Jul 20

The menagerie

All are well here after another quiet weekend. We had a bike ride on Saturday morning and had the traditional weekly Chick-fil-A. Chatted with some friends that evening and did a lot of reading yesterday. It was a pleasant way to spend another stay-at-home weekend.

The cats are having a fine time of it. Poseidon enjoyed checking out the box their food came in.

We have to hide the bag because, eventually, he’ll become interested in the plastic and begin to chew through it. He’s a continual piece of work. But the box proved a good distraction for putting the food away in a closet that he will sprint toward should the door open at any time, day or night.

Phoebe had a nice night of it. This is comfortable.

She stayed like that for more than an hour.

I’m back to running, after a six week layoff. I’ve decided to concentrate on pace for a while, so I’m working on bringing down mile times. Today was my fourth run back and I’ve chipped away 35 or 44 seconds from that first run, depending on which of the two equally suspect apps you prefer. I bet, now that I’m writing these numbers out, that I’ll hit a wall later this week, but everything feels pretty good so far.

I’ve no illusions of ever seeing any of the actually respectable times of my youth. Not that youthful anymore, after all. But I’m just in the top quartile for my age group, and today’s pace puts me in the top half of the 17-21 cohort.

The biggest differences being they could probably breathe when they were done and they’ll be able to move tomorrow. It’s sometimes an open question these days.

I walked by this little turtle right after my run.

He wasn’t especially happy to see me, but we’ve only just met. So I took a quick picture and let him go on his way. You don’t disturb turtle buddies when they are on a mission.

Jul 20

Wild carrots

There was email and a Zoom meeting and a look to the weekend, which would be nice enough, a change from the week, but it will look like all of the recent weekends. It’s a weird experience.

The stasis.

I’ve stopped looking at various social media platforms for related reasons. I’ve long since quieted most of the wacky people, but now you can live vicariously through the photographs of others and wonder what that’s about. Shouldn’t you be inside? Should I be out there?

It all varies based on locales and your circumstance and how you choose to see the moment, which is much longer than a moment.

Maybe that’s what it is. This moment is very long; I am getting a little fidgety over it and it’s really just getting started.

Also the blog is suffering. The poor, long-suffering blog is suffering. We’ve got a nice enough house and we’re enjoying warm weather but there’s only so many times you can tell the same story about walking down the hall to the home-office. (I flipped my desk around last week, and I didn’t tell you about that, dear reader. It makes for the third office move since the spring. I’m considering a fourth.)

I’m going to have to get back into some hobbies or find some new thing to learn. These are tense times, indeed.

Went out for a run today. It was my third run of the week. My first week running in a few months. Even though I’m running a mile at a time, we’re still calling it a run. I figured I’d do the shorter distances to get the times down and so far it’s working!

I found a bit of Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) after my little jog.

You can eat them. The flowers are battered and fried, but don’t eat too many leaves. No idea how many is too many. The leaves can also give you blisters. And the plant has been used medicinally and as a dye.

Some places look at is as a beneficial weed. It can help with tomato growth and lettuce production. It attracts the right kind of insects in some areas. Some states list it as a nuisance or noxious weed. It’s native to the area where the Himalayan and Hindu Kush mountains bump into one another. It moved to Europe and southwest Asia between the 11th and 14th centuries. It made it’s home in China, India and Japan in the 14-17th centuries. It’s naturalized in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

I took a picture of it just to have something to put in this space for the day, but I’m getting an education. You can learn all about it, all about it, here.

Jul 20

This is thin, I know

This is how the week is going so far. I kicked three consecutive field goals in the office last night.

And then I shanked one off the left upright and the football skittered off the desk and across the floor, which is a pretty good average for me.

I had a nice short run today. I’ve decided to just do one-milers for a while and see if I can get down to a respectable pace once again. And, from there, I’ll put some distance back in. Who knows if this is the right way to go, but I figure running less might mean I can, ultimately, run more.

For the briefest moment I had a running partner.

Here’s one thing you should know by now, but just in case you’re new here (and, if so, my apologies for this first impression) or you’ve forgotten: she’s faaaaast.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more On Topic with IU podcasts as well.

Jul 20

Cats! A ride! A run!

