Saturday, January 18, 2020

A Damn Cold Run - 1-18-2020

This morning started out at -5*F, yeah negative numbers on the donut, but Bennie didn't seem too bothered by it - well at first. About 100 yards up the road, he suddenly developed a bad limp in his back left leg, which miraculously stopped bothering him once we turned around. When he starts the fake exaggerated limping, I get the message that he wants to turn around.

Darn dawg. :-)

On his second walk we did the full mile even though it was still only about 2*F, without the wind it isn't really bad, but it was still cold. Bennie was a real trooper and seemed to enjoy being outside even though it was that cold out. However, by the time we got back he was shivering pretty good, so going any further was not an option even though he pulled a little to keep going up the road. I forced the right turn into the driveway.

However, I was very impressed by my Pixel 3a's camera as you can see by the two photos below. I have always liked the old VW van in the field down-back, but couldn't believe how clear the zoom was.

Once we got back to the house, I made sure that Bennie warmed up and stopped shivering, then I decided to go for a run.

Since we had to leave in about an hour, I didn't have time to go into the gym in Augusta and run on the treadmill, so I bundled up and headed out the door. The temp according to our thermometer was 4*F and with that slight breeze -- yeah, it was slightly chilly.

The biggest problem really wasn't the cold, it was the footing on the road, it was more ice than the road, so I just went slow, which was really a good thing, because the hamstring and left leg really wasn't grumbling, but never loosened up either.

Somehow in spite of everything, I managed to get 2.0 miles done.

Which was enough.

I was starting to develop the icicles on the eyelashes and while I didn't really feel cold, I wasn't warming up either, so it was time to shut it down and get cleaned up.

We had to drive over an hour to attend a Celebration of Life for our neighbor who passed away in December. It is tough going to those kinds of things when the only person there that you know is the spouse of the deceased person. We paid our respects, looked at the memorial and watched the slide show and quietly left.

It is a sad thing, but the right thing to do.

When we got home Bennie got another mile walk in and then I got on the elliptical for a quick 4.0 miles on that beast. I am going to start doing that most evenings after his last walk. I just feel that I need a bit more work than I have been getting since the hamstring issue began. The elliptical does not bother my hamstring, so I can see some quality time on that, while things continue to heal up.

As I look out the window while writing this, there is about an inch of snow already, so I imagine that the 6-10 inches of snow that is predicted tonight will end up at the higher end of the range in the land that the weather never forgets.

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Friday, January 17, 2020

An Actual Day of Resting - 1-17-2020

This morning was not the kind of morning that either Bennie or I enjoy getting out the door.

When I looked at the thermometer, it read 2*F and yes, the wind could be heard making the house groan a bit too much. One of those sounds of winter you learn to recognize if you live in a place long enough and when you hear it, you just shake your head, while you start bundling up.

It is the time of year that Grammy Bertha used to call the "killing time". When it is so cold and if the wild critters have been weakened for any reason, they die. Mother Nature's survival of the fittest is answered during this time of year.

Which means that I made sure that the long johns were on, then came the fleece-lined canvas pants, two layers of technical shirts, a fleece vest, my down jacket and the winter jacket that I purposely bought a size too big for the down jacket to fit under. Then the merino wool socks, ball cap with light clipped to brim, a faux fur winter hat that wraps down around the face, winter mittens and a reflective vest. I was ready to battle the cold winds of January come lately.

Yeah, I looked like the kid in A Christmas Story.

Bennie - he had his harness on. If you put any kind of doggie jacket or sweater on him, he refuses to move - at all. We have tried several times each Winter and the story is the same one, he refuses to move once you put clothes on him. So he goes out in all types of weather - nakid.

Today, he went out did his business and got himself back in the house shivering and shaking in less than 5 minutes.

I guess the -17 to -20*F below zero stuff and the stiff wind got his attention in a hurry. Me I wasn't too bad, but I also didn't bother to do a walk to the top of the hill either. Once I got my arse back in the house, it only went out to feed the crows, squirrels and little birds their daily offering. Which was attacked and quickly disappeared.

So there was not going to be a lot of outdoor activity this morning in that kind of bitter cold.

For Bennie's second walk, it was still below zero with the wind chills. We stayed out a bit longer, but not a whole lot longer. By the time we got back to the house, Bean was shivering pretty good. I waited around long enough to make sure he stopped shivering and had warmed back up.

Last night I pooched my iPhone 7 during snow removal and when I tried it again this morning, nothing happened, so I planned on going down to BestBuy and get a new phone. After more than a couple of hours of research last night, I figured that I would end up with a Google Pixel 3a unless they had a killer deal on something else.

I was one of the first customers in BestBuy and an hour later I walked out the proud owner of a new Google Pixel 3a. It took just about the amount of time I thought it was going to and yes, I put it in a case and gorilla glass over the screen. With my history with phones, I even sprung for a year of the replacement insurance - it seems when I don't I pay a lot more in the long run.

Now me moving to an Android phone from IOS is not really a big deal, I have bounced back and forth between the two over the years and it is just the idea of getting the muscle memory switched over and getting used to the updates that have happened since I last had an Android phone.

On the way home, I stopped at Planet Fitness with the idea that I was going to do a workout, but when I got to the parking lot, I got to thinking about when was the last time that I really took the day off and just relaxed. A pretty long time.

At that point, I texted Mary on my new phone - I still have to get the Google Assistant set up the way I want and headed home. Other than a few household chores and a late afternoon walk with Mary to the top of the hill, I relaxed. I didn't transfer any data from the iPhone, so I had a clean install, but I still had a bunch of stuff that needed to be done to get it about 70% set up the way I want.

It felt good to relax a lot for a change and not be rushing here, there and everywhere or attempting to get this or that done. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, a bunch of stuff in the morning, going to a Celebration of Life about an hour away and then another 6-10 inches of snow tomorrow night. So the weekend is going to be one of those busy ones.

By the way, the Pixel 3a does take some pretty good photos.

I thought that retirement was supposed to be life slowing down a bit, it certainly doesn't seem to be working out that way around heah - lately. ;-)

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Not the Day I Expected - 1-16-2020

Well, Bennie and I woke up to the snow that was predicted overnight, well actually it didn't start until around 4:00 A.M.-ish, so there wasn't really a whole lot to worry about. At that point, it was more a nuisance than anything.

As the day progressed the snow got to be a bit of a pain and the roads were nasty enough that I decided to skip the workout at Planet Fitness this morning. I figured that I would get plenty of time behind the snowblower later (I was correct).

However, Mary had a dentist's appointment for the afternoon, so I needed to drive up to Waterville with her. The roads in Sidney were about as bad as I have seen in a long time, but I also know that the Town Crew is running pretty short-handed so I can't blame them, but still, if I had not needed to be out there it would have been a lot smarter to have just stayed home.

You Are What You Do

You are what you do.

Many years ago, actually, late April of my Senior year of high school my Grandfather - Osvil Elston told me something that I would never forget while we were working on my old Ford Torino out in his garage.

