Saturday, September 29, 2007

Small-Mindedness, Pettiness, And Unkindness

Qualities that easily come to mind when thinking about human interaction.

Though one is confident that we try to avoid exhibiting them in the countless situations where we have to interact with our fellow humans, whether on a personal face-to-face basis or remotely like when writing.

But be that as it may, we still find ourselves falling into that undesirable rut, manifesting signs of being small-minded, petty, and unkind. It can’t be helped all the time. We are naturally slanted toward paying attention to interminable details and minutiae in our everyday workaday lives. We tend to be blinded by our self-righteous views of our own selves, giving way to unmindful neglect of the delicate feelings of others.

Still, we have to take that extra effort, lest it also infects the broader aspects of our lives that require us to be more open and tolerant to the larger realities around us.

I fear that this situation is quite widespread in the newest medium which have opened for us limitless access to the most numbers of people around the world, through their creative works or writings in the virtual library which is the Internet.

We are not only gregarious but socially competitive. Scoring points with others gives the animus and impetus to feel good about ourselves. Feeling justified and satisfied. That we are smart and can compete and fare well with similarly-blest individuals. We must confess we get some “kicks” going this way. But in the process, do we have to bring others down, so we can promote ourselves and our ideas? Thus, is it necessary to, say, bring the United States down because we want to promote the idea the we are just as good as them, in the areas of social mores, intelligence, politics, or what have you? Or, to namecall other persons who we find espousing ideas or publicly acting when perceived to be inferior to ours?

I specifically point as example to a well-read Philippine blog, who will only introduce any subject about the US, if in the process the country can be disparaged and portrayed in a bad light. Thus, while entries like this are far and in between, one can almost be sure that when the occasional entry involves the US, it will be because it can be parlayed as a shill piece invariably having the US come out as the unlovable villian, with the possible exception of entries involving Hollywood movies, which of course are US originated. Is it simply a manifestation of visceral hatred or dislike? Does a person harbor such unrelenting disdain for such a huge and diverse entity? Does such a one wake up in the morning, feeling cheery, generous, loving, etc. but at the same time concurrently harboring, however latently, this long-running disdain for a country so that when the opportunity and occasion align, another fusillade will be forthcoming?

I am not saying that this happens uniquely to this one individual, because I also witness this in others, who typically come out as very passionate and oozing with love for country, family, honor, and all the good stuff.

Is it possible then for such two irreconcilable extremes to co-exist in one mind or personality? Love wildly, but hate wildly, too?

This continues to baffle me. Not because I see myself as this pristine and could do no wrong storehouse of virtues and grace. But because, if as a transgressor myself I can see the falsehood of certain of my actions and am impelled when discovered to resolve to rectify and make amends, aren’t these same epiphanies shared by all of humanity?

Or is it simply, the case of the “square peg in the round hole”?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Atenean Romulo L. Neri – In The Spotlight

Some disjointed, and hopefully not totally rambling, thoughts on the above subject. Read at your own risk and nothing is written and/or claimed as “gospel truth”. And this early, here is my personal disclaimer/representation as to where exactly I am coming from. I hope it is sufficient for the purposes I have summarily envisioned in my mind.

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The Philippines’ former NEDA head, former presidential economic adviser, and now present CHED czar, Romulo L. Neri, for a good eleven hours yesterday was under intense and glaring spotlight and scrutiny in the Philippine Senate being asked to testify about what he knew about the now embattled NBN deal (currently suspended by President/under TRO by SC) between the Philippine and Chinese governments.

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A few days prior to the testimony we saw the Philippine media in close cadence with a vocal and vociferous segment of the local blogosphere (quite few in numbers when compared with the total), with long knives unsheathed and pointy claws bared, wasting no time and giving no quarters trying to sandbag, second-guess, pin to a corner, dove-tail, mold, define, or negatively allude to Neri’s person, his integrity, whether he will demonstrate strict compliance with his forsworn duties to his God, country, family, and maybe even the family pet. One even questioned the educational values of the Jesuit institution that Neri spent his HS in. Sanctimoniously implying that Jesuit schools mold some kind of automaton which will robotically act as taught and admonished, subtly castrated of innate free will and the rest of the noble qualities derived from his human nature.