Well, it’s another Monday, so let’s check in on the management team. Phoebe has been lounging as comfortably as ever this week:

She’s good at finding the sun. And she’s intent on her naps:

Poseidon was supervising dinner from his overhead perch the other night:

But he was less interested in a weekend video chat:

We went for a nice little bike ride on Saturday. We are good at this route. We manage to time the hardest part of the route with the hottest part of the day. One particular stretch has a deceptive little hill to climb, and the critical part of those three miles there is no shade to enjoy. Also, the county put convection oven elements in the road’s asphalt through there, so you get baked from both directions.

After you finish the climb, though, you get a fun two-mile descent and you eventually find yourself looking at this view:

And then along came this boat. For a 20 mile per hour photo I guess it works out:

Today, today has been a perceptively slow day. And I’m not talking about my run, har-har. It was my first run in seven weeks. Mostly it was a deliberate choice. And then I slightly rolled an ankle trying to avoid a cat. It was a minor thing, but since no one is chasing me, it seemed wise to rest it. This weekend I guess I decided that I’d rested enough. So I set out for a little one-mile run today, because I want to go fast again.

I haven’t been fast since high school or so, and I never will be again, but I can set some baselines and goals. And my new one-mile baseline is slow enough that I can, hopefully, cut out big chunks at a time. So here’s to tomorrow.

Jun 20

So June, huh? That’s one way to start.

Well hello there and happy Junevembertoberuary. I’m working on wrapping up week 12 at home. And this is where I would say I am doing well and we are blessed and all of that is true. All of that is very true. I’ve been to a grocery store a few times and we visit the drive through at Chick-fil-A on Saturdays and had some nice bike rides, but otherwise it has been right here. And I won’t complain! I can’t complain. Everything within our immediate reach is peachy keen while so many things beyond our grasp seem so far beyond our grasp.

There’s a lot to write and a lot of questions and worry and anger today, and there should be. A badly hurting world became something altogether worse tonight while we were on a one-hour bike ride. So quickly were things moving that I asked a friend what exactly was taking place that I managed to get caught up before he did. And then we sat aghast and in worry the rest of the night, as many people did. These next few weeks will try us. We must not be found wanting, when clearly so many people are.

The other day Poseidon help me work on a ceiling fan. He’s big on team efforts:

Did the fan get fixed? No. I blame the cat.

The fan is fine, but it does make a nice creaking nose. So we will continue to try to balance the thing. It’s only a problem for the few minutes when you’re really trying to go to sleep. And when it isn’t a problem it is really out of your mind. It’s a metaphor for life!

Phoebe does not care about your literary tricks. She is only concerned about getting in your path of travel and getting pets. And trying to stick her head through the spindles on the handrail for some reason.

This was a custom photo. The Yankee wanted one of her hiding and in preparation of attacking the laser. The dot can’t see her, you see, on account of her incredibly low profile. Laser dots, traditionally, scan the horizon as their primary form of enemy detection …

Between Thursday and Saturday morning a tree fell on a nearby path. It is a tree that had been waiting for some time to fall. I noticed a week or two ago that it had a serious lean and was braced against other trees that were still doing their part. This guy was rotted and exhausted. And now he’s just in the way.

But you don’t let that stop you, not when you’re running. You turn obstacles into hurdles. And that’s what we did. And then I used the saturation features on my phone to really jazz up this photo.

You gotta just look up. That’s the lesson here. This is a view on our Sunday walk.

And we played in the stream partway through that walk. It’s a peaceful little thing, watching the world’s tiniest waterfall in the valley between two quiet hills.

We went back to the lake. The Yankee went for a swim, her second swim since the pools closed in March, and so her second one in the lake. I sat on the shore to make sure the shore stayed in good shape. There was a bobber hanging from a tree:

And there was a log that was drifting in:

And she had a good swim!

I mean, look at that form! Such technique!

That’s a tow along buoy. Three quick puffs of air inflate it, and then you strap it around your waist and it swims behind you. They are designed to be visible for other people out on the water. Safety first, because low profiles and silhouettes and what not.

I could see this big pink dot about 150 yards away, or so, it is definitely high-viz. She says there’s no drag. She doesn’t even notice it behind her.

Other stuff? There’s more on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more On Topic with IU podcasts as well.