He worked as a body and fender man at the garage in Pittsfield (at the bottom of the big hill) and he painted cars on the side at home. So I had conned him into painting my banged-up Torino so that Dad could sell it after I left for Coast Guard Boot Camp in June.

We had finished the Bondo and sanding parts of the prep work and were in the process of taping to get ready to paint the old beast. We're talking a bit about everything while were getting it all taped up. I was in a hurry because I had someplace that I wanted to be later that afternoon.

I had just taped up the rear fender and he walked by and told me to re-do it because the overspray from the paint gun was going to get under the newspaper and get on the chrome. I did the cheesy complaint thing and how it was my car and I didn't really care.

Gramp looked at me and started taking off his painting stuff and said, we need to take a break.

We went inside and sat in the living room for a few minutes - the same one as in the photo. I was going in the Coast Guard as soon as I graduated. As a result, I was getting a bad case of "I am too good for this place, plus a lot of senioritis in my attitude (looking back, I was just being a jerk).

As we were sitting there Gramp told me a few stories he had about serving in the Navy during WWII and how he had become a golden gloves boxer while stationed in Brooklyn and that he had surprised a couple of professional fighters who were training him and how he thought he was getting to be pretty good and was bragging about it a bit. He was invited to a spar a couple of rounds with the better fighter and he did pretty good in round 1, but when he woke up after starting round 2, Gramp chuckled and told me he had changed his attitude about how good he was pretty quickly.

I didn't quite get the message he was sending out.

At times I was pretty thick-headed and while I sort of listened, I wasn't all that great at hearing what I was being told.

I now put it off to being young, but sometimes I wonder if it really doesn't matter how old we are and that it is more that we too often just listen to what we want to hear and ignore anything that doesn't match up with how we think things should be?

We sat there talking for about an hour and I finally asked Gramp if we were going to finish taping my car and get it painted that day?

He said probably not.

When I asked why not, his answer was straightforward and simple. While my memory might not get the exact words my Grandfather said to me that day, it does convey what I did hear.

"Since you do not respect me enough to do the taping correctly so that when I paint, it is going to look like I screwed up, not you. People will see that back bumper and know that I painted your vehicle and wonder if I am worth going to anymore. So instead of doing a crappy job on your Torino, I am not going to paint it at all."

He looked at me took his glasses off and said.

 "One thing you have to remember is that people judge you by what you do every damn day. You can talk a good game, think about great you are and all that, but what it finally comes down to is the things that you actually do in your life."

At that point, I got up without saying another word and went in and fixed the taping job on the fender and also ALL of the other places that I had hurried through and done a half-assed job on.

About a half-hour later, Gramp came back in and looked over the taping job, put his painting stuff back on and fired up the compressor. I finished taping up the Torino correctly and he smiled that smile of his and picked up the paint gun.

He got the Torino painted and it looked pretty darn good after he got done - a nice custom paint job - Iceberg Blue with the black leatherette (tauno?) top. Also, it didn't have any paint overspray areas, that a certain young fella taped correctly after our little talk.

The reality is that

It is pretty amazing the little things that stay with you and how something that was said to me by my Grandfather back in 1975, is something that I still remember as if it was yesterday. I would like to think that the balance sheet on my life shows that I have done a LOT more good things than bad and that I pretty much followed the advice that I was given that day.

When I look back on my life, it was always doing the small things right daily, which made it much easier to keep doing the right things for the right reasons when other choices to do stuff came around. It was when I stopped doing the little things right, that it became too easy to make poor choices

Although I do know that I have made mistakes and probably will again in the future.

However, the older I get the more I am careful about the things that I do and realize that my actions and even the words I use when I am doing something, often have unforeseen (good and bad) impacts and ripple effects on more people than just myself.

All I can do is continue doing the best that I can.

One thing that has not changed over the years is that people still judge us on what we do or have done and those things (good and bad) will be a part of who we are until we are gone.

My Grandfather's advice was good advice for a young man who needed the lesson badly back in the mid-'70s and is still good advice for him almost 45 years later.

Is there any advice that you were given when you were younger that you still remember when and where you were when you got it and what was said that day is still an important part of your life?

What are you doing?

Yes, you are what you do.

Originally posted on Aging - My Thoughts and written by Harold L. Shaw.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

An Actual Run and Pretty Quiet Day - 1-15-2020

Bennie didn't even complain this morning about our walk, so maybe he is getting over the meechiness that had plagued him lately. Naw, I think it is more it wasn't that cold, windy or nasty outside. He like the rest of us as we get older has less tolerance for crappy and cold weather than we did when we were younger.

On his long walk, it was one of those gorgeous Winter days where the temps hit the low 40's a bit of sun before the clouds rolled before the 4-7" of snow that is expected in the area tonight.

Since roads were snow-covered, I headed into the gym for my workout.

Which was made up of the usual pre-run warm-up/stretching routine, with some serious foam rolling added in for good measure.

The left hamstring was feeling pretty good so I decided to try a run, planning to shut it down if it started to grumble or complain too much.

1.0 @ 6.1 mph - Yes, I ran a mile without too much grumbling. However, I didn't want to push too much so I changed things up a little.
1.0 @ 3.6 to 4.0 mph @ 15% incline. Yeah, that last quarter was tough, but the hamstring felt pretty good, just a little tired. So I could tell that it was starting to think about grumbling. So of course, I had to be just a little greedy. I walked for an easy .10 @ 3.5 mph and then sped up the treadmill to 6.5 mph just to see how things felt.

Perhaps I could have done okay if I had done that speed at the start, but after a couple of miles, the hamstring started to complain and put the speed back down pretty quickly. Then I walked for .20 @ 3.5 mph.

No harm, no foul, but I needed to know how far I could push before it started to grumble a little.

After that, I decided to get on the elliptical and do a couple of easy miles on that. No issues whatsoever.

The legs are pretty tired, but that is okay and is part of the deal.

I did get my Christmas presents out, I wanted to see how they would do on the treadmill and they were just fine. The New Balance Propel in Wide. They seem a bit more comfortable on my feet than the D width ones I have which I use for outside running. These are too purty right now ;-).

This afternoon we took Hunter to our Vet and he said that for his age Hunter seems to be doing pretty good. They did some blood work and stuff, but it seemed like a pretty good visit. We did have an issue one of the front desk personnel over our 18-year-old cat's medication, but that was quickly resolved by the Vet when we brought it to his attention. An unnecessary stress from our point of view, but sometimes you just can not let things go.

An interesting day to say the least. At least I got a little run-in, but know that the rehab process for the hamstring is going to be longer than just getting back to my normal running tomorrow.

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

A Bit of Dog/Runner Problem on the Bog Road - Augusta

Stand by for a bit of rant and no I am not sorry for it.

I have had a day to think about what happened and am still more than a little concerned and pissed about what happened. Especially, since I run in this area quite a bit and don't want this to happen to me.

Yesterday when I was driving home from Planet Fitness and turned from Outer Civic Center Drive onto the Bog Road and saw a runner in a bright orange jacket running on the one-way section going up to the stop sign.

