New home for the Y42K blog!

April 18, 2015

page_is_under_construction-001I’m in the midst of redesigning my web site, As part of that project, I’m moving my blog from here to that site.

From now on, all new posts can be found here:

If you’re following my blog vis RSS, the feed is here:

If you’ve subscribed to my blog through WordPress, you won’t see new posts when they appear. I’ll post something here on the old site once I figure out how to allow subscribers on the new blog site. In the meantime, RSS is really cool (I use Inoreader), and I post about new posts on social media if you want to follow along that way.

I’ve copied my old posts from here to the new site, but this site will stay in place for the foreseeable future so links from outside still work.

Thanks for reading!


“Word, man” at The Church of the Apathetic Agnostic

April 17, 2015

Buddy_christThe Church of the Apathetic Agnostic has published my short story, “Word, man”. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Heck, go ahead, enjoy it more!

#tbt – A look back on the first Boston Marathon from 50 years ago

April 16, 2015

50 years ago, the Boston Marathon was already almost 70 years old. For the April 1965 Long Distance Log, Robert Sullivan took a look further even back, to the story on the very first marathon from the 1897 Boston Transcript:

Click images to enlarge

Click images to enlarge

Bonus ‪#‎tbt‬ – The first charity marathon (in 1909). This and more in Idle Feet Do the Devil’s Work!

Now, back to 1897:

Click images to enlarge

Joe Henderson’s “Long Run Solution” for the Kindle

April 15, 2015

Under my Y42K Publishing Services hat, I recently completed updating the Kindle edition of Joe Henderson’s Long Run Solution. It was a great pleasure to work with Joe to give one of my favorite running books a new and improved look.

Running Books We’d Like to See

April 2, 2015

dummies cover for runners

#tbt – The Fabulous Elektro-Pacer

April 2, 2015

As part of my continuing series of posts on running gear through the ages, I present to you this ad for THE ELEKTRO-PACER! from April of 1964:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Doesn’t that earplug look comfortable? And once you’ve set the metronome to the appropriate rate for MAXIMUM EFFORT WITH MINIMUM FATIGUE, how do you keep from jostling the knob while you run?

While I have no reason to believe this device did not operate as promised, the fact that it was sold by Radionics of Georgia doesn’t help. Radionics is a pseudoscience that claims disease can be diagnosed and treated with a kind of energy similar to radio waves. Sort of like minimalist running. right? <ducks>

#tbt – The Jim Bevins Story

March 26, 2015

I recently found this clip in the April 1965 Long Distance Log:

Click image to enlarge

Click images to enlarge

The clip was 50 years old, and I wasn’t starting with a lot of information, but I was curious about how that story turned out so I did some searching.

My Google-fu was powerful and luck was with me, and shortly Jim Bevins’ energetic voice was on the other end of my line.

Jim just turned 77 earlier this month. He lives in Prescott, AZ and he’s still running strong.

When I asked him about the LDL clip, he told me that, “She knew that [running was important] going in.” Even before they were married, when they’d go somewhere Jim’s future wife would drive them back to her place, and afterward, Jim would run the 8 miles from her house to where he was staying.

Jim’s an extremely competitive runner. In his career he has run well over 1000 races on the track, roads, and trails. When he was younger, he’d run as much as 161 miles a week. He hasn’t done that for a while, but he was quick to assure me that, “I got my 1000 miles in for the year,” in 2014.

Jim has run marathons in seven different decades. His first was the Western Hemisphere Marathon in Culver City, CA in 1957. He was 19, and finished 4th overall.

Culver city marathon Aug57

His PR was a 2:36 at San Francisco in 1982 when he was 44.

Jim’s run five marathons since turning 70. He prefers to avoid the pounding of road marathons, so all of them have been on trails. He’s found that as you get older, even trail racing is tough, especially out west. “Your eyesight isn’t as good…those rocks blend right in with the dirt in the desert and your balance isn’t as good so I can never make any time coming downhill with all those rocks in the trail.”

Last year he only ran one race, the Moab Trail Marathon in November. He found he Moab course particularly challenging. “I was in the Special Forces and I don’t remember doing anything like that.” He figures he could run sub-5 “in one of those Rock and Roll Marathons at sea level”, but the difficult trail at Moab affected his time. “You can look it up,” said, Jim, “so I can’t fudge about it. It was 7 and a half hours and I know you’re going to laugh.” Jim’s time, however funny, was good enough to earn him the national championship for his age group.

He’s won many other championships over the years. “I don’t care about running against the clock to see how fast I can run. I just want to win my age group. Time’s not important. I’m old school – time will come if you run against good competition.”

The marriage mentioned in Long Distance Log has been over for a while. For the last 22 years Jim has been with Margie, who supports his running habit.

