Running in Victoria’s Secret


        Out of underwear in which to run, I grabbed a pair from my wife’s clean laundry VS undies. Not out of kinky did I do so – I picked a pair that looked like my Jockey brand underwear. Having mixed the morning world news with the network’s view of economic gloom in the US was depressing. Then came a preview of a six foot Amazon woman in 7 inch heels strutting on stage wearing Victoria’s Secret as if this was an accurate view of the world! I needed a rebellious displacement behavior.  Hence, the VS undies.  No way, I thought, as I drove to a desert canyon, is our world in proper balance. Though not the first to have that revelation, I may have been the first man wearing Victoria’s Secret undies when the thought came to mind, or maybe not. Why is our country hitting a truck in the wrong lane when we have full capacity within us to steer clear?
A cold wind is blowing hollow past my ears as I stretch by my car. Straight away, I notice the amazing comfort of the fabric against my buns. The company got that right but I wondered if the workers who actually made the garment received proper and just compensation. Who am I kidding and why am I upset? Why don’t they make a mens’ version of this underwear and why are the current U.S. political and economic policies so whacked? More questions. What is this material and where do they make Victoria’s Secret? I rotated my waist, reached back and pulled out the label. Ninety three percent nylon and seven percent spandex. Made in Malaysia. Okay, at least not China.
My hands and ears are numb as I start running on the dirt road. Thin layers of ice cover the pothole puddles. The road starts flat but soon crosses a seasonal creek and becomes a steady uphill grade. My metabolic heat gain will kick in and take the edge off the wind chill. As oxygen flows to my head, the thinking begins.
Why are we involved in foreign wars? For oil? To spread democracy? Help people in unjust societies? Or to feed the military industrial complex which Eisenhower warned us against 50 years ago? I had a discussion recently with a political science major from an Ivy League School who had strong opinions in favor of U.S. involvement but had never heard of the 1961 speech, given by Dwight D. prior to Kennedy taking office. He seemed like a chemistry major not knowing the formula for hydrogen peroxide and its significance.
My breathing intensifies as I ascend. The fabric of my underwear is perfect for running while the fabric of American Society is unraveling. How can we have perfect underwear from Malaysia and a crumbling American infrastructure? What are we going to do?
For now, I take a left turn into a dry arroyo, a sandy bottom with boulders, outcroppings, and lined with cacti, yucca, pinyon pine and juniper trees. It makes for a perfect trail upon which to run and keeps the senses sharp. The VS underwear continues to perform as I dodge the occasional beer bottle launched from the rednecks who drive the road that parallels the arroyo above. Wonder what they would think if they knew what I was wearing underneath my running pants? Hell, who cares. I am safe as long as I am over 100 feet from where they can drive their vehicle. Idiot Republicans. Same goes for the Democrats, as both parties are creating a bipolar government instead of instituting bipartisan decisions that actually do us some good. How about those Tea Party bozos? We need a Common Sense Party. A toned down version of Abbie Hoffman and Edward Abbey to monkey wrench and march on Washington again. My politics? I am an Abbeyist.
Even though it is cold, running involves sweating. My usual cotton underwear would be damp by now but my nylon and spandex is staying dry. I guess my problem with Victoria’s Secret is the number of trees they use for catalogues. Classic free enterprise, with which I have no problems only that successful corporations can be wasteful. Wonder if the company pays taxes or is like GE? We need solutions.
I am running across the sandstone flats uncovered by flash floods, remnants of an inland sea which have eroded and exposed the wave action from millions of years ago. Thoughts go to my great great grandfather who was in the Civil War. In the Union army from 1862 and all the way to the end, he attended such ‘parties’ as the battle for Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Sherman’s march to the sea. What would he say? He was nineteen at the time and he had no thoughts of TV and fashion shows and colorful underwear. But this was our country at the time. Quoting from his diary dated February 27th, 1863 he wrote,