She saw the traffic coming up behind her and moved over to the left side of the road just after the little store there and as she was moving over, I could see three dogs (a German Shepard, a very large dog (it looked something like a Mastiff and another one) running free in the yard behind the store. The runner was heading in their direction and as she got closer the dogs began coming down the hill towards her.

The biggest one was in the lead and I could tell that the runner was starting to get scared, she was looking around to see where traffic was. There was one vehicle in front of me and a few behind me. So I slowed down to let her cross in front of me if she decided to.

Suddenly the biggest dog and the German Shepard started to run faster at her. From their body language and the way they were running at her, it appeared to me that they were not going to be all that friendly. I was within 10-15 yards of the runner so I turned my truck toward the side of the road and started laying on the horn.

It startled the runner, who had stopped running and the dogs veered off their approach to the road. I motioned the runner to get on the other side of my truck and I kept laying on the horn. The dogs came out into the road but backed off with the horn blaring, I kept my truck between them and the runner.

While I was doing this another driver in a Prius passed me on the right side almost hitting the runner who had thankfully moved to the other side of the road. Stoopid shit - the other driver, she was in too big a hurry to slow down and make sure another human being was safe - I guess.

Anyway, the dogs continued to track on the side of the road all the way up to the Stop sign and I drove slowly enough to stay between them and the runner. Once she got to the top of the little hill there she turned towards NRF and kept running down the road. I double-checked to see what the dogs were doing and they had moved back up into their yard and were not following.

Crisis averted and it could have been a bad one.

At no time did I see anyone come out of the house to do anything about the dogs. Which bothered me even more, because I am sure that they must have heard my horn blaring, must have wondered if their dogs were the reason.

Now I am not writing this to claim how heroic I was or anything like that, because I was safely inside of my truck and was in zero danger from those dogs. However, I do feel sorry for that runner who was more than likely scared shitless by the actions of the dogs. I know that I hate it when I am running and get accosted by dogs like that.

You can say what you want about the dogs being in their yard, that they were just playing and that it was the responsibility of the runner to stay away from their yard.


It is the responsibility of the dog's owner(s) to keep their dogs in their yard under voice control, on a lead or secured by other means to ensure that their dogs do not accost or possibly harm passerby's on a public road. If that large dog (Mastiff), German Shepard and the other dog had attacked that runner as a pack, it would have been a very bad situation for everyone.

I am just glad that it turned out to be only a minor inconvenience for the runner and nothing more this time. However, I run in that area quite a bit and have had an encounter with the Shepard before, so this is not an isolated incident. I know that the dogs are there, so I tend to make sure that I run on the other side of the road until I am through that area.

Hopefully, no future issues happen with those dogs running unsupervised in that yard, but...based on what I saw yesterday and with the increasing amount of foot traffic out in that part of Augusta, it is going to be a question of when something happens more than if - if the dogs are not supervised or secured.

I hope that I am wrong.

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Still Mending and Getting Closer to Getting Back to It - 1-14-20

I am pretty sure that you noticed that I made a couple of tweaks to the colorways on the blog's theme. I just kept thinking that I was going to my other blog every time I would go to One Foot in Reality, so changing to blue some of the primary points seemed like a good way for me differentiate between the deleted and my current blog for me and readers.

Well, Bennie made it two days in a row walking in the dark to do our mile walk first thing in the morning.

We got to watch the sunrise and started our day off pretty good.

The second walk was with Hunter and we tried down-back, but the snow-covered ice proved to be a bit too tricky, so we cut that short, came back up and did a lap around the Circle. It was chilly, but not too bad for mid-January.

Another gym day and still not running, but getting closer.

I did my warm-up, added in all the extra stuff I talked about last night and then did the cardio portion. Today I wanted to go a little longer, so I did the treadmill first:

  • .10 warm-up and then .90 at 3.6 @ 15% incline - The hamstring didn't complain too much, so I figured that the elliptical would be a good bet for the next on the cardio parade. 
  • 3.0 miles with 5x .10 bursts between miles 1.0 and 2.0, with .10 recoveries. I thought that those might get the hammie's attention, but it did bark at all, which is promising.
  • Although I did go on the stair stepper to talk with Jon and thank him again for his generous offer. However, the leg had had enough and by the time I got in 50 steps was telling me time to cool it. So I did.

I am finding that the elliptical more like non-impact running than I do the Cybex Arc Trainer. For me, it just feels closer to how I run and I get more hip extension on one. Now if I can just get the 18-year-old cat out of our spare bedroom where our elliptical is located to actually use it without wacking her in the head and getting in a whole lot of trouble. Perhaps I can do some good cross-training at home too.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur, we didn't do a lot, but we sure seemed busy. However, that is how it is for most days. Although, I did get up on SD2's roof to see if the repairs needed repairing again. It didn't, but I do know that I am getting a lot meechier about getting on icy roofs than I used to be. I guess I know how much hitting the ground would hurt if I slide off.

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Weird Weather Day - 1-13-2020

This morning Bean and I walked to the top of the hill for our daily one-mile walk - at least I should say my daily one-mile morning walk. Bennie has been rather meechy about this walk thing in the cold and dark lately. However, even though the temps were only in the teens, he somehow managed to complete the whole thing today.

Hip hip hooray for Bennie Bean.

Okay, so in other words, if that is the big news of the day, it was one of those great days where I got to relax, go to the gym, take a nap and relax a little more. MMMM yes and no.

After Bennie's long walk, which turned out to be shorter than his first walk - Hunter is still having a few problems and it was bitterly cold outside, so we turned a bit earlier than usual and neither dog seemed to upset by it.

I headed to the gym.

Nope, I was good and didn't run today and don't plan to until Wednesday or Thursday. The left hamstring is grumbling a lot less, but it still twinges every so often when it isn't supposed and while it is feeling 100% better than it did this weekend, it still has a ways to go before I want to start running on it.

So I started out with my foam rolling, stretching, warm-up stuff that does help and tomorrow I am going to be adding in bridges, slow donkey kicks, and the hamstring weight machine at light weights to help strengthen things back there. Along with the lacrosse ball mobility work, which I hate, but I gotta admit it helps.

After that

I got on the stair climber for 500 steps - about 8:00 minutes
10:00 minutes on the Cybex Arc Trainer
18:00 minutes on the treadmill with .90 at 15% incline

Actually a pretty good workout, but I still was pretty tempted after the end of the treadmill to just try it to see how the leg felt - I was good and didn't, but I really was tempted.

We Were Not Angels Either

Think about next time you go down to the store or coffee shop to catch up on the local gossip or even while talking to someone and they start talking about how great it was growing up when we did. Then they go on to talk about how bad today's young people are and how they are the cause of the World/Country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Ask yourself do you really believe all that nonsense?

I don't.

Yes, there are issues, problems and things that I don't like about the younger generations and there are just as many that I don't like about our own generation or others. Let's get real, today's youth are not all that different than we were, except technology and their experiences are different than ours were.

The stereotypes of each generation are just that stereotypes and don't usually hold up upon closer inspection of real people.