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And while the testimony was ongoing, the self-anointed busybodies in the Comments sections of some blogs were quick almost unanimously (in echo chamber fashion) to denounce Neri, and these pure-of-heart Galahads in the warm embrace of their sanctimony were quite generous in their ad-hominem labels for Neri, ranging from one derisively alluding to a locally derided sexual orientation to one comparing him to a many-celled parasite. One wonders how many of these people have even served a part of their lives in earnest public service, in the country they so avidly profess to love, honor, and serve. But instead have themselves taken the less-resistant way out – to work and live in a foreign country. Like in some more prosperous Asian country or in Europe, maybe?

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Funny but I can’t remember, maybe because I simply quickly scanned through a number of the pertinent sources in the Internet, any one item of statement or comment that at least claim that Neri “lied” in his testimony so far. . Yes, he declined to answer some questions, whose answers would have involved bringing into the picture his immediate superior, the President, without first consulting with that person. And most everybody is agreed that that President, however tainted or maligned, is still entitled to invoke that privilege. So can’t people wait for that consultation before making any judgment on the one testifying?

But didn’t Neri already subtly imply that if the information not revealed involved high crimes, whether personally believed by him or based on recommendations of his lawyers, he would personally override that restraining cover under executive privilege? Sorry, I am not now inclined to re-reading the transcripts, so I could be wrong about Neri’s mention of high crimes.

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The partisan crowd was sorely disappointed. It entered into this arena, hell-bent on bringing down the unpopular President, with united minds determinedly cemented to the conclusion that this usurping Lady needs to be exposed and sent to the gallows. But the anointed executioner did not faithfully follow his scripted role, and what is actually coming out, strictly based on the virtual executioner’s point of view and his reading of the events relevant to the issue on the table, is that only a smaller fish can or may be served in a small platter.

Where did the executioner go wrong? Maybe his facts as facts do not jive with the facts as scripted? Maybe, crowd should ease up a bit to fight another day?

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The partisan crowd wanted its pound of flesh, now and not tomorrow, or any other day. Unfortunately, the butcher did not deliver pronto. So, now the butcher has become the swine, to be quartered and served as the alternate menu.

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Neri said: NEDA.. .. . under the president, not independent. So whether it was established as a constitutional body is not a valid bet here. But the answer speaks volumes.

Neri serves under the authority and confidence of the President. He can disagree but allow the President to make her own final decision on the matter, and still find sufficient justification to continue to stay in office. After all, if President loses confidence, out the door he goes, hopefully without the added provision that the same closing door hit him as he leaves. Or maybe he can resign when any disagreement ensues and maybe consign the rest of his life to some unheralded corner of unreality, where he can nurse his unrealizable or utopian expectations. It is solely his call.

BTW, didn’t the interrogators show a very marked disconnect from the nature, extent and culture of the lumbering bureaucracy in the country? Thus referred to as the micromanager, this President caters to a very top-heavy concentration of powers, so that practically all government executive actions and decision emanate from her person? And that her subalterns are simply there mostly for advisory and/or ministerial capacities? Not that this is any different from past presidents, right?

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Neri invoked executive privilege on conversations he had with the President for two possible reasons. He is withholding information because revelation may implicate the President and her family, or because he wants the President to speak for herself on matters directly attributable to her. If Neri speaks and implicates the President, it could possibly boil down to a “he said, she said” confrontation, until an outside independent source can be brought in to confirm who is into falsehood. Much like the Abalos bribe try.

Ushering in the following questions:

When she returns, cannot the President be asked to testify before the Senate re this deal?

And while we are on the subject of seeking truth, cannot a Chinese and/or ZTE official be invited to shed light? What’s the harm in trying?

Unless, is it an accepted and foregone conclusion that they are the alleged source (s) of the proffered bribes? Or that bribes had actually been offered by them?


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Hang in there, fellow traveler Romy. This may be one of those instances where it still pays to be made a fool by others.

And let me end, for now at least, with the firm hope that when one Googles your name to search and tally the juicy items written about you, this little bit helps in easing the collective pain brought on by the cruel onslaught of blind negativity colonizing the Internet.

Update:

Well, Well. Finally, getting some evenhanded treatment of Romy Neri.

From Inquirer.
From Mr. Babe Romualdez.
Another from Inquirer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Breeding Of Fighting Cocks

Here’s a follow-up to an earlier blog entry on cockfighting. As reported the only state in the Union where cockfighting is still legal is in Louisiana, which gleaning from an observation from an unhappy breeder himself may eventually change in the near future. But the southern neighbors, the Mexicans, are quite steeped in its practice, are now more attuned to and conversant with it, and thus, nothing indicates that it will go away any time soon from that side of the border.


