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status: marathon dental work

Tue Sep 30 09:47:13 EDT 2008

INTRO (maybe worth reading)
 Research shows most people skip introductions. You
 are special for reading this one.
 I'm ok blowing off work for a road trip. I feel bad writing about 
 work instead of doing work when I'm a bit behind.
 For example, right now, the State of Massachusetts Attorney 
 General could theoretically withdraw our fund raising permit, 
 since I've not sent the forms in on time....
 Still, The opportunity to tie the business of our merry band into
 dentistry is a challenge not to be missed.
 Better, the last few updates, people have replied with helpful
 info, donations or at least constructive nagging.
 Art Crooke is back from summer vacation.
 The next status report will be more interesting. It will be about 
 how much better svn is than cvs and how cool unit tests are.
 The last trip was about as much fun as can be legally had in
 Charlotte, Mimi and I traveled south to the last Ethos round
 table [1] and the Tech Foundation's [2] 501 club.
 Fancy-pants non-technical talk about tech culture, free booze,
 sushi. What more could you ask for?
 You can come on the next one.  The Charlotte-mobile leaves LTC 
 (246 Market St Lowell Ma) 3pm on Tuesday October 21.
 RSVP moi
 Because I don't charge $100 an hour for my work, I resist paying
 more than $100 per hour to other people.
 It's been two years and the dental-industrial complex  hasn't 
 reacted to or noticed my little boycott.
 Fortunately, Middlesex Community College has a program where
 they'll clean and examine your teeth for $25. [6]
 The downside is instead of a 3 hour process spread over two
 visits, it is a 8 hour process spread over 3 visits.
 Still, I'm happy with the experience. By good fortune I was a
 little sleep deprived and dozed through the boring bits. Between
 the student and the professor(s) checking her work, I got the
 most careful dental exam and cleaning of my life. This may be the 
 first time #18 has been cleaned in the back.
 My takeaway is the big difference between a professional and
 amateur is speed. A slow amateur can do a better job than a quick
 I'm going to qualify to run the Boston Marathon [7] in 4 years or 
 For a bunch of reasons, I'm doing most of my training on the 
 treadmill at the YMCA.  There is space on adjacent treadmills for 
 people with fitness goals or goal setting goals.
 Success with the marathon goal like the "CSL is sustainable" goal 
 will be all about setting lots of little gaols, meeting them
 (or not) and setting new or revised goals and meeting the new or 
 revised  goals (or not).
 About 33 percent of the people who run the Bay State marathon in 
 Lowell qualify for Boston [8]
 This is doable.
 Unlike the big CSL goal, the marathon goal has been done before. 
 Most of the hard thinking is already done.  There is already at 
 least one good book:
 The process is simple.
    0) Get in reasonable shape
    1) Race a 5K (3.11 miles)
    2) Train for 12 weeks
    3) repeat steps 1-2, three times
    4) repeat steps 1-3, at 10K & 1/2 marathon distances
    5) Race Baystate marathon in Lowell
 Step (0) will probably prove to have been the hardest. It took me
 2 years to drop 30 pounds and be able to run 7 miles w/o pain.
 Step (1) was my own little personal 5K at the UML track.  I'm 3
 weeks through the first 12 week training schedule in step #2
 The book defines the training pretty clearly. You find your race 
 time on the chart. You run your finger down to find your training 
 intensity for sprints, medium runs and long runs.
 I ran 5K @ 21:20, so I get to run 400M (1/4 mile) sprints @ 1:30, 
 3 miles @ 7:30 and 7 miles @ 8:45 minutes per mile.
 The goal is to train at goal pace and no faster.
 Your capacity is know because that's how fast you raced. The 
 charts are designed to have you train at just below your 
 capacity. Do one workout too hard and you can't complete the next 
 Already, I've adjusted my goals. I ran my private little 5K on a 
 flat track with the wind behind me and a lane to myself. It looks 
 like the chart is based on people on a road, dodging traffic, up 
 hills and in a crowd. In my first training, I couldn't run the 
 sprints at the planned speed. I felt very little pain, I just 
 couldn't go faster.
 I adjusted the sprint goals to the speed I can run. In week (3) 
 I'm still on track with the revised schedule.
 I'm uncomfortable sometimes, but never in pain. By avoiding 
 spurts of over-effort I sustain harder training than I would left 
 to my own devices.
 Dentistry, running and fund-raising have some things in common, A
 persistent amateur can get some results. Trying works better than
 not trying. Little goals are better than big ones. Some 
 discomfort is ok. Pain and injury are to be avoided.
 Our big goal is to be "sustainable", that is for the CSL to 
 function without me working for free and for there to be 2-3 
 effective permanent staff to jell more volunteers around.
 All the steps to reach this $100,000 per year goal aren't clear 
 yet. Parker money, might be a big step in there someplace. The 
 work that Mimi, Charlotte, Jim, Karen & I are doing on the 
 planning/fund-raising committee will probably fit in there 
 someplace too.
 However, our immediate sub goal is **very** clear. We want to pay 
 Mike Foster $8/hr for 10 hours a week for a year.  He does good 
 work. We need the help, he could use the money.
 Another important sub goal is fund raising experience and 
 motivation for me and the (emerging) fund-raising committee.
 We've raised $550 in cash and $700 in pledges. (Thank you again) 
 We've got money to pay Mike through the end of November.
 If we have to lay Mike off for Christmas, I'm going to feel like 
 shit. Avoiding feeling like shit is good motivation for me.
 As to the sub goals, revised goals, realistic gaols, football 
 I wrote 14 individual fund-raising emails. No copying and 
 pasting, no copying, each email written completely from scratch. 
 (Though I so repeat some ideas)
 Surprise! Surprise!
 Asking individuals directly, one by one is a lot more effective 
 than asking all of cadre-politics. Maybe, the bystander effect, 
 is a factor.
 Maybe, people believe their dollars are worthy of some effort to 
 ask for them.
 With an average donation of about $100 and a response rate of 77% 
 , I have about 52 more people to ask.
 Originally, I wanted Mike's money raised in September. I planned 
 to personally ask 5 people a day. This plan was too ambitious. 
 We've had a happy up-tick in volunteers, there is some must do 
 coding for the north shore expansion, the .... blah, blah, blah
 The new goal is to ask 20 people a month through October, 
 November and December, roughly one ask per week day. At 1-3 hours 
 per email this is doable.
 This new goal also means that if you are on this list and you 
 haven't donated, you are in my address book and I'm almost 
 certainly going to ask you for money directly.
 Anyone donating before I ask them directly gets the customary 
 beer and (if you act now!), the greatest hits, the 2nd best bits 
 from the personal appeals. (The best bits are of course private)
 It is our official policy to keep donations as anonymous as
 Charlotte has kindly agreed to give up a bit of her privacy to 
 help pay Mike's wages. She's seen him work and thinks he's "hungry".
 If Charlotte, who is living on $900 month of social security can
 give $100 (and this is not her first donation to the CSL), I am
 comfortable asking anyone on this list for 1% of their income.
 Hit reply-sender & check all that apply, This status report was:
    ___  Too long
    ____ Full of irrelevant stuff
    ____ Funny
    _____ Lines broken strangely in MS Outlook
    ____ not enough tech
    ____ Other
    ____ take me off the list !
    ____ too greedy.
    ____ Boooring.
    ___ So good, I clicked