The young people today are searching for their identity and place in today's world, just like we did when we were their age. The thing we forget is how difficult that is and with a world where technology is changing our lives at exponential rates, it is that much more difficult

Today's young people have been brought up by us, in an era of many things we never thought of at their age: 24/7 news, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, school shootings, almost 20 years of the U.S. in a declared war in the Middle East and so on, along with all the issues and problems of being a human being with hormones and dreams. So yeah, their perspective and what they think are important are going to be different than what someone who grew up in the '50s, '60s, and '70s does.

Also, our generation wasn't exactly what we could call keepers of the status quo or avoiding conflict with the older generations of our time. I tend to remember that we pissed off and scared the hell out of what has been called the "Greatest Generation" and the "Depression Era Generation" many times because we didn't accept their lifestyles, values or traditions.

Just like our perspectives were very different from the WWII and Korea Era parents and grandparents and their perspective was different than the Depression Era generation.

During each generation, technology, mores, values and what are considered the norms can and do change.

However, being somewhat biased, I won't argue that growing up when many of us did was pretty good, but it sure as hell was not as great as some make it out to be...well maybe it was for them or you. However, I know that my childhood was not all peaches and cream, and there was definitely no silver spoon in my hand to slurp with.

We had our share of bad shit going on too - back in the day.

I say - yes the times have changed - a lot and in my opinion some things too damn much, but at the same time:

  • Were the times back then really better or just different?
  • Were we really all that different than the young folk of today?

Things are definitely different now than when I left high school, back then I was going to change the world and make my mark on it.

Did I? The dreams of youth got squashed by life and reality, but I have a feeling that I have lived a pretty good life and become a good person. However, it wasn't without more than a few screw-ups and lessons from life that I could have done without. There were a lot of told you so's from older generations that I should've, could've, would've listened to that would have made my life a lot easier if I had only listened, but I didn't.

However, when I take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment and stop being a cranky old bastid, I tend to see a LOT of selective memories going on in our conversations. There is a lot of stuff from when I was young that I would love to forget all about doing.

Stop and think back to all the dumb shit we used to do back in the bad old, good old days of the '60s,  '70s and yes, the '80s:

  • We called the older generation boring, set in their ways, they came from a different time and didn't understand or belong in ours
  • We didn't listen to their advice or when we did, we used it in ways to benefit our perspectives on life, not the way it was originally intended
  • We pushed back against their social standards, ideas and who was going to tell us what to do
  • We drank too much, partied too hard
  • We went to concerts, did stuff there that we try to forget about
  • We listened to what our elders called loud and obnoxious music - to them
  • We drove too fast, squealed our tires, got stuck in the mud, yes, we even drove while we were drunk far too many times,
  • We woke up naked next to someone who we didn't know what their name was, probably more than once. I imagine that in the mornings more than a few times, we might have known the person next to us, but it wasn't the person that we had planned to be with when the night before first started.
  • We were arrogant, selfish, rude and obnoxious, even if we didn't think we were
  • We did things that are now considered racist, sexist and nasty - things that we wouldn't do today because they are illegal, immoral or simply bad life choices. Yeah, we did.
  • We were full of ourselves
  • We were going to change the world
  • We did change the world
  • We were young once
  • We survived our youth
  • We did all that and more.

Think about those now paragons and pillars of society that you know or think about what you did. Back when they and us made asses of themselves/ourselves, drank a bit too much, stove up a vehicle, didn't show up for work for no reason, experimented with things best left unsaid, did things that they should have been arrested for or found themselves in let's say the wrong bed that next morning.

I know because I was out there doing some of that crap, with more than a few of those who we think of as paragons of virtue.

Now, look at us.

How many of those things do we hear other people our age or even ourselves complaining that today's young people are doing exactly the same things that we did too? Are we so different from that older generation that we claimed was set in their ways, come from a different world and don't belong in the same world as us?

You know our parents and grandparents.

The reality is that

Yeah, we all were young once and now we are old and our perspective on life is different than the person we were 40-50 years ago.

Were things better when we were young than they are today?

Are the young people all that much different than we were?

Not really, it is just a different time, different technology and just young people attempting to figure out where and how they fit in the world.

The things I hear us old so many in my age group saying today over a cup of coffee are the same exact things that my grandfather and grandmother and their friends were saying about us all those years ago over a cocktail on a Saturday afternoon.

And if I remember correctly the same things that my Great Grandmother who was born in the 1800s, was complaining about my Grandparent's generation, while having a toddie or two with her friends.

Throughout the centuries and decades, there always has and probably always will be tension between the generations. I have a feeling it is how life is, with each generation trying to figure out where they belong and what their life is going to be like in their future, while the previous generation attempts to protect their values and traditions from change, from the younger generation.

As we continue to die off and are replaced by this next generation, just like every other generation that has gone before us has had happen - will their results be better or worse?

Who knows?

All we do know is that it will be different than the world we grew up in. That world is gone and is only in our memories, photographs, and 8mm movie clips. Now it is starting to be up to the next generation's responsibility to see where what will be their world will end up.

The future will be theirs'.

I guess that is the toughest thing for any generation (including ours) is knowing that change is happening, that our world will be different and that there is not a lot we can do about it, except to complain and tell stories of how great things used to be.

 Originally posted on One Foot in Reality, written by Harold L. Shaw, Jr.

What Did Changing Blogs Really Accomplish?

Back on December 20, 2019, I decided to create this blog and retire my other ones. Over the past three weeks, it really has been quite a whirlwind around here.

So what did I actually accomplish by moving to a new blog?

Well, let's update this just a little. Since I screwed up and made the blog I wrote this post on unreachable and later deleted it about 5 hours after writing this blog post, it seems that I need to change a few things on this particular post.

A lot of what I wrote remains pertinent and yeah, I am sort of chuckling as I read this too.

First I will be saving over $150 in annual fees that I would have to pay in 2020 to keep my other blogs and if I had gone over my data cap, that would have increased even more. So I did save quite a bit of money, which I know the missus will not complain about too much.

However, and to me, more importantly, it allowed me to move on from focusing just on running. In the end, my Just A Runnah blog had turned into just me writing about my running and something of a daily diary which was not the intent of the blog.

Plus I was not really involved with the online running community all that much, no commenting on other runner's blogs, limited Twitter engagement and not writing any blog posts about the many things I do know about running or running news, other than the occasional running shoe or running book review. Running in races just wasn't part of my running life over the past couple of years and my participation in the local running club has bottomed-out both of which are big-ticket writing items when you are a runner.

Looking back at the posts during that last month there, I wasn't really writing anything original or all that interesting and the 5-10 regular readers were probably bored out of their skulls with the lack of variety of topics.

So it was time to move on.

I am very glad that I did.

No, my stats Aging - My Thoughts were not booming and that is okay, I am not in this for the stats or much of anything else beyond enjoying writing again.

Which I can say that I am.