This slow-paced attrition in the US will soon spell doom to this particular industry, particularly the breeders who supply the fighting cocks for this sport. Northern California has its share of breeders whose prospects of survival clearly now hang precariously. And from what we can gather, over the years the breeders’ clientele has shifted from domestic to outside sources. Essentially now consisting of Mexicans, either permanent or temporary US residents, and Filipinos, again either now residing here or those who come here purposely to purchase fighting cocks or those for breeding.









Remember cockfighting is not only legal in the Philippines but is a healthy and thriving industry, which on the upside, generates a lot of employment and allied services. The downside, of course, is that many may say, it is a cruel and inhumane treatment of the fowls being used; and an even bigger debilitating issue, because it is gambling, a zero-sum enterprise that afflicts and destroys from among the numbers of the richest and the poorest., so pervasive that the remotest barrio in the remotest province is not spared from its pernicious practices and influences.

But the reality is, it is not also going away soon in the Philippines. Instead as earlier noted it is gaining momentum and adherents. It is commonly understood there that cockfighting which used to be limited during Sundays and important holidays, is now sanctioned almost daily in many parts of the country.

This development then throws open the opportunity to engage in a business created by an ensuing vacuum. It is easy to imagine how one may be able to serve one of its needs, and in the process reap some bountiful profits.

One possible area would be in cock breeding, which is in my estimation an easy business to learn and which requires comparatively modest capitalization. Except that the expected returns are phenomenal, given the very stiff local prices for fighting cocks, especially those with foreign bloodlines.








Yesterday, we had the good fortune of visiting two breeders located in two different but contiguous towns here in Northern California.









The pictures we took give a rough overview of the physical set-up of a breeding business that boasts of 5k cocks and hens, but mostly of the former.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Transport For Comfort











Is it a plane? Is it a bird? Is it Supe…..?

No, silly. It is a gyrocopter, or an autogyro, or a gyroplane, or, err, a rotaplane.


Needless to state, heavier-than-air Homo sapiens has always been fascinated and intrigued about flying. Many a youngster’s dreams have been woven into episodes of being able to fly through flimsy air.

Of course, man has done most anything that strikes his many capricious fancies and whims, typically by inventing machines to accomplish them. He will even go beyond altering man’s exterior environment to make realities of those dreams. If given the opportunities, he will even invent or devise whatever means necessary to actually change man’s physical or mental constitutions in this pursuit, bound and limited most of the time by the perimeters of ethics and morality.

But enough of and away with the ethereal musings. Over time man has generally attended to with sterling successes in satiating his many wishes and fantasies, whether as necessities or simply as conveniences.

For God’s sake, we have planes and/or flying machines of various shapes and sizes to enable him to fly, or lift him from the ground and bring him places.

But that is not the attendant question. The more relevant question is how many of the vast numbers of humanity in the planet can afford to own a flying machine for his personal uses. On land, a vast number of us can travel faster than the fastest animals using a wide array of machines – bikes, motorbikes, cars, trucks, boats, jetskis, etc. And a vast number of us can own those land/water vehicles for our personal uses.

But a flying machine that we can use at the strike of our fancy or need? A flying machine one can keep in your garage or load up in your pick-up truck like a kayak for your skyward excursions? Now, that’s a great possibility. Easily translatable to reality.

Hoverhawk Corporation here in the US can provide you with the precious key to open up your own dreams of flying on your own, in your own little plane, transporting you anywhere you want to go.

For as little as 15k dollars plus shipping and handling costs, you can own the cheapest model which can be delivered to any location you desire, packaged and requiring some assembly before use. Most cars in the market today cost at least that much and most garages (and curbs) are filled with two or three cars to a family. Making one wonder why this addictive bias toward land travel does not carry over to the equally innate love of free flight in thin air. Like a soaring bird traveling to any part of the globe, unfettered by the bounds of the very limiting constraints of geography. Where one does not need roads, or valleys, or land or water, for land/water obstacles that may present some difficulty in scaling or navigating can be conquered by simply flying over them.

So the adventure begins. First item on the menu, learn about flying and its dynamics and when done, take some basic short-time flying lessons.

So excuse me, while I attend to those. Till then.

