperless office, I decided it was not for me. "If Julian Zweber isn't paperless, I don't need to be paperless."

But my office is already filling up with files filled with paper. Former client files are occupying more space than I expected.

For the past 6 months, I've been reading about and researching scanners in the event that 1) I decided to go over to the dark side, and 2) I had some extra business money to buy a scanner.
Both came together last week. I ordered the Fujitsu Scansnap S1500m.

My life has already changed. I've begun at home. Paper files are disappearing. I might not be more organized, but I feel like I am!

And it's so easy. The paper glides through the beautifully crafted scanner (it looks like an Apple product) so quickly that it's done before I can get my hand back to the keyboard.

So, now I begin in the office. I've decided that I am not going completely paperless. I need some folders around to feel like an attorney. But, the process has begun, and I'm looking forward to saving a few trees. Actually, I'm still a little perplexed at how all this scanning and shredding actually helps the planet, but maybe there'll be a tax write off.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Another Attorney?

This evening, Emma asked me to look at her Constitutional Law textbook because it frustrated her. Lots of opened-ended questions. It turns out to be a decent book, taking her through the legal evolutions of significant Constitutional themes.

However, I amended her assignments a little. No more open-ended questions. Instead, she'll read the general development/history of a theme, such as freedom of expression, and then read actually Supreme Court decisions of the "highlight" cases. So, for tomorrow, Spence v. Washington, the 1974 case about a young man who attached a peace symbol to a flag and then hung it upside down from his apartment window.

I asked her to look for several important things: the law that was broken, the facts (story) of the case, the reasoning that the Justices used, and the conclusion. This is the first step in teaching her how to brief a case!
We also talked about the dissenting opinions, and the process by which a case comes before the Supreme Court.

What a night:
my little girl's is reading case law!
and she drove on highway 95, going 55 mph, during our driving session tonight!

She's growing up way too fast. Time to think about home school college :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Photos of the Black Dog

Here they are everyone. No descriptions yet.

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4th Annual Black Dog 50 Miler

Two long runs back to back this weekend. A 50 miler through the woods, marshes and pine forests of Western WI on Saturday; the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday.
I'll blog about both soon.
In the meantime, compare the two photos and see which one would be more appealing to you?