Over the past three weeks I have written quite a bit:

Yes, about half of those are my daily diary and some were the end of year/start of year stuff that always adds a lot to the mix. However, the rest of the published posts and fifteen more that I have in draft form are what are important to me. They are actual original thoughts and writing on my part, with ideas and things that have been bottled up inside my head, but had no place to go, but are now finding their way out onto the screen.

This is what I wanted when I started this blog.

Also, I did not realize what a vibrant community of bloggers that were out here putting their thoughts out there about their lives and things they are thinking about. It will take a while to become a member of the community, but as I read more of their writing it is a good community to be a part of and I look forward to some great conversations that will be shared in there.

This does not mean that I will be abandoning the running community, I have made several online and real-life friends through my involvement there and have no plans to leave. I tend to believe that we all are multi-faceted enough to exist in multiple online communities simultaneously, after all, we do it daily in real-life.

One thing that surprised me is how I am now using my blog. It has become the central point in my online life. Adding in my RSS feeds/blogs I follow as a widget on the blog itself versus having a dedicated feed reader has actually been great for me and will help me to become more active in several online communities. I also know that I will visit the actual article or blog, and comment on more posts this way.

As some of you I am sure to have noticed that I have continued to tweak the blog with where the widgets are located, updating and adding pages to make things easier for readers and myself to find things easier or just making the blog more readable in whatever format you choose to read it in.

I have also been relearning how to use Blogger and some of the tricks and things that make using it easier. The biggest thing is figuring out again how to use my Google account to comment on other blogs, you can read all about that here.

So what did changing blogs really accomplish?

It made me happy.

Really, not all that much changed by me going back to One Foot in Reality other than I have to update more than a few of the links in the blog posts that I did write and the URL for the blog. Other than that I am pretty much back at square one again. :-)

Fall down, drop crap, pick yourself and it back up and keep moving forward. :-)

Yes, you are what you do.

Originally posted on One Foot In Reality, written by Harold L. Shaw, Jr.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Nasty Outside, But Not as Bad as Predicted - 1-12-2020

On both of Bennie's morning walks it was NASTY outside just about freezing temps and heavy rain, but luckily for us no freezing rain or ice build-up. Well...except for the driveway. That was a sheet of ice - more on that later.

Which meant a good day for the gym, since the roads were great and ice-free.

Going in I knew that I was not going to run and probably will not try running again until Wed-Thurs at the soonest based on this morning's workouts. So I spent about a half-hour on the mat, doing a lot of foam rolling, easy stretching, and other stuff I am supposed to do most days (that I usually don't do) before I workout.

Welcome Back to "One Foot In Reality"

Moving back to One Foot In Reality, was not really what I planned on going with my blogging going forward. I had started a new blog and was very happy with the direction it was going, but I made a mistake when I was doing some housekeeping and changed the URL. Which resulted in my deleting that blog.

Not what I thought was going to happen.

That to say the least - is an understatement.

However, this is where I am and now that I have made the decision/choice to move back to One Foot In Reality.

The dawn of a new day and a return to an old blog.

I am excited by the new possibilities of returning to One Foot In Reality and ultimately decided to delete all of my old posts. They are backed up, but they do not belong here now.

This is another new start for an old blog and blogger.

Although I did import the posts I wrote recently at Aging-My Thoughts, because I plan to continue moving in the same direction that I had begun there, with a couple of minor changes in the focus and those posts needed a new home, since they will not be accessible after today.

Yep, I have come full circle. I started my blogging back in 2007 with Blogger and here it is 12 years later and I am coming back to Blogger and one of my old blogs as my primary blog again.

This gave me another opportunity to think about what I was going to be writing about moving forward and the more I look at different possibilities, I am more excited by the opportunities for me to write again:
  1. I want to focus more on the aging process - it is what is affecting me the most at this point in my life. The good and the bad.
  2. Sharing things I read and/or learn about health, living simply, retirement, death, and how I am incorporating them into my life and whether they work or don't work for me.
  3. I plan to keep writing about my running and my efforts to minimize the effects of aging on my running.
  4. Running shoe reviews even though I have a feeling that the number of shoes I review will be declining, I still enjoy writing about them.
  5. How my technology use and what I use for hardware/software/applications are changing as I get older.
  6. Sharing parts of my daily life and how I am attempting to simplifying my lifestyle to meet the new demands and thoughts about many things that I find that I am having as I get older.
  7. Write about how I am attempting to improve who I am and live a good life for the rest of the time I have left on this little blue marble.
  8. My thoughts on facing my own mortality and how others dying, affect my perspectives on living and dying.
In other words my feeble attempts at making the Grim Reaper chuckle a few times before he decides to visit one final time.

Coming back to One Foot In Reality also gives me a license to write more beyond the running niche that my previous blogs constrained me to. Actually, I think that this title more accurately reflects what I have been writing about over the past few months and that my blog is more than just an aging or running blog.

Well, at least that is the hope.

So as I move forward with my hobby blogging here on One Foot In Reality, I hope that you enjoy the newish direction of my writing and that I continue to have fun with my blogging odyssey.

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Generous Offer - A No Go and Getting Prepared -- 1-11-2020

Well, let's get back to a little more normal blogging after I screwed up and deleted my Aging-My Thoughts blog URL earlier today. You can read more about that here. I am chuckling now and it will take 2-3 weeks to get back to where I was this morning. So it is okay if you laugh with me about it.

Oh well, it happens. :-)

Bennie and I did the full morning walk for the first time (we slept in and it was light out), in a while and then later we walked down back for his long walk.

After the expected ice storm tonight, I don't think we will be walking down-back for a while. Even this morning with the warmer temps, walking down there was getting a bit dicey as the snow was melting and the ice underneath was re-appearing.

An Unexpected Offer

Jon one of my running buddies made a very unexpected and generous offer this morning. He has been battling back issues and offered to transfer his bib to me for the Cape Elizabeth Mid Winter 10 Miler. It is a race that I have never run and when I attempted to register this year, I was too late. So this was something that I really, really appreciated and wanted to do. I have had my name on the waiting list, but haven't been contacted.

Unfortunately, last Tuesday I got stoopid and did a workout that was beyond my current fitness level and strained my left hamstring. However, before giving Jon my final answer, I wanted to try to run this morning to see how the hamstring felt.

Okay I Screwed Up Royally!!! You Can Laugh, I Just Shook My Head

Okay everyone, you get to laugh at the whiz kid, techno-savvy wonderkind here who accidentally deleted his Aging - My Thoughts Blog, when he was doing some housekeeping and updating.

Big Facepalm on that one.

I pooched this one big time and you know something, as badly as I screwed up, I am sort of chuckling at myself.

What can I really do about it other than go "oh F$#K" and a few other expletive deletives under my breath and figure out what to do next? It wouldn't do me one bit of good to yell, scream and carry on one bit. I don't even think Mary realized that I screwed up so royally. I guess reading those Stoic philosophy books gave me an edge on how to handle this one.

Although, I did immediately realize what I had done and knew that 3 weeks' worth of work is gonzo. Well, not everything. Luckily I have been pretty good about my backing things up and had my theme, posts, and pages all backed up this morning.