Sounds Around Town

At the onset of dusk when the slowly fading light of the sun starts being pushed out by darkness, I typically prod leaden feet to make lazy steps out of the front door and position myself to enjoy nature’s dramatic closing of day for night. During this transitional time of late summer, the particular time would be when 7 PM is announced by the ever-reliable grandfather clock with the booming chimes.

When that front door opens and ushers in the vista and the sounds of outdoors that’s when creepy nostalgia and a bit of melancholy commence. Extruding some somber kind of aloneness and solitude. Thankfully the compelling though muffled drone of freeway sounds generated by the constant stream of vehicles from a distance, rudely jars one to reality and dominates one’s aural attention. The constant drone from I-205 which guides east-bound travelers toward Stockton and ultimately Sacramento, almost never abates, from earliest morn to past midnight.


Pointing my face west, I let eyes feast on an artfully clouded sky that continues to source out whatever light that still lingers on.









And had I gone out earlier, this same skyward orientation would have awarded me with the attention-grabbing sunset where old Sol begins to descend to the mountain-tops in the distance, past one of the neatly-trimmed parks that punctuates our four-year old development, clearly defined and framed by a high perimeter fence. Thus, as one gazes at the fast changing skyscape, above the freeway din one’s attention is quickly co-opted by the faint shouts and tiny shrieks from children frolicking in the now barely visible park, under protective mantle exuded by eager watchfulness of matronly ladies close by, a number of them dressed in their flowing native saris.

Also, I tarry at my fixed gaze to await for the passing of the car of the wife as it wraps around the western end of the park and points homeward, at about this time, too.


Turning right from the same front-door vantage point, I extend my squinting gaze to the end of a short road that skirts left and can’t help feeling like I am in some kind of dressed parade, stiffly seated in the reviewing stand presiding over an array of stocky sentinels, neatly color-coordinated in differing pale shades of beige, brown, and gray. In reality it is simply the illusion occasioned by the pale light on the houses that populate both sides of the street.


Apart from these now all to familiar sounds, Tracy is still essentially a quiet town, still doggedly clinging to the homey feel of the old farming town that it once was. Though, no more cocks crowing. No more birds chirping on treetops. Replaced by the continuous drone from the distant freeway, constantly reminding one that certain places around here are never asleep. And the many new houses dotting its once farming landscape? Another mute witness to an old town slowly receding to history.

Inevitable transitions for a growing region, a growing state, and an equally growing country.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rejoice, Ye Bloggers: We Have Bigger Heads!

And I do mean literally, at least 20% bigger than our ancestors.

Which ancestors? Cro-Magnons? Neanderthals?

No! What about our medieval peers of 650 years ago.

Credit a BBC report for this exhilarating revelation, which announced the results of studies on our European ancestors of 650 years ago, which would be in the 14th century. Comparative analyses showed our earlier peers as having smaller cranial vaults compared to the exalted present version, giving new meaning to the common observation of our having bigger foreheads. And by extension and/or implication, we therefore have bigger and more cranial matter, that gray goo that fills our head above our eyes. And thus smarter and/or more intelligent?

Another angle to this revelation is an apparent repudiation of our common perception that Darwin’s evolution takes a much longer time to process and show results, and that 600 years in that context could be considered very little time.

Which by the way, while the vault has broadened and become more prominent, man’s other facial features have become less prominent. This I suppose includes his nose, cheeks, jaws, mouth, eyes, etc. On a side note, wouldn’t this suggest that in the same vein, man has to develop more hair to cover the enlarged skull? What about the typically larger than necessary ego that modern man is prone to display and parade around? Has it gotten bigger, too? (HeHeHe)

While the physical changes are undeniable, one can’t help wonder what crucial factors brought about these accelerated changes. Or whether these remarkable changes are simply an aberration of nature rather than an expected progressive step in the ladder of evolution?

Some would point to better nutrition and the much improved overall living conditions as very crucial contributing factors for the increase in size, the same remarkable increases that we see in man’s overall physique – bigger, taller, faster, stronger, better looking, and what have you.

This finding also brings others to suggest that his may account for the remarkable explosion in man’s creativity and inventiveness in the intervening years. Stupendous advances in the sciences and technology, and of course, the overall equally robust advances in civilization.

Finally, this does give us pause to recognize and honor the womenfolk who have had to bear the physical brunt of this phenomenon – the physically exacting process of giving birth to babies with bigger heads!