Here’s Jim (in the pink shorts) after winning another USA Trail championship, at the 2010 Dirty Half-Marathon in Bend, OR:


Don Hildebrand, Paul Kirsch, and Jim (R. Bolt photo)

Margie made the shorts from material they picked up at a Wal-Mart. Jim says that women tell him they like them, “though men don’t have much to say.” They also serve a useful purpose. “If you’re 28, and you’ve got some guy who’s 77 beating you, they might say, ‘Hey, he didn’t run the thing’. That’s why I wear those pink shorts, because people say ‘oh yeah, I saw him at the 2 mile mark, the 8 mile mark, the 10 mile mark…’”

Running isn’t everything. Jim says, “If I had to choose between fishing and running, I’d never run another step.” He’s not happy with the recent trend toward exorbitantly high race entry fees. “I’d rather spend my money going to the Caribbean and going fly fishing in the ocean.”

But he’s got no plans to quit running any time soon. He’s driving his RV to Montana for a fishing trip this year, and he hopes he can find a race or two that he can run in along the way.

When I asked him why he kept running, Jim said, “I enjoy running. I enjoy pushing myself.” At 77 years old, “47.5 (seconds) for 200 meters isn’t bad, much less eight of them.” Also, “I love to eat…I was 133 the other day and I really like being light like that. I like to be in airports and have people come up to me and say, ‘You’re a runner, aren’t you?'”

So the story continues. And I’m pleased to find that with running, fishing, eating, and good companionship, the Jim Bevins story turns out to be a happy one.

#tbt – Lt. Jerry D. Jones, USAF: Running in Vietnam

March 12, 2015
Weather station at

Weather station at Tan Son Nhut

In 1963, 1st Lt. Jerry D, Jones was serving in Vietnam at Tan Son Nhut Field near Saigon. Jones was a member of the USAF’s 30th Weather Squadron, responsible for providing the weather information required for combat operations.

Jones was also a runner. He managed to put in about 40-45 miles each week within the confines of the airfield:

Click to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

I thought it would be interesting to see whether I could find out more about Lt. Jones and his running career. The letter appeared in the Feb. 1964 Long Distance Log, so Jones’ tour probably ended before the major buildup in 1965. He apparently returned home, as his name doesn’t appear in the casualty list found in this history of the Air Weather Service in Southeast Asia, nor on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.

To this point, further research (with help from other veterans of the 30th Squadron) has been unsuccessful. If anyone can provide any additional information, please contact me.

Today’s Tech Tip – Kill Dell’s Wirelesss WLAN Tray Service

March 8, 2015

dellMy Dell laptop, a 2010 Studio XPS M1340 running Windows 7, was running slow, with a significant lag before responding to anything I did. There was other flaky behavior, like trouble rebooting successfully after installing updates. Since it wasn’t my primary system, I managed to ignore the problems for a long while.

Still, the perceptible lag while scrolling through web pages during breakfast or clicking on a link was annoying, and conceivably the problem could have been malware of some kind, since the laptop is also where I install any possibly-sketchy free apps that I need for one-off tasks. So the other day, I finally got around to digging in and finding the problem.

I opened up the Resource Monitor and looked at the processes that were using CPU cycles while the computer was nominally idle. One called “WLTRYSVC.EXE” was unfamiliar, so I googled it and found that it was part of the Dell Wirelesss WLAN Tray Service that Dell installs on many different systems that use Broadcom’s WiFi hardware.

A little more googling brought up reports that this service has a long-standing memory leak that Dell/Broadcom hasn’t bothered to fix. I confirmed that this was affecting my system by using Windows Task Manager to watch the process suck up memory and generate page faults while the laptop sat idle.

Luckily, the Dell Wirelesss WLAN Tray Service is totally unnecessary bloatware. Windows can do a perfectly good job of managing your wireless networks all by itself. So the fix was simple – just open the Services control panel and stop the service. You’ll also want to disable it so it doesn’t reload the next time you boot the system.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There’s also a startup item, WLTRAY.EXE, that you should kill by running MSCONFIG:

service disabled-2

Click to enlarge


Ta-da! My 5 year-old laptop runs like new again. The problem was trivial in retrospect, but aren’t most of them, once you find the answer?

#tbt – “Look at Mills, look at Mills!”

March 5, 2015



At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Billy Mills became the only US runner to ever win the 10,000 meter gold medal, upsetting world record holder Ron Clarke of Australia.


This video isn’t great, but Dick Bank’s call makes up for it:

NBC management disagreed, firing Bank the next day.

Here’s another look at the race. The picture is much better, but the announcer just doesn’t have the same enthusiasm:

Mills’ winning time of 28:24.4 was an Olympic record, less than 9 seconds off the world record, and a PR by almost 50 seconds.

Mills’ victory made him a national hero. The subsequent tour of the rubber-chicken circuit turned out to be more of a challenge:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

After taking a break, Mills came back in August of 1965 to set a US record of 28:17.6 for the 10,000.

Mills is a member of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame, the Kansas Athletic Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the South Dakota Hall of Fame, the San Diego Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame.

Today, Mills is the national spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization he helped found that provides aid to some of the most impoverished American Indian communities in the nation.

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