For someone who usually has a clue about what is going on, I really screwed this one up to the point where I can't recover my blog's URL.

There ain't a damn thing I can do about it now except to move forward.

Which really does suck and presented me with a bit of a quandary.

What do I do next?

After thinking about it over supper, I figured that I had three choices.

  • I could start over with a new blog again, with a new name and URL, 
  • go back to and use my name URL, 
  • Use my retired One Foot In Reality blog. 

All three options had pros and cons, but based on a lot of factors I decided to go with re-using One Foot In Reality.

Some of the reasons:

  • I already own the domain and have a G-Suite account associated with it.
  • I am liking being back on Blogger and don't plan on using again anytime soon
  • The name One Foot In Reality gives me plenty of room to write about whatever I want to write about. 

Based on my decision, I went ahead and completely deleted all of the old posts on One Foot In Reality (if I am going to start it over, I might as well start over) and will be doing some housekeeping with the comments, weblinks, and other settings soon.

No have no fear, I will not make the same mistake again.

It does mean that I have a lot of other work to do to get OFIR back up and running - the way that I want it to. I have a feeling just about three weeks from now I will be pretty happy with it.

Oh well, it could have been worse - the cat could have tripped me and made me drop my new laptop. This is actually relatively minor and more a pain in the butt than anything else. At least it is only three weeks into a new blog, not a couple of years.

That would really hurt.

Still, it was a damn rookie mistake, by a 13-year vet. Yeah, you can chuckle with me on this one. I ain't happy, but at least I have some options and can get back up and running fairly quickly.

Welcome to my newest blog again - One Foot In Reality.

Keep smiling, it does get better and this happened for a reason, I just haven't figured it out yet. :-)

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Lifespan - A Quick Review -- 1-10-2020

I bought the ebook edition of Lifespan by David Sinclair on the recommendation of a friend. It is a subject that I for some reason or other am very interested in and as I sail towards my 63rd birthday it is a subject that becomes more relevant each year.

This review is definitely one written by a non-scientist and is my very lay person's non-scientific view of this book and its contents. I recommend reading Lifespan, it introduces the reader to some pretty interesting work that is going on in the area of longevity and some ideas on where that work might lead.

Below is my review that I wrote for Amazon:

I thought the book presented the subject matter in a very readable manner. While the science was a stretch for me at times, I believe that I followed it well enough to understand most of what Dr. Sinclair was sharing with readers. I do believe that longevity as described in the book is achievable, but at the same time wonder who will actually benefit from the discoveries and methods that will be discovered or improved upon. 
Sinclair's view of the future is definitely Star Trek based, but even they have issues and class distinctions, not everything is wonderful. It comes down to your willingness to trust that science as Sinclair describes it is the best/only course. However, what happens if our future is more 1984 than Star Trek, what then? 
Science is not infallible and sometimes money and/or power talks much more than ideology. We will see if his view of the future pans out, but I am intrigued with some of things that we can do right now that "might" help. As a friend said, it might mean that I just have expensive pee. Time will tell who is right and who ultimately benefits from his research. I hope we all do.

I am no Luddite by any stretch of the imagination and without any doubt, I am sure that Dr. Sinclair is certainly more in tune/touch with the mores, attitudes, possibilities and blind spots that exist in the scientific community than I ever will be. That being said, there was an undertone tone or attitude of certainty in some sections of the book that concerned me about the directions that we "should" or "have to" go and relying on science to solve many of the issues confronting us.

Unfortunately, the obstacles to this reliance on science will be political, corporate, financial, misinformation by the media, conflicts of interest, research inconsistencies or conflicts of interest, and you can probably add in religion, along with more than a little ignorance as well. We already are seeing significant blockage or re-interpretation of scientific "fact" in the world today by all of the above.

However, some of the book's views on bioethicists, GMO products, plant-based diets, statins, some vaccinations, that the answers may lie primarily in a pharmaceutical solution and whether it is skepticism or "shouldn't" go there since some answers shouldn't be questioned seem to be meant to cut off discussion and present them as closed issues that have already been resolved by those who matter. That may not be completely accurate since researchers in other disciplines do question the answers to those ideas, products, and believe that they are still in the category of further research is needed and have not been completely accepted the current "facts" as the only correct answer - if there is one.

I tend to guess many questions are often, but not always answered by "follow the money" and who benefits.

Then there is the question of what are the side-effects and who do they affect. 1 in 100 or 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 1,000,000 might not sound that bad, but what happens when you are that one? Yeah, it really sucks. Gene mapping may help the odds and using the belief that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one is just how it is possibly justified the risks. Do they? I don't know the answer, especially if I or one of my family needed to be the one in however many.

As for me while I plan to keep an open mind and plan to look closer into some of the things that are discussed in the book, I prefer to maintain a healthy skepticism regarding many issues in the world today. We are all experiments of one and it is up to us to live our lives well and be somewhat knowledgeable of differing opinions and hypotheses that science will have.

Mr. Smith - I can't believe I just said that - you would be proud of your prodigal student, "Mr. Shaw" never Harold in class, you know the one who never listened during class and was often asked to get back on task, take a seat, take the pencils out of your ears, turn the burner down so you don't melt the ceiling tiles and all those other things that teachers tell students who minds are elsewhere during class.

Mr. Kenneth Smith was my high school biology teacher and that is basically what he said all those years ago during our first day in his class. Yeah, maybe the prodigal student, listened more than than you thought.

However, Lifespan did get me back to reading something that made me actually think about what I was reading while I read it. I had to stop and look up words, research a little closer on some of the statements and actually read for understanding, not just skimming over words.

It is a book that I will want to go back and re-read a year from now then again in 10 years or so to see how it stacks up to what I learn over that time and come back to update this post then. Who knows maybe Dr. Sinclair will be spot on - time will tell.

I do hope that he is right when it comes to more of a Star Trek future world and I hope that any comparison to 1984 is completely wrong...but when leadership proclaims a post-truth world, I do worry about what is truth and what is propaganda or perspective and who's.

The biggest thing is that I plan to keep learning more about what is written in Lifespan and other studies and books that I will be reading on this subject and adding them into my life where they seem to fit.

Here is to a long life and I hope that the prediction that I made when I was joking around with some friends so many years ago, that I was going to live to 120 and be shot by a jealous boyfriend come to fruition.

Friday, January 10, 2020

No Running For A While - 1-10-2020

This morning's walk in the dark was done again by myself. The dawg decided that he didn't like it and turned around at the 200-yard mark this morning. He got further than yesterday, but not back to the whole distance yet. Yes, it was still chilly with the wind blowing, so I didn't blame him too much.

Bennie missed another sunrise. I don't think he really notices or cares. ;-)

We did another mile plus walk later where he was eager to go. So I am thinking more and more it is walking in dark than the cold.

I did go to the gym and did a complete foam roller, stretching and .25 walking warm-up before I started running this morning. You know all the things that I should be doing each time but never take the time.