Although to a universally acceptable extent, the menfolk already recognize and adore the current womenfolk’s enlarged pelvic bones which have carried over externally to more abundantly well-defined and temptingly sensual hips. The Classic Coca-Cola body!

Graphics Credit

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Ties That Bind

Let’s start with the grandfather’s generation, a native of Michigan, from a small town named Baroda. As a very young man and after having lost a leg caused by a freakish accident, he decides to embark on a long and fateful journey to the faraway Philippine archipelago right after the end of the First World War. Feeling confident and reassured by his acquired skills in accounting even at a very tender age, this young man is bent on trying his luck in a fledgling mining industry in a disparate group of islands then owned and governed as a commonwealth under US tutelage. In due time, he marries a Filipino woman with whom he has a good number of children, and included there is my wife’s mother. And before long, these grown children go their own separate ways laden with their own families. And inevitably their numbers grow. The old man dies and slowly his offspring, registered at birth as natural-born US citizens, start migrating to the US with their own extended families. And that is a short rendition of how my own family found itself carted away to mainland USA.

Our little hometown in Northern Mindanao can be deferred to as an apt microcosm and rationale for this all too familiar phenomenon. A score of US military veterans and civilians came during the last WW and decided to intermarry and resettle in that part of Mindanao. Over time, their families grew. Now many of their descendants, either having retained or elected US citizenship, migrated to the US and resettled with their own growing families in the land of their parents/grandparents. Some decided to stake their future with the land of their birth and are still left out there, earning their living and/or overseeing investments or inherited properties for themselves and their relocated siblings.

What is succinctly described above is not a unique situation for the Philippines but rather common in practically all parts of the well-dispersed country. And it can summarily be explained in this way.

At the turn of the previous century when the United States acquired the entire Philippine archipelago, the uninterrupted inward flow of US citizens to the islands commenced, and has extended way beyond after the US relinquished the islands giving them independence in 1946. With the constant flow left unabated, US citizens have come here for a variety of reasons. More common are either to intermarry and stake their new family lives in the tropical isles many consider very edenic. Or in the past to work for US companies doing business in the former US commonwealth and many had simply decided to stay on.

For their part native-born Filipinos initially during the 40-odd years that the US held on to the islands as a commonwealth, prodded and enticed by the tempting allures of the good life, had migrated to the US mainland and Hawaii in several waves, in the process establishing a firm foothold in American society which continues to thrive and flourish to this day. Again, this exodus too continues unabated limited only by the legal constraints imposed by the accepting country.

So much so that I will stick to an earlier claim that the number of US residents/citizens who are of Filipino descent totals well over 3 million and closer to 4 million, comprising of those who have elected US citizenship, and those who continue to hold on to their permanent resident status; and those possessing visas either for work or as investor, and even those who are technically classified as illegal aliens, possessing expired visitor’s visas.

Over time, a very intricate and at times, unwieldy, network of relationships by blood and/or affinity has developed between the two countries, which alliances transcend beyond the political, social, and even military arrangements carried on by the governments of both independent countries. Though at times, one may be inclined to think after a cursory reading of local media that the Philippines is still attached to a stubborn umbilical cord emanating from the US.

A human network that I believe is impressively more involved and intertwined when compared with the ones developed with the other former colonizer, Spain, which in unforgettable hindsight accumulated almost 400 years of occupation of the islands. One does not have need the results from formal studies to realize the lack of depth and superficiality in the former colony’s ties with Mother Spain, which pales greatly in comparison with the hardy ties developed with the other former colonizer who held on to the islands for less than half a century.

This less known aspect of the US-RP relationship is one not visited much by the current generation of Filipinos, most especially those in media and academia. That undeniably these ties are not only very extensive, but very deep, securely anchored down to the level of the family unit. And thus more meaningful and significant in the long haul.

While it is common knowledge that 60-65% of the current total inward foreign exchange remittances to the Philippines are originated from the US, what is not known is which families are sending these remittances. It cannot possibly be attributable largely to the new “OFWs” (Overseas Filipino Workers) who are in the US primarily as imported pre-arranged workers? There has to be a lot of US-resident families who have extended family members in both countries, thus the remittances simply reveal how income and/or estate are regularly allocated.

This blog entry cannot hope to completely and exhaustively expound on this far-reaching issue. But anecdotal evidences can be applied to sufficiently lay out a firm foundation that when built upon and fleshed out may invariably point to this conclusion.