“It has rained hard all afternoon, talk about ever wet, hungry and tired. I don’t think I knew what either being wet, or tired, or hungry meant before this night, but to have all three to contend with at once. Everything so wet that we could cook nothing. From the glare of the lightning, the earth looked like a vast sea of water, no place to lay down, nor sit down. No shelter to get under, just a vast cockelbur field. Our teams with our tents and rations nearly a mile behind, stuck in the mud. So we simply had to stand and take it while the water ran down our backs. In making a note of this in my old book at the time, I find this at the end of the note…. and this is way this Rebellion must be put down day by day.”
Those were the thoughts of a Civil War soldier and now these are my thoughts as a rambling desert runner 148 years later. How do we put down the political nonsense in Washington and clean house of career politicians on personal and party and corporate agendas? Perhaps we need a million man march, all of us wearing Victoria’s Secret underwear, exposing our true colors to the politicians who are supposed to serve the people. In the Bill of Rights we are allowed to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. We will be dressed all right! Lots of colors and styles from which to choose! . Be ready to go when someone organizes the march. I thought of it, but someone else needs to be the organizer…

NOTE – I wrote this piece a few years ago, and though now divorced, I somehow ended up with a few pairs of her VS underwear and do run in them as they don’t get soggy while running, especially in hot humid weather!
Diary excerpt from my great great grandfather Allen Miller, 30th Iowa Infantry, 1862-1865.

The Animas River disaster

The Animas River disaster

Why these two pictures?  As a freelance writer, I will occasionally write about the subjects on my card in addition to my passions of running and beer.  I have ‘water’ on my card as I have studied water resources in quality and quantity since my graduate school days. Wrote a major paper on the Colorado River Compact of 1922  – an agreement between 7 western states and Mexico (all the Mexican Farmers were soon forgotten)  for water allocations in the west.  That paper had to do with water quantity.  The government has screwed that agreement up over the years.  NOW, we face perhaps a worse disaster with the BPA (EPA – disguised as the British Petroleum Agency – think Gulf of Mexico oil mess) has allowed a mine to spill its toxic waste from hell without proper precautions for such a disaster.  Now, millions of people, wildlife, ground water supplies, and whole ecosystems will bear the brunt of this ‘mistake.’   Ultimately and sadly, cleanup is virtually impossible so therefore, the expression of ‘dilution is the solution to the pollution’ will have to come from Mother Nature.  Being the monsoon season could be a blessing as torrential rains could unleash muddy surface waters into the rivers and eventually bury the toxic heavy metals.  But sadly,  the ‘cover up’ of the mud won’t be forever.  The rivers and reservoirs downstream will be polluted and highly toxic in spots for years to come.   The government will blatantly lie to us as will corporations about what’s really in this ‘soup’ and downplay its negative effects.  We are paying for the sins of our ancestors who went nuts after the 1872 Mining Act which was a license to rape the West and now it is coming back to haunt us.  Even by demanding action, nothing can happen because there is no human fix.  Hopefully, Mother Nature will bring rain and lots of snow to places like Bryce Canyon in the pic above and snowmelt from there will trickle into the Paria River, find its way to the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry AZ, and add its minimal volume of water to aid in the cleanup.  The snow on my business card will melt, find its way into the Green River (pic is in Dinosaur National Monument – the Utah part) and the Green River will slam into the Colorado River below Moab, Utah and do its part in the dilution solution.    (MY OPINION)

From my upcoming novel – THE EMERALD WATERS OF WINTER

When the pain begins, the pain continues, and flows like ice through your veins


 “The names again… Blue, Yampa, White, Eagle, Crystal, Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, Gunnison, San Miguel, Dolores, Green, and yes, the mighty Colorado.  We will kill them, we will kill them all!”

One of the several in the room stepped onto the deck.  He shivered in the damp cold as he lit an expensive cigar.  This is what they had been planning for a long time.  At first he thought the heavy drips from the awning above were water from the misty Boston night but the texture was thicker as he brushed the fluid from his sleeve.  In the darkness, he placed the glowing end of his cigar near his jacket.  Blood!  The guard on the roof was no longer.  He calmly faked a cough and said aloud, “Maybe I shouldn’t be smoking these with my cold…”  He promptly put his cigar out on the railing, tossing it 10 stories to the wet street below.  He had more.  He stepped inside the sliding glass door, and motioned with his finger to the ceiling.  Before he could finish saying they all must leave, the deck door exploded.  Dressed in commando black, the intruder, in an instant, took care of another bodyguard, while the others scrambled to escape through the front door.  The lights went out, a fight ensued, a slash, a stab, a shot.  He was good, the intruder was better, and precious time had escaped.  When the lights came on, what the intruder had come for was gone.

A story about a deadly virus that goes into a number of the rivers that flow into the Colorado River System…   Not so far fetched now…