Unfortunately, within about 10 steps, the leg quickly told me it was not ready for prime time and I shut it down. Instead of bagging the workout, I went and did .50 miles on the Cybex machine and then did a lower body lighter weights workout. The left hamstring did not complain at all during any of the work, which surprised me. I wonder if it is the motion on the treadmill that is part of the problem?

I will run outside tomorrow and see what happens.

Today was the first red day in the running log, which mean DNR - injured. Not what I wanted the second week of January, but I have no one to blame but myself for doing a dumb workout that was beyond my conditioning on Tuesday. Gotta stop those thoughts of lollipop and sugarplums that were dancing around in my head and get back to my current reality and condition.

Either way, I am going to be very conservative and do the things that I know that I need to do to get by this hamstring issue with the minimum of issues and down-time. It also made me re-think one of my plans and I will be re-reading Run Happy again soon, to remind me of what is important in my life and running.

Otherwise, it was one of those fairly quiet days where things just seem to move along at their own pace.

However, Hunter SD2s dog is starting to do a little better and doesn't seem to be on death's door any longer, so we will see how he does. He has an appointment with our Vet next Wednesday and hopefully, we will get better information on what is going on with him than we have had in the past.

I have a feeling that it will be a series of good days and bad days over whatever time he does have left. It could be soon or a few months down the road. Either way, it will be a hard day around here when/if it does happen.

Blogger Commenting Issue - Need to Change Third Party Cookie Setting

This is an old Blogger issue that hasn't changed over the years and one that I had forgotten all about until I came back to Blogger recently and started following new blogs.

I have not been able to comment on Blogger using my Google account or like blog posts on since Christmas when I got my Pixel 2 Chromebook. Needless to say it has gotten rather annoying, people are writing some great posts that I have wanted to leave comments on or like.

After a bit of sleuthing around and doing a complete reset of my Chrome browser settings on my Chromebook, I think I have finally figured out the problem after Googling and thinking about the sort of cryptic responses/answers I read (actually some were pretty straight forward, it was me having to get to the correct checkbox to realize - oh that's what they were talking about).

It is all about how Blogger and use third party cookies in their comments or liking button and one setting deep in the Security/Privacy settings of the Chrome browser.

Fortunately, many security experts recommend that we block those third-party cookies to better protect our privacy online. Which I believe is important and one of the first things I do when installing a new browser and go in lockdown the privacy/security choices for that browser. I really hadn't noticed a lot of differences until now?.

Unfortunately, as I found out if we do, then commenting and liking become pretty difficult.

This is how I fixed my commenting/liking issues when I am using the Google Chrome browser:

  1. Go to the right-hand corner of your Chrome browser, click on the 3 vertical dots
  2. Which brings up and context menu
  3. From there got to the Settings bar (second from the bottom)
  4. Click the arrow beside the Advanced menu to open it up (it is on the left side of the page)
  5. When that is opened up look for the Privacy and Security tab in the
  6. Look for Site Settings (second from the bottom) and click that
  7. Then click on Cookies and Site Data bar
  8. If you are unable to comment or click on the like button and you have block third party cookies clicked (the button will be blue), that is why. 
  9. Click on the slide and turn it off, you should be able to comment or like blogs again.

Sad that you have to do 8-9 steps to find this setting to be able to fix things.

I am pretty sure it works this way for just about all the different browsers (you just have to find this setting in the browser you use) since the three that I tried to comment on the other browser behaved the same way.

Helluva way to run a railroad ain't it.

Better security/privacy or commenting/liking. At this point, I have decided to go with less security/privacy and become more a part of the blogging community again. We will see how it goes and at least now I know which setting is the one to change if I run into problems.

Originally posted on Aging & Retirement - My Thoughts, written by Harold L. Shaw, Jr.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Being Smart & Letting Go - 1-9-2020

It was back down in the single digits, with a pretty good breeze this morning for Bennie's before the sun walk and guess what, he went about 100 yards looked up at me, with that WTFO is going on look, turned around headed back to the house. So I dropped him off and went for a mile walk by myself for the third day in a row.

Sometimes the dogs are smarter than the people are.

I think being out in the dark is not one of his favorite things, because while it was a bit warmer at 9:30, it wasn't that much warmer, but he did a mile plus, without any complaints. Oh well, nothing really all that serious, plus I get that first walk done faster without him - he is a pokey puppy who stops to sniff and pee on everything.

When I got to the gym I was all full of piss and vinegar to do a certain workout. Actually I was looking forward to beating myself up pretty good on the treadmill this morning. However, when I was warming up, the left hamstring never quite loosened up enough to run well on - it just didn't feel right. So I took a quick break, did some foam rolling, stretching and then got back on the treadmill figuring I would at least get in a few miles.

No go.

I did about a tenth of a mile and shut it down.

The one thing I do not want to do this year is get laid up for multiple weeks when 1-3 days of relaxing and doing my exercises would have forestalled any long layoff. So stopping the run was the correct choice and one that I might do a bit more often this year. I probably should have gone ahead done a quick thirty minutes on the elliptical, but I was a little frustrated, so I just went home.

I am pretty sure that my Tuesday's killer workout was a bit much for the old body and I am paying for it today. Basically I did a week 10 tempo workout of a certain training plan and I am more in shape for week 5 - so shame on me, I do know better, but I had to find out something that day to make a choice, which meant pushing the boundaries a bit to see where I am and what I can still do.

Which means today off and some time with the heating pad and foam roller tonight. My hamstrings have been an issue for years now and I actually do know what I am supposed to do to keep them working decently. Now I just have to get around to actually doing what I am supposed to. It might mean 2-3 days off, I will know better tomorrow morning.

It is often the little things in life that are a royal pain in the arse. Today was no exception.

While getting my parka on before leaving the gym, the zipper kept coming undone from the bottom. Crap a warm and comfortable jacket that I actually like wearing, even if it is ugly as sin. The wife looked at it when I got home and it is not salvageable, so I needed another winter parka. Crap! It seems that all that crawling around under the house when Elliott went on his walkabout down there in December messed up the zipper - just enough and I finished it off today somehow or another.

Harold the Destroyer strikes again.

I was headed into Waterville again todo a few errands again, so stopping at Mardens and a couple of other places were part of the plan. TJ Maxx had a nice Marmot parka, but the price was well beyond what I wanted to spend, so I trundled off to Mardens and found a jacket there that will get me through the winter. It certainly is not the quality or warmness of my old parka, but it is good enough and if I put a puffer vest underneath it, it will work just fine. The idea of spending under $30.00 was a point in its favor, especially when filling up the truck was more than that on the way home.

Life really is not always about the big things, often it is the little things that get things bouncing around and frustrate you over the course of the day. Both of those situations in the past would have had me pissing and moaning about how unfair life is and all that other shite. Unfortunately, this kind of stuff happens to everyone and it happens all too often, learning to live with the minor crap, making the best of the situation, fixing what you can and living with the rest is just a part of life.

So I did.

You are what you do.