As first generation US immigrant with over a quarter century of residency, our own immediate family has grown exponentially. Our own kids have intermarried and raised their own kids, with undeniable ethnic and emotional ties to both countries.

And this obviously unstoppable development will continue on, as long as families continue to be regarded universally as the basic social unit.

Because these are the real ties that bind, and which can ably withstand the tests and rigors of time and history.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some Basics On Jogging/Running

It seems trite and needless to go through the process of trying to understand jogging and running. We all know it to be as germane to living as breathing and talking. One does not think about it, one simply does it.

So second nature, one does not need to study and understand how it is done properly, right.? And even worse, for some know-it-all third party to lecture one on how to do it properly, right?

Wrong.

And I see the tenable proof most times I jog in public places like parks and trails where enthusiasts gather and practice their physical exercise rituals. And not straying far from the family tree, even from members of my own family.

Jogging/running is definitely not rocket science, but it does not mean that everybody who jogs or runs does it right, based loosely on prevailing conventional wisdom; or if one wants to get technical, based on what medical practitioners believe how it should be done properly to maintain the integrity or health of one’s body parts.

Where does one kibitzing busybody start? Attire? Shoes? What about the act of jogging itself?

Okay, let’ start with the action of jogging. Let me ask the first question. Which part of your foot touches the ground when you jog? Heel or ball of the foot?

I have seen many joggers, not only clumsy beginners but well-toned, well-muscled and young experienced joggers, hit the ground, asphalt, macadam road, or grass with the balls of their feet and speed away like a spirited steed, for the next 2 or 3 miles. If they could, without causing immediate injury.

Because this would be one greatly possible way to cause foot injuries, or maybe be responsible for the painful collapse of one’s foot arches.

Unless one is sprinting, meaning running for short distances like 100 or 200 meters, week-end jogging warriors are advised to let the heel of the foot take the full brunt of the impact as the foot travels the ground. The reason being that the entire body is then positioned best to absorb the shock generated by the striking foot with the full impact of the body weight behind it. Allowing the small and delicate bones of the ball of the foot and the arch to take on the initial impact would be reckless and negligent. Many may be able to get away with foot injuries, but the good likelihood is that over time, one is unnecessarily inviting unwanted foot injuries or problems. Be reminded of the thousands of times your feet have to go through this process even for just one jogging session.

What about shoes? Well, in the not too ancient times, we would not have this discussion. Modern man ran or jogged barefoot, or on whatever foot cover was available. He did not have many choices then.

But then again time and/or degree of civilization have not been the only inevitable constraints I suppose since for example, I heard that in the boot camps of the armed forces of most countries, recruits are still made to run or jog on their heavy-duty combat boots with full gear on their backs. But that’s an entirely different subject.

But we now live in a very modern world, too focused and absorbed with developing technologies to make life easier and longer, healthier and as pain-free as possible.

And in this regard, the athletic shoe has been more than blessed with all possible and current technologies applied to its shape and construction, not only to protect the overall integrity of the foot but also to assist it perform its functions better; and to specialize it for whatever myriad of functions required to be done. Whether for walking, running, playing basketball, tennis, football, soccer, etc. So to date, the shoe has become not a foreign contraption, but a well-fitted and seamlessly attached extension of the human foot.

Thus, weekend jogging warriors, learn about your most unique feet and try to fit them properly into the many utilitarian features of the countless arrays of athletic shoes available out there. There is one out there for your most proper fit, Cinderella! Take the time to learn.

Your flip-flops, your comfy leather mocs, or maybe even, your haughty “orthopedic” shoes, have no rightful place in the jogging/running tracks or trails. Try your level best to learn about pronation and supination, or eversion and inversion. About the proper heel support and torsion-resistant soles. Because the very sedentary nature of the life of bi-pedal man has almost made this a prerequisite for good living. The very unique evolutionary advantage of being upright and being mobile on two rather than four peds has somehow been stymied by the physicality-free ease of civilized living.

And oh, after all the sweat and aches of getting through this neat and enlightening preparation, please tie your shoelaces neat and tight. The manifold and exhorted benefits of your new pair can only work if they can become an integral part of your foot, and not some dangling member chafing in the wind every time you lift your foot.

And lastly, attire is entirely optional. One needs only witness the annual Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco for proof.