A Rest Day - Yeah Okay Sort Of - 1-8-20

I sat down and thought about what I want to accomplish with my running over the next six months and rearranged my training schedule to be more like the one that I did quite well with last year at this time, at least until I just ran out of energy. The biggest difference this year is that instead of attempting to kill myself on the harder workouts (which led me to give on the plan), I am going to keep them a bit more realistic about my pacing).

Looking down the road yesterday morning

In other words, I am not going to use my old 3K-5K race paces (from when I was 55), as my training paces for Intervals and Tempo runs - that just about killed me and while I had fun saying that I did them, the old body was telling me that I am too damn old to run that fast on training runs when I have other goals in mind.

  • Less weekly miles can do faster hard work
  • More weekly miles gotta be smarter and pace will be slower

Since I plan to do more weekly miles, it means that I gotta run slower. I don't learn easy some days, but eventually, I get things through the thickest skull in Maine...well sometimes. ;-)

Based on that knowledge, I also know that I have to rest more often as well. No streaking! I am sure no one wants to see that anyway. :-)

This means that Wednesdays are a no run day for the foreseeable future...I have a feeling this is going to be a bit flexible based on winter weather unpredictability, but I plan on taking most Wednesdays off from running and also blogging.

Yep, that is correct, no blogging. I am planning on a no writing day most Wednesdays.

If the body needs a scheduled day off, I have a feeling that the brain really does as well. It doesn't mean that I am going to sit around on the couch eating Wavy Lays and chugging Moxie, but I don't have to do a lot besides walking the dogs, read blog posts and articles (no commenting) and just relax for the most part over the course of the day. Of course, the honey-do list will get worked on and chores will be done, those are just givens and a part of life.

What did my first "rest" day look like?

Pretty relaxed most of the morning, although SD2's dog Hunter is not doing too well and Mary cared for him, along with worrying about him most of the day. So that was a bit stressful and not fun.

That afternoon I had a dentist appointment in Waterville (always a joy), so I stopped at Marden's because they had a winter hat sale and I needed one besides my running stuff and my extreme cold weather one that is way too warm when it is above 20*F. While I was there I also picked up mittens and a hat for Mary, she had seen them the other day but hadn't picked them up.

The dentist's appointment went well, what teeth I have left are doing well. This is only the second time going to this particular office and I like them a lot better than my old dentist's office. They suggest and recommend versus force X-Rays and peripheral stuff, so I was able to escape with a more reasonable bill than usual. Since we do not have dental insurance and the cleaning costs come out of pocket if I can save a little during winter, when the Christmas and heating bills are a bit more I prefer to do that.

After that, I had to go to the Ford dealership to get the blinker on the Transit fixed. No, I am not going to take apart the front end to replace a damn bulb - someone else can play with that crap. However, I had a few minutes to kill and stopped at the Jeep Dealership. This Spring we are thinking about trading in the truck for something newer and I have had several Jeep Wranglers and wanted to stop and get a closer look at the Gladiator.

Nice vehicle, not as impractical as the Wrangler, but for the price tag would I be paying about 10K extra just for the Jeep name on the tag compared to even a full-sized truck. JEEP - Just Empty Every Pocket seems about right in this case I think. Not sticker shock, because I know how much trucks do cost today, it more how much bang for my dollar that I would be getting.

I am going to be looking at various options for a new or new to me truck over the next few months and when we do decide that the time is right, I will have at least an idea of what we are looking for, how much it should cost and what options we want or can do without. Go in with a plan, pick the vehicle with the options we want and not settle for everything that the dealership recommends.

This is instead of my usual, go to the dealership, find something during that first 10 minutes, haggle for an hour, get screwed on the pricing, finance the vehicle then get home and figure out badly we got screwed by the dealership.

The Ford dealership was quick and efficient as usual repairing the blinder, and within a half-hour, I was headed home. Due to how we have been treated by their service department it is where we start our shopping when we start. They have been fantastic.

Yeah, I even did some shopping in between stops, D2's anniversary is coming up, so she is getting what she asked for, now I just have to get it in the mail to her and her husband. Good kids, I gotta say they are doing great and I love being a part of their lives, even if it is a bit of reach sometimes with them and grandkids in Minnesota.

While a lot of people would not consider all of this stuff a rest day, for me it is. Not running 4-6 miles and then attempting to write a daily blog post or edit a different one was relaxing. I even played Never Winter Nights for a few minutes last night, so I can tell I relaxed a little more than usual. Although while waiting I did get to read some more of Lifespan and the more I read it, it is making me go hmmm more often.

The idea of Star Wars versus Star Trek themes is probably a good analogy by the author, but I think that the author forgot about the abuses of technology in 1984 and political theater that accompanies society at times, while he addresses it peripherally, he focuses on the positives which is cool, but I need to be careful getting too caught up in the positive manner in which he writes about the advancements and possibilities that the sciences can bring. 

Tech and science are great until they are. When they are used to control versus communicate, educate or other positive things, they become part of the problem versus part of the solution. Romulan vs Federation would be a good analogy. I guess that is where my skepticism, not conspiracy theories about how tech is ultimately used in 20-30 years come out.

That discussion is for other posts I have a feeling. This one is long enough as it is.

So my first rest day of 2020 was very successful and I still got a lot done. The best part is this morning I feel refreshed and the body is not aching quite as much as usual. Maybe the changes are going to be a good thing for the old body.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Test Run and Showing Minor Carpentry Skills

What a gorgeous winter day, the sun was out, temps in the mid 20's and just a bit of breeze, with about an inch of fresh powder on top of everything. Unfortunately, on the road, what was underneath that little bit of snow was a lot of ice that I could no longer see.

Which meant the dog walks were a bit of an adventure, but no real issues while just walking, but I did attempt a few steps while walking Bennie, before Hunter and Mary caught up with us, but quickly found out that running on ice without my screw shoes was not a great idea. No, I did not kiss the road, but a little slip-sliding away quickly quenched any thought of doing more than walking outside this morning.

So I headed into Augusta to run on the treadmill and changed my mind about 10 times regarding what was going to do once I got there. Finally, I figured that I would wait until I got about half-way through my warm-up mile and go from there.

Now I have some ideas on what I want to do over the next few months, so I wanted to see what an extended time felt like at a particular pace. Not a super long time, but longer than I have been doing lately.

I was pleasantly surprised at how this test run went and it got me to thinking about what I want to do moving forward and how I think I might get there. No, I am not going to go into specifics until a lot later in the year. However, I do see me upping my mileage a bit and smiling more when I run. Both good things.

As a part of this, I ran in my Beacon v1's and there were no issues with the shoes. Light, comfortable and not thought about during the run.

This afternoon was all about doing the little carpentry chores around the house that I can do. It might take me a bit longer than someone who actually knows what they are doing, but I have enough of an idea of how to do things correctly that they usually turn out pretty reasonable. Mary is there to supervise me, so I don't get in too much trouble most of the time and if she starts to get too nervous I have to have her go find something for me. hehehehe

It works for us. The shelves are up, the picture frame - works the way she wants it to and the mirror is back in place (though I did recommend a replacement at some point in the next six months to the boss).

A good day overall and yes, I am a bit tired.